Beat

27 June 6:29 pm

The U.S. Under-20's dream at the 2013 U-20 World Cup ended with a 4-1 defeat at Ghana, but LA Galaxy right back Oscar Sorto believes that he gained plenty from the experience.

A right back for the Galaxy, Sorto started in right midfield for the U.S. against Turkey and earned an assist when his cross was finished by Shane O’Neill for the lone U.S. goal of the match. Sorto made two appearances for the U.S. during the tournament and drew positive reviews, but he was unable to help the Americans defeat the Black Satellites on Thursday.   

“It was a game we had to win. Unfortunately we made some mistakes, and up top we didn’t take our chances. They countered us well," said Sorto to USSoccer.com. "It was a good team, as well, and I thought the mistakes killed us. It was a hard game, back and forth. They were quick, too.”

Although the U.S. was unable to get past the group stage, Sorto was pleased with the opportunity to represent his country in Turkey.

“For me especially, it was the biggest experience. Two months ago I didn’t know if I was going to come here because of my injury. I just want to thank Tab and all the coaches for giving me a second chance,” said Sorto. “And for the team, it was amazing. Everyone is a good player. No one gave up for 90 minutes. I have no words for this team – we were fighting. Unfortunately we couldn’t make it to the second round.”

27 June 6:00 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Omar Gonzalez was not on the 23-man U.S. roster for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t play for the U.S. during the continental championship

After being placed on the 35-man provisional roster for the Gold Cup, Gonzalez is eligible to be one of U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s four roster changes following the group stage after an agreement was reached between U.S. Soccer and MLS earlier in the year. Klinsmann will have 24 hours following the final group stage match to make changes to his team. The agreement allowed players called up for the 2014 World Cup qualifiers in June to be eligible for their club teams during the weekend of May 25 in exchange for availability during the knockout rounds of the Gold Cup.

If Klinsmann does call Gonzalez up after the group stage then the 24-year-old center back believes that he’ll be ready.

“That was always the plan. I know the guys will do great in the group stages and if he decides to call me up then great,” said Gonzalez. “I want to be with the team, so we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it.

And based on his comments during Thursday’s teleconference with reporters following the Gold Cup roster announcement, it seems probable that Klinsmann will make changes following the group stage—but it all depends on his squad’s performance.  

“It’s very likely the case. Looking today, but maybe things go extremely well with all 23 now,” said Klinsmann.” No injuries, no issues, it’s down to the 23 players to make their mark and make their case and then we’ll see how we want to switch things around after the group stage.”

27 June 5:52 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan’s absence from the U.S. National Team is over and now the LA Galaxy forward is eager to lead the U.S. to victory at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

I wrote this piece on Donovan’s return to the U.S. squad for LAGalaxy.com.

More from Donovan below…

(On how much he missed being a part of the U.S. squad…)

DONOVAN: “I think that once that I get back in then I’ll realize how much that I miss it. I’ve been here for a long time consistently so it goes to the back of your mind. Once I get back in then I’ll be excited and I’m excited to have the opportunity again.”

(On what it will be like with the U.S. team…)

DONOVAN: “Who knows? I’m just going to worry about going in and playing in and enjoying it. I’m at a point where I really want to enjoy each day. Whether it is here or with the U.S. team, we’ll let the chips fall where they may.”

(On the Gold Cup…)

DONOVAN: This tournament will be a little bit different because a lot teams that are in qualifying are going to send rosters that are a little bit different. I can’t imagine that Mexico will send a lot of the players that you’ve seen over the last two months in all these different competitions. Same with some other teams. For us, the goal is always the same. Get out of the group and try to win the tournament and it’s a tournament that we feel like we have a good chance to win so we always approach it that way.”

(On the importance of the Gold Cup with a spot in the playoff for a 2017 Confederations Cup berth on the line …)

DONOVAN: “There’s no question. For a lot of us that are using this as an opportunity, there’s a lot of meaning anyway. But the added meaning for U.S. Soccer as a whole is potentially very big. We’re going to take it very seriously.”

27 June 4:37 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane did not train with the LA Galaxy on Thursday as he was given the day off from on-the-field training according to head coach Bruce Arena.

Arena said that Keane is “fine” while noting that the Galaxy captain trained indoors on Thursday and will “likely” be available for Saturday’s match against the San Jose Earthquakes.

Keane played the full 90 minutes in LA’s 1-0 victory over Chivas USA last week.

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Think Keane will see time on Sunday? 

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27 June 3:10 pm

Ghana once again knocked the United States out of a World Cup, this time at the U-20 level.  

The Black Satellites knocked the U.S. out of the U-20 World Cup on Thursday with a 4-1 victory in Kayseri, Turkey. Ghana's Ebenezer Assifuah scored a brace while France Acheampong and Kennedy Ashia rounded out the goals for the African. Colorado Rapids Homegrown defender Shane O'Neill scored the lone goal for the Americans.

Galaxy Homegrowns Jose Villarreal and Oscar Sorto each started for the U.S. and went 90 minutes. Fellow Galaxy Academy graduate forward Mario Rodriguez went 79 minutes in defeat while defender Javan Torre was an unused substitute. 

On Thursday, Real Salt Lake noted on their official website that midfielder Luis Gil is expected to be available for their match against the Philadelphia Union on July 3. Using that as a test case, one would imagine that Villarreal and Sorto will be back in training later early next week and and will likely be available for selection for LA's match against the Columbus Crew on July 4.

27 June 8:50 am

Landon Donovan’s hiatus from the U.S. National Team has officially come to an end.

The LA Galaxy forward was named to the 23-man U.S. roster for next month’s 2013 Gold Cup on Thursday. The call-up ends a near year-long absence from the national team for Donovan’s as his last appearance came in a 1-0 victory at Mexico last August.

According to a press release by the LA Galaxy, Donovan will join up with the U.S. team on July 1 in San Diego ahead of their lone preparation match against Guatemala on July 5. Donovan will be vital to Klinsmann’s efforts for the continental championship as he leads the squad in appearances (28) and goals (13) in Gold Cup play. 

In a Q&A with the federation’s website, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann noted that he was pleased to have the U.S. all-time leading goal scorer back in the fold as he looks to earn his way back to the full squad.

“When Landon came back in the end of March after the long break, he needed time to get back in a rhythm, get back in shape and work on his game again. I think now the process is on a good roll,” said Klinsmann. “He’s getting sharper every game and every week. We’ve watched his games and believe now is a good time to get him back into the National Team and give him the opportunity to prove his point.

“He knows that the group that played the World Cup Qualifiers is ahead of the curve and have a very strong position right now, and that he’s been observed by us and has to rebuild his case,” added Klinsman. “We have all respect for what he has done in the past, but sports are about the present and about the future, and that’s what we are building on. We are really happy to have him back in the group, and he has the opportunity now to show where he’s at.”

The complete roster is below.

GOALKEEPERS: Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS: Corey Ashe (Houston Dynamo), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Tony Beltran (Real Salt Lake), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Oguchi Onyewu (Malaga), Michael Orozco Fiscal (Puebla), Michael Parkhurst (FC Augsburg)

MIDFIELDERS: Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Helsinborg), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Joshua Gatt (Molde FK), Stuart Holden (Bolton), Jose Torres (Tigres)

FORWARDS: Will Bruin (Houston Dynamo), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Club Tijuana), Jack McInerney (Philadelphia Union), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

26 June 4:15 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant is returning to the farm this weekend. No, not an actual farm with cows, chickens and horses, but “the Farm,” which is a colloquial term for Stanford University where Dunivant was a star defender for the Cardinal.

 Dunivant is expected to lead the Galaxy on Saturday when they take on the San Jose Earthquakes at Stanford Stadium. The match is a homecoming of sorts for Dunivant, who was a four year starter at Stanford where he captained the Cardinal to the 2002 College Cup Final while picking up a host of personal honors along the way.

“It’s one that I circle without a doubt. The fact that we can play at Stanford and play where I went to college is huge,” said Dunivant. “It’s fun. I’ll have friends and a lot of people from the university there. They’re making a big deal of it, and again, they’re getting a huge crowd so it’s great for their organization and the league.”  

Playing at the modern facility at Stanford rather than the rustic and intimate confines at Buck Shaw is not without disadvantages, however.

“They didn't build that stadium for soccer, which is kind of disappointing. They want to be as tight as possible for the football confines and to their credit, the football team has been great,” said Dunivant. “It’s okay, it’s not that small, but it is tight.”

26 June 1:29 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The American sporting world has begun its social progress with the acceptance of openly professional athletes and on Wednesday, the U.S. as a whole made its own move forward thanks to a ruling by the United States Supreme Court.

In a 5-4 ruling, the justices threw out the section of the Defense of Marriage Act that denied federal benefits to same-sex couples and rejected the state of California’s same-sex marriage ban, allowing gay and lesbian couples to once again wed in California.

Robbie Rogers, the first openly gay professional male athlete in a major American sport, was overjoyed by the decision.

“I just have a smile on my face,” Rogers said. “My dad was here [at Galaxy practice] and he was talking about it. I’m far from getting married, but I have friends that have been together for a really long time and now they can get married. Also guys that have been separated for green card reasons and all that stuff. It’s exciting and I’m from California, if I wanted to get married then I’d want it to be here in front of my family, so it’s cool.”

Rogers is well-aware that there are plenty in society who will feel anger over the Supreme Court decision, but he’s seen many come around on the issue —particularly his own mother.

“My mom sent me a text this morning and asked how I feel about this and I said that ‘I feel great mom and I’m really excited about it.’ My mom comes from a really conservative catholic family and she said that she’s so happy for my friends that can now get married,” said Rogers. “Times are changing. My mom is such a loving person, but probably a few years ago, if I had asked her that then she probably would have had no comment.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling left many questions unanswered as there was no complete acceptance of gay marriage, but Rogers was reflective when asked about the progress that society has shown in the past year.

“Things are progressing and things are moving,” said Rogers. “I feel like this has been a pretty special year.”

Rogers also commented on his personal twitter account, which you can see below:

26 June 9:54 am

The LA Galaxy Under-18’s were unable to overcome a pair of early defensive breakdowns on Tuesday as they dropped their second game of the Development Academy 2-0 to the Dallas Texans.

Dallas scored two goals in the first half with strikes from Broady Hickey in the 17th minute off a penalty and Christin Soldat, who capitalized on a defensive breakdown seven minutes later. Following the Texans two goals early, the Galaxy controlled the run of play throughout the second half, but were unable to cut the lead to one. That doesn’t mean that they didn’t have plenty of opportunities, however, as LA was unable to find the back of the net.

Heading into the final match day, Group 8 remains wide open as the Texans lead the way with four points, the Galaxy are in second with three, New England Revolution with two, and San Jose Earthquakes with one.

The Galaxy can assure a place in Finals Week with a victory over New England and a Texans loss or tie to the Earthquakes on Thursday. If Dallas defeats San Jose then they will qualify for Finals Week regardless of the Galaxy result.

Heading into the final match, Yi believes that his players will be focused and ready on Thursday.

“I get the feeling from these guys that I don’t have to say much. They know what they have to do. I strongly believe that we should have gotten something out of this game with the amount of possession and clear chances that we created for ourselves in the second half,” Yi told LA Galaxy Insider. “No one likes to lose, but you have different reactions to a loss and I’m pretty upbeat going into New England. The effort that these guys put in -- besides two plays -- was outstanding.”

25 June 4:24 pm

According to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, Landon Donovan's U.S. National Team absence is about to come to an end.

SI.com reported on Tuesday afternoon that Donovan will be included in Jurgen Klinsmann's U.S. squad for the 2013 Gold Cup. The 31-year-old Donovan was not included in the U.S. roster for last month's World Cup Qualifiers and has not taken the field for the U.S. since last August. U.S. Soccer is expected to make the squad official sometime this week.

The tournament runs from July 6 to July 28 across the U.S. and wILL likely cause Donovan to miss all five of the LA Galaxy's league matches in July. 

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Thoughts on Donovan returning to the U.S.? Upset that he may miss an entire month's action?

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