CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy midfielder Hector Jimenez has made a name in MLS as a fleet-footed winger, and occasionally a right back, but on Friday, a late injury scratched pushed Jimenez into his old collegiate position—central midfield.
When Michael Stephens went down with an ankle injury on Thursday, the Galaxy opted to push Jimenez into central midfield for the second half of LA’s 5-0 preseason victory over the U.S. Under-17 national team. Jimenez looked right at home as he provided a leadership presence in the midfield for a youthful group composed primarily of rookies and Homegrown players.
“We were short numbers so [Galaxy assistant coach] Curt [Onalfo] and the coaching staff decided to put me there. I’ve played there before so I felt comfortable because it my original position when I started playing soccer. I was probably one of the older guys on the field at that point. It felt good, I got a lot of touches on the ball and I took charge of the midfield.”
The 24-year-old’s tidy performance drew rave reviews from Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and may lead to a further look in the position in the future.
“I thought he did a good job. He played well, I think that’s more of his natural position from his collegiate days and club ball, I know he’s played as a central midfielder,” said Arena. “We’ll look at him in both positions…We needed to fill that position and I thought that Hector did a good job there.”
Jimenez admits that the flank is his best chance to crack the Galaxy starting lineup particularly with LA’s vast assortment of options in central midfield but he’d be pleased any position that allows him to be a regular contributor.
“It’s my third year and in that year, you need to be more mature. Hopefully I can play well and contribute well this season,” said Jimenez. “I just have to come out here and control the things that I can control which is practice well and show the coaches that I deserve to be here and hopefully by the time season comes along, I’ll get some time.”
CARSON, Calif. – When Mike Magee joined the LA Galaxy via a trade with the New York Red Bulls in 2009; he was just a young kid of 24. Four years later, Magee has blossomed grown up before all our very eyes.
CARSON, Calif. --Earlier in the week, LA Galaxy forward Jack McBean graduated from high school at the ripe age of 18.
At the age that many of his peers at Corona Del Mar High School are planning their futures, McBean has already earned two consecutive MLS Cups. But like many of those teenagers seeking better futures, McBean is hoping to contribute more for the Galaxy in 2013.
A season after making three appearances and tallying three goals in all competitions, McBean is hoping for a larger role in LA's offense this season. The young forward is already off to a good start as he tallied in LA's 5-0 preseason victory over the U.S. Under-17's on Friday.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy may have begun their preseason slate on Friday with a 5-0 victory over the U.S. Under-17 national team, but they took time to offer their support to former LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham, who signed with Paris St. Germain on Friday.
Beckham signed a five-month deal with PSG where he will offer his entire salary to a Parisian children’s charity.
On Friday, Bruce Arena and Robbie Keane offered their thoughts to Beckham’s move.
ARENA: “I think it’s great. We wish him the very best. I hope it works out and he wins another championship, he has a good experience and he helps PSG and continues to move forward in the final years. I’ll use plural because I’m never going to question him because he just keeps going.”
KEANE: "It’s great. He spoke to me yesterday; he said he was in a very charitable mood so I asked him for his Rolls Royce. He said no. I’m delighted for him, he loves playing and he obviously knows the manager very, very well. I’m sure he’ll do well, they’re a great team and it looks like they’ll be successful for a long, long time and it’s good for him to be a part of it.”
CARSON, Calif. –Omar Gonzalez returned to the LA Galaxy fold on Thursday after spending three weeks with the U.S. national team and was promptly thrown into action in Friday’s preseason match against the U.S. Under-17’s.
Gonzalez started the match alongside Tommy Meyer and went 45 minutes as LA defeated the U-17’s 5-0. In his first game back from U.S. duty, Gonzalez was largely untested as the U-17's registered just a single shot on frame during his 45 minute stint.
The preseason match was Gonzalez’s second in four days as he went 90 minutes in the U.S.’ scoreless draw against Canada on Tuesday. Although that match may have ended in a frustrating draw, Gonzalez was pleased with his performance throughout his first national team camp.
“The most important part was just getting to be with [head coach Jurgen Klinsmann] and the coaching staff for a few weeks. It was a good opportunity for me to be with them day in and day out and to see that I’m taking things really seriously,” said Gonzalez. “I’m looking for this opportunity and that was good. It was also good to be part of camp and work hard with all those guys. It was fun to build chemistry with guys around the league.”
However as he looks to help the Galaxy win their third straight title and eventually crack the U.S. national team set up, Gonzalez believes that he can still perfect his game.
“Of course, I don’t think my game is perfect. There are definitely things that I need to work on in my game,” said Gonzalez. “I just want to fine-tune everything in my game. Maybe pass a little bit better, make sure that I’m dominant in the air and my vocal presence.”
Klinsmann will announce the U.S. squad for Tuesday’s World Cup Qualifier against Honduras in San Pedro Sula on Monday.
“I hope I get the invite,” affirmed Gonzalez
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy opened their preseason with a 5-0 win against the U.S. Under-17's on Friday.
LAGalaxy.com has provided a full highlights package of the match which you can watch below...
LAGalaxy.com also provided this recap with some brief reaction from Carlo Cudicini, Bruce Arena, Robbie Keane, and others...
CARSON, Calif. — The LA Galaxy’s newest number 23 made his first appearance with the club on Friday.
Carlo Cudicini made his club debut in LA’s 5-0 preseason victory over the United States Under-17’s on Friday, going 30 minutes and making a single save on the day. The match marked Cudicini’s first game as the club’s number 23—which was previously worn at the Galaxy by midfielder David Beckham—a jersey number that he wore for much of his 15-year stint in England.
Although he was largely untested by the young U.S. players, Cudicini was pleased with the showing.
“It was nice to be outside and play 90 minutes around for the team,” said Cudicini. “It’s good after the first ten days of preseason; it was good for them to play around a little bit. It felt a good impression, it’s early, but we have time to improve.”
The match was Cudicini’s first with reigning MLS Cup MVP centerback Omar Gonzalez marshaling the defense in front of him. Gonzalez—and teammate A.J. DeLaGarza—returned to LA training on Thursday from International duty with the U.S. national team and made an quite the impression on the Italian goalkeeper on Friday.
“Absolutely, it was a good impression,” said Cudicini. “He’s a player that has a lot of energy and he commanded things very well as a [centerback] so I think he has a bright future in front of him.”
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy opened their preseason schedule with a 5-0 victory over the United States Under-17’s national team.
Mike Magee, Robbie Keane, Greg Cochrane, Jose Villarreal, and Jack McBean scored as the Galaxy impressed in their first preseason match. The Galaxy first team began the match before substitutions began at the 30th minute with Brian Perk replacing Carlo Cudicini.
A few notes from the match…
*The Galaxy rolled out the following lineup to start the first half…
*Carlo Cudicini – who is now wearing the number 23, which was formerly held by David Beckham—went 30 minutes in goal. Cudicini made one save on a shot by Rubio Rubin. The U-17’s attacker’s chance was the best opportunity of the match. Cudicini was replaced by Brian Perk in the 30th minute.
*Gyasi Zardes began the match at right midfield, but moved up top with Mike Magee taking over the right midfield spot during the last ten minutes of the game. Zardes fared well on the right side, setting up several chances.
*At the second half, the Galaxy rolled out the following lineup…
*Hector Jimenez started the second half as a central midfielder. Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters after the match that Jimenez started in the midfield after Michael Stephens turned his ankle in practice on Thursday.
*Greg Cochrane was one of the more impressive players in the second half as his energy on the left side helped LA create pockets to exploit in the U.S. U-17’s defense.
*Brian Perk came off at the 60 minute mark for goalkeeper Brian Rowe.
*Arena told reporters that a “resolution” is forthcoming on goalkeeper William Hesmer.
*Arena on when Landon Donovan will report: “nothing right now, but we should have something shortly.
*The United States Under-17's rolled out the following lineups in the first half. Although they are listed in a 4-4-2, they would move to a 4-3-3 with Rubin joining Selemani and Baird when in the attack.
---------------------------- Jeff Caldwell-------------------------
Elijah Martin---Tommy Redding---Justen Glad---John Requejo Jr.
Rubin Rubin---- Ben Swanson---Christopher Lema----Alan Winn
------------Ahinga Selemani-----------Corey Baird--------------------
Martin-----Erik Palmer-Brown----Conor Donovan---Caleb Smith
Swanson--------Junior Flores-----Angel Heredia----Bradford Jamieson
---------------------Nathan Kohl----Wesley Wade---------------
Robbie Keane is back in Southern California.
The LA Galaxy’s Irish forward returned to The Home Depot Center practice field on Thursday after completing his physical earlier in the day. Keane has spent the last two weeks training with his former club Tottenham Hotspur.
“I always look forward to getting back into the swing of things,” Keane told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “I’m looking forward to really getting into training with the lads…For me; it’s been a long break. Certainly you get those niggles you had to get sorted out. I feel good.”
Keane wasn’t the only player to return as defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez both returned from International duty.
Former MLS defender Alex Yi has taken over as head coach of the LA Galaxy Under-18's.
Yi replaces Eddie Soto, who will now serve as the head coach of the LA Under-15's. For a little bit more on Yi, read his bio here.
A few other notes from the day...
*Former FC Dallas forward Brek Shea completed his move to Stoke City.
*The San Jose Earthquakes were unable to secure another loan or full transfer for midfielder Simon Dawkins who moved from Tottenham Hotspur to Aston Villa
*D.C. United extended head coach Ben Olsen's contract through the 2014 season.
*On Wednesday, i spoke to several LA Galaxy players about their upcoming friendly against Club Tijuana.
*Lastly, the LA Galaxy kick off their preseason slate on Friday against the U.S. Under-17 national team. U-17 head coach Richie Williams announced the squad earlier in the day...
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Caldwell (NC Fusion; Todd, N.C.), Paul Christensen (Seattle Sounders; Woodinville, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (8): Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake Academy; Tucson, Ariz.), Elijah Martin (Unattached; Fresno, Calif.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City; Lee’s Summitt, Mo.), Tommy Redding (FC America Premier; Oviedo, Fla.), John Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Caleb Smith (Solar Chelsea SC; Arlington, Texas)
MIDFIELDERS (5): Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Junior Flores (Unattached; Manassas Park, Va.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, N.J.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (6): Bradford Jamieson (Chivas USA; Los Angeles, Calif.), Nathan Kohl (Crew Soccer Academy; Hilliard, Ohio), Rubio Rubin (unattached; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Wesley Wade (New York Red Bulls; South Orange, N.J.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea FC; Garland, Texas)