Beat

06 May 2:56 pm

 

CARSON, Calif. – It’s starting to come together for Gyasi Zardes. The speed and the dynamic movements are clearly there, but there is still work to be done before he finds the back of the net.

The LA Galaxy Homegrown forward went 35 minutes in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. The match was Zardes’ second after undergoing surgery for a broken fifth metatarsal, Zardes admitted that all fitness concerns were gone, but he’ll need to be sharper in order to contribute.

“I felt pretty good. Once I came on I tried to contribute as much as possible,” Zardes told reporters. “We had a couple of opportunities; we were just unlucky (that) the ball didn’t go in the back of the net.”

The energy was certainly there in spades for Zardes, who repeatedly found his way behind the Houston defense, but at times, an extra touch turned a shot on goal into a clearance or a save. His best chance came in the 66th minute when he cut through the Dynamo defense, only to see his shot fired into the chest of Houston ‘keeper Tally Hall for one of LA’s two shots on goal on the night.

After an uneven performance, Zardes understands that he’ll have to be quicker with his trigger in the future.

“With more practice comes consistency and I understand I have to keep practicing and just make sure my head  is up so I can look at teammates and put it in the box,” Zardes said. “I definitely need to work on being more of a threat and more aggressive, instead of looking for a pass sometimes just going on to goal and being the initial threat.”

Arena agreed: “Gyasi had his moments; technically he could have been a little bit better. It is going to take him a little bit of time.”

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Your thoughts on Zardes' performance?

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06 May 10:05 am

According to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, the LA Galaxy may end up landing Frank Lampard this summer as a Designated Player. However, it seems just as likely that it may not happen.

Wahl's source, who has knowledge of the negotiations notes that he thinks that the Galaxy will end up landing the Chelsea midfielder, but "they still could screw it up."

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See Lampard coming to the Galaxy? Think LA will scoop up another player?

Share your thoughts below.

06 May 9:53 am

Highlights of the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo. 

05 May 11:19 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Following the match, fourth official Ricardo Salazar provided a response as to why referee Allen Chapman did not award a yellow or red card to Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall for bringing down Jose Villarreal in the penalty area in a play that resulted in Landon Donovan's missed penalty kick in the 25th minute of play of the Dynamo's 1-0 win over LA.

"In the play in question, the Galaxy player [Villarreal] touches the ball in the direction of the corner [flag] so the Galaxy player was not going towards goal so this is why there was not a red card on the play," Salazar said. "Also the referee did not deem the foul to be reckless or tactical in nature this is the reason for no yellow card on the play." 

Following the match, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena chimed in with his thoughts on the play. 

"The referee certainly screwed that play up big time, but I'll let them deal with that. I think that in most cases that's a red card as well," said Arena. "To not even give a card, if they a yellow card you can understand that maybe, but remarkably he didn't give a card on the play, but we have a gentleman [Professional Referee Organization's Peter Walton] in charge of our referee's now so it'll be interesting to see if they make a decision on that."

Meanwhile Landon Donovan called for consistency. 

"Well, we saw a similar play earlier today with Dan Kennedy and I think that if it is not a red card then you don't get a red card in either case. If it is a red card then you give a red card in both cases. I think we just want consistency from officials because now we see two today where nobody really knows what the outcome is going to be. If you blatantly take down a forward as he's going towards goal, I think it's probably a red card, I think tha the probably got that one wrong." 

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What do you think? 

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05 May 3:52 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo in Sunday's Cinco de Mayo clash at The Home Depot Center.

A few links, match ups to watch and my predicted lineup is below...

*LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena's update on LA's injured quartet of Carlo Cudicini, Landon Donovan, Todd Dunivant and Robbie Keane, who all missed LA's game against RSL last week

*Speaking of Arena, here are his thoughts on his counterpart on Sunday, Houston Dynamo boss Dominic Kinnear.

*The Dynamo will be without Brad Davis because of a red card suspension while LA will be without Jack McBean due to injury. However, Carlo Cudicini seems ready to go

*Can Jose Villarreal parlay a successful U.S. U-20 camp into a start for LA?

*Injuries to Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant have the two starters questionable, this may open up another chance for Charlie Rugg and Greg Cochrane

*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan has provided this preview to the match

*Lastly, my Three Points to the match

MATCH UPS TO WATCH

A.J. DELAGARZA vs. GILES BARNES

DeLaGarza's speed and positioning will be vital to deal with Barnes, who is Houston's leading goal scorer. Expect DeLaGarza to attempt to limit space for Barnes, who can strike from distance. 

JOSE VILLARREAL vs. BOBBY BOSWELL

The veteran Dynamo center back will be tested by the in-form Villarreal. Expect the young forward to attempt to lure Boswell out of position and open up space for the likes of Landon Donovan and Mike Magee. 

LANDON DONOVAN/MIKE MAGEE vs. CORY ASHE/KOFI SARKODIE

The battles that will decide the game: Houston will look to put pressure on LA immediately with their marauding outside backs, but Donovan and Magee will be key to leading the charge on the counter.

PREDICTED LINEUP

Cudicini; Franklin, Gonzalez, DeLaGarza, Cochrane; Donovan, Juninho, Sarvas, Magee; Rugg, Villarreal

04 May 5:40 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Gyasi Zardes may not be ready for first time minutes, but the LA Galaxy Homegrown forward has already drawn rave reviews from his teammates.

Zardes made his MLS debut in Saturday’s match with a 37 minute shift against RSL and with Jack McBean and possibly Robbie Keane on the shelf; he’ll likely be in contention for minutes in Sunday’s clash against the Houston Dynamo.  Earlier this week, LA attacker Mike Magee, who is currently tied for the MLS lead in goals scored with six, tabbed Zardes for big things.

“Gyasi was skinning some guys today. You definitely don’t want to find yourself one-on-one with him with the ball,” Magee told reporters on Friday. “We all enjoy watching him play and enjoy when he comes on the field because he takes a lot of pressure and he’s kind of a dynamic that we haven’t had with so much speed and skill. Speed skills."

Several times during the preseason, Zardes was stationed out wide and up top which leads to the question: could Zardes become the next versatile attacker in the Mike Magee mold?

“Me and Gyasi will never be confused for the same player,” Magee quipped before adding that he wouldn't try his luck racing Zardes. “I wish that I had that speed and his dribbling ability, but nah, I don’t think that we’ll be confused for each other.”

But with the likes of Zardes, McBean, Charlie Rugg, and Jose Villarreal all under the age of 23, Magee believes that the Galaxy forward corps are well set for the future.

“We’re doing all right,” said a beaming Magee. “ We've got good veterans; good young guys and we’re in a good way right now.” 

04 May 4:47 pm

 

The LA Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo in a rematch of the last two MLS Cups.

My Three Points to the match which focuses on LA’s injury situation, stopping Houston’s speedy wingbacks as well as Giles Barnes can be found here.

Below is the LA Galaxy Injury Report found in LA’s game notes for Sunday’s match.

Out: Jack McBean (Fractured Left Clavicle – Underwent surgery on April 30)

Questionable: Carlo Cudicini (Right Leg Strain), Landon Donovan (Right Leg Strain), Todd Dunivant (Left Leg Strain), Robbie Keane (Left  Ankle)

04 May 12:52 pm

Unless you live under a rock, you're already fully aware that May 4th is "Star Wars" Day  across the country and within MLS. "May the fourth be with you" get it? No. Well then...

Even the Galaxy are getting into the act with a special Star Wars scarf that can be collected if you purchase tickets to club's game on May 5, which incidentally is going to be titled "Revenge of the Fifth" night. 

As part of the league's celebration of all things, Star Wars, MLSsoccer.com has provided this video of Landon Donovan's game-winning-goal in MLS Cup 2011 with commentary by Yoda.  

Check it out below...

03 May 6:06 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Injuries are continuing to plague the LA Galaxy and with Todd Dunivant and Robbie Keane absent during the portion of Friday's training session open for media, Greg Cochrane and Charlie Rugg may reprise their starting roles this weekend against the Houston Dynamo. 

Following practice, both rookies seemed confident following strong showings in LA's 2-0 victory over Real Salt Lake last week. I spoke to both rookies about their comfort level in earning yet another start this week in this piece for LAGalaxy.com

While a potential Cochrane start will be a straight swap for Dunivant, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will have more work to do up top as LA will be without the injured Jack McBean freeing up two potential spaces up top. Following training on Friday, Rugg was asked about his comfort level alongside one of Arena's options at forward, Jose Villarreal.

"With injuries the team shifts around game to game so we're ready for that we've prepared for each game with each [option]," said Rugg. "I think [Jose's] skill and my athleticism will help complement each other pretty well. I'll bring speed and power and he does what he does."

03 May 5:18 pm

CARSON, Calif. – There’s no doubt that Mike Magee is in great form as of late, but will it translate into a call for the U.S. National Team?

Magee is tied with Philadelphia Union forward Jack McInerney for the MLS lead in goals scored with six goals in seven appearances this season. As he sits just one goal away from tying his career high for goals in a single season, which was set during his rookie season with the MetroStars in 2003, it’s not surprise that he’s feeling confident.

“It’s always good to score goals and it’s even better when the team is winning,” Magee said. “I’m obviously enjoying my soccer right now.”

But as Magee continues to score goals, calls for him to be included in the U.S. National Team will continue to persist. Magee has never been called into the senior national team, but he participated in the U.S. youth set up earlier in his career.

No conversations have gone on between Magee and U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann or any member of his staff, but the 28-year-old would welcome inclusion if called upon whether it is the 2013 Gold Cup or any other National Team match.

“I would love to be a part of the National Team. I’m obviously just trying to do all the cliché things and do business with the Galaxy knowing that if you play well here then you could get a call up, but if it doesn't then I’ll be okay,” he said. “Obviously, I've been around long enough to hear every which rumor and it’s just all it is, is chatter until I get the call, which would be great. If not, it is all good.”

Following LA’s victory over Real Salt Lake—where Magee bagged his sixth goal of the year—LA head coach Bruce Arena was asked by former U.S. National Team head coach And Time Warner Deportes analyst Steve Sampson about a potential Magee inclusion, but declined comment.

“Steve, you and I both know that a national team coach has a lot of pressure and a lot of critics. I think the national team has coach has to make those decisions," Arena said on the broadcast. "Right now, I’m going to relax and let the coach make all those kind of decisions because as we know, they’re never easy.”

As he looks to continue his form with LA, Magee is taking a similar approaching and leaving the decision to Klinsmann.

“I couldn't figure out why guys get called in and why guys don’t,” Magee said. “Obviously there’s good reasons and I wish I got paid that kind of money to be the coach and make those decisions because I’d play me every time, but obviously, I don’t. There’s a bunch of guys here who deserve a chance.” 

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Will Magee get at a call up for the U.S.? Should he?

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