CARSON, Calif. – It was a historic night for LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho, who made his 100th start for the club and notched his 102nd appearance for the team.
Reaching 100 appearances is a tradition in Brazil that includes a pregame ceremony and the player donning the number 100 kit for the match. Juninho didn't get to change his number for the match against Portland, but he was given a hardy chant from the Angel City Brigade supporters group during the 19th minute of the game.
“It was unbelievable. It was a great night,” Juninho told LA Galaxy Insider. “The result wasn't good, but I love my fans. I've been here for four years and I don’t have the words to thank them for all the support that they've given to me.”
The Brazilian stalwart was tidy in central midfield as he, and partner Rafael Garcia, limited chances for the visiting Portland Timbers. Although LA was solid in the back, the Galaxy created little going forward as they repeatedly saw their attacking chances snuffed out by the Timbers.
“Our back line was perfect and allowed no goals, but up front tonight, we were very poor,” said Juninho. “We just need to train and get better.”
And LA and the Brazilian midfielder will have a chance to get better on Sunday when they take on moribund Chivas USA, who are winless in their last six MLS games. But despite Chivas’ dismal record as of late, Juninho is not taking them lightly.
“Chivas is the Clásico. It’s very bad when you lose in a Clásico,” he said. “We're in the same stadium, so we’re going to fight and hopefully take the result.”
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) June 20, 2013
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy gained a shutout in a scoreless draw against the Portland Timbers, but created little going forward in a dull showing.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the team’s showing.
(On the defensive performance...)
ARENA: "I thought that we defended well for the most part. There are some things that we can certainly do better, but I'm not sure that Portland had a whole lot of chances tonight. That was good. At the other end of the field of the field, I thought [Portland's] center backs played well and, obviously, [Donovan] Ricketts is not easy to beat. This was going to be a game where we had to jump on any kind of opportunity that we got and we were half a step off for most of the night. Portland' posture is pretty obvious when they go on the road; they're trying to get a point. They were certainly pleased getting a point."
(On Robbie Rogers' start...)
ARENA: "He's making progress. He has a long way to go, but that's the only way that he can do it is giving him games. I thought that his first 15-20 minutes were very tentative, but he got better and got into a rhythm. The last part of the first half and the second half, he got a little bit better. He's still going to take some time.”
(On Rafael Garcia…)
ARENA: “I thought that Rafa did well. He had a good game. I thought that he played well.”
(On what he said to the team in terms of their offensive performance after the match…)
ARENA: “In terms of their offensive performance? I didn't highlight that. There’s nothing to elaborate on, I didn't say anything to them. What’s there to elaborate?
CARSON, Calif. – The eyes of the soccer world are fixed to Brazil this month for the 2013 Confederations Cup, which serves as the dry run for next year’s World Cup.
The LA Galaxy have also kept tabs on the tournament especially Italian goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini has been keeping a keen eye on his home nation.
“I was happy to see Italy play a good game against a good Mexico team, I was less happy about the Nigeria and Tahiti game,” said Cudicini. “For us Italians, it was a good a good game.”
Cudicini was also asked about his impressions of controversial Italian star Mario Balotelli, who is known as much for his histrionics off the field than he is for his brilliance on it.
“I think that he’s a great player and talented player. Sometime his head switches off for some reason and he makes silly mistakes like the two yellow cards in World Cup qualifying two weeks ago. It looks like a child trying to learn things and everyone forgives him for a lot of stuff because he’s a great talent. Hopefully, the more that he plays and the more responsibility that he has on his shoulders then the more that he’ll grow up.”
In this video preview by LAGalaxy.com, Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant discuss the Galaxy's match against the Portland Timbers.
Check it out below...
Omar Gonzalez went 90 minutes as the United States defeated Honduras 1-0 to solidify their place atop the CONCACAF Hexagonal.
Jozy Altidore scored the lone goal in 73rd minute to give the Americans their third consecutive victory in World Cup Qualifying.
Highlights of the game are below.
The LA Galaxy Under-18's learned their draw for the upcoming Development Academy playoffs, which begin on June 24 in Frisco, Texas.
LA was drawn in group six alongside the New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes, and Dallas Texans. The Texans are a local power in the region and boast Galaxy defensive stalwart Omar Gonzalez as one of their many illustrious alumni. From the four team group, only the first place team will advance to the next round. In preparation for the tournament, Galaxy U-18 coach Alex Yi has been trying to replicate the hot and windy conditions that his squad will face in Frisco by having his team train in the city of Visalia in the San Joaquin Valley.
When a schedule is released, it will be posted here.
Think LA can advance? Hope LA's U-18's can enjoy success at Development Academy playoffs?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. –Following the LA Galaxy’s final training session before Wednesday’s match against the Portland Timbers, Bruce Arena addressed the media on what he expects from Portland and provided an update on several injured players.
During his comments, Arena confirmed that he was optimistic that Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant, each who have missed several games due to international duty and injuries respectively, will be in the lineup on Wednesday. The Galaxy coach also noted that Landon Donovan was “stepped on” in a play that occurred prior to the opening of practice, but he was not concerned about his availability for the Portland match.
Arena’s comments are below…
(On the impact of Pablo Mastroeni…)
ARENA: “I’ve known Pablo for a number of years. He’s a good player despite his age, I feel like he’s got a lot of games still left in the league. It’s going to take him a couple weeks to get him fit, but we know that he’s a good player. He’s an experienced player, a player of quality, and we think that he’s going to help us in our central midfield.”
(On whether or not he’s dreamed up his lineup for Portland…)
ARENA: “I’ve dreamed about tomorrow’s game. Yes, I have.”
(On whether the lineup will have any surprises…)
ARENA: “No, we have some players coming back, obviously, Robbie Keane is back and I would expect him to be playing for sure. We’ll finalize everything today for the rest of the group.”
(On who he’ll opt for in goal…)
ARENA: “Cudicini has been playing the whole season, if you haven’t figured that out. We expect him to be our goalkeeper as well.”
(On whether the team is optimistic about Todd Dunivant starting…)
Bruce Arena not in touch with Hammarby on Baggio Hušidić, but player could be an option "down the road"
CARSON, Calif. – Pablo Mastroeni may have been the cornerstone of the LA Galaxy’s trade with the Colorado Rapids on Monday, but LA also acquired the rights to current Hammarby IF midfielder Baggio Hušidić.
The 26-year-old midfielder has been with the Swedish Superettan club since 2011, but his deal with the AEG-owned side expires at the conclusion of the season in November. Since joining the club coached by former Galaxy captain Gregg Berhalter, Hušidić has made 35 league appearances and scored once. A former member of the Chicago Fire, Hušidić made 50 regular season appearances for Chicago while scoring three assists before being acquired by the Rapids during Stage 2 of the 2011 MLS Re-Entry Draft.
On Monday, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena revealed that he has not yet had talks with Hušidić, Berhalter or any other representatives with Hammarby. However, Arena admitted that deal could be an option for both parties “down the road” if Hušidić is interested in a return to MLS.
“We know the player very well. He was in our league and we do see Hammarby play games,” said Arena, who also added that Hušidić played with Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan’s son Ian at the University of Illinois, Chicago. “We have not been in touch with the player or the club. I just think that as we piece together this deal with the Rapids, obviously, Pablo was the focal point of the deal, but we'll try to piece it together and address needs that everyone had, it seemed to make sense to me to do this.”
Hope that the former Chicago Fire joins the Galaxy?
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CARSON, Calif. – The place where Pablo Mastroeni may make his biggest impact to the LA Galaxy might not be on the field, but in the minds of LA’s young midfielders.
The Galaxy boast a number of young midfielders including Rafael Garcia, Kenney Walker, and Michael Stephens, and the consensus among the youngsters is that they are eager to learn from the two-time World Cup veteran.
“He brings his experience and it’s just like bringing Mike Magee back or David [Beckham] because we’re able to learn from him on and off the field,” said Walker. “It’s just another role model for everybody to follow because of his experience and time in the league.”
“We could always use a veteran player especially the type of player that Pablo is. He’s experienced and he’s been around a long time and I think that he’ll make us a better team,” Garcia told LA Galaxy Insider. “A player with that career and experience could only help us. We’ve had veterans in the past like Noonan and Kirovski
Since the start of the season, LA has leaned heavily on the Brazilian duo of Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho, but Mastroeni offers another veteran option for the Galaxy in midfield heading into a packed summer schedule.
“It’s definitely important. Having a guy like him in the center of the park and knowing what he’s doing with Marcelo and Juni, we have a lot of good options now,” said defender Todd Dunivant. “It’s a good thing for our depth and it’s only going to help us going forward.”
LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan says Pablo Mastroeni is "a player that can help us in a lot of ways"
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bolstered their midfield on Monday by acquiring Pablo Mastroeni in a trade from the Colorado Rapids, but now that the club has obtained the veteran, just what impact will he play.
The 36-year-old has already spoken at length with LA head coach Bruce Arena about the possibilities of playing in central midfield, central defense and, possibly, right back. This versatility could be immense as LA gets into the taxing summer months.
“I’ve played quite a few positions under Bruce in years past and we’ve had a conversation about that,” said Mastroeni after his first full training session with the team on Monday. “For me, it’s just coming in here and being who I am. Not trying to overdo it and be someone that I’m not and do whatever it takes to contribute to this team.”
Mastroeni will certainly have an impact in the locker room as he looks to impart the wisdom gained in his 16-year career on the Galaxy. One player who is certainly all for the deal is Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, but how he discovered the deal occurred was in his words—“bizarre.”
“I was in the bathroom [in the Galaxy locker room] and I was brushing my teeth or something and I thought I was dreaming because I really hadn’t heard anything. I really thought that I was in a dream and then I found out,” said Donovan, who saw Mastroeni over his shoulder. “I think that we’re all excited. Pablo is a guy who has been misused over the past few years or not used enough and hopefully someone that can help us in a lot of ways.”
His strange discovery of the trade aside, Donovan believes that Mastroeni’s leadership on and off the field could be extremely valuable for LA.
“There’s no secret that we’ve lacked a little bit of bite and at times some leadership particularly in the defensive part of the field at the end of games,” said Donovan. “He certainly brings that and obviously brings a ton of experience and he’s a good soccer player. Combine all that and I think that he’s going to help us a lot.”
Although the Galaxy is seeking another leadership presence in the locker room, Mastroeni doesn’t feel any impetus to become a leader. After a 16 year career in MLS, it simply comes naturally for the veteran.
“I’m naturally just a loud guy on the field that doesn’t require any type of motivation. I’ve been screaming, directing, and that’s just a part of who I am. To me, it’s not leadership, that’s just a part of my game,” said Mastroeni. “Hopefully that turns into organization, jelling with the team and contributing in a way that brings us together through communication. That’s nothing that I have to force. I just have to be myself and work hard and things will work out as they should.”