Look ahead to Portland: Robbie Keane and the LA Galaxy look to down Portland Timbers in first road game of 2015
PORTLAND, Ore. –Ahead of the LA Galaxy’s match with the Portland Timbers (Fox Sports 1/Fox Deportes 4 p.m. PDT), let’s take a look at some required reading, matchups to watch, and my prediction for Sunday's match.
*The biggest question of the week is who plays in goal for the Galaxy on Sunday? Brian Rowe or Jaime Penedo.
*Jose Villarreal made a major mark along the left side of midfield in the Galaxy's win against the Chicago Fire, and he'll be aiming to do the same against the Timbers.
*Could the LA Galaxy have a new Scanadivanian connection? As newcomer Mika Vayrynen looks to make his debut against the Timbers, Stefan Ishizaki is hoping to have a great sophomore season with the Galaxy.
*LA bolstered their squad this week with the signing of rookie midfielder Ignacio Maganto who is eager to make an impact for the first team.
*In the latest edition of By the Numbers, we take a look at LA’s frustrating record in Bridgetown.
*LAGalaxy.com reporter Larry Morgan checks in with a preview on the Galaxy’s trip to Portland.
*The 2013 MLS Referee of the Year Hilario Grajeda will serve as the head official for Sunday's match.
*In the latest edition of 90 in 90, Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino provide their insight to the game in Portland.
THEY SAID IT:
"It's always a tough place to go. Great fans and great atmosphere. I'm sure, it will be raining again, like it is every year we’re there. I really enjoy the atmoswphere there."
- Robbie Keane on the trip to Portland.
QUESTIONS AHEAD OF THE MATCH:
WHO WINS THE BATTLE IN THE MIDFIELD: JUNINHO OR DIEGO CHARA
The midfield battle will be decided between the two international stars who will look to set the tempo for their respective club. Expect plenty of hard challenges on the small field at Providence Park
CAN ROBBIE KEANE KEEP UP HIS SCORING STREAK IN PORTLAND?
The LA Galaxy may have only one win all-time in Portland, but the Rose City has proven to be a boon town for Robbie Keane. The Irishman has three goals and one assist in four career matches at Providence Park, and will look to find the back of the net again on Sunday.
WHO STARTS IN GOAL FOR THE LA GALAXY?
The biggest question for the Galaxy, however, is who starts in goal for Bruce Arena’s squad. Brian Rowe was rarely tested during LA’s 2-0 shutout of the Fire, but 2014 incumbent netminder Jaime Penedo will be eager to get the nod in goal.
LA Galaxy 2 (Robbie Keane, Baggio Husidic) Portland Timbers 2 (Darlington Nagbe, Fernando Adi)
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has been fined an undisclosed amount by the Major League Soccer Disciplinary Committee, the league announced on Thursday.
The league’s disciplinary body cited “unprofessional conduct” as the rationale behind their fine of the Galaxy forward. Although it is not stated in the press release, the fine is likely due to a gesture made by the striker after scoring late during the Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire.
Following training on Thursday, Keane cited “passion” as the reason that he celebrated in that manner.
“If you don’t play with passion like I’ve always done, that’s how I play and that’s how I get the best out of myself and out of players,” said Keane who noted that it was ‘one million percent not directed at fans. “I want to win all the time; I always want things to be better. I do things to get people going in a different way. I’ll do that on the training field or on the field of play, I’ll always continue to do that.
“I know why I did it, it’s to get a reaction from someone else and if it’s going to make us a better team than my job is done.”
Professional Referee Organization announces that Hilario Grajeda will serve as head referee for LA Galaxy match with Portland Timbers
The 2013 MLS Referee of the Year Hilario Grajeda will serve as the head referee for the LA Galaxy's clash with the Portland Timbers at Providence Park on Sunday (4pm PDT, FOX Sports 1, FOX Deportes), the Profressional Referee Organization announced on Wednesday.
Grajeda will be making his 2015 regular season debut as a head official after serving as the chief referee for 20 games a season ago. The 47-year-old issued an average of 4.4 yellow cards a game in 2014 while dealing two red cards in total last year.
Grajeda officiated four LA Galaxy games in 2014 with LA complying a 1-1-2 record.
The complete officiating team for Sunday's game is below:
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to the media after the club's 2-0 victory over the Chicago Fire in the opening match of the 2015 regular season.
Arena's comments are below.
(On starting Jose Villarreal…)
“Obviously he played well, and obviously got the winning goal for a really big game. He is a good player; he dedicates himself to being a good professional. He’s got the talent to be a real good player, so I’m really pleased with his game today. … Last year for a while, we loaned him to Cruz Azul and it didn’t work out. He came back, but 2014 was really a little bit of a wasted year for him. We started to get him going a little bit with Galaxy II, but he’s is a player with a lot of talent, maybe his best position would be a second forward. Perhaps where Robbie Keane plays, but he’s not going to get on the field because of that. We have a lot of forwards, and we asked him to make this transition to midfield, and it’s a bit challenging, but he has worked real hard to get fit. I thought tonight he showed that, and he did in his last couple of preseason games. So we’re pretty excited about his development.”
(On relying on Stefan Ishizaki with the absence of Donovan…)
“I don’t even give any of that a thought. We’re building a team for this year, and it has nothing to do with Landon not being here. It has to do with the players that are here and getting better and making our team better. Landon is obviously respected, and we appreciate everything he has done, but that is over. Ishizaki is in his second year in this league, he is much more comfortable. He is a very good player, and we expect him to have a really good year this year, as he did last year.”
(On defensive line…)
ARENA: “It’s a pretty experienced group. All of our players, beside the group the group that started tonight, you saw A.J. coming on, we have Tommy Meyer, and Todd Dunivant, we have good experienced players that can play multiple positions in the back line and they have played together for a while. So they are pretty consistent and obviously talented. Omar is a tremendous talent, Leonardo is probably a little bit of an unsung hero, he’s played very well for us, he is going to have an outstanding season.”
(On why Rowe started over Penedo…)
ARENA: “Jaime has had some knocks in preseason and he hasn’t played that much. We felt that Brian was a little ahead of Jaime at this point.”
(On UniMas reporting that Penedo sat out the game due to contract negotiations…)
ARENA: “He is healthy…That wasn’t my decision. Our decision was made because we felt that Brian was the right guy for this game.”
(On the league starting on time…)
ARENA: “It was great. I think the league had to go on, and start on schedule this year. I don’t think we could have received the type of support we need if there we had a strike and the season was delayed. I think it’s important that we got the season started on time, and obviously we are real happy to be able to play.”
(On the experienced nature of the team…)
ARENA: “It’s the same thing for the most part, they’re an experienced group, & they know how to play and at home we obviously played well. But it’s an experienced group of players on the field and they’ve tasted a lot of success and they understand what they need to do to win games. We’ve been through it before, and I thought the first half we played well, especially the last 15 minutes of the half. So I think it’s just a matter of time to get a goal, and I think Chicago started off the second half much better. They put us under some pressure, so obviously Jose’s goal was big. We thought that we put them in a position where they tire out a little bit because they had to do a lot of defending in the first half. Our guys kept their concentration and had the kind of discipline they needed to have. When they got the first goal, I thought they felt pretty comfortable that they would be able to get a second one, and get three points.”
(On if the team’s sharpness ‘waxed and waned’…)
ARENA: “Wax and wane? I don’t know if it did that. Wax and wane? We weren’t as sharp as we needed to be. It was the first game of the season. The players don’t fully have their legs yet, but if we were a little bit sharper in the first half then we’d get a goal, no question.”
By the Numbers: LA Galaxy look to continue their dominance at StubHub Center in 2015 season opener against Chicago Fire
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy's season is finally here.
The club will open up the 2015 MLS regular season on Friday when they host the Chicago Fire at StubHub Center. In 2015, the Galaxy will look to once again dominate at home where they went an astounding 15-1-4 in both regular season and postseason matches.
In the very first edition of By the Numbers in 2015, we take a look at the Galaxy's goal differential at home during the 2014 campaign.
Robbie Keane has a message for budding star Bradford Jamieson IV as the youngster prepares to carve out a starting role during the 2015 regular season.
Keep your head up.
No, he’s not saying it figuratively, but quite literally, as the winger seeks to become an offensive force along the left side of the Galaxy midfield.
Jamieson earned the start on the left flank in the club’s final preseason match against the San Jose Earthquakes. However, the game was a mixed bag for Jamieson who displayed an ability to launch clever shots at goal, but also struggled to make a consistent impact along the flank before he was pulled for eventual goal scorer Jose Villarreal.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that Jamieson is “still just a kid” with a “ways to go” in his development, but his captain declared that there will be “no more excuses” made for the Galaxy’s youngsters, stating that they’ll be expected to contribute in the year ahead.
“He’s young. He still has to learn,” Keane said after the club's final preseason game in San Jose. “With the ability that he has, he can beat people no problem, but what young players do, and I’ve seen this for many years, they feel like if they beat someone then they can just keep going and keep [moving forward]. The reality is that it doesn’t always happen that way.
To truly hammer home the lesson, Keane referenced 2014 breakout star Gyasi Zardes, and the strides that he has made over the past two years.
“[Jamieson] got to keep his head up and once he learns to do that, as we saw last year with Gyasi...,the quicker that the younger lads learn then the better that they’re going to be, and the more opportunities that they’re going to have for the team,” said Keane. “Sometimes he just needs to pick up his head a little bit more and see what his options are. Once he does that, he’ll be a big player for this team because he’s got all the ability in the world.”
Jamieson, to his credit, agreed with the captain and noted that if he’s going to challenge for a regular starting spot then he’ll need to become a consistent contributor.
“[Keane] told me that I need to be able to pick my head up a half a second [quicker], and other little things that are going to allow me to separate myself from other players,” said Jamieson. “I still feel that if I’m pushing hard and I’m putting in good performances, I think that I’ll be to solidify a spot on the squad. This is a huge opportunity for me.”
CARSON, Calif. -- On the eve of the MLS regular season, LA Galaxy are set to bolster their roster with the additions of Finnish midfielder Mika Vayrynen and rookie Ignacio Maganto, the LA head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Thursday.
The 33-year-old Vayrynen was in training with the Galaxy on Thursday after trialing with the team during their recent trip to Europe. After noting after the club's game against Shamrock Rovers that the club was interested, Arena stated that he was ready to bring in the veteran central midfielder.
"We plan to sign him," said Arena.
In addition to Vayrynen, Arena also confirmed that the club is expecting to keep Maganto who was drafted with the 21st selection of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
The news comes after Arena told reporters on Monday that the team will be adding Edson Buddle before the start of the season. On Thursday, Arena said the paperwork was in and the official announcement on Buddle's status was coming soon.
Preseason Notes: LA Galaxy nearing full fitness; Arena says CONCACAF Champions League schedule must change
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy open the 2015 MLS regular season on Friday, and will do so with a near clean bill of health.
First team regulars A.J. DeLaGarza, Baggio Husidic, Jaime Penedo and Gyasi Zardes as well as trialist Edson Buddle missed out on the Galaxy's final preseason game of 2015 on Saturday, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says that the team will be close to full health when they open the season on Friday against the Chicago Fire.
"I think that we're in good shape heading into the first game. We've been very conservative with our players this preseason. Given that we had such a long year last year, we didn't want to kill anybody. We're just taking it in stride. We'll be fine... They're all here training."
TIME TO CHANGE THE SCHEDULE FOR THE CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SAYS ARENA
The Galaxy will not begin their CONCACAF Champions League campaign for nearly five months, but Bruce Arena says that the club will do their best to win the continental tournament.
Currently, MLS entrants D.C. United and the Montreal Impact are long shots to reach the semifinals of the now rebranded Scotia Bank CONCACAF Champions League which may force MLS to wait another year for the a team to challenge for the regional championship. During the 2015-16 tournament, the Galaxy will be joined by D.C. United, Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC who will attempt to become the first team to win the title.
Winning the Champions League has been a tall order for MLS clubs, and according to Arena, it will continue to be a challenge for MLS teams if the schedule remains the same.
“We want to win it,” said Arena. “Unfortunately for our league, it’s not fair for our teams to play this competition in February. We’re put behind the eight ball right away. It’s the job of U.S. Soccer and MLS to work with CONCACAF and provide some dates that allow us to be more competitive in the competition.
BRUCE ARENA TELLS MLS TO "BRING IT ON" AS LA LOOK TO REPEAT
The LA Galaxy will begin their MLS regular season campaign on Friday with 19 teams gunning to take away their title as MLS Cup champions. Typically that places a bulls-eye on the winning team, but that's of little matter to Bruce Arena.
When asked on Monday if the Galaxy will face considerable pressure this season to repeat as champions, the LA head coach and general manager responded in his typically glib manner.
"Yeah, bring it on. Whatever. I think that's what I signed up for," Arena said.
Even if the Galaxy will head into the season as the favorites to repeat as MLS Cup champions, Arena is eager to get the season started.
"We don't need anymore preseason," Arena said. "I'm sick of it. I'd rather be criticized right away."
CARSON, Calif. -- Edson Buddle will be a member of the LA Galaxy again by the end of the week.
Buddle has been sidelined recently with an injury, but head coach and general manager Bruce Arena confirmed that the 33-year-old forward will be joining the club by the start of the 2015 season.
"We'll get that done this week," Arena told reporters after practice on Monday.
The veteran forward will be joining the Galaxy for a third time having spent time with the club from 2007-10 and again in 2012. Buddle has a total of 99 appearances for the Galaxy in all MLS competitions, having scored 32 goals and six assists in two stints for the Galaxy.
Buddle is one of eight players in MLS history to score 100 regular goals in his career.