By the Numbers: LA Galaxy look to continue their dominance at StubHub Center in 2015 season opener against Chicago Fire
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy's season is finally here.
The club will open up the 2015 MLS regular season on Friday when they host the Chicago Fire at StubHub Center. In 2015, the Galaxy will look to once again dominate at home where they went an astounding 15-1-4 in both regular season and postseason matches.
In the very first edition of By the Numbers in 2015, we take a look at the Galaxy's goal differential at home during the 2014 campaign.
Robbie Keane has a message for budding star Bradford Jamieson IV as the youngster prepares to carve out a starting role during the 2015 regular season.
Keep your head up.
No, he’s not saying it figuratively, but quite literally, as the winger seeks to become an offensive force along the left side of the Galaxy midfield.
Jamieson earned the start on the left flank in the club’s final preseason match against the San Jose Earthquakes. However, the game was a mixed bag for Jamieson who displayed an ability to launch clever shots at goal, but also struggled to make a consistent impact along the flank before he was pulled for eventual goal scorer Jose Villarreal.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that Jamieson is “still just a kid” with a “ways to go” in his development, but his captain declared that there will be “no more excuses” made for the Galaxy’s youngsters, stating that they’ll be expected to contribute in the year ahead.
“He’s young. He still has to learn,” Keane said after the club's final preseason game in San Jose. “With the ability that he has, he can beat people no problem, but what young players do, and I’ve seen this for many years, they feel like if they beat someone then they can just keep going and keep [moving forward]. The reality is that it doesn’t always happen that way.
To truly hammer home the lesson, Keane referenced 2014 breakout star Gyasi Zardes, and the strides that he has made over the past two years.
“[Jamieson] got to keep his head up and once he learns to do that, as we saw last year with Gyasi...,the quicker that the younger lads learn then the better that they’re going to be, and the more opportunities that they’re going to have for the team,” said Keane. “Sometimes he just needs to pick up his head a little bit more and see what his options are. Once he does that, he’ll be a big player for this team because he’s got all the ability in the world.”
Jamieson, to his credit, agreed with the captain and noted that if he’s going to challenge for a regular starting spot then he’ll need to become a consistent contributor.
“[Keane] told me that I need to be able to pick my head up a half a second [quicker], and other little things that are going to allow me to separate myself from other players,” said Jamieson. “I still feel that if I’m pushing hard and I’m putting in good performances, I think that I’ll be to solidify a spot on the squad. This is a huge opportunity for me.”
Training Notebook: Edson Buddle expected to be contribute in 2015; Robbie Keane hopes StubHub Center remains a fortress
It's no secret that Edson Buddle will be joining the LA Galaxy, but LA boss Bruce Arena expects the veteran forward to contribute in the upcoming season.
Arena revealed on Monday that the Galaxy will be signing the forward before the end of week after a successful preseason training stint with the club. Buddle will look to return to form with the Galaxy after two difficult seasons with the Colorado Rapids, but despite his difficulties with the Rapids, Arena has full confidence in Buddle to perform in 2015.
"He's an experienced forward. He's scored 100 goals in this league and there's no reason to believe that he can't score a few more," he said. "He's a good experienced forward. He can hold the ball up, he's hard to play against. He's going to play a role for us this year. We're going to have a lot of games this year and it's going to help having an experienced forward on the field."
THE GALAXY WANT TO MAKE STUBHUB CENTER A FORTRESS
The LA Galaxy had a nearly unblemished record at StubHub Center in 2015, and if the club is to repeat as MLS Cup champions, the belief is that they must continue to dominate at home.
A year ago, the Galaxy went a stunning 15-1-4 at home in all MLS competitions with their lone loss came in club's season opener way back on March 8, 2014. As the Galaxy prepare for the upcoming season, team captain Robbie Keane believes that staying perfect at home is key for LA's hopes of another title.
"We need to continue to do the same [thing we did last year]," said Robbie Keane. "We need to make sure that this place is difficult for players and teams to come. We want them to not enjoy coming here and know that it'll be a difficult game when you play against the LA Galaxy."
BRUCE ARENA: LA GALAXY AREN'T "DEFENDING" ANYTHING IN 2015
The LA Galaxy will enter the 2015 season as the defending champions of Major League Soccer, but Galaxy boss Bruce Arena has a qualm with the use of the word "defending."
"We're not defending anything," said Arena. "Its' a new season. We're trying to win a championship, we're not defending one."
LA Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter named to Costa Rica Under-23 squad for upcoming IMG’s Suncoast Pro Classic
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter has been selected to represent the Costa Rica Under-23 squad at the upcoming IMG Suncoast Pro Classic in Bradenton, Fla. from Feb.18-28.
The native of Turrialba, Costa Rica was signed by Galaxy II in January for the upcoming 2015 USL season. A Big West All-freshman team selection during his only year at Cal Poly in 2014, Lassiter last played with Swedish second division club GAIS where he made 12 appearances scoring one goal.
During the tournament, the Costa Rican Under-23's will face MLS sides Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC as well as OKC Energy FC (USL), HB Koge (Denmark), and London United, which is a team made up of out of contract players.
The tournament will serve as a tune-up for this summer's CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament which will be held in the United States from October 1-13. The top two teams will qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil while the third place team will face Colombia in a two-leg playoff in Brazil in March 2016.
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.”