Blog

31 January 6:37 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Omar Gonzalez is growing into his own as a member of the U.S. National Team, but according to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, he’s still got plenty of work to do before this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.

Gonzalez was named to the U.S. squad earlier this month after solidifying his place on the national team with 14 appearances in 2013. During his formative year with the squad, Gonzalez formed a solid partnership with Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler that Klinsmann himself sees as a center back pairing for the future.

“From a coaches’ perspective, you want to see a development of players: over a season and across a number of years. With Matt and Omar, you’ve seen them mature,” said Klinsmann in his final press conference before the Americans’ match against Korea Republic on Saturday. “They’ve become calmer; they’ve become more responsible and have really grown into their own feet.”

But due to the duo’s relative inexperience, the job is hardly finished.

In particular, Klinsmann wants to see much better possession from his defenders and prevent the type of reliance on long balls up field that had been a staple of U.S. teams in years past.  

“Their biggest challenge is to be ahead of things and to be alert while not allowing mistakes because mistakes at an international level will be punished, and the team will go home,” said Klinsmann. “This is something that we tell every position but especially on the back line because you can’t make mistakes at an international level. You have to be on top of your game for 90 minutes and not make passing mistakes in the defensive area because the transition is going to happen so quickly from those teams that we’ll be facing this year.

“We don’t want to see balls played long because [they] don’t know what to do and [they’re] getting closed down, we want them to stay calm and find the solution.”

31 January 2:15 pm

The formation and implications of LA Galaxy’s USL PRO side LA Galaxy II have been at the forefront of the conversation among American soccer circles over the past week.

Whether it was LA Technical Director Jovan Kirovski’s assertion that the project will be duplicated league wide or head coach and general manager Bruce Arena stating that the team will have a chance to close  “black hole” that has existed in American player development.

On Friday, new LA Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo joined the conversation with an interview by NASN’s Jason Davis to discuss the project.

During the interview, Onalfo revealed that Galaxy II players will be training as early as Tuesday while also stating that the team will be loaning as many as seven Galaxy first team players to the USL PRO side. Onalfo also mentioned that he opted to for the position with Galaxy II rather than take the head coaching gig with Chivas USA. 

Listen to his interview which starts at the 30 minute mark below.

30 January 5:58 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy made MLS history on Wednesday by becoming the first team to operate a lower division club with the foundation of USL PRO side LA Galaxy II, and head coach Bruce Arena fully expects the rest of the league to follow in the club’s footsteps.

On Thursday, USL PRO unveiled the Galaxy II’s schedule for the upcoming 2014 season which will begin with their March 22 match against the Los Angeles Blues. Following LA’s training session, Arena stated that the creation of LA Galaxy II was a necessary step in the development of the American soccer player.

“We’ve lacked the next step for academy players or our players that are just outside of our first team. We’ve had a bit of a black hole in our development. This makes everything more natural,” said Arena on Thursday. “A young player can go from the U-18 to the USL team to the first team for those players that need those steps. That’s a majority of players so it’ll be a benefit for us.”

Arena also cleared up a few logistical questions noting that teams will train separately and that he will have “a lot of freedom” as they loan LA first team players back and forth between Galaxy and Galaxy II.

For all the confidence, Arena admits that the experience won’t be an easy one, but one that the club expects to pay dividends in the future.

“It’s definitely the future,” said Arena. “We’re going to be guinea pigs in the first year, it’s not going to be easy but it’ll be good going forward.”

 

30 January 3:38 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy bolstered their depth in midfield on Thursday with the signing of Swedish international Stefan Ishizaki.

The 31-year-old spent the last eight years with IF Elfsborg while also making stints with Sweden's AIK, Italian side Genoa, Norway's Valerenga. Ishizaki will be added to the Galaxy's roster pending the receipt of his International Transfer Certificate. Per league and club policy terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

Ishizaki had been on the radar of MLS teams in the past, but the Swede admits that once he heard the Galaxy were interested, he had to make the move. 

“I had an offer from MLS a couple years ago, but I still had a long contract with my old club, but once my agent told me that LA was interested, it was just an easy decision,” said Ishizaki. “I’m quite calm with the ball. I usually play on the right wing. I’ve had experience playing with the national team, in Italy and I think that I bring experience here to the Galaxy.”

Although Ishizaki has enjoyed a strong career in Europe, he garnered the attention of the world in April of 2012 scoring off a volley from inside his own half during a match against Obero. You can see that goal below.

30 January 1:54 pm

CARSON, Calif. – There was a time when youth players in the U.S. turned to the U.S. U-17 Residency program to develop the best and brightest, but according to LA Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski, those days may be coming to a close.

On Wednesday, the club announced the creation of a USL PRO team LA Galaxy II which will serve as yet another path to develop young players for LA’s first team. During my Q&A with Kirovski – who was one of the spearheads of the USL PRO project — for LAGalaxy.com, the Technical Director was asked about whether the Galaxy Academy could one day surpass the development that players receive at residency. 

“We’re at that stage now. We feel like we have quality coaches who are just as good if not better than [Bradenton], we have a USL team that no one has. With young kids, it’s better to be at home and be close to your family. When I left to go to Europe, I had nothing like this,” Kirovski told LA Galaxy Insider. “Now we have coaches in place, we have teams in place, and just a place to develop young local kids to be close to their family. It’s an ideal set up and way different than before. Back then, going to Europe made sense, but now, I’m not so sure.”

And Kirovski was quick to note that it is the league’s development that is the reason that players of all age are choosing to stay in the U.S. rather than head to Europe.

“We’re moving forward,” said Kirovski. “If you look at how far we’ve come in the last 10 years in terms of the fan support in places like Seattle, Portland and L.A., the new clubs coming in, the resources put into Academies league wide and companies like AEG investing in the USL PRO team and the Academy. We’re moving forward.  It’s still going to take time, but we’re going in the right direction.”

30 January 11:25 am

On Wednesday, the LA Galaxy II became a reality and a day later, the USL PRO's newest club received its first ever regular season schedule.

Galaxy II will be open the season on March 22 against the Los Angeles Blues at StubHub Center -- the same day as LA's first team match with Real Salt Lake at Rio Tinto Stadium --  before taking on Sacramento Republic a week later. LA Galaxy II's first road game will take place on April 25 with the team traveling to Arizona to take on Phoenix FC Wolves. 

The Blues match will not be the only time that the dates of a USL PRO match will coincide with Galaxy first team games a total of 12 games. In two instances, Galaxy II will play directly following first team matches: May 25 vs. Oklahoma City Energy FC and June 8 against Dayton Dutch Lions.

Check out the complete schedule below...

LA Galaxy 2014 USL Regular Season Schedule

DATE

TIME (PT)

OPPONENT

LOCATION

3/22/2014

7:30 PM

Los Angeles Blues

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

3/29/2014

7:30 PM

Sacramento Republic FC

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

 

4/07/2014

7:30 PM

OKC Energy FC

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

4/13/2014

3:00 PM

Sacramento Republic FC

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

4/19/2014

7:30 PM

Los Angeles Blues

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

4/25/2014

7:10PM

Phoenix FC Wolves

Peoria Sports Complex

4/27/2014

4:00PM

Los Angeles Blues

TBD

 

5/05/2014

7:30 PM

Charlotte Eagles

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

5/10/2014

TBD

Dayton Dutch Lions

TBD

5/17/2014

TBD

Sacramento Republic FC

TBD

5/25/2014

8:00 PM

OKC Energy FC

StubHub Center - Main Stadium

 

6/01/2014

TBD

Sea Sounders FC Reserves

Starfire Sports Complex

6/08/2014

8:00 PM

Dayton Dutch Lions

StubHub Center - Main Stadium

6/11/2014

7:30 PM

Rochester Rhinos

StubHub Center - Main Stadium

6/14/2014

TBD

Charleston Battery

Blackbaud Stadium

6/21/2014

7:10PM

Phoenix FC Wolves

Peoria Sports Complex

6/28/2014

4:30PM

Orlando City SC

ESPN Wide World of Sports

 

7/05/2014

7:30 PM

Phoenix FC Wolves

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

7/13/2014

3:00 PM

Real Salt Lake Reserves

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

7/19/2014

5:00PM

OKC Energy FC

Pribil Stadium

7/26/2014

7:00PM

Los Angeles Blues

TBD

7/30/2014

4:00 PM

Harrisburg City Islanders

Skyline Sports Complex

 

8/02/2014

4:00PM

Pittsburgh Riverhounds

Highmark Stadium

8/09/2014

7:30 PM

Phoenix FC Wolves

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

8/16/2014

5:00PM

OKC Energy FC

Pribil Stadium

8/24/2014

12:00 PM

WilmingtonHammerheadsFC

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

 

9/01/2014

7:30 PM

Richmond Kickers

StubHub Center - Track Stadium

 9/06/2014

TBD

Sacramento Republic FC

TBD

 

29 January 5:57 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy Academy product Jacob Muchnick was among the 36 players selected by U.S. U-14 Boys National Team head coach Tony Lepore for their training camp in Lakewood Ranch, Florida from Feb. 1 to Feb. 9. 

During the training camp, the players will train twice during the day while also taking on local club sides on Feb. 5 before ending the camp with a match against the U.S. U-17 Residency side on Feb. 8.  

To date, Muchnick is one of the rising stars of the Galaxy U-13/14 side with one goal in 10 appearances for LA's youngest Development Academy team. 

The complete roster is below. 

GOALKEEPERS: Alexander Budnik (Sockers FC; Arlington Heights, Ill.), Chandler Cree (CASL RailHawks Academy; Cary, N.C.), Quantrell Jones (Baltimore Celtics; Baltimore, Md.), Hunter Pinho (PDA; Cranford, N.J.)

DEFENDERS: Charlie Asensio (Georgia United; Rosewell, Ga.), Coby Atkinson (Boca United; Sunrise, Fla.), Zico Bailey (Las Vegas Heat; Las Vegas, Nev.), Connor Hester (Braddock Road; Middleburg, Va.), John Hilton (Chivas USA; Long Beach, Calif.), Jaylin Lindsey (Charlotte SA; Charlotte, N.C.), Dorian Morrison (FC Golden State; Chino Hills, Calif.),  Ian Murphy (FC Golden State; Redlands, Calif.), Carlo Ritaccio (BW Gottschee; Westbury, N.Y.), Tyler Shaver (NYSC; Riverside, Conn.), Chandler Vaughn (D.C. United; Woodbridge, Va.)

MIDFIELDERS: George Acosta (Weston FC; Miami, Fla.), Carlos Anguiano Dias (Chivas USA; Los Angeles, Calif.), Pablo Arias (New York Red Bulls; Ledgewood, N.J.), Jake Arteaga (LAFA; Glendora, Calif.), Andrew Carleton (United Futbol Academy; Powder Springs, Ga.), Jon Paul Fernandez (BSC; Stamford, Conn.), Seth Kuhn (PA Classics; Wyomissing, Pa.), Jacob Muchnick (LA Galaxy; Newport Beach, Calif.), Matteo Ritaccio (BW Gottschee; Westbury, N.Y.), Amos Shapiro-Thompson (New England Revolution; Worthington, Mass.), Sean Zawadzki (Crew Soccer Academy; Olmsted Falls, Ohio), Jesus Sahagun (Weston FC; Miami, Fla.)

FORWARDS: Wilmer Cabrera (Colorado Rapids; Aurora, Colo.), Jalen James (Dallas Texans; Dallas, Texas), Niccolo Lemoine (Ballistic USC; Pleasanton, Calif.), Ricky Mendez (Marin FC Alliance; San Rafael, Calif.), Joshua Sargent (St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri; O’Fallon, Mo.), Travian Sousa (Ballistic USC; Lanthrow, Calif.), Arturo Vasquez (LAFA; Mira Loma, Calif.), Timothy Weah (New York Red Bulls; Rosedale, N.Y.), Tristan Weber (United FC; San Clemente, Calif.)

29 January 2:04 pm

The announcement of LA Galaxy II has sprouted considerable buzz on social media including a hilarious hashtag called #LAGalaxyIIMovies.

I compiled a brief Storify on the buzz. Let me know your favorites or your own ideas in the comments section or on Twitter. 

Check it out below. 

29 January 12:39 pm

Following the announcement of the creation of USL PRO side LA Galaxy II, new Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo and club President Chris Klein addressed the new venture.

Check it out below.

29 January 12:08 pm

The LA Galaxy announced on Wednesday the creation of their new USL PRO side LA Galaxy II. 

With the announcement, the Galaxy become the first MLS team to field a side in the American third division. The team will be coached by former LA assistant Curt Onalfo and play their home games at StubHub Center. News of the team first surfaced last July when Galaxy club President Chris Klein and Technical Director Jovn Kirovski each told LA Galaxy Insider about the possiblity of the team. 

“The LA Galaxy are taking a monumental step for player development in North America,” said Galaxy President Chris Klein said in a statement. “The creation of LA Galaxy II, through USL PRO, provides the Galaxy with a fully realized player development program starting with the Under-12 Academy teams through the LA Galaxy first team. The investment of AEG and the Galaxy in LA Galaxy II allows us to continue to develop the best players in Southern California and lessen the gap between the Academy and the LA Galaxy.”

LA Galaxy II will play a 28-game slate in USL PRO and will consist of LA first team players, it's own signings and Galaxy Academy players. 

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