A.J. DeLaGarza insists that staying on the road could benefit the LA Galaxy as they look to overcome Crew loss
COLUMBUS, Ohio— Typically after a road match, the LA Galaxy immediately return to Southern California, but this time around the script has been flipped.
The Galaxy fell 4-1 to the Columbus Crew on Saturday in their worst defeat of the 2014 regular season. LA suffered their biggest margin of defeat, but rather than fly cross-country to return home, the club will remain in Columbus for two days before heading to Colorado for Wednesday’s clash with the Rapids.
Following the team’s crushing defeat, there was understandable concern that the loss may put a damper on the Galaxy’s week-long road trip, but defender A.J. DeLaGarza insists that the opposite is true.
“We can’t let this loss linger. We have a game in a couple of days and it might be good for us all to be together. We get to all go through this together and not just head home [separately],” he said. “We’re going to go have dinner together and do whatever we can to get the morale back up so that we don’t let this game affect us for the rest of the season.”
Galaxy captain Robbie Keane agreed that LA will need to put the loss behind them quickly ahead of Wednesday’s match at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
“The good thing about the season is that there is always a game around the corner,” Keane said. “We have a game on Wednesday and have to pick ourselves up fairly quickly…let’s see what we’re made of [against the Rapids].”
Bruce Arena rules out Todd Dunivant for Vancouver Whitecaps FC as A.J. DeLaGarza returns to training
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will have to make due without defender Todd Dunivant for their upcoming match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed to reporters on Wednesday that Dunivant will be unavailable for their upcoming match after suffering an injury during LA's 3-0 victory over Chivas USA on Sunday. Dunivant was forced to exit late in the second half of LA's victory with an abdomenal ailment.
After training on Wednesday, Arena ruled the defender out for this weekend's match.
"He's got a little bit of strain. He's not available this week," Arena told reporters. "The following week, we'll wait and see."
With Dunivant unavailable, the Galaxy have several options as A.J. DeLaGarza returned to full training on Wednesday after missing last week's match due to a contusion. Although DeLaGarza admits that he feels better as he looks ahead for Saturday's match.
"I feel better than I did last week. Obviously with guys going out and me feeling better it is an option," said DeLaGarza. "I played center left back and left back is a different spot, but it's on the same side of the field. It's no where that I haven't played before and I'd feel relatively comfortable with it."
CARSON, Calif. – A.J. DeLaGarza is in a race to be fit for Sunday’s SuperClasico match between the LA Galaxy and Chivas USA as he looks to recover from a left ankle contusion suffered a week ago against Real Salt Lake.
While his teammates began preparations for Sunday’s SuperClasico, DeLaGarza was lightly jogging around the training ground, still feeling the aftereffects of a harsh tackle from RSL forward Alvaro Saborio more than a week earlier. Although LA head coach Bruce Arena stated that it was “too early” to declare his defender ready for Sunday, DeLaGarza is optimistic that he can be back to game fitness in time to contribute against the Rojblancos—but not at the expense of a potential win.
“I'm being optimistic. Hopefully, I can get out there and help the team. At the same time, I'm not going to put the team out there and not be able to perform 100 percent,” said DeLaGarza. “Someone else can go there and do the job, and be healthy, but my goal is to be on the field any way possible.”
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Bruce Arena encouraged by injury status of A.J. DeLaGarza, but states James Riley "will probably require surgery"
CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy received some mixed news regarding their injured defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and James Riley on Tuesday.
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters following the team’s training session on Tuesday that DeLaGarza “will be all right” and require a week to get over a left ankle “contusion” that was suffered after a hard challenge from Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio during the 62nd minute of LA’s 1-1 draw in Salt Lake last week.
However veteran outside back James Riley was not so lucky as Arena stated that the 31-year-old will probably “miss some time” due to a left meniscus injury that will likely require surgery according to the Galaxy boss. The recovery time for a meniscus injury ranges from weeks to several months. Riley went down in the 29th minute of Saturday’s draw while evading a challenge from RSL midfielder Ned Grabavoy.
With Riley injured, the responsibility of filling in at outside back will fall to veteran Dan Gargan, who was solid in relief duty on Saturday.
LA Galaxy players A.J. DeLaGarza and Robbie Keane were named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week on Monday for their performances in LA's 1-1 draw with Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
DeLaGarza shined in his 72 minute appearance starting at center back, the Galaxy defender helped limit RSL's chances by making timely blocks and clearances before being forced to exit due to injury after a harsh challenge by Alvaro Saborio. Meanwhile, Keane tallied the club's lone goal of the afternoon in a fine individual effort that is also up for MLSsoccer.com's Goal of the Week.
SANDY, Utah – Real Salt Lake forward Alvaro Saborio drew the ire of the LA Galaxy for his second half challenge on LA defender A.J. DeLaGarza following the two teams 1-1 draw on Saturday afternoon.
The challenge occurred in the 62nd minute when DeLaGarza’s right leg was clipped from behind by the Costa Rican in a play that earned Saborio a yellow card caution from Ismail Elfath. Although the Galaxy defender tried to continue—even making several timely tackles – he was ultimately substituted nine minutes later with what LA head coach Bruce Arena later described as a “ankle contusion.”
DeLaGarza will be further evaluated once the team returns to LA, but his prognosis did not stop his Galaxy teammates from taking Saborio to task.
“That was pretty dirty on his part. He was definitely trying to hurt A.J. and I think that he succeeded,” said Gonzalez. “Fortunately for us, we have players that can come off the bench and we finished the game strong.”
Landon Donovan took it to another level, stating that he would be surprised if Saborio is not met with a suspension by the MLS Disciplinary Committee.
“I’m trying to figure out how that is not a red card. You see his leg and you see the intent and how nasty that was. I’d be very surprised if there is no further action taken,” said Donovan. "It’s okay to be tough and physical, but you don’t want to be nasty and that was a pretty nasty one.”
Regardless of whether or not Saborio is suspended, DeLaGarza is simply looking to return as soon as possible with the Galaxy not playing another match until an April 6 road match against Chivas USA.
“I hope that it’s not that bad, but right now it looks bad,” DeLaGarza told LA Galaxy Insider after the match. “Right after it happened; it was already swollen like a second calf. I told the ref and he only got a yellow.”
In the latest edition of "Kickin' It With Kelli," Time Warner Cable SportsNet sideline reporter Kelli Tennant speaks to A.J. DeLaGarza about life in Los Angeles, the Galaxy and his dog Diesel at Silvio's in Hermosa Beach.
Check it out below.
It’s that time again when we make our resolutions for the New Year in hopes of making our lives just a little bit better.
To properly ring in what promises to be an eventful 2014, I decided to make a list of LA Galaxy New Year’s Resolutions. Now this list ranges from my own thoughts about what the team needs to a few other ideas on how to improve the team and MLS in the New Year.
* Build toward the future: continue to offer playing time to younger players like Jack McBean, Rafael Garcia and Greg Cochrane. One of the team’s greatest successes of 2013 was that head coach Bruce Arena afforded plenty of valuable game time to players like the three aforementioned youth. With international commitments and injuries likely to cause problems yet again, the Galaxy boss should continue his policy of giving time to emerging young talent.
*Deal with change: There will be some notable absences from the LA Galaxy roster in 2013, but none will be bigger than the departures of longtime right-sided player Sean Franklin—who was selected in Stage One of the MLS Re-Entry Process by D.C. United—and Jose Villarreal who was sent on a year-long loan with Cruz Azul. Both players were frequent contributors a year ago and will need to be replaced in the coming weeks.
*Allow Juninho to receive more responsibility in the attack especially on free kick situations. The Brazilian midfielder saw his offensive impact stunted in 2013, but he’ll be expected to carry more of the load next season especially on set piece opportunities.
*That being said, LA must show more resilience on defending set pieces and second ball opportunities to prevent the deficiencies that caused the club to fail last season. We've gone over this one many, many times.
*Find a new center forward to play alongside Robbie Keane to add a natural target striker to the Galaxy attack. During the club’s final media availability of 2013, Arena stated that finding this type of player was priority number one for LA ahead of the next campaign and with the transfer window open; the Galaxy will have the chance to get their man. With a target presence alongside Keane, Landon Donovan could transition back to the right midfield and offer greater width to the midfield.
*Build off what was learned in 2013: Continued production from Marcelo Sarvas and Jaime Penedo. LA’s two breakout stars in 2013 were Marcelo Sarvas and Jaime Penedo who became regular members of the Galaxy starting XI by season’s end, but production must continue to progress into 2014. For Sarvas, he’ll likely need cede some of his offensive responsibilities to his midfield partner Juninho and contain his physical exuberance that caused him to lead MLS in fouls committed last year. Meanwhile, Penedo must continue to progress as a goalkeeper and cut down on mistakes that led to goals down the stretch.
*More professional growth from Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Rogers. The two attackers experienced inconsistent seasons in 2013, but the New Year brings greater expectations for both to provide reliable contributions for LA. If the pair can develop into offensive weapons, LA may have an added attacking dimension—particularly on the flanks— that was sorely lacking last season.
*Be more successful: Make a strong run in the U.S. Open Cup. The LA Galaxy have gone out in the third round in the U.S. Open Cup to the Carolina RailHawks each of the last two years, but with no CONCACAF Champions League waiting for them in the fall, a long run in the Open Cup should be beneficial for the team to provide minutes to their entire roster. Also, winning the USOC will help place the team back into the CCL for the 2015-16 tournament.
*Continue see the LA Galaxy Academy grow and produce players who could become valuable members of the first team in the future. LA Academy forawrd Haji Wright garnered a lot of the headlines toward the end of the year, but LA’s academy teams are continuing to show promise in the form of players like Adonis Amaya, Jaime Villarreal and many others.
*Good health to Robbie Keane who is recovering from surgery on both of his Achilles as he looks to get ready for the preseason. The Galaxy are hoping to have their captain back to full health by the start of preseason, but what is most important is having him fit and ready for the start of the season and the all-important CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal against Club Tijuana in March.
*Travel More: Get off to a strong start against Club Tijuana in the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal and keep dreams of the FIFA Club World Cup alive. The LA Galaxy’s quest for continental glory begins in March as they host the first leg of the CCL quarterfinals against Club Tijuana. With a victory at home, the Galaxy will be in strong standing as they look to advance past Xolos and reach the CCL semifinals for a second consecutive year in front of a hostile crowd at Estadio Calliente.
*Prosperity for Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan as they look to make their World Cup dream come true. Both Galaxy Designated Players appear to be strong candidates to make U.S. National Team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, but both will need to stay healthy and in form to ensure a place on the plane to Brazil. If they’re able to reach Brazil, the pair is likely to be in Klinsmann’s starting XI and can expect to be major contributors as the U.S. hopes to advance from Group G over the likes of Ghana, Portugal and Germany. Here’s hoping for more moments like this one from four years ago.
*New ventures for the coming year: New MLS Television deals. Southern California is spoiled with the great Galaxy coverage on the Time Warner SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes, but in 2014, MLS will look to negotiate their new national television deals which will play a major role in the league’s growth going forward. More financial resources from national television partners can only help grow the league which hopes to be among the world’s best during the next decade.
*Continue to foster a connection with the readers of this blog and all content on LAGalaxy.com. What truly makes my job worthwhile is interacting with all of those that enjoy my work on the LA Galaxy Insider Blog and LAGalaxy.com, and in 2014, I hope to have greater interaction with you the readers so that we can place the type of content that you’re looking for on this space.
Happy New Year.