Mexico crushes New Zealand in playoff first leg, ex-LA Galaxy Academy player on the bench for New Zealand
Mexico has one foot in the 2014 World Cup after demolishing New Zealand 5-1 in the first leg of the intercontential playoff on Wednesday at the Estadio Azteca.
Orbie Peralta talied twice while Paul Aguilar, Raul Jimenez, and former New York Red Bulls defender Rafael Marquez each tallied once. New Zealand added a single goal late off a finish from Chris James that sets up a 5-1 aggregate score heading into the second leg next Wednesday in Wellington.
There was a Galaxy connection for the All Whites as former LA academy player Bill Tuiloma was on the bench for the defeat. Tuiloma played for the Galaxy Academy during their run to the 2011 Generation adidas Cup. A pair of photos of Tuiloma, who is currently with the Olympique de Marseille U-19’s in France, are below. He can be seen to the left of current Galaxy Homegrown defender Oscar Sorto in the center of the first photo and is the player in the yellow boots in the middle of the second image.
LA Galaxy Academy players Abraham Romero and Haji Wright were called up by U.S. Under-17 head coach Richie Williams for their upcoming friendly matches in Ft. Lauderdale against Canada.
The matches will serve as a prelude for an intense month of December for Williams' young players as they participate in the Nike International Friendlies and Development Academy Showcase, which will feature matches against Brazil, Portugal, and England.
The complete roster which features 10 players from California is below...
GOALKEEPERS (3): William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Abraham Romero (LA Galaxy Academy; Altadena, Calif.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)
DEFENDERS (11): Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), George Braima (Crew Soccer Academy; Columbus, Ohio), Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Nikkye De Point (Revolution Empire; Rochester, N.Y.), Tanner Dieterich (TN Soccer Club; Nashville, Tenn.), Edwin Lara (Unattached; San Laredo, Calif.), Cristian Martinez (NJSA 04; Mine Hill, N.J.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego)
MIDFIELDERS (9): Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Ronaldo Escudero (Pateadores; Placentia, Calif.), Kyle Gurrieri (NJSA 04; Totowa, N.J.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.),Weston McKennie (FC Dallas Academy; Little Elm, Teas.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis Scott Gallagher; St. Louis), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas), Brian Zelaya (De Anza Force; San Mateo, Calif.), Alejandro Zendejas (FC Dallas Academy; El Paso, Texas)
FORWARDS (7): Kevin Coleman (FC Richmond; Warrenton, Va.), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey FC; San Diego), David Loera (Orlando City Lions; Orlando, Fla.), Jonathan Navarro (De Anza Force; San Jose, Calif.), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Sean Teixiera (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trumbull, Conn.), Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles)
MLSsoccer.com ranked the top 50 best passers in MLS during the 2013 regular season and five LA Galaxy players made the cut.
Ranking players based on total passes, passes in their own half, the opponent’s half, and passing accuracy, MLSsoccer.com came up with the finest passers in the league. All players selected have played at least 17 games while also attempting at least 750 passes.
Coming in at number 10 on their list is Juninho who finished with a passing accuracy of 85.7 percent of his 1,748 total passes with 1,136 of his passes taking place in the opposition’s end. Marcelo Sarvas finished 23rd with an accuracy rate of 83.63 percent as 1,213 of his 1,790 passes took place in the opposing half.
A.J. DeLaGarza finished third with a passing accuracy of 82.83 percent with 423 of his 955 passes in the opposing team’s end. Finishing fourth for the Galaxy contingent was right back Sean Franklin who out of 1293 completed passes completed 837 in the opposing half while maintaining an accuracy of 81.83. Rounding out the list among LA players was Galaxy captain Robbie Keane who enjoyed a rate of 80.54 with 652 of his 776 in the opposition half.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s trade of Mike Magee for Robbie Rogers is one of the hottest topics for conversations heading into 2014, but LA head coach and general manager Bruce Arena insists that there are no regrets with the deal.
After being dealt to the Chicago Fire on May 25 in exchange for the rights to Rogers, Magee enjoyed an MVP-type season by tallying 15 goals and four assists as Chicago barely missed out on a postseason berth. Meanwhile, Rogers dealt with a series of injuries that limited him to just 16 appearances in all competitions.
With Rogers expected to be a major part of the Galaxy in 2014, Arena insists there was no second guessing on anything going forward.
"Who knows, we scored more goals than last year and Mike Magee’s team didn't make the playoffs,” said Arena. “I’d rather make the playoffs.
“No regrets on anything, you move forward," Arena later added. "There are a lot of reasons for that trade that you can [see when you] start ordering my book. They will be in my book."
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CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan has been dealing with a left ankle issue since September, but now that the LA Galaxy are out of the postseason, the 31-year-old is planning to take some time to prepare for an important 2014.
On Monday, in the club’s final media availability of the year, Donovan told reporters that he is expecting to take the next month to deal with a sprained left ankle that has limited him for more than a month and a half. The injury was the club's reasoning behind Donovan's omission from the U.S. National Team's November friendlies against Scotland and Austria.
Ahead of a year where he’ll be needed to lead the LA Galaxy and the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil, the offseason is a bit of a blessing in disguise for Donovan.
“[The offseason] is a little bit of a blessing, and I'm probably going to need the full time to let it heal,” Donovan said Monday of the injury that first surfaced during LA’s 2-2 draw with D.C. United in September. “My aim is to take at least the next four weeks and probably six weeks and let the ankle heal and then get myself ready.”
Donovan is hoping to be ready by January which is when the Galaxy are scheduled to reconvene for training camp, but whether he’ll be able to participate in the U.S. National Team’s annual January camp remains up in the air.
“We'll see what happens,” Donovan said. “I have to speak with Jurgen and see if that's something he wants me to be a part of.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The 2013 season may be over, but LA Galaxy head coach and general manger Bruce Arena is already working to fine tune the team before enext year.
In this piece for LAGalaxy.com, Bruce Arena states that the Galaxy will be looking to add a "target forward", an "experienced flank player" and defensive depth.
Associate head coach Dave Sarachan agreed that LA will need to add some attacking punch.
"We have a really core that will return. We’ve solidified some things in goal, even though we didn’t do well on set piece type stuff; I think we have a deeper roster in terms of our defensive corps," said Sarachan. "I’ve always believed that you can never have enough forwards. Whether you want to label it a creative midfielder who can make a pass out of nothing, having more threats up top and speed, having speed on the field and dynamic movement will be what we need to address."
What do you think that the Galaxy need to add in 2014?
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The LA Galaxy have just a single competitor left in Futbol MLS' Latino del Año competition.
Penedo advanced to the Round of 16 by defeating Chivas USA forward Erick Torres. The 32-year-old goalkeeper will take on Colorado Rapids' Honduran midfielder Hendry Thomas in the quarterfinal round.
CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy have already begun to fine tune their roster with head coach and general manager Bruce Arena confirming the signing of midfielder Baggio Hušidić and the re-signing of veteran Todd Dunivant.
Hušidić has spent the last two seasons with Swedish club Hammarby, but had his MLS rights acquired by the Galaxy as part of the deal that sent Pablo Mastroeni to LA from the Colorado Rapids. Prior to departing for Europe, Hušidić spent three seasons with the Fire, making a total of 52 appearances in MLS competition while scoring five goals and six assists before his rights were acquired by Colorado in the 2011 MLS Re-Entry Draft.
“He’s an experienced young player that can play different positions in the midfield. He’ll offer value to our team for sure. He’s a little older and got good experience and saw different style of play,” said Arena said of Hušidić on Monday. “We know the player personally so we think that he’ll be a good fit for our team. He’s a good passer of the ball which is something that we think that we can be better at.
Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan is well familiar with Hušidić as he was a teammate of his son Ian Sarachan at the University of Illinois-Chicago. Hušidić and Ian Sarachan began as fierce competitors in High School before college teammates and have remained close through the years with midfielder even serving as Sarachan’s best man at his wedding last year. After keeping close tabs on Hušidić over the years, the Galaxy associate head coach believes that he could be a contributor in 2014.
“Even when he was a youth player at the club level and even in college, you could tell that he was destined to play professional soccer. He had the right mentality and work ethic,” Sarachan told reporters. “I think all of these experiences with the Chicago Fire and now with Hammarby have helped him grow in knowing what it takes mentally and physically [to be a professional]. He’s got a strong mental background and failing doesn't affect him, he’s got a component in him that he’s looking to compete. He’s got a lot of good qualities and these experiences will help him.”
Meanwhile, Dunivant confirmed to reporters on Monday that he had resigned a new deal that will keep him with LA for another two seasons.
“I felt as good this year as I have felt, so from that standpoint, I'm excited about it,” said the 32-year-old Dunivant.
Omar Gonzalez called into U.S. National Team for November friendlies, Donovan misses out due to injury
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez is headed to join the U.S. National Team for their upcoming friendlies against Scotland and Austria.
Gonzalez is one of 23 players called up for the match against Scotland at Hampden Park in Glasgow on Nov. 15 before taking on Austria in Vienna four days later. The team will gather on Monday afternoon in Glasgow.
Not on the squad is Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, but on Monday, the LA Galaxy’s official twitter account stated that Donovan is still dealing with an ankle issue that caused him to miss out on international duty. Donovan has been dealing with a left ankle inflammation issue for several weeks.
SANDY, Utah—Robbie Keane has played a major role for the LA Galaxy during their run to two consecutive MLS Cups, but now that their bid for a third title is over, the fiercely competitive Irishman is looking for a little time to recharge his batteries.
Since joining the Galaxy back in August 2011, Keane has played almost constantly for LA, Ireland as well as a brief loan spell to Aston Villa and a training stint with Tottenham Hotspur. In 2013, Keane enjoyed an MVP-type season with 16 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances, however, in the postseason, LA’s captain failed to find the back of the net in the team’s Conference Semifinal Series defeat to Real Salt Lake.
After the Galaxy’s surprising defeat at Rio Tinto, Keane admitted that he could use some time to get back to full fitness before the 2014 season.
“I certainly need it because I have a few problems like my [left] Achilles which needs to be looked at fairly quick and hopefully we can solve that situation. It’s been bothering me for a long time and this may be an opportunity for me maybe to get it done or whatever the medics see is the best thing to do,” Keane told reporters following LA’s defeat to Salt Lake. “For me, it’ll be nice to have an extended break, but not too long. Friendlies next week, but we’ll have the two friendlies in Ireland against [Latvia and Poland in November] and I expect to play them and then get a few little niggles sorted.”
Although the Galaxy did not repeat as MLS Cup champion, Keane could still win some silverware as the Irish forward is a front runner for the MLS MVP. However, Keane isn't concerning himself with the trophy ahead of his first long offseason in years.
“Listen, it would be nice if that’s the case, but if it is not then so be it,” said Keane.