Here are a few stories to get you through your Thursday.
2013 is U.S. Soccer's Centenary and as part of the celebration to commenrate the federation's 100 years, the federation website is looking back at some of the more interesting stories of those who have U.S. Internationals who collected just a single cap.
U.S. Soccer began their series with a look back at current LA Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena's first and only cap during a match against Israel in November of 1973. The then 21-year-old goalkeeper made a 45 minute stint in the USMNT's 2-0 defeat to the Israelis in Bersheeba, Israel.
*Frank Lampard's agent Steve Kutner told Italian website cittaceleste.it that the midfielder wil not leave Chelsea until the end of the Premier League season. Kutner told the Italian site that the midfielder's favored destination is a club in the UEFA Champions League. UPDATED: in an interview with BBC 5Live Radio, Steve Kutner denied that the interview had taken place. Clearly this isn't the last that we've heard of this situation.
*U.S. Soccer also takes a look at current LA Galaxy Under-14 coach Ante Razov in a "Where are they now" segment.
*Former LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham is reportedly close to a deal with Chinese club Shanghai Shenua according to the British tabloid, the Daily Mirror.
*Seattle Sounders FC forward Fredy Montero is reportedly off to Colombian club Millonarios on a six month loan.
*Those aren't the only move that is going on around MLS as the Columbus Crew inked defender Tyson Wahl after deciding that right back Sebastian Miranda would not return for the 2013 season. Meanwhile, the New England Revolution have signed Portuguese central defender Jose Goncalves on loan from Swiss side FC Sion.
*Former LA Galaxy midfielder Chris Birchall is returning to his native England after signing with League Two side Port Vale.
*MLS unveiled the preliminary list of Generation adidas signings have been unveiled. The initial list includes defenders Walker Zimmerman (Furman) and Andrew Farrell (Louisville), midfielder Mikey Lopez (University of North Carolina) and forward Jason Johnson (Virginia Commonwealth University).
*Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl placed the LA Galaxy at the top of his MLS ambition Rankings.
Marcelo Sarvas arrived in Southern California with great fanfare from Costa Rican club Alajuelense and in his first season with the LA Galaxy, the Brazilian midfielder delivered on every promise. (Read my rating of the Brazilian here)
In his first season with LA, Sarvas notched 38 appearances over all competitions tallying two goals and two assists, both coming during the regular season. During last season, Sarvas earned most of minutes filling in for David Beckham during his Olympic absences.
With Beckham departing, Sarvas and his deft passing ability look to play a major role in the Galaxy starting XI next season. A challenge that Sarvas himself, is eagerly awaiting.
“It’s not easy to lose David, but my job this year wasn’t so easy because I had to replace David most of the time when I played,” Sarvas recently told LA Galaxy Insider. “It’ll be a new year, there will be new players and I’ll have to fight for my spot on the team. We all know the job that I can do for this team and I hope that can show myself.”
With preseason still several weeks away, Sarvas has returned to his native Brazil where he intended to spend time “eating his mother’s cooking” while enjoying the company of his family by the beach. While in Brazil, he intends to meet up with his compatriot Juninho, who he formed a great partnership with over the course of the season. With Juninho’s return still question, Sarvas hopes that his fellow Brazilian will return to Galaxy next season.
“I hope the best for him; if the best for him is to stay [with the Galaxy] then I hope he stays,” said Sarvas. “He’s my best friend here [in L.A.] and I would like for him to stay, but we know how life is in football. It’s time for him [to decide his future], but I hope that he can stay.”
Here we are, the final post on the LA Galaxy Insider for 2012.
From January 1 to December 31, the year has flown by in a whirlwind
Below are a few of my memorable moments of 2012....
*Breaking the story of David Beckham's return to the LA Galaxy in January during my time with my previous outlet Soccer By Ives.
*The incredible atmosphere during the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals First Leg at the Sky Dome in Toronto and subsquently filing a story while standing on a tarmac.
*Trips to exotic locales like El Salvador, Puerto Rico and Portland.
*Conversations with members of the LA Galaxy staff, but most importantly the communications team.
*Watching David Beckham's remarkable two goals during LA's exciting 5-3 victory against the Portland Timbers in July. The first goal was my personal pick for LA Galaxy goal of the year.
*Then being in the stadium several days later as Jose Villarreal bagged his first professional goal with a tying strike against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
*The Western Conference Semifinal series against the San Jose Earthquakes
*Telling the inspirational stories of Rafael Garcia's son Izzy and Jose Villarreal's rise from Inglewood kid to LA Galaxy Homegrown Player.
*The intensity at The Home Depot Center during MLS Cup after Omar Gonzalez's tying goal.
*My appearances for Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
*The ability to interview David Beckham on camera after his annoucement that he was leaving the club.
*Talking to LA Galaxy supporters and other fans of MLS about the beautiful game and the ways to improve this website.
*But most importantly, the ability to hold the position as the LA Galaxy Insider and report about the club on a daily basis.
2013 promises to be another great year and I want to extend my appreciation to each one of the readers, who have made this beat possible.
According to a report by Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times, the LA Galaxy are deep in talks with Chelsea FC's Frank Lampard about a potential deal.
Baxter reports that the Galaxy have focused their attention on the 34-year-old Lampard after moving on from reported targets Ronaldinho and Kaka. After scoring two goals in Chelsea's 2-1 victory over Everton on Sunday, Lampard, who is out of contract at the end of the Premier League season told BBC Sport that he had not discussed a new deal with the Blues.
The report of the talks come as the transfer window opens on Tuesday, which will allow the longtime England international to reach pre-contract terms with a new club.
Share your thoughts on the report below.
The tragic school shooting in Newton, Conn. affected the United States and the World, and on Jan. 7, three LA Galaxy players including captain Landon Donovan are joining a group of American soccer stars to do their part to bring some joy to those who have suffered so much.
Donovan, Sean Franklin and Rafael Garcia have joined Houston Dynamo President -- and Connecticut native -- Chris Canetti's "Soccer Night in Newtown," an event open only to the townspeople of Newtown and the Newton Youth Soccer Club. Newton residents will be able to meet the players and play in small sided games with the soccer stars.
Also joining the three representatives of the Galaxy are 27 other MLS players as well as male and female U.S. national team stars.
The LA Galaxy have themselves a new goalkeeper.
On Monday, Tottenham Hotspur announced that Italian veteran goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini will join the LA Galaxy on a free transfer. In the Galaxy's own annoucement, the club clarified that Cudicini's transfer is pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate (ITC), work visa and a medical examination. The 39-year-old goalkeeper had found himself down in the depth chart with Tottenham, serving as the club’s fourth-string ‘keeper.
Cudicini spent the last 15 years in the Premier League after starting his career in Italy. The veteran goalkeeper spent nine years at Chelsea before joining Tottenham in January of 2009. In that time, Cudicini made just 37 total appearances for Spurs including one in 2012 during a League Cup match against Carlisle United.
“We are delighted to be able to add Carlo Cudicini to our roster,” Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said in a statement. “Carlo is an experienced and accomplished goalkeeper who we believe will be a great addition to our team and our defensive unit.”
In the latest in my "Galaxy Player Ratings," I reviewed the season of LA's clutch attacker Mike Magee. You can read my thoughts on Magee's season here.
Magee is currently out of contract, but shortly after LA's MLS Cup victory, I spoke to Magee about his current contract talks with the Galaxy.
Rate Magee's season yourself below...
The LA Galaxy Player Ratings are beginning to come to a close, but on Boxing Day, I reviewed the season of LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan.
Speculation continues to surround Donovan, who has not yet decided if he will continue playing as he rests this offseason. Be sure to check out my ratings of Donovan here.
Give LA's captain your own rating below.
In 2012, Michael Stephens had two very defined -- and very different -- roles with the LA Galaxy. (Read my evaluation of the player here)
During MLS play, he was predominantly used as a late substitute who would provide energy and help the Galaxy close out games while during LA's CONCACAF Champions League campaign, Stephens was the experienced veteran providing leadership on and off the field for the club's youngsters. But with a series of departures and a number of question marks in the midfield, Stephens' fourth season in MLS may be when he finally solidifies a role in the starting XI.
With David Beckham having left the club and the status of Juninho still up in the air, Stephens is one of the prime in-house candidates to slide into the vacant spots in the Galaxy midfield. During the 2012 calendar year, Stephens made a total of 33 appearances in all competitions while racking up two goals and two assists.
“With the retirements and [departures], there’s going to be some opportunity next year," Stephens recently told the LA Galaxy Insider. "There will be some positions up for grabs maybe more than there were last year. For me, personally, that’s something that I’m looking forward to.”
Stephens intends to spend the offseason in his native Chicago, but once he returns to Southern California for the preseason, he's eager to grab a spot in the Galaxy's starting XI.
"When guys leave and especially guys that were in starting positions – obviously, the coaches have their own plan for those positions— but when you lose starters, those positions are up in the air," said Stephens. "It’s something to fight for and I’ll be ready for that next year.”
Rate Stephens' season below.
This particular player rating needs no introduction, I recently rated the season of midfielder David Beckham. If you haven't already, be sure to take a gander it here.
Beckham's evaluation comes amid French reports that Beckham has crossed off French side AS Monaco as one of his potential destinations.
Rate Beckham's season yourself below.