CARSON, Calif. – Two titans of MLS will likely play their final match against one another on Sunday when Landon Donovan’s LA Galaxy faces off against Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls.
The similarities for the two players are easy to see: both players are stars for their club teams and the leading goal scorers for their respective national sides. While Donovan has pledged to hang up his boots at the end of the 2014 season, speculation has swirled that Henry will end his own storied career at the end of the year—a fact that he has denied.
Even if Henry stays with New York another year, Donovan says that he is relishing what may be his final chance to face the French maestro.
“Sometimes we forget how special his career has been. When you’re caught up in the moment and you’re caught up in the game, you just see him as an opponent to stop. But when you think about it historically, it’s pretty special that we get to play against him,” said Donovan. “We’re certainly not in awe of him when we’re playing, but when you step back and take a look at his career, it’s special that we get to play against a player of his caliber.”
But will Sunday’s match be the last time that the Red Bulls face the Galaxy this year? Donovan hopes not.
“Hopefully, it’s not the last time. Hopefully they see us again in December,” Donovan said. “We’ve had very different careers, but he’s meant a lot to French Football, Arsenal and the Red Bulls. He’s brought them back to prominence after a longtime of not being a prominent team on the national scope. It’s been impressive what they’ve done with him and I’m going to try to enjoy the last encounter.”
Make no mistake, Steve Ralston is hoping that Landon Donovan will not break his MLS all-time assist record, but even if he does lose the honor, he "won't lose sleep over it."
Donovan currently sits at 132 assists and has just five matches left to pull level with Ralston's all-time mark of 135. Ralston, a mainstay with the New England Revolution during his career, who is now an assistant coach with the Houston Dynamo was frank in a conversation with MLSsoccer.com's Darrell Lovell when asked about Donovan's pursuit of the record.
“People keep asking me ‘What do you think?’ I think he’s at least going to tie it and probably break it,” Ralston told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “Do I want him to break it? No, not really. The only person I’d want to break my record would be my son. People that say they want their records broken, they’re liars. Who doesn’t want to keep it?
“At the same time, if he breaks it I’m not going to lose sleep over it. He’s Landon Donovan. He’s arguably the greatest player in US soccer history. If someone’s going to break it, and it’s Landon Donovan, that’s fine with me.”
Thoughts on Ralston's comments?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has been named to the Republic of Ireland's provisional squad for their upcoming matches against Gibraltar and Germany in October.
Ireland boss Martin O'Neill named Keane to his 37-man squad, but will reduce his squad before the team meets up on Oct. 7. Ireland hosts Gibraltar in a Euro 2016 qualifier on Oct. 11, before traveling to Gelsenkirchen to take on reigning World Cup champions Germany three days later.
If Keane is called up to the final squad, he'll likely miss the Galaxy's Oct. 12 road match against FC Dallas.
Chandler Hoffman named to USL PRO All-League Team; Andre Auras and Daniel Steres named to second team
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II striker Chandler Hoffman was named to USL PRO' all-League team on Tuesday according to a release from the league.
Hoffman takes home the Best XI honor after a stellar season with Los Dos that saw him score 13 goals for the Galaxy's USL PRO affiliate. Meanwhile, midfielder Andre Auras and center back Daniel Steres were both named to the league's second team. Auras notched two goals and five assists for Los Dos while Steres marshalled the Galaxy II defense while also tallying three goals.
The league's MVP, Coach of the Year and Rookie of the Year honors will all be announced on Wednesday in a press conference in Sacramento ahead of the final between Sacramento Republic and the Harrisburg City Islanders.
Amid the buzz that the NBA is steadily moving toward soccer-style sponsorship on the front of their jerseys, Italian designer Emilio Sansolini decided to redesign all of the NBA teams logos, jerseys and color schemes with a soccer touch.
And the results were simply FANtastic.
As this is an L.A. based blog, let's take a gander at how he represented Los Angeles' two NBA franchises.
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Of course, the Lakers, one of the NBA's most storied franchises were given a classic kit that features the team's purple and gold color scheme. For a sponsor, Sansolini opted for Redwood City-based video game company Electronic Arts. I have to say, I'm not sure how I feel about Laker logo turned into a soccer ball though.
LOS ANGELES CLIPPERS
Whereas the Lakers were given a more conventional design, the Clippers kits are a tad more eye-catching. Opting for a split-color jersey that brings back memories of FC Barcelona's similarly designed kits from the last decade, the Clippers' red and blue are proudly displayed. For a sponsor, the Clippers were given New York-based soft drink manufacturer PepsiCo.
As a diehard Lakers fan, I'm inclined -- or obligated? -- to like the Lakers kit more than the Clippers jersey, but what do you think?
Share your thoughts in the comments below.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are gunning for their first Supporters' Shield triumph since 2011, but even as the club sits level on points with Seattle Sounders FC, captain Robbie Keane issued an important message for his group.
Don't lose focus on the real prize -- MLS Cup.
Keane notched a goal and an assist in the Galaxy's 2-1 victory over FC Dallas that moved them a step closer to the Shield while also helping the club clinch a postseason berth. Bur despite his teammates' emphasis on the chase for the Shield, the Irishman put LA's remaining league games into perspective.
“Listen, it's great to win the Supporters' Shield, there's no question about it, but I can't remember the last two years who won the Supporters' Shield; I remember who won the [MLS Cup] championship,” Keane told reporters on Saturday. “Even though it's very, very important and we want to do it, obviously the main one is to win the championship."
LA Galaxy defenders Robbie Rogers and Omar Gonzalez were named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on Monday for their performance in the club's 2-1 victory over FC Dallas.
Rogers enjoyed a stellar evening along the left side -- and even garnered some U.S. National Team buzz from captain Robbie Keane -- while Gonzalez helped shutdown the FCD attack. Meanwhile, Robbie Keane was placed on the Team of the Week bench for his goal and assist against Dallas.
The complete team is below.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy qualified for the postseason for the sixth consecutive season with their 2-1 victory over FC Dallas.
After the game, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed reporters.
(On Alan Gordon’s performance...)
ARENA: “He’s a good target player. He’s good in the penalty area. If the service is right, he’s quite capable of finishing off plays, which he’s shown. He knows his job. He’s an experienced player. Understands tactically what needs to be done at the end of the game, and has just done an outstanding job.”
(On Stefan Ishizaki’s performance...)
ARENA: “He played very well. It’s the best that [Ishizaki] has played for us in a while. He performed quite well. He’s passing was excellent. He did a good job defensively helping Dan Gargan. Just played very well. Let’s face it Ishizaki and Gordon did a great job coming in off the bench. I think they made a difference and helped us win the game.”
(On Robbie Rogers performance at left back...)
ARENA: “He played well. I think the second half in particularly he played very well. The cross for the winning goal was outstanding. It was good to see him get back into form. It’s taken him a little bit coming back from his injury, but I think he’s starting to play well. He looks like a left back.”
(On the difference between Ishizaki and Baggio Husidic...)
ARENA: “Husidic is a little more of a two-way player, a box-to-box player. Ishizaki is a little more, certainly a more creative player, probably you can argue maybe a better player in the final third. Not that Husidic isn’t a good player in the final third—he’s just a little bit different. I think it’s a nice combination.”
(On the first half...)
ARENA: “They defended well and we weren’t good enough on the ball. We didn’t take advantage of the advantages we created. We just ended to be a little bit sharper. I think that Dallas defended well in the first half.”
On whether the Seattle/Red Bulls result gave the team a sense of urgency:
“We were aware of the result. All along we’ve been aware of where we’ve been positioned in a conference race. We were well aware of the result and obviously it was good opportunity for us to make up the points because I think we are even now. It was an opportune time for sure.”
On clinching a playoff:
“Well, I think we anticipated being in the playoffs, but it’s nice to get that out of the away. Now we need to jockey for a favorable position. Certainly use the next five games to do that. I think that just gives us a little confidence and a little bit of relief that we don’t need consider ourselves with that anymore.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy return home for a three-game homestand starting with Saturday's clash with FC Dallas at StubHub Center.
Below are matchups to watch, statements made by the Galaxy and my own personal prediction.
*Remember that with a victory on Saturday, the LA Galaxy will clinch a postseason berth for the sixth consecutive year.
*In 'What to Watch For" I break down the Galaxy's clash with FC Dallas with TWCSN play-by-play man Joe Tutino.
*In the latest edition of "By the Numbers," we look at the Galaxy's success at home against FCD.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
DAN GARGAN vs. FABIAN CASTILLO
Back from suspension, Gargan will have to put the breaks on one of MLS' hottest strikers as Castillo will look to use his speed to break through the Galaxy central defense.
ROBBIE KEANE vs. ZACH LOYD
Loyd has done well in his transition from outside back to central defense, but he'll face a stiff test in Keane, who is expected to be eager to break his scoreless streak after a disappointing showing against San Jose.
OMAR GONZALEZ vs. BLAS PEREZ
Gonzalez will have his hands full with Perez on Saturday as the FC Dallas striker will seek to torment the Galaxy center back in search of goals.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING:
"We're still in the running for the Supporters' Shield...but I don't want to worry about that right now. I want to worry about Dallas because they're no easy task. They're a really good team with a lot of threats especially Castillo who is doing really well. We don't need to worry about Supporters' Shield right now, we need to worry about beating Dallas." - Omar Gonzalez
LA Galaxy 4 FC Dallas 0 (Keane 2, Zardes 1, Sarvas 1)