FRESNO, Calif. – The LA Galaxy took home the inaugural Central California Cup with a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, but will their trip to Fresno become a yearly visit?
Fueled by goals by Marcelo Sarvas and Gyasi Zardes, the Galaxy held off their archrivals to earn their first silverware of the season. Following the game that saw 12,659 fans fill a sold-out Chukchansi Park in Downtown Fresno, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena admitted that he was quite taken by the atmosphere created by the raucous crowd.
“I’m sure that we’ll be talking to the promoters of the game tonight and see if there is a possibility of returning in the future,” said Arena after the match which was the Galaxy's first game in Fresno since 2007.
Galaxy club president Chris Klein was similarly impressed by the facilities that hosted both the first team match on Saturday and the inaugural game for LA Galaxy II on Thursday. Klein even went as far to praise the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino which hosted both Galaxy squads.
“To be hosted by the city of Fresno and the Fresno Fuego has been nice for us. It fits nicely into our preseason,” said Klein. “[The team] enjoyed it. The players enjoy getting up here and being able to bond a little bit, they went to the Casino a little bit and they’ve enjoyed themselves.”
It wasn’t just the Galaxy brass who was impressed as U.S. National Team regulars Landon Donovan and Omar Gonzalez were wowed by the Fresno faithful.
"I was really impressed with the crowd,” said Donovan. “I thought it was great and there's no reason why we shouldn't come back here again."
Gonzalez went a bit further even stating that he hoped LA returned next year.
"The fans came out tonight and hopefully we will be back again next year…and hopefully we can keep the Cup," said the Galaxy defender.
Do you think the Galaxy will return next year? Hoping to make the trip if they do?
Share your thoughts below.
LA Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez and Toronto FC midfielder Michael Bradley were guests on Monday on ABC's famed morning show Good Morning America.
During the interview, Gonzalez and Bradley each touched on the expectations for their respective club teams this season and the goals of the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Gonzalez is joined in New York by fellow LA teammate Landon Donovan as part of the league's Media and Marketing tour. As the tour continues, Gonzalez will be appearing on Fox Sports 1's "Crowd Goes Wild" with Regis Philbin at 5 pm ET. while Donovan will be appearing alongside Bradley on MSNBC morning talk show "Cup of Joe" with Joe Scarborough at 7:50 am ET.
Check out Gonzalez's GMA appearance below.
— Omar Gonzalez (@Omar4Gonzalez) February 17, 2014
Club Tijuana’s road woes in the Liga MX continued on Friday as Xolos fell 3-2 to Santos Laguna in Torreon to extend their road winless streak to 18 games.
Santos tallied twice in the first half with a penalty kick finish from Juan Rodriguez in the 14th minute and a Mauro Cejas tally seven minutes later. The Xoloitzcuintles cut the deficit in half in the 24th minute as Cristian Pellerano buried a close-range attempt past Santos goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.
Santos doubled their lead again in the 49th minute after a goal from Darwin Quintero to put the match out of reach for Tijuana. Xolos attacker Fidel Martinez helped Tijuana mount a comeback in the 60th minute by slotting a left-footed shot into the lower corner of the Santos net. Tijuana continued to push numbers forward in the waning moments, but could not complete the comeback.
Edgar Castillo was the lone American starter as Joe Benny Corona and Herculez Gomez entered in the second half. American defender Greg Garza was left on the bench for the defeat while Paul Arriola did not make the gameday squad.
Tijuana are now 3-3-1 with 10 points in the 2014 Clausura tournament and have taken just four points out of 54 in their last 18 road games. The LA Galaxy face Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals in March.
Highlights of the match are below.
FRESNO, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes made a statement on Saturday with his stunning goal to seal the Central California Cup -- he's steadily becoming the dangerous striker that was among 2013's most highly-touted prospects.
The goal can be viewed below.
FRESNO, Calif. – Following the LA Galaxy’s 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena offered his thoughts on the club’s Central California Cup victory.
View them below.
(On his general thoughts from the victory…)
ARENA: “I think that it was another good step forward in our preseason. Obviously, we had a chance to play most of our first team players for 60 minutes which is good. Both teams are missing a few key players, but I think that it is good progression for us and that was the main objective for us. I think that the group that played in the first half did very good.”
(On Gyasi Zardes’ play…)
ARENA: “He played well. Fabulous goal. I think the entire evening was very good. We’re going to be playing him this year both at forward and in midfield.”
(On Samuel’s play…)
ARENA: “I think that this was the best that Samuel has played for us. He’s still getting adjusted to Major League Soccer, which is a different style and a different culture. It’ll take a bit of time.”
(On anything that he didn't like...)
ARENA: “I thought that our second group was a little bit sloppy in those last 30 minutes. That certainly could have been better.”
FRESNO, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on their archrival San Jose Earthquakes in the Central California Cup on Saturday at Chukchansi Park in Fresno.
Remember you can watch Saturday's match by going to LAGalaxy.com/Live
Below are a series of links, notes, matchups to watch and even a projected Galaxy lineup.
LINKS AND NOTES
*Saturday's Central California Cup is receiving a lot of publicity in Fresno almost 10,000 tickets sold for the match. Even the local mayor of Fresno is getting into the act, declaring Saturday "MLS Day" in the city.
*Robbie Keane is not expected to travel with the team to Fresno as he continues to return from achillies surgery. The Irishman trained with LA Galaxy II and told reporters earlier this week that he's aiming to return for either LA's closed-door scrimmage against UCLA or the "White vs. Blue Game" on Saturday against Galaxy II.
*With just two preseason games remaining after Saturday, keep an eye on right back trialists Matheau Hall, Dan Gargan and James Riley as they fight for a spot on LA's 2014 roster.
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Omar Gonzalez vs. Steven Lenhart
Always the most exciting battle when these two teams tussle, due to their contentious battle in the 2012 MLS Cup Playoffs, expect another physical clash between the cagey Quakes striker and the physical center back. Even though the match is a preseason contest, look for a few hard fouls on both sides as Lenhart looks to test Gonzalez.
Rob Friend vs. Victor Bernardez
Friend has been by far the most impressive Galaxy attacker this preseason, but he'll have his hands full when he seeks to break through the equally burly Victor Bernardez. Look for Friend and fellow strike partner Samuel to lure the Quakes defense out of position and create space for the likes Landon Donovan and Stefan Ishizaki.
Marcelo Sarvas vs. Jean-Baptiste Pierazzi
For two teams that have had a number of intense battles over the last two years, Pierazzi will be a relatively unknown quantity for the Galaxy on Saturday. A central midfielder who will look to distruibte the ball up field, expect the industrious Sarvas to pressure the Frenchman early and distrupt the Quakes passing lanes.
Penedo; DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Opare, Cochrane; Ishizaki, Sarvas, Husidic, Donovan; Samuel, Friend
When the LA Galaxy take on the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday evening, you'll be able to watch the Central California Cup on LAGalaxy.com.
Watch the game tonight at LAGalaxy.com/Live
Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes release broadcast talent and LA Galaxy TV schedule
The LA Galaxy will have a familiar voice on the call when Time Warner Cable SportsNet broadcasts games this season.
Veteran play-by-play man Joe Tutino, who has covered the Galaxy since 1997, will make his return to the television booth alongside color commentator and fellow LA legend Cobi Jones for the station's 21 televised matches this season. Tutino served as the radio “voice” of the Galaxy from 2003 to 2013 and held both television and radio play-by-play spots from 1999 to 2002. During the team’s inaugural season, Tutino served as the public address announcer at the Rose Bowl. They will be joined by sideline reporter Kelli Tennant who held the position during the 2013 season.
On the Time Warner Cable Deportes side, play-by-play man Samuel Jacobo, color commentator Martin Zúñiga, and sideline reporter Elmur Souza all return after working the 2013 season. Deportes will broadcast 16 Galaxy regular season games this season.
Also returning will be LA oriented programing like Backstage: Galaxy, Galaxy Confidencial, Galaxy Compacto, Timeless Galaxy, Access SportsNet: Galaxy and Tu Show Deportivo.
The complete Galaxy television schedule is below.
DAY DATE OPPONENT TIME (PT) TELEVISION
Saturday March 8 vs. Real Salt Lake 7:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Wednesday March 12 vs. Club Tijuana 7:00 p.m. Fox Soccer Plus
Tuesday March 18 at Club Tijuana 7:00 p.m. Fox Sports 2
Saturday March 22 at Real Salt Lake 1 p.m. NBCSN
Sunday April 6 at Chivas USA 12 p.m. TWCSN/UniMas
Saturday April 12 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Saturday April 19 at Vancouver Whitecaps FC 4:00 p.m. TWCSN/TWC
Saturday May 3 at Colorado Rapids 6 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Sunday May 11 at Portland Timbers 11:30 a.m. NBCSN
Saturday May 17 at Houston Dynamo 5:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Wednesday May 21 vs. FC Dallas 7:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Sunday May 25 vs. Philadelphia Union 5 p.m. TWCSN/UDN
Sunday June 1 at Chicago Fire 1:00 p.m. TWCSN/TWC
Sunday June 8 vs. Chivas USA 5 p.m. TWCSN/UDN
Saturday June 28 at San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Friday July 4 vs. Portland Timbers 8 p.m. NBCSN
Saturday July 12 vs. Real Salt Lake 7:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Wednesday July 16 vs. New England Revolution 7:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Saturday July 19 at Sporting Kansas City 3 p.m. ESPN2
Saturday July 26 at Seattle Sounders FC 7 p.m. ESPN2
Saturday August 2 vs. Portland Timbers 11:30 a.m. NBC
Friday August 8 vs. San Jose Earthquakes 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Saturday August 16 at Columbus Crew 4:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Wednesday August 20 at Colorado Rapids 6 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Saturday August 23 vs. Vancouver Whitecaps FC 7:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Wednesday August 27 vs. DC United 7:30 pm TWCSN/TWCD
Sunday August 31 at Chivas USA 5 p.m. TWCSN/UDN
Friday September 5 vs. Colorado Rapids 7:30 p.m. NBCSN
Wednesday September 10 at Montreal Impact 4:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWC
Sunday September 14 at San Jose Earthquakes 12 p.m. TWCSN/UniMas
Saturday September 20 vs. FC Dallas 7:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWC
Sunday September 28 vs. New York Red Bulls 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Saturday October 4 vs. Toronto FC 7:30 p.m. TWCSN/TWCD
Sunday October 12 at FC Dallas 4 p.m. ESPN2
Sunday October 19 vs. Seattle Sounders FC 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Saturday October 25 at Seattle Sounders FC 11:30 a.m. NBC
FRESNO, Calif. – Laurent Courtois is staying with the LA Galaxy, in albeit a much different role than the one he held in 2013.
Courtois confirmed to LA Galaxy Insider on Saturday following LA Galaxy II’s 2-1 victory over the Fresno Fuego, that he will be joining the first-year USL PRO club as a player-coach for the 2014 season. The 35-year-old who made 10 appearances in all competitions with two goals and one assist for LA’s first team last season went 45 minutes in the midfield of Galaxy II’s victory.
“It’s a nice experience for me and I look forward to bring what I can with my experience. I think that we can optimistic because the staff is interesting and the team is very good as well,” said Courtois who also operates his own soccer academy called the French Soccer Institute. “Curt Onalfo’s resume speaks for itself and I’m glad that I get the chance to work with him. For me, it’s a really it’s a great experience and I hope that I can learn as much as I can on and off the field.”
And as he gains experience with Galaxy II, Courtois hopes that his time as a player-coach will only help him when he decides to focus on coaching full time.
“[Head coaching] is the goal, so I have to learn from the best and the most experience,” added Courtois. “This is the best place to be right now.”
In the latest installment of LAGalaxy.com's "Road to Morocco" series, we look at Club Tijuana and the LA Galaxy's role in San Diego soccer culture, and the "battle" that exists between the two clubs for domination of the area.
During the piece, former LA Galaxy forward Herculez Gomez (a former member of the San Diego Sockers), former Galaxy Academy attacker and San Diego native Paul Arriola, and Galaxy Technical Director and San Diego native Jovan Kirovski chime in.
Check it out below.