LA Galaxy

21 March 11:18 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media after the club's 1-1 draw to the Houston Dynamo.

Arena's comments are below.

(On what he liked and didn’t like…)

ARENA: “I didn’t like a whole lot on the night. We weren’t very good to be honest with you. We lost too many battles on the night; I think they played harder over 90 minutes than we did. I think that made a difference in the game. We had a chance to win possibly going away if we were a little sharper. We had a mental breakdown on a corner kick. Robbie Rogers loses his man, and it’s a goal. In a game like this where your opponent is sitting back and defending with numbers looking to get at you on the break, or perhaps on a restart, we’ve got to be better than that. To concede a goal shortly after we scored, that’s not good on our part. Just on the night, I don’t think we were sharp, and I give Houston credit. They played real hard.”

(On Mika Vayrynen…)

ARENA: “Well tonight he had 20 minutes; it’s still not enough time. He is a good player, he gets the ball moving quickly, knows how to get his teammates involved in the game. For the most part, he was pretty solid.”

(On Edson Buddle…)

ARENA: “It’s always hard bringing a player in, I believe he came in around the 85 minute. He battled in there. We didn’t get any service to him, but he’ll get more playing time as we move forward.”

(On Leonardo’s play…)

ARENA: “I think he had a solid night. I think [Giles] Barnes is a hard guy to play against, and he was matched up with him a lot during the night and for the most part, did well. He has had a good start to the season for us.”

(On the midfield creating chances…)

ARENA: “I think they did okay. Obviously our passing on the night wasn’t good. I think it’s a tribute to all the lines. I think our back line didn’t pass the ball very well. I think that impacted the ability for the midfielders to have a better impact on the game.”

(On the Dynamo…)

ARENA: “They play well. It’s not surprising that that’s how they play coming on the road, trying to get a point and all of that. Give them credit, they did a good job. We’re still not sharp enough at this point, still not fit enough, no question about that. I think their goalkeeper did a good job, their backline was pretty solid, didn’t let anything get behind them. Overall, on the night I think they defended pretty well.”

(On Jaime Penedo’s performance…)

ARENA: “He did a good job. He wasn’t tested a whole lot. I’d like to see his kicking game a little better, but he wasn’t called on to make a whole lot of saves tonight. It was a quite game in terms of shot blocking. I think he did fine.” 

21 March 3:53 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will put their 20 game home unbeaten streak on the line on Saturday when they take on the Houston Dynamo in a rematch of the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup finals.

Not only are the Galaxy unbeaten in 20 games, but LA have lost only three of their last 43 matches in all MLS competitions at StubHub Center. 

Below is a collection of links to read, questions to answer, and a predicted lineup ahead of Saturday's match. 

LINKS:

*A migraine prevented Jaime Penedo from starting in goal against the Portland Timbers last week, which allowed Brian Rowe to earn his second consecutive start. Could Penedo make his first start in goal on Saturday
 
 
*A.J. DeLaGarza says that he's ready to return to the lineup after overcoming a foot injury, but will he start against Houston?
 

*Lastly, in the latest edition of "By the Numbers," we look at the Galaxy's recent struggles against the Dynamo

QUESTIONS TO ANSWER:

WILL BRIAN ROWE OR JAIME PENEDO START IN GOAL?

Jaime Penedo appears set to return to the lineup on Saturday, but how will the Panamanian perform after spending the last two matches on the bench?

COULD MIKA VAYRYNEN START ALONGSIDE JUNINHO?

Kenney Walker and Baggio Husidic earned starts alongside Juninho in the club's first two matches, but Vayrynen's strong cameo against the Timbers could allow him to start against the Dynamo

CAN JOSE VILLARREAL KEEP UP HIS RUN OF GOOD FORM?

Jose Villarreal has been one of the stars of the LA Galaxy's season to date with two confident performances along the left side of midfield, but can he keep up his stellar form on Saturday?

PREDICTED LINEUP:

Penedo; Gargan, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Rogers; Ishizaki, Juninho, Husidic, Villarreal; Keane, Zardes 

20 March 1:54 pm

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane will have an opportunity to take an old rival from England on Saturday when he faces the Owen Coyle coached Houston Dynamo.

Appointed the Dynamo manager in the offseason, the Scottish-born coach spent the majority of his coaching career in England where he took on the Galaxy’s Irish captain a number of times.  

“I know Owen Coyle very well. [He’s] a very, very good manager, enthusiastic. He'll have his players ready for the game,” Keane said. “We’re playing at home though; the most important thing is to continue the way we’ve played at home. Attack people and score goals.”

 Keane admits that Coyle coached teams will not be easy, however.

“They’re very enthusiastic, lot of energy. Look at Owen himself, he was like that as a player and certainly as a manager,” Keane said. “It will be a tough game, well-organized. I’m delighted he’s in this league because I’ve always respected him.”

BRUCE ARENA EXPLAINS CHARLIE RUGG LOAN TO INDY ELEVEN

The LA Galaxy sent third year forward Charlie Rugg on loan to NASL club Indy Eleven on Wednesday, and a day later, Bruce Arena elaborated on the move that he hopes gives the forward added experience.

“It was a variety of reasons,” Arena explained. “There’s not much of a story right now to tell, but the NASL is theoretically a stronger league and a little better competition for Charlie. We hope it will help him grow.”

LA GALAXY II AND U.S. U-17 GOALKEEPER ERIC LOPEZ TRAINS WITH LA GALAXY FIRST TEAM

The LA Galaxy Academy product Eric Lopez trained with the first team on Thursday after returning from a stint with the U.S. Under-17 national team.

The 16-year-old Lopez who has been a part of the U.S. Residency Program for a year, but with the team on a two-week spring break, the youngster had a chance to train with LA’s first team.

“It was a different experience. Training with the first team is much harder and much faster than the youth level,” Lopez told LA Galaxy Insider. “I feel like I can get used to it quickly though, but it’s a much different experience.”

Lopez wasn’t the only youth goalkeeper to be training in the Galaxy system on Thursday as Mexico U-17 ‘keeper Abraham Romero trained with Los Dos after leading El Tri to a berth to the U-17 World Cup.

19 March 3:01 pm

Former Los Angeles Lakers fan favorite Metta World Peace is an LA Galaxy fan?

Who knew. 

In a video for the website "Funny or Die" World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest, and occassionally referred to as 'The Pandas Friend) gives his selections for the 2015 March Madness Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, and he includes a special shoutout to the five-time MLS Cup champions. 

Check it out below.

19 March 1:35 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Amigraine prevented Jaime Penedo from starting the LA Galaxy’s clash with the Portland Timbers last week, but the Panamanian goalkeeper admits that he is fit and ready to start if called upon to face the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

Migraines have been a sporadic ailment for Penedo over the past 10 years, but last Sunday’s game was the first time that the Panamanian had missed out on a match due to the issue. However, it’s not the migraine itself that rendered Penedo unable to play, but the pain medication that the 33-year-old takes that caused him to miss out on the game in Portland.

“I take a medicine to relieve the migraines but the medicine knocks me out. On Sunday, the problem was that I didn’t know if I should or shouldn’t take it [or not],” Penedo said. “I didn’t take it in the beginning and I was hoping an Aleeve would help me with the pain but it didn’t. My head was in pain so I had to take the medication, and 45 minutes later, my migraine was gone, but I felt woozy and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play. I feel good now though.”

Although Penedo felt some migraine symptoms earlier in the week, the Panamanian says that he has practiced for three days without any lingering effects which could mean that he returns to the starting XI this weekend.

“I feel ready. I trained very well over the last few days, but now I’m ready. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t start; especially considering that Bruce Arena gave me the opportunity but it was taken away due to the migraine. I’m ready and I need to play so I await the coach’s decision.”

18 March 3:45 pm

CARSON, Calif. – A.J. DeLaGarza could be back in the starting XI soon as the veteran LA Galaxy defender has made a full recovery from a nagging left foot injury.

DeLaGarza’s injury kept the center back out of commission for much of the preseason, but he was able to make a brief cameo during the team’s season opener against the Chicago Fire. A week later, DeLaGarza was an unused substitute in LA’s 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers, but according to Bruce Arena, DeLaGarza is “very close” to returning to the lineup.

“I missed the entire preseason, but I got 60 minutes in a [closed-door scrimmage] against Galaxy II last week," DeLaGarza said. "There’s no better way to get fit then actually playing. Hopefully soon, I can get back out there, and hopefully suffer no setbacks.”

Provided there aren’t any steps backward, DeLaGarza believes that he could be ready to start as soon as this Saturday’s game against the Houston Dynamo.

“I want to get a game in as soon as possible, I want to be out there because this is my livelihood,” DeLaGarza said. “The fun part of this job is playing in competitive matches, and if Bruce calls me up this weekend then I’ll be ready to play.”

18 March 12:25 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II forward Charlie Rugg is on the move once more as NASL side Indy Eleven announced that the 24-year-old was departing on loan for the entirety of the 2015 NASL season.

The move will be Rugg's second stint with Indy Eleven after making five appearances for the NASL club last Fall. During his time with the club, Rugg notched a goal and an assist while helping the team rack up a five game unbeaten run. 

“The 2014 season was undoubtedly an important one for the development of my professional career. I grew a lot playing with LA Galaxy II, but I feel that my short time here in Indy was equally important and a good note to end on,” said Rugg in an Indy Eleven press release.  “I'd like to pick up where I left off and use this year to continue to grow as well as help Indy Eleven stand out in the NASL.”
 
According to Indy Eleven, Rugg began training with the club on Wednesday and will be available once the team opens up the NASL season on April 4 against the Atlanta Silverbacks.
 
17 March 3:34 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Brian Rowe made his second consecutive start when he got the nod in net for the LA Galaxy's 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday, but apparently, Bruce Arena was not intending to give the youngster the start initially. 

Arena told reporters on Tuesday that he had intended to start 2014 regular starter Jaime Penedo against the Timbers, but the Panamanian goalkeeper was a late scratch. 

"Jaime was supposed to start but came down with a migraine before the game so Brian got to play," Arena told reporters. "I think that it was good that Brian got two games in the early on in the season, but Jaime is certainly going to get back in there."

Both Penedo and Rowe trained on Tuesday. 

EDSON BUDDLE STILL WORKING TO RETURN FROM INJURY

A left quad injury has kept Edson Buddle from suiting up for the LA Galaxy this season, but the 34-year-old forward is making strides with his recovery and could be back in the squad this Saturday against the Houston Dynamo.

Buddle has taken part in full training with the club for the last week, but the veteran forward still believes that he needs to work on "each aspect" of the game to improve his overall sharpness. 

"I still have a ways to go. I need to work my way back into it," said Buddle. "It's possible [to play vs. Houston]. I'm shooting for it. Maybe this week I'll be ready, but you never know." 

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena isn't so sure that the forward will be back by Houston, however. 

"He hasn't trained at all so he's just getting back into training." 

Even if the Houston match is still soon for Buddle, the forward "definitely" plans to be in the mix when the Galaxy take on D.C. United on March 28. 

DRAFT PICK ANDREW WOLVERTON STILL IN THE LA GALAXY'S PLANS

The LA Galaxy are still interested in bringing in 2015 MLS SuperDraft selection Andrew Wolverton, Bruce Arena confirmed on Tuesday.

LA selected the 6-foot-6 goalkeeper in the fourth round of the draft with the 82nd overall pick but he missed all of the preseason due to a nagging foot injury. 

16 March 11:31 am

PORTLAND, Ore.  – “Character” results are one of the most tried and true sports clichés around, but the LA Galaxy made that narrative a reality with their late 2-2 draw with the Portland Timbers on Sunday.

Amid rain and high winds that made the already difficult Providence Park turf pitch even tougher, the Galaxy dominated the match, but still needed to overcome two deficits to steal a point on the road against the Timbers. The final touch came just seconds after Portland pulled ahead in the 90th minute when an Alan Gordon header sealed a draw for the Galaxy.

After the match, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane was not frustrated about missed opportunities, but commending his squad on the grit that they showed.

“We kept battling. I told the lads before the game that we’re probably the best footballing team in the league, or one of, but sometimes you have to show a little bit more than that,” said Keane. “Sometimes you can’t play under difficult circumstances and today was one of those circumstances even though they allowed us to play and we dominated the second half as they dropped off a lot. It’s about battling through and showing some heart. We certainly showed that today.”

Gordon, who was once again the late game hero, agreed that LA’s show of character will help the team going forward in the season.

“To come back and steal a point is huge for our momentum going back to L.A.,” Gordon said.

16 March 10:26 am

The LA Galaxy Academy may have two players in this fall’s U-17 FIFA World Cup as the United States’ Hugo Arellano and Mexico’s Abraham Romero helped their respective teams qualify over the weekend.

Arellano and the Americans booked their ticket on Sunday with a thrilling penalty kick shootout victory over Jamaica after their playoff game ended in a scoreless stalemate. Arellano was joined on the squad by U-17 star Haji Wright who has spent time with the Galaxy Academy over the past year. Meanwhile Romero, who has suited up for the U.S. and Mexico, served as El Tri’s goalkeeper throughout the competition and helped Mexico win their second consecutive U-17 CONCACAF Championship

The 2015 U-17 World Cup takes place in Chile from Oct. 17 to Nov. 8.