CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Keane knows a thing or two about rivalries.
The Ireland international has played in some of the most renowned club rivalries in the world from Celtic vs. Rangers—which is Keane’s personal favorite battle—, Liverpool FC vs. Everton to Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal, and he’d like to see the SuperClasico blossom into a great MLS rivalry.
But the LA Galaxy captain admits that the rivalry just isn’t there yet largely due to the lackluster crowds at Chivas home matches.
“A derby is about everyone getting involved. The atmosphere is electric and the place is full,” said Keane. “Unfortunately, there won’t be a great crowd and it’s a shame because we want this rivalry to be important as there are two teams in LA, but it’s not going to work unless we get a real hostile atmosphere and we probably won’t get that.”
Keane has shined against the cross-hall rivals with four goals and a single assist all-time against the Rojiblancos. But even though he’s had great success against Chivas, he’s hoping that their fans can breathe some life into the SuperClasico.
“I want the fans to support them. To have a rivalry, you need the whole package and fortunately the whole package isn’t there,” said Keane. “They get more people when they play us, but against Chicago for example they get around 2,000 to 4,000 people. Every atmosphere that I’ve played in has had a crazy atmosphere but it’s not just about the name of the two teams, it’s about the whole package. The half package is there, but not full just yet.”
LA Galaxy players A.J. DeLaGarza and Robbie Keane were named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on Monday for their performances in LA's 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
DeLaGarza shined in his 72 minute appearance starting at center back, the Galaxy defender helped limit RSL's chances by making timely blocks and clearances before being forced to exit due to injury after a harsh challenge by Alvaro Saborio. Meanwhile, Keane tallied the club's lone goal of the afternoon in a fine individual effort that is also up for MLSsoccer.com's Goal of the Week.
Robbie Keane's brilliant finish against Real Salt Lake is up for MLSsoccer.com's Goal of the Week honors.
Keane tallied his first MLS goal of the 2014 campaign came during the 34th minute as he capitalized on an RSL turnover that led to a Galaxy break up field which ultimately culiminated in a near-post blast by Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando. For his role in LA's 1-1 draw, Keane was also named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week along with defender A.J. DeLaGarza.
Vote for Keane here and check out all the nominees below.
TIJUANA, MEXICO – The LA Galaxy players differed about the timing, but all admitted that LA surrendered their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal series with Club Tijuana within the opening 30 minutes.
LA conceded three times in the opening half hour as Tijuana pressed mercilessly, but nearly leveled the tie thanks to a Robbie Keane second half brace, that ultimately was not enough. Following the match, the Galaxy admitted their slow start in Tijuana cost them the series.
“The game was over in the first 10 minutes. It’s as simple as that. We started off slow and when you concede a goal in the space of 57 seconds; you can’t start away from home like that especially in a game like this and go on and expect that everything is going to be okay,” said Robbie Keane. “Once you concede one goal then you have to get organized and concede again, then five minutes later, you concede again. It put our backs against the wall and when we had to fight to get back in the game.”
Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan agreed.
“When you start a game like that then you don’t deserve it. We lost the game in the first 25 minutes, we know that,” said Donovan. “It’s disappointing because we know what we’re capable of, we showed what we’re capable of, but unfortunately for us, we were a little naïve and it showed.”
TIJUANA – Club Tijuana may be down a goal in their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against the LA Galaxy, but there’s little reason to worry from the Xolos camp ahead of Tuesday’s decisive second leg.
Tijuana have been near invincible at home in recent years with the team dropping just one match in their last 18 league games—a 3-0 defeat to Chiapas Jaguar in February—and will be looking to use the crowd to their advantage against the Galaxy.
If Tijuana can use their home advantage to their favor, former Galaxy forward Herculez Gomez promises that his old club will be in for a “very tough day” at the Estadio Caliente.
“We can be very unpredictable, and that's a very dangerous fighter to face,” Former Galaxy forward Herculez Gomez told reporters on Monday prior to the first leg. “The good thing about a fight, it just takes one punch. And we're one of those teams, we have some punch.”
Outside back Greg Garza, who was one of the most dangerous players in the first leg, believes that the Tijuana have found spaces to exploit in the Galaxy back line.
“They’re a very dangerous team offensively; they have a lot of good players in the attack," Garza told MLSsoccer.com's ExtraTime Radio podcast on Monday. "Maybe their weakness can be in their back line and we have to take advantage of that.”
Just because you're in town for an important game, doesn't mean that you can't have a little fun.
During the LA Galaxy's training session at Estadio Caliente on Monday, LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane fired an amazing trick shot firing a pinpoint laser into a nearby shopping cart pushed by LA Equipment coordinator Rafael Verdin.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy know that a shutout of Club Tijuana will send them through to the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals for a second straight year. But don’t expect them to hang back for 90 plus minutes.
With the Galaxy holding a 1-0 aggregate advantage after their one goal victory over Tijuana in the first leg, the Xolos must attack from the outset as they look to erase their deficit. While Tijuana’s attacking mindset might lead to the temptation to bunker in, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena believes LA must get a goal if they’re to assure themselves a spot in the semifinals.
“We have an advantage [by not conceding an away goal], but it’s only halfway through in the competition and a goal tomorrow will go a long way in helping us advance,” said Arena at a press conference on Monday at the Estadio Caliente. “We don’t anticipate being defensive for 90 minutes, we need to get a goal.”
Where the Galaxy may have have the most success is with the counter attack as Tijuana will look to send waves of attackers forward, which may open chances for LA to exploit the spaces left in the back. But according to Galaxy captain Robbie Keane, that won’t be all that LA will be relying on against the Xolos.
“We’re certainly very used to doing that and confident in our counter attack, but we’re not coming here to sit back and let them keep the ball for 90 minutes, attacking us for the whole game,” said Keane who has scored once in two CONCACAF Champions League matches in Mexico. “We have quality on this team that is quite capable of playing against any team. With them pressing so much that they have to score, the first 15-20 minutes will be important to not concede any goals and from there, we’re quite capable of scoring ourselves.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The use of replacement officials was a major plot line heading into the first week of MLS action, but according to the LA Galaxy, they made little impact on their 1-0 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
Replacement head referee Javier Santos and his officiating crew called a total of 42 fouls during the match while also issuing five yellow card cautions. The most scrutinized calls came late in the second half when an RSL goal by Luke Mulholland was negated due to assistant referee Jose Da Silva signaling from an offside on the play. Santos made another key call in the dying moments of the match, when he signaled for a Galaxy penalty due to a foul by an RSL defender on LA forward Rob Friend that was ultimately saved by RSL’s Nick Rimando.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena labeled the officiating "pretty good" noting that he was pleased with the referee’s performances in each of the matches that he observed on Saturday. He wasn't alone in that sentiment after the final whistle.
"I thought they actually did well to be honest with you," said Galaxy captain Robbie Keane. "The first half especially they did very well. In the second half, there were a few things here or there, which is to be expected. Overall, I thought it was pretty good."
However, Landon Donovan was quick to note that there were some differences from the usual way that MLS matches are officiated.
"I thought that they did a pretty good job, but the only difference is they don't understand our league and how it plays," said Donovan. "I thought there were too many fouls called. They should have let the game go more, but overall, it wasn't a bad job. However, we certainly hope that we get our refs back because we under estimate how good they've become and we want them back as soon as possible.”
It's been some week for Robbie Keane.
First, he wins his second FAI Senior International Player of the Award, then he gets a new multi-year contract that will keep him with the Galaxy for "two possibly three years," and now he earns an honor of a different sort. GQ Magazine named the Galaxy captain as one of their "10 Best-Dressed Men of the Week."
Thanks to his smart blue-green suit that he wore at the ninth annual Oscar Wilde: Honoring The Irish In Film' Pre-Academy Awards event in Santa Monica, the Irishman came in at number four on the list in front of the likes of Joe Jonas, Shaun White and Robin Thicke.
CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes entered the preseason as something of a forgotten man with the LA Galaxy’s new additions grabbing the headlines, but the forward has staked his claim to start in Saturday’s season opener against Real Salt Lake.
The second-year attacker has been revitalized this preseason as he has appeared to shake off the finishing woes that plagued him in his rookie season. Just where he ends up on the field still remains a question mark, however, as he has had some of his greatest success playing on the right side of midfield and up top.
However, ask one of his more accomplished teammates about where Zardes should play and the answer is a simple one.
“His best position [in midfield] whether it’s on the left or the right hand side because he’s quick and can beat people,” said LA captain Robbie Keane who is quick to praise Zardes for his improved finishing this preseason. “It’s all well and good to be doing it during the preseason, but it’s about doing it when the real business starts.”
When told of Keane’s declaration, Zardes agrees, “I feel like I’m good in the midfield. I feel like I pose a threat and can get the ball to the forward’s feet."
But at times, when Zardes pushes forward, it changes the Galaxy’s formation as their 4-4-2 formation evolves into an apparent 4-3-3, something that the second-year attacker is keenly aware of.
“I’m always pushing into the attack,” said Zardes of his positioning on the field. “I don’t know what the coaches have in mind, but wherever they use me whether it’s as a forward or in midfield, I’m going to try to be a threat.”
Think Zardes will get the start out wide on Saturday? Think StefanIshizaki will start?
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