The LA Galaxy can clinch a berth in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on Thursday without even playing a minute.
Later this evening, the Puerto Rico Islanders host Isidro Metapán at Juan Ramón Loubriel Stadium in Bayamón, Puerto Rico (5pm PDT/CONCACAF.com) and if the NASL side can defeat the Salvadorans, the Galaxy will clinch Group 5. However, if Metapán can earn either a draw or a victory in Puerto Rico then it would set up a decisive match between Metapán and the Galaxy in El Salvador on October 25.
Currently, the Galaxy are in the lead in group 5 with seven points in three games, Metapán has tallied three points in two games while Puerto Rico rounds out the group with one point in three games.
I posted my look back at last Saturday's LA Galaxy Alumni game earlier in the day and now LAGalaxy.com has provided us with a video highlights package of the evening.
Check it out below.
After missing the LA Galaxy's last four matches with a left ankle sprain, David Beckham is hopeful that he'll be able to return to the field in this Sunday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
In a phone interview with MLSsoccer.com's Scott French on Wednesday, Beckham told French that he believes his condition is improving and may allow him to participate on Sunday.
“It's better,” Beckham told MLSsoccer.com of his injury. “Still a little bit of discomfort, but it's good to be back on the field. [I was out] three weeks in the end. I wasn't expecting that, but I'm back now.“I hope [I can play in Colorado]. I hope so. Trying to get my fitness back – I was working on fitness while I was injured, but nothing, obviously, like playing games and being in training. Hopefully, I can get out on the field and stay fit this week and be involved [against the Rapids].”
Beckham's injury first surfaced during LA's 2-0 victory over the Vancouver Whitecaps on Sept. 1. The sprain prevented Beckham from participating in practice for three weeks, but the 37-year-old English midfielder made his return to the Galaxy training ground on Tuesday.
“This injury came at a tough time for me. I was enjoying playing, scoring goals, and that was a disappointing moment. But I'm back and hopefully I can get my fitness back and be back out there,” Beckham added.
Below is a video from LAGalaxy.com on Beckham's first training session on Tuesday morning.
As part of his "Between the Lines" segment, MLSsoccer.com's "Armchair Analyst" Matt Doyle breaks down Robbie Keane's goal against the Colorado Rapids on September 14.
Doyle's analysis of Keane's goal is part of his three part video breakdown on the importance of possession, titled "For love of the Long Build."
The video is below and Doyle's analysis of Keane's goal begins at the 1:46 mark...
Omar Gonzalez believes that he is still not playing at his best. And that should cause serious worry throughout MLS.
In ten league appearances this season, the Galaxy have conceded just eight goals when Gonzalez has been on the field, notching five shutouts. Although the Galaxy’s defense has improved, the centerback admits that he is still returning to full fitness.
Below Gonzalez discusses his confidence as of late as well as his inclusion by some among the front runners for MLS MVP…
GONZALEZ: “With me personally, my confidence is still not perfect and that’s understandable, but there are some plays where I might not be at my best, like the one that I whiffed and Marcelo had to save and plays like that so if I can just minimize those mistakes then I’ll be on the right way. As a group, last game, we had a few miscommunications like the throw in that led to the goal, but we still got the win so it was good that we had those mistakes and got the win as opposed to the mistakes costing us the game.”
(On being considered an MVP candidate…)
GONZALEZ: “That’s really flattering because there are a ton of guys that are doing great. If my name is being tossed out there then great, but I’m not really focused on that. My focus is on winning another championship, first and foremost.”
CARSON, Calif. -- When Toronto FC midfielder Terry Dunfield scored in the 38th minute of the LA Galaxy's 4-2 victory over TFC on Monday, Dunfield snapped LA's five game shutout streak.
Prior to TFC's goal, the Galaxy's shutout streak stood at 491 minutes spread across five matches in all competitions. The league mark was slightly smaller, spanning three games and 381 minutes.
Although LA lost their shutout streak, defender A.J. DeLaGarza said that it was of little concern to the back four as long as they continue to earn victories.
DELAGARZA: “I don’t even think we even think about it, we just go out there and play. We’re not worried about getting a shutout for seven games in a row; we’re just trying to win games. If we get a shutout, it’s a bonus for our fans that love chicken and for us. We’re able to get the win and that’s what matters.”
Last Saturday, the LA Galaxy's future met the club's past in an Alumni match.
The match was a part of the festivities honoring the 2002 MLS Cup winning side that was inducted into The Home Depot Center Wall of Legends. In the match, the Academy side composed of Under-16 and Under-18 players defeated the Alumni by the score of 2-1 with Jack McBean and Cobi Jones being among the scorers.
Following the match, I caught up with Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein, Galaxy U-18 player Oscar Sorto and former LA midfielder Dema Kovalenko.
Below are their thoughts...
KLEIN: "It was fun. We want the future of the Galaxy to beat the past. It was great, it was really amazing to see all these guys back here on the same field and talking to each other again. We all have something pretty cool in common that we played for the best club in Major League Soccer so they all feel it so it was nice to get out here and play. The whole idea is that we're trying to tie the young guys into the organization and we're trying to bring the old guys back to be a part of our organization so it works well."
(On playing against his childhood hero, Mauricio Cienfuegos...)
SORTO: "It was a dream come true. I never thought that I would be playing against him and going hard against him. I was so happy to be playing against him. He's a big role model to all Salvadorans so it was a great experience."
(On returning to the Galaxy...)
KOVALENKO: "It was nice to be back and being around the stadium brings so many memories back. It's been only a year and a half, but it seems like yesterday that I was playing for the Galaxy. It's nice to be back, but I'm humbled. I'm still in soccer coaching kids, but it nice to be back and see everyone as well as all the guys that played that used to be on the team. It's really good."
Two LA Galaxy youth players were named to United States Under-17's 20-player squad for the upcoming AGS Cup in Alicante, Spain
LA Galaxy Under-18's defender Jorge Miranda and midfielder Rolando Muñoz were called into the squad by U-17 head coach Richie Williams. The U.S. is in Group B for the AGS Cup and will face off against Azerbaijan on September 29, Georgia on Sept. 30 and the United Arab Emirates on October 1. Should the Americans advance, the U.S. will play in a playoff match against an opponent from Group A, which consists of Mexico, Canada, Morocco and Russia. The Americans would then finish the tournament with a placement match on Oct. 6.
U.S. U-17 MNT Roster by Position:
GOALKEEPERS (2): Jeff Caldwell (NC Fusion; Todd, N.C.), Paul Christensen (Seattle Sounders FC; Woodinville, Wash.)
DEFENDERS (7): Bryce Cregan (PA Classics; Dallastown, Pa.), Conor Donovan (NC Alliance; Fuquay Varina, N.C.), Elijah Martin (Cal Odyssey; Fresno, Calif.), Jorge Miranda (LA Galaxy; Van Nuys, Calif.), Shaquell Moore (Unattached; Powder Springs, Ga.), John Requejo Jr. (Real So Cal; Carpinteria, Calif.), Tyler Turner (South Central Premier; West Haven, Conn.)
MIDFIELDERS (6): Mukwelle Akale (Minnesota Thunder; Minneapolis, Minn.), Junior Flores (McLean Youth Soccer; Manassas Park, Va.), Angel Heredia (San Jose Earthquakes; San Jose, Calif.), Christopher Lema (New York Red Bulls; Ridgefield, N.J.), Rolando Muñoz (LA Galaxy; Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.), Ben Swanson (Crew Soccer Academy; Grove City, Ohio)
FORWARDS (5): Corey Baird (San Diego Surf; Escondido, Calif.), Rubio Rubin (Portland Timbers; Beaverton, Ore.), Ahinga Selemani (CSA Wolves; Ann Arbor, Mich.), Wesley Wade (New York Red Bulls; South Orange, N.J.), Alan Winn (Solar Chelsea FC; Garland, Texas)
It was impossible to get news on MLS today without hearing about the launch of EA Sports' popular soccer video game "FIFA 13"
LA Galaxy players A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin, Bryan Gaul and Bryan Jordan took part in the festivities on Tuesday afternoon participating in a demonstration of FIFA 13 via gaming network Machinima. Earlier today, I broke down the Galaxy's ratings on the game and those who have already got a copy of the game can obtain a downloadable cover featuring Landon Donovan downloadable here.
Not being a gamer myself, I decided to ask DeLaGarza about the role that FIFA 13 plays in his connections with his teammates as well as fans and ask him about his own gaming skills.
.Below are DeLaGarza's thoughts...
(On being in a video game…)
DELAGARZA: “It’s exciting, especially as a rookie to see yourself in a video game. It’s humbling and you’re just kind of in awe that you’re in a video game. It’s awesome because everyone plays FIFA. We all get together and have tournaments and probably set it up in our [players] lounge. It should be exciting.”
(On playing against fans…)
DELAGARZA: “It’s fun to be on their level, not that it’s lower or anything, but just let them feel like I’m a part of them and they’re a part of me. It’s also fun to play against people that you know instead of random people online, who you can’t talk trash to afterwards.”
(On whether or not he wins most games against fans…)
DELAGARZA: “A couple Riot Squad guys, I beat all the time—Chris Tucker, no names, but—I’m not very good. I’m not a very good gamer. I have games, I play them, but I’m awful. Serious. I think I have ADD. That’s why."
A new feature began on Tuesday on LAGalaxy.com as I will be providing an updated look at the playoff chase as it relates to the LA Galaxy following each match.
While it is understandable for some to put greater emphasis on LA's brutal October schedule (where they'll face off against Real Salt Lake, San Jose Earthquakes and Seattle Sounders), Landon Donovan told reporters after Saturday's match that the game against Colorado is just as, if not more important for the Galaxy.
“To be honest, I think the most important game is going to be the Colorado game because I don’t doubt that we’ll be ready for Salt Lake and Seattle and San Jose,” said Donovan. “Those are big games and teams we can likely play in the playoffs. But the Colorado game is a game where we’re playing a team at their home field with nothing to lose, so we’ve got to make sure that we’re ready next week to play and try to get three points there.”