CARSON, Calif. – Two titans of MLS will likely play their final match against one another on Sunday when Landon Donovan’s LA Galaxy faces off against Thierry Henry’s New York Red Bulls.
The similarities for the two players are easy to see: both players are stars for their club teams and the leading goal scorers for their respective national sides. While Donovan has pledged to hang up his boots at the end of the 2014 season, speculation has swirled that Henry will end his own storied career at the end of the year—a fact that he has denied.
Even if Henry stays with New York another year, Donovan says that he is relishing what may be his final chance to face the French maestro.
“Sometimes we forget how special his career has been. When you’re caught up in the moment and you’re caught up in the game, you just see him as an opponent to stop. But when you think about it historically, it’s pretty special that we get to play against him,” said Donovan. “We’re certainly not in awe of him when we’re playing, but when you step back and take a look at his career, it’s special that we get to play against a player of his caliber.”
But will Sunday’s match be the last time that the Red Bulls face the Galaxy this year? Donovan hopes not.
“Hopefully, it’s not the last time. Hopefully they see us again in December,” Donovan said. “We’ve had very different careers, but he’s meant a lot to French Football, Arsenal and the Red Bulls. He’s brought them back to prominence after a longtime of not being a prominent team on the national scope. It’s been impressive what they’ve done with him and I’m going to try to enjoy the last encounter.”
Make no mistake, Steve Ralston is hoping that Landon Donovan will not break his MLS all-time assist record, but even if he does lose the honor, he "won't lose sleep over it."
Donovan currently sits at 132 assists and has just five matches left to pull level with Ralston's all-time mark of 135. Ralston, a mainstay with the New England Revolution during his career, who is now an assistant coach with the Houston Dynamo was frank in a conversation with MLSsoccer.com's Darrell Lovell when asked about Donovan's pursuit of the record.
“People keep asking me ‘What do you think?’ I think he’s at least going to tie it and probably break it,” Ralston told MLSsoccer.com on Tuesday. “Do I want him to break it? No, not really. The only person I’d want to break my record would be my son. People that say they want their records broken, they’re liars. Who doesn’t want to keep it?
“At the same time, if he breaks it I’m not going to lose sleep over it. He’s Landon Donovan. He’s arguably the greatest player in US soccer history. If someone’s going to break it, and it’s Landon Donovan, that’s fine with me.”
Thoughts on Ralston's comments?
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CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are gunning for their first Supporters' Shield triumph since 2011, but even as the club sits level on points with Seattle Sounders FC, captain Robbie Keane issued an important message for his group.
Don't lose focus on the real prize -- MLS Cup.
Keane notched a goal and an assist in the Galaxy's 2-1 victory over FC Dallas that moved them a step closer to the Shield while also helping the club clinch a postseason berth. Bur despite his teammates' emphasis on the chase for the Shield, the Irishman put LA's remaining league games into perspective.
“Listen, it's great to win the Supporters' Shield, there's no question about it, but I can't remember the last two years who won the Supporters' Shield; I remember who won the [MLS Cup] championship,” Keane told reporters on Saturday. “Even though it's very, very important and we want to do it, obviously the main one is to win the championship."
LA Galaxy defenders Robbie Rogers and Omar Gonzalez were named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on Monday for their performance in the club's 2-1 victory over FC Dallas.
Rogers enjoyed a stellar evening along the left side -- and even garnered some U.S. National Team buzz from captain Robbie Keane -- while Gonzalez helped shutdown the FCD attack. Meanwhile, Robbie Keane was placed on the Team of the Week bench for his goal and assist against Dallas.
The complete team is below.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will get their first week-long break in little over a month this week and the respite could not come at a better time for striker Robbie Keane.
Due to his participation in Ireland’s UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, the Irishman has traveled considerable distances bouncing around from Southern California, Dublin, Tbilisi, Georgia, Montreal, and San Jose.
After the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, Keane admitted that he’s eagerly looking forward to a little rest before LA return to action this Saturday against FC Dallas.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for me personally. I'm absolutely shattered to be honest with you and it'll be nice to have a week without traveling,” said Keane after LA's draw to San Jose. “I've been feeling the effects over the last couple of days so it'll be nice to rest and not have to travel. I've endured a long 10 days with some 40 hours of traveling and it was taking my toll. I'll just refresh myself and get ready for Saturday’s game.”
With some needed time to rest, Keane believes that he’ll be able to better aid the Galaxy as they look to erase Seattle Sounders FC’s slim three point lead in the Supporters’ Shield chase.
“It’s in our own hands,” said Keane. “We're playing the teams around us and they'll be tough games, but we’re quite capable of beating anybody.”
Typically a victory for Seattle Sounders FC is hardly met with applause let alone smiles from LA Galaxy circles, but Seattle's U.S. Open Cup triumph on Tuesday may end up benefiting the Galaxy at the end of the season.
By defeating the Philadelphia Union 3-1 in the U.S. Open Cup final, Seattle not only won the Lamar Hunt Open Cup Trophy, but they also clinched one of U.S. Soccer's four Champions League spots. Under MLS and U.S. Soccer's request, those berths were changed by CONCACAF last December to be awarded to the following:
1) MLS Cup winner
2) Supporters' Shield winner
3) Winner of the conference regular season winner opposite the Supporters Shield holder
4) U.S. Open Cup winner.
Also according to CONCACAF, if an MLS team is in possession of two of the honors or if a Canadian team wins any of the above three, then the CCL berth will fall to the team with the next best regular season record.
Just how does all this benefit the Galaxy?
If the Galaxy are unable to catch Seattle Sounders FC in the Supporters' Shield chase -- they currently trail Seattle by three points -- but finish in second at the end of the season, then the CCL berth that Seattle won for finishing with the league's best regular season record will fall to the Galaxy.
Happy to have the (possible) safety net in case the Galaxy don't win the Supporters' Shield? Or do you think that LA should just go out and try to win the Shield -- and MLS Cup for that matter -- anyway?
Share your thoughts below.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Tommy Meyer made his first start for the LA Galaxy since July 19 and the defender did not miss a beat in the club’s 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.
In his first match since suffering a groin injury in Galaxy II’s August 9 match against Arizona United SC, Meyer was steady as the Galaxy were rarely tested over the course of 90 minutes. The lone blemish for LA's defense came in the 66th minute when Chris Wondolowski scored the Earthquakes' only tally of the afternoon.
“It was good and it was nice to get 90 minutes under my belt especially in a physical game against them,” Meyer told LA Galaxy Insider. “The game kind of got out of hand a bit [in the second half], but we made sure that we stayed focused. Even though we gave up a goal that we shouldn’t have, we gritted it out and got a point which is better than nothing.”
Meyer’s performance earned the defender praise from center back Omar Gonzalez who described the third-year center back as “solid” throughout his 90 minute shift. His first performance since the World Cup break under his belt, Meyer is eager to become a regular in the Galaxy starting XI much like he did two years ago when the club made their run to a fourth MLS Cup title.
"The main thing is that I get 90 minutes under my belt,” said Meyer. "It’s nice to get back into the mix and put myself in a good position going forward.”
LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo will rejoin the club this week from the Copa CentroAmericana, but even though Panama did not win the Central American championship, Penedo will leave with some silverware.
Penedo was awarded the tournament’s Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper after conceding just two goals during Panama’s three games. Panama finished the tournament in third place after defeating El Salvador 1-0 in the third place match on Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The award comes on the heels of Penedo's Golden Gloves showing at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup when Penedo was instrumental in Panama’s run to the final. By finishing in the CentroAmericana's top four spots, Panama earned a berth in the 2015 edition of the Gold Cup.
LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and Panama finished third at the 2014 Copa CentroAmericana on Saturday with their 1-0 victory over El Salvador.
Defender Roman Torres scored the only goal as Penedo earned his second straight shutout of the tournament despite Los Canaleros playing a man down for the last 24 minutes in the match. The Galaxy 'keeper exits the tournament with two wins and a draw and just two goals conceded.
Panama will be joined in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup by Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador.
LA Galaxy goalkeeper Brian Rowe expecting to start against San Jose with Jaime Penedo away on international duty
CARSON, Calif. -- With Jaime Penedo away on international duty with Panama, Brian Rowe is expecting to make his third consecutive start this month against the San Jose Earthquakes on Sunday.
Rowe has started the last two games in net for the Galaxy while Penedo has been way with Panama at the Copa CentroAmericana, helping the Galaxy to a 1-0-1 record while conceding just two goals. Despite Panama's inability to reach the final, Penedo stayed behind to play in the third place match against El Salvador in Los Angeles before rejoining the Galaxy.
With Penedo away and Brian Perk starting for Galaxy II in their USL PRO playoff match against Rochester Rhinos on Sunday, Rowe is expecting to get the nod in net once more.
"You always go into games mentally preparing yourself to start," said Rowe. "I know I’ll prepare as if I’m starting. I’ll watch the film of San Jose and get ready."
If he does in fact get the start, Rowe expects a tough test from an Earthquakes side that while struggling, boasts a number of talented attacking weapons.
"They have [Chris] Wondolowski up there who’s great about getting into good positions finishing off balls. He always had good movement around the box, you always have to keep him in mind," said Rowe. "They got good guys going forward. It’s going to be a smaller field up there, a little tighter atmosphere. We just have to start off the game well defensively and try and get the three points."