With Robbie Rogers on the mend, left back Todd Dunivant aiming to return to the LA Galaxy starting lineup
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Veteran left back Todd Dunivant made his first MLS appearance since April during the LA Galaxy's 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew last Saturday and now he may be in line to start Wednesday’s clash with the Colorado Rapids.
Incumbent left back Robbie Rogers started the match against the Crew despite suffering a quadriceps injury earlier in the week, but was forced to exit the defeat midway through the second half. After Rogers’ injury, the Galaxy switched to a 3-5-2 formation as they looked to erase a one goal deficit, but after falling behind 4-1 in the 84th minute, Dunivant was inserted into the match.
The minutes were the first for Dunivant since the left back suffered an abdominal tear in April. Dunivant has been in full training since early August and recently went nearly 80 minutes for LA Galaxy II on Aug. 9.
“It wasn’t the best circumstances [to return] because we’re down three goals, but it was great to get back on the field and get some minutes,” Dunivant told LA Galaxy Insider at training at Ohio State on Monday. “It’s not easy as a defender to get minutes because there’s not a lot of circumstances where it makes sense to insert a defender so I was happy to be on the field, but it would have been nice if the score was the other way around.”
With Rogers admittedly “day to day,” Dunivant may have a chance to make his first start against the Rapids on Wednesday where the Colorado native is expected to have more than 80 friends and family in attendance.
Although the 33-year-old admits that he’d be overjoyed to return to the field, he knows the decision will ultimately be made by head coach Bruce Arena.
“It’s a great opportunity, but we’ll see what Bruce decides. I’m definitely ready to go and I’m anxious to get back on the field,” said Dunivant. “We’ve been on a great run and I want to be able to contribute to that.”
If both players are healthy, who should get the start at left back: Todd Dunivant or Robbie Rogers?
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A.J. DeLaGarza insists that staying on the road could benefit the LA Galaxy as they look to overcome Crew loss
COLUMBUS, Ohio— Typically after a road match, the LA Galaxy immediately return to Southern California, but this time around the script has been flipped.
The Galaxy fell 4-1 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday in their worst defeat of the 2014 regular season. LA suffered their biggest margin of defeat, but rather than fly cross-country to return home, the club will remain in Columbus for two days before heading to Colorado for Wednesday’s clash with the Rapids.
Following the team’s crushing defeat, there was understandable concern that the loss may put a damper on the Galaxy’s week-long road trip, but defender A.J. DeLaGarza insists that the opposite is true.
“We can’t let this loss linger. We have a game in a couple of days and it might be good for us all to be together. We get to all go through this together and not just head home [separately],” he said. “We’re going to go have dinner together and do whatever we can to get the morale back up so that we don’t let this game affect us for the rest of the season.”
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane agreed that LA will need to put the loss behind them quickly ahead of Wednesday’s match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“The good thing about the season is that there is always a game around the corner,” Keane said. “We have a game on Wednesday and have to pick ourselves up fairly quickly…let’s see what we’re made of [against the Rapids].”
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The LA Galaxy suffered their worst defeat of the season, but the club received a silver lining as Gyasi Zardes continued his torrid scoring streak.
Zardes scored in the 49th minute of the Galaxy’s 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew to bring his goal total to 10 on the season. The 22-year-old second-year forward has now scored in four straight matches to go with nine goals in his last 10 games.
“It’s my teammates, definitely. It’s not just me,” Zardes said of his scoring streak after the match. “It’s the whole combination of play and when we combine I just make that hard run into the box and my teammates just put it right there on my foot and I just put it on frame.”
Despite adding to his scoring goal run, Zardes was unlucky not to add a second in the 83rd minute. With the Galaxy down 3-1, Zardes was unable to get to a Robbie Keane pass that had the forward alone in front of an empty net.
“There were various times in the game when we had opportunities,” Zardes said. “The only difference is they put away their opportunities as opposed to us.”
Although Zardes kept up his scoring streak, don’t expect him to celebrate or dwell on the defeat to the Crew—he’s already set his sights on Wednesday’s match against the Colorado Rapids.
“We are definitely forgetting about this game and just working hard to prepare for Wednesday,” said Zardes.
Robbie Rogers says he's "day to day" after quad injury forces him from LA Galaxy defeat to Columbus Crew
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It's safe to say that this wasn't the Ohio homecoming that Robbie Rogers was expecting.
In his first match against his former club, Rogers was forced to exit in the 64th minute as the Galaxy fell 4-1 in their worst loss of the MLS season. Feeling the effects of a quad injury that he suffered in training on Wednesday, Rogers was forced to leave midway through the second half which led the Galaxy to play three defenders in the back, a move that ultimately resulted in two unanswered goals by Columbus.
"I felt good in the first half, but in the second half I couldn’t play anymore," Rogers said. "I couldn’t move. It’s kind of why I was just sitting back," said I had to go out. I tried to play through that injury. It was effecting too much of the way I was playing. I couldn’t cover ground so I had to take myself out, unfortunately."
Rogers referred his injury status as "day to day" and noted that it is not expected to be a long term thing as he looks to recover in time for Wednesday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
But even though he's hopeful that he can return Wednesday, Rogers was frustrated about his return to Ohio.
"It’s a 4-1 loss. I don’t think we matched their intensity. I don’t think we stepped to press the ball. I don’t think we finished our chances when we created them," he said. "Overall, it’s a really disappointing night because I came back here and obviously you want to beat your friends. I was really disappointed."
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Landon Donovan may have been displeased with his team's performance in the LA Galaxy's 4-1 loss to the Columbus Crew, but he was all smiles about the Crew's ceremony honoring the attacker prior to the match.
Flanked by Crew owner Andrew Percourt as well as former teammates Frankie Hejduk and Gregg Berhalter, Donovan appeared noticeably moved by the ceremony that included a video highlight reel of all of his goals at Crew Stadium and the presentation of a framed piece of the north net where the Galaxy midfielder scored the second goal in the USMNT's 2-0 victory over Mexico last September.
Despite a frustrating showing by the Galaxy, Donovan was moved by the honor.
"It was incredible. I don't know how many of you [reporters] were here when [Crew Stadium] was first built, but this became the home of soccer [in America] for many years. I have memories here for the U-17 national team, many games with the national teams as well as with the Quakes and the Galaxy against the Crew. I can't imagine another stadium that I've played in more throughout the league.
"I have a lot of very good memories here and I was very appreciative of them doing that. They certainly didn't have to and I certainly have a lot of respect for the Gregg [Berhalter] and the Crew organization."
But for all the kind words from Donovan, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena provided one of his trademark deadpan answers when asked if the ceremony was a distraction for the Galaxy.
"I would blame the entire game on the pregame ceremonies," Arena joked before going on.
"I think it is very nice. Landon has had a great career and to be recognized in these markets we go into, it is tremendous," he added. "Hopefully, the results don’t all end up like they did tonight, but It was a tremendous gesture on behalf of the Crew. We are very grateful for that."
The ceremony honoring Donovan can be viewed in its entirety is below.
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's "By the Numbers," we look at the Galaxy's clash with the Columbus Crew on Saturday.
Check it out below.
COLUMBUS, Ohio. --The LA Galaxy kicked off their week-long road trip on Friday morning by training at the Ohio State University.
As expected, the Galaxy brought a full squad for the trip that includes new addition Alan Gordon as well as Galaxy II stalwarts Rafael Garcia, Charlie Rugg and Raul Mendiola. Following training, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the Ohio State University Men's Soccer Team, who observed the 90-minute training session.
A photo gallery of the training session is below.
Landon Donovan will play at Columbus Crew Stadium for the final time on Saturday as he prepares to retire at the end of the season.
Donovan has enjoyed plenty of memories at the stadium for both club and country and because of his sterling career, he'll be honored prior to Saturday's match. In a video for TheCrew.com, Donovan discusses his memories of Columbus and his excitement to play in the venerable stadium one last time.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will be up against an old friend and an unfamiliar foe when they take on the Columbus Crew on Saturday at Crew Stadium.
LA will be facing a Crew team that currently finds itself in the thick of the postseason chance with 27 points which is good enough for sixth place in the Eastern Conference. Leading the Crew is former Galaxy center back and assistant coach Gregg Berhalter, who took the top job with Columbus in the offseason.
“They started off pretty strong, but they hit a little bit of a lull and have come back as of late and have played better,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “They’re a certainly a team that goes forward and attacks. As you look at them, you can see that their attacking scheme is built around [Fredrico Higuian] and rightfully so because he’s a terrific player and a great play maker.”
While Arena focused on the specific strengths that Columbus boast, Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan made a broader claim about the difficulties of facing Eastern Conference competition.
“The east games present a different challenge [because] stylistically [because the team’s play is different and we have to make sure that we are well prepared which we will be for Saturday,” said Donovan. “I think inn the west, teams put more emphasis on possession while the teams in the east are more direct.
“When I watch the [Eastern Conference] games, there’s not the same flow to the games as there is in the Western Conference games, it’s different, but we have to adjust.”
LA must use the match against Columbus as a chance to adapt to a different style of play as the club will play five of their last 14 games of the season against Eastern Conference opponents. As Arena’s side seeks to challenge for the Supporters’ Shield, the Galaxy boss believes that taking full points from their Eastern Conference is vital.
“It’s important that we take advantage of those kinds of games,” said Arena. “Because it’s likely that most of our opponents in the west are not getting three points. That’s just probability.
Such recognition ceremonies are common place in the MLB and NBA, but Donovan will be the first retiring MLS player to be honored by an opposing team. Donovan’s honor comes as no surprise as the forward has enjoyed plenty of success at Columbus Crew Stadium with the U.S. National Team, the Galaxy and the MLS All-Stars.
Although Donovan doesn’t expect tributes prior to each match like retiring New York Yankee great Derek Jeter, he is honored by the gesture.
“It’s very respectful and it’s not necessarily my personality to want that stuff, but it still feels good. It’s nice as a human being. I’m very grateful that they’re going to do that,” said Donovan. “I just think that when teams around the World do it for their own players, it’s nice and it’s respectful.
“I think that we live in a society where we’re always so quick to move onto the next and we forget about what people have done so that to me is a big statement and I appreciate it. They certainly aren’t obligated to do so and it’s a nice gesture. I certainly hope that it is a trend that continues. When guys spend their career here and grow the league then they deserve it, there are guys that deserved it before I came into the league and I’m sure there will be guys who will deserve it after.”