Beat

21 March 9:35 am

CARSON, Calif. – Jose Villarreal and Jack McBean have been performing well as of late as each have scored at least one goal during the LA Galaxy’s last two matches.  With the teenagers in form and Robbie Keane away on international duty, it would not be a shock to see Bruce Arena opt for an all-Homegrown forward corps during Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids.

Villarreal and McBean each bagged goals in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal second leg against C.S. Herediano, but McBean notched his second goal in five days with a late strike in Sunday’s 1-1 draw against Chivas USA. The teenagers aren’t the only options as Mike Magee started the MLS regular season opener against the Chicago Fire and the CCL quarterfinal first leg against Herediano up top alongside Keane.

If it is the youngsters and Magee is stationed out wide, the Galaxy attacker believes that they could cause some damage against the Rapids back line.

 “I think it’d be great. I think it’d be good for them to play with each other because their confidence will be a little better,” said Magee. “I know the first time that I played with Robbie, I was a bit intimidated and I’m sure Jose and Jack were as well. With them together, hopefully they can link up and build confidence. Knowing that, I have to do a better job of getting up there [from midfield] and instill a little confidence in them.”

Regardless of who steps in for Keane, Magee feels that any of the Galaxy’s forwards will be able to fill the captain’s shoes.

“Obviously, those are some big shoes to fill and he’s a guy that we rely on to score goals and create chances. Whether it’s the youngsters or myself or a combination of one of them and me, we’ll be fine,” said Magee. “Obviously Jack and Jose have done well to score goals and I have as well, so they deserve minutes, but we’ll be fine either way.”

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Do you think a McBean and Villarreal forward partnership can succeed? Or would you rather see Magee with one of the youngsters?

Share your thoughts below.

20 March 9:02 pm

Speaking to ESPN The Magazine reporter Doug McIntyre, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena touched on a number of topics including the Galaxy, the U.S. national team, those in the U.S. who don't watch MLS, and a host of other topics. 

Perhaps Arena's best Galaxy related quote is regarding LA's bid for a third straight MLS Cup title.

"I don't think the league would be happy," Arena told ESPN The Magazine. "The league's plan is to not have any club be particularly good for an extended period of time. That's the basis of the single entity [ownership structure], to bring about parity. It would be good for our organization, but that's not our focus"

Read all of Arena's comments in the story here.

More Notes are below...

*Arena's comments come after Brian Straus' sensational piece in The Sporting News about the discontent with U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann

*Michael Bradley addressed the story on Wednesday describing criticism against Klinsmann as "shameful."

*Clint Dempsey will serve as the U.S. captain for both upcoming World Cup Qualifiers against Costa Rica and Mexico.

*Former Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders will make his Real Salt Lake debut this week with RSL's number one goalkeeper Nick Rimando away on international duty.

20 March 2:53 pm

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy defender Oscar Sorto was not a member of the U.S. U-20 team that qualified for the U-20 World Cup in Turkey by way of last month’s U-20 CONCACAF Championship, but his dream of heading to Turkey lives on.

U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos called the 18-year-old for two training camps, the first in December in Florida as well as a week-long camp in Puebla, Mexico in January, but did not name Sorto to the 20-man roster for the U-20 CONCACAF Championship. But if the call from Ramos does not come, Sorto has other options as he could also suit up for El Salvador, who also qualified for U-20 World Cup.

The nation of his parents’ birth has been aggressive in their recruiting of the Galaxy Homegrown defender, but Sorto remains interested in joining the U.S. set up.

“They were sending me emails, but Tab Ramos sent me a message that he was going to call me up for April’s camp so I’m going to just wait on El Salvador to see if Ramos takes me to the World Cup,” said Sorto. “Right now, I’m just waiting for the U.S. call. El Salvador was on me and I didn’t want to say yes to them and no to the U.S. so that’s why I was being patient for them to call me.”

As he waits for his chance with the U-20’s Sorto believes he is continuing his improvement on a daily basis with the Galaxy.

“Right now, I feel like I’m improving, getting better and listening to every coach,” said Sorto. “Just listening to them is helping me become a better player.”

20 March 2:47 pm

CARSON, Calif. –This could be a huge week for LA Galaxy forward Chandler Hoffman.

Since being acquired from the Philadelphia Union on March 1, the 2012 MLS SuperDraft First Round draft pick has yet to make an appearance for the Galaxy. However, with captain Robbie Keane away on international duty, Hoffman has an outside shot of filling in for the Irish forward.

Jack McBean, Jose Villarreal and Mike Magee appear to be the front runners to man the forward position for Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids, but Hoffman is looking to state his case to head coach Bruce Arena.

“There’s definitely an opening this week with Robbie gone on international duty and Omar [Gonzalez] gone as well. I’m trying to train as hard as I can and try to prove that I deserve a chance on the field,” said Hoffman. “I feel ready, I've been here two and a half weeks now and I've kind of got used to how the club works and how guys go about preparing for games. I feel like I’m ready to step up if called upon.”

Hoffman admits that while there were initial jitters when he joined the Galaxy, but after spending the past several weeks integrating himself in the squad, he feels ready to contribute.

“I've been staying after training whenever possible to work on finishing and working on whatever I can to get better and try to learn from Robbie and Mike,” said Hoffman, who admits that he has placed close attention to Keane’s training habits. “Anything that I can pick up, I want to incorporate in my game and help this team get victories.”

20 March 12:20 pm

The LA Galaxy will host a Online Town Hall with LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and club President Chris Klein on Thursday from 1-2 PT. 

Time Warner Cable SportsNet reporter Kelli Tennant will MC the event and fans can send in questions either on the Galaxy website or on Twitter using the hashtag #GalaxyTownhall

More information on the event can be found here.

19 March 7:18 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Jose Villarreal will have plenty of responsibility on his shoulders during the LA Galaxy’s next match on Saturday against the Colorado Rapids.

With Robbie Keane away on international duty with Ireland, Villarreal will have a new forward partner as LA looks to rebound from a disappointing 1-1 draw to Chivas USA last Sunday. The two most likely options to partner alongside Villarreal up top are Mike Magee and Jack McBean while Chandler Hoffman and Charlie Rugg are also a possibility for head coach Bruce Arena.  

While Villarreal admits that the Galaxy will miss Keane’s leadership, he has given a vote of confidence to whoever steps in up top.

“Mike is a player like Robbie. He’s very smart and creative around the box and it’d be fun to pair up with him,” said Villarreal. “But if not and it is Jack, well, I know him pretty well because we played with each other in the academy. It’ll be pretty crazy if we started together because it’d be two Academy players starting with the first team so it’d be fun.”

Villarreal and the Galaxy will face a new challenge in a technical Colorado team that is a far cry from the overly physical Chivas USA side that played LA to a 1-1 draw. During the SuperClasico, Villarreal was a frequent target of the Rojiblancos’ defenders as the 19-year-old forward was fouled three times in the “brutal” draw.

“It was physical. There were some dirty plays here and there. That’s how Clásicos are and that’s how it is going to be whenever we play Chivas or San Jose or D.C. United,” said Villarreal. “It was a little brutal, I guess you can say, but it’s just part of it. In every Clásico across the world, whether it was America vs. Chivas de Guadalajara or Real Madrid vs. FC Barcelona, it’s just part of the game.”

As Villarreal ahead to an active year that will include a stint at the U-20 World Cup in Turkey as well as commitments in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League, the rough play could be a learning experience.

“It was like when we played Metapán [in the CONCACAF Champions League]. It was one of those games that was just more physical than technical, but that’s just the way that some games are,” said Villarreal. “It makes you learn since I’m just starting my career and it helps me adjust to different teams and how they play. It was definitely a learning experience.”

19 March 6:24 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Sean Franklin is well-aware that he deserved a yellow card for a challenge on Chivas USA Josue Soto in the first half of Sunday's 1-1 SuperClasico draw, but the Galaxy defender insists that there was no malice in the challenge.

In an interview with LA Galaxy Insider, Franklin described the play and admitted that he had no malicious intent with his foul that saw referee Ricardo Salazar issue a yellow card to the right midfielder.

“I spoke to Bruce a little bit about it’ and he said ‘[Disciplinary Committee] are kind of looking at it, but it seems that you made a play for the ball and went through the guy,’’ said Franklin. “Everyone knows me; I’m not that kind of player to just be dirty. The ball kind of checked up and he didn’t go for it. As soon as I committed my foot up that’s when he leaned in. I did hit his chest and deservedly it was a yellow card, some might say a red, but my intention was not to be malicious and just kick the guy.”

The exact verbiage from the league’s Disciplinary Summary when it comes to issuing a suspension is as follows: The play in question is, in the unanimous opinion of the Committee from all available video evidence, a clear and unequivocal red card; And the play in question is of an egregious or reckless nature, such that the Committee must act to protect player safety or the integrity or the game. 

Last year, the Galaxy had two players suspended by the Disciplinary Committee for actions in which they were shown a yellow. Michael Stephens had a yellow card caution turned into one-game suspension during a May 26 match against the Houston Dynamo while Magee was given a one-game suspension for throwing the ball at a referee in the same match.  

The Disciplinary Committee also added games for Hector Jimenez’s red card offense during a May 23rd against the San Jose Earthquakes and David Beckham for actions during a June 30th game also against San Jose. Beckham missed a July 4 match against the Philadelphia Union with yellow card accumulation due to the foul and saw himself suspended for  the following match against the Chicago Fire on July 8. 

Interestingly enough, Magee, Jimenez, and Stephens’ suspensions coincided and all three were unavailable for June 17 game against Portland Timbers, a match that ended in a 1-0 Galaxy victory.

Any decision remains out of Franklin's hands, but currently the right back is focused on Saturday's match against the Colorado Rapids.

"I'm assuming with Omar [Gonzalez] being out, I can imagine A.J.[DeLaGarza] and Leonardo being in there [at central defense] and myself at right back and Todd [Dunivant] at left back," said Franklin. "I don't think much will change, but we'll see how this week goes and we'll see what Bruce's plan is for this week's game against Colorado."

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What are your thoughts about the challenge? Will Franklin hear from the Disciplinary Committee?

Share your thoughts below. 

19 March 5:55 pm

The LA Galaxy Academy announced their roster for Dallas Cup XXXIV on Tuesday.

The Galaxy squad is headlined by Homegrown player Oscar Sorto, U.S. U-20 defender Javan Torre, U.S. U-18 midfielder Paul Arriola, midfielder Raul Mendiola and a host of others.

LA will begin Gordon Jago Under-19 Super Group play on Sunday, March 25 against Eintracht Frankfurt of Germany. LA continue group play on March 25 against Fulham FC before closing the opening stage against defending Dallas Cup champions Coritiba FC of Brazil on March 27.

A complete schedule of the games can be found here.

The complete roster is below…

GOALKEEPERS (3): Juan Cervantes, Josh McNeely, Daniel Slepukhin.

DEFENDERS (8): Cameron Marlow, Vincent Reyes, Juan Reyna, Nathan Smith, Oscar Sorto, Matt Tilley, Javan Torre, Ivan Velasquez.

MIDFIELDERS (6): Paul Arriola, Bryan Guzman, Grady Howe, Raul Mendiola, Drew Murphy, William Raygoza,

FORWARDS (5): Justin Dhillon, Lucas Da Silva, Aaron Lombardi, Sebastian Velasquez, Jaime Villarreal.

HEAD COACH: Alex Yi

19 March 2:32 pm

MLS upheld Chivas USA's appeal on Joaquin Velazquez's red card for a foul on Galaxy midfielder Colin Clark during the first half of Sunday's 1-1 draw in the SuperClasico. 

Salazar was bullish about the decision following the game, but an independent review panel -- which consists of one member of the U.S. Soccer federation, one member of the Canadian Soccer Association, and Professional Referees Organization -- opted to rescind the fine and the suspension on Tuesday. 

19 March 2:18 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will be without the services of captain Robbie Keane and defender Omar Gonzalez this weekend as both players seek to help their respective nations reach the 2014 World Cup. 

For Keane, a bid in the World Cup would be Ireland's first since 2002 when then 22-year-old Keane bagged three goals as Ireland reached the Round of 16 before falling to Spain in a penalty kick shootout. If Ireland is to return, they'll need a strong showing this week as they face massive ties against Sweden in Stockholm on March 22 and Austria in Dublin on March 26. 

My piece on Keane's goals with the Irish is below. 

Robbie Keane aim to take Ireland back to the World Cup

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Can Ireland advance back to the World Cup? 

Share your thoughts below.