CARSON, Calif. – Chivas USA has struggled to find the back of the net this season with just 29 goals to date, but with Erick “El Cubo” Torres leading the attack, they possess a weapon as dangerous as any in MLS.
The 20-year-old Torres has scored seven goals in 12 appearances—all coming in his first nine games—since joining the team in July on loan from Chivas de Guadalajara. Although the young forward has been held off the scoreboard in the Rojiblancos’ last three games, Landon Donovan insists that he’s a major point of concern for the LA Galaxy heading into Sunday's SuperClasico.
“He’s a really good player. I've been really impressed with him,” said Donovan. “He’s as effective of a player as there is in the league when he’s playing this way. We have to be very aware and often times this year, he’s pulled off plays that have gotten them points or kept them in games, so for me, he’s the focal point of their attack. No question.”
With the young Mexican forward drawing great acclaim for his ability to find space behind opposing defenses, the Galaxy understand that they must be aware of him at all times.
“He’s always moving along the backline and always towing the line of being offside. He’s crafty and he has a nose for the goal similar to a [Chris] Wondolowski,” said defender Todd Dunivant. “He’s got aggressiveness about him and no fear. Those are good qualities for a striker and he’s got a lot of goals.”
In the latest edition of "The Scouting Report" MLSsoccer.com's Dan Haiek and Matthew Doyle take a look at Sunday's SuperClasico.
Take a look below...
CARSON, Calif. – Call Sunday’s SuperClasico against Chivas USA a “must win” for the LA Galaxy or whatever you like, but LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is preaching patience and focus for his club as they look to solidify a spot in the postseason.
Arena will be suspended for Sunday’s match after leaving the technical area during last week’s 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers, but when asked if his team –which sits just a point from of being out of the postseason—is facing a must win, the Galaxy boss countered that sentiment.
“This is what we do for a living. People that can’t take pressure, can’t take criticism and all of that stuff that is tough and can damage your ego and confidence a little, that’s part of the game,” said Arena. “I’ve watched our congressional leaders tear themselves a part and they’ll have to deal with that and get everything headed in the right direction. Our job is easy; we’re just playing a game. This can’t be the hardest thing in life that we’re experiencing right now.
“As for any of that fine line stuff, this is it. We’ve been a team that has generally responded well to big games, so we have to show that down the stretch.”
Whether the match is a must win remains to be seen, but the Galaxy head coach is quick to note that with four games remaining in the 2013 MLS Regular Season schedule, every game counts.
“We’re now entering October and there’s not a team qualified for the playoffs yet. Every game is pretty important,” said Arena. “Everything is up for grabs at this point. The team with the most points in the league has 52? We’ve got 45 and you’re already writing our obituaries."
The partnership between MLS and adidas has had major benefits for the players, but thanks to the folks at adidas and Kamp Grizzly from Portland, I was able to take advantage of the new LA Galaxy originals line.
The good folks sent me the items earlier this week and rather than post pictures of myself "modeling," I'll let Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez model the gear far better than I ever could. However, you can check out my gear below. I will say that all of the gear is high quality and fashionable -- as well as soft and comfy.
You'll have a chance to get your own gear on Saturday during the launch party for the originals line at the adidas store at Santa Monica's Third St. Promenade from 5-8pm and get a 30% store wide discount.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will need to make do without head coach Bruce Arena for their match against Chivas USA on Sunday.
The MLS Disciplinary Committee suspended Arena one game for leaving the technical area during second stoppage time of LA's 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers after Robbie Keane's goal was negated by Assistant Referee Eric Boria for offside. Per league policy, leaving the technical area is an automatic one game suspension, which means that Arena will not be allowed on the sideline or in the locker room during Sunday's SuperClasico.
With Arena suspended, it is likely that his second in command, associate head coach Dave Sarachan will lead the Galaxy on Sunday. Following training, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena declined to really address the suspension.
"I really have no comment. I'm going to save that for my book," said Arena. "Really, the best thing is to say no comment at this point. You should look at it yourselves and make your own decisions. ... There will be a time and place for me to discuss [the suspension] with the right people. My view is that these [suspensions] are never personal. They shouldn't be. It's just a matter of talking it out. Listen, to the letter of the law, who can argue? But we'll leave it at that. ... The story of this game is going to be Galaxy against Chivas, that's where my focus is."
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CARSON, Calif. – There’s no doubt that every game that the LA Galaxy will play this is a must win—starting with Sunday’s SuperClasico against Chivas USA.
In my look at this weekend’s match, Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas states that LA must deal with a great challenge when they face a Chivas USA side that will be seeking to “make their lives terrible” on Sunday. That strong sentiment is echoed by right back Sean Franklin, who admits that LA’s match against Chivas USA is a “must win.”
“We have to look at this as a playoff game. This is a must win. We have to win on Sunday and that’s the mentality that the team has to have," said Franklin. "We’re going to go out there and fight for 90 minutes and get the result. If we have the approach then the game will come.”
In the latest edition of View From the Booth, Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino break down the SuperClasico between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA.
Check it out below...
CARSON, Calif. – The SuperClasico is always a heated game for the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA, but the match will have extra implication as LA look to solidify a spot in the postseason.
The Rojiblancos have long since been eliminated from contention for the MLS Cup Playoffs, but the Galaxy are currently tied for fourth place with the Colorado Rapids, just one point ahead of sixth place San Jose Earthquakes. With the Rapids taking on Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday before facing San Jose next Wednesday, LA must begin to rack up points as they seek to qualify for the playoffs for the fifth straight season.
Although the SuperClasico is always a heated and physical affair, Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas admits that LA must approach each game like it’s a playoff game from here on out.
“It’s like every game from here to the end of our journey this season. We have to get points because we are dealing with a lot of risk,” Sarvas told LA Galaxy Insider. “We’re very close to heaven and yet very close to hell. We need to reach the playoffs.”
CARSON, Calif. – Sean Franklin knows that he could have done better last Sunday when Portland Timbers forward Maximiliano Urruti beat him to the end line and flicked in the only goal of Portland's 1-0 victory over the LA Galaxy. Now the Galaxy right back is determined not to let that happen again.
Urruti’s goal is emblematic of the set piece goals—the team has allowed 13 to date— that have plagued the Galaxy throughout the season. After the error in the Rose City, Franklin admits that the team must get back on track when it comes to defending set pieces.
“We’re definitely not going to get back to the playoffs or win any championships by allowing goals like that. I think that I just need to bump him or beat him to the spot,” said Franklin. “[Urruti] was able to beat me and score a goal, but that’s just not acceptable on my part. Especially with how late it is in the season when every point counts.”
The Galaxy and Franklin will look to get back to winning ways on Sunday when they take on Chivas USA in the final edition of the SuperClasico. Although allowing set piece goals has certainly been a recurring theme for LA this year, Franklin insists that the problem will be fixed in time for the postseason.
“This week is huge. I’m disappointed with the result last week, but this is a huge game this week against Chivas. It’s going to be ugly and scrappy as it always is,” said Franklin. “This game is going to be a fight and I’m looking forward to getting ready to go to war on Sunday with my teammates.”
CARSON, Calif. – Set pieces have been a recurring problem for the LA Galaxy this year with the team conceding 13 goals off set pieces to date, but if they're ever going to correct the problem, they'll need to get a little bit down and dirty.
The Galaxy conceded their sixth goal off a corner kick during LA’s 1-0 defeat to the Portland Timbers on Sunday that was a result of Maximiliano Urruti's goal off a Will Johnson corner in the 52nd minute. Following the loss, LA defender Omar Gonzalez implored his teammates to get a little bit nastier on set pieces and following training on Tuesday, associate head coach Dave Sarachan agreed with the defender.
“I think that’s a big part of it. There has to be [a sense of] physicality when you defend restarts,” said Sarachan. “There is wiggle room that referees are allowing because in reverse we feel like we get impeded like crazy and as long as we know what the parameters are within the letter of the law, we've got to be a little bit grittier as well.
“There’s a lot of colliding going on set pieces and there’s a lot of moving pieces, but underlying that is an intense concentration and making sure that you beat your guy to that ball,” said Sarachan. “If we're not good at it then we better get at it because it’s been an issue for us.”