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
CARSON, Calif. -- Carlo Cudicini spoke to the Southern California-based media for the first time on Thursday, but he conducted his first interview with the 39-year-old goalkeeper.
This isn't the only piece on the Italian goalkeeper for the day as I also provided a look at his new American adventure and spoke to him about how a motorcycle accident in 2009 has him eager to prove himself for the Galaxy.
Watch the video of my conversation with Cudicini below..
CARSON, Calif. – Just a week ago, LA Galaxy rookie Greg Cochrane was an aspiring professional athlete and now, the 22-year-old from Louisville finds himself in the midst of his first MLS preseason.
After being selected with the 38th overall pick in the second round of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, Cochrane fielded many calls from friends and family congratulating including one from current LA midfielder –and former Louisville teammate—Kenney Walker, who told the rookie to simply be himself as he looks to lock down a professional contract with LA.
But for Cochrane to follow Walker's advice and lock down a contract, he must first find a set position. During his two year career with the Cardinals, Cochrane split time between left back and left midfielder en route to 44 appearances with Louisville. At the draft, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his own thoughts, telling reporters that he projected Cochrane as a left sided midfielder.
Cochrane has no preference; however as he admits “whatever coach wants me to do, I’m good with it.”
“Naturally, I like playing left back, it is where I am most comfortable but this year at Louisville, my head coach Ken Lolla told me that I needed to play left mid and I did so to help the team It was good to get versatile to play on the left side,” said Cochrane. “I like to think that I’m a fit guy and I take pride in that so I like to cover a lot of ground on the outside as a defender and get into the attack.
“I feel like with my fitness, I can get into the attack a lot, I also like to whip balls in and that’s how I like to contribute to the attack. Meanwhile on the defensive side, I like one-on-one situations and keeping shutouts. I just love to play.”
CARSON, Calif. – Carlo Cudicini has undergone a great deal of challenges over the last three years, but the veteran Italian goalkeeper is excited about the opportunity for a fresh start with the LA Galaxy.
Cudicini joined the Galaxy on Dec. 31 on a free transfer from Tottenham Hotspur, ending a 15-year career in the English Premier League that included stops at Chelsea and Spurs. That the 39-year-old was able to continue his career is nothing short of incredible after the Italian suffered a motorcycle accident in November of 2009 that many feared would end his career.
Cudicini ultimately battled back from the injury eventually making 37 appearances in all competitions for Tottenham prior to leaving for MLS. Now a member of the Galaxy, Cudicini is eager to prove himself with LA.
“After the motorbike accident that I had, I was struggling to get back fit and I thank all the Tottenham physios because they really helped me out,” said Cudicini in his first interview with the L.A.. based media on Thursday. “It was a big setback in my career and it was difficult to come back, but now I have the chance to play and that’s why I am here.”
Actual games will likely be the least of the challenges that Cudicini will face in his new career in MLS as he must deal with transcontinental travel, matches in searing temperatures, and of course turf fields. However, the Italian is taking the new obstacles in stride.
“It’s a new challenge and I’m pretty sure that when we’re on the road then we’ll be able to be together and it’s a good bond for the team and it’ll be a new experience. I’m looking forward to it because it’ll be new for me and I’m going to be happy to see how it will be.”
The long rumored partnership between MLS and USL PRO became official on Wednesday and now we know when the LA Galaxy Reserves will take part.
The USL PRO released their official schedule on Thursday that has the Galaxy Reserves playing a home-and-home series against the Fullerton-based club. LA will take on the Blues at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium on April 7 and then end the series on May 7 at The Home Depot Center complex.
Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski admitted that it is a great start for player development, but at the time LA has no plans to enter in an affiliation.
“It’s good for the development of your young kids and they get to play different competition, not just the same MLS competition all the time,” said Kirovski. “It’s the start to something, I know that other teams are forming partnerships and in the future, if it makes sense for us, we’d do the same, but it’s a great start.
“We’ve played the Blues in the past so we have some partnership with them,” Kirovski added later. “We’ve played them in preseason so it’ll be great competition for us. It’s just something different.”
One of the leaders of LA’s 2012 Western Division Reserve League champion side, Michael Stephens admits that the partnership will be a great asset to those players looking for minutes.
“As you saw last year with Open Cup when we played against the Carolina Railhawks, who are a lower division team, they were a better team than most of the reserve teams that we played. That will be a benefit to the guys who are playing. Also, the guys in [USL PRO] will have a lot to show to impress the MLS coaches so it’ll be a good thing for all the young players.”
The Home Depot Center will likely go by a new name by the end of the year.
A spokesman for the home improvement company told the Associated Press that they will not be renewing their $70 million, 10-year naming rights deal once it expires in May.
When reached for comment, a Home Depot Center spokesperson confirmed that they are in the final negotiations with a new naming rights partner for the facility.
CARSON, Calif. – A few training notes from Thursday’s LA Galaxy training session…
*Due to the rain, the LA Galaxy trained on The Home Depot Center stadium field which is still covered with FieldTurf and football lines from this weekend’s NFLPA Collegiate Bowl.
*After days of running and fitness, soccer balls made a brief appearance, but this was short lived after the completion of a brief passing drill.
*Todd Dunivant was at training for the first time on Thursday after returning from his honeymoon.
*Bruce Arena stated that there was no update on when Landon Donovan will return to Galaxy practice while the Galaxy boss stated that forward Robbie Keane is expected to return next week from his training stint with Tottenham Hotspur.
*Arena stated that “nothing has been finalized” with Re-Entry Draft pick goalkeeper William Hesmer at this moment.
*Supplemental Draft pick midfielder Andy Riemer from Georgetown was out at training on Thursday. Arena revealed that he has spent time over the last two years training with the Galaxy over the last summer. LA’s head coach described him as a “versatile” player who can play a “bunch of positions.”
*When asked about the club’s Designated Player chase, Arena offered no comment telling the media that nothing had been finalized at this point.