Beat

04 May 5:40 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Gyasi Zardes may not be ready for first time minutes, but the LA Galaxy Homegrown forward has already drawn rave reviews from his teammates.

Zardes made his MLS debut in Saturday’s match with a 37 minute shift against RSL and with Jack McBean and possibly Robbie Keane on the shelf; he’ll likely be in contention for minutes in Sunday’s clash against the Houston Dynamo.  Earlier this week, LA attacker Mike Magee, who is currently tied for the MLS lead in goals scored with six, tabbed Zardes for big things.

“Gyasi was skinning some guys today. You definitely don’t want to find yourself one-on-one with him with the ball,” Magee told reporters on Friday. “We all enjoy watching him play and enjoy when he comes on the field because he takes a lot of pressure and he’s kind of a dynamic that we haven’t had with so much speed and skill. Speed skills."

Several times during the preseason, Zardes was stationed out wide and up top which leads to the question: could Zardes become the next versatile attacker in the Mike Magee mold?

“Me and Gyasi will never be confused for the same player,” Magee quipped before adding that he wouldn't try his luck racing Zardes. “I wish that I had that speed and his dribbling ability, but nah, I don’t think that we’ll be confused for each other.”

But with the likes of Zardes, McBean, Charlie Rugg, and Jose Villarreal all under the age of 23, Magee believes that the Galaxy forward corps are well set for the future.

“We’re doing all right,” said a beaming Magee. “ We've got good veterans; good young guys and we’re in a good way right now.” 

04 May 4:47 pm

 

The LA Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo in a rematch of the last two MLS Cups.

My Three Points to the match which focuses on LA’s injury situation, stopping Houston’s speedy wingbacks as well as Giles Barnes can be found here.

Below is the LA Galaxy Injury Report found in LA’s game notes for Sunday’s match.

Out: Jack McBean (Fractured Left Clavicle – Underwent surgery on April 30)

Questionable: Carlo Cudicini (Right Leg Strain), Landon Donovan (Right Leg Strain), Todd Dunivant (Left Leg Strain), Robbie Keane (Left  Ankle)

04 May 12:52 pm

Unless you live under a rock, you're already fully aware that May 4th is "Star Wars" Day  across the country and within MLS. "May the fourth be with you" get it? No. Well then...

Even the Galaxy are getting into the act with a special Star Wars scarf that can be collected if you purchase tickets to club's game on May 5, which incidentally is going to be titled "Revenge of the Fifth" night. 

As part of the league's celebration of all things, Star Wars, MLSsoccer.com has provided this video of Landon Donovan's game-winning-goal in MLS Cup 2011 with commentary by Yoda.  

Check it out below...

03 May 6:06 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Injuries are continuing to plague the LA Galaxy and with Todd Dunivant and Robbie Keane absent during the portion of Friday's training session open for media, Greg Cochrane and Charlie Rugg may reprise their starting roles this weekend against the Houston Dynamo. 

Following practice, both rookies seemed confident following strong showings in LA's 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake last week. I spoke to both rookies about their comfort level in earning yet another start this week in this piece for LAGalaxy.com

While a potential Cochrane start will be a straight swap for Dunivant, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will have more work to do up top as LA will be without the injured Jack McBean freeing up two potential spaces up top. Following training on Friday, Rugg was asked about his comfort level alongside one of Arena's options at forward, Jose Villarreal.

"With injuries the team shifts around game to game so we're ready for that we've prepared for each game with each [option]," said Rugg. "I think [Jose's] skill and my athleticism will help complement each other pretty well. I'll bring speed and power and he does what he does."

03 May 5:18 pm

CARSON, Calif. – There’s no doubt that Mike Magee is in great form as of late, but will it translate into a call for the U.S. National Team?

Magee is tied with Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney for the MLS lead in goals scored with six goals in seven appearances this season. As he sits just one goal away from tying his career high for goals in a single season, which was set during his rookie season with the MetroStars in 2003, it’s not surprise that he’s feeling confident.

“It’s always good to score goals and it’s even better when the team is winning,” Magee said. “I’m obviously enjoying my soccer right now.”

But as Magee continues to score goals, calls for him to be included in the U.S. National Team will continue to persist. Magee has never been called into the senior national team, but he participated in the U.S. youth set up earlier in his career.

No conversations have gone on between Magee and U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann or any member of his staff, but the 28-year-old would welcome inclusion if called upon whether it is the 2013 Gold Cup or any other National Team match.

“I would love to be a part of the National Team. I’m obviously just trying to do all the cliché things and do business with the Galaxy knowing that if you play well here then you could get a call up, but if it doesn't then I’ll be okay,” he said. “Obviously, I've been around long enough to hear every which rumor and it’s just all it is, is chatter until I get the call, which would be great. If not, it is all good.”

Following LA’s victory over Real Salt Lake—where Magee bagged his sixth goal of the year—LA head coach Bruce Arena was asked by former U.S. National Team head coach And Time Warner Deportes analyst Steve Sampson about a potential Magee inclusion, but declined comment.

“Steve, you and I both know that a national team coach has a lot of pressure and a lot of critics. I think the national team has coach has to make those decisions," Arena said on the broadcast. "Right now, I’m going to relax and let the coach make all those kind of decisions because as we know, they’re never easy.”

As he looks to continue his form with LA, Magee is taking a similar approaching and leaving the decision to Klinsmann.

“I couldn't figure out why guys get called in and why guys don’t,” Magee said. “Obviously there’s good reasons and I wish I got paid that kind of money to be the coach and make those decisions because I’d play me every time, but obviously, I don’t. There’s a bunch of guys here who deserve a chance.” 

--

Will Magee get at a call up for the U.S.? Should he?

Share your thoughts below. 

03 May 2:57 pm

U.S. U-18 midfielder Paul Arriola has left the LA Galaxy Academy to sign with Club Tijuana, the 18-year-old announced via Twitter on Thursday evening

Arriola made his Galaxy Developmental Academy debut in October and made 11 starts for the Galaxy Under-18 side this season, scoring five goals while also appearing in all three games during LA's participation at Dallas Cup, where he scored twice more. The 18-year-old also played in a single Reserve League match for LA in 2013, coming on in the 84th minute of LA's 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on April 15. Arriola had been a regular during the club's preseason preparations appearing in all five of the club's preseason matches. 

Following the news, Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski sounded off on Arriola's departure.

"He came through our youth academy and our program, we offered him a contract, but he obviously felt that it was better, he got more money or a better team and went on to Tijuana. That's the gap that we have in our system now where we have a lot of these players that are coming through our academy, we can't secure them and anybody outside of MLS or outside the country can sweep them up and take them," Kirovski told LA Galaxy Insider. "That's something that we really have to look into. We spend a lot of resources and a lot time in developing these players and that's one thing that we as a league need to look into and see how we can fix that. That will be even more of a problem going down the road from here as our academy gets better and our players get better"

As for how the Galaxy and MLS as a whole correct this issue, Kirovski states that the league is hard at work in their search for a remedy. 

"There's different ways of doing it and one of the things that we've thought of is a USL team and we have a feeder team or an Under-23 team where we have players play that would be something that would fix that," Kirovski said. "We're in the process, but we need to figure that out and have something done for these kids because there's going to be a lot more kids coming through our system." 

Arriola is the latest in a line of players, who have played for the Galaxy Academy only to head to foreign shores, joining the likes of Mario Rodriguez, a U.S. U-20 regular, who is currently with German second division club 1. FC Kaiserslautern and Jeffrey Payeras, who is currently with C.S.D. Municipal in Guatemala. Although LA may have lost out on Arriola, Kirovski admitted that he is confident that the Galaxy's academy ranks can continue to produce talent. 

"It's another reminder that we have kids coming through our system. We're going to have more kids coming along and we need to secure these players. That's just the way of doing it. We have more players coming through our system, staying in our system and playing with our first team," said Kirovski. "Look at the players that we've developed like Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean and other players like those coming from college, when they come to us, Bruce [Arena] develops players. That's what we do." 

And in light of what occured with Arriola, Kirovski intends to continue to lean on LA's record of developing players 

"Of course, we are and we've proved it. We'll see down the road. We're going to produce players, we're going to sign players, maybe we're going to make mistakes on certain players, all of that is going to happen," said Kirovski. "Overall, we're going to have players coming through our system and we've already proven that. This is a great place for somebody to develop and learn how to play the game."

03 May 1:53 pm

David Beckham's Olimpico goal against Isidro Metapan was nominated as one of CONCACAF Champions League's ten best goals of the tournament by the Federation on Friday.

Beckham's strike was also the 1000th goal in CCL history. 

You can watch the goals below and vote for your favorite at CONCACAF's official Facebook page

03 May 1:31 pm

CARSON, Calif. –Bruce Arena confirmed that all four LA Galaxy veterans, who missed out on last Saturday’s clash against Real Salt Lake are healthy enough to play this week against the Houston Dynamo, but their status is still in question.

Carlo Cudicini, Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant and Robbie all missed out in last week’s 2-0 win over RSL, but latter two were not present at training during media availability on Friday. Cudicini and Donovan were present, however, as both addressed the media and expressed optimism over their status.

When asked if the players will be healthy for Sunday’s match, Arena provided a succinct response.

“All players we believe will be available for selection on Sunday,” Arena told reporters.

--

Expect to see all four players on Sunday?

Share your thoughts below. 

02 May 5:45 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Jose Villarreal has returned from another successful stint with the U.S. U-20's and is eager for a spot on the LA Galaxy starting XI. 

I wrote the following piece on Villarreal's bid for U-20 glory, which accompanies this piece that on Oscar Sorto's experiences earlier in the week. Barring injury, Villarreal appears to be a lock to qualify for the U.S. U-20 side, but who will join him?

Six LA Galaxy Academy alums have been called up in recent months including Villarreal, Sorto, Javan Torre, Jeffrey Payeras, Jack McBean and Mario Rodriguez. McBean's dreams are likely over as he is expected to be out six to eight weeks due to a fractured clavicle, but all five others are expected to contend for a spot. Which leads to my question: How many LA Galaxy Academy alums will be on the U.S. U-20 side?

Vote below: 

02 May 3:37 pm

In the latest edition of View from the Booth, Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino preview the Houston Dynamo match.

Check it out below...