Beat

24 May 3:22 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy wrapped up their penultimate day of preparation ahead of Sunday’s match with Seattle Sounders FC.

Below are LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s comments to the media…

(On Seattle…)

ARENA: A good team as always. Seattle is among the better teams in the league, year in and year out. This year, I think that they’ve done a little remodeling and changed a few things, obviously, to the credit of Sigi [Schmid]; he’s a very good coach. He knows how to get the best out of his team. They continually have the same kind of qualities. They’re a good team offensively, their goalkeeper has been outstanding, their new tandem of center backs has played very well as of late, and Eddie Johnson has been on fire. When you combine him with the qualities of [Brad] Evans, [Mauro] Rosales, [Mario] Martinez then they have a good team on the attacking side of the ball as well.”

(On Seattle being a rival…)

ARENA: “Are they a rival? How many rivals can we have? Every team that we play on our schedule are a rival.”

(On players thinking that facing Seattle leads to a heighten atmosphere…)

ARENA: “I hope it is [heightened] because we have to play better than we played as of late."

(On how anxious the team is to play after a disappointing loss to New York…)

ARENA: “I think that we’re looking forward to the game. I haven’t been able to judge on the anxious meter, how high it is, but we’re looking forward to the game.”

(On the club winning the battle of the health as most players are in training…)

ARENA: “You never win the battle of the health. Between now and kick off, we’ll have issues, but we’er getting there. Our goal is to get better as we move into the season. It’s still an early part of the season…We have a long way to go.”

(On New York City FC…)

ARENA: “That’s great. I think that we’ve understood for years, the likely of a second team in New York. For me, the most exciting news out of it is the Yankees involvement since I am a Yankee for life. That’s fabulous to hear.”

(On any speculation about him coaching New York City FC…)

ARENA: “I have a job. They’re great people to work for, I like working for the Galaxy and AEG.” 

24 May 2:51 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy may have Brazilian midfielder Juninho back into the fold for this Sunday’s match against Seattle Sounders FC.

Juninho returned to the training field on Friday after exiting LA’s 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls in the 10th minute after being kicked in his right shin by New York’s Juninho Pernambucano. With just one more day of preparation before the Seattle match, Juninho is encouraged about his status for Sunday.

“Today was my first day, I felt okay,” Juninho told reporters on Friday. “[The shin] is still hurting a little bit, but today I made good movements and I wasn’t feeling anything. Hopefully, I can play on Sunday.”

Joining Juninho on the training field was his Brazilian midfield companion Marcelo Sarvas, who did not train earlier this week due to back issue.

“After last week, I felt my back a little bit. We spoke and the decision was to rest [Tuesday and Wednesday] and get back to training [on Friday],” said Sarvas. “I trained normal, so it is no problem. I feel better and I feel ready to go.”

24 May 7:46 am

In the latest edition of MLSsoccer.com's "Hey DJ!" segment, LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane shares his musical taste, which varies from the Fugees' "Killing Me Softly" to U2 to Michael Jackson.

The LA Galaxy captain talks about his singing, offers his thoughts on "Gangnam Style" and sheds light on which song would be played for a montage of his game (Irish tune Willie McBride). As a fellow Karaoke singer myself, I have to say that I love Keane's choice of "Killing Me Softly" that one has been a staple in my repertoire for years. 

Check out the interview below. 

HEY DJ!: For LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane, dinner with U2's Bono is no fantasy

23 May 10:21 am

In the latest edition of the All-Access Podcast with Joe Tutino, the "Voice of the Galaxy" speaks to LA Galaxy Reserve League coach Curt Onalfo on U.S. Open Cup, Reserve League, and the Seattle Sounders.

Check it out below...

23 May 10:12 am

I'll be on Access SportsNet: Galaxy tonight with Chris McGee and former U.S. international Clint Mathis at 7 p.m.

Remember to send in your LA Galaxy, MLS, and U.S. National Team questions to myself and Mathis using the #GalaxyInsider hashtag. Also, you can leave a voice message on the new Galaxy line number: 626-7ML-SCUP

Be sure to tune in!
 
22 May 3:12 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Mike Magee missed out on the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls due to a right ankle sprain, but the LA midfielder is hopeful of participating against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday.

“I’m feeling good. I trained today. No issues, so I’m ready to go,” Magee told reporters on Wednesday. “There was a play in the Philly game and I went to jump for a ball and I planted on [Philadelphia Union defender Sheanon] Williams foot first and I just rolled my ankle and we weren’t able to control the swelling before the New York game...it was pretty good roll so I feel lucky that it wasn’t worse.”

Following training, LA head coach Bruce Arena reiterated Magee’s optimism stating that he “was doing fine.” If Magee is healthy, he’ll be itching to take on the Sounders, who he describes as “dangerous as hell” due to their six game unbeaten streak.

“I think that from the day that they came into MLS, they wanted to call us out…I think that they said that we’re the expansion team and made comments to like that. They always seem to compare themselves to our team,” said Magee. “They’ve had a ton of success and they’re a really hard to play against. Every game that we play against [one another] is a battle and you kind of get the feeling that it’s a little more important than a regular league game.” 

22 May 2:11 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane will be joining the Republic of Ireland for their friendlies against England on May 29 and Georgia on June 2 just a day after the Irish FA stated that he will not travel.

On Tuesday, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena stressed that the Galaxy were eager to keep Keane through their June 2 match with the New England Revolution, but in light of an agreement between U.S. Soccer to release U.S. Internationals—like defender Omar Gonzalez— for their upcoming five matches in May and June, the club allowed Keane’s release.

“In reflecting over it, if we’re required to release U.S. players then how can we not allow other internationals to go? We’re allowing U.S. players to play in friendlies, then it creates an awkward situation, but it’s fair,” said Arena. “In all fairness, it’s the right thing to do. In reality, no player should be released: U.S. players or other internationals. We should adhere to FIFA rules.

“The league mandated that we release the players,” Arena later added “If our U.S. internationals are going for friendlies then others should. We’re on the same team here and it is not one rule for one and one for another.”

In his teleconference last week, U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann outlined the agreement that will allow U.S. players called up for the matches in May and June to remain with clubs through May 27, in exchange for being open for selection for the final week of the Gold Cup.

Although Arena was quick to mention that he’s not “losing any sleep at night” over the move, he admitted that coaches may not agree with the decision.

“I don’t think coaches agree with that, but that is fine,” said Arena. “We have some input, if we have issues, we try to articulate it. Sometimes, it’s not heard, but that is fine.”

22 May 12:39 pm

The LA Galaxy may be traveling across the country to take on the Carolina Railhawks in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup on May 29, but if they defeat the Railhawks then they'll get to host their fourth round match at StubHub Center--possibly against Chivas USA. 

U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday that the LA Galaxy will host their fourth round match against the winner of the third round game between Chivas USA and USL Pro side Los Angeles Blues on June 12, provided they get past the Railhawks. The Rojiblancos will take on the Blues on May 28 at Titan Stadium in Fullerton. 

If the Galaxy fall to the Railhawks, the winner of the match between Chivas and Blues will travel to North Carolina.

22 May 8:40 am

Robbie Keane is joining Ireland for their friendlies against England and Georgia after all.

The Republic of Ireland Football Association announced on Wednesday that Keane and the LA Galaxy had reached an agreement to allow him to join up with the Irish for their friendlies against England at Wembley Stadium on May 29 and Georgia on June 2 in Dublin. Ireland will then take on the Faroe Islands in a World Cup Qualifier on June 7 before closing the international period with a friendly against Spain on June 11 in New York.

“I would like to thank LA Galaxy for reconsidering their decision after further conversations between us which really means a lot to me,” Keane said in a statement released by the Irish FA. “We have reached an agreement that will enable me to make it to the games and I look forward to playing my part."

Keane was scheduled to stay with the Galaxy through their June 2 match against the New England Revolution, but will now likely depart after LA’s match against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday.

--

What are your thoughts on the decision? Expect Ireland to knock off England and Georgia?

Share your thoughts below. 

21 May 5:47 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Much of the talk following the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls focused the defensive breakdown that led to the decisive goal in LA’s defeat, but on Tuesday, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini hit back at those criticisms.

“To be fair, I think this team is getting a lot of critique, a lot of comments about how we’re doing,” Cudicini said. “I think the defense is doing pretty well. Compare it to the previous two years and, for sure, we’ve improved. I don’t really get all this critique I read and I hear on TV about this defense, really. I’m sorry.”

Tim Cahill's goal in stoppage time was the sixth goal that the Galaxy have conceded in the last 15 minutes in 2013, but Cudicini is adamant that the notions of defensive breakdowns or the late goals, do not tell the whole story.

“I don’t think they’re fair, it’s as easy as that," Cudicini said. "How can you critique a defense that is second defense in the league? Every time we concede a goal I read and I hear stuff on TV every time. I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t read the same things when other teams concede goals. Why are we the only team where we have problems on defense?

"If you compare the defense to last year, we improved it and you compare to two years ago then we have the same shutouts and a couple of goals more [conceded] so I don’t see the standard that we are not achieving at this moment. I’m talking about statistics, not my point of view, you love statistics, I’m bringing statistics to you.”

The statistics back up Cudicini’s argument as after 11 games, the Galaxy have conceded 10 goals and sit in a four-way tie with the Columbus Crew, Sporting Kansas City, and the Colorado Rapids for the title of second best defense in the league. However, LA and Columbus are likely to be given the edge as each team has played 11 games compared to 12 and 13 for Colorado and Sporting respectively.  Meanwhile, LA has earned four shutouts to date. 

The 2013 mark is an improvement from LA’s 2012 numbers when LA failed to register a shutout while conceding 16 goals in their first 11 regular season games. In fact, LA’s goals allowed numbers are nearly identical to the Galaxy’s mark in 2011 when they conceded 11 goals while holding four shutouts.

“What I’m saying is we want to improve? Yes, we want to. We have to improve? Yes we do. We want to get better? Yes, but it’s part of a team, part of the process that a team has to go through during the season,” Cudicini said.

“Now that we are already 11 games in, we want to get better, try not to concede silly goals and avoid silly situations. But in soccer, in football that happens, it will happen today, it will happen in two games, it will always happen.

“Of course you want to try to get rid of mistakes or situations where you can control better, but personally I don’t think this defense is doing as bad as a lot of people are saying.”