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09 January 2:34 pm

Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes will be the LA Galaxy's representatives at the U.S. National Team's annual January camp, but there was one notable omission: USMNT defensive mainstay Omar Gonzalez. 

Although there was some initial worry from the Twitterverse about why Gonzalez had been dropped, U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told U.S. Soccer's official website that a nagging injury prevented the LA Galaxy defender from being included in the squad

"When you put together the roster for January Camp, you eventually talk to the players, you talk to their club coaches and everyone is in a bit of a different situation," Klinsmann said. "The season here has a different schedule than overseas or in Mexico, and here and there you run into issues with players that you think it’s better if they maybe keep on curing some injuries, like in the case of Omar Gonzalez or Graham Zusi. They are not fully fit yet, so we decided to say ‘take it easy going into pre-season of your club team’."

UPDATE: Fox Soccer's Alexi Lalas provided an update on Gonzalez via Twitter saying that he is undergoing "proactive knee maintenance" 

Gonzalez enjoyed a strong year for the U.S. in 2014 as he appeared in his first FIFA World Cup while also making eight appearances for Klinsmann's side.

09 January 11:48 am

CARSON, Calif. -- Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes have officially gone from the LA Galaxy Academy all the way to the U.S. National Team. 

Galaxy Homegrown Players Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes were among the 28-man roster named by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the team's annual January camp at StubHub Center from Jan. 12 to Feb. 8. The training camp will end with a pair of matches for the U.S. against Chile in South America on Jan. 28 and against CONCACAF rivals Panama on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center.

The call-ups will be the first from the senior team for both Sorto and Zardes. While Zardes carries no tournament experience, the 20-year-old Sorto was a member of the U.S. Under-20 squad during their participation in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup. 

The inclusions of youngsters like Sorto and Zardes are part of Klinsmann's stated goal of bringing in Olympic-eligible players as the USMNT looks ahead to not only the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer, but also the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The U.S. Under-23's famously missed out on the 2012 Olympic Games in London which were won by CONCACAF archrivals Mexico.

“The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year,” Klinsmann said. “We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”

The complete U.S. roster is below.

GOALKEEPERS (4): Alex Bono (unattached), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)

MIDFIELDERS (10): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (out of contract), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew) 

FORWARDS (6): Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)

08 January 7:11 pm

In a special LA Galaxy Insider Breakdown, I look at how the LA Galaxy's new signing of Liverpool FC midfield can benefit the team and just where he'll fit.

Check it out above.

07 January 7:57 pm

CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to reporters on Wednesday to discuss the club’s newest Designated Player signing of Liverpool FC midfielder Steven Gerrard.

Gerrard will remain with Liverpool until the end of their season and will be eligible to play when the league’s transfer window opens in mid-January.

Arena’s complete comments from the conference call can be found below.

(On how the Galaxy intend to rotate their midfield around Gerrard…)

ARENA: I’m not spending a whole lot of time on that right now. We have seven months or so until Stevie arrives here in Los Angeles, and we’re going to play out the process of our team, see how it moves forward, and see how we’re ready to utilize Stevie once he gets here.

(On how Gerrard relates to other European arrivals to MLS like Beckham and Keane…)

ARENA: I think that they have proven track records. They’re winners, they’re great people, they’ve been terrific leaders on their clubs previous to coming to the Galaxy, and their qualities speak for themselves. Stevie has the characteristics of David Beckham and Robbie Keane, he’s a terrific players, he’s of great character, a great teammate and a great leader, so I think he’ll complement our team in a very positive way.

(On Gerrard’s versatility in the midfield…)

ARENA: In my observation of Stevie over the years, he’s not only been a central midfielder, he’s played a little bit shaded to the left or right underneath the strikers, so he can play a variety of positions in midfield. My guess is we’ll play him closer to the forwards than our center backs. He’s a player obviously with very good attacking qualities and we want to get him pushed as close to goal as we can, when we can. So I think we can accommodate that through a variety of positions. It’ll take a little bit of time, but we’ll get it figured out by the time that Stevie arrives.

(On the criticism that Gerrard receives for being unable to track back…)

ARENA:  Steven Gerrard is a great player. He played in the 2014 World Cup, he plays for one of the top clubs in England… He’s got great experience, great understanding of the game; he’s quite capable of playing on both sides of the ball. I believe he’ll be a very good player for us in MLS.C

(On if Arena will manage Gerrard’s minutes…)

ARENA:  I will manage his minutes. I’m going to try to get him on the field as much as possible.

(On the process to sign Gerrard…)

ARENA: First of all, I think Stevie did his homework, he was well aware of MLS and the Galaxy. He’s been here a couple of times, obviously with Liverpool, so he knew Southern California and L..A. He understands MLS, so there weren’t a whole lot of questions and he’s obviously been aware of Beckham and Keane at the Galaxy. But on and off over the years, Stevie’s always been a name that we’ve examined as a potential player to come to the Galaxy, and obviously over the recent months we’ve obviously pursued the player… Over the last two or three weeks, things came together pretty quickly.

(On if the Galaxy had other options…)

ARENA: We were looking at three or four players over the last three or four months, and obviously, Stevie was there all along. I would say that I thought it was going to be a longshot to acquire Stevie, but as we got closer to the year, interest on both parties picked up, and we were very fortunate to be able to secure a deal.

 (On how Keane and Gerrard will combine…)

ARENA: They’re two outstanding players. They’ve played together before, they know each other, and I think in a short period of time they’re going to be able to have a great understanding of each other, and I’m quite confident that we’ll see they’re going to be able to help create chances for the LA Galaxy.

(On Robbie Keane’s input in the Gerrard signing…)

ARENA: To be honest with you, I have not spoken to Robbie Keane about this. Maybe a month or so ago, I let him know we were talking with Stevie, but we didn’t talk about how he fit in with the team and everything else. I just acknowledged the fact that Stevie was a player that we had an interest in.

07 January 5:31 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The signing Steven Gerrard represents a major addition for the LA Galaxy, but just where does the Englishman fit in an already stacked LA midfield?

The Galaxy lifted their fifth MLS Cup on the strength of one of – if not the best—midfield in Major League Soccer which was anchored by the Brazilian tandem of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas. Meanwhile on the flanks, a hodgepodge of Landon Donovan, Baggio Husidic and Stefan Ishizaki provided width to a Galaxy attack that scored a league-high 69 goals during the regular season.

At the height of his powers, Gerrard was one of Europe’s best midfielders with ability to not only provide defensive cover, but also create chances on his own due to his unparalleled work rate. In more recent times, Gerrard has settled into a holding midfield role that has allowed him to orchestrate from deeper in the parking and use his pinpoint passing to open up chances for teammates across the field.

Considering that at 35, Gerrard does not have the same engine that he had at his peak, Bruce Arena may opt to use the Englishman in defensive midfield capacity ala David Beckham in his final two seasons with the club.

What does Arena himself think? Well, the Galaxy head coach and general manager isn’t focusing on it just yet.

“I’m not spending a whole lot of time thinking about that right now,” said Arena during the team’s media availability after announcing the signing. “We have seven months or so until Stevie arrives here in Los Angeles and we’re going to play out the process of our team. We’ll see how it moves forward and see how we’re ready to utilize Stevie once he gets here.”

But now I’ll give you an option to predict the Galaxy’s next midfield. Below are a series of midfield combinations and I’ll allow you to decide which midfield you’d like to see lineup when Gerrard arrives. Obviously, the list is hardly exhaustive so add your own midfield combos in the comment section beneath. 

07 January 8:53 am

It's officially official. Steven Gerrard is a member of the LA Galaxy. 

The club announced on Wednesday morning that Gerrard will be joining the club upon the conclusion of Liverpool FC's 2014-15 English Premier League campaign and will be eligible to play for the club when the transfer window opens up in July. Per club and league policy, the details of the contract were not disclosed. 

“I’m very excited to begin the next chapter of my career in the United States with LA Galaxy,” said Gerrard in a statement. “The Galaxy are the most successful club in Major League Soccer history and I am looking forward to competing for more championships in the years to come. My discussions with Bruce Arena and Chris Klein were extremely positive and the future of the team is very bright. I am committed to helping the LA Galaxy compete for trophies and to having an impact in Los Angeles and I will give my all for the club. In the meantime, I will continue to give everything for Liverpool for the remainder of this season before joining up with the Galaxy.”
 
Gerrard joins the Galaxy after 17 seasons with Liverpool FC in which he has made 696 appearances and scored 182 goals in all competitions to date. 
 
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Thoughts on the acquistion of Gerrard? 
 
Share them below. 
 
07 January 8:27 am

Steven Gerrard is heading from Liverpool to Los Angeles.

The Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter reported on Wednesday that the LA Galaxy had finalized an 18-month deal with Gerrard for a reported $6 million a year. Gerrard will join the Galaxy in July after the conclusion of Liverpool's 2014-15 English Premier League campaign.

A player whose name is synonymous with the only club that he has ever played for, Gerrard admitted in an exclusive interview with Baxter that while the move was difficult, it was time for the former England captain to move on.

"The time’s right for myself and my family for the change, for the fresh challenge. I’ve been here for a long time," Gerrard said in his interview with the newspaper. "I’ve given an awful lot back to this club. But I now feel it’s the time for a fresh break and to try something different.

"I want to finish my career very strong. I want to add some more medals and trophies to my collection, so I think it's a match made in heaven, really," he later added. "One of the reasons why I chose the LA Galaxy was because of the success they've had recently. But also the plans for more success in the future."

In their own interviews with Baxter, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena stated the club "has a plan" for the Liverpool FC legend when he joins in July while club President Chris Klein called Gerrard a perfect fit for the defending MLS Cup champions.

"We just started thinking in the universe of players that are out there, we want to make a decision on what signifies a Galaxy designated player," team President Chris Klein said. "When we look at that, Steven Gerrard is the perfect fit with what he brings to us on the field and the character that he has off it."

05 January 9:14 am

LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson IV has been named to the U.S. U-20 head coach Tab Ramos' 20-man roster for the 2015 U-20 CONCACAF Championship in Jamaica. 

After being drawn into Group A, U.S. will open the tournament on Jan. 9 against Guatemala before facing Panama on Jan. 11, Aruba on Jan. 14, the host nation Jamaica on Jan. 18, and finally Trinidad and Tobago on Jan. 21. Only four countries will qualify from the tournament for the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup in New Zealand. 

Jamieson joins the team after playing a major role for USL PRO side LA Galaxy II and making his professional debut for the Galaxy in July 2014. The 18-year-old is among six players who will represent MLS clubs and is the second with an LA Galaxy link, joining former Galaxy Academy product Paul Arriola who is currently with Liga MX side Club Tijuana. 

The complete roster is below.

GK: Ethan Horvath (Molde/NOR); Zack Steffen (Freiburg/GER)
 
D: Cameron Carter-Vickers (Tottenham Hotspur/ENG); Conor Donovan (NC State); Matt Miazga (New York Red Bulls); Shaquell Moore (Unattached); John Requejo (Club Tijuana/MEX); Tyler Turner (Orlando City)
 
M: Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana/MEX); Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim/GER); Lynden Gooch (Sunderland/ENG); Emerson Hyndman (Fulham/ENG); Junior Flores (Borussia Dortmund/GER); Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas)
 
F: Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana/MEX); Romain Gall (Columbus Crew SC); Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy); Amando Moreno (Club Tijuana/MEX); Ben Spencer (Molde/NOR); Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)
03 January 7:36 pm

The addition of Baggio Husidic didn’t receive must praise when the 27-year-old was brought in officially during the offseason, but the midfielder played a prominent role for the LA Galaxy in his first season with the club.

Tallying 41 appearances in all competitions, which were second only to Juninho among Galaxy midfielders, Husidic played a major role in the club’s season as he appeared in all 34 of the team’s regular season matches. Although he was known for his defensive ability both in the central midfield and along the wing, Husidic’s smooth passing skills helped him tally four assists in 2014.

In 2015, Husidic is once more expected to serve as a frequent member of Bruce Arena’s starting XI while also providing a defensive spark off the bench when needed.  After tallying five goals in 2014, the Galaxy will likely ask for more from Husidic as they look to replace the offensive output of the retiring Landon Donovan.

How would you rate Baggio Husidic’s 2014 season? Read my review of the Galaxy midfielders on LAGalaxy.com and share your thoughts below

03 January 3:15 pm

It seems that the LA Galaxy have found their new Designated Player. 

According to reports from ESPN FC's Jeffrey Carlsile and the Washington Post's Steven Goff, the Galaxy will be signing Liverpool FC legend Steven Gerrard as the club's newest Designated Player. Carlsile reports that the league's board of governors have already approved the deal and the Galaxy will add Gerrard to their roster upon the conclusion of the 2014-15 English Premier League season. 

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter on Friday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena provided "no comment" when asked about the Gerrard link

Rumors of a Gerrard link to LA surfaced on Thursday with Italian journalist Gianluca DiMarzio reporting that the departing Liverpool FC talisman was bound for Major League Soccer and the reigning league champions. Gerrard himself confirmed on Saturday that he will be departing Liverpool for a team in the United States, but declined to give any specifics on that team in an interview which came one day after he announced his departure from LFC at the conclusion of the team's Premier League campaign. 

"I’ll be going to play in USA. I’m not over the line with any team yet," Gerrard told the team's website. "I’m close and as soon as I know, I’ll make the announcement.”

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With all signs pointing to Gerrard's arrival at StubHub Center, how do you feel about him replacing Landon Donovan? Think that Gerrard can make an impact for LA in 2015?

Share your thoughts below.