LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters in December that midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson was unlikely to return to the LA Galaxy in 2013 and now we know where the Swedish midfielder is headed.
According to a report by Swedish tabloid newspaper Expressen , "Chippen" was close to a deal with Baniyas SC of the U.A.E. Pro League. This report was later confirmed when Wilhelmsson's wife Oksana tweeted that Wilhelmsson had joined the Abu Dhabi club. The reports come following a series of interviews by Wilhelmsson's agent Fabio Alho stating that Wilhelmsson chose to return to his adopted home on the Arabian Pennisula.
Signed in September, Wilhelmsson finished his time in LA with nine appearances across all competitions while tallying one goal and one assist.
*On Friday, U.S. Under-17 head coach Richie Williams announced the 2013 Spring Residency Roster, which includes LA Galaxy Under-16 midfielder Rolando Muñoz. of Rancho Cucamonga.
*The MLS Combine is continuing in it's second day today with matches at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. There is no streams of the games, but the website Soccer By Ives is providing a live commentry while I'll have highlights once the matches are completed. For more Combine coverage, MLSsocccer.com has the highlights from Day One as well as the results of the Combine's speed, agility, and power tests.
TORRANCE, Calif. -- Edson Buddle may no longer be a member of the LA Galaxy, but the veteran forward will be calling The Home Depot Center home for the next two weeks as he participates in a camp with the U.S. national team.
Buddle was among 25 players -- including former teammates A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez -- called up by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the annual camp, which culminates in a match against Canada on Jan. 29 at BBVA Compass Stadium. The 31-year-old forward endured a whirlwind 2012, which saw him miss 15 matches across all competitions after undergoing knee surgery in May. After scoring three goals in 28 appearances across all competitions in 2012, Buddle was dealt to the Colorado Rapids for allocation money and a 2013 supplemental draft selection on Dec. 14.
As Buddle looks ahead to his new career with the Rapids, he spoke to reporters earlier in the week on time with the U.S. national team, his trade from the Galaxy, and his future in Colorado.
Buddle's thoughts are below...
(On getting the U.S. call up…)
BUDDLE: “It’s kind of random that I got the call, but that’s how it is in soccer and with the national team. I was just trying to be as professional as I can in the offseason in case I do get a call like this. Jurgen has worked with me and I’ve worked with Jurgen, and it’s always a privilege for me…I wasn’t expecting it. I had planned for my offseason with rehab and seeing where my knee was so I can get ready to go to Colorado.”
(On how healthy he is and his plan to return to full fitness…)
BUDDLE: “I can do everything, it’s just when I isolate things with my knee, I can tell the difference and that it’s not as strong as my left…while I’m here, I’m trying to get as close to as hundred percent as possible.”
(On whether he has something to prove…)
BUDDLE: “Every time that I step onto the field, I have feel like I have something to prove. I don’t feel like anything that I did in the past can help me going forward except for just my experience and how I prepare myself. That’s what I do each and every day, I don’t go out with the attitude that I’m owed anything for anything that I’ve done in the past.”
(On the preparations for the camp…)
BUDDLE: “Jurgen has told us that this is not a fitness camp; guys should be ready to play in this camp and preform. I’m sure that we’re going to do some fitness but it is part of the preparations because we have a game to play.”
(On whether 2013 is an important year for him…)
“Each year is a big year for me because I have individual goals and this year, with a new team it’s going to be challenging to get to know new faces and to get everyone on the same page. Individually, [I want] to just get fit and take my team as far as I can go with goal scoring and getting back on track.”
(On whether he was surprised that the trade came on Dec. 14…)
BUDDLE: “Yeah, I was surprised, but I never thought that it couldn’t happen. This is a business and coming into [the Galaxy] I knew that there were salary issues and coming in, I thought I would play every day, but with injuries things happen. It wasn’t a sense of Bruce [Arena] in the locker room not wanting me around. He still played me in the final so it still came as a surprise.”
(On how long it took him to accept the trade…)
BUDDLE: “It didn’t take me a few days, it took me a couple minutes because at first, you get a little anxiety, but it isn’t the worse thing in the world. When I was traded, the shooting in Newton happened and I realized that life isn’t that bad and the trade isn’t that bad because it’s good to be employed.”
(On whether he’s spoken to Colorado Rapids Oscar Pareja…)
BUDDLE: “With the two forwards [Conor Casey and Omar Cummings] gone, I’m kind of curious to see who they’re going to bring in. I was expecting Cummings to be there and now he’s gone so they told me that they’re looking for me to be that person up top to score goals. Hopefully I can provide that and deliver when needed, but they’ve been very welcoming and I expected that coming into a new club. I don’t want to promise anything though; I know that I have to work for everything that I get.”
(On playing at altitude…)
BUDDLE: “Hopefully it can add to my fitness especially this late in my career. Hopefully I can take advantage of that while I’m there.”
LA Galaxy Homegrown players Jose Villarreal and Oscar Sorto have been called up by U.S. Under-20 national team head coach Tab Ramos for a week-long training camp from Jan. 14-22 in Puebla, Mexico.
Joining Villarreal and Sorto is former Galaxy Academy defender Javan Torre who is currently at UCLA.
During the camp, the U.S. will face Panama twice in closed-door matches on Jan. 19 and Jan. 21. Ramos selected Puebla as the location for the U.S. camp as the 2013 CONCACAF U-20 Championship will take place in Puebla from Feb. 18 to March 3. The four countries from the tournament will qualify for the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey, which takes place from June 21 to July 13.
Eight of the 20 players called up to the U.S. U-20 squad are California natives.
The complete list is below...
GOALKEEPERS : Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City; Overland Park, Kan.), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.)
DEFENDERS: Mikey Ambrose (Maryland; Frisco, Texas), Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Unattached; Riverside, Calif.), Boyd Okwuonu (North Carolina; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS: Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Mikey Lopez (North Carolina; Mission, Texas), Daniel Metzger (Maryland; Holmdel, N.J.), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS: Brandon Allen (Georgetown; Old Bridge, N.J.), Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), Daniel Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), Darius Madison (Virginia; Philadelphia, Pa.), Jonathan Top (FC Dallas; Fort Worth, Texas) Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)
Coaches from across MLS have descended upon Ft. Lauderdale, FL this weekend for the 2013 adidas MLS Player Combine. The complete schedule can be found here.
As we look ahead to see who the LA Galaxy will nab with the number 19 pick in the first round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft and the 24th and 38th selections in the second round, I've compiled a few links to set for the combine.
First off, a must read ahead of draft time is the coverage on Soccer By Ives, starting with his MLS Draft Big Board.
Youth Soccer site Top Drawer Soccer has their own through breakdown of all players available for the SuperDraft as well as positional rankings.
Lastly, MLSsoccer.com has videos, mock drafts and team-by-team previews of their own.
Remember, I'll be on the ground in Indianapolis next week to cover the 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
When the LA Galaxy visit the White House this year, they'll have some company with them when they meet President Barack Obama - the Stanley Cup Champion Los Angeles Kings.
In a press conference marking the return of the National Hockey League after a lengthy 113-day lockout, Kings Governor and AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke told reporters that the Galaxy would visit the White House on the same day as the Kings.
“We have a tentative date and we’re waiting to see if it works on the president’s schedule,” Leiweke told reporters. “We’re going to take the Kings and the Galaxy on the same day, and do it in one shot with both teams. No one’s ever done that before, but, then again, no city has ever had two championships like this. We’re going to bring all our guys back from the Galaxy, including Mr. [David] Beckham, and all of the Kings during a road trip.”
As for possible dates, the Galaxy's trip to Washington, D.C. on Sept. 15 to face D.C. United seems unlikely as the NHL's lockout shortened 48-game season will already be completed. The Galaxy will travel to the East Coast numerous times before then including a March 30 trip to face Toronto FC as well as a likely seven day jaunt in mid-May that will include matches against the Philadelphia Union on May 15 and New York Red Bulls on May 19.
The Kings schedule has not been released.
Hearing that Pat Noonan has called time on his 10-year MLS career and will become a member of Bruce Arena's coaching staff taking over the assistant coach spot vacated by new Technical Director Jovan Kirovski.
The 32-year-old Noonan ends a ten-year professional career that began in 2003 when he was selected 9th overall in the MLS SuperDraft by the New England Revolution. During his career, Noonan made stops in New England, Norweigan club Aalesunds SK, Columbus Crew, Colorado Rapids, and Seattle Sounders before joining the Galaxy.
In his lone season with the Galaxy, Noonan made 14 appearances across all competitions scoring two goals. Although Noonan was not a regular for the club during MLS play, he played a valuable leadership role in LA's CONCACAF Champions League campaign.
The LA Galaxy announced on Thursday that assistant coach Jovan Kirovski has become the club's Technical Director.
Kirovski retired after the 2011 season ending his 12 year professional career before becoming an assistant on head coach Bruce Arena's staff. Kirovski, who becomes the first Technical Director in Galaxy club history will be tasked with scouting and evaluating players local and abroad while also establishing relationships with clubs around the world.
“I am excited to begin this next chapter of my career and feel that with my history as both a player in MLS and abroad, as well as my time spent as a coach, I am perfectly suited for this role as the club’s first Technical Director,” Kirovski said in a statement. “I was born and raised in Southern California and I love being a part of this club and helping it continue to expand and grow as the premier club in Major League Soccer.”
In addition to his tasks with the first team, Kirovski will focus on implementing a core curriculum through the Galaxy Academy. Kirovski will evaluate the Academy's coaches and players while also helping with recruiting.
“We are very pleased to be able to move Jovan into this new position as our Technical Director,” Arena said in a statement. “His experience as both a player and as a coach will be invaluable as he works to support both our first team and our Academy program.”
The MLS All-Star Game will take place at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan on July 31. The opponent has not yet been determined.
The MLS All-Stars will be managed by Sporting Kansas City head coach Peter Vermes and will be broadcast at 5:30 p.m. PT and will be televised on the ESPN, Univision, TSN and RDS group of networks. 2013 will also mark the 10th year that the MLS All-Stars will face an International opponent. Last season, Landon Donovan and David Beckham took part as the All-Stars defeated European Champion Chelsea, 3-2 at PPL Park in Chester, PA.
The Galaxy have had at least two players selected for the All-Star Game since 2010.
Mark your calendars and plan the next few months of your life because MLS released the 2013 Regular Season schedule on Tuesday morning.
*LA's open the season at The Home Depot Center against the Chicago Fire on March 3, but will end the year on the road at CenturyLink Field against Seattle Sounders FC on Oct. 27
*The LA Galaxy's longest homestand will stretch from March 3 to March 23 when LA will take on Chicago, Chivas USA on March 17, and then the Colorado Rapids on March 23.
*Meanwhile, the longest road trip of the year takes place from May 11 to May 19. The trip begins with a match at BC Place against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on May 11, before LA faces the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park on May 11 with the trip concluding at Red Bull Arena against the New York Red Bulls on May 19.
*The Galaxy will play two home games in every month of the regular season except for March, when they'll play three and June when they'll play one.
*Similarly, LA will play two road games each month except for March when they'll play one and May when they'll play three away from The HDC.
*LA will play 24 games against Western Conference foes (12 home and 12 away) and 10 games against the Eastern Conference (5 home and 5 away).
*17 of the Galaxy's 34 games will be shown on national television.
*In 2013, MLS has unveiled "Rivalry Week" where club's will take on their most heated rivals, which will take place from March 16 to March 17. During that week, LA will face Chivas USA in the Superclásico.
*LA will again travel to Stanford Stadium to take on the San Jose Earthquakes on June 29.
*According to MLS' press release on the schedule, more than 90 percent of this year’s regular season games are on weekends or holidays, and none will overlap directly with FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches.
*All 323 MLS regular season matches will be televised live and 87 of them will be shown via national television partners ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Deportes, NBC, NBC Sports Network, Univision and UniMás in the United States. Meanwhile 30 games featuring Canadian clubs will be shown nationally in Canada will air on TSN/TSN2 in English and RDS/RDS2 in French.
*MLS will play most summer afternoon games after 4 p.m.
*MLS Cup will take place on Dec. 7 and Dec. 8 at the team with the best regular season record.
TORRANCE, Calif. –During a near 20-minute conversation with reporters on Monday, U.S. national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann confirmed that Landon Donovan is not expected to take part in the World Cup Qualifier against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Feb. 6
Following the 2012 season, the LA Galaxy captain stated that he would take the offseason to evaluate his desire to continue to his storied professional career and was not called-up for the U.S.' January camp squad ahead of their match against Canada on Jan. 29 in Houston. During the interview on Monday, Klinsmann issued his support for Donovan, but admitted that the team needed to prepare for a demanding 2013.
“Landon decided to take a break at the moment and he wanted to consider all his options and what is next in his life so we said that he can take all the time in the world to decide what is next for him personally,” said Klinsmann. “That’s why he hasn’t been invited to this camp; we don’t have him in our sheet for Honduras because if you’re not part of this camp then you basically have no preparation for a World Cup qualifier.
“Like everyone else, we’re curious about what he comes up with and what he decides to do, it’s his life; he can say if he wants to continue or doesn’t want to continue or whatever he wants to decide because it’s his career,” Klinsmann added. “At the same time, we have to prepare for a World Cup Qualifier and we have to get the next group of players together in a short period of time so we move on with work. Whenever Landon decides to tell us what is next for him then it’s good for us.”
If Donovan does decide to call time on his career, then Klinsmann and U.S. Soccer admit that they must look to the future.
“First of all, I think Landon has achieved a tremendous amount of things in his career and he’s now at a time where he wants to think about everything and decide what is next for him. As a national team coach, you can’t stop for a certain point and look back; you have to constantly move on," said Klinsmann. “We have huge games ahead of us because 2013 will be a huge year for us. We have World Cup qualifiers, Gold Cup, prestigious friendlies and all of that so if a player decides his own personal situation then he has to do that but we have to move on. "