CARSON, Calif. -- Jose Villarreal is back and the LA Galaxy Homegrown Player believes that he has plenty to prove returning to Southern California.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, Villarreal talks about his frustrations with his stint with Cruz Azul and his eagerness to shine for Galaxy II. Villarreal failed to register a single appearance for the Cruz Azul first team, but scored in his first appearance for Los Dos last weekend in their loss to the Pittsburgh Riverhounds
More of Jose Villarreal's thoughts on coming back are below.
(On whether he regrets his transfer to Mexico…)
VILLARREAL: “I wouldn’t say regret, but it was a challenge. But it was a challenge that I learned a lot from. It wasn’t really a failure or a little disappointment. It was something like I went to Mexico with a mentality to do well, and it didn’t go my way. I came back with the same mentality, and I will try to do the same thing that I’ve been doing here.”
(On whether he was disappointed in the way it ended…)
VILLARREAL: “Maybe if I had gotten few more games, then my decision would have been a lot tougher. So it is what it is, and I’m happy with that.”
(On the main lesson that he learned in Mexico…)
VILLARREAL: “Lifestyle is different obviously, but the society isn’t as wealthy as it is here. So, you can see the difference of the way players live versus the way that the people live. So that was the learning off the field. And on the field, it was a different kind of soccer, and got to learn it the first two years that I was here, so from the five months that I was there, I will try to bring what I learned over there and mix it up with the style over here.”
(On whether the biggest regret at Mexico was not getting enough minutes…)
VILLARREAL: “I think that was what it was. I was coming from being on the bench and getting few minutes with the Galaxy here and there, and few starts, and Champions League. So, I went down there and I couldn’t play the Champions League because of the rule, and those games were good, and we ended up winning the Champions League, so it would have been good to get into those games, but as you said not being able to get minutes. Maybe I could have waited, but I didn’t so, we’ll see what happens from now. Most of the minutes that I was getting were with the U-20s. I think I played 10 minutes with the Hidalgo team, so it was a bit frustrating but it was just some bumps on the road and I just got to keep going.”
(On the differences between top players in Mexico and in the USA…)
VILLARREAL: “From the top players like top players like Robbie Keane, who is from oversea, 90% chance is a goal. So he is the guy that you want on your team. You could see the difference. For example, Gyasi has been great this season. Last season, he had a lot of opportunities and he was working on it. Now you give this player minutes there is confidence when he steps on the field. Just keep going and the result is going well so I’m happy for him.”
(On any first team aspirations that he holds…)
VILLARREAL: “I haven’t really talked about that. I’m focused, right now, and I’m looking to make a full commitment with [Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo] and the second team. I am happy to be with Curt. I’ve been working with him for a while and he is a good coach.”
CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant returned to the LA Galaxy game day roster on Saturday after a lengthy injury spell and now the veteran left back is continue his recovery by appearing in a match for LA Galaxy II.
In an interview with LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan, Dunivant states that he’s expecting to suit up for Los Dos on Saturday when they take on Arizona United SC at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium. If Dunivant does play, it’ll be his first action since he suffered an abdominal tear during LA’s April 6 match with Chivas USA.
Following Galaxy II’s training session on Monday, Los Dos head coach Curt Onalfo stated that all signs point to Dunivant suiting up against Arizona.
“We just have to see how the week progresses, but he could certainly be a guy that we could give minutes to as he continues to progress from injury,” said Onalfo. “As long as he’s healthy then he’s going to get minutes.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane and Omar Gonzalez may not be taking part in Wednesday's MLS All-Star Game, but there will be an LA Galaxy player available when the All-Stars take on Bayern Munich at Portland's Providence Park -- Landon Donovan.
The Galaxy announced late last week that Keane and Gonzalez would miss out on the event due to the team's clash with their archrival San Jose Earthquakes on Friday, but Donovan -- who went 90 minutes in LA's 3-1 win over the Portland Timbers on Saturday -- remained on the squad. Although Donovan will be available for the match against his former club, he expects to see limited minutes for the All-Stars.
"In the end, I don't get to make that decision [about staying behind]. I'm happy to go and I'm excited to go. I've already spoken with [MLS All-Star head coach Caleb Porter] and I won't be playing a lot, and that's okay. I understand because there has been other All-Star Games where I haven't been able to play. It's good for [our] guys to rest and it'll be fine because I'll be ready for Friday."
While Donovan will see, at least, some time in the league's showpiece event, Keane and Gonzalez will remain behind in Southern California and prepare for Friday's match against the Earthquakes. While missing out on the All-Star Game was a tad frustrating for the Galaxy's Irish captain, he sent well wishes to the league's best as they prepare to take on Bayern.
"I'm happy that I was selected, but first and foremost my priority is the Galaxy and we have an important game on Friday," said Keane. "I wish the All-Stars well and I'm sorry that I couldn't be there, but I'll be watching on TV."
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) August 2, 2014
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to reporters following the team's 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers.
Check his thoughts below.
(On the team’s performance in the win….)
ARENA: “It wasn’t similar to the other day. We fell behind a goal. It’s good for our team to be in a hard game against a good team. We prevailed, obviously. The goal at the end of the first half was big. Second half, they came at us with a little bit more energy and created a couple of chances. Obviously, the Keane goal was the difference. But I thought overall it was a good 90 minutes for our team. We were sloppy at times in the first half. We could have been a little bit cleaner. Technically, in and around the goal area, we could have create another goal or two, but overall it was a good performance. We are on a good run, and hopefully we keep getting better.”
(On success of Gyasi Zardes…)
ARENA: “He’s doing well. Big goal obviously. A lot of little things, he’s getting better. He’s running off the ball better .He’s holding the ball better. He’s passing better. Everything’s improved and I think playing next to Robbie [Keane] is important. Robbie’s doing a good job helping him move along .Landon [Donovan] had another good effort tonight. Backline performed well.”
(On Robbie Rogers playing left back…)
ARENA: “I think that coming from a deeper position is good for him. But the thing about Robbie in that position is he’s an excellent defender, which is the number one box you need to check when you are going to play as a defender. He does that exceptionally well. The other stuff like going forward is icing on the cake.”
(On coming back from behind to win…)
ARENA: “I think anytime you win a game when you are trailing is important. It shows character. The goal came against run of play. [Stefan] Ishizaki got his head onto the ball and deflected it. Then end up getting a goal. Probably their only shot of the first half. It was a little bit against run of play.”
(On the team’s performance so far this season…)
ARENA: “We are, what, second place now in the Western Conference, against teams that have a couple games in hand on us. We have the best defensive record in the league. We are probably in the top three or four in attacking categories. We are getting healthier. I give the team a B plus. [For] the coach [i give] a C-minus goes with my grade point average in college.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on the Portland Timbers on Saturday in a brunch time 11:30 a.m. PT match.
In the latest edition of "By the Numbers," we look at the Galaxy's success against Portland at home.
Check it out below.
SEATTLE – Robbie Rogers has been searching for a position to call home with the LA Galaxy after a vagabond first season with the club, but it appears that the defender has, at last, found his place at left back.
Back for the first time since early-July after overcoming an ankle injury, Rogers provided needed width along the left side of the defense while also aiding the Galaxy attack with piercing runs forward. After playing his sixth match across all competitions along the left side of defense, Rogers went as far to admit that he feels as though he has become a full-fledged left back.
“It felt great, especially the first half. My ankle still feels sore, so I didn’t know if I was going to be ready to play, but I’ve played through injuries and I really wanted to play in this one,” Rogers told LA Galaxy Insider. “I really wanted to play in the Kansas City game, but I wasn’t ready and I tried to train and be ready for that but I’ve really enjoyed playing left back and right back when I played against Chicago.
“I feel more comfortable [at the [position] the more games I play,” he added. “I was happy to participate and contribute, but I still think that I can improve a lot more.
In arguably his best performance along the flank, Rogers worked well with midfielder Landon Donovan to shut down the Sounders right sided attackers while also making overlapping runs that pinned Seattle back in their own end. Following the match, Rogers’ stat sheet was indicative of his efforts as he finished the game with an impressive stat line that included seven interceptions and seven recoveries.
Rogers’ quick ability to adapt to his new defensive role has led some to compare him to DaMarcus Beasley, another former midfielder who extended his career several years by making the move to the back line.
Quite familiar with Beasley’s game due to their time on the U.S. national team, Rogers admits that the move may look similar to the new Houston Dynamo Designated Player’s change on the surface, but he shrugged of any comparisons.
“DaMarcus and I are just different. Even when we played left wing we were different,” said Rogers. “Even though they are the same position, I wouldn't compare the way that we play. I don’t think that the way that we play is similar.”
Following their convincing 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC on Monday evening, Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and Marcelo Sarvas were named to MLSscocer.com's Team of the Week.
Donovan and Sarvas had a hand in all three Galaxy goals with Donovan ending the evening with one goal and two assists while the Brazilian tallied one assist in a dominant performance in central midfield. Meanwhile Gonzalez was confident in defense in his first match back from an ankle injury as LA silenced the Sounders attack.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena was also named Coach of the Week while right back Dan Gargan was named to the team of the week bench.
SEATTLE— It was the moment that left U.S. National Team fans aghast.
In the third minute of first half stoppage time of the LA Galaxy’s 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, a scuffle ensued between LA’s Omar Gonzalez and Seattle’s Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin.
The sequence began when Yedlin went up for a header with A.J. DeLaGarza and appeared to launch an elbow at the Galaxy center back. Gonzalez spotted hard challenge and promptly pushed Yedlin to the pitch with Demspey descending upon his USMNT teammate moments later for a heated exchange. For his role in the tussle, only Omar Gonzalez earned a caution from as tempers remained high between both sides throughout the rest of the Galaxy’s road win.
The altercation between the two teams led to plenty of attention during the game, but after the match it was hardly mentioned as only Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan addressed the in-game tension.
“It’s enjoyable. It’s competitive, and our team wasn’t going to back down and we don’t want guys to back down. We don’t want to be stupid, but we want to be competitive and Seattle is the same way,” Donovan said. “Sigi [Schmid] is an excellent coach and he always has them ready to go. All that stuff happens after the game. You shake hands and you move on, but it was a good game, it was a competitive game, but a clean game.”
SEATTLE -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed reporters following the LA Galaxy's 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC.
His quotes are below.
(On the game…)
ARENA: “The team played well. It was a good performance on the road and a good performance if you were at home. Our guys played well tonight. They looked sharp.”
(On Marcelo Sarvas’ play…)
ARENA: “He played well. He played a good 90 minutes on both sides of the ball. It was a really good performance.”
(On what he said at halftime…)
ARENA: “Win the game. Our objective is to win the game and we did a pretty smart job in the second half. It could’ve been a little bit better, but good enough to get the win.”
(On why they dominated so much in the first half…)
ARENA: “We played well. We looked sharp and, you know, it’s mid-year right now. Everyone is still finding themselves. We’re just beginning to get our team on the field. After a half a season of misery, having to deal with the injuries and the absences and all that, hopefully we’ll get a little bit more of a solidified unit.”
(On the return of Omar Gonzalez…)
ARENA: “Omar hasn’t played with us for three months so it was great to get him back on the field.”
(On Robbie Rogers and Dan Gargan’s play…)
ARENA: “They played well. Our entire team played well tonight. It was a good performance and it was nice to get that group on the field. It was probably the first time they’ve played together this year.”
(On if the slow schedule at the beginning of the year helps with getting momentum now…)
ARENA: “The schedule at the beginning of the year helps nobody. It was a terrible schedule and made it very awkward and difficult to get our team moving in the right direction. That’s all part of it as well. We’re trying to catch up now. We’re only 18 games in at this point in the season and we’d like to have a few more. We have a real challenge ahead of us going into the second half of the season.”
(On the intelligence of his team’s play…)
ARENA: “We didn’t have to be pretty in the second half. Our goal is to win the game and I thought they played a smart game. Getting a clean sheet was important.”
(On if Chad Marshall playing would’ve made a difference for Seattle…)
ARENA:“Everybody misses players. It’s all part of it. He certainly is a good player. Would he have made a difference in the game? I don’t know.”
(On the team’s play as of late…)
ARENA:“I think over the last 10 games, we’re like 6-1-3 or something. It’s not like we’re playing bad.”
(On if the result against Manchester United may have motivated the team…)
ARENA: “It has nothing to do with anything. It’s just an exhibition. We could’ve cared less whether we won or lost that game. It’s an exhibition. It’s good for Manchester United. It’s good for the Galaxy. It’s good for the fans that came to the game, and that’s the most important thing. If you read anything more into exhibitions, then you probably don’t know what you’re watching. Having said that, if we play them 10 times, there’s a good chance they’ll beat us 10 times so let’s be fair about that.”
In the latest edition of "What to Watch For", I break down the LA Galaxy's match with Seattle Sounders FC with Joe Tutino.
Check it out below.