CARSON, Calif. – England and Spain eliminated while Italy and other global powers find themselves on the ropes? Not many foresaw that heading into the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but LA Galaxy forward Landon Donovan gave his explanation for the failings of the European giants in Brazil.
Speaking to reporters on Friday after LA Galaxy training, Donovan said that the poor showing of the European powers may be due to the rigors of the club season.
“I have a theory on that and it doesn't always hold true, but I think that it’s very difficult for teams with players playing in England or Spain that are playing 50 or 60 high-level games a year,” said Donovan. “They just get worn down throughout the year and then they travel to South America where it’s hot and difficult. I think that players are just getting worn out. There’s a lot of thought that more is better as far as training, but I think the opposite. I think that less is more and the teams that got the training right before the World Cup are the ones that are excelling right now.”
Even though several notable European sides are struggling, Donovan believes that the 2014 FIFA World Cup is showcasing the newfound parity of global soccer.
“The soccer world is smaller than ever. There’s more players playing everywhere around the world. They understand how to get results and they're not intimidated anymore. It used to be different in the past,” said Donovan. “There is no more of that anymore. You see that with a lot of little teams doing well. You're seeing teams that are organized and the teams that are fit are succeeding.”
If the LA Galaxy are going to get past the Carolina RailHawks, they’ll need to beat the NASL side in a different venue than past years.
The RailHawks will be unable to host the U.S. Open Cup fifth round match between the two clubs scheduled for June 26 at their home ground of WakeMed Soccer Park due to scheduled field resurfacing. With WakeMed unavailable, the match will be held at Koka Booth Stadium, which is known locally as Field 2, a practice pitch that is adjacent to main stadium. The surface will not be unfamiliar to the Galaxy as the club trained on the pitch during both of their previous trips to Carolina.
The timing of the resurfacing process made by both the RailHawks' and the Town of Cary,which manages and maintains the facilities at WakeMed Soccer Park. According to Indy Week reporter Neil Morris, the club weighed the option of hosting the match at nearby universities like Duke and North Carolina before ultimately settling on the Koka Booth Stadium.
"It'll be a very good field, I'm sure," said Arena during Friday's training session. "Our objective is to go there and play well. We have to worry about ourselves because if we play well then we'll be able to win."
To accommodate the demand that the Galaxy game will bring, the RailHawks are attempting to install temporary stands that should raise capacity to near 3,000 while also expanding press box facilities.
Thoughts on the RailHawks hosting the game on a practice field?
Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane expecting to be available for U.S. Open Cup match against Carolina RailHawks
CARSON, Calif. – There’s going to be no reserve teams this time around for the LA Galaxy’s seemingly annual U.S. Open Cup trip to North Carolina.
This time, they’ll be bringing the big guns.
Following the team’s first training session after their 2-1 victory over Arizona United SC, both Galaxy forwards Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan told reporters that they believe they’ll be available for selection in Tuesday’s match against the Carolina RailHawks in the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup.
“We’re all expecting to play in this game. We’re sick of losing to Carolina and we’re sick of going out of the Open Cup early," said Donovan on Friday. "Also we don’t have any MLS games during this break so we need it for fitness. We’re excited for it and I’ve said to Bruce early on that I want to play as much as possible in this tournament; we’re hoping to get a result."
While Donovan hopes to be in the lineup from the outset, Keane may be utilized in a substitute’s role as the team’s Irish captain recently returned from Ireland where he served as the best man at a best friend’s wedding.
“I’ll have to speak to Bruce, but I imagine that we’ll take a full team. It’s a competition that we certainly need to win,” said Keane. “If I start though is another thing, it’s a question that I’ll have with Bruce.”
Expect Donovan and Keane to play against the RailHawks? Can the Galaxy get through in the U.S. Open Cup?
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The U.S. National Team will take on Portugal without the services of Jozy Altidore due to a left hamstring injury, the federation announced on Thursday.
Altidore injured his left hamstring midway through the first half of the Americans 2-1 victory over Ghana on Monday and was stretchered off the field. U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann told reporters on Tuesday that he was optimistic about Altidore’s ability to return from the injury at some point during the 2014 World Cup, but was awaiting the results of an MRI of the striker’s hamstring.
With Altidore unavailable, Klinsmann may be forced to tinker with his formation as neither of his two remaining strikers Aron Johannsson or Chris Wondolowski are as capable at holding possession as the injured Altidore.
The injury news wasn’t all negative for the U.S., however, as Matt Besler and Clint Dempsey were each given a clean bill of health for Sunday’s game in the Amazonian city of Manaus.
Who do you believe should replace Altidore in the starting XI? Vote in the poll below.'
Gyasi Zardes put the LA Galaxy through to the fifth round of the U.S. Open Cup with two goals in their 2-1 victory over Arizona United SC.
With the victory, they will now play against at Carolina RailHawks at 4:00 p.m. PT on June 24 at the WakeMed Stadium Field 2.
Highlights of the victory are below.
PEORIA, Ariz. -- Bruce Arena addressed the media following the LA Galaxy's 2-1 victory over Arizona United on Wednesday.
(On the team’s second half performance...)
ARENA: “It’s difficult getting behind on the road but our guys came out in the second half and got the job done and did a good job. We had a few hectic moments but I think overall we had a good attitude and we played well.”
(On Gyasi Zardes’ brace...)
ARENA: “Two good goals, good service that we had been lacking for a while so it’s good to see.”
(On the struggles with the heat...)
ARENA: “The heat wasn’t bad. We were very fortunate, we got lucky with the weather tonight. I know it’s going to be a lot more humid and probably a little bit warmer in Raleigh next week. We got a little bit of conditioning on that but it won’t quite be what it is like on the East Coast.”
(On the Galaxy next U.S. Open Cup rival, the Carolina RailHawks...)
ARENA “We are looking forward to it.”
(On the game...)
ARENA: “It was a difficult game. I think our guys did well given the circumstances, going behind a goal so we can’t complain, it’s a good one.”
(On the team’s improvements in the second half...)
ARENA: “We just got our service a little bit better to help create two goals. Our guys had a good healthy attitude, they came out in an aggressive fashion.”
The U.S. National Team received mixed news about the injury status of starters Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler Clint Dempsey ahead of Sunday’s Group G match against Portugal.
In a press conference just a day after the team’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Ghana, head coach Jurgen Klinsmann revealed that Dempsey suffered a fractured nose after a clattering challenge in the first half while both Altidore (hamstring injury) and Besler (hamstring tightness) have undergone MRIs to determine the severity of injuries that they also endured in the opening 45 minutes. During his briefing with the press, Klinsmann said that Besler and Dempsey will likely be available for the Portugal match, but Altidore’s injury may require a bit more time.
“With Jozy, we’ve got to see now how he reacts the next couple of days with his hamstring and we are full of hope that he comes back still in this tournament,” said Klinsmann. “That’s what we kind of work on every day; the medical staff is doing a tremendous job. We still have the hope that Jozy will be back. How quickly? That is down to his healing process.”
Think Altidore will come back in time? Who will start if Altidore can not play against Portugal?
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The excitement was high after the U.S. National Team's 2-1 victory over Ghana, but LA Galaxy striker Landon Donovan issued a note of caution in a interview on the Dan Patrick Show on Tuesday.
Donovan, who was controversially left off U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann's roster for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, spoke about the injury to Jozy Altidore and his impression of the team's mood heading into their second group stage match against Portugal. However, his most telling comment was regarding the allegations that Klinsmann had overtrained the team resutling in injuries to Altidore and center back Matt Besler.
“My guess is if you’ve having a bunch of muscle injuries and cramping and stuff like that, there was some factor involved, whether it was overtraining, whether [they] weren’t prepared for the heat," he said. "There was something that went on there, so you could be a little critical.”
Watch the complete interview below.
Turns out, the third time was the charm for the United States.
John Anthony Brooks scored the game winning goal in the 86th minute as the U.S. defeated Ghana 2-1 in their Group G opener. Clint Dempsey gave the United States the lead just 34 seconds into the game before Andre Ayew equalized in the 82nd minute for the Black Stars before Brooks' dramatic winner for the USMNT.
Check out the goal below.