MLS Playoffs

17 November 3:08 pm

In my latest top five list for Galaxy TV, I look at the top five playoff moments in LA Galaxy history. 

Check out the video above and leave your comments on the list below. 

17 November 12:48 pm

The Professional Referee Organization announced on Monday that veteran official Kevin Stott will preside over Sunday’s Western Conference Championship first leg between the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC.

This season, Stott called an average of 24.25 fouls per game (388 in all) while awarding a total of 42 yellow cards (2.6 per game), three red cards and calling for nine penalty kicks.  The 47-year-old refereed three Galaxy games (Sept 14 v. FC Dallas, Aug. 27 v. D.C. United and Aug. 2 vs. Portland) this season and one match involving the Sounders (Sept. 12 vs. Real Salt Lake).

LA hold a 10-0-0 record in the last 10 games with Stott officiating—a list that includes playoff victories against San Jose in 2012 and Real Salt Lake in 2013—while Seattle are 5-1-4.

The refereeing team for Sunday’s match is below.

REFEREE: KEVIN STOTT

AR1: Adam Wienckowski

AR2: Greg Barkey

4TH: Ricardo Salazar

13 November 2:38 pm

There's no feeling better than scoring a goal in the playoffs. 

Ahead of the LA Galaxy's Western Conference Championship contest against Seattle Sounders FC, I joined Galaxy TV to look at the top five playoff goals in club history. 

Check it out the video above and if you disagree with any of my selections, leave a comment below. 

13 November 1:02 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Rogers is staying with the LA Galaxy for the long run. 

The Galaxy announced on Thursday that the team has signed Rogers to a new multi-year contract extension. Per club and league rules, the details of the contact were not released. After a frustrating 2013 season with the Galaxy, Rogers has found new life in 2014 as a left back, making 19 appearances and 15 starts for LA. 

“We are excited that Robbie will remain a part of our organization going forward,” LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said in a release. “He has proven to be a dynamic player in our League and an integral part of our success this year. We look forward to his continued contributions in the years to come.”
 
12 November 5:38 pm

CARSON, Calif. –A right hamstring strain forced Leonardo to make an early exit during the LA Galaxy’s 5-0 victory over Real Salt Lake, but the club’s coaching staff are confident that the Brazilian could be back in time to play a role in their Western Conference Championship clash with Seattle Sounders FC.

Leonardo went down in the 37th minute, forcing third-year defender Tommy Meyer to come on for the remainder of last Sunday's game. Although the injury was severe enough that the Brazilian center back needed to be stretchered off the field, the Galaxy coaching staff believe that the time in between series will allow ample time for Leonardo to return to fitness.

“Two weeks is good for both teams certainly and we would think that both teams are going to be healthy when they meet at StubHub Center,” said Bruce Arena. “He’s working [to get back to full fitness] so we’ll see.”  

Added Associate head coach Dave Sarachan, “Two weeks [between games] is a good thing for a guy like him, but we’ll know more as we get through the next few days. I think there is a good chance that he would be back for the series, be it game one or game two.” 

10 November 4:01 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy advanced to the Western Conference Finals for the fifth time in six years on Sunday with their 5-0 victory over Real Salt Lake, but their opponent in that series remains a mystery.

LA will play the winner of the FC Dallas/Seattle Sounders FC series which will be decided on Monday at CenturyLink Field. Seattle need only a victory or a scoreless draw to advance while FC Dallas must defeat the Supporters’ Shield winners or earn a high scoring draw.

Both teams gave the Galaxy all they could handle in the regular season with LA winning the season series with Dallas 2-1-0 while splitting their three matches with Seattle 1-1-1. Given those records, is there a preference for the Galaxy as they seek to qualify for a third MLS Cup in four seasons?

Not at all.

“Between Seattle and Dallas, they gave us a lot of problems during the season so we’ll watch the game very closely tomorrow,” said hat trick hero Landon Donovan. “We’ll be sure to get proper rest this week and we’ll be ready to go.”

Even though the Galaxy had struggled results wise with a four game winless streak prior to their explosion on Sunday, LA believe their clicking at the right time as they look to their next opponent.

“I know that we haven’t had good results, but even against Seattle we had moments that were very good. We did break down at the end, but they sat back and defended against us in Seattle, which is weird,” said Robbie Rogers. “We’re confident in whomever we play be it Seattle or Dallas that we can compete.

“I think that anyone has to come into a stadium where the last team lost 5-0, they know it’s going to be difficult, but it is the playoffs so anyone can win.”

But Stefan Ishizaki, who shined in his start against Salt Lake, offered the tersest message to LA’s future opponents.

“Watch out.” 

10 November 9:30 am

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.

09 November 9:24 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- On Sunday, Landon Donovan became the third player in MLS history to notch a hat trick in the MLS Cup Playoffs as the LA Galaxy crushed Real Salt Lake 5-0 to advance to the Western Conference Finals. 

As stellar as Donovan's showing was, viewing the performance through the lens of LAGalaxy.com's Albert Lanzillo is sure to provide a few goosebumps. 

Check it out above. 

09 November 7:44 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media following his team's 5-0 Western Conference Semifinal second leg victory over Real Salt Lake.

(On tonight's performance...)
 
ARENA: We played well. We had a good week of training. Our expectations were that we are going win this game. Obviously, the result is a little surprising, but I totally anticipated that we would win this game. 
 
(On Landon Donovan retiring...)
 
ARENA: I think it’s the right time for him to retire. He’s ready to go. He’s given it everything he has. He wants to finish this year on a high note and then get on with other things in his life. 
 
(On the Western Conference championship...)
 
ARENA: I think whoever we are playing in the next games—they are going to be pretty defensive. We know that and we just need to play better. We need to be sharper on the ball. Do a better job opening teams up. We have to continue to move forward.
 
(On Leonardo’s play...)
 
ARENA: Leonardo has played very well for us. He makes a good combination with Omar [Gonzalez] and AJ plays very well on the right side of the field. I thought the timing was right to try that group in the back.
 
(On the rationale behind playing Stefan Ishizaki...)
 
ARENA: Weeks ago, when this whole series was established I knew I was going to play [Ishizaki] in the second game. 
 
(On the team’s performance in their 5-0 win...)
 
ARENA: We played well .We had three goals out of the midfield out of [Marcelo] Sarvas and Landon. Defensively we were pretty solid. I think they had one really quality chance off that corner kick. I don’t think there were too many out of the run of play. The entire team defended well on the night. 
 
09 November 1:32 pm

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.”