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

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.


Think Keane will see time on Sunday? 

Share your thoughts below.

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. 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. 


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

Share your thoughts below. 

25 June 4:14 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Jose Villarreal burst on the scene last year with the LA Galaxy first team and quickly became a staple for his club and the U.S. U-20. But while the eldest Villarreal was scoring astounding goals, his younger brother Jaime has sought to showcase his own skills.

There are plenty of similarities between the two, right down to their maturity, size (both stand about 5-foot-8), and even the need to undergo bilateral compartment surgery. Jose went under the knife to correct the issue during his first preseason with LA in February 2012 while Jaime had the surgery more than seven months later.

Since the injury, Villarreal has blossomed into one of the U-18’s brightest stars with four goals in 10 appearances, many of the tallies coming during the stretch run that saw the Galaxy defeat Real Salt Lake-Arizona for the Southwest Division title. Galaxy U-18 head coach Alex Yi is well aware that Jaime looks to his older brother for inspiration as he tries to follow in his footsteps.

“I know that Jose is an inspiration for Jaime and Jaime was fortunate enough to play with Jose last year with the U-18's,” said Yi.

But the youngest member of the Villarreal clan has chosen a different word to describe his feelings.

“It’s motivation,” said Villarreal. “A lot of people expect for me to do the same as him, but just watching him puts my own expectations up high so I have to do a good job.”

But his older brother’s success isn't the only motivation for the young midfielder. Following his injury, Yi dared Villarreal to reach top level fitness and become a regular for the U-18’s. And with the Galaxy in the Development Academy Playoffs on the precipice of a place in Finals Week in July, with Villarreal contributing along the way, he has clearly passed with flying colors.

“My challenge to Jaime was to get himself to the level of fitness that an elite player should have. Everything that I've thrown at Jaime, he’s embraced it and taken it on. He’s always been a mature kid and he always had a very, very high soccer IQ. It was just a matter of getting his fitness back to where it should be…and Jaime is, I think, in the best shape that I've seen him with the Galaxy.”

25 June 3:28 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy Under-18’s began the Development Academy with a bang as they crushed the San Jose Earthquakes 4-1 in their tournament opener. Not much time to celebrate, however, as they look to lock up a spot in Finals Week against regional powerhouse Dallas Texans.

The club that developed the likes of Omar Gonzalez, Clint Dempsey and numerous others held firm in their first group 8 match by playing the New England Revolution to a 1-1 draw. With just one team advancing from group play onto Finals Week in July the stakes will be high heading into Tuesday’s clash.

Although mystery is a common element in youth soccer matches, Galaxy U-18 coach Alex Yi is quite familiar with the Texans industrious style of play.

“They’re a very good club. We know Dallas Texans pretty well. I lived in Dallas for a couple of years and watched a lot of David Hudgell’s teams,” said the former FC Dallas defender. “His teams are very respected and have a very particular style of play. Also, they’ll be playing in front of their families and fans, so that will be a tough one.”

As for that "particular style of play," Yi describes it in just two words “very physical.”

“They will like to hit long balls into channels where they will have big athletic guys who will run down balls, second balls, pick them up and go from there. For us, it’s about being in a good starting position defensively and dealing with those first and second balls,” said Yi. “Also, keeping possession of the ball and not letting them find a rhythm. They’re a team that once they have the rhythm, they could really punish you. It’s about being very disciplined and clean on set pieces.”

The style may be different than the one the more technical Galaxy side play, but forward Jaime Villarreal sees more than a few similarities between the two teams.

“They’re very good defensively, and they’re a similar to team to us because they have a lot of Hispanics and they touch the ball really well,” said Villarreal. “But we have to be the better team, keep the possession, and attack smart.”

The two teams also have a long history of facing off against one another with one match sticking out above all others. In July of 2011, the Galaxy U-16’s defeated the Texans 4-0 using six of the players who will likely suit up on Tuesday.   Although the Galaxy won by a convincing margin as they eventually clinched the Development Academy title, the match was marred by two red cards for LA.

With a chance to practically lock up Finals Week qualification on the line, Yi doesn’t expect his young charges to lose their discipline again.

“These guys will remember that. The thing that these guys have is experience,” said Yi. “They’ve played the Dallas Texans before and these memories don’t fade fast. They’ll know what it takes.”