Landon Donovan is heading to the U.S. preliminary camp in Stanford next week and seems a lock to be on the squad, but will he be starting come the Americans opening match with Ghana?
In my latest story for LAGalaxy.com, Donovan talks about how he feels like he is entering his best form of the year after a strong showing against the Portland Timbers as he looks to head off to join the rest of the 30-man preliminary squad at Stanford University later this week.
Although Donovan earned the call as expected, many were surprised that U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann opted to slot Donovan in among the roster's forwards despite playing predominantly at midfield over the past year. During a conference call with reporters after the roster announcement, Klinsmann explained himself.
The way we put the 30-man roster together, we see Landon as a forward because we saw also competition in midfield,” said Klinsmann. “You always have these kind of options...but in putting these 30 players together, we just think that’s where we want to see them compete in the first place, as a first option.”
Klinsmann also chimed in on Omar Gonzalez, who missed LA's match with the Timbers last weekend due to a left knee injury by stating that he is confident that he'll be back to full fitness shortly.
"It's very short period of time that he can't go 100 percent," Klinsmann said. "By the end of the week he actually should be at 100 percent already. So he'll be just a few days late, which is alright. We'll have him from the beginning of next week going full speed with the group. Thankfully the injury was not that bad and it didn't take him out for much longer. Obviously the first moment we got the information [of the injury], we were a little bit worried."
On the same day that the United States released their preliminary roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, frequent World Cup nemesis Ghana also revealed their pre-tournament group of 26 players.
Headlining the group is 2010 World Cup star forward Asamoah Gyan, Schalke’s Kevin-Prince Boateng as well as wily veterans Michael Essien and Sulley Muntari. The group is nearly entirely made up of foreign-based players with goalkeeper Stephen Adams being the only player who is based in Ghana’s professional league.
Ghana open the tournament against Group G rivals the United States on June 16 in Natal.
The roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS: Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset), Fatau Dauda (Orlando Pirates), Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars)
DEFENDERS: Samuel Inkoom (Platanias), Daniel Opare (Standard Liege), Harrison Afful (Esperance), Jeffrey Schullp (Leicester City), John Boye (Rennes), Jonathan Mensah (Evian), Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor), Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns)
MIDFIELDERS: Michael Essien (AC Milan), Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar), Agyemang Badu (Udinese), Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus), Sulley Muntari (AC Milan), Albert Adomah (Middlesborough), Wakasu Mubarak (Rubin Kazan), Christian Atsu (Vitesse), David Accam (Helsingborg), Andre Ayew (Marseille), Afriyie Acquah (Parma)
FORWARDS: Asamoah Gyan (Al-Ain), Kevin-Prince Boateng (Schalke), Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes), Jordan Ayew (Sochaux)
LA Galaxy right back Dan Gargan has been one of the standouts of the 2014 MLS regular season and on Monday, he was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week for his role in LA's 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday.
Throughout the afternoon, Gargan was able to silence speedy left winger Steve Zakuani, but his finest moment came in stoppage time as Gargan's throw-in led to Robbie Keane's header that appeared to seal three points for LA before Diego Valeri's equalizer moments later.
Following the match, Gargan admitted that he was pleased with his performance.
"[Zakuani] is quick and I think that I may have underestimated his speed a little bit in the first half, but I didn't think he could keep up with me in the second half," said Gargan. "I thought it was tough on the turf and I could have had better quality in the final third."
The two LA Galaxy stalwarts were named to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's 30-man preliminary roster ahead of next month's 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. The group will convene at Stanford University on Wednesday for a two-week training camp where Klinsmann will reduce his group to the 23-man squad that will head to Brazil.
The complete roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (3): Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (11): DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Michael Parkhurst (Columbus Crew), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Joe Corona (Club Tijuana), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Maurice Edu (Philadelphia Union), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS (6): Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Thoughts on the squad?
Juninho and Robbie Keane left frustrated after questionable call late in LA Galaxy draw with Portland Timbers
PORTLAND, Ore. -- The LA Galaxy could not hide their disgust at referee Armando Villarreal after their 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers.
Villarreal's decision to not award a foul after Juninho was brought down by Portland's Darlington Nagbe after an uncontested run through the field gave life to the Timbers who scored on a Diego Valeri finish two minutes later. Following the match, the Brazilian midfielder confirmed that he was taken down by Nagbe.
"I felt like that he pushed me in the back," said Juninho. "[The referee] made a real mistake."
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane agreed that it was clear that Juninho was brought down, but he told reporters after the game that the Galaxy must perform better in the closing moments of matches if they are to improve upon a frustrating result.
“We can stand there and make excuses, but we cannot concede the goal at the end there’s no questions about that. In the last few seconds, we have to be stronger," said Keane. "The linesman has to see that [Juninho foul] because he’s right there while the head referee is chasing the game like the rest of us. There were some poor decisions, but we have to accept and take responsibility ourselves because in the last minutes, we can’t allow goals like that.”
Watch the foul below and comment on whether or not you believe the call was correct
PORTLAND, Ore. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media after LA's 1-1 draw with the Portland Timbers.
His comments are below.
(On the officiating…)
ARENA: “Our team played very well, but the referee has to give us that call on Juninho. It’s at least a foul or a yellow card or red card. We have to manage the game better at the end, we had five minutes of extra time, but listen, we fell asleep at the end of the game. A bunch of guys can do better on the last play, but we played very well and should have walked away with three points….[Villarreal] blew it.”
(On whether the team feels cheated…)
ARENA: “Our team played very well. We had a thoroughly dominating performance. They didn’t create a lot except for their set piece where [Futty Danso] hit the far post. We were very good defensively and kept the ball very well, but it is a shame that we didn’t get the three points. We can fault the referee as much as we want, but we were still in control at the end of the game where we could have denied them a goal scoring opportunity.”
(On whether this is the team’s best performance of the season…)
ARENA: “Yes, I’d say so. It will help us to play some games consecutively and get a bit of a rhythm.”
(On the play of Landon Donovan…)
ARENA: “Landon was the best player on the field today, he played very well. It was good to see.”
It was quite a remarkable day for the LA Galaxy Academy.
The LA Galaxy Under-14’s, Under-16’s and Under-18’s all picked up victories against their counterparts from Nomads SC with LA winning the three games by a combined score of 20-0.
LA’s U-18’s opened the afternoon with a 6-0 victory as Adonis Amaya and Jorge Ruiz each tallied a brace while Jaime Villarreal and Hugo Gutierrez rounded out the scoring. The victory moves their record to an impressive 17-5-3 mark for the season.
The Galaxy U-16’s kept up the momentum in the second match as they cruised to a 5-0 victory over Nomads. Dylan Smith scored three goals while Ethan Zubak added a brace of his own in the victory. With their win, the LA U-16’s are 17-2-6 on the year.
In the final match of the evening, the Galaxy U-14’s demolished Nomads SC 9-0 as they improved their record to 15-4-3 this season.
LAGalaxy.com spoke to midfielders Stefan Ishizaki, Baggio Husidic and defender A.J. DeLaGarza ahead of Sunday's clash with the Portland Timbers.
Check out the video below.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez is expected to be among the 30 players named to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for his preliminary World Cupr roster and in the latest episode of the "brazuca Around the World" series by adidas, he discusses the team's motivation heading into Brazil.
Check out the short video below.
In the latest edition of MLSsoccer.com's Scouting Report, the site's editors break down the LA Galaxy's match with the Portland Timbers
Check it out below.