Beat

17 February 4:05 pm

FRESNO, Calif. – LA Galaxy II won their inaugural game on Thursday with a 2-1 victory over the Fresno Fuego.

Although goal scorers Travis Bowen and Raul Mendiola are known quantities to Galaxy fans, many of the players were a mystery.

Below is a break down on the players who suited up for LA Galaxy II:

Starting Lineup:

Goalkeeper Cody Laurendi:  Trained with the Galaxy first team at the start of the season and spent the last two seasons with NASL club Ft. Lauderdale Strikers.

Right back Oscar Sorto: LA Galaxy Homegrown Player.

Center back Daniel Steres: Former San Diego State Aztecs defender who was drafted by Chivas USA in 2012. After being released by Chivas, he signed with Seattle Sounders FC for the duration of the season before spending last season with USL PRO club Wilmington Hammerheads.

Center back Bradley Diallo: A Olympique de Marseille youth product, the 23-year-old spent two years with English League One side Oldham Athletic before joining Royal White Star Bruxelles in the Belgian second division.

Left back Jason Bli: A 21-year-old French defender spent the last season with Paris FC. Bli made 11 appearances for the third division French club.

Right midfielder Aleksandar Djokovic: A 22-year-old former Serbrian youth international spent 2013 with Ironi Nir Ramat HaSharon in the Israeli first division.

Central midfielder Kenney Walker: LA Galaxy first team player. Walker spent much of last season on loan to the Carolina RailHawks of the NASL.

Central midfielder Dragan Stojkov: A 25-year-old former Macedonian youth international who spent the last four seasons with FK Jagodina of Serbia’s first division. Stojkov made 53 appearances for Jagodina over that span.

Left midfielder Raul Mendiola: LA Galaxy Academy graduate who is reportedly about to be signed by the Galaxy as their latest Homegrown Player.

Forward Travis Bowen:  Older brother of former Galaxy Homegrown forward Tristan Bowen. The 24-year-old spent last season with USL PRO side Phoenix Wolves FC before splitting time with Ventura County Fusion and the Portland Timbers U-23s.

Forward Jack McBean: LA Galaxy Homegrown Player.

Substitutions:

Forward Jaime Villarreal: Galaxy Academy U-18 and younger brother of LA Homegrown Player Jose Villarreal.  The 18-year-old has scored five goals for the LA U-18’s this year.

Forward Adonis Amaya: Galaxy Academy U-18 who committed to UC Santa Barbara for the upcoming Fall semester. The 17-year-old has scored 14 goals for the Galaxy U-18’s this year.

Center back Lee Nishanian: A four-year starter for Cal-State San Bernardino and two time selection to the All-California Collegiate Athletic Association first team.

Center back Logan Emory: Spent last season playing for Toronto FC before being waved and joining NASL club San Antonio Scorpions. Emory made 24 league appearances for TFC across two seasons.

Right back Eder Arreola: Spent the last year with Mexican Liga de Ascenso side Delfines del Carmen.  Drafted by the Houston Dynamo after starring for UCLA during four years, Arreola helped United States Adult Soccer Association club Cal FC reach the fourth round of the U.S. Open Cup in 2012.

Midfielder Laurent Courtois: Split 2013 between Chivas USA and the LA Galaxy. Courtois will serve as player-coach for LA Galaxy II in 2014.

Midfielder Alejandro Covarrubias: The midfielder will be a senior this season at Cal-State Dominquez Hills. Covarrubias played 18 games for the Toros in 2013 scoring six goals and five assists.

Midfielder Abraham Campos: The 24-year-old midfielder spent the past three seasons with the Fresno Fuego. Campos also had a brief stint with Club Inter of the Mexican third division.

Forward Aaron Lombardi: Galaxy Academy U-18 who has made 13 appearances this season scoring three goals.

Midfielder Eljiah Martin: Galaxy Academy U-18 who has played in 12 games for the youth side so far this season. The Fresno native has tallied one goal this season.

Goalkeeper Nick Shackelford: A 23-year-old goalkeeper from St. Louis University. Shackelford made starts in all four years with the Billikens. 

17 February 3:45 pm

FRESNO, Calif. – The LA Galaxy took home the inaugural Central California Cup with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, but will their trip to Fresno become a yearly visit?

Fueled by goals by Marcelo Sarvas and Gyasi Zardes, the Galaxy held off their archrivals to earn their first silverware of the season. Following the game that saw 12,659 fans fill a sold-out Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena admitted that he was quite taken by the atmosphere created by the raucous crowd.

“I’m sure that we’ll be talking to the promoters of the game tonight and see if there is a possibility of returning in the future,” said Arena after the match which was the Galaxy's first game in Fresno since 2007.

Galaxy club president Chris Klein was similarly impressed by the facilities that hosted both the first team match on Saturday and the inaugural game for LA Galaxy II on Thursday.  Klein even went as far to praise the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino which hosted both Galaxy squads.

“To be hosted by the city of Fresno and the Fresno Fuego has been nice for us. It fits nicely into our preseason,” said Klein. “[The team] enjoyed it. The players enjoy getting up here and being able to bond a little bit, they went to the Casino a little bit and they’ve enjoyed themselves.”

It wasn’t just the Galaxy brass who was impressed as U.S. National Team regulars Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were wowed by the Fresno faithful.

"I was really impressed with the crowd,” said Donovan. “I thought it was great and there's no reason why we shouldn't come back here again."

Gonzalez went a bit further even stating that he hoped LA returned next year.

"The fans came out tonight and hopefully we will be back again next year…and hopefully we can keep the Cup," said the Galaxy defender.

--

Do you think the Galaxy will return next year? Hoping to make the trip if they do?

Share your thoughts below. 

17 February 10:10 am

LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez and Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley were guests on Monday on ABC's famed morning show Good Morning America. 

During the interview, Gonzalez and Bradley each touched on the expectations for their respective club teams this season and the goals of the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Gonzalez is joined in New York by fellow LA teammate Landon Donovan as part of the league's Media and Marketing tour.  As the tour continues, Gonzalez will be appearing on Fox Sports 1's "Crowd Goes Wild" with Regis Philbin at 5 pm ET. while Donovan will be appearing alongside Bradley on MSNBC morning talk show "Cup of Joe" with Joe Scarborough at 7:50 am ET

Check out Gonzalez's GMA appearance below. 

16 February 1:25 pm

Club Tijuana’s road woes in the Liga MX continued on Friday as Xolos fell 3-2 to Santos Laguna in Torreon to extend their road winless streak to 18 games.

Santos tallied twice in the first half with a penalty kick finish from Juan Rodriguez in the 14th minute and a Mauro Cejas tally seven minutes later. The Xoloitzcuintles cut the deficit in half in the 24th minute as Cristian Pellerano buried a close-range attempt past Santos goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.

Santos doubled their lead again in the 49th minute after a goal from Darwin Quintero to put the match out of reach for Tijuana. Xolos attacker Fidel Martinez helped Tijuana mount a comeback in the 60th minute by slotting a left-footed shot into the lower corner of the Santos net. Tijuana continued to push numbers forward in the waning moments, but could not complete the comeback.

Edgar Castillo was the lone American starter as Joe Benny Corona and Herculez Gomez entered in the second half. American defender Greg Garza was left on the bench for the defeat while Paul Arriola did not make the gameday squad. 

Tijuana are now 3-3-1 with 10 points in the 2014 Clausura tournament and have taken just four points out of 54 in their last 18 road games. The LA Galaxy face Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals in March. 

Highlights of the match are below. 

15 February 11:33 pm

FRESNO, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes made a statement on Saturday with his stunning goal to seal the Central California Cup -- he's steadily becoming the dangerous striker that was among 2013's most highly-touted prospects.

In my story for LAGalaxy.com, Zardes talks about his development over the past year after scoring a highlight-reel finish that helped LA defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday evening.

The goal can be viewed below.

15 February 11:08 pm

FRESNO, Calif. – Following the LA Galaxy’s 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on the club’s Central California Cup victory.

View them below.

(On his general thoughts from the victory…)

ARENA: “I think that it was another good step forward in our preseason. Obviously, we had a chance to play most of our first team players for 60 minutes which is good. Both teams are missing a few key players, but I think that it is good progression for us and that was the main objective for us. I think that the group that played in the first half did very good.”

(On Gyasi Zardes’ play…)

ARENA: “He played well. Fabulous goal. I think the entire evening was very good. We’re going to be playing him this year both at forward and in midfield.”

(On Samuel’s play…)

ARENA: “I think that this was the best that Samuel has played for us. He’s still getting adjusted to Major League Soccer, which is a different style and a different culture. It’ll take a bit of time.” 

(On anything that he didn't like...)

ARENA: “I thought that our second group was a little bit sloppy in those last 30 minutes. That certainly could have been better.” 

15 February 1:23 pm

FRESNO, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on their archrival San Jose Earthquakes in the Central California Cup on Saturday at Chukchansi Park in Fresno. 

Remember you can watch Saturday's match by going to LAGalaxy.com/Live

Below are a series of links, notes, matchups to watch and even a projected Galaxy lineup. 

LINKS AND NOTES

*Saturday's Central California Cup is receiving a lot of publicity in Fresno almost 10,000 tickets sold for the match. Even the local mayor of Fresno is getting into the act, declaring Saturday "MLS Day" in the city

*CONCACAF.com's Robert Jonas provides an Earthquakes-centric preview of tonight's match

*Robbie Keane is not expected to travel with the team to Fresno as he continues to return from achillies surgery. The Irishman trained with LA Galaxy II and told reporters earlier this week that he's aiming to return for either LA's closed-door scrimmage against UCLA or the "White vs. Blue Game" on Saturday against Galaxy II.

*With just two preseason games remaining after Saturday, keep an eye on right back trialists Matheau Hall, Dan Gargan and James Riley as they fight for a spot on LA's 2014 roster.  

MATCHUPS TO WATCH

Omar Gonzalez vs. Steven Lenhart

Always the most exciting battle when these two teams tussle, due to their contentious battle in the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs, expect another physical clash between the cagey Quakes striker and the physical center back. Even though the match is a preseason contest, look for a few hard fouls on both sides as Lenhart looks to test Gonzalez. 

Rob Friend vs. Victor Bernardez

Friend has been by far the most impressive Galaxy attacker this preseason, but he'll have his hands full when he seeks to break through the equally burly Victor Bernardez. Look for Friend and fellow strike partner Samuel to lure the Quakes defense out of position and create space for the likes Landon Donovan and Stefan Ishizaki. 

Marcelo Sarvas vs. Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi

For two teams that have had a number of intense battles over the last two years, Pierazzi will be a relatively unknown quantity for the Galaxy on Saturday. A central midfielder who will look to distruibte the ball up field, expect the industrious Sarvas to pressure the Frenchman early and distrupt the Quakes passing lanes. 

PROJECTED LINEUP:

Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Opare, Cochrane; Ishizaki, Sarvas, Husidic, Donovan; Samuel, Friend

15 February 11:46 am

When the LA Galaxy take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening, you'll be able to watch the Central California Cup on LAGalaxy.com.

Watch the game tonight at LAGalaxy.com/Live

14 February 11:13 am

The LA Galaxy will have a familiar voice on the call when Time Warner Cable SportsNet broadcasts games this season.

Veteran play-by-play man Joe Tutino, who has covered the Galaxy since 1997, will make his return to the television booth alongside color commentator and fellow LA legend Cobi Jones for the station's 21 televised matches this season. Tutino served as the radio “voice” of the Galaxy from 2003 to 2013 and held both television and radio play-by-play spots from 1999 to 2002.  During the team’s inaugural season, Tutino served as the public address announcer at the Rose Bowl. They will be joined by sideline reporter Kelli Tennant who held the position during the 2013 season. 

On the Time Warner Cable Deportes side, play-by-play man Samuel Jacobo, color commentator Martin Zúñiga, and sideline reporter Elmur Souza all return after working the 2013 season. Deportes will broadcast 16 Galaxy regular season games this season.

Also returning will be LA oriented programing like Backstage: Galaxy, Galaxy Confidencial, Galaxy Compacto, Timeless Galaxy, Access SportsNet: Galaxy and Tu Show Deportivo.

The complete Galaxy television schedule is below.

DAY                 DATE                 OPPONENT                                 TIME (PT)       TELEVISION

Saturday          March 8             vs. Real Salt Lake                        7:30 p.m.        TWCSN/TWCD

Wednesday      March 12            vs. Club Tijuana                          7:00 p.m.        Fox Soccer Plus

Tuesday            March 18            at Club Tijuana                             7:00 p.m.         Fox Sports 2

Saturday           March 22            at Real Salt Lake                          1 p.m.             NBCSN

Sunday             April 6                at Chivas USA                              12 p.m.           TWCSN/UniMas

Saturday          April 12              vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC          7:30 p.m.        TWCSN/TWCD

Saturday           April 19              at Vancouver Whitecaps FC             4:00 p.m.         TWCSN/TWC 

Saturday           May 3                 at Colorado Rapids                      6 p.m.             TWCSN/TWCD

Sunday             May 11               at Portland Timbers                      11:30 a.m.       NBCSN

Saturday           May 17               at Houston Dynamo                     5:30 p.m.         TWCSN/TWCD

Wednesday      May 21               vs. FC Dallas                               7:30 p.m.        TWCSN/TWCD

Sunday            May 25               vs. Philadelphia Union                5 p.m.             TWCSN/UDN

Sunday             June 1                at Chicago Fire                             1:00 p.m.         TWCSN/TWC 

Sunday            June 8               vs. Chivas USA                           5 p.m.             TWCSN/UDN

Saturday           June 28              at San Jose Earthquakes              7:30 p.m.         NBCSN         

Friday              July 4                vs. Portland Timbers                   8 p.m.             NBCSN

Saturday          July 12               vs. Real Salt Lake                        7:30 p.m.        TWCSN/TWCD

Wednesday      July 16               vs. New England Revolution               7:30 p.m.        TWCSN/TWCD

Saturday           July 19               at Sporting Kansas City                3 p.m.             ESPN2

Saturday           July 26               at Seattle Sounders FC                 7 p.m.             ESPN2

Saturday          August 2            vs. Portland Timbers                   11:30 a.m.            NBC

Friday              August 8            vs. San Jose Earthquakes           7:30 p.m.              NBCSN

Saturday           August 16           at Columbus Crew                        4:30 p.m.         TWCSN/TWCD

Wednesday       August 20           at Colorado Rapids                      6 p.m.             TWCSN/TWCD

Saturday          August 23          vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC          7:30 p.m.        TWCSN/TWCD

Wednesday      August 27          vs. DC United                              7:30 pm          TWCSN/TWCD

Sunday             August 31           at Chivas USA                              5 p.m.             TWCSN/UDN

Friday              September 5      vs. Colorado Rapids                    7:30 p.m.            NBCSN

Wednesday       September 10     at Montreal Impact                        4:30 p.m.         TWCSN/TWC 

Sunday             September 14     at San Jose Earthquakes              12 p.m.           TWCSN/UniMas

Saturday          September 20    vs. FC Dallas                               7:30 p.m.        TWCSN/TWC

Sunday            September 28    vs. New York Red Bulls               5:30 p.m.           ESPN

Saturday          October 4           vs. Toronto FC                            7:30 p.m.        TWCSN/TWCD

Sunday             October 12         at FC Dallas                                 4 p.m.             ESPN2

Sunday            October 19         vs. Seattle Sounders FC              5:30 p.m.        ESPN

Saturday           October 25         at Seattle Sounders FC                 11:30 a.m.       NBC

13 February 11:12 pm

FRESNO, Calif. – Laurent Courtois is staying with the LA Galaxy, in albeit a much different role than the one he held in 2013.

Courtois confirmed to LA Galaxy Insider on Saturday following LA Galaxy II’s 2-1 victory over the Fresno Fuego, that he will be joining the first-year USL PRO club as a player-coach for the 2014 season. The 35-year-old who made 10 appearances in all competitions with two goals and one assist for LA’s first team last season went 45 minutes in the midfield of Galaxy II’s victory.

“It’s a nice experience for me and I look forward to bring what I can with my experience. I think that we can optimistic because the staff is interesting and the team is very good as well,” said Courtois who also operates his own soccer academy called the French Soccer Institute. “Curt Onalfo’s resume speaks for itself and I’m glad that I get the chance to work with him. For me, it’s a really it’s a great experience and I hope that I can learn as much as I can on and off the field.”

And as he gains experience with Galaxy II, Courtois hopes that his time as a player-coach will only help him when he decides to focus on coaching full time.  

“[Head coaching] is the goal, so I have to learn from the best and the most experience,” added Courtois. “This is the best place to be right now.”