SALT LAKE CITY -- The LA Galaxy take on Real Salt Lake in a vital match at Rio Tinto Stadium as they look to rebound from their 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution. For a few links, matchups to watch and a predicted lineup, check it out below.
*Robbie Rogers is continuing to round into form and may play a major role against Salt Lake.
*Read LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan preview.
*Lastly, my Three Points to the game.
MATCH UPS TO WATCH:
MARCELO SARVAS vs. JAVIER MORALES
The most important battle of the match. Sarvas -- and Juninho -- must contain Morales, who has been on a tear as of late with two goals and two assists in six games.
NED GRABAVOY vs. SEAN FRANKLIN
Grabavoy is one of the trickest players in MLS and he'll pose a major challenge for Franklin, who must shut down the midfielder.
TOMMY MEYER vs. ROBBIE FINDLEY
Meyer will have his hands ful with the speed of Findley, who scored a goal and an assist in RSL's victory over San Jose last week.
Cudicini; Franklin, Meyer, DeLaGarza, Cochrane; Donovan, Sarvas, Juninho, Stephens; Zardes, Villarreal
LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez went 90 minutes as the United States defeated Jamaica in a dramatic 2-1 victory.
Brad Evans scored a dramatic game-winning-goal in the second minute of stoppage time, just three minutes after Jermaine Beckford scored the equalizer for Jamaica negating a 30 minute goal by U.S. forward Jozy Altidore.
Gonzalez drew rave reviews for his aerial prowess as he repeatedly was able to snuff out Jamaican attacks with timely clearances.
The highlights of the match can be seen below...
Courtesy of LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari, a preview of the LA Galaxy's match with Real Salt Lake
Check it out below...
Robbie Keane marks all-time appearance record with a hat-trick for Ireland against the Faroe Islands
It was a record setting day for Robbie Keane.
With the start against the Faroe Islands, Keane became Ireland's all-time appearance leader with 126 bypassing former teammate Shay Given.
Keane wasn’t done there; however, as he scored three goals as Ireland defeated the Faroes 3-0 in their pivotal World Cup qualifier. The hat-trick was the LA Galaxy captain’s second at the international level and gives Keane, Ireland's all-time leading scorer, a total of 59 international goals. According to the Irish FA, Keane is now fifth all-time among European goalscorers and 15th in the world.
The Irish now find themselves in third place in UEFA Group C level on points with second place Austria, but behind on goal difference. Ireland have four qualifying matches remaining as they look to earn that vital second place finish, which will place them in a playoff for a spot in the 2013 World Cup.
Ireland wraps up the international period on June 12 against defending World Cup champion Spain in New York at Yankee Stadium.
— FAI (@FAIreland) June 7, 2013
— FAI (@FAIreland) June 7, 2013
— FAI (@FAIreland) June 7, 2013
U.S. Under-20 head coach Tab Ramos named his 21-man squad for this summer's U-20 World Cup in Turkey and the LA Galaxy -- and the Galaxy Academy -- are well represented.
LA Homegrown Players forward Jose Villarreal and right Oscar Sorto were named to the squad, but they will be joined by several former members of the club's Academy in center back Javan Torre and forward Mario Rodriguez. In total, there are nine players from the state of California, five of which are from Southern California
The U-20's are coming off a disappointing 1-3-0 showing at the Toulon Tournament in France, but the tournament tune-up will likely be far from the team's mind when they begin the U-20 World Cup against Group A rivals Spain on June 21. The U.S. will then take on France on June 24 and Ghana on June 27 to round out group play. A complete quote sheet from Ramos explaining his decisions can be found here.
The complete roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS: 1-Cody Cropper (Southampton FC; Maple Grove, Minn.), 12-Kendall McIntosh (Santa Clara; Santa Rosa, Calif.), 21-Zach Steffen (FC DELCO; Downington, Pa.)
DEFENDERS: 13-Eric Miller (Creighton; Woodbury, Minn.), 3-Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Guadalajara; Riverside, Calif.), 5-Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), 18-Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), 4-Caleb Stanko (SC Freiburg; Holly, Mich.), 14-Javan Torre (UCLA; Santa Monica, Calif.), 2-DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders; Seattle, Wash.)
MIDFIELDERS: 16-Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas; Plano, Texas), 10-Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove, Calif.), 8-Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose, Calif.), 15-Mikey Lopez (Sporting Kansas City; Mission, Texas), 6-Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew; Gahanna, Ohio)
FORWARDS: 20-Daniel Cuevas (Santos Laguna; Sacramento, Calif.), 17-Danny Garcia (North Carolina; Dallas, Texas), 7-Victor Pineda (Chicago Fire; Bolingbrook, Ill.), 19-Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), 9-Mario Rodriguez (1. FC Kaiserslautern; North Hollywood, Calif.), 11-Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood, Calif.)
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers has been busy this week. Not because of interviews or media spots, but because he’s feverishly trying to work back to full fitness and become a major contributor on the LA Galaxy.
Rogers has made three appearances in all competitions since joining the Galaxy last month, but as LA prepares for this Saturday’s match against Real Salt Lake, the 26-year-old midfielder feels like he’s poised to turn the corner, in terms of fitness and his general soccer skills.
“I’ve been doing fitness every day since we got back, so it’s good to be home this week and get some proper training in. It’s really important for me,” Rogers told reporters on Thursday. “[My touch] is feeling a lot better. I don’t have to watch it all the way to my foot now; I just feel it and go. That’s a great feeling. Just running with the ball as well, I feel more comfortable.”
Following last Sunday’s crushing 5-0 defeat to the New England Revolution, Rogers is eager to get in gear and start to contribute to the Galaxy.
“It does motivate and make you hungry. It’s like come on, I know that we can do better than this and I know that I can do better this and I know that I can help this team. That is exciting and that is why I wanted to work so hard this week so I can definitely push myself forward and I think that everyone feels the same way about themselves.”
In the latest edition of View from the Booth, Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino analyze the LA Galaxy's clash with Real Salt Lake.
Check it out below.
On Wednesday, a report by ESPN Deportes stated that the Galaxy had offered an $8 million a year deal to the 24-year-old Dos Santos, who is still under contract with Spanish second division side Mallorca. The Los Angeles Times chimed in with their own piece on the rumors on Wednesday evening and linked LA's reported pursuit of the midfielder to the club's record television deal with Time Warner Cable.
Following LA’s training session on Thursday, LA Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena addressed the report.
“We, as usual, don’t comment on players until we sign them and...players under contract. You don’t talk about players that are under contract,” Arena told reporters.
LA midfielder Landon Donovan, who has plenty of battles with Dos Santos' Mexico while with the U.S. National team over the years, knows just how talented the dynamic attacking midfielder is.
"I think that he's a fantastic player,” said Donovan. “Certainly, he's hurt us many times with the U.S. team as far as talent goes, there's not many players that I've played against that are that talented. We'll see what happens."
Donovan was quick to acknowledge that he’s “heard a lot of rumors” during his time with the Galaxy, but he admits that signing a Mexican star could be very important to the Mexican community in Southern California.
“In this community, it would be really important,” said Donovan. “It’s been quite a while since this team has had a Mexican player, I think. It would be pretty cool, but let’s not put the cart before the horse.”
Thoughts on Arena and Donovan's comments? Do you think Giovani Dos Santos will suit up for the Galaxy?
Share your thoughts below.
The LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake are a pair of the premier club's in MLS and in the Western Conference, but their approaches to success are drastically different.
I took part in this "Point/Counterpoint" segment with RealSaltLake.com's Sam Stejskal on the approach that the two teams have.
LA Galaxy Insider Adam Serrano
ARGUMENT: LA may target stars, but aren't afraid to build from the ground up.
Yes, the LA Galaxy are the team of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Rogers and, formerly, David Beckham. But if you think that the Galaxy are simply a team of glittering stars then you’re missing the point.
All MLS teams, including LA and Real Salt Lake, operate within the same salary cap constraints and roster limitations, but it is how a team manages those rules that will prove how successful they are. RSL’s prudent spending approach has worked for them, but Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena’s own method is a tad more complicated, but just as balanced.
The Galaxy does boast two Designated Players in Keane and Donovan, and if reports are to be believed then they may be after a third in Mexican star Giovani Dos Santos. Signing talented marquee names has been a major pillar of the team’s mission statement since the league’s inception, but it doesn’t stop there. LA’s squad is also littered with young players as just eight of the club’s 29 players are over the age of 25. At the forefront of this youth movement are LA’s four Homegrown Players (Jack McBean, Jose Villarreal, Gyasi Zardes and Oscar Sorto), each of whom have made the game day roster this year.
Yes, investing in marquee names is important to the Galaxy as they look to stay at the forefront of the league, but as important to LA’s master plan is developing the young talent rich soccer hotbed of Southern California. This season, the Galaxy have given significant opportunities to McBean, Villarreal, and Zardes, who in turn have shown flashes of the talent that may make them successful in the professional ranks.
This balance of youth and star power has been on full display this year as Arena has thrown most of his Homegrowns as well as his recent draft picks into action as LA look to win an unprecedented third straight MLS Cup. Whether or not this approach will pay dividends come the winter months remains to be seen, but LA’s youngsters have already tasted success in 2013, after all, they did defeat RSL 2-0 during their last trip to Rio Tinto using a youth-laden lineup.
Will the Galaxy ever stop signing Designated Players or being linked with some of the game’s biggest names? Not a chance. However, just as unlikely is LA’s willingness to invest in young talent and polish a few hidden gems along the way.
After all, you need a complete squad to win a championship, not just few big names.
Sam Stejskal of RealSaltLake.com
ARGUMENT:RSL's model is more nuanced than LA's star-driven roster development
Regardless whether or not that report is true – and there are signs that indicate it isn’t – it’s not hard to imagine the Galaxy offering Dos Santos that kind of dough. They’ve certainly splashed that sort of cash before – see David Beckham and Robbie Keane, amongst others – and giving that big money to Dos Santos would make sense. The Barcelona product is young, has an impressive pedigree and would be a big draw with the millions of Hispanic fans in Southern California.
The fact that a report like that is at least somewhat believable is a good marker of the different worlds that Real Salt Lake and the Galaxy operate in. Yes, both teams have won MLS Cups since 2009, both have been fixtures near the top of the Western Conference table over the last five years and both deal with the same salary cap and roster constraints as every other team in the league.
But you’d never see a report claiming that RSL offered Dos Santos – or anyone else, for that matter - $8 million to come to the Wasatch Front. For better or for worse, the Claret-and-Cobalt has to do things differently than the Galaxy. There’s just not as much money to play with. In order for RSL to enjoy the sustained success it has since before it won the 2009 Cup, the technical staff has had to create and maintain an innovative – at least for MLS – tactical system. They’ve had to find diamonds in the rough in the domestic and international markets. And when Jason Kreis, Garth Lagerwey and Co. pays big money – though not “big” by LA’s standards – for a player like Javier Morales or Alvaro Saborio, they can’t afford to miss.
To be clear, both RSL’s and LA’s models work. The two teams have won three of the last four MLS Cups and one method isn’t necessarily any better than the other. But one model – and I trust you know which one I’m talking about – does require a little bit more work, a little bit more thought and a whole lot less room for error.
Who do you agree with? Which approach is best?
Share your thoughts below.
In the latest edition of the "Galaxy All-Access Podcast" Joe Tutino speaks with myself and MLSsoccer.com's Scott French to give an early season assessment of the LA Galaxy. We touch on pleasant surprises on the team, disappointments, Designated Players, the CONCACAF Champions League, and a number of other topics in our discussion.
Check it out below.