CARSON, Calif. -- The Villarreal family may have yet another talented son starring for the LA Galaxy soon.
In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, Galaxy U-18 forward Jaime Villarreal talks about his recent academy success and his older brother -- and LA Galaxy Homegrown Player -- Jose backs him for success. But the elder Villarreal isn't the only player to heap praise on Jaime as his Galaxy Academy and Galaxy II teammate Oscar Sorto is also very high on Jaime.
"I think that he's a good player. He's smart with the ball and playing really well," Sorto told LA Galaxy Insider after training with the U.S. Under-21 team on Tuesday at StubHub Center. "His attitude has changed from when I first met him because he seems to want it more now. He's in shape and taking his soccer more seriously. I think that he has a great future ahead of him."
But does Sorto think that Jaime is a bit better than his older brother?
"I don't know yet. Jose has way more experience right now than Jaime, but you never know. In the future, the younger brother is always stronger," Sorto said with a smile.
VANCOUVER, B.C. – Dan Gargan looks like he’s here to stay on the right-side of the LA Galaxy defense.
The 31-year-old put forth another strong performance on Saturday as he notched his second assist in three starts. Gargan’s two helpers place him in a four-way tie for the team lead.
Gargan’s brightest moment came in the 38th minute when he launched a diagonal ball onto the head of Baggio Husidic who knocked it toward Stefan Ishizaki, who nodded a shot past Vancouver goalkeeper David Ousted for the game’s first goal.
“It’s something that Bruce has encouraged for me to get involved in the attack and take the space when it’s available. When that opportunity opens up, I want to do whatever I can help,”Gargan told reporters after the game. “If that’s pushing forward and being an option then great, but if nothing else, then I’d like to pull teams wide and give Robbie [Keane] and Landon [Donovan] options going forward.”
The veteran defender also excelled on the defensive side of the ball as he made five recoveries, two clearances and one interception during the draw. Despite his success, head coach Bruce Arena admitted that the Galaxy have yet to see the best that the defender has to offer.
"Dan had a solid game,” the Galaxy coach said. “We're moving him along, he needs a few games to get full match fitness, but he's doing well."
Several weeks ago, British pop band Rixton visited LA Galaxy training and got the opportunity to train alongside LA captain and Ireland soccer legend Robbie Keane.
In this video by VEVO -- a music video hosting service which is a joint venture by Universal Music Group, Google, Sony Music Entertainment and Abu Dhabi Media -- in their VEVO LIFT series, the Manchester-based group is profiled while at StubHub Center and LA Galaxy training. You might know the band from their single "Me and My Broken Heart" which peaked at 65 in the Billboard Hot 100.
Regardless of your musical tastes, the video is actually very well done, check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Baggio Husidic tallied his first goal in nearly two years on Sunday as he scored in the LA Galaxy's 3-0 victory over Chivas USA.
The goal capped off a lovely display of team passing as LA completed six passes before Husidic smashed the ball past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy for the finish. Husidic's last goal came in his second match for Swedish side Hammarby in a win against Umeå FC back in April of 2012.
“It was a nice goal. It was a good goal, a team goal," said Husidic. "There’s no better way to put it, a lot of one-two touch, from the back to the front really quick.”
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane was also quick to praise the build-up play on Husidic's finish.
“Certainly you look at the third goal. It was certainly a proper goal and the way that we like to play," said Keane. "A counter attack, keeping the ball and going as quick as possible, and ultimately we got a great goal from it.”
Check out Husidic's goal below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Stefan Ishizaki finally had a chance to show off his class on Sunday as he scored his first-ever MLS goal in the LA Galaxy's 3-0 victory over Chivas USA.
The goal came in the 42nd minute as Juninho found Ishizaki who took a heavy first touch that allowed him to move past Chivas USA defender Carlos Bocanegra before he chipped a hard-charging Dan Kennedy with his left foot for his first goal in an LA uniform.
“I wanted the first to really go past the defender; obviously, I took it a little too wide. I wanted it to bbe close to goal. As soon as I saw the goalkeeper come, I was confident that I was going to shoot,” said Ishizaki who also tallied an assist on the afternoon. “If he would have been on his line, I would have had to cross, it so I’m glad that he came out of his line and I was able to shoot.”
Landon Donovan, for one, was impressed with Ishizaki's cunning on the tally.
There’s not a ton of guys in this league who can score a goal like Stefan did," said Donovan. "That takes really quality to score a goal like that."
Check out the Swede's goal below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Robbie Keane tallied his second goal of the season in LA's 3-0 rout of Chivas USA.
On the strike, Keane admitted while the play developed like he expected, the goal was a bit of a welcome surprise.
"I just ran [into the penalty area] and I thought that Dan was going to smash me. I don’t know whether it hit my arm or my side," said Keane. "I knew that it hit off me and I anticipated that the goalkeeper was going to come out. I just jumped up to get my body in the way and lucky enough, it hit off me.”
Check out the goal below.
We know what jerseys that the LA Galaxy will be wearing once the season starts on Saturday, but now we have details on shorts and socks.
On the shorts, we see the familiar Adidas three stripes as well as the blue and gold lining, but also the leticular crest that is present on the primary kit. Meanwhile, the socks provide a retro feel that takes me back to my AYSO days.
Full disclosure, I have to say that the socks may be my favorite touch of the kit so don't be surprised if you stop me on the StubHub Center concourse and find out that I'm wearing them under one of my blue suits.
Check it out below.
The shorts and socks together
The LA Galaxy crest
LA Galaxy jersey socks
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s roster is pretty much set heading into the season opener against Real Salt Lake, but one question mark remains.
Trialist Dan Gargan has been with the team since the start of the preseason, but as of yet, there has been no word about a contract offer from the Galaxy. But that doesn’t mean that LA isn’t interested according to head coach Bruce Arena.
“We’re going to try,” said Bruce Arena when asked about if the team is planning to sign the 31-year-old defender.
Outside back depth is vital for LA at the moment as the club dispatched youngsters Bryan Gaul (waived) and Greg Cochrane (traded to Chicago) in recent weeks.
RILEY EXPECTING TO START IN DEFENSE
While Gargan’s status is still up in the air, the newest member of the LA Galaxy, James Riley is expecting to get the start at left back this Saturday against Real Salt Lake due to an injury to Todd Dunivant.
Riley has seen significant time this preseason at left back due to Dunivant’s nagging hamstring injury and is likely to get the nod against RSL.
“I’ll be ready to go,” said Riley. “Whatever Bruce decides, I feel fit and ready to go.”
Dunivant is improving rapidly; however, as the veteran left back went 45 minutes in a recent scrimmage with LA Galaxy II against Cal-State Fullerton as he seeks to be available for selection for Saturday.
“I’m ready to be available,” said Dunivant. “It’s a good guess [that Riley starts]. I’m still working on [being 90 minutes fit], but first thing is first is getting healthy and I’m moving forward.”
ARENA ADMITS EXPERIENCE RULES ALL AS SEASON OPENER APPROACHES
The LA Galaxy’s new found experience has been a major plot line this preseason and on Thursday, head coach Bruce Arena went into detail about how he expects the team to be different during the 2014 campaign.
“I think the priorities were addressed with the new players,” said Arena. “We needed more experience in midfield; we got that with [Stefan] Ishizaki. We needed some help on our forward line, and we got that with Samuel and [Rob] Friend. We needed some experienced players in the back; we have that now with [James] Riley. Obviously [Baggio] Hušidić is another experienced player in the midfield as well. I think that’s what we needed to address. This year, we’re looking at Friend or Samuel or Hušidić or Riley or [Dan] Gargan or Ishizaki. Last year it was [Jack] McBean, [Jose] Villarreal, [Hector] Jimenez, and [Rafael] Garcia, I think that’s an improvement.”