Training Update: Bruce Arena impressed with Omar Gonzalez performance against Seattle; says Todd Dunivant continuing to return from injury
CARSON, Calif. -- Ever steadily, the LA Galaxy are returning to full fitness.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez and left back Robbie Rogers each made their return from ankle injuries in LA's 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC on Monday. Both players were instrumental in the shutout, but Gonzalez's performance, in particular, was impressive as the central defender was making his first appearance since the U.S. National Team's Round of 16 defeat to Belgium on July 1.
Steady when he was tested, Gonzalez drew high marks for his performance against the Sounders from head coach Bruce Arena who was impressed by the defender's fitness.
"He played well," said Arena. "I think that a couple more games would be good for his fitness, but he played better than I anticipated."
Arena also provided an update on the status of left back Todd Dunivant, who recently returned training as he looks to overcome an abdominal injury that he suffered in April that forced him to undergo surgery, but did not confirm if he'll suit up for USL PRO affiliate LA Galaxy II before making his return to action.
"He’s doing well," Arena said. "He had a good training session, but I haven't decided yet [when he'll return]."
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CARSON, Calif. - LA Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena offered no comment on the reports linking the Galaxy with U.S. international Sacha Kljestan, but he did shed some light on the team's actions ahead of the Aug. 6 transfer deadline.
Following training on Thursday, the Galaxy boss revealed that the team has been in talks with the two teams ahead of them on the allocation order -- the Columbus Crew and FC Dallas -- about moving up from the third spot that they acquired in a deal with D.C. United for defender Kofi Opare and a draft pick.
"I don't make public how I go about doing our business, but, obviously, you talk to those teams; isn't that common sense?" Arena told reporters.
Although Arena offered some clarification on what the Galaxy may do, he did not offer a timeline for when any deal might get done.
"If we make a move and get it accomplished," said Arena. "[People] will know."
LOS ANGELES -- The LA Galaxy visited Children's Hospital Los Angeles on Thursday as part of the team's partnership with the hospital.
During the visit, Landon Donovan and six other players (A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Rob Friend, Baggio Husidic, Tommy Meyer, and Gyasi Zardes) visited with patients and received an in-depth tour of the facilities. CHLA will serve as the title sponsor for "This is LA" day StubHub Center on Saturday that will see 15,000 fans receive special 'This is LA" t-shirt presented by CHLA.
WIthout a doubt, the highlight of the visit was Donovan's participation in a puppet show with Audrey, a four-year-old patient at CHLA.
Check it out below.
SEATTLE – Robbie Rogers has been searching for a position to call home with the LA Galaxy after a vagabond first season with the club, but it appears that the defender has, at last, found his place at left back.
Back for the first time since early-July after overcoming an ankle injury, Rogers provided needed width along the left side of the defense while also aiding the Galaxy attack with piercing runs forward. After playing his sixth match across all competitions along the left side of defense, Rogers went as far to admit that he feels as though he has become a full-fledged left back.
“It felt great, especially the first half. My ankle still feels sore, so I didn’t know if I was going to be ready to play, but I’ve played through injuries and I really wanted to play in this one,” Rogers told LA Galaxy Insider. “I really wanted to play in the Kansas City game, but I wasn’t ready and I tried to train and be ready for that but I’ve really enjoyed playing left back and right back when I played against Chicago.
“I feel more comfortable [at the [position] the more games I play,” he added. “I was happy to participate and contribute, but I still think that I can improve a lot more.
In arguably his best performance along the flank, Rogers worked well with midfielder Landon Donovan to shut down the Sounders right sided attackers while also making overlapping runs that pinned Seattle back in their own end. Following the match, Rogers’ stat sheet was indicative of his efforts as he finished the game with an impressive stat line that included seven interceptions and seven recoveries.
Rogers’ quick ability to adapt to his new defensive role has led some to compare him to DaMarcus Beasley, another former midfielder who extended his career several years by making the move to the back line.
Quite familiar with Beasley’s game due to their time on the U.S. national team, Rogers admits that the move may look similar to the new Houston Dynamo Designated Player’s change on the surface, but he shrugged of any comparisons.
“DaMarcus and I are just different. Even when we played left wing we were different,” said Rogers. “Even though they are the same position, I wouldn't compare the way that we play. I don’t think that the way that we play is similar.”
Five members of the LA Galaxy Academy will join 54 other stars from MLS academies to take part in the Generation adidas ESP Event in Portland starting this Friday.
Among the five players selected are Jose Enrique Bustamante and Ethan Zubak who played a major role in the Galaxy Under-16 side that won the U-15/16 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy title defeating Real Salt Lake AZ earlier this month. Joining Bustamante and Zubak are fellow U-16’s Kevin Diaz and Tyson Griffin as well as Under-14 academy goalkeeper Jordan Aldama.
The Galaxy players and the rest of the MLS contingent will not only face each other in a series of matches, but also take on the FC Bayern Munich U-16 team as part of the festivities that will lead up to the 2014 AT&T MLS All-Star Game that will see the MLSers take on the Bayern Munich first team.
SEATTLE— It had been quite some time since Omar Gonzalez donned the LA Galaxy uniform, but the center back made sure that his first stint for LA since May was a successful one as he helped the Galaxy keep a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC.
In his first appearance back, Gonzalez and center back partner A.J. DeLaGarza were rarely tested as the Galaxy sought to maintain possession and press the Sounders early. When Seattle did push forward, outside backs Robbie Rogers and Dan Gargan limited the Sounders’ service in wide position allowing Gonzalez and DeLaGarza to focus solely on containing the likes of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins.
It’s been maybe like three months since I’ve worn the Galaxy jersey and been out there with my teammates and so coming out here tonight in beautiful Seattle, in front of so many fans, was just a great feeling. Specifically getting three points and doing it in the fashion that we did was just amazing,” Gonzalez said. “[Getting the shutout] meant everything to us. There were a couple of times when even Robbie [Keane] and Landon [Donovan] were saying [to the team] ‘we don’t give up a goal.’
“And that just goes to show how committed we were to really making a statement and showing that this is the second half of the season and we’re ready. And even though we were up 3-0, but we didn’t want to give any goals.”
Despite all the optimistic surrounding the victory, Gonzalez insisted that the Galaxy back four still had plenty of work left to accomplish if they’re to make a push for the Supporters’ Shield during the stretch run.
“I think we still need a little bit of work, going forward I think there are some things that we need to work on but tonight I thought we did well,” said Gonzalez. “Seattle didn’t have much going [forward]; I don’t think they got a shot [on goal] until maybe the 70th minute or something, so if we can keep on doing that, we’re going to be in a good spot.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy acquired the third spot in the MLS allocation order on Tuesday and now a report has surfaced revealing what the Galaxy may intend to do with their allocation slot.
Citing an annoymous league source, Soccer By Ives' Franco Panizo reported on Tuesday morning that the Galaxy are currently finalizing a deal to acquire U.S. international Sacha Kljestan. Panizo reports that the Galaxy would acquire former Chivas USA midfielder and current R.S.C. Anderlecht attacker via a six-month loan and offer him a Designated Player-type salary but since the move is being made midseason, LA will be able to pro-rate his deal and reduce his cap hit by paying his contract down using allocation money
According to Panizo, one of the team's in front of the Galaxy -- either the Columbus Crew or FC Dallas -- is also said to be interested in acquring the midfielder but is unable to afford the loan fee that the Belgian club will require for Kljestan's signature. Should the deal be completed, the 28-year-old midfielder from Huntington Beach would return to a laegue where he spent the 2006 through 2010 seasons with Chivas USA.
After practice on Wednesday, LA Galaxy Insider spoke to LA head coach and general manager Bruce Arena about the team's moves and the reported interest in Kljestan, but Arena offered no comment.
"I have no comments on any players that are affiliated with other clubs. I never have," Arena said. "When we've made a move, we will make it public. Nothing has been achieved at this point."
Following their convincing 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC on Monday evening, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and Marcelo Sarvas were named to MLSscocer.com's Team of the Week.
Donovan and Sarvas had a hand in all three Galaxy goals with Donovan ending the evening with one goal and two assists while the Brazilian tallied one assist in a dominant performance in central midfield. Meanwhile Gonzalez was confident in defense in his first match back from an ankle injury as LA silenced the Sounders attack.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was also named Coach of the Week while right back Dan Gargan was named to the team of the week bench.
SEATTLE— It was the moment that left U.S. National Team fans aghast.
In the third minute of first half stoppage time of the LA Galaxy’s 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, a scuffle ensued between LA’s Omar Gonzalez and Seattle’s Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin.
The sequence began when Yedlin went up for a header with A.J. DeLaGarza and appeared to launch an elbow at the Galaxy center back. Gonzalez spotted hard challenge and promptly pushed Yedlin to the pitch with Demspey descending upon his USMNT teammate moments later for a heated exchange. For his role in the tussle, only Omar Gonzalez earned a caution from as tempers remained high between both sides throughout the rest of the Galaxy’s road win.
The altercation between the two teams led to plenty of attention during the game, but after the match it was hardly mentioned as only Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan addressed the in-game tension.
“It’s enjoyable. It’s competitive, and our team wasn’t going to back down and we don’t want guys to back down. We don’t want to be stupid, but we want to be competitive and Seattle is the same way,” Donovan said. “Sigi [Schmid] is an excellent coach and he always has them ready to go. All that stuff happens after the game. You shake hands and you move on, but it was a good game, it was a competitive game, but a clean game.”
LA Galaxy deal Kofi Opare and 2015 second round draft pick to D.C. United for third spot in MLS allocation order
The LA Galaxy obtained the third spot in the MLS allocation order in exchange for second-year center back Kofi Opare and a 2015 MLS SuperDraft second round selection on Tuesday.
Opare has made a total of 12 MLS regular season appearances for the LA Galaxy and last started for LA during their 2-1 defeat to Sporting Kansas City on July 19. The second-year center back out of Michigan also started LA's two postseason matches in 2013 as well.
“This is a move that gives us the necessary flexibility to strengthen our roster,” said Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said in a statement. “We thank Kofi for his contributions here and wish him the best in D.C.”
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