There was a new face at LA Galaxy training on Tuesday as U.S. Under-17 phenom and Galaxy Academy forward Haji Wright trained with LA's first team.
Wright has been one of the breakout stars of Richie Williams' U.S. U-17 squad over the past six months with his five-goal Golden Boot performance at the Nike International Friendlies and solid two-goal showing during the Aegean Cup in January.
The teenager kept up his scalding form with six goals as the helped lead the U.S. Under-17's to victory in the 2014 Josip Katalinski International Tournament in Bosnia earlier this month. The victory in Bosnia was the Americans third consecutive international tournament title. Wright added another during the Americans two-game series with the Croatian U-17's to give him a total of seven goals during the Americans' Balkans trip.
Haji is not the only talented family member in the Galaxy Academy as his younger brother Hanif is one of the leading goal scorers for the Galaxy Under-14's with 13 goals this season and is one of the leaders of the United States U-15 Boys team.
Bruce Arena encouraged by injury status of A.J. DeLaGarza, but states James Riley "will probably require surgery"
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy received some mixed news regarding their injured defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and James Riley on Tuesday.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters following the team’s training session on Tuesday that DeLaGarza “will be all right” and require a week to get over a left ankle “contusion” that was suffered after a hard challenge from Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio during the 62nd minute of LA’s 1-1 draw in Salt Lake last week.
However veteran outside back James Riley was not so lucky as Arena stated that the 31-year-old will probably “miss some time” due to a left meniscus injury that will likely require surgery according to the Galaxy boss. The recovery time for a meniscus injury ranges from weeks to several months. Riley went down in the 29th minute of Saturday’s draw while evading a challenge from RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy.
With Riley injured, the responsibility of filling in at outside back will fall to veteran Dan Gargan, who was solid in relief duty on Saturday.
CARSON, Calif. – The bitter taste of Tuesday’s disappointing defeat to Club Tijuana has not yet dissipated for the LA Galaxy, but now as they look ahead to their match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday, they’re hoping to use their poor showing as motivation as they return to league play.
With the nightmare opening 30 minutes that led to a 4-2 loss to Tijuana still in their mind, LA understand that a strong start at Rio Tinto Stadium is vital if they’re going to earn their first league result of the year.
“If our mentality is better from the start, we’re very capable of getting a result there [in Salt Lake],” said Landon Donovan who started LA’s 4-2 defeat to Club Tijuana on Tuesday. “I think the guys are fired up and disappointed form Tuesday and we want to go put in a real good performance in Salt Lake.”
The match against RSL marks the second time in a two week span that the Galaxy will on Jeff Cassar’s side after LA dropped a 1-0 result in their home opener on March 8. In that match, the Galaxy outplayed Salt Lake, but ultimately poor finishing proved to be their undoing in the defeat.
As frustrating as that defeat to RSL may have been, it won’t be on the mind of Donovan once the Galaxy kick off on Saturday.
“What is fresh in our mind is Tuesday. The way that we started that game is not indicative of the team that we are,” said Donovan. “We’re very talented and we know that, but if we don’t compete then we can get beat especially against good teams."
CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant and Robbie Rogers have been largely absent from the LA Galaxy lineup this preseason, but both are expected to be back training next week.
Head coach Bruce Arena told reporters following the Galaxy’s 2-0 scrimmage victory over UCLA on Wednesday that Dunivant is unlikely to appear in Saturday’s “White vs. Blue” Game against LA Galaxy II, but is expected to return to training next week. Dunivant has yet to appear in a match this preseason.
Arena also revealed that Rogers, who suffered an ankle injury earlier this month, is likely to return to the practice field at some point next week.
While Dunivant and Rogers are still on the mend, third-year defender Tommy Meyer made his preseason debut with 30 minute shift on Wednesday. Meyer had been sidelined for much of the preseason due to a groin injury.
“He’s a got a long way to go,” said Arena. “He only played 30 minutes today and he has been out awhile. He’s just starting to get back into it.”
FRESNO, Calif. – The LA Galaxy took home the inaugural Central California Cup with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, but will their trip to Fresno become a yearly visit?
Fueled by goals by Marcelo Sarvas and Gyasi Zardes, the Galaxy held off their archrivals to earn their first silverware of the season. Following the game that saw 12,659 fans fill a sold-out Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena admitted that he was quite taken by the atmosphere created by the raucous crowd.
“I’m sure that we’ll be talking to the promoters of the game tonight and see if there is a possibility of returning in the future,” said Arena after the match which was the Galaxy's first game in Fresno since 2007.
Galaxy club president Chris Klein was similarly impressed by the facilities that hosted both the first team match on Saturday and the inaugural game for LA Galaxy II on Thursday. Klein even went as far to praise the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino which hosted both Galaxy squads.
“To be hosted by the city of Fresno and the Fresno Fuego has been nice for us. It fits nicely into our preseason,” said Klein. “[The team] enjoyed it. The players enjoy getting up here and being able to bond a little bit, they went to the Casino a little bit and they’ve enjoyed themselves.”
It wasn’t just the Galaxy brass who was impressed as U.S. National Team regulars Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were wowed by the Fresno faithful.
"I was really impressed with the crowd,” said Donovan. “I thought it was great and there's no reason why we shouldn't come back here again."
Gonzalez went a bit further even stating that he hoped LA returned next year.
"The fans came out tonight and hopefully we will be back again next year…and hopefully we can keep the Cup," said the Galaxy defender.
Do you think the Galaxy will return next year? Hoping to make the trip if they do?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena addressed the media for the first time on Tuesday.
During the scrum, Arena touched on LA’s new emphasis on experience in 2014 as well as the addition of his son Kenny Arena as assistant coach.
Arena’s comments are below…
(On the changes that team has made this offseason…)
ARENA: “There have been changes, I don’t think a considerable amount, but we have additions that are important for our team. I’m going to include Jaime Penedo as an addition since he came in so late. The combination of those players gives us both quality and experience in a lot of positions. A big part of this team this year is that we’re going to have good depth and experienced players that can play a lot of roles throughout the season. … We’re hopeful that our team is a little bit better and a little bit more consistent because if there as a weakness last year, it’s that we were inconsistent. We were one of the top teams in league in terms of scoring goals and believe it or not, one of the top teams defending. Yet, I don’t think the results were consistent. I’m hoping that we have a little bit more quality and a little bit experience this year that will allow us to play more consistently.”
(On why the team decided to emphasize experience this offseason…)
ARENA: “It’s important. We had young players playing a lot of minutes last year, which was good experience for them, but we still need more quality and more experience on the field at times.”
(On how important the year is for Robbie Rogers…)
ARENA: “I think it’s an important year for him. I think it’s an important year for a lot of players, not just Robbie. Robbie’s had an outstanding preseason to date, four good days. I feel good about that.”
(On bringing his son Kenny Arena as an assistant coach…)
ARENA: “That might have been one mistake that we made this offseason, but you can’t be perfect. He’s a good coach and has a lot of experience. He’s been around a head coach for about 33 years now and he knows [the profession] inside and out. He’s was hired on merit not on bloodline.”
The LA Galaxy were back at training on Monday and the folks at LAGalaxy.com provided a photo gallery of the proceedings.
In the gallery, new additions Samuel, Rob Friend, Baggio Husidic, and Kyle Venter are clearly visible.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- During Friday's U.S. National Team training session, LA Galaxy videographer Paolo Ferrari stopped by and took a number of great photos.
Check them out below.
LA Galaxy stalwarts Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were named to the U.S. National Team’s annual January camp by head coach Jurgen Klinsmann on Friday.
Donovan and Gonzalez are among 26 players called in by Klinsmann for the camp which will serve as a prelude ahead of the U.S. National Team’s match against the Korea Republic on Feb. 1. The camp runs between Jan. 6 - Feb. 1 and will see the team split time between the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at StubHub Center and Sao Paulo, Brazil. From Jan. 13-25, 23 of the 26 players called will travel to South America for a dry run ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Joining the two Galaxy players is their former LA teammate and Chicago Fire striker Mike Magee who won the 2013 MLS MVP award after scoring 21 goals last year.
The complete roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS: Tally Hall (Houston Dynamo), Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS: Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Clarence Goodson (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael Harrington (Portland Timbers), Chris Klute (Colorado Rapids), Chance Myers (Sporting Kansas City), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Seth Sinovic (Sporting Kansas City), DeAndre Yedlin (Seattle Sounders FC)
MIDFIELDERS: Eric Alexander (New York Red Bulls), Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (Rosenborg), Benny Feilhaber (Sporting Kansas City), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Dax McCarty (New York Red Bulls), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)
FORWARDS: Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy), Eddie Johnson (D.C. United), Mike Magee (Chicago Fire), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)
Matt Reis is ready for the latest chapter in his life.
During my conversation with Reis, I asked about his opinion of LA's current goalkeeping situation and the 38-year-old provided a glowing recommendation of the team's goalkeeper corps.
"I’ve seen Jaime Penedo play and I’ve liked him for a long time. I remember watching him in the Gold Cup final when the U.S. played Panama. I think our styles are very similar," said Reis. "The other two goalkeepers Brian Perk and Brian Rowe are both from UCLA and are both going to be exceptional goalkeepers. Perk came from the same [youth] club that I grew up in and went through some minor setbacks last year while Rowe was able to help earn the team get some tough results over the course of the season … They are three guys who have shown that they can compete at this level so it’ll be exciting competition. "
It bares mentioning that Reis did not mention goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini who is expected to depart the club.