PASADENA, Calif. – Manchester United have been in Los Angeles for less than a week, but on Tuesday they received a true Southern California experience—getting stuck in rush hour traffic.
United were 45 minutes for their open training session at the Rose Bowl Stadium as their team bus found itself stuck in L.A. traffic driving from their base hotel in Beverly Hills in Pasadena. Despite the inconvenience, United manager Louis van Gaal was chipper upon his team’s arrival at the stadium’s press room.
“Of course, we were late. It was the first time that I was late for a press conference, but Los Angeles traffic,” van Gaal told reporters.
On Wednesday, the Dutchman and his side will face a stiffer test when they take on the Galaxy in the Chevrolet Cup at the world-famous Pasadena venue. Although Europeans are traditionally criticized for their blasé attitude toward friendlies with MLS sides, van Gaal insists that he’s done his homework on the Galaxy.
“We have analyzed the Galaxy and I expect a very organized and technical team that is aggressive in attack,” said van Gaal. “They are already in the rhythm of the season and we started just three days ago. We are not well prepared, we are not fit yet, but I hope that we can give a good performance and it’s a process.
“The preparation time is a process, so I hope that we can make every [preseason] match a step in that progress, but I'm also anxious to see how we do it tomorrow against the Galaxy.”
CARSON, Calif. – Don’t count on LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez making a move in the summer transfer window. At least that was the message from the defender on Monday ahead of Wednesday’s match against Manchester United.
The defender will be looking to make his return on Wednesday from a right ankle injury that he suffered during his participation with the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. While other USMNT players have dealt with post-World Cup transfer speculation, there has been little chatter surrounding Gonzalez and on Monday, the defender said that while Europe is a dream of his, he’s committed to LA.
“I still want to ply my trade in Europe, but right now I’m committed to the Galaxy,” said Gonzalez who signed a new Designated Player contract a year ago. “That’s something that my agent handles, but right now I’m looking to get back to full fitness and I’m looking to get a result against United and go to Seattle and have a tough game.”
Although the Galaxy currently boast three Designated Players, the unsettled club situation of Manchester United forward Javier Hernandez has led to some speculation that he may be bound for a move to MLS. However, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena refused to entertain any speculation about a move for the El Tri star.
“You don’t talk about other players that are under contract with other clubs,” said Arena. “We don’t talk about that stuff publicly.”
Mexican National Team star Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez will be joining Manchester United for their U.S. tour after all.
A day after United released their 25-man squad for their upcoming tour of the United States, the English club released on Twitter that Hernandez will be joining the club on Tuesday evening in Los Angeles ahead of Wednesday's Chevrolet Cup at the Rose Bowl. The move comes amid a time of considerable speculation around Hernandez's future after his frustrating 2013/14 campaign that saw him score just four goals in 24 appearances.
Tickets for the Chevrolet Cup can be found here.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 19, 2014
CARSON, Calif. – The question of who should be the starting striker tandem is one of the main topics among LA Galaxy circles. However, based on the meteoric rise of Gyasi Zardes, it may not be a debate much longer.
The Galaxy won two titles with the strike force of Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, but in recent weeks it has been Zardes who has started alongside the Irishman thanks to his torrid scoring run of six goals in five contests. LA’s pairing of Keane and Zardes bore fruit again on Wednesday with both strikers tallying a brace in the team’s 5-1 victory over the New England Revolution.
While Donovan and Zardes have often swapped positions in recent months, Keane told reporters that it may be time stop thinking of the second-year attacker as a midfielder.
"As long as he keeps continuing to learn and keeps continuing to score goals, and understanding how to be a striker and playing with someone else," said Keane. "It’s not about just running in behind, it’s about linking up and playing with people and understanding when you play up front it’s a partnership and understanding when I have the ball he has to run off and understand where he’s going to go.
“Most of the time I’ll find him. If not, I’ll try to find him. I keep telling him just get in behind and I’ll find him."
And it’s Keane’s vocal nature that Zardes attributes to his ability to find spaces behind opposing defenders and create dangerous scoring opportunities.
“I definitely have been listening to Robbie," Zardes told reporters on Wednesday night. "He’s constantly talking to me, even throughout the game. He’s giving me little tips on what he’s going to do, and he told me to pay attention to the first ball once you’re running through. We worked on it in practice, and we did it in the game. When Robbie gets the ball at his feet, I know he’ll find me.”
Who should start up top for the LA Galaxy when they play Sporting Kansas City on Saturday? Do you prefer the tandem of Keane and Donovan or Keane and Zardes?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. – Omar Gonzalez has his sights set on returning to the field for the LA Galaxy, but don’t count on him participating in Saturday’s clash with Sporting Kansas City.
The Galaxy center back participated in training on Thursday for the first time since returning from World Cup duty with the U.S. National Team where he endured a right ankle injury during the USMNT’s round of 16 defeat to Belgium.
“The ankle is moving along well,” Gonzalez told reporters. “I practiced today for the first time and it feels good to be back on the field with the team.”
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena echoed Gonzalez’s optimism stating that the defender is “moving along” in his recovery, but is “unlikely” to play a role in Saturday’s match in Kansas City.
Although Arena did not reveal a timetable on Gonzalez’s return, the defender himself admitted that he is hoping to earn minutes in LA’s match against Manchester United next week before making a potential full-fledged return against Seattle Sounders FC on July 28.
“I think that [Seattle] is the target game. It’ll be a crucial game for us. It’ll our first game at their place and we need points,” he said. “The United game is definitely a good game to get some minutes so that I can get back out there and get ready for Seattle.”
With Omar Gonzalez likely absent, Leonardo targeting return to action against New England Revolution
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s 2014 regular season campaign is complete with several players who are enduring stop start seasons, and one of the names on that list is Brazilian center back Leonardo.
The 26-year-old Brazilian has been much maligned among Galaxy fans for his inconsistent play throughout the campaign, which has seen him make nine starts across 11 appearances. A start at the beginning of the year alongside Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo has not started since early June as Tommy Meyer has begun to cement his place along the back four.
However, Leonardo may be given a lifeline back into the starting XI on Wednesday with the Galaxy’s match against the New England Revolution which will be the team’s second match in a two week; five game swing.
“I think it’d be good for the group to rotate players. We want to have a full squad so that we can change if we need to. You don’t want players who are not playing over a long period and you want them to fight for an opportunity,” said Leonardo. “I feel good and Bruce [Arena] has told me that when I have an opportunity that I need to take it. I think that this will be my time to take the opportunity and show what I can do.”
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that “it was in everyone’s best interest” that Brazilian forward Samuel returned to Brazilian Serie A club Fluminense.
The Galaxy announced on Thursday that the club had terminated the loan of the 23-year-old who scored just a single goal in 10 appearances across all competitions for the Galaxy. Samuel is likely to receive considerable minutes upon returning to the Brazilian giants with incumbent starter Fred likely angling for a move after his stint with Selecao at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“It’s a good move for him. [Fluminense] had an interest in him coming back and we thought that it was an appropriate time to do that,” said Arena on Friday after the club's training session ahead of their match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. “He was a player that got better , but our style of play and our league is different and this was a new experience so it would have taken some time. At the same time, since the loan arrangement was only for one year, it would have taken him a year to make a [full] adjustment.
“At this point, it was probably in everyone’s best interest that he returned to Fluminense,” Arena added before mentioning that he was not surprised that the forward’s transition took as long as it did. “He was a really good guy who got better and we liked him. We’re sorry that it didn’t work out as quickly as we’d want, but it is not surprising. Sometimes the transitions can be quicker, but sometimes they take a little bit longer.”
With Samuel gone, the Galaxy boss said that the club is looking to make a move as they seek to contend for a fifth MLS Cup title.
“We’re looking to make an addition to our team at some point,” said Arena. “We do anything that we can to make our team better.”
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy II attacker Bradford Jamieson IV was among 20 players named by U.S. Under-20 head coach Tab Ramos for the upcoming NTC Invitational tournament at StubHub Center from July 14-18.
Jamieson has been a tar with Galaxy II scoring five goals which has him harboring dreams of a first team debut before the end of the season. The announcement is the second big reveal this week for the forward turned wide player who was named to the inaugural Chipotle Homegrown Player Game roster that will precede the AT&T MLS All-Star Game on August 4.
The U.S. U-20’s begin the tournament on July 14 against Chile at 4:00 p.m. PT on the StubHub Center’s Mooch Myernck field before taking on Bermuda two days later at 4:00 p.m. PT at the same location and concluding the tournament with a 7:00 p.m. PT match against Australia on the StubHub Center stadium field on July 18.
The complete roster is below.
Goalkeepers: Santiago Castano (New York Red Bulls; Union City, N.J.), Zack Steffen (Maryland; Dowlington, Pa.)
Defenders (7): Michael Amick (UCLA; Sunnyvale, Calif.), Conor Donovan (Railhawks Academy; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Chris Odoi-Atsem (Maryland; Mitchellville, Md.), John Requejo Jr. (Club Tijuana; Carpinteria, Calif.), Caleb Smith (Solar Chelsea SC; Arlington Texas), Jesus Vasquez (UANL Tigres; San Luis Obispo, Calif.), Shaquell Moore (FC Dallas; Powder Springs, Ga.)
Midfielders (6): Fernando Arce (Club Tijuana, Chula Vista, Calif.) Russell Canouse (TSG 1899 Hoffenheim; Lancaster, Pa.), Marco Delgado (Chivas USA; Glendora, Calif.), Romain Gall (FC Lorient; Herndon, Va.), Lynden Gooch (Sunderland AFC; Santa Cruz, Calif.), Jacori Hayes (Wake Forest; Bowie, Md.)
Forwards (5): Paul Arriola (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista, Calif.), Bradford Jamieson (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.), Benji Lopez (Arizona United SC; San Diego, Calif.), Andrija Novakovich (Reading FC; Muskego, Wis.), Zach Pfeffer (Philadelphia Union; Dresher, Pa.)
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are throwing out the records when they take on the Portland Timbers on the Fourth of July.
Both the Galaxy (5-3-5) and Portland (4-5-8) have endured frustrating seasons that featured up-and-down form that has the two sides are currently outside the five Western Conference playoff places. For all the Timbers struggles, they still boast one of the league's most talented attacks that includes Diego Valeri, Darlington Nagbe and Fanedo Adi.
Against the Timbers, the Galaxy will look to extend their league unbeaten run to five games and build upon last Saturday's 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.
"[Portland Timbers] are a little bit of a tricky team to scout. If you watch them last week against Kansas City, they lost the game, but you see so many flashes of greatness which is what you saw last year," said Landon Donovan. "It's dangerous because they're a team that if they turn it on then they're a very good team and they can beat you. We don't know what we're going to get, but we expect a really good game."
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez was immense as the United States were eliminated from the 2014 FIFA World Cup by Belgium in a 2-1 loss.
Making his second straight start for the Americans in central defense alongside Matt Besler, the U.S. defense held thanks to 16 saves by Tim Howard before conceding two extra time goals that sealed their fate. Following the match, the stat sheet was kind to the Galaxy defender who made a team-high 20 clearances as well as four interceptions and three blocked shots.
"What a battle. Belgium is no easy team to play against and it took a great effort to come back, especially in that extra time. Everyone was tired on both teams, but we never gave up and it’s something that we can really be proud of," sid Gonzalez. "I think that we can hold our heads up high. A lot of guys had great games tonight. We almost came back. We had a few great chances to get back and could have brought it to pks so I’m happy for my teammates and for myself.”
Although the result was a painful one, after the match Gonzalez admitted that the U.S. could hold their heads up high after the defeat.
“The energy is all about the passion for the game. It is something that is ingrained in the American spirit that we will never give up; we will never stop fighting,” said Gonzalez. “I really hope the fans across the world saw that today—that we never stop fighting.”
Despite all the heartbreak, Gonzalez and the rest of the U.S. were keenly aware about the way that the nation rallied around the team both in Brazil and back at home.
“I want to thank all the fans that made it out tonight [in Salvador]," he said. "The support, hearing the U.S. chant that late in the game was an unbelievable feeling and I know that the fans back at home were cheering their hearts out as well.”