Blog

14 March 4:04 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Another must-win match against C.S. Herediano for Marcelo Sarvas and another win for a Sarvas-led team.

A year-and-three-months after leading L.D. Alajuelense past Herediano to win the Costa Rican Invierno title, Sarvas bested Herediano again as he helped the LA Galaxy to a 4-1 aggregate victory over The Florenses in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals.

Partnered alongside Juninho, Sarvas and the Galaxy midfield controlled the midfield against a cagey Herediano side that was eager to find an away goal after going down in the 18th minute. Although the score line was an unflattering for the Costa Ricans, Sarvas lauded LA’s opponents, but don’t expect him to get any free drinks from Herediano fans during any future to Costa Rica.

“I think Herediano had a good game today. They had a good team; they made it hard for us. They make our result seem much more important because they played hard. They have a good team. I’m happy to beat Herediano and I’m happy to win with the Galaxy that is the most important.”

Now as the club looks towards a date with two-time defending CCL champion Monterrey in the  semifinals, Sarvas is aiming to do what he can to lead LA to the final.  

"We’re in the semifinals against a Mexican team and setting a new history," said Sarvas. "Everyone wants to play and we expect good things.” 

14 March 2:10 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Yet another stellar performance is in the books for LA Galaxy Homegrown forward Jose Villarreal.

The 19-year-old bagged a stellar goal as he helped the Galaxy advance to the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals for the first time in club history with a 4-1 victory over C.S. Herediano. 

For more on Villarreal's performance, read my sidebar here.

Villarreal wasn't the only young forward to score as fellow Homegrown product Jack McBean added LA's fourth goal in second half stoppage time. After a stellar performance by LA's young forwards, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane admitted that he was pleased with his young charges and their willingness to take chances towards goal.  

"Of course," said Keane. "During training or when we're playing, I tell them all the time, I tell them to shoot. Every opportunity that you have in front of the goal, unless it's very plain that you can see that someone is in a better position, but if not, have a shot on goal. If you don't shoot then you don't score. You saw my goal there and probably seven times out of ten, the 'keeper makes a save, but if you don't know shoot you don't score." 

14 March 11:06 am

During the MLS preseason media tour of New York, LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane took on his Chivas USA counterpart goalkeeper Dan Kennedy in a game of FIFA13. The results? Quite entertaining.

Check it out below....

14 March 10:56 am

There will be no change in ownership for the LA Galaxy as The Anschutz Company announced on Monday that it will retain ownership of Anschutz Entertainment Group and terminate any sales process. But that does not mean there will not be any change at the top.

Chairman of AEG Phillip F. Anschutz will be taking a more active role in the company. Meanwhile, AEG President and CEO Tim Leiweke will be leaving the company by mutual agreement. Dan Beckerman, who has been with AEG for 15 years and has previously served as their Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer will be taking over for Leiweke. 

Leiweke leaves quite the legacy in MLS as he was instrumental to helping the Galaxy acquire the likes of David Beckham and Robbie Keane. 

“We appreciate the role Tim has played in the development of AEG, and thank him for the many contributions he has made to the Company. We wish him well in his new endeavors,” Anschutz said in a press release.  

With AEG officially off the market, Anschutz, who has been a major investor in MLS since the league's inception was quick to reiterate his commitment to the growth of his company. 

“From the very beginning of the sales process, we have made it clear to our employees and partners throughout the world that unless the right buyer came forward with a transaction on acceptable terms we would not sell the Company” said Anschutz, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Anschutz Company in a press release. “From the very first days of AEG, my vision has been to tie together world class real estate development structured around entertainment venues with premium sports and live entertainment content. In recent years we have developed related businesses to further promote and enhance the performance of AEG’s facilities for the benefit of our partners, including our sponsors, artists, consumers and the communities in which we operate. The Company’s operations will continue to be run by AEG’s experienced senior executive team, most of whom have been with AEG for over a decade. We will continue to set the standards in the industries in which AEG operates, bringing our unique vision and development model to entertainment locations throughout the world.”

Beckerman, who will take over for Leiweke as AEG's President and CEO offered these thoughts. 

“Phil’s active reengagement in the operations of the Company has brought a renewed spirit and passion to the management team’s focus on AEG’s next steps” Beckerman said in a statement. “The Company has a number of interesting business opportunities, and the expertise of the management team and our 26,000 employees around the world will allow us to select those prospects that best enhance the Company’s performance. Priority projects going forward include the development of Farmers Field adjacent to our L.A. Live campus and the pursuit of our plan to bring the NFL back to Los Angeles, our recently announced initiative to collaborate with MGM to build a new arena in Las Vegas, the acquisition of ownership stakes and the associated refurbishment of several major global arenas in Europe and our ongoing investment in AXS.com, our ticketing and e-commerce platform, as we expand its capabilities for the benefit of our venues, partners, performers and consumer end-users.”

--

What are your thoughts on the changes?

Share your thoughts below. 

13 March 11:53 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are through to the CONCACAF Champions League semifinals for the first time in club history and waiting for them is two-time defending CCL champion Monterrey. 

Los Rayados (the pinstripes) may currently be in 7th place in the 2013 Clausura, but they pose a major test for the Galaxy with their full assortment of stars including Chilean forward Humberto Suazo as well as Mexican Internationals Sevro Meza and Jesus Zavala, among others. Monterrey has been particularly skilled in the CCL as they knocked off Real Salt Lake in the 2011 final and then Santos Laguna in 2012. 

As Galaxy's focus turns to the Mexican giants, their success is not lost on head coach Bruce Arena. 

"Monterrey has been the best club team in our region for a number of years now," said  They’re the best team, they’re the team to beat, so it’s going to be a very big challenge for our club."

But perhaps, Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant put it best by stating that the match is not only important for the Galaxy, but for MLS as a whole. 

"It’s exciting, it’s something that the league is looking to get over the hump with México and Seattle did a great job of winning their last series [against Tigres]. It’s the first time that ever happened so we want to continue that," said Dunivant. “This is big for our league. We really want to continue to push the envelope and win our region then start being the dominating force in this region."

13 March 11:34 pm

 

CARSON, Calif. –Carlo Cudicini saw his 264 minute shutout streak snapped, but the LA Galaxy’s Italian goalkeeper was impressed by LA’s defensive play in their 4-1 victory over Herediano to seal a berth into the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals.

Cudicini made just two saves on the night, but his first was vitally important as he swatted an Ismael Gomez free kick away in the eighth minute of play to keep the tie level. Just ten minutes later, Omar Gonzalez nodded in a Juninho corner and LA never looked back from there to seal the 4-1 victory.

Cudicini will look to extend LA’s shutout streak in MLS play—which of course, stands at 90 minutes—during Sunday’s SuperClásico against Chivas USA.

Below Cudicini discusses his partnership with the Galaxy back four…

(On his chemistry with the back four…)

CUDICINI: “We’re working hard during the week to try and improve it. The more we play together, the more hopefully we can get results. I think we’re doing all right, we’re not conceding much, which is good. In front of me I have excellent players.”

(On the partnership of Omar Gonzalez and Leonardo…)

CUDICINI: “They are doing a very good job. They’re very concentrated, good personalities and that helps on the pitch. To be fair, whoever plays in front me, whether A.J. [DeLaGarza] or Omar, they’re very good players. They’re young but they have experience, they can read the game well. It’s good.”

(On his vocal nature…)

CUDICINI: “It’s not just one thing; I try to keep them concentrated during the game. Especially when you’re winning two-, three-nil your concentration tends to go a little bit. I just want to keep them on their toes. Mainly as a goalie want to try to have a good line in front of you, keep the defense compact, just try to help them as much as I can from behind. Which you hope is what they do it when you need help.”

(On his adjustment to the Galaxy…)

CUDICINI: “I’ve said before, it’s not a short process. It takes time, games, and training sessions. We’re just at the beginning, and hopefully it will be even better in the future. We cannot think that because we are a good team, things will just come to us. We need to work hard. As you can see today, winning easily three nil, we just switched off for a second and we concede a goal. We always want to keep 100 percent concentration.”

13 March 11:22 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy became the fourth MLS team to advance to the CONCACAF Champions League Semifinals with a 4-1 aggregate victory over Costa Rican side C.S. Herediano on Wednesday evening. 

My Three Points to the match can be found here

A few notes:

*LA will take on Monterrey with the dates for the two-legged series still to be determined. What we do know is this:  the first leg will take place at The Home Depot Center between April 2 and April 4 while the second leg will be at Monterrey's Estadio Tecnológico between April 9 and April 11. 

*Attendance for the game was 8,284. The attendance was capped at 12,500 for the match due to the stadium's agreement with CSU-Dominguez Hills. It is worth mentioning that CSUDH will be on Spring Recess during the potential first leg dates, according to their school calendar, so no caps will be necessary. 

*Jack McBean now has four goals in the competition and is tied for second among leading goalscorers. 

*Elias Aguilar snapped the Galaxy's shutout streak at 264 minutes in all competitions. 

13 March 10:38 pm

CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy needed an early goal in their decisive tie against C.S. Herediano and in the 18th minute, Omar Gonzalez obliged.

Gonzalez nodded home one of his trademark goals off a set piece by finishing a Juninho corner to put LA ahead and they never looked back. LA notched a 4-1 aggregate victory to become just the fourth MLS team to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.

Below Gonzalez reflects on his play and his goal.  

(On the play of the defense…)

GONZALEZ: “The defense has been playing very well. Everyone has a real good feeling for each other. Carlo been talking a lot with us, the organization is really good between us. To have one goal throughout the first three games is great, although we really wanted the shutout tonight. I think that was a soft goal we gave up, poor marking in the middle. Should have gotten closer to the cross.”

(On Carlo Cudicini's influence…)

GONZALEZ: “I think he’s just added the experience and also vocally. He’s always chirping. He’s always telling us what to do and reminding to get in the right position to put out fires before they even start. With that it makes the game a lot easier.”

(On his goal against Herediano, a classic Omar goal…)

GONZALEZ: “I guess if I score a few more it can be a classic. Just one of those where Juninho puts it high enough for me, the guy marking me was maybe to my shoulders, so I should get one of those.”

(On partnering with Leonardo  in middle…)

GONZALEZ: “He’s been incredible for us. I remember before he got hurt and we were having about five or six games together where we didn’t lose. I think he’s back, he’s playing great, fits in well with the rest of the back line and I’m just happy he’s healthy and we’re playing well together.”

(On how confident the team is…)

GONZALEZ: “I think we’re flying pretty high. Overall, we’ve been playing pretty well since our season started and we’re just going to take it game by game, not think too far into the future. Everyone’s really happy tonight, getting to this round is great for our team and the organization, everyone’s just really thrilled.”

13 March 2:40 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- We're just hours away from the decisive CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal second leg between the LA Galaxy and C.S. Herediano.

Below are selection of links, match-ups and predicted lineups to get you to kick off. 

*Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on the CCL Quarterfinal Second Leg following Tuesday's practice. 

*Marcelo Sarvas has traveled up from Central America to The Home Depot Center before and the Brazilian midfielder knows what to expect on Wednesday from Herediano

*Could we see a forward partnership of Jose Villarreal and Robbie Keane? Possibly

*LA will be focused on stopping two of Herediano's danger men Elias Aguilar and Ismael Gomez

*LAGalaxy.com preview Larry Morgan provided this preview of the game.

*Lastly, my Three Points to the match. 

MATCH-UPS TO WATCH:

Marcelo Sarvas  vs. Elias Aguilar

Arguably the most important player match-up of the game will pit Sarvas against the dynamic Aguilar, who was responsible for creating the lion share of Herediano's attacks during the first leg. As Aguilar looks to spark counter-attacks, Sarvas will be tasked with covering plenty of ground on defense when the Costa Ricans do have opportunities to push forward. Positioning will be key for Sarvas -- and his midfield partner Juninho -- as the it could make the difference between a Herediano scoring chance and a Galaxy counter attack.

Robbie Keane vs. Pablo Salazar

Pablo Salazar enjoyed a strong game in the first leg against the Galaxy by making a team-high 10 clearances down at Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero, but he'll need another strong game against Robbie Keane in Southern California. Keane made several dangerous runs during the first leg, but routinely saw his guile disrupted by an unruly turf surface that stymied the Irishman. Following the Galaxy's final practice on Tuesday, Keane stated that had the conditions, not been substandard, he might have had more opportunities. Well, he'll get those chances at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday. 

Galaxy speed vs. Herediano Bunker

The speed of play will be vital for both the LA Galaxy and C.S. Herediano during the CCL quarterfinal. From the get go, the Galaxy will look to play a high-tempo game and force the Costa Ricans out of their defensive stance while Herediano seeks to slow the game down and attack on the counter. If LA can maintain a high tempo than the Galaxy could create gaps in the Herediano defensive shape. 

REFEREE:

Referee: Walter López (Guatemala); AR1: Gerson López (GUA); AR2: Ronaldo de la Cruz (GUA); 4th: Óscar Reyna (GUA)

*Lopez last handled an LA Galaxy game in 2011 when LA defeated C.D. Motagua 1-0 in Tegucigalpa, Honduras to advance to the 2011/2012 CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals. He awarded two yellow cards. 

PREDICTED GALAXY LINEUP:

Cudicini; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Leonardo, Dunivant; Franklin, Sarvas, Juninho, Magee; Villarreal, Keane

CONFIRMED HEREDIANO LINEUP:

Cambronero; Obando, Salazar, Montero, Francis; Granados, Hernández, Gomez, Aguilar, Ramírez; Ruiz

-

Share your thoughts on the match below.

13 March 12:41 pm

CONCACAF announced the complete schedule for the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup on Wednesday at the site of the final, Chicago's Soldier Field.

The tournament will open with double header at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif. on July 7 as Group A play opens Canada faces Martinique before Mexico battles Panama in the headlining match. The United States will begin Group C play at JELD-WEN Field in Portland against Belize on July 9 with Cuba and Costa Rica facing off beforehand. The 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup final will take place on July 28 at Soldier Field. 

Complete details of the tournament are here.

More notes are below...

*Herediano head coach Marvin Solano revealed the lineup that Los Floreneses will use in Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League match up. The lineup is as follows: Cambronero; Salazar, Lula, Francis, Obando; Granados, Hernández, Gomez, Aguilar, Ramírez; Ruiz

*LAGalaxy.com provided an update to the Galaxy Academy.

*Alex Morgan scored a brace as the U.S. Women's team defeated Germany 2-0 in the Algarve Cup final.