International Update: Omar Gonzalez goes the distance in U.S. win while Robbie Keane starts for Ireland
Omar Gonzalez started and went 90 minutes as the United States defeated Panama 2-0 to take first place at the top of their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group.
Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson scored the goals as the U.S. is now sits two points ahead of second place Costa Rica and third place Mexico in the Hexagonal. Against Panama, Gonzalez was rarely tested except for a brief lapse that led to a Luis Tejada chance in the game's dying moments. Following the match, Gonzalez spoke to reporters following the match about his maturity in the back. The U.S. finish up this series of international matches on Tuesday against Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Meanwhile, Robbie Keane started and went 56 minutes as Ireland fell 2-0 to Spain at Yankee Stadium in New York. The match is the final fixture for the Irish during this international period. Ireland will participate in a friendly against Wales on August 14, which does fall on a FIFA date before resuming World Cup qualifying against Sweden on Sept. 6. Both matches will take place in Dublin.
Thoughts on Gonzalez's performance? Do you expect Keane to continue to be a feature with Ireland?
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It appears that there will be no overturn of the yellow card accumulation suspension for Marcelo Sarvas for the LA Galaxy's next match against the Portland Timbers on June 19, leaving a hole in the Galaxy midfield.
So who will get the start alongside Juninho? LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has a number of options including Rafael Garcia, Michael Stephens, Kenney Walker, and even Hector Jimenez.
Garcia, a second-year midfielder from Cal-State Northridge, appears to be the frontrunner to replace Sarvas. The 24-year-old has made five appearances this season including an 80 minute shift against the New York Red Bulls on May 19.
The other top choice is Stephens, who has been primarily used as a left-sided midfielder this season and has made nine appearances with four starts during the 2013 regular season. However, Stephens has seen considerable time in central midfield during his four year career. Meanwhile, Walker and Jimenez have each seen time in central midfield during MLS Reserve League and preseason matches, but have yet to play in the center during league play.
Arena will have plenty of time to prep his midfielders during Saturday's Reserve League match against the Los Angeles Blues where all four players are likely to see considerable minutes.
Who do you want to see play in central midfield for LA against Portland?
MLS Disciplinary Committee fines Real Salt Lake's Ned Grabavoy for simulation on Marcelo Sarvas yellow card
The MLS Disciplinary Committee fined Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy an undisclosed amount on Monday for an act of simulation that led to a yellow card for Marcelo Sarvas in the 90th minute of RSL's 3-1 victory over the LA Galaxy on Saturday.
Referee Drew Fischer awarded a yellow card to Sarvas for a foul on Grabavoy, but the Disciplinary Committee unamiously ruled that the RSL midfielder committed an obvious act of simulation resulting in the fine.
Sarvas remains suspended for LA's June 19 match against the Portland Timbers due to yellow card accumulation. According to the Disciplinary Committee Principles and Parameters, cards issued in MLS matches can not be appealed except in a case of mistaken identity. Appeals have been made to an independent review board this season for red card offenses, but it does not apply to yellow card cautions.
Several weeks ago, NBC Sports debuted their latest episode of MLS 36 centering on LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez and now you can watch the program in its entireity below.
Check it out.
The LA Galaxy have been linked to Mexican international Giovani Dos Santos for the past week and we may have confirmation that LA has made a move for the dynamic attacking midfielder. Kind of.
Lorenzo Serra Ferrer, the president of Dos Santos’ current club RCD Mallorca, told Valencia-based newspaper Superdeporte on Monday that his side has received just one offer for the Mexican international—from a club in MLS.
“We have just one offer for Gio and it is from the American league,” Serra Ferrer said. “There is nothing more. We must speak with him and see what his future will be.”
Dos Santos is currently away on international duty with the Mexican National Team as they continue qualifying campaign for the 2014 World Cup.
In addition to the Galaxy, Dos Santos has been linked to La Liga sides Valencia—which Superdeporte claims is the 24-year-old's top choice—Real Betis, and Sevilla. A Dos Santos transfer will likely be tricky and may favor the Galaxy as Dos Santos’ former club Tottenham Hotspur reportedly still own 50% of the player’s rights after selling the other half to Mallorca last summer.
SANDY, Utah -- Landon Donovan stepped up in a big way to give the LA Galaxy a 1-1 draw heading into the second half against Real Salt Lake, but once the half begun, Real Salt Lake notched two unanswered goals from Olmes Garcia to seal a 3-1 victory over the Galaxy.
Although Donovan rose to the challenge at that moment, the Galaxy have seen too few step up in critical moments during their recent skid.
The loss is LA's second consecutive defeat in league play, but their third in a row if you factor in their U.S. Open Cup defeat to the Carolina RailHawks. Stretch it out even further and LA has just one win -- their April 29 victory over Seattle Sounders FC -- in their last five matches across all competitions. During that time, LA has played three of those games without the services of either captain Robbie Keane or defensive stalwart Omar Gonzalez, and according to Donovan, the Galaxy must perform better when missing key players.
“In this league you don’t have a roster of 20 or 25 guys that are sort of all the same. In other leagues in the world you have more of that. In this league when you miss 3 or 4 guys that are instrumental, it makes a difference," Donovan told reporters after the match. "We can still be better as a group with the guys we have. We have done enough for the most part to get some points in these games, but we’re falling short when it matters.”
That is not the only issue however, as LA has developed a tendency to concede late goals over their past two league games. LA has conceded five times in the last 10 minutes in their two matches, but Donovan believes that those numbers do not tell the whole story.
“On the surface it’s five goals in two games, but maybe not all. When you’re pushing to get goals sometimes you open yourself up. Those goals are I’m less concerned about. It’s the goal in the 83rd minute [on Saturday], the 2-1 goal that is more of a concern," said Donovan. "Those are the plays we have to be better at when you’re pushing to tie a game. Sometimes you open yourselves up, and when you play a good team, they make you pay.”
Landon Donovan's goal in the dying moments of the first half of the LA Galaxy's 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake is up for Goal of the Week honors.
You can vote for Donovan's goal here and see the rest of the nominees below.
The MLS All-Star fan ballot was unveiled on Monday morning and while there were six members of the LA Galaxy were included on the list, the surprise was who wasn't included: LA midfielder Marcelo Sarvas.
Sarvas got the snub despite being considered by many in the local media-- including myself -- to be the club's MVP through the first third of the season. The Brazilian midfielder has notched a goal and a team-leading four assists, but he’s been particularly efficient with his distribution as he has completed at least 80 percent of his passes in all but four of his 18 appearances across all competitions this season.
But where Sarvas has been particularly effective is on the defensive side of the ball. As he covers considerable ground throughout the midfield he has amassed a total of 114 recoveries, which puts him behind only Philadelphia's Brian Carroll, Montreal's Patrice Bernier and Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman among midfielders, the latter two being included on the All-Star ballot. Sarvas' defensive abilities have gotten him into some trouble, however, as he currently leads the league with in fouls with 42 and has a total of five yellow cards - although one may be rescinded.
Although Sarvas was not selected to the fan ballot, Sarvas' All-Star dream is over, however, as he can still be selected by All-Star head coach Peter Vermes when he fills out the squad and MLS Commissioner Don Garber, who can make two Commissioner’s selections.
Agree with my assessment of Sarvas as a snub? Think that Vermes or Garber should select him?
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MLS launched launched fan voting and unveiled the ballots that will select the First XI for the 2013 MLS All-Star Game.
The LA Galaxy have six players on the ballot as goalkeeper Carlo Cuidicini, defenders Todd Dunivant and Omar Gonzalez, midfielder Juninho, and forwards Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan were selected. According to MLS, the 115 players on the All-Star ballot were nominated by a panel of more than 30 media members from across North America who cover MLS closely. Each of the 19 MLS clubs has at least six representatives on the ballot, as selected by the media panel.
Fans can vote online on MLSsoccer.com or by sending a player’s last name via text message to 22442. Twitter voting will occur June 20-21.
What are your thoughts on the All-Star Ballot?
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The LA Galaxy returned to Southern California on Sunday morning following their 3-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
Above is a shot that I snapped yesterday of the view of Salt Lake City from the Utah State Capitol building. From the view, you can see a monument to the famed Mormon Batalion, downtown Salt Lake City, the Salt Lake Temple, which is the largest temple in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the Salt Lake City Union Pacific Depot.
The Galaxy have logged plenty of miles over the past month, but the club will have some time away from the airport as they will spend the next two weeks in Southern California. In fact, aside from their June 29 match against the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium, LA will play four of their next five games at StubHub Center.
While the Galaxy returned home to Southern California earlier this morning, Homegrown forward Jose Villarreal headed east as he departed the squad to join up with the U.S. Under-20 squad ahead of the U-20 World Cup in Turkey later this month.