CARSON, Calif. -- Gyasi Zardes returned to the LA Galaxy before the team's trip to Europe loaded with confidence after his successful stint with the U.S. National Team.
During the USMNT's annual Winter camp, Zardes made his first two appearances for the national side including an influential start during their 2-0 victory over Panama last Sunday. Following two days off after a month-long training camp, Zardes rejoined the Galaxy where he admitted that he was feeling an extra pep in his step.
"This preseason has been wonderful for me. Just jumping in a new environment [with the USMNT]," said Zardes. "You always gain confidence the more you play, no matter what team you play on. Being with the camp helped me grow. My method is once you find rhythm try to keep it. Bring that to a new atmosphere. I’m just trying to get better and take advantage of every opportunity I get. Stay humble and level-headed. That’s how I grow."
LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes says time with U.S. National Team and Jurgen Klinsmann has improved his fitness
CARSON, Calif. -- Many have taken U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to task for his recent comments about the fitness of members of the U.S. National Team, but LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes believes that he is a true success story of Klinsmann's conditioning program.
Superior fitness has long been the hallmark of American soccer players, but Klinsmann called that into question following the team's 3-2 defeat to Chile last week , leading to considerable condemnation from former players and the American soccer media. In a interview earlier this week, Klinsmann stated that the reason the U.S. has won just a single match in their last nine and suffered repeated late game collapses were because of the team's lack of emphasis on offseason fitness preparation.
Klinsmann's claims were met with major pushback from numerous places including by former national team defender Alexi Lalas but such condemnation of Klinsmann meant little to LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes who is in camp with the national team and is expected to play a major role when they take on Panama on Sunday at StubHub Center.
In fact, Zardes believes that he's gotten even fitter just by training with the U.S. over the last month.
"Fitness is a key component of the game because you need to be good for 90 minutes. I'm glad that we do a lot of fitness with the national team and it's wonderful to experience different types of fitness because each coach has different methods. [Jurgen's] philosphy toward fitness is incredible," Zardes told LA Galaxy Insider. "I personally think that it is helping me improve as a player because I feel myself able to run longer. My stamina is up and my acceleration is growing even more. I think that I'm growing in this field."
LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Gyasi Zardes made his international debut on Wednesday going 22 minutes for the U.S. National Team in their 3-2 defeat to Chile in Rancagua.
Brek Shea put the U.S. up with an early goal only six minutes into the match, but the Chileans soon equalized as Roberto Gutiérrez scored just four minutes later. New Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore gave the Americans the lead after 31 minutes to give hope to Jurgen Klinsmann’s side heading into the second half.
The lead did not hold, however, as Mark González found the back of the net in the 66th minute after a flurry of chances for the home side were turned away by USMNT goalkeeper Nick Rimando. After the Chileans brought the score level, Klinsmann opted to insert Zardes to create some offensive punch, but La Roja’s attack proved too strong as they edged ahead on another tally from Gonzalez in the 75th minute.
The U.S. National Team will play their second and final match of their annual January camp on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center.
LA Galaxy Homegrowns Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes called up to the U.S. National Team's annual January camp
CARSON, Calif. -- Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes have officially gone from the LA Galaxy Academy all the way to the U.S. National Team.
Galaxy Homegrown Players Oscar Sorto and Gyasi Zardes were among the 28-man roster named by U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann for the team's annual January camp at StubHub Center from Jan. 12 to Feb. 8. The training camp will end with a pair of matches for the U.S. against Chile in South America on Jan. 28 and against CONCACAF rivals Panama on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center.
The call-ups will be the first from the senior team for both Sorto and Zardes. While Zardes carries no tournament experience, the 20-year-old Sorto was a member of the U.S. Under-20 squad during their participation in the 2013 FIFA U-20 World Cup.
The inclusions of youngsters like Sorto and Zardes are part of Klinsmann's stated goal of bringing in Olympic-eligible players as the USMNT looks ahead to not only the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup this summer, but also the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil. The U.S. Under-23's famously missed out on the 2012 Olympic Games in London which were won by CONCACAF archrivals Mexico.
“The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year,” Klinsmann said. “We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
The complete U.S. roster is below.
GOALKEEPERS (4): Alex Bono (unattached), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)
DEFENDERS (8): Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
MIDFIELDERS (10): Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (out of contract), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
FORWARDS (6): Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
Robbie Keane says Gyasi Zardes must get back to basics if he's going to score against Seattle Sounders FC
CARSON, Calif. – Gyasi Zardes took MLS by storm with 16 goals in his second season with the LA Galaxy, but since finding the back of the net on Sept. 28, the forward has been silent.
Recently, Zardes has seen his amount of chances dwindle from an average of just over a shot on goal per game after the New York Red Bulls match to just two chances in the entirety of his six-game scoring drought.
Although the 23-year-old forward has failed to bury his chances as of late, his strike partner, Galaxy captain Robbie Keane says Zardes must get back to basics if he’s going to find the back of the net against Seattle Sounders FC this weekend.
“He has to get back to understanding what got him here in the first place. The most important thing that he has to understand is to be a team player first. If you’re a team player first then everything else will take care of itself,” Keane said after training earlier this week. “He needs to get back to what he’s good at, which is getting behind the defense and creating opportunities. But when he gets those opportunities then he has to take them and in the last few games, he hasn’t. He needs to get back to that.
“Like any striker, you always go through stages where you don’t score and it plays in your mind. The most important thing is that he has to get that out of his head fairly quickly, because when you’re going into games thinking that you haven’t scored for a while, it’ll work against you. One thing that I would say is that when you get an opportunity, rather than be clever and try to place it, sometimes just put your foot through and try to smash it. Usually that has worked for me over the years when I haven’t scored in a few games.”
To his credit, Zardes agrees that if he’s going to find the back of the net in LA’s Western Conference Championship series, he has to be sharper in front of the net
“To be honest, I’m working extremely hard and there are numerous opportunities, but I'm just going to keep doing the same things that I've been doing. I've been unlucky, but the [chances] are there,” said Zardes. “I just think that I have to get on the end of crosses because if you look at my goals, they typically come with solid link-up play with Robbie.”
Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane among those featured in four LA Galaxy hype videos for Real Salt Lake clash
LAGalaxy.com produced four hype videos for this Sunday's Western Conference Semifinal second leg clash with Real Salt Lake over the past week.
The videos which were produced by Galaxy videographer Albert Lanzillo feature Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, Jaime Penedo, and Gyasi Zardes
Check them out below.
Robbie Keane: If we go down, we go down fighting
Gyasi Zardes: I've been waiting my whole life for this opportunity
Jaime Penedo: I can not disappoint the fans
Landon Donovan: It's now or never
LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes came in fourth in MLSsoccer.com's annual 24 Under 24 list, which was released in its entirety on Thursday morning.
Zardes, who has 15 goals and two assists this season, finished behind FC Dallas midfielder Fabian Castillo, Chivas USA's Erick "Cubo" Torres, and first place finisher Seattle Sounders FC defender DeAndre Yedlin. The 23-year-old Galaxy striker who currently leads all American MLS players in goals is the only LA player to be named to the list as well as the initial short list which was determined by select media and MLSsoccer.com's editors.
Zardes, who was ranked No. 7 last year, boasts the highest ranking of a Galaxy player on the 24 Under 24 list since Omar Gonzalez came in second to former Sounders striker Fredy Montero in 2010.
Pleased with Zardes' placement? Think that other LA Galaxy youngsters deserved to be ranked to the short lsit?
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One day, Gyasi Zardes will like to be the leading goal scorer in MLS, but while that distinction will likely elude him this year, with his incredible goal tear this summer, he's already setting records.
With two goals in the LA Galaxy's 6-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids, Zardes brought his goal total on the year to 14 which set the all-time single season goal tally for MLS Homegrown Players. Zardes' mark of 14 bested New England Revolution attacker Diego Fagundez, who scored 13 goals a season ago.
In all, Zardes has scored 17 goals in all competitions this year after only scoring four times last year.
LA Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes is one of the hottest players in MLS and on Monday, he was named to MLSsoccer.com's Team of the Week.
Zardes scored twice in the Galaxy's 6-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids. In total, Zardes has 14 goals on the season and with his brace, he broke Diego Fagundez's single-season goal mark among MLS Homegrown Players.
Baggio Husidic and MLS Player of the Week winner Landon Donovan were named as TOTW honorable mentions.
"I would be pretty shocked if he’s not called into the U.S. team soon," Landon Donovan on Gyasi Zardes' USMNT prospects
CARSON, Calif. -- The U.S. National Team buzz surrounding Gyasi Zardes is at a fever pitch and now the striker's LA Galaxy teammate Landon Donovan is getting into the conversation.
Zardes scored twice during the Galaxy's 6-0 rout of the Colorado Rapids on Friday night to continue his impressive streak of 17 goals in 18 games in all competitions this summer. With 14 goals in his sophomore season in MLS, Zardes now holds the highest single-season total for an MLS Homegrown Player breaking the record previous held New England Revolution's Diego Fagundez who scored 13 goals last year.
As Zardes continues to score, the national team chatter will continue to intensify, but to have the seal of approval from Donovan is likely to aid the striker's case for the USMNT.
"He deserves everything he has got; success is not an accident. People think you’re just born a certain way and everything either comes to you or doesn’t and it’s not true," said Donovan. "Last year, we saw the other side of that where he wasn’t quite there yet. He put in a lot of work last year and a lot of work this year and it’s starting to pay off. I would be pretty shocked if he’s not called into the U.S. [Men’s National] Team soon.”
Throughout Zardes' impressive performance against the Rapids, the 22-year-old displayed not only his trademark speed, but also a variety of tricks learned from players like Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan. Whether it was Keane’s ability make a dummy run and set up a chance for a teammate or Donovan-esque turn and shoot, Zardes showcased that he’s steadily adding tricks to his growing arsenal of offensive moves.
And as he displays some of their trademark moves on the field, Zardes credits the role that Keane and Donovan have played in his maturation.
“My teammates are helping me. All these guys are older than me and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from them," Zardes said. “Landon is a phenomenal player and I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him. As you can see in the recent games, he’s the one giving me all my assists and I’m just trying to build off that as much as I can from these guys because they’ve played professional soccer longer than I have.”
Does Zardes get a national team call for the match against Ecuador?
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