CARSON, Calif. – The last two years have been frustrating for Brian Perk and now the longtime LA goalkeeper finds himself possibly searching for greener pastures after his option was declined earlier this month.
Much like the 2013 season, Perk was plagued with recurring concussion issues that rendered him unable to suit up for the Galaxy or their USL PRO affiliate Galaxy II for wide stretches. The 25-year-old ‘keeper saw only brief action for the first team as he appeared in two matches at the beginning of the year while primary starter Jaime Penedo ironed out visa issues after LA’s demise from the CONCACAF Champions League.
In his three appearances, Perk showcased the quality shot-stopping ability that has been a hallmark of his as he made held a 1-0-1 record that included a shutout of Chivas USA in March. However, concussions rendered Perk unable to build on this performance as he was inactive for much of the season, allowing Brian Rowe to seal the No. 2 spot behind Penedo. When Perk did return, he became a staple for Galaxy II appearing in five matches for the club including each of their two USL PRO playoff games.
After having his option declined, where Perk’s career goes from here remains in question. The goalkeeper is up for stage two of the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Thursday and if he is not selected, he could be eligible to sign with any club that he wishes. Although injuries forced him into limited action this season, Perk’s stellar shot stopping ability—which has drawn comparisons to RSL starter Nick Rimando— should make him a contender to lock down a job with the Galaxy or elsewhere.
How would you rate Perk’s performance in 2014? Read my review of the goalkeepers on LAGalaxy.com and provide him with your own personal rating below.
The LA Galaxy passed on making any selections in stage one of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft.
Only three players were selected in the first process as former Sporting KC goalkeepers Eric Kronberg and Andy Gruenebaum were selected by Montreal Impact and San Jose Earthquakes respectively while former Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley was taken by Toronto FC.
Teams will now have a chance to regonotiate with their players made available for the Re-Entry Draft process before stage two on Dec. 18
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. –Rob Friend is hanging up his boots.
The little-used Canadian forward announced his retirement on Monday at the club’s MLS Cup championship rally in Hermosa Beach. Friend made just 12 appearances for the Galaxy in all competitions while tallying just one assist for the club after joining in January.
Friend’s injury troubles began in July following the club’s friendly with Manchester United in what he described as a “freak accident” that occurred when a ball struck him in the forehead during training when he wasn’t looking. Since the injury, which he believes was only made worse due to repeated head injuries during his decade-long career; Friend has tried to make a recovery, but fallen short each time.
“I made a few attempts at a comeback, but it’s my body telling me that I’ve taken one too many hits to the head. I’m still struggling with a few symptoms and a lot of headaches. It’s a combination of that it is not worth it to maybe take one more hit,” Friend said. “I have to make that decision for myself and my family. I have hopefully a very long life ahead of me and I need to be a good father and a good husband to take care of my family. I don’t ever want to go through what I’ve been through with this concussion again.”
Although the decision seemed inevitable given his inability to return to the field, the striker admitted that he didn’t come to decision lightly as he saw specialists across North America as he considered returning to the game. But despite the bittersweet ending to this chapter in his life, Friend still admits that he can hold his head up high given his success across Europe throughout his career.
“It’s unfortunate. I wish the fans and the organization could have seen me at my best,” said Friend. “I’ll always take pride in my work ethic and attitude. I wasn’t a fancy player but I think that I have a lot of respect from every player and organization. I had a lot of highs especially playing in the Bundesliga and coming from a small town in Canada, I had a lot against me and I succeeded.”
As for what’s next for the newly retired Friend, the 33-year-old now hopes to move into the business of soccer in some respect which is fitting for the Canadian who holds a degree in Business Economics from U.C. Santa Barbara.
One avenue that may be worth exploring for Friend if he is up for consideration is with the Canadian Soccer Association, a group that the former national team forward believes needs considerable reforms.
“I would love to change the entire dynamic of the Canadian Soccer Association. We’re 20 years behind the U.S. and I think there is a lot of ideas and tips that we can take from them. We’re just too far behind and it takes guys who have been outside of Canada and made it around the world to change the mentality and the system. It takes a lot of work and not one man is going to change it, but I would love to help out.”
A weighted lottery was held on Monday with FC Dallas winning the top selection in next week's Dispersal Draft. Following the top selection, New York City FC and Sporting Kansas City will hold the second and third picks in the draft which will distribute former Chivas USA players around the league.
According to MLSsoccer.com, picks in the Dispersal Draft can not be traded.
Chivas USA Dispersal Draft order:
- FC Dallas
- New York City FC
- Sporting Kansas City
- DC United
- New England Revolution
- Montreal Impact
- Orlando City SC
- Colorado Rapids
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Real Salt Lake
- Houston Dynamo
- Portland Timbers
- Chicago Fire
- Toronto FC
- Columbus Crew SC
- LA Galaxy
- Philadelphia Union
- New York Red Bulls
- Seattle Sounders FC
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Everyone is rushing to honor Landon Donovan ahead of his final cap for the U.S. National Team and the latest to the party is the soccer website Soccerly.
In the stunning graphic below, Soccerly designer Shio created a composite of all the USMNT jerseys that Donovan wore during his 15 years with the national team.
Check it out.
With the postseason looming, LA Galaxy II bolstered their roster by signing U.S. youth international forward Kainoa Bailey and French defender Jason Bli.
Bailey, 19, joins Los Dos on a free transfer from German club Bayer 04 Leverkusen where the Nevada native signed his first professional contract last year. Meanwhile, Bli arrives on a free transfer from L'Entene Sannois Saint-Gratien in the French fourth division. The 20-year-old defender spent time on trial with los Dos earlier this year, playing in matches against the Fresno Fuego and the Galaxy first team.
“The addition of Kainoa Bailey to our roster brings a different dimension to our attack,” said LA Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo in a club statement. “Kainoa is a young, talented player who is very fast in the attack and we are excited to strengthen our roster by bringing him to LA.
“Jason is another great addition to our roster, and we are excited to see him join the team,” added Onalfo. “Bli is a skillful player and we are sure he will add great depth to our backline.”
In addition to the two signings, the Galaxy USL PRO affiliate released outside back Eder Arreola. The former UCLA Bruins star made 11 appearances for Galaxy II in his lone season with the club.
Thoughts on the moves?
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CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bolstered their attack on Monday by acquiring veteran forward Alan Gordon.
LA acquired the forward from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money, the club announced on Monday. Gordon has 180 appearances and 39 goals as well as 26 assists in his 11 years in MLS.
“Alan is a proven MLS player who adds another scoring threat to our roster going forward,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena in a statement. “We are pleased to welcome him back as a member of the Galaxy.”
Gordon joins a Galaxy strike force that includes Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Rob Friend and Chandler Hoffman.
LA Galaxy deal Kofi Opare and 2015 second round draft pick to D.C. United for third spot in MLS allocation order
The LA Galaxy obtained the third spot in the MLS allocation order in exchange for second-year center back Kofi Opare and a 2015 MLS SuperDraft second round selection on Tuesday.
Opare has made a total of 12 MLS regular season appearances for the LA Galaxy and last started for LA during their 2-1 defeat to Sporting Kansas City on July 19. The second-year center back out of Michigan also started LA's two postseason matches in 2013 as well.
“This is a move that gives us the necessary flexibility to strengthen our roster,” said Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said in a statement. “We thank Kofi for his contributions here and wish him the best in D.C.”
Thoughts on the deal?
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CARSON, Calif. -- Other MLS players are attracting interest from abroad, but LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez says that his focus is on helping LA compete for MLS Cup.
In an interview with Time Warner Cable Deportes' Elmur Souza, the Galaxy defender said that he has not received any offers from foreign clubs and is simply putting his focus in LA's 2014 MLS campaign. The statement comes amid speculation from Goal.com's Ives Galarcep that Gonzalez has interest from LigaMX club Cruz Azul.
When asked later about his teammates interest abroad and his goals for the remainder of the season, Gonzalez said that his sole focus is on the Galaxy.
"My goals right now are to get back on the field with the LA Galaxy and hit the ground running so that I can continue with the way that I'm playing," said Gonzalez. "I'm just looking to win another MLS Cup that's the only thing that is on my mind."
— Elmur Souza (@elmursouza) July 8, 2014