LA Galaxy stalwarts A.J. DeLaGarza and Juninho expecting to be ready for MLS Cup Final date with New England Revolution
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are expecting to be back to full fitness -- or at least close to it, when they kick off in the MLS Cup Final against the New England Revolution on Sunday.
A.J. DeLaGarza (left hamstring strain) was the most glaring absence from the squad that dispatched Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday, but in an interview with reporters the morning after, the 27-year-old said that he expects to play in MLS Cup this weekend.
"I feel a lot better. I've been working out the last couple of days, but I didn't train too much in the buildup to the last game against Seattle so it wasn't right to go out in a situation like that especially on that turf. You saw that Osvaldo Alonso was not himself and he had two weeks to get ready for that," said DeLaGarza. "I'll be fine this weekend. I'm going to get back into full training."
Another question mark is Juninho who played the hero for the Galaxy with the series-clinching goal against the Sounders. It appeared that the Brazilian suffered an injury in the 87th minute that forced Bruce Arena to pull him from the match when a subsitution of another banged up player (Marcelo Sarvas) was already in the cards.
Despite needing to be helped off the field, Juninho insisted after the game that he'll be ready for Sunday's meeting with the New England Revolution.
"It was so cold out there and at the end of the game there is a lot of pressure so I felt a cramp," said Juninho. " I'm good though. I'll be good for the next game."
A.J. DeLaGarza's Guam defeats Chinese Taipei in 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary round semifinal
LA Galaxy center back A.J. DeLaGarza started and went 90 minutes as Guam defeated host nation Chinese Taipei (Taiwan) 2-1 in their 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup preliminary round two match.
A penalty kick goal by former Santa Clara soccer star Jason Cunliffe in the 14th minute gave Matao an early advantage that was doubled just three minutes before half time when Shane Malcolm scored. Chen Hao-wei scored for Chinese Taipei in the 57th minute, but the DeLaGarza-led Guam defense held firm to prevent a comeback.
Guam will take on group stage favorite North Korea on Sunday in a match that will likely decide which team advances to the 2015 EAFF East Asian Cup. North Korea started the qualifying group off on a high note on Thursday with a 2-1 victory over Hong Kong.
Ahead of his final regular season match at the StubHub Center, Landon Donovan sits down with ESPN's Kenny Mayne to discuss his plans after he retires at the end of the LA Galaxy's 2014 campaign.
In addition to discussing his plans to put on weight after his career ends, Donovan tells Mayne about his favorite moment at StubHub Center and his reasoning on why he deserved to be on the U.S. squad during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Check it out above.
MONTREAL -- In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's "What to Watch For," Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino preview the match against the Montreal Impact.
Check it out below.
Colorado Rapids Goalkeeper Joe Nasco earns fastest red card in MLS history in 6-0 loss to the LA Galaxy
CARSON, Calif. -- It's safe to say that Colorado Rapids goalkeeper Joe Nasco had one of the worst nights of his career, and he did it all without playing a single minute.
Just 34 seconds into the game, Alan Gordon skirted past Nasco during a scramble in front of goal, but before he could get a shot off at an empty net, Nasco yanked down the forward. Despite the extremely early juncture of the game, referee Baldomero Toledo pointed to the spot and handed out a red card for Nasco which was the quickest red card in league history.
Gyasi [Zardes] and [Alan] Gordon made great runs across the box and Todd [Dunivant] put in a great cross in front of the goal and when you do that, good things happen," said Landon Donovan. "Gordon did a good job to get his feet on it and was going to score and got pulled down, so that’s part of the game and it’s unfortunate for them."
Prior to Nasco's foible, the previous holder of the dubious distinction was former New York Red Bulls defender Carlos Johnson, who was sent off in the second minute of a match with the then-Kansas City Wizards back on April 23, 2009.
Although Nasco will likely have to carry the distinction for some time, he got little sympathy from the home side.
"If the goalkeeper doesn’t do that, then they don’t get the red card," said defender Omar Gonzalez. "That’s the way the game is played, those are the rules. It’s tough that’s the way it went down, but that had to happen."
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."
CARSON, Calif. -- Stefan Ishizaki began the road back to the starting lineup on Friday by returning to full training for the first time since the club's 4-3 victory over the Colorado Rapids on Aug. 20.
Ishizaki picked up what he described as a "lower body injury" in the 54th minute of the Galaxy's win in Colorado when Ishizaki won the free kick that ultimately resulted in Omar Gonzalez's goal off an LA free kick. Just two days before the Galaxy's final SuperClasico match against Chivas USA, the Swedish winger made his return to full training, but is still unsure if he'll be available for Sunday's clash.
"We'll have to see how my injury reacts and we'll go forward from there. I'll have to see tonight and check in with the medical staff and we'll evaluate it from there," Ishizaki told LA Galaxy Insider. "I'm optimistic. I couldn't really do much a couple of days ago, but now I'm back in full training. It wasn't good, but now I'm feeling like I'm on the way to a speedy recovery."
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy return home on Saturday to take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the first match of a two game stretch at home.
Below are a series of links, matchups to watch and a predicted score ahead of Saturday's clash with Vancouver.
*Remember to get to the match early because the first 15,000 fans through the gates at StubHub Center will receive a special edition LA Galaxy lunch box.
*The LA Galaxy may be in the middle of a brutal congested schedule, but they'll face a Vancouver team that they've enjoyed plenty of success against in the past.
*It took Alan Gordon only two games to find the back of the net for the LA Galaxy, could the forward who adds a "different dimension" to the club see more minutes against the Whitecaps?
*Lastly, my preview of the match for LAGalaxy.com.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
MARCELO SARVAS vs. PEDRO MORALES
The active LA Galaxy midfielder will have his hands full on Saturday as he looks to contain Morales who is the focal point of the Whitecaps attack. Expect Sarvas -- and Juninho -- to put pressure on the playmaker to prevent him from enjoying the type of space that he needs to create chances for Vancouver.
ROBBIE KEANE vs. ANDY O'BRIEN
In this battle of Irishmen, Keane will seek to lure the physical O'Brien out of position and open up the Whitecaps defense for the likes of Gyasi Zardes and Landon Donovn.
WHAT THEY SAID:
“The Vancouver game is a six point game. When you play games at home, you have to get points. The way that the league is going, we might find ourselves at the top at the end [of the season] and that starts Saturday against the Whitecaps.” - Landon Donovan.
LA Galaxy 1 (Keane) Vancouver Whitecaps FC 0
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Landon Donovan is hanging up his boots at season’s end, but the long time U.S. international knows that MLS is in safe hands because of players like Colorado Rapids youngster Dillon Serna.
A favorite in youth soccer circles, Serna has enjoyed a strong first full season in MLS with three goals and three assists in 20 appearances for the Rapids. Serna's finest strike came in last Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to D.C. United when the 20-year-old launched a 35-yard volley that sailed into the back of the United net.
Even though the U.S. Under-20 midfielder may not be old enough to drink, he has a fan in Donovan.
“He’s done well. It’s exciting for this league to have all sorts of young Homegrown Players do well,” Donovan told LA Galaxy Insider. “That’s the future of this league in my opinion and to see another one like him do well is very good. It’s very early for him and he still has a lot to prove, but he has done well.”
KANSAS CITY, Kan. – Robbie Keane pulled the LA Galaxy to within a single goal late in their 2-1 defeat to Sporting Kansas City, but the Irishman could help but think about one shot that got away from the goal scorer.
The event occurred in the 54th minute with the Sporting up by a single goal when Keane barreled down on the Sporting KC goal and collided hard with SKC goalkeeper Andy Gruenebaum before unleashing a shot that flew just over the bar. Despite the hard challenge, referee Allen Chapman refused to award a foul on the play and seven minutes later, the home side found their eventual game winner on Lawerence Olum’s goal.
“If you’d have seen my leg, you’d have thought it was a foul. Seeing the replay, it doesn’t matter if I had an opportunity to score,” said Keane who now has 10 regular season goals for a third consecutive season. “The fact is if [the keeper] isn’t there, it’s a goal probably. I didn’t think I was going to be doing that kind of cartwheel today, I’ll tell you that.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena also had pointed words for Chapman.
“I think it should have been a foul [on Gruenebaum],” said Arena.” I don’t think it’s a red card but if a field player passes a ball and a player goes through, it’s a foul. So it’s a foul on the play; it’s a free kick. It doesn’t need to be a red card. But it’s a foul and it has to be a free kick. Like the foul they had that they scored a goal on—those are fouls. And the referee needs to call them.”
Was it a foul? Could that call have changed the game?
Share your thoughts below.