Beat

20 February 1:24 pm

The LA Galaxy's in-stadium rivals C.D. Chivas USA are getting a new name and a new owner. 

On Thursday, MLS announced that the league had purchased Chivas USA from Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes effective immediately. According to the league release, the team will play the 2014 season as Chivas USA, but will operate under a new name and new logo in 2015 in connection with new ownership. The release goes on to state that MLS is intent on keeping the team in Los Angeles in a new stadium and has already spoken to several ownership groups with the hopes of announcing an owner by the end of the year.

“We thank Jorge Vergara and Angelica Fuentes for their significant commitment to Major League Soccer,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a statement. “Jorge was an early believer in the league and he and Angelica have been great partners in MLS. “We collectively agreed that it is best to sell the club to new owners who are committed to securing a new stadium and providing MLS with a strong rival for the LA Galaxy.”

Said Vergara, the owner of Mexican giant C.D. Guadalajara, in the statement “When Angelica and I gained full operational control of the team for the first time 15 months ago, we were hopeful we would be able to turn it around. However, there is only one Chivas de Guadalajara, and we have realized that it will require more time, further resources, and a level of commitment that would divert too much of our focus from our other business interests. We explored opportunities to sell to other groups, but we believe selling the franchise to MLS on an expedited basis is in the best interests of all parties, including the team’s players and its dedicated fans. MLS has assured us they are committed to keeping the club in Los Angeles and finding the right owners to make the team successful in the future. We greatly appreciate the leadership and collaboration of Don Garber and his colleagues at MLS, which resulted in an efficient transaction that benefits all the parties involved.”

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Chime in on your thoughts on the news. Where will Chivas USA move to? What will they be called in 2015?

Share your thoughts below. 

20 February 12:47 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy announced on Thursday that they have signed their latest Homegrown Player, Bradford Jamieson IV. 

A Los Angeles native from Culver City, Jamieson is a former U.S. youth international and NSCAA All-American who has scored three goals in 11 appearances for the Galaxy U-18 side during the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy season. Prior to signing with the Galaxy, the 17-year-old had committed to the University of California, Berkeley. 

“We are thrilled to add Bradford Jamieson IV to our roster and continue our tradition of signing local players to the Galaxy,” LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a club statement. “Bradford is a talented forward who will continue to develop and grow as a player within our system.”

My conversation with Jamieson for LAGalaxy.com is below. 

19 February 5:04 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant and Robbie Rogers have been largely absent from the LA Galaxy lineup this preseason, but both are expected to be back training next week.

Head coach Bruce Arena told reporters following the Galaxy’s 2-0 scrimmage victory over UCLA on Wednesday that Dunivant is unlikely to appear in Saturday’s “White vs. Blue” Game against LA Galaxy II, but is expected to return to training next week. Dunivant has yet to appear in a match this preseason.

Arena also revealed that Rogers, who suffered an ankle injury earlier this month, is likely to return to the practice field at some point next week.

While Dunivant and Rogers are still on the mend, third-year defender Tommy Meyer made his preseason debut with 30 minute shift on Wednesday. Meyer had been sidelined for much of the preseason due to a groin injury.  

“He’s a got a long way to go,” said Arena. “He only played 30 minutes today and he has been out awhile. He’s just starting to get back into it.”

19 February 3:20 pm

CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy have their captain back.

Galaxy captain Robbie Keane scored a goal and played 45 minutes in the second half of LA’s 2-0 victory over UCLA in a closed-door scrimmage at StubHub Center on Wednesday.  In my piece for LAGalaxy.com, Keane and the rest of the Galaxy give a positive assessment of the Irishman’s performance which included a penalty kick goal in the 62nd minute.

Among those impressed was new signing Rob Friend, who started the opening 45 minutes of LA’s victory over UCLA.

“Adding him just doubled our team,” said Friend. “This was the first time that I saw him in a game, and I’m excited to play with him. He brings so much to the team offensively and we need a guy who is combining and providing the last pass. As a striker, it’s a dream to play with a guy like that.”

View Keane's goal below.

19 February 9:32 am

Jose Villarreal is on the move again, this time to Liga de Ascenso club Cruz Azul Hidalgo.

Cruz Azul announced on Monday that it will send Villarreal and former San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Rafael Baca to the Mexican second division side for the duration of the 2014 Clausura Tournament.  

Villarreal had made just two appearances for the team’s Under-20 side in recent weeks after suffering a leg injury that prevented him from suiting up for La Maquina (The Machine) immediately after his year-long loan deal was announced. The length of the 20-year-old forward’s loan means that if he is able to impress his coaches in the second division then it is conceivable that he’d rejoin the first team upon the start of the 2014 Apertura Tournament this summer.  

Currently, Cruz Azul Hidalgo has 11 points after seven matches this season and are tied for third place in the Liga de Ascenso with Lobos BUAP.  The Hidalgo-based club is also still alive in the Copa MX and takes on C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.

18 February 2:15 pm

LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez spoke to Fox Sports 1's Crowd Goes Wild to discuss the MLS season on Monday as part of the league's Media and Marketing tour.

Gonzalez was joined on the program by fellow U.S. internationals Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake) and Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City). 

Check it out below.

18 February 1:36 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena’s preseason roster was trimmed by one on Tuesday as the LA Galaxy head coach and general manager told LA Galaxy Insider that the team has released trialist Matheau Hall from training camp.

The 26-year-old right back appeared in each of the Galaxy’s five preseason games to date, but despite possessing blistering speed, he failed to make a lasting impact in matches.  With Hall exiting camp, just 31-year-old veterans James Riley and Dan Gargan remain to fight for the reserve role behind incumbent right back A.J. DeLaGarza.  

At the moment, Riley appears to be the forerunner for the position due to a pair of solid starts against Pumas UNAM and the San Jose Earthquakes. Gargan’s last appearance for LA was a 45 minute second half shift in Mexico, but the 31-year-old missed out on the Galaxy’s clash with San Jose due to injury.

Even though Riley has excelled in recent weeks, the industrious defender knows that the position is not his quite yet.

“My mindset is that you try to earn your spot day by day,” said Riley. “My versatility throughout the back and my experience speaks for itself. I just want to emulate that every single day. For me, I like the role of the underdog so I’m always pushing and pressing. I’ll stay in that role until I put pen to paper.”

18 February 10:04 am

Landon Donovan and Michael Bradley were guests on MSNBC's "Cup of Joe" with host Joe Scarborough on Tuesday morning as part of MLS' Media and Marketing promotion tour.

During the interview, both U.S. internationals discussed the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil as well as the upcoming MLS season.

View the interview below.

17 February 4:05 pm

FRESNO, Calif. – LA Galaxy II won their inaugural game on Thursday with a 2-1 victory over the Fresno Fuego.

Although goal scorers Travis Bowen and Raul Mendiola are known quantities to Galaxy fans, many of the players were a mystery.

Below is a break down on the players who suited up for LA Galaxy II:

Starting Lineup:

Goalkeeper Cody Laurendi:  Trained with the Galaxy first team at the start of the season and spent the last two seasons with NASL club Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.

Right back Oscar Sorto: LA Galaxy Homegrown Player.

Center back Daniel Steres: Former San Diego State Aztecs defender who was drafted by Chivas USA in 2012. After being released by Chivas, he signed with Seattle Sounders FC for the duration of the season before spending last season with USL PRO club Wilmington Hammerheads.

Center back Bradley Diallo: A Olympique de Marseille youth product, the 23-year-old spent two years with English League One side Oldham Athletic before joining Royal White Star Bruxelles in the Belgian second division.

Left back Jason Bli: A 21-year-old French defender spent the last season with Paris FC. Bli made 11 appearances for the third division French club.

Right midfielder Aleksandar Djokovic: A 22-year-old former Serbrian youth international spent 2013 with Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon in the Israeli first division.

Central midfielder Kenney Walker: LA Galaxy first team player. Walker spent much of last season on loan to the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL.

Central midfielder Dragan Stojkov: A 25-year-old former Macedonian youth international who spent the last four seasons with FK Jagodina of Serbia’s first division. Stojkov made 53 appearances for Jagodina over that span.

Left midfielder Raul Mendiola: LA Galaxy Academy graduate who is reportedly about to be signed by the Galaxy as their latest Homegrown Player.

Forward Travis Bowen:  Older brother of former Galaxy Homegrown forward Tristan Bowen. The 24-year-old spent last season with USL PRO side Phoenix Wolves FC before splitting time with Ventura County Fusion and the Portland Timbers U-23s.

Forward Jack McBean: LA Galaxy Homegrown Player.

Substitutions:

Forward Jaime Villarreal: Galaxy Academy U-18 and younger brother of LA Homegrown Player Jose Villarreal.  The 18-year-old has scored five goals for the LA U-18’s this year.

Forward Adonis Amaya: Galaxy Academy U-18 who committed to UC Santa Barbara for the upcoming Fall semester. The 17-year-old has scored 14 goals for the Galaxy U-18’s this year.

Center back Lee Nishanian: A four-year starter for Cal-State San Bernardino and two time selection to the All-California Collegiate Athletic Association first team.

Center back Logan Emory: Spent last season playing for Toronto FC before being waved and joining NASL club San Antonio Scorpions. Emory made 24 league appearances for TFC across two seasons.

Right back Eder Arreola: Spent the last year with Mexican Liga de Ascenso side Delfines del Carmen.  Drafted by the Houston Dynamo after starring for UCLA during four years, Arreola helped United States Adult Soccer Association club Cal FC reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup in 2012.

Midfielder Laurent Courtois: Split 2013 between Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy. Courtois will serve as player-coach for LA Galaxy II in 2014.

Midfielder Alejandro Covarrubias: The midfielder will be a senior this season at Cal-State Dominquez Hills. Covarrubias played 18 games for the Toros in 2013 scoring six goals and five assists.

Midfielder Abraham Campos: The 24-year-old midfielder spent the past three seasons with the Fresno Fuego. Campos also had a brief stint with Club Inter of the Mexican third division.

Forward Aaron Lombardi: Galaxy Academy U-18 who has made 13 appearances this season scoring three goals.

Midfielder Eljiah Martin: Galaxy Academy U-18 who has played in 12 games for the youth side so far this season. The Fresno native has tallied one goal this season.

Goalkeeper Nick Shackelford: A 23-year-old goalkeeper from St. Louis University. Shackelford made starts in all four years with the Billikens. 

17 February 3:45 pm

FRESNO, Calif. – The LA Galaxy took home the inaugural Central California Cup with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, but will their trip to Fresno become a yearly visit?

Fueled by goals by Marcelo Sarvas and Gyasi Zardes, the Galaxy held off their archrivals to earn their first silverware of the season. Following the game that saw 12,659 fans fill a sold-out Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena admitted that he was quite taken by the atmosphere created by the raucous crowd.

“I’m sure that we’ll be talking to the promoters of the game tonight and see if there is a possibility of returning in the future,” said Arena after the match which was the Galaxy's first game in Fresno since 2007.

Galaxy club president Chris Klein was similarly impressed by the facilities that hosted both the first team match on Saturday and the inaugural game for LA Galaxy II on Thursday.  Klein even went as far to praise the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino which hosted both Galaxy squads.

“To be hosted by the city of Fresno and the Fresno Fuego has been nice for us. It fits nicely into our preseason,” said Klein. “[The team] enjoyed it. The players enjoy getting up here and being able to bond a little bit, they went to the Casino a little bit and they’ve enjoyed themselves.”

It wasn’t just the Galaxy brass who was impressed as U.S. National Team regulars Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were wowed by the Fresno faithful.

"I was really impressed with the crowd,” said Donovan. “I thought it was great and there's no reason why we shouldn't come back here again."

Gonzalez went a bit further even stating that he hoped LA returned next year.

"The fans came out tonight and hopefully we will be back again next year…and hopefully we can keep the Cup," said the Galaxy defender.

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Do you think the Galaxy will return next year? Hoping to make the trip if they do?

Share your thoughts below.