Preseason notes: Robbie Rogers gets run out at right back, decision on LA Galaxy trialists may come before Europe Trip and more
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers excelled with the LA Galaxy as a left back last season, but during Friday’s 2-1 scrimmage victory over Seattle Sounders FC, he showcased his versatility.
Rogers started and went 45 minutes at right back while Todd Dunivant started along the left side. The switch allowed Dunivant to slide into his natural position while Rogers—who is naturally right footed—was slide into a new place along the back four.
"That's an option and obviously we're in preseason, we'll look at all options,” Arena told reporters of the outside back switch. “As we experienced last year during the season, we have to have players prepared to play a number of spots along the back line and that's a good exercise for us to get in today.”
Added Rogers, “I can play on both sides wherever Bruce needs me. It is a little different in terms of finding the space on the field so I have to get used to that, but it comes pretty quickly.
For Dunivant, Rogers’ move to the flank could be his path back into the starting lineup after an injury-riddled 2014 season.
“It is still the preseason so we’re still trying to figure out what combination works. It’s all about getting better,” he said. “I need to earn the spot in training and continue to learn every day and get better. I’ll let the cards fall where they may and I think if I’m healthy and Robbie is healthy then we’ll both be on the field one way or the other.”
Decisions on trialists upcoming
The LA Galaxy will likely have a decision on whether they will keep trialists Andre Auras, Edson Buddle and Ramon Martin Del Campo with the club prior to the trip to Europe.
In an interview with reporters earlier this week, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that a decision was a possibility before the team departs for the Republic of Ireland at the end of the week.
Draft picks Ignacio Maganto and Daniel Keller are expected to travel to Europe while injured goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton will not join the team until they return from Europe. Meanwhile, defender Daniel Steres who had been training with the club since the start of the season has been dealing with a calf injury.
A.J. DeLaGarza may return to practice next week
Right back A.J. DeLaGarza has yet to suit up for the Galaxy in a scrimmage during the preseason due to a leg injury, but head coach Bruce Arena assured reporters earlier this week that he'll be back in practice before the team departs for Europe.
"It's possible that he'll be training next week," Arena told reporters after the club's 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC. "We're not sure yet at this point."
LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes says time with U.S. National Team and Jurgen Klinsmann has improved his fitness
CARSON, Calif. -- Many have taken U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to task for his recent comments about the fitness of members of the U.S. National Team, but LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes believes that he is a true success story of Klinsmann's conditioning program.
Superior fitness has long been the hallmark of American soccer players, but Klinsmann called that into question following the team's 3-2 defeat to Chile last week , leading to considerable condemnation from former players and the American soccer media. In a interview earlier this week, Klinsmann stated that the reason the U.S. has won just a single match in their last nine and suffered repeated late game collapses were because of the team's lack of emphasis on offseason fitness preparation.
Klinsmann's claims were met with major pushback from numerous places including by former national team defender Alexi Lalas but such condemnation of Klinsmann meant little to LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes who is in camp with the national team and is expected to play a major role when they take on Panama on Sunday at StubHub Center.
In fact, Zardes believes that he's gotten even fitter just by training with the U.S. over the last month.
"Fitness is a key component of the game because you need to be good for 90 minutes. I'm glad that we do a lot of fitness with the national team and it's wonderful to experience different types of fitness because each coach has different methods. [Jurgen's] philosphy toward fitness is incredible," Zardes told LA Galaxy Insider. "I personally think that it is helping me improve as a player because I feel myself able to run longer. My stamina is up and my acceleration is growing even more. I think that I'm growing in this field."
Baggio Husidic and Ignacio Maganto score as the LA Galaxy defeat Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 in preseason scrimmage
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy defeated Seattle Sounders FC 2-1 in a preseason rematch of the two club's epic 2014 Western Conference Championship series.
The Galaxy and Seattle traded goals in the first half as LA's Baggio Husidic and Seattle's Marco Pappa scored. LA took the lead for good with an Igancio Maganto tally in the 54th minute.
The Galaxy are now 4-0-0 this preseason and will return to action on Feb. 16 against Hammarby in Stockholm.
Goals and lineups are below:
ICYMI the first half #LAGalaxy lineup: Rowe; Rogers, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Ishizaki, Husidic, Juninho, Jamieson; Keane, Buddle
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) February 6, 2015
#LAGalaxy second half lineup: Rowe; Gargan, Meyer, Martin del Campo, Sorto; Garcia, Walker, Auras, Maganto; Villarreal, Gordon
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) February 6, 2015
New Designated Player Steven Gerrard will don the No. 8 for the LA Galaxy once he arrives in July, the club announced on Thursday.
The English midfielder is expected to play his first team on July 17 when the Galaxy host the San Jose Earthquakes in the California Clasico at StubHub Center. Gerrard has donned the No. 8 jersey for Liverpool since 2004.
Check out Albert Lanzillo and LAGalaxy.com's video of the LA Galaxy's new No. 8 above.
LA Galaxy defender Oscar Sorto relishes quick return to U.S National Team camp and pleased with overall USMNT experience
CARSON, Calif. -- Oscar Sorto had just received our nation's highest honor when he was honored along with the rest of the LA Galaxy by President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday, but within minutes of being recognized by the commander in chief, he learned that nation's top soccer coach was in need of his services.
Immediately after the ceremony that honored both the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Kings for their respective championships, Sorto was motioned over by Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena for a quick chat.
Jurgen Klinsmann was calling and he needed the 20-year-old defender to jet back to California immediately.
"Right after the President gave his speech, Bruce told me that Jurgen Klinsmann called and he wanted me back for two days," Sorto,who was called back to the Galaxy just before the USMNT departed for Chile, said. "I flew back right away and I think that was good because now the coaches know that I really want to be with the team. It was a good two days of training."
Sorto will not be in the picture for the USMNT when they take on Panama on Sunday at StubHub Center, but the Galaxy Homegrown product took pride in the fact that he was able to experience life with the national team, not just for two quick days, but throughout the last month.
"It helped me a lot because it made me realize that I could compete with any player," he said. "No matter who they are, I know that I can be competitive and I can compete. And at the end of the day, it'll be up to me to earn a spot with the Galaxy. ."
Incoming LA Galaxy DP Steven Gerrard makes his 700th appearance for Liverpool as LFC advance to fifth round of FA Cup
Incoming LA Galaxy Designated Player Steven Gerrard made his 700th appearance for Liverpool as the Reds advanced past Bolton in dramatic fashion with two late goals to seal a 2-1 victory in their FA Cup fourth round replay.
Bolton threatened to ruin Gerrard's chance to potentially play in the FA Cup final on his 35th birthday when the Wanderers took the lead on a penalty kick goal Eiður Guðjohnsen. Down a goal, Liverpool threw numbers forward and finally broke through when Emre Can launched a pass over the top of the Bolton defense to a composed Raheem Sterling who pulled the Reds level. Liverpool broke Bolton hearts moments later in stoppage time when Brazilian Philippe Coutinho buried a curling effort from 20 yards to see the Reds through.
Gerrard and the Reds will now face Crystal Palace in the fifth round of the FA Cup at a date which has yet to be determined. Before they can worry about the FA Cup, Liverpool must take on their cross-town rivals Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday in what will be Gerrard's final Merseyside Derby.
CARSON, Calif. -- A total of 12 LA Galaxy Players including standouts Malcolm Jones and Rey Ortiz signed letters of intent on National Signing Day on Wednesday.
UCLA is the well-represented school as the Bruins signed Jones, forward Robert Knights and goalkeeper Dakota Havlick to a recruiting class that is expected to be one of the finest in college soccer. The Bruins were not the only local school to earn multiple Galaxy Academy commitments as Cal-State Northridge earned the signatures of midfielder Juan Orozco and U-18 leading scorer Adrian Vera. UC Berkeley also nabbed the commitment of two Galaxy Academy players as standout U-18 forward Rey Ortiz and midfielder Christian Segovia signed with the Golden Bears.
Also signing were midfielder Santiago Digiuseppe (University of San Francisco), defender Élan Koenig (University of Wisconsin), forward Dylan Smith (UC Riverside), goalkeeper Bennett Sneddon (Duke), and defender Michael Lopez (UC Irvine).
Although all 12 players signed with colleges on Wednesday, they remain eligible to suit up for the Galaxy Under-18's during the 2015/16 Development Academy campaign.
Bruce Arena says LA Galaxy still looking to add player and shoots down Freddy Adu rumor in Washington Post interview
Bruce Arena reiterated his desire to acquire an additional player to bolster the LA Galaxy ahead of their 2015 MLS campaign in an exclusive interview to the Washington Post’s Steven Goff on Tuesday.
In his brief Q&A with the Washington Post, Arena reiterated prior comments that the club is looking to add to their roster at some point in the near future.
“We’ll add some more players at some point, either before the season or later,” Arena told Goff.
Should that player be a particularly prominent one particularly after the Galaxy came up short in the chase for U.S. international Sacha Kljestan?
“Anyone who can help us. Whether he fits that definition or not, we think he will be an important player. If we find the right player, we will try to bring him in.”
One name that you can completely rule out is Freddy Adu who Arena vehemently stated that he has had zero contact or interest in bringing the former U.S. international into the fold.
“I don’t think he is a target for us at the moment,” Arena said. “Freddy Adu’s name always comes up. He has come up for the last 10 years. He will not be on trial with the LA Galaxy.”
WASHINGTON – Trips to the White House still offer a player as established as LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team defender Omar Gonzalez the chance to feel the same type of joy that he felt when he strapped on his cleats as a kid in Texas.
Gonzalez had a little fun at the expense of a White House intruder of the same name on social media, but when he addressed the media, the 26-year-old defender was in awe of his great fortune to be honored by President Barack Obama for a second time.
“It’s been an amazing experience,” said Gonzalez. “Never did I imagine that I’d be here at the White House so many times for winning championships. It’s something that you don’t even think about it because when you’re young you only want to become a professional athlete. To be a pro athlete and then come to an organization where you have the chance to accomplish such great things, it’s incredible.
“Last year was an incredible year for all of us with all the storylines that were there and this is the culmination of all the hard work. It’s simply a great experience.”
WASHINGTON – Being honored at the White House never gets old for LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
Arena who has been honored at the White House eight times by three Presidents for his exploits with the University of Virginia, D.C. United, the U.S. National Team, and the LA Galaxy said that this trip like each one that preceded it was a special experience.
“It’s a great experience to be honored by the White House," said Arena who made his first trip to the White House with the Hoos back in 1994 when Bill Clinton was in office. "They’ve all been special experiences and today it was a little unique because we shared the stage with the Kings who are a fantastic team. It was a real special moment for both of our teams. The President was wonderful and the White House was great.”