CARSON, Calif. -- There’s no question that Juninho is enjoying a career year with the LA Galaxy so far in 2014.
The Brazilian midfielder’s two-way ability has helped LA break up opposing attacks while also sending penetrating balls forward to spark Galaxy counterattacks. But for all his success in the midfield, one aspect of his game is missing—goals.
To date, the 25-year-old midfielder has managed 23 shots -- nine on frame -- and three assists, but has yet to find the back of the net, a fact that is not lost on head coach Bruce Arena.
“He’s fitter, he’s more involved over 90 minutes and he understands his positioning a bit better,” said Arena. “But his finishing hasn’t been as good as it has in the past. We'd like to see him get a goal or every now and then."
However, Juninho expects that the team’s change from a diamond formation to a more traditional 4-4-2 formation over the past several weeks will allow him to get back to scoring ways.
“For me particularly, [the formation] is much better. I am very familiar with it and I can score goals. [I can] go forward, and try to create more chances for the team,” said Juninho. “This is my style. For me it’s good, for the team I think you can have to ball more. It’s our older style, older formation, so our team is very familiar with that.
“In the diamond, I'm a holding midfielder. I have to stay with our backline and I can't leave that spot. But with two midfielders, I can go forward,” said Juninho. “Even though I haven't scored yet, I’m going to put more pressure on myself [to score] and I will do my best so that we can win.”
While Arena agrees that theoretically, this formation should help Juninho get forward, but he’s waiting for it to pay off.
“Regardless of where he’s playing or the system, he’s capable of getting us a couple goals in the season,” said Arena. “His finishing needs to get better.”
CARSON, Calif. – While his LA Galaxy teammates prepare for the SuperClasico this Sunday against Chivas USA, Robbie Keane will be looking to help lead a rejuvenation project for the Republic of Ireland.
Months after the Irish failed to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup; Ireland will take part in two friendlies in the U.S. against Costa Rica at PPL Park on June 7 and U.S. Group G opponent Portugal at MetLife Stadium four days later. Although the Irish will not participate in the World Cup, Keane believes the games could put his team in good stead with qualifying for the UEFA Euro 2016 on tap later this year.
“We want to see a belief in the national team. We want to be a team that’s hard to beat like we used to be. We haven't qualified for the World Cup so it’s important with the new coaching staff [of head coach Martin O'Neill and assistant Roy Keane] to get back to winning ways.
“It’s important to have a feel to see where we are and see how good we are against top teams and if we can compete against them.”
Time Warner Cable Deportes provides some of the best LA Galaxy content around and they offered yet another interesting look inside the club with their latest piece "Confesiones de Landon Donovan" or Confessions of Landon Donovan."
In the brief video, Donovan answers a number of questions from his favorite goal (2010 vs. Algeria), his favorite Superhero (Captain America) and a host of other questions. The video is in Spanish, but you should have no trouble understanding when Donovan confesses his love for the R&B group Boyz II Men.
LA Galaxy midfielder turned defender Robbie Rogers spoke in a public service announcement for YouTube entitled "#ProudToPlay" along with a number of prominent athletes.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Chandler Hoffman is knocking on the door of the LA Galaxy first team, but whether the chances will come still remains to be seen.
Hoffman was named to the USL PRO Team of the Week for the fourth week this season as he scored his eighth goal of the year in Los Dos' 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC Reserves last week. The 23-year-old has impressed over the past year with Galaxy II, but to date, has yet to make his first MLS appearance for the first team.
In my latest story for LAGalaxy.com, Hoffman talks about his attempts to get in Bruce Arena's plans for LA's upcoming first team matches. Arena and Hoffman recently sat down to discuss his place in his first team and his ability to get involved more in the attack.
“I think they are just talking about it in certain instances, showing up in the spot and get the ball. And when our backs have it, there is a gap between the midfield and the forward, finding that space to lay it off to a midfielder and then getting in the back. So, finding more ways to get the ball and helping the team create more chances. ”
Walk around StubHub Center on a game day and you'll see tons of Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez jerseys, and it's no surprise that their popularity is translating nationally.
On Wednesday, MLS announced their top 15 best-selling jerseys of 2014 and the LA Galaxy's Designated Player trio were among the most popular. Landon Donovan was the highest ranked Galaxy player at No. 2, Robbie Keane checked in at No. 6 while Omar Gonzalez's kit is the eighth best selling jersey of 2014 so far. Seattle Sounders FC forward and U.S. National Team forward Clint Dempsey topped the MLS best-seller list.
The rankings are based on sales of adidas MLS jerseys on MLSgear.com and MLSGearCanada.com since the outset of the 2014 MLS regular season.
In this interesting Vine illustration, check out this representation of Landon Donovan's World Cup goal against Algeria.
Watch it below.
If the LA Galaxy get by Arizona United SC on June 18, they could play one of a pair of old foes in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
If LA get past Arizona on June 18, they'll take on the winner of the June 14 match between Chivas USA and the Carolina RailHawks. If Chivas win, the Galaxy will host the Rojiblancos on June 24, but if Carolina wins, LA will travel there for a third straight year. The Galaxy have been eliminated by Carolina in the last two years.
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — After a month of injury recovery, Marcelo Sarvas made his return to the field during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire.
Sarvas entered the match in the waning moments of the draw, but did not appear hampered by the left MCL injury that has caused him to miss a month of action. Although the 32-year-old Brazilian midfielder was unable to help the Galaxy find the winning goal on Sunday, he was pleased with returning to the field.
“I feel great,” Sarvas said after the match. “You have to be ready whenever the coach calls you. I played about eight minutes in a slow game where both teams were holding to keep a point, but it’s good to be back and have this feeling [of playing] again.”
Sarvas insists that he will not have to prove himself to head coach Bruce Arena in training this week, instead stating that it will be up to the Galaxy boss on whether or not he'll start on Sunday.
“I don’t have to show anything,” said Sarvas. “It’s not my decision [whether I'll start], it’s the coaches. I just need to train normal and always be ready if I’m called.”
Heat issues and illness force Dan Gargan from the first half of the LA Galaxy's 1-1 draw with Chicago
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. - A combination of heat, a negative reaction to medicine and two soccer balls to the head proved too much for Dan Gargan on Sunday.
Gargan was forced to exit the match late in the first half after dealing with a sinus illness that was exacerbated by taking two clearances in the face during the early stages of the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that heat issues were the reason Gargan was substituted and afterward, the veteran defender elaborated.
“I wasn’t feeling great, I’ve been dealing with some sinus issues and congestion then Leonardo cleared the balls in my head, I couldn’t get my equilibrium right. I’ve cooled down now, but I just don’t feel 100 percent at the moment. I just wasn’t feel like myself.”
But Gargan does not expect the issue to arise again for the Galaxy’s next match on Sunday against Chivas USA.
“I would think so,” he said.