CARSON, Calif. -- The SuperClasico is upon us.
Before you begin your pregame preparations, check out my look ahead to the game...
*The conversations are far less cordial this week between the LA Galaxy and the Chivas USA players in the halls of The Home Depot Center...actually, there are no conversations at all.
*There will be plenty of mystery and tension ahead of this year's SuperClasico.
*Could Tommy Meyer play a role in the SuperClasico? If he is called upon, he thinks that he will be ready.
*Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on colorful new Chivas USA manager Jose Luis Sanchez Sola also known as "Chelis."
*LAGalaxy.com writer Larry Morgan provided this preview to the game.
*Lastly my Three Points to the game.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
JUNINHO/MARCELO SARVAS vs. OSWALDO MINDA/EDGAR MEJIA
The most important battle of the game -- in my opinion -- will come down to which midfield is able to set the tempo. Will it be the Galaxy's possession-oriented Brazilians or Chivas' rough-and-tumble midfielders in Minda and Mejia, who will look to create frustrate the Galaxy early on with their physical play. Ultimately, if the Galaxy is able to hold possession and avoid getting drawn into a physical battle, they should be able to control the midfield.
ROBBIE KEANE vs. CHIVAS BACK LINE
Keane will have a significant advantage matching up against 37-year-old center back Joaquin Velasquez, but it will be up to LA's flank players to open up space for the Irishman to operate. Expect the Galaxy to use their width to stretch Chivas' back line and open up space for Keane up front. If the Irishman gets that space, then he may put Chivas' goalkeeper Dan Kennedy under considerable pressure.
OMAR GONZALEZ vs. JUAN AGUDELO
Agudelo enjoyed one of his best games in a Chivas USA uniform in Chivas' 3-1 win over FC Dallas last week, but he'll a much larger test this week in Omar Gonzalez. The Galaxy center back has been in form as of late and did well to wrap up Costa Rican leading scorer Yendrick Ruiz during LA's CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals series against C.S. Herediano. Against Agudelo, Gonzalez's height and physicality will be needed as he looks to stifle the speedy Agudelo.
GALAXY: Cudicini; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Franklin, Sarvas, Juninho, Magee; Villarreal, Keane
CHIVAS USA: Kennedy; de Luna, Velasquez, Burling, Courtois; Bolanos, Mejia, Minda, Avila; Agudelo, Correa
Share your thoughts below.
The LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC may have a little schedule relief in their future as they prepare for the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals according to MLS Commissioner Don Garber.
When speaking to reporters at Red Bull Arena during the halftime of Saturday's scoreless draw between D.C. United and the New York Red Bulls, Garber said that the league is looking for a way to relieve schedule congestion on LA and Seattle.
“We are talking about having a schedule change to provide Seattle and LA a little more of a window," Garber said. “We haven’t talked about that publicly yet, but we’re trying to make that work.”
Seattle opens their series against Santos Laguna on April 2 at CenturyLink Field while the Galaxy begin their own series against Monterrey on April 3 at The Home Center. A week later, Seattle travels Estadio Corona for the second leg on while Monterrey hosts LA on In between the CCL series, the Galaxy will host the Montreal Impact on April 6 while the Sounders host Chivas USA on April 7.
Currently the Galaxy's next six matches are as follows:
3/17 vs. Chivas USA at The Home Depot Center
3/22 vs. Colorado Rapids at The Home Depot Center
3/30 vs. Toronto FC at BMO Field in Toronto, Canada
4/3 vs. C.F. Monterrey at The Home Depot Center
4/6 vs. Montreal Impact at The Home Depot Center
4/9 vs. C.F. Monterrey at Estadio Tecnológico in Monterrey, Mexico
One of the most colorful traditions of the SuperClasico, the BarraClasico -- a series of matches between the LA Galaxy Supporters Groups and Chivas USA Supporters -- ended in a pair of wins for the Galaxy groups on Saturday.
The first match featured the LA Riot Squad defeated the Black Army 1850 4-0 spearheaded by a hat-trick performance from Andres Arzate-Engels and a goal from Nate Herraro.
In the nightcap, the Angel City Brigade defeated the Union Ultras 3-1 as Michael Gray bagged two goals while Jonathan Cory Gray rounded out the scoring for the ACB.
CARSON, Calif. -- The SuperClasico match up between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA is always a spirited affair and Sunday's match will be no different.
My "Three Points" to the SuperClasico are below...
CARSON,Calif. – Tensions will be high when the SuperClasico kicks off on Sunday, but what has the mood been like this week around The Home Depot Center?
But what do the Galaxy expect from a Chivas USA side that underwent a significant reformatting during the offseason? That remains to be seen.
“Our meetings have been sort of 'We don't know what formation they're playing' and 'They've been kind of hard to read,' ” defender Omar Gonzalez said. “They won their last game, but having said that, I don't think Dallas had their best game. It's a whole bunch of new players, a new coach, and so we're really just going in there not blind, but, you know, unsure.”
Although Chivas are something of a mystery, one thing is for sure, the Galaxy will be in for a battle.
“We’re not sure to what to expect. There’s a lot of guys that we’re not sure of and the coach is obviously an animated guy who is definitely going to get his team up for this game,” said Mike Magee. “We’re definitely well-aware that this is a pretty big game for them and we can’t take it lightly.”
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari caught up with LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, captain Robbie Keane and center back Omar Gonzalez to preview Sunday's SuperClasico after Friday's training session.
Check out the video below..
CARSON, Calif. – Ever steadily, LA Galaxy center back Tommy Meyer is approaching his return to the field.
A nagging left hamstring injury caused Meyer to miss the final three matches of the preseason as well as Galaxy’s home opener against the Chicago Fire and the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals against C.S. Herediano, but Meyer began his return to the field this week. First, the 22-year-old returned to full training on Monday and then two days later, he was on the substitutes’ bench for the Galaxy’s 4-1 second leg victory over Herediano.
After spending several weeks on the sidelines, the chance to return to the bench on Wednesday, left Meyer pleased, but eager to get back on the field.
“You kind of feel like you’ve got to step back when you’re injured. It’s a little different to sit in the stands watching, but it’s definitely nice to be out on the bench and if I was needed then I was able to play,” said Meyer. “Everything is going well. I’m getting back into the training and starting to get fitness back so the past week has been good.”
With the Galaxy currently preparing for their fourth game in 15 days, Meyer is an option to see the field in Sunday’s SuperClasico against Chivas USA after center backs Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, and A.J. DeLaGarza have logged heavy minutes in recent matches.
If called upon, Meyer admits that his hamstring is currently at 100 percent, but the center back knows that he'll have to earn his way back on the starting lineup.
“You just have to be ready. I’m not sure that [Bruce Arena is] ready to put me in yet, but I’m sure that I’ll be in the 18 [on Sunday], hopefully, as soon as I get minutes in practice then I might get closer,” said Meyer. “You never know. I’d like to [play] if I need to be used at some point, it’ll be great, but if not, then I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities.”
CARSON, Calif. – Much of the talk this offseason surrounding the LA Galaxy’s archrival Chivas USA this season has been about colorful manager Jose Luis Sanchez Sola also known as “El Chelis”
Whether it is his colorful press conferences or his dislike for the Galaxy as a club, Sola has quickly become a magnet for attention across the league. Sola arrived during the offseason with a proven track record in Mexico having managed Puebla, Tecos UAG, and Correcaminos UAT.
During the offseason, Sola hit the reset button on his squad by bringing in assortment of new players including several from sister club C.D. Guadalajara as well as a new coaching staff. Sola got his first win as an MLS manager last week with a 3-1 victory over FC Dallas.
Following training on Friday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on the new boss at Chivas.
“His track record speaks for itself. He’s proven to be successful,” said Arena. “He’s given this team inspiration and organization and leadership. I think that they responded well.”
In the latest edition of View from the Booth, Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones break down Sunday's SuperClásico against Chivas USA.
The news that Phillip Anschutz's was maintaining ownership of AEG and President and CEO Tim Leiweke was departing the company was headline news across Southern California and did not go unnoticed in the LA Galaxy locker room.
But to better understand how the moves affect the LA Galaxy as a whole, I spoke with club President Chris Klein on how the moves will impact on the club's day-to-day operations, to learn more about new AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman, and understand how Leiweke’s departure will change the Galaxy’s pursuit of Designated Players.
Read my Q & A with Klein below…
(On how the AEG changes over the past day…)
KLEIN: “In terms of the Galaxy and the way that we operate, this doesn’t change anything for us. I think two things came out [of Thursday]; one is that we’re no longer for sale, which is a good thing for the Galaxy. And the second thing obviously, is that Tim is no longer with the company. Although he will be greatly missed, we will move on and continue to operate business as usual.”
(On what should people know about new AEG President and CEO Dan Beckerman…)
KLEIN: “The first thing is that Dan has been great and while Tim was always the one that was out there, Dan has been intricately involved in everything that the Galaxy has done certainly since I’ve been here. I don’t think he’s going to be one to profess to be a soccer expert, but in speaking to him [on Thursday], the one message that he did have is that Phil continues to be committed to the Galaxy and the game of soccer in this country as he’s always been and the same goes for Dan as well."
(On whether the team loses something not having Leiweke around…)
KLEIN: “If you look at anyone who goes through a club, one thing that we know is that the Galaxy is going to be here long beyond myself, long beyond Mr. Anschutz, long beyond Bruce Arena, long beyond Tim Leiweke, and so this is something that we’re building that we hope is around for our kids and their kids. Do you miss a personality like Tim? Absolutely, of course you do, but like anything that we have whether you lose a player or a coach, there are other people that have to fill the void that is left.”
(On the other side, how important it is to have Phillip Anschutz around...)
KLEIN: “I’ve been around this league since 1998 and as long as I could remember, there were years when Phil owned six teams in our league and his commitment to the game of soccer in this country is unparalleled. You have other people who were there on the ground floor like he was, but to have him still involved in the game of soccer, especially with the Galaxy, should bring a smile to everyone’s face.”
(On how Leiweke’s departure could impact any potential Designated Player moves as he was instrumental in recruiting players like David Beckham and Robbie Keane…)
KLEIN: “Well, like I said, in speaking with Dan and everyone else, it is business as usual. We will continue to be the flag bearer in MLS. That includes our aggressive push for DP’s. Tim will no longer be there to do that, but we have other people in the organization who can fill that void and will continue to be aggressive in that market.”
(On whether not Klein feels confident the Galaxy can continue to attract top-level talent because of the brand that the team has…)
KLEIN: “I believe we can, yes.”
What are your thoughts on Klein’s comments?
Share your thoughts below.