CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez spent much of the last month earning his stripes with the U.S. national team and now the 24-year-old defender is eager to apply what he learned to his club side.
A year after dealing with an ACL injury that took away half of his 2012 season, Gonzalez was called up by Jurgen Klinsmann for the U.S. national team’s annual January camp and promptly made his first start for the U.S since 2011 in their scoreless draw against Canada.
Gonzalez’s performance against Canada drew rave reviews from critics and it was no surprise that he was named to Klinsmann’s squad that faced Honduras in a World Cup Qualifier on Feb. 6. The U.S. boss was so impressed with the 24-year-old that he awarded him the start in San Pedro Sula.
The match was a difficult for the Americans who endured intense heat and humidity from the midday sun as well as an incredibly hostile crowd at the Estadio Olímpico. After the U.S. took an early lead on a goal by Clint Dempsey, Honduras equalized less than five minutes later on a brilliant overhead strike by Juan Carlos Garcia. Ultimately, a late defensive breakdown by the U.S. led to a goal by New England Revolution striker Jerry Bengston which gave the Hondurans a 2-1 victory.
“It was definitely tough; it was a test of your mental strength,” said Gonzalez of the match. “It really took a lot out of players, the heat and the crowd in the first half was a lot. But you just learn from that stuff and try hard on every single play. That will take you a long way.
“That was one game, I think that there were certain plays that you have to look at, but on the day, it was just a tough game, a tough field, a tough environment and now you move on,” Gonzalez added. “You just keep on trying to get better and stay at a top level and now I just need to play better for the Galaxy.”
One player who made undoubtedly made an impression on Gonzalez during World Cup qualifying duty was U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard, who the defender admits has some similar traits to LA’s newest number one goalkeeper, Carlo Cudicini.
“One thing that I’ve noticed from both of them is that they talk a lot,” said Gonzalez. “They’re constantly talking to you and telling you when to slide over, when to drop back and when to keep the line or look over your shoulder. Every good ‘keeper has that and they’re both technically sound so I have a lot of confidence in both of them.”
After returning to the club late last week, Gonzalez was placed in LA’s starting lineup on Wednesday in the club’s 7-2 preseason victory over UCLA, adding a goal in 45 minutes of action. Now tasked with prospect of re-integrating himself to his club, Gonzalez is already looking for ways that he can help LA move along as their March 3rd season opener draws ever near.
“Maybe I can help raise the level here effort wise but there is still three weeks going and we have some time,” said Gonzalez. “But everyone is moving along well. Bruce knows how to move a preseason along well by starting off slow and working guys in slowly and eventually get technically better and round us into form.”
There was no bigger story in the global soccer world on Wednesday than the epic UEFA Champions League Round of 16 clash between Manchester United and Real Madrid. Even the man calling the game for Fox Soccer was headline news.
Well, Univision Deportes' Jaime Motta decided to watch the game with the players of the LA Galaxy from inside the Herbalife Players Lounge at The Home Depot Center and provided this Spanish language video
Check it out below...
LAGalaxy.com's Paolo Ferrari provided the following highlight reel of the LA Galaxy's 7-2 victory over UCLA on Wednesday.
Check out the video below...
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy registered their third victory of the preseason on Wednesday with a 7-2 victory over UCLA.
Michael Stephens opened the scoring in the 13th minute before Omar Gonzalez doubled LA’s lead in the 29th. Stationed at right midfield against the Bruins, Sean Franklin added a pair of goals in quick succession before the end of the first half. Hector Jimenez tallied in the 57th minute and seven minutes later rookie Charlie Rugg added a sixth.
After LA’s sixth goal, UCLA battled back as Reed Williams put the Bruins on the board. Nine minutes later, Rugg tallied a second in the 78th before UCLA’s Evan Raynr rounded out the scoring in the 82nd.
A few notes from the match below…
The Galaxy lined up in the following lineup at the start:
*Sean Franklin was dynamic on the right side of midfield and repeatedly helped the Galaxy engineer scoring opportunities. The match was the first time that Franklin had been placed in midfield with DeLaGarza at right back this preseason
*The match was Juninho’s first start for the Galaxy since re-joining the club for preseason.
*Robbie Keane is currently in Dublin due to a death in the family. Arena told reporters that he is expected to be back in training on Monday.
*Once Magee and McBean were replaced by Andy Riemer and Charlie Rugg in the 57th minute, the Galaxy had completed their changes and opted for the following lineup.
Opare---Ferreira (Trialist) ---Leonardo----Gaul
*Rugg was stellar in his preseason debut for the Galaxy as he showed no ill effects from his nagging groin injury.
*Once again, Rafael Garcia and Greg Cochrane provided considerable energy for the Galaxy with Cochrane completing a few dangerous crosses while stationed on the left side of midfield.
*Riemer made his first appearance as a forward after playing in central midfield and right midfield in previous preseason games. One would expect that his inclusion was likely due to LA’s current forward shortage with Landon Donovan (hiatus), Jose Villarreal (International duty), Gyasi Zardes (foot injury), and Keane (family issue) unavailable.
*Bruce Arena revealed the names of the Galaxy's two Brazilian trialists Mathaus Ferreira de Sousa and Marquinho.
*UCLA began the match with the following starting XI
Pat Matchett---Joe Sofia ---Matt Wyatt----Ryan Lee
Max Estrada--- Leo Stolz----Grady Howe-----Andrew Tusaazemajja
------------Reed Williams-----Victor Chavez-----------
*In the second half, D.C. United supplemental draft pick Evan Raynr entered the match for Chavez and tallied the Bruins last goal of the match.
CARSON, Calif. – Two trialists joined the LA Galaxy at the beginning of the week and on Wednesday, head coach and general manager Bruce Arena revealed their names.
19-year-old Brazilian centerback Mathaus Ferreira de Sousa went 45 minutes for the Galaxy in their 7-2 preseason scrimmage victory over UCLA on Wednesday. Ferreira, who was last with Red Bull Brasil was stationed alongside LA’s own Brazilian defender Leonardo for the entire half.
“It’s easy to play with him because he’s Brazilian where there is a different style,” said Leonardo.” He’s played good. He’s only had two or three days to adapt himself to [the U.S.] and he’s done okay."
Arena also revealed the name of LA’s other trialist, 21-year-old Brazilian midfielder Marcus Vinicius Gregorio de Souza also known as Marquinho. The midfielder recently spent time with Brazilian clubs Fluminense, Porto de Caruaru and Tupi
The Galaxy boss stated that the club was still early in the process of evaluating the two players.
The LA Galaxy officially announced that they will take on the Colorado Rapids on Feb. 22 at UC Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium at 7:30 p.m.
The match is LA's final game of the preseason and tickets are available at $12 for adults and $8 for children ages 4 to 13.
“We are excited to play in Santa Barbara against the Colorado Rapids,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena. “Since this game will be our final preseason game of the year, we consider this game to be critically important to the development of our team as we head into our season opener on March 3.”
CARSON, Calif. -- An LA Galaxy spokesman told the LA Galaxy Insider on Tuesday that the club will face the Colorado Rapids in a preseason friendly at UC Santa Barbara's Harder Stadium on Feb. 22.
Expect an official announcement from the Galaxy tomorrow.
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy Homegrown defender Oscar Sorto may not be going joining the U.S. Under-20’s for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Mexico later this month, but he’s looking to make the most of his opportunities with his club.
Sorto had been called up by U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos for a pair of recent camps, but did not join his teammate Jose Villarreal for the tournament, which takes place in Puebla, Mexico later this month. Not representing the U.S. as they fight for a berth in the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey later this year is a blow for Sorto, but he attests that he’s not thinking about that and focusing on the preseason.
“It’s going good and the training is going well and I’m trying to get more strength in my body,” said Sorto. “I’ve learned that I just need to get stronger because during our preseason game against Salt Lake, I was bouncing off people and I don’t want that to happen.”
Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena agreed that as Sorto improves his physical play, he’ll only become more influential on the field.
“He’s done fine,” said Arena. “He’s a young player still. The physical part of the game is a little tough for him and I like to think that when he matures a little bit more physically that he’ll be fine.”
A few other notes from training on Tuesday…
*The Galaxy play a scrimmage on Wednesday against UCLA as noted by Time Warner Cable Deportes' Elmur Souza and head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that players will begin to see additional minutes on Wednesday and a subsequent scrimmage on Saturday: “We’ll give most of our players 45 minutes and give them a few more minutes on Saturday and then build it into next week when we start getting our first XI together.”
*Arena also stated that Brazilian midfielder Juninho is continuing to move along: “He’s moving along and he’s going to play a little bit more tomorrow as well. We need to make some quick progress in the next couple of weeks.”
*Charlie Rugg took part in his first full day of training on Tuesday even participating briefly in an intra-squad scrimmage. When asked about his “It’s great. I guess that it’s one day at a time and hopefully the next step is getting in a game, but I’m not sure about tomorrow, but we’ll see the next step…it depends on what the trainers let me do and how the rest of the week goes.”
*Rugg also discussed what the Galaxy training staff has him working on at the moment: “I have a morning exercise strengthening the area that was injured and then a routine warm up and ice down.”
*Juninho stayed after the end of the training session to practice his free kicks. After the Brazilian trained for a few minutes alone, he was joined by several other Galaxy players –including Mike Magee—who joined in on the fun.
*Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed to reporters after training that Re-Entry Draft selection William Hesmer will not join the club in 2013.
CARSON, Calif. -- William Hesmer will not be joining the LA Galaxy in 2013, LA Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena confirmed to reporters on Tuesday.
The 31-year-old former Columbus Crew goalkeeper was selected during Stage Two of the 2012 MLS Re-Entry Draft, but did not join the Galaxy when preseason opened in mid-January. On Tuesday, Arena put an end to any speculation.
"Will Hesmer is not going to be with the Galaxy in 2013," Arena told reporters.