14 November 2:49 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy were back on the training ground on Wednesday for the first time since their 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Championship First Leg at The Home Depot Center on Sunday.

For the Galaxy, who have played seven games in the last 22 days, compiling a record of 5-1-1 over that time, the rest and a week-long period between games is a welcome change for the club.

 “We needed it. We’ve been playing a lot of games,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “If we had to play in the middle of this week, it would have been tough. It’s good to have the time off and hopefully, we can slowly build our team back to Sunday.”  

Building the team back up to full fitness remains the primary concern as Landon Donovan (R hamstring tightness), Edson Buddle (L plantar inflammation), and Juninho (R Achilles inflammation) are currently listed as questionable for Sunday's match.  Donovan and Juninho both suffered their injuries that led to their substitution from the first leg, while Buddle’s issue stems from a knock received in the second leg of the Western Conference Semifinal against the San Jose Earthquakes. 

While the team is upbeat that the trio can return, they’re confident that others can step in and contribute, if called upon.

“At this time of the year, everyone is battling a little something. It’s all about being smart, doing the right things to get healthy and if they can’t go and aren’t 100% then the next guy steps up,” said defender Sean Franklin. “It’s all about being smart and not putting players on the field in a position where they can get hurt worse so, as much as we want those guys to be healthy, if they’re not, we go onto the next player. Obviously though, we’d love to have those guys in our lineup this weekend.” 

14 November 12:33 pm

The Professional Referee’s Organization announced on Wednesday that Mark Geiger will officiate Sunday’s Western Conference Championship Second Leg between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field.

The 38-year-old served as the top official for just one LA Galaxy match and two Sounders FC matches this season. Seattle is 0-3 in their last three matches with Geiger as the referee; he served during Seattle’s 3-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake in the 2011 Western Conference Semifinal First Leg. Geiger brings a strong pedigree to the match having officiated two matches at the 2012 Olympic Games in London as well as four matches during the 2011 Under-20 World Cup in Colombia including the final.  

Geiger’s last postseason game was a wild Eastern Conference Semifinal Second Leg between New York Red Bulls and D.C. United. During the Conference Semifinal, Geiger called 26 fouls, issued three yellow cards and two reds in a match that saw D.C. advance to the Eastern Conference Championship.

Geiger’s complete breakdown of Galaxy and Sounders FC matches is below.

LA GALAXY (0-1-0)

5/19 – CHIVAS USA 1 LA GALAXY 0. FOULS: 22 (10 for Chivas USA and 12 for LA); CAUTIONS: 2 (one each.); RED CARDS: 1 (LA); PENALTIES: 1 (Converted by Chivas)


5/12 – SOUNDERS FC 0 REAL SALT LAKE 1. FOULS: 28 (13 for Seattle and 15 for RSL); CAUTIONS: 2 (one each.)

6/16 – MONTREAL IMPACT 4 SOUNDERS FC 1. FOULS: 28 (18 for Montreal and 20 for Seattle); CAUTIONS: 4 (1 for Montreal and 3 for Seattle); RED CARDS: 1 (Seattle)

14 November 9:24 am

Both the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC released their midweek injury reports on Tuesday ahead of Sunday's Western Conference Championship Second Leg.

The Galaxy's report saw the additions of Edson Buddle, Landon Donovan and Juninho with different ailments while David Junior Lopes (L facial fracture) and Christian Wilhelmsson (R quad tightness) were removed from the report. Meanwhile, Seattle's list is unchanged from the week prior.

LA GALAXY -- OUT: DF A.J. DeLaGarza (L knee sprain); DF Leonardo (R knee inflammation); MF Kyle Nakazawa (back spasms); QUESTIONABLE: FW Edson Buddle (L plantar inflammation); FW Landon Donovan (R hamstring tightness); MF Juninho (R Achilles inflammation)

SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC -- OUT: FW Babayele Sodade (R knee ACL surgery); DF Andrew Duran (L ACL surgery); QUESTIONABLE: MF Mauro Rosales (R hamstring strain); DF Leo Gonzalez (R hamstring strain); DF Patrick Ianni (R calf strain)

13 November 5:25 pm

The LA Galaxy may be back on the practice field tomorrow, but Seattle Sounders FC returned to the training ground on Tuesday. 

Sigi Schmid caught up with reporters in Seattle to discuss his game plan in the first leg and how he will modify it in the second leg as well as the call up by Mario Martinez.

Watch the video below. 

13 November 5:04 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Key to the LA Galaxy’s success in their 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Championship First Leg was the play of right back Sean Frankin.

Against Seattle, Franklin had one of his finest game consistently terrorizing Seattle’s left back Zach Scott to the tune of two assists. To show just how effective the right back has been in the last two games, Franklin has more assists –three—than he had in his first 12 postseason games.

Franklin wasn’t certain if it was his finest game, but he was pleased with his performance going forward.

“Possibly, I was able to get in some good spots and David found me a couple times, Robbie played me some good balls,” said Franklin. “It’s all about picking the right time to go forward and maybe I could have had two or three assists in the first half if I play a better final ball, but I was able to get one in the second half.”

A considerable part of Franklin’s success was his ability to combine with right wing Christian Wilhelmsson. Throughout the match, the duo repeatedly overlapped to create problems for the Seattle left flank.

If Wilhelmsson and Franklin are placed on the right again, they might face a different Sounders group as midfielder Mauro Rosales is expected to return to the fold in the second leg at Centurylink Field, which would allow Brad Evans to resume his post on the left flank.

But ahead of the second leg, Franklin believes that despite LA’s three goal lead, the series is by no means over.

 “We know it’s going to be a crazy game on the 18th,” said Franklin. “They’ve got a crazy fan base, they’re a pretty good side at home and we know they’re going to be coming to get some goals so we’ve just got to be sharp, stick to our game plan and be prepared for all that.”

13 November 11:10 am

CARSON, Calif. – A.J. DeLaGarza is still working back from injury, but that has not stopped him from pursuing options internationally.

Two weeks ago, DeLaGarza confirmed to Guam’s Pacific News Center that he had named to Guam’s 30-man roster for the East Asian Cup semifinal round tournament in Hong Kong in December. The winner of the five-team tournament which spans from Dec. 1 to Dec. 9 will advance to the 2013 East Asia Cup which will take place in Seoul, Korea Republic from July 20 to July 28

DeLaGarza, who has two caps—his last coming earlier this January in a friendly in Panama— for the U.S. national team is eligible to play for “the Matao” through his father’s side of the family. If DeLaGarza does join Guam, he’d be the second MLS player to join the Matao this year as New England Revolution midfielder Ryan Guy chose to suit up for the South Pacific earlier this year.

With DeLaGarza still recovering from an MCL sprain in his left knee, the Galaxy defender admits that the opportunity may be put on hold for now.

 “It’s just the preliminary roster for now,” DeLaGarza said last Saturday. They have some big games in December against Australia, Hong Kong, and a couple of other teams. The way that my knee is going, I’m probably not going to even risk it, but it’s just an opportunity that I have to maybe seek out. It’s nothing for sure, but maybe down the road.”

13 November 9:40 am

Good Morning to all of y'all, a few notes to get you through your morning.

The LA Galaxy are off for the second straight day today, but we'll have plenty of coverage for you today, here are a few notes to be made aware of...

*Seattle Sounders FC midfielder Mario Martinez has been called up to the Honduran national team for this Wednesday's friendly at BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston against Peru . Remember, because it is a FIFA window, Honduras had the right to call up their full squad. 

*A pair of LA Galaxy Academy players Javan Torre and Grady Howe, and the UCLA Bruins have qualified for the NCAA Tournament and hold a six seed in bracket three. With the seed, UCLA have an bye into the second round and will face the winner of Cal-State Northridge and University of San Diego on Nov. 18 at 8 p.m. PT at Drake Stadium on the UCLA campus.  Torre and Howe were the only Galaxy Academy product to advance to the tournament as Gyasi Zardes' Cal-State Bakersfield were unable to qualify 

*Down the hall, Chivas USA and Chivas de Guadalajara owner Jorge Vergara will speak at the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills at 12:00 p.m. PT to discuss the future of the Rojiblancos. Vergara has already fired head coach Robin Fraser and much of his staff and is expected to announce more front office moves on Saturday. There is no video stream of the press conference.

12 November 6:30 pm

After revealing that he suffered an injury to his right Achilles during Sunday's 3-0 LA Galaxy win over Seattle Sounders FC, Juninho announced via Twitter that he underwent an MRI on Monday and the results were positive. 

Juninho told the LA Galaxy Insider on Sunday that he was positive that he could return from the injury that forced to leave at the half of LA's Western Conference Championship First Leg. If the results were as positive as the Brazilian attests than with a week between matches, Juninho may be able to regain his position in the starting lineup in Sunday's decisive Western Conference Championship Second Leg at CenturyLink Field in Seattle. 

12 November 5:33 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Before we completely turn the page from Sunday’s match, a few thoughts from Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid after Seattle was defeated 3-0 by the LA Galaxy in the Western Conference Championship First Leg.

Schmid stresses that his club has confidence in their ability to erase the three goal lead and history certainly shows –check out this piece by the Seattle Times – that they have experience of scoring a high number of goals at home.

Schmid’s thoughts are below…

(On what he was most disappointed in…)

SCHMID: “Just disappointed that we didn’t keep it at 1-0. I thought we had the ability to keep it at 1-0, and we should’ve kept it at 1-0 and played with a better mentality at that stage. But at the end of the day, guys on the field, they’re trying to do things. We were still possessing the ball, we were still getting some looks going forward, and we got caught on the counter. It’s typical. That’s the way Bruce likes to play, that’s the way LA plays, where they’ll sit back and they’ll counter-attack. When you’ve got the speed of Landon and the speed of Keane, and their creativity that they possess, they’re a team that very dangerous.”

(On the Seattle back line looking disorganized…)

SCHMID: :I think the movement was good for them, but I think more so than anything, it was us giving the ball away at times in midfield, which put us under duress. Guys getting caught in advance positions with the ball, as the ball turned over and therefore they had space to counter into. The thing is, guys like Landon and Keane and Beckham, they cheat sometimes on defense, and if you turn the ball over badly and they’re in good positions on the other end, they’ve got the quality to make you pay.”

(On the deficit being similar to RSL last year…)

SCHMID: “We also take solace in the fact that we beat LA earlier in the year 4-0 at our place. We know we’ve got to come up with the same sort of effort we came out the last time we played at home last year, and we’ve got to come out with a better result.”

(On whether the first goal changed the complexion of game…)

SCHMID: “I think we possibly pushed a little bit when we shouldn’t have pushed to try and get the goal back, because getting the goal back wasn’t important. 1-0 was fine. Obviously they’ve got some veteran guys. You add up just the three players I mentioned, they’ve got more caps times 20 than my whole team does. Or maybe times 100. From that standpoint, they’re a little more cagey, they’re a little more, ‘OK, this is all we need to do today,’ and for some reason maybe we didn't quite recognize that. But I think the goal at the end of the half certainly changed the complexion a little bit, and it’s over now.”

(On if Seattle learned anything from last year’s defeat to RSL…)

SCHMID: “Obviously we didn't learn much because we did the same thing this year. We talked about it, we talked at halftime, and we said 1-0 is OK. We walk away 1-0 we’re alright. I really tried to emphasize that at halftime, but then at the end of the day we didn't. So now we have to come back and we've got to play with the same attitude, the same conviction that we played with last year in the game two but we've got to score more goals.”

12 November 10:49 am

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho appears to have suffered an injury to his right Achilles during Sunday night’s 3-0 Western Conference Championship First Leg victory over Seattle Sounders FC.

Juninho started the match, even helping to step up the club’s first goal, but was subbed off for fellow Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas at the half. While many believed that the substitution was because of Juninho’s yellow card situation, following the game, head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that it was due to an injury.

“He took a knock and we wanted to be smart,” Bruce Arena told reporters after the game. “Marcelo is a very experienced player, a quality player and it's a luxury in that position to be able to utilize him there. Maybe if we didn't have that kind of depth we would keep him in a little longer.”

Following the match, Juninho expounded on his injury. 

“I’m feeling a little bit sad, it’s my Achilles that is hurt again, it’s very hard to play a lot of games with the injury and I’m feeling it in the best part of playoffs, so it is sad,” Juninho told LA Galaxy Insider after the game. “But I have a long week off, but I hope to be better for the next game. I’m going to continue my treatment and talk with the doctors and the training staff.”

Although Juninho is still unsure of the extent of the injury, he was pleased with the club’s performance against the Sounders.

 “It’s very important when you score goals and win the game,” Juninho. “It’s a comfortable lead for the next game, but Seattle has a great team and I think that the next game in Seattle will be a tough game and I hope we’ll play well again and win.”