PHILADELPHIA— The LA Galaxy may have traded out of the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, but if history tells us anything, there could be value with their 23rd pick in the second round.
There have been quite a few high value 23rd picks from U.S. National Team midfielder Graham Zusi and LA Galaxy legend – and Galaxy Academy Director – Peter Vagenas to U.S. National Team veteran and former LA Galaxy left back Eddie Lewis among others. In fact, the history of the 23rd selection—in my opinion—is much more illustrious than that of the 14th pick which was headlined by Shalrie Joseph, George John and Ned Grabavoy.
The complete history of the 23rd pick is below:
2013— Luke Spencer, New England Revolution -- Suffered an ACL tear in preseason and did not make the Revolution's roster. Spencer resumed training with New England at the end of the 2013 season.
2012—Lucky Moksana, Chicago Fire -- Did not make the Fire roster out of preseason. Currently a member of the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies.
2011—Michael Farfan, Philadelphia Union -- Finished third in rookie of the year voting in 2011, signed with Liga MX side Cruz Azul after three seasons with the Union.
2010—Ross LaBauex, Colorado Rapids -- Made 18 appearances with the Colorado Rapids before being waived in September 2012, signed with USL Pro club Rochester Rhinos in March 2013.
2009—Graham Zusi, Kansas City Wizards (Sporting Kansas City) -- A regular with Sporting Kansas City and the U.S. National Team, Zusi was an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI Selection in 2012 and 2013. Zusi was an MLS MVP finalist in 2012.
2008—Yomby William, Kansas City Wizards (Sporting Kansas City) -- Did not make a competitive appearance for Kansas City and has spent the last five years with USL Pro side Rochester Rhinos.
2007—Ty Harden, Los Angeles Galaxy -- Galaxy defender of the year in 2007, Harden retired in 2008 to pursue philanthropic endeavors in Africa. Harden returned to soccer in 2009 and is currently with the San Jose Earthquakes.
2006—Willie Sims, New England Revolution -- Made nine appearances with the Revolution from 2006 to 2007 and last played with USL Premier Developmental League side Los Angeles Misioneros.
2005—Domenic Mediate, Columbus Crew -- Played three seasons in MLS with the Crew and D.C. United before ending his career in 2009 with the Puerto Rico Islanders.
2004—Jeremiah White, New England Revolution -- Spent most of his career in Europe and earned his lone U.S. National Team cap in 2008 during a friendly against Sweden at The Home Depot Center.
2003—Roger Levesque, San Jose Earthquakes -- Spent three seasons with San Jose winning MLS Cup in 2003, but then moved onto Seattle Sounders FC for the next 10 seasons where he became a club icon. Levesque is currently a University of Washington grad student.
2002—Jon Busch, Columbus Crew -- Currently with the San Jose Earthquakes, Busch is one of only six MLS goalkeepers all-time with more than 100 wins.
2001—Justin Evans, Chicago Fire -- Played in MLS for two seasons with three clubs. Current head coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
2000—Peter Vagenas, Los Angeles Galaxy -- A two-time MLS Cup champion, Vagenas captained the LA Galaxy's 2005 MLS Cup winning side. After a 13-year career in MLS, Vagenas became the LA Galaxy Academy Director.
1999—Greg Sutton, Chicago Fire -- Longtime MLS goalkeeper who last played with the Montreal Impact.
1998—Jason Boyce, Colorado Rapids -- Bounced around MLS for three seasons and last played in MLS with the LA Galaxy reserves in 2010.
1997—Todd DeNault, Columbus Crew -- Released during preseason training camp, but no other information on DeNault was found.
1996—Eddie Lewis, San Jose Clash -- A left-sided defender who played four seasons with the San Jose Clash and was named to MLS Best XI in 1999. Lewis went on to play for Fulham, Leeds United and Derby County before joining the Galaxy in 2008. A U.S. National Team regular, Lewis appeared in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup.
On Tuesday, the LA Galaxy dealt midfielder Hector Jimenez and their 14th overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft to the Columbus Crew for a second round pick (23rd overall) and allocation money.
Jimenez, a Los Angeles native who was drafted with the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of California, made a total of 43 MLS regular season appearances for the Galaxy during his three year stint with the club. With their first round pick dealt, it is the first time that the Galaxy have entered the SuperDraft without a first round selection since 2007.
Where the deal has the most ramifications for the Galaxy is in the midfield where LA suddenly find themselves thin along the flanks. Currently, Bruce Arena’s side will enter the preseason with just two options in right midfield with Landon Donovan and Robbie Rogers occupying the top two slots on the depth chart while Marcelo Sarvas, who played on the right at times in 2012, is a possibility as well. Meanwhile, along the left side, Gyasi Zardes, Rogers, and Greg Cochrane are potential options for Arena.
The Columbus Dispatch’s Adam Jardy spoke with Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter who offered a few thoughts on Jimenez in the tweets below.
Gregg Berhalter said it was easy working out a deal with mentor Bruce Arena. Also, Berhalter played with Hector Jimenez in L.A. #crew96
— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) January 14, 2014
And yes, Berhalter envisions Jimenez playing on the wing, likely the right side. Could move Oduro up top more. He'll be pleased. #crew96
— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) January 14, 2014
A new chapter in my career starts today. Excited and looking forward to the future. LA will always be my home. ✌️
— Hector Jimenez (@HectorJimenez09) January 14, 2014
Thoughts on the deal?
The LA Galaxy were sorely lacking a target presence during their ill-fated 2013 campaign, but over the past seven days, LA have added two legitimate scoring options to their attacking arsenal.
Over the past week, the Galaxy have added two forwards in Brazilian forward Samuel and now Canadian international Rob Friend. Friend, 32, joins the Galaxy after an 11-year career in Europe that saw him tally 75 goals in nearly 260 league appearances with eight clubs.
Friend has spent the last two seasons with 1860 Munich making 24 appearances, but over the past season, he has played in 10 matches for the Die Löwen (The Lions) scoring a single goal. The 6-foot-5 forward’s final goal for Munich came on Sept. 21 when he notched a goal and an assist during a 3-1 victory over FC Erzgebirge Aue. Friend’s performance against the Saxony-based club was a vintage target forward display as he was able to aid in the build-up of a goal with a well-time knockdown of a cross before tallying a goal himself off a corner kick minutes later.
Such aerial skills were at a premium for the Galaxy in 2013 as center back Omar Gonzalez was often the lone target for the Galaxy on set pieces and often heavily marked by opposing defenses. The presence of a target forward like Friend will only stand to aid LA on attacking set pieces by freeing up space for LA’s other attackers like Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane.
Although Friend brings a strong European pedigree to StubHub Center his minutes won’t be guaranteed as he’s expected to compete for the starting spot alongside Keane with the 22-year-old Samuel. Should either of the forwards lock down a starting place next to the Irishman, expect Donovan to drift back into the right side of midfield.
Highlights of Friend’s final goal for Munich are below.
The LA Galaxy bolstered their forward corps with yet another target forward on Monday signing Canadian international Rob Friend.
The 32-year-old striker spent the last two seasons with Bundesliga 2 club TSV 1860 Munich making 24 appearances for the German club while scoring five times. Throughout his 11-year career, Friend has scored 75 goals in nearly 260 league appearances with eight clubs.
“The addition of Rob Friend to our roster brings a different dimension to our attack,” said LA Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena in a club statement. “Rob is a veteran player with a scoring pedigree and we are excited to bolster our roster by bringing him to LA.”
Friend, who played a portion of his college soccer at U.C. Santa Barbara, also earned a total of 32 appearances for the Canadian National Team with two goals and two assists. The 6-foot-5 target forward is the second striker that the Galaxy have signed this year, with the club adding Brazilian striker Samuel earlier this month on loan from Brazilian side Fluminense.
Thoughts on Friend's signing? Do you think Samuel or Friend will earn a starting role alongside Robbie Keane?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy stalwarts Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez have been named to the 26-man roster for the upcoming U.S. National Team camp in Brazil.
The U.S. will take part in a “dry run” of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at Sao Paulo FC's facilities from Jan. 13-25 before returning to Southern California ahead of their Feb. 1 friendly against Korea Republic at StubHub Center. During the time, the U.S. has scheduled a pair of closed-door scrimmages against the Sao Paulo FC first team. Sao Paulo will serve as the base of operations for the Americans during upcoming World Cup.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann had stated prior to the January camp at StubHub Center that he may take just 23 players on the 12-day trip to Brazil, but instead opted to take the complete squad after a week of training.
“We’ve been extremely pleased with the performance of the group in the first week,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “The players came in very fit and have done really well in training. Therefore, we believe they have all earned a chance to go down to Brazil for these next 12 days. We’re very excited about getting down to Sao Paulo and continuing the work. This is a huge opportunity to get to know our environment for the World Cup.”
Earlier in the week, Donovan stated that he expects the group to gain a great deal from their 12 days in Brazil.
“Getting a test run for 10 days in Brazil is very important,” said Donovan. “I remember in 2009 that playing in the [FIFA Confederations Cup] was very beneficial when we went back to South Africa a year later. It’s a really good and important step for the team.”
The LA Galaxy Under-18’s will be participating in the Gordon Jago Super Group for a second straight year at the Dallas Cup XXXV, the Galaxy Academy Twitter account announced on Saturday.
The tournament will take place from April 13 through April 20, 2014. The list of teams is still taking shape, but will include Fulham F.C. (last year’s champions), C.D. Guadalajara, Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany, and Swedish side IF Brommapojkarna Last year, the Galaxy U-18’s went 1-2-0 in the tournament as they were unable to reach the knockout stages.
Several former and current Galaxy players have cut their teeth at the Dallas Cup with David Beckham, Landon Donovan, Juninho, Oscar Sorto, Jose Villarreal, Gyasi Zardes, and Gonzalez among the alumni.
— LA Galaxy Academy (@LAGalaxyAcademy) January 11, 2014
We’re less than a week from the 2014 MLS SuperDraft and on Friday, the 2014 MLS adidas Players Combine kicked off the draft week festivities.
In the first match, Team Predator defeated Team Nitro Charge 4-1 off goals from Zach Boldon (Denver), Tesho Akindele (Colorado School of Mines), Mamadou Diouf (Connecticut), and Pierre Omanga (So. New Hampshire). Akron’s Reinaldo Brenes scored the lone goal for Team Nitro Charge.
The final match of the evening, Team Brazuca defeated Team adiZero 2-0 off goals from Michigan’s Fabio Pereira and Maryland’s Schillo Tshuma.
MLSsoccer and Soccer by Ives each provided an update on the players who succeeded—and failed— during Day One. On Saturday, the teams will interview the combine participants before the players return to action on Sunday.
There's no doubt that LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham was known throughout the world for his fashion sense as much as his soccer ability.
Early on Friday, we discovered this cool piece of art that offered a timeline of David Beckham's career through his unique hairstyles.
Check it out below.
Update: Early on Saturday, LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza responded to this piece on Beckham with his own hairstyles through the year.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) January 11, 2014
Bruce Arena raves about Jose Villarreal's Cruz Azul opportunity as forward begins training with first team
CARSON, Calif. – Weeks after completing a loan to Cruz Azul, Jose Villarreal is steadily beginning to integrate himself with the squad.
According to the website Mediotiempo, Villarreal, Rafael Baca and Michael Farfan have begun training with the Cruz Azul first team over the past week. Although the training session represent Villarreal’s first steps forward to earning minutes, the 19-year-old forward faces an uphill battle after Cruz Azul sporting director Agustín Manzo labeled the forward a work-in-progress during his unveiling in December.
However, even as Villarreal looks to lock down a steady place with the Mexican side, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admits that the forward has the skills to succeed in Mexico.
“It’s a great opportunity for him,” Villarreal told reporters earlier this week. “He’s a player that has great promise. He’s being placed in an environment that I think that he’s going to be comfortable in and hopefully, he can show a lot of progress this year."
CARSON, Calif. -- In less than seven days, the American soccer community will gather in Philadelphia for the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
In preparation for the SuperDraft, I spoke to Top Drawer Soccer youth soccer expert Travis Clark about LA's draft needs and interesting players that may be available.
Check it out below.
LA GALAXY INSIDER: How would you rate this particular draft in terms of quality?
CLARK: This is an interesting group of talent. In my opinion, the strength is along the back line, particularly with a glut of center backs both Generation adidas and from the crop of seniors talent. While there may not be a great deal of players who have a high ceiling, I think that there might be a higher number of MLS squad players in this group who could make a roster.
LAGI: What type of talent do you expect to be available when the Galaxy draft at 14?
CLARK: Depending on how quick the Generation adidas players come off the board will dictate what is there for the Galaxy's first pick. I'd expect a solid center back or two might be there for the taking, or perhaps one of the draft's few quality outside backs.
LAGI: What do you see as the Galaxy's biggest positional need in the draft?
CLARK: You'd know this better than me, but I'm sure the Galaxy could use depth in the midfield or at the back.
LAGI: Personally, I feel that the Galaxy should be seeking to find right back depth in lieu of the departure of Sean Franklin, who are the best right back prospects and could they be available at 14?
CLARK: If for some reason Eric Miller slips to the Galaxy at 14, it would be a no brainer pick. The Creighton defender played as a center back this year, but will likely feature as a right back in MLS, and would be Generation adidas player, so wouldn't count against the salary cap. If he isn't there -- which is probably going to be the case – snapping up UC Irvine right back Marco Franco would be a smart move. He's someone that could come in and possibly get minutes this season.
Outside of him and Miller, there aren't a lot of right back options.
LAGI: Since the Galaxy have a tendency to draft college players to local to the Southern California area, who are some of the standouts from the Southern California pool?
CLARK: Along with Franco, UCLA has a number of senior candidates available --though I'm not sure if they'd fit in with what the Galaxy is looking for. Victor Munoz is a creative midfielder from Spain that could offer a spark and should be on the board later in the rounds. Enrique Cardenas is another similar kind of player out of Irvine, but he's another that will likely be there after the first two rounds.
UC Santa Barbara has some intriguing options -- defensive midfielder Fifi Baiden, who isn't the biggest presence but can cover ground, while also offering up a pair of foreigners: forward Achille Campion from France and towering 6-foot-6 German center back Peter Schmetz.
LAGI: Who do you see the Galaxy taking with the 14th pick? And their pick in the late fourth round?
CLARK: I think picking up Marco Franco might be a good move in the first round, adding depth at right back. Maybe go for a center back like [New Mexico's Kyle] Venter or [Michigan State's Kevin] Cope, which might represent one of the best players available at the time.
Perhaps with the other pick, the Galaxy can look close to home and grabbing Munoz in the fourth round, see if he can adapt and add a creative spark to the midfield.
What do you believe are the LA Galaxy's needs ahead of the draft?