CHESTER, Pa. – Robbie Keane has targeted Wednesday’s match against the Philadelphia Union to make his return from a three match injury layoff and it seems like he’ll be on the field as the LA Galaxy look to end a two game losing skid.
Keane returned to training late last week after dealing with an ankle injury, but did not travel when LA dropped their second straight match in a 3-1 loss to Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Irish forward rejoined the Galaxy on Sunday and trained with the club during each of their sessions in Philadelphia.
“I’ve been out for a few weeks and it’s nice to be back,” Keane told reporters at PPL Park on Tuesday. “I’m not going to be match fit, you know, because I missed three or four weeks. But I’ve done a lot of fitness with the trainers so I feel good and feel ready to go. It’s been a frustrating few weeks for me, but I’m back now.”
And according to Keane’s teammate Landon Donovan, he seems poised to lift the Galaxy’s attack against the Union.
“He looks sharp, he looks good, he’ll add a dimension to our attack,” said Landon Donovan. “Whether Robbie is playing our not, we have to be back and our group is going to be better.”
CHESTER, Pa. —Todd Dunivant has missed the past three matches with a left leg strain, but the LA Galaxy left back is expecting to be available for selection for Wednesday’s match against the Philadelphia Union.
Rookie Greg Cochrane has filled in for the veteran left back, but he was among those who struggled in LA’s 3-1 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC last Saturday. If Dunivant does take the field on Wednesday, it would be his first appearance since his strain first occurred during the Galaxy’s 2-0 win over Sporting Kansas City on April 20.
“I’m feeling good. I’m ready to go and ready to be available,” Dunivant told LAGalaxy.com. “We’ve had two losses in a row and we want to right the ship a little bit and it’s an important game because we have a three game road stand and we didn’t start off very well so it’s an important game to come back on.”
Dunivant’s veteran presence could be immense for a Galaxy back line that has struggled at times in recent matches, directly leading to goals for the opposition. The Galaxy can ill afford such lapses on Wednesday against a Union side that boasts current MLS leading goal scorer Jack McInerney and veteran forward Conor Casey.
“Defensively, we’ve played pretty well, but we’ve broken down at critical moments and that’s something that we did too much last year,” Dunivant added. “It’s the sign of a team that may be a little too lax and we need to keep being mentally strong for 90 minutes and making sure that throughout the entire game we’re clued in.”
CHESTER, Pa. - Landon Donovan understands that if he’s going to earn his way back on the U.S. National Team, first and foremost, he’ll have to improve his form with the LA Galaxy.
A report by Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl released on Tuesday states that Donovan will not be called up by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for their next month’s World Cup Qualifiers and friendlies. The report goes on to state that the door is still open for Donovan to earn the call for the 2013 Gold Cup, which begins in July.
In five games played this season, Donovan has scored one goal and one assists. Following Galaxy training at PPL Park in preparation for Wednesday’s match against the Philadelphia Union, Donovan spoke about the speculation with the U.S. squad.
“Any player that has a chance to play for the national team is always thinking about it, but the reality for me is to get back there, I have to play well for the Galaxy,” said Donovan. “So I can think about it and dream about it all I want, but the reality is that I have to play well here and then eventually maybe I’ll get my chance again. I’m hopeful, but I can only control what I can control and I’m going to do my best to get called up.”
In the latest edition of View from the Booth, I fill in for Cobi Jones (big shoes to fill, I know) and analyze the LA Galaxy's match against the Philadelphia Union with Joe Tutino.
Check it out below...
In addition to the World Cup Qualifiers, SI is reporting that Donovan will also be left off the squad for their pair of June friendlies as well, but he could make the roster for the 2013 Gold Cup.
Last month, Donovan addressed U.S. National Team boss Jurgen Klinsmann's comments that he still had a ways to go before he earned his way back onto the U.S. roster.
“I agree with him. Just because you score a goal and have a good game doesn’t mean that you’re a National Team player. I’ve said from the beginning that I have to earn my way back and playing one good game doesn’t earn your way back. I still have a long way to go.”
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In a new segment of the LA Galaxy Insider blog, I decided to take advantage of all the traveling and frequent flier miles that I've earned to bring the readers some local color.
This "Concession Section" will be a space where I review the food at each of the stadiums in MLS. The dishes won't simply the selections available for the press or in the suites, but open for all fans at their respective stadium. In fact, this idea stemmed from my own lack of interest in the press fare.
Choosing a location at BC Place proved difficult as first as there were a variety of different opinions, but I ultimately settled on a local favorite, which I felt best embodied the multiculturalism of Vancouver. For my first ever review, I began with Vij's which is an upscale Indian dining establishment founded in 1994 by renown Indian-Canadian chef Vikram Vij and his wife Meeru Dhalwala. The restaurant has had a stand at the BC Place food court and on the stadium's concourse since November 2011.
The location has just four curries to choose from: Chicken Curry with Kalonji Spice, Garam Masala Beef Curry, Mother-In-Law’s Pork Curry and Punjabi Daal. After consulting the staff at the Vij's stand, I opted for the Pork Curry, which was the staff favorite.
At a roughly $10.09, the curry was not a cheap option for fans, but it proved up to the task taste-wise. The curry was particularly spicy and with the onions and parsley, mixed fairly well with the pork. While the curry was certainly quality, the price is likely to cause some to opt for cheaper options.
Next up, PPL Park in Chester, PA.
What do you think of the idea? Hate it? Love it? Stick to soccer?
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The LA Galaxy trained at Philadelphia University while forward Robbie Keane had a chance to connect with his Irish roots.
In a special video blog or "Vlog" for LAGalaxy.com, I take a look at the exciting day in the City of Brotherly Love.
Watch the video below...
PHILADELPHIA – LA Galaxy rookie left back Greg Cochrane has enjoyed strong showings in each of his four appearances prior to Saturday, but the rookie was well-aware that there were going to be some bumpy moments.
The Galaxy’s defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday night—his fifth appearance of his young career— was exactly that. Now he’ll look to turn those moments into a learning experience for the future.
Cochrane struggled to handle Vancouver right midfielder Russell Teibert, who bagged a pair of goals while being matched up against the rookie defender. Following the match, Cochrane admitted that his positioning struggled as Teibert was able to separate himself from Cochrane and find the back of the net while his crossing accuracy struggled.
“I watched the video and I learned from it so you see what you’ve done wrong and then those are the games that are going to make you better after you struggle,” Cochrane told LAGalaxy.com. “I learned from it and now you just try to implement the stuff that didn’t go well and improve…I always try to improve off of every one of my games.
“On the good days and on the bad days, you try to take little steps to improve on, but I try not to dwell on it too much,” Cochrane added. “You just put it on the backburner and move on from it because you dwell on it then it may just effect your next performance.”
Whether or not, he’ll see the field against the Union is still up in the air. Cochrane started the last three matches for the Galaxy, but with Todd Dunivant approaching full fitness, head coach Bruce Arena will have a decision to make on Wednesday.
“I always train like I’m going to be a starter. If I’m not then it doesn’t really matter to me because the decision is up to [head coach Bruce Arena]. I’m always ready when I get called on, whether it’s as a starter or coming off the bench, if he wants to play me then I’m always ready
But if Cochrane makes an appearance then Pennsylvania-native will be able to play in front of “50ish” friends and family at PPL Park less than 50 miles away from his hometown of Holland, PA.
“I’m always excited to come back here and play in front of my friends and family. I haven’t been back here since the draft so it’s always good. I got to see my family yesterday,” said Cochrane. “It should be good to see a lot of familiar faces.”
PHILADELPHIA -- LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane trained with the team on Monday in preparation for Wednesday's match against the Philadelphia Union.
The LA Galaxy forward arrived in Pennsylvania on Sunday from Los Angeles. Keane has missed the Galaxy's last three matches due to an ankle injury.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) May 13, 2013
Expect Keane to play on Wednesday?
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PHILADELPHIA -- The LA Galaxy completed their sojourn to the East Coast of the United States following Saturday's 3-1 defeat to Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The trip began immediately after LA's defeat and include a brief stop over in Toronto before reaching the final destination. The photo that I snapped above is of Penn's Landing on the Delaware River, which earned its name because William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania docked here in 1682. In the photo, you can see the USS Olympia, a Spanish-American War era cruiser (White ship) and World War II-era submarine USS Becuna as well as the Moshulu.
More to come on the Galaxy's defeat to Vancouver as well as a new Insider segment to come later today.
Lastly though, I'd like to take a moment to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all those that take the time to read the LA Galaxy Insider blog including my own mom.