CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy suffered through a poor defensive performance during their disappointing 4-2 defeat to Club Tijuana on Tuesday which may lead tdefensive changes ahead of their match against Real Salt Lake.
The back four of A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo and James Riley conceded three times in the opening 30 minutes, which prompted head coach Bruce Arena to pull Riley in favor of Todd Dunivant. This stopped the bleeding enough for LA to pull back a goal, but the group ultimately conceded for a fourth and final time in the closing stages to help LA crash out of the CONCACAF Champions League.
“Things turn over quickly,” said Arena. “It’s good to have a game and test ourselves again….These are professional athletes and they need to put all of that [happened in Tijuana] behind you.”
Dunivant appears to be the most likely switch as he declared himself “ready to go” and healthy for the RSL match following LA’s training session on Thursday morning. However, Arena’s changes may not stop there. Brazilian center back Leonardo was arguably the biggest struggler against Tijuana and Arena may opt to replace him with any myriad of options.
With defenders Kofi Opare and Kyle Venter loaned to LA Galaxy II for their inaugural match, defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Tommy Meyer are the front runners to see time alongside Gonzalez. Reuniting the pairing that won the 2012 MLS Cup would likely cause the Galaxy to make just two changes while moving DeLaGarza to central defense could offer a major shift for the Galaxy.
Moving DeLaGarza over to the center allows Arena to place Riley—or fellow veteran Dan Gargan—at THEl right back position while reuniting a center back pairing that has enjoyed plenty of success in recent years. When paired together, the University of Maryland pairing have helped LA earn a 27-8-12 record in regular season games.
Although he would not commit to the prospect of changes, DeLaGarza did hint that Arena may make moves for Salt Lake.
“I’m not sure what is going to happen just yet. I’m sure you’ll find out on Saturday,” said DeLaGarza. “A couple of us know what is going on, but we just need anyone to be on the same page both offensively and attacking wise.”
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CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II will play their first match on Saturday against the Orange County Blues at StubHub Center's Track and Field Stadium, and one day before the historic event, the team received their first official players.
The Galaxy announced on Friday that they had loaned first team players Rafael Garcia, Bradford Jamieson IV, Jack McBean, Raul Mendiola, Charlie Rugg, and Oscar Sorto for the duration of the season. In addition, the club also announced that LA has sent first teamers Kofi Opare, Kyle Venter and Kenney Walker for Galaxy II's first match. All nine players will be available for the match against the Orange County Blues.
It can be expected that more signings for Galaxy II will be announced prior to their match against Orange County.
Tickets for the match against the Blues are on sale and are available for $10 dollars.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 21, 2014
In the latest edition of "By the Numbers" LAGalaxy.com looks ahead to Saturday's clash between the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
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In the latest edition of Cobi's Corner, Gyasi Zardes talks to LA Galaxy legend Cobi Jones about his second year in MLS, his well-known hairdo and more.
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CARSON, Calif. – Another year, another CONCACAF Champions League semifinal that will be dominated by Mexican clubs.
A day after the LA Galaxy fell 4-3 on aggregate to Club Tijuana, the San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City were also eliminated with defeats to Mexican clubs Toluca and Cruz Azul. The results all but assure that the competition will have an all-Mexican final for the sixth time in the competition’s history unless Central American underdog Alajuelense can upset Toluca.
Following the loss to Tijuana, Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan stated that the wage disparity may have played a part in LA’s defeat and veteran Todd Dunivant was quick to agree after LA training on Thursday.
“Our owners are competitive and we want to be the best league in this region and I don’t think that’s too far off to be honest. We’ve made big strides and we’re closer and closer. I think even two or three years ago, you see all Mexican teams playing second teams in these games and now you don’t see that,” said Dunivant who played 45 minutes in the loss. “At the end of the day, we’re still a ways away, but the funny part is that we’re really close. … It’s not that far off, but the difference is pretty big in terms of the depth of the roster and the economics between the two league and, at the end of the day, that makes enough of a difference to consistently get the same results.”
While Dunivant believes that there are “no easy answers” to the league's failures in CCL, but was quick to admit that the wage disparity between MLS and Liga MX “might be brought up” as the players union heads into negotiations for the new CBA at the end of the year.
“Everyone out here is trying to put a 1000 percent into this and we’re not making excuses before about losing, but at the end of the day, when you keep seeing the same results, it’s difficult to argue with the conditions that we have,” said Dunivant. “We’re competitive and we’re going to do everything that we can, but the disparity is pretty obvious.”
Thursday Notes: Real Salt Lake getting healthy ahead of LA Galaxy clash, New York City FC unveil logo
The LA Galaxy can expect to face a close to full-strength Real Salt Lake when the two teams kick off on Saturday.
In a conversation with reporters in Utah, RSL head coach Jeff Cassar stated that starters Javier Morales and Nick Rimando are are all improving health-wise ahead of their home opener against the Galaxy.
However, RSL still have a few question marks as starting center back Chris Schuler is still a question mark who Cassar says is "getting healthier every day" while fellow defender Aaron Maund is also unlikely to play. If Schuler and Maund are unable to play then Salt Lake may resort to using youngster Chris Schuler alongside Nat Borchers in central defense.
Below is additional news from around MLS:
*The Professional Referee Organization reached a collective bargining agreement with the Pro Soccer Referee's Assocation on Thursday, which will have the league's normal officials returning to action this week.
*Seattle Sounders FC announced that they will be ending their business partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, who they have shared operations with since 2007. Despite making the move, Seattle will still play at CenturyLink Field.
*The Colorado Rapids waived long-time goalkeeper Matt Pickens on Thursday. Pickens backstopped the Rapids to their lone MLS Cup triumph in 2010.
*New York City FC unveiled their new logo ahead of their inaugural 2015 season at the adidas headquarters in the New York neighborhood of Soho. The fan-chosen logo is inspired by a New York City subway token.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) March 21, 2014
Ahead of RSL, Bruce Arena questions the rationale behind the LA Galaxy's three back-to-back series in 2014
CARSON, Calif. – Thanks to a kink in the MLS regular season schedule and a rescheduled match due to the team’s CONCACAF Champions League participation, LA Galaxy will face Real Salt Lake for the second time in two weeks on Saturday. And that prospect does not bring joy to the face of LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
The match at Rio Tinto Stadium comes after LA’s emotional CCL series against Club Tijuana and is the third such time that LA will play back-to-back league games against the same opponent. Following LA training session on Thursday, Arena voiced his displeasure about LA’s odd schedule.
“We've tried to make it clear to the league that we thought this was not the way to do it, but they have their own minds,” Arena said following LA's training session Thursday morning at StubHub Center. “We're going to be the only team in the league doing this on three occasions this year. I don't think it's good.
“I think that it’s not a good way to end the year,” added Arena in reference to LA’s back-to-back end of the year matchup against Seattle Sounders FC. “They tend to think that we create the television ratings that haven’t been there that we’re going to create them. I don’t know how we’re going to create them at the end of the year. As much as possible, we should space the games out in-conference and out-of-conference as much as we can.”
The RSL “series” is one of three back-to-back matches that LA will play as they play a home-at-home series against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on April 12 and April 19 before ending the season with two games against Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 19 and Oct. 25.
While Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan admitted that the schedule of back-to-back league games against RSL bracketing a CCL series with Tijuana wasn’t ideal, it was beneficial for planning purposes.
“In my opinion, [the schedule] helps. You don’t have to do that much preparation. We know exactly what Salt Lake is going to bring,” said Donovan. “It’s a very easy scouting report because we know that they’re a very good team and it’s going to be difficult, but we know exactly what to expect.”
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In the latest edition of "Kickin' It With Kelli," Time Warner Cable SportsNet sideline reporter Kelli Tennant speaks to A.J. DeLaGarza about life in Los Angeles, the Galaxy and his dog Diesel at Silvio's in Hermosa Beach.
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CARSON, Calif. – The bitter taste of Tuesday’s disappointing defeat to Club Tijuana has not yet dissipated for the LA Galaxy, but now as they look ahead to their match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, they’re hoping to use their poor showing as motivation as they return to league play.
With the nightmare opening 30 minutes that led to a 4-2 loss to Tijuana still in their mind, LA understand that a strong start at Rio Tinto Stadium is vital if they’re going to earn their first league result of the year.
“If our mentality is better from the start, we’re very capable of getting a result there [in Salt Lake],” said Landon Donovan who started LA’s 4-2 defeat to Club Tijuana on Tuesday. “I think the guys are fired up and disappointed form Tuesday and we want to go put in a real good performance in Salt Lake.”
The match against RSL marks the second time in a two week span that the Galaxy will on Jeff Cassar’s side after LA dropped a 1-0 result in their home opener on March 8. In that match, the Galaxy outplayed Salt Lake, but ultimately poor finishing proved to be their undoing in the defeat.
As frustrating as that defeat to RSL may have been, it won’t be on the mind of Donovan once the Galaxy kick off on Saturday.
“What is fresh in our mind is Tuesday. The way that we started that game is not indicative of the team that we are,” said Donovan. “We’re very talented and we know that, but if we don’t compete then we can get beat especially against good teams."
There weren't many silver linings in the LA Galaxy's CONCACAF Champions League defeat to Club Tijuana, but the play of target striker Rob Friend may bode well for the future.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, Friend talks about his strong showing against Club Tijuana. Following the match, I asked Friend about the mood in the Galaxy locker room following their 3-0 first half drubbing against Club Tijuana that ultimately ended in a 4-2 defeat and an exit in the CCL.
"We had to dig deep, we had to show some character. You are never down and especially when you are away like this, all we had to do was get two goals and we were back in the game and we would have advanced," said Friend. "I think that last goal kind of killed us but we still showed and I think that if we would have played ten more minutes in that game we could have got a result. I think Tijuana was happy that the game ended when it did because we were pressuring them and I don’t think they could have handled us at the end there."