LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez is enjoying a banner season, and his performance on the field has led to him being the leading vote-getter among defenders for the 2015 MLS All-Star Game.
Gonzalez leads the way in defender voting with 6,040 votes which is 479 votes ahead of Sporting Kansas City center back Matt Besler. The Galaxy defender is seeking his fourth All-Star selection.
Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is currently fourth in the voting among goalkeepers behind Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), and Stefan Frei (Seattle Sounders FC).
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will be without forward Jose Villarreal for Saturday's match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed after training on Wednesday that the 21-year-old forward will miss Saturday's match due to a left shoulder sprain. Villarreal suffered the injury during the opening minutes of LA's 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution on Sunday.
"Jose is likely out this weekend," said Bruce Arena. "I'd say Jose is not a possiblity."
In terms of the length of the injury, Arena told reporters that his absence will be "short term."
FOXBROUGH, Mass. – Bruce Arena issued a challenge to young defender Oscar Sorto after the LA Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution: it’s time to show what you’re worth.
Sorto’s defensive miscue in the fifth minute resulted in the Revolution’s opener as the 20-year-old was caught ball-watching allowing Revolution forward Teal Bunbury to escape unmarked and tap a cross past Jaime Penedo. The defender soon recovered and closed the match strong but the Galaxy head coach admitted afterward that Sorto must be more consistent.
“A very poor opening 15 minutes for Oscar, and then, I thought that he played well in the second half,” Arena said postgame. “If he wants to become a real player in this league on our team, he’s got to start games better and have more confidence. That’s obviously partly due to not having enough experience but he’s going to get his chances this year, and he’s got to grow each and every game.”
After the match, Sorto took responsibility for his error.
“I agree with him. It’s the first team and every game; I have to come out mentally prepared, and ready to go. I think in this game it took me awhile to get going. I feel like I finished it well though,” said Sorto. “This is a different level, I’ve played in USL where you can get away with things but now I’m competing against top talent, I have to get used to it.”
Even though Sorto endured an up-and-down performance against New England, the Galaxy’s injuries along the back line may lead to the 20-year-old suiting up once more on Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. If Sorto does get the opportunity, the defender pledges to rebound.
“Right now, the coach is giving me confidence by believing in me,” said Sorto. “I just need to take advantage of every chance.”
Raul Mendiola named to USL Team of the Week after stoppage time winner against Colorado Springs Switchbacks
LA Galaxy II midfielder Raul Mendiola was named to USL Team of the Week for Week 11 after scoring a late game-winner to give Los Dos a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Springs Switchbacks.
Mendiola's heroics came in the deep in second half stoppage time when he collected a Jack McBean pass before slotting a shot past the Switchbacks goalkeeper for the game winner. The 21-year-old's goal gave Galaxy II their fifth victory in six matches.
The Galaxy Homegrown Product currently leads USL in assists with seven in 2015. With the Galaxy's forward corps riddled with injuries, Mendiola may feature for the first team this week against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The complete team is below.
LA Galaxy drawn into CONCACAF Champions League Group D alongside C.S.D. Comunicaciones and Central FC
The LA Galaxy's path to the knockout stages of the 2015-16 CONCACAF Champions League will run through a pair of unfamiliar locations in Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago.
The defending MLS Cup champions were drawn into Group D alongside Guatemalan champions C.S.D. Comunicaciones and 2015 Caribbean Football Union title winners Central FC. LA's draw is considered favorable as the club avoided trips to potentially problematic Costa Rica and El Salvador. The schedule for the tournament which runs from August to October will be announced in the coming weeks.
Comunicaciones bring a strong pedigree to the tournament, having won the won Guatemala's domestic league a record 30 times. Meanwhile, Central FC are a relatively new club having been founded in 2012 by Trinidad and Tobago World Cup veteran Brent Sancho.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez has enjoyed a stellar 2015 campaign, and on Monday, the defender was named to MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week.
Gonzalez’s aerial play and timely tackles were instrumental in helping the Galaxy take four points from two matches this week. On Sunday during the club’s 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution, Gonzalez once again enjoyed another strong performance as he helped the Galaxy keep a point after a late flourish by the defending Eastern Conference Champions.
Rookie Ignacio Maganto was named to the Team of the Week’s substitutes bench after scoring a goal and an assist in LA’s draw with the Revolution.
FOXBROUGH, Mass. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed reporters after the club’s 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution.
(On the point…)
“It was a good point on the road. This game tonight was hectic, crazy, out of control, and I give our guys credit for coming back after going down a goal in the opening minutes, and getting a point against a good team. It was the end of a good week with two wins and a draw.
(On the month of May…)
ARENA: “It’s been a difficult month for sure, and I don’t think that it’s going to get any easier. It’s been a good experience for us.”
(On Maganto's play...)
ARENA: “Good young player, he took his goal well and he was pretty consistent for 90 minutes so it was good to see that.”
ARENA: “There were difficult conditions for players to play on tonight. We’ve had a lot of injuries on turf this year. I think that if your body is not conditioned it’s difficult.”
(On Gargan’s injury….)
ARENA: “It was his groin.”
(On Oscar Sorto’s play…)
ARENA: “A very poor opening 15 minutes for Oscar, and then, I thought that he played well in the second half. If he wants to become a real player in this league on our team, he’s got to start games better and have more confidence. That’s obviously partly due to not having enough experience but he’s going to get his chances this year, and he’s got to grow each and every game.”
(On Gyasi Zardes’ goal…)
ARENA: “Gyasi needed the goal. Technically, he needed to be a little bit better, but he was a handful for defenders tonight.”
(On the defensive showing late….)
ARENA: “It’s 2-2, we’ve been in that situation a couple of times this year and fell short so we got the point, so that’s good.”
(On Alan Gordon’s injury…)
ARENA: “He strained his calf.”
BOSTON – The LA Galaxy will look to extend their winning streak to three games when they face the New England Revolution in a rematch of the 2014 MLS Cup final.
The Galaxy will be seeking their first road win in 13 tries dating back to last August.
Below are a series of links, matchups to watch and my prediction for Sunday’s match.
*The Galaxy will be without injured outside backs Robbie Rogers, A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant for yet another week.
*In “By the Numbers,” we look at wild score lines between LA and New England in their last regular season meetings.
*In the latest edition of “Insider on Location,” we speak with goalkeeper coach Matt Reis on his return to Boston.
*Lastly, I check in from Galaxy practice at Harvard to provide the Match Preview Presnted by O4 Water.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
OMAR GONZALEZ vs. CHARLIE DAVIES
Brawn vs. Speed will be the matchup when these two U.S. internationals face off. Davies is currently the Revolution’s leading goal scorer and will look to hassle Gonzalez from the get-go.
JUNINHO vs. SCOTT CALDWELL
Jermaine Jones earns the headlines for the Revolution but Caldwell’s abilities to not only break up play but also spark counterattacks will force Juninho to keep a keen eye on the Revs midfielder.
GYASI ZARDES vs. JOSE GONCALVES
Gyasi Zardes is in need of a goal to spark a Galaxy attack that has been too reliant on Alan Gordon as of late, but he’ll face a tough test from the former MLS defender of the Year.
New England Revolution 1 (Davies) LA Galaxy 0
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. -- In the latest edition of Insider on Location, I speak to the LA Galaxy ahead of their MLS Cup rematch with the New England Revolution.
Check out the video above.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane made his longest LA Galaxy shift since April during the club’s 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake earlier this week, but whether he’ll suit up for the Galaxy’s clash with the New England Revolution on Sunday still remains to be seen.
Keane went 45 minutes in the Galaxy’s win over RSL on Wednesday, which was the Irishman’s second consecutive appearance after missing seven games with a groin strain. Whether Keane makes a third straight appearance—and possibly even a start—against the Revolution still remains to be seen.
“It’s always going to take a bit of time to certainly get to 100 percent, but these minutes [against RSL] certainly do help. ... I’ll just get stronger and stronger. I literally just started training on last Tuesday,” Keane said on Wednesday. “Just eight days so I’ve got in nearly 90 minutes in a week, after being out for seven weeks so I’m going to get stronger. I just continue to progress and keep working hard off the field, and on the training field, and getting the minutes in.”
While Keane admits that he’s starting to get healthy, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena told reporters on Thursday before the team departed for New England that no decisions had been made on Keane’s status.
“We’ll see. We’ll figure it out. We haven’t made any figured out any of this stuff,” said Arena. “Turf is a consideration all the time when players are injured or coming back from an injury.”