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29 April 2:37 pm

SANDY, Utah – At long last, Gyasi Zardes had the chance to step onto the field. The 21-year-old Homegrown forward made his professional debut by going 37 minutes in the LA Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake last Saturday. 

The moment was a tad bittersweet, however, as Zardes checked into the match at the 53rd minute for the injured Jack McBean, who was discovered to have a broken left clavicle following the match.  Once Zardes stepped onto the field, he became the third Galaxy player to make his professional debut in the 2-0 victory, joining starters Brian Rowe and Charlie Rugg. The last time that three Galaxy players made their MLS debuts was March 22, 2009 when A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Kyle Patterson participated in LA's 2-2 draw with D.C. United. 

“It was amazing,” Zardes told LA Galaxy Insider of his professional debut. “Just to have the opportunity to come onto the field and to contribute to the team felt great. They put me in for a reason so I just had confidence from the get go.”

A day later, Zardes went 45 minutes in the Galaxy’s 1-0 Reserve League defeat to Real Salt Lake. Dangerous from the outset, fatigue set in late in the first half as the forward was unable to create many chances for a Galaxy attack that struggled throughout.

But the fitness gained in the Reserve League match was a major boost for the rookie forward.

“I have to get my fitness up to par because I have been out for two months,” Zardes said. “To have my second [reserve] game is great. Fitness is the main key.”

With McBean injured, Zardes is expected to contend for minutes up top along with the likes of Jose Villarreal, Charlie Rugg, Robbie Keane, Chandler Hoffman, and Landon Donovan. Fighting for minutes with that distinguished group will be a challenge, but Zardes is eager to prove his worth.

“It sucks Jack got hurt, I take opportunity there is and there is an opportunity available,” Zardes said. “We have players like Jose [Villarreal] and other forwards, but I’m going to work hard and try to establish a role into the team. I really have to work hard in training and get my fitness up because the only thing that I want to do is contribute and help the team get better. ”

29 April 1:42 pm

 

CARSON, Calif.Should Mike Magee be a member of the U.S. National Team? The versatile Galaxy attacker has notched six goals in seven games this season.

During LA’s Time Warner Deportes’ postgame show, former Galaxy and U.S. national team turned analyst Steve Sampson posed the question to LA’s current head coach –and Sampson’s replacement as U.S. national team head coach back in 1998 –Bruce Arena if Magee should be considered for national team duty.

However, Arena was quick to leave the decision to current U.S. National Team boss Jurgen Klinsmann.

“Steve, you and I both know that a national team coach has a lot of pressure and a lot of critics. I think the national team has coach has to make those decisions," Arena said on the broadcast. "Right now, I’m going to relax and let the coach makes all those kind of decisions because as we know, they’re never easy.”

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Should Magee be considered for national team duty? Will Klinsmann call up Magee?

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29 April 9:54 am

For the first time since March 22, 2009, two LA Galaxy players made their MLS debut in the starting lineup. Forward Charlie Rugg notched a goal and goalkeeper Brian Rowe held a shutout with seven saves as the Galaxy defeated Real Salt Lake 2-0 on Saturday. 

Following the match, I wrote a pair of sidebars on the two starters, which you can read below.

Brian Rowe puts in masterful performance to seal LA Galaxy win over RSL

*Charlie Rugg confident after scoring to seal 2-0 LA Galaxy victory in MLS debut

I ask the question, however, which player had the best appearance and has the biggest upside?

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28 April 6:36 pm

Courtesy of RealSaltLake.com, highlights of the LA Galaxy's 1-0 Reserve League defeat to Real Salt Lake.

One thought: the video is at a poor angle, but it looks like goal scorer Sebastian Velasquez may have been offside on the lone goal of the match. LA Assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo said that he believed Velasquez might have been offside in his postgame comments

Check it out below...

28 April 1:28 pm

SANDY, Utah -- The LA Galaxy Reserves fell 1-0 to the Real Salt Lake Reserves on Sunday.

Brian Perk made his first start since undergoing sports hernia surgery on March 16 and put in a solid performance making six saves in the process. LA controlled the game early on, but Real Salt Lake quickly took control of the match and broke through in the 75th minute when midfielder Sebastian Velasquez beat Perk. 

Chances were limited for the Galaxy, who struggled to generate offense providing little test for former Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders, who was not called on to make a save. In the 75th minute, John Stertzer forced a turnover and found Velasquez alone on the 'keeper,who slotted it past Perk for the game's only goal. 

"I thought our defensive shape was very good for the 75 minutes. We weren't very sharp with the ball in the first half, which forced to have to defend. I thought to start the second half, we were sharper, we kept the ball a little bit better and hit a wall physically towards the end of the game. We need to see the film to see if the goal was offside, but there were three breakaways in a short period of time so those kind of things can't happen," Assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo told LA Galaxy Insider. "But fatigue played a big part of that, it's just our second reserve game on the road in altitude so that part we have to learn from. We got three academy players [Drew Murphy, Raul Mendiola and Nathan Smith] some valuable experience for them and we're bringing guys along like Gyasi [Zardes] and Kenney Walker back from injury. From that stand point, it's okay, obviously we're disappointed that we didn't get the result, but it's something that we can build on as we to our next reserve game" 

LA return to Reserve League action on May 7 against USLPro side Los Angeles Blues at The Home Depot Center. 

28 April 1:17 pm

SANDY, Utah -- The LA Galaxy lineup trotted out in their 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake shocked many, including RSL themselves.

In his postgame press conference, RSL boss Jason Kreis admitted that he was nervous about how his team would respond to LA's squad that was without regulars Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant, Carlo Cudcini, and Jose Villarreal. 

“It wasn’t just Donovan and Keane, there were five players that started tonight with the Galaxy that aren’t typically in their strongest eleven. So much so that when I got their lineup I was nervous to even write it up on the board. I was wondering if there was any way I could just sneak it in that they were playing LA’s strongest lineup," Kreis said. "I feel that our guys have had a tendency over the past to let down when they are playing a team that they think is weaker than they are; and tonight they got shown that team isn’t weaker than we are. Their eleven was better than our eleven.”

Even RSL captain Kyle Beckerman admitted that his team did not handle the lineup as well as they should have. 

“Anytime you see the lineup like that… maybe it’s something that consciously went into our minds, but I thought we said something about it to try and make sure it didn’t get to us. Maybe it did," Beckerman told reporters. "I think maybe we were a little shook up. We lost two forwards before the game where we didn’t expect that. They just came out better (in the first) 15 minutes and it ended up costing us the game.”

27 April 11:38 pm

Below are the highlights to the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake...

27 April 11:35 pm

SANDY, Utah – No LA Galaxy player shined brighter than Brian Rowe as the Galaxy sealed a 2-0 victory on the road against Real Salt Lake.

Starting in place of the injured Carlo Cudicini, Rowe made a total of seven saves on the night to seal his first career shutout in his MLS debut.

Below Rowe’s teammates and head coach Bruce Arena address his performance.

ARENA: “He was outstanding. There’s no other way to put it. We obviously felt that, coming into the game, that he’s a good goalkeeper, however he had no experience in the league. You’re always concerned in the first few minutes of the game, but he looked pretty composed right from the start. He had a good save early, and had great concentration to make a bunch of saves throughout the evening. As I said, I thought he was outstanding.”

A.J. DELAGARZA: “It was great. It reminded me of [Brian] Perk when he made his debut against Seattle and he came out with a penalty kick save. [Perk] made some pretty big saves for us and kept in the game and kept us at zero and got his first shutout.”

JUNINHO: “An amazing performance by Bryan Rowe. He’s a great goalkeeper and he’s got a great personality.”

MIKE MAGEE: “I thought Brian Rowe was the best player on the field.”

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What are your thoughts about Rowe’s performance?

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27 April 11:21 pm

SANDY, Utah -- Bruce Arena addressed the media following the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake. 

Arena's comments are below. 

(On Brian Rowe’s performance…)

ARENA: “He was outstanding. There’s no other way to put it. We obviously felt that, coming into the game, that he’s a good goalkeeper, however he had no experience in the league. You’re always concerned in the first few minutes of the game, but he looked pretty composed right from the start. He had a good save early, and had great concentration to make a bunch of saves throughout the evening. As I said, I thought he was outstanding.”

(On the performance of the younger players…)

ARENA: “Charlie did a good job. He kind of hit the wall a little bit in the second half, as expected, but a good first goal – a good first game. Again, he’s another player who played his first game tonight. We were really pleased that he got a goal in his first game. We can’t complain about that, for Rowe to get a shutout in his first game, on the road in Salt Lake.”

(On how the veterans helped the younger, less-experienced players on the road…)

ARENA: “They did a great job. There are seven veterans on the field, so it’s not like we just had a bunch of kids. The group of DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Sarvas, Juninho, Magee and Franklin were giving our young players confidence in helping us get the result.”

(On Jack McBean…)

ARENA: “Jack was doing alright. Unfortunately, he suffered a difficult injury and obviously, we’ll find out more tonight, but Jack has been moving along.”

(On his team’s success defensively…)

ARENA: “Our team shape is very good. Our center backs did not stand and drive, they were organizing the group ahead of them, our line moved pretty well and we got good blocks in the midfield. Early in the game, [Real Salt Lake] tried to get behind us, and we dealt with that pretty well. When we needed a save, Brian [Rowe] came through.”

(On whether the game-plan changed for the second half, after going up 2-0…)

ARENA: “Yes, I told the team that if [Real Salt Lake] didn't score a goal, from what I know about the game, is that we’re probably going to win. We took care of defending, and we’re satisfied winning 2-0. If we got a third goal, we’d get a third goal.”

27 April 9:25 pm

SANDY, Utah -- Jack McBean has enjoyed a strong 2013 season, but it may be put on hold after he suffered an injury during the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium on Saturday. 

McBean left the field in the 53rd minute in pain after a collision with RSL defender Nat Borchers. Following the match, the Galaxy confirmed that McBean was taken to a local hospital and X-Rays confirmed a fractured left clavicle. The club will set a timeline for his return once team doctors see him once the team returns to Southern California. 

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