Beat

20 October 6:26 pm

The Supporters' Shield is now in the possession of the San Jose Earthquakes. 

With Sporting Kansas City's scoreless draw with the New York Red Bulls, the Earthquakes clinched the trophy for the league's best record with two games remaining. San Jose returns to action on Sunday against the LA Galaxy in a match that still holds major playoff seeding implications for LA. With the Shield in their possession, the Earthquakes lock down home-field advantage throughout the MLS Cup Playoffs as well as the MLS Cup Final should they reach that far -- where they'd actually host match remians to be seen -- and a spot in the 2013/2014 CONCACAF Champions League.  The Earthquakes also break the Galaxy's streak of two consecutive Shield victories. To this date, no team has ever won the Shield in three consecutive seasons, the Galaxy (2010/2011), Columbus Crew (2008/2009), and D.C. United (2006/2007) have each won the Shield two years in a row. 

San Jose's clinching of the Shield could have implications on Sunday's match as head coach Frank Yallop may choose to rest players like the injured Alan Gordon as the team looks ahead to the playoffs. One player that is unlikely to take the pedal off the gas is forward Chris Wondolowski, who is chasing Roy Lassiter's MLS record for goals scored in a single season. Wondolowski's 25 goals are just two off Lassiter's mark of 27, which was set during the 1996 season. 

Check out the match preview for Sunday's match from LAGalaxy.com below.

20 October 2:48 pm

CARSON, Calif. – David Beckham was not present during the portion of the LA Galaxy’s training session that was open to the media on Saturday.

The session was the club’s final one before heading to San Jose for Sunday’s match at Buck Shaw Stadium against the San Jose Earthquakes.

A Galaxy spokesman declined comment when asked if Beckham was taking part in gym work earlier in the day. Beckham trained on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday with the Galaxy’s full squad, but was working out indoors during Friday’s session. The team was off on Wednesday.

20 October 10:09 am

 

For the first time since their foundation earlier in the month, Time Warner Cable SportsNet will air their first LA Galaxy game on Sunday with LA's match against the San Jose Earthquakes at Buck Shaw Stadium

Time Warner Cable Sports President David Rone spoke with the "Corner of the Galaxy" podcast with Josh Guesman and Jared DuBois about TWCS' new partnership with the Galaxy. Rone revealed a number of things in the interview, including that Time Warner Cable SportsNet will air 26 Galaxy games a year while Time Warner Cable Deportes will air 21 matches each season. 

Check out the podcast interview in full here.

19 October 7:10 pm

When the San Jose Earthquakes take on the LA Galaxy on Sunday, they may have to make do without forward Alan Gordon, who needed to be helped off the field due to a collision a collision in San Jose's training session on Friday.

 The injury occurred during an 11-on-11 scrimmage when Gordon's ankle collided with Jean-Marc Alexandre forcing the scrimmage to be immediately halted. Gordon limped off the field with the assistance of the Quakes’ training staff and immediately taken to the locker room.  A knock to Gordon could be a major blow to the Earthquakes as he has enjoyed the finest season of his career with San Jose, tallying 13 goals and seven assists this season.

Meanwhile, San Jose may have defender Ike Opara back from injury after the defender missed the last two matches due to concussion symptoms.  The defender returned to training on Friday, wearing protective headgear that may make him eligible to play on Sunday.  

More thoughts from the Earthquakes including quotes from Chris Wondolowski and head coach Frank Yallop on Gordon here.

19 October 4:59 pm

As a little break from all the pregame coverage of Sunday's battle between the LA Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes, take a look at this video tutorial from Galaxy Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan on one of LA's training exercises called the "Transfer Game."

19 October 4:49 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- With Landon Donovan "unlikely" to appear this weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes and seemingly targeting to return by the playoffs, the LA Galaxy must answer the question -- who starts alongside Irish forward Robbie Keane. 

Head coach Bruce Arena has a wealth of options to replace Donovan including forwards Edson Buddle, Jose Villarreal, and Pat Noonan as well as versatile midfielders Mike Magee and Christian Wilhelmsson.  It was Magee, who started a majority of games when Donovan was absent earlier in the year, but after training on Friday, Keane told reporters that Magee would not be starting up front. 

With one name seemingly crossed off, that leaves us to speculate on which player will take Donovan’s spot up top.

The likeliest option appears to be Buddle, who has played in the Galaxy’s last seven matches in all competitions since returning from knee surgery.  While Buddle’s physicality and ability to get in dangerous scoring positions makes him a valuable asset, he has yet to score since returning from injury. But as he has proved throughout his career, once Buddle gets one goal, the odds are that he’ll get another soon.

Meanwhile, Villarreal’s speed and ability to score highlight-reel goals makes him an option to start alongside Keane. However, the 18-year-old forward has seen limited minutes recently, making just two substitute appearances since the end of August. Noonan remains the unlikeliest of the bunch as he has appeared in just one game since August, but has shined for the Galaxy Reserve League squad—even scoring a brilliant goal in their recent 6-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps Reserves.  

Perhaps the most intriguing option is Wilhelmsson, who is primarily a wide player, but has seen limited minutes as a forward during his career. With his speed and ball skills, he could provide an effective complement alongside the more possession-oriented Keane, which could stretch opposing defenses.

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Who would you play alongside Keane?

Share your thoughts below. 

19 October 4:32 pm

For the first time in more than a year, the LA Galaxy will return to Buck Shaw Stadium to face the San Jose Earthquakes and in the build up, few on either side have forgetten what happened the last time the two teams met on the campus of Santa Clara University. 

The match on June 25, 2011 ended in a scoreless draw, but will remembered for the actions of Mike Magee, who helped the Galaxy hold the draw after being forced in between the pipes after an injury to starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts and a red card to back up Josh Saunders. 

In my latest feature for LAGalaxy.com, I revisit Magee's heroics at Buck Shaw. Read the piece here.

19 October 12:55 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan was back on the training ground on Friday for the first time since suffering a bone bruise in an Oct. 6 match against Real Salt Lake, but don't expect him to appear this Sunday against the San Jose Earthquakes.

On Friday, Donovan was admittedly on his own in training performing fitness work as he looks to return to action.  

Donovan returned to the club last week after withdrawing from the U.S. national team due to what was later revealed to be a bone bruise on his left knee. In an interview with Sirius XM FC earlier in the week, head coach Bruce Arena stated that the club hopes to have the Galaxy captain back at some point during LA's final two matches of the season, but on Friday, when questioned about Donovan's injury and whether or not he'd be ready by Sunday or the playoffs, the Galaxy coach said that "we're not going to worry about that right now."

Following practice, Donovan admitted that while his condition is improving, it remains an ongoing process-- one that may prevent him from playing against San Jose.

"I'm getting better, progressing, it's a slow process, but I have a goal of being ready by the playoffs whenever that may start and that's what we're going to go," said Donovan. "This week, I would say is unlikely, but next weekend is TBD [To be determined] and after that we'll see.

"I've never had a bruise, but a bone bruise can be pretty painful and it's really just now letting it heal and dealing with the pain threshold," added Donovan. "I think that if we were in different circumstances, I'd just play through the pain, but the goal now is the playoffs and if it takes a missing a couple of games at the end of the season then it's better to be ready for the playoffs."

The Galaxy captain discusses more of his injury as well as the impact on the U.S. National Team below...

DONOVAN: "Well, the play happened and I had been dealing with that injury for about a month and I was kind of playing through the pain and figured that it was just similar. It subsided a little bit after the game, I had Sunday to rest and I thought that I would go and see how it was, so I got there and Ivan looked at me and he said, let's just be sure and get an MRI just to be sure. When he went in, we found there was pretty significant damage to the knee so I'm glad that we did it. I likely, could have tried to get better and played, but I'm glad that we had something to look at so that we could know that there was some pretty serious damage there."

(On what the previous injury was...)

DONOVAN: "Same, there was a bone bruise and also a PCL tear so that's been what has bothered me for the last couple of months."

(On when the injury surfaced…)

DONOVAN: “No, we were trying to pinpoint where it's from, but I've been in pain for a couple months and we weren't quite sure when any of those happened. One could have happened before the other, they could have happened simultaneously, it's hard to know."

(On whether he’ll require surgery in the offseason…)

DONOVAN: “We'll see, we're not sure yet."

(On where he experienced the injury and whether or not it happened during the Mexico friendly in August...)

DONOVAN: “Since the injury in the Mexico game, I've had all sorts of stuff with this leg...It's possible, I don't think it did, I think that it was probably on the way back from that and then as I recovered from that, something probably happened so hard to know."

 

18 October 6:46 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Todd Dunivant is fit and ready to start in Sunday's match against the San Jose Earthquakes, and the LA Galaxy will need him at his best as he prepares to face off against dangerous San Jose winger Marvin Chavez. 

Dunivant will be tasked with stopping the speedy Honduran winger, who has been an integral of the Earthquakes success this year, notching a team-leading ten assists as well as two goals. While Chavez's speed poses a major threat to the Galaxy back four, Dunivant is confident that the LA can slow down the fleet-footed Honduran.

"You want to try and limit his touches as much as possible. The more touches that he has, the better off they're going to be, that’s rule number one. Once he gets it, then you have to do a good job of containing and keep him in front of you, once he gets in behind you, you're not catching him," said Dunivant. "As a back line, we're going to have to breathing as a group, moving forward and back and making sure that we're always connected. If we start to get stretched and some guys are up while some guys are back then we’ll be in a lot of trouble."

18 October 6:01 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Christian Wilhelmsson is back from international duty with Sweden and has his eyes set on starting role with the LA Galaxy.

During the international break, Wilhelmsson started and went 66 minutes for the Swedes in their 2-1 victory over The Faroe Islands last week before serving as an unused substitute during Sweden’s dramatic 4-4 draw with Germany on Tuesday. The results put the Swedes into second place in UEFA World Cup Qualifying Group C, one point ahead of Robbie Keane's Ireland. 

Now that Wilhelmsson has returned to Southern California, the Swedish winger admits that he has shaken off a left calf strain that plagued him prior to the international break and is ready for a spot in the starting lineup—beginning this weekend against the San Jose Earthquakes.

“Fitness is good now; I’ve been working for a month now. It’s just a matter of playing games and getting into the game,” said Wilhelmsson. “As a player, you always want to play I’m just excited to show myself and help the team as much as possible and you can only do that on the field. I’m excited. I hope that I get in there soon and get in the shape that I was in before I came to L.A.”

But what of the dramatic comeback against Germany? It was simply “incredible,” says Wilhelmsson.

“That was some crazy stuff going on there, I don’t know, it was incredible,” said Wilhelmsson. “They played their best football in the first half and thought it’d be easy five or six to zero for them, but it was three to zero and then with an early goal in the second half, it was four to zero so we thought it was finished. When we scored, four to one, it was still quite even, but we scored on the four chances that we got in the game so it was incredible.

“Normally, [a comeback is] not possible against a team like Germany in Berlin; it was one kind of a night and just incredible,” Wilhelmsson added. “One point against Germany is always good and the way that we did it was amazing so we’re very satisfied and we need to keep going.”