CARSON, Calif. – Finally healthy after knee injuries decimated his last two seasons, burly LA Galaxy center back Leonardo is making the most of his opportunities in the Galaxy back four.
Leonardo has started five of the Galaxy’s last six matches in all competitions, which includes three starts in the Guinness International Champions Cup. During those appearances, Leonardo has looked confident alongside a variety of center back partners, but he has shined with Omar Gonzalez to form a formidable and sizable combination.
After his impressive showings, it is likely that Leonardo will lineup against Gonzalez again on Saturday when the Galaxy take on Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
“I feel good right now,” Leonardo said earlier this week. “I didn't play a whole year, then I came back last year and I played some, then I didn't play some games, then I played again, didn't play again. Right now I have to thank God I am getting games, and I have to keep working hard to maintain that rhythm.”
Key to Leonardo building a rhythm has been his ability to stay healthy, which he attributes to a new workout regimen that includes pilates and more time in the weight room. This added commitment to staying fit has not gone unnoticed by the Galaxy coaching staff.
“He just continues to get better,” said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. “We knew it was going to take time. He had a few minor setbacks this year but now is headed in the right direction.”
“Now that he's gotten this good, long stretch of being available, he's gotten into a rhythm,” associate head coach Dave Sarachan said. “And when you get into that rhythm and you get minutes, you get confidence. ... Now the true player that we felt we knew a year and a half ago is starting to emerge.”
In the latest video preview, Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan and Todd Dunivant preview the match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Tale of the Tape: LA Galaxy's Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan vs. Vancouver's Camilo and Kenny Miller
Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane have formed one of the most effective forward pairings in MLS over the past two years, but the Vancouver Whitecaps FC duo of Camilo and Kenny Miller has drawn great acclaim this season.
To date, Camilo and Miller have tallied more goals than Donovan and Keane at 21 to 16. That being said, Keane and Donovan easily eclipse the Whitecaps pair in assists: 16 to four.
So which is more effective?
I looked at the numbers and came up with this…
Keane currently leads all four forwards in his average points per game as he has tallied 10 goals and nine assists in just 14 matches with an average point per game mark of 1.35. Donovan comes in second with six goals and seven assists in 15 appearances for an average point per game mark of .87. The Whitecaps duo lag behind in this regard, with Camilo’s hefty appearance total of 25 weighing down his 14 goal and seven assist season for an average point per game mark of .78. Miller is by far the lowest with his seven goals and four assists equating to an average of .47 points per game.
This gives the Galaxy the edge in an individual numbers, but LA is also more effective when the Keane and Donovan are on the field together. When the Galaxy have had Keane and Donovan on the field together, the team’s record is 5-2-2 with the pair scoring 12 goals and 13 assists while Vancouver is 8-5-1 when their forwards are together with a tally of 18 goals and two assists.
As you can plainly see, Keane and Donovan are far more statistically significant to their club than Vancouver’s pairing, but who are the better forwards?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy rookie Kofi Opare gave a confident performance in LA’s 2-0 CONCACAF Champions League victory over C.S. Cartaginés and showcased LA’s depth at center back.
In a piece for LAGalaxy.com, I speak to Opare about his competitive debut for LA, which left me incredibly impressed with the rookie defender, but Opare did not just impress me, but also Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan.
Ko“We learned a lot from that game knowing now that we have even more depth in that position,” said Sarachan. “Opare was a little bit of a wildcard because we hadn’t seen him. Knowing now that he pulled through it with high marks, gives us good flexibility and depth.”
Opare is the latest young Galaxy center back to step in and perform well for LA, joining Tommy Meyer who shined down the stretch run last season after A.J. DeLaGarza went down with an injury. Meyer started LA’s final four MLS Regular Season matches and then throughout the MLS Cup playoffs.
After Opare’s performance, the Sarachan is confident the rookie is continuing to progress in his development.
“We’ve seen this now and this is a function of being together for a while that these guys grow and develop in the system and gain confidence through reserve games and good training,” said Sarachan. “I think when he got on the field, I’m sure internally, he was a little nervous, but externally, he showed a lot of confidence and having Omar next to him and veterans near him helped.”
In the latest edition of "View from the Booth" Cobi Jones and Joe Tutino analyze the LA Galaxy's match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Check it out below...
In an interview with Time Warner Cable SportsNet’s Chris Mcgee, Landon Donovan stated that he'd like to remain with LA despite his contract being up at the end of the season.
The Galaxy forward has impressed since returning from an impressive performance with the U.S. National Team at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup. In his two matches since returning, Donovan has tallied three goals an assist to help LA to a 1-0-1 record. When Mcgee pressed him on his contract expiring, Donovan mentioned that his choice would be to remain with the Galaxy.
“I would like that,” Donovan said. ” Obviously as you get older, you only have so many more opportunities to do things you want to do. Financially, things come into play. All things being equal, I would love to be here and we’re working towards that, and I’m hopeful that will happen.”
At a press conference last week for the unveiling of Omar Gonzalez as the club's new third Designated Player, Galaxy President Chris Klein told reporters that the club is currently working to keep Donovan with LA.
As for what could prevent him from remaining with the Galaxy, Donovan answered bluntly.
“Them telling me they don’t want me,” said Donovan.
Think Donovan stays with the Galaxy?
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Salvadorian football was rocked to its core on Wednesday as 22 players were suspended for 30 days by the nation’s federation for their role in an alleged match fixing scandal. The suspension was placed at 30 days due to the fact that the investigation remains ongoing.
"With the investigations which have been conducted up to this point, evidence has been collected which suggests that offences have been committed connected to so-called match-fixing," FESFUT said in a statement on Tuesday.
The matches in question are as follows: El Salvador's 5-0 Gold Cup loss to Mexico on July 5, 2011, a 2-1 loss to the United States on Feb. 24, 2010, a 1-0 loss to D.C. United on July 19, 2010, and a 4-1 loss to Paraguay on Feb. 6, 2012. In addition to banning the players, the Salvadorian national team will not play more games until the investigation is complete.
The ban extends to all competitions including the CONCACAF Champions League, which will have a direct impact on the LA Galaxy’s CCL opponents Isidro Metapan. Los Caleros will lose out on two players Eliseo Quintanilla and Alfredo Pacheco for their Sept. 18 match against the LA Galaxy -- and possibly beyond. Not only will these players not play with the team, but Metapan issued a release on their official Facebook page that the players will not be allowed to train with the rest of the team.
The complete list of players suspended is below:
Luis Anaya, Osael Romero, Ramón Sánchez , Christian Castillo, Eliseo Quintanilla, Miguel Granadino, Miguel Montes, Dagoberto Portillo, Rodolfo Zelaya, Víctor Turcios, Carlos Romeo Monteagudo, Dennis Alas, Alfredo Pacheco, Mardoqueo Henríquez, Marvin González, Carlos Carillo, Darwin Bonilla, Rodrigo Alejandro Martínez, Reynaldo Hernández, Ramón Flore, Benji Villalobos, Emerson Umaña
LA Galaxy youngsters Bryan Gaul and Kenney Walker are off to a new NASL club.
The Galaxy announced on Thursday that they have recalled the two 2012 MLS SuperDraft selections from the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers to the club and have subsquently loaned them to the Carolina RailHawks. Walker was the only player to make an appearance for the Strikers as he saw time in their match against Minnesota United FC.
Both players will be eligible to make their RailHawks debut this weekend against Minnesota.
CARSON, Calif. – In his first season in MLS, Gyasi Zardes has not only adapted to a new league, but also a new position.
Zardes has been stationed out wide on the left multiple times this season, but the 21-year-old has started LA’s last two league matches and their 2-0 victory over C.S. Cartaginés on Tuesday. The rookie’s speed seems to make him a natural option on the flanks and despite being stationed farther away from goal; he has still managed to continue to be a threat in the attacking third for the Galaxy.
Following LA’s 2-0 victory over the Costa Rican side, Zardes told reporters that he’s begun to settle into the left midfield position.
“I’m starting to get the hang of it and to be honest, I like it out there,” said Zardes. “You have a lot of freedom, no defender up your back so it’s kind of like a different point of view out there.”
Want to see more of him on the flanks?
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CARSON, Calif. – Look at the statistics and the highlight reel goals and you can see that Robbie Keane is an extremely effective forward, but according to his fellow attacker Landon Donovan, his influence goes even deeper.
Following LA’s 2-0 victory over C.S. Cartaginés in their CONCACAF Champions League Group 8 opener in which Donovan assisted on a pair of Keane goals, the U.S. international was asked to discuss how the Irishman was different than other forwards that he has played with throughout his career.
“His biggest attribute is his movement. His movement is sublime. You don’t always see it and there are a lot of times that he makes good movements on the field where he doesn’t get the ball, but the times that he does, you see it. He’s very sharp, very active and he’s always playing with the defender’s mind,” said Donovan.
“One time he’ll come short and then the next time, he’ll get behind him. The next time he comes short and the next time he’ll get behind them. As a defender, it’s impossible to know where he’s going to go and if you’re on the same page with him then he’s going to make them pay.”