The LA Galaxy added to their centerback with the 23rd overall pick in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft by selecting New Mexico center back Kyle Venter.
A four-year starter out of New Mexico, the 6-foot-3 Venter led the Lobos to the College Cup semifinals while also being a semifinalist for the MAC Hermann Trophy in 2013. Venter became the first player in New Mexico's program history who was named to three All-America teams. The 22-year-old defender ended his time with the Lobos as the progam's all-time leader in minutes played.
Just where Venter fits into the squad remains to be seen, however, as the Galaxy currently boast five string center backs in Omar Gonzalez, Leonardo, Kofi Opare, and Tommy Meyer.
A videos of Venter's time with New Mexico and the moment that he was drafted are below.
PHILADELPHIA -- The 2014 MLS SuperDraft will be taking place on Thursday in Philadelphia and we'll be covering it on CoveritLive below.
The LA Galaxy hold just one pick on day one of the draft with the 23rd overall selection in the second round.
Check it out below.
PHILADELPHIA—The LA Galaxy may be out of the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, but that doesn’t bother head coach and general manager Bruce Arena.
On Tuesday, the Galaxy traded out of the first round by sending their 14th overall selection and Hector Jimenez to the Columbus Crew for the 23rd overall pick and allocation money. The pick is one of two Galaxy selections in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft as they also hold the 72nd overall draft choice in the fourth round, which will be held via conference call on Jan. 21. Although the deal took the Galaxy out of the first round for the first time since 2007, Arena is pleased with LA’s placement in the SuperDraft.
“I think that there is not a significant difference between the 14th pick and the 23rd pick. At 14, we’d be as bewildered as we are right now with number 23. We don’t know what is going to happen in front of us,” Arena told LA Galaxy Insider on Wednesday. “Our selection is going to be based on the 22 selections before us. We’ll likely look to shore up one, two or three positions that we think need a little bit of help i, but we can only make that decision based on what happens in the late first round.”
Arena, who attended the 2014 adidas MLS Players Combine in Florida along with other members of LA’s technical staff, admitted that the trade was not an indictment on the players that he observed, but rather the best move for the Galaxy at this time.
“We’ve put a lot of time into young players over the last two or three years and we have a fairly deep roster. It’s going to be difficult for anyone in this draft to make our team, so it wasn’t necessary to be a lot higher [in the draft] then where we are right now,” said Arena. “I don’t think it’ll make a major difference [for the Galaxy] and the trade helped us open up a roster spot [while also opening] up salary cap space. I think that in this particular year, this is the right type of move.”
Thoughts on Galaxy's deal?
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LA Galaxy Academy forward Haji Wright will be joining the U.S. Under-17 National Team for the upcoming Aegean Cup in Turkey.
During the tournament which runs from Jan. 20-25, the U.S. were placed in Group B of the tournament will face off against Norway, Scotland and reigning Aegean Cup champion France. The U.S. opens the tournament against the French on Jan. 20 before taking on Norway on Jan. 21 and then ending the group stage against Scotland on Jan. 23. The group winners will meet on Jan. 25 with the two second place teams facing off in the third place game on the same day.
The complete roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS: Carlos Avilez (FC Dallas Academy; Dallas, Texas), Will Pulisic (Richmond Strikers; Mechanicsville, Va.)
DEFENDERS: Hugo Arellano (Chivas USA Academy; Norwalk, Calif.), Tanner Dieterich (unattached, Tenn.), Edwin Lara (unattached; San Leandro, Calif.), John Nelson (Internationals; Medina, Ohio), Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls Academy; Trenton, N.J.), Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf; San Diego, Calif.)
MIDFIELDERS: Eric Calvillo (Real So Cal; Palmdale, Calif.), Luca de la Torre (Fulham; San Diego, Calif.), Thomas McCabe (PDA; South Orange, N.J.), Logan Panchot (St. Louis, Mo.; St. Louis Scott Gallagher Missouri), Christian Pulisic (PA Classics; Hershey, Pa.), Nicholas Taitague (Richmond Strikers; Midlothian, Va.), Devin Vega (San Antonio Scorpions; San Antonio, Texas)
FORWARDS: Pierre Da Silva (New York Soccer Club; Port Chester, N.Y.), Orrin McKinze Gaines (Lonestar SC; Austin, Texas), Joe Gallardo (Monterrey FC; San Diego, Calif.) Elijah Rice (Chicago Magic PSG; Highland Park, Ill.), Haji Wright (LA Galaxy Academy; Los Angeles, Calif.)
New LA Galaxy forward Samuel is ready to test himself in MLS with the LA Galaxy, but the 22-year-old admits that he's hoping to return to Brazil after acheiving success with LA.
In his farewell interview with Fluminense's website, Samuel stated that he's looking forward to his new opportuntiy with the Galaxy, but believes that he could return to the Brazilian side in the future. The 22-year-old forward joined LA last week on a year-long loan after tallying 15 goals in 72 appearances for the Rio de Janeiro-based club.
"I hope that with the arrival of [new head coach Renato Gaucho] things change for [Fluminense]," Samuel said. "But I am excited for this new opportunity [in MLS]."
The complete video which is in Portuguese is below.
PHILADELPHIA— The LA Galaxy may have traded out of the first round of the 2014 MLS SuperDraft, but if history tells us anything, there could be value with their 23rd pick in the second round.
There have been quite a few high value 23rd picks from U.S. National Team midfielder Graham Zusi and LA Galaxy legend – and Galaxy Academy Director – Peter Vagenas to U.S. National Team veteran and former LA Galaxy left back Eddie Lewis among others. In fact, the history of the 23rd selection—in my opinion—is much more illustrious than that of the 14th pick which was headlined by Shalrie Joseph, George John and Ned Grabavoy.
The complete history of the 23rd pick is below:
2013— Luke Spencer, New England Revolution -- Suffered an ACL tear in preseason and did not make the Revolution's roster. Spencer resumed training with New England at the end of the 2013 season.
2012—Lucky Moksana, Chicago Fire -- Did not make the Fire roster out of preseason. Currently a member of the NASL's Tampa Bay Rowdies.
2011—Michael Farfan, Philadelphia Union -- Finished third in rookie of the year voting in 2011, signed with Liga MX side Cruz Azul after three seasons with the Union.
2010—Ross LaBauex, Colorado Rapids -- Made 18 appearances with the Colorado Rapids before being waived in September 2012, signed with USL Pro club Rochester Rhinos in March 2013.
2009—Graham Zusi, Kansas City Wizards (Sporting Kansas City) -- A regular with Sporting Kansas City and the U.S. National Team, Zusi was an MLS All-Star and MLS Best XI Selection in 2012 and 2013. Zusi was an MLS MVP finalist in 2012.
2008—Yomby William, Kansas City Wizards (Sporting Kansas City) -- Did not make a competitive appearance for Kansas City and has spent the last five years with USL Pro side Rochester Rhinos.
2007—Ty Harden, Los Angeles Galaxy -- Galaxy defender of the year in 2007, Harden retired in 2008 to pursue philanthropic endeavors in Africa. Harden returned to soccer in 2009 and is currently with the San Jose Earthquakes.
2006—Willie Sims, New England Revolution -- Made nine appearances with the Revolution from 2006 to 2007 and last played with USL Premier Developmental League side Los Angeles Misioneros.
2005—Domenic Mediate, Columbus Crew -- Played three seasons in MLS with the Crew and D.C. United before ending his career in 2009 with the Puerto Rico Islanders.
2004—Jeremiah White, New England Revolution -- Spent most of his career in Europe and earned his lone U.S. National Team cap in 2008 during a friendly against Sweden at The Home Depot Center.
2003—Roger Levesque, San Jose Earthquakes -- Spent three seasons with San Jose winning MLS Cup in 2003, but then moved onto Seattle Sounders FC for the next 10 seasons where he became a club icon. Levesque is currently a University of Washington grad student.
2002—Jon Busch, Columbus Crew -- Currently with the San Jose Earthquakes, Busch is one of only six MLS goalkeepers all-time with more than 100 wins.
2001—Justin Evans, Chicago Fire -- Played in MLS for two seasons with three clubs. Current head coach of the Pittsburgh Riverhounds.
2000—Peter Vagenas, Los Angeles Galaxy -- A two-time MLS Cup champion, Vagenas captained the LA Galaxy's 2005 MLS Cup winning side. After a 13-year career in MLS, Vagenas became the LA Galaxy Academy Director.
1999—Greg Sutton, Chicago Fire -- Longtime MLS goalkeeper who last played with the Montreal Impact.
1998—Jason Boyce, Colorado Rapids -- Bounced around MLS for three seasons and last played in MLS with the LA Galaxy reserves in 2010.
1997—Todd DeNault, Columbus Crew -- Released during preseason training camp, but no other information on DeNault was found.
1996—Eddie Lewis, San Jose Clash -- A left-sided defender who played four seasons with the San Jose Clash and was named to MLS Best XI in 1999. Lewis went on to play for Fulham, Leeds United and Derby County before joining the Galaxy in 2008. A U.S. National Team regular, Lewis appeared in the 2002 and 2006 World Cup.
On Tuesday, the LA Galaxy dealt midfielder Hector Jimenez and their 14th overall selection in the 2014 MLS SuperDraft to the Columbus Crew for a second round pick (23rd overall) and allocation money.
Jimenez, a Los Angeles native who was drafted with the second round of the 2011 MLS SuperDraft out of the University of California, made a total of 43 MLS regular season appearances for the Galaxy during his three year stint with the club. With their first round pick dealt, it is the first time that the Galaxy have entered the SuperDraft without a first round selection since 2007.
Where the deal has the most ramifications for the Galaxy is in the midfield where LA suddenly find themselves thin along the flanks. Currently, Bruce Arena’s side will enter the preseason with just two options in right midfield with Landon Donovan and Robbie Rogers occupying the top two slots on the depth chart while Marcelo Sarvas, who played on the right at times in 2012, is a possibility as well. Meanwhile, along the left side, Gyasi Zardes, Rogers, and Greg Cochrane are potential options for Arena.
The Columbus Dispatch’s Adam Jardy spoke with Columbus head coach Gregg Berhalter who offered a few thoughts on Jimenez in the tweets below.
Gregg Berhalter said it was easy working out a deal with mentor Bruce Arena. Also, Berhalter played with Hector Jimenez in L.A. #crew96
— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) January 14, 2014
And yes, Berhalter envisions Jimenez playing on the wing, likely the right side. Could move Oduro up top more. He'll be pleased. #crew96
— Adam Jardy (@AdamJardy) January 14, 2014
A new chapter in my career starts today. Excited and looking forward to the future. LA will always be my home. ✌️
— Hector Jimenez (@HectorJimenez09) January 14, 2014
Thoughts on the deal?
The LA Galaxy were sorely lacking a target presence during their ill-fated 2013 campaign, but over the past seven days, LA have added two legitimate scoring options to their attacking arsenal.
Over the past week, the Galaxy have added two forwards in Brazilian forward Samuel and now Canadian international Rob Friend. Friend, 32, joins the Galaxy after an 11-year career in Europe that saw him tally 75 goals in nearly 260 league appearances with eight clubs.
Friend has spent the last two seasons with 1860 Munich making 24 appearances, but over the past season, he has played in 10 matches for the Die Löwen (The Lions) scoring a single goal. The 6-foot-5 forward’s final goal for Munich came on Sept. 21 when he notched a goal and an assist during a 3-1 victory over FC Erzgebirge Aue. Friend’s performance against the Saxony-based club was a vintage target forward display as he was able to aid in the build-up of a goal with a well-time knockdown of a cross before tallying a goal himself off a corner kick minutes later.
Such aerial skills were at a premium for the Galaxy in 2013 as center back Omar Gonzalez was often the lone target for the Galaxy on set pieces and often heavily marked by opposing defenses. The presence of a target forward like Friend will only stand to aid LA on attacking set pieces by freeing up space for LA’s other attackers like Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane.
Although Friend brings a strong European pedigree to StubHub Center his minutes won’t be guaranteed as he’s expected to compete for the starting spot alongside Keane with the 22-year-old Samuel. Should either of the forwards lock down a starting place next to the Irishman, expect Donovan to drift back into the right side of midfield.
Highlights of Friend’s final goal for Munich are below.
The LA Galaxy bolstered their forward corps with yet another target forward on Monday signing Canadian international Rob Friend.
The 32-year-old striker spent the last two seasons with Bundesliga 2 club TSV 1860 Munich making 24 appearances for the German club while scoring five times. Throughout his 11-year career, Friend has scored 75 goals in nearly 260 league appearances with eight clubs.
“The addition of Rob Friend to our roster brings a different dimension to our attack,” said LA Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena in a club statement. “Rob is a veteran player with a scoring pedigree and we are excited to bolster our roster by bringing him to LA.”
Friend, who played a portion of his college soccer at U.C. Santa Barbara, also earned a total of 32 appearances for the Canadian National Team with two goals and two assists. The 6-foot-5 target forward is the second striker that the Galaxy have signed this year, with the club adding Brazilian striker Samuel earlier this month on loan from Brazilian side Fluminense.
Thoughts on Friend's signing? Do you think Samuel or Friend will earn a starting role alongside Robbie Keane?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy stalwarts Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez have been named to the 26-man roster for the upcoming U.S. National Team camp in Brazil.
The U.S. will take part in a “dry run” of the 2014 FIFA World Cup at Sao Paulo FC's facilities from Jan. 13-25 before returning to Southern California ahead of their Feb. 1 friendly against Korea Republic at StubHub Center. During the time, the U.S. has scheduled a pair of closed-door scrimmages against the Sao Paulo FC first team. Sao Paulo will serve as the base of operations for the Americans during upcoming World Cup.
U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann had stated prior to the January camp at StubHub Center that he may take just 23 players on the 12-day trip to Brazil, but instead opted to take the complete squad after a week of training.
“We’ve been extremely pleased with the performance of the group in the first week,” Klinsmann said in a statement. “The players came in very fit and have done really well in training. Therefore, we believe they have all earned a chance to go down to Brazil for these next 12 days. We’re very excited about getting down to Sao Paulo and continuing the work. This is a huge opportunity to get to know our environment for the World Cup.”
Earlier in the week, Donovan stated that he expects the group to gain a great deal from their 12 days in Brazil.
“Getting a test run for 10 days in Brazil is very important,” said Donovan. “I remember in 2009 that playing in the [FIFA Confederations Cup] was very beneficial when we went back to South Africa a year later. It’s a really good and important step for the team.”