CARSON,Calif. – Tensions will be high when the SuperClasico kicks off on Sunday, but what has the mood been like this week around The Home Depot Center?
But what do the Galaxy expect from a Chivas USA side that underwent a significant reformatting during the offseason? That remains to be seen.
“Our meetings have been sort of 'We don't know what formation they're playing' and 'They've been kind of hard to read,' ” defender Omar Gonzalez said. “They won their last game, but having said that, I don't think Dallas had their best game. It's a whole bunch of new players, a new coach, and so we're really just going in there not blind, but, you know, unsure.”
Although Chivas are something of a mystery, one thing is for sure, the Galaxy will be in for a battle.
“We’re not sure to what to expect. There’s a lot of guys that we’re not sure of and the coach is obviously an animated guy who is definitely going to get his team up for this game,” said Mike Magee. “We’re definitely well-aware that this is a pretty big game for them and we can’t take it lightly.”
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari caught up with LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, captain Robbie Keane and center back Omar Gonzalez to preview Sunday's SuperClasico after Friday's training session.
Check out the video below..
CARSON, Calif. – Ever steadily, LA Galaxy center back Tommy Meyer is approaching his return to the field.
A nagging left hamstring injury caused Meyer to miss the final three matches of the preseason as well as Galaxy’s home opener against the Chicago Fire and the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against C.S. Herediano, but Meyer began his return to the field this week. First, the 22-year-old returned to full training on Monday and then two days later, he was on the substitutes’ bench for the Galaxy’s 4-1 second leg victory over Herediano.
After spending several weeks on the sidelines, the chance to return to the bench on Wednesday, left Meyer pleased, but eager to get back on the field.
“You kind of feel like you’ve got to step back when you’re injured. It’s a little different to sit in the stands watching, but it’s definitely nice to be out on the bench and if I was needed then I was able to play,” said Meyer. “Everything is going well. I’m getting back into the training and starting to get fitness back so the past week has been good.”
With the Galaxy currently preparing for their fourth game in 15 days, Meyer is an option to see the field in Sunday’s SuperClasico against Chivas USA after center backs Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, and A.J. DeLaGarza have logged heavy minutes in recent matches.
If called upon, Meyer admits that his hamstring is currently at 100 percent, but the center back knows that he'll have to earn his way back on the starting lineup.
“You just have to be ready. I’m not sure that [Bruce Arena is] ready to put me in yet, but I’m sure that I’ll be in the 18 [on Sunday], hopefully, as soon as I get minutes in practice then I might get closer,” said Meyer. “You never know. I’d like to [play] if I need to be used at some point, it’ll be great, but if not, then I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities.”
CARSON, Calif. – Much of the talk this offseason surrounding the LA Galaxy’s archrival Chivas USA this season has been about colorful manager Jose Luis Sanchez Sola also known as “El Chelis”
Whether it is his colorful press conferences or his dislike for the Galaxy as a club, Sola has quickly become a magnet for attention across the league. Sola arrived during the offseason with a proven track record in Mexico having managed Puebla, Tecos UAG, and Correcaminos UAT.
During the offseason, Sola hit the reset button on his squad by bringing in assortment of new players including several from sister club C.D. Guadalajara as well as a new coaching staff. Sola got his first win as an MLS manager last week with a 3-1 victory over FC Dallas.
Following training on Friday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on the new boss at Chivas.
“His track record speaks for itself. He’s proven to be successful,” said Arena. “He’s given this team inspiration and organization and leadership. I think that they responded well.”
In the latest edition of View from the Booth, Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones break down Sunday's SuperClásico against Chivas USA.
The news that Phillip Anschutz's was maintaining ownership of AEG and President and CEO Tim Leiweke was departing the company was headline news across Southern California and did not go unnoticed in the LA Galaxy locker room.
But to better understand how the moves affect the LA Galaxy as a whole, I spoke with club President Chris Klein on how the moves will impact on the club's day-to-day operations, to learn more about new AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman, and understand how Leiweke’s departure will change the Galaxy’s pursuit of Designated Players.
Read my Q & A with Klein below…
(On how the AEG changes over the past day…)
KLEIN: “In terms of the Galaxy and the way that we operate, this doesn’t change anything for us. I think two things came out [of Thursday]; one is that we’re no longer for sale, which is a good thing for the Galaxy. And the second thing obviously, is that Tim is no longer with the company. Although he will be greatly missed, we will move on and continue to operate business as usual.”
(On what should people know about new AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman…)
KLEIN: “The first thing is that Dan has been great and while Tim was always the one that was out there, Dan has been intricately involved in everything that the Galaxy has done certainly since I’ve been here. I don’t think he’s going to be one to profess to be a soccer expert, but in speaking to him [on Thursday], the one message that he did have is that Phil continues to be committed to the Galaxy and the game of soccer in this country as he’s always been and the same goes for Dan as well."
(On whether the team loses something not having Leiweke around…)
KLEIN: “If you look at anyone who goes through a club, one thing that we know is that the Galaxy is going to be here long beyond myself, long beyond Mr. Anschutz, long beyond Bruce Arena, long beyond Tim Leiweke, and so this is something that we’re building that we hope is around for our kids and their kids. Do you miss a personality like Tim? Absolutely, of course you do, but like anything that we have whether you lose a player or a coach, there are other people that have to fill the void that is left.”
(On the other side, how important it is to have Phillip Anschutz around...)
KLEIN: “I’ve been around this league since 1998 and as long as I could remember, there were years when Phil owned six teams in our league and his commitment to the game of soccer in this country is unparalleled. You have other people who were there on the ground floor like he was, but to have him still involved in the game of soccer, especially with the Galaxy, should bring a smile to everyone’s face.”
(On how Leiweke’s departure could impact any potential Designated Player moves as he was instrumental in recruiting players like David Beckham and Robbie Keane…)
KLEIN: “Well, like I said, in speaking with Dan and everyone else, it is business as usual. We will continue to be the flag bearer in MLS. That includes our aggressive push for DP’s. Tim will no longer be there to do that, but we have other people in the organization who can fill that void and will continue to be aggressive in that market.”
(On whether not Klein feels confident the Galaxy can continue to attract top-level talent because of the brand that the team has…)
KLEIN: “I believe we can, yes.”
What are your thoughts on Klein’s comments?
Share your thoughts below.
CONCACAF announced the complete schedule of CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals on Friday afternoon.
The LA Galaxy will open their series with two-time defending CCL champion Monterrey at The Home Depot Center on April 3 at 7 p.m. PDT before the team travels to Monterrey for the second leg at Estadio Tecnológico on April 10, which kicks off at 9 p.m. CDT local time and 7 p.m. PDT.
On the other side of the bracket, Seattle Sounders FC will host Santos Laguna in the first leg on April 2 at CenturyLink Field in Seattle, WA at 7 p.m. PDT before traveling to Mexico to Torreon for the the second leg on April 9 at Estadio Corona at 7 p.m. CDT local time and 5 p.m. PDT.
CARSON, Calif. –The SuperClásico may be just days away, but the news regarding the changes at AEG and particularly, the departure of AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke by mutual agreement was big news at the LA Galaxy practice field on Friday.
Reporters spoke to Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, LA captain Robbie Keane, attacker Mike Magee as well as defenders Omar Gonzalez and Tommy Meyer on Thursday’s news regarding AEG.
(On the news regarding the departure of Tim Leiweke…)
ARENA: “I love Tim Leiweke. I think that he’s one of the best things to happen to me in my career so I’m going to miss Tim. I can speak for everyone in our organization and we care a lot about Tim. He’s been a phenomenal person to work with, a great leader, and a real inspiration.”
KEANE: “I think everybody is surprised. He’s been great for this club and this league with everything that he’s done for AEG. For me personally, he’s the one that brought me to this club and I've got a lot to thank him for. Everybody was shocked as you can imagine, probably the same as you guys. We’re going to certainly miss him, he’s a great character, a great guy, and we’re certainly going to miss him coming into the locker room after games and before games. His enthusiasm for the Galaxy and the Kings was exceptional. For me, to have an owner and someone who runs the organization, he was probably one of the best that I’ve come across to be honest with you with the way that he was passionate about [the team], the way that he looks after his players, and the way that he deals with people. For me to come over from the U.K. to bring my whole family over here, he made it so easy for me and my family and I’m forever grateful for that. He will always be a good friend to me.”
MAGEE: “I’m very surprised. He’s obviously a guy who is so massive to what this league has become and a guy who went to bat for us when no one else really would. It’s definitely sad, we don’t know all the details and we read the same stuff that you guys do, but...you just remember the times when the league was kind of going south and he was the guy that stood up for the league and obviously put a boat ton of money in our team and this league when no one else would. It’s sad and hopefully he finds his way back some way.”
GONZALEZ: “Devastating, the night before, he was in the locker room congratulating us on going through and he seemed really excited about it and the next day, he’s gone. It happened that quickly, I think that everyone was just shocked and it is sad to see him go, but I’m sure that he’ll be fine wherever he lands. He was great to me; he was great to the Galaxy and the overall league. He will definitely be missed.”
MEYER: “I was surprised. He obviously meant a lot to the guys. He was close to us and had a lot passion for our team and everything L.A. He was a great and especially just being here a year, he took care of us.”
(On how his departure will impact the club…)
ARENA: “Well, we won’t have Tim, who was certainly a focal point of the Galaxy. We’re going to miss that, but we’re going to have the continued support of AEG. Nothing changes as far as we’re concerned. We’re never going to replace Tim Leiweke with Tim Leiweke, but having said that, I think I said this year, we’re not going to replace David Beckham. We’re going to have to move on, it’s unfortunate, but that’s what we’re charged to do…He’s the best. He’s the best person that I’ve ever worked for and I think the world of Tim. I can’t tell you how much of a loss it is for me personally, but that’s the business that we work in.”
MAGEE: “Hopefully it doesn’t. But like I said, he was doing so many amazing things. He set the bar pretty high. I couldn’t imagine AEG changing anything that it’s been doing with us, but it makes you think twice if it’ll be the same or not.”
GONZALEZ: “From what I understand, nothing is changing. We’re still going to be determined to be the gold standard moving forward and continue bringing in big names and to keep on winning championships. He started that movement with bringing in names, but now it’s up to us to keep it going and keep that standard high. We just have to do that day in and day out.”
(On whether his departure will change AEG’s role in running the Galaxy...)
ARENA: “We don’t believe so. We’ll have the same resources; it won’t be the same way as how we approached things. It can’t be. No one is going to replicate Tim in terms of the way that he does business. But it doesn’t mean that we can’t do as well, if not better. That’s our charge and we’re going to have to try to move forward and do the best we can.”
(On new AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman…)
ARENA: “Dan has been a great guy and we’ve worked with him throughout. He’s extremely bright, very supportive, a different kind of personality than Tim for sure, but obviously a competent business man and a person that works with the utmost integrity so we’re very pleased to be continue to be able to work with Dan.”
GONZALEZ: “He’s been around for a long time. He’s just always there. He’s a really nice guy, a bit more reserved I think, but I think he will do a great job…I see him all the time and I’m sure that he knows what is going on.”
CARSON, Calif. – Jack McBean is hoping to McBean showed why he should be in contention for minutes with a stellar right-footed goal in stoppage time of LA’s 4-1 victory over Herediano.
In the third minute of stoppage, Robbie Keane was fouled setting up a free kick for Michael Stephens who caught Herediano off guard with his quick pass to McBean. The 18-year-old made his chance count as he fired his shot into from the left side of the box into the bottom right corner to seal LA’s win.
The goal was McBean’s first of the year, but his fourth of the competition pulling him in a three-way tie for second place among goal scorers. As he looks to earn valuable minutes in league play, McBean knew that he had to take advantage of his opportunity on Wednesday night.
“It’s very important,” said McBean. “We have a couple of injuries right now so I’m getting the opportunity to play a little bit and every time that I go in, I want to do something for the team and [Thursday] was a good night.”
McBean was the second Galaxy Homegrown product to score a goal as Jose Villarreal’s stunner in the 69th minute put LA up for good. Following the match, Villarreal admitted that he felt a sense of priding seeing two of LA’s Homegrown forwards bag goals in a pivotal match.
“It was good to see the homegrown products come out and score some goals for the team,” said Villarreal. “I’m happy for him.”
Could McBean’s performance against the Costa Ricans mean extended minutes against Chivas USA in the SuperClásico—and possibly even a start?
“Hopefully,” said McBean. “Anyway that I can help the team is good for me.”
CARSON, Calif. – Another must-win match against C.S. Herediano for Marcelo Sarvas and another win for a Sarvas-led team.
A year-and-three-months after leading L.D. Alajuelense past Herediano to win the Costa Rican Invierno title, Sarvas bested Herediano again as he helped the LA Galaxy to a 4-1 aggregate victory over The Florenses in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals.
Partnered alongside Juninho, Sarvas and the Galaxy midfield controlled the midfield against a cagey Herediano side that was eager to find an away goal after going down in the 18th minute. Although the score line was an unflattering for the Costa Ricans, Sarvas lauded LA’s opponents, but don’t expect him to get any free drinks from Herediano fans during any future to Costa Rica.
“I think Herediano had a good game today. They had a good team; they made it hard for us. They make our result seem much more important because they played hard. They have a good team. I’m happy to beat Herediano and I’m happy to win with the Galaxy that is the most important.”
Now as the club looks towards a date with two-time defending CCL champion Monterrey in the semifinals, Sarvas is aiming to do what he can to lead LA to the final.
"We’re in the semifinals against a Mexican team and setting a new history," said Sarvas. "Everyone wants to play and we expect good things.”