CARSON, Calif. -- Head Coach Bruce Arena may not have expected to give Landon Donovan a full 90 minute run out in Sunday night's 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders, but he admitted that he was happy to give it to the LA Galaxy captain.
The match involved a different role for Donovan as the Galaxy captain, who is still dealing with the effects of a left knee bone bruise that kept him from appearing in last week's 2-2 draw in San Jose, started in midfield for the first game since June 17. With Christian Wilhelmsson on his opposite flank, Donovan and the Galaxy created numerous scoring opportunities -- albeit allowing many for Seattle -- throughout the action. Following the match, Arena admitted that he did not expect Donovan to go 90, but was pleased with his contributions.
"I told him that I wanted him to play a minimum of 60 minutes and gave him the call on whether to keep going and he was fine," said Arena. "Landon generally needs a half to get fit and he is one of those rare breeds and I think that the 90 minutes was good for him."
Donovan was quick to agree when asked about his injury, saying with a smile he'd rather not be asked about injuries any longer.
"Knee’s great, thanks for asking. Let’s not talk about it anymore, I'll be fine. We got a deal? No one asks me about injuries? I’ll be fine," Donovan said with a smirk. " When Sean came out, it put us a little bit behind the eight ball, so I was fine, I was a little tired but I was fine otherwise. We have enough days now, I haven’t played in a while, so I have enough days to get ready for Thursday, so it was good to get 90 in."
With the Knockout Round match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC looming on Thursday, Donovan admitted that Sunday's win was a major confidence boost for LA.
"I think the thought process behind Bruce putting out a real lineup as opposed to resting a bunch of guys was we wanted to get some rhythm and some continuity heading into the playoffs," said Donovan. "We certainly weren’t perfect, we were maybe a little lucky at times and Josh made some goods saves, but I thought we played, actually, pretty well and I think we feel good now going into the playoffs."
The LA Galaxy announced their team awards after the 1-0 victory over the Seattle Sounders.
GOLDEN BOOT WINNER
HUMANTARIAN OF THE YEAR
DEFENDER OF THE YEAR
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER
A few notes and thoughts from Sunday's 1-0 LA Galaxy victory over the Seattle Sounders
*Mike Magee tallied his fifth goal of the season with his game-winning strike in the 83rd minute.
*Brad Evans had an equalizer negated in stoppage time due to a handball by Fredy Montero.
*Josh Saunders shutout was his ninth of the season. He tallied four saves.
*The LA Galaxy trotted out a midfield of Landon Donovan, David Beckham, Juninho and Christian Wilhelmsson, while the midfield wasn't as speedy as the one that played to a 2-2 draw in San Jose a week prior, LA created a number of dangerous chances until the quartet was split up with Beckham's substitution in the 62nd minute.
*The back-and-forth action produced a total of seven saves between the two goalkeepers.
*Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Christian Wilhelmsson each went 90 minutes.
*A pair of Seattle players appear to have picked up injuries as Eddie Johnson (45th minute) and Jeff Parke (51st minute) left the game dealing with an ailment.
*The attendance at The Home Depot Center was 27,000, the Galaxy's sixth sellout of the season.
We're just hours away from tonight's LA Galaxy Regular Season Finale against the Seattle Sounders. Following tonight's match, the Galaxy will turn their focus to Thursday's First Round Knockout Round game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center.
A few notes and links to get you to the match...
*Playoff Scenario update: The only way that the Galaxy can host MLS Cup Final is with a win on Sunday and if the Houston Dynamo advance out of the Eastern Conference.
* Landon Donovan has declared himself fit and ready to play against Seattle.
* Also expected to participate is David Beckham, who is returning from left ankle soreness.
* Meanwhile on the defensive side of the ball, defender Omar Gonzalez and the LA defense are in the fine tuning process ahead of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
*Lastly, check out my Three Points to the match.
PREDICTED LINEUP: Saunders; Franklin, Meyer, Gonzalez, Dunivant; Wilhelmsson, Beckham, Juninho, Magee; Buddle, Keane
Below Galaxy broadcaster Mark Rogondino gives his "Playoff 101" for those still unfamiliar with the new MLS Cup Playoff format.
Add another cable provider to the list of distributors for Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.
On Saturday, Time Warner Cable Sports announced a deal with AT&T U-verse to distribute the networks. Starting on Oct. 30, the two channels will be available to AT&T's Southern California subscribers. The move comes on the heels of Time Warner Cable adding Charter Networks and Verizon FiOS a day earlier.
“We’re excited to work with AT&T U-verse to give our viewers and their customers in Southern California more access to the Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks than they’ve had before,” said Dan Finnerty, Senior Vice President, Time Warner Cable Sports said in a statement. “Southern California sports fans will now have more choices to watch Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks games and behind-the-scenes programming on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.”
Landon Donovan isn’t the only LA Galaxy player targeting a return to action this Sunday as David Beckham is ready to get back into action this Sunday.
Beckham has trained throughout the week, after left ankle soreness prevented him from taking part in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes. During training on Friday, Beckham told reporters that the soreness is a lasting effect of rolling his ankle through a mistimed tackle, which took place during a Sept. 1 match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. With just one game left before, what he describes the "do or die" time of the MLS Cup Playoffs, Beckham knows that he needs minutes on Sunday's MLS Regular Season Finale against Seattle Sounders FC to be ready for the postseason.
“Feeling a lot better now, obviously I’ve had another 10 days to kind of train, get my fitness up and get the ankle swelling down, so it’s feeling OK,” said Beckham after Friday’s training session. “I think it would be good to get some minutes this weekend, definitely. It would be good for myself to get up, and obviously get my heart rate up and get into a game, so yeah, it would be good to get some minutes.”
But even though Sunday's match means nothing to the Galaxy's playoff situation, Beckham believes that Sunday's match is important for LA ahead of the postseason.
“It’s not hard to prepare for, but you have to prepare for it like it was any other game during the season, in the playoffs," added Beckham. "I think what you have to prepare for is trying to not get any injuries through this game, and keeping every player fit and healthy and that’s what we need to do on Sunday. You can’t guarantee that, but I think as long as we play sensibly and play our game than we should be good.”
The LA Galaxy know that next Thursday, they'll face off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the First Round Knock Out match, but before they focus on the playoffs, they must wrap up the regular season against the Seattle Sounders . Ahead of Sunday's regular season finale, check out my Three Points to the game below.
Agree or disagree with my observations, leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
A bone bruise on his left knee —as well as he later revealed, a posterior cruciate ligament—prevented LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan from playing in last week’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, but Donovan has declared himself ready for Sunday’s regular season finale against the Seattle Sounders.
Donovan has been trained throughout the week as he looks to return to full fitness before next Thursday’s First Round Knockout match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Galaxy captain is still listed as questionable on the club's injury report, but even though many assumed that he would be held out of Sunday with LA turning their focus to the playoffs, Donovan told reporters on Friday that he is ready to play.
“I’m available. I’m ready to play,” said Donovan. “Obviously we’re going to be smart about this weekend in general, with everybody, myself included. Bruce and David, I think, will size everyone up tomorrow morning. The guys that played [Thursday] in El Salvador and everyone else who’s been training this week, we’ll see how it goes.”
Donovan stated that even though he is still dealing with pain—“all part of it,” he says— and would not be opposed to taking an injection to get through it, he believes that he needs the minutes to get ready for the playoffs.
“It’s been awhile for me, so I want to get some minutes for sure. It’s a balance between being smart, not just with myself, but with everybody, being smart from staying sharp, hopefully avoiding injury for anybody and being ready to go on Thursday.”
The dominoes are beginning to fall as Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Spanish language Time Warner Cable Deportes begin to picked up by more and more distributors throughout Southern California.
On Friday, Time Warner Cable Sports announced that they had reached a deal with the Charter Networks to distribute the two channels as soon as Charter completes their technical preparations, which is expected to be completed on or before Oct. 31.
“Charter is committed to bring programming to our customers that mirror their interests,” said Allan Singer, Charter’s Senior Vice President of Programming said in a statement issued by Time Warner Cable Sports. “We are proud of Charter’s robust selection of sports programming. Charter is the first provider of this brand new programming in our service areas, and we know that the addition of these networks especially pleases our customers in Southern California.”
That wasn't the only agreement that TWC reached as the company issued a statement later in the evening stating that Time Warner Cable Sports had reached an agreement with Verizon FiOS. According to the release, details will be released in the coming days.
With the announcements, coverage for LA Galaxy games in English and Spanish, as well as supplementary programs in English and Spanish like Access SportsNet:Galaxy, Galaxy Revealed, and Vamos Galaxy.
Share your thoughts on the announcement below.
METAPAN, El Salvador. -- Michael Stephens has made his mark on the LA Galaxy, but if Thursday’s 3-2 result against Isidro Metapán is any indication, he’s proving his value as a leader, on and off the field as well.
The 24-year-old midfielder impressed during LA’s 3-2 CONCACAF Champions League victory in his efforts to marshal the Galaxy against a technical Metapán midfield. It wasn’t always easy, as Metapán’s speed and ball skills posed a challenge for the Galaxy. The night appeared to get worse in the 45th minute when Stephens saw a goal negated in the 45th minute after referee Hugo Cruz ruled that it had been in the goalkeeper’s possession, before Stephens slotted it in.
Stephens did not sulk over the play, instead providing a calming force on the field as Metapán would tie the match midway through the second half. Perhaps the, it was fitting that Stephens would put LA ahead for good, slotting a Pat Noonan shot that bounced off the bar the back of the net.
The work was hardly over for Stephens, however, as the midfielder’s clearances and timely tackles proved instrumental in helping the Galaxy maintain the 3-2 result. After Thursday’s victory, Stephens admitted that while he is just two seasons removed from his rookie’s season, he’s embracing his role as a leader of LA’s second team.
“I have a position of leadership with this team. The rookies this year have done a good job and this team has a real good fighting spirit,” said Stephens. “I think we’ve had a pretty steady line up with the first team so this reserve team has been together for most of the year. I think that really helped us tonight because of the continuity and being used to playing with each other.”
One player who has been the recipient of Stephens’ leadership is Garcia, who admits that his former college opponent has played a key role in his development in his rookie year.
“The guy has an engine that never stops. When we have players like that, it makes it a lot easier all around for everyone else,” said Garcia. “I played against him growing up and in college so me and Mikey have known each other for a while, but like anyone else, he makes everything simple. He helps you and gives you pointers and he’s a guy with great leadership skills, so when you have players like that the leadership comes out and everything else is much easier.”