Preseason notes: Robbie Rogers gets run out at right back, decision on LA Galaxy trialists may come before Europe Trip and more
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers excelled with the LA Galaxy as a left back last season, but during Friday’s 2-1 scrimmage victory over Seattle Sounders FC, he showcased his versatility.
Rogers started and went 45 minutes at right back while Todd Dunivant started along the left side. The switch allowed Dunivant to slide into his natural position while Rogers—who is naturally right footed—was slide into a new place along the back four.
"That's an option and obviously we're in preseason, we'll look at all options,” Arena told reporters of the outside back switch. “As we experienced last year during the season, we have to have players prepared to play a number of spots along the back line and that's a good exercise for us to get in today.”
Added Rogers, “I can play on both sides wherever Bruce needs me. It is a little different in terms of finding the space on the field so I have to get used to that, but it comes pretty quickly.
For Dunivant, Rogers’ move to the flank could be his path back into the starting lineup after an injury-riddled 2014 season.
“It is still the preseason so we’re still trying to figure out what combination works. It’s all about getting better,” he said. “I need to earn the spot in training and continue to learn every day and get better. I’ll let the cards fall where they may and I think if I’m healthy and Robbie is healthy then we’ll both be on the field one way or the other.”
Decisions on trialists upcoming
The LA Galaxy will likely have a decision on whether they will keep trialists Andre Auras, Edson Buddle and Ramon Martin Del Campo with the club prior to the trip to Europe.
In an interview with reporters earlier this week, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that a decision was a possibility before the team departs for the Republic of Ireland at the end of the week.
Draft picks Ignacio Maganto and Daniel Keller are expected to travel to Europe while injured goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton will not join the team until they return from Europe. Meanwhile, defender Daniel Steres who had been training with the club since the start of the season has been dealing with a calf injury.
A.J. DeLaGarza may return to practice next week
Right back A.J. DeLaGarza has yet to suit up for the Galaxy in a scrimmage during the preseason due to a leg injury, but head coach Bruce Arena assured reporters earlier this week that he'll be back in practice before the team departs for Europe.
"It's possible that he'll be training next week," Arena told reporters after the club's 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC. "We're not sure yet at this point."
LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes says time with U.S. National Team and Jurgen Klinsmann has improved his fitness
CARSON, Calif. -- Many have taken U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to task for his recent comments about the fitness of members of the U.S. National Team, but LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes believes that he is a true success story of Klinsmann's conditioning program.
Superior fitness has long been the hallmark of American soccer players, but Klinsmann called that into question following the team's 3-2 defeat to Chile last week , leading to considerable condemnation from former players and the American soccer media. In a interview earlier this week, Klinsmann stated that the reason the U.S. has won just a single match in their last nine and suffered repeated late game collapses were because of the team's lack of emphasis on offseason fitness preparation.
Klinsmann's claims were met with major pushback from numerous places including by former national team defender Alexi Lalas but such condemnation of Klinsmann meant little to LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes who is in camp with the national team and is expected to play a major role when they take on Panama on Sunday at StubHub Center.
In fact, Zardes believes that he's gotten even fitter just by training with the U.S. over the last month.
"Fitness is a key component of the game because you need to be good for 90 minutes. I'm glad that we do a lot of fitness with the national team and it's wonderful to experience different types of fitness because each coach has different methods. [Jurgen's] philosphy toward fitness is incredible," Zardes told LA Galaxy Insider. "I personally think that it is helping me improve as a player because I feel myself able to run longer. My stamina is up and my acceleration is growing even more. I think that I'm growing in this field."
Andre Auras scores a brace as the LA Galaxy defeat Cal-State Fullerton 6-1 in closed-door preseason scrimmage
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy won their second preseason match of 2015 with a 6-1 result over Cal-State Fullerton in a closed-door scrimmage on their training field otuside StubHub Center.
Andre Auras notch a brace in the match with two second half goals while Robbie Keane, Charlie Rugg, Rafael Garcia, and Raul Mendiola each added a goal of their own. The Galaxy also conceded in the second half after Brian Rowe made a stop in the second half, but had a rebound trickle out for a Fullerton goal from close range. LA used a total of 22 players in the match and saw their preseason record move to 2-0-0.
"Our fitness is getting a little bit better, we're getting a little bit better with our ball movement, but we still have a way to go. We're still just basically a week into preseason," Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters after the match. "I thought the Cal-State Fullerton team played really hard and were a good test for us. They didn't make it easy on us which was good. We had an advantage."
CARSON, Calif. -- Forward Charlie Rugg spent all of 2014 with LA Galaxy II, but as the third-year striker heads into the third year of his professional career, he's looking to carve out a role for the first team.
Rugg earned a start along the left side of midfield during the club's first match of 2015, a closed-door scrimmage against Ventura County Fusion and performed well in helping LA to a 2-0 victory. With the Galaxy lacking depth along the left side of midfield with the departure of Landon Donovan in the offseason and Baggio Husidic's likely move to the center of the park in light of Marcelo Sarvas' trade to Colorado Rapids, Rugg may have a chance to work his way back into Bruce Arena's plans.
"I enjoyed playing there. It's been a couple months since I played and it was good to play," said Rugg. "It takes a little getting used to when you change any position, but I like it and I think that I could get used to it. I think that I can use my speed on the wing. ... I'm ready to help in any way that I can and I like to play whereever I can."
LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo named to Panama squad to face Gyasi Zardes and U.S. National Team on Feb. 8
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy supporters will have an opportunity to see two of their players face off on Feb. 8 when the U.S. National Team take on Panama on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center.
Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo was officially named to the 21-man Panama squad for their match against Gyasi Zardes and the USMNT on Thursday. Also included in the squad are fellow MLS players Blas Perez and Gabriel Torres.
The complete roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jaime Penedo (LA Galaxy, USA), Jose Calderon (Deportivo Coatepeque, GUA)
DEFENDERS (7): Leonel Parris (Tauro FC), Fidel Escobar (Sporting San Miguelito), Harold Cummings (Santa Fe, COL), Luis Ovalle (Zamora FC , VEN), Eric Davis (Sporting San Miguelito), Chin Hormechea (Arabe Unido), Michael Murillo (San Francisco FC).
MIDFIELDERS (6): Anibal Godoy (Budapest Honved FC, HUN), Marco Sanchez (Táchira, VEN), Jhamal Rodríguez ( Chorrillo FC), Luis Pereira (Arabe Unido), Ricardo Buitrago (Plaza Amador), Hécgar Murillo (Tauro FC).
FORWARDS (6): Blas Perez (FC Dallas, USA), Gabriel Torres (Colorado Rapids, USA), Rolando Blackburn (Communications, GUA), Ismael Diaz (Tauro FC), Alfredo Stephens (Chorrillo FC), Jairo Glaize (Sportin San Miguelito).
Liverpool FC and U.S. National Team call-up Marc Pelosi endorses LA Galaxy addition of "role model" Steven Gerrard
CARSON, Calif. -- When the U.S. National Team trained at StubHub Center earlier this month, there was one other player who had a connection to the LA Galaxy other than homegrown products Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes -- 20-year-old Liverpool midfielder Marc Pelosi.
The German-born midfielder who grew up in Northern California has drawn comparisons to the newest member of the LA Galaxy, midfielder Steven Gerrard who will join the reigning MLS Cup champions this July.
“To be honest, everyone was kind of shocked he was coming over here, just because they thought he would finish his career in Liverpool,” said Pelosi. “I think it's a good move for him, because, like he said, he doesn't want to have any regrets when he finishes his career, saying, "Oh, I wish I did that or that."
Although anyone would forgive the youngster for being starry-eyed around the lifetime Liverpool man, Pelosi says that on the inside, Gerrard takes an active approach in reaching out to young players.
"Like everyone always says, "Oh, he's a great role model." But from the inside, the first time I went to train with the first team, when I was 17, he was the first one that came up to me and was asking, "Oh, where are you from? How you doing? How's it going over here?" said Pelosi. “When he was younger, he played right wing and stuff, but now he's kind of dropped more into the middle and holding a little bit, just directing the game like he does. But, of course, most midfielders in the world try to play their games [similar to] Steven Gerrard, because he's one of the best midfielders in the world.”
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena says he's "confident" the team will sign a "good player" with MLS allocation place
CARSON, Calif. – Whatever plans that the LA Galaxy had for their third spot in allocation order may have changed on Tuesday due to a blockbuster deal between the New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.
The Red Bulls dealt Ambroise Oyongo, midfielder Eric Alexander, allocation money and a 2015 international roster spot to Montreal for Felipe and the top spot in the allocation order. If reports are to be believed, New York are after reported Galaxy target Sacha Kljestan and with the top spot in the allocation order, they will have first choice should U.S. international return to Major League Soccer.
After Galaxy practice on Tuesday, LA head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said that the Red Bulls move up the order may change things for his team’s plans.
“Well certainly it changes the pecking order on players that are available. That’ll likely be the case that maybe our first preferred choice we wouldn’t get and we get somebody else,” Arena told LA Galaxy Insider. “We’re confident where we are we’re going to get a good player to match our needs. In all honesty I don’t think it matters whether we get our first choice player, second choice player or third choice player. We’re in good shape.”
Although New York’s move up to queue may put a wrench in LA’s reported plans for Kljestan, Arena is adamant that his club will wait until the right player comes along even if it is not in this transfer window.
“We don’t need to [sign anyone] in this transfer window,” said Arena. “We’ll bring someone in sometime and I would say certainly before July. We’ll try to bring in somebody in February or March. If we can’t do that now then maybe a little bit later.”
CARSON, Calif. – Former LA Galaxy striker Edson Buddle had a pair of lean years with the Colorado Rapids, but now he’s back with LA eager to rediscover his form.
After leaving the Galaxy in 2012, Buddle struggled mightily with the Rapids notching only seven goals and four assists in 42 appearances across two seasons. The 33-year-old who is one of eight players to score 100 goals in MLS had his finest season with the Galaxy back in 2010 when scored 17 times en route to a berth on the U.S. National Team’s roster at the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
As Buddle looks to earn a deal with LA, head coach Bruce Arena said that the forward will have every opportunity to lock down a contract with the Galaxy.
“We’ll see where he is physically and how he fits into the group,” said Arena. “Three days in, we don’t have all these decisions made. There’s plenty of time to see where everything is in place. We’re going to let this evolve and see where we stand. Everyone that is here has a chance to make our team.”
CARSON, Calif. -- There were several new faces as the LA Galaxy returned to the training ground on Friday.
The most notable new face was former Galaxy forward Edson Buddle who spent four years with the club from 2007 to 2010 and then again in 2012. Buddle was not the only newcomer training with the team as he was joined by Galaxy II stalwarts midfielder Andre Auras and defender Daniel Steres. Joining the two Los Dos stars and the club’s MLS draft selections was U.C. Davis defender Ramon Martin del Campo who went undrafted in the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
While the rookies may be something of an unknown, Arena believes that the coaching staff has a grasp of what the likes of Auras and Steres can contribute heading into the preseason.
“They’re good solid players and they trained with us last year at times so we brought them into preseason to see how they fit with our group," said head coach Bruce Arena.
Veteran defender Todd Dunivant who is now the longest tenured player on the Galaxy admitted that he was happy to see the first team attempt to bring in some of the talent from Los Dos.
“It’s great because that’s the idea behind Galaxy II," Dunivant said. "We want the guys to earn their way here and we also want to be able to reward them and give them that opportunity."
CARSON, Calif. -- Dan Gargan entered the 2014 preseason unsure if he'll have a job and now a year later, he's signed a deal that will keep him in LA another year.
The club announced that they have re-signed the 32-year-old defender twho played in a total of 35 games in all competitions as the Galaxy won a fifth MLS Cup title, to a multi-year deal. A veteran outside back, Gargan played primarily on the right side of defense in 2014 while also seeing some action along the left side when needed.
Once preseason begins, Gargan will again likely slot in as the back-up right back behind fellow veteran A.J. DeLaGarza while serving as the primary right back when DeLaGarza is placed in the middle. Unlikely last year, however, he'll likely face compeition from youngster Oscar Sorto who is currently in camp with the U.S. National Team.