CARSON, Calif. -- On the date that MLS officially disbanded Chivas USA, the LA Galaxy went along with business as usual.
There was no talk of the fact the Rojiblancos had been officially disbanded earlier that morning or that they will be replaced by a new team at a new location in the greater Los Angeles area in two years’ time. The Galaxy simply went about the task of preparing for their Western Conference Semifinal first leg with Real Salt Lake – who entered the league in 2005 alongside Chivas – on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“The decision to sell Chivas and rebrand it and bring it back in the marketplace can only be a positive,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said of the Chivas USA news. “I’m sure that it will make for an exciting time in the Los Angeles soccer market.”
While the yet unnamed second Los Angeles MLS team will return in 2017, most players who suited up for Chivas USA will be distributed across MLS in a dispersal draft that will take place in December. The only possible exceptions for the draft may be forwards Erick “Cubo” Torres and Felix Borja who may find new teams through other means according to a league conference call on Monday afternoon.
As the players prepare for the dispersal draft, Galaxy right back and longtime leadership member of the MLS Players Union James Riley said that he trusted the league and the union to assure a seamless transition for those affected.
“It’s unfortunate news and I want to thank the fans for supporting the team and I still have a lot of good friends on that team,” said Riley who admitted that he wasn’t surprised by the announcement. “We just hope that the process goes smoothly and the players are taken care of and given options to play elsewhere. Obviously, the players union and the league will do their due diligence in making sure that the process goes smoothly for those players.”
But although the sentimentality of losing the Rojiblancos as a rival was felt, the Galaxy were focused on the ways that Monday’s announcement will affect them in the immediate future. With Chivas USA exiting the league, MLS revealed the realignment of the new 20-team league that will feature Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo moving west while expansion sides Orlando City SC and New York City FC join the Eastern Conference.
"As if the Western Conference wasn't tough enough already," chuckled defender A.J. DeLaGarza upon learning that the last five MLS Cup winners will be in the new Western Conference.
But even amid the loss of a rival and the introduction to a pair of new teams in the Western Conference, DeLaGarza said that the loss of the Rojiblancos will only help the Galaxy truly make the StubHub Center their true home.
"It'll be weird not playing Chivas USA because we looked forward to that rivalry. But now we get to have our own stadium and we can do things for us with our $15 million dollar investment in the stadium. We’ll have a chance to upgrade the facilities for the entire club.”
CARSON, Calif. – The Chivas USA era is officially over.
MLS announced on Monday morning that they will be employing a new strategy in the Los Angeles market that will see the Rojiblancos disbanded effective immediately, with a new club reentering the market for the 2017 season. The new Los Angeles club will enter alongside the expansion club from Atlanta. MLS also revealed that the new ownership group for the club will be announced on Thursday.
All players that played for Chivas in 2014 will be available via a dispersal draft sometime in December -- according to reports -- on a date which has yet to be announced.
With Chivas ceasing operations, MLS also announced a realignment plan for the 20 team league that will see Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo move to the Western Conference while expansion sides New York City FC and Orlando City SC join the Eastern Conference. The realignment will see the last five MLS Cup champions in one conference.
For the 2015 MLS regular season, the 20 teams in MLS will each play 34 regular season games. Clubs will play each team in the opposing conference once for five home and five away fixtures. Teams will then play each of their nine conference opponents at least twice –one home and one away—as well as six additional intra-conference games (three at home and three on the road).
CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes endured a brief three-game scoring drought in his career season, but kicked back into gear with an impressive two goal showing in the LA Galaxy's 3-0 victory over Chivas USA on Sunday.
Zardes opened the scoring in the 44th minute with a clinical one-time finish that sailed past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and curled inside the far post. The 22-year-old coupled his lovely individual effort with a tidy finish for LA's third goal in the 71st minute as tapped in a Landon Donovan cross to provide the finishing touch of an 11 pass combination by the Galaxy. With his two goals against Chivas, Zardes now has 12 goals in 25 matches this season, and is the top scoring American-born player in MLS.
Five of Zardes' 12 goals this season came during the Galaxy's impressive 19 goal month of August that saw LA rocket to second place in the Western Conference and second in the standings for the MLS Supporters' Shield. Although the 22-year-old with the unforgettable hairdo is pleased to play his part in the Galaxy's offensive explosion, he's quick to recognize his teammates' role in getting him the ball.
“To be honest, our midfield is just killing it in terms. You look at the stats, and we’re just touching the ball a lot. And the defenders are just keeping a clean sheet, so the whole team is really working together," said Zardes. "As a team, we’re just really building off each other and really being aggressive.”
And according to Galaxy captain Robbie Keane as long as Zardes gets into those dangerous positions, he'll continue to be a threat to score.
"Ultimately as a striker you’re judged on scoring goals," Keane said. "So if he continues to get himself in the right position, certainly myself and Landon, and the lads up there can certainly get him goals."
With Zardes scoring in bunches and even going as far to admit that he'd like to one day be the league's top goal scorer, one question remains: could a national team call-up be far behind? Even the always humble Zardes admits that he's hoping to get a call from Jurgen Klinsmann soon.
"Everybody wants to make the national team. That's always a goal for a soccer player," said Zardes. "If that's not your goal then I don't think that you should be playing soccer."
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane and Jaime Penedo were named to their respective international squads, the club announced on Saturday.
Keane will join up with Ireland after the Galaxy's SuperClasico contest against Chivas USA on Sunday ahead of their Sept. 3 friendly against Oman in Dublin and their Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia on Sept. 7. Due to Keane's participation in the friendlies, he will miss the Galaxy's Sept. 5 home fixture against the Colorado Rapids.
Meanwhile, Penedo was named to Panama's squad for the upcoming 2014 Copa CentroAmericana. The U.S. based tournament will run from Sept. 3 to Sept. 13 with Panama placed in Group A along with Costa Rica and Nicaragua. With Penedo on international duty, the Galaxy will be without their starting goalkeeper until Sept. 14 clash the against San Jose Earthquakes.
CARSON, Calif. -- The Last SuperClasico is upon us.
The LA Galaxy will face the team soon to be formerly known as Chivas USA for a final time on Sunday in what is being billed by the Rojiblancos as "The Last Clasico." In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, rather than look at LA's statistical dominance over Chivas throughout the rivalry, we take a look at LA's recent success in the black kits that they will don on Sunday evening.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane has declared himself fit enough to be in consideration for the LA Galaxy's SuperClasico match with Chivas USA, but what role the club's Irish captain will play on Sunday is still undecided.
The Galaxy's 34-year-old Irish captain confirmed that he suffered a strained adductor during the match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC which has kept him on the shelf since. Keane made his return to training on Friday, but with another training shift completed a day later, the Galaxy forward is optimistic about his chances for Sunday's SuperClasico.
"I feel fine. We just have to see how the injury reacts today and tomorrow. We'll see how it is tomorrow. It's not 100 percent, but I'll be involved tomorrow and there's a good chance of that, but whether I start or not will depend on the reaction," said Keane. "It feels okay, but whether it's good enough to start is more of a precaution than anything else. Maybe I could be in reserve, but we'll have to see how it reacts."
Keane's optimism about his status for the SuperClasico was echoed by Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
"It's possible," he said. "He looked good today in training."
Adding to the intrigue surrounding Keane's status for Sunday will be his role in Ireland's two upcoming matches after being named to the team's 21-man squad on Saturday. The Irish will play two matches next week including a Sept. 3 friendly against Oman in Dublin before kicking off their Euro 2016 qualifying campaign against Georgia on Sept. 7 in the Georgian capital of Tblisi. Although there might be some concern on Keane's part about saving himself for those matches, he insists that any participation against Chivas will not hinder his availability for the national team.
"I have to listen to the trainers as well. Its their job to make sure that they get me right and I'm not pushing it. I can only go on how I feel. I felt good today in training so we just have to see how it is today and tomorrow. I'm not one of those people that leave something for a couple weeks time. I'm a now man and I like to play now.
"I'll certainly be ready for Ireland. There is no question about that. If I practice today and the game is not until next Sunday, then I certainly have a chance," Keane continued. "I'll have a chance for tomorrow, but starting or not is another thing."
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CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane made his return to LA Galaxy training on Friday, but whether he suits up for the club's match against Chivas USA remains in question.
Keane missed the Galaxy's 4-1 victory over D.C. United on Wednesday with an undisclosed injury, but according to head coach Bruce Arena, the Irishman trained briefly on Friday which could see him be available for selection for the match against Chivas USA.
"He's day to day," said Arena. "He was out here [at training] today so that was encouraging. Hopefully it'll be a little bit better [on Saturday] and we can consider him for Sunday."
Even if Keane does not suit up against the Rojiblancos, Arena insists that there is no excuse for the Galaxy to not earn a full three points in the final SuperClasico.
"Injuries are part of it for any team in any sport," said Arena. "When you get any injuries that can't be an excuse because you believe that the next guy can step up and produce. That's been the case for us recently."
Soccer has caught the attention of America over the past month and now MLS kicks back into full swing with a slate of games this weekend.
MLSsoccer.com gets you excited for the action with this hype video.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will look to earn their sixth straight victory against Chivas USA on Sunday in their last home SuperClasico before the Rojiblancos expected rebrand -- and potential move -- in the offseason.
*Sunday will be the final home game for the LA Galaxy against Chivas USA before the team's rebrand and earlier in the week, LA's players reflected on the rivalry.
*Juninho is enjoying a banner year, but as of yet, the goals have not come, which is a cause of concern for the LA Galaxy.
*Tommy Meyer and Leonardo have formed a solid partnership in central defense in recent weeks. LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan speaks to the pair and talks about their comfort playing alongside one another.
*Brazilian forward Samuel has been steadily continuing his development with the LA Galaxy, will he get the start with Robbie Keane away?
*Lastly, LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan offered his preview of the match.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
CUBO TORRES vs. LEONARDO
Torres makes his money by sliding over the shoulder of center backs and he'll be looking to find space behind Leonardo from the outset. If he can find the back of the net early, the Galaxy may be in for a difficult evening.
JUNINHO vs. MAURO ROSALES
The Argentine will look to put a world of pressure on the LA Galaxy's defensive midfielder, but without the presence of the suspended Oswaldo Minda, he will need to be mindful of pushing too far lest he become susceptible to the Galaxy counterattack.
WHAT THE GALAXY ARE SAYING ABOUT CHIVAS USA
“I think they have better team than last year. I think [Erick] Torres has grown as a player, [Mauro] Rosales is a really good addition. I think the backline improved. The goalkeeper is always good. They’ve had some impressive results on the road. Beat Colorado in a snow storm and got a point against Portland while also winning their opening game this season against Chicago. They’ve got some good games and some that are not. Maybe they can say the same about us.”
- Head coach Bruce Arena
WHAT CHIVAS USA ARE SAYING ABOUT THE LA GALAXY
“It’s definitely a good opportunity for the players and for us to try to perform well against a very good team. [The week] has been positive, with good mentality. We’re trying to just rebound from the two games that we played here and we didn’t play as well and didn’t have good results. We’re not making excuses. We just have to be strong, have a good attitude with the game during the 90 minutes, understanding that we have a very good team in front of us.”
- Head coach Wilmer Cabrera
Penedo; Gargan, Leonardo, Meyer, DeLaGarza; Zardes, Sarvas, Juninho, Ishizaki; Samuel, Donovan
Galaxy 3 Chivas USA 0