CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy announced on Wednesday that the club will participate in the inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup, an eight-team competition that will take place across the United States and Europe this summer from July 27 to Aug. 7.
Following training on Wednesday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena discussed the club's participation in the tournament.
"We’ve been involved each and every summer in international matches. It’s more of the same. I didn't read the press release in its entirety, but it certainly, seems like a great collection of international teams, I recall Madrid...Juventus, Inter Milan. Those are great teams for the fans to see in this country," said Arena, who also mentioned the possibility of Tottenham Hotspur participating. "I think the fans always enjoy even if it’s just preseason exhibitions, they’re the greatest players in the world so it’s a fabulous opportunity for not only our players to get on the field with the likes of those players , but for the fans it’s also exciting."
The tournament will fall in the club's normally hectic summer schedule, though the Galaxy have no league matches scheduled between July 27 and August 11, but Arena believes that there is plenty for the Galaxy to gain against top-tier competition.
“It’s always good to see those players. Sometimes those games don’t come at a perfect time, but I think overall, there’s a clearly a benefit for our club in terms of recognition playing against some of the great clubs in the world," said Arena. "Obviously, for our players to be up close and personal with great players in the world and see how they conduct themselves on and off the field. That’s always a great learning experience especially for our younger players."
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy confirmed on Wednesday that they will participate in the eight-team Guinness International Champions Cup this summer.
The tournament will open on July 27 in Europe at a venue to be determined before heading to the United States where the rest of the tournament will be contested over the course of six days in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Phoenix, and Indianapolis. The tournament will wrap up at Sun Life Stadium in Miami Gardens, FL on August 6-7. LA will be joined in the tournament by Real Madrid, Juventus and Inter Milan and the remaining four clubs will be announced on May 7. The tournament's schedule will be announced at a later date.
“It is an honor for the Galaxy to be able to represent Major League Soccer against some of the world’s top clubs in the inaugural Guinness International Champions Cup,” Galaxy President Chris Klein said in a club release, “Our fans are accustomed to seeing their team take on the world’s elite club teams in summer friendlies and we are excited to be able to continue that tradition here in the Southern California as well as in other cities throughout the United States.”
Thoughts on the tournament? Excited for LA's participation?
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CARSON, Calif. – The attention and acclaim for LA Galaxy Homegrown forward Gyasi Zardes was completely understandable once the flashy 21-year-old striker signed with LA in January. Now nearing a full recovery after a crack in the fifth metatarsal of his left foot cut him down in preseason, Zardes is ready to turn some of that potential into production.
Zardes went 17 minutes in the Galaxy’s 1-1 Reserve League draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Monday in his first action since starting a 3-0 preseason victory over USL Pro side Los Angeles Blues on Feb. 5. The attacker’s speed and nose for goal was clearly unmistakable in two preseason appearances, but on Feb. 11, Zardes was forced to the sidelines after undergoing surgery to foot surgery after a freak incident with a pair of running shoes.
Since the injury, Zardes has drawn positive reviews for his recovery and after training with the team during their six day, two-country road trip last week and an appearance in a reserve match; he is feeling more positive than ever.
“I'm feeling pretty good. I haven't played a game in so long, but it felt good to be out there again. I felt fatigued after a couple of sprints, but that's normal coming back from injury,” said Zardes. “For me coming in, I definitely need to work on my fitness. It's a practice game and that's how they told me to consider it so I did.”
Immediately after coming on, Zardes wasted no time creating a chance against Seattle, but despite receiving a pass inside the penalty area, he was unable to find a waiting teammate to create a chance on goal. Zardes made several more dangerous runs during his brief shift, but was unable to fire a shot on frame. After the match, Galaxy assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo took note of Zardes’ performance.
“Gyasi brought some good energy when he came on, he had a chance,” Onalfo said. “He did well and it would have been nice to sneak in a goal there.”
Key to Zardes’ recovery was that trip to Monterrey and Dallas where he was able to experience life on the road with his team for the first time in his young career. During that sojourn, LA head coach Bruce Arena allowed the youngster to train briefly with the team, leading to Zardes’ Reserve League appearance.
“The coaches have been utilizing me and helping me get in slowly,” said Zardes. "[Monday], they gave me the last 10 to 15 minutes, which I'm thankful of to get back in the swing of things.”
Zardes’ recovery will undergo another benchmark on Wednesday as the rookie forward will train with the club fully for the first. Hungry to finally make his mark with his hometown club, Zardes can’t wait to make his debut.
“I'm so excited and I've been out for so long,” said Zardes. “I've been anxiously waiting and it’s going to feel great coming back.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Tommy Meyer was hindered by left hamstring strain for much of the preseason, but fully fit yet again, the defender has made a pair of appearances over the last three days that may have him in contention for a starting spot yet again.
The second year center back went 90 minutes in the Galaxy's 1-1 Reserve League draw with Seattle Sounders just two days after putting in a 26 minute shift in LA's 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas. Meyer is expected to be an option -- along with A.J. DeLaGarza -- for head coach Bruce Arena to place in central defense next to Omar Gonzalez with Leonardo suspended for the April 20 match against Sporting KC.
I had a lively debate on this subject with a pair of other writers during Monday's Reserve League game, but now I want your opinion: If the Galaxy had all of their players available, who should start alongside Omar Gonzalez in central defense?
Reports in the Miami Herald, Sports Illustrated and Sports Business Journal state that the LA Galaxy will play in the first International Champions Cup. An annual knockout round tournament that will include several top clubs from across the world.
The Miami Herald reported that an announcement was expected to take place on Tuesday, but and further details will be released on Thursday. According to Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl, Real Madrid and Juventus will be among the teams to participating.
According to the Miami Herald, the event would begin in late July in Europe before moving on to the U.S. for seven days of matches on both coasts. The tournament would then end on Aug. 6-7 with all eight clubs playing at Sun Life Stadium in Miami with the winner receiving a $1-million dollar prize.
Thoughts on the report?
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CARSON, Calif. -- Four LA Galaxy Youth Academy players suited up for LA in their 1-1 Reserve League draw with Seattle Sounders FC.
Oscar Sorto, Paul Arriola, and Raul Mendiola each made appearances for LA in their draw. Academy starlets Nathan Smith and Drew Murphy were on the roster, but did not make an appearance.
Mendiola, who trained with LA’s first team in 2012, is coming off a successful appearance at the Dallas Cup tournament and provided several dangerous through balls during his 12 minute shift. Last season, Mendiola impressed with his speed and enthusiasm to go forward, but on Monday, he appeared to be a far more composed player with as focused on sending in service from his central midfield role while also providing cover in defensive situations.
Following the match, Galaxy assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo thought Mendiola showed growth in his performance against Seattle.
“He looks stronger; you can see that he’s gotten physically stronger,” said Onalfo “He’s a guy that creates things in the final third so in the end of a game when you need a goal, he’s a guy that is a good option for us. We’re watching him closely in his development.”
One of Mendiola’s teammates on Monday, midfield Michael Stephens admitted that the youth player did well, but must develop both sides of his game.
“He’s been in and out with our first team and the Academy, but I've always enjoyed playing with him,” said Stephens of Mendiola. “It’s just a matter of him putting in complete games, but offensively, he’s very good.”
CARSON, Calif. – A left thigh strain caused Todd Dunivant to miss out on the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas allowing rookie Greg Cochrane to make his professional debut.
The rookie from Louisville was one of the club’s bright spots in the defeat and Dunivant, who was watching from the stands at FC Dallas Stadium, was quite impressed Cochrane’s performance.
“He did a great job,” Dunivant told reporters following LA’s 1-1 Reserve League draw against Seattle Sounders FC on Monday. “Greg’s been good. He’s been playing well throughout preseason and played in a lot of those games. He brings a lot of energy and he’s been good for us on the left side…He was great.
“He likes to get up and down the field and he did a good job defensively too,” Dunivant added. “He went up against Jackson, who is one of the hottest players in the league right now and came in [into the with a lot of confidence by saying a couple comments about Leonardo and our whole club took offense to that. It was a great performance and he shut him down…he was clued in the whole time, he was excited to play and it showed. He made a difference.”
CARSON, Calif. – A congested schedule with commitments in two competitions has taken its toll on the LA Galaxy ahead of this weekend’s clash against Sporting Kansas City.
Head coach Bruce Arena rested Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin and Robbie Keane in their 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas due to knocks suffered in their CONCACAF Champions League Semifinal second leg against C.F. Monterrey.
Following the club’s 1-1 Reserve League draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Monday, Dunivant told reporters that he has been battling a left thigh strain that first occurred prior to LA’s CCL semifinal series. Dunivant pushed through the injury in the first leg, but exited the second leg defeat in Mexico midway through the second half before sitting out against FCD.
The club also provided an update on Keane, who is currently suffering a left ankle injury and Jose Villarreal, who took a knock on his left shoulder during the Reserve League match and was forced to exit during the 40th minute.
The injury list may seem numerous at the moment, but Dunivant is quick to preach caution by saying that it is simply a part of the season’s grind.
“It’s a never ending thing,” said Dunivant. “Especially with so many games, we've had through preseason and these first few weeks, there’s been a lot so it’s not too surprising that there are a couple of guys nicked up here or there, but we’ll deal with it.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy opened their Reserve League slate on Monday with a 1-1 draw with the Seattle Sounders FC reserves.
Eriq Zavaleta opened the scoring for Seattle with a header from a corner kick in the seventh minute of play, but LA equalized in the 29th minute with a penalty kick goal by Hector Jimenez. The penalty was set up by rookie Charlie Rugg, who was brought down in the 18-yard box by Seattle defender Zach Scott.
After starting off the game slowly, LA controlled the run of play for a majority of the match and created several dangerous opportunties. Although LA was unable to find the go-ahead goal, the mood was by and large a positive one after the draw.
"I thought as I looked at this game, my concern going into it was that I thought that we would lack sharpness and physically get tired because we haven't played in so long. Most of these guys haven't played 90 minutes since preseason because of our congested schedule and that's how it's gone. We started out not sharp at all, I thought we had a very slow start," Assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo told reporters. "We talked about not giving away unnecessary free kicks and corner kicks away and we give away a corner kick that we didn't need to give away. [On the goal], they had more height than we did and they took advantage of it early. Having said that, we found our feet and we started moving the ball how we like to play. I thought we were really good for the rest of the first half and created chances, but too bad we didn't get more than one goal because I thought we deserved to.
"The second half was kind of choppy, [Seattle] did better job to find their shape and the field was no longer slick and the ball kind of caught up on us and we weren't sharp in the final third where we needed to be. The guys plugged away and fought through it," Onalfo added. "Overall, for the first reserve game with the fact that we haven't played a reserve game in quite while, I'm fairly pleased. We just need to take some things away from it so that we're that much better."
LA resume their Reserve League slate on Sunday April 28 against Real Salt Lake at America First Field in Sandy, UT.
One of the lone bright spots in the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to FC Dallas was the play of rookie Greg Cochrane.
I spoke to Cochrane about his peformance in the piece below....