MLS Regular Season
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- Anyone took a gander at the LA Galaxy's 1-1 draw with the Chicago Fire on Sunday at Toyota Park could see the frustration and exhaustion on the faces of players from both sides.
Throughout the match players seemed tenative to make their usual attacking runs as the humidity appeared to dissuade members of both teams to press forward. With the humidity proving overwhelming, the game turned into a slog -- one that forced Dan Gargan to exit with heat exhaustion -- and ultimately ended in a 1-1 draw.
After the match, I spoke to Galaxy captain Robbie Keane about the conditions and it's impact on the game, and did not mince words.
“I don’t know who makes these f*****g stupid decisions. Play a f*****g game at three o’clock in the afternoon," Keane said. "Who wants to watch that crap? Do you? I don’t want to watch that crap. These people who haven’t got a clue about soccer make these decisions when we play a game. Why not play at eight o’clock? It wasn’t on national television.
"It’s so stupid. They need to look at these games and use their head and be clever. No player wants to play in that humidity. Everyone was affected by the heat. Why would you want to play at three o’clock in the afternoon?" he added. "On the hottest day of the year so far here in Chicago, knowing it is going to be that hot. And you can’t blame the Kings-Hawks game because you didn’t know that was going to happen until two days ago. This is absolutely ridiculous. We have to stop. We have to listen to the players instead of listening to people who have never kicked a soccer ball in their whole life.”
BRIDGEVIEW, Ill. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to the media following the Galaxy's 1-1 tie with the Chicago Fire.
Check it out below...
(On the match...)
“Awful game today. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve told the league when it’s this hot and humid in Chicago in June, we don’t want to play afternoon games. This is not fair for the players. It’s difficult. It’s not fair for the fans. We shouldn’t be playing this game at this time. Difficult, difficult game for the players to deal with.”
(On players suffering from the heat...)
ARENA: “Difficult conditions. You can’t play these games this early in the afternoon.”
(On Robbie Rogers play...)
ARENA: “Rogers played very well. He did a good job for us.”
(On Landon Donovan’s goal...)
ARENA: “Not his best day but he got a goal and he hung in there for 90 minutes so that was good. It was a lousy game today. There’s no other way to put it. I think Chicago played a little bit better than us, but the conditions were difficult for both teams and it made for a not-good game.”
(On the penalty kick against LA...)
ARENA: “If a referee doesn’t see it, he shouldn’t call it. If he thinks he saw it, then fair enough. It may have been a foul but it was probably outside the penalty area. I don’t know how they do that without discussing it between the linesman and the referee. And if they did then they got it wrong.”
(On getting a point on the road...)
ARENA: “[Happy] we got the point. We’ll take the point and get out of Chicago.”
CHICAGO -- LA Galaxy midfielder Baggio Husidic got an opportunity to return to his old stomping grounds with his new club on Saturday as the LA Galaxy trained at his former college, the University of Illinois-Chicago as they prepare to take on his old team, the Chicago Fire.
Husidic was a standout for the Flames during his three years at UIC before joining the Fire and remaining there until a trade to the Colorado Rapids prompted him to move to Sweden. To date, the 27-year-old has enjoyed a strong season with the Galaxy with 10 appearances -- eight of them being starts -- and one goal, and will likely be in contention to start against the Fire on Sunday.
"It's nice. I've spent a lot of time here and it's great to be back," Husidic said after training. "It's always nice to be back home."
In the latest edition of "By the Numbers" we look at the LA Galaxy's match against the Chicago Fire.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – Marcelo Sarvas is back from injury and ready to be called upon for the LA Galaxy.
The Brazilian has been sidelined since suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament left knee since last month, but has been steadily regaining fitness even going 60 minutes in LA Galaxy II’s 5-0 victory over the Oklahoma City Energy FC on Sunday. Sarvas faces a challenge if he'll return to the starting lineup for Sunday's match against the Chicago Fire, however, as Kenny Walker and Juninho have formed a strong partnership in the Galaxy's two-game winning streak.
Although Sarvas declared himself fit and ready to go after suiting up for Los Dos, he is leaving the final decision to Arena.
“I feel good. Bruce will decide [if I can play]. I just want to be with the 18,” said Sarvas. “Getting on the field is another thing.”
Robbie Keane to miss Chivas USA match to join up with Ireland for matches against Costa Rica and Portugal
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will be without the services of Robbie Keane for their June 8 match against Chivas USA after the forward told reporters on Thursday that he will be reporting for the Republic of Ireland’s friendlies against Costa Rica and Portugal in the United States.
Keane told reporters that he’ll join up with the Irish National Team in Philadelphia ahead of their match against Costa Rica at PPL Park on June 6, following the Galaxy’s match against the Chicago Fire on Sunday at Toyota Park. Ireland will take on the United States’ Group G opponent Portugal on June 10 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Although the callup will force Keane to miss the Galaxy’s final game before the international break, the Galaxy captain said that the conversations between club and country went smoothly.
“Really, I should have been gone for four games because international teams have a priority in these situations when it is an international fixture on the schedule,” said Keane. “Ireland and Bruce spoke and they were happy if I played two games for the Galaxy and miss the Chivas game, that way I was missing two for Ireland and playing two for Ireland.
“I’m grateful for both teams and it’s one of those situations where I have to sit back and let the teams discuss it,” he added. “Of course, I want to be in both places and playing for both, but unfortunately, the way that schedule works. At the same time, it’s a good chance for [younger] players in Ireland to get games and experience.”
SAN FRANCISCO – Once again, it was the man in the No. 10 shirt that played the hero for the U.S. National Team.
Only this time it wasn’t Landon Donovan, it was bold Norwegian-American midfielder Mix Diskerud who proved decisive in the Americans 2-0 victory over Azerbaijan on Tuesday.
In his first match donning the No. 10—a decision that U.S. Soccer insists is not finalized—Diskerud had an immediate impact after coming off the bench after the our mark. In the 75th minute, the midfielder found himself at the right place at the right time as he pounced on a rebound created by a Michael Bradley shot and gave the Americans their first goal in their 2-0 win.
Such clutch scoring has been a hallmark of Donovan’s career and Diskerud offered the USMNT a glimpse of life without the USMNT’s all-time leading goal scorer in the first match of their “Send-Off Series” prior to the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Although Diskerud knows that the decision for him to don the No. 10 in Brazil is not set, the midfielder is relishing the chance to wear the number.
“It’s an honor for me,” Diskerud told reporters. “If you look back at all the players who’ve been wearing No. 10 – Tab Ramos, Claudio Reyna and Landon Donovan – so for me, I’m just sort of borrowing it. I’m for sure going to play with Landon again, so he’ll get it back then. No. 10 is just a number, but I understand that a lot of people see it as more than that.
“But I don’t play for the number on the back,” he added. ‘I play for the U.S. crest on my front chest.”
The stellar performances of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane against the Philadelphia Union earned the LA Galaxy strikers a place on MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week.
Donovan, who tallied two goals – including the record breaking goal No. 135 that cemented him as MLS regular season goal king – in the victory was also named as MLS’ Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters. Keane notched a goal and two assists in the victory to bring his scoring total to seven goals and three assists in the 2014 MLS regular season.
In addition to the Galaxy strikers, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was named as the coach for MLSsoccer.com’s Team of the Week squad.
Everyone been rushing to honor Landon Donovan's record-breaking 135th -- and 136th -- MLS Regular Season goal, but my personal favorite is this animation by Howler Magazine.
The graphic depicts Donovan's trademark penalty kick style and celebrates his new record.
Check it out below.