Beat

07 May 3:55 pm

CARSON, Calif. –The U.S. U-20’s learned their draw for the upcoming Toulon Tournament in France, which will serve as the final preparation before this summer's 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey. 

The tournament will feature 10 nations in two five-team groups across a 12-day span. The U.S. was placed in Group A alongside Colombia, Congo DR, South Korea and host France. Meanwhile, Group B includes Belgium, Brazil, Mexico, Nigeria and Portugal.

The U.S. will open the tournament against France on May 28 then take on Colombia on May 30 and Congo DR on June 1. The U-20’s will wrap up group play on June 5 against South Korea. If the U.S. win their group or finish second, they will play in either the Championship or third place match depending on their result.

“It’s going to be a big step for the U-20’s going into that tournament,” said LA Galaxy forward and U.S. U-20 regular Jose Villarreal. “It’s not really about winning the games; it’s about being good as a team and getting ready for Turkey, which is even bigger of a stage for us. Obviously, we gotta perform well to show the people what we got.”

During the U-20’s recent camp at The Home Depot Center last month, U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos stressed that building a team identity will be key to success not only in France, but in Turkey as well.

“I think one of the things that Tab said during the past camp is that the tournament in France will be about coming together as one team and having each other’s backs and making each other a lot better on the field and off the field. That’s what we’re going to focus on in France,” said Villarreal. “We play to win and we want to win the games, but if not, we just have to focus on working together as a team.”

Villarreal added that he was hopeful that fellow Galaxy Academy alums—and close personal friends of the LA forward—Jeffrey Payeras and Oscar Sorto will make the squad for Toulon as well as Turkey. The LA Galaxy Academy members may be joined by one high-profile addition as Herta Berlin defender John Anthony Brooks may be considering joining the U.S. U-20's for the tournament in France

The U.S. U-20 World Cup campaign begins on June 21 against Spain. Ramos’ group will round out group play with matches on June 24 against France and Ghana on June 27.

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Can the U.S. win the Toulon tournament? Will Sorto and Payeras make the squad?

Share your thoughts below. 

07 May 3:05 pm

Todd Dunivant and Robbie Keane were both spotted at LA Galaxy training during the portion available for media on Tuesday. 

Following training, head coach Bruce Arena stated that he expected all players to be available for selection for this Saturday's clash against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 

As for Dunivant and Keane: "They're moving along fine," Arena said.

But Arena was quick to note that niether player will participate in Tuesday's Reserve League match against the Los Angeles Blues. 

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Do you expect Todd Dunivant and Robbie Keane to play on Saturday?

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07 May 12:52 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Following Sunday’s 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo, Sean Franklin wanted one thing: to forget about his showing in the LA Galaxy loss.

The right back was decent on the defensive end, but seemed to struggle with his distribution as six of his seven crosses were unsuccessful while he was also dispossessed a total of 19 times on the night.

After the game, Franklin was brutally honest about his showing.

“I think that my performance wasn’t the greatest; I have to do better in the final third and making the right pass and the right crosses,” Franklin told LA Galaxy Insider. “I thought defensively I was okay, but my passing and crossing was awful.  I just made the right decision knowing late in the game that we need balls in the box. Quality balls, not just balls whipped in, but good service and at the end of the day, I wasn’t good enough.”

It didn’t help that the player that he was assigned to mark, Houston’s Andrew Driver enjoyed a strong game that included the game’s only goal in the 56th minute of play.

 “He’s a great player. He’s crafty, he’s quick. He scored a good goal tonight. I thought in the first half, he was a little bit quiet, but in the second half, he came out and got his goal,” said Franklin. “Give their team credit, they got their goal and they defended well. On the day, it was just something that the team and myself need a better game.”

This week Franklin will have a chance to redeem himself as the Galaxy hit the road for a three match trip that begins on Saturday against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. 

 “It’s tough, we just have to forget about this one and figure out what we did wrong and get this right,” Franklin said. “We have a long week till the game so we have plenty of time to get our mind right.”

07 May 11:53 am

CARSON, Calif. -- The decision not to award a caution of any color to Tally Hall for his foul on Jose Villarreal that resulted in a penalty kick opportunity that was missed by Landon Donovan drew plenty of heat from LA on Sunday, but on Tuesday, the Professional Referee Organization responded with their complete explaination of the call.

Fourth official Ricardo Salazar gave his explaination of the call after the game, but in PRO's article, the organization gets far more in depth on their decision not to award a caution to Hall. 

Read PRO's explaination of the play below...

Play of the Week: SKC vs. CHV and LA vs. HOU

06 May 2:29 pm

LAGalaxy.com has provided video of LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena's press conference in LA's 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo.

Check it out below...

06 May 1:56 pm

 

CARSON, Calif. – It’s starting to come together for Gyasi Zardes. The speed and the dynamic movements are clearly there, but there is still work to be done before he finds the back of the net.

The LA Galaxy Homegrown forward went 35 minutes in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. The match was Zardes’ second after undergoing surgery for a broken fifth metatarsal, Zardes admitted that all fitness concerns were gone, but he’ll need to be sharper in order to contribute.

“I felt pretty good. Once I came on I tried to contribute as much as possible,” Zardes told reporters. “We had a couple of opportunities; we were just unlucky (that) the ball didn’t go in the back of the net.”

The energy was certainly there in spades for Zardes, who repeatedly found his way behind the Houston defense, but at times, an extra touch turned a shot on goal into a clearance or a save. His best chance came in the 66th minute when he cut through the Dynamo defense, only to see his shot fired into the chest of Houston ‘keeper Tally Hall for one of LA’s two shots on goal on the night.

After an uneven performance, Zardes understands that he’ll have to be quicker with his trigger in the future.

“With more practice comes consistency and I understand I have to keep practicing and just make sure my head  is up so I can look at teammates and put it in the box,” Zardes said. “I definitely need to work on being more of a threat and more aggressive, instead of looking for a pass sometimes just going on to goal and being the initial threat.”

Arena agreed: “Gyasi had his moments; technically he could have been a little bit better. It is going to take him a little bit of time.”

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Your thoughts on Zardes' performance?

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06 May 9:05 am

According to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, the LA Galaxy may end up landing Frank Lampard this summer as a Designated Player. However, it seems just as likely that it may not happen.

Wahl's source, who has knowledge of the negotiations notes that he thinks that the Galaxy will end up landing the Chelsea midfielder, but "they still could screw it up."

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See Lampard coming to the Galaxy? Think LA will scoop up another player?

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06 May 8:53 am

Highlights of the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo. 

05 May 10:19 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Following the match, fourth official Ricardo Salazar provided a response as to why referee Allen Chapman did not award a yellow or red card to Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall for bringing down Jose Villarreal in the penalty area in a play that resulted in Landon Donovan's missed penalty kick in the 25th minute of play of the Dynamo's 1-0 win over LA.

"In the play in question, the Galaxy player [Villarreal] touches the ball in the direction of the corner [flag] so the Galaxy player was not going towards goal so this is why there was not a red card on the play," Salazar said. "Also the referee did not deem the foul to be reckless or tactical in nature this is the reason for no yellow card on the play." 

Following the match, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena chimed in with his thoughts on the play. 

"The referee certainly screwed that play up big time, but I'll let them deal with that. I think that in most cases that's a red card as well," said Arena. "To not even give a card, if they a yellow card you can understand that maybe, but remarkably he didn't give a card on the play, but we have a gentleman [Professional Referee Organization's Peter Walton] in charge of our referee's now so it'll be interesting to see if they make a decision on that."

Meanwhile Landon Donovan called for consistency. 

"Well, we saw a similar play earlier today with Dan Kennedy and I think that if it is not a red card then you don't get a red card in either case. If it is a red card then you give a red card in both cases. I think we just want consistency from officials because now we see two today where nobody really knows what the outcome is going to be. If you blatantly take down a forward as he's going towards goal, I think it's probably a red card, I think tha the probably got that one wrong." 

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What do you think? 

Leave your own thoughts below...

05 May 2:52 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo in Sunday's Cinco de Mayo clash at The Home Depot Center.

A few links, match ups to watch and my predicted lineup is below...

*LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena's update on LA's injured quartet of Carlo Cudicini, Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant and Robbie Keane, who all missed LA's game against RSL last week

*Speaking of Arena, here are his thoughts on his counterpart on Sunday, Houston Dynamo boss Dominic Kinnear.

*The Dynamo will be without Brad Davis because of a red card suspension while LA will be without Jack McBean due to injury. However, Carlo Cudicini seems ready to go

*Can Jose Villarreal parlay a successful U.S. U-20 camp into a start for LA?

*Injuries to Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant have the two starters questionable, this may open up another chance for Charlie Rugg and Greg Cochrane

*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan has provided this preview to the match

*Lastly, my Three Points to the match

MATCH UPS TO WATCH

A.J. DELAGARZA vs. GILES BARNES

DeLaGarza's speed and positioning will be vital to deal with Barnes, who is Houston's leading goal scorer. Expect DeLaGarza to attempt to limit space for Barnes, who can strike from distance. 

JOSE VILLARREAL vs. BOBBY BOSWELL

The veteran Dynamo center back will be tested by the in-form Villarreal. Expect the young forward to attempt to lure Boswell out of position and open up space for the likes of Landon Donovan and Mike Magee. 

LANDON DONOVAN/MIKE MAGEE vs. CORY ASHE/KOFI SARKODIE

The battles that will decide the game: Houston will look to put pressure on LA immediately with their marauding outside backs, but Donovan and Magee will be key to leading the charge on the counter.

PREDICTED LINEUP

Cudicini; Franklin, Gonzalez, DeLaGarza, Cochrane; Donovan, Juninho, Sarvas, Magee; Rugg, Villarreal