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.
It's officially official. Steven Gerrard is a member of the LA Galaxy.
The club announced on Wednesday morning that Gerrard will be joining the club upon the conclusion of Liverpool FC's 2014-15 English Premier League campaign and will be eligible to play for the club when the transfer window opens up in July. Per club and league policy, the details of the contract were not disclosed.
Los Angeles Times confirms Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard signing with the LA Galaxy on 18-month deal
Steven Gerrard is heading from Liverpool to Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter reported on Wednesday that the LA Galaxy had finalized an 18-month deal with Gerrard for a reported $6 million a year. Gerrard will join the Galaxy in July after the conclusion of Liverpool's 2014-15 English Premier League campaign.
A player whose name is synonymous with the only club that he has ever played for, Gerrard admitted in an exclusive interview with Baxter that while the move was difficult, it was time for the former England captain to move on.
"The time’s right for myself and my family for the change, for the fresh challenge. I’ve been here for a long time," Gerrard said in his interview with the newspaper. "I’ve given an awful lot back to this club. But I now feel it’s the time for a fresh break and to try something different.
"I want to finish my career very strong. I want to add some more medals and trophies to my collection, so I think it's a match made in heaven, really," he later added. "One of the reasons why I chose the LA Galaxy was because of the success they've had recently. But also the plans for more success in the future."
In their own interviews with Baxter, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena stated the club "has a plan" for the Liverpool FC legend when he joins in July while club President Chris Klein called Gerrard a perfect fit for the defending MLS Cup champions.
"We just started thinking in the universe of players that are out there, we want to make a decision on what signifies a Galaxy designated player," team President Chris Klein said. "When we look at that, Steven Gerrard is the perfect fit with what he brings to us on the field and the character that he has off it."
LA Galaxy forward Bradford Jamieson IV named to U.S. U-20 roster for 2015 CONCACAF U-20 Championship
LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson IV has been named to the U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos' 20-man roster for the 2015 U-20 CONCACAF Championship in Jamaica.
After being drawn into Group A, U.S. will open the tournament on Jan. 9 against Guatemala before facing Panama on Jan. 11, Aruba on Jan. 14, the host nation Jamaica on Jan. 18, and finally Trinidad and Tobago on Jan. 21. Only four countries will qualify from the tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand.
Jamieson joins the team after playing a major role for USL PRO side LA Galaxy II and making his professional debut for the Galaxy in July 2014. The 18-year-old is among six players who will represent MLS clubs and is the second with an LA Galaxy link, joining former Galaxy Academy product Paul Arriola who is currently with Liga MX side Club Tijuana.
The complete roster is below.
The addition of Baggio Husidic didn’t receive must praise when the 27-year-old was brought in officially during the offseason, but the midfielder played a prominent role for the LA Galaxy in his first season with the club.
Tallying 41 appearances in all competitions, which were second only to Juninho among Galaxy midfielders, Husidic played a major role in the club’s season as he appeared in all 34 of the team’s regular season matches. Although he was known for his defensive ability both in the central midfield and along the wing, Husidic’s smooth passing skills helped him tally four assists in 2014.
In 2015, Husidic is once more expected to serve as a frequent member of Bruce Arena’s starting XI while also providing a defensive spark off the bench when needed. After tallying five goals in 2014, the Galaxy will likely ask for more from Husidic as they look to replace the offensive output of the retiring Landon Donovan.
How would you rate Baggio Husidic’s 2014 season? Read my review of the Galaxy midfielders on LAGalaxy.com and share your thoughts below
It seems that the LA Galaxy have found their new Designated Player.
According to reports from ESPN FC's Jeffrey Carlsile and the Washington Post's Steven Goff, the Galaxy will be signing Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard as the club's newest Designated Player. Carlsile reports that the league's board of governors have already approved the deal and the Galaxy will add Gerrard to their roster upon the conclusion of the 2014-15 English Premier League season.
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter on Friday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena provided "no comment" when asked about the Gerrard link.
Rumors of a Gerrard link to LA surfaced on Thursday with Italian journalist Gianluca DiMarzio reporting that the departing Liverpool FC talisman was bound for Major League Soccer and the reigning league champions. Gerrard himself confirmed on Saturday that he will be departing Liverpool for a team in the United States, but declined to give any specifics on that team in an interview which came one day after he announced his departure from LFC at the conclusion of the team's Premier League campaign.
"I’ll be going to play in USA. I’m not over the line with any team yet," Gerrard told the team's website. "I’m close and as soon as I know, I’ll make the announcement.”
With all signs pointing to Gerrard's arrival at StubHub Center, how do you feel about him replacing Landon Donovan? Think that Gerrard can make an impact for LA in 2015?
Share your thoughts below.
Stefan Ishizaki was heralded as a potential third attacking weapon in the LA Galaxy attack when he was signed last offseason, and while the Swede never truly blossomed into that type of offensive asset, he still put forth a strong season as he helped LA to a championship.
Appearing in all but four games during the entirety of the Galaxy’s MLS slate, Ishizaki’s ball skills played an important role in helping create the Galaxy’s possession-oriented offense that tallied a league-leading 69 goals in 2014. Ishizaki’s abilities led the Galaxy to trot the Swede out at the top of a midfield diamond early on in the season before he transitioned to a steady role as an attacking option along the left side of midfield as LA pushed toward their trophy. In total, Ishizaki ended the season with five goals and eight assists in all league competition in his first full season
With Landon Donovan gone, Ishizaki is among several will need to shoulder the burden left by the retiring U.S. soccer star during the 2015 season. If Ishizaki can truly become a true offensive weapon alongside Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes, the Galaxy will have every opportunity to retain their MLS Cup title.
How would you rate Ishizaki’s 2014 campaign? Read my review of the LA Galaxy midfielders on LAGalaxy.com while also voting and commenting below.
In a season when he flourished doing the little things to keep his team going, LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho’s 2014 season will undoubtedly be remembered for one massive moment.
For the entirety of LA’s championship winning campaign, Juninho was the team’s most consistent player with a team-high 43 appearances in all competitions—40 of which were starts. During that time, Juninho formed the spine of the league’s finest midfield alongside fellow Brazilian Marcelo Sarvas while notching five assists in all league competitions as well as one truly immense goal that helped LA reach MLS Cup by eliminating Seattle Sounders FC in the Western Conference Championship.
After a season of being used primarily in a defensive capacity, Juninho is likely to resume this role with the Galaxy aim for a sixth title in March. However, head coach Bruce Arena will undoubtedly want more offensive production from the influential Brazilian as his 2014 offensive output was his lowest since his first season in Major League Soccer back in 2010.
How would you rate Juninho’s 2014 performance? Read my review of the LA midfielders on LAGalaxy.com while also voting and commenting below.