CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan has a pair of appearances under his belt after taking a two-and-a-half month sabbatical and now he may be asked to play a greater role in the LA Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
Heading into his third week of training with the club, Donovan admits that he is feeling fitter each day as he looks to regain the scoring touch that made him a valued member in LA’s consecutive MLS Cup winning sides.
"I feel great," Donovan told reporters following LA's final training session in Southern California before departing for Mexico. "We obviously have a busy week. We’ve got the game in Mexico and then the Dallas game which is obviously a big game for us. I think Bruce wants to be smart in how he uses a lot of people, myself included, but I feel great and when they’re ready to use me then I’m ready."
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Monday that it was doubtful that Donovan could go a full 90 minutes, but the Galaxy attacker admitted that he won’t know how fit he truly is until he starts logging substantial minutes.
“I feel pretty fit, but to play a full game. I feel pretty fit, but until you play a full game, you’re not back to full fitness,” said Donovan. “If I’m called upon on Wednesday then I’ll go as long as I can and give us much as I can and we’ll see what happens.”
Would you like to see Donovan get the start on Wednesday? Or would you want him to come off the bench against Monterrey?
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MONTERREY, Mexico --The LA Galaxy have arrived in Monterrey, Mexico ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
As you can expect -- and as evidenced by the tweet below -- there were several members of the Mexican media who were waiting for the club upon their landing eager to speak to Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) April 9, 2013
Once the Galaxy settled in their hotel, however, the team was able to enjoy the NCAA Men's Basketball National Championship as Greg Cochrane and Kenney Walker's Louisville Cardinals triumphed over Kofi Opare's Michigan Wolverines. A few select tweets from the viewing party are below.
— Rafael Garcia(@Rafizzy07) April 9, 2013
Hey @kofiopare6.. Who won the national title game? I missed it.
— Greg Cochrane (@gregcoch) April 9, 2013
— Kofi Opare (@kofiopare6) April 9, 2013
National champs lets go!!!
— Greg Cochrane (@gregcoch) April 9, 2013
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy find themselves down 2-1 on aggregate to C.F. Monterrey ahead of their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg tie down in Mexico.
Conventional wisdom would say that the LA Galaxy need an early goal to have a chance to nick Monterrey, but Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan affirms that LA just needs two goals, when they come, is immaterial.
"Well, you need two goals. We’ve all seen plenty of soccer games, where you score in the 80th and you score in the 85th or you in the 85th and you score in the 90th. That’s the way this game is, that’s the beauty of it. All we need is one goal at some point and we don’t concede more than a goal and try to get a second," said Donovan. "We’re going to go in with that attitude, we’re not going to go crazy exposing ourselves early, but we’re going to go and try to be aggressive."
Overcoming any deficit is a challenge and while Mexico poses a unique challenge, Donovan is confident that the Galaxy have the experience and talent to defeat Monterrey.
"Our guys are experienced enough so they know how these games go. We’re prepared in that way, I think the remainder will be with the away goals count, we need to get two goals, which way you slice it. Even if they score a goal, hope isn’t lost. We score a goal and then we’ve got a chance to score another," said Donovan.
"Ideally, we don’t give up any goals, but even if we do give up a goal then we have to score another to at least get into to overtime or advance over 90 minutes," Donovan added. "That’s the goal, we have to go there and score goals. It’s kind of nice when you know that because we’re not going there to tie the game, we’re going there to win it and we’re just going to go for it."
Two of the club's stars with European experience -- Carlo Cudicini and Robbie Keane -- touch on their experiences in the UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League below.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media on Monday ahead of the club's trip to Monterrey for the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
Arena's comments are below...
(On his feelings of the team heading down to Mexico...)
ARENA: "Good. We're looking forward to the game. It should be a good game."
(On how close Landon Donovan is to contribute more...)
ARENA: "Every week, we go. It's going to get better. He's gotten better."
(On whether Donovan could go 90 minutes...)
ARENA: "I would doubt that."
(On his feelings of the health of the team...)
ARENA: "We're making progress. Obviously, it's still the start of our season although we're in an incredibly important competition, but we're moving forward and hopefully, we're getting healthy not only for the game on Wednesday, but as we move forward with league matches."
(On his players reaction to Wednesday...)
ARENA: "I don't think that there are any issues, in terms of us, not believing that we can win the game."
CARSON, Calif. –At just 19, Jose Villarreal has experienced plenty in his whirlwind first year as a professional including the deafening roar of a Mexican crowd rooting against an American opponent.
Earlier this year, Villarreal was a key member of the U.S. Under-20 side that took Mexico to extra time in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Puebla, Mexico. He’ll experience a similar situation on Wednesday as the Galaxy look to overturn a 2-1 aggregate deficit in their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal tie against C.F. Monterrey at the vaunted Estadio Tecnológico.
The circumstances may be a tad different, but Villarreal believes that he can draw on the past experience when he takes the field in Monterrey.
“The experience is going to be the same, playing against a Mexican team full of Mexicans and the atmosphere with the crowd screaming. It might help me, it might not, but we’ll just see,” said Villarreal. “It’s going to be a tough game for us going down a goal being in Monterrey, but we just have to be focused and approach It with the right mentality.”
As for the game plan, an early goal seems to be a requirement for LA’s hopes, but Villarreal believes that LA can manage no matter how the game plays out.
“Maybe if we score an early goal, they pick it up and it’s an intense game after that or maybe we can close them for the first 45 minutes and it’d be better for us, but we’re just going down there with the mentality to win the game,” said Villarreal.
Using a reserve-laden squad, C.F. Monterrey fell 1-0 to Deportivo Toluca in Los Rayados' final match before Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against the LA Galaxy.
Juan Carlos Cacho would score the lone goal in the 70th minute to snap Monterrey's six game unbeaten streak across all competitions. Just four starters (Juan de Dios Ibarra, Hiram Mier, Richard Osorio, and Severo Meza) from last Wednesday's CCL first leg remained in the starting lineup against Toluca. However, first leg starters Humberto Suazo, Jesus Zavala, and Aldo de Nigris each entered the match as substitutes.
With the defeat, Monterrey fell to 12th spot in Torneo Clausura 2013 table. The top eight spots qualify for the Liguilla (postseason).
Highlights of the match are below...
CARSON, Calif. -- Barring any unforseen setbacks, Juninho has the green light to appear in Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg match against C.F. Monterrey down in Mexico.
The Brazilian midfielder returned to the practice field on Sunday and following the session, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena gave Juninho a clean bill of health.
"Juninho is fine. He'll be ready to play," said Arena.
I spoke to the Galaxy's Brazilian midfielder on his injury and his status for Wednesday's game against Monterrey below.
Pleased to have the Brazilian back for Wednesday? Think he can help the Galaxy turn around the deficit?
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CARSON, Calif. – The NCAA College Basketball tournament is one of the most eventful times in all of American Sports and the LA Galaxy locker room is not immune to the excitement.
On Saturday, Louisville, Wichita State, Michigan, and Syracuse will face off in the Final Four or the honor to play in Monday’s National Championship game.
LA have two players on their roster from Louisville as second year midfielder Kenney Walker and rookie Greg Cochrane were each standouts for the Cardinals while rookie defender Kofi Opare was a frequent starter for the Michigan Wolverines for four years.
“Both of our [basketball] teams are in the final four, the men’s and the women’s team so that’s pretty cool,” said Cochrane. “Obviously, Kenney and I are pulling for Louisville and I try to get on Kofi because it could be a Louisville vs. Michigan final, I know we’re going to win.”
“It’s exciting,” said Walker. “I feel like this year, the team is buying into what [head coach Rick] Pitino is doing. He has them working as a team and a unit and they’re all buying in to it.”
The defender from Michigan finds himself a tad more alone as only Galaxy Assistant Athletic Trainer Kurt Andrews; a native of Rochester, Mich. is supporting the Wolverines. However, Opare, who counts Wolverines standouts Tim Hardaway Jr. and Eso Akunne among his friends and contacted them during their tournament-run through Facebook.
“It’s really amazing. I’m just so proud of Michigan basketball representing the university in a positive light. We have players stepping up not only [point guard] Trey Burke, who I believe is the best player in the country, but we have other players stepping up and those coming off the bench as well are bringing great energy and everyone is feeding off it.”
March Madness isn’t limited to the players with rooting interests as the team runs a bracket pool that all of the players participate in.
“There’s a whole pool and it gets pretty intense and a lot of people participate. Obviously, a lot of people were telling me not to pick Louisville because I was only going to throw away my money,” said Cochrane, who counts midfielders Michael Stephens and Colin Clark as a pair who told him he was throwing his money away. “I had to stay true to my roots and I knew that this was going to be our year with the Cards as national champs. Unfortunately, I can’t win the bracket, I’m going to come up short, but as long as the Cards win, then I’ll win.”
Opare is actually near the top of the bracket and is fighting with defender A.J. DeLaGarza for the top spot in the Galaxy’s bracket pool.
“My bracket is looking great. A.J. is in first place, but he has Syracuse winning the whole thing and I have Michigan so [Saturday] could turn out a great day for me and Michigan,” said Opare. “This is the first time that I’ve a bracket so being this close to winning definitely keeps me going.”
Who are you going to support: Cochrane and Walker or Opare?
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U.S. Soccer head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, former LA Galaxy and U.S. Internationals Cobi Jones and Alexi Lalas among others were in New York City's Time Square to celebrate U.S. Soccer's Centennial on Friday.
The U.S. Soccer Federation celebrated their 100th birthday on April 5.
Watch the video below.
What is your favorite U.S. Soccer memory?
Share it below.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy may be down 2-1 to Monterrey in their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal series heading into the decisive second leg, but LA understands that they’ve been in this situation before.
LA went down 1-0 in the Western Conference Semifinal to the Supporters’ Shield winners, the San Jose Earthquakes during the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs. Needing a result at Buck Shaw Stadium, LA roared back and crushed San Jose 3-1 to clinch a berth in the Conference Final en route to a second straight MLS Cup title.
This time, the setting—Estadio Tecnológico is a tad more difficult than the rustic Buck Shaw Stadium —and the opponent will be different, but LA believes that can battle back. After all, they’ve done it before.
“We’ve already mentioned [the San Jose victory]. We’ve obviously been here before and last year we were here 20 times down in games, so we know what we need to do,” said Magee. “It’s going to be a little difficult going down to Monterrey, which is a hard place to get a result, but this is a game though where everybody will find out what our team is all about.”
Sean Franklin also sees the parallels and believes that if LA can tighten up on the missed opportunities and concentration lapses that plagued them in the first leg, a win is not out of the question.
“We were in this position last year; the only difference is that it’s going to be one more goal,” said Franklin. “We know that it’s going to be tough, but we think our team is excited with the task at hand. If we just sharpen up a few things and get a little bit smarter then there is a chance to go down there and win in Mexico.”