Sweden International Christian Wilhelmsson went 58 minutes as the LA Galaxy fell 2-0 to the San Jose Earthquakes in Reserve League action on Tuesday at Nutrilite Training Facility in San Jose.
The Swede, who joined the club in training last week was a consistent threat for the reserves playing primarily on the left flank, but was whistled for four offside calls during his 58 minute stint including one that negated a goal early in the first half. In a conference call with reporters following the match, Galaxy reserve league head coach Curt Onalfo described the offside calls as "controversial", but was quick to praise the Swede.
"I thought that he created some things. He's a pure wide player so was able to get into some situations that were good for our team," said Onalfo. "Like I said, there were four controversial offside calls that we didn’t think were offside that would have turned the terms of the game...he had a good performance.”
The match was the first performance for the Swede -- who has reportedly already signed with the Galaxy according to reports in Sweden -- since an August 15th international friendly against Brazil. Although Wilhelmsson was unable to find the back of the net in his first match, Onalfo was encouraged by his showing in his first match in several weeks.
"For him it’s about getting minutes and utilizing this as an opportunity to advance He played fine, he played well," said Onalfo. "You can tell that he has a lot of quality and that he’s a very quality wide player. He’s a good and very clever wide player."
According to Swedish reports, Forward/Midfielder Christian "Chippen" Wilhelmsson has signed with the LA Galaxy.
In an interview with fotbollskanalen.se, Wilhelmsson states that he has signed a six month contract with the Galaxy with a team option for three years. A Galaxy spokesman said on Monday that the 32-year-old attacker is in San Jose with the Galaxy Reserve League squad and is expected to participate in that match. The Galaxy confirmed their interest in the Swede following Saturday's 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
During the interview, the Swedish International states that he believes playing with the Galaxy will help him re-gain a spot on the Swedish national team and that he turned down offers from clubs in Russia and the Middle East before deciding to join the Galaxy. Wilhelmsson joins the Galaxy after stops in the Middle East as well as a 14-year career in Europe and 78 appearances for his native Sweden, having tallied nine goals.
Wilhelmsson, who is currently a free agent last played with Saudi club Al Hilal, but his last competitive game came on August 15th when Sweden hosted Brazil on August 15th in Stockholm at Råsunda Fotbollstadion. The match was the last game for the site of the 1958 World Cup Final as the primary stadium for Sweden ahead of the opening of the new Friends Arena.
As stated when it was revealed that the Wilhelmsson was training with the club, the Galaxy currently have seven international players, but one is occupied by Brazilian defender Leonardo, who is currently on the disabled list. Thus opening up a potential spot for Wilhelmsson.
Swedish International Christian Wilhelmsson, who joined the LA Galaxy in training last week, will suit up for the Galaxy in Reserve league action on Tuesday.
Juninho and David Beckham each tallied impressive trademark goals during the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps and are both up for MLS' Goal of the Week.
The Brazilian opened the scoring in the 41st minute with a 28-yard blast for his fifth goal of the season and his sixth in his last five games over all competitions. Beckham would score in the 79th minute off a curling free kick for his sixth goal in eight games.
View the two goals below and vote for them here
Happy Labor Day Everyone,
It's time for the sixth edition of Ask the Insider.
Today's question comes from Cody Kaintz . He asks: Given where the Galaxy are in the season, how significant is the timing of this 2 week break and how do they use it to make a late push in the standings?
Some might think that the International Break is coming at a bad time for the streaking LA Galaxy, but the rest can not be more welcome for a team that has just completed a stretch of four games in ten days.
During that arduous run, the Galaxy picked up four straight victories, -- two in MLS play and two in CONCACAF Champions League -- but picked up several bumps and bruises along the way that make the rest extremely necessary. Although the likes of Edson Buddle (right knee surgery) and Landon Donovan (left hamstring strain) are still battling through injuries, the Galaxy are hopeful that both will be close to full fitness by the time the club returns to action against the Colorado Rapids on Sept. 14th.
While the club will have a two week break from MLS; they will not be entirely out of commission during that span as LA will play a pair of Reserve League matches on Sep. 4th against the San Jose Earthquakes and Portland Timbers on Sept. 10th. And as the Galaxy’s CCL victory over the Puerto Rico Islanders illustrated, these matches are quite important in keeping its depth players fresh. Ultimately, this break comes at a the perfect time for the streaking Galaxy, who are expected to be at full fitness -or close to it -- heading into a stretch run that will decide LA's MLS and CCL fates.
Thanks Cody, you can get your tickets by e-mailing email@example.com. For everyone else, remember to leave your questions on the LA Galaxy Facebook page following the club's next match against the Colorado Rapids on September 14th for the chance to have your question featured and win tickets to an upcoming Galaxy game.
CARSON, Calif. -- Another game, another shut out for the LA Galaxy back four.
Galaxy's back four of Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant along with goalkeeper Josh Saunders picked up their second shutout since being reunited five games ago on August 15th. Over that time, the Galaxy have conceded three goals in all competitions, but just a single goal -- on August 15th vs. the Columbus Crew -- in MLS play. Against the Whitecaps, the defense neutralized Vancouver forward Kenny Miller who looked visibly frustrated throughout the entire match.
Below are the thoughts from Gonzalez following the win over Vancouver...
GONZALEZ: “I think we’ve given up one goal since the back four from last year has been together, so I’d say we’ve been doing pretty well.”
(On allowing just a single shot on goal…)
GONZALEZ: “I just think we all did really well defensively, from our forwards to our midfield to our back line; we were just working really well. We knew Miller was good at making runs, so we just tried to drop off before he could make that run and keep him in front of us.”
(On the last two weeks being LA’s best of the season…)
GONZALEZ: “I think so. Consistently winning games, we haven’t done that really this year until now, so yeah, I guess it dates back to last year. We just have to keep it going, keep on playing well and just make a good run.”
Still battling hamstring strain, Donovan left off USMNT roster for World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica
Landon Donovan will have another two weeks to rest his left hamstring strain as the LA Galaxy captain was not called up for the U.S. national team's 25-man roster for a training camp ahead of their upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Jamaica.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's decision to leave Donovan off the roster comes as no surprise as the LA captain has missed the last four Galaxy matches due to his left hamstring strain, but head coach Bruce Arena has said that Donovan's condition is improving.
The U.S. will take on Jamaica in Kingston, Jamaica on Sept. 7th and then four days later, host the Jamaicans at Columbus Crew Stadium on Sept. 11th.
The complete U.S. roster is below:
GOALKEEPERS (4) : Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (9) : Carlos Bocanegra (Racing Santander), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Maurice Edu (Stoke City), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland), Jonathan Spector (Birmingham City)
MIDFIELDERS (8) : Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Joshua Gatt (Molde), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Jose Torres (Pachuca), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (4 ): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Tottenham Hotspur), Herculez Gomez (Santos)
CARSON, Calif. Below are Bruce Arena's thoughts on the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
(On the win…)
ARENA: “I thought maybe we were a little sluggish in the fist half. I think you got to give Vancouver a lot of credit, they really threw a lot into the first half and closed us down, especially in the middle third. [They] kicked us a little bit, made it difficult for us, so I think the Juninho goal was huge. In the second half I thought you could see the energy that Vancouver put into the first half fatigued them, because they kind of looked to me like they hit the wall a little bit. I thought we had a fairly dominant second half and could have scored a few more goals.”
(On the play of Robbie Keane…)
ARENA: “He’s dangerous, probably had three or four chances. The concerns you have with these strikers is if he’s not getting chances and Robbie got a good number tonight and you know he’s going to finish his share but, Robbie’s a handful. I think, you know, when we get Landon [Donovan] back with him it’s going to be even better. I think Robbie, probably a little frustrated he didn’t get a goal tonight, but I thought he played well and was pretty dangerous.”
(On the recent play of Juninho…)
ARENA: “Huge goal. I think he’s had, what is it, five goals now in about a three-week stretch? And [David] Beckham’s getting us goals this year in the midfield. You know, [Mike] Magee in the midfield has gotten goals, so we have some pretty good balance. You know, hopefully we’ll get Landon back in the mix, good to see Edson [Buddle] back on the field. Jose [Villarreal] is moving a long as a young player so hopefully we can improve our team in the attacking part of the field as we move into this stretch at the end of the season.”
(Overall thoughts on the team’s performance…)
ARENA: “It was good. It was a solid performance tonight. I think Omar [Gonzalez] and A.J. [DeLaGarza] continue to play well in their partnership in central defense. I think [Sean] Franklin has played very well over the last couple of months. Todd’s [Dunivant] moving a long, Josh [Saunders] looks really comfortable in goal right now, so that group is good. This has been an excellent two weeks for our team because it was pretty challenging going in with the Champions League and having Dallas and Vancouver chasing us and getting three points in [all] four games and the contribution by the entire team because tonight’s performance wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for our group on Wednesday and the performance the gave against Puerto Rico. It’s been a very good two weeks for us.”
(On the teams’ progress over the last three months…)
ARENA: “A month ago we were pretty good too, you got to remember now, in the league we’re 13-11-4 and we were 3-8-2 at one point. If you do the math, that’s pretty good, so we’ve been in real good form over the last couple of months and we’re positioned now to move up the latter in the conference standing as well as a good position to move through the Champions League. So we’ve got a lot of work to do, we can play better, we know that and hopefully we’ll show that in September, October and November."
(On the international break…)
ARENA: “I think is actually going to be good for us, I think we need it. I think we’re going to have two reserve games during the break, which is a real plus as well. I think it comes at a good time for us. We’ll be fine by the time September 14th comes around.”
(On Edson Buddle’s performance…)
ARENA: “He was good, he held the ball up, very physical, it’s going to take him obviously a little more time, he’s been out for a while, but we’re going to give him some time in the reserve games. It’s good.”
CARSON, Calif. – Another game and another goal for Juninho.
The Brazilian midfielder tallied his sixth goal in his last five games as he scored the game winning strike in the 41st minute of the LA Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Below are Juninho’s thoughts following the match…
(On the performance…)
JUNINHO: “I’m very happy to have scored the goal, It was very important for us to go up in the table and I’m happy that I scored."
(On what has given LA their current run of form…)
JUNINHO: “Very important to have a powerful defense, it gives me confidence to forward and score.”
(On his relationship with Marcelo Sarvas and David Beckham…)
JUNINHO: “The relationship inside and outside the locker room and the field is really nice. I’m very happy to have that relationship.”
CARSON, Calif. -- We're only a few hours from tonight's important Western Conference clash with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
PREDICTED LINEUP: Saunders; Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant; Sarvas, Beckham, Juninho, Jimenez; Magee, Keane