CARSON, Calif.—It was a long time coming, but LA Galaxy veterans Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant were back at training on Thursday.
Both have missed LA’s last two games with injuries as Keane has dealt with a left ankle issue while Dunivant has suffered through a left leg strain. Keane and Dunivant explain their own injury situations in this piece that I wrote for LAGalaxy.com. Keane stated that playing against Vancouver Whitecaps FC on Saturday is "not realistic," but he's hoping to appear on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Union.
Dunivant was particularly pleased with his first day back and is already aiming to be in contention to start in Saturday’s clash against Vancouver.
“Today was my first day of training and it went well so we’ll go from there, but it was a good first day. I felt it in the first half [against Kansas City] and again pushed through the rest of the game,” Dunivant said. “I knew that it would need a little time so it’s one of those things that needed some time and I was able to give it. It’s nothing that you can do about muscles sometimes.
“I’d like to be available [for Saturday],” Dunivant later added. “There will be a decision up to Bruce, but today was my first day and we’ll see how it responds, but everything felt good.”
Dunivant’s case is an intriguing one as rookie left back Greg Cochrane has excelled in his two starts filling in for the LA veteran. With the rookie performing so well, Dunivant understands that he’ll have to earn his way back onto the starting XI.
“You always have to prove something that never changes,” said Dunivant. “It’s no different last year and it’s no different than the year before that. There’s always guys pushing you and that’s what you want on a good team. If we didn't have that then we’d have some issues.”
Expect Dunivant to be in the starting XI on Saturday?
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CARSON, Calif. –The news that legendary Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson was stepping down from his post after 26 years at Old Trafford shook the soccer community and it is no surprise that there were plenty of thoughts about his departure at LA Galaxy training on Thursday.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and captain Robbie Keane each had their run-ins with the Manchester United head coach, albeit in considerably different contexts.
Arena was familiar with Ferguson having managed against him in the 2011 MLS All-Star Game while making trips to Manchester United to visit the United boss during his time at the helm of the U.S. National Team.
“Certainly, we’d all be fortunate to coach as long as he has. Arguably the best manager of all-time with a legendary career. I actually sent him a note today, I don’t know if he’ll get it, but I congratulated him on his career, his retirement and everything that he’s done, and offered him the opportunity to visit L.A. any time that he wanted,” Arena said. “I think that he had a remarkable career and I’m kind of happy to see him go out as a winner winning the Premiership in his last year. That’s great. He certainly put the time in and he deserves a break.”
Meanwhile, Keane often dueled with Ferguson’s United sides during his lengthy career in the English Premier League.
“What can I say that hasn’t been said? To be honest with you, he’s a true legend and I’ve had the pleasure of playing against him over the years and he always goes out of his way to say hello. He’s one of the greats, but probably the greatest manager there’s ever been in English football or in the world,” said Keane, who was quick to mention that Ferguson’s departure will hardly be the end of United’s dominance in England. “He’s going to be a big loss to the game, I’m sure in Manchester everyone will miss him. I’m sure the Premiership, it’s the same thing because they’re such respect from every coach, every player around the world. We wish him well for whatever he does after this and he’s going to be known as the greatest manager of all time.”
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media on Thursday just a day before the team departs on their upcoming road trip.
Arena’s comments are below…
(On the status of Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant….)
ARENA: “They’re looking good. Anything is possible...We’re watching these players and they’re heading back into full fitness so there is no reason to believe that they’re not going to be a choice for one of these games.”
(On the team getting healthier…)
ARENA: “There are a few guys that have a few knocks, but for the most part we’re doing pretty good.”
(On the upside of Charlie Rugg…)
ARENA: “That remains to be seen, but it’s just the start for him so it’s going to take some time and we need to be patient. All the young players, we’ve seen that they obviously have their peaks and valleys in their development which is natural. Unfortunately each and every one of them seems to have suffered an injury where they were just in form and they’ve gotten hurt, fallen behind the group, and come back again. It is always a little issue with our guys. Charlie started the year where he probably missed about a month in a lot of ways and same with Gyasi [Zardes] and Jose [Villarreal] so he’s good player and hopefully he can continue to get better and we see more improvement.”
(On what he remembers from Jose Villarreal’s goal vs. Vancouver last year…)
ARENA: “There are a couple of parts to it. [David] Beckham delivers a terrific ball to Juninho and Juninho takes it down unbelievably and gets it to Jose, who does his little shake and bake and obviously gets it on his left foot and beats Joe Cannon to his right. Great goal.”
(On that goal being many people’s first introduction to Villarreal…)
ARENA: “Jose is not shy about shooting. He has a look at the goal; he’s going to take it, which is obviously an important quality for a forward. We don’t have enough guys that have that kind of mentality.”
(On Villarreal’s maturity…)
ARENA: “He’s a good kid. It’s going to take him a little time to understand being a professional and getting at it every day. This year, it’s been a little difficult for him with the U-20 call-ups and it takes him out of rhythm with our group a little bit, but it is all part of the process. He’s going to miss likely about a month with the U-20 World Cup so it’s all that little stuff that plays a role in how he’s moving along. Sometimes it doesn’t help his development and sometimes he’s okay with it, but we tend to see with the young players that there in those peaks and valleys because of that.”
(On his thoughts on Vancouver Whitecaps FC….)
ARENA: “Good team. A lot of talented players a lot of speed up front with the kid [Darren] Mattocks, their young kid Kekuta Manneh has done well. Camilo is an excellent player, [Gerson Koffie] has been an excellent pick-up. They have a bunch of good players…they’ve been pretty solid in that part of it, but they haven’t gotten the results so this will certainly be a big game for them.”
(On the team being fortunate to earn a tie last year at BC Place…)
ARENA: “Anytime that you score in the closing minutes of the game, you have to feel fortunate whether you think that you’ve played well or not. If I’m not mistaken, we were down two goals at halftime and they got an early goal on us. There was a play [Koffie] stripped Beckham with the ball early and played it and got back and scored. Then they got another goal late in the first half and we were down 2-0 at halftime. Then we got a goal and we were fortunate to get Jose’s goal.”
(On the issues that go into where Landon Donovan plays on the field…)
ARENA: “It’s not an easy question to answer. It depends on how he is feeling and the kind of rhythm that he’s in as a player, the needs that we have as a team, and I’ve said this a lot of times that we often use Landon to help complement our team. Maybe sometimes, he gets the short end of the stick because of that, but he likes playing both positions…I think that he’s better facing goal, but he’s also with the right players around him, pretty good as a striker.
(On whether he has a preference where Donovan plays…)
ARENA: “No. I’d like him to basically say that this is the best spot for me. He has to help give us that answer as well. His versatility is terrific and it is quality.”
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan has tabbed his former manager David Moyes for big things at Old Trafford as he succeeds legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United.
Moyes signed a six-year-contract at Manchester United on Friday taking charge for Ferguson, who spent 26 highly successful seasons at Manchester United, at the end of the season. The 50-year-old Moyes had been manager at Everton since 2002 and only finished outside the top-10 three times during his tenure.
Donovan went on a pair of loans to Everton in making 22 appearances while scoring two goals for the Toffees. During his time at Goodison Park, the Galaxy attacker became a true admirer of Moyes.
“I’m very happy for him. I think that it was in my opinion, the pretty obvious choice,” Donovan said of Moyes. “I think that anybody who has come across him in his playing career and definitely in his coaching career has a ton of respect for him and very happy for him. I’ve never heard anyone say a bad word about him and I have nothing but great memories of my time there and I think that he’s going to do really well.”
“I’m pretty sure that they prefer players that can make penalty kicks so perhaps if I can get that under my belt, I can have a chance,” Donovan joked.
How will Moyes do at Manchester United? Could you see any reality where Donovan would join him at Manchester United?
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Bruce Arena tells Galaxy All-Access podcast that Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant will play on upcoming road trip
In the latest edition of the LA Galaxy All-Access Podcast with Joe Tutino, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offers his perception of Landon Donovan, LA's upcoming road trip as well as other topics.
Landon Donovan drew considerable attention after missing a penalty kick in LA's 1-0 loss to Houston at the weekend, but Arena told Tutino that while his form is still improving, he expects the best from Donovan soon.
“He’s getting there. He’s not quite where we want him to be, but I think when you have the kind of lay off that he had. It’s a little unpredictable how much time that he’s going to need to get in form,” Arena told All-Access. “I think that he’s been with us probably five weeks now, if I’m not mistaken and you can see his improvement. Hopefully, in another five weeks, we’re going to see a lot more. Hopefully, he’s about to turn the corner and play consistently in each and every game as we move forward.”
As for Todd Dunivant and Robbie Keane, Arena is optimistic about their status.
“They’re both much improved and I’m sure that they’re going to play on this road trip,” Arena said.
Listen to the podcast in its entirety below...
CARSON, Calif. -- Chandler Hoffman has yet to make his first team debut since being acquired from the Philadelphia Union in March, but the former UCLA Bruin striker scored his first goal in an LA uniform during the club's 4-3 Reserve League victory on Tuesday.
Read my piece on Hoffman below...
CARSON, Calif. – Gyasi Zardes took plenty of lickings during the LA Galaxy reserves 4-3 victory over the Los Angeles Blues on Monday.
The forward was knocked around by the Blues defenders several times towards goal; he endured a hard collision with goalkeeper Steve Gonzalez just before the end of the first half. Not to be outdone, he was kicked square in the neck in the 49th minute leading to a Hector Jimenez penalty kick that resulted in the game-winning-goal.
However, Zardes did not let a little physicality stop him from scoring a goal and two assists in LA’s win.
“It felt so great scoring a goal. I haven’t scored a goal in so long so it feels good to score again,” said Zardes. “It really does well for our confidence [as a team], but we’re steady working together and learning each other like Chandler [Hoffman] up top, our chemistry is just building.”
Without a doubt, Zardes was the most dynamic player on the field as his runs seemed too much for the Blues defense and one he exited the match in the 55th minute, the Galaxy attack lost some dimension as the USL Pro side battled back to within one goal of an equalizer.
Ahead of a massive road trip that will see the Galaxy play three games in nine-days, Zardes’ performance may lead to even greater minutes with LA’s first team.
Gyasi was extremely dangerous in getting in behind [the defense]. He scored a goal, created another goal and was an absolute handful,” Galaxy Assistant coach and Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo said. “I was pleased with his performance and I was a little worried because it was a physical game and he was taking a lot of knocks and that’s part of the reason that we took him off early because we want to makes sure that he’s in consideration for this weekend.”
LAGalaxy.com has provided highlights of the LA Galaxy's 4-3 Reserve League win over USL Pro side Los Angeles Blues.
Check it out below...
CARSON, Calif. -- It looked like it be smooth sailing for the LA Galaxy reserves against the Los Angeles Blues, but a poor second half turned the match into a nailbiter.
The Galaxy entered the 50th minute up 4-0 on the USLPro off goals from Michael Stephens, Chandler Hoffman, Gyasi Zardes and Hector Jimenez, but the Blues roared back with three unanswered goals of their own to end the game 4-3. An own goal by Rafael Garcia in the 52nd minute sparked the rally for the Blues before they pulled to within one with goals from Shay Spitz and Allan Russell.
Zardes and Jimenez both enjoyed stellar matches as each ended the game with one goal and two assists.
The Galaxy's next Reserve League match will see LA once again take on the Blues on June 15 at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal-State Fullerton.
The LA Galaxy Reserves will take on USLPro side Los Angeles Blues at 7 p.m. at The Home Depot Center Track and Field Stadium.
Fans attending the match can enter The Home Depot Center through Gate A and park in lot 13. But if you can't make it, then you can watch it online at the USLPro website.
I'm expecting to join broadcaster Marc Serber at some point during the match. Be sure to tune in for my comments on the broadcast.
If you're following along on the video side then feel free to leave comments about the match.
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