CARSON, Calif. – Contests between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA are always heated even at the academy level, but the claims of a Chivas youth coach last week added extra fuel to the fire.
Prior to the Galaxy’s clean sweep of Chivas’ U-14, U-16 and U-18 sides, Rojiblancos U-14 head coach Brian Kleiban told the club’s official website that he turned down the same gig with LA to replace the departed Greg Vanney who left to lead the Toronto FC Academy. Kleiban’s side suffered the widest margin of defeat as LA’s U-14’s defeated Chivas 4-0 on Saturday.
Following the match, I spoke to Galaxy Academy Director Peter Vagenas about the results at each age level and the “collaborative” effort ongoing between himself and coaches Mike Munoz and Ante Razov to lead the team in a piece on LAGalaxy.com. Vagenas later elaborated on the search for what he describes as one of the Academy’s most vital posts.
“I assure you that I’ve done my due diligence and I’ve spoken to many different people about the possibilities of working with the team. That being said, there’s been a long list of candidates and it’s not something that I take lightly,” Vagenas told LA Galaxy Insider. “I can make an argument that it is as important of an Academy position as there is. In that sense, I’m going through and continuing to make sure that we find the right person.
“I will continue to do so, but I have not yet found the right person,” added Vagenas. “We have unique and high standards for all our coaches in the academy and rather than force a square peg into a round hole, I’d rather exhaust all my options and make sure that we get the right individual to lead our young men.”
LA Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Perk is up for MLSsoccer.com's Save of the Week after his quick stop of Real Salt Lake attacker Ned Grabavoy that helepd preserve a 1-1 draw between the Western Conference rivals.
Perk made his first start since May 26, 2012 after starting goalkeeper Jaime Penedo missed the match to attend to his visa in Panama earlier in the week. The 24-year-old's save came in the 57th minute when he pounced on a low-rolling effort by Grabavoy toward the Galaxy near post.
Vote for Perk's save here and view all the nominees below.
LA Galaxy players A.J. DeLaGarza and Robbie Keane were named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on Monday for their performances in LA's 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
DeLaGarza shined in his 72 minute appearance starting at center back, the Galaxy defender helped limit RSL's chances by making timely blocks and clearances before being forced to exit due to injury after a harsh challenge by Alvaro Saborio. Meanwhile, Keane tallied the club's lone goal of the afternoon in a fine individual effort that is also up for MLSsoccer.com's Goal of the Week.
Robbie Keane's brilliant finish against Real Salt Lake is up for MLSsoccer.com's Goal of the Week honors.
Keane tallied his first MLS goal of the 2014 campaign came during the 34th minute as he capitalized on an RSL turnover that led to a Galaxy break up field which ultimately culiminated in a near-post blast by Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando. For his role in LA's 1-1 draw, Keane was also named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week along with defender A.J. DeLaGarza.
Vote for Keane here and check out all the nominees below.
The LA Galaxy Academy picked up a clean sweep of their rivals from Chivas USA with three wins at the Under-14, Under-16 and Under-18 levels.
In the early game on Saturday afternoon at the Chivas Academy sports complex in Bell Gardens, the Galaxy U-14's thumped their rivals 4-0 with goals from braces from Noa Harrison and Leo Zulli.
The most exciting contest of the afternoon was between the U-18 sides as the two clubs played a back and forth match that featured a hat trick from Academy starlet Jaime Villarreal. After Chivas USA battled to even the score at three goals apiece, Galaxy striker Steve Martinez scored late into stoppage time to give the LA U-18's a 4-3 win over the Rojiblancos. The Galaxy U-18's will host Real So Cal next week at StubHub Center.
The final match was much less thrilling than the U-18 contest as LA's U-16 side dominated from start to finish against Chivas with a 3-1 win with goals from Rey Ortiz, Adrian Vera and Christian Onalfo, the son of Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo. The U-16's also host Real So Cal next week as they look to extend their 20 game unbeaten run in USSDA play.
SANDY, Utah -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts following LA's 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake.
Check it out below.
(On the result...)
ARENA: “It was a well-earned point. Our guys played a pretty good game today. I think we obviously made a tactical error on their goal, but our guys showed a lot of character in the way they came back and got the goal. I think they played a good second half. Perhaps there was a chance through there we could have been a bit better with. But I think it’s a fair result and a really good effort by our team given the circumstances – the injuries we had to deal with during the game, the field conditions were poor, the altitude. To get a point out of it is a good result.”
(On the status of DF James Riley and DF A.J. DeLaGarza...)
ARENA: “We don’t know anything yet before we get back and have the doctors look at them. DeLaGarza probably only has a contusion from a bad tackle – it was a bad tackle so I’m sure the league will be looking at it.”
(On thetactical changes coming into this game...)
ARENA: “We were going to make changes in this game regardless. [Stefan] Ishizaki and [Baggio] Husidic needed to play. We wanted to get them into the midfield and to design a midfield where we could take advantage of those two players with Juninho and [Landon] Donovan. That’s why we went the way we did today and I think the guys did well. I think that [Dan] Gargan, [Marcelo] Sarvas, and Leonardo did very well coming in off the bench.”
(On Landon Donovan's play...)
ARENA: "Landon did a good job, I thought we were a little bit tired because of the altitude at the end of both halves, but Landon helped us create some chances where we didn't finish off the play, bt it was a good effort."
(On Robbie Keane's goal...)
ARENA: "Great goal. No question about it. I think that Robbie did really well on the day and we look forward to getting back in two weeks."
(On Brian Perk's performance...)
ARENA: "He played very well and made a big save on Grabavoy that made a difference in the game."
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio drew the ire of the LA Galaxy for his second half challenge on LA defender A.J. DeLaGarza following the two teams 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon.
The challenge occurred in the 62nd minute when DeLaGarza’s right leg was clipped from behind by the Costa Rican in a play that earned Saborio a yellow card caution from Ismail Elfath. Although the Galaxy defender tried to continue—even making several timely tackles – he was ultimately substituted nine minutes later with what LA head coach Bruce Arena later described as a “ankle contusion.”
DeLaGarza will be further evaluated once the team returns to LA, but his prognosis did not stop his Galaxy teammates from taking Saborio to task.
“That was pretty dirty on his part. He was definitely trying to hurt A.J. and I think that he succeeded,” said Gonzalez. “Fortunately for us, we have players that can come off the bench and we finished the game strong.”
Landon Donovan took it to another level, stating that he would be surprised if Saborio is not met with a suspension by the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
“I’m trying to figure out how that is not a red card. You see his leg and you see the intent and how nasty that was. I’d be very surprised if there is no further action taken,” said Donovan. "It’s okay to be tough and physical, but you don’t want to be nasty and that was a pretty nasty one.”
Regardless of whether or not Saborio is suspended, DeLaGarza is simply looking to return as soon as possible with the Galaxy not playing another match until an April 6 road match against Chivas USA.
“I hope that it’s not that bad, but right now it looks bad,” DeLaGarza told LA Galaxy Insider after the match. “Right after it happened; it was already swollen like a second calf. I told the ref and he only got a yellow.”
SANDY, Utah -- The LA Galaxy suffered an injury blow during Saturday afternoon's match against Real Salt Lake as James Riley suffered a left knee injury.
The 32-year-old suffered the injury in the 29th minute when he was taken down by RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy. Riley was eventually helped off the field by LA's training staff and removed in favor of Dan Gargan in the 33rd minute of play.
More to come.
In the latest edition of What to Watch For, Time Warner SportsNet play-by-play man Joe Tutino and I break down the LA Galaxy's first road match of the 2014 season against Real Salt Lake.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy suffered through a poor defensive performance during their disappointing 4-2 defeat to Club Tijuana on Tuesday which may lead tdefensive changes ahead of their match against Real Salt Lake.
The back four of A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo and James Riley conceded three times in the opening 30 minutes, which prompted head coach Bruce Arena to pull Riley in favor of Todd Dunivant. This stopped the bleeding enough for LA to pull back a goal, but the group ultimately conceded for a fourth and final time in the closing stages to help LA crash out of the CONCACAF Champions League.
“Things turn over quickly,” said Arena. “It’s good to have a game and test ourselves again….These are professional athletes and they need to put all of that [happened in Tijuana] behind you.”
Dunivant appears to be the most likely switch as he declared himself “ready to go” and healthy for the RSL match following LA’s training session on Thursday morning. However, Arena’s changes may not stop there. Brazilian center back Leonardo was arguably the biggest struggler against Tijuana and Arena may opt to replace him with any myriad of options.
With defenders Kofi Opare and Kyle Venter loaned to LA Galaxy II for their inaugural match, defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Tommy Meyer are the front runners to see time alongside Gonzalez. Reuniting the pairing that won the 2012 MLS Cup would likely cause the Galaxy to make just two changes while moving DeLaGarza to central defense could offer a major shift for the Galaxy.
Moving DeLaGarza over to the center allows Arena to place Riley—or fellow veteran Dan Gargan—at THEl right back position while reuniting a center back pairing that has enjoyed plenty of success in recent years. When paired together, the University of Maryland pairing have helped LA earn a 27-8-12 record in regular season games.
Although he would not commit to the prospect of changes, DeLaGarza did hint that Arena may make moves for Salt Lake.
“I’m not sure what is going to happen just yet. I’m sure you’ll find out on Saturday,” said DeLaGarza. “A couple of us know what is going on, but we just need anyone to be on the same page both offensively and attacking wise.”
What changes would you make, if any?
Share them below.