We're just hours away from the start of the LA Galaxy's MLS Regular Season opener against Real Salt Lake, but before we turn the focus to the opener, let's focus on a few quick updates.
*The LA Galaxy released their official injury report with Robbie Rogers (left ankle) and Kofi Opare (right adductor strain) both labeled as questionable. Neither are expected to be available for Saturday's game against RSL.
*MLS announced their new competition updates on Friday afternoon which include adding the away goals to all MLS Cup Playoff two-leg games. The rule will be active ONLY during the opening 90 minutes as all overtime goals will not be judged based on their location.
CARSON, Calif. -- Dan Gargan is officially a member of the LA Galaxy.
The team announced on Friday that they have signed the 31-year-old veteran defender who has trained with the team throughout the 2014 preseason. LA are Gargan's sixth team as the defender has spent time with the Colorado Rapids, Chivas USA, Toronto FC, Chicago Fire and the San Jose Earthquakes. The release states that Gargan will be available for selection for Saturday's MLS regular season opener against Real Salt Lake.
Gargan is likely to be the third outside back option behind James Riley once the team is completely healthy as A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant are expected to hold the right back and left back positions respectfully.
Thoughts on Gargan signing with the Galaxy?
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LA Galaxy's Bruce Arena and James Riley weigh in on MLS opening up the season with replacement referees
CARSON, Calif. – MLS will begin the 2014 MLS Regular Season without its usual referee crews as replacements will be taking over the officiating duties for opening weekend.
On Friday, the Professional Referee Organization announced that it will lock out its officials after the Professional Soccer Referees Association had rejected a no strike/no lockout agreement. Negotiations have been ongoing between the two sides for several months as they seek to reach their first Collective Bargaining Agreement.
The LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, like all other teams playing in opening weekend, will be affected as they saw their referee assignment changed from 2012 MLS Referee of the Year Silviu Petrescu to veteran CONCACAF official Javier Santos. A member of FIFA Puerto Rico, the Colombian official was an official during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2013 CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying tournament in Mexico. Santos has also gained substantial experience in the CONCACAF Champions League in the last three years, officiating over eight CONCACAF Champions League matches and even served as the fourth official for LA’s 4-0 loss to Isidro Metapán in CCL group play last year.
Although the men in the yellow shirts will be different, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena believes that his team and the rest of the clubs in MLS are prepared for the replacement officials.
“We’ve been aware of it. The referee is going to be the same for both teams. Hopefully they’re all prepared to do their job and we get on with it,” said Arena. “In all fairness, players have to adjust more than the referee. The referee is going to have a style of play and he’s not going to be fully informed on the qualities of MLS. He’s going to referee the way that he’s always refereed and we’re going to have to adjust quickly.”
Veteran defender James Riley, who is expected to start on the left side of defense on Saturday, agrees.
“We just have to control what we can control and not worry about who is assigned to the game, but just go out and do what we can do,” said Riley. “The cadence and rhythm are a bit different. He may call things a bit differently, but I’m sure that he’ll get direction on how the game should be called and he’ll use his ability to do so. We won’t think too much about it and just hope that there is a speedy resolution.
“I think the referees overall do a fantastic job and that’s a very difficult position,” Riley continued. “They’ve been criticized a lot over the years since I’ve been in the league. We know that they’re an integral part of this game and we want it to get better. We want the overall product both on and off the field to get better and they have a significant role in that. We as players support a quick resolution, but the season is going to go on and that’s the reality of it.”
Ahead of the start of the 2014 MLS Regular Season, Landon Donovan spoke to "The Sports Dude" Jeff Garcia of Hip Hop radio station Power 106 to preview the year and provide a little insight into his life.
The interview has six parts, but you can see the first where Donovan previews the upcoming season below.
PART TWO: Donovan on the USMNT's World Cup draw.
PART THREE: Donovan on his relationship with Mexican soccer fans.
It's been some week for Robbie Keane.
First, he wins his second FAI Senior International Player of the Award, then he gets a new multi-year contract that will keep him with the Galaxy for "two possibly three years," and now he earns an honor of a different sort. GQ Magazine named the Galaxy captain as one of their "10 Best-Dressed Men of the Week."
Thanks to his smart blue-green suit that he wore at the ninth annual Oscar Wilde: Honoring The Irish In Film' Pre-Academy Awards event in Santa Monica, the Irishman came in at number four on the list in front of the likes of Joe Jonas, Shaun White and Robin Thicke.
We know what jerseys that the LA Galaxy will be wearing once the season starts on Saturday, but now we have details on shorts and socks.
On the shorts, we see the familiar Adidas three stripes as well as the blue and gold lining, but also the leticular crest that is present on the primary kit. Meanwhile, the socks provide a retro feel that takes me back to my AYSO days.
Full disclosure, I have to say that the socks may be my favorite touch of the kit so don't be surprised if you stop me on the StubHub Center concourse and find out that I'm wearing them under one of my blue suits.
Check it out below.
The shorts and socks together
The LA Galaxy crest
LA Galaxy jersey socks
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s roster is pretty much set heading into the season opener against Real Salt Lake, but one question mark remains.
Trialist Dan Gargan has been with the team since the start of the preseason, but as of yet, there has been no word about a contract offer from the Galaxy. But that doesn’t mean that LA isn’t interested according to head coach Bruce Arena.
“We’re going to try,” said Bruce Arena when asked about if the team is planning to sign the 31-year-old defender.
Outside back depth is vital for LA at the moment as the club dispatched youngsters Bryan Gaul (waived) and Greg Cochrane (traded to Chicago) in recent weeks.
RILEY EXPECTING TO START IN DEFENSE
While Gargan’s status is still up in the air, the newest member of the LA Galaxy, James Riley is expecting to get the start at left back this Saturday against Real Salt Lake due to an injury to Todd Dunivant.
Riley has seen significant time this preseason at left back due to Dunivant’s nagging hamstring injury and is likely to get the nod against RSL.
“I’ll be ready to go,” said Riley. “Whatever Bruce decides, I feel fit and ready to go.”
Dunivant is improving rapidly; however, as the veteran left back went 45 minutes in a recent scrimmage with LA Galaxy II against Cal-State Fullerton as he seeks to be available for selection for Saturday.
“I’m ready to be available,” said Dunivant. “It’s a good guess [that Riley starts]. I’m still working on [being 90 minutes fit], but first thing is first is getting healthy and I’m moving forward.”
ARENA ADMITS EXPERIENCE RULES ALL AS SEASON OPENER APPROACHES
The LA Galaxy’s new found experience has been a major plot line this preseason and on Thursday, head coach Bruce Arena went into detail about how he expects the team to be different during the 2014 campaign.
“I think the priorities were addressed with the new players,” said Arena. “We needed more experience in midfield; we got that with [Stefan] Ishizaki. We needed some help on our forward line, and we got that with Samuel and [Rob] Friend. We needed some experienced players in the back; we have that now with [James] Riley. Obviously [Baggio] Hušidić is another experienced player in the midfield as well. I think that’s what we needed to address. This year, we’re looking at Friend or Samuel or Hušidić or Riley or [Dan] Gargan or Ishizaki. Last year it was [Jack] McBean, [Jose] Villarreal, [Hector] Jimenez, and [Rafael] Garcia, I think that’s an improvement.”
LAGalaxy.com will be chalkful of interesting video content this year and on Thursday, we got our first look at one video series that I know will be a favorite.
In the first edition of a new weekly series called "Kickin' It With Kelli," Time Warner Cable SportsNet sideline reporter Kelli Tennant speaks to Robbie Keane on staying with the Galaxy and living in LA.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes entered the preseason as something of a forgotten man with the LA Galaxy’s new additions grabbing the headlines, but the forward has staked his claim to start in Saturday’s season opener against Real Salt Lake.
The second-year attacker has been revitalized this preseason as he has appeared to shake off the finishing woes that plagued him in his rookie season. Just where he ends up on the field still remains a question mark, however, as he has had some of his greatest success playing on the right side of midfield and up top.
However, ask one of his more accomplished teammates about where Zardes should play and the answer is a simple one.
“His best position [in midfield] whether it’s on the left or the right hand side because he’s quick and can beat people,” said LA captain Robbie Keane who is quick to praise Zardes for his improved finishing this preseason. “It’s all well and good to be doing it during the preseason, but it’s about doing it when the real business starts.”
When told of Keane’s declaration, Zardes agrees, “I feel like I’m good in the midfield. I feel like I pose a threat and can get the ball to the forward’s feet."
But at times, when Zardes pushes forward, it changes the Galaxy’s formation as their 4-4-2 formation evolves into an apparent 4-3-3, something that the second-year attacker is keenly aware of.
“I’m always pushing into the attack,” said Zardes of his positioning on the field. “I don’t know what the coaches have in mind, but wherever they use me whether it’s as a forward or in midfield, I’m going to try to be a threat.”
Think Zardes will get the start out wide on Saturday? Think StefanIshizaki will start?
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Omar Gonzalez is well-known for his hilarious videos and when he was in New York for the league's marketing tour, the LA Galaxy center back unveiled his latest funny clip.
In this video, Gonzalez meets up with a well-known former teammate who steals the show from the affable defender.
Check it out on YouTube and Vine below.