The LA Galaxy are going full speed ahead with their plans for a USL team in 2014.
During his interview on Joe Tutino’s LA Galaxy All-Access Podcast, Arena stated that the club is “anticipating” having a USL squad in the coming season that will help them develop existing rostered players, but also add further pieces in the Galaxy Academy.
“We’re going ahead full speed. We anticipate having a USL team. That will serve our academy players who were moving up to the major league roster. It will serve our players who are not playing on a regular basis for the first team as well,” Arena told Tutino. “We’re going to have obviously other players involved in the [USL] roster. Between the first team, which is now 30 to 29 players in MLS, and [the USL] roster we’ll likely have another 15 players who are involved in the USL and complemented by our roster. We should have 45 players here on a daily basis, two teams and a number of opportunities to give players game experience and to continue to move forward.
“We’re hopeful that we can discover a couple of players through the USL team but also develop our academy players that need playing time,” Arena continued. “You’re going to see players like Oscar Sorto, Jack McBean, Raul Mendiola, perhaps, Jose Villarreal; all those young players that if they’re not playing on a regular basis with us, they will be playing with the USL team.”
In addition to the USL team and a myriad of other topics, Arena addressed the topic of LA Galaxy players going on offseason loans stating that “our players aren't going anywhere” noting that Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez are expected to join U.S. National Team’s annual January camp. The Galaxy manager also stated that Robbie Keane should be back in comission after four to six weeks following his "procedure" earlier in the week.
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Three members of the LA Galaxy have been nominated for the first annual CONCACAF year-end awards.
Landon Donovan has been nominated for Player of the Year for his stellar 2013 that saw him take home the Golden Ball (tournament's MVP) and the Golden Boot (tournament's top scorer) at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup in addition to a 10 goal and nine assist performance for the Galaxy. LA goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is nominated for Goalkeeper of the Year after a stellar 2013 that saw him lead the Panamanian national team to the final of the Gold Cup while winning the Golden Gloves award for the tournament's best goalkeeper. Penedo also led Panama to within minutes of qualifying for a berth in a World Cup playoff.
Finally, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has been nominated for Coach of the Year.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy announced their annual team awards on Tuesday with Robbie Keane taking home team MVP honors.
Keane enjoyed an MLS MVP-type season with 16 goals and 11 assists in 23 games played earning the team MVP and team Golden Boot. Meanwhile, Omar Gonzalez earned the club defender of the year award after a strong season that saw him finish fourth for the league honor.
Galaxy defender Sean Franklin won the club’s Humanitarian of the Year award for his work with the community.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez finished third in MLS Defender of the Year voting as New England Revolution defender Jose Goncalves took home the award.
Gonzalez earned 18.37 percent of the club vote, 7.79 percent of the media vote and 15.07 percent of the player vote for a weighted total of 41.23. Coming in second was Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler with New York Red Bulls center back Jamison Olave coming in fourth.
The award for the league's top defender wasn't the only awards issued on Tuesday as Hilario Grajeda was voted Referee of the Year and Kermit Quisenberry was voted the Assistant Referee of the Year.
VANCOUVER, Canada— It was a night to remember for Jose Villarreal as the forward scored his first professional goal saving a point for the LA Galaxy in a 2-2 draw against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Villarreal’s goal was a wonderstrike that was created from a ball over-the-top from David Beckham that allowed Juninho to dish to the youngster. Villarreal then cut past Gerson Koffie and fired a left-footed shot into the far post of the net. Above is a photo that I snapped of the autographed game ball that was presented to Villarreal from the entire Galaxy squad.
Villarreal’s thoughts after his first professional goal below:
(On coming late and changing the result…)
VILLARREAL: “I was happy that I finally got the chance and happy that I got the goal to tie it up so I’m really happy with the result.”
(On his world-class finish and how it started…)
VILLARREAL: “I don’t know, I’m just training every day and it just comes out. I saw the ball and I immediately cut it to my left foot and then just hit it far post.”
(On his mindset through the game…)
VILLARREAL: “Everything was pretty fast and once I got a couple of touches on the ball then the game slowed down. I got my rhythm and then I scored.”
(On his thoughts immediately after scoring the goal…)
VILLARREAL: “I didn’t have any words to describe it. I was very happy and I just want to keep going.
(Is this the start of playing more…)
VILLARREAL: “ I don’t know, that’s up to the coaches, but I’m going to continue to keep working and hopefully I’ll get more minutes, but if not then I’ll keep working.