On Tuesday, the LA Galaxy held their first media availability to truly kick start the 2014 preseason.
The session lasted nearly an hour as the players and head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media. Also present at training was the Vice President of Pumas UNAM Mario Trejo and Herbalife distributors from Mexico City. The Galaxy are scheduled to play Pumas in a closed-door scrimmage in Feburary.
Below are a few social media highlights from training.
The captain working on his fitness. https://t.co/4bKc68HGxz
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 28, 2014
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) January 28, 2014
— Eduard Cauich (@ecauich) January 28, 2014
Lastly, it’s never too early to project the starting lineup for the March 8th season opener against Real Salt Lake, so my projected 11 is below.
Former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens is looking from a new club and that search has taken him to Europe.
According to the American soccer website Yanks Abroad, Stephens will join Norweigan club Stabaek on trial this week. The news comes less than a week after the Galaxy announced that the 24-year-old would not be returning to LA in 2014 after spending the last four years with the club. In 2013, Stephens made 29 appearances in all competitions for the Galaxy with one goal and one assist.
"I can confirm that Michael Stephens is arriving Oslo tomorrow morning to do a trial with Stabæk Fotball," Stabaek sporting director Inge Andre Olsen told Yanks Abroad on Tuesday. "We are looking forward to meet Michael. We have not decided yet how long he will stay."
Stabaek are coached by former U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley who took the reins at the club earlier this month.
Thoughts on Stephens' trial? Think that he can make it in Europe?
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CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan has long held a regular starting position with the U.S. National Team, but ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he’s getting a stern challenge from Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi.
During his lengthy career with the national team, Donovan has played in a myriad of positions from either side of the midfield to a second striker, but has settled back into the midfield since the last World Cup cycle. However, the emergence of Zusi over the past year has created competition for the Galaxy stalwart with the Kansas City midfielder making 12 appearances with nine starts tallying two goals and two assists for the U.S. in 2013. Donovan on the other hand, made a total of 10 appearances and 10 starts while notching eight goals and eight assists.
With the U.S. to take on Korea Republic in less than a week, USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann touched on the competition between two players and whether or not they are fighting for the same spot on the roster.
“Sometimes yes, sometimes no. They can both play either side so we can play them both or we can decide to play someone else on one side and they can compete for the same spot,” said Klinsmann on Monday prior to U.S. training. “Graham is the one that can play on the right side and the left side while Landon can also play in the hole coming under the center forward. In this camp, you can look at Landon underneath Eddie Johnson to be the second striker which leaves you two spaces on the wings. Obviously, once Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey come into the mix then Landon may go to the left or the right. There’s competition on every position and that’s what we coaches love.”
Who deserves the position the right side of midfield for the U.S.?
The LA Galaxy were back at training on Monday and the folks at LAGalaxy.com provided a photo gallery of the proceedings.
In the gallery, new additions Samuel, Rob Friend, Baggio Husidic, and Kyle Venter are clearly visible.
Check it out below.
The U.S. National Team held their first training session at StubHub Center on Monday after returning from a near two-week World Cup "dry run" at their base for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Sao Paulo.
U.S. boss Jurgen Klinsmann addressed the media ahead of the U.S. match against Korea Republic on Feb 1. Following the training session, U.S. Soccer revealed that more than 23 thousand tickets have been sold for the match.
Klinsmann's comments are below.
(On the U.S. National Team's training camp in Brazil....)
KLINSMANN: "I think that it was really helpful for the team, but also for everyone involved in U.S. Soccer to experience our team base hotel in Sao Paulo, to train at the Sao Paulo FC facility, to meet the people and get around the city. I personally went to Natal, Recife, and Manaus, and we have a better picture of what to expect and what will challenge us. It’s not going to be all perfect and we have to be patient and tolerant with things, but if we know that in advance and adjust it mentally then there is no problem at all.”
(On whether he has any concerns about the facilities in Manaus…)
KLINSMANN: “Before a draw you say if I can avoid playing there and playing under those conditions it would be nice, but once the draw was done there were no complaints from our end because both teams will have to play under the same circumstances. It’s going to be hotter than other places, but the [city] itself is absolutely gorgeous. To be in Manaus is an experience and therefore, I want the players to take it all because this is something unique. The people are excited to host World Cup games. [The city] offers a different face of Brazil and that is what the World Cup is about to see the different faces of a country, and Manaus is one of those different faces. I’m really looking forward to it. The stadium is gorgeous, they still have some issues with the training sights, hotels or whatever, but that’s where we have to adjust. Overall, it’s been very helpful that you go there to meet the people and talk to them.”
(On whether there are more players who could make the World Cup roster after the January camp…)
KLINSMANN: “The good thing about this camp is that we have more guys who can widen the pool. I’ve told these guys that in soccer so many things happen in a short amount of time so it is a lot about timing and how you prepare yourself a couple of months before a big tournament happens, and how you show up on the field. Then God forbid, other things happen with injuries or whatever, so the door is always open until May when we cut it down to 23 guys.”
(On whether he feels like he's running out of time to prepare for the World Cup...)
KLINSMANN: “I never feel like I’m running out of time. You need timelines and deadlines are always good. The first game is in June and that’s a great deadline because it is what we’re looking for. Then you adjust everything that you do if things don’t work out or there is an injury or whatever, we’ll make an adjustment and make the best out of it. The excitement just gets a little bit bigger because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve been to Brazil, we feel prepared and now we’re going to follow the players in all their different club teams and see how they’re doing over the next couple of months.”
(On the injury status of Fabian Johnson…)
KLINSMANN: “The surgery is done. He has a couple of screws in there, but that’s all good. He wants to play on Saturday and I think that he’ll be allowed to play on Saturday.”
(On what he expects from Korea Republic....)
KLINSMANN: “I think that it is the game at the end of January camp that you want to see the players implement the things that we worked on over these three and a half weeks…In a World Cup year and against a World Cup opponent, it’s something that they can match themselves with. [Korea Republic is] a pretty good team, I think that Costa Rica already experienced that because they had absolutely no chance against them the other day. We get a nice bench mark for the group and then we will go forward from there.”
(On the status of Jermaine Jones, who is looking to move away from German club Schalke…)
KLINSMANN: “We've been in contact; he hasn't solved his situation yet. He obviously has a deadline 31st of January that his people are working on, and with his club, they have a clear understanding that he is looking for a new club. ... It's now the 27th. So he has four more days and then, hopefully, he presents a solution there… Every player that doesn't have a solution right now on the table is a concern, absolutely. So we want him to solve it, but he's kind of used to these kind of situations ... and every time he solves it. So he has to solve it, obviously, this time as well. He has to do that within the next four days. We're in touch and we're positive that he finds a good solution and then gets back on the field and play. Because that's what we need the players to do”
CARSON, Calif. – The official open of LA Galaxy training camp for media may be less than 24 hours away, but the players were on the field during the fifth full day of preseason on Monday.
The Galaxy’s official Twitter account revealed the number choices for several of LA’s newest additions including Samuel who was spotted wearing No. 9, forward Rob Friend who donned No. 16, midfielder Baggio Hušidić wore No. 6 while new center back Kyle Venter was spotted with the No. 31 shirt.
The number that will get the most attention is certainly Samuel’s usage of the number nine shirt, which has gone unused since Swedish winger Christian Wilhelmsson wore the jersey during the latter stages of the 2012 season. Galaxy number nines have long struggled with Jovan Kirovski’s four goals and two assists in 21 league appearances in 2010 serving as the best performance for an LA number nine in the club history. Wilhelmsson tallied just a single goal and assist in nine MLS appearances spread across regular season and playoffs.
Can Samuel break the trend of struggling number nines?
Share your thoughts below.
USMNT makes roster changes after returning from Brazil, Korea Republic defeats Costa Rica at LA Coliseum
The U.S. National Team returned to the StubHub Center from Brazil “dry run” with a few subtractions and a new face, U.S. Soccer announced on Friday.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side will be without Colorado Rapids defenders Shane O’Neill and Chris Klute, Sporting Kansas City defenders Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic, and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall who were sent back to their respective clubs. However, Klinsmann added new Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst to the roster. The U.S. will face Korea Republic on Feb. 1 at StubHub Center.
Prior to leaving Brazil, Galaxy forward Landon Donovan spoke to media about the Americans prospects at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the opportunity to train at former training ground of his LA teammates Juninho and Leonardo.
“I play in Los Angeles with two players from Sao Paulo, Leonardo and Juninho. They spoke a lot about Sao Paulo before we got here. They said it’s beautiful here and that we would like it a lot. Everything they said has been correct,” Donovan told reporters. “We are staying in a beautiful part of the city. We walk around in the afternoon and the people are very friendly. We feel safe here, we feel accepted here, and it’s been very nice to have a couple weeks to adapt to what it’s going to be like this summer.”
While the U.S. returned from South America and made changes to their roster, Korea Republic defeated Costa Rica 1-0 on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Kim Shin-wook scored the lone goal in a testy match between the two World Cup-bound nations that saw two Costa Ricans sent off.
Korea will now travel to San Antonio, Texas for their match with Mexico at the Alamo Dome on Wednesday before returning to face the U.S. on Saturday. Highlights of their victory over Costa Rica are below.
Adonis Amaya continued his torrid scoring run with two goals as the LA Galaxy U-18’s crushed Folsom-based San Juan Soccer Club 3-0.
Amaya put the Galaxy U-18’s out in front in the 66th minute before teammate Ryo Fujii doubled the lead just three minutes later. The former U.S. U-17 international completed his brace in the 81st minute to give the Galaxy their second straight victory and bring his goal total to 14, putting him level with De Anza Force's Carlos Delgadillo and Carolina Rapids' Tanner Roberts for the USSDA goalscoring lead. The Galaxy U-18’s are now 9-3-2 on the year and will take on the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-18’s on Feb. 8.
The Galaxy U-16 side extended their unbeaten streak to 14 games with a 4-0 victory over San Juan SC. Ethan Zubak tallied a brace in the victory with Dylan Smith and Rey Ortiz rounding out the scoring. The Galaxy U-16’s remain the lone undefeated team in their age group with a 10-0-4 record and return to action on Feb. 8 against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC U-16 side.
TIJUANA— Club Tijuana returned to winning ways on Friday after captain Javier Gandolfi scored the lone goal in a 1-0 victory over Monarcas Morelia at the Estadio Caliente.
Tijuana was in firm control of the match from the opening whistle as they dominated possession against a listless Morelia side. After peppering the Monarcas net for much of the first half, Tijuana broke through in the 61st minute when Gandolfi smashed a Francisco Arce free kick into the back of the Morelia net.
The victory extended Tijuana’s home unbeaten streak to 16 games and a 2-1-1 record after four matches in the Clausura tournament.
A few observations from the match:
*Having seen Club Tijuana play numerous times since the start of their season, the primary question mark remains the uneven play of left back Edgar Castillo. The U.S. international has always been more of an attacking wing back that can be a liability on defense, which could be a major asset for the Galaxy attack. When the two teams meet in March, expect LA to look to pressure Castillo in order to find space behind the Xolos defense.
*Midfielder Fidel Martinez is the true engine of the Tijuana attack, but against Morelia, he’s struggled to create dangerous opportunities going forward. Against Monarcas, the Ecuadorian was afforded plenty of time and space by a Morelia midfield that preferred to sit back and allow Xolos possession. A very technical attacker, look for the Galaxy to attempt to limit his space and force him to give away possession. However, if the LA midfield does provide him with time to operate, he should provide a dangerous test for the Galaxy defense.
*A lot has been made over the past several years about the turf at the Estadio Caliente, but after placing a new surface earlier this year, it is a marked improvement from the hard concrete-like surface of years past. That being said, it is still not the equal of a turf surface like the one at JELD-WEN Field in Portland as the ball too often sticks to the ground causing problems for the home side and visitors alike. Prior to the match on March 18, expect the Galaxy to spend a considerable amount of time training on turf surfaces to prepare.
It's been quite the few months for Haji Wright and on Saturday, he added another goal and another trophy.
Wright and Monterrey product Joe Gallardo scored as the U-17's defeated host nation Turkey to win the Aegean Cup. The goal was Wright's first of the tournament, but the LA Galaxy Academy forward has been considered one of the top performers during the tournament in Turkey. Wright's performance comes on the heels of his stellar five goal showing that helped the U.S. win the Nike International Friendlies in December.
The U.S. U-17's have been a revelation in the tournament after going undefeated in group play with victories over France and Norway as well as a draw with Scotland before qualifying for the final and defeating Turkey.
Thoughts on Wright's performances? Should he be a homegrown signing for LA?
Share your thoughts below.