The day is finally here.
The U.S. will take on Portugal in a match that will decide if they advance to the knockout round with a victory. Check out the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com "By the Numbers" below.
The U.S. National Team will take on Portugal without the services of Jozy Altidore due to a left hamstring injury, the federation announced on Thursday.
Altidore injured his left hamstring midway through the first half of the Americans 2-1 victory over Ghana on Monday and was stretchered off the field. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters on Tuesday that he was optimistic about Altidore’s ability to return from the injury at some point during the 2014 World Cup, but was awaiting the results of an MRI of the striker’s hamstring.
With Altidore unavailable, Klinsmann may be forced to tinker with his formation as neither of his two remaining strikers Aron Johannsson or Chris Wondolowski are as capable at holding possession as the injured Altidore.
The injury news wasn’t all negative for the U.S., however, as Matt Besler and Clint Dempsey were each given a clean bill of health for Sunday’s game in the Amazonian city of Manaus.
Who do you believe should replace Altidore in the starting XI? Vote in the poll below.'
The excitement was high after the U.S. National Team's 2-1 victory over Ghana, but LA Galaxy striker Landon Donovan issued a note of caution in a interview on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday.
Donovan, who was controversially left off U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, spoke about the injury to Jozy Altidore and his impression of the team's mood heading into their second group stage match against Portugal. However, his most telling comment was regarding the allegations that Klinsmann had overtrained the team resutling in injuries to Altidore and center back Matt Besler.
“My guess is if you’ve having a bunch of muscle injuries and cramping and stuff like that, there was some factor involved, whether it was overtraining, whether [they] weren’t prepared for the heat," he said. "There was something that went on there, so you could be a little critical.”
Watch the complete interview below.
On Monday, LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez will develop a lasting memory of his very first World Cup match when the U.S. takes on Ghana in their Group G opener.
But what about Gonzalez's first World Cup memory?
That goes back to the 1994 FIFA World Cup when Gonzalez was just a child living outside of Dallas.
"My first World Cup memory as a kid was at the Cotton Bowl, I got a chance to go to a few games as a volunteer," Gonzalez recently told LAGalaxy.com. "When I was there, my mom tells me that I used to mimic Bebeto's celebration."
Think Gonzalez will mimic that celebration if he scores?
In just a few hours, the globe’s most important sporting event will be underway.
The 2014 FIFA World Cup begins on Thursday when the host nation Brazil will take on European upstarts Croatia at Sao Paulo’s Arena Corinthians at 1:00 p.m. PT. For a month, the world’s eyes will be focused on Brazil as 32 nations compete for the honor of hoisting the trophy aloft at the final at the iconic Estadio Maracana in Rio de Janeiro on July 13.
Throughout the tournament, we’ll be providing analysis and daily coverage of the tournament from Los Angeles and in Brazil on LAGalaxy.com/WorldCup. I’ll be covering the tournament locally from Southern California while LAGalaxy.com digital’s Chris Thomas will be on location in Brazil.
To date, there is already extensive coverage on the website including a World Cup restaurant guide of each of the nations that will be competing, a list of Galaxy watch parties including the U.S. viewing party for the Portugal match, and coverage of the United States’ run through the tournament especially given LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez's participation.
Landon Donovan made his debut for ESPN's 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage on Wednesday and his first appearance was enough to make headlines.
The complete video of his interview with ESPN anchor Mike Tirico is below.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – In his first appearance on ESPN’s 2014 FIFA World Cup coverage, Landon Donovan made a powerful statement.
The United States can complete for the World Cup.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has made headlines across the country due to his repeated statements that it is “just not realistic” that the U.S. can win the World Cup. During his ESPN segment on Wednesday, Donovan stated that he disagreed with the U.S. National Team boss’ assessment of the team’s chances.
“Well, this will come as a surprise to nobody, but I don’t agree with Jurgen. As someone who has been in that locker room, and has sat next to the players — and I agree with Alexi [Lalas] — we agree with the American outlaws. We believe that we will win. That’s the way Americans think. That’s the sentiment.
“One point that I’d like to make, if we’re really expecting to go out and beat Portugal and beat Ghana, and beat Germany –who are in my opinion one of the best teams in the world—if you can beat Germany, why can’t you beat anyone else? It doesn’t mean that it is going to happen, but I believe it and I think that all of America believes it.”
Donovan admitted during his interview with ESPN’s Mike Turico that he has come to terms with his omission from the national team and stated that it was time to support the USMNT in Brazil.
“It’s not easy, but at the same time, I have a lot of teammates and friends on that team and I sit next to Omar Gonzalez every day in LA so I have a lot of contact with the guys still and I’m very excited for them,” he said. “Once I’ve been able to get past the disappointment, now I’m genuinely excited for the tournament as a soccer fan. All of our fans are excited to watch the tournament and let’s hope for great things. This can be a very special summer.”
A day ago, U.S. Soccer released 23 fascinating profile videos of each of the members of the 23-man U.S. National Team squad that will be competing in the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez's is perhaps one of the most interesting as he describes his love of cooking, the interesting way that he met his wife Erica and how he started his youth career in Dallas.
Check it out below.
In the latest edition of "What to Watch For," Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino analyze the SuperClasico between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA.
Check it out below.
Omar Gonzalez serves as late substitute as U.S. defeat Nigeria 2-1 in final World Cup Send-Off match
The United States attack came alive in a major way on Saturday thanks to a brace from Jozy Altidore as the Americans earned a 2-1 victory over Nigeria helping the U.S. compile a perfect 3-0-0 record in their "Send-Off Series."
Altidore scored in both halves with a tap-in to put the Americans ahead in the 32nd minute before tallying a confident strike in the 68th minute to seal the victory. The goals ended a six-month scoring drought for Altidore who had last scored for his club side Sunderland back in December 2013.
Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez checked in for Altidore in the 80th minute and just moments after he checked in, Nigerian striker Victor Moses was awarded a penalty after a defensive breakdown forced American center back Matt Besler to bring down the forward in the penalty area. Moses slotted the penalty past American goalkeeper Tim Howard to spark a Nigerian rally, but the U.S. held on for the victory.
The U.S. will head to Brazil in the coming days and play their final World Cup tuneup against Belgium in a closed-door scrimmage on June 12 in Sao Paulo. Klinsmann's group will open Group G play on June 16 against Ghana in Natal. Nigeria are in Group F alongside Iran, Bosnia and Herzegovina and tournament favorite Argentina. The Super Eagles open the tournament on June 16 against Iran in Curitiba.
Pleased by the result? Upset that Gonzalez did not start for a third straight match for the USMNT?
Share your thoughts below.