Beat

01 March 11:52 am

LOS ANGELES – Gyasi Zardes is still at least a month away from returning to the training ground, but the LA Galaxy Homegrown forward recently spoke to reporters to provide a progress report for his recovery.

The 21-year-old Homegrown signing underwent surgery in early February after cracking the fifth metatarsal in his left foot. On Wednesday, Zardes was spotted on crutches and a walking boot –which he has been wearing nearly three weeks – during LA’s unveiling of their new second kit at The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE.  There is currently no timeline for his return, but Zardes says he will undergo further X-rays in two weeks and hopes to return sometime in April.

Prior to his injury, Zardes appeared in two preseason games, but a sudden freak issue forced him to the sidelines. 

“I came into camp and I felt fine, but on certain days, I felt a pain. In one practice, I felt a throbbing pain and I got it checked out, it turns out it was a hairline fracture and I didn’t even know it,” said Zardes. “I think it was the shoes that I was running in that had a bad arch…over time it got worse and worse.  But at least, I still got to nip it in the bud before it got worse.”

However, Zardes is doing what he can to keep his spirits up, particularly conversing with teammate Kenney Walker who endured a similar injury this preseason, albeit on his right foot, just prior to Zardes.

“I’m asking him for questions because he’s a genius at it since he’s went through everything I’m going through two weeks ahead of me,” said Zardes. “I’m constantly asking him questions every time I see him.”

Just when Zardes will return to the training ground remains to be seen, but the forward is keeping his spirits high.

“It really helps me look at the big picture because obviously, I’m a college kid and I’m anxious to get on the field, but this has helped me be mellow and stay humble,” said Zardes. “It’s a long season as they say…I’m thinking short term, but they’re thinking long term.”

28 February 8:06 pm

CARSON, Calif -- LA Galaxy rookie Greg Cochrane has been one of the breakout stars of the preseason, but when the midfielder -- who tweeted on Thursday that he had signed a deal with the club -- was with the University of Louisville, he was known as much for his long flowing mane as his hustle play.

Prior to being drafted by the Galaxy with the 38th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Cochrane chopped off his long hair for a good cause, donating 10 inches to the non-profit organization Locks of Love. 

Check out my story on Cochrane's good deed and his development with the LA Galaxy here.

28 February 6:04 pm

LOS ANGELES -- Mike Magee looks set to feature in Sunday’s MLS regular season opener against the Chicago Fire, but center back Tommy Meyer remains a question mark due to a nagging left hamstring that caused him to miss the club's last three preseason games. 

Meyer told reporters on Wednesday -- at the club's second kit unveiling at The GRAMMY Museum -- that the injury  is his first ever hamstring strain, but “not the worst” in terms of the injuries that he has had in his career.  Currently, Meyer is working with the training staff, primarily performing exercises in the weight room in order to maintain his fitness for his eventual return.

But just when he returns to action remains a question mark as he asserted that any timeline is between the defender and the training staff.  However, Meyer attested that he and the training staff are “working to try and get back,” but just how quickly that comes to fruition remains up to head coach Bruce Arena and the trainers.

28 February 4:47 pm

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Bruce Arena revealed in Wednesday’s second kit unveiling at The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE that Robbie Keane will take over captaincy duties from Landon Donovan.

Some may wonder if this may mean a reduced leadership role for Donovan once he returns to the club in late-March, but Galaxy veteran defender Todd Dunivant asserts that there is no chance of that happening.  Few know Donovan better than Dunivant who has played alongside the forward for eight seasons.  

Media members caught up with Dunivant on Wednesday to discuss Keane’s appointment and the left back stressed that Donovan will remain a leader in the locker room once he returns to the club.

“We’re in capable hands with either one of those guys without a doubt. At the end of the day, if Landon comes back and he's not officially captain, he's still going to be a leader and he's still going to be the heart and soul of this team, like he's been for [nearly a] decade,” Dunivant said. “Landon will be fine, no doubt. He's not going to lose his standing in the team or his place in the team, and we all know that. Without, he’s going to step right back in and he’s one of those freaks of nature who can take one or two months off and be fit in a week so we’re not worried about Landon.”

28 February 3:49 pm

LOS ANGELES – There will be a new captain for the LA Galaxy this season—Robbie Keane.

Head coach Bruce Arena made the change official during LA’s unveiling of their new second kit at The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE on Wednesday evening.The Irish forward will take over for Landon Donovan, who is scheduled to return to the club in late-March after stepping away from soccer at the start of 2013. Keane has served as vice-captain to Donovan since the 2011 season. Keane is expected to serve as LA's primary offensive weapon in 2013 after notching 23 goals and 10 assists in 37 matches across all competitions last season. 

Donovan had previously served as the club’s captain since 2006, aside from David Beckham’s brief tenure as captain from the end of the 2007 to 2008. Arena admitted that no new vice-captain has been named, but the club is awash in options including Carlo Cudicini, Omar Gonzalez, Todd Dunivant, and of course Donovan.

Below Arena, Dunivant and Mike Magee reflect on Keane as captain.

ARENA: “Naturally, he was the vice-captain last year and it’s not addition by subtraction. He’s a fabulous choice as captain and is a quality player and a quality leader. Robbie is prepared to lead this team. He’s definitely going to speak up and isn’t going to be shy to tell me what he doesn’t agree with. We like to hear from our players and I think that’s good Robbie will not only represent himself, but his players as well.”

DUNIVANT:  “He leads by example and you can see that he’s a bit of a jokester and he’s one of the guys or as he would say, one of the lads… He's a guy that's passionate, and that shows on the field. It makes everybody better because he holds a certain standard that you have to meet, and if you're not, he'll let you know about it…He's the guy who's gonna let you know when things are good, and he's definitely going to let you know when things are bad. He's a guy who easily leads by example and tends to use his mouth as well. ... Usually when he gets overly fired up, you tend to not understand a word he says, so you can kind of just nod and get away with it.”

MAGEE: I didn’t notice there was any change.  Robbie was, I guess, our captain last year as well. Landon wore the band, but there is no change with what he does or his presence in the locker room or on the field. It’s very deserving.” 

28 February 3:20 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Mike Magee returned to training for the first time this week on Thursday and declared that he is fit and ready for Sunday’s MLS regular season opener against the Chicago Fire.

Last Friday, Magee took a kick to the knee from Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Steward Ceus during the latter stages of LA Galaxy’s preseason finale. After close consultation with head trainer Armando Rivas and head coach Bruce Arena, Magee opted to take the first two days of training off this week to prepare him for Sunday.

“I feel fine. It was only first day of practice in three days so don’t make it too dramatic, but everything is fine,” said Magee with a smile . “I feel 100 percent. I obviously took a knock so there was just tightness, but luckily, we have a patient coaching staff that allowed me take a few days to let it heal completely.”

Magee admits that he could have trained on both Monday and Tuesday, but the patience of Rivas allowed him to get fully fit and prepared for Sunday, where he is likely to start up top alongside Robbie Keane.

“Both [days], Armando literally asked me ‘if I train today then is it going to make it worse for Sunday’ and I answered ‘maybe’ so he kept me out,” said Magee. “It’s hard to sit out days, but obviously knowing that the game on Sunday is bigger than individual training days, it was the right thing to do.”

28 February 10:20 am

LOS ANGELES -- AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke addressed the crowd at Wednesday's unveiling for the LA Galaxy's new second kit and admitted that not only is the "best one" coming in terms of a player transfer, but he is more than pleased with the state of the club heading into 2013. 

Leiweke spoke briefly to the crowd while moving between the event at The GRAMMY Museum at L.A. LIVE and the Los Angeles Kings game against the Detroit Red Wings across the street at Staples Center. During his comments, Leiweke stressed that he was incredibly pleased with the work of LA head coach and general manager Bruce Arena. 

"I think that it's unique to find a manager in Bruce and a coaching staff underneath him and a group of players that want to create a legacy. It's not an easy thing to do to find guys who want to step up and put that target on their back. Yet, we not only do it, but we do it and go out and perform to the highest standards, but we do it with guys that choose to be here over other places like the Premier League or Brazil," said Leiweke. "[Because] the fact is that Juninho made a decision to stay here, the fact  that Robbie Keane could have gone back to the Premier League after the year that he had. The fact that Bruce was able to go out and get Carlo [Cudicini] to be our 'keeper this year.

"I promise that we're not done, the best one is coming, well, don't tell Robbie that the best one is coming, the second best one to Robbie is coming," Leiweke added. "As long as these guys stay committed to wanting to have that target on their back and wanting to create a legacy and wanting to step up to the pressure of being part of the LA Galaxy, I always tell Bruce, we've got your back and we'll get you the resources that we need."

Leiweke also mentioned that he was pleased that critics from across the American soccer media were choosing to underestimate his club this season.               

"It astounds me that people don't understand the character and the commitment of our organization," said Leiweke. "We love being in that position, we love everyone underestimating us and last time that I checked, the most successful coach in this sport in this country is Bruce Arena and this team is the back to back champions. They can kiss my you know what...trust me when I tell you that the organization from Mr. [Phillip] Anschutz and AEG to Bruce Arena and Chris Klein, and to most importantly this team, we're committed to doing it again. We want everyone to look past us and we're going to continue to give this organization and [the fans] every resource necessary to create a team that one day they write books about." 

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Thoughts on Leiweke's comments? 

Share your thoughts below. 

27 February 10:39 pm

LOS ANGELES -- The LA Galaxy unveiled their new second kit on Wednesday at a ceremony at The Grammy Museum at L.A. Live. 

A complete photo gallery of Homegrown players Gyasi Zardes, Jack McBean and Oscar Sorto modeling the new kit can be found here. Fans looking to purchase the jersey can pre-order it by following this link

"I think that we'll be able to represent the tradition of the Galaxy in our new kits so it should be exciting for everybody," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "Our new kit is not only sharp and modern, but also represents the tradition of the Galaxy. [The new kit] is really sharp and I think the fans are going to be surprised when they see the third kit down the road as well."

Below Adidas product manager Mike Wallace describes the intricacies of the kit while you can also check out a close up photo of Juninho and A.J. DeLaGarza donning the kit. 

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What are your thoughts on the jersey? Like the new star pattern?

Share your thoughts below. 

27 February 9:56 pm

LOS ANGELES -- The LA Galaxy roster is inching closer to finalization.  

During the Galaxy's unveiling for their new road uniform, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that the club has parted ways with Supplemental draft pick Andy Riemer. Later in the evening, LA confirmed Riemer's departure as well as the release of Brazilian trialists Marquinho and Mathaus Ferreira.

Riemer played in four of LA's preseason games this year, playing in a variety of positions from right midfield, central midfield and forward. Ferreira, a centerback, made two appearances while Marquinho did not feature for the Galaxy. 

As it stands, the Galaxy roster is now at 26 players -- 30 is the maximum -- heading into this Sunday's regular season opener against the Chicago Fire. 27 players are currently training with the club as Galaxy Academy product Paul Arriola continues to train with the group. 

27 February 3:44 pm

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has a number of questions to answer ahead of the March 3 season opener against the Chicago Fire, but one of the most important is, just who will start alongside Omar Gonzalez in central defense.

A.J. DeLaGarza and Leonardo appear to be the primary options with second-year centerback Tommy Meyer suffering from a nagging hamstring strain. Arena has repeatedly told reporters this week that Meyer is "moving along" but his status remains in question.  DeLaGarza is likely the safest choice due to his deep understanding with Gonzalez, but should Leonardo get the nod, Arena may opt to place DeLaGarza at the right back position while Sean Franklin is pushed into midfield. 

“It’s a strong defensive formation. A.J. is very good [at right back] because that was his old position and Sean is dynamic and more than comfortable [at right midfielder]. I think that the Galaxy defense is as solid as ever [with that formation] and teams will see that.”

Whether or not that particular formation is used, if the Brazilian has his number called for the opener, he believes that he’s fully prepared to get the start.

“We all should be ready to play and start,” said Leonardo. “I consider myself to be ready if that opportunity is given to me.”