MLS Regular Season
It's been Omar Gonzalez day on LAGalaxy.com with loads of Gonzalez content and up next,Gonzalez discussed the U.S. National Team, dual citizenship, saxophones, football, beer chugging, and more on ESPN's Highly Questionable.
Check it out below...
Omar Gonzalez had a successful 2013 at the club and international level, but 2014 could be something even more substantial.
I look back at Gonzalez’s 2013 season in my latest LA Galaxy Insider Year in Review piece. Gonzalez was undoubtedly successful as he earned the club’s Defender of the Year award, was a finalist for MLS Defender of the Year and an MLS Best XI selection while also locking down a regular place on the U.S. National Team.
The Galaxy center back is expected to contend for a roster spot –and a place in the starting XI—on the U.S. National Team’s roster at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil and while Gonzalez is staying “even keeled” ahead of a big year, he’s hopeful that he’ll be on the plane to South America.
“There’s no really Cinderella story so I feel like every team in the World Cup is a great team and deserves to be there. Whoever we’re matched up against is going to be a tough group,” Gonzalez told reporters in a conference call a week ago. “I've never been to a World Cup, but I’m sure that I’ll be getting at Robbie to ask him questions about how it is. It’s going to be a fun year and hopefully, I can keep my form, stay healthy, and hopefully I’ll be there.”
Will Gonzalez be at the World Cup in 2014?
Tuesday Notes: Club Tijuana appoint new manager; Donovan finishes third for Futbol de Primera 2013 Player of the Year
The LA Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal opponents Club Tijuana will have a new coach when they take on LA in the CCL in March.
Club Tijuana appointed Venezuelan Cesar Farias to replace Jorge Almiron who led the Xolos to a 10th place finish in the 2013 Apertura season. Farias led Venezuela to the Copa America semifinals in 2011 after helping the nation reach the Under-20 World Cup in 2009. Farias will begin his career with Club Tijuana on Dec. 28 with a friendly against Club America at StubHub Center.
In other news around the soccer world:
*LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan finished in third for the Futbol de Primera Player of the Year Award which was given to U.S. teammate Jozy Altidore. Michael Bradley – who was my selection for the award – finished second.
*Altidore was on hand as adidas unveiled the 2014 FIFA World Cup match ball the Brazuca. Check out the ball below and in case you're wondering, brazuca is a Brazilian term to describe the nation's way of life.
— Michael Ehrlich (@adidasUSPRGuy) December 3, 2013
During MLS Commissioner Don Garber’s State of the League address on Tuesday, former LA Galaxy midfielder David Beckham’s interest in installing an MLS expansion team in Miami was undoubtedly a hot button topic.
Beckham’s connection to Miami has been reported since he retired from soccer earlier this year, but talk has been heating up as of late. While Miami was mentioned along with Atlanta, Minneapolis and San Antonio as possible MLS expansion locations, Garber admitted that it was far from finished.
“There’s a lot of work that needs to happen … We can’t go to Miami without the right stadium solution. David understands that. The city understands that. That’s an indisputable fact. We can’t have different rules in Miami that we have in any other city,” Garber said during the event. “We want to do as much as we can to work with David and [his business manager] Simon Fuller to get something done as quickly as we can.”
Garber continued: “We are very excited about the opportunity of having David put together an ownership group and finalizing a stadium site in downtown Miami so that we can end up having what we hope will be our 22nd team in a city that is one of the largest in the country and has a very strong, passionate fan base but there is a lot of word that needs to happen," Garber said. "Part of that is continuing the discussions that the ownership group has been having with the city and the [Port of Miami] site and potentially other sites."
Although reports have stated that Beckham is looking to get a deal done by years end, based on Garber’s comments, any announcement seems to be a work in progress at the moment.
So I leave the question to you…will David Beckham get an MLS team in Miami?
Share your thoughts below.
In honor of Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez's Best XI selections on Tuesday, LAGalaxy.com has created this video highlight reel of their 2013 seasons.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez were named to the 2013 MLS Best XI after a pair of banner seasons.
Keane, a finalist for 2013 MLS MVP and a Best XI selection a year ago, led the Galaxy offense in 2013 with 16 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances. Gonzalez, who was a finalist for the 2013 MLS Defender of the Year, was LA’s defensive fulcrum with one goal and two assists in 27 games played.
The Best XI includes ex-Galaxy players Donovan Ricketts and Mike Magee while the Portland Timbers led all teams with three players included on the squad.
2013 MLS Best XI: Ricketts (Portland Timbers); Besler (Sporting KC), Goncalves (New England Revolution), Gonzalez (LA Galaxy); Cahill (New York Red Bulls); Johnson (Portland), Valeri (Portland), Zusi (Sporting KC); Di Vaio (Montreal Impact), Keane (LA Galaxy), Magee (Chicago Fire)
Thank you @MLS , my fellow players and the media for voting me MLS Best XI. I'm truly honored.
— Omar Gonzalez (@Omar4Gonzalez) December 3, 2013
— OptaJack (@OptaJack) December 3, 2013
Thoughts on the selections?
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MLS continued to hand out their year-end awards on Monday as Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter earned the MLS coach of the Year award while New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston won the MLS Comeback Player of the Year.
Porter led the Portland Timbers to a 14-5-15 record in his first season after departing from his post at the University of Akron. The Timbers advanced to the Western Conference Championship, but were knocked off by MLS Cup finalist Real Salt Lake. New York Red Bulls boss Mike Petke finished second, RSL head coach Jason Kreis finished third while Colorado Rapids manager Oscar Pareja finished fourth in the voting.
Alston won the Comeback Player of the Year award by a landslide after returning from being diagnosised with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare but treatable form of leukemia. Alston made nine appearances for the Revolution in 2013. Conor Casey, Lamar Negale and Donovan Ricketts finished second, third, and forth in the voting respectively.
The LA Galaxy are going full speed ahead with their plans for a USL team in 2014.
During his interview on Joe Tutino’s LA Galaxy All-Access Podcast, Arena stated that the club is “anticipating” having a USL squad in the coming season that will help them develop existing rostered players, but also add further pieces in the Galaxy Academy.
“We’re going ahead full speed. We anticipate having a USL team. That will serve our academy players who were moving up to the major league roster. It will serve our players who are not playing on a regular basis for the first team as well,” Arena told Tutino. “We’re going to have obviously other players involved in the [USL] roster. Between the first team, which is now 30 to 29 players in MLS, and [the USL] roster we’ll likely have another 15 players who are involved in the USL and complemented by our roster. We should have 45 players here on a daily basis, two teams and a number of opportunities to give players game experience and to continue to move forward.
“We’re hopeful that we can discover a couple of players through the USL team but also develop our academy players that need playing time,” Arena continued. “You’re going to see players like Oscar Sorto, Jack McBean, Raul Mendiola, perhaps, Jose Villarreal; all those young players that if they’re not playing on a regular basis with us, they will be playing with the USL team.”
In addition to the USL team and a myriad of other topics, Arena addressed the topic of LA Galaxy players going on offseason loans stating that “our players aren't going anywhere” noting that Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez are expected to join U.S. National Team’s annual January camp. The Galaxy manager also stated that Robbie Keane should be back in comission after four to six weeks following his "procedure" earlier in the week.
Thoughts on the interview?
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CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane underwent surgery in London on Wednesday to repair nagging injuries in both of his Achilles.
According to a Galaxy spokesman, the surgery was a success and the LA captain is expected be ready to go by the preseason. Keane is expected to complete his rehabilitation in Ireland before returning to Southern California in January.
During a conference call with reporters on Tuesday, Keane revealed that once the procedure takes place, he’ll be focusing solely on returning to fitness in time for the start of preseason.
“I'll get that done, and then it’s rest and a lot of rehab, so that's mainly what I'll be doing [this offseason],” said Keane.
Expect Keane back to full fitness by preseaso?
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Three members of the LA Galaxy have been nominated for the first annual CONCACAF year-end awards.
Landon Donovan has been nominated for Player of the Year for his stellar 2013 that saw him take home the Golden Ball (tournament's MVP) and the Golden Boot (tournament's top scorer) at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in addition to a 10 goal and nine assist performance for the Galaxy. LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year after a stellar 2013 that saw him lead the Panamanian national team to the final of the Gold Cup while winning the Golden Gloves award for the tournament's best goalkeeper. Penedo also led Panama to within minutes of qualifying for a berth in a World Cup playoff.
Finally, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has been nominated for Coach of the Year.