Preseason

04 March 2:10 pm

It's MLS preview season and the latest of interest is this funny -- and informative -- exchange between Alexi Lalas and Taylor Twellman for their "Big Head Red Head" feature on ESPNFC.com.

Check it out below. 

25 February 6:57 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s season opener is fast approaching and it appears that the team is rounding into fitness.

Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo (broken finger and abductor injury) and defender Todd Dunivant (hamstring injury) have returned to full training while Robbie Rogers (ankle injury) has begun running and according to head coach Bruce Arena will “be ready to go soon.”

Penedo had been dealing with a broken pinky finger prior to the team’s trip to Mexico, but during the team’s trip to face Pumas UNAM, the Panamanian goalkeeper suffered an abductor injury that caused him to miss the club’s next three preseason matches. However, the goalkeeper is bullish that he’ll be ready to suit up once the March 8 season opener against Real Salt Lake rolls around and possibly as soon as Saturday’s closed-door scrimmage against Minnesota United.

“I've been training in the gym [after the injury] but now I’m back with the team in training,” said Penedo. “The opener is the goal and we’re working for that, but we’ll see what happens this weekend.”

Another player who has returned to action is midfielder Stefan Ishizaki who has overcame a stomach illness that kept him bedridden for two days last week. Now with the season opener less than two weeks away, the Swede is hitting the gym to make up for lost time.

“Last week, it wasn't that good; I ate something bad and had to stay in bed for two days. I couldn’t train so that set me back. This week, I've done a lot of extra work and I’m feeling better,” said Ishizaki. “[The season opener] is almost two weeks away and I know that I can get a lot of extra work in during that time.”

25 February 3:29 pm

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.”

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Thoughts on the signing of Riley? Think LA will keep Gargan?

Share thoughts below. 

23 February 12:51 am

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy defeated LA Galaxy II 3-0 in the first-annual “White vs. Blue” game on Saturday evening.

Below are a few notes from the match.

The Galaxy should have the services of starting goalkeeper Jaime Penedo ahead of the final two weeks of preseason. Penedo, who appeared in LA’s first four matches this preseason, has not appeared for LA since their closed-door scrimmage with Pumas UNAM on Feb. 11 in Mexico.  Following the victory over Galaxy II, Arena gave Penedo the all-clear to train in the next couple of weeks.

“He’s going to be fine over the next couple of weeks. He’s ready to go,” said Arena.

LA should also have the services of Stefan Ishizaki who was reduced to a substitute’s role against Galaxy II. The Swede was left off the roster entirely in Wednesday’s victory over UCLA.

“He is doing well,” Arena said. “We have to push him as he is behind fitness wise, but we are going to get him going.”

Arena also mentioned to a yet-to-be finalized match remaining on the preseason docket. According to reports, LA will face Minnesota United at some point next week. 

19 February 6:04 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant and Robbie Rogers have been largely absent from the LA Galaxy lineup this preseason, but both are expected to be back training next week.

Head coach Bruce Arena told reporters following the Galaxy’s 2-0 scrimmage victory over UCLA on Wednesday that Dunivant is unlikely to appear in Saturday’s “White vs. Blue” Game against LA Galaxy II, but is expected to return to training next week. Dunivant has yet to appear in a match this preseason.

Arena also revealed that Rogers, who suffered an ankle injury earlier this month, is likely to return to the practice field at some point next week.

While Dunivant and Rogers are still on the mend, third-year defender Tommy Meyer made his preseason debut with 30 minute shift on Wednesday. Meyer had been sidelined for much of the preseason due to a groin injury.  

“He’s a got a long way to go,” said Arena. “He only played 30 minutes today and he has been out awhile. He’s just starting to get back into it.”

19 February 4:20 pm

CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy have their captain back.

Galaxy captain Robbie Keane scored a goal and played 45 minutes in the second half of LA’s 2-0 victory over UCLA in a closed-door scrimmage at StubHub Center on Wednesday.  In my piece for LAGalaxy.com, Keane and the rest of the Galaxy give a positive assessment of the Irishman’s performance which included a penalty kick goal in the 62nd minute.

Among those impressed was new signing Rob Friend, who started the opening 45 minutes of LA’s victory over UCLA.

“Adding him just doubled our team,” said Friend. “This was the first time that I saw him in a game, and I’m excited to play with him. He brings so much to the team offensively and we need a guy who is combining and providing the last pass. As a striker, it’s a dream to play with a guy like that.”

View Keane's goal below.

18 February 2:36 pm

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.”

17 February 4:45 pm

FRESNO, Calif. – The LA Galaxy took home the inaugural Central California Cup with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, but will their trip to Fresno become a yearly visit?

Fueled by goals by Marcelo Sarvas and Gyasi Zardes, the Galaxy held off their archrivals to earn their first silverware of the season. Following the game that saw 12,659 fans fill a sold-out Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena admitted that he was quite taken by the atmosphere created by the raucous crowd.

“I’m sure that we’ll be talking to the promoters of the game tonight and see if there is a possibility of returning in the future,” said Arena after the match which was the Galaxy's first game in Fresno since 2007.

Galaxy club president Chris Klein was similarly impressed by the facilities that hosted both the first team match on Saturday and the inaugural game for LA Galaxy II on Thursday.  Klein even went as far to praise the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino which hosted both Galaxy squads.

“To be hosted by the city of Fresno and the Fresno Fuego has been nice for us. It fits nicely into our preseason,” said Klein. “[The team] enjoyed it. The players enjoy getting up here and being able to bond a little bit, they went to the Casino a little bit and they’ve enjoyed themselves.”

It wasn’t just the Galaxy brass who was impressed as U.S. National Team regulars Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were wowed by the Fresno faithful.

"I was really impressed with the crowd,” said Donovan. “I thought it was great and there's no reason why we shouldn't come back here again."

Gonzalez went a bit further even stating that he hoped LA returned next year.

"The fans came out tonight and hopefully we will be back again next year…and hopefully we can keep the Cup," said the Galaxy defender.

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Do you think the Galaxy will return next year? Hoping to make the trip if they do?

Share your thoughts below. 

16 February 12:33 am

FRESNO, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes made a statement on Saturday with his stunning goal to seal the Central California Cup -- he's steadily becoming the dangerous striker that was among 2013's most highly-touted prospects.

In my story for LAGalaxy.com, Zardes talks about his development over the past year after scoring a highlight-reel finish that helped LA defeat the San Jose Earthquakes 2-1 on Saturday evening.

The goal can be viewed below.

15 February 12:46 pm

When the LA Galaxy take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening, you'll be able to watch the Central California Cup on LAGalaxy.com.

Watch the game tonight at LAGalaxy.com/Live