CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy may have started their MLS regular season campaign with a bang and a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Sunday, but by Monday morning, they needed to shift their focus to Thursday’s CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal first leg against CS Herediano in Costa Rica on Thursday.
The CCL provides no shortage of challenges: whether it is hostile crowds, poorly maintained fields or inconsistent officiating, but over the past two years, the Galaxy have attempted to alleviate the effects of one challenge—lengthy international travel—by traveling on a chartered flight.
LA travel to Costa Rica on Tuesday, but rather than board a commercial flight for the five hour and a half hour journey, LA will travel via charter to San Jose, Costa Rica. The conditions are far different than traveling on a commercial flight -- think no screaming babies in aisle seats -- but is traveling charter really a difference for the players than a cross-country trip in MLS?
“It cuts off two and a half hours of the travel if not more, just waiting around for petty little things to get done," said Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens. "It’s not bad, it’s definitely better than a cross-country flight to New York on a commercial flight. It shouldn’t be too bad; they take good care of us.”
Does that mean that they’ll be more rested once they touch down in Central America?
“As rested as you can be for being on a five and a half hour flight," Stephens admitted. "It’s a big difference than if we were flying commercial. I think we’re lucky…the way the [team] takes care of us is very good.”
The first LA Galaxy game of the season is complete and now it's time for the first edition of "Ask the Insider" of 2013.
Unlike last year, those looking to participate can do so on the comments section below rather than on the Galaxy Facebook page.
The winning recepient will have their question answered later this week and will win two tickets to see the Galaxy take on Herediano in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal Second Leg on Wednesday, March 13.
Feel free to leave your questions below.
CARSON, Calif. – Carlo Cudicini admits that his MLS debut wasn’t perfect, but the veteran goalkeeper was pleased to earn a clean sheet in his first match for the Galaxy.
Cudicini wasn’t particularly busy during the 4-0 rout, but he did made his lone save of the afternoon count as he parried a free kick chance by Maicon Santos over the bar in the 60th minute. The day was not without it's difficulties as in the 31st minute, he saw a pass to Leonardo intercepted by Chicago’s Chris Rolfe. The Fire forward burst alone on goal, but saw his shot float just wide of Cudicini net.
That moment aside, the former English Premier League 'keeper thought he performed well in his American debut.
“It’s always good to keep a clean sheet or a shutout like you say [in America]. It’s good for confidence,” said Cudicini. “I could have dealt better with a couple of back passes, but at the end of the day, I didn’t have to do much which was good. That means that the team defended well. So hopefully, we’ll have another good performance on Thursday.”
The veteran ‘keeper saw little action on Sunday, but he admitted that he was impressed with his teammates defending as they held the Fire scoreless.
“It’s easy to say when you don’t concede goals that it is the back four or the goalie," said Cudicini. "But at the end of the day, it’s the team that defends and we defended very well."
Mike Magee was voted MLS Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters for his hat trick in the LA Galaxy's 4-0 victory over the Chicago Fire.
Magee scored in the 38th, 68th, and 78th minutes to notch his first career hat-trick to lead LA over Chicago. The performance was just Magee's second multi-goal regular season game of his career with his first coming on Sept. 17 2011 against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The honor is the second of Magee's career, with the first coming when he backstopped LA to a scoreless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes on June 25, 2011.
Starting June 1, The Home Depot Center will be no more--welcome to StubHub Center.
StubHub, one of the nation’s largest ticketing companies, has entered into an agreement with AEG to serve as the naming rights sponsor for the 125-acre multi-sport facility in Carson, California. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
“As leaders in the ticketing industry, providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction and as an increasingly popular consumer brand, this partnership is groundbreaking for our company. We look forward to the relationship with millions of fans at StubHub Center,” said Danielle Maged, Global Head of Partnerships and Business Development at StubHub in a statement. “At StubHub, we have an unyielding focus on the fan experience and with our partners at AEG, we intend for StubHub Center to be the embodiment of that focus as we work to create one of the most fan friendly stadiums in the world.”
The Home Depot has served as the facilities naming rights sponsor since the 27,000 seat stadium since it opened in 2003. The Home Depot Center name will be used for a final time for the LA Galaxy’s match against Seattle Sounders FC on May 26.
Starting in early-June, the home of the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA will undergo it's transformation before it is officially re-launched as Stub Hub Center for the Galaxy's June 16 match against the Portland Timbers.
“We welcome this new and exciting partnership with StubHub, an organization that, like us, emphasizes the highest level of customer services and fan experiences,” said Katie Pandolfo, General Manager of the AEG Facilities in a press release. “We look forward to working with StubHub to design new programs and activation elements that will provide an even higher level of fan engagement and experience.”
What are your thoughts on the name change?
Share your thoughts below.
Mike Magee scored three goals before Robbie Keane added one of his own as the LA Galaxy defeated the Chicago Fire 4-0 in Sunday's MLS regular season opener.
LAGalaxy.com caught up with the strike force and provided video of their post game interviews below. As you're listening to Magee's interview, be sure to listen to how Magee's teammates attempt to interrupt his concentration during the interview.
LA Galaxy Homegrown forward Jose Villarreal started and went a full 120 minutes, but the U.S. U-20's fell 3-1 to Mexico in the final of the CONCACAF U-20 Championship.
Mexico's Jesus Corona and U.S.' Benji Joya traded goals in the first ten minutes of the match, but in extra time, Mexico pulled away. Julio Gomez scored the winner off a bicycle kick off a corner in the 99th minute before Jorge Espericueta nodded home the third and final goal off a penalty kick in the 113th minute after Shane O'Neill was sent off for a foul in the box. Villarreal wasn't the player with Galaxy affiliations to play as Galaxy Academy product Javan Torre started in central defense while former Academy starlet Mario Rodriguez started up top.
Following the match, Villarreal was named to the tournament's Best XI along with his U.S. teammates Wil Trapp and Luis Gil. The Galaxy Homegrown's weren't the only players with local ties as Southern California-native -- and FC Dallas Homegrown player -- Richard Sanchez was awarded the golden gloves of the tournament for backstopping Mexico to the title.
The draw for the U-20 World Cup takes place on March 25 in Istanbul, Turkey.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy got off to a winning start to the season with a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Fire on Sunday afternoon.
Following the match, I provided my Three Points to the game.
Let me hear your thoughts on my assessment of the game? Agree or disagree?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. -- Mike Magee sent a message to many across the American soccer landscape on Sunday afternoon -- it just might be time to stop labeling him as "underrated."
Magee scored the first hat trick of his career as the LA Galaxy defeated the Chicago Fire 4-0 to open their MLS season below. Magee did not wish to comment on the concept of being labeled underrated after the match, but his strike partner Robbie Keane, who is rarely at a loss for words, provided his own thoughts.
"Who calls him underrated? You are all in the media so it's obviously you [guys] because I've never heard any of the players in MLS say it," said Keane.
I provided the following sidebar on Magee's performance below
CARSON, Calif. – The ring ceremony is an essential part in American sports. A banner is raised celebrating a past achievement and glowing rings are distributed to the players and staff, but while the pomp and circumstance is certainly warranted, it is important for teams to remain focused on the task of winning games.
The LA Galaxy did just that on Sunday as they defeated the Chicago Fire 4-0 spurred on by a hat-trick performance from Mike Magee as well as a goal from Robbie Keane. LA is now 3-1-0 on ring ceremony night all-time.
The Galaxy reflect on the ceremony and its importance below…
BRUCE ARENA: “I think that believe it or not, having gone through this before, it’s a good experience. This was something that we were well aware of for an extended period of time. When it came to this day, we knew what to expect. We’re obviously grateful for the support, the championship banner and the rings. Don’t get us wrong, but we knew this time how to put it in perspective. We were really eager to get out there, get that ceremony over with and play. That was a big focus on behalf of the game and obvious they did well today.”
TODD DUNIVANT: “It was awesome. Tim Leiweke pulled me in close and said, ‘it only gets better each time and they only get bigger,” and he’s right because this is a monster ring.”
MIKE MAGEE: “Getting the hat trick was cool, getting the win was cool. And, the best part of the day was getting the ring. So, it was an okay day.”
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) March 4, 2013
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) March 3, 2013