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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The LA Galaxy signed captain Robbie Keane to a new multi-year contract extension on Wednesday that may keep him with the club for as many as three years.
In honor of the Galaxy forward's new contract, LAGalaxy.com honored the Irishman with an infographic that highlights his accomplishments for both club and country. My favorite touch is the addition of a quote from legendary Irish author James Joyce.
Check out what may be my favorite piece of LA Galaxy content this year below.
Robbie Keane is not leaving Southern California any time soon.
The LA Galaxy announced on Wednesday that Keane had signed a new multi-year contract extension to remain with the club. Keane is coming off an impressive 2013 campaign that saw him score 16 goals and 11 assists in 23 appearances while finishing second in MLS MVP voting to former teammate Mike Magee. The 33-year-old Irish forward is expected to start Saturday's MLS season opener against Real Salt Lake.
As for the length of the deal, under league rules those details were not released, but the Galaxy captain told Sky Sports in November that he had signed a new contract that could keep him with the club for as many as three additional years.
Pleased that Keane is staying with the club for the long haul?
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LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane was named the Republic of Ireland's Senior International Player of the Year on Sunday in a ceremony at the RTE Television Studios in Dublin.
Keane tallied eight goals internationally to boost his all-time Ireland national team record to 62 goals.The Ireland captain's international tally is fourth among European international goal scorers behind Ferenc Puskás (89 goals for Hungary and Spain), Sándor Kocsis (75 goals for Hungary), Gerd Müller, and Miroslav Klose (both with 68 goals for Germany).
The 33-year-old has now won Ireland's Senior International Player of the Year award two times and the FAI Young International Player of the Year award twice.
Although the award is certainly an honor for Keane, it is his acceptance video that is a must-see.
Check it out below.
There's no question that Robbie Keane is what makes the LA Galaxy tick.
In the latest installment of MLSsoccer.com's The Throw-in, Jonah Freedman discusses the importance of the Galaxy's Irish captain and the influence that he has had on the team in an very interesting piece. In his piece, Freedman breaks down the importance of Landon Donovan to Keane's success, but for good measure, I went a little deeper and broke down the LA captain's numbers ( in all MLS competitions) when he's beside Donovan up top, when Donovan is on the pitch in midfield and when he is out of the lineup.
WHEN DONOVAN IS IN MIDFIELD: 11 goals. (3 in 2011, 4 in 2012, 4 in 2013)
WITHOUT DONOVAN ON THE FIELD: 8 goals (0 in 2011, 5 in 2012, 3 in 2013)
PARTNERED ALONGSIDE EACH OTHER: 22 goals. (0 in 2011, 13 in 2012, 9 in 2013)
CARSON, Calif. – Two goals, an assist and another major step forward for LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane.
The Irishman put in a 70 minute shift in LA’s 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy II, tallying twice in what was his longest appearance to date this preseason. Against the USL PRO side, Keane was a threat each time he touched the ball, but his finest moment came just seconds into the contest when he launched a chip from beyond 35 yards that caught Galaxy II goalkeeper Cody Laurendi off his line for the easy finish.
Following the match, Keane was pleased with his fitness and that feeling was echoed by head coach Bruce Arena.
“Robbie Keane needs to work hard in the next couple of weeks to be ready and he is getting there. He did a good job tonight,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “The first goal was unbelievable. I don’t know how he quite saw that, it was ridiculous. That’s why we are paying him the big bucks.”
View Keane’s two goals below.
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane is on the mend and with the MLS regular season fast approaching, he will not be participating in Ireland’s upcoming match against Serbia.
The Ireland captain was left off the roster by head coach Martin O’Neill ahead of the March 5 match in Dublin against Serbia.
In their release, the Ireland Football Association states that O’Neill has spoken with Keane and omitted the striker so that he may focus on the Galaxy’s season opener against Real Salt Lake on March 8.