Omar Gonzalez among three LA Galaxy players on yellow card watch heading into Seattle Sounders FC match
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are heading into their Western Conference Championship series with Seattle Sounders FC with a boatload of confidence after the way that they dispatched Real Salt Lake, but three players will need to be cautious heading into the first leg.
Landon Donovan, Robbie Rogers, and Omar Gonzalez are both on yellow card watch heading into Sunday’s first leg. Should either of the three earn a caution from referee Kevin Stott, they will miss out on next week’s second leg at CenturyLink Field. It bears mentioning, however, that no player can be suspended for MLS Cup based on yellow card accumulation.
While Donovan and Rogers are at risk, Gonzalez faces a particular challenge as he looks to avoid a yellow card and mark dynamic strikers Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey.
“I have to be very smart with how I defend and how aggressive I am,” said Gonzalez. “But having said that, I have to leave it all on the field and not worry about the referees or about anything out of my control. I have to worry about how I show up, how I approach the game and how focused I am over 90 minutes."
The LA Galaxy have long been one of the banner clubs in MLS and it’s no surprise that they were well-represented in MLSsoccer.com’s All-Time Playoff XI.
The league’s website released their list on Monday with the Conference Championships starting later this week. Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2005, 2011, 2012) leads the charge for the Galaxy contingent which includes Chris Armas (LA Galaxy MLS Cup finalist in 1996), Todd Dunivant (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2005, 2011, 2012), and Brian Mullan (LA Galaxy MLS Cup champion in 2002).
Included in the list of honorable mentions are LA legends Mauricio Cienfuegos, Kevin Hartman and Cobi Jones as well as Galaxy MLS Cup winners Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez and Ned Grabavoy.
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CARSON, Calif. –Real Salt Lake’s speedy diminutive striker Joao Plata gave the LA Galaxy fits during their Western Conference Semifinal first leg, but once the second leg rolls around on Sunday, LA are confident that they can shut down the Ecuadorian.
Plata was the main conduit in the Salt Lake attack during Saturday’s first leg at Rio Tinto Stadium as he repeatedly stretched the Galaxy back four while notching a pair of shots on frame. The Ecuadorian, who notched 13 goals and six assists during the regular season, also had a pair of goals negated by offside calls including one which was shown to be onside according to television replays.
After tussling with Plata over the course of 90 minutes, Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez says that he’s ready for a challenge on Sunday.
“Plata’s a special player. He’s small and he’s always in my blind side. He’s quick. We just have to be aware of where he’s at. Don’t let him start sprinting freely. Give him a little bump but not too much because the slightest touch can tip him over," said Gonzalez. “Last game the referee (Silviu Petrescu) told me, ‘You’re just so much bigger than him. What do you want me to do?’ When I hear the ref tell me that it’s kind of difficult to do my job.”
But how does Gonzalez plan to account for Plata -- and the officials -- in a match where one goal by Salt Lake could see the Galaxy's season end prematurely?
"I'm just going to do my job," he said. "I can't worry about the referee and our whole team is over being worried about the referees. We're going to worry about approaching the game with the right mindset. We know that it'll be a challenge against Real Salt Lake for 90 minutes plus and we have to be ready for them."
Bruce Arena leaving Omar Gonzalez's status for FC Dallas match up to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is scheduled to be back in the fold for the LA Galaxy after appearing in Friday’s U.S. National Team match against Ecuador, but could Omar Gonzalez also be back in the lineup for the FC Dallas match?
According to Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, the final decision will be left to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on whether or not Gonzalez will rejoin the Galaxy or stay with the U.S. for their Oct. 14 friendly against Honduras in Florida.
“The decision will be made by the coach and what he thinks is in the best interest of his team and everything that he needs to do,” said Arena. “This is not an easy situation for a national team coach when he can’t rely on the domestic players because of the league. It’s not easy on anyone so he doesn’t need to be bugged by me during the week. It’s an awkward situation for everyone.
“It’s difficult on a national team coach and the best way to [fix the problem] would be to honor international dates if we can get to that point with our league, so that it doesn’t become such a challenge for everybody to make it work”
CARSON, Calif. -- No player in MLS knows Jermain Defoe quite like his former Tottenham Hotspur teammate Robbie Keane, and as he prepares to lead playoff hopeful Toronto FC into StubHub Center, Keane understands that LA will have their hands full with the Englishman.
After missing the last two months with a hamstring injury, Defoe is expected to be available for selection when Toronto take on the Galaxy on Saturday. Although he's missed the last six games for TFC, he's still the team's leading goal scorer with 11 goals for the Reds.
"He's a fantastic player and a typical goal scorer. He can score many different types of goals and can finish all over the field," said Keane. "I bet that he's excited to get playing and I know that he doesn't like to be injured, so he'll be dangerous if he gets on the field, but I hope that he won't do too well against us."
Trumpted as a top tier signing in the offseason, Defoe's time with Toronto has been a turbulent one with the player repeatedly linked to a move back to his native England. Although rumors have swirled about Defoe's commitment to TFC, Keane says that his former teammate remains a valuable asset for Toronto.
"I wouldn't say that he's had a difficult time because when he's played, he's done well," added Keane. "You can't help injuries which is just part of what we do. People are simply saying that he's not adapting because of the speculation of him moving somewhere else. If you look at how he's played, he's scored goals."
As for the business of marking Defoe, Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez believes that much like New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, LA will be need to be mindful of his presence in the penalty area if they're to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games.
"Defoe is a great player, but we have to be focused on ourselves. If we can make Toronto run and chase the game by having possession than that's great. However as soon as we lose the ball, we have to be mindful of the space behind us because that's where he's the most deadly. He's a tricky player, but I'm sure that we have guys that can handle him."
Omar Alejandro Gonzalez has excelled on the soccer field, but now he's looking to extend his reach to the film industry with his directorial debut in "Every Dog Has Its Day."
The defender turned director released his venture into filmmaking on Sunday with a adventure film detailing the trip of six friends to an unknown land. The brief film is a true tour de force. In EDHID, we get a chance to see Omar Alejandro's skills at not only piloting a DJII drone helicopter, but also several miles of rich Rancho Palos Verdes coastline.
Omar Alejandro displays a unique talent for incorporating Mother Nature into the story line while also interspersing several exciting cameos like LA Galaxy midfielder Baggio Husidic and man on a boat. It's no surprise that Omar Alejandro's work has already earned selection into the "Brendan Hannan Film Festival" and the coveted "ACB Choice" award.
All in all, the film is a triumph for Supporters' Shield films and has to be awarded FOUR paws up.
EVERY DOG HAS ITS DAY
Rating: D (for strong dog related content and questionable beach attire)
Genre: Mystery & Suspense & Adventure
Directed By: Omar Alejandro
Written By: Omar Alejandro
In Theaters: YouTube
Box Office: Unknown
Runtime: 1 minute and 34 seconds
CARSON, Calif. -- After their 4-0 shellacking of the New York Red Bulls, it's no surprise that the LA Galaxy are well represented on MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week.
Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez were each named to MLSsoccer.com's squad for their role in LA's victory. In the win against New York, Keane tallied twice to set a new personal single season MLS career high of 17 goals while Gonzalez was vital in helping LA notch their ninth shutout of the season. Donovan took home top honors being named MLS Player of the Week after tallying three assists and one goal en route to tying Steve Ralston's all-time MLS assist record of 135.
Also receiving recognition was Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena who was named 'Coach of the Week" while Jaime Penedo earned an honorable mention for his six save performance in the win.
LA Galaxy defenders Robbie Rogers and Omar Gonzalez were named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on Monday for their performance in the club's 2-1 victory over FC Dallas.
Rogers enjoyed a stellar evening along the left side -- and even garnered some U.S. National Team buzz from captain Robbie Keane -- while Gonzalez helped shutdown the FCD attack. Meanwhile, Robbie Keane was placed on the Team of the Week bench for his goal and assist against Dallas.
The complete team is below.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on an old friend on Wednesday in former LA defender Sean Franklin.
Drafted by the Galaxy in 2008, Franklin spent the last six years with the club and played a major role in the Galaxy sides that won back to back MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012, before joining D.C. United via the Re-Entry Draft process last December. Franklin won't be the only familiar face in Black-and-Red on Wednesday as he'll be joined by defender Kofi Opare who was dealt to D.C. United last month from LA, but is not expected to play a role against the Galaxy.
"It'll be nice if I get the chance to go up against him. I did get the chance to play against him in the All-Star Game which was nice because he did really, really well. We're all really happy for him."
Added Omar Gonzalez, "It's going to be fun to see him. He's been having a great season and I'm very happy for him, but hopefully we can shut him down tomorrow."
CARSON, Calif. — Omar Gonzalez found the back of the net for the first time in 2014 during Friday’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, but the LA Galaxy center back was smiling after the result.
Despite a comprehensive performance against their archrivals, the Galaxy were forced to battle back from a pair of deficits after a pair of quick transition goals by San Jose. During both San Jose tallies, Gonzalez—and the rest of the Galaxy defense— were caught out of position as the Earthquakes notched a pair of counterattack goals.
“[It was] not one of his better games,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena of Gonzalez’s performance after the draw. “I think he could’ve defended a little bit better on the two goals, but they obviously weren’t too dangerous going forward and somehow we managed to concede two goals. That’s the story line.”
Gonzalez redeemed himself in the 49th minute when he broke free of Atiba Harris on a corner kick and placed a Stefan Ishizaki effort off the pitch and into the bottom corner of the Earthquakes net. Set piece finishes have become a specialty of Gonzalez, who has drawn considerable pressure from opposing defenses since his memorable tally in the 2012 MLS Cup final.
“I finally got my goal,” said Gonzalez. “When players don’t hold on to me [on set pieces], I can find the ball, so I’m happy that I could get open, and get my head on the ball.”
Even though he broke free against San Jose, Gonzalez doesn’t expect to be as open in the future.
“I definitely expect the [defenders] to be holding me. That’s the way it is,” said Gonzalez. “My job is to make the run, and it’s up to the referee to see that. I will just keep on doing that, and I’m sure I will keep getting held.”