U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann named his 24-man training camp roster for the March 5 match against Ukraine and left off the list were Galaxy stalwarts Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez.
The roster is predominantly European-based players with just two selections from MLS (Michael Bradley and Clint Dempsey) but also includes Club Tijuana left back Edgar Castillo. The inclusion of Castillo is quite notable for Galaxy fans as the Xolos defender will log heavy mileage in the coming weeks with potential appearances in Tijuana’s March 1 match against Veracruz, the U.S. friendly four days later, Tijuana’s March 7 game against Chivas de Guadalajara, and finally the CONCACAF Champions League first leg against the LA at StubHub Center on March 12.
Also called up to the training squad is Florida-born Bayern Munich wunderkind Julian Green who is not yet eligible to appear for the U.S. due to his appearances in the German national youth set up.
The match which was moved away from Ukraine earlier in the week due to political unrest in that country will take place in Cyprus at Antonis Papadopoulous Stadium in the city of Larnica.
Check out the full roster below.
GOALKEEPERS: Cody Cropper (Southampton), Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Tim Howard (Everton)
DEFENDERS: John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Geoff Cameron (Stoke City), Edgar Castillo (Club Tijuana), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), Oguchi Onyewu (Sheffield ), Will Packwood (Birmingham City), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)
MIDFIELDERS: Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Besiktas), Sacha Kljestan (Anderlecht), Brek Shea (Barnsley), Danny Williams (Reading)
FORWARDS: Juan Agudelo (Utrecht), Jozy Altidore (Sunderland), Terrence Boyd (Rapid Vienna), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julian Green (Bayern Munich), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar)
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s season opener is fast approaching and it appears that the team is rounding into fitness.
Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (broken finger and abductor injury) and defender Todd Dunivant (hamstring injury) have returned to full training while Robbie Rogers (ankle injury) has begun running and according to head coach Bruce Arena will “be ready to go soon.”
Penedo had been dealing with a broken pinky finger prior to the team’s trip to Mexico, but during the team’s trip to face Pumas UNAM, the Panamanian goalkeeper suffered an abductor injury that caused him to miss the club’s next three preseason matches. However, the goalkeeper is bullish that he’ll be ready to suit up once the March 8 season opener against Real Salt Lake rolls around and possibly as soon as Saturday’s closed-door scrimmage against Minnesota United.
“I've been training in the gym [after the injury] but now I’m back with the team in training,” said Penedo. “The opener is the goal and we’re working for that, but we’ll see what happens this weekend.”
Another player who has returned to action is midfielder Stefan Ishizaki who has overcame a stomach illness that kept him bedridden for two days last week. Now with the season opener less than two weeks away, the Swede is hitting the gym to make up for lost time.
“Last week, it wasn't that good; I ate something bad and had to stay in bed for two days. I couldn’t train so that set me back. This week, I've done a lot of extra work and I’m feeling better,” said Ishizaki. “[The season opener] is almost two weeks away and I know that I can get a lot of extra work in during that time.”
Club Tijuana’s run of dominance at the Estadio Caliente came to screeching halt on Friday when the Xolos dropped a disappointing 3-0 result to Chiapas Jaguar, ending their home unbeaten streak at 17 games.
Carlos Ochoa led the charge for Chiapas with two first half goals before Luis Robles added a third to put the match out of reach for the Xolos. The defeat was Tijuana’s first at home since April 20, 2013 when they dropped a 2-1 result to Monarcas Morelia in the week 15 of the 2013 Clausura Tournament.
From the opening whistle, Tijuana struggled to deal with the physical Chiapas side who carved up the Xolos defense in the first half. Up three goals after the first 45 minutes, Tijuana was afforded more room to operate in the attack, but could not break through a compact and organized Chiapas defense.
The Xolos finest chance came in the 86th minute when second half substitute Herculez Gomez launched a free kick that rattled the crossbar as Tijuana’s rally fell way short.
Tijuana returns to action next Saturday when they attempt to snap their 18 game road winless streak against former Chivas USA head coach Jose Luis Sanchez Sola’s Tiburones Rojos side in Veracruz.
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.
In the latest installment of LAGalaxy.com's "Road to Morocco" series, we look at Club Tijuana and the LA Galaxy's role in San Diego soccer culture, and the "battle" that exists between the two clubs for domination of the area.
During the piece, former LA Galaxy forward Herculez Gomez (a former member of the San Diego Sockers), former Galaxy Academy attacker and San Diego native Paul Arriola, and Galaxy Technical Director and San Diego native Jovan Kirovski chime in.
Check it out below.
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.