Beat

03 July 1:48 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy believe that they’ve moved on from last Saturday’s disappointing defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes, now all they have to do is prove it on the field.

No player exemplified this mindset better than center back Omar Gonzalez, who after being asked by about the team moving on from Saturday’s defeat offered a clever response.

“What game?” Gonzalez asked. The San Jose game, of course, the reporter answered. “When was that?” Gonzalez quipped.

Exactly.

Jokes aside, Gonzalez understands that the Galaxy defense must sharpen especially in the closing stages of games, when LA has conceded 13 goals of their 21 goals in the final 15 minutes.

“There’s little things that we need to fix. We play well for long stretches of the game, but it is those little things that are hurting us,” said Gonzalez. “Whether it’s letting guys get crosses or not marking in the box, it is just the little things that we’ve been getting punished for all year.”

“Hopefully, things will start turning our way and the bad luck will turn into good luck,” added Gonzalez. “But if a game was 80 minutes, then we’d be in first place, but unfortunately, the game is 90-plus minutes, and we’ve been falling short toward the end of games.”

Gonzalez’s provided a comprehensive description of LA’s recent struggles, but how does LA turn that around?

“It has to come from the veteran guys and myself in particular. When we’re up with the lead, stop sending guys forward—stop sending Sean [Franklin] and Todd [Dunivant] forward to get an extra goal. Maybe keep them back so we can stop any kind of attack that they start,” said Gonzalez. “Just be smarter with the way that we manage games. If we start doing that then we start being more cerebral in the way that we’re play and maybe we can start building points up.”

Gonzalez and company will need to be on point on Thursday, if they are to earn a victory against the Crew, who boast the talented forward tandem of Dominic Oduro and Frederico Higuain. Providing a mix of speed and playmaking ability, Gonzalez believes that positioning will be key.

“We’ve played against Oduro plenty and we’ve done pretty well against him. His speed is a bit of an X factor. He can get places faster than most in this league,” said Gonzalez. “I think that he’s having a very good year this year and he’s definitely one to watch and whenever you have a guy like Higuain, who is going to be serving him balls quick and putting balls over the top, it’s something that we have to look out for.

“We have to be good on our line, make sure that we drop early and keep them in front of us.” 

03 July 8:48 am

The MLS Disciplinary Committee has suspended San Jose Earthquakes Shea Salinas one game and fined him an undisclosed amount for nearly landing an elbow to the head of LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane during the fifth minute of San Jose's 3-2 victory over LA last Saturday. 

The Disciplinary Committee ruled that action endangered Keane's safety despite referee Armando Villarreal awarding a foul on Keane during the run of play . The move seems to be a just one by the Committee as Salinas came close to landing an elbow to Keane's head as the pair jostled for position.

Video of the action is below.

03 July 8:03 am

Messi and Friends, we hardly knew ye.

“The Battle of the Stars” featuring “Messi and Friends vs. the Rest of the World,” which was a high-profile match that was scheduled to take place on July 3 has been canceled. Rumors of the game’s cancelation began on Tuesday, but a press release issued on Tuesday revealed that the event had been canceled.

"After hours of trying to convince Lionel Messi's management team to fulfill their contractual agreement and come to Los Angeles, it is clear they have no respect for these fans and this market,” El Padrino Spirits CEO Todd Graham said in a statement. “We feel that this is a blatant attempt to defraud American citizens and businesses that sponsored this event.”

You thought that was harsh, well, in the same statement, the Marketing Director of Adriana’s Insurance Ines Calderon promised some type of action against Messi’s representatives.

"We have no words to express our disappointment and frustration," Calderon stated. "As a brand we invested many hours of work and thousands of dollars but most importantly, we put our name next to the events name, and in front of our community. We regret sponsoring this event and hope that the authorities penalize whoever is responsible of this mess."

All looking for refunds are being asked to contact Ticketmaster.

Soccer By Ives has broken down the entire situation in this report even revealing that Messi had planned to arrive in Los Angeles three hours before the scheduled match time. SBI also noted that not only is the Los Angeles appearance canceled, but a July 6 match in Chicago is also in doubt. Like the L.A. event, SBI reports that players—like Michael Bradley and Carlos Bocanegra—have begun pulling out, leaving the match in jeopardy.

One important thing to remember in all this comedy? There are actual friendlies involving international soccer stars taking place in at an iconic Los Angeles venue later this month

02 July 6:31 pm

In the latest edition of view from the booth, Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones break down the LA Galaxy's match against the Columbus Crew

Check it out below...

02 July 6:01 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Thursday’s match against the Columbus Crew will be a special one for Robbie Rogers, who will take on his old team for the very first time.

A mainstay in Columbus from 2007 to 2011, Rogers helped the Crew win the MLS Cup in 2008 and consecutive Supporters’ Shields in 2008 and 2009. During that time, Rogers became one of the league’s brightest stars as he was named to the MLS Best XI in 2008 and nearly made the U.S. roster for the 2010 World Cup.

Shortly after the 2011 season, Rogers completed a move to Leeds United that set in motion a two-year stint in England that included a brief stop at League One side Stevenage.  On Thursday, he’ll face his old club as a member of the LA Galaxy after the club acquired his rights from the Chicago Fire in May.

“It should be interesting. I played for so long and, obviously, I never played against them. That will be a little different to be in the other kit,” said Rogers who has exchanged texts with several current Crew players and members of the coaching staff. “Playing against Columbus at StubHub Center will be a little strange for me at first, but I’m desperate to get three points, so I don’t care who I’m playing against.”

As he prepares to take on his old club, Rogers is still trying to find his way with the Galaxy as he has made a total of seven appearances in all competitions and has started the last three regular season matches for LA.

During those three starts, Rogers has become steadily more involved in the Galaxy attack with seven shots in those appearances. Despite his chances, he has yet to score his first goal in an LA uniform, but came maddeningly close during last Saturday’s 3-2 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes.  

 “It’s annoying. I had some chances in the first half and one in the second half; we created so many chances especially in the end of the game. It’s the soccer gods, you got to finish one of those [chances] or they might punish you,” said Rogers. “I just need to really be sharp in the final third. Defensively, I feel like I’m doing better. I just need to put one away and it helps the team out.”

As he looks to find the back of the net for the first time, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has already tabbed Rogers for a big week with LA playing their second of three games in eight days. 

“I’ve said it before, it takes four or five games to get completely match fit,” said Keane of the midfielder’s performance. “I think that this week will help. Playing Sunday, Thursday, and again on Sunday. I think this will be a big week for him.”

02 July 3:27 pm

CARSON, Calif. – A.J. DeLaGarza knows that he could have done better on the play that led to the San Jose Earthquakes’ game-winning-goal last Saturday, but that doesn’t mean that he was going to take those trying to needle him in jest lying down.

The Earthquakes promoted a GIF image of Marvin Chavez’s play that depicts DeLaGarza falling to the ground after to gain position. The play set in motion San Jose’s closing goal that ended on the head of forward Alan Gordon to seal a 3-2 victory for the Quakes. 

“I can’t make an excuse for it. It’s not like he crossed me up and did some ridiculous move,” said DeLaGarza. “I tripped over trying to back up.”

DeLaGarza was quick to reply to the social media challenge with one of his own—posting a photo of his two MLS Cup championship rings and attaching San Jose’s official twitter handle. As the rivalry between the two teams continues to become one of the finest in MLS, DeLaGarza admitted that actions like this are simply part of the fun.

“It’s just part of it. I wasn’t upset. Also, for them to take a jab, I couldn’t personally let that happen,” said DeLaGarza. “Obviously, people tagged me in it so I found out. I had some other good things to say, but I went with that one.” 

02 July 3:22 pm

In the latest edition of MLS Legends, MLSsoccer.com profiles LA Galaxy mainstay Cobi Jones. 

One of my earliest soccer memories is watching Jones patrol the midfield during the Rose Bowl days, and this video stirs many of those old memories. 

Check out the video below. 

02 July 9:54 am

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will have a Landon Donovan-sized hole to fill in the midfield during the month of July, but who steps into the role remains to be seen.

One potential option is midfielder Pablo Mastroeni, who was acquired last month in a trade from the Colorado Rapids. A holding midfielder by trade, but he has experience playing at right back and central defense.  Central defense is a longshot, but right back and midfield are options for the midfielder.

Should Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena slot him into central midfield, he’d likely move Marcelo Sarvas out wide right, but if he chooses to place Mastroeni at right back then it may allow Sean Franklin to push into midfield, where he spent some time earlier this season.

No matter where he plays, however, Mastroeni just wants to contribute.

 “I’m here to be a part of this team. When the time is right, we have so many games. We have international games; my mindset is to contribute when I’m called upon,” said Mastroeni. “It’s not looking forward to blossoming a new career and a new image. It’s to take my experience and the way that I can contribute in any facet that the coaches feel will help the team out.”

01 July 5:24 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Oscar Sorto and Jose Villarreal rejoined the LA Galaxy in training on Monday following the completion of the U.S. campaign at the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey.

Both players returned to California earlier this weekend and promptly returned to training following LA’s disappointing 3-2 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes last Saturday.

I spoke to both players on their performances at the tournament as well as what it may mean for the future with the LA Galaxy and the U.S. National Team in this piece for LA Galaxy.com.

As far as what the players learned in Turkey, both noted that they became more familiar with the fast-paced international speed of play.

“[The pace of the game] was much faster,” admitted Villarreal. “The way that these guys train is at a higher pace than us. It was definitely a learning step for me, so I’ll try to include that here.”

Villarreal didn't simply touch on his own performance as he impressed with Sorto's showing in his two matches-- despite playing out of position at right midfield for the final game against Ghana.

“He did well,” said Villarreal. “He came in as a right mid so it was a lot different for him. Obviously playing against some of the top players in the world at that age was going to be a challenge for him, but I think that he did well. As soon as he changed back to right back, he was a lot more comfortable and showed his ability to play.” 

01 July 4:48 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy returned to the training field on Monday for their first session following Saturday’s stunning 3-2 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes.

Just two starters from Saturday’s game—Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho—were present during the portion of training open the media.  Prior to the training session, the starters broke down the tape of the defeat to the Earthquakes with head coach Bruce Arena, according to Juninho, the conversation wasn't a pleasant one.  

“[We made] a couple mistakes in the end, and Bruce [Arena] talked to us about it,” said Juninho. “[Arena said] a couple goals we missed in the end of a game like that and this cannot happen again.”

Juninho returned to the training field after leaving in the – minute following a heavy challenge from San Jose’s Victor Bernárdez.  The foul saw Bernárdez pick up a second yellow card as well as an ejection for the play, but Juninho noted that he remembered little from the action.

“I received the ball, turned it over and tried to run [after the ball]. [Bernárdez] came in with a crazy tackle. It hit my ankle again, my ankle is not a 100 percent, but everyone knows that,” said Juninho. “I rolled first and then he kicked me. When he hit me, I felt so much hurt.  But I'm okay right now.”

As for his status for Thursday’s match, Juninho expects to be on the field against the Columbus Crew.

“I underwent treatment, so we'll see during the week how I am,” said Juninho.