CARSON, Calif. -- Ahead of Wednesday's match against Isidro Metapan, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and players Jaime Penedo and Pablo Mastroeni spoke to LAGalaxy.com's Paolo Ferrari.
Check it out below...
CARSON, Calif. – Ahead of an important week for the LA Galaxy, head coach Bruce Arena is likely test LA’s depth—particularly at right back.
With starting right back A.J. DeLaGarza suffering an elbow injury in last Saturday’s draw to D.C. United and the club admitting to a sluggish showing in Washington, Arena may need to turn to his bench to fill the hole on the right side of defense. Two of his primary options include Sean Franklin, who has been used in the midfield over the past few weeks, but also young Homegrown defender Oscar Sorto.
The 19-year-old has been primarily used in MLS Reserve League matches this season, but with DeLaGarza out with injury and Arena seeking rotation, he may be an option for Wednesday’s CONCACAF Champions League match against Isidro Metapán.
If Sorto is called upon to the game day roster or possibly start against the Salvadorian club, the teenager admits that he’ll need to rise to the occasion.
“It’s big pressure because all of the players in the first team are high quality players, but I've been improving during these last five months since the U-20 World Cup,” said Sorto. “I've been playing faster and I'm getting better at defending at one-on-ones, which is key to the [right back] position. I’m just going to concentrate on my game and not worry.”
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy struggled through a 2-2 draw to D.C. United on Saturday that saw them lose a pair of starters in A.J. DeLaGarza (elbow) and Landon Donovan (ankle) to injury, but during the first training session since the draw, head coach Bruce Arena stated that there was no update on their statuses.
When asked if there had been any news on the severity of either injury, Arena was consise as he said there were “no updates” yet on either player.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) September 16, 2013
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane's strike in the 7th minute of LA's 2-2 draw with D.C. United is up for MLSscocer.com's Goal of the Week.
You can vote for Keane by texting G3 to 22442 or you can vote on MLSsoccer.com.
The nominees are below...
WASHINGTON— A pair of injuries to A.J. DeLaGarza and Landon Donovan marred the LA Galaxy’s 2-2 draw with D.C. United, but while head coach Bruce Arena stated that the knocks are “not serious” during the Time Warner Sports Net telecast, the injuries could be a major talking point heading into the stretch run.
DeLaGarza’s elbow injury appears to be the most severe, but both Arena and Donovan were optimistic about the forward’s status heading into a week that will see LA take Isidro Metapán in the CONCACAF Champions League and league leading Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday at StubHub Center. Donovan’s ankle issue arose toward the end of the first half after getting tangled with D.C.’s Luis Silva, which forced him to come off at the start of the second half.
Following the match, Arena asserted that Donovan “should be okay” after suffering, what he described as a “light sprain” and the 31-year-old was just as optimistic that he can make a quick recovery.
“It got rolled on,” said Donovan, who tallied his eighth assist on Robbie Keane’s goal in the first half. “We got tangled up and [Silva] ended up landing on it. Hopefully it’s not too bad. …I’ll get it looked at [on Sunday] and we’ll see how it goes.”
And the Galaxy will certainly need Donovan healthy as they must defeat the Salvadorians to take charge of Group 8 in CCL play and then knock off high-flying Seattle, if they are to remain in the hunt for the Supporters’ Shield and the Western Conference’s number one record.
Regardless of if he plays or not in any of LA’s two matches, Donovan believes that the Galaxy will have their depth tested.
“It’s a big week for us, a really big week, and a lot of guys are going to have their number called,” said Donovan. “Fortunately, we’ve had a lot of reserve games in the last few weeks. We’ve had a Champions League game so multiple games to stay pretty fit and it’s going to be a week where we have to use quite a bit of players. The Metapán game we have to win—we win that game and we’re in good shape in the group. And if we want to have a chance of catching Seattle we’ll have to win on Saturday.”
WASHINGTON – Michael Stephens bagged his first goal in two years, but even though the midfielder was jubilant at the time of the finish, the memory was bittersweet as LA played to a 2-2 draw with D.C. United on Saturday.
Stephens entered the match in the 78th minute and needed just three minutes to find the back of the net as Robbie Keane fed him near the top the penalty area and he fired a toe-poke shot that rolled past D.C. ‘keeper Bill Hamid. The goal was Stephens’ second career MLS goal and his first since May 29, 2010.
Although the goal was his first in three years, the fact that United equalized three minutes after his strike took much of the shine off his finish.
“It was an important one at the time,” said Stephens. “It would have been a lot better if it would have been the game-winning goal, but at the time it was an important goal and obviously we gave one up, which is unfortunate. But what are you going to do? “
Although he bagged a goal, if LA had not lost A.J. DeLaGarza and Landon Donovan due to injuries then Stephens believes that he probably wouldn’t have seen the field as he has largely been used a defensive substitution.
“I think if you would have told Bruce [Arena] before the game that we were tied or we were losing, I don’t think he would have gone to me,” said Stephens. “But I think the circumstances with injured players allowed me to get in, and I took advantage of the opportunity.”
Now Stephens will look to build on that goal as he is expected to be in the running for a starting position in the Galaxy midfield when they take on Isidro Metapán in CONCACAF Champions League play on Wednesday. With Juninho, Marcelo Sarvas and Gyasi Zardes each going a full 90 minutes in the draw with United and likely dealing with fatigue, Stephens seems poised and ready to turn his goal against D.C. into success in CCL.
“I think that it’s always good to get a goal because it doesn’t happen very often for me, so it was fun,” said Stephens. “The match against Metapán will be important for me and I think we’ll all be ready to go.”
WASHINGTON – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s quotes following the team’s 2-2 draw with D.C. United…
Check it out below…
(On the result...)
ARENA: “We’re disappointed. At the end of the game, we’re positioned to have three points and we need to do better in those situations. It was a day where we give D.C. United credit – they played real hard for 90 minutes. We had to battle real hard. We positioned ourselves poorly at the end of the first half by…I call it giving away a goal. Give [Chris] Pontius credit as well for stripping Omar [Gonzalez] and finishing off the play. Then we got the second goal, which should be enough to give us three points, [but] we failed to keep them off the scoreboard at the end of the game, so that’s disappointing.”
(On the physicality of the game and whether that hindered LA...)
ARENA; “It was physical. We got fouled a little bit more than we anticipated, and it was a hard game. We made it a hard game because we were well-positioned early in this game. If we would be smart with the ball and good and tight defensively, we go into halftime with the lead.”
(On Omar Gonzalez’s turnover that led to the first D.C. United goal and whether it was a “teaching moment”…)
ARENA: “If it was a teaching moment, he failed – he got a bad grade, then. He’s experienced enough as a player now; he shouldn’t be in that position. Hopefully, he continues to grow from his experiences.”
(On midfielder Michael Stephens’ goal…)
ARENA: “It was a good goal. Give him credit – it was good to see Mike [Stephens] come off the bench and contribute.”
(On Robbie Keane’s play tonight…)
ARENA: “Robbie [Keane] was on the ball a lot the whole game. His legs were a little bit tired. I think he stood on the ball a little bit too much tonight, and I think that’s attributed o his travel and his fatigue.”
(On Jaime Moreno being inducted into the D.C. United Hall of Tradition…)
ARENA: “Great player – he belongs there. Well-deserved recognition.”
WASHINGTON -- The LA Galaxy will dealt an injury blow on Saturday as A.J. DeLaGarza suffered a dislocated left elbow in the first half of the team's 2-2 draw with D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
DeLaGarza suffered the injury after colliding with the boards behind the Galaxy goal and was immediately substituted for right back Sean Franklin. Typically, elbow injuries can last about four to eight weeks, meaning that LA may be without their starting right back for about a month. Following the match, Galaxy head coach told Time Warner Cable SportsNet that the injury was "not serious."
"[It's an] elbow [injury]," said Arena. "We'll know more when we get back to L.A."
With DeLaGarza out, it's likely that the Galaxy will opt for a tandem of Franklin at right back and Hector Jimenez in the midfield with either Tommy Meyer or Oscar Sorto serving as potential backups on the right side of defense.
The injury, which is graphic is below.
Bruce Arena reflects on D.C. United legend Jaime Moreno as he prepares to enter the club's Hall of Tradition
WASHINGTON— Before Saturday’s match against the LA Galaxy, D.C. United will honor forward Jaime Moreno.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will participate in the ceremony as he led United to MLS Cup titles in 1996 and 1997 while also appearing in the 1998 as the franchise was one of the dominant clubs in the league’s early years.
Although Arena has coached a number of talented players during his career, he raves about Moreno.
“Jaime came into the league [in 1996] at 19 years old, was probably the fastest player in the league, technically as good as anyone in the league, and he scored goals,” said Arena. “He had the whole package. He really did. For a number of years, he was just a dominant player in MLS.
“I've coached some good players, and he's as good a player as I've coached in this league, and I've been around [Marco] Etcheverry and Moreno and [Eddie] Pope and [Landon] Donovan and [Robbie] Keane and [David] Beckham. He's in that class, no question about it.”
But just how did the Galaxy boss spot the D.C. United legend?
“He ran circles around Jeff Agoos [in Bolivia’s 1-0 victory over the U.S.] And I was coaching the Olympic team as well at the time. On the bus ride back after the Portugal game at RFK [in July], I was sitting with Sunil Gulati, and I said, 'Let's get him.' And we were able to turn that over kind of quickly.
“And as he would say, I owe my career to him, but I'd say it's the other way, and I'm very disappointed that one of his 50 children aren't named after me,” the Galaxy boss said with a joke.
Moreno’s induction into the Hall of Tradition may not be the only moment that involves the Bolivian soccer legend as Landon Donovan is just two goals away from one goal from tying Moreno’s 134 goals mark, which is second all-time in goals scored.
WASHINGTON – Landon Donovan and the rest of LA’s international contingent is back with the LA Galaxy ahead of Saturday’s match against D.C. United at RFK Stadium.
Although the hyper-focused Donovan is not letting any of the issues of national team duty come into his thinking as he prepares for Saturday, one of the main talking points of Wednesday’s match remains with him—literally. Donovan is still suffering from conjunctivitis in his right eye, which surfaced at some point last week.
The pink eye didn't affect him during his 2-0 victory with the U.S. National Team over Mexico on Wednesday and is unlikely to keep him out of Saturday’s game, but the question remains. Just how did it happen?
“I don’t know,” said Donovan following the team’s training session at American University. “I was getting treatment from the trainers and when I opened my eye it was all red. But I'm fine now and ready for the game on Saturday.”
Although the eye issue is still prevalent, Donovan doesn't expect that—or any national team hangover—to affect him when LA faces D.C. United.
“I feel great. It’s been a really good last week or so. It was a lot of fun for Omar and I to have that experience on Tuesday [against Mexico] and now it’s important to put that behind us and move forward. We have a game that we need to get three points out of and that has to be the focus now.”
And he expects a stern test from a United side that is currently the league’s worst team with just 14 points on the year. In fact, Donovan believes that United are circling this match on their calendar and he feels that LA must be cognizant of that fact.
“They've obviously had a rough year and I’m sure that if odds were made, we’d be the favorites, but this league is built on parity. You never know what could happen,” said Donovan. “We know that they'll have a good crowd; we know that they're excited for this game. Outside of their [U.S. Open Cup Final], this will be their biggest game of the season. We expect to get their best and we need to be ready to play.”