LA Galaxy defender Bryan Gaul underwent a frustrating season in 2013 and will have to make up substantial ground if he is to get his career back on track next season.
In the latest “Year in Review” piece, I take a look at Gaul’s season, which featured a training stint with Hammarby and loans to NASL sides Ft. Lauderdale Strikers and the Carolina Railhawks, as well as zero first team appearances for LA.
When I spoke to Gaul about his struggles in 2013, he offered a solution that could lead to greater success as he looks into year three of his professional career.
“I need to get a consistent spot,” Gaul told LA Galaxy Insider of his frustrating season. “It’s a curse being a utility guy because you bounce around different positions and never be solidified and consistent in one.”
Where Gaul goes from here remains to be seen, but the 24-year-old is hopeful that he can stay with LA next year.
“I would love to stay in LA, but we’ll see what happens. We spoke a little bit and everyone is going to find out in a couple of weeks,” said Gaul. “I just want to bounce back and be in the 18 and be in the coaches’ minds all season.”
Thoughts on Gaul?
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Robbie Keane got back to his goal scoring ways on Friday with the game-winning strike in Ireland's 3-0 victory over Latvia in Dublin, which was the first victory for new manager Martin O'Neill.
Keane's 62nd international goal came in the 21st minute of play when he tucked an Aiden McGeady corner into the back of the Latvian net. The LA Galaxy captain exited in the 73rd minute, but Ireland added two more goals in the second half after tallies by McGeady and Shane Long.
Ireland return to action on Tuesday against Poland in Pozan.
A GIF of Keane's goal is below...
CARSON, Calif. – Brian Perk endured a difficult season, but after recovering from three injuries, the 24-year-old goalkeeper is hopeful for his prospects for 2014.
In the first edition of the LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review, I look back at Perk’s frustrating season that saw him battle through a hernia surgery and two concussions. During his end of the season conversation with reporters, Perk stated that he is heading into the offseason as healthy as he’s felt in “two years” after overcoming what he described as “freak” concussions.
As he heads into next season, he’ll have to battle with emerging goalkeeper Brian Rowe, who took full advantage of Perk’s injury issues to carve out a position as LA’s second choice between the pipes.
“It'll be fun. He’s done well. He got an opportunity and ran with it. We’ll see where the chips fall in preseason and we’ll battle it out and see how it goes,” said Perk. “The most important thing is to say healthy, but for me, I've put some things together in my mind. I've been here a long time now and very time I step on practice field, I feel really confident. And in the reserve games that I've played in here and there, I feel like I feel I do really well. It’s just getting a chance to put what I've done on the practice field and reserve teams for the first team, if I’m that lucky.”
Thoughts on Perk's showings
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It's time for the annual look at each of the players that suited up for the LA Galaxy.
My preliminary schedule for the "LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review" which begins on Friday is below...
Take a look.
11/16— Kenney Walker
11/25—Robbie Rogers, Leonardo
11/26—Jack McBean, Carlo Cudicini
11/27—Landon Donovan, Michael Stephens
11/29 -- OFF
11/30— Michael Stephens, Robbie Keane
12/2—Hector Jimenez, Todd Dunivant
12/3—Gyasi Zardes, Omar Gonzalez
12/4—A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin
12/5—Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas
12/6-- Coaching Staff
The LA Galaxy locked down two major pieces for the 2014 season as they re-signed defender Todd Dunivant and signed midfielder Baggio Husidic on a free transfer.
Just how much has Dunivant blossomed into a Galaxy staple? Above is a photo of Dunivant's first stint with the Galaxy when he participated in LA's 2005 friendly against Real Madrid. Interestingly enough, that match was my first at the venue formerly known as The Home Depot Center.
Lastly, to familiarize you with Husidic, below are a series of clips of Husidic's time with Chicago and a goal that he scored for Hammarby.
Bonus points for anyone that notices the huge amount of snow on camera in the last clip.
A.J. DeLaGarza is away on his first international tour with Guam and he's clearly already a focal point of the federation.
In a team photo taken before their match against Laos, which will kick off at 1 a.m. on Friday, DeLaGarza has already been placed at the center. Also included in Guam's squad is former Galaxy Under-18 forward Josh Borja, who can be seen on the top row donning the number 11. Borja played with the Galaxy U-18's during their inaugural season and was the first LA academy player to score a goal for a full international team.
Take a look below.
— Guam Football Assoc (@GuamFootball) November 14, 2013
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy locked down two vital pieces for the upcoming 2014 MLS regular season by announcing the re-signing of defender Todd Dunivant and the signing of midfielder Baggio Hušidić, but what impact will the pair have next year?
Dunivant has been the Galaxy’s “Mr. Consistency” for the past five years, by appearing in at least 25 matches each season. In 2013, Dunivant was again his reliable self as the left back made 25 appearances in league play while tallying two assists. During the team’s final media availability, the 32-year-old revealed that the deal will be keep him with the Galaxy for the next two seasons, where he should be able to continue serving as one of the team’s leaders on defense. That leadership could become pivotal as he mentors his deputy 23-year-old Greg Cochrane, who showcases the same type of workman-like play that has become a Dunivant staple. In his second year, Cochrane may make his own case for the left back position after a solid rookie season that saw him make 12 appearances, mostly filling in for Dunivant.
Hušidić is a more intriguing addition as he joins a potentially congested central midfield group for the Galaxy. The 26-year-old is coming off limited playing time with Hammarby as he made 41 appearances over two seasons with the Swedish Superettan club after a successful stint with the Chicago Fire. A tenacious midfielder displayed shades of developing into a two-way threat during his time with Chicago, but is likely to be used as a defensive option that will be expected to assist in the building of attacks. Where Hušidić fits in remains to be seen, however, as Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena would be required to drop either Marcelo Sarvas or Juninho to fit the former Hammarby player into his position in central midfield. Whichever player does start, however, will likely be the recipient of an uptick offensively as the Hušidić will be entrusted with the defensive responsibilities.
Thoughts on the moves?
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LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo has advanced to the "Gran Final" of FutbolMLS' Latino del Año 2013.
Penedo advanced past Colorado Rapids midfielder Hendry Thomas in the quarterfinals and will meet Real Salt Lake's Alvaro Saborio, FC Dallas goalkeeper Raul Fernandez, and reigning champion Houston Dynamo midfielder Boniek Garcia.
Robbie Keane has no intention of leaving Southern California.
The LA Galaxy captain told Sky Sports on Tuesday that he has “verbally agreed” to a two-year contract that may extend to three seasons which could make LA the final stop for the 33-year-old forward. The Irishman told Sky back in January that he had extended his initial deal with the Galaxy by another two seasons.
"I'm certainly excited about that and playing for the Galaxy in the future. I didn't think I was going to go there and then come back to the Premier League, but I'm enjoying my football there and the club has been very good to me,” Keane told Sky. "As soon as you hit that 30 age mark in football, people are reluctant to give you contracts but this will be the third contract I've signed since I've been there and it shows the faith they have in me.
Keane is coming off a season that saw him score 16 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances during an MVP season. When speaking to Sky Sports ahead of Ireland’s friendlies against Latvia and Poland, the Galaxy captain admitted that he’s already begun the preparations of what he’ll do after hanging up his boots—even though he has no intention to do so any time soon.
"I've still got a good few years left in me. But I'm looking to do my coaching badges in January in Ireland,” Keane added. "The FAI has a good structure here to help players if they want to do that. It's something I'm passionate about and need to get into if I want to stay in the game."
"Since I've been there, it's been a strong league. It's a tough league because of the structure that works there with everyone competing at roughly the same level. Every team can beat every other, so it's very competitive,” Keane added. "When people come over to play in it, I always tell them, 'don't think you're coming over for a holiday'. There's a lot of pressure on the three designated players as people are expecting you to deliver all the time."
In an interview with LAGalaxy.com, LA Galaxy players Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant and Jaime Penedo look back at the 2013 season.
We'll have more review content over the next few weeks.
Check out the video below...