Beat

11 August 1:09 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- For all the talk surrounding the LA Galaxy back four in the lead up to Sunday's SuperClásico, Mike Magee believes that the the game will be determined in the center of the park. 

Magee is likely to play an important role for the Galaxy attack on Sunday as he is expected to step into David Beckham's space in the midfield. With Beckham fulfilling his Olympic obligations on Sunday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is expected to look to utilize Magee's speed on the flanks to help LA against Chivas USA's tenacious midfielders. Magee is well-aware that this will be no easy task as Chivas' high intensity midfield will be bolstered by the acquisition of midfielder Shalrie Joseph and the return of Oswaldo Minda from a shoulder injury. 

"It's hard, they obviously like to load the middle of the field and they had a great midfield before and now getting Shalrie and Minda back from injury is obviously huge for them. We need to be extremely disciplined and match their intensity."

(On controlling the midfield...)

MAGEE: "That's huge in all our games, the times that we have the most success is when we have control of the midfield and are passing the ball well while keeping possession, especially in the final third. This game is obviously magnified a bit more because of how good their midfield is so we definitely need to do well."

(On the playoff chase...)

MAGEE: "It's a lot closer than people think, four games in hand is a lot and this is a massive game always and if you look at the standings, they're confident as well so this game could shake things up for the playoffs."

10 August 5:25 pm

CARSON, Calif -- The SuperClásico is always a heated affair, but with LA Galaxy and Chivas USA fighting for a berth in the postseason, even more fuel has been added to the fire. 

Currently, the Galaxy are in fifth place in the Western Conference with a seven point lead on sixth-place Chivas, but the Rojiblancos hold four games in hand on LA.  With a victory on Sunday, the Galaxy could move ten points clear of their cross-hall rivals, but a defeat would push Chivas to within four points of the Galaxy with four fewer games played. 

Below are Landon Donovan's thoughts from Friday's press conference as well as a video preview of the SuperClásico...

(On what it would mean to win the SuperClásico...)

DONOVAN: "We take a lot of pride in this rivalry, but I think more importantly, probably for both teams at this point, is these could end up being the last two teams that fight for a playoff spot. So that's where our focus is, and we know three points on Sunday would put us a lot closer to that goal and, conversely, Chivas could close the gap with still a lot of games in hand, so it makes this game as important as any."

(On the importance of the rivalry to the city of Los Angeles...)

DONOVAN: "I grew up here so I’m familiar with all the sports rivalries and I know that Angelinos take these things very seriously. It’s important for the fans and myself being a fan of other sports in this area that I understand the passion that’s involved in this." 

(On whether or not the SuperClásico is just another game once the whistle blows...)

DONOVAN: “I think there is just probably a little more emotion involved, a little more passion involved. It doesn’t mean your going to be blatantly trying to kick someone or to hurt someone, but it has a little more meaning. In this game, there a lot of games, a lot of games in the summer months, where from time to time you get to a game and by the end of the game you think, ‘God I wasn’t fully into that game,’ because its been a long summer and this, that or the other, but in this game you know that everybody on both sides are going to come prepared and really fully alert and ready for it, and that’s where the difference is.”

10 August 4:19 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan is well aware that when the LA Galaxy take on Chivas USA on Sunday, the Rojiblancos will be a far improved side from the one that LA defeated in late-July.

Much of that improvement stems from Chivas' recent acquisition of tenacious midfielder Shalrie Joseph from the New England Revolution on August 1st. Long considered -- alongside Donovan -- to be one of MLS' finest players over the last decade, Joseph is expected to make his Chivas debut during Sunday's SuperClásico. With Joseph most-likely attempting to ignite a recently stagnant Chivas attack, Donovan admits that his teammates must be cognizant of the midfielder on Sunday. 

"He is my opinion has been one of the best probably 10 or 15 players in this league for a long time now, and we fully expect him to play, to start. How they use him, we're not quite sure, and maybe they're still finding out, too. But he's an influential player and a good leader ... I think he's going to give an influence on their team in a very positive way.So he's someone that we have to be aware of." 

10 August 2:15 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- One question has circulated throughout the LA Galaxy camp this week: Could the the back four that led the LA Galaxy to the 2011 MLS Cup make an appearance for this Sunday's SuperClásico against Chivas USA?

With injury concerns seemingly a thing of the past, the quartet  of Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant, a group that lined up together 17 times last season -- including the 2011 MLS Cup Final -- could play together again starting this Sunday.

Read my story on the possibility of the back four of Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez and Dunivant teaming up again this Sunday and leave your thoughts in the comments section below.  

09 August 10:40 pm

As part of the festivities for SuperClásico week, front office staff and fans of the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA took part in the BarraClásico on Thursday evening at The Home Depot Center. 

In the night's first match, the Galaxy staff fell 4-3 to their Chivas counterparts. With the victory, the Chivas' staff swept the season series, 3-0. Meanwhile in the second match of the night, the LA Riot Squad defeat Chivas' Black Army 1850, 2-1. The victory gave LARS a three-game sweep of the Chivas supporters group.

In the night cap, the Galaxy supporters group the Angel City Brigade played to a scoreless draw with Chivas' Union Ultras. The season series ended 1-1-1, but the Ultras were awarded the "Supporters' Cup" on aggregate. This result could have some barring on Sunday's result as the Galaxy are undefeated in the SuperClásico when the Union Ultras win the BarraClásico. 

09 August 4:28 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy U15s finished third in the U15 GA Cup tournament and the LA Galaxy U17s finished sixth in the U17 tournament on Thursday. 

The LA Galaxy U15's defeated the Chicago Fire U15's 1-0 on Thursday at StarFire Sports Complex in the third place contest while the U17s fell 3-1 to Chicago's U17s in the fifth place match.

The U15s finished the tournament with a record of 3-1-1 while the U17s went 2-1-2 at the GA Cup.

08 August 12:41 pm

On Wednesday, the MLS' Board of Governors unveiled their new tie-breaker rules for the 2012 playoffs to the public and the change could have a major impact on the LA Galaxy.  

The most important change is that MLS has opted to use Goals For as the first standings tie-breaker with Goal Differential being moved to the second determinant of standings positioning (A complete look at the tiebreaker rules can be found here). This could benefit the Galaxy as the club is has currently scored 39 goals this season -- the second best total in MLS, six behind the first place San Jose Earthquakes -- and goal differetial of zero. 

What are your thoughts on the tie-breaker switch? Will this help the Galaxy or hurt them?

07 August 11:12 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy reserves scored a 1-0 victory over the Chivas USA reserves on Tuesday afternoon on a goal from Jack McBean.

McBean was among several who impressed in the Reserve League SuperClásico -- or "El Clásico Reserva" as I like to call it -- as well as Jose Villarreal and academy player Raul Mendiola -- more on him in the morning -- who helped McBean set up the goal. My profile on McBean's performance can be found here while MLSsoccer.com's Scott French wrote this story on the return of Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant, who went 90 minutes in the Reserve League victory.  

A recap from LAGalaxy.com with interviews from McBean, Reserves head coach Curt Onalfo and Jose Villarreal can be found below:

07 August 3:38 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The news of the untimely death of Columbus Crew midfielder Kirk Urso stunned the American Soccer community and those reverberations were felt in the LA Galaxy locker room.  

 
Galaxy Rookie defender Tommy Meyer was a teammate of Urso’s while the pair were on the United States’ Under-17 team for the 2007 U-17 World Cup in South Korea. The similarities between the pair did not end there as two Midwest natives played in regional teams together before heading off to top college programs—Urso at North Carolina and Meyer at Indiana—and both were eventually drafted by MLS clubs. 
 
After learning of Urso’s passing on Sunday, Meyer was among the many left shocked
 
“He was a good friend of mine. We grew up playing soccer together with a regional team and then we were in Residency together and I played against him at UNC a couple of times,” Meyer said on Tuesday. “We’ve always talked and always been good friends and it’s definitely hard to lose a good friend so young. He had such a promising career and he was a good kid. It’s hard to wrap your head around.” 
 
In order to deal with the untimely death of his friend and former teammate, Meyer has reached out to many whose lives were touched by Urso. 
 
“I’ve talked to guys that I was in residency with and people have messaged me about it. Just to see how I’m doing and how they’re doing,” said Meyer. “It’s been pretty hard for everyone.” 
 
Although dealing with the untimely death of a friend and teammate has been challenging for the Galaxy defender, Meyer had a special message to the Urso’s family. 
 
“To Kirk’s family, I met his mom and dad once, they were great people. I know that he has a lot of good friends and everyone in the soccer community that knew him, knew he was a great kid so my prayers are with his family.” 
06 August 6:25 pm

The LA Galaxy will have a golden opportunity to put a 4-0 defeat to the Seattle Sounders behind them this week as they face off against Chivas USA in the Superclásico. 

With the two clubs in the midst of a playoff chase, emotions are high on both sides heading into Superclásico week.  

The run down of the week's events is below: 

8/7 - LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA Reserve League match: Home Depot Center Field #1 at 11am. Parking and Admission to the match are free. More details on the match and parking information can be found here

8/9 -BarraClásico: Home Depot Center Field #5 beginning at 6pm.

       *LA Galaxy staff vs. Chivas USA staff - 6pm. (Chivas USA Staff lead 2-0)

       *LA Riot Squad vs. Black Army 1850 - 7:30pm. (LARS lead series 2-0)

       *Angel City Brigade vs. Union Ultras - 9pm. (Series tied 1-1)

8/12 - Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy - 8pm on ESPN.2 (Series tied 1-1)