Match Related

14 August 9:08 am

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. 

13 August 3:27 pm

CARSON, Calif. –  Landon Donovan will be honored by the Columbus Crew prior to kick-off of the LA Galaxy’s match on Saturday at Crew Stadium.

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.” 

11 August 7:58 pm

EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy held their second annual Galaxy Town Hall meeting at the Time Warner Cable SportsNet studios. 

Galaxy president Chris Klein, head coach and general manager Bruce Arena, and defender Omar Gonzalez participated in the hour long question and answer session with fans. 

A few twitter highlights from the meeting are below. 

11 August 2:06 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bolstered their attack on Monday by acquiring veteran forward Alan Gordon.

LA acquired the forward from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money, the club announced on Monday. Gordon has 180 appearances and 39 goals as well as 26 assists in his 11 years in MLS. 

“Alan is a proven MLS player who adds another scoring threat to our roster going forward,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena in a statement. “We are pleased to welcome him back as a member of the Galaxy.”

Gordon joins a Galaxy strike force that includes Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Rob Friend and Chandler Hoffman. 

09 August 1:15 pm

CARSON, Calif. — Omar Gonzalez found the back of the net for the first time in 2014 during Friday’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, but the LA Galaxy center back was smiling after the result.  

Despite a comprehensive performance against their archrivals, the Galaxy were forced to battle back from a pair of deficits after a pair of quick transition goals by San Jose. During both San Jose tallies, Gonzalez—and the rest of the Galaxy defense— were caught out of position as the Earthquakes notched a pair of counterattack goals.

“[It was] not one of his better games,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena of Gonzalez’s performance after the draw. “I think he could’ve defended a little bit better on the two goals, but they obviously weren’t too dangerous going forward and somehow we managed to concede two goals. That’s the story line.”

Gonzalez redeemed himself in the 49th minute when he broke free of Atiba Harris on a corner kick and placed a Stefan Ishizaki effort off the pitch and into the bottom corner of the Earthquakes net. Set piece finishes have become a specialty of Gonzalez, who has drawn considerable pressure from opposing defenses since his memorable tally in the 2012 MLS Cup final.

“I finally got my goal,” said Gonzalez. “When players don’t hold on to me [on set pieces], I can find the ball, so I’m happy that I could get open, and get my head on the ball.”

Even though he broke free against San Jose, Gonzalez doesn’t expect to be as open in the future.

“I definitely expect the [defenders] to be holding me. That’s the way it is,” said Gonzalez. “My job is to make the run, and it’s up to the referee to see that. I will just keep on doing that, and I’m sure I will keep getting held.”

07 August 10:35 am

CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is hanging up his boots at the end of the season.

The LA Galaxy midfielder announced via his personal Facebook page on Thursday morning that he’ll be retiring from the sport of soccer at the end of the 2014 MLS season.  The all-time leading goal scorer for MLS and the U.S. National Team, Donovan has four goals and seven assists this season.

Donovan is expected to speak at a press conference at StubHub Center on Thursday. 

04 August 11:13 am

CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez may not be taking part in Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game, but there will be an LA Galaxy player available when the All-Stars take on Bayern Munich at Portland's Providence Park -- Landon Donovan. 

The Galaxy announced late last week that Keane and Gonzalez would miss out on the event due to the team's clash with their archrival San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, but Donovan -- who went 90 minutes in LA's 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday -- remained on the squad. Although Donovan will be available for the match against his former club, he expects to see limited minutes for the All-Stars. 

"In the end, I don't get to make that decision [about staying behind]. I'm happy to go and I'm excited to go. I've already spoken with [MLS All-Star head coach Caleb Porter] and I won't be playing a lot, and that's okay. I understand because there has been other All-Star Games where I haven't been able to play. It's good for [our] guys to rest and it'll be fine because I'll be ready for Friday." 

While Donovan will see, at least, some time in the league's showpiece event, Keane and Gonzalez will remain behind in Southern California and prepare for Friday's match against the Earthquakes. While missing out on the All-Star Game was a tad frustrating for the Galaxy's Irish captain, he sent well wishes to the league's best as they prepare to take on Bayern. 

"I'm happy that I was selected, but first and foremost my priority is the Galaxy and we have an important game on Friday," said Keane. "I wish the All-Stars well and I'm sorry that I couldn't be there, but I'll be watching on TV." 

04 August 10:23 am

CARSON, Calif. -- Red hot LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes is traveling to Portland for Monday's Chipotle Homegrown Game, but don't expect the forward to play a role for the MLS Homegrowns against the Portland Timbers U-23 team. 

Zardes was selected for Monday's event along with fellow Galaxy HGP Bradford Jamieson IV, but after Saturday's 3-1 victory over the Timbers, the 22-year-old striker admitted that  with the Galaxy playing the San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, he's expecting to see limited action -- at most -- in the Homegrown Game. 

"I'm going to play it by ear, but I highly doubt [I'll play]," said Zardes who landed in Portland on Sunday. "But I'm the guy that if they tell me to do something then I'll do it."

Keeping Zardes off the field in the Homegrown match is certainly advantageous to the Galaxy as the second-year forward is currently on a torrid scoring run that has seen him tally seven goals in his last eight games. Although he's already enjoying a career season with eight goals and one assist, the 22-year-old forward is trying his best to stay grounded. 

"Now that [the game against Portland] is over, I don't look back. I'm not going to fantazise about all the goals that I've scored," said Zardes. "The next game [that I play] when I'm in that moment, I'm thinking [I have] zero goals. I have to prove myself."

02 August 3:16 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to reporters following the team's 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers. 

Check his thoughts below. 

 (On the team’s performance in the win….)

ARENA: “It wasn’t similar to the other day. We fell behind a goal. It’s good for our team to be in a hard game against a good team. We prevailed, obviously. The goal at the end of the first half was big. Second half, they came at us with a little bit more energy and created a couple of chances. Obviously, the Keane goal was the difference. But I thought overall it was a good 90 minutes for our team. We were sloppy at times in the first half. We could have been a little bit cleaner. Technically, in and around the goal area, we could have create another goal or two, but overall it was a good performance. We are on a good run, and hopefully we keep getting better.”

(On success of Gyasi Zardes…)

ARENA: “He’s doing well. Big goal obviously. A lot of little things, he’s getting better. He’s running off the ball better .He’s holding the ball better. He’s passing better. Everything’s improved and I think playing next to Robbie [Keane] is important. Robbie’s doing a good job helping him move along .Landon [Donovan] had another good effort tonight. Backline performed well.”

(On Robbie Rogers playing left back…)

ARENA: “I think that coming from a deeper position is good for him. But the thing about Robbie in that position is he’s an excellent defender, which is the number one box you need to check when you are going to play as a defender. He does that exceptionally well. The other stuff like going forward is icing on the cake.”

(On coming back from behind to win…)

ARENA: “I think anytime you win a game when you are trailing is important. It shows character. The goal came against run of play. [Stefan] Ishizaki got his head onto the ball and deflected it. Then end up getting a goal. Probably their only shot of the first half. It was a little bit against run of play.”

(On the team’s performance so far this season…)

ARENA: “We are, what, second place now in the Western Conference, against teams that have a couple games in hand on us. We have the best defensive record in the league. We are probably in the top three or four in attacking categories. We are getting healthier. I give the team a B plus. [For] the coach [i give] a C-minus goes with my grade point average in college.” 

01 August 3:48 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on the Portland Timbers on Saturday in a brunch time 11:30 a.m. PT match.

In the latest edition of "By the Numbers," we look at the Galaxy's success against Portland at home.

Check it out below.