International

21 June 4:11 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The U.S. National Team will need to make do without target striker Jozy Altidore for their “win and you’re in” group stage match against Portugal on Sunday.

Just how head coach Jurgen Klinsmann replaces the physical forward who is out with a hamstring injury remains to be seen and Galaxy forward Landon Donovan is among those wondering just how he’ll go about it against the Portuguese in Manaus.

“I don’t know. I wish I knew the answer to [how to replace Jozy]. It’s going to be interesting to see how the coaches adjust," Donovan said. "Whether you leave[Clint Dempsey] up there by himself or you play another forward with him. I’m sure they’ve watched the Portugal tape over and over and they’ll have an idea how to beat them. At the end of the day, it’s still 11 v. 11 but there’s no question that the team will miss Jozy.”

But no matter who fills in for Altidore, Donovan is confident that the U.S. can earn the win needed to get through to the knockout round for the second consecutive tournament.

“It’s amazing how results change things and even one goal changes things,” said Donovan. “That goal by John Anthony Brooks coupled with Portugal losing, now you look at a scenario where you win the game then you’re through against a somewhat beaten up Portuguese team. It’s amazing how it is coming together, but it can go the other way too. You have to be prepared and it’s going to be a fascinating match.” 

20 June 6:38 pm

CARSON, Calif. – England and Spain eliminated while Italy and other global powers find themselves on the ropes? Not many foresaw that heading into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan gave his explanation for the failings of the European giants in Brazil.

Speaking to reporters on Friday after LA Galaxy training, Donovan said that the poor showing of the European powers may be due to the rigors of the club season.

“I have a theory on that and it doesn't always hold true, but I think that it’s very difficult for teams with players playing in England or Spain that are playing 50 or 60 high-level games a year,” said Donovan. “They just get worn down throughout the year and then they travel to South America where it’s hot and difficult. I think that players are just getting worn out. There’s a lot of thought that more is better as far as training, but I think the opposite. I think that less is more and the teams that got the training right before the World Cup are the ones that are excelling right now.”

Even though several notable European sides are struggling, Donovan believes that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is showcasing the newfound parity of global soccer.  

“The soccer world is smaller than ever. There’s more players playing everywhere around the world. They understand how to get results and they're not intimidated anymore. It used to be different in the past,” said Donovan. “There is no more of that anymore. You see that with a lot of little teams doing well. You're seeing teams that are organized and the teams that are fit are succeeding.”

16 June 9:07 am

On Monday, LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez will develop a lasting memory of his very first World Cup match when the U.S. takes on Ghana in their Group G opener.

But what about Gonzalez's first World Cup memory?

That goes back to the 1994 FIFA World Cup when Gonzalez was just a child living outside of Dallas. 

"My first World Cup memory as a kid was at the Cotton Bowl, I got a chance to go to a few games as a volunteer," Gonzalez recently told LAGalaxy.com. "When I was there, my mom tells me that I used to mimic Bebeto's celebration." 

--

Think Gonzalez will mimic that celebration if he scores? 

16 June 8:05 am

The day is here.

It'll be impossible for you not to get pumped up for U.S. vs. Ghana after watching this video for tonight's match. 

Check it out below. 

15 June 3:13 pm

The waiting is finally over.

On Monday, the U.S. National Team will take on Ghana in their opening match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The match will prove if the third time is the charm for the U.S. who have dropped two straight World Cup matches to the Black Stars.

In the latest "By the Numbers," LAGalaxy.com looks at the matchup.

Check it out below.

12 June 4:18 pm

In the latest edition of "Skip work. Watch the World Cup," Bruce Arena runs Landon Donovan through an LA Galaxy training session only for the LA manager to call time on the practice in his own unique way. 

Check it out below.

12 June 11:05 am

In just a few hours, the globe’s most important sporting event will be underway.

The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins on Thursday when the host nation Brazil will take on European upstarts Croatia at Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians at 1:00 p.m. PT.  For a month, the world’s eyes will be focused on Brazil as 32 nations compete for the honor of hoisting the trophy aloft at the final at the iconic Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.

Throughout the tournament, we’ll be providing analysis and daily coverage of the tournament from Los Angeles and in Brazil on LAGalaxy.com/WorldCup. I’ll be covering the tournament locally from Southern California while LAGalaxy.com digital’s Chris Thomas will be on location in Brazil.

To date, there is already extensive coverage on the website including a World Cup restaurant guide of each of the nations that will be competing, a list of Galaxy watch parties including the U.S. viewing party for the Portugal match, and coverage of the United States’ run through the tournament especially given LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez's participation

12 June 11:02 am

The World Cup is finally here.

Ahead of the tournament, I decided to give the readers of LA Galaxy Insider a look of how I believe that the tournament will turn out. Earlier in the season, I stated that Germany was my favorite to take the title in Brazil. While I later bandied the idea of the host nation lifting the trophy at the Marcanana in mid-July, however, I’ve finally decided who I’m going with and the answer just may surprise you.

Uruguay.

That’s right, the famed deliverers of the Maracanazo, who now boast a team brimming with the attacking talent of Luis Suarez, Edison Cavani and even Diego Forlan. I believe that not only with the South American national triumph in their Group of death alongside Italy, England and Costa Rica, but they will also march to the title by defeating the likes of Spain and Argentina before knocking off Brazil in the final.

Uruguay defeats Brazil 2-1 in the Maracanazo Part II.

A few thoughts and notes

* LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and forward Landon Donovan backed Brazil to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

*The Galaxy's resident Swede Stefan Ishizaki picked the country of his father's birth to enjoy a deep run that will end in the second round

*Former Galaxy star Hyung-Mung Bo will lead Korea Republic in the tournament as their head coach. 

Take a look at my bracket below.