CARSON, Calif. – At the moment, the competition between right backs Matheau Hall, Dan Gargan and James Riley is a friendly one –they do carpool to the stadium every morning after all—but each has a simple goal: prove to the LA Galaxy coaching staff that they deserve a spot on the team’s roster in 2014.
With Sean Franklin and Hector Jimenez departing in the offseason, the Galaxy have sought out cover at the right back spot which led to camp invitations for Hall and 31-year-old Gargan at the start of preseason, and Riley a week later.
Hall, 26, went 45 minutes in strong performance during LA’s 2-2 draw with Chivas USA in a closed-door scrimmage, repeatedly challenging the Rojiblancos defense as he pressed forward early and often. Neither of the veteran defenders appeared in the scrimmage on Wednesday, but Riley, 31, expects to return see time during LA’s preseason friendly against Armenian side FC Shirak this weekend.
HALL: “The camp has been going great. I’ve been given a lot of work in short period of time, but it is going really well. Every day is a challenge because you have come ready to play since it is a position that everyone is hungry to earn. … I think that I add pace out of the back as well as versatility."
GARGAN: “Bruce is looking for competition in the backline and I’m an experienced guy with a lot of games in this league. I think that Bruce is looking for quality players who can compete every day, and this team has a lot of them.”
RILEY: “LA tries to set the bar and I think that’s a fantastic environment to come into. I love the challenge and I love the opportunity, and I am prepared for it. … I just want to build on my first two days [in training]. It’s definitely a marathon and not a sprint. The tortoise won that race, not the hare so I keep that in mind.”
Which of the three players will earn a spot on the roster?
Share your thoughts below.
Below are a series of photos from LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari from their 2-2 scrimmage draw with Chivas USA on Wednesday.
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy battled to a 2-2 draw with cross-hall rivals Chivas USA in a preseason scrimmage on Wednesday.
The Galaxy were dominant in the first half and needed just five minutes to pull ahead when Rob Friend finished a side-footed volley off a Juninho free kick. The Brazilian midfielder scored a goal of his own in the 20th minute after finishing a brilliant strike from beyond 25-yards that curled past the Chivas USA goalkeeper.
However, in the second half, Chivas USA was able to capitalize on a Galaxy lineup that went through a near complete change at the half and was totally different 10 minutes into the second stanza. Chivas leveled the score in the 72nd minute with a finish by Jacob Barron before equalizing less than 10 minutes later after Matthew Fondy buried a header past Brian Perk.
The result may not have been ideal, but Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena affirmed that it was simply part of the process of getting the team ready for their MLS season opener which is a little more than a month away.
“It was just another day of practice in all honesty. It was about getting guys in a full field situation,” said Arena. “The group we played in the first half did a good job of pressuring and creating some chances while the group in the second half was definitely outplayed and it was a sloppy performance.”
LA Galaxy Starting XI First Half: Penedo; Hall, DeLaGarza, Opare, Cochrane; Ishizaki, Husidic, Juninho, Zardes; Friend, Samuel
LA Galaxy Starting XI Second Half: Perk; Sorto, Leonardo, Venter, Gaul; Jamieson IV, Sarvas, Garcia, Hoffman; Rugg, McBean
LA Galaxy XI at the Final Whistle: Perk; Sorto, Leonardo, Venter, Gaul; Mendiola, Sarvas, Garcia, Hoffman; Rugg, McBean
David Beckham is coming back to MLS -- as an owner.
On Wednesday, the former LA Galaxy midfielder and MLS announced that Beckham had exercised his option to become an own an MLS expansion team and has selected the city of Miami to place the new franchise. With Beckham's announcement, MLS will return to Miami for the first time since 2001 when the league was forced to fold the Miami Fusion who played between 1997-2001.
According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade County has already begun negotiations with Beckham's ownership group about the team's potential sites for the team's soccer stadium. During his press conference on Wednesday, Beckham was adamant that the ownership group does not want to use public funds to finance the stadium.
“From the beginning of my career in England to today in Miami, my journey has always been driven by my incredible passion for the game,” said Beckham in a statement. “Miami is a vibrant, diverse community that thrives on the same type of energy that fuels the international appeal of soccer, and I look forward to a dedicated, long-term partnership with this dynamic city and Major League Soccer. My experience with the Galaxy is what convinced me that I wanted to one day own an MLS team and it is thrilling to now see that dream coming true.”
“We appreciate all that David has done as a player, an ambassador and as a global icon to help grow Major League Soccer,” MLS Commissioner Don Garber said in a league statement. “We are thrilled that he will be an owner, and we look forward to him helping us achieve our goal of being one of the top soccer leagues in the world.”
Is MLS on the way to Miami?
Former LA Galaxy midfielder and world soccer legend David Beckham is set to deliver a special announcement on Wednesday on the state of a potential new expansion club in Miami, Florida.
Watch the announcement in the video below and feel free to comment on the proceedings.
It's been a week of firsts for LA Galaxy II.
First the team came into existance on Jan. 29, then on Monday, their first game was scheduled, and on Wednesday, Galaxy II held their first training session. LAGalaxy.com was there for the first training session and spoke to Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo on how his team is progressing.
Check it out below.
A new season means new uniforms and new merchandise, and on Tuesday, I obtained the first look at the LA Galaxy's training tops for 2014.
The training kits come in two colors: a dark blue with blue-green and gold trim on the shoulders and a gold version with blue and black shoulder trim. These tops will be available for sale at the Team LA store at StubHub Center starting Friday.
Now that the training kits have been released, I’m hearing that the first tease of the new Galaxy primary kit will take place at Legends Night on Feb. 22 prior to the “Blue and White Game” between the LA first team and LA Galaxy II, with the full unveil taking place on March 3. Although there have been images of the kit floating around online, sources have confirmed to me that the jersey making the rounds on the internet is not what will be released in March.
Thoughts on the new training top? Excited for the unveil of the primary kit?
Share your thoughts below.
Ahead of the all-important 2014 season, LA Galaxy club President Chris Klein took a moment to speak to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl about the upcoming season, the Galaxy Academy and a number of other topics.
Check out the interview below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Add another right back into the mix for the LA Galaxy.
Veteran right back James Riley has joined training camp and joins trialists Dan Gargan and Matheau Hall who have been with the team since the start of training camp. According to a source, the 31-year-old attack-minded full back received a call from the Galaxy over the weekend and has just begun to train with the club over the past two days.
A nine-year veteran in MLS, Riley has made a total of 211 appearances for a total of five clubs. Riley spent the 2013 season with D.C. United, making 21 appearances in league play while helping the team win the 2013 U.S. Open Cup, but was released by the team through the league's Re-Entry Draft process. The defender has also made stops with the New England Revolution, San Jose Earthquakes, Seattle Sounders FC, and Chivas USA
Thoughts on Riley?
Last week, myself and the rest of the LAGalaxy.com team had the privilege of receiving a first hand look at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art's latest exhibit entitled "Futbol: The Beautiful Game."
The exhibit is currently running now and will be at LACMA until July 20th.
Below are a series of social media highlights for the tour.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) January 30, 2014
— Adam Serrano (@adamserrano) January 30, 2014
I was also lucky enough to get to chat with the exhibit's curator and a number of the artists which you can check out below. .