CARSON, Calif. Below are Bruce Arena's thoughts on the LA Galaxy's 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
(On the win…)
ARENA: “I thought maybe we were a little sluggish in the fist half. I think you got to give Vancouver a lot of credit, they really threw a lot into the first half and closed us down, especially in the middle third. [They] kicked us a little bit, made it difficult for us, so I think the Juninho goal was huge. In the second half I thought you could see the energy that Vancouver put into the first half fatigued them, because they kind of looked to me like they hit the wall a little bit. I thought we had a fairly dominant second half and could have scored a few more goals.”
(On the play of Robbie Keane…)
ARENA: “He’s dangerous, probably had three or four chances. The concerns you have with these strikers is if he’s not getting chances and Robbie got a good number tonight and you know he’s going to finish his share but, Robbie’s a handful. I think, you know, when we get Landon [Donovan] back with him it’s going to be even better. I think Robbie, probably a little frustrated he didn’t get a goal tonight, but I thought he played well and was pretty dangerous.”
(On the recent play of Juninho…)
ARENA: “Huge goal. I think he’s had, what is it, five goals now in about a three-week stretch? And [David] Beckham’s getting us goals this year in the midfield. You know, [Mike] Magee in the midfield has gotten goals, so we have some pretty good balance. You know, hopefully we’ll get Landon back in the mix, good to see Edson [Buddle] back on the field. Jose [Villarreal] is moving a long as a young player so hopefully we can improve our team in the attacking part of the field as we move into this stretch at the end of the season.”
(Overall thoughts on the team’s performance…)
ARENA: “It was good. It was a solid performance tonight. I think Omar [Gonzalez] and A.J. [DeLaGarza] continue to play well in their partnership in central defense. I think [Sean] Franklin has played very well over the last couple of months. Todd’s [Dunivant] moving a long, Josh [Saunders] looks really comfortable in goal right now, so that group is good. This has been an excellent two weeks for our team because it was pretty challenging going in with the Champions League and having Dallas and Vancouver chasing us and getting three points in [all] four games and the contribution by the entire team because tonight’s performance wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for our group on Wednesday and the performance the gave against Puerto Rico. It’s been a very good two weeks for us.”
(On the teams’ progress over the last three months…)
ARENA: “A month ago we were pretty good too, you got to remember now, in the league we’re 13-11-4 and we were 3-8-2 at one point. If you do the math, that’s pretty good, so we’ve been in real good form over the last couple of months and we’re positioned now to move up the latter in the conference standing as well as a good position to move through the Champions League. So we’ve got a lot of work to do, we can play better, we know that and hopefully we’ll show that in September, October and November."
(On the international break…)
ARENA: “I think is actually going to be good for us, I think we need it. I think we’re going to have two reserve games during the break, which is a real plus as well. I think it comes at a good time for us. We’ll be fine by the time September 14th comes around.”
(On Edson Buddle’s performance…)
ARENA: “He was good, he held the ball up, very physical, it’s going to take him obviously a little more time, he’s been out for a while, but we’re going to give him some time in the reserve games. It’s good.”
CARSON, Calif. – Another game and another goal for Juninho.
The Brazilian midfielder tallied his sixth goal in his last five games as he scored the game winning strike in the 41st minute of the LA Galaxy’s 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Below are Juninho’s thoughts following the match…
(On the performance…)
JUNINHO: “I’m very happy to have scored the goal, It was very important for us to go up in the table and I’m happy that I scored."
(On what has given LA their current run of form…)
JUNINHO: “Very important to have a powerful defense, it gives me confidence to forward and score.”
(On his relationship with Marcelo Sarvas and David Beckham…)
JUNINHO: “The relationship inside and outside the locker room and the field is really nice. I’m very happy to have that relationship.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Ahead of his appearance at training on Friday, the LA Galaxy may be closing in on Swedish International Christian Wilhemsson.
On Friday, LA Galaxy Insider reported that Wilhemsson was training with the club and on Saturday, the Galaxy confirmed that the Swedish international is a player of interest and is currently in training with the club. The confirmation comes as Wilhemsson's wife Oksana tweeted a photo of the player's locker on Saturday evening.
Head Coach Bruce Arena provided the following statement:
ARENA: "Christian is a player that we are interested in and that we have in training with us right now. Should an official arrangement be reached we will make an appropriate announcement at that time."
CARSON, Calif. -- We're only a few hours from tonight's important Western Conference clash with the Vancouver Whitecaps.
PREDICTED LINEUP: Saunders; Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant; Sarvas, Beckham, Juninho, Jimenez; Magee, Keane
CARSON, Calif. -- On Saturday, the LA Galaxy will likely be without captain Landon Donovan for a fifth consecutive match, but with LA’s attack rolling as of late, the Galaxy believe that rest rather playing time will be most beneficial for Donovan.
Although Donovan has not played since LA’s 4-0 victory over Chivas USA on August 12th due to international duty and a left hamstring strain suffered on international duty, the Galaxy have had no trouble putting the ball in the back of the net. In Donovan’s absence, the Galaxy have gone 3-0-1 in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play notching 12 goals in that span.
On Friday, following LA’s final training session, head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that while Donovan is on the mend, it is doubtful that he will contribute. If Donovan is unable to go, it is likely that either 18-year-old forward Jose Villarreal or veteran Mike Magee will be partnered alongside Robbie Keane on Saturday’s match. Another option is returning forward Edson Buddle, who made his first appearance since late-May during LA’s CCL win over Puerto Rico Islanders on Wednesday.
Below are thoughts from David Beckham and Keane on playing without Donovan…
BECKHAM: “Obviously, he’s still struggling with his hamstring, but he’s got to get it right, obviously we want him fit for the rest of the season so there is no point in him rushing back if he’s still feeling it because it’s better that he gets it right before he even steps on the field.”
KEANE: “Jose has done well and Mikey [Magee] has done well up front as well. So it depends on what the manager is going to go with, but either way the two guys are good enough and they’ve shown that in the last game. In the last games, we’ve been doing well and we haven’t been losing too many games.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The Vancouver Whitecaps’ attack may be sputtering as of late, with just one goal in three games, but the LA Galaxy are keenly aware that with their talented midfield, the ‘Caps represent a challenge.
Vancouver’s midfield gave everything that the Galaxy could handle in the first half of their last game in mid-July in BC Place tallying two goals, before LA roared back to earn a 2-2 draw. In the first half of that match, the midfield pair of Barry Robson and Gerson Koffie overwhelmed LA’s midfield early on tallying two quick goals.
However, in the second half, the Galaxy flipped the script and began to dominate possession before scoring a pair of goals en route to a 2-2 draw. Something that the Galaxy are aware that they need to duplicate if they are to defeat Vancouver on Saturday.
Below are thoughts from midfielders’ David Beckham and Marcelo Sarvas…
BECKHAM: “We know that they’ve got players that can go through the team and create chances and cause problems for us. If we play as well as we did in the second half against them in the last game if we play like we did in the first half, then we won’t be. We know that they’re a good team and we know that they’ve got a couple of good players, but as long.”
SARVAS: “We have to play smart, we know that every team that comes here to play against us, they come here with double motivation. They come to steal points and we have to do our game, to keep the ball, to play hard in the attack and keep a tight defense and limit chances.”
CARSON, Calif. -- While the rest of the soccer playing world was focused on the madness of the closing of the summer transfer window, the LA Galaxy were preparing for their game on Saturday against the Vancouver Whitecaps.
Although the Galaxy's day was not without its own moments of intrigue, the Galaxy appear set for Saturday's clash against their Western Conference rivals. It appears likely that the Galaxy will have David Beckham available for selection as the midfielder has recovered from a stomach illness that troubled him during Sunday's victory over FC Dallas.
Below are Beckham's thoughts on his illness, transfer day and the perception of American players in Europe...
(On his health...)
BECKHAM: "I'm feeling a little bit better. I only just felt better over the last couple of days. I'm glad that's out of the way. I think it was just a bug that was running through the family. Romeo's got it now, but I'm better myself, thank goodness."
(On transfer day...)
BECKHAM: "To be honest, playing at Manchester United, we were never really aware of it. I was never part of a countdown so to speak, but it's always exciting. There is always a couple of panic buys right at the end and people trying to rush players through. It's exciting to watch, but I'm sure that it's not too exciting to be part of."
(On the perception of American players in Europe...)
BECKHAM: It's definitely changed in the past five to ten years. When you see a player like Dempsey doing well and scoring the goals that he has at Fulham and obviously when Landon went over to Everton, he did well. I think that people now in Europe take American players a lot more seriously then ten or 15 years ago. I'm not disrespecting that, but I think that the level has definitely gone up. It's due to a manager like Jurgen Klinsmann going into the US team with his experience and bringing young players through. I know that he's only been there a short time, but I think that he's done really well. When you've got young players coming through, people take notice. I spoke about it in the past about big European teams coming to the US and spending their preseasons because the level competes with some of the teams and gives them good physical training. It's definitely changed."
(On whether Europe looked down on American players in the past...)
BECKHAM: "We all knew ten or 15 years ago that soccer wasn't as popular as one of the big sports in the US and I think that's definitely changed. But now you have got big teams like Barcelona, Manchester United, Chelsea, Real Madrid all coming over to the US and wanting to play against teams and looking at players over in the US. And you've got teams in Europe taking US guys...going over to Europe and doing well."
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena stated that it was “doubtful” that LA captain Landon Donovan would play for LA’s match against the Vancouver Whitecaps on Saturday.
Donovan did not take part in practice on Friday and has missed LA’s last three games since returning from international duty with a left hamstring strain. Following practice, Arena addressed Donovan’s status.
ARENA: “He’s close to returning, but he’ll need a little more time.”
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy Insider understands that Sweden international midfielder Christian "Chippen" Wilhelmsson trained with the club during their Friday training session.
Wilhelmsson, 32, who is currently out of contract has represented Sweden 78 times and played for numerous clubs including Anderlecht, Roma, Bolton and most recently Middle Eastern clubs Al Hilal and Al Ahli has been linked to the Galaxy according to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet.
In terms of the 30 allowed roster spots, LA has 29 spots filled and while the club does have all seven international spots filled, one of those spots is being held by center back Leonardo, who is currently on the disabled list. Thus freeing the club up to make a move should one arise.
Following practice, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena deflected questions about Wilhelmsson:
ARENA: “I have no comment. You know when we sign a player, we announce it. We don’t go into the rumor mill; we’ve been pretty accurate in the things that we say so if there is an opportunity to sign a player, you’ll be aware of it.”’
(On whether Wilhelmsson was training with the club…)
ARENA: “I haven’t seen him.”
(On whether he was a player spotted wearing number nine before practice…)
ARENA: “That’s a guy that plays for Virginia Beach Mariners. His name is Joe Butler.”
Good Morning to everyone out there...
A couple of notes to get you going:
*The U.S. Soccer Development Avademy will launch a Under-13/14 program in the Fall of 2013. This includes all current Development Academy teams including the Galaxy.
*Each team in the CONCACAF Champions League has played two games at the moment and going into the final two matchdays, the LA Galaxy would currently be the No. 1 seed in the quarterfinals against lowest seed Xelaju. Meanwhile, Santos Laguna would face Honduran club Olimpia, Monterrey would take on city rival Tigres UNAL and the Seattle Sounders would take on Costa Rican club Herediano. Of course, it is still early in the competition so we'll see how this all plays out.
We'll have more from training this afternoon.