Omar Gonzalez did not make the trip with the U.S. National Team for their match against the Ukraine, but the LA Galaxy center back may have solidified his starting spot at the World Cup due to the USMNT's lackluster defensive performance in a 2-0 loss to the Eastern European nation.
Andriy Yarmolenko put the Ukrainians up 12 minutes into the match before the Marko Devic sealed the victory for the Eastern Europeans with a finish in the 67th minute. Both goals featured defensive breakdowns in the build-up that aided the Ukrainians. Club Tijuana left back Edgar Castillo started and went 63 minutes in the defeat.
The match was played in Cyprus due to political turmoil in Ukraine. Jurgen Klinsmann's squad returns to action on April 2 when they take on CONCACAF arch rival Mexico in Glendale, Ariz.
The new LA Galaxy jersey will be revealed later today, but first the U.S. National Team unveiled their new primary kit for the upcoming FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
The kit, which will be worn by both the USMNT and the U.S. women's team, features an all-white design with gray horizontal pinstripes throughout the body and the sleeves. Meanwhile, on the inside of the back collar is a blue pennant design that features the 13 stars from the original American flag.
The jersey will be available world-wide on Wednesday, but is already for sale at Nike stores and nike.com on preorder.
Check it out below.
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane was named the Republic of Ireland's Senior International Player of the Year on Sunday in a ceremony at the RTE Television Studios in Dublin.
Keane tallied eight goals internationally to boost his all-time Ireland national team record to 62 goals.The Ireland captain's international tally is fourth among European international goal scorers behind Ferenc Puskás (89 goals for Hungary and Spain), Sándor Kocsis (75 goals for Hungary), Gerd Müller, and Miroslav Klose (both with 68 goals for Germany).
The 33-year-old has now won Ireland's Senior International Player of the Year award two times and the FAI Young International Player of the Year award twice.
Although the award is certainly an honor for Keane, it is his acceptance video that is a must-see.
Check it out below.
The U.S. National Team's match with Ukraine is going forward, but will take place in the Mediterranean nation of Cyprus, U.S. Soccer announced on Tuesday.
Recent political upheaval in Ukrainian capital of Kiev led to major doubts about the status of the U.S. match with the Ukranian national team in Kharkiv on March 5
“After discussions with the Ukrainian Football Federation, we have decided not to play in Ukraine on March 5 and are planning to move the match to a city in Cyprus," U.S. Soccer said in statement. "We are in the final stages of discussions with Ukraine and the Cyprus Football Association to determine the location and kickoff time. We hope to have confirmation on all the match details by Wednesday.”
Last Saturday, Galaxy attacker Landon Donovan -- who may be called up for the match -- told reporters that the match had little importance due to the scale of the human tragedy.
“Forget about a soccer match,” Donovan said. “I come from more of a human-rights perspective, so I'm not worried about a soccer game when that stuff's going on. ... Hopefully, it all gets sorted out and people don't continue to lose lives. That's sad.”
The match against the Ukraine will be the Americans final friendly in Europe before this summer's World Cup in Brazil.
ESPN announced their broadcast schedule for the 64 matches in this summer's 2014 FIFA World Cup on Monday.
ESPN will broadcast 43 matches, ESPN2 will air 11 games while ABC will televise 10 matches during the month-long tournament which will run from June 12 to July 13. All of the matches will be broadcasted live, in high definition and all will be available on ESPN's online service WatchESPN. Prior to each match, ESPN will host a 30-minute pregme show, halftime show and a post-match segments for each fixture. ESPN will also air a review show "World Cup Tonight" to recap the evening's action from Brazil.
Each of the three group matches for the United States will be broadcast on ESPN while Mexico's opener against Cameroon will be aired on ESPN2 before they take on Brazil and Croatia on ESPN.
LA Galaxy captain Robbie Keane is on the mend and with the MLS regular season fast approaching, he will not be participating in Ireland’s upcoming match against Serbia.
The Ireland captain was left off the roster by head coach Martin O’Neill ahead of the March 5 match in Dublin against Serbia.
In their release, the Ireland Football Association states that O’Neill has spoken with Keane and omitted the striker so that he may focus on the Galaxy’s season opener against Real Salt Lake on March 8.
U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne explains the role the U.S. Embassy plays when American clubs travel abroad
MEXICO CITY – Prior to their match against Liga MX side Pumas UNAM on Tuesday, the LA Galaxy received a rare treat -- a visit from the United States Ambassador to Mexico Earl Anthony Wayne.
Wayne was presented a team-autographed jersey by U.S. international Landon Donovan – one of Hayes’ favorite athletes – and took in the match as the Galaxy fell 2-1 to UNAM at the Estadio Olímpico Universitario. The gesture was a thank you of sorts from the Galaxy as Wayne and his office provide vital assistance whenever American teams—be they the Galaxy or the U.S. National Team—travel to Mexico.
“In general, things go very smoothly. But once in a while, there is a visa problem or a passport gets lost and then we are available to help," Wayne told LA Galaxy Insider. "Sometimes there are questions about security and our security office is ready to help when American teams are here—basically to facilitate if there is a need for facilitation. Fortunately, as the Mexicans say ‘mi casa es su casa’ (my house is your house) so the attitude is very warm and receiving.”
The game of soccer is not a mystery for Wayne who was a former defender –he describes himself as being ‘not too fast but having a good leg’ –in his youth while also serving as a coach on his children’s soccer teams.
Although the ambassador’s work is to further the intricately complicated relationship between the United States and Mexico, Wayne admits that one of his favorite moments of the past year was when the two CONCACAF rivals faced off.
“It’s pretty exciting. There’s a lot of emotion in the stadium but not too many people cheering for the U.S. at the Azteca. Generally though, it’s a way to bring people together,” said Wayne. “For the last meeting between the two teams, we brought young people together in a city library. It was simply great fun. Like I said, sports cross borders and they teach valuable lessons like sportsmanship and leadership.”
On Saturday, the Jurgen Klinsmann coached U.S. National Team will take on Hong Myung-Bo's Korea Republic at StubHub Center, but it is not the first meeting between the two international legends.
Klinsmann and Myung-Bo faced off was on June 24, 1994 when Klinsman's Germany defeated Korea Republic 3-2 at the group stage match at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. In the match, Klinsmann tallied two goals -- beating the former Galaxy defender twice -- to lead Germany to an early three goal lead before Korea Republic roared back with two late goals, Myung-Bo tallying the final strike in the German victory.
Watch the video below.
CARSON, Calif. – Omar Gonzalez is growing into his own as a member of the U.S. National Team, but according to U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann, he’s still got plenty of work to do before this summer’s World Cup in Brazil.
Gonzalez was named to the U.S. squad earlier this month after solidifying his place on the national team with 14 appearances in 2013. During his formative year with the squad, Gonzalez formed a solid partnership with Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler that Klinsmann himself sees as a center back pairing for the future.
“From a coaches’ perspective, you want to see a development of players: over a season and across a number of years. With Matt and Omar, you’ve seen them mature,” said Klinsmann in his final press conference before the Americans’ match against Korea Republic on Saturday. “They’ve become calmer; they’ve become more responsible and have really grown into their own feet.”
But due to the duo’s relative inexperience, the job is hardly finished.
In particular, Klinsmann wants to see much better possession from his defenders and prevent the type of reliance on long balls up field that had been a staple of U.S. teams in years past.
“Their biggest challenge is to be ahead of things and to be alert while not allowing mistakes because mistakes at an international level will be punished, and the team will go home,” said Klinsmann. “This is something that we tell every position but especially on the back line because you can’t make mistakes at an international level. You have to be on top of your game for 90 minutes and not make passing mistakes in the defensive area because the transition is going to happen so quickly from those teams that we’ll be facing this year.
“We don’t want to see balls played long because [they] don’t know what to do and [they’re] getting closed down, we want them to stay calm and find the solution.”
CARSON, Calif. – There was a time when youth players in the U.S. turned to the U.S. U-17 Residency program to develop the best and brightest, but according to LA Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski, those days may be coming to a close.
On Wednesday, the club announced the creation of a USL PRO team LA Galaxy II which will serve as yet another path to develop young players for LA’s first team. During my Q&A with Kirovski – who was one of the spearheads of the USL PRO project — for LAGalaxy.com, the Technical Director was asked about whether the Galaxy Academy could one day surpass the development that players receive at residency.
“We’re at that stage now. We feel like we have quality coaches who are just as good if not better than [Bradenton], we have a USL team that no one has. With young kids, it’s better to be at home and be close to your family. When I left to go to Europe, I had nothing like this,” Kirovski told LA Galaxy Insider. “Now we have coaches in place, we have teams in place, and just a place to develop young local kids to be close to their family. It’s an ideal set up and way different than before. Back then, going to Europe made sense, but now, I’m not so sure.”
And Kirovski was quick to note that it is the league’s development that is the reason that players of all age are choosing to stay in the U.S. rather than head to Europe.
“We’re moving forward,” said Kirovski. “If you look at how far we’ve come in the last 10 years in terms of the fan support in places like Seattle, Portland and L.A., the new clubs coming in, the resources put into Academies league wide and companies like AEG investing in the USL PRO team and the Academy. We’re moving forward. It’s still going to take time, but we’re going in the right direction.”