Coaches

13 December 12:17 pm

The UCLA Bruins and their heavy LA Galaxy Academy contingent will play in the NCAA College Cup final on Sunday against Virginia (9 a.m. PT on ESPNU) at WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, North Carolina.

UCLA reached the championship game after dispatching the Providence Friars with a 3-2 victory in double overtime thanks to a golden goal from defender Chase Gasper. The Bruins’ Larry Nadjock and Providence striker Mac Steeves traded goals during regulation.

Galaxy Academy graduate Brian IIoski led the LA contingent with 80 minutes played in the victory while Christian Chavez (47 minutes played), Grady Howe (76 minutes played), and Willie Raygoza (14 minutes played) each made appearances.

They'll face Virginia, who rose to soccer prominence under the leadership of Bruce Arena, who led the Cavaliers to five titles in 18 years as the team's head coach. The Cavaliers reached the final by defeating the University of Maryland-Baltimore County 1-0 earlier on Friday.

10 December 11:29 am

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy saw none of their players selected by Orlando City SC and New York City FC in the 2014 MLS Expansion Draft. 

The player action is not over, however, as the league will hold its wavier draft at 1:30 p.m. PT.

More on who will be available in that draft shortly. 

 

06 December 4:52 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena will be the elder statesman on Sunday when he takes on fourth-year New England Revolution head coach Jay Heaps. 

On paper, the gap in experience between the pair could not be more different.

Arena, a four time MLS Cup champion,  will be coaching in his seventh final while Heaps will lead the Revs for the very first time. Although there is a considerable experience gap between the two head coaches, Arena admires the growth that Heaps has shown in four years of coaching the Revolution.

"He's a person that I recruited at the University of Virgina, but he chose to go to Duke, so I hold that against him a little bit. He was a great athlete in both soccer and basketball, and he played for one of the great basketball coaches in Mike Krzyzewski and he was a big influence in coaching career. He put in a great shift with the Revs and became an understudy then went into coaching. He got help from Mike and other coaches and in a few years, he's become an outstanding coach. 

"He's a work horse who puts in a lot of hours, he's very dedicated, very bright and obviously very good." 

04 December 4:09 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Earlier this season, the LA Galaxy flattened their MLS Cup opponents the New England Revolution 5-1 at StubHub Center, but don’t look for that game to affect the way either team approaches Sunday’s championship match.

On July 16, LA were in control from the get go and were aided by an early red card by AJ Soares as Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes each scored a pair of goals while Stefan Ishizaki rounded out the scoring for the Galaxy.  MLS MVP finalist Lee Nguyen scored the only goal of the evening for the Revs on a penalty kick goal that saw Galaxy right back Dan Gargan sent off.   

While LA ran rampant that evening, the teams that will face one another are remarkably different (look at the lineups here).

In particular, that incarnation of the Revolution was mired in an eight game winless streak and was still a month from acquiring Designated Player Jermaine Jones, who has proven key to New England’s drive to MLS Cup. But LA will be dramatically different as well as Bruce Arena famously benched Landon Donovan for the match against New England only to insert the longtime U.S. international at halftime.

“Both teams are different. If you look at the lineups those days, they won’t look anything like Sunday," said Arena on Thursday. "They’re probably going to have three or four different players on the field and we’ll likely have four or five different players on the field.  Davies is a fixture now, so there are changes. That game means nothing; it’s in the archives now.” 

04 December 3:14 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is hanging up his boots at the end of the 2014 season and will play his final game of his illustrious career on Sunday when the LA Galaxy take on the New England Revolution on Sunday in MLS Cup.

But even though the nation’s most famous player will play in his final game on Sunday, his teammates aren’t interested in winning the title solely because they want to send him out on top. No, there is no “Win one for Landon.”

The Galaxy insist that they want to win the title so that each one of them can experience the joy of lifting the Phillip Anschutz trophy aloft.

“It’d certainly be nice, but our focus is on winning this for the Galaxy, for the team and for the organization,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “It just happens to be Landon’s last game, but it’d be very nice to send him out on a high.”

LA’s ever candid captain Robbie Keane took it one step further, asserting that LA wish Donovan the best, but have selfish motives when it comes to Sunday’s game.

“Listen if anyone deserves to go out on a high, it's certainly Landon because of all that he's done for this league and the U.S. National Team But it’s not going into our thinking. [His retirement] is something that has been going on for years and it hasn't affected us since,” Keane said with a smile. “I just hope that since it's his last game that he'll put forth his best performance and do as well as he can."

04 December 1:39 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Reis is dealing with a whirlwind of emotions as his new club prepare to take on his former team, the New England Revolution, in Sunday's MLS Cup final. 

Reis spent his entire career between Sunday's participations as he began his time in MLS with the Galaxy (1998-2002) before moving on to the Revolution (2003-2012) where he played until retiring last season. An integral part of the Revolution for nearly a decade, Reis helped the Revs reach the MLS Cup three times in 2005, 2006 and 2007 where they fell short each time including a 2005 defeat to the Galaxy. 

In the latest feature from LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan, Reis talks about his role with the Galaxy and his emotions heading into Sunday's game. Even though Reis will undoubtedly be pulling for the Galaxy on Sunday, he admits that he takes a great deal of pride for his role in helping the Revs reach the championship. 

"Obviously there’s a ton of history there for me, on both sides. Having spent the last 11 years there and working hard with the players, the staff and the organization trying to get the franchise back to the top of the league where we had been before it was a very large undertaking and we put a lot of hard work in it." Reis said. "To see the Revs back in the MLS Cup final is something I’m proud to be a small part of that. The work the front office and the coaching staff and the owners did to get them back is really remarkable and they should be applauded for it."

02 December 3:29 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Nothing says MLS Cup week in Southern California quite like a little rain. 

On Tuesday, the LA Galaxy kicked off their prepration for the 2014 MLS Cup Final with an early morning session that was plagued by rain showers. Rain has become a staple of LA's MLS Cups as both finals in 2011 and 2012 happened during rare Southern California rain showers. 

Although the rain was intense during the session, it didn't affect the Galaxy's preparations. 

"It was good. For the starters, we didn't do much, but it was good to let them run around a little bit," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "We'll have a day out tomorrow so by Thursday, they'll be fresh and ready to play."

Don't worry though: the forecast calls for partly cloudy conditions and temperatures of 72 degrees on Sunday afternoon

Check out photos from Galaxy photographer Hana Asano below. 

 

 

01 December 11:26 am

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to reporters on Sunday after the LA Galaxy's 2-1 defeat to Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field that saw the team advance 2-2 on aggregate thanks to the away goals tiebreaker. 

Arena's comments are below. 

(On what it took to come back...)
 
ARENA: “We played pretty well in the first half then a turn of events with a sloppy 10 minutes. I thought they came out fairly passive. We had control of the game, made a couple mistakes and they burned us for it. We told our guys at halftime that we just have to get a goal to advance. Juninho finally hit the goal this year. It was a great goal and we had to hang on for our lives at the end there. The field was difficult to play on tonight. The surface is really slick and challenging for both teams. It was just a matter of grinding it out and having the right mentality, and we accomplished that. This was not going to be easy, by no means, and it wasn’t, but we knew the rules.”
 
(On what Juninho has meant this year...)
 
ARENA: “He’s had a great year, a fabulous year, and oddly enough, didn’t score a goal for us until tonight.”
 
(On the key to getting the win tonight...)
 
ARENA“Obviously that goal and then the way we were able to defend at the end. I give Stefan Frei a lot of credit. He came up with two big saves on Landon’s [Donovan] breakaway and [Stefan] Ishizaki’s header. That could’ve really put them away so he kept them in there. At the end, it got hectic when they sent [Chad] Marshall up and had a lot of big guys in front of the goal. Our guys hung in there and we managed to get the result that we needed.”
 
(On LA’s defense...)
 
ARENA: “When you play here under these conditions, you know there’s going to be some sloppy play, there’s going to be some crazy chances and possibly some crazy goals. We weren’t surprised, but again, knowing that if we got a goal back in the second half, we’d advance. We challenged them early in the second half, got some good chances and then Juninho hit the back of the net.”
 
(On advancing with a loss...)
 
ARENA: “I don’t really care. We lost here two years ago, too, didn’t we? I didn’t make the rules, you know? The whole objective is to advance and get to the MLS Cup Final. We’ve accomplished that and we’re going to have a real battle on our hands.”
 
(On how they approached this game...)
 
ARENA: “We tried to come in and win the game. We didn’t want to sit back, and we didn’t. We came out and were very aggressive. Obviously you know what the rule is and an away goal was important. Shutting Seattle out last week in the first leg was a big factor as well.”
 
(On Omar Gonzalez...)
 
ARENA: “Omar had a good game. I thought Dan Gargan and Leonardo played well. Robbie Rogers had a tough night, but he’ll regroup and be ready for Sunday.”
 
(On the second half...)
 
ARENA: “I was surprised. I thought the way Seattle came out in the first half, that they were just going to sit after halftime, drop their whole team back and make it difficult. But that game managed to open up and certainly, once Juninho scored, it really opened up. We had some chances as well to get the second goal.”
 
(On Landon Donovan...)
 
ARENA: “We didn’t change anything with Landon [Donovan] the whole game, he just played better in the second half. His second half was really good – his first half was so, so. That’s Landon. He’s a great player. He’s an experienced guy. He’s able to deal with the ups and downs in a game and he managed, over 90 minutes, to play real well. It was his running, his vision. He had to do a lot of defending tonight. Everybody did their share.”
 
(On the team’s celebration...)
 
ARENA: “To get this result and be in the Final at home, we’re proud of that. Again, we have a long week ahead of us to try to get our team recovered and ready to play a tough New England team.”
 
(On if experience won this game...)
 
ARENA: “Experience is a factor. We’ve been through this a lot this year and I think we’ve gotten better in the second half of the season. We’ve been able to protect leads and we did a good job tonight.”
 
(On if he still gets excited even though he’s been to several MLS Cups...)
 
ARENA: “Yes. Yes.”
 
(On how this team compares to the others he’s taken to MLS Cup...)
 
ARENA: “Don’t know yet. Until we get through this final game, then we’ll be able to summarize what we think about this team and other teams. They have an opportunity to be the MLS champions so we look forward to that challenge. It’s going to be a tough game.”
29 November 7:29 pm
SEATTLE—The “will he or won’t he start” questions surrounding Sounders FC midfielder Osvaldo Alonso has been a major part of the build-up to Sunday’s Western Conference Championship second leg between the Galaxy and Seattle, but one who isn’t asking that question is LA head coach Bruce Arena.

Alonso missed out on the Galaxy’s 1-0 first leg win in Southern California last week with a hamstring injury, but has trained with Seattle throughout the week including their session at StarFire Sports Complex on Saturday.

The Galaxy boss was asked about Seattle’s optimism about their star midfielder’s status on Sunday and was quick to provide a terse response on Alonso’s availability.

“I wouldn't think so, but if he does [play] then good for him,” Arena quipped. 

 

29 November 5:58 pm

SEATTLE -- When the LA Galaxy arrived at CenturyLink Field for their final training session ahead of their Western Conference Championship second leg match against Seattle Sounders FC, the pristine practice surface that they were expecting was covered in a dusting of snow that blanketed large swatches of the pitch. 

The snow which was the remnants of a light snow fall that descended on Seattle in the early morning hours was soon made playable by the grounds crew, but the fact the Sounders might have provided LA with a little gamesmanship did not surprise Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.

Rather, Arena insisted, “we always see gamesmanship. It doesn’t change.”

"I don't know the protocol [for the field being cleared],” Arena said in the team’s downtown hotel ahead of Sunday’s conference final deciding leg. “We ran a little bit so it was fine. We don't expect to get any favors when we visit here anyway.”

But when the game kicks off on Sunday, Arena doesn’t expect that the same types of conditions that they faced in training.

“We will adjust and play however. We don’t know what the conditions will be like, but they’ll probably be better than they were at training,” said Arena. “It’s going to be sunny tomorrow so you would anticipate that the ice would melt off the field.

“They weren’t able to clear the field and I know that it was a major blizzard last night so we dealt with those conditions today, but hopefully the sun will allow for the ice to disappear.”