CARSON, Calif. --Two years ago, the Puerto Rico Islanders shocked the LA Galaxy at The Home Depot Center, but according to forward Jose Villarreal, the Galaxy have a game plan in mind to shut down the Islanders.
Puerto Rico arrive at The HDC having not scored in three NASL matches, but bring with them a talented offense that provides a dangerous mix of physicality and speed. The Galaxy may have to face the Islanders without all three of their Designated Players as Irish forward Robbie Keane is suspended while David Beckham (stomach illness) and Landon Donovan (left hamstring strain) are injury doubts. This could open up opportunities for players like Villarreal, who may earn his second CONCACAF Champions League start on Wednesday with Keane suspended and Donovan questionable.
The opportunity to participate in such an important may may deter some younger players, but Villarreal has a plan for Galaxy success.
VILLARREAL: "They're a very physical and athletic team with a lot of strong guys that have pace, but I think that if we put the ball on the ground and move it around them then I think we'll be able to get around them and score some goals."
A Good gameday Morning to everyone out there,
Tonight, the LA Galaxy will continue their CONCACAF Champions League campaign against the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Before the match, check out my Three Points to the match.
I'll be working on a very exciting Galaxy feature today, but expect more posts as we get closer to game time.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy have moved on from their shock 2010 defeat in the CONCACAF Champions League preliminary round to the Puerto Rico Islanders, but they have by no means forgotten.
In 2010, with the LA Galaxy flying high in league play, LA suffered a 4-1 defeat at The Home Depot Center in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League's preliminary round series with the Islanders. Fueled by two goals by Jamaican forward Nicolas Addlery, the Islanders crushed the Galaxy and advanced to the CCL's group stages a week later on a 5-3 aggregate after LA defeated the Islanders, 2-1 in Bayamón.
For LA Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee -- who went 23 minutes during LA's victory in Puerto Rico -- the impetus will be on the Galaxy to match Puerto Rico's intensity to prevent a repeat of 2010.
"That's not still in our mind. I think I remember a little bit when we saw them on tape earlier that kind of reminded us, but we have a much different team now and if anything, we can just take that on any given day anyone can beat anyone. So we definitely need to match their intensity at least."
MAGEE: "They're not? They obviously scored a lot of goals on us a couple years ago. They look fast, they look fit and they have a lot of guys that we saw a couple years ago and played in the league who are dangerous so obviously, this is going to be a game where they're going to try harder so we've got to match them."
(On dangerous players for Puerto Rico...)
MAGEE: "Addlery....when he played us last time, he was a complete handful. Obviously, I haven't followed that league too much, but last time we played him, he was amazing and i think single handedly beat us."
(On whether or not LA overlooked Puerto Rico in 2010...)
MAGEE: "For sure. Sometimes you assume that just because they're in a different league that you can kind of play half a game and to be honest, if we don't play our best and we don't play our hardest then obviously we know that they can beat us but they can smash us."
CARSON, Calif. -- According to LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, the status of David Beckham and Landon Donovan is still up in the air ahead of Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League match against the Puerto Rico Islanders.
Donovan has missed Galaxy's last two matches due to a left hamstring strain suffered while on International duty while Beckham battled through a stomach illness on Sunday, but was still able to go 78 minutes in the Galaxy's 2-0 victory over FC Dallas. The Galaxy will already be without one of it's three designated players in forward Robbie Keane as he was controversially sent off during last week's 5-2 CCL win against Isidro Metapán
During the portion of club's training session on Tuesday that was open to the media, Beckham participated in training -- saying that he "felt a little better" as he walked off, but Donovan was not on the field.
Following the training session, Arena addressed the media on the status of the two DPs.
ARENA: "They're moving along. David seemed fine today, Landon's working out inside today."
(On whether Donovan was likely or possible to play on Wednesday...)
ARENA: "I don't do any of those likelys and probablys and all of that stuff. We'll know tomorrow before kick off."
(On Donovan not training being a potential issue...)
ARENA: 'It would be if he hadn't played soccer in awhile, but he's capable of getting on the field and doing well."
CARSON, Calif. -- After producing a primer on Isidro Metapán, last week, here is my primer to the Puerto Rico Islanders ahead of Wednesday's match.
History: Founded in 2003, the Islanders have an illustrious history in the CONCACAF Champions League, even earning the name Los Sepultureros (The Gravediggers) for their ability to knock out top tier clubs. Under former head coach Colin Clarke, the Islanders made a run to the semi-finals of the CCL in 2009 defeating the likes of Alajuelense, Santos Laguna and Cruz Azul before falling. In 2010, Puerto Rico would pick up yet another victory, as they defeated the Galaxy in the preliminary round of the CCL 5-3, including a 4-1 win at The Home Depot Center. With their inclusion in this year’s tournament, the Islanders are one of only a few clubs to have participated in the CCL -- at least the preliminary round level -- in each year of its present incarnation.
Key Players: Led by head coach Adrian Whitbread, the Islanders are headlined by a backbone of players that famously led Puerto Rico over the Galaxy in 2010 including Jamaican forward Nicolas Addlery, who scored two goals against the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center. Also returning to The HDC are influential midfielder Noah Delgado -- a former LA Galaxy SuperDraft pick in 2004 -- and talented English forward David Foley. But the Islanders will also bring another weapon in Dominican forward Jonathan Faña, who is among the NASL leaders in assists.
Standings: La Tropa Naranja (The Orange troop) is currently in a tie for second place in the NASL with the Tampa Bay Rowdies at 36 points. However, the Islanders hold the advantage over Tampa on goal difference. Puerto Rico and Tampa Bay sit six points behind first place San Antonio Scorpions.
News: Goals have come at a premium for the Islanders as of late in league play as the team has failed to score a goal in three matches. Since a 2-1 victory over the Scorpions in San Antonio, Puerto Rico has gone a disappointing 0-1-2 heading into their match against the Galaxy.
Stadium: The Islanders play at the 22,000 seat Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. Recently renovated into a soccer-specific facility, the stadium was originally designed for baseball. Puerto Rico are currently 7-3-1 at JRL in NASL play this season.
What the Galaxy coaches say about Puerto Rico: “They're very similar to the team that we saw a couple years ago. An experienced team, pretty good organization and some pretty dangerous players in the attack. A team that if we don't play well, we're not going to win.” – Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
What the Galaxy players say about Puerto Rico: "They have the best mindset because if you look at what they've done in the past in this competition . They've been very successful so they put a lot of emphasis on these games because it means a lot in terms of measuring themselves against clubs in other countries and against MLS teams." - current LA Galaxy goalkeeper and former Puerto Rico Islander Josh Saunders.
For even more consult the video update below from Mark Rogondino and Cobi Jones...
CARSON, Calif. -- Below is the Television schedule for the LA Galaxy's remaining CONCACAF Champions League matches. All times are Pacific...
Round 3 – Wed. Aug. 29, vs. Puerto Rico Islanders, 7 p.m.
English TV: Fox Soccer
Spanish TV: None
Round 4 – Wed., Sep. 29, at Puerto Rico Islanders, 5 p.m.
English TV: Fox Soccer
Spanish TV: Univision Deportes Dos
Round 6 – Thu., Oct. 25, at Isidro Metapan, 7 p.m.
English TV: Fox Soccer
Spanish TV: Univision Deportes
A couple notes: Univision Deportes is currently carried on Dish Network and AT&T U-Verse. Univision Deportes Dos is available exclusively on Dish. Univision Deportes is Ch. 869 on Dish and Ch. 658 (SD) and Ch. 1658 (HD) on AT&T. Univision Deportes Dos is Ch. 870.
It's time for fourth edition of Ask the Insider:
Today's question comes from Enio Gonzalez, Enio asks: With the Galaxy coming out of games with good results in the CCL and in previous MLS games, how can Galaxy continue this momentum going and get a higher Standing than RSL or Seattle?
The LA Galaxy are flying high in recent weeks as they have picked up at least a draw in nine of their last ten competitive matches going 7-1-2 in that time. Over that ten game span, the LA has gone from fighting for the fifth and final Western Conference spot to realistically targeting a spot among the top three in the West.
However, for the Galaxy to reach the top of the Western Conference before season’s end, they will need to capitalize on a remaining schedule that includes playing five of their last seven league games at The Home Depot Center. This will be vital for the Galaxy as LA is 6-1-5 at home in MLS play this season. Included in their remaining home schedule are matches against the likes of the Vancouver Whitecaps, Real Salt Lake and the Seattle Sounders, which will be decisive in determining where LA finishes in the standings.
Apart from winning their home games, the Galaxy will need solid performances from their depth players as the club is likely to shuffle their squad as they balance a rigorous league schedule and CONCACAF Champions League play.
If LA can capitalize on its home schedule and stay fresh then the Galaxy could avoid the MLS wildcard round and finish among the top three in the West.
Thanks Enio, you can get your tickets by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. For everyone else, remember to leave your questions on the LA Galaxy Facebook page following the club's next match against the Puerto Rico Islanders on August 29th for the chance to have your question featured and win tickets to an upcoming Galaxy game.
Following Sunday's 2-0 LA Galaxy victory over FC Dallas, FCD head coach Schellas Hyndman was left wondering about a first half decision by referee Kevin Stott.
In the 11th minute, LA Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant brought down Dallas winger Fabian Castillo and was subsequently shown a yellow by Stott (video of the challenge is posted below.) However, FCD was left pleading for a red as Dunivant appeared to be LA's final defender between the play and goalkeeper Josh Saunders.
Following the match, after telling reporters at The Home Depot Center that he "thinks that [Dallas] do not get calls here," Hyndman told MLSsoccer.com's Daniel Robertson that The HDC is a difficult place for opposing teams to get calls in their favor.
“Would [a red card being shown] have made a difference? Absolutely,” Hyndman said. “The facts are that this is a tough place to get the calls.”
Hyndman's comment comes on the heels of Stott awarding the Galaxy four yellow cards, a new season high for LA.
Do you agree that the Galaxy get the edge from the referee at The HDC? Disagree? Was Dunivant's foul a red card worthy offense?
Share your thoughts below.
Ahead of the start of the 2012-2013 season, the LA Galaxy Academy finalized their staff on Monday.
The group that includes former Galaxy forward Ante Razov leading the Under-14 side, current center back Andrew Boyens serving as the assistant coach of the U-15 side and Ian Sarachan, the son of LA Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan serving as the assistant for both Razov and U-16 head coach Craig Harrington.
“We are very fortunate and excited to have assembled this staff,” said Vice President Chris Klein said in a statement. “The goal of the Academy is to develop players that can contribute to our first team and we feel that we can achieve that given the amount MLS and national team experience on our coaching staff.”
The staff finalization caps an eventful week for the Galaxy Academy as Under-16 midfielder Rolando Muñoz was selected to join the United States Residency program in Bradenton, FL under U.S. U-17 head coach Richie Williams for the upcoming fall semester.
The entire Galaxy Academy staff, which is overseen by Klein is below...
U-18 Head Coach: Eddie Soto
U-16 Head Coach: Craig Harrington
U-15 Head Coach and U-18 Assistant Coach: Alexi Yi
U-15 Assistant Coach: Andrew Boyens
U-14 Head Coach: Ante Razov
U-16 and U-14 Assistant Coach: Ian Sarachan
U-13 Head Coach: Braeden Cloutier
U-12 Head Coach: Ted Eck
U-12 and U-13 Technical Director: Mauricio Cienfuegos
Academy Goalkeeper Coach: Ruben Messina
Academy Coordinator: Billy Bizzaro
Camps and Clinics Coordinator: Gordon Kljestan
Academy Head Athletic Trainer: Pablo Chung
Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jonathan Brooks
CARSON, Calif. -- In July, the month belonged to the LA Galaxy's Designated Player trio of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, but to date, the month of August has belonged to LA's Brazilian midfielder Juninho.
In five starts in all competitions this month -- that's 423 minutes of action -- the Brazilian midfielder has tallied five goals including a pair of two goal performances against Chivas USA on August 12th and Isidro Metapán on August 23rd. Juninho bagged his fifth goal of the month as he finished a Jose Villarreal pass in the 66th minute for the game-winning goal in LA's 2-0 victory over FC Dallas on Sunday. The goal brought Juninho's regular season goal total to four this season -- a career high -- and six in all competitions. Interestingly enough, all six of these goals have come at The Home Depot Center and all six have come on the stadium's south end.
But goals haven't been the only facet of Juninho's game that has succeeded during LA's recent rise up the table as the Brazilian has formed an effective partnership with countryman Marcelo Sarvas and David Beckham that has stifled opposing midfields. On Sunday, the group added FCD playmaker David Ferreira to this list as the Colombian midfielder struggled to create going forward due to constant pressure from LA's midfield triumvirate.
When asked on Sunday what he attributes his recent run of form to, the answer was simple for the Brazilian. Confidence.
"I summarize right now, everything just being the confidence that I have, and everything just plays off of that," said Juninho. "And thank God that right now I was able to score a lot of goals this week and hopefully that continues going forward."