U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne explains the role the U.S. Embassy plays when American clubs travel abroad
MEXICO CITY – Prior to their match against Liga MX side Pumas UNAM on Tuesday, the LA Galaxy received a rare treat -- a visit from the United States Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne.
Wayne was presented a team-autographed jersey by U.S. international Landon Donovan – one of Hayes’ favorite athletes – and took in the match as the Galaxy fell 2-1 to UNAM at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario. The gesture was a thank you of sorts from the Galaxy as Wayne and his office provide vital assistance whenever American teams—be they the Galaxy or the U.S. National Team—travel to Mexico.
“In general, things go very smoothly. But once in a while, there is a visa problem or a passport gets lost and then we are available to help," Wayne told LA Galaxy Insider. "Sometimes there are questions about security and our security office is ready to help when American teams are here—basically to facilitate if there is a need for facilitation. Fortunately, as the Mexicans say ‘mi casa es su casa’ (my house is your house) so the attitude is very warm and receiving.”
The game of soccer is not a mystery for Wayne who was a former defender –he describes himself as being ‘not too fast but having a good leg’ –in his youth while also serving as a coach on his children’s soccer teams.
Although the ambassador’s work is to further the intricately complicated relationship between the United States and Mexico, Wayne admits that one of his favorite moments of the past year was when the two CONCACAF rivals faced off.
“It’s pretty exciting. There’s a lot of emotion in the stadium but not too many people cheering for the U.S. at the Azteca. Generally though, it’s a way to bring people together,” said Wayne. “For the last meeting between the two teams, we brought young people together in a city library. It was simply great fun. Like I said, sports cross borders and they teach valuable lessons like sportsmanship and leadership.”
MEXICO CITY -- Ahead of Tuesday's closed-door scrimmage with Pumas UNAM, the LA Galaxy had a chance to practice at the training facilities of the seven-time Mexican champions on Tuesday.
The session lasted just over an hour and was attended by more than 30 representatives from Herbalife Mexico.
The photos can be seen below.
CCL Preview: Club Tijuana leave it late, but extend home unbeaten run with 2-1 victory over Monterrey
It turns out all Club Tijuana needed to return to winning ways was a little home cooking.
Back at the Estadio Caliente, Dario Benedetto and Cristian Pellerano scored as Tijuana erased a second half deficit to defeat C.F. Monterrey 2-1, moving up to sixth place in the 2014 Torneo Clausura. The win extended Xolos’ home unbeaten streak to 17 games.
After a back-and-forth first half, Monterrey attacker Cesar Delgado put Los Rayados up in the 65th minute when he launched a shot from beyond the penalty area that sailed past Xolos goalkeeper Cirilo Saucedo.
Tijuana needed just 10 minutes to equalize when Benedetto, who came on for American Herculez Gomez in the second half, smashed a close-range opportunity into the back of the Monterrey net. The winner came in the 86th minute as a Juan Hernandez header found a lurking Pellerano setting up an easy finish for the Argentine midfielder.
Club Tijuana returns to action on Feb. 14 when they travel to Torreon to take on Santos Laguna with hopes of snapping their 17-match road winless streak.
Highlights from the match against Monterrey are below...
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane will not be taking the field for the LA Galaxy in Saturday’s preseason friendly against FC Shirak, but his return is not too far off.
After undergoing offseason surgery on both of his Achilles, Keane has been reduced to jogging this offseason while his teammates train. However according to head coach Bruce Arena, he may return to training next week.
“We’re doing all the necessary things with him in a very conservative way. If Robbie had it his way, he’d probably be training now but we’re going to let him move along accordingly,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com. “We want to make sure that he’s not rushed back too soon. There’s no reason to believe that next week with a little more work and off, he’ll be ready to go at full speed the following week.”
Next month the LA Galaxy will begin their Road to Morocco with their CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals series against Club Tijuana.
Due to the proximity of the the cities of Los Angeles and Tijuana, we have decided to investigate the culture and relationship between the two cities in a series that we're calling the "Road to Morocco." In our first video, which you can see above, I take a look at what it is like to see a Club Tijuana match at the Estadio Calliente. Although there may be apprehension from many about crossing the border into Mexico ahead of the March 18 CCL second leg in Tijuana, I found the fans to be very receptive and eager to see a substantial Galaxy presence in their home stadium.
To accompany our video series, LAGalaxy.com photographer Paolo Ferrari created a photo gallery of our trip which you can see below.
The preseason is finally upon us and changes are being made rather rapidly for the LA Galaxy.
LA announced that the team has reconvened for the 2014 on Friday and will hold their first open session for the media on Tuesday, Jan. 28. When LA does return to preseason, they’ll be doing so without a handful of notable players from 2013 including goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini and midfielder Michael Stephens who will not return for the upcoming season. Also departing are Sean Franklin (selected in MLS Re-Entry Draft Stage One), Hector Jimenez (trade to Columbus), Laurent Courtois (option declined), Colin Clark (option declined), Pablo Mastroeni (retired), and Jose Villarreal (loan to Cruz Azul).
In addition, the Galaxy revealed a tentative preseason schedule that included a closed-door scrimmage in Mexico City against Pumas UNAM on Feb. 11. With the match taking place less than a month prior to LA’s date with Club Tijuana in the Quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League; the match will surely be used as preparation for LA’s CCL campaign.
Thoughts on the Cudicini and Stephens departures? A closed-door scrimmage against Pumas?
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A quick little update for everyone.
Posting may be a bit light over the next two days, but we're planning some very exciting pieces of content around the LA Galaxy's CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal match against Club Tijuna. Over the next two days, myself and other members of LAGalaxy.com will be in Tijuana seeing the sights and experincing the atmosphere south of the Border. While we're down here, be sure to offer any tips on any must-see spots.
Below is a little tease as we spoke to Club Tijana attacker -- and Tijuana native -- Fernando Arce as well as U.S. internationals Herculez Gomez, Paul Arriola and Joe Benny Corona on their series against the Galaxy. Arce can be seen in my instagram post wearing a t-shirt that reflects his belief about how the series will go.
The LA Galaxy have yet to start their preparations for the 2014 MLS Regular season, but the Galaxy’s opponents for the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League Club Tijuana are in the midst of their Liga MX season.
Tijuana fell on Saturday 2-1 to Liga MX rival Pachuca to 1-1-1 in their first three matches of the season. Xolos host Monarcas Morelia on Friday at Estadio Calliente. Cristian Pellerano placed Xolos out in front six minutes into the match, but two second half goals from Los Tuzos’ Emer Valencia and Walter Ayovi proved too much for Tijuana. Americans Herculez Gomez, Edgar Castillo, Joe Benny Corona, and Paul Arriola each made appearances in the defeat.
Meanwhile in other Liga MX news, Galaxy Homegrown forward Jose Villarreal has yet to make his first team debut for Cruz Azul after failing to make the game day roster during their 1-0 victory over Chiapas.
Highlights of Tijuana’s defeat are below.
LA Galaxy bolster their attack with the addition of Brazilian forward Samuel on a loan from Fluminense
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy stated that acquiring a target forward was at the top of their wish list for the 2014 season and just seven days into the year, they may have got their man.
LA announced the acquisition of 22-year-old Brazilian forward Samuel on a year-long loan from Brazil’s Fluminense on Tuesday. The 6-foot-1 center target striker who tallied 15 goals in 72 appearances over the last two years with the Fluzão will be added to the Galaxy’s roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate and his P-1 Visa.
“We are pleased to add Samuel to our roster,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena in a statement released by the club. “Samuel is a young, talented forward with both size and skill. We are confident his addition will help boost our attack in 2014.”
Samuel's signature is a coup for the Galaxy as the Brazilian striker who served as the strike partner for Brazilian international Fred at Fluminense had been linked with a number of clubs in Spain, Brazil and China in recent weeks. Most notably, Samuel nearly completed deals to Real Madrid B and Barcelona-based Espanyol, but saw the moves fall through that kept him in Brazil.
Thoughts on the Brazilian signing?
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Former LA Galaxy Academy player Paul Arriola’s career path could have taken him to MLS, but instead he opted for Liga MX side Club Tijuana, and the one-time LA Academy forward isn’t at all surprised that young players like LA’s Jose Villarreal are heading south of the border.
Villarreal is the latest in a slew of players who have left MLS for Mexico after he joined Cruz Azul last month on a year-long loan. Although Villarreal left LA on a loan, Arriola opted to sign with Tijuana last May after spurning a Homegrown contract from the Galaxy.
Arriola and Xolos will take on the LA Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal on March 12 at StubHub Center before the return leg on March 18 in Tijuana. Although hypothetically, Arriola could have been lining up for LA in the CCL quarterfinals if things had gone differently, he applauds players opting to play in Mexico.
“It’s good for American players who want to take a different route. Sometimes in [the United States] we’re not given the opportunity so there are other options and places to go,” Arriola told LAGalaxy.com. “Luckily for myself, my opportunity came and I was able to take it. Now here I am [with the first team].”
While Villarreal’s status with the Cruz Azul first team remains in question at the moment as he finds his feet in Mexico, Arriola is already in new head coach César Farías’ plans after making the game day roster for the club’s scoreless draw with Atlas on Saturday.
“It was a bit different last season because I went from a wing player to a second striker who sometimes switches out wide,” said Arriola. “It’s been different and I’m getting the opportunity to play so I’m thankful for that."