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.”
CARSON, Calif. – Marcelo Sarvas is making his steady return from injury, but don’t expect the midfielder to be ready for either of the LA Galaxy’s two matches this week.
Sarvas trained for the first time on Tuesday since suffering left MCL strain prior to the Galaxy’s match with the Colorado Rapids earlier this month. Since the injury, Sarvas has been steadily trying to return to fitness and after his first full training session, the 32-year-old set his target date for a return to the field.
“I felt very good and this is the last step, which is always the hardest one because it’s the transition from physical therapy to the field. I’m happy and I feel so let’s see because maybe in one or two weeks I’ll be ready,” said Sarvas. “It was a fast rehab and we did the right work and treatment so I’m happy with how it goes.”
“The target is Chicago," said Sarvas. "But you never know because a soccer player could sleep and the next day feel better. It could even be Sunday [against the Philadelphia Union] but you never know.”
And the fiercely competitive Sarvas is eager to get back to the field and help turn around a Galaxy team that currently finds itself in last place.
“It’s frustrating to be injured and be outside [the team]. The team has been playing good with some mistakes, but of course, I would like to be there to help the team,” said Sarvas. “Let’s see how it goes because we'll have a chance against Dallas to get things right."
CARSON, Calif. – As two of the LA Galaxy’s most important pieces head off on international duty, two other members of Bruce Arena’s starting XI appear to be on the road back to the field.
Arena told reporters on Tuesday that defender Todd Dunivant and midfielder Marcelo Sarvas are each “moving forward” in their respective injury recoveries that have kept them off the field for multiple matches.
Dunivant has been sidelined with an abdominal strain since April and is making strides according to Arena, but the Galaxy head coach admitted that it'd be “optimistic” to assume that he'd be available for Saturday’s road match against the Houston Dynamo. Meanwhile, Sarvas has been sidelined with an MCL sprain that has forced him to miss LA’s last two matches.
CARSON, Calif. - The LA Galaxy will be without the services of midfielder Marcelo Sarvas for their clash on Saturday with the Colorado Rapids and quite possibly several more matches.
Sarvas told reporters on Friday prior to the team's departure for Colorado that he is currently suffering from an MCL sprain that occured during training earlier in the week. Following training, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that Sarvas is unvailable for the match against Colorado. The Brazilian midfielder went on to add that he'll likely miss several more weeks as he recovers from the injury.
“It's an MCL, the ligament, but it's not torn, it's [sprained],” Sarvas told reporters. “It just the first days. Now it's waiting day after day to recover and get better.”
As for who will start in place of Sarvas, Gyasi Zardes appears to be the most likely option to slide in as he began the season out wide on the right side of midfield.
Who do you think starts in place of Sarvas?
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