LA Galaxy feeling healthy ahead of Western Conference Championship second leg with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy trained for the final time at StubHub Center on Friday morning and in the final session, head coach Bruce Arena continued to reiterate that team is expected to be fully ready which includes A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas who are expected to be available for selection for Sunday's Western Conference Championship second leg at CenturyLink Field.
"We think that we're good," said Arena. "Seattle has to come out in pretty aggressive and get a goal early. There's no surprises, it's the same game that you've seen for the last month."
A.J. DelaGarza (left hamstring) and Marcelo Sarvas (left leg injury) who both suffered injuries in last week's 1-0 Galaxy victory spoke on Friday and told reporters that they believe that they'll be ready come Sunday.
"If I’m called upon like every weekend I’ll go out there," said DeLaGarza who noted that he trained "a lot' this week. "I’m ready to go."
Added Sarvas, " I trained yesterday (full) and I’m feeling good. Today we just had an easy day, I feel normal...I can play, of course...This was a bruised muscle, it goes away with days, every day is better and better. Sunday will be 100 percent for sure."
CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy endured a physical battle in their 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC and when the two teams kick off again next Sunday, a similar game is expected.
In their 1-0 win over Seattle, both teams were prone to heavy challenges as the game ended with a total of 25 fouls being called by referee Mark Stott as well as five yellow cards. During the second leg up at CenturyLink Field, another physical match is anticipated, especially after both teams combined for 40 fouls and six yellow cards.
Galaxy central defender Omar Gonzalez, who admitted after the Seattle victory that he “kept his distance” from Sounders players due to his fear of being issued a second yellow, revealed that he’ll be more aggressive in the second leg in Seattle.
“Next week, that second yellow card doesn’t matter,” Gonzalez said. “I’m able to be more aggressive and I’m able to get up on guys a lot tighter so it’ll be fun.
“It’s going to be more aggressive and there might be worse fouls because of the field and how fast it moves,” he added. “Overall, players have to be smart and no one wants to get sent off.”
Marcelo Sarvas, who remains an injury question mark for the game, noted that Seattle’s physicality might end up hurting the Supporters’ Shield winners this weekend.
“I didn’t see their team play a game this year when they had to push and score a goal,” Sarvas. “In my opinion, they play very conservative. They keep two guys higher all the time and everyone behind the box so we’ll see what the situation is going to be there [on Sunday].”
CARSON, Calif. – Injuries forced both A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas from the start of the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, but both players are confident that they’ll be available for next week’s decisive second leg in the Pacific Northwest.
Amid a chippy and physical game that featured a total of 25 fouls, DeLaGarza was forced to make a precautionary exit in the 61st minute with what was described as a left hamstring strain—an injury that DeLaGarza told reporters afterward that he did not remember occurring.
“I don’t remember, but I’ll be fine. We have a week until our next match, so get some rest of whatever my issue is,” said DeLaGarza. “I think I could have [gone the full 90 minutes], but at that point we were winning and obviously they’re going to come at us pretty hard. I thought it was smart to let Gargan come in and have someone track back quicker than me probably.”
Meanwhile, Sarvas who left with an apparent left hip injury less than 10 minutes later also admitted that he is confident of returning to the starting lineup by the time the series shifts to Seattle.
“In that play, I don’t know, I got hit in my muscle very close to the bone. It was hard when I stepped on my left leg I felt the muscle pulling so I had to stop,” said the Brazilian who gave the Galaxy the win with his goal in the 52nd minute of play. “I spoke with the doctor and I think we’re going to have to do an x-ray tomorrow. I don’t think it’s something that would keep me out of the next game.”
Galaxy boss Bruce Arena in his own postgame media availability did not appear too concerned that both players who combined for LA's lone goal of the afternoon will miss the second leg.
“I expect them to be OK,” Arena said.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy booked their ticket to the Western Conference Finals for the fifth time in six years on Sunday with a 5-0 trouncing of Real Salt Lake in their Western Conference Semifinal second leg.
LA will play the winner of Monday night's match between FC Dallas and Seattle Sounders FC at CenturyLink Field. The match will take place at 7:30 p.m. PT and will air on NBCSN.
Before you pay any attention to that one, however, relive the Galaxy victory through the stunningly awesome photos from the Mora Photography crew.
Check them out below.
CARSON, Calif. – A year ago this week, the LA Galaxy saw their “Quest for Three” consecutive MLS Cups fall short against Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium. This Sunday, it will be Salt Lake traveling to StubHub Center with the chance to eliminate the Galaxy from the postseason and prevent them from being the “First to Five” MLS Cup titles.
Salt Lake simply need a draw in which goals are scored or a victory to end LA’s postseason dreams while the Galaxy need a win or a penalty kick shootout victory to advance.
A year ago, it was the Galaxy who needed a win or a draw in which goals were scored to go through after winning the first leg at StubHub Center 1-0 on a Sean Franklin screamer from distance. However, in the windy Utah conditions, the Galaxy found themselves overmatched as the Claret-and-Cobalt found goals from Sebastian Velasquez and Chris Schuler to defeat LA after 120 minutes.
Although the Galaxy find themselves in a similar situation against Salt Lake, Robbie Keane believes LA are stronger than the team that crashed out of the playoffs a year ago.
“We’re certainly in better position than last year in terms of the players that we have this year,” said Keane. “We have more experienced players and the players that we had last year are a year old and a year better. In terms of that, we’re good with the experience that we have.”
Added Robbie Rogers, “It does feel different. We went on the road last year and I think that there is a little more excitement when you’re in front of your home fans and while we were all up for it in Salt Lake, we know our record at home and what type of attractive soccer that we can play here. We just want to take them out of their comfort zone and show we can perform at home.”
While Keane and Rogers admitted that the team feels different than the one that failed to advance, Marcelo Sarvas disagreed, but noted that LA’s experience could tip the balance on Sunday.
“Every year is different and you can’t compare teams because they have different players who are in different moments,” said Sarvas. “But we have been through this before. We know how it is to play against Salt Lake…Now we’re at our home and we’re going to go for goals and go to win the game.”
CARSON, Calif. – Marcelo Sarvas has been angling for goal during the last three weeks not only because he’s been eager to help the LA Galaxy offense, but also for personal reasons.
Two weeks ago, the Brazilian midfielder and his wife Camilla learned that the couple will be expecting their second child. Sarvas and his wife already have a son, Lucas who is a frequent sight on the sidelines at Galaxy matches.
During the Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over Vancouver Whitecaps FC, Sarvas found the back of the net for the second time in the season. The goal was a mix of flair and luck on Sarvas’ part as the Brazilian dished a back heel pass to Robbie Keane who whiffed on a shot from close range that fell for Sarvas who punched it in.
“I’m not used to having the ball in that position and I’m blessed to get the chance,” said Sarvas who admitted that he was unaware that Keane had not intended to pass the ball to him. “I passed to him and when I turned, the ball was close to me and I was in front of goal. It was all very fast.”
With the goal scored, Sarvas completed the classic celebration of tucking the ball under his stomach and sucking his thumb in dedication to his future child.
“We proved [against Vancouver] that we have a good team but even good teams need to play with heart and soul,” said Sarvas. “When we stepped on the field today, everyone approached the game with the right mentality and when we do this, we’re a very good team.”
Following their convincing 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC on Monday evening, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and Marcelo Sarvas were named to MLSscocer.com's Team of the Week.
Donovan and Sarvas had a hand in all three Galaxy goals with Donovan ending the evening with one goal and two assists while the Brazilian tallied one assist in a dominant performance in central midfield. Meanwhile Gonzalez was confident in defense in his first match back from an ankle injury as LA silenced the Sounders attack.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was also named Coach of the Week while right back Dan Gargan was named to the team of the week bench.
SEATTLE -- Marcelo Sarvas enjoyed one of his strongest perfomances of 2014 having a hand in each of the LA Galaxy's goals in their 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in front of one very special attendee -- his father Emilio.
The performance was made just a bit more special by the presence of his father who watched the match from the sidelines of CenturyLink Field. Throughout his 90 minute shift, Sarvas' presence in the center of the park was vital as he routinely forced Seattle midfielders to make costly turnovers and eventually ended the match with an impressive 11 recoveries, seven tackles won and three interceptions.
On the offensive side of the ball, Sarvas had his fingerprints over all three Galaxy goals as he provided an unlocking pass in LA's first and third strikes while also firing a shot from distance that led to Landon Donovan's goal just before the 20 minute mark.
But Sarvas admitted that the win was made a tad more meaningful with his father in attendance.
"Landon told him that he must stay because he brought us good luck. I'm very happy and every year I want to do my best," said Sarvas. "You have to fight [for your place] every season so to have him here makes everything that much more important for me. He's always supported me throughout my career so I'm very happy that he saw me playing and he'll be going home to Brazil next week with a good impression of my play."
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. — After a month of injury recovery, Marcelo Sarvas made his return to the field during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire.
Sarvas entered the match in the waning moments of the draw, but did not appear hampered by the left MCL injury that has caused him to miss a month of action. Although the 32-year-old Brazilian midfielder was unable to help the Galaxy find the winning goal on Sunday, he was pleased with returning to the field.
“I feel great,” Sarvas said after the match. “You have to be ready whenever the coach calls you. I played about eight minutes in a slow game where both teams were holding to keep a point, but it’s good to be back and have this feeling [of playing] again.”
Sarvas insists that he will not have to prove himself to head coach Bruce Arena in training this week, instead stating that it will be up to the Galaxy boss on whether or not he'll start on Sunday.
“I don’t have to show anything,” said Sarvas. “It’s not my decision [whether I'll start], it’s the coaches. I just need to train normal and always be ready if I’m called.”
CARSON, Calif. – Marcelo Sarvas is back from injury and ready to be called upon for the LA Galaxy.
The Brazilian has been sidelined since suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament left knee since last month, but has been steadily regaining fitness even going 60 minutes in LA Galaxy II’s 5-0 victory over the Oklahoma City Energy FC on Sunday. Sarvas faces a challenge if he'll return to the starting lineup for Sunday's match against the Chicago Fire, however, as Kenny Walker and Juninho have formed a strong partnership in the Galaxy's two-game winning streak.
Although Sarvas declared himself fit and ready to go after suiting up for Los Dos, he is leaving the final decision to Arena.
“I feel good. Bruce will decide [if I can play]. I just want to be with the 18,” said Sarvas. “Getting on the field is another thing.”