MLS Regular Season
In the latest edition of "By the Numbers" LAGalaxy.com looks ahead to Saturday's clash between the Galaxy and Real Salt Lake.
Check it out below.
In the latest edition of Cobi's Corner, Gyasi Zardes talks to LA Galaxy legend Cobi Jones about his second year in MLS, his well-known hairdo and more.
Check it out below.
Thursday Notes: Real Salt Lake getting healthy ahead of LA Galaxy clash, New York City FC unveil logo
The LA Galaxy can expect to face a close to full-strength Real Salt Lake when the two teams kick off on Saturday.
In a conversation with reporters in Utah, RSL head coach Jeff Cassar stated that starters Javier Morales and Nick Rimando are are all improving health-wise ahead of their home opener against the Galaxy.
However, RSL still have a few question marks as starting center back Chris Schuler is still a question mark who Cassar says is "getting healthier every day" while fellow defender Aaron Maund is also unlikely to play. If Schuler and Maund are unable to play then Salt Lake may resort to using youngster Chris Schuler alongside Nat Borchers in central defense.
Below is additional news from around MLS:
*The Professional Referee Organization reached a collective bargining agreement with the Pro Soccer Referee's Assocation on Thursday, which will have the league's normal officials returning to action this week.
*Seattle Sounders FC announced that they will be ending their business partnership with the Seattle Seahawks, who they have shared operations with since 2007. Despite making the move, Seattle will still play at CenturyLink Field.
*The Colorado Rapids waived long-time goalkeeper Matt Pickens on Thursday. Pickens backstopped the Rapids to their lone MLS Cup triumph in 2010.
*New York City FC unveiled their new logo ahead of their inaugural 2015 season at the adidas headquarters in the New York neighborhood of Soho. The fan-chosen logo is inspired by a New York City subway token.
— New York City FC (@NYCFC) March 21, 2014
CARSON, Calif. – The bitter taste of Tuesday’s disappointing defeat to Club Tijuana has not yet dissipated for the LA Galaxy, but now as they look ahead to their match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, they’re hoping to use their poor showing as motivation as they return to league play.
With the nightmare opening 30 minutes that led to a 4-2 loss to Tijuana still in their mind, LA understand that a strong start at Rio Tinto Stadium is vital if they’re going to earn their first league result of the year.
“If our mentality is better from the start, we’re very capable of getting a result there [in Salt Lake],” said Landon Donovan who started LA’s 4-2 defeat to Club Tijuana on Tuesday. “I think the guys are fired up and disappointed form Tuesday and we want to go put in a real good performance in Salt Lake.”
The match against RSL marks the second time in a two week span that the Galaxy will on Jeff Cassar’s side after LA dropped a 1-0 result in their home opener on March 8. In that match, the Galaxy outplayed Salt Lake, but ultimately poor finishing proved to be their undoing in the defeat.
As frustrating as that defeat to RSL may have been, it won’t be on the mind of Donovan once the Galaxy kick off on Saturday.
“What is fresh in our mind is Tuesday. The way that we started that game is not indicative of the team that we are,” said Donovan. “We’re very talented and we know that, but if we don’t compete then we can get beat especially against good teams."
It's week two of the MLS season and even though the LA Galaxy will not be playing, MLS Fantasy participants will be keeping a close eye on the action.
In my first week, "The LA Galaxy Insider" fantasy team finished with a total of 52 points in what was a disappointing week, but according to MLS Fantasy guru Ben Jata, just above average. Thanks to the Galaxy's scoreless performance against Real Salt Lake and zero points from starting midfielder Oriol Rosell, my team managed only 54 points and finished the week ranked No. 267 in the Los Angeles Galaxy group. The showing could have been even worse if it wasn't for 12 points from Chivas USA midfielder Mauro Rosales and 11 points from FC Dallas forward Blas Perez.
Betting heavily on LA wasn't the only issue for my team in week one as I also selected two players from the New England Revolution, who were demolished 4-0 by the Houston Dynamo in week one.
My performance from the first week is below.
Well, out with the old and in with the new.
With the Galaxy on a bye this week, my two transfers were to remove Robbie Keane and Juninho from the starting lineup, while I replaced A.J. DeLaGarza with Houston Dynamo full back Kofi Sarkodie. To replace Keane, I opted for Dynamo forward Will Bruin, who tallied 15 points in week one with two goals and one assist. Bruin and Sarkodie appear to be safe selections as the Dynamo prepare to take on a Montreal side that is coming off a 3-2 defeat to FC Dallas. In that defeat, the Impact struggled to contain Perez, making Bruin a safe play heading into the second week of the season.
Meanwhile, Juninho was switched out for new Vancouver Whitecaps FC Designated Player Pedro Morales who takes on Chivas USA at StubHub Center on Sunday after scoring a goal and an assist in a substitute performance during Vancouver's 4-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls. Although the Rojiblancos were victorious on a late goal last week, they were frequently tested by the Chicago Fire attack and should be pressured early and often by a Vancouver offense that smashed the defending Supporters' Shield winning Red Bulls last week. If needing some punch in your attack, signing Morales appears to be a safe option as he is likely to be in the starting lineup against Chivas.
My team for the second week of MLS Fantasy is below.
What changes are you making to your lineup? What position are you in at the moment?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s comments from the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
(On his general thoughts from the game…)
ARENA: “Obviously a disappointing result, but I thought that it was a good game between two good teams. They made the most of their opportunities but we had a couple of good chances as well. I think Rimando was outstanding and certainly saving the penalty in extra time was outstanding and the play of the game. We could have got a goal or two tonight, but I think that both teams played pretty well.”
ARENA: “Samuel had a good night, I thought. His first game in the league and I thought that he worked really hard. I was surprised that he went as long as he did and was as strong as he was on the evening. I’m encouraged by his effort.”
(On James Riley’s play…)
ARENA: “James played well. He’s a good player; we discovered that early in camp. He’s going to be a valuable member of our team this year.”
(On whether the team wasted chances like they did in 2013…)
ARENA: “It was a 1-0 game. They had some good chances, but we did as well. We didn’t finish any of our chances and with the penalty at the end of the game, what more can you say? Those are wasted chances. We should have gotten at least a point out of this game.”
(On Penedo’s play…)
ARENA: “Jaime played well. The two goalkeepers were outstanding tonight.”
(On what the Galaxy did well…)
ARENA: “For the most part, we defended pretty well. At times, our passing was quick and sharp but at other times, it was not. In the first half… there were good chances and there was good ball movement and for the most part, the play was pretty solid. You could see at the end of the game that a couple of our players hit the wall and that we needed to have more energy.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The MLS season may have just started, but LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is already in midseason form.
Check out his impressive stops that he made during the first half of LA's season opener with RSL below.
LA Galaxy's Bruce Arena and James Riley weigh in on MLS opening up the season with replacement referees
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.”
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.
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.