WATCH: LA Galaxy and USMNT legend Landon Donovan hits an inside-the-park home run at Dodgers charity game
Retired LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team legend Landon Donovan tried his hand at softball on Saturday by participating in the Los Angeles Dodgers' annual Hollywood Stars Game.
Playing alongside such Hollywood celebrities as Larry King, Alan Thicke and James Van Der Beek, Donovan showed off his baseball prowess by hitting an inside-the-park home run. In addition to hitting a round-tripper, Donovan also showed off his fielding prowess with a Willie Mays-esque catch while playing left field.
Highlights from the game are above. You can watch Landon's home run at the 1:20 mark.
CARSON, Calif. -- Jose Villarreal looked like he may be sidelined for an extended period after exiting the LA Galaxy's 2-2 draw with the New England Revolution last month, but the 21-year-old striker is already back on the training ground and hoping to make a return as soon as next week's match with Columbus Crew.
Villarreal suffered a left shoulder sprain after a hard fall on the turf in the early stages of LA's 2-2 draw at Gillete Stadium with a but not before delivering a backheel assist on Gyasi Zardes' opener. Less than a week later, Villarreal was back on the training field on Friday, and already hopeful of making an early return.
"I'm definitely going to be cautious but I feel good about it. [On Friday] I came out and did a little running, passing, and 5v2 which felt really good," Villarreal told LA Galaxy Insider on Friday. "I feel like I'm on the right track to get back early. The way things are looking, I'll be back training and hopefully get ready for Columbus."
After suffering a frustrating hamstring injury that hampered his early season success, Villarreal is confident that he can re-gain his poised touch if he gets a chance to play against the Crew.
"For me, injuries happen and it doesn't have to mean that you're not fit. This was just something that happened that I couldn't avoid. I think that I just need to focus and prepare the right way, and if I do that, I think that I can be ready for Columbus. There's no doubt in my mind that with the training staff that we have that I can't come back quickly."
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed reporters after the club's 1-0 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
On having zero shots on goal:
ARENA: “I don’t think it was from a lack of effort, we should have shot a few more times. They did a good job, got a lot of players behind the ball, made it tough in and around the penalty area to their credit.”
On tonight’s match:
ARENA: “Conceding that goal in the first half, it was tailor made for their team. The way they play, and with their speed on the counter, and we gave away a ball in our middle third of the field and they got a goal. They certainly did a very good job having good numbers behind the ball, and countering us in the second half. We had some chances to have a little bit better quality, perhaps create a few dangerous chances, but we fell short.”
On Vancouver’s center defense:
ARENA: “They played well. Obviously they are very good in the air and they dominated us there. We weren’t good enough on the ball to play around them.”
On Robbie Keane’s fitness:
ARENA: “Well he is just coming back from being away for two months. I think we’re doing the best we can; it’s been a little bit of a patchwork job in the first half of the season. That’s unfortunate, but that’s the way it goes. No excuses, but we’re a little bit short handed in a lot of the spots on the field and it shows with some of our quality. He’d probably tell you that the last 20 minutes were pretty rough for him. We had to be aggressive with our substitutions to try and get a goal. I decided to keep Robbie out there. It might have been a little too much for him, but it’s probably good for him to get the 90 minutes in.”
On starting Edson Buddle:
ARENA: “Well, got 60 minutes out of him. I think between he and Alan we are trying to get 90 minutes out of that position. It’s going to take Edson some time too, he’s missed most of the first half of the season. So you know, we’re a little bit short handed right now, and it takes away from our effectiveness.”
On Kekuta Manneh:
ARENA: “He was pretty much their dangerous player in the first half. A couple times, he burned us and we got caught on the goal. He is a good player. Perhaps we could have been a little bit better on a few of those plays. We stopped him a couple times, but the goal, give him credit. He did well to get the goal.”
CARSON, Calif. – If Edson Buddle wants to continue to see minutes for the LA Galaxy, the 34-year-old striker knows that he’s going to have to start finding the back of the net.
The 34-year-old forward has not scored since Aug. 20, 2014 when he scored on the Galaxy for the Colorado Rapids. Since rejoining the club in preseason, Buddle has been limited to just six appearances due to injury.
Buddle looked incredibly sharp during training on Friday but the veteran goal scorer knows that it’s time for him to find the back of the net in an actual game.
“I want to get going. When you’re not scoring, you’re reminded of how great it feels to score and find the back of the net,” said Buddle. It’s always felt great to score a goal, but especially to score a goal for this club because it means a lot more to score for the Galaxy than anywhere else.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena agreed that he expects plenty more from the veteran striker—especially with the club hurting for numbers with injuries to Alan Gordon and Jose Villarreal.
“[He has to] play well,” Arena said when asked about what he needs to see from the forward. “Edson is one of the few players who have scored 100 goals in this league so we want to see him be a dangerous forward and be a threat to goal.”
And Buddle, ever the professional, understands exactly what his coach wants.
“When it comes from Bruce, that’s what it means. Score goals. That’s what I have to do. It’s a 90 minutes, there are other little things that you can do to help the team but at the end of the day, what is most important is scoring goals.”
CARSON, Calif. – Goalkeeper Brian Rowe will make his fourth start of 2015 on Saturday when the LA Galaxy take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Rowe has compiled a 1-1-1 record with five saves during his three appearances this season, and will once again get the start on Saturday with regular starter Jaime Penedo away on international duty. With Penedo scheduled to be away for much of the summer due to the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena says the timing is perfect for Rowe to get a game with the first team.
“He’s shown improvement this year,” Arena said on Friday. “He’s played in a few Galaxy II games and league matches this year. There’s no reason to believe that he can’t step in and do a good job.”
The 26-year-old goalkeeper who has performed well when called upon this season was quick to agree.
“It feels great to play. There are no replacing games because that’s what you put in all the hard work for in the middle of the week to play in games. It’ll be fun,” said Rowe. “We expect a good battle. This season, we’ve been battling injuries and thin numbers which has forced us to see each game what our best lineup is. I have all the confidence in the guys but we’re expecting a good test tomorrow.”
By the Numbers: LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane hoping to continue his success against Vancouver Whitecaps FC
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will return to StubHub Center on Saturday for their clash with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, we look at Robbie Keane's incredible strike rate against the Whitecaps.
Check it out below.
Raul Mendiola could make his 2015 debut for the injury-ridden LA Galaxy against Vancouver Whitecaps FC
CARSON, Calif. – Raul Mendiola has been lighting up USL, and now with the LA Galaxy first team hindered by injuries, the midfielder may have an opportunity at minutes for the first team.
Mendiola, who leads USL in assists with seven in 2015, trained with the Galaxy on Thursday ahead of their match with Vancouver Whitecaps FC. This season, Mendiola has yet to make a first team appearance but has played in 10 games for LA Galaxy II.
The 21-year-old Galaxy Homegrown product was joined in practice by Jack McBean but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena did not commit to Mendiola’s participation in Saturday’s game.
“They’re doing well. Mendiola is having a very good year with Galaxy II, and occasionally, we have the guys out here so that they can help with training and we can see where they’re at.
While Arena downplayed Mendiola’s inclusion in practice, Mendiola says that he’s ready for minutes if called upon.
“The coach has given me confidence, and the team has been playing good which helps me get into the right spots,” Mendiola said. “If the coach tells me to be ready, I’ll always be ready to do my job.”
Training Notebook: Robbie Rogers injury update, Alan Gordon declares himself fit, Bruce Arena talks Andrew Wolverton
Robbie Rogers may be in line to return to the field after missing the last four LA Galaxy matches due to injury.
The 28-year-old left back has missed much of May due to a nagging ankle injury but after returning to training last week. Although the defender is making strides in his recovery, head coach Bruce Arena says that he is undecided on whether to give Rogers minutes on Saturday.
“Rogers had a good day of training. It’s a possibility," Arena said on Thursday. "We just have to think as we’re bringing him back if he’s ready to play now or needs another week or two.”
The Galaxy should also have the services of Alan Gordon who exited the Revolution match last week with a calf injury. Gordon declared himself ready on Thursday, and Arena echoed that sentiment.
“Alan always says he’s ready to go,” Arena said. “We think that when everything comes around by Saturday, we’ll have a lot of options through.”
GALAXY EXPECT BIG THINGS FROM WOLVERTON
The LA Galaxy announced the signing of goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton on Monday, and Galaxy ehad coach Bruce Arena believes that big things could be in store for the youngster.
A fourth round selection in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft, Wolverton began training with the team last month after recovering from foot surgery. Given the absence of Jaime Penedo due to international duty, Arena opted to officially sign the 6-foot-7 goalkeeper who he says has plenty of potential.
“He’s going to be developing into a goalkeeper. He has good physical size which is something that we haven’t had in our goalkeepers, and I think is a nice quality,” said Arena. “He looks like he could be a good one. He’s going to need to some time to get physically strong, he’s still recovering from his surgery which will take him some time but he’s going to be good for us.”
Jaime Penedo went 90 minutes in net for Panama in their 1-1 draw with Ecuador on Wednesday.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane believes that he’s ready to get back on the field against Vancouver Whitecaps FC after missing last week’s match in New England.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena opted to leave Keane behind for the Revolution match due to his groin strain issue that sidelined him for much of May. Keane has enjoyed plenty of success against the Whitecaps throughout his career with four goals and five assists in nine regular season matches.
“I look forward to getting some minutes in the second half. We’ll have to see [if I can start] but I think that getting minutes in the second half is the cleverest thing in the moment,” said Keane. “I feel really good. This is about being clever and making sure that there are no setbacks. … I feel sharp.”
Immediately following the Vancouver game, Keane will join up with the Republic of Ireland for their matches against England and Scotland next week.
Even though his captain will be leaving after the game, Arena says that there is no guarantee that he’ll start the Irishman on Saturday.
“I haven’t decided yet. Robbie Keane should be on the field as long as he can be on the field. We want to get him in a starting role as soon as possible. Whether it’s this weekend or the following week, we’ll see.”
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy drew a favorable group in the 2015-16 edition of the CONCACAF Champions League, but head coach Bruce Arena is quick to state that there will be no easy matches for the defending MLS Cup champions.
On Monday, the Galaxy were drawn against Guatemalan champion Comunicaciones and Trinidad and Tobago side Central FC. Avoiding one of the Costa Rican or Honduran clubs is a major boost for the Galaxy, but Arena understands that LA’s Group D draw has plenty of challenges.
“I’ll wait until we get our schedule. The draw is fine. The schedule will determine a lot. There’s a lot of travel, but it will be interesting to see how we piece it all together,” Arena, who has led the Galaxy to knockout round in the last three tournaments that they have participated in, said. “None of these games are easy regardless of who you play. MLS teams would not be easier but we’ll just have to wait and see.”
The foremost challenges for the Galaxy will likely be the rigorous travel to Guatemala and Trinidad and Tobago packed amid an already congested league schedule. Central FC poses the biggest hurdle travel-wise as the Galaxy will be head on a 10 plus hour flight midweek to play the three-year-old Trinidadian club.
“There's a lot of pluses and minuses with everything. We'll just have to wait and see, wait until we get the schedule, figure out how we're going to approach those games, and move on,” said Arena. “But there's no reason to believe we're not capable of winning the group and advancing to the quarterfinals.”