MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena believes that the Guinness International Champions Cup has a future in the United States.
The Galaxy concluded their participation in the exhibition tournament’s inaugural edition on Thursday with a fourth place finish after a 2-0 defeat to AC Milan. Over the two week competition, LA—who was the only MLS club to participate—tested themselves against the likes of Real Madrid, Juventus and Milan, and came out with a 1-2-0 record.
Before he turned his focus to Sunday’s MLS match against FC Dallas, Arena admitted that the tournament should be here to stay.
“I think so. I think in the United States it has been demonstrated for more than 20 years now that we have fans of European football, no question about it. And they want to see these great team and great players, and they come out in great numbers,” said Arena. “You can’t argue that. Tonight I think they are going to have 65,000 people here [They actually had 67,273 for the championship match]. I think it’s a tournament that could have a great future in this country.”
As the tournament continues to grow and bring different European powers to the U.S., the Galaxy boss believes that it is paramount for MLS clubs to continue to participate.
“I think it was a great, great opportunity for us, and for a tournament like this you should have American teams playing,” he said.
The LA Galaxy wrapped up the Guinness International Champions Cup on Wednesday with a 2-0 defeat to Italian giants AC Milan to seal a fourth place finish for LA in the exhibition tournament.
Despite the Galaxy getting the better of the play in the early stages of the game, Milan was in the driver's seat for much of the match as Mario Balotelli and Mbaye Niang scored for the Rossoneri. LA's best chance to score came in the seventh minute when Landon Donovan fired a chance at net just wide.
Highlights of the match are below...
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – Former AC Milan product Carlo Cudicini got a chance to take on his old club on Wednesday as he started in goal for the LA Galaxy and went 45 minutes in their 2-0 defeat to Milan in the Guinness International Champions Cup Third Place game.
The former Rossoneri goalkeeper was under constant pressure from his old club as Milan dominated the match for wide stretches of the game. Despite allowing two goals, Cudicini stood tall and made several big saves as he stopped a Mario Balotelli free kick in the 11th minute to keep the match scoreless and then denied a Stephen El Shaarawy attempt in the 26th minute.
Although Balotelli and M'Baye Niang both found the back of the net for Milan to seal the victory, Cudicini admits that it was an exciting experience to play against his former team.
“It’s always nice to see some old friends and Milan is my team, so it’s always good to play against them,” said Cudicini. “Red and Black are my colors, so it’s nice to see some old friends and play them.”
Now that the fun and games of the ICC is complete, the Galaxy return to league play on Sunday against FC Dallas. With the lessons learned in the ICC in the back of their mind, Cudicini hopes that the team can build on their experiences.
“We had a great tournament and we played against great players and great clubs, now we have to focus on the league,” said Cudicini. “Sunday is a very important game.”
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Jaime Penedo made his LA Galaxy debut on Thursday as he made two saves while keeping a scoreless second half in LA's 2-0 defeat to AC Milan.
As Milan pushed to add to their lead, the Panamanian 'keeper was confident in the box and displayed some impressive moves as he kept the Italian giants scoreless. The Italians' were inside the Galaxy half of the field for a majority of the half, but their best chance came in the 85th minute when a shot by Sulley Muntari rattled the cross bar after beating Penedo.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was pleased with his new 'keeper's performance.
"I thought that he did well," said Arena. "He had a couple tough saves, but I thought for his first outing and not knowing any of his teammates, he did quite well."
As for any chance that Penedo could earn a starting role with the Galaxy from the get go, Arena was quick to put the brakes on the idea that any decision had been made.
"We'll see," said Arena. "He's been with us just a couple of days. We haven't made any decisions yet."
MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. -- Reports have swirled about Omar Gonzalez possibly being the LA Galaxy's third Designated Player, but LA head coach Bruce Arena -- and Gonzalez himself -- insist that nothing is done yet.
Following the LA Galaxy's 2-0 defeat to AC Milan to conclude their participation in the Guinness International Champions Cup, the Galaxy boss was questioned about the speculation surrounding his star center back.
"I don't comment on any of that until things are a reality," said Arena. "We've not made any decisions, but nothing has happened at this point. We'd like to keep Omar with the Galaxy."
As for Gonzalez's own thoughts on the matter?
"I'd rather not talk about it. There's a lot of different things going on," said Gonzalez. "Who knows what will happen in the next week or the next month?"
Remember the last time that the LA Galaxy faced off against AC Milan way back in 2009?
Check out the highlights...
Ahead of Wednesday's clash agaisnt AC Milan, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, midfielder Hector Jimenez, and Todd Dunivant preview the Guinness International Champions Cup clash against the Italian giants.
Check it out below...
MIAMI – Robbie Keane began his transition to full fitness on Saturday with a 45 minute shift in 3-1 win over Juventus, and the LA Galaxy’s captain expects to move further along during Wednesday’s match against AC Milan.
Prior to his second half shift against Juventus that saw him tally a goal in the victory that catapulted LA into the Guinness international Champions Cup Third Place match, Keane had not played since the Galaxy’s July 14 defeat to the Portland Timbers due to a left hip flexor strain.
This week, the Irish forward has trained both days during the club’s mini-training camp at Florida International University. After going 45 minutes against Juventus, Keane is ready to move forward in his progression with his eye set firmly on starting against FC Dallas on Sunday.
“For me, [the game] comes at a good time because I’ve been injured and I can get some minutes under me belt to get match fitness back,” said Keane. “I feel good and I went 45 minutes [against Juventus] and I’ll probably go 70 or 65 minutes [against AC Milan]. Then I’ll look forward to Sunday’s game.”
MIAMI – Landon Donovan is quite familiar with new LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo due to their tussles at the international level, but now that the Panamanian ‘keeper is a part of LA, the forward is pleased to have him on board.
Penedo and Donovan have battled numerous times over the years as the 31-year-old ‘keeper and the 31-year-old forward began their international careers with Panama and the U.S. at around the same time. Their most recent meeting came just last month when the Donovan-led U.S. National Team defeated Pinedo’s Panama 1-0 in the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup Final.
Both players ended the tournament with plenty of individual honors as Donovan took home the tournament’s Golden Boot award for leading goalscorer and Golden Ball for the competition’s most valuable player while Penedo earned the Golden Gloves for best ‘keeper.
“I've Jaime from a distance for a long time. He’s been with Panama for many years now, and I remember him when he was a young guy, and he'd probably say the same about me,” said Donovan. “We've sort of grown up through these qualifying and Gold Cups together. It’s nice to see him. He looks like a friendly and nice guy, and hopefully he can help us.”
Major League Soccer announced on Tuesday that their match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium has been moved from Sept. 15 to Sept 14.
LA will take on D.C. at 1 p.m. PT at RFK Stadium and the match will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsNet and UniMas.