No matter the setting, Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez expect plenty of hostility at World Cup qualifier in Costa Rica
CARSON, Calif. – Next week the U.S. National Team will travel to Costa Rica for a World Cup qualifier that could put them another step closer to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
However, this time around, the U.S. won’t be playing the Costa Ricans at the famed Estadio Saprissa where they are winless in qualifying matches, but the brand new Estadio Nacional. Built in 2011, the Estadio Nacional is a far more modern stadium than Saprissa and also contains a track around the pitch, which separates the intimidating Costa Rican crowd from the field. The LA Galaxy are expected to take on C.S. Cartagines at Costa Rica's national stadium on Sept. 25 due to lighting issues at Los Brumosos home stadium.
But will U.S. reap any benefits by not having to play at the famed “Monster's Cave”?
“In my opinion, Saprissa is the hardest place to play in CONCACAF so it can’t hurt. That’s for sure,” said Donovan. “But any time that you play Costa Rica at home or away, we expect a difficult game so we expect that same.”
No matter where they play, Gonzalez is sure that they’ll get a great deal of flak on the field and in the stands after their epic “Snowclasico” World Cup qualifier in Denver in March that saw the U.S. defeat Los Ticos 1-0 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“I think that it’ll be a hostile environment and they’re not going to make it easy for us,” said Gonzalez. “That’s something that we already expect going into those countries. I think that the environment is going to make it a fun game.
“We’re going to go in there and fight hard,” Gonzalez added. “The fans are going to go give it their all and support their team, but we’re definitely going to have our backs against the wall, but it’s up to us to be united and to play the proper way and hopefully come out with three points.”
Highlights of that last meeting between Costa Rica and the U.S. are below...
Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez are off to the U.S. National Team for World Cup Qualifying.
The pair were named to head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's 23-man squad for the U.S. matches against Costa Rica in San Jose on Sept. 6 at the Estadio Nacional and against Mexico on Sept. 10 at Columbus Crew Stadium.
Donovan and Gonzalez are just two of four LA players that will not be available for the Galaxy's match against the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 7, joining Robbie Keane (Ireland) and Jaime Penedo (Panama), who were each named to their respective national teams.
The complete U.S. roster is below...
GOALKEEPERS: Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Nick Rimando
DEFENDERS: DaMarcus Beasley, Matt Besler, John Brooks, Geoff Cameron, Edgar Castillo, Brad Evans, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Orozco
MIDFELDERS: Kyle Beckerman, Alejandro Bedoya, Michael Bradley, Mix Diskerud, Fabian Johnson, Jermaine Jones, Graham Zusi
FORWARDS: Jozy Altidore, Clint Dempsey, Landon Donovan, Aron Johannsson, Eddie Johnson
CARSON, Calif. – A player with Landon Donovan’s resume should certainly be among the league’s highest paid players and by reaching certain incentives, the Galaxy forward will stand head and shoulders above all others on the league’s pay scale.
According to Soccer by Ives, the four-year, $5 million a season deal that Donovan signed will make him the league’s second highest player behind U.S. teammate Clint Dempsey, but by reaching performance incentives, the Galaxy forward will be able to bypass his U.S. National Team counterpart.
Galaxy head coach and general manger Bruce Arena told reporters that it was "safe to say [Donovan's deal] is multi-year and he got a raise." When asked about his contract on Wednesday, Donovan admitted to reporters that his deal was heavily incentive-laden, but revealed that the Galaxy were more than willing to make him the league’s top paid player.
“I never made decisions for money, and I think I'm a much happier person because of it,” Donovan said on Wednesday. “At the same time, you do want to be valued and respected, so it was important for me in this process to be treated fair financially.
“The Galaxy made it clear early on that they wanted a type of deal that would give me the opportunity to be the highest-paid player in the league, if I perform well,” he added. “I think that was important to me, and I think that was fair, so we came to a good agreement.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan has re-signed a new multi-year deal with the LA Galaxy, but don't look for him to pursue any offseason loans in the future.
Donovan has gone on loans in the past to Bayern Munich during the 2008-09 season as well as a pair of loans to Everton in 2010 and 2012, but the U.S. international admitted after his contract announcement press conference that he's unlikely to go on loan again.
"It's not really something that I'm interested in," said Donovan. "I want to be here and I don't have a real desire to go try anything or do anything. They've committed to me and I want to commit to this team too."
In a teleconference call with reporters, Donovan was asked about his former Everton head coach David Moyes who is now the head man at Manchester United. Rumors have swirled that Donovan would be on Moyes' shortlist at United, but when asked about any conversations that he's had if with the Scottish head coach, Donovan didn't go into specifics, but dropped a hint.
“I’m not going to comment on specific conversations I may have had with David in the past," said Donovan. "But…we’ll say I had talks with some very high profile teams in England, how’s that?”
Thoughts on Donovan's comments?
Share your thoughts below.
Landon Donovan is staying with the LA Galaxy and ahead of his new deal with the club, I spoke with the Galaxy talisman about his new deal and his desire to stay in Southern California.
Check it out below.
Check out the Landon Donovan press conference below...
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is staying in MLS.
The LA Galaxy officially announced on Wednesday that Donovan has signed a multi-year contract to remain with LA.
Thoughts on the move?
The LA Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League dreams are alive and well.
LA received the best possible result in Tuesday’s match between Isidro Metapán and C.S. Cartaginés as the two teams battled to a scoreless draw at the Estadio Nacional in San Jose, Costa Rica. Cartaginés controlled play for wide stretches in their “home match” but could not convert their opportunities to put them ahead of the organized Salvadorian club. No opportunity was more costly than Pablo Jimenez’s second half penalty kick miss that was skied well over the bar.
Currently, Cartaginés leads Group 8 with four points, but have played two more games than the Galaxy. LA is second with three and Isidro Metapán has just a single point.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy had a visitor at training on Tuesday: former midfielder David Beckham.
The recently retired midfielder trained with LA in an effort to keep fit during his time in Southern California this summer. Beckham did not speak to the media, but I asked members of the team what they thought of the appearance of the player who helped LA win conseuctive MLS Cup trophies. An instagram video of the Galaxy legend taking a shot at training is below and a photo gallery can be found on the Galaxy's official Facebook page.
For those in the comments section, I ask this question: is David Beckham an LA Galaxy legend?
Leave your thoughts.
There's no surprise that LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is up for Save of the Week honors after his stunning stop on Jordan Harvey in the 82nd minute of LA's 1-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC last weekend.
The nominees are below.