UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J.—Omar Gonzalez earned yet another call to the U.S. National Team on Thursday as he was named to Jurgen Klinsmann’s 26-man roster for their upcoming training camp in Cleveland.
The camp, which begins on May 26 -- Gonzalez is likely to arrive on May 27 after LA's match with Seattle Sounders FC on the day camp opens -- will also serve as the U.S. roster for a busy five game stretch between May and June that will see Klinsmann’s squad play three World Cup Qualifiers and two friendlies. The news comes as little surprise as Gonzalez seemingly locked down a starting role after starting the last three qualifiers in central defense for the U.S.
Following the LA Galaxy’s training at Montclair State University, Gonzalez discussed his latest national team call.
“The national team called and it’s always exciting to be able to represent your country and another opportunity for me to go in and hopefully do well, and hopefully play,” said Gonzalez. “I’m taking this just like I did last time and I’m going to work hard to do anything that I can to help the team qualify for Brazil.”
Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez and Robbie Keane preview the LA Galaxy's match against the New York Red Bulls in this video courtesy of LAGalaxy.com videograper Paolo Ferrari...
Check it out below.
UPPER MONTCLAIR, N.J. –LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has seen many of his former assistants or players take full-time head coaching gigs and the latest is New York Red Bulls boss Mike Petke.
It was Arena, who gave Petke his first of two national team appearances in 2001 while the Galaxy boss was the coach of the U.S. National Team. Arena also faced off against Petke multiple times during his coaching tenure in MLS and will take on his former player when the Galaxy meet the Red Bulls meet on Sunday.
True to his role as the standard-barer for American coaches, Arena admitted that he was pleased Petke became the head coach at Red Bull Arena.
“It’s great to see some of our former players in the league in coaching positions,” Arena told reporters following LA’s training at Montclair State University on Friday. "Mike is basically a hometown boy, so it’s great to see that the Red Bulls have one of their own coaching the team.”
MLSsoccer.com profiled LA Galaxy great Mauricio Cienfuegos for their MLS Legends feature.
Check it out below...
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Hector Jimenez fought and clawed his way back into the Galaxy rotation after five games as an unused substitute earlier in the and now it is paying dividends.
Jimenez entered Saturday's 4-1 victory over the Philadelphia Union as a substitute in the 72nd minute and promptly scored the second goal of his three-year MLS career in the 80th minute of LA’s victory. The goal comes amid a mini-renaissance for the 24-year-old as he has appeared in LA’s last four matches –including two starts—while notching a goal and an assist.
After missing out on five games from late-March to late-April, Jimenez was pleased to get on the scoreboard against the Union.
“It felt nice. It’s always nice to score and contribute like that off the bench,” Jimenez told LA Galaxy Insider. “It always feels great.”
Jimenez will likely be one of the prime beneficiaries of LA’s upcoming congested schedule that will see the Galaxy play four games in 15 days including a U.S. Open Cup tilt against either Carolina Dynamo or Carolina Railhawks on May 29.
“Hopefully, I'll play," said Jimenez. "I just have to keep getting myself ready and if my name gets called then I’ll go out there and contribute."
Of course, David Beckham would go out on top. It couldn’t end any other way for the English soccer legend.
On Thursday, he announced that he would be ending his illustrious 20-year professional career at the end of the Ligue 1 season next weekend after winning the French Cup and Ligue 1 titles with Paris St. Germain. Beckham’s announcement ends a career that included champions in four different countries including his two MLS Cup triumphs with the LA Galaxy.
While one can go and on about Beckham’s impact throughout the world and his stops at prestigous clubs like Manchester United, Real Madrid, A.C. Milan, the Galaxy, and PSG, I’ll focus briefly on his six-year tenure with the Galaxy. Throughout my own four years covering the LA Galaxy, there were dozens of fine Beckham moments that stick out in my mind, whether it was his performance in LA’s three MLS Cup appearances or his numerous classy goals, but I think what I’ll remember the most is the presence that he had across the country and the world.
There were the trips in CONCACAF Champions League where thousands flocked to see the Galaxy play and families of heads of state jostled for a chance just to catch a glimpse or take a picture with Beckham. But in the United States as well, Beckham drew packed crowds across MLS, many of whom were eager to ask about my opinion of the English superstar
However, despite all the hoopla and flashbulbs, Beckham remained an ordinary person as all of his teammates can attest. As the likes of Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan, Mike Magee, and Omar Gonzalez reflected on Beckham’s career with the Galaxy each were quick to mention their memories of Beckham as a friend, father as well as a teammate.
And I’d have to agree that, that aspect of Beckham is what sticks out the most in my mind. More often than not, Beckham remained generous to fans on the road as well as media requests despite the constant attention that he received.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Beckham's on the field abilities as his grit and passing vision was second to none in MLS. As for my favorite goal of his Galaxy tenure, I’d have to select his 35-yeard bomb from LA’s 5-3 win over the Portland Timbers last July. The match, as some of you might remember, served as the first-ever game for the LA Galaxy Insider Blog and proved to be a delight from start to finish.
What Beckham will do now that his playing days are over remains a mystery. Will he jump into ownership of an MLS side –possibly even the Galaxy? — or will he go a different route and focus on his many business interests around the world? That remains to be seen.
But there is no doubt in my mind that Beckham made a great impact on the Galaxy, MLS and soccer in America as whole.
HOBOKEN, N.J. – David Beckham changed the landscape of soccer in the United States.
He brought attention and fans to both the LA Galaxy and MLS as a whole and with his announcement that he is retiring from soccer, the Galaxy were left to reflect on Beckham’s impact.
“The way that this league has turned around in the last six years since he got here is black and white and it’s fair to say that it is 100 percent because of him,” said midfielder Mike Magee, who spoke to Beckham on Thursday to congratulate him on his retirement. “Obviously, the league has taken the necessary steps to grow it steadily, but he made it make a huge jump. I could tell difference easily from before he got here till now and it’s not even close.”
As for how the league has changed? Magee admits that Beckham provided a greater importance to MLS.
“I played in MLS before he got there and it was always a struggle,” Magee added. “The league kind of lacked importance at times with fans and from when he got here, it completely changed around. People started caring and people started showing up at the games, our contracts got a little bigger, it was a lot to do with him.”
Even LA captain Robbie Keane admits that without Beckham’s convincing, he might not be playing for the Galaxy.
“He was the one that kind of brought me here, well, between himself, Tim Leiweke and, obviously, Bruce. But he was the one that kind of got the ball rolling when he went to train with Tottenham,” said Keane. “It was kind of up to him, why I am here.”
LAGalaxy.com videographer Paolo Ferrari has compiled this video of LA Galaxy players reacting to David Beckham's retirement.
Watch the video below...
HOBOKEN, N.J. – Landon Donovan and David Beckham's relationship had its ebbs and flows over the years, but by the time that the Englishman departed the LA Galaxy, the pair had developed a proven track record of success together including two consecutive MLS Cup trophies.
Beckham announced his retirement from soccer on Thursday, ending his illustrious career, which included two MLS Cup victories with the Galaxy. As LA prepares for Sunday’s match against the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, Donovan discussed the retirement of his former teammate.
Donovan's comments are below...
(On David Beckham’s retirement….)
DONOVAN: "We’re not all that surprised, but he’s had arguably one of the best careers of any players. I think that he’s won championships in four different countries with four different teams which is pretty impressive. All the stuff that he’s meant and done for our league speaks for itself. We’re happy that he’s ready to move on to the next chapter in his life.”
(On any lasting memories of serving as a teammate of Beckham’s….)
DONOVAN: “Some of the best memories for me are just seeing him interact with his children. He’d bring his kids into training a lot and for me; I enjoyed that part a lot because it humanized him. A lot of times, celebrities are put on a pedestal and someone with his fame is seen in one way, but he’s human and a father just like many people are and it was always nice to see him with his kids."
David Beckham retired on Thursday, ending one of the most distinguished careers in professional soccer.
Earlier this year, MLS complied all of his MLS goals...Which do you think is the best?
Also check out this video that the Galaxy produced last year.