Bruce Arena provides LA Galaxy injury update; says he's undecided on Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez's role for Saturday
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy have dealt with the injury bug over the last several weeks, and now head coach Bruce Arena will have to evaluate the statuses of returning internationals Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes ahead of the weekend clash with Sporting Kansas City .
The Galaxy duo both went a full 90 minutes in the U.S. National Team’s 2-0 victory over archrival Mexico in San Antonio on Wednesday. Both players returned to Southern California on Thursday but according to Arena, he’ll have some thinking to do when he decides whether to slot the pair in the starting lineup for the match with Sporting.
“We have players that have been injured over the last two or three weeks, going to likely return. Jose Villarreal, Robbie Keane is a possibility, Mika Vayaynen is a possibility, AJ DeLaGarza is coming back from a slight injury, Edson Buddle’s probably going to be available. A number of players. That makes for a good week," Arena told reporters on Thrusday. "However, we have to be cautious with players that played with the U.S. team last night. That will be their third game in a week. We gotta make a decision on whether they’re going to be involved with our team on Saturday.”
Like many, Arena did not take too much from the Americans latest 2-0 win over Mexico, remarking that the pitiful field conditions took away from the overall product.
“I don’t think it’s a game you could say a whole lot about," Arena said. "The playing conditions were so poor, Mexico put out a good team that certainly is not their team. I don’t know what you make out of that. On the night the US was certainly the better team and deserved to win.”
WATCH: LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes featured in FIFA Crossbar Challenge alongside U.S. National Teammate Miguel Ibarra
LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes has made himself quite at home with the U.S. National Team in the past few months, and with international appearances come certain perks.
During the USMNT's recent tour of FIFA headquarters in Zurich, Zardes and international teammate Miguel Ibarra were featured in FIFA's Crossbar Challenge. The two U.S. National Team players had 10 chances to hit the crossbar, with the winner rattling the frame more than the other.
Check out who won in the video above.
LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes earned a start and went 89 minutes as the U.S. National Team picked up a 1-1 draw with Switzerland in Zurich on Tuesday.
Starting up top alongside Jozy Altidore, Zardes was active from the start and had numerous opportunties in the first half to give the Americans the advantage. The Americans went into the half up a goal after Orlando City's Brek Shea scored a stunning free kick to put the U.S. ahead.
Zardes came closest to finding the back of the net just moments into the second half when he beat the goalkeeper but skied his header just wide of the frame. As the half wore on, the Swiss began to find their feet and were boosted when Jozy Altidore was sent off in the 68th minute after a late challenge and dissent to the referee.
Up a man, Switzerland found their goal in the 80th minute when a defensive breakdown on a corner kick allowed Valentin Stocker to poke a shot past William Yarbrough. With the goal, the U.S. has now conceded 12 times in the second half since the World Cup.
The Americans return to action later this month when they face Mexico in San Antonio on April 15.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo this Saturday in their third match of the 2015 MLS regular season.
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, we take a look at the club's recent struggles against the Dynamo.
Check it out below.
SAN JOSE, Calif. – The LA Galaxy were without several key pieces when they ended the preseason with a 3-2 defeat to the San Jose Earthquakes, but head coach Bruce Arena expects the full team in training next week.
Galaxy regulars Baggio Husidic, Jaime Penedo and Gyasi Zardes as well as trialist Edson Buddle missed out on the club’s final preseason preseason match due to unspecified injuries, but according to Arena, they’ll be on the training field on Monday when the club ramps up their preparations for Friday’s MLS regular season opener against the Chicago Fire.
“All our guys will be back next week,” said Arena.
The Galaxy boss was also optimistic about the status of defender A.J. DeLaGarza who has missed the entire preseason with a bone bruise in his left leg.
“He’ll be in full training on Monday,” Arena said afterward.
CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes returned to the LA Galaxy before the team's trip to Europe loaded with confidence after his successful stint with the U.S. National Team.
During the USMNT's annual Winter camp, Zardes made his first two appearances for the national side including an influential start during their 2-0 victory over Panama last Sunday. Following two days off after a month-long training camp, Zardes rejoined the Galaxy where he admitted that he was feeling an extra pep in his step.
"This preseason has been wonderful for me. Just jumping in a new environment [with the USMNT]," said Zardes. "You always gain confidence the more you play, no matter what team you play on. Being with the camp helped me grow. My method is once you find rhythm try to keep it. Bring that to a new atmosphere. I’m just trying to get better and take advantage of every opportunity I get. Stay humble and level-headed. That’s how I grow."
LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes says time with U.S. National Team and Jurgen Klinsmann has improved his fitness
CARSON, Calif. -- Many have taken U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to task for his recent comments about the fitness of members of the U.S. National Team, but LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes believes that he is a true success story of Klinsmann's conditioning program.
Superior fitness has long been the hallmark of American soccer players, but Klinsmann called that into question following the team's 3-2 defeat to Chile last week , leading to considerable condemnation from former players and the American soccer media. In a interview earlier this week, Klinsmann stated that the reason the U.S. has won just a single match in their last nine and suffered repeated late game collapses were because of the team's lack of emphasis on offseason fitness preparation.
Klinsmann's claims were met with major pushback from numerous places including by former national team defender Alexi Lalas but such condemnation of Klinsmann meant little to LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes who is in camp with the national team and is expected to play a major role when they take on Panama on Sunday at StubHub Center.
In fact, Zardes believes that he's gotten even fitter just by training with the U.S. over the last month.
"Fitness is a key component of the game because you need to be good for 90 minutes. I'm glad that we do a lot of fitness with the national team and it's wonderful to experience different types of fitness because each coach has different methods. [Jurgen's] philosphy toward fitness is incredible," Zardes told LA Galaxy Insider. "I personally think that it is helping me improve as a player because I feel myself able to run longer. My stamina is up and my acceleration is growing even more. I think that I'm growing in this field."
LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Gyasi Zardes made his international debut on Wednesday going 22 minutes for the U.S. National Team in their 3-2 defeat to Chile in Rancagua.
Brek Shea put the U.S. up with an early goal only six minutes into the match, but the Chileans soon equalized as Roberto Gutiérrez scored just four minutes later. New Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore gave the Americans the lead after 31 minutes to give hope to Jurgen Klinsmann’s side heading into the second half.
The lead did not hold, however, as Mark González found the back of the net in the 66th minute after a flurry of chances for the home side were turned away by USMNT goalkeeper Nick Rimando. After the Chileans brought the score level, Klinsmann opted to insert Zardes to create some offensive punch, but La Roja’s attack proved too strong as they edged ahead on another tally from Gonzalez in the 75th minute.
The U.S. National Team will play their second and final match of their annual January camp on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center.
LA Galaxy Homegrowns Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes called up to the U.S. National Team's annual January camp
CARSON, Calif. -- Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes have officially gone from the LA Galaxy Academy all the way to the U.S. National Team.
Galaxy Homegrown Players Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes were among the 28-man roster named by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the team's annual January camp at StubHub Center from Jan. 12 to Feb. 8. The training camp will end with a pair of matches for the U.S. against Chile in South America on Jan. 28 and against CONCACAF rivals Panama on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center.
The call-ups will be the first from the senior team for both Sorto and Zardes. While Zardes carries no tournament experience, the 20-year-old Sorto was a member of the U.S. Under-20 squad during their participation in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The inclusions of youngsters like Sorto and Zardes are part of Klinsmann's stated goal of bringing in Olympic-eligible players as the USMNT looks ahead to not only the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer, but also the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The U.S. Under-23's famously missed out on the 2012 Olympic Games in London which were won by CONCACAF archrivals Mexico.
“The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year,” Klinsmann said. “We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
The complete U.S. roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alex Bono (unattached), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (out of contract), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (6): Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Robbie Keane says Gyasi Zardes must get back to basics if he's going to score against Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. – Gyasi Zardes took MLS by storm with 16 goals in his second season with the LA Galaxy, but since finding the back of the net on Sept. 28, the forward has been silent.
Recently, Zardes has seen his amount of chances dwindle from an average of just over a shot on goal per game after the New York Red Bulls match to just two chances in the entirety of his six-game scoring drought.
Although the 23-year-old forward has failed to bury his chances as of late, his strike partner, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane says Zardes must get back to basics if he’s going to find the back of the net against Seattle Sounders FC this weekend.
“He has to get back to understanding what got him here in the first place. The most important thing that he has to understand is to be a team player first. If you’re a team player first then everything else will take care of itself,” Keane said after training earlier this week. “He needs to get back to what he’s good at, which is getting behind the defense and creating opportunities. But when he gets those opportunities then he has to take them and in the last few games, he hasn’t. He needs to get back to that.
“Like any striker, you always go through stages where you don’t score and it plays in your mind. The most important thing is that he has to get that out of his head fairly quickly, because when you’re going into games thinking that you haven’t scored for a while, it’ll work against you. One thing that I would say is that when you get an opportunity, rather than be clever and try to place it, sometimes just put your foot through and try to smash it. Usually that has worked for me over the years when I haven’t scored in a few games.”
To his credit, Zardes agrees that if he’s going to find the back of the net in LA’s Western Conference Championship series, he has to be sharper in front of the net
“To be honest, I’m working extremely hard and there are numerous opportunities, but I'm just going to keep doing the same things that I've been doing. I've been unlucky, but the [chances] are there,” said Zardes. “I just think that I have to get on the end of crosses because if you look at my goals, they typically come with solid link-up play with Robbie.”