"I would be pretty shocked if he’s not called into the U.S. team soon," Landon Donovan on Gyasi Zardes' USMNT prospects
CARSON, Calif. -- The U.S. National Team buzz surrounding Gyasi Zardes is at a fever pitch and now the striker's LA Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan is getting into the conversation.
Zardes scored twice during the Galaxy's 6-0 rout of the Colorado Rapids on Friday night to continue his impressive streak of 17 goals in 18 games in all competitions this summer. With 14 goals in his sophomore season in MLS, Zardes now holds the highest single-season total for an MLS Homegrown Player breaking the record previous held New England Revolution's Diego Fagundez who scored 13 goals last year.
As Zardes continues to score, the national team chatter will continue to intensify, but to have the seal of approval from Donovan is likely to aid the striker's case for the USMNT.
"He deserves everything he has got; success is not an accident. People think you’re just born a certain way and everything either comes to you or doesn’t and it’s not true," said Donovan. "Last year, we saw the other side of that where he wasn’t quite there yet. He put in a lot of work last year and a lot of work this year and it’s starting to pay off. I would be pretty shocked if he’s not called into the U.S. [Men’s National] Team soon.”
Throughout Zardes' impressive performance against the Rapids, the 22-year-old displayed not only his trademark speed, but also a variety of tricks learned from players like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. Whether it was Keane’s ability make a dummy run and set up a chance for a teammate or Donovan-esque turn and shoot, Zardes showcased that he’s steadily adding tricks to his growing arsenal of offensive moves.
And as he displays some of their trademark moves on the field, Zardes credits the role that Keane and Donovan have played in his maturation.
“My teammates are helping me. All these guys are older than me and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from them," Zardes said. “Landon is a phenomenal player and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him. As you can see in the recent games, he’s the one giving me all my assists and I’m just trying to build off that as much as I can from these guys because they’ve played professional soccer longer than I have.”
Does Zardes get a national team call for the match against Ecuador?
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CARSON, Calif. - It was an emotional night at StubHub Center.
The LA Galaxy honored the memory of A.J. DeLaGarza's departed son Luca with a 6-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. The largest victory for the club since 1996.
Relive the emotional night through the great photos of Mora Photography.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed the media after the club's 6-0 win over the Colorado Rapids.
(On the emotional game for the LA Galaxy...)
ARENA: "We think the world of AJ [DeLaGarza] and his family. It’s a difficult moment, so our thoughts are definitely with them. It was emotional. He’s a person that we all care about. He’s such a great person. Him and his wife. It’s awful difficult to be in that position. We feel his pain, and we will be as supportive as we can be for AJ and his family. Certainly, our thoughts were with him tonight. It’s certainly it was a game we wanted to win for him."
(On Baggio Husidic's performance...)
ARENA: Very good game. Baggio is a very good player. He’s played very well over the past couple of weeks. Those were big goals tonight.
(On the defensive injuries...)
ARENA: Our injuries this year have really been in the back. We are just hanging on with bodies right now. We are getting James ready, but it’s still a little early for him. We wish we would have been able to get him some Galaxy II games, but it’s past the deadline to get him on the roster. We are just going to have to work him in through training and hopefully some game time
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy are in mourning after the loss of A.J. DeLaGarza's newborn son and club president Chris Klein insists that the team will continue to support him and his family in their time of need.
Klein spoke to reporters ahead of the Galaxy's match with the Colorado Rapids on the ways in which the team was honoring Luca.
(On when A.J. will return to the field...)
KLEIN: It’s entirely up to him, kind of the speed with what he does. Bruce has been great with him and defers to him with whatever he’s comfortable doing.
(On how A.J. is doing...)
KLEIN: I don’t know that I could put myself in his shoes. And know what it is that he and Megan were going through and have been going through, not only last week but the last couple months. AJ is a very tough kid, but you can’t prepare yourself for going through something like this. All we could do is come around him as his extended family and support him as best as we could.
AJ was at training this week, through this has been a release for him to come and be around the guys. This week, we’ve had people talking to him consistently.
(On Rapids coach Pablo Mastroeni wearing the armband...)
KLEIN: It’s not only Pablo but to see the support from players, from teams in our sport and other sports to se the reaction and how other people set everything else aside and come to the support of one family. It’s been incredible. I don’t know that AJ has seen all of it, but even to sit and look at it all has been something pretty cool. Pablo is part of our family as well, and AJ is someone that everyone likes. To have that is pretty amazing.
(On if the match is an emotional one...)
KLEIN: It is. Anytime you have a teammate that’s going through something it’s emotional, but to have someone like AJ who has been a part of us for so long and to have this group that’s so close is something you can’t describe. The guys are going to be emotional. You saw last week and I think you’ll see it again tonight.
(On the plan to honor DeLaGarza with cheers at the 20 minute mark...)
KLEIN: whose idea I don’t know. It is cool. Things just started to come out. We don’t have the right words to say, but anything we can do that our supporters and fans can do to support AJ and his family.