League

07 January 7:53 am

It's officially official. Steven Gerrard is a member of the LA Galaxy. 

The club announced on Wednesday morning that Gerrard will be joining the club upon the conclusion of Liverpool FC's 2014-15 English Premier League campaign and will be eligible to play for the club when the transfer window opens up in July. Per club and league policy, the details of the contract were not disclosed. 

“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy,” said Gerrard in a statement. “The Galaxy are the most successful club in Major League Soccer history and I am looking forward to competing for more championships in the years to come. My discussions with Bruce Arena and Chris Klein were extremely positive and the future of the team is very bright. I am committed to helping the LA Galaxy compete for trophies and to having an impact in Los Angeles and I will give my all for the club. In the meantime, I will continue to give everything for Liverpool for the remainder of this season before joining up with the Galaxy.”
 
Gerrard joins the Galaxy after 17 seasons with Liverpool FC in which he has made 696 appearances and scored 182 goals in all competitions to date. 
 
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Thoughts on the acquistion of Gerrard? 
 
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07 January 7:27 am

Steven Gerrard is heading from Liverpool to Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter reported on Wednesday that the LA Galaxy had finalized an 18-month deal with Gerrard for a reported $6 million a year. Gerrard will join the Galaxy in July after the conclusion of Liverpool's 2014-15 English Premier League campaign.

A player whose name is synonymous with the only club that he has ever played for, Gerrard admitted in an exclusive interview with Baxter that while the move was difficult, it was time for the former England captain to move on.

"The time’s right for myself and my family for the change, for the fresh challenge. I’ve been here for a long time," Gerrard said in his interview with the newspaper. "I’ve given an awful lot back to this club. But I now feel it’s the time for a fresh break and to try something different.

"I want to finish my career very strong. I want to add some more medals and trophies to my collection, so I think it's a match made in heaven, really," he later added. "One of the reasons why I chose the LA Galaxy was because of the success they've had recently. But also the plans for more success in the future."

In their own interviews with Baxter, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena stated the club "has a plan" for the Liverpool FC legend when he joins in July while club President Chris Klein called Gerrard a perfect fit for the defending MLS Cup champions.

"We just started thinking in the universe of players that are out there, we want to make a decision on what signifies a Galaxy designated player," team President Chris Klein said. "When we look at that, Steven Gerrard is the perfect fit with what he brings to us on the field and the character that he has off it."

03 January 6:36 pm

The addition of Baggio Husidic didn’t receive must praise when the 27-year-old was brought in officially during the offseason, but the midfielder played a prominent role for the LA Galaxy in his first season with the club.

Tallying 41 appearances in all competitions, which were second only to Juninho among Galaxy midfielders, Husidic played a major role in the club’s season as he appeared in all 34 of the team’s regular season matches. Although he was known for his defensive ability both in the central midfield and along the wing, Husidic’s smooth passing skills helped him tally four assists in 2014.

In 2015, Husidic is once more expected to serve as a frequent member of Bruce Arena’s starting XI while also providing a defensive spark off the bench when needed.  After tallying five goals in 2014, the Galaxy will likely ask for more from Husidic as they look to replace the offensive output of the retiring Landon Donovan.

How would you rate Baggio Husidic’s 2014 season? Read my review of the Galaxy midfielders on LAGalaxy.com and share your thoughts below

03 January 2:15 pm

It seems that the LA Galaxy have found their new Designated Player. 

According to reports from ESPN FC's Jeffrey Carlsile and the Washington Post's Steven Goff, the Galaxy will be signing Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard as the club's newest Designated Player. Carlsile reports that the league's board of governors have already approved the deal and the Galaxy will add Gerrard to their roster upon the conclusion of the 2014-15 English Premier League season. 

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter on Friday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena provided "no comment" when asked about the Gerrard link

Rumors of a Gerrard link to LA surfaced on Thursday with Italian journalist Gianluca DiMarzio reporting that the departing Liverpool FC talisman was bound for Major League Soccer and the reigning league champions. Gerrard himself confirmed on Saturday that he will be departing Liverpool for a team in the United States, but declined to give any specifics on that team in an interview which came one day after he announced his departure from LFC at the conclusion of the team's Premier League campaign. 

"I’ll be going to play in USA. I’m not over the line with any team yet," Gerrard told the team's website. "I’m close and as soon as I know, I’ll make the announcement.”

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With all signs pointing to Gerrard's arrival at StubHub Center, how do you feel about him replacing Landon Donovan? Think that Gerrard can make an impact for LA in 2015?

Share your thoughts below. 

02 January 11:45 am

Stefan Ishizaki was heralded as a potential third attacking weapon in the LA Galaxy attack when he was signed last offseason, and while the Swede never truly blossomed into that type of offensive asset, he still put forth a strong season as he helped LA to a championship.

Appearing in all but four games during the entirety of the Galaxy’s MLS slate, Ishizaki’s ball skills played an important role in helping create the Galaxy’s possession-oriented offense that tallied a league-leading 69 goals in 2014. Ishizaki’s abilities led the Galaxy to trot the Swede out at the top of a midfield diamond early on in the season before he transitioned to a steady role as an attacking option along the left side of midfield as LA pushed toward their trophy. In total, Ishizaki ended the season with five goals and eight assists in all league competition in his first full season

With Landon Donovan gone, Ishizaki is among several will need to shoulder the burden left by the retiring U.S. soccer star during the 2015 season. If Ishizaki can truly become a true offensive weapon alongside Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, the Galaxy will have every opportunity to retain their MLS Cup title.

How would you rate Ishizaki’s 2014 campaign? Read my review of the LA Galaxy midfielders on LAGalaxy.com while also voting and commenting below. 

31 December 2:48 pm

In a season when he flourished doing the little things to keep his team going, LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho’s 2014 season will undoubtedly be remembered for one massive moment.

For the entirety of LA’s championship winning campaign, Juninho was the team’s most consistent player with a team-high 43 appearances in all competitions—40 of which were starts. During that time, Juninho formed the spine of the league’s finest midfield alongside fellow Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas while notching five assists in all league competitions as well as one truly immense goal that helped LA reach MLS Cup by eliminating Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Championship.

After a season of being used primarily in a defensive capacity, Juninho is likely to resume this role with the Galaxy aim for a sixth title in March. However, head coach Bruce Arena will undoubtedly want more offensive production from the influential Brazilian as his 2014 offensive output was his lowest since his first season in Major League Soccer back in 2010.

How would you rate Juninho’s 2014 performance? Read my review of the LA midfielders on LAGalaxy.com while also voting and commenting below. 

30 December 2:26 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Truly the engine that helped the LA Galaxy run, Brazilian midfielder Marcelo Sarvas enjoyed his best season to date as he played an irreplaceable part in the team’s run to an MLS Cup title.  

An indomitable force in the center of the park, Sarvas’ displayed a tendency to only thwart opposition attacks with his ball-winning ability, but was also a key asset to the team’s attack as he notched  five goals and 13 assists in all MLS competitions.  Sarvas’ most crucial assist came in extra time during MLS Cup when he delivered a pinpoint ball over the top to Robbie Keane for the championship-clinching goal.  

Sarvas and his midfield partner Juninho will not doubt have every opportunity to build upon a campaign that saw them crowned the preeminent midfield tandem in Major League Soccer. Once again, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena is expected to call upon Sarvas to provide the offensive output with his timely ability to cover ground while Juninho holds it all together. If this pair can be successful once more, there’s no reason that LA won’t contend for yet another title.

How would you rate Marcelo Sarvas’ 2014 season? Read my review of the Galaxy midfielders on LAGalaxy.com while also commenting and voting below. 

29 December 5:39 pm

CARSON, Calif. – No member of the LA Galaxy showed more growth and progress in 2015 than outside back Robbie Rogers.

In 2013, Rogers struggled with injuries en route to a disappointing season while also dealing with the scrutiny of being the first openly gay professional athlete in a major American sport. A year later, the story was far different for the 26-year-old as Rogers settled into a new role as the club’s left back amid injuries to veteran options Todd Dunivant and James Riley.  At the end of the season, Rogers solidified himself as one of the finest left backs in MLS as he was a vital part in the LA Galaxy’s MLS Cup winning squad with 24 appearances in all MLS competitions with three assists.

As important as 2014 was for the defender, 2015 could be even bigger for Rogers as he looks to not further his development as an outside back, but also continue his push for a place on the U.S. National Team. With Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad needing depth at left back ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup in light of DaMarcus Beasley’s international retirement, Rogers may find a spot in the USMNT’s depth chart. 

How would you rate Robbie Rogers' 2014 performance? Read my review of the LA Galaxy defenders while voting and commenting below. 

28 December 1:47 pm

LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson IV is among 21 players named to the U.S. Under-20 squad's pre-World Cup qualifying training camp in which began on Sunday. Jamieson was also chosen by head coach Tab Ramos to the team's 35-man preliminary roster from which he will select 20 for the CONCACAF U-20 Championship. 

Ramos will name his 20 man roster for the tournament on Jan. 2 with the camp running until Jan. 5. The U.S. squad will kick off the U-20 Championship on Jan. 9 against host nation Jamaica in Kingston. 

“I am looking forward to our last camp leading into U-20 World Cup qualifying, and there will be some very difficult selections in what we think is a very competitive, deep and united pool of players,” said Ramos in a statement on USSoccer.com. “They have performed well together over the past 18 months.”

The complete rosters for both the training camp and the preliminary roster are below.

35-man Provisional Roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3): Jeff Caldwell (Virginia), Ethan Horvath (Molde FK), Zack Steffen (SC Freiburg)

DEFENDERS (12): Michael Amick (UCLA), Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur), Conor Donovan (N.C. State), Chase Gasper (UCLA), Luis Martir (Chivas Guadalajara), Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls), Shaquell Moore (Unattached), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland), Erik Palmer-Brown (Sporting Kansas City), Tommy Redding (Orlando City), John Requejo (Club Tijuana), Tyler Turner (Orlando City)

MIDFIELDERS (12): Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas), Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana), Corey Baird (Stanford), Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim), Marco Delgado (Toronto FC), Luis Felipe (Cruzeiro), Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund), Romain Gall (Columbus Crew SC), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland), Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union), Joel Soñora (CA Boca Juniors)

FORWARDS (8): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy), Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana), Alex Muyl (Georgetown), Andrija Novakovich (Reading), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht), Ben Spencer (Indy Eleven), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)

21-man Camp Roster:

GOALKEEPERS (2): Horvath, Steffen

DEFENDERS (7): Donovan, Gasper, Martir, Miazga, Moore, Requejo, Turner

MIDFIELDERS (7): Acosta, Arce, Canouse, Delgado, Flores, Gall, Gooch

FORWARDS (5): Arriola, Jamieson IV, Moreno, Spencer, Thompson

27 December 6:28 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Brazilian center back Leonardo is no strange to scorn from LA Galaxy fans, but in 2014, the defender made major strides that may see him start 2015 as the principal partner beside Omar Gonzalez.

Free of the injury issues that plagued him during his first four seasons with the club, Leonardo became a regular in Bruce Arena’s lineup as the Brazilian made 24 appearances and 20 starts—each of which were career-highs. Leonardo also added a goal which was his first tally since the 2011 campaign.

Although Leonardo struggled at times—LA’s CONCACAF Champions League second leg against Club Tijuana was a particularly difficult game—the Brazilian defender showed steady improvement over the course of the season. During the last three months of the team’s campaign in particular, Leonardo blossomed into one of the team’s finest defenders as his physicality and passing ability were vital to LA’s postseason campaign.  In addition to his ability to shut down opposing offenses, Leonardo also developed a tendency to push forward into the attack to give the team numbers on set pieces.

Next season, the onus will be on the frequently maligned central defender to stake a claim as Bruce Arena’s primary option alongside Omar Gonzalez in the middle of the back four.  To do so, he must continue to be the steady defender of the final months of the season and minimize the mistakes that were apparent at the start of the season.

How would you rate Leonardo’s 2014 season? Read my review of the defenders on LAGalaxy.com and rate his season in the poll and comment section below.