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24 March 2:26 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Jose Villarreal has blossomed into one of the bright spots of the LA Galaxy’s 2015 campaign, and now that has placed the midfielder back on the radar of the U.S. National Team’s U-23 squad.

The Galaxy have two representatives on Andres Herzog’s U-23 squad as defender Oscar Sorto and Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter made the roster, but Villarreal confirmed that he was initially on that list as well, but declined the opportunity in order to focus on solidifying his role with the Galaxy.

“I spoke to Bruce and said that I just wanted to stay and work with the team because [international call-ups] will come eventually,” Villarreal told LA Galaxy Insider on Monday ahead of the team's D.C. United this weekend. “I personally wanted to stay because I didn’t want to kill the rhythm that I have with the team, and have to come back and need to win my spot again. 

“[International play] will come with the way that I’ve been playing,” he added. “I just have to keep being consistent with the form that I have. The U-23s are a tough group to get into, with a lot of talented players, but I think that if I keep improving then I can make that team.”

After a difficult 2014 season, Villarreal has regained the swagger that made him one of the brightest young talents in MLS just a few seasons ago, even declaring that “there’s no going down from here.”

“There’s nothing that you can ask for other than working hard on the field other than hustling and busting your ass on the field,” said Villarreal. “That’s what most players want from the youngsters so you have to do that no matter what.”

23 March 5:21 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- A.J. DeLaGarza made a major step forward in his recovery from a left foot injury on Sunday by going 90 minutes for LA Galaxy II in their scoreless draw with Real Monarchs SLC, and now that performance could see him return to the lineup for this weekend's match against D.C. United. 

With Bruce Arena and the rest of the Galaxy staff watching from the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium stands, DeLaGarza put in a confident performance as he helped Los Dos keep the Real Salt Lake USL affiliate off the scoreboard. The action was just DeLaGarza's third in-game stint in 2015 as he played briefly during the club's home opener against Chicago Fire and then again in an small scrimmage between the first team and Los Dos a week later. 

"He played well," Arena  said. "He's coming back and needed to get a game in. I think overall, it was a positive showing." 

LA GALAXY YOUNGSTERS HEAD OUT ON INTERNATIONAL DUTY

The LA Galaxy will have three of their bright young stars join U.S. youth national teams during the upcoming international window. 

LA will have two representatives on the U.S. Under-23 squad as defender Oscar Sorto and Galaxy II striker Ariel Lassiter were named to the head coach Andres Hertzog's European camp that will feature matches against Bosnia & Herzegovina's U-23 squad on March 27 and Denmark's U-23's on March 31. Lassiter will be making his first appearance for the U.S. youth squad while Sorto, who trained with the senior national team in January, is expecting to take a leadership role with the squad. 

"I'm going to ge tthere with confidence. I know what the coach wants from each player. I'm feeling very confident that I know how Hertzog wants to prepare and play," said Sorto. "This camp is going to be tough because I know that there will be a lot of players from around the world fighting for positions, but I think it's going to be a fun experience."

While the U-23's are training on the old continent, Galaxy Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson IV and the U.S. Under-20's will train for a week in England. During their training camp in London, Jamieson IV and the rest of Tab Ramos' squad will face Tottenham Hotspur’s U-21 team on March 27 in London, and then England’s Under-21 Men’s National Team on March 29

"It feels good to join the squad. It's going to be great facilities and good competition over there with our two games," said Jamieson. "I love playing in England because soccer is a lifestyle there, and everyone loves the game so it makes it a good place to play."

ALAN GORDON ON TAILGATES AND BEING A FACE TO THE GALAXY SUPPORTERS

No LA Galaxy player this side of David Beckham has ever gone from hated foe to reviered hero faster than Alan Gordon. 

After making a habit of scoring against the Galaxy during his time with Chivas USA and Toronto FC, Gordon morphed into a true villian during his time with the hated San Jose Earthquakes. However, after returning to the club via a trade with San Jose last year, Gordon has endeared himself to LA supporters with five goals in 2014, and another in the early stages of the 2015 season.

Gordon has not only won the hearts of minds of Galaxy fans on the field, however, as he's also displayed a willingness to make his presence felt with supporters by buying pizzas and kegs at Galaxy matches. The 33-year-old was at it again on Sunday when he brought a keg of beer to tailgaters at Galaxy II's season opener. 

For Gordon, who went from enemy to hero faster than any player in Galaxy history, such fan support initatives are incredibly important for him and the team. 

"I was asked to draw some attention to Galaxy II and help bring people to support our young guys. We take a lot of the headlines [with the first team] so we know that we need to have people come out and follow some of our youngest players"

 

23 March 2:29 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II opened their 2015 USL campaign with a scoreless draw against Real Monarchs, but head coach Curt Onalfo believed that his squad deserved far better had they finished their chances. 

For much of the game, Galaxy II were the better side as they routinely tested the Monarchs defense, and forced visiting goalkeeper Lalo Fernandez to make four stops on the evening. Whether it was Travis Bowen, Adonis Amaya or Ariel Lassiter, Galaxy II’s strikers routinely tested the Monarchs defense, but were unable to tally the winner that Los Dos needed.

Even though his team earned a point in their first match of 2015, Onalfo admitted that he felt his group should have taken all three points. 

"When a team comes in and drops those types of numbers behind the ball, it's an exercise in breaking down low pressure so the chances are few and far between. On the circumstances, we created enough chances but we just rushed it a little bit," Curt Onalfo told LAGalaxy.com. "The field was a little tight so it makes it a little bit more difficult, but having said that, we didn't give much away and we just have to figure out ways be sharper and find ways to break down low pressure."

Although Onalfo was somewhat frustrated about his young forwards inability to break down the Monarchs defensive line, he still had praise for Amaya who was making his first professional start. 

"He’s a solid player and is adjusting to the pace of the game which is normal given where he’s coming from," said Onalfo. "He’s a very smart player though and you can tell that he’s going to continue to progress."

22 March 8:20 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- A.J. DeLaGarza made a major step forward in his injury recovery by going 90 minutes for LA Galaxy II in their scoreless draw with Real Monarchs SLC on Sunday evening at StubHub Center. 

DeLaGarza started in central defense for Los Dos as Galaxy II were rarely tested by the Real Salt Lake affiliate who were playing in their first-ever match.The appearance was DeLaGarza's longest of 2015 as the defender made just a brief cameo for the Galaxy first team in their opening match after missing much of the preseason with a left foot injury. 

Although DeLaGarza was rarely tested, the match nearly turned dark for the defender as he appeared to injury his ankle in stoppage time after a late challenge by a Real Monarchs defender. 

"90 minutes of time as a center back is probably just 45 minutes fitness wise for an outside back, but I felt fine," said A.J. DeLaGarza. They didn't have many chances in our half where we were running too much. I felt like as a group we were organized and we didn't really allow them anything. At the end of the game, one of their young guys tried to make a play as I was going to clear the ball, and he just ran through my ankle. I honestly thought it popped out, but thankfully nothing bad happened and I just jogged off."

20 March 1:54 pm

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane will have an opportunity to take an old rival from England on Saturday when he faces the Owen Coyle coached Houston Dynamo.

Appointed the Dynamo manager in the offseason, the Scottish-born coach spent the majority of his coaching career in England where he took on the Galaxy’s Irish captain a number of times.  

“I know Owen Coyle very well. [He’s] a very, very good manager, enthusiastic. He'll have his players ready for the game,” Keane said. “We’re playing at home though; the most important thing is to continue the way we’ve played at home. Attack people and score goals.”

 Keane admits that Coyle coached teams will not be easy, however.

“They’re very enthusiastic, lot of energy. Look at Owen himself, he was like that as a player and certainly as a manager,” Keane said. “It will be a tough game, well-organized. I’m delighted he’s in this league because I’ve always respected him.”

BRUCE ARENA EXPLAINS CHARLIE RUGG LOAN TO INDY ELEVEN

The LA Galaxy sent third year forward Charlie Rugg on loan to NASL club Indy Eleven on Wednesday, and a day later, Bruce Arena elaborated on the move that he hopes gives the forward added experience.

“It was a variety of reasons,” Arena explained. “There’s not much of a story right now to tell, but the NASL is theoretically a stronger league and a little better competition for Charlie. We hope it will help him grow.”

LA GALAXY II AND U.S. U-17 GOALKEEPER ERIC LOPEZ TRAINS WITH LA GALAXY FIRST TEAM

The LA Galaxy Academy product Eric Lopez trained with the first team on Thursday after returning from a stint with the U.S. Under-17 national team.

The 16-year-old Lopez who has been a part of the U.S. Residency Program for a year, but with the team on a two-week spring break, the youngster had a chance to train with LA’s first team.

“It was a different experience. Training with the first team is much harder and much faster than the youth level,” Lopez told LA Galaxy Insider. “I feel like I can get used to it quickly though, but it’s a much different experience.”

Lopez wasn’t the only youth goalkeeper to be training in the Galaxy system on Thursday as Mexico U-17 ‘keeper Abraham Romero trained with Los Dos after leading El Tri to a berth to the U-17 World Cup.

20 March 12:25 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo this Saturday in their third match of the 2015 MLS regular season. 

In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, we take a look at the club's recent struggles against the Dynamo.

Check it out below. 

19 March 3:01 pm

Former Los Angeles Lakers fan favorite Metta World Peace is an LA Galaxy fan?

Who knew. 

In a video for the website "Funny or Die" World Peace (formerly known as Ron Artest, and occassionally referred to as 'The Pandas Friend) gives his selections for the 2015 March Madness Division I Men's Basketball Tournament, and he includes a special shoutout to the five-time MLS Cup champions. 

Check it out below.

19 March 1:35 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Amigraine prevented Jaime Penedo from starting the LA Galaxy’s clash with the Portland Timbers last week, but the Panamanian goalkeeper admits that he is fit and ready to start if called upon to face the Houston Dynamo on Saturday.

Migraines have been a sporadic ailment for Penedo over the past 10 years, but last Sunday’s game was the first time that the Panamanian had missed out on a match due to the issue. However, it’s not the migraine itself that rendered Penedo unable to play, but the pain medication that the 33-year-old takes that caused him to miss out on the game in Portland.

“I take a medicine to relieve the migraines but the medicine knocks me out. On Sunday, the problem was that I didn’t know if I should or shouldn’t take it [or not],” Penedo said. “I didn’t take it in the beginning and I was hoping an Aleeve would help me with the pain but it didn’t. My head was in pain so I had to take the medication, and 45 minutes later, my migraine was gone, but I felt woozy and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to play. I feel good now though.”

Although Penedo felt some migraine symptoms earlier in the week, the Panamanian says that he has practiced for three days without any lingering effects which could mean that he returns to the starting XI this weekend.

“I feel ready. I trained very well over the last few days, but now I’m ready. I was very disappointed that I couldn’t start; especially considering that Bruce Arena gave me the opportunity but it was taken away due to the migraine. I’m ready and I need to play so I await the coach’s decision.”

18 March 3:45 pm

CARSON, Calif. – A.J. DeLaGarza could be back in the starting XI soon as the veteran LA Galaxy defender has made a full recovery from a nagging left foot injury.

DeLaGarza’s injury kept the center back out of commission for much of the preseason, but he was able to make a brief cameo during the team’s season opener against the Chicago Fire. A week later, DeLaGarza was an unused substitute in LA’s 2-2 draw against the Portland Timbers, but according to Bruce Arena, DeLaGarza is “very close” to returning to the lineup.

“I missed the entire preseason, but I got 60 minutes in a [closed-door scrimmage] against Galaxy II last week," DeLaGarza said. "There’s no better way to get fit then actually playing. Hopefully soon, I can get back out there, and hopefully suffer no setbacks.”

Provided there aren’t any steps backward, DeLaGarza believes that he could be ready to start as soon as this Saturday’s game against the Houston Dynamo.

“I want to get a game in as soon as possible, I want to be out there because this is my livelihood,” DeLaGarza said. “The fun part of this job is playing in competitive matches, and if Bruce calls me up this weekend then I’ll be ready to play.”

18 March 12:25 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II forward Charlie Rugg is on the move once more as NASL side Indy Eleven announced that the 24-year-old was departing on loan for the entirety of the 2015 NASL season.

The move will be Rugg's second stint with Indy Eleven after making five appearances for the NASL club last Fall. During his time with the club, Rugg notched a goal and an assist while helping the team rack up a five game unbeaten run. 

“The 2014 season was undoubtedly an important one for the development of my professional career. I grew a lot playing with LA Galaxy II, but I feel that my short time here in Indy was equally important and a good note to end on,” said Rugg in an Indy Eleven press release.  “I'd like to pick up where I left off and use this year to continue to grow as well as help Indy Eleven stand out in the NASL.”
 
According to Indy Eleven, Rugg began training with the club on Wednesday and will be available once the team opens up the NASL season on April 4 against the Atlanta Silverbacks.