CARSON, Calif. –On Tuesday, LA Galaxy defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez will look to further their International careers when the United States takes on Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston.
The two Galaxy defenders and the rest of the U.S. squad departed for Houston over the weekend and finished up their final preparation for the friendly with a public training session on Monday evening. In his third camp with the national team, DeLaGarza has been impressed with the preparations ahead of the friendly against Canada.
“Every session has been short, but very intense. The quality is high [throughout the roster]. We’re getting good quality training every day and we’re getting minutes by scrimmaging so we’re moving along pretty well,” said DeLaGarza. “It’s been good. I kind of knew what to expect coming into this camp and all the guys are top quality players.”
Whether DeLaGarza will have a place in head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s starting lineup–or even the game day roster – on Tuesday remains to be seen, but Klinsmann has been impressed with what he has seen from the resourceful defender.
“He’s versatile; he reads the game very well. Sometimes, you don’t need to be the big strong guy and get into the battle because he gets in front of his opponent and wins it already,” said Klinsmann. “We told him, we see how things develop and we see a lot of qualities in him. He’s a different type of center back than Omar Gonzalez or Matt Besler and you need this to put your puzzle together.”
The U.S. National Team head coach summarizes the January camp in a video produced by U.S. Soccer below.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy finally broke up their intense fitness preparation on Monday by participating in short-sided games for much for the club’s training session.
After spending the first week focusing primarily on fitness work, the session represented an opportunity for head coach Bruce Arena to evaluate his players in a new way.
“It’s just a start, we had five weeks before we open so we have plenty of time, but it was good to get the guys out in a regular training session today,” said Arena. “It’s a group of young players, but it was good to see how some of the responded to the training and look at their habits as well as things they do well and not do well so we can build on that.”
Midfielder Michael Stephens was overjoyed to take part in actual on-field work.
“Finally, we cut up the monotony of running around in a circle. We took the balls out and I thought that we had a good first day. I thought that everyone was pretty sharp,” said Stephens. “On the first day, it is usually pretty frantic, but it was generally very good. You can kind of see all the new guys and how they are on the ball as well as how everyone came back from the offseason. It’s a lot more fun than just straight running.”
A couple more notes below…
* Arena told reporters on Monday that Juninho will “probably” be at Galaxy training on Wednesday. Juninho is currently in Brazil awaiting his visa.
*The Galaxy dealt with windy conditions today that seem to cause a greater problem for the assembled media than the players. Stephens had this to say on the conditions: “Today was windy which is a surprise for L.A. because we’re used to it being sunny and calm every day. It was nice until we did the wind sprints after practice because I think these 15 or 20 mph wind gusts made it hard to run on one side of the field.”
*One of the players who impressed in practice on Monday was Brazilian defender Leonardo who has recovered from the knee injuries that have plagued him over the past two years. LAGalaxy.com writer Larry Morgan spoke to Leonardo to discuss his recovery.
The kick off time for the LA Galaxy's April 13 match against FC Dallas at FC Dallas has been changed to 4:30 p.m. PT.
The match was previously scheduled for 12:30 p.m. PT. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Network.
CARSON, Calif. – This preseason, LA Galaxy Academy star Paul Arriola has been given a chance to train alongside the Galaxy first team and the 17-year-old attacker is savoring every moment.
A member of the United States’ Under-17 squad that went to the U-17 World Cup in Mexico in 2011, Arriola made his debut for the Galaxy’s Developmental Academy team in October. In just five appearances with the Galaxy U-18’s, he notched two goals for the West Conference Southwest Division leaders.
After a successful season with the Academy, the San Diego native was invited to train with Liga MX title-holders Club Tijuana in late-December. That prepared Arriola for his next big chance, an opportunity to train with the Galaxy during their preseason preparations.
“It’s a good opportunity to play with the first team and I want to be here,” Arriola recently told LA Galaxy Insider. “I’m just going to try and take in as much as possible so that I can learn from the veterans and the guys coming out of college so it really is a learning experience, but at the same time I want to prove myself to show that I can make it to next level.
Placing Academy players amongst the first team is nothing new for the Galaxy as over the past year, Developmental Academy starlets Oscar Sorto, Raul Mendiola and others have trained with the Galaxy’s top squad. With many of his Academy alums now contributing valuable minutes to the Galaxy, Arriola believes that one day, he might be able to do the same.
“You look up to everyone here because they’re professionals, but especially Jack [McBean] and Oscar who came from the same position that I am and I know that I can make it,” said Arriola. “Every opportunity whether it’s somewhere else on a trial or with the national team, it’s always an opportunity to show yourself and show how good you are.”
Chris Klein continued his meteoric rise up the LA Galaxy's business ranks just over two years since retiring from a 12-year career in MLS on Monday by being announced as club President.
The Galaxy announced the move on Monday morning. The Sports Business Journal reported the news first.
“We have always been impressed with Chris’ commitment and desire to excel on the business side of sports, and we have great confidence and faith that he will take the LA Galaxy to new levels,” said AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke in a statement. “We admire his passion and loyalty to the brand and his desire for the Galaxy to be the greatest soccer club in the history of this sport in this country. What makes Chris even more valuable to the Galaxy is his ability to understand our academy system, our development system and the partnership he has with Bruce will allow the Galaxy to continue to compete for championships year after year.”
After retiring Klein was named Senior Director of the Galaxy Academy before named club Vice President a year ago. In his new role, Klein will work with AEG Sports Chief Operating Officer Kelly Cheeseman to oversee business operations with the club.
"I am thrilled with this opportunity and excited to continue working with the great group of individuals we have on our staff," said Klein in a statement. "The Galaxy's best days are ahead of us and I am thankful that Tim and his team at AEG have the confidence in me to help lead us into the future".
David Beckham may not have chosen the next challenge of his career yet, but according to the British tabloid The Mirror, he is currently attempting to lure several of England's biggest stars across the Atlantic.
British Tabloids are always of questionable factual value so take this with a heavy grain of salt, but the tabloid states that Beckham has been attempting to lure Liverpool FC captain Steven Gerrard, Manchester United's Michael Carrick, Stoke City's Peter Crouch, and Chelsea FC's Ashley Cole to MLS to as the article states "finish their careers in the U.S."
In the same article, former English International Jermaine Pennant -- who is currently with Stoke City with Crouch -- states that he is interested in a possible move to MLS as well.
A few more evening notes and must reads:
*Across the hall, Jose Luis Sanchez Sola aka "El Chelis" may have put an end to rumors surrounding his goalkeeper Dan Kennedy stating "I need him more than anybody" after declaring him the Rojiblancos' captain.
*In a stirring feature story, the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter examines the story of Chivas' draft pick Carlos Alvarez in an impressive feature.
*Seattle Sounders FC re-acquired forward Lamar Neagle from the Montreal Impact in exchange for an International spot.
*A report states that D.C. United midfielder Nick DeLeon has been called up by Trinidad and Tobago.
*One of the great must reads from the past week comes from SB Nation's Jorge Arangure Jr. who examines Liga MX side Club Tijuana, who he brands "The Americas' Team."
CARSON, Calif. – Forward Charlie Rugg may have been the LA Galaxy’s first round selection the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, but the rookie from Boston College believes he has plenty to prove.
When Rugg was selected by the Galaxy with the 19th overall pick last Thursday, the 22-year-old rookie was overjoyed as he watched the draft with several of his friends and Golden Eagles teammates. However, as he enjoyed the moment, he couldn’t help but notice the ensuing reports from draft experts praising his skill, but questioned if he was a reach for LA in the first round.
Despite battling through a pair of injuries last season—a hyperextended knee in the beginning of the season and a strained hamstring at the end—Rugg notched five goals and four assists in his senior season with the Golden Eagles.
“I was injured for most of my college career which hurt my draft stock a little bit. I kind of feel like coaches might have forgotten about me,” said Rugg. “Then there was some buzz about me being a little bit of a reach in the first round so I definitely have something to prove.”
During his time with Boston College, scouts and coaches praised his speed and strength as he racked up 28 goals and 18 assists while earning three consecutive All-Atlantic Coast Conference First team nods. However, Rugg insists that his development as a player hasn’t all been physical, but mental as well.
“One of the things that I’ve learned as I’ve grown up and other guys have caught up to me speed and athleticism wise is that I’ve learned to play better soccer,” said Rugg. “My technical skills have gotten better and in college I learned to play with my back to the goal so I can adapt.”
Rugg will need his adaptation skills in his first year in the professional ranks as he must not only learn how to handle a inevitable step up in play from college to the pros, but also –possibly—a new position.
“I’ve heard that I might be turned into an outside player,” said Rugg. “It’s where I started my career as an outside midfielder and they might put me out there, which I’m completely ready for. It might just take some reshaping.”
But Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is confident that he can flourish at the professional level.
“He’s a good player, he’s technically good,” said Arena. “He’s physically gifted and we’re going to learn more once we get involved a little more with each other and play some outside competition.”
If Rugg does impress, he’ll have the chance to learn from the likes of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and join a young stable of Galaxy attackers that includes Jose Villarreal, Jack McBean, and Gyasi Zardes. As he begins his professional career, the young forward is excited for his new opportunity.
“I think that I learn well so it’s great that I can learn from such great players,” said Rugg. “I look forward to playing at the highest level.”
U.S. Soccer announced the candidates for the 2013 National Soccer Hall of Fame class and the list included plenty of LA Galaxy connections.
*Former LA Galaxy players Maurico Cienfuegos, Chris Armas, Robin Fraser, Ante Razov, and Tony Sanneh were nominated for their contributions as players. Meanwhile AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke and former LA Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid have been nominated under the builder category. The complete list of nominees is below...
2013 National Soccer Hall of Fame Player Ballot
Chris Armas, Wade Barrett*, Mauricio Cienfuegos^, Raul Diaz Arce, Marco Etcheverry, Lorrie Fair, Robin Fraser, Chris Henderson, Angela Hucles*, Jason Kreis, Roy Lassiter^, Shannon MacMillan, Joe-Max Moore, Victor Nogueira, John O'Brien, Ben Olsen*, Cindy Parlow, Ante Razov, Tiffany Roberts, Tony Sanneh*, Taylor Twellman*, Tisha Venturini-Hoch^
* First year of eligibility ^ Final year of eligibility; moves to Veteran ballot in 2014
2013 National Soccer Hall of Fame Veteran Ballot
George Best, Mike Burns, Julio "Ringo" Cantillo, Teofilo "Nene" Cubillas, John Doyle, Linda Hamilton, Mary Harvey, Lori Henry, Bill McPherson, Shep Messing, Glenn Myernick, John "Harp" O'Connell, Mike Sorber, Carlos Valderrama, Peter Vermes
2013 National Soccer Hall of Fame Builder Ballot
Esse Baharmast, Chuck Blazer, Bob Bradley, Bob Contiguglia, Don Garber, Burton Haimes, Tim Leiweke, Francisco Marcos, Fritz Marth, Sigi Schmid
A few more notes to get your Saturday going...
*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan speaks to midfielder Michael Stephens who is targeting a starting position this season.
*AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke was named the 2012 Sports Executive of the Year by the L.A. Sports Council.
*Chivas USA dealt last season's fifth overall selection in the 2012 MLS SuperDraft, Casey Townsend to D.C. United for a second round choice. The trade caused D.C United to cut Chinese forward Long Tan.
*The Chicago Fire have loaned Uruguayan midfielder Alvaro Fernandez to Qatari side Al Rayyan for six months. Chicago also sent midfielder Fredrico Puppo to Ecuadorian side LDU Quito for the entire 2013 season.
*The preseason slate has begun across MLS with Sporting Kansas City playing to a scoreless draw against the New England Revolution on Friday. Meanwhile today, Chivas USA defeated UC Irvine 4-1, Columbus Crew bested D.C. United 1-0, and the Houston Dynamo defeated Houston Baptist University, 3-0. Remember, LA play in their first preseason game next Friday against the U.S. Under-17 national team.
Lastly, check out this photo courtesy of "8 bit football" who provided an 8bit image of Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, and Juninho.
— 8bit-Football.com (@8bitfootball) January 25, 2013
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy suffered their first injury of 2013 as midfielder Kenney Walker is expected to miss the remainder of the preseason.
Club officials confirmed that the second year midfielder from Louisville underwent surgery on Wednesday to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot. He suffered the injury prior to Monday's first training session.
Walker made four appearances in all competitions in 2012, with three coming in the CONCACAF Champions League. He was also a regular with the club's Reserve League side as he made 10 appearances for the Western Division champions, tallying two assists.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy released the complete television schedule on Friday afternoon with Time Warner Cable SportsNet airing 21 games while Time Warner Cable Deportes will air 17.
The first game for TWCS will be the SuperClásico against Chivas USA on March 17 while Deportes will air their first match the following week as LA takes on the Colorado Rapids on March 23.
The LA Galaxy schedule is below…
Sunday March 3 vs. Chicago Fire 2 p.m. Univision
Sunday March 17 vs. Chivas USA 2 p.m. TWCS/UniMás
Saturday March 23 vs. Colorado Rapids 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Saturday March 30 at Toronto FC TBD TWCS/TWCD
Saturday April 6 vs. Montreal Impact 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Saturday April 13 at FC Dallas 12:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network
Saturday April 20 vs. Sporting Kansas City 7:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network
Saturday April 27 at Real Salt Lake 6 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Sunday May 5 vs. Houston Dynamo 8 p.m. ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
Saturday May 11 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC TBD TWCS/TWCD
Wednesday May 15 at Philadelphia Union 4:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Sunday May 19 at New York Red Bulls 10 a.m. ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
Sunday May 26 vs. Seattle Sounders FC 8 p.m. ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
Sunday June 2 at New England Revolution 1 p.m. NBC Sports Network
Saturday June 8 at Real Salt Lake 6:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Wednesday June 19 vs. Portland Timbers 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Sunday June 23 at Chivas USA 8 p.m. TWCS/UniMás
Saturday June 29 at San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Thursday July 4 vs. Columbus Crew 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Sunday July 7 vs. FC Dallas 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Saturday July 13 at Portland Timbers 8 p.m. NBC Sports Network
Saturday July 20 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Saturday July 27 at Colorado Rapids 6 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Sunday August 11 at FC Dallas 5 p.m. ESPN2/ESPN Deportes
Saturday August 17 vs. Real Salt Lake 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Saturday August 24 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC TBD TWCS/TWCD
Saturday August 31 vs. San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Saturday September 7 vs. Colorado Rapids 7:30 p.m. TWCS/TWCD
Sunday September 15 at D.C. United 2 p.m. TWCS/UniMás
Saturday September 21 vs. Seattle Sounders FC 7:30 p.m. NBC Sports Network
Sunday September 29 at Portland Timbers 12:30 p.m. NBC
Sunday October 6 vs. Chivas USA 2 p.m. TWCS/UniMás
Sunday October 20 vs. San Jose Earthquakes 6 p.m. ESPN/ESPN Deportes
Sunday October 27 at Seattle Sounders FC 6 p.m. ESPN/ESPN Deportes