INDIANAPOLIS – Gyasi Zardes may have signed a Homegrown deal with the LA Galaxy in December, but he still got his SuperDraft moment in January as two other Homegrown players were presented at Thursday’s 2013 MLS SuperDraft.
One of the top goal scorers in college soccer, Zardes notched 33 goals in 37 games with the Roadrunners over his four seasons at CSU Bakersfield. Although his Homegrown status prevented him from taking part in the draft day festivities, Zardes believes that he was far better off signing a deal for LA.
“It was a great decision to sign a Homegrown because I knew which club I was going to play for and prepare for,” Zardes said, “as opposed to these guys [in the SuperDraft] – they’re waiting and waiting. It just helped me prepare sooner than these guys"
When the Galaxy begin their preseason on Monday, Zardes is expected to challenge for a forward spot alongside LA’s leading goal scorer from 2012, Robbie Keane. As he prepares to play alongside the talented Irishman, Zardes – who is proud of the “flair and style” in his game— admits that he’s been taking notes on how he could fit alongside Keane.
“I’m excited to play alongside Robbie Keane and just learn as much as I possibly can,” said Zardes. “I watch how many guys cram and defend Robbie Keane and I think to myself that I can make those kinds of runs to be open for the future.”
But can Zardes step in during his first rookie season? Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena seems to think so.
"We sense that he's going to be able to help us a little bit this year,” said Arena. "He's a very bright, articulate, confident kid and hopefully that translates a little bit on the field, where it counts."
And where does Zardes believe that he would have gone if he entered the draft?
“In my eyes, I think I would’ve gone No. 1,” said Zardes with a smile.
INDIANAPOLIS — The LA Galaxy’s focus was turned to the 2012 MLS SuperDraft on Thursday as LA made three selections, but head coach and general manager Bruce Arena commented about the speculation surrounding a potential Designated Player signing as well as Landon Donovan.
Over the past few months, LA has been linked with countless targets to fill the Designated Player spot vacated by David Beckham and after the SuperDraft, Arena was asked about LA’s links to Brazilian midfielder Kaka and English midfielder Frank Lampard.
When asked if Lampard was bound for the Galaxy, Arena stated that “we wouldn’t rule that out, it’s always a possibility.” When asked if Kaka was also a target, Arena told reporters that LA had “spoken to” both about a potential move. But don’t expect a decision to come any time soon.
“I wouldn't be surprised if over the next week or so, we have some kind of decision that we’re going to make on a designated player,” said Arena.
Meanwhile, Arena also addressed speculation surrounding Donovan’s future stating that he had spoken to the Galaxy captain recently and he would prefer if he knew of his plans after this weekend.
“I’m hopeful that we have a good feel of where he is headed after this weekend,” said Arena.
The LA Galaxy ended their day at the 2013 MLS SuperDraft by selecting Louisville defender Greg Cochrane.
Cochrane spent the past two seasons with the Cardinals after transfering from Virginia Tech after the 2010 season. The Pennsylvania native also spent time on the left side of midfield and left back during his time with the Cardinals.
View his highlights below..
The LA Galaxy bolstered their backline with the selection of Michigan defender Kofi Opare with the 24th overall pick in the MLS SuperDraft.
Opare spent four years at Michigan where he was a staple at center back for the University. The 22-year-old is a former member of the United States' Under-20 squad and helped Michigan reach the College Cup final in 2010.
More on Opare can be found here and a video of his highlights is below.
The LA Galaxy selected Boston College forward Charlie Rugg with the 19th overall pick in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft.
More on the forward can be found here.
The Galaxy have two selections in the second round with the 24th and 38th overall picks.
Highlights of Rugg from the MLS Combine are below...
The LA Galaxy hold three selections in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft and there is no shortage of speculation surrounding who head coach Bruce Arena and his coaching staff may select.
LA have the 19th pick in the first round of the SuperDraft and two selections -- the 24th and the 38th -- in the second round. Typically these positions do not offer the same freedom as say, the New England Revoultion have the first overall pick -- The Revs obtained the pick after trading with Toronto FC -- because LA must react to the decisions of 18 other clubs before making their first choice.
I've compiled a few must see sites and articles that you must read before you settle in to watch the draft at 9 a.m. tomorrow.
*Soccer By Ives has complied their own mock draft while Sports Illustrated's Avi Creditor outlined what he believes LA will be looking for in the Superdraft
*Prominent youth soccer website Top Drawer Soccer provided their own Mock Draft as a complete big board on all players available for selection.
Meanwhile, MLSsoccer.com has provided a mock draft of their own.
But the draft wasn't the only news that occured on Wednesday as Real Salt Lake announced the return of forward Robbie Findley while the Chicago Fire acquired Jeff Larentowicz from Colorado. Meanwhile, former LA Galaxy Academy product Jeffery Payeras has signed with Guatemalan side Municipal.
Who do you want to see the Galaxy select? Any positions that you want to see Arena focus on?
Share your thoughts below.
In occurance with league and club rules, the terms were not released, but the Irishman told Sky Sports last week that the deal was for two years.
Keane is currently training with Tottenham Hotspur, who posted a photo on Instagram of Keane training with the club earlier in the day. Keane spoke to Tottenham's official website and you can find that video below.
The LA Galaxy have the 19th pick in the Thursday's MLS SuperDraft and while there is plenty of speculation on who Bruce Arena and the Galaxy coaching staff will select with the final pick in the first round, I decided to take a look back.
I chose to evaluate the last pick in the first round over the past 10 years and see which teams maximized their value with their selections.
Check out my data below
2012 - LA Galaxy with 19th overall pick: Defender Tommy Meyer (Indiana) - currently with LA Galaxy
MLS CAREER STATS:GP: 8, MIN: 660, G: 0, A: 0
2011 - Colorado Rapids with 18th overall pick: Midfielder Eddie Ababio -- currently with NASL Tampa Bay Rowdies
MLS: CAREER STATS: Zero regular season appearances in one-and-a-half seasons with the Colorado Rapids.
2010 - LA Galaxy with 16th overall pick: Midfielder Michael Stephens (UCLA) -- currently with LA Galaxy
MLS CAREER STATS: GP: 73, MIN: 3717, G: 1, A: 11
2009 - New England Revolution with 15th overall pick: Midfielder Ryan Maxwell (Tampa) -- currently retired
MLS CAREER STATS:Zero regular season appearances in one season with New England
2008 - Real Salt Lake with 14th overall pick: Midfielder David Horst (Old Dominion) -- currently with Portland Timbers
MLS CAREER STATS: GP: 40, MIN: 3191, G: 1, A: 0
2007 - Houston Dynamo with 13th overall pick: Midfielder John Michael Hayden (Indiana) -- currently with semi-professional indoor soccer team, the Louisville Lightning
MLS CAREER STATS: Zero regular season appearances in three season with Houston
2006 - LA Galaxy with 12th overall pick: Midfielder Nathan Sturgis (Clemson) -- currently with Colorado Rapids
MLS CAREER STATS: GP: 80, MIN: 5719, G: 1, A: 2
2005 - Metrostars with 12th overall pick: Defender Tim Ward (Saint Louis) -- recently with San Jose Earthquakes
MLS CAREER STATS: GP: 71, MIN: 5724, G: 0, A: 7
2004 - San Jose Earthquakes with 10th overall pick: Goalkeeper Steve Cronin (Santa Clara) -- currently retired
MLS CAREER STATS: GP: 32, MIN: 2781, SO: 3, SAVES: 127, RECORD: 8-13-10
2003 - Dallas Burn with 10th overall pick: Defender Shavar Thomas (Connecticut) -- recently with Montreal Impact
MLS CAREER STATS: GP: 185, MIN:15059, G: 3, A: 1.
2002 - Dallas Burn with 12th overall pick: Defender Lee Morrison (Stanford) -- currently retired
MLS CAREER STATS: GP: 3, MIN: 103 G: 0 A: 0
A few thoughts...
*Shavar Thomas leads all players over the 10 year study with games played, minutes, and goals. Thomas has been a frequent contributor to the Jamaican National Team for half a decade.
*Although Thomas is the most successful numbers wise, the Galaxy have had considerable success over the last three years as Michael Stephens and Tommy Meyer have blossomed into regular members of the Galaxy first team.
*Stephens has scored the most assists of all players selected with the final pick in the MLS SuperDraft despite having just three seasons in MLS.
Let me hear your thoughts about this study? Think the Galaxy can find another solid pick with the 19th selection on Thursday?
Share your thoughts below.
The MLS adidas player combine wrapped up on Tuesday afternoon, but as the soccer community descends on Indianapolis, we look back at the final day of the player combine.
Below are highlights created by MLSsoccer.com of the final day at the combine.
adiZero vs. Prime
adiPower vs. adiPure
TORRANCE, Calif. – A.J. DeLaGarza understands that he's heading into one of the most important seasons of his professional career and the LA Galaxy center back is ready for the challenge.
For the past week, the 25-year-old defender has trained with the U.S. national team in preparation for the Feb. 29 friendly against Canada at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston. The camp is an immense opportunity for DeLaGarza as it represents a chance for him to make an impression with U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann just a year away from the 2014 World Cup.
“We all have an opportunity to make the World Cup [squad] so everyone is excited about this camp because it’s the year before the World Cup and it’s a big year for the U.S," said DeLaGarza. "[There] are a lot of competitions and a lot of games so guys are going to be needed.”
When the DeLaGarza re-joins the Galaxy for preseason, he’ll be faced likely be faced with a position battle with Meyer, who shined during the latter parts of the season and postseason after DeLaGarza went down with a knee injury. Although battling for a starting spot in the Galaxy back four promises to be a challenge, DeLaGarza feels that he is ready for the battle.
"I think that’s when I’m at my best when I’m vying for a spot and I have to come in every single day and do better than someone else or try to do better than someone else,” DeLaGarza said. “Everyone is playing for a spot, no one’s spot is guaranteed."
Whoever lines up at central defense will have a new goalkeeper as Italian Carlo Cudicini takes over the reins from Josh Saunders, who appears to be on his way out of L.A.
“It’ll be good, it’ll be different,” said DeLaGarza. “I’m used to [Donovan] Ricketts and Saunders back there and it’s going to be good though because he’s obviously a leader and played at the top club in the top league in the world.”
Regardless of who is in the starting lineup, DeLaGarza remains confident that the Galaxy can challenge for a third straight MLS Cup title— no matter how different the team will be.
“I feel like we’re going to be a totally different team,” said DeLaGarza. “ We've signed some good players and we've re-signed some players as well so whoever is out there, we’re going to play to win another championship.”