PASADENA, Calif. – The LA Galaxy admitted that they received a major lesson in the “little things” in their 7-0 defeat to Manchester United at the Rose Bowl Stadium on Wednesday evening.
Throughout the defeat—which was LA’s largest defeat in a friendly match— United. Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and captain Robbie Keane stressed that LA could learn plenty from the crisp passing and quick movement that United displayed throughout their runaway victory.
A lesson that second-year Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes took to heart.
“I felt like we learned that when the pressure is on that we have to deal with it,” said Zardes after the defeat. “We can definitely learn from United who are a fast team whose speed of play is superb. We can definitely start working on our own speed of play…I still feel like this was a good game going into our Seattle game so we get prepared mentally and physically.”
But for Landon Donovan, it’ll be important that the players apply those lessons heading into the all-important match against Seattle Sounders FC on Monday.
“You see what happens at higher level [where] everything happens at least a second or two faster. The speed of thought, the speed of play, the way they move, the way they react to things—technically, tactically, all those things,” said Landon Donovan. “And you hope when you come out of the game, especially the young guys, that they are not saying ‘Oh my god, they were so amazing,’ but ‘they do all the little things right’ and ‘how can I be better individually.’”
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has been named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week after scoring three goals last week.
Keane tallied two goals in LA's 5-1 victory over the New England Revolution on Wednesday and then added another in LA's 2-1 road defeat to Sporting Kansas City on Saturday. With his three goals, Keane has now scored 10 goals this season which gives him a double digit goal total for the third consecutive season.
In addition to Keane meaning the Team of the Week, Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes was placed on the bench after notching a brace of his own against New England.
— Major League Soccer (@MLS) July 21, 2014
CARSON, Calif. – The question of who should be the starting striker tandem is one of the main topics among LA Galaxy circles. However, based on the meteoric rise of Gyasi Zardes, it may not be a debate much longer.
The Galaxy won two titles with the strike force of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, but in recent weeks it has been Zardes who has started alongside the Irishman thanks to his torrid scoring run of six goals in five contests. LA’s pairing of Keane and Zardes bore fruit again on Wednesday with both strikers tallying a brace in the team’s 5-1 victory over the New England Revolution.
While Donovan and Zardes have often swapped positions in recent months, Keane told reporters that it may be time stop thinking of the second-year attacker as a midfielder.
"As long as he keeps continuing to learn and keeps continuing to score goals, and understanding how to be a striker and playing with someone else," said Keane. "It’s not about just running in behind, it’s about linking up and playing with people and understanding when you play up front it’s a partnership and understanding when I have the ball he has to run off and understand where he’s going to go.
“Most of the time I’ll find him. If not, I’ll try to find him. I keep telling him just get in behind and I’ll find him."
And it’s Keane’s vocal nature that Zardes attributes to his ability to find spaces behind opposing defenders and create dangerous scoring opportunities.
“I definitely have been listening to Robbie," Zardes told reporters on Wednesday night. "He’s constantly talking to me, even throughout the game. He’s giving me little tips on what he’s going to do, and he told me to pay attention to the first ball once you’re running through. We worked on it in practice, and we did it in the game. When Robbie gets the ball at his feet, I know he’ll find me.”
Who should start up top for the LA Galaxy when they play Sporting Kansas City on Saturday? Do you prefer the tandem of Keane and Donovan or Keane and Zardes?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy Homegrown Players Bradford Jamieson IV and Gyasi Zardes have been selected to the roster for the inaugural Chipotle Homegrown Player Game against the Portland Timbers Under-23's at JELD-WEN Field ahead of the MLS All-Star Game on August 4 at 7:00 p.m. PT.
Jamieson has been a revelation for LA Galaxy II with five goals for the the team's USL PRO affiliate while Zardes has begun to solidify a regular place in LA's starting XI with three goals. There will be a total of 20 players from 12 teams who will participate in the match.
The roster is below.
Goalkeeper: Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Matt Lampson (Columbus Crew)
Defenders: Connor Lade (New York Red Bulls), Ashtone Morgan (Toronto FC), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Karl W. Ouimette (Montreal Impact), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
Midfielders: Steven Evans (Portland Timbers), Wandrille Lefevre (Montreal Impact), Chris Ritter (Chicago Fire), Harry Shipp (Chicago Fire), Russell Teibert (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
Forwards: Caleb Calvert (Chivas USA), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Sean Okoli (Seattle Sounders FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
CARSON, Calif. – Whether he's stationed at forward or on the wing, it’s all the same to Gyasi Zardes.
The LA Galaxy’s dynamic offensive-minded player simply wants to get into the attack.
Zardes got a taste of life back up top during a brief second half appearance during LA’s 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire a week ago. Although the shift went well for 22-year-old, who has one goal and one assist this season, Zardes doesn’t have an opinion on where he’s best suited to play.
“It felt great getting back up top. It felt really good to get back up there,” said Zardes. “I missed playing up top, but I like outside too because I have freedom to space. I’m a runner; I want to run [at people].”
If he gets a chance to see the field, he’ll look to pressure a Chivas USA side that he’s enjoyed success against since coming into the league as he’s tallied two goals and two assists in a pair of SuperClasico appearances.
Although the Galaxy have dominated the Rojiblancos throughout their series, Zardes expects a tough challenge from Chivas on Sunday.
“This Chivas team is going to come strong and hard,” said Zardes. “We need to be prepared for them.”
Where do you think Zardes' best position is?
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In the latest edition of Cobi's Corner, Gyasi Zardes talks to LA Galaxy legend Cobi Jones about his second year in MLS, his well-known hairdo and more.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – Gyasi Zardes was blunt when asked about his offensive performance in Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal.
“I don’t think that I did good at all,” Zardes told LA Galaxy Insider following the team’s training session on Saturday morning. “I could have been a better threat. We got the result, but I wasn’t much of a threat.”
Following a successful start against Real Salt Lake, Zardes struggled going forward against Tijuana as his passing and crossing was frequently off the mark with the forward completing just 13 of his 27 passes. Meanwhile his darting attacking runs amounted in little as he was blanketed by speedy Xolos right back Juan Nunez. Although he struggled to create going forward, Zardes did excel defensively making 11 recoveries and a single clearance to help LA keep the shutout.
“Good physical effort, but he has to be better technically,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “He’s still young and it’s going to be up and down. As he gets into the season and we get into a rhythm, we’re going to see some good soccer out of him.”
Whether Zardes remains in the starting XI for the second leg is still up in the air, however, as substitute Stefan Ishizaki was solid in a 20 minute shift against Tijuana. But if he is indeed starting at the Estadio Caliente, Zardes understands that he’ll need to have a more complete performance.
“I just need to make sure that I defend as well as attack,” said Zardes who asserted that he expected to see a full-strength Xolos team face LA on Tuesday. “I need to be smart with the [forward] runs that I make and listen to my teammates.”
Should Zardes start?
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CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes entered the preseason as something of a forgotten man with the LA Galaxy’s new additions grabbing the headlines, but the forward has staked his claim to start in Saturday’s season opener against Real Salt Lake.
The second-year attacker has been revitalized this preseason as he has appeared to shake off the finishing woes that plagued him in his rookie season. Just where he ends up on the field still remains a question mark, however, as he has had some of his greatest success playing on the right side of midfield and up top.
However, ask one of his more accomplished teammates about where Zardes should play and the answer is a simple one.
“His best position [in midfield] whether it’s on the left or the right hand side because he’s quick and can beat people,” said LA captain Robbie Keane who is quick to praise Zardes for his improved finishing this preseason. “It’s all well and good to be doing it during the preseason, but it’s about doing it when the real business starts.”
When told of Keane’s declaration, Zardes agrees, “I feel like I’m good in the midfield. I feel like I pose a threat and can get the ball to the forward’s feet."
But at times, when Zardes pushes forward, it changes the Galaxy’s formation as their 4-4-2 formation evolves into an apparent 4-3-3, something that the second-year attacker is keenly aware of.
“I’m always pushing into the attack,” said Zardes of his positioning on the field. “I don’t know what the coaches have in mind, but wherever they use me whether it’s as a forward or in midfield, I’m going to try to be a threat.”
Think Zardes will get the start out wide on Saturday? Think StefanIshizaki will start?
Share your thoughts below.
FRESNO, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes made a statement on Saturday with his stunning goal to seal the Central California Cup -- he's steadily becoming the dangerous striker that was among 2013's most highly-touted prospects.
The goal can be viewed below.
It’s that time again when we make our resolutions for the New Year in hopes of making our lives just a little bit better.
To properly ring in what promises to be an eventful 2014, I decided to make a list of LA Galaxy New Year’s Resolutions. Now this list ranges from my own thoughts about what the team needs to a few other ideas on how to improve the team and MLS in the New Year.
* Build toward the future: continue to offer playing time to younger players like Jack McBean, Rafael Garcia and Greg Cochrane. One of the team’s greatest successes of 2013 was that head coach Bruce Arena afforded plenty of valuable game time to players like the three aforementioned youth. With international commitments and injuries likely to cause problems yet again, the Galaxy boss should continue his policy of giving time to emerging young talent.
*Deal with change: There will be some notable absences from the LA Galaxy roster in 2013, but none will be bigger than the departures of longtime right-sided player Sean Franklin—who was selected in Stage One of the MLS Re-Entry Process by D.C. United—and Jose Villarreal who was sent on a year-long loan with Cruz Azul. Both players were frequent contributors a year ago and will need to be replaced in the coming weeks.
*Allow Juninho to receive more responsibility in the attack especially on free kick situations. The Brazilian midfielder saw his offensive impact stunted in 2013, but he’ll be expected to carry more of the load next season especially on set piece opportunities.
*That being said, LA must show more resilience on defending set pieces and second ball opportunities to prevent the deficiencies that caused the club to fail last season. We've gone over this one many, many times.
*Find a new center forward to play alongside Robbie Keane to add a natural target striker to the Galaxy attack. During the club’s final media availability of 2013, Arena stated that finding this type of player was priority number one for LA ahead of the next campaign and with the transfer window open; the Galaxy will have the chance to get their man. With a target presence alongside Keane, Landon Donovan could transition back to the right midfield and offer greater width to the midfield.
*Build off what was learned in 2013: Continued production from Marcelo Sarvas and Jaime Penedo. LA’s two breakout stars in 2013 were Marcelo Sarvas and Jaime Penedo who became regular members of the Galaxy starting XI by season’s end, but production must continue to progress into 2014. For Sarvas, he’ll likely need cede some of his offensive responsibilities to his midfield partner Juninho and contain his physical exuberance that caused him to lead MLS in fouls committed last year. Meanwhile, Penedo must continue to progress as a goalkeeper and cut down on mistakes that led to goals down the stretch.
*More professional growth from Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Rogers. The two attackers experienced inconsistent seasons in 2013, but the New Year brings greater expectations for both to provide reliable contributions for LA. If the pair can develop into offensive weapons, LA may have an added attacking dimension—particularly on the flanks— that was sorely lacking last season.
*Be more successful: Make a strong run in the U.S. Open Cup. The LA Galaxy have gone out in the third round in the U.S. Open Cup to the Carolina RailHawks each of the last two years, but with no CONCACAF Champions League waiting for them in the fall, a long run in the Open Cup should be beneficial for the team to provide minutes to their entire roster. Also, winning the USOC will help place the team back into the CCL for the 2015-16 tournament.
*Continue see the LA Galaxy Academy grow and produce players who could become valuable members of the first team in the future. LA Academy forawrd Haji Wright garnered a lot of the headlines toward the end of the year, but LA’s academy teams are continuing to show promise in the form of players like Adonis Amaya, Jaime Villarreal and many others.
*Good health to Robbie Keane who is recovering from surgery on both of his Achilles as he looks to get ready for the preseason. The Galaxy are hoping to have their captain back to full health by the start of preseason, but what is most important is having him fit and ready for the start of the season and the all-important CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal against Club Tijuana in March.
*Travel More: Get off to a strong start against Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal and keep dreams of the FIFA Club World Cup alive. The LA Galaxy’s quest for continental glory begins in March as they host the first leg of the CCL quarterfinals against Club Tijuana. With a victory at home, the Galaxy will be in strong standing as they look to advance past Xolos and reach the CCL semifinals for a second consecutive year in front of a hostile crowd at Estadio Calliente.
*Prosperity for Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan as they look to make their World Cup dream come true. Both Galaxy Designated Players appear to be strong candidates to make U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but both will need to stay healthy and in form to ensure a place on the plane to Brazil. If they’re able to reach Brazil, the pair is likely to be in Klinsmann’s starting XI and can expect to be major contributors as the U.S. hopes to advance from Group G over the likes of Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Here’s hoping for more moments like this one from four years ago.
*New ventures for the coming year: New MLS Television deals. Southern California is spoiled with the great Galaxy coverage on the Time Warner SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes, but in 2014, MLS will look to negotiate their new national television deals which will play a major role in the league’s growth going forward. More financial resources from national television partners can only help grow the league which hopes to be among the world’s best during the next decade.
*Continue to foster a connection with the readers of this blog and all content on LAGalaxy.com. What truly makes my job worthwhile is interacting with all of those that enjoy my work on the LA Galaxy Insider Blog and LAGalaxy.com, and in 2014, I hope to have greater interaction with you the readers so that we can place the type of content that you’re looking for on this space.
Happy New Year.