LA Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo says Ariel Lassiter has the tools to be a "big time player" at the USL PRO and MLS level
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy II bolstered their attack on Sunday by signing Ariel Lassiter who is the son of former MLS goal scoring legend Roy Lassiter.
The 20-year-old attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 2013 where he appeared in 21 games, tallying five goals and four assists. Lassiter’s efforts helped him earn the Big West Conference All-Freshman team. A year later, Lassiter made the move to Sweden with Superettan side GAIS where he made 12 appearances with a single goal.
But before he was succeeding in Europe, Onalfo noticed during his time at Cal Poly that Lassiter had the talent to contribute on not only a USL PRO level, but an MLS level as well.
“He’s a talented attacking player who is very fast. He’s very polished and when I watched him play in college two years ago, he came on as a reserve, and as soon he stepped on the field, I thought ‘whoa who is this kid,’” Onalfo recalled to LA Galaxy Insider. “Soon I realized that he was Roy’s son. You could just see that he has all the physical and technical tools to be a big time player. Now it’s just about teaching him the right way to do it and watching him progress.
“The kid is very talented and it’s going to be exciting project to watch him grow and watch him develop.”
LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Gyasi Zardes made his international debut on Wednesday going 22 minutes for the U.S. National Team in their 3-2 defeat to Chile in Rancagua.
Brek Shea put the U.S. up with an early goal only six minutes into the match, but the Chileans soon equalized as Roberto Gutiérrez scored just four minutes later. New Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore gave the Americans the lead after 31 minutes to give hope to Jurgen Klinsmann’s side heading into the second half.
The lead did not hold, however, as Mark González found the back of the net in the 66th minute after a flurry of chances for the home side were turned away by USMNT goalkeeper Nick Rimando. After the Chileans brought the score level, Klinsmann opted to insert Zardes to create some offensive punch, but La Roja’s attack proved too strong as they edged ahead on another tally from Gonzalez in the 75th minute.
The U.S. National Team will play their second and final match of their annual January camp on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center.
Bruce Arena anticipates the LA Galaxy get "a player or two" after target Sacha Kljestan goes to New York Red Bulls
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s pursuit of U.S. international Sacha Kljestan officially fell short on Wednesday as the midfielder signed with the New York Red Bulls.
The Galaxy traded up to the third spot in the league’s allocation order earlier this year in what was reported to be a move to acquire the former Chivas USA attacker. However, the script changed on Tuesday when the Red Bulls climbed to the top of the allocation order after completing a trade with the Montreal Impact.
After the Galaxy’s 2-0 closed-door scrimmage victory over Ventura County Fusion on Wednesday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that LA are still looking to acquire players and only plan on using their allocation spot if the right fit comes along.
“I would anticipate that we get a player or two,” Arena who also confirmed that the Galaxy were interested in acquiring Kljestan told reporters. “But it doesn’t necessarily need to be an allocated player.”
Liverpool FC and U.S. National Team call-up Marc Pelosi endorses LA Galaxy addition of "role model" Steven Gerrard
CARSON, Calif. -- When the U.S. National Team trained at StubHub Center earlier this month, there was one other player who had a connection to the LA Galaxy other than homegrown products Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes -- 20-year-old Liverpool midfielder Marc Pelosi.
The German-born midfielder who grew up in Northern California has drawn comparisons to the newest member of the LA Galaxy, midfielder Steven Gerrard who will join the reigning MLS Cup champions this July.
“To be honest, everyone was kind of shocked he was coming over here, just because they thought he would finish his career in Liverpool,” said Pelosi. “I think it's a good move for him, because, like he said, he doesn't want to have any regrets when he finishes his career, saying, "Oh, I wish I did that or that."
Although anyone would forgive the youngster for being starry-eyed around the lifetime Liverpool man, Pelosi says that on the inside, Gerrard takes an active approach in reaching out to young players.
"Like everyone always says, "Oh, he's a great role model." But from the inside, the first time I went to train with the first team, when I was 17, he was the first one that came up to me and was asking, "Oh, where are you from? How you doing? How's it going over here?" said Pelosi. “When he was younger, he played right wing and stuff, but now he's kind of dropped more into the middle and holding a little bit, just directing the game like he does. But, of course, most midfielders in the world try to play their games [similar to] Steven Gerrard, because he's one of the best midfielders in the world.”
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says he's "confident" the team will sign a "good player" with MLS allocation place
CARSON, Calif. – Whatever plans that the LA Galaxy had for their third spot in allocation order may have changed on Tuesday due to a blockbuster deal between the New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.
The Red Bulls dealt Ambroise Oyongo, midfielder Eric Alexander, allocation money and a 2015 international roster spot to Montreal for Felipe and the top spot in the allocation order. If reports are to be believed, New York are after reported Galaxy target Sacha Kljestan and with the top spot in the allocation order, they will have first choice should U.S. international return to Major League Soccer.
After Galaxy practice on Tuesday, LA head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said that the Red Bulls move up the order may change things for his team’s plans.
“Well certainly it changes the pecking order on players that are available. That’ll likely be the case that maybe our first preferred choice we wouldn’t get and we get somebody else,” Arena told LA Galaxy Insider. “We’re confident where we are we’re going to get a good player to match our needs. In all honesty I don’t think it matters whether we get our first choice player, second choice player or third choice player. We’re in good shape.”
Although New York’s move up to queue may put a wrench in LA’s reported plans for Kljestan, Arena is adamant that his club will wait until the right player comes along even if it is not in this transfer window.
“We don’t need to [sign anyone] in this transfer window,” said Arena. “We’ll bring someone in sometime and I would say certainly before July. We’ll try to bring in somebody in February or March. If we can’t do that now then maybe a little bit later.”
CARSON, Calif. – Former LA Galaxy striker Edson Buddle had a pair of lean years with the Colorado Rapids, but now he’s back with LA eager to rediscover his form.
After leaving the Galaxy in 2012, Buddle struggled mightily with the Rapids notching only seven goals and four assists in 42 appearances across two seasons. The 33-year-old who is one of eight players to score 100 goals in MLS had his finest season with the Galaxy back in 2010 when scored 17 times en route to a berth on the U.S. National Team’s roster at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
As Buddle looks to earn a deal with LA, head coach Bruce Arena said that the forward will have every opportunity to lock down a contract with the Galaxy.
“We’ll see where he is physically and how he fits into the group,” said Arena. “Three days in, we don’t have all these decisions made. There’s plenty of time to see where everything is in place. We’re going to let this evolve and see where we stand. Everyone that is here has a chance to make our team.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane has served as the LA Galaxy captain for two seasons and according to the Irishman that will not change with this summer's arrival of Steven Gerrard.
The Galaxy signed the longtime England international this summer after he had spent nearly two decades with English giants Liverpool -- 10 of which were as captain. Keane, a teammate of Gerrard's at Liverpool from 2008-09, noted during his first training session with the Galaxy this year, that he'd be open to the Englishman serving as his vice-captain when he arrives in July.
"That's up to Bruce. If Bruce is happy with him enough to be vice-captain than no problem, but we have Omar here as well," said Keane. "I think that Stevie just wants to come here play and enjoy his football. We're not worried about that kind of stuff. This is a new challenge for him and completely different from what he's used to, but as I said, he's looking forward to it.
"I'm sure that when he comes in, he'll settle in quickly Good players settle quickly."
CARSON, Calif. -- Fourth-year midfielder Rafael Garcia is returning to the LA Galaxy.
Head coach and general manager Bruce Arena confirmed on Monday morning that the team has signed Garcia who had his contract option declined after the 2014 season. Garcia, a 2012 MLS Supplemental Draft selection, has spent three years with the club and spent the entirety of 2014 with the club's USL PRO affiliate LA Galaxy II. The club later announced the signing officially during the afternoon.
Garcia has made 11 appearances for the first team in his third year tenure while making 23 appearance and scoring two goals with three assists for Los Dos.
"I had the opportunity to stay here and I'm very happy that I'm back," Garcia told LA Galaxy Insider. "The opportunity was given to me to continue my career and I'm happy to be here. I still come in with the same mentality that I came in during my first preseason which is to work hard. I know the coaching staff likes me and I know what they're asking of me. I'm more than capable of working out here."
Although the 25-year-old had interest from other MLS clubs, Garcia opted to stay with the Galaxy with an eye on staying with the first team.
"Last year, the circumstances were different because we were a very deep team with a lot of players in the midfield, but players come and go and now it's just up to me to make the most of my opportunities when they're given to me," Garcia said. "I had a great time with Los Dos last year and that only helped me become a better player. The goal is to stay here and break into the 18. For me, I want to be ready for that opportunity when it's given."
CARSON, Calif. -- There were several new faces as the LA Galaxy returned to the training ground on Friday.
The most notable new face was former Galaxy forward Edson Buddle who spent four years with the club from 2007 to 2010 and then again in 2012. Buddle was not the only newcomer training with the team as he was joined by Galaxy II stalwarts midfielder Andre Auras and defender Daniel Steres. Joining the two Los Dos stars and the club’s MLS draft selections was U.C. Davis defender Ramon Martin del Campo who went undrafted in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
While the rookies may be something of an unknown, Arena believes that the coaching staff has a grasp of what the likes of Auras and Steres can contribute heading into the preseason.
“They’re good solid players and they trained with us last year at times so we brought them into preseason to see how they fit with our group," said head coach Bruce Arena.
Veteran defender Todd Dunivant who is now the longest tenured player on the Galaxy admitted that he was happy to see the first team attempt to bring in some of the talent from Los Dos.
“It’s great because that’s the idea behind Galaxy II," Dunivant said. "We want the guys to earn their way here and we also want to be able to reward them and give them that opportunity."
CARSON, Calif. -- U.S. Soccer have chosen to award their highest honor to LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
On Thursday, the Galaxy boss was named the 2014 receipient of the Werner Fricker Builder Award. The award is the highest honor that an individual can receive from the U.S. Soccer Federation and is given only to those who have "worked tirelessly on furthering the interest of the sport of soccer without regard to personal recognition or advaancement."