CARSON, Calif. -- The break is over and now the real work begins for the LA Galaxy.
The Galaxy returned to the training pitch on Monday following their third bye week of the 2014 MLS regular season ahead of Saturday's match against the Colorado Rapids at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The match with Colorado will effectively start the meat of LA's schedule as the Galaxy will not have another weekend off until the league's break for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
"It's good to be playing again," Husidic told LA Galaxy Insider. "We've had enough weekends off, it'd be nice to get in the rhythm of things."
Whereas the turf was a major issue in LA's match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, the Galaxy will need to deal with the elevation in Commerce City, which has caused problems for the Galaxy in the past. Husidic who admitted that he tired during LA's last trip to elevation when they drew with Real Salt Lake 1-1, admitted that LA has a blueprint for dealing with the elevation in the Rocky Mountain State.
"If we keep the ball then we don't have to run as much. Our goal is to keep possession like we have recently," said Husidic. "If we play our game and make the other team run, we make them tired."
Los Dos captain Rafael Garcia, forward Travis Bowen and LA loanee Gyasi Zardes all scored as LA earned their third victory over Orange County this season. Galaxy II return to action on May 5 at StubHub Center's Track and Field Stadium when they face the Charlotte Eagles at 7:30 pm.
Highlights of the match are below.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are in the midst of yet another bye week that the team must savor because soon the grind of the MLS Regular Season will truly begin.
This weekend will serve as the Galaxy’s third off week of the 2014 campaign which was set in place—in large part—due to LA’s participation in the CONCACAF Champions League. Following this weekend’s bye, the Galaxy will not experience another weekend off until MLS action is halted due to the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Once MLS action resumes, the Galaxy's campaign will truly begin as the team will play at least once each week until the season's end.
Although the schedule will pick up at a rapid pace after this weekend’s respite, the Galaxy actually believe that 2014 will bring a smaller work-load than past seasons.
“I think we actually see this as a lighter year, because we're not in the [next edition of] the Champions League. We're not playing extra games [down the stretch], so for us to play every week is fine. I personally would prefer to be playing regularly,” Landon Donovan told reporters earlier this week. “At different points of the season, which you're nicked up, you accept a bye week happily, but to have them so early is a little unnecessary, I guess. But it is what it is. I would think preferably we'd have them more late in the season, but that's the way it goes.”
But midfielder Stefan Ishizaki thinks that the bye week may turn out to be advantageous for LA ahead of their match against the Colorado Rapids next Saturday.
“Playing on hard turf in Vancouver made guys a bit sore and I think that it’s a good thing that we got that out,” said Ishizaki. “We can train hard during the bye week and then ease up our preparations as we get closer to the Colorado match.”
Raul Mendiola scored the only goal for LA Galaxy II as they drew Arizona United SC 1-1 in their first-ever away match.
After a strong first half, Mendiola found the back of the net in the 35th minute after Galaxy II forced a turnover in the center of the park. In the second half, Arizona stormed back and in the 68th minute, Arizona equalized as Paolo DelPiccolo scored for United.
LA Galaxy II return to action on Sunday against Orange County Blues at Anteater Stadium in Irvine. French center back Bradley Diallo will miss that match after picking up a red card in the waning moments of the draw.
CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant is expected to return to training “soon” and will possibly make his return to the training field next week, according to head coach Bruce Arena.
After training on Thursday, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena told reporters that Dunivant is “moving along pretty well” and “making good progress” in his recovery from an abdominal strain that has sidelined him LA’s April 6 3-0 win over Chivas USA.
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CARSON, Calif. -- The U.S. Open Cup is fast approaching as both LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II learned their path to the Lamar Hunt trophy.
Los Dos will start the tournament in the second round against Cal FC on May 14 at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium at 7:30 PT while the first team will join the tournament in the fourth round as they will play between June 10 and June 18.
But how will both sides perform in the tournament? Vote below.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy center back Leonardo took plenty of flak his second half defensive error in LA’s draw with Vancouver Whitecaps FC, but the Brazilian defender believes that he’ll rebound.
Following training, I asked Arena about how Leonardo moves forward and whether he simply needs to have a short memory or should focus on correcting the concentration error. The response from the Galaxy boss was worth noting.
“It has to be a little of both. I’m sure you’ve made mistakes in your life. Fell off your tricycle at some point and had to learn from that. You put the Band-Aid on and you get on with business,” Arena said. “That’s basically what we’re doing. It’s all part of life, but unfortunately for athletes especially defenders or goalkeepers, when they make a mistake, everyone is an expert and has it all figured out. Leo was involved in a lot of plays in that game where he was excellent. However, he did make a crucial error; we learn from it and move on.”
As for Leonardo, the center back is bullish about his ability to recover from performances like the match against the Whitecaps and the Club Tijuana defeat earlier in the year.
“It happens to players,” Leonardo admitted. “I think the thing to understand that when we face more complicated games you learn from your mistakes.”
CARSON, Calif. – A year ago, Jack McBean was a notable omission from U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos’ World Cup qualifying campaign, but with the United States beginning their prepraations for the 2016 Olympic Games, McBean has been welcomed back into the fold.
"He is one of the guy that we called right away, because we think there is some potential," Ramos told reporters earlier in the week. "He has to continue to improve. He has to continue to better and better at the club level obviously being one of the guys left in the end. This is still an early part of the process, and we are going to look at as many players as we can.
McBean attests that the minutes that he’s received with Galaxy II are aiding his progression and have served as a “stepping stone” to his time with the national team, but he admits that there is still much work to be done before he develops into a regular with Ramos’ squads.
“We’ll see. These short camps are always physically demanding,” said McBean. “I’m hoping to keep to keep progressing.” we’ll see. It’s always physically demanding and tomorrow we have a game against Tijuana so I guess it will be interesting to see how the guys get on. I’m looking forward to it."
CARSON, Calif. – Jose Villarreal admits that he’s still adapting to the style of play and the elevation in Mexico, but the LA Galaxy Homegrown Player says that he has no regrets about going on a year-long loan to Liga MX side Cruz Azul.
Villarreal, who is participating in the United States U-21 training camp, is currently with Cruz Azul’s Liga de Ascenso club Cruz Azul Hidalgo for the duration of the 2014 Clausura tournament. While the 20-year-old admits that the season has been a “frustrating” experience, he’s confident that he can get into Cruz Azul’s first team during the Apertura tournament later this year.
“It’s a different level of soccer, you just have to adjust and deal with whatever comes up,” said Villarreal who admits that he’s been playing primarily with the team’s U-20 team as well as Hidalgo. “I’ve been in and out of the rotation, but I’m looking to get back with the first team. This season has been tough to get minutes; I just want to work hard as I look toward the next preseason so that I can get in with their first team and get more minutes.”
But does he think that he'll be staying with Cruz Azul when loan deal expires at the end of the year?
“No regrets at all with the move. I felt like I needed to do it. I'll always be a Galaxy player,” said Villarreal. “There's curveballs but I'll expect it to play out. Hopefully I'll get some minutes and if It happens that I stay then I'll stay but if I don't then I’ll bring whatever I can once I get back to LA.”