CARSON, Calif. -- The clock is ticking and MLS Cup is fast approaching
The sun was back out at LA Galaxy training as the team continued their preparation for Sunday's MLS Cup Final against the New England Revolution. Stopping the Revolution will be no easy task, considering New England enjoyed so much success as they progressed through the Eastern Conference, but LA are confident that they can shutdown the Revs attack.
"We're going to do what we did all year and go with that," said Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza. "But that being said, I think that Charlie Davies is on fire right now in the playoffs and we're facing a team that has scored a bunch of away goals in this playoffs. We know that they're not going to sit back. We need to get on the front foot and get after them early."
Bruce Arena says that LA Galaxy win over New England Revolution in July means nothing heading into MLS Cup
CARSON, Calif. – Earlier this season, the LA Galaxy flattened their MLS Cup opponents the New England Revolution 5-1 at StubHub Center, but don’t look for that game to affect the way either team approaches Sunday’s championship match.
On July 16, LA were in control from the get go and were aided by an early red card by AJ Soares as Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes each scored a pair of goals while Stefan Ishizaki rounded out the scoring for the Galaxy. MLS MVP finalist Lee Nguyen scored the only goal of the evening for the Revs on a penalty kick goal that saw Galaxy right back Dan Gargan sent off.
While LA ran rampant that evening, the teams that will face one another are remarkably different (look at the lineups here).
In particular, that incarnation of the Revolution was mired in an eight game winless streak and was still a month from acquiring Designated Player Jermaine Jones, who has proven key to New England’s drive to MLS Cup. But LA will be dramatically different as well as Bruce Arena famously benched Landon Donovan for the match against New England only to insert the longtime U.S. international at halftime.
“Both teams are different. If you look at the lineups those days, they won’t look anything like Sunday," said Arena on Thursday. "They’re probably going to have three or four different players on the field and we’ll likely have four or five different players on the field. Davies is a fixture now, so there are changes. That game means nothing; it’s in the archives now.”
CARSON, Calif. – Landon Donovan is hanging up his boots at the end of the 2014 season and will play his final game of his illustrious career on Sunday when the LA Galaxy take on the New England Revolution on Sunday in MLS Cup.
But even though the nation’s most famous player will play in his final game on Sunday, his teammates aren’t interested in winning the title solely because they want to send him out on top. No, there is no “Win one for Landon.”
The Galaxy insist that they want to win the title so that each one of them can experience the joy of lifting the Phillip Anschutz trophy aloft.
“It’d certainly be nice, but our focus is on winning this for the Galaxy, for the team and for the organization,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “It just happens to be Landon’s last game, but it’d be very nice to send him out on a high.”
LA’s ever candid captain Robbie Keane took it one step further, asserting that LA wish Donovan the best, but have selfish motives when it comes to Sunday’s game.
“Listen if anyone deserves to go out on a high, it's certainly Landon because of all that he's done for this league and the U.S. National Team But it’s not going into our thinking. [His retirement] is something that has been going on for years and it hasn't affected us since,” Keane said with a smile. “I just hope that since it's his last game that he'll put forth his best performance and do as well as he can."
LA Galaxy goalkeeper coach Matt Reis reflects on emotional week ahead of MLS Cup match with New England Revolution
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Reis is dealing with a whirlwind of emotions as his new club prepare to take on his former team, the New England Revolution, in Sunday's MLS Cup final.
Reis spent his entire career between Sunday's participations as he began his time in MLS with the Galaxy (1998-2002) before moving on to the Revolution (2003-2012) where he played until retiring last season. An integral part of the Revolution for nearly a decade, Reis helped the Revs reach the MLS Cup three times in 2005, 2006 and 2007 where they fell short each time including a 2005 defeat to the Galaxy.
In the latest feature from LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan, Reis talks about his role with the Galaxy and his emotions heading into Sunday's game. Even though Reis will undoubtedly be pulling for the Galaxy on Sunday, he admits that he takes a great deal of pride for his role in helping the Revs reach the championship.
"Obviously there’s a ton of history there for me, on both sides. Having spent the last 11 years there and working hard with the players, the staff and the organization trying to get the franchise back to the top of the league where we had been before it was a very large undertaking and we put a lot of hard work in it." Reis said. "To see the Revs back in the MLS Cup final is something I’m proud to be a small part of that. The work the front office and the coaching staff and the owners did to get them back is really remarkable and they should be applauded for it."
Robbie Keane on MVP: "I'm delighted to win the award, but I'd trade it in for a championship on Sunday"
LOS ANGELES -- When Robbie Keane arrived in Southern California in 2011, he made a simple yet powerful declarative statement: "I'm not coming here for a vacation."
It's pretty clear that he’s backed up those words in his three-and-a-half years with the Galaxy.
On Wednesday, Keane was named the 2014 MLS Volkswagen MVP after a stellar season that saw the Irish striker score 19 goals and 14 assists to lead an LA team that led the league in scoring. Even as Keane basked in the success of his most recent season, many focused on the forward’s great success with the club since joining the team in 2011.
Whereas previous incarnations of the Galaxy fell short of titles in 2009 and 2010, when Keane was introduced, the Galaxy pushed their way to the top, winning two straight MLS Cups in 2011 and 2012. And because of that, Galaxy boss Bruce Arena was not shy to declare Keane that Keane was missing piece that LA needed to truly contend for the league’s top prize.
“I’ve watched Robbie for years and there was always something in the back of my mind that this was the type of player that we want to get in this league and that I’d love to have on my team one day," said Arena. "We were very fortunate when we had the opportunity to get him from Tottenham.
“He sets the tone for our team every day. He’s good with the young players, he gets our team ready to play,” Arena added. “Those are things that you don’t see in the box score, but he’s that valuable for our team each and every day.”
But as you might expect from a player labeled the missing piece to a championship side, Keane’s focus is not on winning individual honors, but rather the real title that will be awarded on Sunday.
"It's great to be recognized by your fellow professionals and the media. I'm delighted with the award, but I'd certainly trade it in for a championship on Sunday," said Keane. "These awards mean something, I'd be a fool if I said that it didn't, but if we didn't win the championship then it wouldn't mean that much to me. If we win, it'll cap off a great year for me and for our team."
LA Galaxy midfielder Stefan Ishizaki finished third in the voting for the 2014 MLS Newcomer of the Year, the league announced on Wednesday.
Vancouver Whitecaps FC midfielder Pedro Morales took home the award after scoring 10 goals and nine assists for a Whitecaps side that returned to the postseason in 2014. Ishizaki came in third with just under seven percent of the vote while New England Revolution midfielder Jermaine Jones finished second with nearly 35 percent of the vote.
Ishizaki's Galaxy and Jones' Revolution will face one another on Sunday in the 2014 MLS Cup final at StubHub Center.
LOS ANGELES -- LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane has been a revelation since joining the club midway through the 2011 season, but just how long can the team's influential Irishman keep going?
Keane tallied 19 goals and 14 assists during a banner season withthe Galaxy as he lifted the club to a fourth MLS Cup appearance in just six years. However, at 34 years of age, the Irishman is rapidly bcoming one of the older players in MLS, but don't let that age fool you because he's still going strong.
Rather than hang up his boots like his teammate Landon Donovan -- who is two years is senior believes that he can keep on going for at least another four years.
"Listen, you can't predict what is going to happen in the future with injuries and stuff like that Unfortunately, some people have to retire through bad injuries, but if I can keep myself fit then I can keep going] because the motivation is there and the hunger is there," said Keane. "If my legs, I can't help that but I'm going to have that desire and hunger for a long time.
"I've played with players over the years in England who at a certain age didn't have the hunger to carry on, but that's when people's levels of quality dropped."
LOS ANGELES -- I had an opportunity to speak to LA Galaxy captain and 2014 Volkswagen MVP Robbie Keane after he was named Most Valuable Player.
Check out my conversation with Keane above.
LOS ANGELES -- Robbie Keane is King.
MLS announced on Tuesday that the LA Galaxy captain has been named the 2014 Volkswagen MLS MVP. Keane was the standard barer for a Galaxy side that finished with the second best record in MLS and the highest goals scored total. The 34-year-old finished the regular season with 19 goals (tied for third best in MLS) and 14 assists (tied for second).
Watch Keane's announcement press conference above.
CARSON, Calif. -- Nothing says MLS Cup week in Southern California quite like a little rain.
On Tuesday, the LA Galaxy kicked off their prepration for the 2014 MLS Cup Final with an early morning session that was plagued by rain showers. Rain has become a staple of LA's MLS Cups as both finals in 2011 and 2012 happened during rare Southern California rain showers.
Although the rain was intense during the session, it didn't affect the Galaxy's preparations.
"It was good. For the starters, we didn't do much, but it was good to let them run around a little bit," said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. "We'll have a day out tomorrow so by Thursday, they'll be fresh and ready to play."
Don't worry though: the forecast calls for partly cloudy conditions and temperatures of 72 degrees on Sunday afternoon.
Check out photos from Galaxy photographer Hana Asano below.