Bruce Arena tells ESPN FC that Marcelo Sarvas trade provides LA Galaxy with "flexibility" to build 2015 roster
PHILADELPHIA -- The LA Galaxy dealt one of chief contributors to their 2014 MLS Cup title run on Thursday by trading Marcelo Sarvas to the Colorado Rapids, but the club now appears primed to replace the departing Brazilian with another top tier talent.
LA dealt Sarvas and an international roster spot to the Rapids on Thursday in a move that saw the Galaxy move up to the third spot on the league's allocation order. Reports have swirled that move will allow the Galaxy to acquire U.S. international Sacha Kljestan, a player who has long been on the club's radar. According to ESPN FC's Jeff Carlisle, the deal should allow the Galaxy the freedom to acquire Kljestan or any other returning U.S. international as neither the two teams ahead of them in the ranking, the Montreal Impact and San Jose Earthquakes are expected to impede LA's plans.
In addition to Arena speaking out about the Brazilian midfielder's departure, Sarvas' partner in central midfield Juninho also addressed his departure via his personal instagram.
"Marcelo, I want to wish you the best of luck in the next step of your life. Thank you for teaching me a lot of things about soccer, especially never giving up no matter the situation. You are a very good player and an example of dedication and companionship," Juninho said. "We were a good duo. It was a pleasure to play and live by your side and to know you in and off the field. Good luck to you in your next new club. LA, my family and I gonna miss you, Champion.'
Marcelo I want to wish you the best of luck in the next step of your life. Thank you for teaching me a lot of things about soccer, especially never giving up no matter the situation. You are a very good player and an example of dedication and companionship. We were a good duo. It was a pleasure to play and live by your side and to know you in and off the field. Good luck to you in your next new club. LA, my family and I gonna miss you Champion / Marcelo Eu quero te desejar muita sorte neste próximo passo da tua vida. Obrigado por me ensinar muitas coisas sobre o futebol , especialmente de nunca me der por vencido não importa a situação. Você é jogador diferenciado um exemplo de dedicação e companheirismo. Fomos uma excelente dupla juntos. Foi um prazer jogar e viver ao teu lado e de conhecer você dentro e fora de campo. Boa sorte no teu novo clube. LA , minha família e eu vamos sentir saudades de você Campeão. @marcelosarvas
PHILADELPHIA -- Major League Soccer to an immense step to honor retiring great Landon Donovan on Thursday by announcing that they have renamed their league Most Valuable Player trophy after the retired LA Galaxy legend.
MLS commissioner Don Garber made the announcement prior to the 2015 MLS SuperDraft at a special ceremony in Philadelphia. The new award name will be in place for the 2015 season.
Although Donovan holds all of MLS' major scoring records and is the most decorated player in league history, he admtited that the announcement came as a shock.
"This feels different because I saw all the people who have been with me from day one and that makes you appreciate what you put into it. I'm just very grateful to the commissioner for this and for my family who made incredible sacrifices in their life. This is something that they can always see and look at. They deserve this as much as I do."
The U.S. Under-20 national team finally found their attack on Thursday as they destroyed Aruba 8-0 in their third Group A match at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica.
LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson earned the start in the win and scored twice as the U.S. offense roared to life after two lackluster games against Guatemala and Panama. Columbus Crew youngster Romain Gall led all scorers with three goals while Emerson Hyndman, Tommy Thompson and Amando Moreno each added one goal in the victory.
Their first win in the competition secured, the U.S. will now take on host nation Jamaica on Sunday before ending their group stage play against Trinidad and Tobago on Jan. 21. The top team from both groups qualifies automatically for this summer's U-20 World Cup in New Zealand while the second and third place teams will face off in a decisive one-game playoff for a chance to qualify for the tournament.
LA Galaxy fans will still need to wait about seven months until Steven Gerrard suits up for the club, but it's very apparent that the 34-year-old Liverpool FC legend will be in top form once he arrives.
On Friday morning during Liverpool's preparations for Saturday's match against Sunderland (4:45 am on NBCSN/mun2) at their training ground Melwood, Gerrard delivered an impressive left-footed volley that sailed into the back of the net.
Watch the goal above.
Excited to see what Gerrard will bring once he arrives? How closely will you be watching Liverpool FC's games now?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy Homegrowns Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes called up to the U.S. National Team's annual January camp
CARSON, Calif. -- Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes have officially gone from the LA Galaxy Academy all the way to the U.S. National Team.
Galaxy Homegrown Players Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes were among the 28-man roster named by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the team's annual January camp at StubHub Center from Jan. 12 to Feb. 8. The training camp will end with a pair of matches for the U.S. against Chile in South America on Jan. 28 and against CONCACAF rivals Panama on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center.
The call-ups will be the first from the senior team for both Sorto and Zardes. While Zardes carries no tournament experience, the 20-year-old Sorto was a member of the U.S. Under-20 squad during their participation in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The inclusions of youngsters like Sorto and Zardes are part of Klinsmann's stated goal of bringing in Olympic-eligible players as the USMNT looks ahead to not only the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer, but also the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The U.S. Under-23's famously missed out on the 2012 Olympic Games in London which were won by CONCACAF archrivals Mexico.
“The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year,” Klinsmann said. “We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
The complete U.S. roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alex Bono (unattached), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (out of contract), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (6): Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Tab Ramos, Lynden Gooch and Bradford Jamieson IV discuss the team’s preparations and what to expect in their first match of the 2015 CONCACAF Championship against Guatemala.
In a special LA Galaxy Insider Breakdown, I look at how the LA Galaxy's new signing of Liverpool FC midfield can benefit the team and just where he'll fit.
Check it out above.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena on Steven Gerrard: "we want to get him pushed as close to goal as we can"
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to reporters on Wednesday to discuss the club’s newest Designated Player signing of Liverpool FC midfielder Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard will remain with Liverpool until the end of their season and will be eligible to play when the league’s transfer window opens in mid-January.
Arena’s complete comments from the conference call can be found below.
(On how the Galaxy intend to rotate their midfield around Gerrard…)
ARENA: I’m not spending a whole lot of time on that right now. We have seven months or so until Stevie arrives here in Los Angeles, and we’re going to play out the process of our team, see how it moves forward, and see how we’re ready to utilize Stevie once he gets here.
(On how Gerrard relates to other European arrivals to MLS like Beckham and Keane…)
ARENA: I think that they have proven track records. They’re winners, they’re great people, they’ve been terrific leaders on their clubs previous to coming to the Galaxy, and their qualities speak for themselves. Stevie has the characteristics of David Beckham and Robbie Keane, he’s a terrific players, he’s of great character, a great teammate and a great leader, so I think he’ll complement our team in a very positive way.
(On Gerrard’s versatility in the midfield…)
ARENA: In my observation of Stevie over the years, he’s not only been a central midfielder, he’s played a little bit shaded to the left or right underneath the strikers, so he can play a variety of positions in midfield. My guess is we’ll play him closer to the forwards than our center backs. He’s a player obviously with very good attacking qualities and we want to get him pushed as close to goal as we can, when we can. So I think we can accommodate that through a variety of positions. It’ll take a little bit of time, but we’ll get it figured out by the time that Stevie arrives.
(On the criticism that Gerrard receives for being unable to track back…)
ARENA: Steven Gerrard is a great player. He played in the 2014 World Cup, he plays for one of the top clubs in England… He’s got great experience, great understanding of the game; he’s quite capable of playing on both sides of the ball. I believe he’ll be a very good player for us in MLS.C
(On if Arena will manage Gerrard’s minutes…)
ARENA: I will manage his minutes. I’m going to try to get him on the field as much as possible.
(On the process to sign Gerrard…)
ARENA: First of all, I think Stevie did his homework, he was well aware of MLS and the Galaxy. He’s been here a couple of times, obviously with Liverpool, so he knew Southern California and L..A. He understands MLS, so there weren’t a whole lot of questions and he’s obviously been aware of Beckham and Keane at the Galaxy. But on and off over the years, Stevie’s always been a name that we’ve examined as a potential player to come to the Galaxy, and obviously over the recent months we’ve obviously pursued the player… Over the last two or three weeks, things came together pretty quickly.
(On if the Galaxy had other options…)
ARENA: We were looking at three or four players over the last three or four months, and obviously, Stevie was there all along. I would say that I thought it was going to be a longshot to acquire Stevie, but as we got closer to the year, interest on both parties picked up, and we were very fortunate to be able to secure a deal.
(On how Keane and Gerrard will combine…)
ARENA: They’re two outstanding players. They’ve played together before, they know each other, and I think in a short period of time they’re going to be able to have a great understanding of each other, and I’m quite confident that we’ll see they’re going to be able to help create chances for the LA Galaxy.
(On Robbie Keane’s input in the Gerrard signing…)
ARENA: To be honest with you, I have not spoken to Robbie Keane about this. Maybe a month or so ago, I let him know we were talking with Stevie, but we didn’t talk about how he fit in with the team and everything else. I just acknowledged the fact that Stevie was a player that we had an interest in.
CARSON, Calif. – The signing Steven Gerrard represents a major addition for the LA Galaxy, but just where does the Englishman fit in an already stacked LA midfield?
The Galaxy lifted their fifth MLS Cup on the strength of one of – if not the best—midfield in Major League Soccer which was anchored by the Brazilian tandem of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas. Meanwhile on the flanks, a hodgepodge of Landon Donovan, Baggio Husidic and Stefan Ishizaki provided width to a Galaxy attack that scored a league-high 69 goals during the regular season.
At the height of his powers, Gerrard was one of Europe’s best midfielders with ability to not only provide defensive cover, but also create chances on his own due to his unparalleled work rate. In more recent times, Gerrard has settled into a holding midfield role that has allowed him to orchestrate from deeper in the parking and use his pinpoint passing to open up chances for teammates across the field.
Considering that at 35, Gerrard does not have the same engine that he had at his peak, Bruce Arena may opt to use the Englishman in defensive midfield capacity ala David Beckham in his final two seasons with the club.
What does Arena himself think? Well, the Galaxy head coach and general manager isn’t focusing on it just yet.
“I’m not spending a whole lot of time thinking about that right now,” said Arena during the team’s media availability after announcing the signing. “We have seven months or so until Stevie arrives here in Los Angeles and we’re going to play out the process of our team. We’ll see how it moves forward and see how we’re ready to utilize Stevie once he gets here.”
But now I’ll give you an option to predict the Galaxy’s next midfield. Below are a series of midfield combinations and I’ll allow you to decide which midfield you’d like to see lineup when Gerrard arrives. Obviously, the list is hardly exhaustive so add your own midfield combos in the comment section beneath.
CARSON, Calif. -- It's been a big Wednesday for the LA Galaxy, they've got their third Designated Player in Steven Gerrard and now they've got a schedule for their 2015 MLS regular season campaign.
The Galaxy will play 34 games this season with the club opening up their campaign on March 6 against the Chicago Fire at StubHub Center. Of the LA Galaxy's 34 matches in 2015, 24 games will be played against Western Conference with the 10 against the Eastern Conference. The Galaxy will play a majority of their games on Saturday with 17 matches on that day while the most congested month will be May when the Galaxy will play an impressive seven games.
Below are five games that I'm personally looking forward to seeing:
1) Vs. Chicago Fire on March 6
*The Galaxy will open their season against their old teammate Mike Magee who will be making his trip to StubHub Center since departing back in 2013.
2) @ Orlando City SC on May 17
*The Galaxy will take on MLS newcomers Orlando City SC in May and make their very first trip to Central Florida.
3) @ New England Revolution on May 31
*A little more than a week after their match against Orlando, the Galaxy travel to New England to take on the Revolution in a rematch of the 2014 MLS Cup Final.
4) Vs. New York City FC on August 23
*In what could be the battle of DP's and possibly the debut of Steven Gerrard, the Galaxy take on NYCFC for the first time.
5) @ Seattle Sounders FC on October 4.
*The LA Galaxy against the Seattle Sounders? What more could you ask for.