David Beckham's role in the Olympic opening ceremonies were shrouded in secrecy, but few could have guessed the part that the LA Galaxy midfielder would play in Friday's festivities in London.
In a move seemingly out of a James Bond film, Beckham piloted a speed boat down the River Thames carrying the Olympic torch which was held by a young British basketball player Amber Charles. Beckham and Charles then passed off the torch to Sir Steven Redgrave, who carried the flame into the Olympic Stadium ahead of the lighting ceremony.
It remains to be seen if Beckham will participate in Saturday's match against FC Dallas as head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Thursday that his status "hadn't been finalized."
The LA Galaxy are back on the road this afternoon as they head to Dallas for Saturday's match against FC Dallas.
I'll have more upon landing including my "Three Points" to the match. Until then, catch up on news from earlier today including Chad Barrett's potential inclusion on Saturday and Bryan Gaul's task having to step up for the injured Todd Dunivant.
WATCH: Galaxy discuss Dallas match
The LA Galaxy have seemingly turned the corner with a stellar run of form.
In this article by MLSsoccer.com's Scott French, Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee talks about the club's poor start and the mood that permeated the LA locker room.
Magee is expected to be in action Saturday when the Galaxy take on FC Dallas, having recovered from a right shin hematoma.
CARSON, Calif. – With Todd Dunivant unlikely to play in Saturday's match against FC Dallas as the veteran defender deals with a right calf injury, rookie Bryan Gaul is poised to step up once again on the left side of the LA Galaxy defense.
After training on Thursday, head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that while Dunivant's injury is "day to day" and could play against Dallas, it was unlikely that he would. The left back is currently listed as questionable with right calf hematoma.
Since Dunivant's injury against Vancouver Whitecaps, Gaul has stepped up and performed well in appearances against Vancouver, Chivas USA and Tottenham Hotspur. Gaul will likely be forced to step up again against Dallas as he is tasked with stopping a motivated Dallas team fresh off a 5-0 thumping of the Portland Timbers.
Gaul's thoughts below...
(On his new starting role…)
GAUL: “It’s great, it’s great to be in the first XI and the guys have given me good support and I’m just glad to be in a left back position.”
(On holding the position for Dunivant…)
GAUL: “Yeah, Todd’s a great player so I’m just playing [left back] until he gets back and it’s been great. It’s been a fun two games.”
(On filling in for Dunivant again Dallas…)
GAUL: “I’m really excited. I think that they play three up top and I know it’s going to be different than when we played Chivas, who play one up top. It’s going to be different and with the humidity and the heat, it’s going to be kind of training, but I’m excited for it.”
(On the help his fellow defenders have provided…)
GAUL: “They take pressure by helping me defend especially against the quick guys that I’ve been playing against lately. It has been easier…You get advice from all the other defenders on when to step and when to drop and when to get on certain guys."
(On how much different the position is than he may have thought…)
GAUL: “It’s a lot different. It’s a lot more mentally draining because you have to be able to think about where you’re supposed to be at all times. And the players that I’ve been facing are much better than those I played against back in college.”
(On his teammates commenting on his 6-foot-5 height…)
GAUL: “Yeah, It’s funny was watching the game against Chivas on TV and the [commentators] were saying ‘Six-five left back, are you serious?’ It doesn’t bug me, but it’s funny that they think that."
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena admits that while the club is in “discussions” that could send forward Chad Barrett to Norwegian club Vålerenga, the forward could participate in Saturday’s match against FC Dallas.
Following training on Thursday, Arena told reporters that Barrett remains a “player on our team” and confirmed that the 27-year-old forward was available for selection on Saturday.
Barrett returned to training on Monday following his week-long trial with the Oslo-based club and made a brief stint during Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur. If Barrett plays against Dallas, he could have a substantial role in the Galaxy’s offense that will be without forward Landon Donovan due to yellow card accumulation and potentially David Beckham due to his Olympic commitments.
CARSON, Calif. – An injury layoff firmly behind him, Mike Magee is ready to play and could return as soon as this Saturday for the LA Galaxy's match against FC Dallas.
Sidelined since the Galaxy’s July 4th match against the Philadelphia Union with right shin hematoma, Magee believes that he is back to full fitness after a 45 minute stint against Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday. After training on Thursday, both Magee and Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that the midfielder had returned to full fitness.
Magee’s thoughts below…
(On getting on the field against Tottenham…)
MAGEE: “It was good, I was nervous for the first time in awhile, obviously with the atmosphere. It was a great game so to come into that one was a lot of fun.
(On the status of his injured shin…)
MAGEE: “The leg is good, it’s all better. It was kind of nerve-wracking for a little bit, knowing that every time that I ran, my leg was going a bit numb, but now it’s fine and I’m happy with that.”
(On what the injury was specifically…)
MAGEE: “I had a hematoma on my right shin. Essentially I just took a hard knock and had some blood clots in my leg that were pinching some nerves.”
(On when the injury cleared up…)
MAGEE: “The day before the game. I had to get a full day of training without any tingle before they let me play and the day before I trained and Bruce let me play.”
(On his excitement heading into that first day of training…)
Magee: “I was begging. I think I felt a little tingle at the beginning, but I didn’t say anything because I wanted to make sure that I got out there.”
(On his ability to go 90 minutes against FC Dallas…)
MAGEE: “Yeah, I’m ready. I’m ready for whatever role that Bruce lets me fill.”
David Beckham and Landon Donovan each played a role in creating a goal as the MLS All-Stars defeated Chelsea FC, 3-2 at PPL Park in Chester, PA. on Wednesday night.
Donovan started and went 45 minutes for the All-Stars while also aiding in the build up that led to Chris Wondolowski's opening goal in the 21st minute. Meanwhile, just hours after landing in Philadelphia from his duties in London, Beckham played 74 minutes for the All-Stars and helped set up Chris Pontius' strike in the 73rd minute. Following the game, Beckham immediately returned to London where he is expected to play a role in Friday's Olympic opening ceremonies.
I'll have more after training this morning, but until then, enjoy this interview with Beckham by MLSsoccer.com's Jackie Montgomery.
CARSON, Calif. -- Following the LA Galaxy's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his seal of approval to the New York Red Bulls rumored signing of Australian midfielder Tim Cahill.
The deal, which reportedly will see the Everton midfielder join New York as a designated player has not yet been announced, but according to Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry, the deal is contingent on Cahill completing a medical. After LA's draw on Tuesday, Arena - who served as the Red Bulls manager from 2006 to 2007 -- pegged the Australian for greatness with New York.
“I know him for years after observing him with Everton and Australia. He’s an excellent player and I was surprised that he made the move to MLS if he did, I don’t know if it’s been finalized," said Arena in his post game press conference. "But he’s a very good player; I’ve obviously seen him a lot because of Landon [Donovan] in particular. I know David Moyes in particular, he’s a great manager and Cahill’s been an excellent player at Everton so one would think that he’s going to be an excellent addition to the New York Red Bulls. He’s a player with a lot of good years in him and I’m sure that he’ll bring a good attitude, energy and experience to that club.”
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy rookie Rafael Garcia is still learning the right back position and during the club’s 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur, the midfielder turned outside back received the lesson of a lifetime.
In his 45 minute stint against Tottenham, the rookie from Cal-State Northridge was matched up against the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Lennon, who orchestrated the Spurs attack as they pushed for the go-ahead goal. Despite having just a handful of appearances at the position under his belt, Garcia did not shy away from the challenge as he helped the Galaxy defense grind out a draw against the English Premier League club.
Garcia's thoughts are below...
(On being out there against top players…)
GARCIA: “It’s a great experience. Going up against Bale was certainly not easy and then going up against Lennon too. It certainly was not easy, but I gave my all and I like to think that I did pretty well.”
(On settling into outside back…)
GARCIA: “It’s not my natural position, but when you get the opportunity, you need to learn how to adapt quickly, but it was good for me. I enjoyed my time there.”
(On what Bruce Arena has told him about playing as an outside back…)
GARCIA: “For me, it’s all about getting minutes. I’ll do it any position so for me it was a good experience and any position that he wants to play me, I’ll be happy to contribute.”
(On how the rookies performed in the second half…)
GARCIA: “You know, I thought we did pretty well at times. They got in behind us a few times, but I thought we defended well overall and we had maybe one or two chances, but against a team like that if you get one or two chances then you take them. One thing about the young guys is that we’re trying to prove ourselves and any chances we get we’re going out there and we’re fighting till the end.”
CARSON, Calif. – Energy is a key part of Michael Stephens' game so it was no surprise that the LA Galaxy midfielder was the only player from the Galaxy to go the full 90 minutes in Tuesday night's 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
In 90 minutes of action against Spurs, Stephens was able to provide constant pressure on the Tottenham midfield as he helped the Galaxy hold on to the draw. But in the end, it wasn't just Stephens' grit that made an impact as he also played a role in helping Marcelo Sarvas set up David Junior Lopes' game-tying-goal in the 28th minute of play.
Stephens’ post game thoughts are below:
(On his role in Lopes’ goal…)
STEPHENS: “I waited too long. If I had given it to Marcelo earlier, he could have had a better shot. I took too long and I gave it to Marcelo and that was his only choice at that point, but it worked out.”
(On the team’s play in the first half…)
STEPHENS: “I felt like in the first half especially, they had a high line and we did a good job playing some longer balls and ended up getting some breakaways.”
(On Robbie Keane’s confidence level vs. his old team…)
STEPHENS: “I don’t know but I thought that he looked really good. I thought he had a really good game, he was getting a lot of the ball and he was helping us a lot in the first half by being an outlet.”
(On what he learned…)
STEPHENS: “The one thing is when they get the ball; they go forward and they go forward quickly. I think that most of the guys on their team have a lot of pace and they didn’t really take their time to build up, they just went for it as soon as they got the ball."
(On playing against Gareth Bale…)
STEPHENS: “I thought that he was impressive and probably the most impressive player on their team. When he got the ball, he was pretty dangerous.”