CARSON, Calif. – The United States is inching ever closer to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup and a win on Tuesday will put them in the catbird seat as they look to book a ticket to Brazil.
Eventually, many assume that LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan will return to the international fold as the U.S. steamrolls towards Brazil. Donovan is on the nation’s preliminary roster for the 2013 Gold Cup, but without the 32-year-old, the U.S. currently sits at the top of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying.
“After five games, to have 10 points is fantastic," Donovan said at the Camps for Kids event at StubHub Center on Thursday. "And considering the remaining schedule, you would like to think we're going to qualify. And I was as proud and as happy as anyone over the last week watching those two games.”
The 32-year-old, who is the U.S. National Team’s all-time leading goal scorer, but hasn’t suited up for the U.S. since last August admits that he misses playing for his country. After all, who wouldn’t?
“I do miss it,” Donovan said. “I want to be out there, but the reality is different. So when I get my chance, I'll be ready.”
On June 19, The Home Depot Center will officially become StubHub Center.
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari spoke to several members of the LA Galaxy for this promotion video.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers needs extended minutes if he’s going to return to the Rogers of old and it seems at long last, he'll be able to log an extended shift for the LA Galaxy in Saturday’s Reserve League match against the USL PRO’s Los Angeles Blues.
Rogers confirmed in training on Thursday that he is expected to start on Saturday as he continues to his return to full fitness. The appearance will be Rogers’ first Reserve league match for LA and his fifth appearance across all competitions.
The 26-year-old midfielder has begun to show flashes of his former self, like a step-over fueled run that led to a Landon Donovan shot wide of goal in LA’s 3-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake last week, but he understands that he needs more minutes if he’s going to progress.
“Hopefully, I'll go as much as I can 60 or 70 minutes before my calves start to cramp. I wish that I can get fit more quickly, but I'm still a ways away,” said Rogers, who has played 56 minutes in three MLS appearances to date. “I need to get 60 or 70 minutes to really push myself. It’s about doing that and being exhausted after that. It’s tracking back and being able to do that again. I'm a winger and that’s my job.”
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy players Landon Donovan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin, and Marcelo Sarvas took part in the fifth annual camps for kids on Thursday. The event allowed the LA Galaxy Foundation to team up with StubHub Center Foundation and StubHub to host a camp for many local children.
LA forward Landon Donovan, for one, was pleased with his involvement.
"We've known that this is coming for awhile, but it's nice to officially open StubHub Center," said Donovan. "Obviously, it's a part of the coporate world, but it's important that there is geniune care about the community. We're lucky to have partners that do geniunely care and that makes it better for everybody."
A few photos of the event are bel
The Galaxy players pose with the children
Landon Donovan prepares to jump into a game with the kids
Donovan and the rest of the LA players take part in a short-sided game with the children
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane is returning to Southern California on Thursday, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed following the club's training session.
Keane appeared in all four of Ireland's matches during the international break and tallied five goals as he became the nation's leader in appearances. As for when Keane is expected to return to training, Arena is allowing the forward some time to rest after a busy international period.
"I'm not really worried about that. [He'll be back over] the next couple of days. He's played enough and traveled enough that he doesn't need to be doing a lot in the near future."
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy forward Jack McBean continued his road to recovery on Wednesday with his first full training session with the team since suffering a fractured left clavicle in LA’s 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake on April 27.
McBean has been on the shelf since in April after undergoing surgery to repair the fracture, which he suffered in a collision with RSL defender Nat Borchers. However, since his injury, McBean has been steadily returning to fitness and on Wednesday made his first real step toward game action.
“I feel good,” McBean told LA Galaxy Insider following his first full day of training. “I've been working pretty hard to get back, but since the guys were on a road trip, I couldn’t really train too much, but I got cleared yesterday for contact so that’s good.”
Throughout his absence, McBean been a frequent sight on the LA training ground doing fitness work, but with his first day of full contact training complete, the 18-year-old is hopeful of earning minutes off the bench in Saturday’s Reserve League match against the Los Angeles Blues.
“I've been mostly keeping my legs fit, so lot of running and a lot of bike,” said McBean. “Not much upper body stuff yet, but I started lifting two days ago so I'm getting that back now too. Injuries happen and I'm just lucky that it wasn't my knee or something else.”
The injury came at a difficult time for McBean, who had started five consecutive league games prior to his injury and had notched a goal and two assists in seven league appearances. During the match against RSL, McBean enjoyed one of the finest games of his young career as he helped create LA’s second goal of the night before suffering the injury in the 53rd minute.
Although it was difficult for the teenage forward to sit due to injury, the Galaxy are eager to welcome him back.
“It’s probably the worse feeling that you can have as an athlete to be on a stationary bike for six weeks,” said associate head coach Dave Sarachan. “I know that he’s excited to be back and we'reexcited to have him back too because when he left us he was doing well.”
One question remains about McBean’s recovery however. With so much of McBean’s game depending on initiating contact with defenders will he shy from hits as he looks to recover? Not a chance says the teenage forward.
“It’s mostly mental for me. It’s all in my head. Doctors clear you for a reason and they don’t clear you if you're not ready to take a hit,” said McBean. “I just have to get a good lick and I’ll be fine.”
Jose Villarreal is out to make waves with the U.S. at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey, but the LA Galaxy Homegrown forward is well aware that it'll be no easy task.
I spoke to Villarreal about the U.S. U-20 campaign in this piece for LAGalaxy.com, which you can read here.
Accompanying the piece is this video produced by LAGalaxy.com last week upon Villarreal's call to the squad.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena knows that he’ll be without the services of midfielder Marcelo Sarvas against the Portland Timbers on June 19 due to ill-gotten yellow card, but is unlikely to prevent the LA Galaxy head coach from attempting to enact changes to the league’s officiating rules in the future.
The MLS Disciplinary Committee levied an undisclosed fine to Real Salt Lake midfielder Ned Grabavoy on Tuesday for his act of simulation that led to referee Drew Fischer to award a yellow card to Sarvas in the 91st minute of LA’s 3-1 defeat to RSL. The caution is Sarvas' fifth and will cause him to miss LA’s next match due to yellow card accumulation and while Grabavoy earned a fine for his misconduct due to league rules the call cannot be overturned.
Although Arena implored the officials to “reevaluate” the call after the match, the LA head coach understands that he has no way to overturn the call at this moment.
“That’s a rules issue. It’s a perfect example of how they have to get that corrected,” Arena told reporters on Wednesday.
Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan also chimed in on the call offering his own solution to the issue.
"Maybe there should be some addendum to a fifth yellow in a moment of embellishment, maybe alleviate the suspension. Maybe that's something for review,” Sarachan said.
As for when it could be corrected, Arena admitted that the club will have to wait till next year to appeal for a rule change as it is a “federation issue.” However, the Galaxy boss was quick to admit that he’s not letting himself get frustrated over the call.
“In this league, if you worry about the officiating, you’ll drive yourself crazy, so we don’t have any issues. It is what it is. It’s a mistake and that’s life,” said Arena. “I’m more concerned, probably, about the referee in New England on the play that created the second goal than that one. Hopefully, these young officials are getting better, that’s the goal behind all of it.”
International Update: Omar Gonzalez goes the distance in U.S. win while Robbie Keane starts for Ireland
Omar Gonzalez started and went 90 minutes as the United States defeated Panama 2-0 to take first place at the top of their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group.
Jozy Altidore and Eddie Johnson scored the goals as the U.S. is now sits two points ahead of second place Costa Rica and third place Mexico in the Hexagonal. Against Panama, Gonzalez was rarely tested except for a brief lapse that led to a Luis Tejada chance in the game's dying moments. Following the match, Gonzalez spoke to reporters following the match about his maturity in the back. The U.S. finish up this series of international matches on Tuesday against Honduras at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Meanwhile, Robbie Keane started and went 56 minutes as Ireland fell 2-0 to Spain at Yankee Stadium in New York. The match is the final fixture for the Irish during this international period. Ireland will participate in a friendly against Wales on August 14, which does fall on a FIFA date before resuming World Cup qualifying against Sweden on Sept. 6. Both matches will take place in Dublin.
Thoughts on Gonzalez's performance? Do you expect Keane to continue to be a feature with Ireland?
Share your thoughts below.
It appears that there will be no overturn of the yellow card accumulation suspension for Marcelo Sarvas for the LA Galaxy's next match against the Portland Timbers on June 19, leaving a hole in the Galaxy midfield.
So who will get the start alongside Juninho? LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has a number of options including Rafael Garcia, Michael Stephens, Kenney Walker, and even Hector Jimenez.
Garcia, a second-year midfielder from Cal-State Northridge, appears to be the frontrunner to replace Sarvas. The 24-year-old has made five appearances this season including an 80 minute shift against the New York Red Bulls on May 19.
The other top choice is Stephens, who has been primarily used as a left-sided midfielder this season and has made nine appearances with four starts during the 2013 regular season. However, Stephens has seen considerable time in central midfield during his four year career. Meanwhile, Walker and Jimenez have each seen time in central midfield during MLS Reserve League and preseason matches, but have yet to play in the center during league play.
Arena will have plenty of time to prep his midfielders during Saturday's Reserve League match against the Los Angeles Blues where all four players are likely to see considerable minutes.
Who do you want to see play in central midfield for LA against Portland?