MLS Regular Season

07 March 2:15 pm

CARSON, Calif. – MLS will begin the 2014 MLS Regular Season without its usual referee crews as replacements will be taking over the officiating duties  for opening weekend.

On Friday, the Professional Referee Organization announced that it will lock out its officials after the Professional Soccer Referees Association had rejected a no strike/no lockout agreement. Negotiations have been ongoing between the two sides for several months as they seek to reach their first Collective Bargaining Agreement.

The LA Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, like all other teams playing in opening weekend, will be affected as they saw their referee assignment changed from 2012 MLS Referee of the Year Silviu Petrescu to veteran CONCACAF official Javier Santos.  A member of FIFA Puerto Rico, the Colombian official was an official during the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup and 2013 CONCACAF U-20 World Cup Qualifying tournament in Mexico. Santos has also gained substantial experience in the CONCACAF Champions League in the last three years, officiating over eight CONCACAF Champions League matches and even served as the fourth official for LA’s 4-0 loss to Isidro Metapán in CCL group play last year.  

Although the men in the yellow shirts will be different, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena believes that his team and the rest of the clubs in MLS are prepared for the replacement officials.  

“We’ve been aware of it. The referee is going to be the same for both teams. Hopefully they’re all prepared to do their job and we get on with it,” said Arena. “In all fairness, players have to adjust more than the referee. The referee is going to have a style of play and he’s not going to be fully informed on the qualities of MLS. He’s going to referee the way that he’s always refereed and we’re going to have to adjust quickly.”

Veteran defender James Riley, who is expected to start on the left side of defense on Saturday, agrees.

“We just have to control what we can control and not worry about who is assigned to the game, but just go out and do what we can do,” said Riley. “The cadence and rhythm are a bit different. He may call things a bit differently, but I’m sure that he’ll get direction on how the game should be called and he’ll use his ability to do so. We won’t think too much about it and just hope that there is a speedy resolution.

“I think the referees overall do a fantastic job and that’s a very difficult position,” Riley continued. “They’ve been criticized a lot over the years since I’ve been in the league. We know that they’re an integral part of this game and we want it to get better. We want the overall product both on and off the field to get better and they have a significant role in that. We as players support a quick resolution, but the season is going to go on and that’s the reality of it.” 

07 March 1:14 pm

Ahead of the start of the 2014 MLS Regular Season, Landon Donovan spoke to "The Sports Dude" Jeff Garcia of Hip Hop radio station Power 106 to preview the year and provide a little insight into his life. 

The interview has six parts, but you can see the first where Donovan previews the upcoming season below. 

PART TWO: Donovan on the USMNT's World Cup draw

PART THREE: Donovan on his relationship with Mexican soccer fans

PART FOUR: Donovan on who he would pick in his dream 3 on 3 team.

PART FIVE: Donovan says that his pink eye was worst than NBC's Bob Costas.

07 March 10:34 am

Some league season previews are informative, some are a bit stale, but this video preview by MLSsoccer.com may be just right. 

In an interestingly presented video, MLSsoccer.com previews the LA Galaxy's 2014 campaign in a very creative way full of headlines and colorful graphics.

Check it out below. 

06 March 5:55 pm

We know what jerseys that the LA Galaxy will be wearing once the season starts on Saturday, but now we have details on shorts and socks.

On the shorts, we see the familiar Adidas three stripes as well as the blue and gold lining, but also the leticular crest that is present on the primary kit. Meanwhile, the socks provide a retro feel that takes me back to my AYSO days.

Full disclosure, I have to say that the socks may be my favorite touch of the kit so don't be surprised if you stop me on the StubHub Center concourse and find out that I'm wearing them under one of my blue suits. 

Check it out below.

The shorts and socks together

The LA Galaxy crest

LA Galaxy jersey socks 

06 March 4:19 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s roster is pretty much set heading into the season opener against Real Salt Lake, but one question mark remains.

Trialist Dan Gargan has been with the team since the start of the preseason, but as of yet, there has been no word about a contract offer from the Galaxy.  But that doesn’t mean that LA isn’t interested according to head coach Bruce Arena.

“We’re going to try,” said Bruce Arena when asked about if the team is planning to sign the 31-year-old defender.

Outside back depth is vital for LA at the moment as the club dispatched youngsters Bryan Gaul (waived) and Greg Cochrane (traded to Chicago) in recent weeks.

RILEY EXPECTING TO START IN DEFENSE

While Gargan’s status is still up in the air, the newest member of the LA Galaxy, James Riley is expecting to get the start at left back this Saturday against Real Salt Lake due to an injury to Todd Dunivant.

Riley has seen significant time this preseason at left back due to Dunivant’s nagging hamstring injury and is likely to get the nod against RSL.

“I’ll be ready to go,” said Riley. “Whatever Bruce decides, I feel fit and ready to go.”

Dunivant is improving rapidly; however, as the veteran left back went 45 minutes in a recent scrimmage with LA Galaxy II against Cal-State Fullerton as he seeks to be available for selection for Saturday.

“I’m ready to be available,” said Dunivant. “It’s a good guess [that Riley starts]. I’m still working on [being 90 minutes fit], but first thing is first is getting healthy and I’m moving forward.”

ARENA ADMITS EXPERIENCE RULES ALL AS SEASON OPENER APPROACHES

The LA Galaxy’s new found experience has been a major plot line this preseason and on Thursday, head coach Bruce Arena went into detail about how he expects the team to be different during the 2014 campaign.

“I think the priorities were addressed with the new players,” said Arena. “We needed more experience in midfield; we got that with [Stefan] Ishizaki. We needed some help on our forward line, and we got that with Samuel and [Rob] Friend. We needed some experienced players in the back; we have that now with [James] Riley. Obviously [Baggio] Hušidić is another experienced player in the midfield as well. I think that’s what we needed to address. This year, we’re looking at Friend or Samuel or Hušidić or Riley or [Dan] Gargan or Ishizaki. Last year it was [Jack] McBean, [Jose] Villarreal, [Hector] Jimenez, and [Rafael] Garcia, I think that’s an improvement.”

04 March 6:58 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Landon Donovan will have the MLS all-time regular season goal scoring record, it's just a matter of time. 

On Saturday in the LA Galaxy's MLS season opener against Real Salt Lake, Donovan will resume his hunt for the MLS all-time regular season goal scoring record and ahead of his quest, I spoke to the Galaxy star about his feelings about the record

04 March 2:10 pm

It's MLS preview season and the latest of interest is this funny -- and informative -- exchange between Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman for their "Big Head Red Head" feature on ESPNFC.com.

Check it out below. 

27 February 2:45 pm

In the four installment of Road to Morocco, the LA Galaxy and Club Tijuana discuss the importance of winning the CONCACAF Champions League. 

Check out the latest video below. 

Watch the previous editions here:

Episode 1: Visiting Club Tijuana

Episode 2: Battle for San Diego

Episode 3: L.A. vs. Tijuana: Taco challenge

26 February 4:38 pm

The MLS Regular Season is upon us and before the start of the season, I'll be offering readers of LA Galaxy Insider, the chance to "Beat the Insider" in MLS Fantasy. 

The rules of the game are simple as fans will simply need to make an entry in MLSsoccer.com's MLS Fantasy game and set their favorite team to Los Angeles Galaxy. By joining, you'll be entered into the club's supporters league and have a chance at a $200 dollar prize and as the season goes on, LAGalaxy.com will be providing additional prizes (think: jerseys, scarves and game tickets).  Now, I'm a relative neophyte to Fantasy MLS, but I'll be taking this season seriously and will be providing fantasy MLS coverage throughout the 2014 season. 

My team for the first week of the season is below. 

Think that you've got what it takes to "Beat the Insider"?  Be sure to join now

 

 

25 February 6:57 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s season opener is fast approaching and it appears that the team is rounding into fitness.

Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (broken finger and abductor injury) and defender Todd Dunivant (hamstring injury) have returned to full training while Robbie Rogers (ankle injury) has begun running and according to head coach Bruce Arena will “be ready to go soon.”

Penedo had been dealing with a broken pinky finger prior to the team’s trip to Mexico, but during the team’s trip to face Pumas UNAM, the Panamanian goalkeeper suffered an abductor injury that caused him to miss the club’s next three preseason matches. However, the goalkeeper is bullish that he’ll be ready to suit up once the March 8 season opener against Real Salt Lake rolls around and possibly as soon as Saturday’s closed-door scrimmage against Minnesota United.

“I've been training in the gym [after the injury] but now I’m back with the team in training,” said Penedo. “The opener is the goal and we’re working for that, but we’ll see what happens this weekend.”

Another player who has returned to action is midfielder Stefan Ishizaki who has overcame a stomach illness that kept him bedridden for two days last week. Now with the season opener less than two weeks away, the Swede is hitting the gym to make up for lost time.

“Last week, it wasn't that good; I ate something bad and had to stay in bed for two days. I couldn’t train so that set me back. This week, I've done a lot of extra work and I’m feeling better,” said Ishizaki. “[The season opener] is almost two weeks away and I know that I can get a lot of extra work in during that time.”