COLUMBUS, Ohio – Landon Donovan is hanging up his boots at season’s end, but the long time U.S. international knows that MLS is in safe hands because of players like Colorado Rapids youngster Dillon Serna.
A favorite in youth soccer circles, Serna has enjoyed a strong first full season in MLS with three goals and three assists in 20 appearances for the Rapids. Serna's finest strike came in last Sunday’s 4-2 defeat to D.C. United when the 20-year-old launched a 35-yard volley that sailed into the back of the United net.
Even though the U.S. Under-20 midfielder may not be old enough to drink, he has a fan in Donovan.
“He’s done well. It’s exciting for this league to have all sorts of young Homegrown Players do well,” Donovan told LA Galaxy Insider. “That’s the future of this league in my opinion and to see another one like him do well is very good. It’s very early for him and he still has a lot to prove, but he has done well.”
There will be an an LA Galaxy connection on the Brazil squad named for their upcoming matches against Colombia on Sept. 6 and Ecuador on Sept. 9.
Ricardo Goulart, the younger brother of Galaxy midfielder Juninho, was named to the 22-man squad for the U.S. based friendlies on Tuesday. The September games will be the first for the Selecao under new head coach Dunga and the first since the South American nation was unceremoniously dispatched from the 2014 FIFA World Cup with a devastating 7-1 defeat to eventual champions Germany on home soil.
Goulart, 23, plays for Brazilian club Cruizero and is current goal scoring leader in the Brazilian Serie A with eight goals for the Belo Horizonte based club.
"My family and I are very happy that my brother has been called into the national team," Juninho told LA Galaxy Insider on Tuesday. "I've been with him throughout his career and it's such an honor to see him represent our country. I hope that this is the start of a long career for Brazil for my brother."
The LA Galaxy will be giving away a special edition tin lunchbox to the first 15,000 fans on Saturday when the club takes on Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
The old timey lunch box features Galaxy players of yesteryear and today including Cobi Jones, Mauricio Cienfuegos, Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane. Emblazoned on both sides is the bridge between the two eras in Galaxy history: Landon Donovan.
Check out a vine of the box below.
On this day in LA Galaxy history just six years ago, Bruce Arena was hired to be the Galaxy's head coach and general manager, forever changing the club's history.
The now 62-year-old Arena was hired amid a tumultuous 2008 campaign for the manager and his current team as the Galaxy as the team limped out of the gate with a 6-8-6 record under Ruud Guillit and interim head coach Cobi Jones before the former U.S national team head coach took the reins. Immediately after taking the helm, Arena's Galaxy went 8-13-9 to finish second to last in the Western Conference, but the club reached the Superliga final before falling to Mexican side Pachuca in penalties.
By the 2009 campaign, Arena had reshaped the Galaxy by drafting Omar Gonzalez and A.J. DeLaGarza and acquiring goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts who all helped lead the team to the MLS Cup final where they fell in penalties to Real Salt Lake. For Arena's role in reshaping the Galaxy from laughingstock to MLS Cup contender, the LA boss was awarded the MLS Coach of the Year Award.
Since that 2009 season, the Galaxy have won two MLS Cups, two Supporters' Shields and reached the Western Conference Final each year except two with Arena at the helm. During his time with the Galaxy, Arena has gone 91-51-51 in regular season play and 13-4-2 in the postseason as well as 2-1 in MLS Cup matches.
Arena's success with the Galaxy has helped bolster the legacy of a head coach that is already widely considered the best American coach ever. Overall, Arena has a 60 percent winning percentage in 331 games coached which is the highest winning percentage among coaches with 50 or more games coached. The Galaxy boss' 72.5 percent winning percentage in the postseason is also a league record.
In terms of total regular season wins, Arena is second in MLS history with 168 victories which is behind only Seattle Sounders FC head coach Sigi Schmid. But despite being second in regular season victories, Arena is first all-time in playoff victories which 27 which is four better than Schmid's mark.
Interesting side note, Arena is fourth in all-time career winning percentage among MLS head coaches to have ever coached in the league. Tied for first is former Galaxy assistant Ralph Perez who won his only game as a head coach when Los Angeles defeated the San Jose Earthquakes 1-0 in June 1999.
With Robbie Rogers on the mend, left back Todd Dunivant aiming to return to the LA Galaxy starting lineup
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Veteran left back Todd Dunivant made his first MLS appearance since April during the LA Galaxy's 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew last Saturday and now he may be in line to start Wednesday’s clash with the Colorado Rapids.
Incumbent left back Robbie Rogers started the match against the Crew despite suffering a quadriceps injury earlier in the week, but was forced to exit the defeat midway through the second half. After Rogers’ injury, the Galaxy switched to a 3-5-2 formation as they looked to erase a one goal deficit, but after falling behind 4-1 in the 84th minute, Dunivant was inserted into the match.
The minutes were the first for Dunivant since the left back suffered an abdominal tear in April. Dunivant has been in full training since early August and recently went nearly 80 minutes for LA Galaxy II on Aug. 9.
“It wasn’t the best circumstances [to return] because we’re down three goals, but it was great to get back on the field and get some minutes,” Dunivant told LA Galaxy Insider at training at Ohio State on Monday. “It’s not easy as a defender to get minutes because there’s not a lot of circumstances where it makes sense to insert a defender so I was happy to be on the field, but it would have been nice if the score was the other way around.”
With Rogers admittedly “day to day,” Dunivant may have a chance to make his first start against the Rapids on Wednesday where the Colorado native is expected to have more than 80 friends and family in attendance.
Although the 33-year-old admits that he’d be overjoyed to return to the field, he knows the decision will ultimately be made by head coach Bruce Arena.
“It’s a great opportunity, but we’ll see what Bruce decides. I’m definitely ready to go and I’m anxious to get back on the field,” said Dunivant. “We’ve been on a great run and I want to be able to contribute to that.”
If both players are healthy, who should get the start at left back: Todd Dunivant or Robbie Rogers?
Share your thoughts below.
Gyasi Zardes is up for MLSsoccer.com's Goal of the Week after his stellar strike in the LA Galaxy's 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew last Saturday.
The goal came in the 49th minute of LA's defeat as Zardes volleyed a Dan Gargan cross into the back of the net for his 10th goal of the season. Zardes now has goals in his last four matches and nine in his last 10 games.
LA Galaxy II are heading to the postseason for the first time in club history.
The Galaxy USL PRO affiliate clinched a playoff berth on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over OKC Energy FC. Center back Daniel Steres notched a header in the first half to seal the win for Los Dos over the Sporting Kansas City affiliate.
With the win, Galaxy II now have 43 points in their inaugural campaign which will assure Los Dos of a postseason berth in their inaugural season.
A.J. DeLaGarza insists that staying on the road could benefit the LA Galaxy as they look to overcome Crew loss
COLUMBUS, Ohio— Typically after a road match, the LA Galaxy immediately return to Southern California, but this time around the script has been flipped.
The Galaxy fell 4-1 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday in their worst defeat of the 2014 regular season. LA suffered their biggest margin of defeat, but rather than fly cross-country to return home, the club will remain in Columbus for two days before heading to Colorado for Wednesday’s clash with the Rapids.
Following the team’s crushing defeat, there was understandable concern that the loss may put a damper on the Galaxy’s week-long road trip, but defender A.J. DeLaGarza insists that the opposite is true.
“We can’t let this loss linger. We have a game in a couple of days and it might be good for us all to be together. We get to all go through this together and not just head home [separately],” he said. “We’re going to go have dinner together and do whatever we can to get the morale back up so that we don’t let this game affect us for the rest of the season.”
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane agreed that LA will need to put the loss behind them quickly ahead of Wednesday’s match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“The good thing about the season is that there is always a game around the corner,” Keane said. “We have a game on Wednesday and have to pick ourselves up fairly quickly…let’s see what we’re made of [against the Rapids].”
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The LA Galaxy suffered their worst defeat of the season, but the club received a silver lining as Gyasi Zardes continued his torrid scoring streak.
Zardes scored in the 49th minute of the Galaxy’s 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew to bring his goal total to 10 on the season. The 22-year-old second-year forward has now scored in four straight matches to go with nine goals in his last 10 games.
“It’s my teammates, definitely. It’s not just me,” Zardes said of his scoring streak after the match. “It’s the whole combination of play and when we combine I just make that hard run into the box and my teammates just put it right there on my foot and I just put it on frame.”
Despite adding to his scoring goal run, Zardes was unlucky not to add a second in the 83rd minute. With the Galaxy down 3-1, Zardes was unable to get to a Robbie Keane pass that had the forward alone in front of an empty net.
“There were various times in the game when we had opportunities,” Zardes said. “The only difference is they put away their opportunities as opposed to us.”
Although Zardes kept up his scoring streak, don’t expect him to celebrate or dwell on the defeat to the Crew—he’s already set his sights on Wednesday’s match against the Colorado Rapids.
“We are definitely forgetting about this game and just working hard to prepare for Wednesday,” said Zardes.
Robbie Rogers says he's "day to day" after quad injury forces him from LA Galaxy defeat to Columbus Crew
COLUMBUS, Ohio -- It's safe to say that this wasn't the Ohio homecoming that Robbie Rogers was expecting.
In his first match against his former club, Rogers was forced to exit in the 64th minute as the Galaxy fell 4-1 in their worst loss of the MLS season. Feeling the effects of a quad injury that he suffered in training on Wednesday, Rogers was forced to leave midway through the second half which led the Galaxy to play three defenders in the back, a move that ultimately resulted in two unanswered goals by Columbus.
"I felt good in the first half, but in the second half I couldn’t play anymore," Rogers said. "I couldn’t move. It’s kind of why I was just sitting back," said I had to go out. I tried to play through that injury. It was effecting too much of the way I was playing. I couldn’t cover ground so I had to take myself out, unfortunately."
Rogers referred his injury status as "day to day" and noted that it is not expected to be a long term thing as he looks to recover in time for Wednesday's match against the Colorado Rapids.
But even though he's hopeful that he can return Wednesday, Rogers was frustrated about his return to Ohio.
"It’s a 4-1 loss. I don’t think we matched their intensity. I don’t think we stepped to press the ball. I don’t think we finished our chances when we created them," he said. "Overall, it’s a really disappointing night because I came back here and obviously you want to beat your friends. I was really disappointed."