FRISCO, Texas -- The LA Galaxy wrapped up a difficult six-day, two country road trip that saw them lose two matches.
The latest defeat came on an 87th minute goal by George John to give FC Dallas a 1-0 win over the Galaxy. The two defeats were difficult to stomach for the club, but LA will return to Southern California on Sunday morning.
After the defeat to Dallas, defender A.J. DeLaGarza said that he and the rest of the club are eager to return home.
"I think we’ve lost the last three games now [two against Monterrey] and now here," said DeLaGarza. "If we could have gotten out of here, 0-0, down a man for quite a while, I think we could have been really happy with the point. To go out like this after the guys fought for 90 minutes, giving up a goal, is frustrating."
FRISCO, Texas -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena discussed the club's 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas.
Arena's quotes are below...
(On whether he thought the team was tired due to their midweek match…)
(On what he thought about the red card for Leonardo…)
ARENA: “Well if I didn’t think it was a great call, I probably didn’t think it was a great card right?”
(On how Donovan played…)
ARENA: “Okay. It’s going to take him a couple of months to get going. He’s behind the group, but he’s done remarkably well. Having him back with very little preparation, he’s doing alright. He’s obviously got to play better and he’ll get fitter. As he gets fitter, he’ll play better.”
(On whether he was happy about the end result…)
ARENA: “Obviously not, we lost the game, right? I’m not happy losing a game. A game is a possibility of us getting three points, let alone zero points. I’m not at all pleased with the end result. “
(On the overall effort of the team…)
ARENA: “I think the effort was pretty good, but I think that we need some players that can think a little bit better during the last 10 minutes of the game.”
FRISCO, Texas -- The LA Galaxy went down to 10-men in 60th minute of their eventual 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas when center back Leonardo was ruled to have brought down FCD forward Blas Perez for a denial of a goal scoring opportunity. The moment caused LA to switch into a defensive posture, and although LA had several opportunities at goal -- including a penalty of their own -- a Dallas goal in the 87th minute by George John put FCD ahead for good.
Following the match, I caught up with Leonardo and asked him about the play.
LEONARDO: "It was an error on my part. The guy got behind me and then I kind of don't know what happened because he just went down. I don't think it was a penalty. The referee might have felt a little bit of pressure to call it, but I can't be thinking about it right now. I just have to move on. The play obviously cost us potentially three points. I just have to move on and then be a little bit sharper and better."
Video of the foul is below...
Was it a foul?
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Highlights from the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas below...
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...