CARSON, Calif. – If Landon Donovan is going to take hold of the MLS all-time regular season goal scoring record before the World Cup, he’ll have to do it fast.
With the 30-man U.S. preliminary squad for the World Cup congregating in Stanford, Calif., on May 14, Donovan has just two league matches left with the Galaxy, starting with Saturday’s match against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday.
Although plenty of focus has been placed on Donovan’s pursuit of the league’s all-time regular season goal record, the Galaxy forward is putting little emphasis on the record.
“It’s been quite a while now that we’ve been talking about the goal,” said Donovan. “I want to keep playing well and have the team continue to play well. Eventually the goal will come, but right now the focus is on as a team.”
Will Donovan get the 135th goal on Saturday?
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CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers is getting significant time with Galaxy II, but according to head coach Bruce Arena, he’s got a ways to go before he returns to the first team.
Rogers went 83 minutes for Galaxy II in their 3-0 victory on Sunday while also drawing the foul that led to Rafael Garcia’s opening goal. The match was Rogers’ third appearance for Los Dos as he looks to return to full fitness after a stress reaction injury caused him to miss the preseason.
Arena has been keeping close tabs on Rogers during his stint with Los Dos, but admits that while progress has been made, the midfielder still has work left to do.
“He's played okay,” said Arena of Rogers performance with Galaxy II. “He has to be playing a bit quicker and move the ball better. He missed the whole preseason so he’s got to get fitter.”
When do you think that Rogers will return to the first team?
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CARSON, Calif. – Haji Wright isn’t the only member of his family that is making waves in international soccer.
Haji’s younger brother Hanif, an LA Galaxy Academy Under-14 scored on Sunday as he helped lead the United States U-15 Boys Team to a 3-2 victory against their counterparts from China PR in their final match of the Torneo delle Nazioni. Wright has been one of the shining stars of the Galaxy U-14 side with 13 goals in 15 games during the U.S. Soccer Development Academy campaign as the team has enjoyed a 13-4-3 record this season.
A video of Hanif Wright’s goal can be seen below.
There was a new face at LA Galaxy training on Tuesday as U.S. Under-17 phenom and Galaxy Academy forward Haji Wright trained with LA's first team.
Wright has been one of the breakout stars of Richie Williams' U.S. U-17 squad over the past six months with his five-goal Golden Boot performance at the Nike International Friendlies and solid two-goal showing during the Aegean Cup in January.
The teenager kept up his scalding form with six goals as the helped lead the U.S. Under-17's to victory in the 2014 Josip Katalinski International Tournament in Bosnia earlier this month. The victory in Bosnia was the Americans third consecutive international tournament title. Wright added another during the Americans two-game series with the Croatian U-17's to give him a total of seven goals during the Americans' Balkans trip.
Haji is not the only talented family member in the Galaxy Academy as his younger brother Hanif is one of the leading goal scorers for the Galaxy Under-14's with 13 goals this season and is one of the leaders of the United States U-15 Boys team.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Dan Gargan looks like he’s here to stay on the right-side of the LA Galaxy defense.
The 31-year-old put forth another strong performance on Saturday as he notched his second assist in three starts. Gargan’s two helpers place him in a four-way tie for the team lead.
Gargan’s brightest moment came in the 38th minute when he launched a diagonal ball onto the head of Baggio Husidic who knocked it toward Stefan Ishizaki, who nodded a shot past Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted for the game’s first goal.
“It’s something that Bruce has encouraged for me to get involved in the attack and take the space when it’s available. When that opportunity opens up, I want to do whatever I can help,”Gargan told reporters after the game. “If that’s pushing forward and being an option then great, but if nothing else, then I’d like to pull teams wide and give Robbie [Keane] and Landon [Donovan] options going forward.”
The veteran defender also excelled on the defensive side of the ball as he made five recoveries, two clearances and one interception during the draw. Despite his success, head coach Bruce Arena admitted that the Galaxy have yet to see the best that the defender has to offer.
"Dan had a solid game,” the Galaxy coach said. “We're moving him along, he needs a few games to get full match fitness, but he's doing well."
In the latest edition of "By the Numbers," LAGalaxy.com takes a look at the Galaxy's upcoming match with Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Check it out below.
Over at LAGalaxy.com, they have prepared their latest in a line of great infographics with the newest entry looking at all the trophies won by current Galaxy players and coaches.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – Jaime Penedo is set to return to the fold this Sunday when the LA Galaxy take on Chivas USA in the SuperClasico.
Penedo was unable to suit up in LA’s last MLS match against Real Salt Lake on March 22 as he returned to Panama to finalize his visa, but is expecting to be back in the fold for Sunday’s match against LA’s cross-hall rivals.
“I feel good. I feel ready to play and to be able to support the team,” Penedo, who admitted that he, is still smarting over LA’s CCL defeat to Club Tijuana. “I think that I’m ready to support the team as soon as we play this weekend.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena also gave Penedo the green light stating that the goalkeeper is “close to 100 percent” and will “definitely be available” for the Chivas USA match.
Pleased Penedo will be back in the lineup? Think Perk deserves another game?
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CARSON, Calif. – Once the Galaxy kick off on Sunday, it will have been 182 days since Landon Donovan tied up Jeff Cunningham’s MLS all-time regular season goal scoring record last October against Chivas USA. Now Donovan will have an opportunity to gain sole possession of the league’s goal scoring record against that same Chivas side.
The 32-year-old has yet to find the back of the net in LA’s two MLS regular season matches or their CONCACAF Champions League series against Club Tijuana, but has tallied a great strike record against Chivas with 12 goals in all MLS competitions. Donovan is expecting to be in the lineup on Sunday despite suffering from tendonitis in his knee during his time with the U.S. National Team earlier in the week which prevented him from starting against Mexico.
Although the SuperClasico is always a heated match despite LA’s dominance in the series standings, Donovan downplayed the idea that breaking the league’s goal scoring record against the cross-hall rivals would mean any more to him.
“I don’t think it would mean more because it’s against them, but I just like to score goals," said Donovan after training on Friday. "I feel like I've played pretty well in the first four games and I played okay the other night [against Mexico]. I feel like I’m doing well and moving well, but it’s always nice to hit the goal and I want to hit the goal.”
Donovan admits that he needs to be more selfish toward goal, but was quick to dispel any notion that the hunt for goal 135 is wearing on the attacker.
“I’m in a different phase. I don’t judge how I play based on if I score,” Donovan said. “I've played a lot of bad games where I scored then thought ‘oh, I’m great’ but I’d rather continue playing well and not score. I deserve for myself, I deserve to score. I deserve to score and I’m looking to score.”
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez was profiled by USA Today as a representative of "New America" ahead of the U.S. match against Mexico on Wednesday.