CARSON, Calif. – Bruce Arena’s preseason roster was trimmed by one on Tuesday as the LA Galaxy head coach and general manager told LA Galaxy Insider that the team has released trialist Matheau Hall from training camp.
The 26-year-old right back appeared in each of the Galaxy’s five preseason games to date, but despite possessing blistering speed, he failed to make a lasting impact in matches. With Hall exiting camp, just 31-year-old veterans James Riley and Dan Gargan remain to fight for the reserve role behind incumbent right back A.J. DeLaGarza.
At the moment, Riley appears to be the forerunner for the position due to a pair of solid starts against Pumas UNAM and the San Jose Earthquakes. Gargan’s last appearance for LA was a 45 minute second half shift in Mexico, but the 31-year-old missed out on the Galaxy’s clash with San Jose due to injury.
Even though Riley has excelled in recent weeks, the industrious defender knows that the position is not his quite yet.
“My mindset is that you try to earn your spot day by day,” said Riley. “My versatility throughout the back and my experience speaks for itself. I just want to emulate that every single day. For me, I like the role of the underdog so I’m always pushing and pressing. I’ll stay in that role until I put pen to paper.”
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez and Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley were guests on Monday on ABC's famed morning show Good Morning America.
During the interview, Gonzalez and Bradley each touched on the expectations for their respective club teams this season and the goals of the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Gonzalez is joined in New York by fellow LA teammate Landon Donovan as part of the league's Media and Marketing tour. As the tour continues, Gonzalez will be appearing on Fox Sports 1's "Crowd Goes Wild" with Regis Philbin at 5 pm ET. while Donovan will be appearing alongside Bradley on MSNBC morning talk show "Cup of Joe" with Joe Scarborough at 7:50 am ET.
Check out Gonzalez's GMA appearance below.
— Omar Gonzalez (@Omar4Gonzalez) February 17, 2014
MEXICO CITY— Stefan Ishizaki’s experience with playing at altitude is quite limited due to his long playing career in the lowlands of Scandinavia and Italy, but on Tuesday, he received a major test.
The Swede started as the Galaxy fell 2-1 to Pumas UNAM in a closed-door scrimmage at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario in Mexico City. Playing in “D.F.” presents a number of challenges for opposing players, but none greater than the suffocating elevation of a city that sits at an altitude of 7,350 ft.
During his 45 minute shift, Ishizaki was stationed in the center of midfield in front of defensive counterweight Baggio Hušidić as LA tried out a 4-1-3-2 formation during the first stanza. However, Ishizaki admittedly struggled to make an impact early.
“It was brutal. My first 25 minutes, I could not catch my breath. It was very tough. After 25 minutes, I got into the game and felt a lot better,” said Ishizaki. “But we played against a Mexican team with a style that we’re probably going to face when we play Tijuana and it was good to see that style first hand.”
“In our half, we did an okay job. We didn’t move our feet quick enough and we let them play through us too easily. I think that was because we didn’t have the energy to be quick,” Ishizaki continued. “The elevation played a part a little bit, but we train every day to be able to do these things. We weren’t able to do it today against a team in the middle of their season, despite having a month left of preseason.’
Although he was unable to get forward frequently on Tuesday, Ishizaki, who is likely to play wide on the right during the regular season, was pleased with the chance to play centrally against Pumas.
Said Ishizaki, “I like it. I like it a lot better when I’m fitter and I can make runs and support the strikers while also go down and get the ball from the back four. I like it when I’m fitter, but it was okay, particularly in the last 25 minutes of the half.”
And as for the altitude and travel to Mexico City? Ishizaki believes that the experience will serve LA well as the season begins.
“It was a good exercise. We have to get use to the travel and we’re going to play at elevation so it’s good to get used to it,” said Ishizaki. “I’m not used to it after playing in Europe. It was a good experience for me and now I have some idea what to expect.”
Bruce Arena: LA Galaxy to be "guinea pigs" with USL PRO project as they seek to bridge development "black hole"
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy made MLS history on Wednesday by becoming the first team to operate a lower division club with the foundation of USL PRO side LA Galaxy II, and head coach Bruce Arena fully expects the rest of the league to follow in the club’s footsteps.
On Thursday, USL PRO unveiled the Galaxy II’s schedule for the upcoming 2014 season which will begin with their March 22 match against the Los Angeles Blues. Following LA’s training session, Arena stated that the creation of LA Galaxy II was a necessary step in the development of the American soccer player.
“We’ve lacked the next step for academy players or our players that are just outside of our first team. We’ve had a bit of a black hole in our development. This makes everything more natural,” said Arena on Thursday. “A young player can go from the U-18 to the USL team to the first team for those players that need those steps. That’s a majority of players so it’ll be a benefit for us.”
Arena also cleared up a few logistical questions noting that teams will train separately and that he will have “a lot of freedom” as they loan LA first team players back and forth between Galaxy and Galaxy II.
For all the confidence, Arena admits that the experience won’t be an easy one, but one that the club expects to pay dividends in the future.
“It’s definitely the future,” said Arena. “We’re going to be guinea pigs in the first year, it’s not going to be easy but it’ll be good going forward.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy bolstered their depth in midfield on Thursday with the signing of Swedish international Stefan Ishizaki.
The 31-year-old spent the last eight years with IF Elfsborg while also making stints with Sweden's AIK, Italian side Genoa, Norway's Valerenga. Ishizaki will be added to the Galaxy's roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. Per league and club policy terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Ishizaki had been on the radar of MLS teams in the past, but the Swede admits that once he heard the Galaxy were interested, he had to make the move.
“I had an offer from MLS a couple years ago, but I still had a long contract with my old club, but once my agent told me that LA was interested, it was just an easy decision,” said Ishizaki. “I’m quite calm with the ball. I usually play on the right wing. I’ve had experience playing with the national team, in Italy and I think that I bring experience here to the Galaxy.”
Although Ishizaki has enjoyed a strong career in Europe, he garnered the attention of the world in April of 2012 scoring off a volley from inside his own half during a match against Obero. You can see that goal below.
USMNT makes roster changes after returning from Brazil, Korea Republic defeats Costa Rica at LA Coliseum
The U.S. National Team returned to the StubHub Center from Brazil “dry run” with a few subtractions and a new face, U.S. Soccer announced on Friday.
Jurgen Klinsmann’s side will be without Colorado Rapids defenders Shane O’Neill and Chris Klute, Sporting Kansas City defenders Chance Myers and Seth Sinovic, and Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall who were sent back to their respective clubs. However, Klinsmann added new Columbus Crew defender Michael Parkhurst to the roster. The U.S. will face Korea Republic on Feb. 1 at StubHub Center.
Prior to leaving Brazil, Galaxy forward Landon Donovan spoke to media about the Americans prospects at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the opportunity to train at former training ground of his LA teammates Juninho and Leonardo.
“I play in Los Angeles with two players from Sao Paulo, Leonardo and Juninho. They spoke a lot about Sao Paulo before we got here. They said it’s beautiful here and that we would like it a lot. Everything they said has been correct,” Donovan told reporters. “We are staying in a beautiful part of the city. We walk around in the afternoon and the people are very friendly. We feel safe here, we feel accepted here, and it’s been very nice to have a couple weeks to adapt to what it’s going to be like this summer.”
While the U.S. returned from South America and made changes to their roster, Korea Republic defeated Costa Rica 1-0 on Saturday at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Kim Shin-wook scored the lone goal in a testy match between the two World Cup-bound nations that saw two Costa Ricans sent off.
Korea will now travel to San Antonio, Texas for their match with Mexico at the Alamo Dome on Wednesday before returning to face the U.S. on Saturday. Highlights of their victory over Costa Rica are below.
The U.S. National Team has spent the last two weeks in Sao Paulo as part of a "dry run" ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
During the two-week stay in Brazil, the U.S. has trained at the facilities of Sao Paulo FC and played a pair of scrimmages against their first team. The U.S. will head back to Southern California later this week ahead of their match against Korea Republic at StubHub Center.
In this video provided by U.S. Soccer, LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez and several of his U.S. teammates discuss the trip.
Check out the video below.
The LA Galaxy are moving ever closer to bolstering their midfield with the acquisition of Swedish midfielder Stefan Ishizaki.
A report in the Los Angeles Times on Monday cited an unnamed Galaxy team official who states that the club has a photocopy of a signed contract from the Swedish international. Ishizaki, 31, is expected to head to Southern California later this week to make the deal official. According to the official, the Galaxy were drawn to the midfielder due to his proficiency at delivering set pieces, a distinct problem for LA in 2013 as the club tallied just seven goals off dead ball opportunities.
When asked about the deal, Ishizaki stated that he has had prior interest from MLS clubs including Toronto FC and the Montreal Impact as well as American colleges when he was younger.
“The American way of living attracts me. When I was younger, I had offers for scholarships in the U.S," Ishizaki told reporters in Sweden on Monday. “It has to suit my family and it has to be an interesting team. There is always some cities of the world that you'd rather live in."
Ishizaki has spent the last eight seasons with Elfsborg while tallying 46 goals and 58 assists in 156 appearances for the Borås-based club.
PHILADELPHIA - The LA Galaxy got a little deeper at center back on Thursday by drafting New Mexico defender Kyle Venter with the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft.
I spoke to Venter and Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena for about the defender's Galaxy connections for LAGalaxy.com. In addition, I spoke to both about where the New Mexico defender fits into LA's system.
Check it out below.
PHILADELPHIA—The LA Galaxy may be out of the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, but that doesn’t bother head coach and general manager Bruce Arena.
On Tuesday, the Galaxy traded out of the first round by sending their 14th overall selection and Hector Jimenez to the Columbus Crew for the 23rd overall pick and allocation money. The pick is one of two Galaxy selections in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft as they also hold the 72nd overall draft choice in the fourth round, which will be held via conference call on Jan. 21. Although the deal took the Galaxy out of the first round for the first time since 2007, Arena is pleased with LA’s placement in the SuperDraft.
“I think that there is not a significant difference between the 14th pick and the 23rd pick. At 14, we’d be as bewildered as we are right now with number 23. We don’t know what is going to happen in front of us,” Arena told LA Galaxy Insider on Wednesday. “Our selection is going to be based on the 22 selections before us. We’ll likely look to shore up one, two or three positions that we think need a little bit of help i, but we can only make that decision based on what happens in the late first round.”
Arena, who attended the 2014 adidas MLS Players Combine in Florida along with other members of LA’s technical staff, admitted that the trade was not an indictment on the players that he observed, but rather the best move for the Galaxy at this time.
“We’ve put a lot of time into young players over the last two or three years and we have a fairly deep roster. It’s going to be difficult for anyone in this draft to make our team, so it wasn’t necessary to be a lot higher [in the draft] then where we are right now,” said Arena. “I don’t think it’ll make a major difference [for the Galaxy] and the trade helped us open up a roster spot [while also opening] up salary cap space. I think that in this particular year, this is the right type of move.”
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