To be the best, you've got to beat the best. And the U.S. Under-20 side will certainly have to do so this summer at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey.
The Americans have been drawn into Group A with Spain, France, and an African qualifier. Spain and France both qualified as semifinals of the 2012 UEFA European Under-19 championship as Spain defeated the French in the semifinals before winning the tournament. Meanwhile, the U.S. could face one of either Ghana, Egypt, Nigeria or Mali, who qualified for the semifinals of CAF's U-20 tournament.
I’m really excited for our players, to play against some of the best teams in the world," U.S. head coach Tab Ramos said in a quote sheet provided by U.S. Soccer. "This is the reason why you go to the World Cup – to play against the best. We get Spain and France right off the bat and we’re going to start working toward our preparation for that.”
Four players with LA Galaxy connections have suited up for the U.S. U-20's over the past year as Jack McBean and Oscar Sorto participated in camps prior to the CONCACAF U-20 Championship while Jose Villarreal and Javan Torre were part of the team that finished second in the tournament.
The LA Galaxy confirmed on Monday that Landon Donovan will be attending the club's visit of the White House on Tuesday.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters last week that the team was planning on Donovan being in attendance. Donovan has been away from the club throughout the preseason as he took a self-imposed break from the game.
The Galaxy will be joined at the White House by the Los Angeles Kings, who are also owned by AEG. The ceremony at the White House is scheduled to begin at 10:35 a.m. PT followed by the "Let's Move" clinic, an event that will include children from Soccer for Success, America SCORES, and Hockey is for Everyone at 11:30 a.m. PT.
What are your thoughts on Donovan's return?
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Monterrey will be without the services of starting goalkeepeer Jonathan Orozco for four to six weeks after the Monterrey 'keeper suffered an injury in training last week.
Last Tuesday, Orozco was felled by an injury in his right leg that was discovered to be a grade two muscle tear in the back of his thigh. With Orozco out, Monterrey has turned to Juan de Dios Ibarra in goal.
LA face Monterrey in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals on April 3 at The Home Depot Center before traveling to Monterrey for the second leg on April 10.
The LA Galaxy U-19’s started off their participation in Dallas Cup’s Gordon Jago Super Group with a victory on Sunday as they battled back from a goal down to defeat German club Eintracht Frankfurt 2-1.
The Galaxy dominated the run of play from the outset, but went down in the 41st minute when a Frankfurt corner kick found the head of Luca Schnellbacher to put LA behind the Germans.
At the start of the second, LA began their comeback in the 60th minute when Paul Arriola lashed a right-footed strike past the Frankfurt goalkeeper to the Galaxy U-19’s level. But LA saved the best for last in the 90th minute. LA earned a free kick near the edge of the box and Drew Murphy made the German club pay with a shot into the right corner of the net to seal the victory.
LA returns to action on Monday against Fulham FC at 10 a.m. PT.
The Football Association of Ireland announced on Sunday that LA Galaxy forward and Ireland captain Robbie Keane has been ruled out for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Austria in Dublin with a calf strain.
Keane had been awaiting the results of a scan of a calf strain suffered during Ireland's scoreless draw against Sweden on Friday. The Irish forward did not train on Sunday as he awaited the results of the scan. According to the tabloid Daily Mail, the scan showed "fresh damage" in the injury. Ireland manager Giovanni Trapattoni has called up Wolverhampton forward Kevin Doyle to replace Keane on the squad.
Following Sunday's LA Galaxy victory over the Colorado Rapids, LA head coach Bruce Arena mentioned that the Galaxy may be looking to rest Keane during next week's match against Toronto FC. Granted this quote came before injury news for Keane became public.
"It'll be great to get Robbie back,' Arena told reporters. "I don't know if he's going to be ready to play against Toronto after this international spell. We'll have to see how he is when we get to D.C."
Thoughts on Keane's injury? Expect LA to rest him against Toronto as they turn their focus to the CCL Semifinals?
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CARSON, Calif. -- This week the LA Galaxy first team will embark on their first trip of the season, a trip that includes a visit to the White House, but while they meet the President, the Galaxy Academy will face their own test as they take part in the prestigious Dallas Cup youth tournament in the Gordon Jago Super Group.
The Galaxy take an accomplished roster to Texas that includes the likes of Homegrown defender Oscar Sorto, defensive standouts like U-20 center back Javan Torre and goalkeeper Juan Cervantes as well midfielder wunderkinds Paul Arriola and Raul Mendiola, and forwards Justin Dhillon and Jaime Villarreal (brother of Jose Villarreal).
LA open tournament play on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. PT against German club Eintract Frankfurt at the Cotton Bowl. LA then takes on Fulham FC at 10 a.m. PT on March 25 at the University of Texas at Dallas campus before concluding group play on March 27 against defending Dallas Cup champions Coritiba FC at 2 p.m. PT on the campus of Richland College.
Ahead of Dallas Cup, Sorto and Torre discuss the tournament below...
SORTO: "It'll be something special. Leading the team against such hard teams is going to be a big test for me and I'm expecting a lot from my teammates. We're just training and since our opponents are from other countries, we're just training and getting ready. I'm positive with the team that we're taking because last year, we went to Spain and did an excellent job so I'm confident that we can do well again."
TORRE: "The tournament has been around for 34 years and has a lot of prestige and I'm just glad to be a part of us...[This tournament] will definitely help me as a player. It's just more experience at a high level and it's always good to get those games in. I think that playing in front of such a crowd gives you a lot to work for."
Remember, Time Warner Cable Deportes is broadcasting all nine Gordon Jago Super Group games being held at the Cotton Bowl including the semifinals and the finals of the tournament.
How will the Galaxy Academy perform at Dallas Cup?
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LAGalaxy.com's Paolo Ferrari was among those who caught up with goal scorer Mike Magee after the LA Galaxy's 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Check out the video below...
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy were dominant on both sides of the ball in Sunday's 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids, but without a red card by Colorado defender Drew Moor that led to an LA penalty kick by Mike Magee, the story could have been different.
The play occurred in the 48th minute when Moor appeared to elbow Sarvas during an off-the-ball challenge resulting in referee Armando Villarreal to give the defender a straight red card and call a penalty. Magee quickly stepped to take the penalty and launched it past 'keeper Clint Irwin for the game winner.
Following the match, Sarvas broke down what exactly happened on the play...
“It wasn’t an elbow. It was a hand. He punched me. I have no idea; I have to see the replay. I don’t know where it came from. [He] just hit my face and I fell down,” said Sarvas. “I didn’t say anything to him. He was just walking; I stopped in front of him. I don’t know, he probably lost his mind. For sure.
Sarvas was quick to admit that he believes he is still healthy after the foul, but he told reporters that he had not ever been a part of such a challenge in his career.
“[There’s ] not many [fouls] like that in soccer,” said Sarvas. It’s more boxing.”
Moor offered his own explanation for the play by saying that he was "disappointed" in himself for the foul.
Video of the play is below...
CARSON, Calif. – Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal were pleased with their performance in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The only thing that was missing, however, was missing was a goal.
McBean and Villarreal were dynamic from the opening whistle as they resumed their Academy and Reserve League partnership due to the absence of captain Robbie Keane. Villarreal set the tone early with a header in the third minute that was saved by Clint Irwin as the pair continued to rack up scoring opportunities until McBean saw a shot saved by Irwin in the 86th minute.
In the end, the pair accounted for seven shots on goal –four for McBean and three for Villarreal— only three fewer than LA’s total on the night. Although Mike Magee scored the lone goal on a penalty kick, McBean felt confident about his showing in just his fifth MLS appearance.
“We talked to each other before the game, we knew that we were going to make mistakes; it’s just how you rebound from them,” said McBean. “I thought we both worked for each other and kept positive attitudes, it was fun.”
Following the match, the teenagers’ teammates were plenty complimentary of their performance.
“We were actually kind of excited to see what those two would do together and obviously, they were good tonight,” said Magee.
“They were all over the field; they had a great game and were unlucky not to score,” added defender Todd Dunivant. “Maybe the forward duo that I’ve ever played with, but they were great.”
What may have made them great, according to Villarreal was their age. The pair have had plenty of success in Academy, Reserve League and CONCACAF Champions League matches in the past and were eager to make that success translate to the league level.
“We just went at the defenders. We didn’t care if they were veterans in the league or not,” said Villarreal. “It’s a matter of us implementing our style of play and our aggressiveness.”
Dunivant was quick to agree that their brashness will only help them going forward.
“They were fearless. That’s probably what makes them as good as they are because they don’t even know what they’re doing, which is a good thing,” said Dunivant. “There is brashness there and it works for them. Jose is taking shots and he’s aggressive and Jack is holding up the ball there for us and that stuff is going to add up. Those guys are going to be big for us.”