CARSON, Calif. -- This week the LA Galaxy first team will embark on their first trip of the season, a trip that includes a visit to the White House, but while they meet the President, the Galaxy Academy will face their own test as they take part in the prestigious Dallas Cup youth tournament in the Gordon Jago Super Group.
The Galaxy take an accomplished roster to Texas that includes the likes of Homegrown defender Oscar Sorto, defensive standouts like U-20 center back Javan Torre and goalkeeper Juan Cervantes as well midfielder wunderkinds Paul Arriola and Raul Mendiola, and forwards Justin Dhillon and Jaime Villarreal (brother of Jose Villarreal).
LA open tournament play on Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. PT against German club Eintract Frankfurt at the Cotton Bowl. LA then takes on Fulham FC at 10 a.m. PT on March 25 at the University of Texas at Dallas campus before concluding group play on March 27 against defending Dallas Cup champions Coritiba FC at 2 p.m. PT on the campus of Richland College.
Ahead of Dallas Cup, Sorto and Torre discuss the tournament below...
SORTO: "It'll be something special. Leading the team against such hard teams is going to be a big test for me and I'm expecting a lot from my teammates. We're just training and since our opponents are from other countries, we're just training and getting ready. I'm positive with the team that we're taking because last year, we went to Spain and did an excellent job so I'm confident that we can do well again."
TORRE: "The tournament has been around for 34 years and has a lot of prestige and I'm just glad to be a part of us...[This tournament] will definitely help me as a player. It's just more experience at a high level and it's always good to get those games in. I think that playing in front of such a crowd gives you a lot to work for."
Remember, Time Warner Cable Deportes is broadcasting all nine Gordon Jago Super Group games being held at the Cotton Bowl including the semifinals and the finals of the tournament.
How will the Galaxy Academy perform at Dallas Cup?
Share your thoughts below.
LAGalaxy.com's Paolo Ferrari was among those who caught up with goal scorer Mike Magee after the LA Galaxy's 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Check out the video below...
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy were dominant on both sides of the ball in Sunday's 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids, but without a red card by Colorado defender Drew Moor that led to an LA penalty kick by Mike Magee, the story could have been different.
The play occurred in the 48th minute when Moor appeared to elbow Sarvas during an off-the-ball challenge resulting in referee Armando Villarreal to give the defender a straight red card and call a penalty. Magee quickly stepped to take the penalty and launched it past 'keeper Clint Irwin for the game winner.
Following the match, Sarvas broke down what exactly happened on the play...
“It wasn’t an elbow. It was a hand. He punched me. I have no idea; I have to see the replay. I don’t know where it came from. [He] just hit my face and I fell down,” said Sarvas. “I didn’t say anything to him. He was just walking; I stopped in front of him. I don’t know, he probably lost his mind. For sure.
Sarvas was quick to admit that he believes he is still healthy after the foul, but he told reporters that he had not ever been a part of such a challenge in his career.
“[There’s ] not many [fouls] like that in soccer,” said Sarvas. It’s more boxing.”
Moor offered his own explanation for the play by saying that he was "disappointed" in himself for the foul.
Video of the play is below...
CARSON, Calif. – Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal were pleased with their performance in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The only thing that was missing, however, was missing was a goal.
McBean and Villarreal were dynamic from the opening whistle as they resumed their Academy and Reserve League partnership due to the absence of captain Robbie Keane. Villarreal set the tone early with a header in the third minute that was saved by Clint Irwin as the pair continued to rack up scoring opportunities until McBean saw a shot saved by Irwin in the 86th minute.
In the end, the pair accounted for seven shots on goal –four for McBean and three for Villarreal— only three fewer than LA’s total on the night. Although Mike Magee scored the lone goal on a penalty kick, McBean felt confident about his showing in just his fifth MLS appearance.
“We talked to each other before the game, we knew that we were going to make mistakes; it’s just how you rebound from them,” said McBean. “I thought we both worked for each other and kept positive attitudes, it was fun.”
Following the match, the teenagers’ teammates were plenty complimentary of their performance.
“We were actually kind of excited to see what those two would do together and obviously, they were good tonight,” said Magee.
“They were all over the field; they had a great game and were unlucky not to score,” added defender Todd Dunivant. “Maybe the forward duo that I’ve ever played with, but they were great.”
What may have made them great, according to Villarreal was their age. The pair have had plenty of success in Academy, Reserve League and CONCACAF Champions League matches in the past and were eager to make that success translate to the league level.
“We just went at the defenders. We didn’t care if they were veterans in the league or not,” said Villarreal. “It’s a matter of us implementing our style of play and our aggressiveness.”
Dunivant was quick to agree that their brashness will only help them going forward.
“They were fearless. That’s probably what makes them as good as they are because they don’t even know what they’re doing, which is a good thing,” said Dunivant. “There is brashness there and it works for them. Jose is taking shots and he’s aggressive and Jack is holding up the ball there for us and that stuff is going to add up. Those guys are going to be big for us.”
CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena offered his thoughts following the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids.
Arena’s press conference transcript is below…
(On the performance of Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal…)
ARENA: “I think they did well tonight. Each could have had a goal perhaps, but I think Colorado's goalkeeper played well; to his credit. If we're at fault for anything tonight, certainly keeping them around for ninety minutes was a flaw in our performance. I think we had chances to get the second and third goal. Give them credit, they never quit. Their goalkeeper played extremely well. At the end of the game, at least we were solid enough this week to make sure we got the three points. “
(On struggling to get chances after the red card…)
ARENA: “I don't think that's accurate. We had some chances to score goals.”
(On the importance of the red card…)
ARENA: “It was important. It brought them down to ten players and there was penalty kick so it was a huge play in the game.”
(On the defensive performance…)
ARENA: “Good performance. They've been good all year. We've conceded two goals in five competitive matches now. For the most part we've been pretty good.”
(On Leonardo’s performance…)
ARENA: “[He is] playing very well. [After his] Comeback, if you want to call it that, from some serious injuries over the last couple years has been remarkable. It looks to me that he's jumping very well, as you can see tonight the number of headers he won, and he's getting his speed back. We're real pleased with Leo and throughout the year we're going to need to have a lot of depth in our back line and certainly he's only made it stronger by the way he's been able to come back.”
(On whether Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane’s return offers the Galaxy a buffer in tight games…)
ARENA: “There's no guarantees. Robbie played last week too, you know, and the result wasn't the same. It'll be great to get Robbie back, I don't know if he's going to be ready to play against Toronto after this international spell. We'll have to see how he is when we get to D.C. And Landon's going to take some time. That's all part of it. It's good that these young players are at a point that we can count on them as well."
Thoughts on the performance?
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We're just a few hours away from the LA Galaxy's match against the Colorado Rapids. Before you begin your pregame ritual, check out my links and match ups to watch...
*Robbie Keane is unavailable due to international duty and while LA have a host of options up top. One possibility could see Homegrown forwards Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean together. If they do, veteran Mike Magee has confidence that they can succeed.
*Keane's absence means that Todd Dunivant will takeover the captain's armband.
*Forward isn't the place that head coach Bruce Arena will have to make a change in central defense as he must also replace defender Omar Gonzalez.
*Whoever starts in the Galaxy defense will need to put the brakes on speedy Jamaican forward Deshorn Brown.
*LAGalaxy.com writer Larry Morgan provided his preview to the match against the Rapids.
*Lastly, my Three Points to the game.
MATCH UPS TO WATCH
Deshorn Brown vs. A.J. DeLaGarza
Perhaps the key match up of the night, Brown has been a revelation for Colorado during the first three matches of his career, but he'll face a stiff test in the crafty DeLaGarza. Expect the Galaxy to allow DeLaGarza to use his speed to blanket the quick Jamaican forward.
Todd Dunivant and Colin Clark vs. Marvell Wynne
Not a traditional match up but Galaxy captain Todd Dunivant and Colin Clark will have their hands full with Marvel Wynne, who has been known to create chances with his wide receiver-like speed while blazing down the flanks.
Galaxy midfield duo vs. Colorado's midfield trio
The battle for possession will come down to LA's Brazilian midfield pair of Marcelo Sarvas and Juninho against Colorado's midfield triangle of Kevin Harbottle, Hendry Thomas and Dillon Powers. Colorado will be looking to pressure LA into conceding possession -- perhaps not unlike what Chivas USA did last week -- which means that LA's Brazilian midfield must spread the ball around and open up space in the attack.
Cudicini; Franklin, DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Dunivant; Magee, Sarvas, Juninho, Clark; Villarreal, McBean
Galaxy 2-1. Goals from Villarreal, Dunivant (LA) and Brown (COL).
What is your predicted lineup for the game? What is the predicted score?
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A little programming note ahead of Saturday's LA Galaxy match.
I'll be answering questions from fans during the Access SportsNet: Galaxy ahead of each game televised on Time Warner Cable SportsNet. You can tweet your questions to #GalaxyInsider and they'll be answered by myself, analyst Clint Mathis and host Chris McGee.
Be sure to turn in at 7:00 to catch the show.
In case you missed it, check out last night's incredible highlights of Friday night's U.S. victory over Costa Rica at a snowy Dick's Sporting Goods Park.
Watch them below...
What did you think of the performance?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez started and went 90 minutes as the United States earned a 1-0 over Costa Rica in a World Cup Qualifier played in a blizzard-like conditions at Dick's Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, Colorado.
Clint Dempsey put the U.S. head for good in the 16th minute as he tapped in a deflection forced by a Jozy Altidore shot. Gonzalez and the U.S. return to action on Tuesday against Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City. El Tri drew Honduras 2-2 in San Pedro Sula, Honduras on Friday.
The U.S. is now in second place in the Hexagonal with three points, one point behind group leader Honduras. Panama is in third place level on points with Mexico and Jamaica with two, but ahead on goal differential while Costa Rica is at the bottom of the group with one point.
Dempsey's goal is below...