The tragic school shooting in Newton, Conn. affected the United States and the World, and on Jan. 7, three LA Galaxy players including captain Landon Donovan are joining a group of American soccer stars to do their part to bring some joy to those who have suffered so much.
Donovan, Sean Franklin and Rafael Garcia have joined Houston Dynamo President -- and Connecticut native -- Chris Canetti's "Soccer Night in Newtown," an event open only to the townspeople of Newtown and the Newton Youth Soccer Club. Newton residents will be able to meet the players and play in small sided games with the soccer stars.
Also joining the three representatives of the Galaxy are 27 other MLS players as well as male and female U.S. national team stars.
The LA Galaxy have themselves a new goalkeeper.
On Monday, Tottenham Hotspur announced that Italian veteran goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini will join the LA Galaxy on a free transfer. In the Galaxy's own annoucement, the club clarified that Cudicini's transfer is pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), work visa and a medical examination. The 39-year-old goalkeeper had found himself down in the depth chart with Tottenham, serving as the club’s fourth-string ‘keeper.
Cudicini spent the last 15 years in the Premier League after starting his career in Italy. The veteran goalkeeper spent nine years at Chelsea before joining Tottenham in January of 2009. In that time, Cudicini made just 37 total appearances for Spurs including one in 2012 during a League Cup match against Carlisle United.
“We are delighted to be able to add Carlo Cudicini to our roster,” Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said in a statement. “Carlo is an experienced and accomplished goalkeeper who we believe will be a great addition to our team and our defensive unit.”
In the latest in my "Galaxy Player Ratings," I reviewed the season of LA's clutch attacker Mike Magee. You can read my thoughts on Magee's season here.
Magee is currently out of contract, but shortly after LA's MLS Cup victory, I spoke to Magee about his current contract talks with the Galaxy.
Rate Magee's season yourself below...
The LA Galaxy Player Ratings are beginning to come to a close, but on Boxing Day, I reviewed the season of LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan.
Speculation continues to surround Donovan, who has not yet decided if he will continue playing as he rests this offseason. Be sure to check out my ratings of Donovan here.
Give LA's captain your own rating below.
In 2012, Michael Stephens had two very defined -- and very different -- roles with the LA Galaxy. (Read my evaluation of the player here)
During MLS play, he was predominantly used as a late substitute who would provide energy and help the Galaxy close out games while during LA's CONCACAF Champions League campaign, Stephens was the experienced veteran providing leadership on and off the field for the club's youngsters. But with a series of departures and a number of question marks in the midfield, Stephens' fourth season in MLS may be when he finally solidifies a role in the starting XI.
With David Beckham having left the club and the status of Juninho still up in the air, Stephens is one of the prime in-house candidates to slide into the vacant spots in the Galaxy midfield. During the 2012 calendar year, Stephens made a total of 33 appearances in all competitions while racking up two goals and two assists.
“With the retirements and [departures], there’s going to be some opportunity next year," Stephens recently told the LA Galaxy Insider. "There will be some positions up for grabs maybe more than there were last year. For me, personally, that’s something that I’m looking forward to.”
Stephens intends to spend the offseason in his native Chicago, but once he returns to Southern California for the preseason, he's eager to grab a spot in the Galaxy's starting XI.
"When guys leave and especially guys that were in starting positions – obviously, the coaches have their own plan for those positions— but when you lose starters, those positions are up in the air," said Stephens. "It’s something to fight for and I’ll be ready for that next year.”
Rate Stephens' season below.
This particular player rating needs no introduction, I recently rated the season of midfielder David Beckham. If you haven't already, be sure to take a gander it here.
Beckham's evaluation comes amid French reports that Beckham has crossed off French side AS Monaco as one of his potential destinations.
Rate Beckham's season yourself below.
No matter what you celebrate, I want to wish all of you well wishes during this holiday season and many thanks for following the LA Galaxy Insider during this eventful season.
A special holiday video from the entire Galaxy organization is below.
Another British tabloid is linking Chelsea FC talisman Frank Lampard to the LA Galaxy.
The Daily Mirror states that Lampard could leave Chelsea for the Galaxy at the end of the 2011/2012 EPL season. The tabloid also links Lampard with EPL relegation candidates Queen's Park Rangers where his uncle Harry Redknapp is the manager.
*Aside from the numerous transfer rumors, Galaxy fans can vote for the club's back-to-back championship in David Beckham's final as one of Los Angeles' top five sports moments of the year on the Los Angeles Times website.
In other news...
*Lionel Messi will end 2012 with 91 goals in the calendar year after scoring in FC Barcelona's 3-1 win over Real Valladolid. ESPN FC breaks down his incredible season.
*South America's premier club tournament, the Copa Libertadores will take place just three hours drive from Los Angeles. Club Tijuana were drawn into group five of the Libertadores on Friday where they will face off against Brazilian club -- and current Club World Cup champion -- Corinthians, Colombian champions Millonarios and Bolivia’s San José. Two teams advance from the group stage to the quarterfinals. Dates for the matches have not been set yet, but the tournament will begin in February.
*Boca Juniors is reportedly after Philadelphia Union center back Carlos Valdes.
*There is no guarantee that midfielder Davide Chiumiento will be returning to Vancouver Whitecaps FC according to club president Bob Lenarduzzi.
Thursday was a busy day for the LA Galaxy, but my player evaluations are rolling right along with the evaluations of Homegrown forward Jose Villarreal and rookie defender Tommy Meyer.
You'll have chance to rate the players your own below...