CHICAGO – A year and one week ago on May 25, 2012, the Chicago Fire and the LA Galaxy made a trade that rocked MLS to its core.
By trading fan favorite Mike Magee to his hometown Fire for the rights of Robbie Rogers, the Galaxy were able to bring Rogers back home where he looked to start over after coming out as gay months earlier. The trade made soccer sense as it gave Chicago a proven striker while the Galaxy were able to acquire the type of wide presence that Bruce Arena has long coveted.
However, a year later, the trade has not worked out for the Galaxy as Magee won MLS MVP as he nearly led the Fire to the playoffs while Rogers has suffered horrid luck with repeated injuries.
In an interview with Rogers, I ask the player about his injury, the trade and the chilly reception that he still receives from Galaxy fans.
Check it out below.
(On his injury recovery…)
ROGERS: “Yeah I feel good, I’m just waiting for chances to play. We played well the past few games and gained some good results, so I wish we could do the same in Chicago. Going to be a tough game…maybe they will let me play, or won’t let me play, but I will be ready for the open cup games.”
(On whether he needs to be playing more with Galaxy II…)
ROGERS: I’ve been playing outside back and he has said to me that I will probably play in the next few games, so I’m guessing I won’t be playing until next few games. We’ll go from there. I haven’t spoken too much, but I’ve been training well and the team has been playing well, so nothing to complain about.
(On Mike Magee…)
ROGERS: The only thing we are thinking about is getting a win. Like I said we’ve played well the past few games, we get to go on the road and hopefully get a result and championship team needs to win games in a row, so that’s the next step for us.”
(On whether the heckling will end…)
ROGERS: “Who knows if it will or it won’t. Whatever the area in your life, there is always going to be people that will support one way or the other…I know Mike is extremely happy in Chicago, I am extremely happy here and that’s it”
(On whether the heckling from the Galaxy fans will end…)
ROGERS: “You are going to have critics and people that support you. I am fine with it really. It’s just more motivating. Even if I do have a great season, I’m sure there will be people that would be negative towards you. So, I’m fine with it. If the team is winning, the team is winning. At the end of the season, we’ll see.”
(On whether criticisms fuel him…)
ROGERS: “Yeah definitely. That’s why I work hard during the off season. All of us, that’s why we do stuff—it’s to prove people wrong. Landon, I’m sure that’s one of the reasons he scored two goals this weekend. It’s a life of a professional. It’s a life of a human to prove it to people”
Los Angeles vs. Chicago: LA Galaxy match with the Chicago Fire sets up day of battle between two cities
Sunday will be a battle between Los Angeles and Chicago on the soccer pitch and on the ice.
The LA Galaxy will take on the Chicago Fire at Toyota Park at 3:00 p.m. local time and then up town four hours later, the Los Angeles Kings will face the Chicago Blackhawks in Game 7 of their Western Conference Final with a berth in the Stanley Cup on the line. For decades, the two cities have tussled alongside New York City for the mantle of America's grandest city and on Sunday, another chapter will be added to the sporting history between the two metropolises.
A fact that has not been lost to the LA Galaxy.
"After New York, there's a battle for two. Is it Chicago or Los Angeles? There is an inherent competition because people in Chicago have a chip on their shoulder type of attitude while L.A. has its own set of things to brag about," said Galaxy associate head coach Dave Sarachan, a former head coach of the Chicago Fire. "I think that it's major markets trying to get in and make their claim for who is the big dog. Both are cities that are immensely proud of their sports teams and both feel like they have a sense of history.
"Around the world for soccer, they shut the city down and while I won't go that far, I'll say that most people around the city will be watching the game somehow somewhere," he added. "It'll be massive."
Sarachan didn't offer a prediction instead hoping for a "good game" while Chicagoan Baggio Husidic said that he'd back the Blackhawks and A.J. DeLaGarza predicted a Kings victory.
But what do you think? Can LA pull off two victories over Chicago on Sunday?
Share your thoughts below.
CHICAGO -- LA Galaxy midfielder Baggio Husidic got an opportunity to return to his old stomping grounds with his new club on Saturday as the LA Galaxy trained at his former college, the University of Illinois-Chicago as they prepare to take on his old team, the Chicago Fire.
Husidic was a standout for the Flames during his three years at UIC before joining the Fire and remaining there until a trade to the Colorado Rapids prompted him to move to Sweden. To date, the 27-year-old has enjoyed a strong season with the Galaxy with 10 appearances -- eight of them being starts -- and one goal, and will likely be in contention to start against the Fire on Sunday.
"It's nice. I've spent a lot of time here and it's great to be back," Husidic said after training. "It's always nice to be back home."
In the latest edition of "By the Numbers" we look at the LA Galaxy's match against the Chicago Fire.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy were jonesing for a chance to take on former teammate and 2012 MLS MVP Mike Magee when they travel to face the Chicago Fire on Sunday, but it looks like they won't get the opportunity.
A calf injury forced Magee from action for Chicago's match against the Columbus Crew last week and Fire head coach Frank Yallop told reporters earlier this week that the former Galaxy forward is "still out." With Magee yet to train this week, the Galaxy will likely be miss out on the chance to face against their longtime teammate who was traded for the MLS rights of current LA midfielder Robbie Rogers.
"It'll be good to see Mike, it's been awhile and we're all very happy for him with how he did last year," said Landon Donovan who added that the team expects to spend time with Magee upon their arrival in Chicago on Friday. "Hopefully he's healthy and hopefully he gets to play. I know that he's excited for it, but we're going there to win the game. We feel good about where we are and we want to win."
Added Galaxy captain Robbie Keane, "It's good to see old players and especially someone like Mikey who is well respected by the players and the coaching staff. I'm certainly looking forward to seeing him. Whether he's playing though, we're not too sure, but if he does play then we know how dangerous that he can be and how prolific that he is in front of goal. He's a guy that we have to wary of if he does play."
Think Magee will play? Should more be made of LA's matchup against former teammate Greg Cochrane?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. – Marcelo Sarvas is back from injury and ready to be called upon for the LA Galaxy.
The Brazilian has been sidelined since suffering a sprained medial collateral ligament left knee since last month, but has been steadily regaining fitness even going 60 minutes in LA Galaxy II’s 5-0 victory over the Oklahoma City Energy FC on Sunday. Sarvas faces a challenge if he'll return to the starting lineup for Sunday's match against the Chicago Fire, however, as Kenny Walker and Juninho have formed a strong partnership in the Galaxy's two-game winning streak.
Although Sarvas declared himself fit and ready to go after suiting up for Los Dos, he is leaving the final decision to Arena.
“I feel good. Bruce will decide [if I can play]. I just want to be with the 18,” said Sarvas. “Getting on the field is another thing.”
Robbie Keane to miss Chivas USA match to join up with Ireland for matches against Costa Rica and Portugal
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will be without the services of Robbie Keane for their June 8 match against Chivas USA after the forward told reporters on Thursday that he will be reporting for the Republic of Ireland’s friendlies against Costa Rica and Portugal in the United States.
Keane told reporters that he’ll join up with the Irish National Team in Philadelphia ahead of their match against Costa Rica at PPL Park on June 6, following the Galaxy’s match against the Chicago Fire on Sunday at Toyota Park. Ireland will take on the United States’ Group G opponent Portugal on June 10 at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
Although the callup will force Keane to miss the Galaxy’s final game before the international break, the Galaxy captain said that the conversations between club and country went smoothly.
“Really, I should have been gone for four games because international teams have a priority in these situations when it is an international fixture on the schedule,” said Keane. “Ireland and Bruce spoke and they were happy if I played two games for the Galaxy and miss the Chivas game, that way I was missing two for Ireland and playing two for Ireland.
“I’m grateful for both teams and it’s one of those situations where I have to sit back and let the teams discuss it,” he added. “Of course, I want to be in both places and playing for both, but unfortunately, the way that schedule works. At the same time, it’s a good chance for [younger] players in Ireland to get games and experience.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will begin their U.S. Open Cup campaign in Arizona when they take on USL PRO side Arizona United SC on June 18 at Peoria Sports Complex.
Arizona defeated fellow USL PRO side Oklahoma City Energy FC 2-1 in Extra Time to seal the victory for the side from the Grand Canyon State. The match will be the Galaxy's first match in Arizona since their participation in the Guinness International Champions Cup in 2012.
Galaxy II crashed out of the tournament in the third round after a 3-1 penalty kick shoot out loss to PSA Elite following a scoreless draw after 120 minutes.
Thoughts on the draw?
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In the latest trailer of ESPN's "Inside: U.S. Soccer's March to Brazil," USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann tells ESPN's Roger Bennett about the formation of his 23-man squad and the controversial decision to drop longtime international Landon Donovan.
Check it out below.
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy II will continue their quest for the U.S. Open Cup on Wednesday when they host United States Adult Soccer Association club PSA Elite in a third round match.
PSA Elite reached the third round of the tournament after their second half opponent San Diego Flash was forced to forfeit after being unable to find a field to host their match. The USASA team also defeated local club Los Angeles Missioneros in the first round of the tournament.
PSA Elite are made up predominantly of college players from UCLA and UC Irvine, and include players like former U.S. international and Galaxy Academy player Nathan Smith as well as UCLA German midfielder Felix Vobejda.
If the Galaxy II can defeat PSA Elite, they’ll host Seattle Sounders FC in the fourth round. Meanwhile, the Galaxy first team will learn their opponent for the fourth round on Wednesday in the match between Arizona United SC and Oklahoma City Energy FC. If Arizona win, the Galaxy will travel to face Arizona, but if Energy FC win, the Galaxy will host Oklahoma City.