The LA Galaxy are out of the U.S. Open Cup in the third round for a second straight year after falling to the Carolina RailHawks on Wednesday.
I'm calling on all your opinions about the Open Cup defeat and how that will impact the team going forward.
Vote in the poll below and share your thoughts in the comments section:
BOSTON -- The LA Galaxy arrived in Boston on Thursday to begin preparations for Sunday's match against the New England Revolution.
Before we further analyze the defeat to the RailHawks, a few notes from the past day.
*Chivas USA parted aways with colorful head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola also known as "Chelis" on Wednesday evening.
*The MLS All-Stars will take on AS Roma at Sporting Park in Kansas City on July 31.
*Omar Gonzalez went 90 minutes in the U.S. National Team's 4-2 defeat to Belgium in Cleveland on Wednesday.
*Meanwhile, Robbie Keane went 61 minutes for Ireland in their 1-1 draw with England at Wembley.
*The U.S. Under-20's are now 0-2-0 at the Toulon Tournament after falling 2-1 to Colombia on Thursday.
RALEIGH, N.C. -- The LA Galaxy are shipping up to Boston on Thursday as they turn the page from their "stinging" 2-0 defeat to Carolina RailHawks in U.S. Open Cup to their match against the New England Revolution on Sunday.
Above is a series of photos that I took while walking through the park at the North Carolina State Capitol. It includes monuments to the three U.S. Presidents born in North Carolina (Andrew Jackson, Andrew Johnson and James Polk), monuments to state officials as well as monuments to veterans of various wars including the U.S. Civil War.
A few notes from the game:
*The Galaxy have now lost each of their last three Open Cup games, dating back to a quarterfinal loss to Seattle in 2011.
*Only three teams have knocked the Galaxy out of the Open Cup in the last six years. In addition to losing to the RailHawks in the Third Round in 2012 and 2013, LA lost to Seattle in the Quarterfinals in 2010 and 2011 while they were knocked out of the tournament by Colorado in a Play-In Game in 2008 and 2009.
*The only team to beat the Galaxy more than twice in the Open Cup is Chicago, who knocked LA out of the tournament in 2000, 2003 and 2006.
*This was the 16th straight game in all competitions this season that the Galaxy had made at least one change to their starting lineup.
*Chandler Hoffman made his competitive debut for the Galaxy, coming on for Leonardo in the 78th minute.
*Kenney Walker made his first appearance of the season for LA, playing the full 90 minutes in central midfield.
*The Galaxy out shot Carolina 10-7 but had just one shot on goal, with that coming from second half substitute Gyasi Zardes.
*Zardes had a team-high three shots. No other player had more than one.
CARY, N.C. – Carolina RailHawks manager Colin Clarke addressed the media following his side’s 2-0 victory over the LA Galaxy in the U.S. Open Cup Third Round.
Clarke’s thoughts are below…
(On his team’s performance…)
CLARKE: Delighted. It was a good performance, I thought we deserved it. I thought in the first half, we had opportunities to score and didn’t take them once we got into the final third. We felt like needed to continue to play that way in the second half and we took them when they come. They had a couple of half chances, but overall I felt like we deserved it.
(On potentially having LA’s number after beating them two straight years in Open Cup and while manager of Puerto Rico Islanders...)
CLARKE: “It’s good when you get an opportunity against a team from MLS. The boys relished that opportunity and we’ve got some very good players here. We played well tonight and we deserved to win.”
(On the business like attitude of his team…)
CLARKE: “The boys have been focused all week. We were a little disappointed last year that we didn’t go a little further so that’s something that we’re looking to do this year. This tournament is very important to us and also to me because it’s not just the Open Cup, it’s the Lamar Hunt Open Cup. That’s someone who I worked for and our president worked for him as well. He’s someone who gave us a start in this game and without people like him, we wouldn’t be here in the shape we’re in today. It’s a special tournament.”
(On the players that LA brought…)
CLARKE: “They’re all dangerous. That’s why they play at the level that they are, but I was happy to see Zardes on the bench. He came on, he changed it. He’s a presence and a young kid still learning his way, but played great last weekend and was always a threat.”
There are no highlights as of yet, but you can watch the LA Galaxy's 2-0 defeat to the Carolina RailHawks in its entirety below.
LA Galaxy assistant coach Curt Onalfo's post game comments after U.S. Open Cup defeat to Carolina RailHawks
CARY, N.C. – LA Galaxy assistant coach Curt Onalfo addressed the media following the LA Galaxy’s disappointing 2-0 defeat to the Carolina RailHawks on Wednesday night.
Onalfo’s comments are below…
(On his thoughts on losing to the RailHawks for a second straight year…)
ONALFO: “Last year’s loss has nothing to do with this year’s loss. I thought that in the first half, we dominated. I thought we had a lot of possession, we had the one great look at goal with Jose and I think that if we had the opportunity, we’d want to have it back because that’s a chance when you’re on the road and in a venue like that that you want to put away. We pretty good in the defensive and middle third with our passing, but we weren’t very sharp in front of goal with our final pass. I thought that we had the better part of the first half and the second half was kind of choppy. We give up a goal that probably shouldn’t have been a goal, but it was. For our young group of players, I don’t think that they reacted very well and credit to Carolina because they sensed that and stopped us then got a second goal. Then you’re playing catch up and you’re playing on the road, across the country and it’s humid, it’s hot and all of a sudden, it becomes pretty difficult. Credit to Carolina because they did a really good job of getting numbers behind the ball and making it difficult. We had more shots than they did, but not a whole lot on target to force their goalkeeper to make any big saves. The second half was disappointing.
(On LA’s recent road trip having an impact on the squad that came to Carolina..)
ONALFO: We’re the busiest team in MLS so we have to utilize our whole roster. We have reserves games where we have to utilize our roster and we have U.S. Open Cup games where in our organization that’s our time for our younger players to get minutes. And they’re valuable minutes. If you look at Carolina, as I said before the game, they’re a very good team. We scouted them extremely well and we know what their strengths are. They have a lot of experienced guys and they’re a darn good team so when you’re playing against a good team, those are valuable minutes for these players. I’m disappointed that we lost, but at the end of the day, my job is to move these guys forward so that they can step into the first team whenever possible and do a great job, and continue to evolve. From that stand point, we learned a valuable lesson today.”
(On whether a lack of sharpness hurt the Galaxy…)
ONALFO: “It’s always hard on the road, there’s no two ways about it. What you can attribute it to, could be a lack of games, it could be a lot of games or a lack of sharpness. At the end of the day, there are certain times that you have to concentrate more and you have to make a play, and we were just a little bit off.”
(On the compact Carolina defense…)
ONALFO: “Like I said going into this, they have a great coach. If you look at his track record, everywhere that he’s been, he’s done very well. His teams are extremely organized and they’re hard to break down as you could see tonight. They’re a good team…There’s a reason why they’re doing really well in their league and why they advanced tonight.”
(On any relief….)
ONALFO: “We would have played Chivas at home, so we wanted to advance. We’re disappointed. The draw is what it is and we have to deal with that. We try to deal with it the best that we possibly could. We have to look at ourselves and get better for next time.”
CARY, N.C. -- The LA Galaxy are out of the U.S. Open Cup after falling 2-0 to the Carolina RailHawks.
Austin da Luz and Brian Shriver scored for the RailHawks as they defeated the Galaxy for the second straight year in Open Cup play.
Robbie Rogers went 28 minutes in the defeat.
Thoughts on the loss?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will not attend the club’s U.S. Open Cup match on Wednesday against the Carolina RailHawks, but he asserts that it is no insult to the competition or the second division RailHawks.
In an interview with MLSsoccer.com’s Scott French during LA’s short-sided session at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday, he explained his decision.
“I think we're allowing those coaches to get an opportunity to work with that group, whom they're going to work with a lot during the year,” Arena told MLSsoccer.com following Wednesday's short-squad training session at the Home Depot Center. “It gives them a little more identity as a group, and I don't need to interfere.
"It's kind of the group we use for reserve games, and we're letting Curt and Pat organize the group, and I think it's a good experience for all of them.”
As for any idea that missing the match would be an insult, Arena said that was not his intention.
“Maybe, I don't know,” Arena said. “It's not meant to be an insult. I think it's all fair and appropriate, the way we're doing this.”
CARY, N.C. – There will be no Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez or Robbie Keane for the LA Galaxy on Wednesday, but the club will have plenty weapons when they take on the Carolina RailHawks in their U.S. Open Cup Third Round match.
Headlining the club’s squad will be young forward Jose Villarreal as well as fellow Homegrown forward Gyasi Zardes and 2013 MLS SuperDraft first round pick Charlie Rugg. Villarreal did not partake in the U.S. Under-20’s Toulon tournament in France in order to be available for the Galaxy and is likely to earn a start on Wednesday.
“It’s going to be another good test for us. Coming into this game, the thing in mind is kind of a revenge type thing. They’re pumped to play us and the crowd is going to be influencing them so it’ll be a test for us,” Villarreal told LA Galaxy Insider. “Of course, we’re taking this seriously. We want to win and the thing that motivates us even more is to get our revenge and beat them back and take them out of the tournament like they did us.”
With the RailHawks defense conceding just eight goals in their six league matches this season—second best in the NASL—Villarreal knows that he’ll face considerable pressure from the Carolina defense, but he’s looking to contribute.
“If I play or not, however, way that I can contribute to the team will be important for me and important for the team,” said Villarreal. “If I can score a goal or assist someone for a goal then that will be perfect for me and for the team.”
As for that revenge motivation, Villarreal isn't alone in that mindset.
"We get a chance to fix something that we messed up last year. We’re excited to be back here and we’re expecting a battle," midfielder Rafael Garcia told LA Galaxy Insider. "Like I said, we have that little chip on our shoulder that we should have won last year and hopefully, we’ll get it right this time."
The LA Galaxy know their opponents for the Guiness International Champions Cup and now they know when they'll be playing.
LA will open the tournament against Spanish giants Real Madrid at University of Phoenix Stadium and will play against either Juventus or Everton at Dodger Stadium on August 3. If LA defeats Madrid, they will then play in the nightcap at Dodger Stadium and play at Sun Life Stadium in Miami on August 7. If LA drop their match to Madrid, they'll play in either the fifth place or seventh place game at Sun Life Stadium.
“After having played in many of Southern California’s legendary venues, the Galaxy are thrilled to be able to take part in the first-ever soccer games to be played at Dodger Stadium, one of the more scenic and storied sports venues in the world,” LA Galaxy President Chris Klein said in a statement. “Every summer the Galaxy work to bring some of the world’s most prominent clubs to Los Angeles and this year will be no different as we are proud to host some of the top teams from England, Italy and Spain in what will be a tremendous sporting event.”
The complete bracket for the tournament can be seen below.