MLS Regular Season

30 December 2:26 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Truly the engine that helped the LA Galaxy run, Brazilian midfielder Marcelo Sarvas enjoyed his best season to date as he played an irreplaceable part in the team’s run to an MLS Cup title.  

An indomitable force in the center of the park, Sarvas’ displayed a tendency to only thwart opposition attacks with his ball-winning ability, but was also a key asset to the team’s attack as he notched  five goals and 13 assists in all MLS competitions.  Sarvas’ most crucial assist came in extra time during MLS Cup when he delivered a pinpoint ball over the top to Robbie Keane for the championship-clinching goal.  

Sarvas and his midfield partner Juninho will not doubt have every opportunity to build upon a campaign that saw them crowned the preeminent midfield tandem in Major League Soccer. Once again, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena is expected to call upon Sarvas to provide the offensive output with his timely ability to cover ground while Juninho holds it all together. If this pair can be successful once more, there’s no reason that LA won’t contend for yet another title.

How would you rate Marcelo Sarvas’ 2014 season? Read my review of the Galaxy midfielders on LAGalaxy.com while also commenting and voting below. 

29 December 5:39 pm

CARSON, Calif. – No member of the LA Galaxy showed more growth and progress in 2015 than outside back Robbie Rogers.

In 2013, Rogers struggled with injuries en route to a disappointing season while also dealing with the scrutiny of being the first openly gay professional athlete in a major American sport. A year later, the story was far different for the 26-year-old as Rogers settled into a new role as the club’s left back amid injuries to veteran options Todd Dunivant and James Riley.  At the end of the season, Rogers solidified himself as one of the finest left backs in MLS as he was a vital part in the LA Galaxy’s MLS Cup winning squad with 24 appearances in all MLS competitions with three assists.

As important as 2014 was for the defender, 2015 could be even bigger for Rogers as he looks to not further his development as an outside back, but also continue his push for a place on the U.S. National Team. With Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad needing depth at left back ahead of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup in light of DaMarcus Beasley’s international retirement, Rogers may find a spot in the USMNT’s depth chart. 

How would you rate Robbie Rogers' 2014 performance? Read my review of the LA Galaxy defenders while voting and commenting below. 

27 December 6:28 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Brazilian center back Leonardo is no strange to scorn from LA Galaxy fans, but in 2014, the defender made major strides that may see him start 2015 as the principal partner beside Omar Gonzalez.

Free of the injury issues that plagued him during his first four seasons with the club, Leonardo became a regular in Bruce Arena’s lineup as the Brazilian made 24 appearances and 20 starts—each of which were career-highs. Leonardo also added a goal which was his first tally since the 2011 campaign.

Although Leonardo struggled at times—LA’s CONCACAF Champions League second leg against Club Tijuana was a particularly difficult game—the Brazilian defender showed steady improvement over the course of the season. During the last three months of the team’s campaign in particular, Leonardo blossomed into one of the team’s finest defenders as his physicality and passing ability were vital to LA’s postseason campaign.  In addition to his ability to shut down opposing offenses, Leonardo also developed a tendency to push forward into the attack to give the team numbers on set pieces.

Next season, the onus will be on the frequently maligned central defender to stake a claim as Bruce Arena’s primary option alongside Omar Gonzalez in the middle of the back four.  To do so, he must continue to be the steady defender of the final months of the season and minimize the mistakes that were apparent at the start of the season.

How would you rate Leonardo’s 2014 season? Read my review of the defenders on LAGalaxy.com and rate his season in the poll and comment section below.

27 December 3:46 pm

CARSON, Calif. – From the last player signed at preseason to a valuable member of a team in the midst of a run to MLS Cup, Dan Gargan’s 2014 season certainly went better than any expected.

In 2014, Gargan set career-highs in appearances (29), starts (27) minutes played (2400), and assists (five) after being signed on Bruce Arena’s final addition after preseason.  Gargan was also a regular during the postseason as he appeared in all five of the Galaxy’s matches, including coming on as a substitute during the extra time of LA’s MLS Cup victory.

During LA’s run to their fifth MLS Cup title, Gargan was a fixture along the right side of defense—while also occasionally filling in at left back—providing steady defense while also using his speed down the flank to aid in the Galaxy counterattack. But what Gargan does for an encore next season remains to be seen.

In MLS, outside back depth is always an asset and with players like Todd Dunivant another year older, Gargan will have every opportunity to fill along both sides of the flank. However much of where Gargan plays relies on the makeup of the back line: if Arena opts for a center back tandem that includes A.J. DeLaGarza at center back, Gargan will likely have more opportunities to play, but if the LA Galaxy defender of the year is moved out wide, the 32-year-old will likely be used as a depth option.

How would you rate Dan Gargan’s 2014 campaign. Read my review of the Galaxy's defenders while also voting and commenting in the section below. 

24 December 8:43 am

Robbie Keane is not heading out on loan in 2015.

At least, that’s what the LA Galaxy’s captain and reigning MLS MVP told reporters at Tallaght Stadium earlier this week when he announced the team’s preseason match against Irish club Shamrock Rovers

A day after his MLS Cup MVP performance that led the Galaxy to their fifth league title, Keane had hinted that he may be looking for another challenge in 2015, but despite several “tempting” offers, the 34-year-old has turned down any chance to go on loan before the LA resume preseason in late January. 

"I've been asked to go on loan. I think you know me, better than anybody, after a few weeks (inactivity) I get the itch. I've got the itch now 100 percent. I was playing five-a-side with me mates 10 days after the Cup final. That’s the way I am.

"I have been asked (to go on loan by a number of Premier League clubs), yeah. And there’s a temptation because I just love playing football,” he added. “There’s a temptation but I just can’t see it happening to be honest with you. It’s not going to happen.”

As for the rationale behind turning down any perspective loans, Keane notes that given his health—he underwent two Achilles surgeries last December—added traction on his 34-year-old legs would be ill advised heading into the Galaxy’s 2015 campaign.

"There’s certainly a temptation because I just love playing so much,” said Keane. “But I've spoken to people and medically it wouldn't make any sense for me.

"It wouldn't probably be fair at this moment after what I put myself through after the operations that I've had. I want to continue for a long time and this is probably my best bet but as I say it’s tempting but, like i say, it’s not going to happen."

22 December 9:06 am

The LA Galaxy will be heading to Europe this preseason when they take on the Republic of Ireland's Shamrock Rovers F.C. at Tallaght Stadium on Feb. 21 at 8 a.m. PT

LA's match against Rovers will see 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane return to his home town of Dublin -- and most specifically Tallaght -- to play Shamrock Rovers, which is the most successful professional club in Irish history.  Rovers have won the League of Ireland 17 times while also  winning the FAI Cup a record 24 times. 

 

19 December 9:17 am

Retired LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan received a lifetime achievement award from Univision during their Premios Unvision Deportes which aired on Thursday night. 

A visibly emotional Donovan was presented the award by MLS commissioner Don Garber while presenters Ivan Kasanzew and Enrique “Perro” Bermudez showed Donovan a video of fans from across the country thanking him for his soccer exploits.  The MLS and U.S. Soccer scoring leader then went on to give a speech in which he thanked several including the kids that he grew up playing soccer with who helped inspire him to learn Spanish. 

Although the video is entirely in Spanish, it's worth a watch given how emotional Donovan became at receiving such a distinct honor. 

Check it out above.

19 December 8:45 am

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will go from the final MLS game of 2014 to the very first of the 2015 season. 

Major League Soccer announced on Friday morning that the Galaxy will host the Chicago Fire on Friday, March 6 at StubHub Center in a match that will air on Unimas at 7:00 p.m. PT.  LA have hosted Chicago once before to start the season back in March 2013 when the Galaxy were also returning MLS Cup champions. 

The Galaxy are 9-8-2 in all opening matches. 

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Excited for the Fire to come to down? Ready to see former Galaxy players Mike Magee, Michael Stephens and Greg Cochrane?

Share your thoughts below.

18 December 12:49 pm

The LA Galaxy passed up the chance to select any players in stage two of the MLS Re-Entry Draft, but the club did lose some of their talent as forward Chandler Hoffman was selected by the Houston Dynamo. 

Hoffman, 24, made eight appearances for the Galaxy first team in 2014, but was unable to tally his first MLS goal. Where the forward found the most success was with USL PRO affiliate LA Galaxy II as he scored 13 goals in 17 games played for Los Dos, which was the third highest tally in the U.S. third division in 2014.

In addition to Hoffman, former Galaxy players Tristan Bowen (New England Revolution) and Nathan Sturgis (Houston Dynamo). 

18 December 10:27 am

CARSON, Calif. – Brian Rowe began his tenure on the LA Galaxy as a third goalkeeper but in his second full season with the club, he’s solidified a place as the club’s number two net minder.

Rowe saw limited action for the Galaxy in 2014, only making three appearances and compiling a 1-0-2 record while top choice Jaime Penedo was away at the 2014 Copa CentroAmericana, but when he did step in goal, he performed ably.  In his three appearances, Rowe maintained one shutout—the very first of his Galaxy career—and showed himself able to make clutch saves when needed as he moved ahead of former No. 2 Brian Perk who dealt with concussion injuries for much of the year.  

Heading into next season, Rowe will likely have every opportunity to further solidify his position and possibly create competition with Penedo as the Panamanian netminder takes part in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. A solid performance in these games will only aid the emerging goalkeeper in his quest to lock down a top job with the club.  

In addition to these games with the first team, Rowe is also expected to be a candidate to suit up for Galaxy II on a regular basis as Los Dos are currently without any ‘keepers on their roster at the moment. These games will only serve to provide confidence for the talented young goalkeeper who has impressed in his brief time with the club.

How would you rate Rowe’s performance in 2014? Read my review of the goalkeepers on LAGalaxy.com and provide him with your own personal rating below.