CARSON, Calif. – From the last player signed at preseason to a valuable member of a team in the midst of a run to MLS Cup, Dan Gargan’s 2014 season certainly went better than any expected.
In 2014, Gargan set career-highs in appearances (29), starts (27) minutes played (2400), and assists (five) after being signed on Bruce Arena’s final addition after preseason. Gargan was also a regular during the postseason as he appeared in all five of the Galaxy’s matches, including coming on as a substitute during the extra time of LA’s MLS Cup victory.
During LA’s run to their fifth MLS Cup title, Gargan was a fixture along the right side of defense—while also occasionally filling in at left back—providing steady defense while also using his speed down the flank to aid in the Galaxy counterattack. But what Gargan does for an encore next season remains to be seen.
In MLS, outside back depth is always an asset and with players like Todd Dunivant another year older, Gargan will have every opportunity to fill along both sides of the flank. However much of where Gargan plays relies on the makeup of the back line: if Arena opts for a center back tandem that includes A.J. DeLaGarza at center back, Gargan will likely have more opportunities to play, but if the LA Galaxy defender of the year is moved out wide, the 32-year-old will likely be used as a depth option.
How would you rate Dan Gargan’s 2014 campaign. Read my review of the Galaxy's defenders while also voting and commenting in the section below.
Retired LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan received a lifetime achievement award from Univision during their Premios Unvision Deportes which aired on Thursday night.
A visibly emotional Donovan was presented the award by MLS commissioner Don Garber while presenters Ivan Kasanzew and Enrique “Perro” Bermudez showed Donovan a video of fans from across the country thanking him for his soccer exploits. The MLS and U.S. Soccer scoring leader then went on to give a speech in which he thanked several including the kids that he grew up playing soccer with who helped inspire him to learn Spanish.
Although the video is entirely in Spanish, it's worth a watch given how emotional Donovan became at receiving such a distinct honor.
Check it out above.
CARSON, Calif. – Brian Rowe began his tenure on the LA Galaxy as a third goalkeeper but in his second full season with the club, he’s solidified a place as the club’s number two net minder.
Rowe saw limited action for the Galaxy in 2014, only making three appearances and compiling a 1-0-2 record while top choice Jaime Penedo was away at the 2014 Copa CentroAmericana, but when he did step in goal, he performed ably. In his three appearances, Rowe maintained one shutout—the very first of his Galaxy career—and showed himself able to make clutch saves when needed as he moved ahead of former No. 2 Brian Perk who dealt with concussion injuries for much of the year.
Heading into next season, Rowe will likely have every opportunity to further solidify his position and possibly create competition with Penedo as the Panamanian netminder takes part in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. A solid performance in these games will only aid the emerging goalkeeper in his quest to lock down a top job with the club.
In addition to these games with the first team, Rowe is also expected to be a candidate to suit up for Galaxy II on a regular basis as Los Dos are currently without any ‘keepers on their roster at the moment. These games will only serve to provide confidence for the talented young goalkeeper who has impressed in his brief time with the club.
How would you rate Rowe’s performance in 2014? Read my review of the goalkeepers on LAGalaxy.com and provide him with your own personal rating below.
After enduring a year of heartbreak and failure for both club and country, Jaime Penedo finally got over the hump and ended the 2014 campaign with a championship.
Brought in as a savior for the LA Galaxy’s goalkeeping situation midway through the 2013 campaign, Penedo suffered a pair of setbacks in successive fashion as Panama failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and a month later LA were bounced from the postseason in the opening round.
Such disappointments stuck in the craw of the happy-go-lucky Panamanian goalkeeper heading into the 2014 season and he responded with aplomb.
During the regular season, Penedo enjoyed a 1.14 goals against average—.01 behind Goalkeeper of the Year Bill Hamid—while also making eight shutouts as he carried LA to the league’s second best record. In the playoffs, he shook off any claims that he could not come up in big games with stellar performances in LA’s series against Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC, the former which included a six save showing in the first leg.
In the MLS Cup final against New England, Penedo put forth yet another strong showing with six saves against the Revs to seal his first professional title since winning a title in Guatemala with Municipal. After years of frustration with Panama and his club teams, to win a title after such a trying season proved to be a “dream come true” for Penedo.
"It is a great blessing and a joy," Penedo told reporters after winning the title. “I dedicate this to dear God, my faith, my family, and my country.”
How would you rate Penedo's 2014? Read my review of the Galaxy goalkeepers for LAGalaxy.com and vote below.
Veterans Todd Dunivant, Dan Gargan and Alan Gordon highlight LA Galaxy unprotected list for Expansion Draft
CARSON, Calif. -- The champagne was hardly cleaned from the LA Galaxy locker room, before the pace of MLS moved the club's celebration to the background.
On Monday, the Galaxy and the rest of the league's 20 teams released their protected lists for the upcoming MLS expansion draft on Dec. 10. Orlando City SC and New York City FC will plenty to choose from the Galaxy's roster as head coach Bruce Arena opted to leave veterans Todd Dunivant, Dan Gargan and Alan Gordon unprotected as well as several LA Galaxy II mainstays like Rafael Garcia and Charlie Rugg.
Remember, the Galaxy can lose up to two players, but will have the opportunity to protect one from their list if a player is selected.
The complete list of players available, the protected list and the exempt list are below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Joy. Passion. Glory.
The LA Galaxy felt it all as they won their fifth MLS Cup with a 2-1 extra time victory over the New England Revolution. LAGalaxy.com videographer Albert Lanzillo put a fantastic video of the Galaxy's post game celebration.
Check it out above.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena on New England Revolution boss Jay Heaps: "He's an outstanding coach"
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."
CARSON, Calif. -- The clock is ticking and MLS Cup is fast approaching
The sun was back out at LA Galaxy training as the team continued their preparation for Sunday's MLS Cup Final against the New England Revolution. Stopping the Revolution will be no easy task, considering New England enjoyed so much success as they progressed through the Eastern Conference, but LA are confident that they can shutdown the Revs attack.
"We're going to do what we did all year and go with that," said Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza. "But that being said, I think that Charlie Davies is on fire right now in the playoffs and we're facing a team that has scored a bunch of away goals in this playoffs. We know that they're not going to sit back. We need to get on the front foot and get after them early."
Bruce Arena says that LA Galaxy win over New England Revolution in July means nothing heading into MLS Cup
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.”
Robbie Keane on MVP: "I'm delighted to win the award, but I'd trade it in for a championship on Sunday"
LOS ANGELES -- When Robbie Keane arrived in Southern California in 2011, he made a simple yet powerful declarative statement: "I'm not coming here for a vacation."
It's pretty clear that he’s backed up those words in his three-and-a-half years with the Galaxy.
On Wednesday, Keane was named the 2014 MLS Volkswagen MVP after a stellar season that saw the Irish striker score 19 goals and 14 assists to lead an LA team that led the league in scoring. Even as Keane basked in the success of his most recent season, many focused on the forward’s great success with the club since joining the team in 2011.
Whereas previous incarnations of the Galaxy fell short of titles in 2009 and 2010, when Keane was introduced, the Galaxy pushed their way to the top, winning two straight MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012. And because of that, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena was not shy to declare Keane that Keane was missing piece that LA needed to truly contend for the league’s top prize.
“I’ve watched Robbie for years and there was always something in the back of my mind that this was the type of player that we want to get in this league and that I’d love to have on my team one day," said Arena. "We were very fortunate when we had the opportunity to get him from Tottenham.
“He sets the tone for our team every day. He’s good with the young players, he gets our team ready to play,” Arena added. “Those are things that you don’t see in the box score, but he’s that valuable for our team each and every day.”
But as you might expect from a player labeled the missing piece to a championship side, Keane’s focus is not on winning individual honors, but rather the real title that will be awarded on Sunday.
"It's great to be recognized by your fellow professionals and the media. I'm delighted with the award, but I'd certainly trade it in for a championship on Sunday," said Keane. "These awards mean something, I'd be a fool if I said that it didn't, but if we didn't win the championship then it wouldn't mean that much to me. If we win, it'll cap off a great year for me and for our team."