Blog

04 August 8:39 am

LOS ANGELES – The excitement in Dodger Stadium through, the LA Galaxy will now turn their sights to Miami.

LA will stay for the next week in South Florida as they take part in the Guinness International Champions Cup third place game against either Chelsea or A.C. Milan. This training camp of sorts offers the team one last moment to bond before the congested autumn schedule that will see the Galaxy look to qualify for the MLS Cup Playoffs and advance from the group stages of the CONCACAF Champions League.

“Now we get a week together in Miami and I think that it’ll be really important because it’s a nice midseason training camp for us to get back together, get back on the same page, and get ready to make a run for a third championship in a row,” Donovan said.

As for any concerns of fatigue as the Galaxy prepare for their fourth match in four states over the course of two weeks, defender Omar Gonzalez insists that it won’t be an issue.

“It’ll be a long flight tomorrow, but I’m sure that our staff is going to get us ready to play on Wednesday,” said Gonzalez.

04 August 8:23 am

LOS ANGELES— The Italian media held no punches for Juventus manager Antonio Conte following their 3-1 defeat to the LA Galaxy.

In fact the first question for the manager was a simple one? “Are you ashamed by the result tonight?”

To which Conte offered an expansive response in Italian.

“The performance was not good,” Conte said through a translator. “We need everybody to wake up. I put myself first on that list. If we think we don't need hard work and determination anymore, we're not going to get far. We have great players, we have a high-quality roster, but in these last two years we have always gone beyond our limits for the artwork and determination we've shown on the field. We need to return to that mentality.”

Juventus are now 0-2-0 during their tour of the U.S. and will be playing in the seventh place game against an undetermined opponent on Tuesday. As Conte looks to get his club ready for their Italian SuperCup match against Lazio on Aug. 18 and the start of the league a week later, he implored his squad to focus.

“I think it's reductive to say that this loss is caused by the fact that we're in preseason and it's just a friendly,” Conte said. “We're here in LA, it's a fancy place, we have parties. Everything is very fun. But everywhere you go to play, all over the world, if you don't show the determination on the pitch, you're going to have big problems and, as happened tonight, you're going to lose the game. That's the rule of soccer.”

03 August 11:02 pm

Landon Donovan caught up with his former teammates from Everton following their match against Real Madrid. 

The video is below..

03 August 11:00 pm

LOS ANGELES—The LA Galaxy will be playing for a chance to finish third in the Guinness International Champions Cup against either Chelsea or A.C. Milan.

Originally, the tournament had stated that the winner of the Galaxy’s match would be playing in the fifth place game; however, the rules as noted on the bottom of the Guinness International Championship Cup site are as follows:

* POSITION IN CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND DETERMINED BY PLACE IN BRACKET:

1. 2ND AND 3RD SEEDS IN CHAMPIONSHIP ROUND DETERMINED BY BRACKET SEEDING

2. ALL MATCHES TIED AT THE END OF REGULATION DECIDED BY PENALTY KICKS

3. 2 POINTS FOR WIN, 1 POINT FOR PK LOSS, 0 POINTS FOR REGULATION LOSS

4. TIEBREAKERS a- Head to head, b- Goal differential, c- Goals for, d- Goals against

Taking those rules into account, the Galaxy advanced on goal differential of zero while Everton and Juventus had a goal differential of minus one.  Therefore, the Galaxy moved up from the fifth place game on Tuesday to the third place on Wednesday.

What does all this mean? Well, the Galaxy are planning to take off for Miami on Sunday morning, so it does not change the team’s travel plans, but it will cause them to play a day later than expected.

03 August 10:04 pm

LOS ANGELES – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s thoughts from LA’s 3-1 victory over Juventus.

ARENA: “I think that our team played well. The result isn’t going to change anything in this world. It’s an exhibition, but I thought our team had a good attitude about the game tonight. They played well against a very good team tonight. We understand though that we’re playing in an exhibition, I don’t want to play them when it really counts.”

(On the field at Dodger Stadium…)

ARENA: “I actually thought this was the best converted baseball field to a soccer field that I’ve ever been on. I’ve been on these for years. I thought that the Dodgers did an excellent job. The field was very good again, and watching other games not only in this tournament, but throughout the years, they usually don’t get it as good as this one. I thought the field played as well as expected. “

(On Robbie Keane’s performance…)

ARENA: “Robbie played well. He’s been out three weeks and our plan all along was to give him some minutes, most likely on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week, and we thought about giving him 30 minutes tonight, but gave him the start in the second half. If he had to come out then we would have taken him out. I was pleased that he was able to get 45 minutes.”

(On the return of Clint Demspey to MLS…)

ARENA: “I think that it’s good. Obviously, Clint is the right person to discuss the reasons for his move, but he’s an exceptional player and he’ll obviously be a very good player in this league. I think that he’s going to obviously say that he wanted to come back home and that’s why he made the move.”

(On Whether he would have wanted to have Clint Dempsey…)

ARENA: “Sure. I would have loved to have Clint.”

ARENA: “We don’t discuss any of that.”

(On the importance of the win…)

ARENA: “It’s just different. Maybe years ago, we could not step on the field, even in an exhibition season, and play as well as we did tonight. We are getting better, but I simply stated don’t read too much into this result.”

(On the importance of playing at Dodger Stadium…)

ARENA: “I thought that it was good especially for our players from the Southern California area. They thought it was great. I thought it was a nice night, I got here early for the first game and it was great to see the excitement in the stands. I think that this is a wonderful tournament and I’m happy that we’ve been able to participate in it. All the teams, we get something out of it. The European clubs are moving things along to get fitness and maybe the schedule is a little hectic for them, but for our team, it was a good experience for the young players and, something that can certainly help as we get back into MLS play.”

(On any cultural significance to playing at Dodger Stadium…)

ARENA: “It’s great. It’s a nice experience. I came here the other night for the Dodgers, Yankees game and it was great to be here, then to think that some days later that I would be here with my team is kind of amazing.”

(On whether he’ll rotate his roster in Miami…)

ARENA: “Not sure yet. We’ll see how our players react to this game. We used more players on Thursday in Phoenix so that we could be able to put it a little more quality on the field tonight. I think that the extra days rest is going to help us. The rhythm that we’re in of playing Thursday night then Saturday night, then Wednesday night in Miami, and Sunday in Dallas, I don’t think that’s going to impact us drastically. We should be able to use a full lineup perhaps in both games. I don’t think that we’ll be rotating for the rest of this tournament, but I do think that as we get into play in August and September, we’ll certainly be rotating players.”

03 August 8:38 pm

LOS ANGELES -- The LA Galaxy defeated Juventus 3-1 on Saturday at Dodger Stadium.

Goals came from Omar Gonzalez, Landon Donovan, and Robbie Keane. Juventus' lone goal came from Alessandro Matri

More to come.

03 August 1:46 pm

On Saturday, the LA Galaxy will take on Italian giants Juventus at Dodger Stadium. Called "the Old Lady," Juventus has won Serie A 29 times, Coppa Italian nine times, and the UEFA Champions League twice. 

The Italian side boasts a number of talented stars including midfielder Andrea Pirlo, goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon, and forward Carlos Tevez. Following LA's match agaisnt Real Madrid, Brazilian midfielder Marcelo Sarvas talked about facing the Italians. 

"It'll be my first time facing an Italian team. What I've seen from Italian teams is that they are very organized, tactical, and they defend very deep," said Sarvas. "They're not afraid to defend in the box either. I think that they keep more of the defensive line, not like a Spanish team that will try to dribble and do more magic things with the ball." 

Following the ICC, the focus for the Italian side switches to the Italian SuperCup on Aug.18 against Lazio before beginning Serie A play on Aug. 24 against Sampdoria. 

Take a look at Juventus in this video below...

03 August 1:24 pm

Dodger Stadium has been transformed from a baseball stadium into a soccer pitch ahead of Saturday’s Guinness International Champions Cup matches.

Earlier, I spoke with Dodger groundskeeper Eric Hanson on the preparation of getting Dodger Stadium ready for soccer.

My interview with him is below...

(On how the grounds crew began the conversion…)

HANSON: “We started immediately after the Yankees/Dodgers game on Wednesday at 10:45 p.m.. We spent three hours doing what we needed to do to prep the field for the sod that was installed early on Thursday morning. From that point on, we did detail work and looked at the grass closely, and then attended to anything that we think might help. Now the lines have been painted and the goals have come in, so it is completely set up.”

(On how the reconfiguration was done…)

HANSON: “It mostly involves how we handle the dirt portions of the field because those areas had to be resodded, so to make that work we had to do some work on the skin areas and remove some of the material so the sod will transition nicely. The field runs over the pitcher’s mound and we did have to remove that, so it will have to be rebuilt prior to the Dodgers coming back in town next Friday.”

(On the challenges for the reconfiguration…)

HANSON: “The whole objective is that we want it to be as good as surface as we can possibly provide. We obviously have time constraints and we have to get it back in shape for the Dodgers on the following Friday, so we do the best that we can in the amount of time that we have. Our goal is to make that field as well play as well as it can.”

(On how long it’ll take to return the stadium to baseball shape…)

HANSON: “It won’t take much time to get that turf off. The sod company will come in and remove it. Then we have to bring the dirt that we took out and put that in on all the places. Also, we have to rebuild the pitcher’s mound. We’ll spend till next Thursday working on that and doing our detail work to get it back in shape.”

(On what it means for Dodger Stadium to host two soccer matches…)

HANSON: “It’s a new challenge for us. This is what we do. This is why the grounds crew is here and it’s not uncommon. Football has been played in baseball stadiums for many years and that’s a conversion that used to occur all the time. Soccer is no different; it’s just a different type of conversion. It’s just a new challenge for us and that’s how we view it. We’re anxious to see how it all works out, and hopefully, we can do it again.” 

03 August 12:56 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan wasn’t the only U.S. National Team star that the LA Galaxy welcomed back to the fold on Friday as defender Omar Gonzalez returned from his brief stint with the U.S. and MLS All-Star team.

Gonzalez went 45 minutes in the MLS All-Stars defeat to AS Roma, but only made a brief shift in the closing stages of the U.S. Gold Cup Final victory over Panama. The Galaxy defender is expected to be in action on Saturday.

“I’m happy to be back in L.A., I’m looking forward to being back with the Galaxy,” said Gonzalez. “I’m looking forward to these games, finding a way to improve as a team, and get ready for the second half of the season.”

Juventus will the second Italian team that Gonzalez faces in a week after his shift against Roma.  But even though the chance to face some of the top teams from around the globe is enjoyable, Gonzalez admits that his focus is simply on improving for the stretch run.

“It’s an opportunity for us to face teams from overseas, and not just any teams, but some of the world’s best teams,” said Gonzalez. “It’s a great experience for all of us, and I think that this is a chance for us to tune ourselves up for the second half of the season.”

02 August 5:19 pm

GLENDALE, Ariz. — Brian Rowe got the chance that many goalkeepers have sought out—and dreaded—a chance to field a shot from Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo. But unlike goalkeepers before him, Rowe held firm as he denied the star three times during LA’s 3-1 defeat to the Spanish giants.

Despite filling in for Carlo Cudicini, who traveled but did not dress, Rowe did well against the Spaniards as he repeatedly made big saves in the LA defeat.

As for the chance to face Ronaldo? Rowe admitted that there was nothing to it.

“It wasn’t different. You just find yourself in the moment and react to it,” said Rowe. “Once you start thinking about who you’re going up against then it gives them advantage. You just react. It’s all natural stuff.”

A video of Rowe speaking to the media after the Madrid match is below...