CARSON, Calif. – The place where Pablo Mastroeni may make his biggest impact to the LA Galaxy might not be on the field, but in the minds of LA’s young midfielders.
The Galaxy boast a number of young midfielders including Rafael Garcia, Kenney Walker, and Michael Stephens, and the consensus among the youngsters is that they are eager to learn from the two-time World Cup veteran.
“He brings his experience and it’s just like bringing Mike Magee back or David [Beckham] because we’re able to learn from him on and off the field,” said Walker. “It’s just another role model for everybody to follow because of his experience and time in the league.”
“We could always use a veteran player especially the type of player that Pablo is. He’s experienced and he’s been around a long time and I think that he’ll make us a better team,” Garcia told LA Galaxy Insider. “A player with that career and experience could only help us. We’ve had veterans in the past like Noonan and Kirovski
Since the start of the season, LA has leaned heavily on the Brazilian duo of Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho, but Mastroeni offers another veteran option for the Galaxy in midfield heading into a packed summer schedule.
“It’s definitely important. Having a guy like him in the center of the park and knowing what he’s doing with Marcelo and Juni, we have a lot of good options now,” said defender Todd Dunivant. “It’s a good thing for our depth and it’s only going to help us going forward.”
LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan says Pablo Mastroeni is "a player that can help us in a lot of ways"
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bolstered their midfield on Monday by acquiring Pablo Mastroeni in a trade from the Colorado Rapids, but now that the club has obtained the veteran, just what impact will he play.
The 36-year-old has already spoken at length with LA head coach Bruce Arena about the possibilities of playing in central midfield, central defense and, possibly, right back. This versatility could be immense as LA gets into the taxing summer months.
“I’ve played quite a few positions under Bruce in years past and we’ve had a conversation about that,” said Mastroeni after his first full training session with the team on Monday. “For me, it’s just coming in here and being who I am. Not trying to overdo it and be someone that I’m not and do whatever it takes to contribute to this team.”
Mastroeni will certainly have an impact in the locker room as he looks to impart the wisdom gained in his 16-year career on the Galaxy. One player who is certainly all for the deal is Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, but how he discovered the deal occurred was in his words—“bizarre.”
“I was in the bathroom [in the Galaxy locker room] and I was brushing my teeth or something and I thought I was dreaming because I really hadn’t heard anything. I really thought that I was in a dream and then I found out,” said Donovan, who saw Mastroeni over his shoulder. “I think that we’re all excited. Pablo is a guy who has been misused over the past few years or not used enough and hopefully someone that can help us in a lot of ways.”
His strange discovery of the trade aside, Donovan believes that Mastroeni’s leadership on and off the field could be extremely valuable for LA.
“There’s no secret that we’ve lacked a little bit of bite and at times some leadership particularly in the defensive part of the field at the end of games,” said Donovan. “He certainly brings that and obviously brings a ton of experience and he’s a good soccer player. Combine all that and I think that he’s going to help us a lot.”
Although the Galaxy is seeking another leadership presence in the locker room, Mastroeni doesn’t feel any impetus to become a leader. After a 16 year career in MLS, it simply comes naturally for the veteran.
“I’m naturally just a loud guy on the field that doesn’t require any type of motivation. I’ve been screaming, directing, and that’s just a part of who I am. To me, it’s not leadership, that’s just a part of my game,” said Mastroeni. “Hopefully that turns into organization, jelling with the team and contributing in a way that brings us together through communication. That’s nothing that I have to force. I just have to be myself and work hard and things will work out as they should.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy midfield just got a little deeper as the Galaxy acquired 36-year-old midfielder Pablo Mastroeni and the rights to current Hammarby IF midfielder Baggio Hušidić from the Colorado Rapids in exchange for an international slot through the 2014 season and the club's natural second round selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
Mastroeni, who appeared in two World Cups in 2002 and 2006 with the United States under current LA head coach Bruce Arena, has appeared in 325 MLS regular season matches throughout his 16-year career in MLS while scoring seven goals and notching 26 assists. Over the last two seasons, however, injuries have limited Mastoreni to just nine appearances with the Rapids. Mastroeni battled back from a frustrating 2012 that saw him play just two league matches for Colorado after suffering a concussion, but has made just seven appearances this year due to a hamstring injury.
LA also acquired the rights to Husidic, who is currently with AEG-owned Hammarby IF. A former member of the Chicago Fire, Hušidić made 50 regular season appearances for the Fire from 2009 to 2011 before being selected by the Colorado Rapids in Stage 2 of the 2011 MLS Re-Entry Draft. Rather than join Colorado, Hušidić chose to sign with Hammarby, who are coached by former Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter. Since joining the Swedish Superettan side, Husidic has made 35 appearances while scoring once. The 26-year-old midfielder has made nine appearances to date during the club's 2013 season.
This deal could be very important for LA as the club has not only added another midfielder, but has acquired a veteran presence in the locker room. Whether or not Mastroeni can unseat the Brazilian duo of Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho remains to be seen, but expect the midfielder to become a vocal presence in the Galaxy much like veterans Pat Noonan, Jovan Kirovski, and Berhalter were during recent years. Also, Hušidić could be a valuable option for LA if he ever decides to return to MLS.
What are your thoughts on the move?
Share them below.
CARSON, Calif. – Jack McBean bypassed yet another hurdle as he continues his return to full fitness.
The 18-year-old forward went 15 minutes in the Galaxy’s 1-1 Reserve League draw with USL Pro side Los Angeles Blues on Saturday in his first action since suffering a fractured left clavicle in LA’s 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on April 27.
Against the Blues, McBean made a few touches going forward, but was unable to find the back of the net. Although the goal hungry forward will be frustrated that he couldn’t find a goal, he was encouraged with his continued progress from injury.
“I felt good. My injury didn't affect me at all out there. Obviously, my touch wasn't 100 percent there, but overall, I felt alright,” McBean told LA Galaxy Insider. “It’s a little bit scary [initiating contact], but I know that I'm cleared to play and it’s good to get a little run out there, but we just have to go forward from there.”
McBean admitted that it was a “little bit scary” to initiate contact, but Galaxy assistant and reserve team coach Curt Onalfo knew that the burly teenager wouldn't be afraid to mix things up in the final third.
“He’s such a strong tough kid so he’s not thinking about [his injury],” said Onalfo. “We just wanted him to come in and score a goal, that was what he wanted to do, but it was good to get him back on the field.”
With his first appearance under his belt, could minutes against the Portland Timbers on Wednesday be a possibility for the teenager?
“Not sure, we'll see what happens midweek,” said McBean. “We'll see what [head coach Bruce Arena and the Galaxy coaching staff] think because I’m just trying to get more fit. [The reserve game] helped for sure and I'm going to just keep working hard because I'll be back sooner rather than later.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Courtesy of LAGalaxy.com, Galaxy reserve team head coach and assistant coach Curt Onalfo addresses the club's 1-1 Reserve League draw to the Los Angeles Blues on Saturday.
Check out the video below.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy reserves played to a frustrating 1-1 draw with the Los Angeles Blues at StubHub Center on Saturday.
Charlie Rugg opened the scoring for the Galaxy in the first half, but the Blues equalized in the 90th minute with a strike from former MLS forward Carlos Cortez. Although LA dropped two points, several players earned substantial minutes as Todd Dunivant went 56 minutes in his first action back from a left leg strain while Jack McBean went 15 minutes in his first match back from his own injury. Meanwhile, Robbie Rogers made his longest shift in the Galaxy uniform by going 72 minutes for LA's reserves.
Following the match, Galaxy reserve team head coach Curt Onalfo admitted that LA dropped a major opportunity against the Blues.
"It's a game that we should of won. Giving up a goal late was upseting. We had chances especially in the first half to make sure that we had more than a one goal lead. At the end of the day, we just have to be better. We have to buckle down and do a better job of managing the game. That part we have to learn from," said Onalfo. " Every game is different, for me, in my opinion, it was inexperience that gave away two points and made us tie the game. We have young players, first and second year players, for the most part with an exception of a couple guys and you have to learn from those things. That's a game where you could clean your hands and walk away with three minutes, which we should have."
The LA Galaxy unveiled the brand new third kit, which is inspired by the club's very first uniform.
The jersey was designed by Galaxy fan Carlos Rodriguez and was presented by club president Chris Klein as well as the team's first captain Dan Calichman. I snapped a photo of Calichman and Rodriguez holding up the uniform below.
A club issued Flickr is below...
CARSON, Calif. – The United States is inching ever closer to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup and a win on Tuesday will put them in the catbird seat as they look to book a ticket to Brazil.
Eventually, many assume that LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan will return to the international fold as the U.S. steamrolls towards Brazil. Donovan is on the nation’s preliminary roster for the 2013 Gold Cup, but without the 32-year-old, the U.S. currently sits at the top of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
“After five games, to have 10 points is fantastic," Donovan said at the Camps for Kids event at StubHub Center on Thursday. "And considering the remaining schedule, you would like to think we're going to qualify. And I was as proud and as happy as anyone over the last week watching those two games.”
The 32-year-old, who is the U.S. National Team’s all-time leading goal scorer, but hasn’t suited up for the U.S. since last August admits that he misses playing for his country. After all, who wouldn’t?
“I do miss it,” Donovan said. “I want to be out there, but the reality is different. So when I get my chance, I'll be ready.”
On June 19, The Home Depot Center will officially become StubHub Center.
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari spoke to several members of the LA Galaxy for this promotion video.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers needs extended minutes if he’s going to return to the Rogers of old and it seems at long last, he'll be able to log an extended shift for the LA Galaxy in Saturday’s Reserve League match against the USL PRO’s Los Angeles Blues.
Rogers confirmed in training on Thursday that he is expected to start on Saturday as he continues to his return to full fitness. The appearance will be Rogers’ first Reserve league match for LA and his fifth appearance across all competitions.
The 26-year-old midfielder has begun to show flashes of his former self, like a step-over fueled run that led to a Landon Donovan shot wide of goal in LA’s 3-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake last week, but he understands that he needs more minutes if he’s going to progress.
“Hopefully, I'll go as much as I can 60 or 70 minutes before my calves start to cramp. I wish that I can get fit more quickly, but I'm still a ways away,” said Rogers, who has played 56 minutes in three MLS appearances to date. “I need to get 60 or 70 minutes to really push myself. It’s about doing that and being exhausted after that. It’s tracking back and being able to do that again. I'm a winger and that’s my job.”