SAN FRANCISCO – Once again, it was the man in the No. 10 shirt that played the hero for the U.S. National Team.
Only this time it wasn’t Landon Donovan, it was bold Norwegian-American midfielder Mix Diskerud who proved decisive in the Americans 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
In his first match donning the No. 10—a decision that U.S. Soccer insists is not finalized—Diskerud had an immediate impact after coming off the bench after the our mark. In the 75th minute, the midfielder found himself at the right place at the right time as he pounced on a rebound created by a Michael Bradley shot and gave the Americans their first goal in their 2-0 win.
Such clutch scoring has been a hallmark of Donovan’s career and Diskerud offered the USMNT a glimpse of life without the USMNT’s all-time leading goal scorer in the first match of their “Send-Off Series” prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Although Diskerud knows that the decision for him to don the No. 10 in Brazil is not set, the midfielder is relishing the chance to wear the number.
“It’s an honor for me,” Diskerud told reporters. “If you look back at all the players who’ve been wearing No. 10 – Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna and Landon Donovan – so for me, I’m just sort of borrowing it. I’m for sure going to play with Landon again, so he’ll get it back then. No. 10 is just a number, but I understand that a lot of people see it as more than that.
“But I don’t play for the number on the back,” he added. ‘I play for the U.S. crest on my front chest.”
SAN FRANCISCO -- Omar Gonzalez went 45 minutes as the U.S. National Team defeated Azerbaijan in the first match of their "Send-Off Series" that will lead up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Mix Diskerud and Aron Johannsson each scored for the Americans while Gonzalez came on in the second half in relief of Geoff Cameron. U.S. captain Clint Dempsey suffered a groin injury in pregame warmups that prevented him from suiting up but head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters afterward that the ailment is not serious.
My recap for LAGalaxy.com can be found here.
Highlights of the goals are below.
SAN FRANCISCO— Omar Gonzalez will look to make his case to be one of the two starting center backs for the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Tuesday’s friendly against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park.
Gonzalez has returned to training with the U.S. after suffering a knee injury against the Colorado Rapids in May, and was named to the 23-man squad for Brazil last Thursday. Whether or not he’ll start for the Americans is a point of contention, however, as he’ll face stiff competition from Geoff Cameron and John Anthony Brooks for his spot alongside Matt Besler in the USMNT backline.
As part of the continuing World Cup coverage on LAGalaxy.com, I’ll be covering Tuesday’s friendly from San Francisco and will provide reaction from Gonzalez following the match.
Do you believe that Gonzalez will get on the field against Azerbaijan?
Share your thoughts below.
The stellar performances of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane against the Philadelphia Union earned the LA Galaxy strikers a place on MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week.
Donovan, who tallied two goals – including the record breaking goal No. 135 that cemented him as MLS regular season goal king – in the victory was also named as MLS’ Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters. Keane notched a goal and two assists in the victory to bring his scoring total to seven goals and three assists in the 2014 MLS regular season.
In addition to the Galaxy strikers, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was named as the coach for MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week squad.
USL PRO announced on Tuesday that LA Galaxy II forward Chandler Hoffman and midfielder Bradford Jamieson IV had been named to USL PRO's Team of the Week for week 10.
Both Hoffman and Jamieson tallied a brace in Los Dos' impressive 5-0 victory over Oklahoma City Energy FC on Sunday. The goals give Hoffman seven on the season, which places him in second place on the USL PRO scoring charts. Meanwhile, Jamieson's tallies were his first of his professional career.
In my latest story for LAGalaxy.com, I speak to Jamieson and Los Dos head coach Curt Onalfo about the player's stellar development as of late.
The complete team is below.
— USL PRO (@USLPRO) May 27, 2014
Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum will play host to the final of the 25th edition Central American Cup on September 13, the Central American Football Union announced on Tuesday.
The 2014 edition of the Central American Cup will be the first time that the regional tournament will be held outside of one of CONCACAF's seven Central American nations. The tournament will serve as a qualifying competition for both the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup and the 2016 Copa America Centenario.
In addition to the final, the third place and fifth place games will also take place on Sept. 13 at the Coliseum. According to CONCACAF, locations for the other matches have yet to be announced for the tournament that will run from Sept. 3-13.
Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo who is also the number one 'keeper for Panama is the only LA player who is eligible to participate. If Penedo does suit up for Los Canaleros, he could miss as many as three league matches for the Galaxy with LA taking on the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 5, the Montreal Impact on Sept. 10 and the San Jose Earthquakes on Sept. 14.
Planning to attend the final? Think Penedo can help Panama qualify for the Copa America Centenario? Think he'll be allowed to play?
Share your thoughts below.
Everyone been rushing to honor Landon Donovan's record-breaking 135th -- and 136th -- MLS Regular Season goal, but my personal favorite is this animation by Howler Magazine.
The graphic depicts Donovan's trademark penalty kick style and celebrates his new record.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media following the team's 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union
Check it out below...
(On Landon Donovan breaking the record...)
“It was very nice. I think that the one who really wanted the hug was really me. I wanted to congratulate him. I’m real happy for him. It’s an unbelievable milestone for any athlete. It’s a great accomplishment. We are grateful to have him here. I know it takes a little pressure off him not having to worry about that record now. Others can chase him for the rest of his life.”
(On the team’s performance...)
ARENA: “I don’t think we played well in the first half. Second half we played better, but it was a good performance. Philadelphia played us real hard. To get that second goal early in the second half was important. It broke their back a little bit. Second half we played a very good 30 to 35 minutes.”
(On Leonardo’s performance...)
ARENA: “I thought he performed quite well today. Obviously, the goal was a big part of our success today. He had surgery two weeks ago. I don’t know if anyone knew. He had a compound fracture. We really brought him along slowly over the last two weeks. He was in a good frame of mind to play today. He’s thrilled with his performance. Leo’s grown a lot as a player. It’s great to see him perform today, coming back from that injury. I think it’s going to give him a lot of confidence."
Landon Donovan has suffered through a difficult week, but the U.S. Soccer legend would not allow it to take it down.
Days after being excluded from the U.S. National Team's 23-man roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Donovan scored two goals to lead the LA Galaxy to a 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union as he took sole possession of the MLS all-time regular season goal scoring record.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, Landon Donovan talks about the exhausting week and the emotion that comes with breaking the MLS all-time regular season goal scoring record.
But the most telling quote during Donovan's press conference was his thoughts on bouncing back from adversity.
“There’s some things in life you can’t control I’ve said that to you guys a lot of times. There’s a lot of things in life you can’t control. What you can control is how you react and by no means am I going to let one decision that went against me affect me going forward,” said Donovan. “I say that to our young kids all the time, if you make a mistake don’t let that mistake take you out of the rest of the game for the next two weeks for the next two months. You have to get on with it. That’s behind you and that’s living in the past.
It wasn’t easy for me to do that today. My mind was racing all over the place but fortunately I spent a lot of time practicing with how to deal with stuff like that,” Donovan added. “Meditation helps a lot and getting me back to the moment. And getting me present so that you are just here and don’t worry about what’s happened or what’s going to happen and I was really proud of myself for that because it would have been easy to make an excuse today.”
Video of Donovan's curtain call earlier on Sunday is below.