CARSON, Calif. -- Fresh off a successful January camp with the U.S. National Team, Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez returned to training on Thursday ahead of Saturday's friendly with FC Shirak.
After being given a few days off to rest up after the month-long camp with the U.S., both Gonzalez and Landon Donovan were excited to return to the Galaxy.
"I'm feeling good. I had a successful January camp," said Gonzalez. I'm just happy to be back at camp with the Galaxy and I'm just looking forward to the start of the season."
Added Donovan: "I feel great. I feel sharp and fit and excited to get back and get started playing some games. Probably a little bit ahead of everybody as far as fitness and stuff, but it’s nice. Omar and I are happy to be back here and ready to play."
Photos of Donovan and Gonzalez's first training of the year with the Galaxy are below.
The Bruce is Back: LA Galaxy club President Chris Klein states Bruce Arena extension for three years
CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena will be with the LA Galaxy for three more years according to club President Chris Klein.
On Wednesday, the LA Galaxy announced that they had signed the team’s head coach and general manager to a multi-year deal, but in an interview with LAGalaxy.com, Klein revealed the length of Arena’s contract extension.
“Look at what he’s done since he came here in 2008. And we wanted to make sure he could continue to do that, for another three years,” Klein told LAGalaxy.com. “He’s the best coach our game has seen in this country, and we’re thankful he’s a part of the Galaxy.”
Klein was not the only person who was in high spirits after Arena's extension as midfielder Landon Donovan stated that he was pleased with the Galaxy's decision to keep their head coach around.
“It's well deserved," said Donovan. "We’re very happy for him. He has much as any coach in this league deserves to be taken care of. As we’ve seen over the years, this is a club that takes care of people. We’re all happy for him.”
The man that LA Galaxy fans glowingly refer to as "Bruce Almighty" will be sticking around a few more years.
On Thursday, the Galaxy announced that they have signed head coach and general manger Bruce Arena to a new multi-year contract extension. Arena, who is one of the most successful coaches in U.S. history has led the Galaxy to two MLS Cups and three MLS Cup finals since joining the club in 2008. Heading into his seventh year at the helm of the Galaxy, the three MLS Coach of the Year and four-time MLS Cup winner has compiled a 82-46-44 regular season record with LA.
“I’m honored to remain in this role with the preeminent soccer club in the United States,” said Arena in a statement. “I appreciate the continued support and confidence from Mr. Anschutz, Mr. Beckerman, Chris Klein and my staff and players as we head into the 2014 season.”
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) February 6, 2014
Thoughts on the deal?
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CARSON, Calif. – At the moment, the competition between right backs Matheau Hall, Dan Gargan and James Riley is a friendly one –they do carpool to the stadium every morning after all—but each has a simple goal: prove to the LA Galaxy coaching staff that they deserve a spot on the team’s roster in 2014.
With Sean Franklin and Hector Jimenez departing in the offseason, the Galaxy have sought out cover at the right back spot which led to camp invitations for Hall and 31-year-old Gargan at the start of preseason, and Riley a week later.
Hall, 26, went 45 minutes in strong performance during LA’s 2-2 draw with Chivas USA in a closed-door scrimmage, repeatedly challenging the Rojiblancos defense as he pressed forward early and often. Neither of the veteran defenders appeared in the scrimmage on Wednesday, but Riley, 31, expects to return see time during LA’s preseason friendly against Armenian side FC Shirak this weekend.
HALL: “The camp has been going great. I’ve been given a lot of work in short period of time, but it is going really well. Every day is a challenge because you have come ready to play since it is a position that everyone is hungry to earn. … I think that I add pace out of the back as well as versatility."
GARGAN: “Bruce is looking for competition in the backline and I’m an experienced guy with a lot of games in this league. I think that Bruce is looking for quality players who can compete every day, and this team has a lot of them.”
RILEY: “LA tries to set the bar and I think that’s a fantastic environment to come into. I love the challenge and I love the opportunity, and I am prepared for it. … I just want to build on my first two days [in training]. It’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint. The tortoise won that race, not the hare so I keep that in mind.”
Which of the three players will earn a spot on the roster?
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Below are a series of photos from LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari from their 2-2 scrimmage draw with Chivas USA on Wednesday.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy battled to a 2-2 draw with cross-hall rivals Chivas USA in a preseason scrimmage on Wednesday.
The Galaxy were dominant in the first half and needed just five minutes to pull ahead when Rob Friend finished a side-footed volley off a Juninho free kick. The Brazilian midfielder scored a goal of his own in the 20th minute after finishing a brilliant strike from beyond 25-yards that curled past the Chivas USA goalkeeper.
However, in the second half, Chivas USA was able to capitalize on a Galaxy lineup that went through a near complete change at the half and was totally different 10 minutes into the second stanza. Chivas leveled the score in the 72nd minute with a finish by Jacob Barron before equalizing less than 10 minutes later after Matthew Fondy buried a header past Brian Perk.
The result may not have been ideal, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena affirmed that it was simply part of the process of getting the team ready for their MLS season opener which is a little more than a month away.
“It was just another day of practice in all honesty. It was about getting guys in a full field situation,” said Arena. “The group we played in the first half did a good job of pressuring and creating some chances while the group in the second half was definitely outplayed and it was a sloppy performance.”
LA Galaxy Starting XI First Half: Penedo; Hall, DeLaGarza, Opare, Cochrane; Ishizaki, Husidic, Juninho, Zardes; Friend, Samuel
LA Galaxy Starting XI Second Half: Perk; Sorto, Leonardo, Venter, Gaul; Jamieson IV, Sarvas, Garcia, Hoffman; Rugg, McBean
LA Galaxy XI at the Final Whistle: Perk; Sorto, Leonardo, Venter, Gaul; Mendiola, Sarvas, Garcia, Hoffman; Rugg, McBean
David Beckham is coming back to MLS -- as an owner.
On Wednesday, the former LA Galaxy midfielder and MLS announced that Beckham had exercised his option to become an own an MLS expansion team and has selected the city of Miami to place the new franchise. With Beckham's announcement, MLS will return to Miami for the first time since 2001 when the league was forced to fold the Miami Fusion who played between 1997-2001.
According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade County has already begun negotiations with Beckham's ownership group about the team's potential sites for the team's soccer stadium. During his press conference on Wednesday, Beckham was adamant that the ownership group does not want to use public funds to finance the stadium.
“From the beginning of my career in England to today in Miami, my journey has always been driven by my incredible passion for the game,” said Beckham in a statement. “Miami is a vibrant, diverse community that thrives on the same type of energy that fuels the international appeal of soccer, and I look forward to a dedicated, long-term partnership with this dynamic city and Major League Soccer. My experience with the Galaxy is what convinced me that I wanted to one day own an MLS team and it is thrilling to now see that dream coming true.”
“We appreciate all that David has done as a player, an ambassador and as a global icon to help grow Major League Soccer,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement. “We are thrilled that he will be an owner, and we look forward to him helping us achieve our goal of being one of the top soccer leagues in the world.”
Is MLS on the way to Miami?
Former LA Galaxy midfielder and world soccer legend David Beckham is set to deliver a special announcement on Wednesday on the state of a potential new expansion club in Miami, Florida.
Watch the announcement in the video below and feel free to comment on the proceedings.
It's been a week of firsts for LA Galaxy II.
First the team came into existance on Jan. 29, then on Monday, their first game was scheduled, and on Wednesday, Galaxy II held their first training session. LAGalaxy.com was there for the first training session and spoke to Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo on how his team is progressing.
Check it out below.
A new season means new uniforms and new merchandise, and on Tuesday, I obtained the first look at the LA Galaxy's training tops for 2014.
The training kits come in two colors: a dark blue with blue-green and gold trim on the shoulders and a gold version with blue and black shoulder trim. These tops will be available for sale at the Team LA store at StubHub Center starting Friday.
Now that the training kits have been released, I’m hearing that the first tease of the new Galaxy primary kit will take place at Legends Night on Feb. 22 prior to the “Blue and White Game” between the LA first team and LA Galaxy II, with the full unveil taking place on March 3. Although there have been images of the kit floating around online, sources have confirmed to me that the jersey making the rounds on the internet is not what will be released in March.
Thoughts on the new training top? Excited for the unveil of the primary kit?
Share your thoughts below.