Everyone knows about Landon Donovan's famous habit of kissing his wrists before each penalty, but there is another ritual that the LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team star is infamous for that takes place before each and every game.
Since joining the Galaxy, Donovan has preformed the ritual -- which he claims isn't necessary, but has been performed in every game since 2005 -- which involves him taking a drink of water from a Gatorade bottle before spraying both head athletic trainer Ivan Pierra and assistant athletic trainer Kurt Andrews in the face.
"It kind of gets the training staff a little bit fired up and prepared for the game and hopefully makes them feel a little bit part of what's going on," Donovan told the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter. "They're a part of what we do, and we want to make them feel involved."
Added Andrews, " "It's a bond, We as a staff spend a lot of time with him. I could see it as an honor, for sure."
The complete story on Landon Donovan's pregame ritual can be found here on the Los Angeles Times website.
Robbie Keane returns from international duty fit for Western Conference Championship clash with Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy welcomed back captain Robbie Keane from international duty on Tuesday ahead of this weekend's Western Conference Championship first leg clash with Seattle Sounders FC.
Keane spent the last week with the Republic of Ireland and saw limited second half action in their 1-0 Euro 2016 qualifying defeat to Scotland last Friday. The match was the first time that Keane had been left on the substitute’s bench for a competitive international match in 13 years.
“I was disappointed with the result which wasn’t what [the Irish squad] wanted, but I move on and I’m fully focused on the game on Sunday,” Keane said on Tuesday following the team’s training session. “[Coming back early] gives me six days to get back into the swing of things for Sunday after the travel back from Europe.”
The 34-year-old noted that conversations between the Galaxy coaching staff and the Republic of Ireland allowed Keane to miss out on their 4-1 defeat over the United States on Tuesday. Not only does Keane’s return aid in his preparation for the Sounders match, but the Irish striker notes that he is “90-ish percent” back from a left hamstring ailment that plagued him for the last month.
Keane returns to a Galaxy squad that is the midst of their preparations for their clash with a Seattle side that clinched the Supporters’ Shield by defeating the Galaxy on Oct. 25 at CenturyLink Field. Although the Galaxy felt the sting of that defeat after the Seattle match, Keane says that loss will have no impact on what happens on Sunday at StubHub Center.
“There’s no fear. You can’t have fear going into game like this. These are the games that you want to be playing in,” Keane said. “We can’t change about what happened in the past, but we can change what will happen on Sunday. We have to make sure that we go into the game with the right mentality and not thinking that is revenge.
“This is where we wanted to be. We wanted to have a chance to play for a championship and we have every opportunity to do so.”
CARSON, Calif. –To advance from the Western Conference, the LA Galaxy understand that they must breach the man lovingly referred to by Real Salt Lake fans as the “Wall of Wasatch.”
Since his triumph over the Galaxy in the 2009 MLS Cup, Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando has proven himself to be one of the finest ‘keepers in all of MLS. And amid that rise, Rimando has consistently been a thorn in the Galaxy’s side as his stellar goalkeeping has proven to be Salt Lake’s primary weapon against LA’s dynamic attack.
"He's quick and sharp. He's very agile and there's a reason that he's in the national team. He's a good goalkeeper," said Galaxy striker Robbie Keane. "But hopefully, he's not too good on Sunday."
During the first leg, Rimando was rarely tested as the Galaxy forced him to make just one save in the scoreless draw. But if LA are to advance on Sunday, Landon Donovan says the Galaxy must challenge RImando early and often.
"We have to put him under pressure, we have to create chances, we have to hit the target," said Landon Donovan who has scored eight goals all-time against Rimando. "You have to keep making him make spectacular saves. He's not going to give us any goals, we know that. If we're going to get a goal then we have to earn it and we're prepared to do that."
CARSON, Calif. – The season may be over for LA Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant as head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Tuesday that he is “not likely” to return for the remainder of the season.
Dunivant has yet to return to full training since tearing his left groin muscle during LA’s 6-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids back in September that ruled him out for six weeks. Injuries have been a frequent problem for Dunivant who missed out on four months of the season due to an abdominal tear.
The 33-year-old has made some progress over the last week by taking part in fitness work, but he revealed to reporters on Tuesday that he is still unable to train without experiencing pain.
“Injuries are part of the game and you have to deal with it accordingly,” said Arena. “On the team side, it can’t be an excuse and on the player side, you certainly feel for the player, but we have to move on and take care of business.
“We’ve had eight guys who have helped us in the back and they’ve all been needed.”
A.J. DeLaGarza released a heartfelt video produced by the DeLaGarza family of the week that he and his wife Megan spent with their son Luca.
The video is incredibly emotional and worth a watch.
Check it out above.
U.S. Soccer presents Landon Donovan with a framed jersey representing all 19 jerseys wore in national team career
Landon Donovan donned the U.S. National Team kit for a final time on Friday in the U.S. National Team's 1-1 draw with Ecuador and U.S. Soccer made sure that their greatest player ever left with a truly meaningful parting gift.
Prior to the match with Ecuador, U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati presented Donovan with a jersey made up of all 19 jerseys that Donovan wore during his career with the USMNT. The jersey was placed on a wooden frame that included the engraved names of all of Donovan's teammates from his 157 appearances with the national team.
Check it out below.
— U.S. Soccer (@ussoccer) October 10, 2014
CARSON, Calif. -- The battered LA Galaxy defense will welcome back outside back Dan Gargan ahead of their match with FC Dallas after a left sprained ankle forced the veteran defender from LA's victory over Toronto FC last week.
Gargan has participated in full training since Thursay and LA head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that the defender was in "fine" condition after missing out on the Toronto victory. The 31-year-old suffered the injury after a late challenge by New York Red Bulls defender Jamison Olave on Sept. 28.
A healthy Gargan could be a major boost for the Galaxy as Robbie Rogers (hamstring injury) and Omar Gonzalez (international duty) are doubts for the match against FC Dallas.
"My recovery is coming along...I feel good. It's [Bruce's] decision on whether or not to put me back in the lineup, but we'll see how it reacts," said Gargan. "But if I'm playing then I'd feel like I can go 90 minutes. We'll see how it goes."
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy defense has been riddled with injuries as of late, but according to head coach Bruce Arena, LA may welcome back one -- or possibly two -- member of their walking wounded back to the lineup during Sunday's game against FC Dallas.
Right back Dan Gargan missed out on Saturday's game due to a left ankle sprain while Robbie Rogers suffered a left hamstring injury that forced him from the early stages of the victory over Toronto. Both players took part in portions of the Galaxy's training session on Tuesday and according to Arena, both are working their way back onto the field.
"They're doing fine. Their issues are very much short term," said Arena who said that he anticipated that one of them to be ready on Sunday. "We'll have to go into the week and see. It's only Tuesday right now."
The LA Galaxy announced two players called up to their respective international sides on Monday as Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez (United States) joined Robbie Keane (Republic of Ireland) on national team duty, joining Landon Donovan, who was named to the U.S. squad last month.
Donovan will take the field for a final time in a U.S. National Team on Oct. 10 against Ecuador in Hartford, Connecticut and then rejoin the Galaxy ahead of their match against FC Dallas next Sunday. Meanwhile, Gonzalez will join the long-time USMNT star for the Hartford match, but there was no word on whether he'll play against Honduras in Boca Raton, Florida on Oct. 14.
While the U.S. play in a series of friendlies, Keane will join a Republic of Ireland squad for a pair of qualifying matches for the 2016 European Championships. First, Ireland will host European newcomers Gibraltar on Oct. 10 in Dublin before taking on 2014 World Cup champion Germany in Gelsenkirchen on Oct. 14.
Keane's call-up means that the Galaxy will be quite shorthanded heading into their match against FC Dallas next weekend. In addition to missing their captain, they'll already be without Marcelo Sarvas due to yellow card accumulation while defenders Dan Gargan (left ankle sprain) and Robbie Rogers (left hamstring) are each dealing with injuries and remain in question.
LA Galaxy Academy defender Hugo Arellano has been named to U.S. U-17 head coach Richie Williams' 20-man roster for the upcoming Panama U-17 International Tournament from Oct. 1 to Oct. 5, U.S. Soccer announced on Friday.
During the tournament, the U.S. U-17's will face Costa Rica on Oct. 1 before taking on Canada on Oct. 3 and host nation Panama on Oct. 5. All games will take place at the Estadio Maracaná in Panama City, Panama.
Also named to the squad is one-time Galaxy Academy player Haji Wright.
The complete roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (2): William Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.), Kevin Silva (PDA; Bethlehem, Pa.)