Beat

10 September 5:13 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Christian Wilhelmsson put in another solid performance in his second Reserve League stint with the LA Galaxy on Monday. 

Stationed on the left hand side, the Galaxy's Swedish winger was productive during his 57 minute stint in LA's 4-0 Reserve League victory over the Portland Timbers. Wilhelmsson was unable to get on the score sheet, but was solid creating several chances for LA. But his finest moment came midway through the second half when he tussled with Timbers defender Eric Brunner, a spat that ended with Wilhelmsson knocking Brunner to the ground. 

Below are Wilhelmsson's thoughts on the match...

(On his performance…)

WILHELMSSON: “It’s a start, I think that the whole team played a great game. We kept the ball, it’s very hot and we tried to do the job and everyone did their job today so it was a great performance.”

(On whether or not he’ll start on Friday…)

WILHELMSSON: “That I don’t know. I’ve just been here for about a week or ten days so I have to get into it, but I’m trying to work hard and get my fitness up so we’ll see.”

(On his integration…)

WILHELMSSON: “They’re great. They’re all very nice guys so it’s not a problem at all.”

(On settling in Southern California…)

WILHELMSSON: “I’m trying to find a place now, I’m starting to look around and we’ll see what it will be.”

(On his tussle with Brunner…)

WILHELMSSON: “It was just a little bit rompy, but it’s alright. We spoke after and it’s all right. He tried to explain and I tried to explain and it was no big deal.”

(On how close he is to full fitness…)

WILHELMSSON: “I haven’t had a preseason yet so this is my start of it to get in shape. We still have to work on it. Every session and every minute in these games is important to me so I just need to work hard.”

(On whether regaining game fitness is the most important thing for him…)

WILHELMSSON: “Maybe game rhythm, I think. That’s coming slowly and getting there.”

(On his impression when Donovan came in…)

WILHELMSSON: “He’s a great player first of all, he has a lot of these qualities and he’s very smart. I think that they were tired and because we kept the ball, they had to run a lot and that made it easier for us to play in the last 15-20 minutes.”

10 September 2:42 pm

David Beckham made an appearance on the NFL on Fox pregame show on Sunday.

In this skit, comedian Rob Riggle gives his football picks in a luxurious house that turns out to be Beckham's..  Beckham makes an appearance around the 1:32 mark. 

Check it out:

10 September 1:58 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- In his first in-game action in a little less than a month, Landon Donovan hardly missed a beat as he tallied a goal and an assist in his first ever Reserve League performance with the LA Galaxy on Monday during LA's 4-0 victory over the Portland Timbers on Monday. 

Donovan came on in the 57th minute and wasted no time getting on the scoreboard as in the 60th minute, he sent in a through-ball that found Pat Noonan, who beat Timbers goalkeeper Jake Gleeson for LA's second goal of the afternoon. Noonan would repay the favor in the 65th minute when Donovan played a ball out to Noonan on the left, the forward then crossed a ball into Donovan that he easily finished for the Galaxy's third goal of the game. 

Following the match, Donovan told reporters that while he felt "tired and out of shape" -- and will likely take it easier during Tuesday's practice -- that he'll  "be ready for Friday" when the Galaxy host the Colorado Rapids. 

Below are Donovan's thoughts from the match:

(On his condition after the game...)

DONOVAN: "It was fun, it was a really good result for us. Those guys [the Reserves] played a game six days ago in San Jose and were pretty disappointed so I thought that the attitude of all those guys was good and a really good win today. 

(On his impact on the match in a reserve capacity..)

DONOVAN: "Well, that's your job when you come off the bench. On a day like today, it's a lot easier than normal because it's really hot  and everyone is kind of worn out so if you have any kind of energy then you can make an impact and Pat [Noonan], Jack [McBean] and I were able to do that."

(On being ready for Friday and potentially being 90 minutes fit...)

DONOVAN: "I'll be ready for Friday...That's always dictated by the game, but the thing is, as a forward it's a little easier than if you're in the midfield doing a lot of doggy work. I should be fine."

(On what he liked about his performance...)

DONOVAN: "It's fun to play with a lot of these guys who don't get a chance to get a lot of minutes with the first team and it's nice to have a positive impact. It's nice to try to have a positive impact and I talk to these guys a lot, but it's different when you can show them and I'm glad that Pat and I were able to do that."

(On his play with Noonan...)

DONOVAN: "Like I said, everyone is tired so we're at a big advantage when you come into a game like that. As you can tell, it's really hot today so the majority of the time, you're playing against guys that aren't game fit so we want to take advantage of that and Pat's a good soccer player and knows how to play the game properly."

(On if he's played in a Reserve League match before...)

DONOVAN: "I think that was the first time. Leverkusen, I did. I played in a lot of Reserve League games there. This was my debut and I'm going to go on top with a win."

(On how he decided to play in the Reserve League...)

DONOVAN: "I asked them last week if I was ready if I could play and they wanted to see how I had progressed, I was still not training on Friday or Saturday and on Sunday, I was able to do a little bit. So if I had the chance, I wanted to and Curt [Onalfo] was great and let me play." 

(On the condition of his hamstring...)

DONOVAN: "We're getting better. It's a fine line between it being ready enough to play on and not hurting anymore. Right now it's just ready enough to start working on and now we have to be careful with it to get ready for Friday." 

10 September 8:25 am

Good Morning, y'all.

I'll have more today from the Reserve League match against the Portland Timbers at 11am. If you're in the neighborhood, be sure to come by and check it out. Before though, here is a video produced by the folks at LAGalaxy.com on the LA Galaxy's "Transfer Game" a heated training exercise for the club.

09 September 4:41 pm

The LA Galaxy Under-18's earned their first victory of the U.S. Soccer Development Academy season while the Under-16's picked up their second straight draw in matches against the Portland Timbers Academy on Sunday at The Home Depot Center. 

In the first match of the morning, the U-18's picked up a 2-0 victory over the Timbers U-18's with William Raygoza (El Monte, Calif.) and Aaron Lombardi (Irvine, Calif.) scoring for LA. Meanwhile, in the second match, the Galaxy U-16's picked up a 1-1 draw with Steve Martinez (Los Angeles, Calif.) scoring for LA while Reid Baez scored for the Timbers. 

Both Galaxy Academy sides return to action on September 22nd in Riverside Community College against Temecula-based youth club Arsenal FC. 

09 September 10:47 am

Good Morning everyone,

Today, the National Football League kicks into full swings. You can bet that members of the LA Galaxy will be watching. Just a sampling of some of the favorite teams of the players and coaching staff: Oakland Raiders, San Diego Chargers, New York Jets, New York Giants, Dallas Cowboys  San Francisco 49ers and Washington Redskins, among others. 

Back to MLS news:

The San Jose Earthquakes clinched a spot in the 2012 MLS Playoffs on Saturday by virtue of the Seattle Sounders come from behind 2-1 victory over Chivas USA  at CenturyLink Field. The Earthquakes' qualification equaled the record for earliest qualification -- along with the 2011 LA Galaxy and 1996 DC United -- while the league had 12 teams. San Jose is currently in the pole position for the Supporters' Shield at the moment as they sit three points ahead of Sporting Kansas City with seven games to play. The Galaxy still face San Jose one last time this year in their penultimate league game of the season on October 21st at Buck Shaw Stadium. 

If you haven't read my feature story on Jose Villarreal, please do so and remember to check out the addendum on the LA Galaxy Insider blog

I'll have more from today's Galaxy Academy match against the Portland Timbers later on in the day. For a recap of Saturday's matches against the Seattle Sounders Academy, check out my recap here

08 September 4:10 pm

The LA Galaxy Academy 's Under-18 and Under-16 sides picked up a pair of draws against the Seattle Sounders Academy on the opening day of U.S. Soccer Development Academy play on Saturday. 

In the first match of the morning, LA's U-18's drew their Sounders counterparts, 3-3 in what was a back-and-forth contest. 

Seattle’s Odason Pelogi began the scoring just a minute into the match with the Galaxy equalizing in the 16th minute with a goal from Justin Dhillon. Seattle took the lead in the 22nd minute with Jalen Markey scoring, but the lead was short lived as Jack McBean tying the game six minutes later. In the second half, LA pulled ahead in the 53rd minute when Bryan Guzman scored, but Sounders found the equalizer in the 74th minute with a goal from Isidro Prado-Huerta.  Among the participants were Galaxy Academy starlets Raul Mendiola and Jaime Villarreal (younger brother of Jose), who each had a strong performance against the Sounders. 

Meanwhile in the second match, the Galaxy's U-16's drew the Sounders, 1-1. Seattle’s MacArthur Clarke opening the scoring in the 8th minute before LA’s Jonathan Ramirez tied it in the 63rd minute.  Seattle controlled much of the match dominating in both possession and scoring chances before Ramirez drew LA level midway through the second half.

On the bench for  LA was goalkeeper Abraham Romero, who did not play, but recently returned from a stint with Mexico’s U-15’s. During his training stint in Mexico City, the goalkeeper from Altadena was able to interact with members of Mexico’s first team who were training for the nation’s World Cup qualifier against Costa Rica. Romero has now suited up for both Mexico's U-15's as well as the United States' group. The match also featured the debut for a pair of sons of Galaxy coaches with Christian Onalfo (son of assistant coach Curt) getting the start while Ian Sarachan (son of Associate head coach Dave) made his assistant coaching debut. 

The Galaxy Academy return to action on Sunday against the Portland Timbers Academy at The Home Depot Center. The U-18's open the day at 10 a.m.. on University Field No. 2 with the U-16's playing at 12:30 p.m..

08 September 1:09 pm

My feature story on the rise of LA Galaxy forward Jose Villarreal discusses how the teenager rose from Inglewood to becoming one of the Galaxy's key contributors in 2012

However, there were plenty of great words said about Jose's story that couldn't make the story. Not to fear though because  I can provide those words here on the LA Galaxy Insider blog. 

Below are a series of quotes from Villarreal, Galaxy Associate head coach Dave Sarachan, South Bay Force head coach Todd Saldana and Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein on the youngster.

(On what people told him as he was growing up…)

VILLARREAL: "They just said that if I keep working hard and listen to my coaches that I would get far and I guess I did listen to my coaches."

(On his trials in Germany...)

VILLARREAL: "I was on trial in Germany, but I just wanted to come here and play for my home crowd and be close to my family. Then I got my chance to play with the Galaxy and now I’m very happy here."

(On the affect that Villarreal has on the Galaxy Academy…)

SARACHAN: “It’s massive, the way that this league is headed with the Academy structure and in the very big picture; this is what goes on around the world. So now, we feel that this radius around LA and north and south of LA has got so much talent, but they need to be trained and put in the right environment. These guys are testament to that, that in a professional environment they can thrive.”

(On the advantage of living in Inglewood for Jose…)

SALDANA: “One of the advantages for that for Jose is that he's played a lot of soccer. I wouldn't be surprised if he was playing a game with us and then playing with his older brother during the week playing pick up soccer. He's a kid that played so much because that's the environment that he grew up in. They toughen up a little younger; their dads are always trying to get them into their league and the next level of play once they show signs. That's the big advantage of Jose's play is that he has that street soccer mentality plus living where he grew up there was a league during the week and over the weekend where people were always asking him to play. I don't think that in the traditional soccer arenas, you see kids that grow up in that environment. They go to their weekly practice and league game, this is a guy that wasn't only seeking out soccer but had it available to him 24/7.”

(On how often that he stays in contact with Villarreal…)

SALDANA: “As often as possible...[recently], him and his mom came out to my U-14 boys practice and came by to say hello and were in semi regular contact, but most importantly right now I is checking in to see how he's doing.”

(On Villarreal's family...)

KLEIN: "His family is a very nice family. There's three brothers, we've had two of them that have come through our system. His younger brother (Jaime) is with him and with them, his parents are very supportive and they care a lot about their kids. It's one of the reasons that the two of them have been very successful soccer players because they have the family dynamic where they don't intrude, maybe. I think that's the best way to describe it and that's what [Jose] has." 

08 September 11:59 am

Jose Villarreal's life has changed dramatically in just span of two months. The LA Galaxy Homegrown player has quickly developed from youth prospect to one of LA's key contributors. 

To investigate Jose's rise, I wrote this feature on the teenager from Inglewood. I'll have a little more on the piece momentarily including the quotes that couldn't make the piece. 

Features like this will become a weekly occurrence on LAGalaxy.com ranging from a wide variety of topics. 

08 September 10:43 am

Without the services of Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley, the United States fell 2-1 to Jamaica in a World Cup Qualifier in Kingston on Friday.

The Americans scored  just 35 seconds into the match as Clint Dempsey tallied for the Americans.  However, the Reggae Boyz roared back with goals from Rodolph Austin in the 23rd minute and Luton Shelton in the 62nd (Highlights of the game can be found here). The USMNT take on the Jamaicans again on Tuesday, September 11th at Columbus Crew Stadium. 

Meanwhile, in MLS action, there is just a single game today between the Seattle Sounders and Chivas USA at 1pm, but it carries serious playoff implications for the LA Galaxy. If the Sounders win or draw today at CenturyLink Field, they will have clinched a playoff spot for the current leaders of the Western Conference, the San Jose Earthquakes. San Jose are currently leading the Supporters' Shield race at the moment and would be the first MLS team to clinch a berth in the postseason. 

More to come later in the day.