Beat

15 February 3:37 pm

According to Real Salt Lake general manager Garth Lagerwey, his club and the LA Galaxy are close to a deal to send goalkeeper Josh Saunders rights to RSL.

After taking the reins as the Galaxy’s number one ‘keeper during the 2011 season, Saunders backstopped LA to back-to-back MLS Cup titles, but parted ways with the club during the offseason.  Saunders has been on trial with RSL for the past two weeks and has impressed the Salt Lake brass.

"With the offseason moves we made, we are actually under the cap," Lagerwey told MLSsoccer.com on Thursday. "It isn't a done deal, yet. We still have some negotiating to do to work a few things out, but I think Josh would be a great asset to our team if we can figure things out.

"Josh has been playing great," Lagerwey added. "He definitely provides a steady presence in goal, and this isn't a knock on Nick at all, but maybe it would be good for him to occasionally look over his shoulder at training and see someone pushing him.

Last week Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena told reporters that LA will support Saunders once he finds a new club.

15 February 2:24 pm

CARSON, Calif. – A.J. DeLaGarza and Sean Franklin are no strangers to manning the LA Galaxy right flank, but after a successful stint out wide in Wednesday’s 7-2 preseason victory over UCLA, the position may just become common place for the pair in 2013.

During the match against UCLA, Sean Franklin was pushed up to right midfield while DeLaGarza slid from central defense out to right back. The move paid immediate dividends for LA as Franklin tallied two goals and both appeared active on both sides of the ball.

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Wednesday that the switch was in part due to Robbie Keane’s absence due to a death in his family, which forced Mike Magee to pair up front with Jack McBean. However with second year defender Tommy Meyer continuing to develop and LA searching for wide depth, DeLaGarza and Franklin may be tasked with moving out to the right flank more in 2013.

“I think that it is an option for us,” said DeLaGarza. ”We have a lot of good talent and to get everyone on the field, you have to make some changes. I thought I did well today and Sean obviously did well. It’s something that we’ve done plenty and we’re used to it.”

Franklin in particular was incredibly effective against UCLA as he displayed chemistry with LA’s central midfield tandem of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas while also connecting well with LA’s forward corps to create chances.

“It’s still new to me even though I’ve played there in spurts throughout the years,” said Franklin. “It’s a position that I enjoy and it’s a spot that I want to get better at if I am going to play there more than at right back this year.”

If Arena opts to place DeLaGarza at right back and Franklin in the midfield to start the season, the duo admit that there will be a transition, but both are confident that they can adapt to a new role.   

“I still feel that right back is my best position and my most comfortable position,” said Franklin. “From a right back position, you see the game a little bit more. At right midfield, the game comes faster because it’s all about being quick with your decision-making. It’s something that I want to get better at as a player and contribute more to the team”

Added DeLaGarza, “I just hope to be on the field no matter where it is and wherever I can help out. It’s a totally different position so I have to change my mindset and my fitness level and I have to get into the attack. If I play there and get more comfortable then it will be first nature, but right now I’m more of a defensive player.”

15 February 1:57 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Southern California native and former Leeds United winger Robbie Rogers made a brave statement on Friday by announcing that he is gay and is stepping away from the game at the age of 25. 

The former Columbus Crew (2007-20011) and U.S. national team midfielder revealed the news on his personal website and shortly after his announcement, players, coaches, and fans from offered their support including Galaxy center back and former Maryland teammate A.J. DeLaGarza. 

"He is one of the nicest kids that I've ever met. He's a great player and coming out is brave of him," said DeLaGarza. "To live like that for however long that he's known that has sure been tough, but he's happy now and we're all happy for him. All the support that he's gotten is great and it's going to make it that much easier on him...In college, he was one of the best players that I ever played with. The things that he can do with the ball are just amazing and he's had good years in Europe and MLS and is one of the best players that I've ever played with."

Brian Perk, who was teammates with Rogers with the U.S. Under-20 national team offered his own support and admitted that he'd be welcomed with open arms if he decided to return to MLS. Rogers' MLS rights were dealt to the Chicago Fire in a trade with the Crew last month. 

"He was a great soccer player and a good guy. It's really disappointing because he's right in the prime of his career by playing at Leeds and I think that we'd like to have him here," said Perk. "Regardless of his personal preferences, as the player that I knew then we'd love to have him here. Maybe in some locker rooms would people be treated differently, but I don't think that he would here. I consider Robbie a friend and I don't care what he does in his private life."

14 February 4:39 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Supplemental Draft Pick Andy Riemer is no stranger to the LA Galaxy and the youngster is banking that his past experience with the club and his energy on the field can lead to an extended deal with LA.

Riemer has been close friends with Galaxy assistant coach Curt Onalfo since his early teens and that connection led the Georgetown product to several trips to Southern California to train with LA. 

Read my profile of Riemer here 

14 February 4:35 pm

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez spent much of the last month earning his stripes with the U.S. national team and now the 24-year-old defender is eager to apply what he learned to his club side.

A year after dealing with an ACL injury that took away half of his 2012 season, Gonzalez was called up by Jurgen Klinsmann for the U.S. national team’s annual January camp and promptly made his first start for the U.S since 2011 in their scoreless draw against Canada.

Gonzalez’s performance against Canada drew rave reviews from critics and it was no surprise that he was named to Klinsmann’s squad that faced Honduras in a World Cup Qualifier on Feb. 6. The U.S. boss was so impressed with the 24-year-old that he awarded him the start in San Pedro Sula.

The match was a difficult for the Americans who endured intense heat and humidity from the midday sun as well as an incredibly hostile crowd at the Estadio Olímpico. After the U.S. took an early lead on a goal by Clint Dempsey, Honduras equalized less than five minutes later on a brilliant overhead strike by Juan Carlos Garcia. Ultimately, a late defensive breakdown by the U.S. led to a goal by New England Revolution striker Jerry Bengston which gave the Hondurans a 2-1 victory.

“It was definitely tough; it was a test of your mental strength,” said Gonzalez of the match. “It really took a lot out of players, the heat and the crowd in the first half was a lot. But you just learn from that stuff and try hard on every single play. That will take you a long way.

“That was one game, I think that there were certain plays that you have to look at, but on the day, it was just a tough game, a tough field, a tough environment and now you move on,” Gonzalez added. “You just keep on trying to get better and stay at a top level and now I just need to play better for the Galaxy.”

One player who made undoubtedly made an impression on Gonzalez during World Cup qualifying duty was U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who the defender admits has some similar traits to LA’s newest number one goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini.

“One thing that I’ve noticed from both of them is that they talk a lot,” said Gonzalez. “They’re constantly talking to you and telling you when to slide over, when to drop back and when to keep the line or look over your shoulder. Every good ‘keeper has that and they’re both technically sound so I have a lot of confidence in both of them.”

After returning to the club late last week, Gonzalez was placed in LA’s starting lineup on Wednesday in the club’s 7-2 preseason victory over UCLA, adding a goal in 45 minutes of action.  Now tasked with prospect of re-integrating himself to his club, Gonzalez is already looking for ways that he can help LA move along as their March 3rd season opener draws ever near.

“Maybe I can help raise the level here effort wise but there is still three weeks going and we have some time,” said Gonzalez. “But everyone is moving along well. Bruce knows how to move a preseason along well by starting off slow and working guys in slowly and eventually get technically better and round us into form.” 

14 February 12:55 pm

There was no bigger story in the global soccer world on Wednesday than the epic UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid. Even the man calling the game for Fox Soccer was headline news.

Well, Univision Deportes' Jaime Motta decided to watch the game with the players of the LA Galaxy from inside the Herbalife Players Lounge at The Home Depot Center and provided this Spanish language video 

Check it out below...

13 February 7:41 pm

LAGalaxy.com's Paolo Ferrari provided the following highlight reel of the LA Galaxy's 7-2 victory over UCLA on Wednesday.

Check out the video below...

13 February 6:41 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy registered their third victory of the preseason on Wednesday with a 7-2 victory over UCLA.

Michael Stephens opened the scoring in the 13th minute before Omar Gonzalez doubled LA’s lead in the 29th. Stationed at right midfield against the Bruins, Sean Franklin added a pair of goals in quick succession before the end of the first half.  Hector Jimenez tallied in the 57th minute and seven minutes later rookie Charlie Rugg added a sixth.

After LA’s sixth goal, UCLA battled back as Reed Williams put the Bruins on the board. Nine minutes later, Rugg tallied a second in the 78th before UCLA’s Evan Raynr rounded out the scoring in the 82nd.

A few notes from the match below…

The Galaxy lined up in the following lineup at the start:

------------------------Perk-----------------------

DeLaGarza—Gonzalez—Meyer—Dunivant

Franklin-----Sarvas---Juninho-------Stephens

-------------Magee------McBean------------------

*Sean Franklin was dynamic on the right side of midfield and repeatedly helped the Galaxy engineer scoring opportunities. The match was the first time that Franklin had been placed in midfield with DeLaGarza at right back this preseason

*The match was Juninho’s first start for the Galaxy since re-joining the club for preseason.

*Robbie Keane is currently in Dublin due to a death in the family. Arena told reporters that he is expected to be back in training on Monday.

*Once Magee and McBean were replaced by Andy Riemer and Charlie Rugg in the 57th minute, the Galaxy had completed their changes and opted for the following lineup.

-------------------Rowe-----------------

Opare---Ferreira (Trialist) ---Leonardo----Gaul

Arriola---Jimenez----Garcia-----Cochrane

------------Riemer-----Rugg-----------

*Rugg was stellar in his preseason debut for the Galaxy as he showed no ill effects from his nagging groin injury.

*Once again, Rafael Garcia and Greg Cochrane provided considerable energy for the Galaxy with Cochrane completing a few dangerous crosses while stationed on the left side of midfield.

*Riemer made his first appearance as a forward after playing in central midfield and right midfield in previous preseason games. One would expect that his inclusion was likely due to LA’s current forward shortage with Landon Donovan (hiatus), Jose Villarreal (International duty), Gyasi Zardes (foot injury), and Keane (family issue) unavailable. 

*Bruce Arena revealed the names of the Galaxy's two Brazilian trialists Mathaus Ferreira de Sousa and Marquinho.

*UCLA began the match with the following starting XI

-------------------Juan Cervantes-----------------

Pat Matchett---Joe Sofia ---Matt Wyatt----Ryan Lee

Max Estrada--- Leo Stolz----Grady Howe-----Andrew Tusaazemajja

------------Reed Williams-----Victor Chavez-----------

*In the second half, D.C. United supplemental draft pick Evan Raynr entered the match for Chavez and tallied the Bruins last goal of the match. 

13 February 4:13 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Two trialists joined the LA Galaxy at the beginning of the week and on Wednesday, head coach and general manager Bruce Arena revealed their names.

19-year-old Brazilian centerback Mathaus Ferreira de Sousa went 45 minutes for the Galaxy in their 7-2 preseason scrimmage victory over UCLA on Wednesday. Ferreira, who was last with Red Bull Brasil was stationed alongside LA’s own Brazilian defender Leonardo for the entire half.

“It’s easy to play with him because he’s Brazilian where there is a different style,” said Leonardo.” He’s played good. He’s only had two or three days to adapt himself to [the U.S.] and he’s done okay."

Arena also revealed the name of LA’s other trialist, 21-year-old Brazilian midfielder Marcus Vinicius Gregorio de Souza also known as Marquinho. The midfielder recently spent time with Brazilian clubs Fluminense, Porto de Caruaru and Tupi

The Galaxy boss stated that the club was still early in the process of evaluating the two players.

13 February 4:00 pm

The LA Galaxy visited the Today show with Kathy Lee Gifford and Hoda earlier in the week to show off their soccer skills.

Check out the video below.

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