CARSON, Calif. –The addition of Los Angeles Football Club to MLS in 2017 may not change much for LA Galaxy club president Chris Klein, but LA’s players admit that they hope a new rivalry will be born in Southern California.
After the dissolution of Chivas USA earlier this week, MLS unveiled the powerhouse ownership group of LAFC—a “working title” and not the team’s official name—at a press conference along Sunset Boulevard on Thursday. The group included many of the same faces that took ownership of the Dodgers several years earlier including Lakers great Ervin “Magic” Johnson.
While not much is known about what the team once they finally take the field in two years, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane said that he was excited to see the club join MLS.
“I think it will be exciting. What I will say about Chivas is that when you’re around the dressing room and locker room and you see these guys walking and people in the background, unfortunately they’ve lost their jobs, you know? For me it’s a shame,” said Keane. “Maybe the league could do something about that. But I think it’s exciting for the league. I’m sure if they get a new team, whatever they call it, it’ll get more [players] that want to come here. I’m excited about it.
“I think it’s good though because we need a fierce rivalry. If you look at Seattle and Portland, they’re good rivalries. With Chivas, I wouldn’t really call that a rivalry, to be honest with you,” he added. “We were in the same building, but with the declared attendance what they had … I’m used to playing these derby games where you had 60,000 people throwing abuse at each other, which is good in a friendly way. We didn’t really have that hear, hopefully we can have that with the new team.
Landon Donovan agreed that the addition of LAFC in 2017 will only enrich the local soccer landscape.
“I think it’s great. This city, when Chivas were good, it made this rivalry good and made it special for everyone,” Donovan said. “Obviously they’ve had a tough time with a lot of different things over the years, but I think having a chance to have new ownership obviously a new brand and a new team is fantastic for this market. I think it can only bring positives.”
LA Galaxy II's season is over, but Los Dos continued their offseason by picking up a 3-1 victory over the U.S. Under-18 squad at StubHub Center on Thursday.
Chandler Hoffman, Alejandro Covarrubias and Jaime Villarreal scored for Los Dos while San Jose Earthquakes Academy Amir Bashti.
Four Galaxy Academy players played for the U.S. U-18's: forward Adrian Vera, center back B.J. O'hara, goalkeeper Bennett Sneddon and forward Rob Knights.
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane says that he's ready to go for Saturday's match against Real Salt Lake after missing out on the LA Galaxy's regular season finale last week.
Keane told reporters on Friday that a hamstring strain prevented him from taking part in LA's 2-0 defeat to Seattle Sounders FC, but admitted that he expects to be fit in time for the first leg of Western Conference Semifinal against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
"I trained last couple of days and my hamstring seems okay. Obviously I would have played. I think [people] know me well enough now to know that I will not to stay out of games unless it’s legit," said Keane. "I should be okay for Saturday."
Head coach Bruce Arena echoed Keane's optimism stating that the Irishman has no intention of missing out on the playoff game.
“Robbie could play if he had a broken leg,” Arena joked. “It was just precaution to hold him out. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t say he could play with a broken leg, but he would try anyway."
Having Keane back in the squad is a major boost for the Galaxy after a frustrating performance against Seattle that saw LA dominate in shots, but fail to find the back of the net. And with the captain back to full fitness -- plus Omar Gonzalez returning from suspension -- the Irishman believes that the Galaxy are well-equipped to make a deep playoff run.
"I think we’re more prepared [than 2013]," said Keane. "[We have a] better squad of players, more experienced players who understand how the playoffs go."
The LA Galaxy will have some competition for Los Angeles in two years.
On Thursday, MLS unveiled "Los Angeles Football Club" which will join MLS for the 2017 season. The move comes just days after the league officially disbanded Chivas USA.
Watch the press conference above.
CARSON, Calif. –The Swedish soccer world was shaken on Wednesday with the announcement of the passing of former national team star and Elfsborg head coach Klas Ingesson due to bone marrow cancer.
A member of Sweden’s teams at the 1990 FIFA World Cup and the 1994 team that finished third, Ingesson enjoyed a lengthy professional career that included stops at IFK Göteborg (Sweden), Mechelen (Belgium), PSV Eindhoven (Netherlands), Sheffield Wednesday (England), Marseille (France) as well as IBari, Bologna and Lecce (Italy).
Despite being diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2009, Ingesson continued his coaching career and in 2013, he coached Stefan Ishizaki in what was the current Galaxy midfielder’s final season in Sweden.
“When anyone passes away it is a terrible thing but it hurts more when you’re so close to that person,” Ishizaki told reporters on Wednesday. “Klas was a fantastic human being, a fantastic player back in the day and a great coach.
“He was one of those men that spread joy around him, always had a happy face, and had a keen soccer mind. He was one of the true greats in Swedish soccer over the years and he’ll be missed.”
When Ishizaki was first approached by the Galaxy back in 2013, it was Ingesson who allowed the midfielder—a long tenured member of the club—to speak with LA and eventually orchestrate a move to MLS.
“I talked to him last year and sought his advice. Of course, he wanted me to stay with Elfsborg and help rebuild the squad for a new year, but he said, ‘I understand that you have to go and do your own thing.’
“He allowed me to take this adventure to join MLS and I will be forever grateful for him allowing me to leave,” he continued. “A lot of coaches come into their first full season and want to build a new team and many of them would have said that ‘you can’t go.’ But he gave me this opportunity to come to MLS and I’ll be forever grateful."
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy begin their 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs campaign on Saturday evening against Real Salt Lake and if LA will advance past the club that eliminated them a year ago, they’ll need to shutdown RSL’s dynamic attacker Joao Plata.
The speedy and diminutive Ecuadorian led the charge for head coach Jeff Cassar’s side throughout the 2014 season with 13 goals and six assists. In three games against the Galaxy this year, Plata notched a goal and an assist including a goal in RSL’s win over LA in the season opener.
“Plata has been an All-Star quality player this entire season. He’s been scoring goals for club and country and he’s a very dangerous player,” said defender A.J. DeLaGarza. “He’s fast and an incredibly player who is only helped by the influence of Saborio. They create a real threat.”
If the LA can slow down Plata, DeLaGarza believes that the Galaxy will be able to get revenge on RSL for their 2013 playoff exit.
“This year we have home-field advantage, but we’ll see if that means anything,” said DeLaGarza. “It’ll be a great match-up. It’s two teams that really like to play and it’ll be a good challenge for us.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Process this for a moment: Landon Donovan will never play another MLS regular season game.
With the Galaxy's 2-0 defeat to Seattle Sounders FC on Saturday, Donovan's MLS regular season career 4,490 days after it began when he helped the San Jose Earthquakes defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 3-2 on April 7, 2001.
To celebrate Donovan's regular season career, LAGalaxy.com has provided a graphic that looks back on the final numbers of his regular season career.
CARSON, Calif. -- On the date that MLS officially disbanded Chivas USA, the LA Galaxy went along with business as usual.
There was no talk of the fact the Rojiblancos had been officially disbanded earlier that morning or that they will be replaced by a new team at a new location in the greater Los Angeles area in two years’ time. The Galaxy simply went about the task of preparing for their Western Conference Semifinal first leg with Real Salt Lake – who entered the league in 2005 alongside Chivas – on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium.
“The decision to sell Chivas and rebrand it and bring it back in the marketplace can only be a positive,” said Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said of the Chivas USA news. “I’m sure that it will make for an exciting time in the Los Angeles soccer market.”
While the yet unnamed second Los Angeles MLS team will return in 2017, most players who suited up for Chivas USA will be distributed across MLS in a dispersal draft that will take place in December. The only possible exceptions for the draft may be forwards Erick “Cubo” Torres and Felix Borja who may find new teams through other means according to a league conference call on Monday afternoon.
As the players prepare for the dispersal draft, Galaxy right back and longtime leadership member of the MLS Players Union James Riley said that he trusted the league and the union to assure a seamless transition for those affected.
“It’s unfortunate news and I want to thank the fans for supporting the team and I still have a lot of good friends on that team,” said Riley who admitted that he wasn’t surprised by the announcement. “We just hope that the process goes smoothly and the players are taken care of and given options to play elsewhere. Obviously, the players union and the league will do their due diligence in making sure that the process goes smoothly for those players.”
But although the sentimentality of losing the Rojiblancos as a rival was felt, the Galaxy were focused on the ways that Monday’s announcement will affect them in the immediate future. With Chivas USA exiting the league, MLS revealed the realignment of the new 20-team league that will feature Sporting Kansas City and Houston Dynamo moving west while expansion sides Orlando City SC and New York City FC join the Eastern Conference.
"As if the Western Conference wasn't tough enough already," chuckled defender A.J. DeLaGarza upon learning that the last five MLS Cup winners will be in the new Western Conference.
But even amid the loss of a rival and the introduction to a pair of new teams in the Western Conference, DeLaGarza said that the loss of the Rojiblancos will only help the Galaxy truly make the StubHub Center their true home.
"It'll be weird not playing Chivas USA because we looked forward to that rivalry. But now we get to have our own stadium and we can do things for us with our $15 million dollar investment in the stadium. We’ll have a chance to upgrade the facilities for the entire club.”
CARSON, Calif. – The Chivas USA era is officially over.
MLS announced on Monday morning that they will be employing a new strategy in the Los Angeles market that will see the Rojiblancos disbanded effective immediately, with a new club reentering the market for the 2017 season. The new Los Angeles club will enter alongside the expansion club from Atlanta. MLS also revealed that the new ownership group for the club will be announced on Thursday.
All players that played for Chivas in 2014 will be available via a dispersal draft sometime in December -- according to reports -- on a date which has yet to be announced.
With Chivas ceasing operations, MLS also announced a realignment plan for the 20 team league that will see Sporting Kansas City and the Houston Dynamo move to the Western Conference while expansion sides New York City FC and Orlando City SC join the Eastern Conference. The realignment will see the last five MLS Cup champions in one conference.
For the 2015 MLS regular season, the 20 teams in MLS will each play 34 regular season games. Clubs will play each team in the opposing conference once for five home and five away fixtures. Teams will then play each of their nine conference opponents at least twice –one home and one away—as well as six additional intra-conference games (three at home and three on the road).