FRISCO, Texas – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has pledged to make at least a couple of changes to his squad ahead of this Saturday’s match against FC Dallas and one possible change could see defender Tommy Meyer make his 2013 debut.
Center backs Leonardo and Omar Gonzalez have logged heavy minutes in recent weeks and Meyer represents an option for the Galaxy to offer a brief respite to one of their center backs.
Meyer became a regular in the Galaxy starting XI towards the end of the 2012 season, appearing in all six postseason games including the 2012 MLS Cup.
Fit again, Meyer is itching to return to the lineup, possibly this weekend against FC Dallas or at least in Monday’s Reserve League match against Seattle Sounders FC.
“My body feels great,” said Meyer, who missed considerable time in the preseason due to a left hamstring strain. “It is back to how I felt before, if that’s needed and they see to make a change [on Saturday] then I’m ready. I haven’t played a game since Real Salt Lake [in preseason on Feb. 8], and so I’m ready to play.”
Would you want to see Meyer start on Saturday?
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FRISCO, Texas. -- Hours after flying into Texas, several members of the LA Galaxy were back on the training ground on Thursday.
The starters took part in a regeneration session at the team hotel, but the reserves were able to train for 90 minutes in Frisco.
Following training, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered the following updates.
(On whether rotation is planned for FC Dallas match...)
ARENA: "I’m sure that we’re going to have a couple changes in our lineup, but what those are has not been determined at this point."
(On the status of Gyasi Zardes...)
ARENA: "He looks like he’s a little ahead of schedule for the surgery that he had. He’s back on the field now, which is good and he’ll slowly build himself back into full training over the next couple of weeks."
MONTERREY, Mexico— LA Galaxy attacker Mike Magee was unable to start Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey due to a right leg injury, but he is not expected to miss time ahead of LA's return to league play.
The leading goal scorer in MLS did not get the start, but was able to go 31 minutes as LA pressed for a goal in their 1-0 defeat at Estadio Tecnológico. The goal never came, however, and the Galaxy fell out of the CCL 3-1 on aggregate.
Following the match, Magee stressed that his right leg issue was not serious.
“I just had a little hip issue so I had a little procedure and injections that hadn’t settled in yet. I’m feeling better, just a little achy, but it’ll be fine in a couple of days,” Magee said after the game.
With the Galaxy turning their focus away from CCL and towards the league stage, Magee admitted that there was one chief lesson that LA needed to take from their continental campaign.
“We have to take care of business at home,” said Magee. “You can’t expect to come to a club like this and expect to get a win. It’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult.”
MONTERREY, Mexico – Landon Donovan made his first start and 90 minute performance of 2013 in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to C.F. Monterrey that saw LA’s CONCACAF Champions League dreams dashed 3-1 on aggregate.
Fitness seemed to be little issue for Donovan, who was once again making the type of darting runs and confident passes that have been a staple of his career. However, goals were hard to come for Donovan and his Galaxy teammates as Monterrey’s organized defense repeatedly stifled LA’s attack. Following, Donovan admitted that his fitness wasn’t much of an issue for him on Wednesday, but rather it was Monterrey’s quality that proved too much for LA. .
“I felt good. It was a good game; they’re a very good team. We let ourselves down in the first leg, we tried, but this is a very tough place to come and play,” Donovan told reporters. “In my opinion, that’s the best team in this region and they played well and got a goal and made it difficult for us.”
Donovan offered Monterrey a glowing endorsement, but was also noted the disparity between the two sides.
When asked by a member of the Mexican media if scheduling was the reason for MLS clubs record against Liga MX in CONCACAF Champions League, Donovan stressed that is the income disparity more than anything.
“We make about eight to nine million dollars [as a team], they make 25 to 30, so it’s difficult,” said Donovan. “Football is like that. When Manchester United plays Wigan, it’s different and it will always be like that until we start spending money and buying players like Aldo [De Nigris], like Humberto [Suazo] and players like that. We came to win, but this night, we didn’t.”
Do you expect to see Donovan start against FC Dallas? What are your thoughts about his comments on the comparison between Liga MX and MLS?
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The LA Galaxy's deficit proved to be too much for the club as they fell 1-0 to C.F. Monterrey and 3-2 on aggregate to end their CONCACAF Champions League dreams at the semifinal stage.
My Three Points to the game are below...
Agree with my analysis? Disagree?
Share your thoughts below.
MONTERREY, Mexico –Bruce Arena addressed the media following the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg defeat to C.F. Monterrey. LA fell 3-1 on aggregate.
Arena’s thoughts are below…
(On the club’s defeat…)
ARENA: “First all, we’re disappointed with the result tonight, but we lost to a very good team. We may have lost this series in the last 10 minutes of the game in Los Angeles. We made it very difficult for ourselves and tonight was going to be hard because of the way that we played in the last 10 minutes last week. Having said that, Monterrey is an excellent team and deserving winners.”
(On whether desperation threw off the offense?)
ARENA: “There was no desperation until perhaps the last 20 minutes of the game. “
(On LA’s inability to create chances…)
ARENA: “I thought Monterrey played well. Their center backs had an excellent game. The two midfielders, Zavala and Ayovi were very good as well.”
(On starting Donovan…)
ARENA: “This competition is very difficult for MLS teams right now, we don’t have our full fitness at this time of year and certainly that is the case with Donovan. I thought Landon did very well to survive 90 minutes tonight.”
(On the experience…)
ARENA: “A great experience for our club and certainly, we will look back to game one where we were in position to win and come here to make it more difficult on our opponent and we failed in that regard.”
(On Omar Gonzalez’s performance…)
“I thought Omar performed very well. He can use this competition as a means of growing as a player. Hopefully, he learned something from last week. I think tonight he was excellent.”
(On whether MLS teams are at a disadvantage because they have just started their season…)
(On how MLS compares to Liga MX…)
ARENA: “Football in the United States is growing and getting better each year. Our league is still behind the Mexican league, the Mexican league has greater resources to build better teams at this point.”
ARENA: “This game was going to be a tight game. We made on ourselves difficult last week so there was no reason to believe that this game was going to be open in the first 60 minutes of the game. They could comfortably organize their back line and their midfield and pick their spots to go forward. Last week, the last ten minutes of the game impacted the series greatly. We didn’t play well tonight in the attack, the last pass, the shot selection, but give them credit, they played very well.”
(On what the Galaxy can take from the series…)
ARENA: “There were a lot of positives. Our team played pretty well in this competition and this series. We learned that ten minutes might have sealed our fate.”
MONTERREY, Mexico -- The LA Galaxy's dreams of the CONCACAF Champions League are over as LA fell 1-0 to Monterrey on Wednesday, suffering a 3-1 aggregate defeat.
Aldo De Nigris scored the lone goal in the 81st minute in front of a sellout crowd at Estadio Tecnológico.
More to come shortly...
Share your thoughts on the defeat below.
MONTERREY, Mexico – We’re just a few hours from Wednesday night’s CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and C.F. Monterrey.
To get you prepared for kick off, check out my links, matchups to watch and my predicted lineup below…
*When Omar Gonzalez takes the field at Estadio Tecnológico, he play within the same lines as his uncle Lalo Rodriguez Plata, I spoke to both about Gonzalez's connections to Monterrey.
* Landon Donovan may end up playing extended minutes for the LA Galaxy in their do-or-die match up and Donovan spoke at length about what is needed for LA to advance: goals and leadership.
*Michael Stephens struggled late in LA’s 2-1 defeat, but he’s eager to return to form if called upon in the second leg.
*Lastly, read my Three Points to the game.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
OMAR GONZALEZ vs. ALDO DE NIGRIS
Old friends turned adversaries; Gonzalez will need one of the best games of his career to handle De Nigris and his strike partner Humberto Suazo. Gonzalez and the Galaxy backline had success against Monterrey in the first leg, but total focus and concentration will be needed for LA to wrap up the Rayados attack.
ROBBIE KEANE VS. JOSE MARIA BASANTA
The veteran internationals tasseled repeatedly in the first leg, but for the Galaxy to advance over Monterrey, they will need a big game from Keane. The Irishman’s guile tested Bastanta several times in the first leg, but the Argentine will be a formidable foe for Keane.
TODD DUNIVANT vs. CESAR DELGADO
Delgado looks poised to start for Los Rayados after a strong game in the first leg. As a second half substitute, the Argentine was influential in creating a goal for LA and left back Todd Dunivant will have a major test if he is to shut down the winger.
Cudicini; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Franklin, Juninho, Sarvas, Magee; Donovan, Keane
MONTERREY, Mexico -- It's game day in Monterrey and to get you prepared, LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari has provided this preview video, which was produced following the LA Galaxy's final training session on Tuesday.
My own piece from training which emphasized the triple digit temperatures that LA trained in at the Estadio Tecnológico, can be found here. Luckily for the Galaxy, the forecast calls for temperatures in the mid-70's during the game and 74 degrees at kick off.
Watch the video below...
MONTERREY, Mexico -- In preparation for Wednesday night's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and C.F. Monterrey, I spoke to a pair of notable soccer podcasts to preview the important match.
First up, I spoke to Jason Davis' "American Soccer Morning" podcast on the North American Soccer Network. Don't just listen to my interview as Davis also interviews former LA Galaxy defender and current Hammarby IF manager Gregg Berhalter about his club's prospects for the upcoming season.
Lastly, I joined MLSsoccer.com's "March to the Match" alongside Nicolas Rosano to preview the Galaxy's CCL tie.