FRISCO, Texas -- In a few hours, the LA Galaxy will take on FC Dallas as they shift their focus to MLS after their dream of the CONCACAF Champions League was extinguished. Check out my links, match ups to watch and predicted lineup below...
*Mike Magee did not start against Monterrey due to a right hip issue, but the Galaxy attacker looks set to return to the starting XI against FC Dallas. Magee also addressed his current status as MLS' leading goal scorer.
*Bruce Arena has pledged to make at least "a couple" of changes to LA's starting XI from the midweek match.
*LAGalaxy.com provided this match preview.
*Lastly, read my Three Points to the game.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
A.J. DeLaGarza vs. Jackson
Speed vs. Speed. DeLaGarza is wellknown for his quickness in defense, but he'll be tested against the fleet-footed Brazilian Jackson, who has made a habit of challenging the Galaxy in the past. If DeLaGarza is to stop Jackson, positioning will be key.
Omar Gonzalez vs. Blas Perez
A true battle of the titans between a pair of talented international players. Gonzalez excelled midweek against Aldo De Nigris and Humberto Suazo, two of the finest forwards in CONCACAF, but he'll face another member of that accomplished list in Perez. A big body, who a stellar touch, expect Gonzalez to attempt to outmuscle the Panamaian as he looks to get an edge.
Mike Magee vs. Zach Loyd
After being unable to start LA's match against Monterrey on Wednesday, Magee is back and is eager to lead the Galaxy to a win over Dallas. Magee has had success at FC Dallas Stadium before as he scored in LA's 1-0 victory over FCD last July, which was Dallas' last home defeat. A shrewd defender, Loyd has gotten off to a solid start this season, but is expected to have his hands full with the crafty Magee.
Cudicini; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Franklin, Juninho, Sarvas, Magee, Donovan, Keane
FRISCO, Texas – Call it the "Omar Gonzalez family reunion" tour.
The LA Galaxy’s 24-year-old defender has been lucky enough to get in touch with his roots during LA’s six-day, two country road trip. First, he played a stellar match in LA’s 1-0 defeat to C.F. Monterrey in front of 50 family members and now he’ll play against even more in his hometown of Dallas when LA face FC Dallas on Saturday.
“It’s been great. I got to see a lot of family that I haven’t seen in a long time in Mexico and it’s been quite the trip for me because first Monterrey and then Dallas. It’s basically a trip that was focused for me,” Gonzalez said with a smile. “I really had fun and I’m looking forward to playing in front of my family in Dallas tomorrow.”
At FC Dallas Stadium, Gonzalez will have an even larger section than the one that he had in Monterrey, which was took up multiple rows at Estadio Tecnológico.
“I had 50 family members in Mexico and now for this trip, we’re basically going to have a closed section for family and friends. My mom got 250 tickets and they’re all spoken for by family and friends," Gonzalez told LA Galaxy Insider. "It’s going to be crazy tomorrow and it’s really nice to know that I have so many family and friends that love me and are rooting the team on. It’s great to have a little bit of home field advantage."
As a rising star at the club and international level, this past week has been an important one for the Galaxy defender.
“It’s been great. When you don’t see family for a while you miss them. It’s been really good to be around family for a little bit and I think it keeps us sane and keeps us grounded," said Gonzalez. "It’s been nice to meet up, spend time and just enjoy the short time that I have with them.”
FRISCO, Texas – Healthy and ready to play, Mike Magee looks set to return to the LA Galaxy starting XI after missing out on starting against Monterrey midweek due to a right hip injury.
That was not the extent of my conversation with the attacker as I also asked Magee if he was taking notice of his place at the top of the MLS scoring chart.
“Nah. It’s cool, but it’s so early. If I was a rookie, I’d probably [expletive] celebrating already. It really doesn't matter, it’s great that I've scored goals and it’s great that the team hasn't lost yet, but I am absolutely not looking at the stat sheet.”
FRISCO, Texas -- The LA Galaxy return to MLS regular season play on Saturday against FC Dallas.
My Three Points to the match are below..
FRISCO, Texas – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has pledged to make at least a couple of changes to his starting XI against FC Dallas after a midweek CONCACAF Champions League game and one place Arena may shuffle is at left back.
Todd Dunivant was forced to exit Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to C.F. Monterrey with what Arena described as “tightness” and the Galaxy boss said on Friday that a decision will be made regarding the left back’s status prior to Saturday’s road contest against FC Dallas.
One potential option to fill in for Dunivant is rookie Greg Cochrane, who has impressed his coaches during his first months as a professional. Cochrane, who has been used primarily on the left side of midfield since being drafted by LA, but played left back in college, has been a staple on the Galaxy’s game day roster’s this season and was on LA’s 18-man squad again in Wednesday’s 1-0 defeat to Monterrey.
“It was cool seeing their fans because they’re so passionate,” Cochrane said of the experience in Monterrey. “It was definitely a good atmosphere to be on the field and see it from there, so from that aspect it was good. It was a good learning experience to see the culture down there.”
Cochrane has received considerable praise from coaches and teammates for both his ability and poise throughout his rookie year. The rookie from Louisville attributes this praise to frequently asking questions to players like Dunivant and other Galaxy veterans as he looks to learn the ropes in the pro ranks. But if called upon to play against FC Dallas on Saturday or in Monday’s Reserve League opener against Seattle Sounders FC, he is ready.
“I feel good and I feel confident,” said Cochrane, who played most of his career at left back.” This week, I've been trying to play like me. I know my responsibilities defensively. Obviously that’s the most important thing as an outside back position is locking it down defensively and obviously helping in the attack if I’m ready.”
And as for any rookie jitters, Cochrane believes that they’ll be immediately shaken off.
“I’d be lying if I said that I wasn't, but you push those aside once the game starts,” said Cochrane. “This is the game that I've been playing my whole life and I feel like once I touch the ball, I’d be fine. I wouldn't say that I’d be too nervous, but I’m sure there would be still a few butterflies.”
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari recently caught up with LA Galaxy players Michael Stephens, Jose Villarreal and Sean Franklin to preview this Saturday's match against FC Dallas.
Check out the video below...
FRISCO, Texas – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has pledged to make at least a couple of changes to his squad ahead of this Saturday’s match against FC Dallas and one possible change could see defender Tommy Meyer make his 2013 debut.
Center backs Leonardo and Omar Gonzalez have logged heavy minutes in recent weeks and Meyer represents an option for the Galaxy to offer a brief respite to one of their center backs.
Meyer became a regular in the Galaxy starting XI towards the end of the 2012 season, appearing in all six postseason games including the 2012 MLS Cup.
Fit again, Meyer is itching to return to the lineup, possibly this weekend against FC Dallas or at least in Monday’s Reserve League match against Seattle Sounders FC.
“My body feels great,” said Meyer, who missed considerable time in the preseason due to a left hamstring strain. “It is back to how I felt before, if that’s needed and they see to make a change [on Saturday] then I’m ready. I haven’t played a game since Real Salt Lake [in preseason on Feb. 8], and so I’m ready to play.”
Would you want to see Meyer start on Saturday?
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FRISCO, Texas. -- Hours after flying into Texas, several members of the LA Galaxy were back on the training ground on Thursday.
The starters took part in a regeneration session at the team hotel, but the reserves were able to train for 90 minutes in Frisco.
Following training, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered the following updates.
(On whether rotation is planned for FC Dallas match...)
ARENA: "I’m sure that we’re going to have a couple changes in our lineup, but what those are has not been determined at this point."
(On the status of Gyasi Zardes...)
ARENA: "He looks like he’s a little ahead of schedule for the surgery that he had. He’s back on the field now, which is good and he’ll slowly build himself back into full training over the next couple of weeks."
MONTERREY, Mexico— LA Galaxy attacker Mike Magee was unable to start Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey due to a right leg injury, but he is not expected to miss time ahead of LA's return to league play.
The leading goal scorer in MLS did not get the start, but was able to go 31 minutes as LA pressed for a goal in their 1-0 defeat at Estadio Tecnológico. The goal never came, however, and the Galaxy fell out of the CCL 3-1 on aggregate.
Following the match, Magee stressed that his right leg issue was not serious.
“I just had a little hip issue so I had a little procedure and injections that hadn’t settled in yet. I’m feeling better, just a little achy, but it’ll be fine in a couple of days,” Magee said after the game.
With the Galaxy turning their focus away from CCL and towards the league stage, Magee admitted that there was one chief lesson that LA needed to take from their continental campaign.
“We have to take care of business at home,” said Magee. “You can’t expect to come to a club like this and expect to get a win. It’s not impossible, but it’s very difficult.”
MONTERREY, Mexico – Landon Donovan made his first start and 90 minute performance of 2013 in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to C.F. Monterrey that saw LA’s CONCACAF Champions League dreams dashed 3-1 on aggregate.
Fitness seemed to be little issue for Donovan, who was once again making the type of darting runs and confident passes that have been a staple of his career. However, goals were hard to come for Donovan and his Galaxy teammates as Monterrey’s organized defense repeatedly stifled LA’s attack. Following, Donovan admitted that his fitness wasn’t much of an issue for him on Wednesday, but rather it was Monterrey’s quality that proved too much for LA. .
“I felt good. It was a good game; they’re a very good team. We let ourselves down in the first leg, we tried, but this is a very tough place to come and play,” Donovan told reporters. “In my opinion, that’s the best team in this region and they played well and got a goal and made it difficult for us.”
Donovan offered Monterrey a glowing endorsement, but was also noted the disparity between the two sides.
When asked by a member of the Mexican media if scheduling was the reason for MLS clubs record against Liga MX in CONCACAF Champions League, Donovan stressed that is the income disparity more than anything.
“We make about eight to nine million dollars [as a team], they make 25 to 30, so it’s difficult,” said Donovan. “Football is like that. When Manchester United plays Wigan, it’s different and it will always be like that until we start spending money and buying players like Aldo [De Nigris], like Humberto [Suazo] and players like that. We came to win, but this night, we didn’t.”
Do you expect to see Donovan start against FC Dallas? What are your thoughts about his comments on the comparison between Liga MX and MLS?
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