The LA Galaxy are headed back to the CONCACAF Champions League.
By virtue of Real Salt Lake's 1-0 defeat to Chivas USA, the Galaxy can finish no lower than second in the Western Conference which will allow LA to clinch a berth in the 2015/16 CONCACAF Champions League even if they are not successful in their bid to win the Supporters’ Shield.
With at least a second place finish in the Western Conference assured and Seattle already holding a CCL berth after winning the 2014 U.S. Open Cup, the Galaxy will hold a CCL place even if the Sounders win the Supporters’ Shield. The Galaxy will also still hold the place even if they finish in third in the shield chase to current Eastern Conference leaders as both Seattle (USOC) and DCU (Eastern Conference) will already possess CCL berths.
CONCACAF’s official verbiage on what occurs when a team holds two CCL spaces is as follows, “If a single MLS team occupies more than one of the U.S. slots, or a Canadian team captures any of the above (Canada has one CONCACAF Champions League berth awarded to the Canadian Championship winner), the berth would go to the next best US-based MLS team based on regular-season record.”
In addition to clinching a berth in next year’s CCL, the Galaxy will also host at least one second leg match in the 2014 MLS Cup Playoffs.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed reporters after the Galaxy's 3-0 victory over Toronto FC.
(On the game...)
ARENA: “Good three points. Not our best game tonight. The second half, Toronto played well. Probably a little bit more aggressive, won a bunch of second balls. Had us out of rhythm at times. What can I say; it was 2-0 at halftime. We kind of know the score. We could have been a little bit better but it’s still a good sign to pick up three points on a night where probably we are not at our best. I also give Toronto credit, they did pretty well tonight.”
(On Robbie Keane...)
ARENA: “Great goals, two great goals. Specially the second one. Classic Robbie [Keane], and he’s taking off for Ireland and we wish him the very best.”
(On James Riley’s return...)
ARENA: “I was hesitant about putting him in that early in the game and the thinking was he probably would have to come out in the second half at some point, but he hung in there so that’s terrific. He has worked really hard to come back from that surgery and that injury and to be able to give us 75 minutes or so tonight, in a night where we needed it, was big. That’s all part of the story with your teams, you have to call on everyone in your squad and James [Riley] stepped up and did his job tonight.”
(On Robbie Rogers...)
ARENA: “We’ll check him. There was a possibility he could have continued. We just took him in.”
(On Robbie Keane being MLS’ MVP this season...)
ARENA: “Listen, I think these things are difficult. And I hate, especially when it’s your player, it sounds like a little bit of home cooking for sure. In my view, he deserves to be Most Valuable Player in the league and there are a lot of other players in the league that have had very good performances this year but I think you step back and you look at it. I can’t see why people couldn’t conclude that Robbie [Keane] is the Most Valuable Player in the league.”
(On the Galaxy defense...)
ARENA: They played well. Second half [Toronto] got a bunch of dangerous crosses and our guys did a good job getting inside players and clearing balls. On the night it was pretty solid performance. Leonardo has played very solid for us as of late. He had a good showing tonight. And Omar [Gonzalez] and AJ [DeLaGarza] have been brilliant over the last four to six weeks. It’s a good performance by our guys. Obviously they need to continue that over the next, hopefully, couple of months of the season.
(On U.S. Soccer farewell game for Landon Donovan...)
ARENA: If he’s happy, I’m happy. That’s really for Landon to discuss. I think it’s a wonderful gesture by U.S. Soccer. Landon has earned that opportunity. I hope it turns out to be a great experience.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will look to continue their chase for the Supporters' Shield on Saturday when they take on Toronto FC.
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, we compare the careers of Robbie Keane and Jermain Defoe on both an English Premier League and MLS level.
CARSON, Calif. -- No player in MLS knows Jermain Defoe quite like his former Tottenham Hotspur teammate Robbie Keane, and as he prepares to lead playoff hopeful Toronto FC into StubHub Center, Keane understands that LA will have their hands full with the Englishman.
After missing the last two months with a hamstring injury, Defoe is expected to be available for selection when Toronto take on the Galaxy on Saturday. Although he's missed the last six games for TFC, he's still the team's leading goal scorer with 11 goals for the Reds.
"He's a fantastic player and a typical goal scorer. He can score many different types of goals and can finish all over the field," said Keane. "I bet that he's excited to get playing and I know that he doesn't like to be injured, so he'll be dangerous if he gets on the field, but I hope that he won't do too well against us."
Trumpted as a top tier signing in the offseason, Defoe's time with Toronto has been a turbulent one with the player repeatedly linked to a move back to his native England. Although rumors have swirled about Defoe's commitment to TFC, Keane says that his former teammate remains a valuable asset for Toronto.
"I wouldn't say that he's had a difficult time because when he's played, he's done well," added Keane. "You can't help injuries which is just part of what we do. People are simply saying that he's not adapting because of the speculation of him moving somewhere else. If you look at how he's played, he's scored goals."
As for the business of marking Defoe, Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez believes that much like New York Red Bulls striker Bradley Wright-Phillips, LA will be need to be mindful of his presence in the penalty area if they're to extend their unbeaten run to 10 games.
"Defoe is a great player, but we have to be focused on ourselves. If we can make Toronto run and chase the game by having possession than that's great. However as soon as we lose the ball, we have to be mindful of the space behind us because that's where he's the most deadly. He's a tricky player, but I'm sure that we have guys that can handle him."
LA Galaxy Homegrown Player and Galaxy II stalwart Oscar Sorto was among 21 players called up to the U.S. Under-23 National Team for their upcoming training camp in Brazil.
The U.S. U-23s will train in Brasilla from Oct. 10-12 and then face their Brazilian counterparts on Oct. 13 at the Estadio Nacional in Brasilla.
Sorto's participation with the U.S. U-23 squad will be his first competitive action since he enjoyed a strong season for LA Galaxy II with 23 appearances for the USL PRO semifinalists. Joining Sorto on the squad is former Galaxy Academy player Mario Rodriguez who is currently with German club Borussia Monchengladbach.
The complete roster is below: