CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy added a new defender to their roster on Tuesday with the addition of veteran right back James Riley.
Following Tuesday's training session, head coach Bruce Arena stated that it was "safe to say" that Riley would be staying with the Galaxy after an impressive preseason, but the veteran defender went a step further stating that he put pen to paper just before heading out to training.
For the nine-year MLS veteran, the move to the Galaxy left him overjoyed.
“I'm ecstatic . It’s been a work in progress, but I came with that goal in mind and I put pen to paper [Tuesday] morning," said Riley. “But I need to continue to work and earn the trust of my teammates, the club, the coaches and the fans. That’s my objective.”
This preseason, Riley has made five preseason appearances, playing almost entirely at left back due a hamstring injury to first team regular Todd Dunivant.
“He’s having a good preseason with us. He’s made a good impression and it’s safe to say that we’re going to keep him,” said Arena. “He’s a veteran player who can play both sides of the field and I think that he’ll be a valuable player for us during the season.”
The Galaxy still have yet to make a decision with their other outside back trialist Dan Gargan, who remains with the club and is likely to sign if LA can fit his contract under the league’s salary cap.
“Still evaluating him,” said Arena. ‘He’s another player that is experienced. He’s had a few knocks over the last few weeks and we want to make sure that his fitness is good. We always have an exercise with the salary cap so we have to make sure that we can offer him a contract that keeps us compliant with the cap.”
Thoughts on the signing of Riley? Think LA will keep Gargan?
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Former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens is close to continuing his career in Europe.
Sources confirmed to LA Galaxy Insider that Stephens is in Oslo and close to finalizing a deal with Norwegian Tippeligaen club Stabæk. The 24-year-old spent the last three seasons with the LA Galaxy, compiling 94 league appearances with two goals and 12 assists. If signed, Stephens will be the fifth American to play for the club, joining the likes of Ricardo Clark and Mikkel Diskerud.
Stabæk are led by former U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley who took the reins in January after his contract to manage Egypt's national side was not renewed. Bradley is the first American head coach to lead a top division European club.
After being relegated following a seven year stay in the top-flight, De blaa (The Blue Ones) achieved promotion in 2013 with a second place finish in the Adeccoligaen. Stabæk open their 2014 campaign on March 30 against Sogndal.
Think Stephens can build a successful career in Norway?
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CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy announced on Thursday that they have signed their latest Homegrown Player, Bradford Jamieson IV.
A Los Angeles native from Culver City, Jamieson is a former U.S. youth international and NSCAA All-American who has scored three goals in 11 appearances for the Galaxy U-18 side during the 2013-14 U.S. Soccer Developmental Academy season. Prior to signing with the Galaxy, the 17-year-old had committed to the University of California, Berkeley.
“We are thrilled to add Bradford Jamieson IV to our roster and continue our tradition of signing local players to the Galaxy,” LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a club statement. “Bradford is a talented forward who will continue to develop and grow as a player within our system.”
My conversation with Jamieson for LAGalaxy.com is below.
Jose Villarreal is on the move again, this time to Liga de Ascenso club Cruz Azul Hidalgo.
Villarreal had made just two appearances for the team’s Under-20 side in recent weeks after suffering a leg injury that prevented him from suiting up for La Maquina (The Machine) immediately after his year-long loan deal was announced. The length of the 20-year-old forward’s loan means that if he is able to impress his coaches in the second division then it is conceivable that he’d rejoin the first team upon the start of the 2014 Apertura Tournament this summer.
Currently, Cruz Azul Hidalgo has 11 points after seven matches this season and are tied for third place in the Liga de Ascenso with Lobos BUAP. The Hidalgo-based club is also still alive in the Copa MX and takes on C.F. Monterrey on Wednesday.
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.