League

31 March 4:43 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Rogers crossed a major hurdle in his road to recovery on Monday afternoon. 

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that Rogers returned to full training for the first time since the opening week of the preseason. Rogers has been hampered with a stress reaction in his left ankle since January that the 26-year-old says occured due to overuse ahead of preseason preparations

"It was very good to have him back for the first time ," Arena told reporters on Monday. 

In other injury news, Kofi Opare has also begun preparations after dealing with a right adductor injury that occured during preseason. Arena states that Opare began initial training a week ago, but is making strides to return. No time line or schedule has been set for when the defender  -- who is currently still technically on loan to LA Galaxy II -- will be able to suit up for the first team.

31 March 2:46 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Nine years ago today, Landon Donovan joined the LA Galaxy and changed the MLS landscape forever. 

To commemorate the ninth anniversary of the star attacker's signing with the Galaxy, I look back at my top five Donovan moments in an LA kit on LAGalaxy.com.

But what was it like for Donovan's teammates when he joined the Galaxy after a brief stint in Germany?

"It was a shock to a lot of people since he was with the Earthquakes for so long and they were our biggest rival," Defender Todd Dunivant told LA Galaxy Insider on Monday. "At the time, Carlos Ruiz was our biggest player, but when Landon came it was just awesome. He's a game changer and helped us win the cup that year." 

As for Dunivant's favorite Donovan moment? 

"In 2005, we were the four seed in the playoffs going up against San Jose and in the first leg at The Home Depot Center, he scored a huge goal for us," Dunivant told LAGalaxy.com. "He snuck in behind their defense and got around Pat Onstad that put us up by two goals and gave us the confidence going into the road match at Spartan Stadium which was a tough place to play. He really gave us that extra boost and while a lot of people won't think of that moment, it was first major moment for the club and it set us on the path to winning that MLS Cup."

Check out video of that moment below at the 2:05:56 mark. 

25 March 1:30 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy received some mixed news regarding their injured defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and James Riley on Tuesday.

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters following the team’s training session on Tuesday that DeLaGarza “will be all right” and require a week to get over a left ankle “contusion” that was suffered after a hard challenge from Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio during the 62nd minute of LA’s 1-1 draw in Salt Lake last week.

However veteran outside back James Riley was not so lucky as Arena stated that the 31-year-old will probably “miss some time” due to a left meniscus injury that will likely require surgery according to the Galaxy boss. The recovery time for a meniscus injury ranges from weeks to several months. Riley went down in the 29th minute of Saturday’s draw while evading a challenge from RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy.

With Riley injured, the responsibility of filling in at outside back will fall to veteran Dan Gargan, who was solid in relief duty on Saturday.

22 March 10:03 am

In the latest edition of What to Watch For, Time Warner SportsNet play-by-play man Joe Tutino and I break down the LA Galaxy's first road match of the 2014 season against Real Salt Lake.

Check it out below.

21 March 4:19 pm

In the latest edition of "By the Numbers" LAGalaxy.com looks ahead to Saturday's clash between the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.

Check it out below.

14 March 1:20 pm

It's week two of the MLS season and even though the LA Galaxy will not be playing, MLS Fantasy participants will be keeping a close eye on the action.

In my first week, "The LA Galaxy Insider" fantasy team finished with a total of 52 points in what was a disappointing week, but according to MLS Fantasy guru Ben Jata, just above average. Thanks to the Galaxy's scoreless performance against Real Salt Lake and zero points from starting midfielder Oriol Rosell, my team managed only 54 points and finished the week ranked No. 267 in the Los Angeles Galaxy group. The showing could have been even worse if it wasn't for 12 points from Chivas USA midfielder Mauro Rosales and 11 points from FC Dallas forward Blas Perez. 

Betting heavily on LA wasn't the only issue for my team in week one as I also selected two players from the New England Revolution, who were demolished 4-0 by the Houston Dynamo in week one. 

My performance from the first week is below. 

Well, out with the old and in with the new.

With the Galaxy on a bye this week, my two transfers were to remove Robbie Keane and Juninho from the starting lineup, while I replaced A.J. DeLaGarza with Houston Dynamo full back Kofi Sarkodie.  To replace Keane, I opted for Dynamo forward Will Bruin, who tallied 15 points in week one with two goals and one assist. Bruin and Sarkodie appear to be safe selections as the Dynamo prepare to take on a Montreal side that is coming off a 3-2 defeat to FC Dallas. In that defeat, the Impact struggled to contain Perez, making Bruin a safe play heading into the second week of the season. 

Meanwhile, Juninho was switched out for new Vancouver Whitecaps FC Designated Player Pedro Morales who takes on Chivas USA at StubHub Center on Sunday after scoring a goal and an assist in a substitute performance during Vancouver's 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls. Although the Rojiblancos were victorious on a late goal last week, they were frequently tested by the Chicago Fire attack and should be pressured early and often by a Vancouver offense that smashed the defending Supporters' Shield winning  Red Bulls last week. If needing some punch in your attack, signing Morales appears to be a safe option as he is likely to be in the starting lineup against Chivas

My team for the second week of MLS Fantasy is below. 

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What changes are you making to your lineup? What position are you in at the moment?

Share your thoughts below. 

11 March 3:15 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy came into the 2014 campaign eager to learn from the failures of a year ago, and they’ll get their first opportunity to right the wrongs of 2013 when they kick off their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series against Club Tijuana on Wednesday.

The two biggest letdowns of 2013 saw the LA Galaxy falter in two-leg series falling to C.F. Monterrey in the CCL Semifinals and Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals. Despite being played months apart, both series featured similar problems for the Galaxy as the team was unable to convert a number of scoring opportunities in the home leg before crashing out away from StubHub Center.

To correct these issues, the Galaxy invested heavily in experienced players during the offseason in hopes of turning the club’s fortunes around. A strategy that the team is hoping will pay off come Wednesday evening against Club Tijuana.   

“We have to learn our lessons from previous games,” said defender Todd Dunivant, who is expecting to be available for Wednesday’s match after dealing with a nagging injury. “When you talk about previous games, you look at the Monterrey home leg, where we were dominating that game for 80 minutes and feeling confident that we could get another goal or another two goals but we lost our shape and when you do that against good teams it’s going to hurt you. We have to be smart.

“This year, this team has brought in more experienced players with guys like Rob Friend, Stefan Ishizaki that have been in big games and won championships in other countries,” Dunivant added. “There’s definitely a different mood around our clubhouse.”

And the first lesson that the Galaxy must learn? Finish their chances at home.

“In both of those games, we played very well, but we didn't finish our chances and it gets magnified in these series,” said Landon Donovan. “In a series like this, every goal is important.  In both of those games, we played well at home, but we couldn’t finish our chances. We just have to be better in front of goal. It’s as simple as that.”

10 March 2:29 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Mexican teams have long ruled CONCACAF Champions League, but does that make Club Tijuana favorites against the LA Galaxy in this CCL Quarterfinals?  Well, it’s not that simple says Club Tijuana forward Herculez Gomez.

In an interview with LAGalaxy.com, Gomez, a former member of the Galaxy, was asked whether Mexican team's 45-19-14 all-time record against MLS teams made Xolos favorites, the U.S. international disagreed, instead stating that LA have the advantage over their Mexican opponents.

“Look if we’re being honest, their salary cap, I don’t even call it a Salary cap. Their player personnel on paper probably outspend ours. We know that it’s going to be a test, but we’re excited,” Gomez told LAGalaxy.com. “We don’t have that huge marquee international player coming in. But we’ve got guys who have worked and stuck to their guns, and made a career out of what they do. In a brief time, they’ve done a lot.”

The response from his Galaxy opponents was pointed as they dismissed the claims of the U.S. international.

“It doesn’t really matter, but I would say as a general statement that the team with the higher payroll is probably the team that’s favored. All these Mexican teams pay their players a lot more money than we do as a whole,” said Donovan. “That’s something that we have to deal with, it’s a disadvantage for us in a lot of ways, but we still compete well and still expect to give them a good series.”

“I usually don’t listen to anything that Herculez Gomez says. He is just full of hot air,” said a smiling Omar Gonzalez. “They can feel whatever they want. I think that they’re a really good team. We won’t underestimate them. They have a lot of quality and a lot of players that don’t want to lose to us. It’s going to be an even match and our second game of the year, so I’m sure that it’ll be a great game. There’s a lot of respect there and I look forward to it.”

Check out the video below. 

09 March 12:24 am

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s comments from the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.

(On his general thoughts from the game…)

ARENA: “Obviously a disappointing result, but I thought that it was a good game between two good teams. They made the most of their opportunities but we had a couple of good chances as well. I think Rimando was outstanding and certainly saving the penalty in extra time was outstanding and the play of the game. We could have got a goal or two tonight, but I think that both teams played pretty well.”

(On Samuel…)

ARENA: “Samuel had a good night, I thought. His first game in the league and I thought that he worked really hard. I was surprised that he went as long as he did and was as strong as he was on the evening. I’m encouraged by his effort.”

(On James Riley’s play…)

ARENA: “James played well. He’s a good player; we discovered that early in camp. He’s going to be a valuable member of our team this year.”

(On whether the team wasted chances like they did in 2013…)

ARENA: “It was a 1-0 game. They had some good chances, but we did as well. We didn’t finish any of our chances and with the penalty at the end of the game, what more can you say? Those are wasted chances. We should have gotten at least a point out of this game.”

(On Penedo’s play…)

ARENA: “Jaime played well. The two goalkeepers were outstanding tonight.”

(On what the Galaxy did well…)

ARENA: “For the most part, we defended pretty well. At times, our passing was quick and sharp but at other times, it was not. In the first half… there were good chances and there was good ball movement and for the most part, the play was pretty solid. You could see at the end of the game that a couple of our players hit the wall and that we needed to have more energy.” 

07 March 2:15 pm

CARSON, Calif. – MLS will begin the 2014 MLS Regular Season without its usual referee crews as replacements will be taking over the officiating duties  for opening weekend.

On Friday, the Professional Referee Organization announced that it will lock out its officials after the Professional Soccer Referees Association had rejected a no strike/no lockout agreement. Negotiations have been ongoing between the two sides for several months as they seek to reach their first Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, like all other teams playing in opening weekend, will be affected as they saw their referee assignment changed from 2012 MLS Referee of the Year Silviu Petrescu to veteran CONCACAF official Javier Santos.  A member of FIFA Puerto Rico, the Colombian official was an official during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2013 CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying tournament in Mexico. Santos has also gained substantial experience in the CONCACAF Champions League in the last three years, officiating over eight CONCACAF Champions League matches and even served as the fourth official for LA’s 4-0 loss to Isidro Metapán in CCL group play last year.  

Although the men in the yellow shirts will be different, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena believes that his team and the rest of the clubs in MLS are prepared for the replacement officials.  

“We’ve been aware of it. The referee is going to be the same for both teams. Hopefully they’re all prepared to do their job and we get on with it,” said Arena. “In all fairness, players have to adjust more than the referee. The referee is going to have a style of play and he’s not going to be fully informed on the qualities of MLS. He’s going to referee the way that he’s always refereed and we’re going to have to adjust quickly.”

Veteran defender James Riley, who is expected to start on the left side of defense on Saturday, agrees.

“We just have to control what we can control and not worry about who is assigned to the game, but just go out and do what we can do,” said Riley. “The cadence and rhythm are a bit different. He may call things a bit differently, but I’m sure that he’ll get direction on how the game should be called and he’ll use his ability to do so. We won’t think too much about it and just hope that there is a speedy resolution.

“I think the referees overall do a fantastic job and that’s a very difficult position,” Riley continued. “They’ve been criticized a lot over the years since I’ve been in the league. We know that they’re an integral part of this game and we want it to get better. We want the overall product both on and off the field to get better and they have a significant role in that. We as players support a quick resolution, but the season is going to go on and that’s the reality of it.”