CARSON, Calif. -- First a little housekeeping message: if the LA Galaxy's Western Conference Semifinal second leg with Real Salt Lake ends in a draw in which goals are scored after 90 minutes, it will be RSL who advance past LA on the away goals tiebreaker.
However, even despite that new wrinkle to the MLS Cup Playoffs format, the Galaxy enter their clash with RSL with a simple objective: win the game. If the Galaxy can pull off a victory against Salt Lake on Sunday -- no matter the score -- it will be LA who advances to the Conference Final for the fifth time in six years.
Even though the Galaxy need simply to win the game, does the advantage of playing for a draw and an away goal benefit the visitors and force LA to go guns blazing from the start?
"Honestly, I think that this is new rule has been implemented and it’s been all that anyone talks about,” said Landon Donovan. “At the end of the day, if you win the games, it doesn’t matter. Our focus is to win the game and we don’t go into any game at home thinking that we’re going to draw.
“We go into games thinking that we’re going to win. Could it come down to it? Yeah, it could, but our focus is on winning the game.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena agreed, stating that it was more likely for the away goals rule to come into play in the series between FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders FC.
“Of course, if [an away goal] happens then that’s something that would concern us. If that happens then we’re going to have to get a goal really quick. It’s all part of it,” said Arena. “We’re going out to win the game. We’ve done that at home pretty well this year and we hope that it can continue.
"Our goal is to win the game. If we do that then you can keep all your math to yourself."
Ahead of Sunday's Western Conference Semifinal second leg against Real Salt Lake, LA Galaxy players Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Dan Gargan previewed the match.
Check it out above.
The LA Galaxy will give away a team photo of the 2014 squad to the first 20,000 fans who attend Sunday's Western Conference Semifinals second leg match against Real Salt Lake.
In honor of that giveaway, LAGalaxy.com created a photo gallery of every team photo since the team's inaugural season in 1996.
Check out the vintage photos of players like Cobi Jones, David Beckham, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Mike Magee, Carlos Ruiz, and more below.
CARSON, Calif. –To advance from the Western Conference, the LA Galaxy understand that they must breach the man lovingly referred to by Real Salt Lake fans as the “Wall of Wasatch.”
Since his triumph over the Galaxy in the 2009 MLS Cup, Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando has proven himself to be one of the finest ‘keepers in all of MLS. And amid that rise, Rimando has consistently been a thorn in the Galaxy’s side as his stellar goalkeeping has proven to be Salt Lake’s primary weapon against LA’s dynamic attack.
"He's quick and sharp. He's very agile and there's a reason that he's in the national team. He's a good goalkeeper," said Galaxy striker Robbie Keane. "But hopefully, he's not too good on Sunday."
During the first leg, Rimando was rarely tested as the Galaxy forced him to make just one save in the scoreless draw. But if LA are to advance on Sunday, Landon Donovan says the Galaxy must challenge RImando early and often.
"We have to put him under pressure, we have to create chances, we have to hit the target," said Landon Donovan who has scored eight goals all-time against Rimando. "You have to keep making him make spectacular saves. He's not going to give us any goals, we know that. If we're going to get a goal then we have to earn it and we're prepared to do that."
Photo Gallery: LA Galaxy train ahead of Western Conference Semifinal second leg against Real Salt Lake
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy were back on the training ground on Thursday just three days out from their Western Conference Semifinals second leg match with Real Salt Lake.
Despite Galaxy needing a win -- or a penalty kick shootout victory after a draw after 120 minutes -- to advance past RSL, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane says that confidence is high in training ahead of Sunday's match.
"We know how big the game is," said Keane. "We know that if they score one goal and we tie then we're out. We're an experienced team and we're hoping to keep the confidence high throughout the week. And I can tell by this week's training session's that the guys are ready to go."
Below are photos from the fantastic Mora Photography's Hana Asano from Thursday's training.
Los Angeles Football Club may be on the scene, but the LA Galaxy are showing that it is their club that holds the claim to be L.A.'s team.
The Galaxy continued their "Handcrafted in Los Angeles" campaign which was started during the summer with a powerful video showcasing the city's sports championships as narrated by Landon Donovan.
Check it out above.
CARSON, Calif. –Real Salt Lake’s speedy diminutive striker Joao Plata gave the LA Galaxy fits during their Western Conference Semifinal first leg, but once the second leg rolls around on Sunday, LA are confident that they can shut down the Ecuadorian.
Plata was the main conduit in the Salt Lake attack during Saturday’s first leg at Rio Tinto Stadium as he repeatedly stretched the Galaxy back four while notching a pair of shots on frame. The Ecuadorian, who notched 13 goals and six assists during the regular season, also had a pair of goals negated by offside calls including one which was shown to be onside according to television replays.
After tussling with Plata over the course of 90 minutes, Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez says that he’s ready for a challenge on Sunday.
“Plata’s a special player. He’s small and he’s always in my blind side. He’s quick. We just have to be aware of where he’s at. Don’t let him start sprinting freely. Give him a little bump but not too much because the slightest touch can tip him over," said Gonzalez. “Last game the referee (Silviu Petrescu) told me, ‘You’re just so much bigger than him. What do you want me to do?’ When I hear the ref tell me that it’s kind of difficult to do my job.”
But how does Gonzalez plan to account for Plata -- and the officials -- in a match where one goal by Salt Lake could see the Galaxy's season end prematurely?
"I'm just going to do my job," he said. "I can't worry about the referee and our whole team is over being worried about the referees. We're going to worry about approaching the game with the right mindset. We know that it'll be a challenge against Real Salt Lake for 90 minutes plus and we have to be ready for them."
CARSON, Calif. – The season may be over for LA Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant as head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Tuesday that he is “not likely” to return for the remainder of the season.
Dunivant has yet to return to full training since tearing his left groin muscle during LA’s 6-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids back in September that ruled him out for six weeks. Injuries have been a frequent problem for Dunivant who missed out on four months of the season due to an abdominal tear.
The 33-year-old has made some progress over the last week by taking part in fitness work, but he revealed to reporters on Tuesday that he is still unable to train without experiencing pain.
“Injuries are part of the game and you have to deal with it accordingly,” said Arena. “On the team side, it can’t be an excuse and on the player side, you certainly feel for the player, but we have to move on and take care of business.
“We’ve had eight guys who have helped us in the back and they’ve all been needed.”
CARSON, Calif. -- A day after signing with LA Galaxy II, 15-year-old Los Dos goalkeeper Eric Lopez was among the 22-man U.S. Under-16 roster that will take part in a training camp in France from Nov. 13-21.
The nine day training camp will be overseen by U.S. Soccer technical advisor and former U.S. U-17 assistant coach Clint Peay. Lopez will be joined in France by nine other players from California including former Galaxy Academy star Hanif Wright.
The complete roster is below.
LA Galaxy II bolstered their goalkeeping core on Monday by signing 15-year-old LA Galaxy Academy product and U.S. Under-17 international Eric Lopez.
A member of the U.S. U-17 Residency Program in Florida, Lopez becomes the youngest player to ever sign a professional contract in USL PRO. In addition to a sterling academy career that has seen him suit up for each team from the club's U-13 to U-18 levels, Lopez has trained briefly with the Galaxy first team over the past year.
“Eric is another example of the fully-realized player developmental system that the Galaxy have implemented,” said LA Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski in a statement. “We are excited to complete this deal and keep talented prospects like Eric within the Galaxy organization as their careers progress.”