We're just hours away from tonight's LA Galaxy Regular Season Finale against the Seattle Sounders. Following tonight's match, the Galaxy will turn their focus to Thursday's First Round Knockout Round game against Vancouver Whitecaps FC at The Home Depot Center.
A few notes and links to get you to the match...
*Playoff Scenario update: The only way that the Galaxy can host MLS Cup Final is with a win on Sunday and if the Houston Dynamo advance out of the Eastern Conference.
* Landon Donovan has declared himself fit and ready to play against Seattle.
* Also expected to participate is David Beckham, who is returning from left ankle soreness.
* Meanwhile on the defensive side of the ball, defender Omar Gonzalez and the LA defense are in the fine tuning process ahead of the MLS Cup Playoffs.
*Lastly, check out my Three Points to the match.
PREDICTED LINEUP: Saunders; Franklin, Meyer, Gonzalez, Dunivant; Wilhelmsson, Beckham, Juninho, Magee; Buddle, Keane
Below Galaxy broadcaster Mark Rogondino gives his "Playoff 101" for those still unfamiliar with the new MLS Cup Playoff format.
Add another cable provider to the list of distributors for Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.
On Saturday, Time Warner Cable Sports announced a deal with AT&T U-verse to distribute the networks. Starting on Oct. 30, the two channels will be available to AT&T's Southern California subscribers. The move comes on the heels of Time Warner Cable adding Charter Networks and Verizon FiOS a day earlier.
“We’re excited to work with AT&T U-verse to give our viewers and their customers in Southern California more access to the Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks than they’ve had before,” said Dan Finnerty, Senior Vice President, Time Warner Cable Sports said in a statement. “Southern California sports fans will now have more choices to watch Lakers, Galaxy and Sparks games and behind-the-scenes programming on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.”
Landon Donovan isn’t the only LA Galaxy player targeting a return to action this Sunday as David Beckham is ready to get back into action this Sunday.
Beckham has trained throughout the week, after left ankle soreness prevented him from taking part in last weekend’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes. During training on Friday, Beckham told reporters that the soreness is a lasting effect of rolling his ankle through a mistimed tackle, which took place during a Sept. 1 match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. With just one game left before, what he describes the "do or die" time of the MLS Cup Playoffs, Beckham knows that he needs minutes on Sunday's MLS Regular Season Finale against Seattle Sounders FC to be ready for the postseason.
“Feeling a lot better now, obviously I’ve had another 10 days to kind of train, get my fitness up and get the ankle swelling down, so it’s feeling OK,” said Beckham after Friday’s training session. “I think it would be good to get some minutes this weekend, definitely. It would be good for myself to get up, and obviously get my heart rate up and get into a game, so yeah, it would be good to get some minutes.”
But even though Sunday's match means nothing to the Galaxy's playoff situation, Beckham believes that Sunday's match is important for LA ahead of the postseason.
“It’s not hard to prepare for, but you have to prepare for it like it was any other game during the season, in the playoffs," added Beckham. "I think what you have to prepare for is trying to not get any injuries through this game, and keeping every player fit and healthy and that’s what we need to do on Sunday. You can’t guarantee that, but I think as long as we play sensibly and play our game than we should be good.”
The LA Galaxy know that next Thursday, they'll face off against Vancouver Whitecaps FC in the First Round Knock Out match, but before they focus on the playoffs, they must wrap up the regular season against the Seattle Sounders . Ahead of Sunday's regular season finale, check out my Three Points to the game below.
Agree or disagree with my observations, leave your thoughts in the comments section below.
A bone bruise on his left knee —as well as he later revealed, a posterior cruciate ligament—prevented LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan from playing in last week’s 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, but Donovan has declared himself ready for Sunday’s regular season finale against the Seattle Sounders.
Donovan has been trained throughout the week as he looks to return to full fitness before next Thursday’s First Round Knockout match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC. The Galaxy captain is still listed as questionable on the club's injury report, but even though many assumed that he would be held out of Sunday with LA turning their focus to the playoffs, Donovan told reporters on Friday that he is ready to play.
“I’m available. I’m ready to play,” said Donovan. “Obviously we’re going to be smart about this weekend in general, with everybody, myself included. Bruce and David, I think, will size everyone up tomorrow morning. The guys that played [Thursday] in El Salvador and everyone else who’s been training this week, we’ll see how it goes.”
Donovan stated that even though he is still dealing with pain—“all part of it,” he says— and would not be opposed to taking an injection to get through it, he believes that he needs the minutes to get ready for the playoffs.
“It’s been awhile for me, so I want to get some minutes for sure. It’s a balance between being smart, not just with myself, but with everybody, being smart from staying sharp, hopefully avoiding injury for anybody and being ready to go on Thursday.”
The dominoes are beginning to fall as Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Spanish language Time Warner Cable Deportes begin to picked up by more and more distributors throughout Southern California.
On Friday, Time Warner Cable Sports announced that they had reached a deal with the Charter Networks to distribute the two channels as soon as Charter completes their technical preparations, which is expected to be completed on or before Oct. 31.
“Charter is committed to bring programming to our customers that mirror their interests,” said Allan Singer, Charter’s Senior Vice President of Programming said in a statement issued by Time Warner Cable Sports. “We are proud of Charter’s robust selection of sports programming. Charter is the first provider of this brand new programming in our service areas, and we know that the addition of these networks especially pleases our customers in Southern California.”
That wasn't the only agreement that TWC reached as the company issued a statement later in the evening stating that Time Warner Cable Sports had reached an agreement with Verizon FiOS. According to the release, details will be released in the coming days.
With the announcements, coverage for LA Galaxy games in English and Spanish, as well as supplementary programs in English and Spanish like Access SportsNet:Galaxy, Galaxy Revealed, and Vamos Galaxy.
Share your thoughts on the announcement below.
METAPAN, El Salvador. -- Michael Stephens has made his mark on the LA Galaxy, but if Thursday’s 3-2 result against Isidro Metapán is any indication, he’s proving his value as a leader, on and off the field as well.
The 24-year-old midfielder impressed during LA’s 3-2 CONCACAF Champions League victory in his efforts to marshal the Galaxy against a technical Metapán midfield. It wasn’t always easy, as Metapán’s speed and ball skills posed a challenge for the Galaxy. The night appeared to get worse in the 45th minute when Stephens saw a goal negated in the 45th minute after referee Hugo Cruz ruled that it had been in the goalkeeper’s possession, before Stephens slotted it in.
Stephens did not sulk over the play, instead providing a calming force on the field as Metapán would tie the match midway through the second half. Perhaps the, it was fitting that Stephens would put LA ahead for good, slotting a Pat Noonan shot that bounced off the bar the back of the net.
The work was hardly over for Stephens, however, as the midfielder’s clearances and timely tackles proved instrumental in helping the Galaxy maintain the 3-2 result. After Thursday’s victory, Stephens admitted that while he is just two seasons removed from his rookie’s season, he’s embracing his role as a leader of LA’s second team.
“I have a position of leadership with this team. The rookies this year have done a good job and this team has a real good fighting spirit,” said Stephens. “I think we’ve had a pretty steady line up with the first team so this reserve team has been together for most of the year. I think that really helped us tonight because of the continuity and being used to playing with each other.”
One player who has been the recipient of Stephens’ leadership is Garcia, who admits that his former college opponent has played a key role in his development in his rookie year.
“The guy has an engine that never stops. When we have players like that, it makes it a lot easier all around for everyone else,” said Garcia. “I played against him growing up and in college so me and Mikey have known each other for a while, but like anyone else, he makes everything simple. He helps you and gives you pointers and he’s a guy with great leadership skills, so when you have players like that the leadership comes out and everything else is much easier.”
There will be no attendance cap for the LA Galaxy's Knockout Round match against the Vancouver Whitecaps next Thursday.
The club said on Friday that they have reached an agreement with Cal State University Dominguez Hills to prevent the type of attendance caps that we had seen at times in the past.
The Galaxy's complete statement is below...
“Thanks to an agreement with the University, there is no hard cap on attendance for Thursday’s game with the Whitecaps, though the club is currently only selling tickets in the stadium’s lower bowl, which holds a capacity of 20,000 fans. A decision about upper deck and grass berm tickets will be made only if that complete allotment of tickets is purchased.”
LA Galaxy forward Robbie Keane was fined an undisclosed amount by MLS' Disciplinary Committee for his public criticism of the offcials following the 2-2 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes last weekend.
Keane was not the only player fined as FC Dallas defender Jair Benitez was also fined an embellishment on a call in the 65th minute of FCD's match against the Seattle Sounders on Oct. 21.
Share your thoughts below.
METAPÁN, El Salvador - Jack McBean may just be 17-years-old, but the second year forward looked like a wily veteran on Thursday, scoring a pair of goals as the LA Galaxy defeated Isidro Metapan, 3-2 at the Estadio Jorge "Calero" Suarez in Metapan.
From the outset, McBean was a handful for the Salvadoran defenders, forcing Metapan to use an early substitution to get additional bodies on the towering teenager. After creating a few early chances, McBean finally broke through in the 38th minute as he nodded home a cross from Bryan Gaul for the game's first goal. McBean would strike again in the 62nd minute, as a play that began with a Marcelo Sarvas free kick, ended with a Bryan Gaul header sailing past Pat Noonan, to a waiting McBean for his second goal of the night. The brace puts McBean with the second highest goal total all-time for the Galaxy in the CONCACAF Champions League with three goals. McBean is just a one behind Juninho, who has four over the span of two years.
The teenager's performance left head coach Bruce Arena impressed as the Galaxy boss commented that after a slow start, McBean roared back with a strong performance in the game's last 55 minutes.
Below McBean gives his thoughts on the match...
"It was a real hard fought game. I thought for 90 minutes, we put it all out there on the field and I thought we did okay with the conditions," said McBean. "It was a hard field and one that were not used to playing on. There was a rough crowd and some calls didn't go our way, but we grinded through and go the win."
(On the club being strong mentally after the goal and braving tough conditions...)
MCBEAN: "Especially when we went up 2-0 and they were tying us both times, when we got that third goal, we all knew that we'd have to shut it down and not let that third goal in. We played Puerto Rico in Puerto Rico and that was a good test for us as well, but the more experience that we get, we play well as a group together, and I thought we deserved to win."
(On his development...)
MCBEAN: "I've been putting in a lot of hard work this year, and it’s finally paying off. I’m happy about it"