CARSON, Calif. – Sunday’s match will mark the first time that Landon Donovan and Clint Dempsey has tussled since the U.S. captain joined Seattle Sounders FC back in August. But will the Sounders FC forward have the impact that was expected of him when he returned to MLS?
Even though Dempsey arrived in MLS with considerable hoopla, he’s yet to score in eight appearances with the Sounders while also dealing with various injuries. Since Dempsey arrived, Sounders FC has earned mixed results with the club compiling a 3-4-0 record in matches that the U.S. international has participated in.
Despite Dempsey’s recent difficulties, Donovan believes that it is just a matter of time before he regains his form
“I think that Clint has a lot to deal with and a lot more than people realize,” Donovan said. “I think people don’t understand how difficult it is to become the face of the league so quickly and he’s dealing with it, he’s also dealing with injuries, he’s getting used to the turf, he’s probably getting use to the travel again, which is all part of it. All these things add up to making it very difficult, but we all know that he’s a very good player. I think that he hits the net once then things will change, and it’s only a matter of time before that happens.”
Although he expects Dempsey to be fired up to regain his form, Donovan admits there will be no added emotion at facing his longtime U.S. teammate in MLS.
“I don’t really look at it that way,” said Donovan. “For us it is an important game, but it’ll be fun. It’ll add to some drama for other people, but for us, it’s a game that we need to win and I’m sure that they feel that way as well.”
SEATTLE -- Ahead of Sunday's match between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC, LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari caught up with Landon Donovan, Marcelo Sarvas and Gyasi Zardes.
Check it out below...
Greg Cochrane ready to take over for the injured Todd Dunivant in vital season finale against Seattle Sounders
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy left back Greg Cochrane has been provided many opportunities to prove himself in his rookie season and it appears that he'll get another chance to start on Sunday against Seattle Sounders FC.
Following training on Friday, LA’s regular left back Todd Dunivant stated that he is still dealing with an MCL sprain and is “doubtful” for Sunday’s match in Seattle. If Dunivant is unable to go, then another opportunity will be presented to Cochrane, who has started eight of his 11 appearances including last Sunday’s scoreless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Against the Quakes, Cochrane equipped himself well as he helped negate any influence from San Jose midfielder Cordell Cato. The Sounders pose a much stiffer test for Cochrane, however, as they boast a variety of attacking options including Clint Dempsey, Obafemi Martins, Eddie Johnson, and Lamar Neagle.
“Any time that I get an opportunity, I want to help the team out. I’m always ready and I've been ready the whole year. I'm just going to go out there and play my game so we can get three points,” said Cochrane. “They have a ton of great attacking players, but every single day with the Galaxy, I train against Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan so I don’t think it'll be anything that I haven't seen before.”
Cochrane’s likely start should be the culmination of what has been a wild regular season ride that saw the rookie move from final pick of the 2013 MLS SuperDraft to a starter in a season finale loaded with playoff implications.
“Every day I just try to get better and a lot of times, I'll be staying late after practice to work with assistant coach Curt Onalfo to work on my defensive positioning and technique,” said Cochrane. “I've worked a lot of that and I believe that the more that I play; the more comfortable I'll be at this level. It’s been a progression and I know that if I can take it day-by-day, I'll reach my full potential which I’m not even closer to yet.”
Robbie Keane's tenacity and finishing ability is known around the globe and in the latest edition of MLS Insider, he was immortalized with a poem by famed Irish novelist Colum McCann, writer of such books as Let the World Spin and TransAtlantic.
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In an interview with MLSsoccer.com's Samantha Yarock speaks to LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan to reflect on his favorite MLS goals of his career.
Remember, Donovan can gain sole possession of the league's all-time regular season scoring record with a goal against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday.
Check out Donovan's video and offer your thoughts below...
The LA Galaxy's updated 2013 MLS Cup Playoff scenarios are below...
The LA Galaxy finish second in the Western Conference IF:
*They defeat Seattle Sounders FC AND the Portland Timbers lose or draw in their finale vs. Chivas USA on Oct. 26.
The LA Galaxy finish in third in the Western Conference IF:
*They defeat Seattle Sounders FC AND Portland Timbers win their finale. OR The Galaxy tie Seattle Sounders FC AND Colorado Rapids lose against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Oct. 27.
The LA Galaxy finish fourth in the Western Conference IF:
*They tie Seattle Sounders FC AND the Colorado Rapids win against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
*They lose to Seattle Sounders FC AND Colorado Rapids lose or draw against Vancouver Whitecaps
The Galaxy finish in fifth in the Western Conference IF:
*They lose to Seattle Sounders FC AND the Colorado Rapids defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s thoughts following LA’s 4-0 defeat to Isidro Metapán.
(On the loss…)
ARENA: “It was a poor performance on our part. A lot of our young players learned in a tough way tonight. They weren’t ready to play and too many didn’t respond well to the magnitude of the game. Unfortunately, we got beat pretty good. Our effort in the second half was a little bit better, but not a whole lot better.”
(On whether it was better to learn in these conditions rather than in more serious situation…)
ARENA: “Obviously, it makes for a great matchup next year with Tijuana. It’ll be a lot of fun. That’s a great match up for us. I’m excited for that, but I’m certainly disappointed in our performance tonight.”
(On the lesson that his team must learn from the result…)
ARENA: “These young players, [they need to learn] the mental preparation of stepping on the field and being ready to play. We opened the game with an opportunity from Jose Villarreal in the opening minute of the game and then concede the first goal, and then they put their heads down and got beat soundly. Mental preparation for a lot of the players was an important lesson tonight.”
(On the lack of offensive rhythm from LA…)
ARENA: “The field wasn’t easy, but having said that our opponents scored four goals and you can’t attribute that to the field. A bunch of players didn’t play well. We had a great chance to start the game and it could have made all the difference in the world. Having said that, we need to concede the fact that we were beaten for 90 minutes. This wasn’t a game that was close in the first half; we were getting beat to too many balls. But on the whole, I thought that Leonardo played very well for us, I was very encouraged by his play. I think that he was our best performer over the 90 minutes and Jose Villarreal did a decent job. Others didn’t play well.”
(On Nicolas Munoz’s success…)
ARENA: “The first goal, I can’t even explain what happened there. … in the second goal there was a mistake by Tommy [Meyer] and we were punished for that.”
(On facing Tijuana…)
ARENA: “It’s a great matchup. That’s exciting for our team next March. That’ll be great for our fans and the Tijuana fans.”
(On turning the page against Seattle…)
ARENA: “It’ll be a great game in Seattle. We’re hoping that our team will come out ready to play.”
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – The LA Galaxy’s youth has served them well throughout their CONCACAF Champions League campaign, but it was exposed as they fell 4-0 to Isidro Metapan in their Group 8 finale at Estadio Cuscatlán.
Nicolas Munoz tallied four goals in the first half to seal the victory for the Salvadorian side, who were in control throughout the match. Struggling in the attack from the start, the Galaxy’s best opportunities came from Jose Villarreal who was unlucky not to find the back of the net in the first minute and then saw a header saved by Metapán goalkeeper Fidel Mondragon in the 75th minute.
The defeat sets up a match against Liga MX side Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. LA will be seeded sixth for the CCL quarterfinals which resume in March.
Thoughts on the defeat? Happy about the match against Club Tijuana?
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In a touching and moving edition of the LA Galaxy travel vlog in El Salvador, I travel with Mauricio Cienfuegos to his old neighborhood.
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SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador – Isidro Metapán may be playing for purely pride, but the LA Galaxy expect that to be a very dangerous thing when the two teams face off on Thursday at the Estadio Cuscatlán.
The tournament has hardly gone according to plan for the Salvadorians, who have earned just a single point in three CONCACAF Champions League matches. The fact that the team is unable to play at their home stadium in Metapán due to field size concerns from CONCACAF has not helped as the team dropped their last match in San Salvador 4-2 to C.S. Cartaginés.
That being said, the Galaxy expect Metapán to be eager to send the Galaxy to the CCL quarterfinals on a losing note.
“We don’t expect them to roll over at all; you're always playing for pride especially when you're in front of your home crowd in your home country against big clubs like the Galaxy. We expect them to test us,” said goalkeeper Brian Rowe. “They did well with their counter attack last time, but we're going to try to do a better job of keeping compact in the back and applying pressure on them early.”
Metapán’s pride won’t be the only issue for LA as they'll have to deal with a thick grass surface at Estadio Cuscatlán that is a far cry from the heavily manicured pitches that are provided in MLS play.
“The grass is a lot thicker than what we're used to. It’s a big and old stadium, but it'll be exciting with fans inside,” said forward Jack McBean. “We just have to play firm balls and get your touch in front of you because the ball is going to check up on you and stick in the grass.