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29 January 4:27 pm

CARSON, Calif.  – LA Galaxy II bolstered their attack on Sunday by signing Ariel Lassiter who is the son of former MLS goal scoring legend Roy Lassiter.

The 20-year-old attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2013 where he appeared in 21 games, tallying five goals and four assists. Lassiter’s efforts helped him earn the Big West Conference All-Freshman team. A year later, Lassiter made the move to Sweden with Superettan side GAIS where he made 12 appearances with a single goal.

But before he was succeeding in Europe, Onalfo noticed during his time at Cal Poly that Lassiter had the talent to contribute on not only a USL PRO level, but an MLS level as well.

“He’s a talented attacking player who is very fast. He’s very polished and when I watched him play in college two years ago, he came on as a reserve, and as soon he stepped on the field, I thought ‘whoa who is this kid,’” Onalfo recalled to LA Galaxy Insider. “Soon I realized that he was Roy’s son. You could just see that he has all the physical and technical tools to be a big time player. Now it’s just about teaching him the right way to do it and watching him progress.

“The kid is very talented and it’s going to be exciting project to watch him grow and watch him develop.” 

20 January 6:39 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Dan Gargan entered the 2014 preseason unsure if he'll have a job and now a year later, he's signed a deal that will keep him in LA another year. 

The club announced that they have re-signed the 32-year-old defender twho played in a total of 35 games in all competitions as the Galaxy won a fifth MLS Cup title, to a multi-year deal. A veteran outside back, Gargan played primarily on the right side of defense in 2014 while also seeing some action along the left side when needed. 

Once preseason begins, Gargan will again likely slot in as the back-up right back behind fellow veteran A.J. DeLaGarza while serving as the primary right back when DeLaGarza is placed in the middle. Unlikely last year, however, he'll likely face compeition from youngster Oscar Sorto who is currently in camp with the U.S. National Team. 

16 January 1:35 pm

PHILADELPHIA – Count retired LA Galaxy legend Landon Donovan among those who were impressed by the club’s ability to acquire Liverpool FC and former England captain Steven Gerrard to replace him as the team’s third Designated Player.

In an interview with LA Galaxy Insider after the announcement that Major League Soccer will be naming their Most Valuable Player award, the “Landon Donovan MVP trophy,” Donovan said that he was immensely pleased when he heard LA had signed the 34-year-old English soccer star.

“I was incredibly impressed with the [Galaxy’s] ability to bring in a player like Steven Gerrard and that, he’s the quality of player that they wanted,” Donovan said. “When I played at Everton [Liverpool’s arch rival], Everton fans hate Liverpool players and Liverpool fans, but Steven Gerrard was the one player that everyone respected on both sides. Everyone in the Premier League has so much respect for him and I can’t think of a better person to come here and hopefully lead the team to a sixth trophy next year.”

16 January 12:47 pm

PHILADELPHIA -- The LA Galaxy dealt one of chief contributors to their 2014 MLS Cup title run on Thursday by trading Marcelo Sarvas to the Colorado Rapids, but the club now appears primed to replace the departing Brazilian with another top tier talent. 

LA dealt Sarvas and an international roster spot to the Rapids on Thursday in a move that saw the Galaxy move up to the third spot on the league's allocation order. Reports have swirled that move will allow the Galaxy to acquire U.S. international Sacha Kljestan, a player who has long been on the club's radar. According to ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle,  the deal should allow the Galaxy the freedom to acquire Kljestan or any other returning U.S. international as neither the two teams ahead of them in the ranking, the Montreal Impact and San Jose Earthquakes are expected to impede LA's plans. 

"It's a deal that I believe is beneficial for Marcelo," Arena told Carlisle on Thursday. "It's something he wanted to do and puts him in a good position financially. And it allows us to have some flexibility in continuing to build our roster in 2015. So we'll have the ability to look into the possibility of bringing in some other players."

In addition to Arena speaking out about the Brazilian midfielder's departure, Sarvas' partner in central midfield Juninho also addressed his departure via his personal instagram.

"Marcelo, I want to wish you the best of luck in the next step of your life. Thank you for teaching me a lot of things about soccer, especially never giving up no matter the situation. You are a very good player and an example of dedication and companionship," Juninho said. "We were a good duo. It was a pleasure to play and live by your side and to know you in and off the field. Good luck to you in your next new club. LA, my family and I gonna miss you, Champion.'

 

Marcelo I want to wish you the best of luck in the next step of your life. Thank you for teaching me a lot of things about soccer, especially never giving up no matter the situation. You are a very good player and an example of dedication and companionship. We were a good duo. It was a pleasure to play and live by your side and to know you in and off the field. Good luck to you in your next new club. LA, my family and I gonna miss you Champion / Marcelo Eu quero te desejar muita sorte neste próximo passo da tua vida. Obrigado por me ensinar muitas coisas sobre o futebol , especialmente de nunca me der por vencido não importa a situação. Você é jogador diferenciado um exemplo de dedicação e companheirismo. Fomos uma excelente dupla juntos. Foi um prazer jogar e viver ao teu lado e de conhecer você dentro e fora de campo. Boa sorte no teu novo clube. LA , minha família e eu vamos sentir saudades de você Campeão. @marcelosarvas

A photo posted by Juninho Oficial (@juninhooficial) on

14 January 2:58 pm

Marcelo Sarvas was an integral part of the LA Galaxy’s 2014 MLS Cup Championship campaign, but various reports are stating that the midfielder be on the move as part of a series of deals that could see Sacha Kljestan come to the StubHub Center.

Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep and ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle reported this week that with the Galaxy interested in signing Kljestan who is currently out of contract with Belgian club Anderlecht, Sarvas could be moved as part of a deal to acquire the Huntington Beach native. If Kljestan does sign with MLS, he will be subject to the league’s allocation order which would require interested parties—reported to be LA, New York Red Bulls,Philadelphia Union, and Seattle Sounders FC—to trade up with the Montreal Impact, who currently hold the top spot.

Sources confirmed both reports by Goal and ESPN FC that the Brazilian midfielder is seeking a pay raise after his stellar 2014 season, despite Sarvas having one more year on his current contract. Carlisle reported that during the league’s draft combine that several coaches said that would be interested in Sarvas if he were to become available by the Galaxy, including San Jose Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear who’s side holds the second spot in the allocation order. 

Kinnear even addressed potential interest with a brief comment to Carlisle.

"We've had no discussions with L.A. regarding Sarvas," the San Jose boss said. "But I think he's performed very well over the years, and if he became available and they were willing to put his name out there, I think he's a player who could help many teams in this league."
 
07 January 4:31 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The signing Steven Gerrard represents a major addition for the LA Galaxy, but just where does the Englishman fit in an already stacked LA midfield?

The Galaxy lifted their fifth MLS Cup on the strength of one of – if not the best—midfield in Major League Soccer which was anchored by the Brazilian tandem of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas. Meanwhile on the flanks, a hodgepodge of Landon Donovan, Baggio Husidic and Stefan Ishizaki provided width to a Galaxy attack that scored a league-high 69 goals during the regular season.

At the height of his powers, Gerrard was one of Europe’s best midfielders with ability to not only provide defensive cover, but also create chances on his own due to his unparalleled work rate. In more recent times, Gerrard has settled into a holding midfield role that has allowed him to orchestrate from deeper in the parking and use his pinpoint passing to open up chances for teammates across the field.

Considering that at 35, Gerrard does not have the same engine that he had at his peak, Bruce Arena may opt to use the Englishman in defensive midfield capacity ala David Beckham in his final two seasons with the club.

What does Arena himself think? Well, the Galaxy head coach and general manager isn’t focusing on it just yet.

“I’m not spending a whole lot of time thinking about that right now,” said Arena during the team’s media availability after announcing the signing. “We have seven months or so until Stevie arrives here in Los Angeles and we’re going to play out the process of our team. We’ll see how it moves forward and see how we’re ready to utilize Stevie once he gets here.”

But now I’ll give you an option to predict the Galaxy’s next midfield. Below are a series of midfield combinations and I’ll allow you to decide which midfield you’d like to see lineup when Gerrard arrives. Obviously, the list is hardly exhaustive so add your own midfield combos in the comment section beneath. 

07 January 7:53 am

It's officially official. Steven Gerrard is a member of the LA Galaxy. 

The club announced on Wednesday morning that Gerrard will be joining the club upon the conclusion of Liverpool FC's 2014-15 English Premier League campaign and will be eligible to play for the club when the transfer window opens up in July. Per club and league policy, the details of the contract were not disclosed. 

“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy,” said Gerrard in a statement. “The Galaxy are the most successful club in Major League Soccer history and I am looking forward to competing for more championships in the years to come. My discussions with Bruce Arena and Chris Klein were extremely positive and the future of the team is very bright. I am committed to helping the LA Galaxy compete for trophies and to having an impact in Los Angeles and I will give my all for the club. In the meantime, I will continue to give everything for Liverpool for the remainder of this season before joining up with the Galaxy.”
 
Gerrard joins the Galaxy after 17 seasons with Liverpool FC in which he has made 696 appearances and scored 182 goals in all competitions to date. 
 
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Thoughts on the acquistion of Gerrard? 
 
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02 January 11:45 am

Stefan Ishizaki was heralded as a potential third attacking weapon in the LA Galaxy attack when he was signed last offseason, and while the Swede never truly blossomed into that type of offensive asset, he still put forth a strong season as he helped LA to a championship.

Appearing in all but four games during the entirety of the Galaxy’s MLS slate, Ishizaki’s ball skills played an important role in helping create the Galaxy’s possession-oriented offense that tallied a league-leading 69 goals in 2014. Ishizaki’s abilities led the Galaxy to trot the Swede out at the top of a midfield diamond early on in the season before he transitioned to a steady role as an attacking option along the left side of midfield as LA pushed toward their trophy. In total, Ishizaki ended the season with five goals and eight assists in all league competition in his first full season

With Landon Donovan gone, Ishizaki is among several will need to shoulder the burden left by the retiring U.S. soccer star during the 2015 season. If Ishizaki can truly become a true offensive weapon alongside Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, the Galaxy will have every opportunity to retain their MLS Cup title.

How would you rate Ishizaki’s 2014 campaign? Read my review of the LA Galaxy midfielders on LAGalaxy.com while also voting and commenting below. 

29 December 5:39 pm

CARSON, Calif. – No member of the LA Galaxy showed more growth and progress in 2015 than outside back Robbie Rogers.

In 2013, Rogers struggled with injuries en route to a disappointing season while also dealing with the scrutiny of being the first openly gay professional athlete in a major American sport. A year later, the story was far different for the 26-year-old as Rogers settled into a new role as the club’s left back amid injuries to veteran options Todd Dunivant and James Riley.  At the end of the season, Rogers solidified himself as one of the finest left backs in MLS as he was a vital part in the LA Galaxy’s MLS Cup winning squad with 24 appearances in all MLS competitions with three assists.

As important as 2014 was for the defender, 2015 could be even bigger for Rogers as he looks to not further his development as an outside back, but also continue his push for a place on the U.S. National Team. With Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad needing depth at left back ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup in light of DaMarcus Beasley’s international retirement, Rogers may find a spot in the USMNT’s depth chart. 

How would you rate Robbie Rogers' 2014 performance? Read my review of the LA Galaxy defenders while voting and commenting below. 

27 December 6:28 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Brazilian center back Leonardo is no strange to scorn from LA Galaxy fans, but in 2014, the defender made major strides that may see him start 2015 as the principal partner beside Omar Gonzalez.

Free of the injury issues that plagued him during his first four seasons with the club, Leonardo became a regular in Bruce Arena’s lineup as the Brazilian made 24 appearances and 20 starts—each of which were career-highs. Leonardo also added a goal which was his first tally since the 2011 campaign.

Although Leonardo struggled at times—LA’s CONCACAF Champions League second leg against Club Tijuana was a particularly difficult game—the Brazilian defender showed steady improvement over the course of the season. During the last three months of the team’s campaign in particular, Leonardo blossomed into one of the team’s finest defenders as his physicality and passing ability were vital to LA’s postseason campaign.  In addition to his ability to shut down opposing offenses, Leonardo also developed a tendency to push forward into the attack to give the team numbers on set pieces.

Next season, the onus will be on the frequently maligned central defender to stake a claim as Bruce Arena’s primary option alongside Omar Gonzalez in the middle of the back four.  To do so, he must continue to be the steady defender of the final months of the season and minimize the mistakes that were apparent at the start of the season.

How would you rate Leonardo’s 2014 season? Read my review of the defenders on LAGalaxy.com and rate his season in the poll and comment section below.