ALLSTON, Mass. – The LA Galaxy trained on Saturday on the campus of Harvard University in their final preparation for Sunday’s match against the New England Revolution.
The training session lasted for a little over an hour in sweltering low-90 degree temperatures on the turf field at Soldier’s Field soccer stadium.
A few notes from training:
DONOVAN BACK TO HIS OLD SELF?: Landon Donovan is feeling a little bit more like his old dynamic self lately. Just a day after being named to the U.S. National Team’s preliminary roster for the 2013 Gold Cup, Donovan admits that he finally feels like he’s back to the player that has led the Galaxy to back-to-back titles.
“I feel like I’m back,” said Donovan. “I feel like I’m in moments, at my best, and last week I felt like even though I didn’t contribute on the score sheet, I feel like it was my best and my most complete game, so I feel like I’m back.’
After his stellar performances against Sporting Kansas City in April and Philadelphia in May, Donovan talked about the need to string together consistent performances. Now as he prepares to play his ninth game this year, he feels that consistent play has arrived.
“It’s there now,” said Donovan. "The Vancouver game was poor, the Philly game was pretty good for the most part, I felt pretty good in the New York game, I just wasn’t very effective, and in the Seattle game I felt great. It’s there now, the confidence is there, the comfort is there, and I’m ready to break out.”
SARVAS SHINES: Marcelo Sarvas is quickly becoming one of the LA Galaxy’s primary contributors.
Until now, he’s done so with little acclaim, despite leading the team in assists with four and being a major cog in the midfield for LA. Earlier this week, however, Sarvas gained some praise from MLSsoccer.com, who named the Brazilian to their “Halfway All-Star Team,” which left the Brazilian beaming.
“I’m happy. I think that every soccer player plays to win games and win titles as well as to be recognized wherever you are, whether you are in Brazil, the United States, England or whatever," said Sarvas. "I’m happy to have the recognition. It’s my second year in this league and it is a big prize for me.”
ROGERS MOVING ALONG: Robbie Rogers went 28 minutes in LA’s 2-0 U.S. Open Cup defeat on Wednesday, but he admitted that he was pleased with his fitness after Saturday’s training session.
“Today I felt really good. I feel like those minutes that I got on Wednesday, really pushed me along,” said Rogers. “I’m going to continue to need minutes like that, so it’s unfortunate that we don’t have any more Open Cup games, but I’ll find them somewhere else.”
The training session also marks Rogers’ first week with the club, which has been a calm one despite the media scrutiny on his status as the first gay male athlete in a major American professional sports league.
“I forgot what it was like being in the hotel with the guys and all that stuff, but it’s actually more relaxing then being at home for me at the moment, just because of the craziness,” said Rogers. “Now I’ve had some time to just sit on my bed and chill, so it’s been really nice.”
ALLSTON, Mass. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media on Saturday during the club’s training session at Harvard University.
Arena’s comments are below…
(On the lineup…)
ARENA: “We’ll see tomorrow. We have a couple of guys that we have to check on tonight and make sure that they’re going to be ready to play. We’ll be ready to play, that’s all that I can tell you.”
(On the turf and the high temperatures forecasted for Sunday’s game…)
ARENA: “It is a factor. Again, it’s almost impossible to explain to this league that you can’t be playing afternoon games in the summer on turf. They don’t kind of understand it, but it’ll be an issue for both teams. In the month of June, in the north east, it starts getting hot and these surfaces make it more difficult. It’ll be a little bit of an issue in the game.”
(On the last week of Robbie Rogers hoopla…)
ARENA: “It’s business as usual…it’s business as usual. We’ve not any more attention or any less attention than we’re accustom to be honest. As I said, it’s business as usual.”
(On New England…)
ARENA: “Good team. They’ve obviously won their last couple of games. They’re a team that started off the season alright, but the last two games have put them in good position. They’re a team with a lot of confidence and we’re going to have to play well to get a win.”
(On what the youngsters gained in the U.S. Open Cup defeat…)
ARENA: “You gain something from every experience. It’s not something specific, but every game for young players, in particular, should be a learning experience. They may have learned that, that was a game where they were well positioned to go into the second half and get some kind of result and fell short. Hopefully, that’s an experience that they can build on in the future.”
(On where Rogers is in terms of fitness…)
ARENA: “I don’t know. I don’t think anyone ever knows the answers to those things. You just play and figure out where they should go. Every athlete is different. He’s generally a fit athlete so I would guess at his age that he should move along pretty quickly.”
(On what he wants from him in terms of sharpness…)
ARENA: “We’re just going to get him involved as much as we can and hopefully as we get into the month of July that he is more ready to play on a consistent basis.”
(On how Rogers width can help LA…)
ARENA: “Remains to be seen. There aren’t any answers to these questions. You have to go out and play and see how everything pieces itself together. Certainly to provide width on both sides of the field will help our team.”
(On Arena’s impression of Lee Nguyen…)
ARENA: “He’s a good player. He’s a good busy player and like any of those kind of players, the players in those areas have got do a good job around him. He moves all over the field, he’s not in one particular spot, but he’s a pretty good player.”
Courtesy of LAGalaxy.com's videographer Paolo Ferrari, head coach Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan and A.J. DeLaGarza preview Sunday's clash with the New England Revolution.
Watch the video below...
In the latest edition of View from the Booth, Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino analyze the LA Galaxy's match with the New England Revolution
Watch the video below...
The U.S. National Team won't be traveling to Southern California during their Gold Cup campaign, but you'll have a chance to see them if you take a quick to trip down to San Diego on July 5.
The U.S. will complete their preparations for the Gold Cup with a match against Guatemala on July 5 at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium. The match may include Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, who was named to the U.S. team's preliminary roster on Friday.
"This is a very important opportunity for us to get in a good game before the start of the Gold Cup," said U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann in a statement. "It is our goal to win the tournament, and the chance to play Guatemala will be good preparation for our group. We are thrilled to get back to San Diego which has such an outstanding soccer tradition."
Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were named by U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to the nation's preliminary roster for the 2013 Gold Cup, CONCACAF announced on Friday.
Donovan last played for the U.S. on August 15, 2012 in U.S. 1-0 friendly victory over Mexico while Gonzalez is currently on U.S. National Team duty.
What are your thoughts about Donovan and Gonzalez being named to the preliminary roster? Hope that he returns to the U.S.? Hope that he stays with the Galaxy?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy aggressive yet patient in pursuit of third Designated Player says club President Chris Klein
Yes, the LA Galaxy are still looking for a Designated Player, but does the club need one right away? No.
In a brief recent conversation that I had with Galaxy President Chris Klein, I asked about the club’s pursuit to fill their vacant third Designated Player spot. While Klein admits that the team is still searching for a player to fill that void, they’re searching for the right fit, rather than the quick one.
“We’ll continue to be aggressive in the Designated Player market and if someone comes along and it fits us and fits what we need then we’ll be aggressive in pursuing that,” Chris Klein recently told LA Galaxy Insider.
Klein also spoke to Joe Tutino's Galaxy All-Access Podcast and reiterated his position while also sheding some light on the club's recent connections to English midfielder Frank Lampard, who recently signed a one-year contract extention with Chelsea.
"We are going to be aggressive in the Designated Player market," Klein told the Galaxy All-Access Podcast. "Frank Lampard's name had been talked about and I think that, at the end of the day, he wanted to stay in a club where he's a legend. The coach [Jose Mourinho] that he's very close to is rumored to be coming back to the club and I think that played into a decision for him to sign another year at Chelsea. We never had anything done with Frank Lampard. He was one of many that we considered and continue to consider.
"We will be patient. We feel no need to sign a Designated Player because we think that have to. We'd like to add one or two pieces to our team. I think that if you look at our group, we have a very solid group and we will be fine going forward. In saying that, if we do come to an agreement with one player that we have been looking at then we will be excited to do so, but we're not going to rush into anything."
Listen to Klein’s complete interview with Tutino below…
The MLS Displcinary Committee added a game to the suspension of Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Shalrie Joseph for his red card foul on LA Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas in the 87th minute of LA's 4-0 win over Seattle on Wednesday.
Joseph will now miss Seattle's next two matches: Saturday at Chivas USA and June 8 against Vancovuer Whitecaps FC. The veteran midfielder was particularly nasty during the Sounders defeat as Sarvas was left with multiple visible marks on his face after his encounter with Joseph.
Joseph's foul can be seen below.
Good Morning from Boston!
Above is a photo that I snapped this morning of a sweltering Boston -- the temperatures are expected to reach the low 90s -- overlooking the Charles River.
On the right you can see the city of Cambridge, which is all aflutter after the commencement at Harvard University on Thursday. In the center is the Harvard bridge which connects Cambridge with the Boston neighborhood of Back Bay. As we slide to the right, you can see Boston University.
Now that our little tour of Boston is complete, a few notable notes and links from the morning:
*Via Twitter, LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza
*Club Tijuana crashed out of the Copa Libertadores on Thursday with a 2-2 draw to Brazilian club Atletico Mineiro.
*Chivas USA Academy director Sacha van der Most will serve as Chivas USA's head coach for Saturday's match with Seattle Sounders FC.
*Former LA Galaxy midfielder Dan Keat gave an interview in Swedish on his memories of playing with Robbie Keane and David Beckham in MLS.
The LA Galaxy are out of the U.S. Open Cup in the third round for a second straight year after falling to the Carolina RailHawks on Wednesday.
I'm calling on all your opinions about the Open Cup defeat and how that will impact the team going forward.
Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments section: