CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are gunning for their first Supporters' Shield triumph since 2011, but even as the club sits level on points with Seattle Sounders FC, captain Robbie Keane issued an important message for his group.
Don't lose focus on the real prize -- MLS Cup.
Keane notched a goal and an assist in the Galaxy's 2-1 victory over FC Dallas that moved them a step closer to the Shield while also helping the club clinch a postseason berth. Bur despite his teammates' emphasis on the chase for the Shield, the Irishman put LA's remaining league games into perspective.
“Listen, it's great to win the Supporters' Shield, there's no question about it, but I can't remember the last two years who won the Supporters' Shield; I remember who won the [MLS Cup] championship,” Keane told reporters on Saturday. “Even though it's very, very important and we want to do it, obviously the main one is to win the championship."
LA Galaxy defenders Robbie Rogers and Omar Gonzalez were named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on Monday for their performance in the club's 2-1 victory over FC Dallas.
Rogers enjoyed a stellar evening along the left side -- and even garnered some U.S. National Team buzz from captain Robbie Keane -- while Gonzalez helped shutdown the FCD attack. Meanwhile, Robbie Keane was placed on the Team of the Week bench for his goal and assist against Dallas.
The complete team is below.
Alan Gordon scored again off the bench Saturday night and the LA Galaxy pulled even on points with Western Conference and Supporters' Shield leader Seattle, rallying for a 2-1 victory over visiting FC Dallas.
Check out Jon Lorentz and Hana Asano's photos from a thrilling night at StubHub Center.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy qualified for the postseason for the sixth consecutive season with their 2-1 victory over FC Dallas.
After the game, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed reporters.
(On Alan Gordon’s performance...)
ARENA: “He’s a good target player. He’s good in the penalty area. If the service is right, he’s quite capable of finishing off plays, which he’s shown. He knows his job. He’s an experienced player. Understands tactically what needs to be done at the end of the game, and has just done an outstanding job.”
(On Stefan Ishizaki’s performance...)
ARENA: “He played very well. It’s the best that [Ishizaki] has played for us in a while. He performed quite well. He’s passing was excellent. He did a good job defensively helping Dan Gargan. Just played very well. Let’s face it Ishizaki and Gordon did a great job coming in off the bench. I think they made a difference and helped us win the game.”
(On Robbie Rogers performance at left back...)
ARENA: “He played well. I think the second half in particularly he played very well. The cross for the winning goal was outstanding. It was good to see him get back into form. It’s taken him a little bit coming back from his injury, but I think he’s starting to play well. He looks like a left back.”
(On the difference between Ishizaki and Baggio Husidic...)
ARENA: “Husidic is a little more of a two-way player, a box-to-box player. Ishizaki is a little more, certainly a more creative player, probably you can argue maybe a better player in the final third. Not that Husidic isn’t a good player in the final third—he’s just a little bit different. I think it’s a nice combination.”
(On the first half...)
ARENA: “They defended well and we weren’t good enough on the ball. We didn’t take advantage of the advantages we created. We just ended to be a little bit sharper. I think that Dallas defended well in the first half.”
On whether the Seattle/Red Bulls result gave the team a sense of urgency:
“We were aware of the result. All along we’ve been aware of where we’ve been positioned in a conference race. We were well aware of the result and obviously it was good opportunity for us to make up the points because I think we are even now. It was an opportune time for sure.”
On clinching a playoff:
“Well, I think we anticipated being in the playoffs, but it’s nice to get that out of the away. Now we need to jockey for a favorable position. Certainly use the next five games to do that. I think that just gives us a little confidence and a little bit of relief that we don’t need consider ourselves with that anymore.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy return home for a three-game homestand starting with Saturday's clash with FC Dallas at StubHub Center.
Below are matchups to watch, statements made by the Galaxy and my own personal prediction.
*Remember that with a victory on Saturday, the LA Galaxy will clinch a postseason berth for the sixth consecutive year.
*In 'What to Watch For" I break down the Galaxy's clash with FC Dallas with TWCSN play-by-play man Joe Tutino.
*In the latest edition of "By the Numbers," we look at the Galaxy's success at home against FCD.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH:
DAN GARGAN vs. FABIAN CASTILLO
Back from suspension, Gargan will have to put the breaks on one of MLS' hottest strikers as Castillo will look to use his speed to break through the Galaxy central defense.
ROBBIE KEANE vs. ZACH LOYD
Loyd has done well in his transition from outside back to central defense, but he'll face a stiff test in Keane, who is expected to be eager to break his scoreless streak after a disappointing showing against San Jose.
OMAR GONZALEZ vs. BLAS PEREZ
Gonzalez will have his hands full with Perez on Saturday as the FC Dallas striker will seek to torment the Galaxy center back in search of goals.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING:
"We're still in the running for the Supporters' Shield...but I don't want to worry about that right now. I want to worry about Dallas because they're no easy task. They're a really good team with a lot of threats especially Castillo who is doing really well. We don't need to worry about Supporters' Shield right now, we need to worry about beating Dallas." - Omar Gonzalez
LA Galaxy 4 FC Dallas 0 (Keane 2, Zardes 1, Sarvas 1)
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's "What to Watch For," I join Joe Tutino to break down the LA Galaxy's match against FC Dallas.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – There’s a new -- yet familiar -- face serving as the new head athletic trainer for the LA Galaxy.
A Galaxy original, Ivan Pierra returns to the Galaxy after six-and-a-half years with the U.S. National Team where he served as the head trainer for two World Cups under two U.S. head coaches.
Pierra replaces Armando Rivas, who held the head trainer position since 2008 when Pierra joined the U.S. setup after more than 10 years with the club. Rivas leaves the Galaxy to join the NBA’s Chicago Bulls as an assistant trainer.
“It was really hard to leave U.S. Soccer for sure because they took care of me. I mean World Cups are great and exciting times, but the U.S. job is a grind and the older that I get, the harder it gets. This job fits my age and helps me maintain something that I like to do.
“It’s exciting to come back to the Galaxy, which is a place that has always had my heart. U.S. Soccer will always be there, I could always go on a trip if they need me. There’s no love loss, it was all mutual.”
Said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, “Ivan is an outstanding trainer and a Galaxy original. We're thrilled to have him back because he’s one of the most respected trainers in his field and I think that he'll fit in great in our team and organization as he directs the sports medicine side of things.
“Armando did an outstanding job for us and now he has a new challenge in his career so we wish him the best.”
Galaxy forward Landon Donovan agrees that the similarities between Rivas and Pierra will only help the club during their transition.
“We're happy to have him back. He did a great job with the national team and we're happy for him,” said Donovan. “He’s learned a lot over the last couple of years and while it’s sad to see Armando go, they're very much cut from the same cloth and they do things in the same way. It'll be a seamless transition.”
And Pierra agrees.
“It’s a situation that professionally, I don’t think that anything is lost,” said Pierra. “I've met a lot of the guys over the years, so me coming in, wasn't a huge difference because everyone knew who I was. This is a well-oiled machine and a family. It’s great.”