CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes and Landon Donovan earned a place in MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on Tuesday for their role in the Galaxy's two straight wins last week.
Zardes tallied two goals in the victory over Chivas USA while Donovan notched one goal and three assists in the Galaxy's wins over the Rojiblancos and D.C. United. For his success last week, Donovan was named Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters on Tuesday.
CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes endured a brief three-game scoring drought in his career season, but kicked back into gear with an impressive two goal showing in the LA Galaxy's 3-0 victory over Chivas USA on Sunday.
Zardes opened the scoring in the 44th minute with a clinical one-time finish that sailed past Chivas goalkeeper Dan Kennedy and curled inside the far post. The 22-year-old coupled his lovely individual effort with a tidy finish for LA's third goal in the 71st minute as tapped in a Landon Donovan cross to provide the finishing touch of an 11 pass combination by the Galaxy. With his two goals against Chivas, Zardes now has 12 goals in 25 matches this season, and is the top scoring American-born player in MLS.
Five of Zardes' 12 goals this season came during the Galaxy's impressive 19 goal month of August that saw LA rocket to second place in the Western Conference and second in the standings for the MLS Supporters' Shield. Although the 22-year-old with the unforgettable hairdo is pleased to play his part in the Galaxy's offensive explosion, he's quick to recognize his teammates' role in getting him the ball.
“To be honest, our midfield is just killing it in terms. You look at the stats, and we’re just touching the ball a lot. And the defenders are just keeping a clean sheet, so the whole team is really working together," said Zardes. "As a team, we’re just really building off each other and really being aggressive.”
And according to Galaxy captain Robbie Keane as long as Zardes gets into those dangerous positions, he'll continue to be a threat to score.
"Ultimately as a striker you’re judged on scoring goals," Keane said. "So if he continues to get himself in the right position, certainly myself and Landon, and the lads up there can certainly get him goals."
With Zardes scoring in bunches and even going as far to admit that he'd like to one day be the league's top goal scorer, one question remains: could a national team call-up be far behind? Even the always humble Zardes admits that he's hoping to get a call from Jurgen Klinsmann soon.
"Everybody wants to make the national team. That's always a goal for a soccer player," said Zardes. "If that's not your goal then I don't think that you should be playing soccer."
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addresses the Galaxy's 3-0 victory over Chivas USA.
(On Gyasi Zardes’ performance...)
ARENA: “He obviously played really well. The first goal was a big goal in this game. Chivas USA played very well in the first half. They were tough to break down. Kennedy was difficult to beat. To get that goal at the end of the half was a big advantage, not only on the scoreboard but psychologically as well.”
(His assessment on Keane and Donovan as a pair...)
ARENA: “It’s a good combination. I think the whole group has played well together. This has been a difficult couple of weeks for us. I don’t know how many games they’ve been in the past couple of weeks but it has been challenging and demanding for the team physically and mentally. They’ve been held up and did well. In a game like today, bringing Robbie [Keane] in with 30 minutes left, they are chasing the game because they need a goal, and it opens up a little bit. Certainly, it became advantageous to our team.”
(On missing Penedo and Keane in the following fixtures...)
ARENA: “You make slight adjustments to your team. We’ve been preparing for this. Robbie [Keane] didn’t play in the D.C United game on Wednesday, he missed 60 minutes tonight, so we’ve played without him. We have some good options in the goal. This is all part of it. When the league plays on the international fixture dates, there are going to be occasions where you lose some players, and others have to step up. That will be the case [next week].”
(On Nigel Reo-Coker’s performance...)
ARENA: “Reo-Coker is a really good player. You could see his experience. I was surprised that he could play 90 minutes given the fact that he did not play whole a lot of minutes this year for Vancouver. It was a pretty impressive performance. He is obviously a very good player, and they are fortunate enough to have him.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The SuperClasico era will come to a close on Sunday with the final meeting between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA before the Rojiblancos are rebranded at the end of the season.
Although the place that the rivalry holds for players and supporters alike is still up for debate, it holds a special place for players like current LA forward Alan Gordon, who is among the most notable players to suit up in both of the StubHub Center locker rooms. A Galaxy player from 2007 to 2009, Gordon was dealt to the Rojiblancos midway through the 2010 campaign. Gordon's lone goal in nine appearances came against the Galaxy as his penchant for scoring on his former clubs was born.
Having the proper mentality aided Gordon when he tallied against LA and the Galaxy forward believes that is what the Rojiblancos players must have heading into Sunday's match.
"These games mean everything [for Chivas]," said Gordon. "The Galaxy are the giant and you're trying to slay the giant. You want to see how you measure with the big dogs."
But when you're with the Galaxy?
"On this side it's about maintaining your position on the podium," said Gordon. "You want to make sure that you don't give up any points or leverage to that other side."
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane and Jaime Penedo were named to their respective international squads, the club announced on Saturday.
Keane will join up with Ireland after the Galaxy's SuperClasico contest against Chivas USA on Sunday ahead of their Sept. 3 friendly against Oman in Dublin and their Euro 2016 qualifier against Georgia on Sept. 7. Due to Keane's participation in the friendlies, he will miss the Galaxy's Sept. 5 home fixture against the Colorado Rapids.
Meanwhile, Penedo was named to Panama's squad for the upcoming 2014 Copa CentroAmericana. The U.S. based tournament will run from Sept. 3 to Sept. 13 with Panama placed in Group A along with Costa Rica and Nicaragua. With Penedo on international duty, the Galaxy will be without their starting goalkeeper until Sept. 14 clash the against San Jose Earthquakes.
CARSON, Calif. -- The Last SuperClasico is upon us.
The LA Galaxy will face the team soon to be formerly known as Chivas USA for a final time on Sunday in what is being billed by the Rojiblancos as "The Last Clasico." In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, rather than look at LA's statistical dominance over Chivas throughout the rivalry, we take a look at LA's recent success in the black kits that they will don on Sunday evening.
Check it out below.