Look ahead to Portland: Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy look to down Portland Timbers in first road game of 2015
PORTLAND, Ore. –Ahead of the LA Galaxy’s match with the Portland Timbers (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes 4 p.m. PDT), let’s take a look at some required reading, matchups to watch, and my prediction for Sunday's match.
*The biggest question of the week is who plays in goal for the Galaxy on Sunday? Brian Rowe or Jaime Penedo.
*Jose Villarreal made a major mark along the left side of midfield in the Galaxy's win against the Chicago Fire, and he'll be aiming to do the same against the Timbers.
*Could the LA Galaxy have a new Scanadivanian connection? As newcomer Mika Vayrynen looks to make his debut against the Timbers, Stefan Ishizaki is hoping to have a great sophomore season with the Galaxy.
*LA bolstered their squad this week with the signing of rookie midfielder Ignacio Maganto who is eager to make an impact for the first team.
*In the latest edition of By the Numbers, we take a look at LA’s frustrating record in Bridgetown.
*LAGalaxy.com reporter Larry Morgan checks in with a preview on the Galaxy’s trip to Portland.
*The 2013 MLS Referee of the Year Hilario Grajeda will serve as the head official for Sunday's match.
*In the latest edition of 90 in 90, Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino provide their insight to the game in Portland.
THEY SAID IT:
"It's always a tough place to go. Great fans and great atmosphere. I'm sure, it will be raining again, like it is every year we’re there. I really enjoy the atmoswphere there."
- Robbie Keane on the trip to Portland.
QUESTIONS AHEAD OF THE MATCH:
WHO WINS THE BATTLE IN THE MIDFIELD: JUNINHO OR DIEGO CHARA
The midfield battle will be decided between the two international stars who will look to set the tempo for their respective club. Expect plenty of hard challenges on the small field at Providence Park
CAN ROBBIE KEANE KEEP UP HIS SCORING STREAK IN PORTLAND?
The LA Galaxy may have only one win all-time in Portland, but the Rose City has proven to be a boon town for Robbie Keane. The Irishman has three goals and one assist in four career matches at Providence Park, and will look to find the back of the net again on Sunday.
WHO STARTS IN GOAL FOR THE LA GALAXY?
The biggest question for the Galaxy, however, is who starts in goal for Bruce Arena’s squad. Brian Rowe was rarely tested during LA’s 2-0 shutout of the Fire, but 2014 incumbent netminder Jaime Penedo will be eager to get the nod in goal.
LA Galaxy 2 (Robbie Keane, Baggio Husidic) Portland Timbers 2 (Darlington Nagbe, Fernando Adi)
LA Galaxy expect another wild match in Portland when they face the Portland Timbers at Providence Park
CARSON, Calif. – Drama is par the course when the LA Galaxy travel to the Rose City to take the Portland Timbers, and LA expect another barnburner when the two teams face off on Sunday.
The last time the Galaxy set foot on the turf pitch at Providence Park, the two teams saved the scoring for the dying moments as a Diego Valeri strike in stoppage time negated a Robbie Keane goal moments later. Late game flare-ups are common when the two teams face off as 15 of 39 goals scored in the series all-time have been scored between the 61st and 90+ minutes.
With those late game goals common especially when LA travel to Portland, the question has to be asked, why the added intrigue every time the Galaxy head to Bridgetown?
“When you add a short field with a big crowd, it makes a difference,” Juninho said. “Portland is very good at home. They know that they have to play well at home, and against us, they want to give everything. We need to be aware of that.”
As his team prepares for the challenge ahead, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says his group must be calm and smart to prevent any further dramatics.
“One of our objectives this season is to be a better team on the road,” Arena said. “Hopefully, we can set the tone, play smart and bring home three points.”
FIFA 15 will be holding a special tournament celebrating St. Patricks Day, and if you win the tourney, you'll have a chance to win a special edition Robbie Keane item.
"Green Keane" as FIFA calls it, will be available from March 13 to March 18.
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Robbie Keane named to provisional squad for Republic of Ireland's Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane will be joining Jaime Penedo on international duty during the same weekend that their LA Galaxy teammates will travel to Washington, D.C. to take on D.C. United.
Keane was named to the Republic of Ireland's 35-man provisional squad for their Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland on March 29 in Dublin. Irish manager Martin O'Neill will reduce his squad before they convene on March 22, but the LA Galaxy captain is a certain lock to be on the roster for their match against the Group D leaders.
Ireland are currently in a three-way tie (with Germany and Scotland) for second in Group D, but would find themselves out of contention due to goal differential. The top two teams from each of the nine groups automatically qualify for the tournament in France. The third place team with the highest point total will also qualify for the tournament while the other eight third place teams will face off in playoffs for the competition's final four slots.
Jamie Carragher jokes that the LA Galaxy bought experience when signing Steven Gerrard from Liverpool
Steven Gerrard is steadily wrapping up his time with Liverpool FC before joining the LA Galaxy in July, but before he leaves England, the legendary Liverpool man will play in the Liverpool All-Star Charity match on March 29 against a team fellow Reds talisman Jamie Carragher at Anfield.
The two captains held a mini-draft on Thursday to divide up some of the star players that will be participating in the game, and during the brief interaction, Carragher couldn’t help but crack a joke about Gerrard’s impending move to the Galaxy.
As the two Anfield legends set up their squads, Carragher chuckled when Gerrard stated that he intended to play the “experienced” tandem of himself and Xabi Alonso in central midfield. The former Liverpool central defender jokingly referred to Gerrard and Alonso as “has-beens” before Gerrard shot back at his former teammate stating that “you can’t buy experience.”
However, it was Carragher who had the laugh by quipping, “LA Galaxy did.”
The complete video is above.
Miffed at Carragher’s comments about the Galaxy “buying” experience? Agree with him?
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CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has been fined an undisclosed amount by the Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee, the league announced on Thursday.
The league’s disciplinary body cited “unprofessional conduct” as the rationale behind their fine of the Galaxy forward. Although it is not stated in the press release, the fine is likely due to a gesture made by the striker after scoring late during the Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire.
Following training on Thursday, Keane cited “passion” as the reason that he celebrated in that manner.
“If you don’t play with passion like I’ve always done, that’s how I play and that’s how I get the best out of myself and out of players,” said Keane who noted that it was ‘one million percent not directed at fans. “I want to win all the time; I always want things to be better. I do things to get people going in a different way. I’ll do that on the training field or on the field of play, I’ll always continue to do that.
“I know why I did it, it’s to get a reaction from someone else and if it’s going to make us a better team than my job is done.”
Edson Buddle discusses his time with Colorado Rapids, his move to the LA Galaxy and playing with Robbie Keane
CARSON, Calif. -- Edson Buddle has officially returned to the LA Galaxy, and the 33-year-old veteran forward couldn't be happier.
Buddle signed with the club last week after two lean years with the Colorado Rapids that saw him struggle with injuries and his team's own inconsistencies. After two difficult seasons with the Rapids, Buddle jumped at the chance to return to the Galaxy.
“I let my agent deal with it. He’s familiar with Bruce and he knows that I’m happiest when I’m in L.A. I’m glad that it all worked out,” said Buddle. “[Colorado] was bittersweet because at least I got to see it and see why you have a balance. You can’t just go totally young. You need guys who have been in those situations to get out of it. It was a learning curve for me, to add to my career.”
One of the primary reasons that Buddle returned to the Galaxy—other than the weather—was the ability to once again suit up with Robbie Keane. The two paired up at times during Buddle’s 2012 stint with the Galaxy, but several injuries prevented Buddle from creating a lasting partnership with the Irishman.
However, now that Buddle is back, he’s hopeful that he can team up with Keane once more.
“I like to play in harmony with Robbie and the attacking part of the team,” Buddle said. “Hopefully, I’ll get a feel for things and perform.”
But now that he’s back in Los Angeles, just how long can Buddle keep playing? According to the forward, for quite a long time, just as long as he takes his vitamins.
“I feel great. I take a lot Herbalife vitamins,” Buddle said with a grin. “I’ll take advantage of that. It’s year-by-year. A lot of players are playing longer, but I know there a hungry group of players coming into the league. I’m pretty healthy. Right now, I have a strain in my left quad, but I’m just being cautious. I don’t want to do anything that can hurt me long term.”
Professional Referee Organization announces that Hilario Grajeda will serve as head referee for LA Galaxy match with Portland Timbers
The 2013 MLS Referee of the Year Hilario Grajeda will serve as the head referee for the LA Galaxy's clash with the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Sunday (4pm PDT, FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes), the Profressional Referee Organization announced on Wednesday.
Grajeda will be making his 2015 regular season debut as a head official after serving as the chief referee for 20 games a season ago. The 47-year-old issued an average of 4.4 yellow cards a game in 2014 while dealing two red cards in total last year.
Grajeda officiated four LA Galaxy games in 2014 with LA complying a 1-1-2 record.
The complete officiating team for Sunday's game is below:
Training Notebook: Jaime Penedo brushes off contract report, Gyasi Zardes looks to aid emerging Jose Villarreal
CARSON, Calif. -- Jaime Penedo declared on Monday that there is “no problem” between him and the LA Galaxy coaching staff after an UniMas report during last week’s 2-0 LA win over the Chicago Fire stated that he was purposely benched in favor of Brian Rowe due to contract negotiations.
On Friday Galaxy coach Bruce Arena quickly denied the report and cited Penedo’s “nagging injuries” as the reason behind the reason that Panamanian was benched. After training on Monday, Penedo, who is signed through the end of the 2015 season, shook off the report, and stated that he was focused on returning to his place between the pipes when the Galaxy face the Portland Timbers this weekend.
"The contract is there, but I just need to continue to look to win a championship,” Penedo said. “The team has the option, but it is not my priority right now. ...The coach and I have come to an agreement, and that is all set.”
LA GALAXY RESERVES DEFEAT LA GALAXY II IN SHORT GAME SCRIMMAGE
Ahead of this week's trip to Oregon to face the Portland Timbers, a reserve-laden Galaxy squad defeated LA Galaxy II in a 60 minute scrimmage on Tuesday.
Alan Gordon scored two goals for the Galaxy while Todd Dunivant added a third in the practice game.
GYASI ZARDES WORKING WITH ON FINISHING WITH JOSE VILLARREAL
A year ago, Gyasi Zardes was the breakout star for the LA Galaxy, but in 2015, it’s fellow Galaxy Homegrown Player Jose Villarreal who is eager to fill that role.
Villarreal notched a goal in an impressive shift along the left side of midfield in the Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire, and put himself in contention to start again this Sunday when LA faces the Portland Timbers. Following the match against the Fire, Zardes spoke highly of Villarreal, and after practice on Tuesday, he echoed his praises.
"We're working together on finishing, and we're always helping each other," said Zardes. "We're both hungry to be on the field and stay there. He scored a beautiful goal [against the Fire], and I'll make sure that he stays confident and if he gets down then I'll be there to help him."