The LA Galaxy announced on Wednesday the creation of their new USL PRO side LA Galaxy II.
With the announcement, the Galaxy become the first MLS team to field a side in the American third division. The team will be coached by former LA assistant Curt Onalfo and play their home games at StubHub Center. News of the team first surfaced last July when Galaxy club President Chris Klein and Technical Director Jovn Kirovski each told LA Galaxy Insider about the possiblity of the team.
“The LA Galaxy are taking a monumental step for player development in North America,” said Galaxy President Chris Klein said in a statement. “The creation of LA Galaxy II, through USL PRO, provides the Galaxy with a fully realized player development program starting with the Under-12 Academy teams through the LA Galaxy first team. The investment of AEG and the Galaxy in LA Galaxy II allows us to continue to develop the best players in Southern California and lessen the gap between the Academy and the LA Galaxy.”
LA Galaxy II will play a 28-game slate in USL PRO and will consist of LA first team players, it's own signings and Galaxy Academy players.
Thoughts on the development?
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Three members of the LA Galaxy Academy were called up for the U.S. U-15 Boys’ upcoming training camp in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, U.S. Soccer announced on Wednesday.
Galaxy goalkeeper Erik Lopez, defender Ateno Ajeakwa and forward Hanif Wright were among the 20 players called up by U-15 head coach Hugo Perez for the camp which will run from Jan. 31-Feb. 9. During their training camp, the U.S. will take on Al Jazira FC on Feb. 3, Oman on Feb. 4 before ending their time in the Middle East with two friendlies against the United Arab Emirates on Feb. 6 and 8.
The Galaxy Academy were one of three teams with three players called up to the squad joining FC Dallas Academy and the New York Red Bulls Academy. 10 native Californians were named to the roster including Northern California native Ben Lederman who is currently with Spanish giants F.C. Barcelona.
The complete squad is below.
GOALKEEPERS : Carlos Avilez (FC Dallas; Dallas, Texas), Erik Lopez (LA Galaxy; Westminster, Calif.)
DEFENDERS: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls; Wappingers Falls, N.Y.), Ateno Ajeakwa (LA Galaxy; Gardena, Calif.), McKay Eves (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.), Kyle Gruno (Leicester FC; Saddle River, N.J.), Edwin Lara (Unattached; San Leandro, Calif.), Sam Vines (Colorado Rapids; Colorado Springs, Colo.)
MIDFIELDERS: Jose Carranza (D.C. United; Manassas, Va.), Jonathan Gonzalez (Atletico Santa Rosa; Santa Rosa, Calif.), Christopher Goslin (UFA Elite; Locust Grove, Ga.), Ben Lederman (Barcelona; Barcelona, Spain), Nicholas Taitague (FC Richmond Magic; Midlothian, Va.), Juan Pablo Torres (Georgia United; Lilburn, Ga.)
FORWARDS: Lucas Del Rosario (CASL; Durham, N.C.), Jeanpaul Marin (New York Red Bulls; Rego Park, N.Y.), Leonardo Marquez (Odyssey South; Visalia, Calif.), Marty Raygoza (FC Golden State; South El Monte, Calif.), Adolfo Trujillo (De Anza Force; Livermore, Calif.), Hanif Wright (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
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.”
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy are searching for depth at right back and to remedy that, head coach Bruce Arena has brought in a pair of trialists into training camp.
On Tuesday, Arena revealed to reporters that MLS veteran Dan Gargan and Matheau Hall of the USL PRO’s Los Angeles Blues will train with the club during the preseason. Gargan, who has spent nine years in MLS has had stints with the San Jose Earthquakes, Chicago Fire, Toronto FC, Chivas USA, and the Colorado Rapids. The 31-year-old made eight appearances with six starts and tallied one assist in league play for the Earthquakes in 2013. Hall, on the other hand, has been a regular with the Blues for two seasons and appeared in 23 contests for the USL PRO outfit in 2013.
“A.J. DeLaGarza is penciled in right now as our right back, but Dan Gargan is a player with a lot of experience in this league and Matt Hall is a player that I noticed with the L.A. Blues last season. We’re going to look at them in preseason and make a decision there," said Arena. "We do have Oscar Sorto as well who we believe we’re going to be moving along and give him some opportunities as well.”
Also training with the club is 25-year-old goalkeeper Cody Laurendi. The Florida native spent last season with the NASL's Ft. Lauderdale Strikers after three seasons with the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Thoughts on the depth? Would you want either Gargan or Hall to serve as DeLaGarza's backup?
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On Tuesday, the LA Galaxy held their first media availability to truly kick start the 2014 preseason.
The session lasted nearly an hour as the players and head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media. Also present at training was the Vice President of Pumas UNAM Mario Trejo and Herbalife distributors from Mexico City. The Galaxy are scheduled to play Pumas in a closed-door scrimmage in Feburary.
Below are a few social media highlights from training.
The captain working on his fitness. https://t.co/4bKc68HGxz
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 28, 2014
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) January 28, 2014
— Eduard Cauich (@ecauich) January 28, 2014
Lastly, it’s never too early to project the starting lineup for the March 8th season opener against Real Salt Lake, so my projected 11 is below.
Former LA Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens is looking from a new club and that search has taken him to Europe.
According to the American soccer website Yanks Abroad, Stephens will join Norweigan club Stabaek on trial this week. The news comes less than a week after the Galaxy announced that the 24-year-old would not be returning to LA in 2014 after spending the last four years with the club. In 2013, Stephens made 29 appearances in all competitions for the Galaxy with one goal and one assist.
"I can confirm that Michael Stephens is arriving Oslo tomorrow morning to do a trial with Stabæk Fotball," Stabaek sporting director Inge Andre Olsen told Yanks Abroad on Tuesday. "We are looking forward to meet Michael. We have not decided yet how long he will stay."
Stabaek are coached by former U.S. National Team head coach Bob Bradley who took the reins at the club earlier this month.
Thoughts on Stephens' trial? Think that he can make it in Europe?
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CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan has long held a regular starting position with the U.S. National Team, but ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, he’s getting a stern challenge from Sporting Kansas City midfielder Graham Zusi.
During his lengthy career with the national team, Donovan has played in a myriad of positions from either side of the midfield to a second striker, but has settled back into the midfield since the last World Cup cycle. However, the emergence of Zusi over the past year has created competition for the Galaxy stalwart with the Kansas City midfielder making 12 appearances with nine starts tallying two goals and two assists for the U.S. in 2013. Donovan on the other hand, made a total of 10 appearances and 10 starts while notching eight goals and eight assists.
With the U.S. to take on Korea Republic in less than a week, USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann touched on the competition between two players and whether or not they are fighting for the same spot on the roster.
“Sometimes yes, sometimes no. They can both play either side so we can play them both or we can decide to play someone else on one side and they can compete for the same spot,” said Klinsmann on Monday prior to U.S. training. “Graham is the one that can play on the right side and the left side while Landon can also play in the hole coming under the center forward. In this camp, you can look at Landon underneath Eddie Johnson to be the second striker which leaves you two spaces on the wings. Obviously, once Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey come into the mix then Landon may go to the left or the right. There’s competition on every position and that’s what we coaches love.”
Who deserves the position the right side of midfield for the U.S.?
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.
The U.S. National Team held their first training session at StubHub Center on Monday after returning from a near two-week World Cup "dry run" at their base for the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Sao Paulo.
U.S. boss Jurgen Klinsmann addressed the media ahead of the U.S. match against Korea Republic on Feb 1. Following the training session, U.S. Soccer revealed that more than 23 thousand tickets have been sold for the match.
Klinsmann's comments are below.
(On the U.S. National Team's training camp in Brazil....)
KLINSMANN: "I think that it was really helpful for the team, but also for everyone involved in U.S. Soccer to experience our team base hotel in Sao Paulo, to train at the Sao Paulo FC facility, to meet the people and get around the city. I personally went to Natal, Recife, and Manaus, and we have a better picture of what to expect and what will challenge us. It’s not going to be all perfect and we have to be patient and tolerant with things, but if we know that in advance and adjust it mentally then there is no problem at all.”
(On whether he has any concerns about the facilities in Manaus…)
KLINSMANN: “Before a draw you say if I can avoid playing there and playing under those conditions it would be nice, but once the draw was done there were no complaints from our end because both teams will have to play under the same circumstances. It’s going to be hotter than other places, but the [city] itself is absolutely gorgeous. To be in Manaus is an experience and therefore, I want the players to take it all because this is something unique. The people are excited to host World Cup games. [The city] offers a different face of Brazil and that is what the World Cup is about to see the different faces of a country, and Manaus is one of those different faces. I’m really looking forward to it. The stadium is gorgeous, they still have some issues with the training sights, hotels or whatever, but that’s where we have to adjust. Overall, it’s been very helpful that you go there to meet the people and talk to them.”
(On whether there are more players who could make the World Cup roster after the January camp…)
KLINSMANN: “The good thing about this camp is that we have more guys who can widen the pool. I’ve told these guys that in soccer so many things happen in a short amount of time so it is a lot about timing and how you prepare yourself a couple of months before a big tournament happens, and how you show up on the field. Then God forbid, other things happen with injuries or whatever, so the door is always open until May when we cut it down to 23 guys.”
(On whether he feels like he's running out of time to prepare for the World Cup...)
KLINSMANN: “I never feel like I’m running out of time. You need timelines and deadlines are always good. The first game is in June and that’s a great deadline because it is what we’re looking for. Then you adjust everything that you do if things don’t work out or there is an injury or whatever, we’ll make an adjustment and make the best out of it. The excitement just gets a little bit bigger because we see the light at the end of the tunnel. We’ve been to Brazil, we feel prepared and now we’re going to follow the players in all their different club teams and see how they’re doing over the next couple of months.”
(On the injury status of Fabian Johnson…)
KLINSMANN: “The surgery is done. He has a couple of screws in there, but that’s all good. He wants to play on Saturday and I think that he’ll be allowed to play on Saturday.”
(On what he expects from Korea Republic....)
KLINSMANN: “I think that it is the game at the end of January camp that you want to see the players implement the things that we worked on over these three and a half weeks…In a World Cup year and against a World Cup opponent, it’s something that they can match themselves with. [Korea Republic is] a pretty good team, I think that Costa Rica already experienced that because they had absolutely no chance against them the other day. We get a nice bench mark for the group and then we will go forward from there.”
(On the status of Jermaine Jones, who is looking to move away from German club Schalke…)
KLINSMANN: “We've been in contact; he hasn't solved his situation yet. He obviously has a deadline 31st of January that his people are working on, and with his club, they have a clear understanding that he is looking for a new club. ... It's now the 27th. So he has four more days and then, hopefully, he presents a solution there… Every player that doesn't have a solution right now on the table is a concern, absolutely. So we want him to solve it, but he's kind of used to these kind of situations ... and every time he solves it. So he has to solve it, obviously, this time as well. He has to do that within the next four days. We're in touch and we're positive that he finds a good solution and then gets back on the field and play. Because that's what we need the players to do”
CARSON, Calif. – The official open of LA Galaxy training camp for media may be less than 24 hours away, but the players were on the field during the fifth full day of preseason on Monday.
The Galaxy’s official Twitter account revealed the number choices for several of LA’s newest additions including Samuel who was spotted wearing No. 9, forward Rob Friend who donned No. 16, midfielder Baggio Hušidić wore No. 6 while new center back Kyle Venter was spotted with the No. 31 shirt.
The number that will get the most attention is certainly Samuel’s usage of the number nine shirt, which has gone unused since Swedish winger Christian Wilhelmsson wore the jersey during the latter stages of the 2012 season. Galaxy number nines have long struggled with Jovan Kirovski’s four goals and two assists in 21 league appearances in 2010 serving as the best performance for an LA number nine in the club history. Wilhelmsson tallied just a single goal and assist in nine MLS appearances spread across regular season and playoffs.
Can Samuel break the trend of struggling number nines?
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