World Cup

29 July 12:44 pm

SEATTLE— It was the moment that left U.S. National Team fans aghast.

In the third minute of first half stoppage time of the LA Galaxy’s 3-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC, a scuffle ensued between LA’s Omar Gonzalez and Seattle’s Clint Dempsey and DeAndre Yedlin.

 The sequence began when Yedlin went up for a header with A.J. DeLaGarza and appeared to launch an elbow at the Galaxy center back. Gonzalez spotted hard challenge and promptly pushed Yedlin to the pitch with Demspey descending upon his USMNT teammate moments later for a heated exchange.  For his role in the tussle, only Omar Gonzalez earned a caution from as tempers remained high between both sides throughout the rest of the Galaxy’s road win.

The altercation between the two teams led to plenty of attention during the game, but after the match it was hardly mentioned as only Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan addressed the in-game tension.

“It’s enjoyable. It’s competitive, and our team wasn’t going to back down and we don’t want guys to back down. We don’t want to be stupid, but we want to be competitive and Seattle is the same way,” Donovan said. “Sigi [Schmid] is an excellent coach and he always has them ready to go. All that stuff happens after the game. You shake hands and you move on, but it was a good game, it was a competitive game, but a clean game.”

15 July 12:40 pm

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is over, but before we turn the page to the tournament in Russia in four years, take a gander at this stunning animation by Richard Swarbrick.

The short film by the British artist and filmmaker recaps the entire month-long tournament in less than two minutes and is a must see. 

14 July 10:46 am

The 2014 FIFA World Cup has finally concluded, but as the old saying goes: we’ll always have the memories of a thrilling month of action in Brazil.

On Sunday night, I nominated my two breakout stars of the tournament on Twitter, but ESPN FC went into greater depths to offer the best moments of the month-long tournament in this stunning montage.  

Just an FYI: the video may not be available abroad, but if you click this link then you should be able to see the clip.

10 July 6:43 pm

There are just two games left in the 2014 FIFA World Cup with the action culminating on Sunday with the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina. 

Ahead of the World Cup final and the third place game between Brazil and The Netherlands, check out ESPN FC's video of all the 167 goals scored in the tournament.  If just five goals are scored in the last two games, the 2014 FIFA World Cup will set a tournament record for most goals scored. 

Just an FYI: the video may not be available abroad, but if you click this link then you should be able to see the clip.

10 July 2:32 pm

It was 15 years ago today that the United States last became World Cup champions when the U.S. Women's team defeated China in an epic penalty kick shootout in front of more than 90,000 at the Rose Bowl Stadium in Pasadena.

Over the course of 120 minutes, the match was more akin to one played on a chess board which both sides having limited chances. The match then went to penalties where goalkeeper Brianna Scurry made a clutch save in the third round that put the Americans ahead, setting the table for Brandi Chastain who buried her attempt in the fifth round to send the U.S. into bedlam. The iconic image of Chastain pulling off her shirt and revealing her sports bra would become an iconic American sports image. 

The Galaxy will face Manchester United at the very same historic Rose Bowl Stadium on July 23.

Being a life-long resident of the San Gabriel Valley, I remember watching the match at age 12 from a nearby Mexican restaurant when Chastain buried her penalty, you could clearly hear the roar of the Rose Bowl crowd in the distance. 

Where were you when Chastain buried her historic penalty kick?

Share in the comments section below. 

08 July 5:14 pm

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." 

08 July 10:51 am

LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez showed his mettle during the U.S. National Team’s campaign at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and now, he’s sharing much more.

Gonzalez has been featured in ESPN the Magazine’s annual Body Issue along with U.S. Women’s International Megan Rapione. In addition to baring all for the magazine, Gonzalez spoke to ESPN reporter Morty Ain about his fitness strategy, his College football scholarship offers in high school, recovering from ACL surgery in 2012 and, of course, his epic Thanksgiving day Saxophone session.

"Being in the Body Issue is a new experience for me. I don't usually hang out naked," said Gonzalez after training on Tuesday. "It was really fun and I'm happy that I did it. It's turning out pretty good and hopefully the fans enjoy it." 

The ESPN the Body Issue hits newsstands on July 11.

05 July 12:25 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team legend Cobi Jones knows all about the spirit of the Costa Rican national team and he isn't surprised in the slightest about their showing at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. 

The Ticos have been the underdogs of the tournament by winning a Group D that included three past World Cup champions in Italy, England and Uruguay and then reached the quarterfinals for the first time in their nation's history by defeating Greece in a thrilling penalty kick shootout. They'll now take on Netherlands for a chance to be the first CONCACAF team to reach the semifinals in the tournament's modern era. 

While many have been shocked about the Ticos's showing, Jones who tallied 164 caps for the U.S. while scoring 15 goals  -- one of which came against the Ticos -- has been impressed by the fight that Costa Rica has displayed against the globe's soccer powers. 

"I’m supporting Costa Rica. They are from CONCACAF so I’m supporting Costa Rica all the way. Their defense has been so strong, especially in the midfield where they’ve gotten a lot of credit. That’s where it is really starting," Jones told LA Galaxy Insider. "[Yeltsin] Tejada is doing an excellent job, [Christian] Bolanos as well. Winning the ball at the midfield and starting the attack early on has been something to see. What I like about it, the team like Costa Rica, Colombia and Chile and even Switzerland, they are going for it. They have gone all out. Some have been knocked out, some are still going, but they are saying “if we are going to go doing, we are going down swinging.” There is going modern style, more offensive and more attacks, and I like it, it’s great to see. It’s good for TV."

03 July 2:16 pm

Don't expect the LA Galaxy to be bringing in a new Designated Player any time soon.

 Just don't rule it out either.

That was the message that Galaxy club president Chris Klein gave during his 10 minute interview with the Corner of the Galaxy podcast on Wednesday. Klein discussed several topics while also reiterating the club’s commitment to having three Designated Players.

“We've made a conscious decision right now that the three (Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez) that we have right now are the best path for us to a championship. If that changes and there’s significant interest in Omar and he gets sold now or in a year or two years, we're going to get another guy,” Klein told Corner of the Galaxy podcast. “It’s a constant discussion that we have and something that we're always going to be involved in. By no means does Kaka going to Orlando mean that LA is out of the Designated Player market. We're always in there and we're very aggressive in the space but we're going to do what is best and gives us our best chance to win.”

Klein also was quick to reiterate that the team is still a headline destination despite not currently having any vacant Designated Player slots.

“We'll always be in those conversations. We're very clear that we're always going to have three designated players if that’s what the rules are in this league,” said Klein. “I think what you're seeing now is that there are more teams that are willing to do what we have done. Like Orlando signing Kaka or New York City FC getting David Villa. We're always going to be in the discussion for designated players and we're going to continue to have them both internally and outside.”

02 July 1:28 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The debate on whether U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann should have included Landon Donovan on his squad at the 2014 FIFA World Cup resurfaced again on Tuesday as the team was bounced from the tournament with a 2-1 extra time defeat to Belgium. 

With the World Cup campaign complete, Donovan's future with the national team is still in question. In an interview with Dan Patrick on Wednesday (watch below at the 4:28 mark), Donovan told the radio host that he'd "love to play in the Olympics," but when asked after LA's training session hours later, Donovan was noncommittal when asked about his future with the national team. 

"We'll see," Donovan, U.S. Soccer's all-time leading goal scorer, told reporters after training on Wednesday. "That depends on a lot of conversations that would have to be had." 

When asked again  if he'd answer a call-up from Klinsmann, Donovan reiterated his statement. 

"A lot of conversations would have to take place," he said. 

Whether or not Donovan returns to the U.S. remains to be seen, but the forward was pleased with the Americans' showing at the tournament. 

"It's tough for all of us to watch because we feel bad for the team. Of course, as athletes we all think that we can help, but the reality is, that is the team that was out there," said Donovan. "They fought valiantly. I think that put in a different position or situation, I think they'd have a better chance to win the game, but they gave everything that they had."