07 July 12:52 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Every time that Omar Gonzalez takes on FC Dallas, the spotlight on the LA Galaxy center back shines just a little brighter.

After all, as a Dallas native, he draws considerable attention from the media in Texas for his success with the Galaxy and the U.S. National Team. But on Sunday, he'll have plenty of attention on him for a totally different reason as he's immortalized in a bobblehead that will be given to the first 10,000 fans at StubHub Center. 

However, Gonzalez isn’t too worried about the goings-on off the field; he’s simply focused on stopping a strong Dallas team that sits four points ahead of LA in the Western Conference standings.

“Dallas has had a pretty good first half of the season. They’re a team that’s really hard to beat. Their goalkeeper [Raul Fernandez] is playing really great and saving them in a lot of games. They’ve had a couple comeback wins so they have a lot of character and a lot of fight,” said Gonzalez. “This is a game where we have to have a lot of focus for 90 minutes plus. If we do have the lead, we have to keep them from scoring and play good football.”

For LA to keep Dallas off the scoreboard, Gonzalez must stop FCD’s ultra-physical Panamanian forward Blas Perez, who currently leads the club in goals with six.

“Blas Perez is a typical goal scorer. He likes to be in the box waiting for crosses and he’ll do anything to get his head on the ball,” said Gonzalez. “I think he’s very cheeky in box; he likes to make those little smart runs, so you just have to be aware. Make sure that he doesn’t get in behind and attack the ball before he does.”

As for that bobblehead of his, when asked about the figurine on Thursday, Gonzalez said that he had yet to see his own little-mini Omar.

But now that a few days have passed, what are his impressions?

“I’ve seen it maybe once. I didn’t really get a chance to exam it fully to make sure everything is correct,” said Gonzalez with a smirk. “It’s pretty funny to have a bobblehead…maybe I’ll give the guys from Dallas a bobblehead of their own.”

06 July 6:34 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- In the latest edition of View from the Booth, Joe Tutino and Cobi Jones preview the LA Galaxy's match against FC Dallas.

Check it out below...

06 July 6:19 pm

Three young LA Galaxy players are on their way to Sweden.

Forward Charlie Rugg, midfielder Kenney Walker and defender Bryan Gaul are off to Sweden to train with Swedish Superettan side Hammarby, a club official confirmed on Saturday. The 22-year-old Rugg, who was selected by the Galaxy with the 19th overall pick in the 2013 MLS SuperDraft, announced his move via his verified Twitter account on Saturday afternoon.

A team official confirmed the training stint, but did not provide a timeline for the moves. It is worth noting that neither Gaul nor Walker were present during the final 15 minutes of training on Saturday. 

Of the trio, only Rugg has seen time during the 2013 MLS regular season with one goal in his three appearances. Walker, 24, missed the entire preseason after undergoing surgery to repair a fractured fifth metatarsal in his right foot, but started along with Rugg in LA’s U.S. Open Cup defeat to the Carolina RailHawks on May 29.

After making 19 appearances in all competitions a year ago, the 24-year-old Gaul has yet to feature for the Galaxy in first team competition in 2013.

Coached by former Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter and co-owned by AEG, Hammarby are currently in seventh place in the Superettan and nine points out of a berth in the promotion playoffs.

06 July 12:33 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Ahead of Sunday’s clash with FC Dallas, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena discussed the team’s mindset heading into their 19th match of the year.

Arena’s comments from Saturday’s training session are below…

(On his impression of FC Dallas…)

ARENA: “They’ve been one of the top teams in the league to date. Obviously, [they] had a great start to the season. Their win against us at home is important for them and they’ve had some good wins. They’ve slowed down as of late, but they’re going to be one of the teams that are certainly going to be battling for the five playoff spots and possibly the first place position in the league.”

(On how he expects FC Dallas to come out to start the game…)

ARENA: “No idea. If you know, write it down for me and help me out a little bit. We never know these things.”

(On Blas Perez…)

ARENA: “He’s been good. He’s been pretty solid for his two years in the league. He has a good presence in the penalty area.”

(On how the team will do on the short rest…)

ARENA: “In this case, it’s the same for both teams, so we’re certainly not at a disadvantage. I think that we’ll be fine.”

(On the U.S. win over Guatemala….)

ARENA: “I only watched the first half; I thought that it was a terrible game to be honest with you. I don’t know who Guatemala had playing with them. It was an awful game on the field.”

(On Donovan bypassing the 50 goal mark for the U.S. team…)

ARENA: “That’s great for him. That’s a great milestone. Congratulations to Landon.” 

06 July 8:23 am

Landon Donovan signaled his return to the U.S. National Team with a bang on Friday.

Playing in his first match for the U.S. since last August, Donovan scored the 50th and 51st goals of his international career in the Americans’ 6-0 victory over Guatemala at San Diego’s Qualcomm Stadium. The goals were Donovan’s first with the national team since scoring a hat-trick against Scotland in May of 2012.

The U.S. dominated the young Guatemalan team from start to finish in front of a crowd of 25,080 in San Diego.

Jurgen Klinsmann's squad was up 1-0 at the half off a goal by former LA Galaxy forward Herculez Gomez in the 42nd minute, but once the second half began, Donovan truly got going. The Galaxy midfielder became the first American male to score 50 international goals in the 55th minute when he drew a penalty and then converted to put the U.S. up two. Donovan bagged his second of the night and 51st internationally in the 73rd minute when he expertly finished a well-placed cross by Stuart Holden cross. Sandwiched in-between those Donovan finishes, the Galaxy midfielder played the role of distributor as he helped set up Chris Wondolowski's first international goal in the 71st minute.  

Donovan exited the match in the 77th minute, but the U.S. did not take their foot off the gas as they rattled off two more goals from Clarence Goodson and Alejandro Bedoya to seal a 6-0 victory.

The U.S. begins their 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup campaign on June 9 against Belize at JELD-WEN Field.

Video of Donovan's goals are below...

Goal One:

Goal Two:

05 July 7:03 pm

 The LA Galaxy will be without the services of Landon Donovan for the month of July as he looks to lead the U.S. National Team to glory at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup, but they aren’t alone as 31 other players from 16 MLS teams will be taking part in the tournament’s group stages.

That number could grow after the group stage as the teams that advance to the knockout stages will be able to amend their rosters with players from their 35-man preliminary rosters—a prime example of this type of player is LA’s own Omar Gonzalez, who is considered likely to join the U.S. after the initial round.

Although the Galaxy are expected to feel the sting of the tournament, they may capitalize on it as two of their remaining four opponents in the month of July will be without key members of their respective squads.

On Thursday, the Columbus Crew were without the services of Costa Rican winger Jairo Arrieta during LA’s 2-1 victory. A third team would have been included in the list if the Galaxy’s next opponent FC Dallas had not reached an agreement with the Panamanian Federation to keep forward Blas Perez through Sunday’s match at StubHub Center.

After the Dallas match,  Bruce Arena’s squad will take on the Portland Timbers on July 13 at JELD-WEN Field, who will be without captain Will Johnson (Canada), left back Rodney Wallace (Costa Rica), and forward Frédéric Piquionne (Martinique). The Timbers can make a case for the team most affected by the tournament as they will be without their leader in goals (Johnson), leader in assists (Wallace), and an emerging offensive contributor (Piquionne).  With LA aiming to make a run up the Western Conference standings, they may be making the trip up to Portland at just the right time.

A week later, the Galaxy will take on a Vancouver Whitecaps FC side on July 20 that could also be missing three players: midfielder Russell Teibert and goalkeeper Simon Thomas (Canada) as well as defender Carlyle Mitchell (Trinidad and Tobago).  The latter two may be fringe players for the Whitecaps, but LA fans remember Teibert, who notched a brace against the club in their last meeting on May 11 at BC Place. Teibert may not be the only player missing from Vancouver's roster when the Whitecaps come to visit, however, as center back Johnny Leverón was named to Honduras’ 35-man preliminary roster and could be called up after the group stage.

The Galaxy wrap on their July slate on the 27th at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park when they take on a Colorado Rapids side free of Gold Cup entanglements. Colorado is one of three teams (New England Revolution and Montreal Impact being the others) who will not be affected by the tournament during the group stage.


Can the Galaxy capitalize on this opportunity? Will LA make a run up the table in July?

05 July 12:13 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy erased a one-goal deficit late on the heels of a pair of Robbie Keane penalty kick goals on Thursday, to seal a 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew.

But while the Galaxy were jovial after the match, Columbus was left fuming about the calls made by referee Sorin Stoica.

“Unfortunately for us, the referee called [the penalties],” Columbus coach Robert Warzycha told reporters after the match. “From my point of view, it’s difficult to judge. What I can tell you is [Columbus goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum] said he didn’t initiate contact [on the first penalty], then on the second penalty [Bernardo Anor] said he was just going for the ball. The referee called both of them, and that’s the game, unfortunately.”

The second penalty, which was drawn when Keane was fouled in the box by Anor in the waning moments of the match, drew the most contention postgame for Crew and Galaxy players alike.

But what did members of the LA Galaxy think of the calls? Reporters asked Keane, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, and center back Omar Gonzalez about the penalty calls after the match, and all seemed to bring up the second penalty.

Their responses are below…

KEANE: “The second one I’m looking at the ball and someone comes into the back of you. If someone runs into the back of you without you knowing the fact is you’re going to fall over. I didn't see him behind me when I wanted to take the ball down and he just ran into me. When you’re in the penalty box you obviously have to be very careful.”

ARENA: “The second one—we might have been fortunate on. I haven’t seen them on tape. The first one I think Jose was taken down, but I think there wasn’t any of them you could say 100 percent penalty. The Crew is going to feel a little disappointed, for sure.”

GONZALEZ: “Several times this season, I think we’ve played great games but have let up late, or things just don’t go our way. Tonight, maybe the second PK wasn't such a great call, but hey, it went in our favor and I can’t ask for anything more than that. It was a great call by the referee, especially at home, and getting the win for the fans, it was great. It just showed a lot of character, going down 1-0 after dominating the entire game. Showing the character to come back and win the game 2-1 was great.”

What are your thoughts?

Watch the video of the second penalty call below and leave your thoughts in the comments section.

05 July 3:10 am

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy earned a dramatic comeback victory over the Columbus Crew on Thursday as two Robbie Keane penalty kick goals sealed a 2-1 win for LA. 

My Three Points to the game can be found here

Post game notes can be found below...

*The victory was the Galaxy's first win when allowing the first goal. LA is now 1-6-0 in that situation. LA's last come from behind victory in the MLS Regular Season came on July 14, 2012 vs. the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field.

*LA outshot the Crew 23 to eight. 

*Robbie Keane is now the LA Galaxy's 2013 MLS Regular Season goal scoring leader with seven goals. Keane was already the leader in goals among current Galaxy players, but bypassed Mike Magee's mark of six with two strikes on Thursday. Keane has scored four of his goals on penalty kick attempts. Keane now has 25 goals in 42 career regular season games with the Galaxy. He is the eighth different player to score 25 or more regular season goals for LA.

*LA has completed five of their seven penalty kicks this season. 

*LA’s seven penalty attempts this year are tied for the second most in club history. Only in 2003, when the Galaxy drew eight penalties, did they attempt more spot kicks. The last time LA had seven penalties in a single season was 2007, when they also went 5-for-7.

* The Galaxy have now scored eight times in the final 15 minutes during regular season play while conceding 14. Additionally, of the nine goals scored and allowed in the Champions League, six came in the final 15 minutes.

* 28 of the 60 goals scored in Galaxy games in all competitions this year have been scored in the final 15 minutes.

*The Galaxy are now 10-5-3 all-time on the Fourth ofJuly. LA has played at home on Independence Day for 18 consecutive seasons, which according to Elias Sports Bureau is an American sports record. 

*LA is currently in fourth place in the Western Conference with 27 points. They sit seven points back of MLS Supporters' Shield leaders Real Salt Lake with a game in hand. 


05 July 12:43 am

CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane played the role of hero for the LA Galaxy against the Columbus Crew and the Irish forward broke down the match in an interview with reporters after the game.

Keane’s quotes are below…

(On the result of tonight’s match…)

KEANE: “Of course after the result on Sunday it’s important to get a win no matter which way we did it. We’re certainly the better team there’s no question about it when you win down a goal with ten minutes to go.”

(On his the second penalty call…)

KEANE: “The second one I’m looking at the ball and someone comes into the back of you. If someone runs into the back of you without you knowing the fact is you’re going to fall over. I didn't see him behind me when I wanted to take the ball down and he just ran into me. When you’re in the penalty box you obviously have to be very careful.”

(On the team’s many opportunities tonight…)

KEANE: “We certainly should have put away a few. We had a lot chances where we went over the bar and stuff like that. I think the most important thing is getting into the spots. If we were not getting any chances I’d be certainly worried but the fact that we are getting them. It’s only a matter of time before we start putting them in and we start scoring a lot of goals.”

(On what he says to Gyasi Zardes amid his slump…)

KEANE: “Keep putting them away. It happens to all of us. When you don't score its in the back of your mind. When you’re younger it's a little bit different than when you’re old and you’ve been playing for a long time you know how to deal with it better. Someone like Gyasi, I’m sure he’ll be thinking about it, something that I used to do when I was younger, conjuring it in your head for days. The only thing you can do is just keep plugging away, and as I said if he keeps getting put on spots its only a matter of time before he starts putting a few goals away.”

(On whether he was worrying that he’d miss his second goal…)

KEANE: “No, not really, the same as the first one. I was waiting for him to go early but this one he didn't. The first one he went early so that's why I put it that way, but the second time he waited for the last second. I said if he was going to wait I’m going to put it in the same corner. So luckily enough for me it went through.”

(On the quick turnaround against FC Dallas…)

KEANE: “Obviously it’s been a really tough week for us. I think that's why we have all of the trainers to make sure we get ready for the game Sunday. It's a quick turnaround but I think it's the same for everybody so it doesn't make a difference.”

(On if the team had lost…)

KEANE: “I think we would have been completely shattered, to be honest our heads would have been down. But, because you do win a game, its amazing how confidence can get you through games and get through a few more days. Yeah we lost the game on Sunday, but the fact that we’ve got the three points is huge. “

(On the overall play tonight…)

KEANE: “We defended well and we played a lot of chances. It's a game where there no way we should have lost. They had one chance and that was with the header. We had a lot of chances, just didn't put them away, and that's the way it goes. As long as we keep plugging away and keep getting in position then we’ll be fine.”

04 July 11:50 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena's postgame thoughts from the LA Galaxy's 2-1 victory over the Columbus Crew.

Arena's thoughts are below...

(Overall thoughts on the game...)

ARENA: “We fought hard to try and win the game. We were fortunate to capitalize on two penalty kicks. On the night, we played OK—the second half a little bit better than the first half. We can certainly be accused of not finishing our chances, and putting ourselves in a poor position, which certainly happened. Give Columbus credit, they certainly played hard, got a great goal. Not to take anything away from them, it was a great goal. We just had to battle and try to create some chances at the end and we were fortunate to get a couple of calls that made a difference. We’ve been on the other side of those games a couple of times this year. At this point in the season, we should have 11, 12 victories, but we’ve shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times. We got to battle and keep moving forward. We have to move up the ladder in a very competitive conference.”

(On Galaxy going forward...)

ARENA: “There’s an awful lot of work to be done. Finishing our chances is one of them. Defensively on the night, we were, for the most part, pretty good. Columbus really wasn’t that dangerous and 10 minutes to go we’re chasing the game, and that’s not good. So, we got to get better in all aspects and hopefully we can.”

(On Columbus’ goal...)

ARENA: “I don’t know how you look at that goal tonight, that’s one of those once in a lifetime-type of goals. I haven’t seen it on tape or anything, but it looked like he stuck that in the corner pretty well and he’s 16 yards out, so it’s one of those plays that happened.”

(On the penalties...)

ARENA: “The second one—we might have been fortunate on. I haven’t seen them on tape. The first one I think Jose was taken down, but I think there wasn’t any of them you could say 100 percent penalty. The Crew’s going to feel a little disappointed, for sure.”

(On the struggles of Gyasi Zardes...)

ARENA: "That's what separates the men from the boys generally. The players that finish off those chances make a pretty good living around the world. Goal scorers, you got to have a lot of respect for. Gyasi is still young in the trade. He's probably been healthy for three months this year and hopefully, he's going to get better in the penalty area. That's the goal. The positive part is that each and every game, he's getting a bunch of good chances, so hopefully he'll start putting some of those away." 

(On the possibility of losing Omar Gonzalez during the transfer window...)

ARENA: "That's not likely to happen."


Share your thoughts below...