CARSON, Calif. – As soon as the final whistle sounded on Saturday’s 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was already thinking about meeting up with Panama ahead of their vital World Cup qualifier with Jamaica.
Los Canaleros are currently in fifth in the Hexagonal just a point behind Honduras for a spot in a playoff against Oceania champions New Zealand and two points behind Mexico for CONCACAF’s final automatic qualifying berth. It is very possible that Panama’s next to matches may decide their fate as they host Jamaica on Sept. 6 in Panama City before traveling to Tegucigalpa to take on Honduras five days later.
“First off, we can’t give away points at home. We have to continue to get points at home,” said Penedo of the game against Jamaica. “That’s a big game for us because it’s the dream of our nation [to qualify for the World Cup].”
Although the challenge is a tough one, Penedo is confident that Los Canaleros can get the results needed to put them in contention for the nation’s first ever World Cup berth.
"Right now, for these two games, we should try to get the full six points to put us in position to qualify,” said Penedo. “To be honest, I think that we have the group, the mentality and the confidence to accomplish that goal."
CARSON, Calif. – After helping the LA Galaxy go undefeated in their last five games in all competitions, captain Robbie Keane will now devote his full efforts to helping Ireland qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
The Irish face a pair of decisive games during this international period as they face Sweden in Dublin on Sept. 6 and Austria in Vienna on Sept 10. Currently, Ireland are in fourth place in Group C tied on 11 points with with second place Austria and third place Sweden due to goal difference. Six points from these two matches could put Keane's squad in contention for a spot in UEFA’s playoffs as Germany is expected to win the group as they currently top the group with 16 points.
“These games are the make or break for us,” said Keane. “It’s important that we hopefully get six points. It’s going to be tough, but we certainly can’t afford to lose the games.”
Ireland head coach Giovanni Trapattoni couldn’t ask for his captain to be returning to the national team in better form as Keane has scored seven goals and two assists in his last five games with the Galaxy and joins the Irish full of confidence.
“It’s good. It’s a completely scenario, once I leave [the Galaxy] then I’m 100 percent focused on the national team,” Keane said following Saturdays’ 3-0 victory where he scored two goals in LA’s win. “I’m looking forward to meeting up with the lads and putting on that green jersey again.”
LA Galaxy Under-16's Haji Wright and Abraham Romero named to U.S. Under-17 Residency Program for fall semester
LA Galaxy Under-16 forward Haji Wright and goalkeeper Abraham Romero will be among 28 players that will take part in the fall semester of U.S. Under-17 Residency Program, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday.
Wright made 20 appearances for the Galaxy Under-16’s last season and finished in third in scoring with seven goals. The fall semester marks the start of preparations for the qualifying cycle for the 2015 Under-17 World Cup in Chile. A total of eight players selected by U-17 head coach Richie Williams heading to residency are California natives, which is the most of any state -- six of which are from Southern California.
Also named to the roster is Wright's Academy teammate Abraham Romero, who made 11 appearances last season while playing for LA's U-16 and U-18 squads. Romero was listed by U.S. Soccer as a member of FC Golden State, but is registered under with the Galaxy for the upcoming Development Academy season according to Galaxy Academy Director Peter Vagenas.
The complete roster is below...
GOALKEEPERS (3): William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Abraham Romero (LA Galaxy; Altadena, Calif.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (10): Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dietrich (Tennessee Soccer Club; Nashville, Tenn.), Cristian Martinez (NJSA 04; Mine Hill, N.J.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Ronaldo Escudero (Pateadores; Placentia, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (NJSA 04; Totowa, N.J.), Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy; South Orange, N.J.), Weston McKinnie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Texas), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; St. Louis, Mo.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas), Brian Zelaya (Juventus Heat; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (6): Kevin Coleman (FC Richmond; Warrenton, Va.), David Loera (Orlando City Lions; Orlando, Fla.), Jonathan Navarro (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Sean Teixeira (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trumbull, Conn.), Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
For the second time in three weeks, LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane has been named Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters.
Keane earned the honors after scoring two goals and tallying one assist in LA’s 3-0 romp over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday. The honor is Keane’s second Player of the Week award of the season and the fourth for a member of the Galaxy. The Irishman will be unavailable this week for the club's match against the Colorado Rapids due to international duty.
With his two goals, Keane now has 12 goals and 10 assists With double digit goals and assists, Keane joins Landon Donovan (2005), Mauricio Cienfuegos, Cobi Jones & Welton (all 1998) in the Galaxy’s double, double club.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy reserves played to a scoreless draw with the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday at StubHub Center's University Field.
The complete match recap of the game is on LAGalaxy.com. LA are unbeaten in their last six reserve matches going 4-0-2 in that time. My sidebar on the match, which focuses on the positions up for grabs this week with players away on international duty can be read here.
Although his team remains undefeated in their last six matches, reserve team head coach Curt Onalfo was disappointed with his team's showing.
“It’s a game where we should have won the game. We had a majority of the possession, a majority of the chances and we were unable to get through," said Onalfo. "There were a lot of good things. I think that we battled really hard, we worked for each other and except for one moment where they hit the post, we didn’t give much away. In a game when you stake our six or seven good chances to their one, you should walk away winning the game. In my mind, we lost two points and it puts the onus on us for the last two reserve games to get the points that we need to win the reserve league."
The Galaxy reserves return to action next Sunday against the Colorado Rapids.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are steadily climbing the Western Conference standings and after their 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, they sit just five points behind Supporters’ Shield leaders Real Salt Lake—with two games in hand.
The reason for LA’s impressive four game unbeaten run and three game winning streak in league play? Simple. Forwards Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane.
During the Galaxy’s four-game unbeaten streak in league play, Keane and Donovan have accounted for 10 of LA’s 11 goals scored, and they have combined for 16 goals and 14 assists in the 11 games that they’ve played together this season.
On Saturday, they were once again effective as their movement on and off the ball caused havoc for the Earthquakes defense as Donovan scored the opener before Keane notched a brace in the California Clásico victory.
When you ask the pair about their recent run of form, they both provide the same answer: They’re just happy to be on the field together.
“I feel real good about how I’m playing. I’m just enjoying it a lot, I’m really happy out there. The energy seems to come to me really easy right now and I think when I’m energetic I create a lot of chances,” said Donovan. “It doesn’t mean I’m always going to score, but if I’m energetic I think I’m always going to be effective and that’s what I’m trying to do right now.”
“I know I was out for a few weeks [back in July] but I keep saying I don’t like being injured, it’s frustrating,” said Keane. “So it’s just nice to be back playing and scoring the goals and helping the team progress and get the points on the board.”
CARSON, Calif. – The California Clásico is always a physical battle with plenty of knocks and bumps on both sides and in the closing stages of Saturday’s 3-0 LA Galaxy victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, defender A.J. DeLaGarza felt the brunt of that physical play.
In the 82nd minute, Earthquakes forward Steven Lenhart crashed into DeLaGarza on a set piece opportunity that left the defender on the ground. A minute later, DeLaGarza was removed from the match in favor of Michael Stephens as the effects of the injury still lingered.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that DeLaGarza simply suffered a knock that was not serious and the defender echoed those statements.
“I’ll be fine. I’m sure that it’ll be a nice Charlie horse in the morning. He got me in my thigh and he clearly went out of his way to do that,” said DeLaGarza. “They’ll look at it and he’s obviously a repeat offender and whatever happens, happens.”
Although he literally “took one for the team,” DeLaGarza was simply pleased to get a result that sealed LA’s fourth straight win and third straight shutout.
“It’s big and the confidence is definitely rising. To get a shutout in Vancouver and two at home is positive,” said DeLaGarza. “We're all making those plays now that we weren't making earlier in the year.
“We got three points and a shutout where they didn't have many chances on goal so it’s a real positive.”
CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena’s thoughts following the LA Galaxy’s 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes…
(On the match as a whole…)
ARENA: “I think our team played well tonight. San Jose played real hard in the first half, came out hard. The first goal was very important. I think they threw a lot into the game in the first half. You can see in the second half they lost their legs a little bit. Our team played well. It was a game winner. As the game went on, our passing improved. I thought we scored some good goals. Overall, a good performance. A good team effort.”
(On Franklin’s play out wide and whether he’d stay there indefinitely…)
ARENA: “I can’t tell you that. We’ve played that way a fair number of times this year. Sean has played right midfield over a number of years. It’s not a new position for him.”
(On DeLaGarza’s injury status…)
ARENA: “I think that he just took a knock. I don’t think that it’s serious.”
(On the importance of the game with four internationals missing next week…)
ARENA: “Every game is important. What can I tell you? The next game is important. I’m asked that question game every week. They are all very important. We want to win every time we step onto the field. They are all important at this point in the season.”
(On the play of the Earthquakes…)
ARENA: “Mike Stephens made a mistake at the end of the game, which probably gave them their best chance. They had a couple shots from distance throughout the game. There may have been a corner kick in the second half, as well. They were dangerous. Overall, our entire group played very well. Our backline was fantastic. Jaime has a good presence in the goal, as well.”
On the play of Jaime Penedo:
“He’s an experienced goalkeeper. When called on, he’s come up for us in the last three or four games. He’s certainly going to get tested a little bit more. I think he’s played very well. He’s given up two goals in four games. Jaime’s obviously doing well.”
Look ahead to San Jose: The LA Galaxy looking to get first home win against the San Jose Earthquakes since 2011
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday in the latest edition of the California Clasico. On Saturday, LA will be looking for their first victory against the San Jose Earthquakes at home since Aug. 2011.
More on the match below...
*For more on the Earthquakes, I spoke to San Jose reporter Robert Jonas.
*There's no love lost between these two teams as Sean Franklin admits that niether of these two teams care for one another.
*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan offers this preview to the match.
*Lastly, my Three Points to the game.
MATCH UPS TO WATCH:
Landon Donovan vs. Jason Hernandez
Without Victor Bernardez due to suspension, Hernandez will be stepping in for San Jose. Although the 30-year-old is an experienced defender, he does not have the physicality of the Honduran center back and is expected to be a major target for Donovan and Robbie Keane.
Gyasi Zardes vs. Steve Beitashour
With each passing match, Gyasi Zardes continues to become a focal point of the Galaxy attack and expect him to be a major part of the game plan against San Jose. With Beitashour looking to press forward, expect Zardes to try to catch him on the counter.
Chris Wondolowski vs. Omar Gonzalez
This battle of the titans will likely decide this match. Wondolowski's effectiveness has been limited due to the Earthquakes' more restrained attacking style, but he'll still seek to get behind Gonzalez and create chances.
Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Jimenez, Sarvas, Juninho, Zardes; Donovan, Keane
Ahead of tonight's California Clasico, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and players Todd Dunivant and Hector Jimenez preview the match against the San Jose Earthquakes.
Check it out below..