Robbie Keane is joining Ireland for their friendlies against England and Georgia after all.
The Republic of Ireland Football Association announced on Wednesday that Keane and the LA Galaxy had reached an agreement to allow him to join up with the Irish for their friendlies against England at Wembley Stadium on May 29 and Georgia on June 2 in Dublin. Ireland will then take on the Faroe Islands in a World Cup Qualifier on June 7 before closing the international period with a friendly against Spain on June 11 in New York.
“I would like to thank LA Galaxy for reconsidering their decision after further conversations between us which really means a lot to me,” Keane said in a statement released by the Irish FA. “We have reached an agreement that will enable me to make it to the games and I look forward to playing my part."
Keane was scheduled to stay with the Galaxy through their June 2 match against the New England Revolution, but will now likely depart after LA’s match against Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday.
What are your thoughts on the decision? Expect Ireland to knock off England and Georgia?
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CARSON, Calif. – Much of the talk following the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls focused the defensive breakdown that led to the decisive goal in LA’s defeat, but on Tuesday, goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini hit back at those criticisms.
“To be fair, I think this team is getting a lot of critique, a lot of comments about how we’re doing,” Cudicini said. “I think the defense is doing pretty well. Compare it to the previous two years and, for sure, we’ve improved. I don’t really get all this critique I read and I hear on TV about this defense, really. I’m sorry.”
Tim Cahill's goal in stoppage time was the sixth goal that the Galaxy have conceded in the last 15 minutes in 2013, but Cudicini is adamant that the notions of defensive breakdowns or the late goals, do not tell the whole story.
“I don’t think they’re fair, it’s as easy as that," Cudicini said. "How can you critique a defense that is second defense in the league? Every time we concede a goal I read and I hear stuff on TV every time. I don’t think it’s fair. I don’t read the same things when other teams concede goals. Why are we the only team where we have problems on defense?
"If you compare the defense to last year, we improved it and you compare to two years ago then we have the same shutouts and a couple of goals more [conceded] so I don’t see the standard that we are not achieving at this moment. I’m talking about statistics, not my point of view, you love statistics, I’m bringing statistics to you.”
The statistics back up Cudicini’s argument as after 11 games, the Galaxy have conceded 10 goals and sit in a four-way tie with the Columbus Crew, Sporting Kansas City, and the Colorado Rapids for the title of second best defense in the league. However, LA and Columbus are likely to be given the edge as each team has played 11 games compared to 12 and 13 for Colorado and Sporting respectively. Meanwhile, LA has earned four shutouts to date.
The 2013 mark is an improvement from LA’s 2012 numbers when LA failed to register a shutout while conceding 16 goals in their first 11 regular season games. In fact, LA’s goals allowed numbers are nearly identical to the Galaxy’s mark in 2011 when they conceded 11 goals while holding four shutouts.
“What I’m saying is we want to improve? Yes, we want to. We have to improve? Yes we do. We want to get better? Yes, but it’s part of a team, part of the process that a team has to go through during the season,” Cudicini said.
“Now that we are already 11 games in, we want to get better, try not to concede silly goals and avoid silly situations. But in soccer, in football that happens, it will happen today, it will happen in two games, it will always happen.
“Of course you want to try to get rid of mistakes or situations where you can control better, but personally I don’t think this defense is doing as bad as a lot of people are saying.”
The LA Galaxy will take on the Carolina Railhawks in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup.
LA earned a second straight trip Cary, North Carolina after the NASL side defeated the PDL’s Carolina Dynamo 3-1 at WakeMed Soccer Park on Tuesday. The Railhawks will host the Galaxy at WakeMed on May 29.
It will be the second straight year that the two teams will face off in U.S. Open Cup after the Railhawks defeated the Galaxy 2-1 in the 2012 edition of the tournament.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane will join up with his Republic of Ireland a little later than previously anticipated as club commitments with the LA Galaxy will stay with the club through June 2.
Keane had been called by Ireland for their upcoming friendlies against England and Georgia, but since those matches fall outside of the FIFA international window, he will remain with the Galaxy until Ireland's World Cup Qualifier against the Faroe Islands on June 7 and their friendly with Spain on June 11.With the World Cup Qualifier not until June 7, Keane will be available for selection for LA's matches against Seattle Sounders FC on May 26 at The Home Depot Center and New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium on June 2.
The LA Galaxy captain has scored two goals and tallied three assists while appearing in five of LA’s 11 regular season games as injuries and international commitments have taken their toll on the Irishman.
“We’re following FIFA rules. Robbie is an important member of our team,” LA head coach Bruce Arena said on Tuesday. “He’s missed half the games in the league. These games are important, we’re the ones that pay him and he’ll be for the important games for Ireland. We wish that we could let him go for the whole [camp], but that’s not the way that it works.”
Although Keane will not participate in Ireland's friendlies, Arena attests that there is no hard feelings from the Irish Football Association.
"Ireland is very professional. They understand completely," Arena said. "They understand our issues and we all understand what the FIFA rules are and we're following them."
Cue up "Empire State of Mind" by Jay-Z and Alicia Keys -- or maybe "New York, New York" by Frank Sinatra if you feel so inclined -- because MLS finally has a team in New York City.
On Tuesday, MLS announced the creation of New York City Football Club, which will become the league's 20th franchise. The team will officially join the league during the 2015 season and the deal brings together a partnership between Premier League giant Manchester City, MLS, and baseball's New York Yankees.
Following LA Galaxy training on Tuesday, New York native and LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on the new franchise.
"I think that it's great. That's where I'm from, that part of New York and it's a great spot for a new franchise," Arena said. "It's an area that supports the sport of soccer.The venues that they've discussed in Queens [Flushing Meadows-Corona Park] is a good one, but if that falls through then I'm sure that there will be some other options. I know that Belmont Park [in Long Island] was a possibility for the [NASL's New York] Cosmos, maybe it can be a possibility for an MLS team. If they get a suitable venue, it's going to be fabulous addition to the league."
The primary question that surrounds NYCFC is just where the team will actually be located. The team will off in 2015 in a temporary location as a permanent home is constructed -- Yankee Stadium is being floated as a potential option -- and may stay there for two to three years. But as NYCFC look for a venue, it certainly doesn't hurt to have the clout of the New York Yankees behind them, a team that is dear to Arena's heart.
"When you get the Yankees behind it, there is not a better organization in sports," said Arena, who attended the Yankees game against the Toronto Blue Jays last Thursday. "The Yankees are the Yankees. There's nothing like the Yankees."
What are your thoughts on the new franchise? Planning a trip to New York City around 2015?
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The LA Galaxy returned from their three game, nine-day road trip on Sunday evening after their 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls. Rather than a simple "Takeoffs and Landings" post, I decided to go in a different direction and take a look by the numbers at LA's trip:
*1: number of goals scored by Gyasi Zardes, who scored his first career MLS goal in LA's 4-1 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC
* 3: number of points earned over the three game span.
*4: The number of goals scored by the Galaxy on the road trip and also the number of players who played 90 minutes in each of the three games (Omar Gonzalez, A.J. DeLaGarza, Carlo Cudicini, and Landon Donovan).
*6: The number of goals conceded by the Galaxy on the road trip.
*10: The number of minutes that Juninho played prior to exiting LA's defeat to the Red Bulls with a right shin injury.
*16: The number of players who played in at least one of the three games.
*30: The number of minutes that Rafael Garcia had played in the MLS Regular season prior to LA's defeat to the Red Bulls.
*80: The number of minutes that Garcia played in the defeat to the Red Bulls.
*201: The number of Regular Season appearances for Landon Donovan in an LA Galaxy uniform. Donovan made his 200 regular season appearance in LA's win over Philadelphia and is just five away from tying Mauricio Cienfuegos for third all-time on LA's regular season appearance list.
*6083: An approximation of the miles that the Galaxy traveled during their road trip. The list includes miles traveled by plane and bus.
LA Galaxy Homegrown right back Oscar Sorto has been named to the 22-man U.S. U-20 squad for the upcoming Toulon Tournament in France.
The tournament takes place from May 28 to June 8th and serves as the final tune-up before this summer's U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Joining Sorto will be LA Galaxy Academy alums Javan Torre and Jeffrey Payeras, who were members of a training camp at The Home Depot Center in April.
One omission, however, is LA forward Jose Villarreal, who has been a regular for the U-20's throughout their qualification campaign, possibly due to his status with the Galaxy first team. Although not called up, Villarreal is expected to make the squad for the upcoming World Cup.
The complete roster is below...
GOALKEEPERS (2): Cody Cropper (Southampton FC/England), Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara Univ.)
DEFENDERS (7): Eric Miller (Creighton Univ.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (CD Guadalajara/Mexico), Shane O'Neill (Colorado Rapids), Jeffrey Payeras (CSD Municipal/Guatemala), Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg/Germany), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy), Javan Torre (UCLA)
MIDFIELDERS (7): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Marlon Hairston (Univ. of Louisville), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna/Mexico), Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City), Collin Martin (Wake Forest Univ.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (6): Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna/Mexico), Daniel Garcia (Univ. of North Carolina), Alonso Hernandez (CF Monterrey/Mexico), Alfred Koroma (Univ. of Akron), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders Academy.), Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire)
Courtesy of LAGalaxy.com, Robbie Keane discusses the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls.
Watch the video below...
HARRISON, N.J. –Landon Donovan grew quite familiar with Tim Cahill’s grit and nose for goal during his two successful loan stints at Everton. But on Sunday, Donovan was given a rude reminder of Cahill’s skills as his former teammate scored the game-winning-goal in the New York Red Bulls 1-0 win over the LA Galaxy.
On a free kick in the 91st minute, Cahill was able to nod a header past LA goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini to seal three points for the Red Bulls. But the goal was just the icing on the cake for Cahill, who was statistically dominant against the Galaxy.
Cahill bossed the midfield by completing 46 of his 54 passes and making 12 recoveries to help the Red Bulls win the possession battle.
“We all talked about all week the things that [Cahill is] good at and the thing that he’s best at, we still couldn’t figure out and he made us pay. I thought he played well,” Donovan said. “I think his leadership is great and I was very impressed with at Everton, I’m impressed with how he has done this year. I think that he’s a fantastic player and he scored a good goal today.”
HARRISON, N.J. – Omar Gonzalez’s contract with MLS expires in December, but the LA Galaxy center back admitted that he has had some talks with the Galaxy about potentially extending his stay in MLS.
Gonzalez is in the midst of yet another strong season with LA and currently appears poised to become a regular on the U.S. National Team after starting their last three World Cup Qualifiers. Interest is expected to be high for the former MLS Defender of the Year, who revealed prior to U.S. World Cup qualifier against Mexico in March that Mexican giant Club America has kept tabs on him over the past year. Keeping Gonzalez on the squad is expected to be a top priority for the Galaxy and according to a report that surfaced in April, LA is not averse to making him a Designated Player.
Following LA’s 1-0 defeat to the New York Red Bulls on Sunday, Gonzalez admitted that he has spoken to LA about a new deal.
“There has been some talks [with LA]. I went to lunch one day and started that process, but that’s about as far as it’s gone,” Gonzalez told reporters. “Right now, I’m just worried about playing and I’ll let my agent take care of that. Hopefully, we can figure something out.”
Pleased to hear that Gonzalez has spoken to the Galaxy about a new deal? Should LA make him a Designated Player?
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