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."
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The LA Galaxy suffered their worst defeat of the season, but the club received a silver lining as Gyasi Zardes continued his torrid scoring streak.
Zardes scored in the 49th minute of the Galaxy’s 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew to bring his goal total to 10 on the season. The 22-year-old second-year forward has now scored in four straight matches to go with nine goals in his last 10 games.
“It’s my teammates, definitely. It’s not just me,” Zardes said of his scoring streak after the match. “It’s the whole combination of play and when we combine I just make that hard run into the box and my teammates just put it right there on my foot and I just put it on frame.”
Despite adding to his scoring goal run, Zardes was unlucky not to add a second in the 83rd minute. With the Galaxy down 3-1, Zardes was unable to get to a Robbie Keane pass that had the forward alone in front of an empty net.
“There were various times in the game when we had opportunities,” Zardes said. “The only difference is they put away their opportunities as opposed to us.”
Although Zardes kept up his scoring streak, don’t expect him to celebrate or dwell on the defeat to the Crew—he’s already set his sights on Wednesday’s match against the Colorado Rapids.
“We are definitely forgetting about this game and just working hard to prepare for Wednesday,” said Zardes.
CARSON, Calif. -- Red hot LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes is traveling to Portland for Monday's Chipotle Homegrown Game, but don't expect the forward to play a role for the MLS Homegrowns against the Portland Timbers U-23 team.
Zardes was selected for Monday's event along with fellow Galaxy HGP Bradford Jamieson IV, but after Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Timbers, the 22-year-old striker admitted that with the Galaxy playing the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, he's expecting to see limited action -- at most -- in the Homegrown Game.
"I'm going to play it by ear, but I highly doubt [I'll play]," said Zardes who landed in Portland on Sunday. "But I'm the guy that if they tell me to do something then I'll do it."
Keeping Zardes off the field in the Homegrown match is certainly advantageous to the Galaxy as the second-year forward is currently on a torrid scoring run that has seen him tally seven goals in his last eight games. Although he's already enjoying a career season with eight goals and one assist, the 22-year-old forward is trying his best to stay grounded.
"Now that [the game against Portland] is over, I don't look back. I'm not going to fantazise about all the goals that I've scored," said Zardes. "The next game [that I play] when I'm in that moment, I'm thinking [I have] zero goals. I have to prove myself."
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?
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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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