LAGalaxy.com spoke to midfielders Stefan Ishizaki, Baggio Husidic and defender A.J. DeLaGarza ahead of Sunday's clash with the Portland Timbers.
Check out the video below.
In the latest edition of MLSsoccer.com's Scouting Report, the site's editors break down the LA Galaxy's match with the Portland Timbers
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- No matter what you call it, whether it is Providence Park or JELD-WEN Field, Portland has not been kind to the LA Galaxy.
In a total of four matches in Portland, the Galaxy have gone 1-3-0 while conceding nine goals and tallying six -- five of which came in LA's only win in July 2012. A year ago, Portland was again a house of horrors for the Galaxy as they dropped a pair of results due to defensive breakdowns that negated otherwise strong performances.
As LA head into their first match and only match of the regular season in Portland, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane spoke of the Galaxy's recent struggles in the Rose City.
"It's a difficult place to go. There's a good atmosphere which is good and they're so used to playing on the turf that they know it better than anyone else," said Keane. "It's a tough game and always a place to go."
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will be without the services of Omar Gonzalez for this Sunday’s match against the Portland Timbers, but with the U.S. international unavailable, head coach Bruce Arena will have options at center back.
The primary option for Arena appears to be a tandem of Kofi Opare and Leonardo, who were able to keep the Colorado Rapids scoreless after Gonzalez was substituted with a left knee injury in Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat last Saturday. However, Arena could also slide in Tommy Meyer, who has enjoyed a strong season with LA Galaxy II as well as 2014 MLS SuperDraft first round draft pick Kyle Venter.
While there are other options for the two central defense positions, Leonardo and Opare seem like the safe bet for the Timbers match, which sits well with the second-year defender.
“I’ve played with him quite a bit in reserve games and in practice. Like myself, Leonardo is a big presence. He’s a more experienced player who is able to guide me and help me with my movements,” said Opare. “We are similar in our physicality and when Leonardo steps on the field he gives me confidence as a player which helps me be more at ease on the field.”
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – “We just blew it.”
Those were the words from head coach Bruce Arena after the LA Galaxy’s frustrating 1-0 defeat to the Colorado Rapids last Saturday. Although the candid Arena is known for his tough love approach after defeats—and sometimes even positive results—the Galaxy took his words to heart after their poor showing.
“I don’t want to make any excuses. We weren't ready from the get-go,” midfielder Stefan Ishizaki told reporters. “I’d say that we're a better team than they are, but if you don’t work hard then you're not going to get the points. The team that works harder gets the results so we have to work harder as a group. I thought that my performance wasn't good enough but there are a lot of guys who I think would say the same thing.”
Ishizaki was among those who struggled during the loss as the normally active Swede found himself stifled by the constant pressure of the Colorado midfielders. Whereas Ishizaki was active and managing at least a goal or an assist in each of his last three games, the midfielder earned just one attempt on frame against the Rapids which was cleared off the line by Rapids defender Drew Moor in the second minute of play.
With the sting of the Colorado performance still fresh in his mind, Ishizaki admitted that the Galaxy must accept the lessons of the defeat if they are to rebound next weekend.
“We have to show that we're strong enough as a team and that we can bounce back straight away,” said Ishizaki. “And we can only do that by getting a result in Portland.”
PHILADELPHIA -- The 2014 MLS SuperDraft will be taking place on Thursday in Philadelphia and we'll be covering it on CoveritLive below.
The LA Galaxy hold just one pick on day one of the draft with the 23rd overall selection in the second round.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez were named to the 2013 MLS Best XI after a pair of banner seasons.
Keane, a finalist for 2013 MLS MVP and a Best XI selection a year ago, led the Galaxy offense in 2013 with 16 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances. Gonzalez, who was a finalist for the 2013 MLS Defender of the Year, was LA’s defensive fulcrum with one goal and two assists in 27 games played.
The Best XI includes ex-Galaxy players Donovan Ricketts and Mike Magee while the Portland Timbers led all teams with three players included on the squad.
2013 MLS Best XI: Ricketts (Portland Timbers); Besler (Sporting KC), Goncalves (New England Revolution), Gonzalez (LA Galaxy); Cahill (New York Red Bulls); Johnson (Portland), Valeri (Portland), Zusi (Sporting KC); Di Vaio (Montreal Impact), Keane (LA Galaxy), Magee (Chicago Fire)
Thank you @MLS , my fellow players and the media for voting me MLS Best XI. I'm truly honored.
— Omar Gonzalez (@Omar4Gonzalez) December 3, 2013
— OptaJack (@OptaJack) December 3, 2013
Thoughts on the selections?
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MLS continued to hand out their year-end awards on Monday as Portland Timbers head coach Caleb Porter earned the MLS coach of the Year award while New England Revolution defender Kevin Alston won the MLS Comeback Player of the Year.
Porter led the Portland Timbers to a 14-5-15 record in his first season after departing from his post at the University of Akron. The Timbers advanced to the Western Conference Championship, but were knocked off by MLS Cup finalist Real Salt Lake. New York Red Bulls boss Mike Petke finished second, RSL head coach Jason Kreis finished third while Colorado Rapids manager Oscar Pareja finished fourth in the voting.
Alston won the Comeback Player of the Year award by a landslide after returning from being diagnosised with chronic myelogenous leukemia, a rare but treatable form of leukemia. Alston made nine appearances for the Revolution in 2013. Conor Casey, Lamar Negale and Donovan Ricketts finished second, third, and forth in the voting respectively.
Good Morning from Portland, Folks...
I'll have updates from training today as we start to turn the focus to the Vancouver Whitecaps. (Wednesday, 7pm PT, KDOC, KWHY, 1330 AM, lagalaxy.com/gamedaylive) But I'll start you with this image of David Beckham with his ESPY award for Best MLS Player. After the award show on Thursday, Beckham was presented with his ESPY on Friday before training.
It was the first time that Beckham had earned the award, breaking a streak of three straight victories for Landon Donovan. In fact, since the awards inception in 2006, the ESPY for Best MLS Player has only been awarded to Donovan (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2011) or Beckham (2008, 2012)
Much more to come later today...
PORTLAND, Ore. – It was a banner night for Robbie Keane against the Portland Timbers as the Irishman tallied his third two goal game of the season.
With his brace against Portland, Keane is now the Galaxy's leading goal scorer this season with eight.
Here are Keane’s post game thoughts…
(On how fun that match was…)
KEANE: “It’s obviously fun when you score goals, but I think like any professional, you’re disappointed in the goals that you conceded. I’m delighted with the win, but we have to certainly stop these goals that we’re conceding because it seems like we have to score a lot more goals to beat teams and that shouldn’t be the case.”
(On how the JELD-WEN atmosphere…)
KEANE: “The atmosphere is great, the fans were in great voice and certainly when they scored that first goal in the first couple of minutes, the place erupted, but I think we silenced them a little bit. Certainly, in the first half with the way we played and the way that we came back into the game with the quick goals that we got. Obviously though, full credit to the fans because towards the end of the game they were singing so well done to them.
(On the response to the early deficit…)
KEANE: “I think that’s important, that’s been the case hasn’t it? In the last few games we’re conceding goals and we’re chasing the game and with any team, you don’t want to be doing that. You want to try and get a lead and then hold on to it, but for some reason, we keep conceding then we have to score more goals to beat teams.”
(Mood at halftime with Portland planning to come out aggressive…)
KEANE: “We knew that would be the case. It’s been our downfall in a few games, conceding goals straight after halftime. It’ll kill you a little bit. Certainly against San Jose that was the case, but we knew what to expect and I think that we’re the team that came out a bit sharper to be honest with you. We got the fifth goal and killed the game off.”
Get more match coverage HERE.