MLS Playoffs

28 November 7:08 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy trained for the final time at StubHub Center on Friday morning and in the final session, head coach Bruce Arena continued to reiterate that team is expected to be fully ready which includes A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas who are expected to be available for selection for Sunday's Western Conference Championship second leg at CenturyLink Field. 

"We think that we're good," said Arena. "Seattle has to come out in pretty aggressive and get a goal early. There's no surprises, it's the same game that you've seen for the last month."

 A.J. DelaGarza (left hamstring) and Marcelo Sarvas (left leg injury) who both suffered injuries in last week's 1-0 Galaxy victory spoke on Friday and told reporters that they believe that they'll be ready come Sunday.

"If I’m called upon like every weekend I’ll go out there," said DeLaGarza who noted that he trained "a lot' this week. "I’m ready to go."

Added Sarvas, " I trained yesterday (full) and I’m feeling good. Today we just had an easy day, I feel normal...I can play, of course...This was a bruised muscle, it goes away with days, every day is better and better. Sunday will be 100 percent for sure."

25 November 5:06 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy trained at StubHub Center on Tuesday ahead of the Western Conference Championship second leg. 

After the session, Bruce Arena provided an update on the injured A.J. DeLaGarza and Marcelo Sarvas

Check it out below. 

 

 

25 November 3:13 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena is confident that A.J. DeLaGarza (left hamstring strain) and Marcelo Sarvas (apparent hip injury) will be fit and available for selection in Sunday's Western Conference Championsip second leg against Seattle Sounders FC. 

Both players -- who helped create the Galaxy's lone goal in the first leg -- left in the first leg with various injuries. After the match, Arena and the players seemed optimistic that both would be available in time for Sunday's match.  

On Tuesday, both players were in the gym according to Arena. The team have the day-off on Wendesday before returning to training on Thanksgiving. 

"I think they're going to be fine," said Arena. "They've been active the last two days so we think that they're going to be fine.

"Everyone is fine and we should have a full team on Sunday."

25 November 12:26 pm

Everyone knows about Landon Donovan's famous habit of kissing his wrists before each penalty, but there is another ritual that the LA Galaxy and U.S. National Team star is infamous for that takes place before each and every game. 

Since joining the Galaxy, Donovan has preformed the ritual -- which he claims isn't necessary, but has been performed in every game since 2005 -- which involves him taking a drink of water from a Gatorade bottle before spraying both head athletic trainer Ivan Pierra and assistant athletic trainer Kurt Andrews in the face. 

"It kind of gets the training staff a little bit fired up and prepared for the game and hopefully makes them feel a little bit part of what's going on," Donovan told the Los Angeles Times' Kevin Baxter. "They're a part of what we do, and we want to make them feel involved."

Added Andrews, " "It's a bond, We as a staff spend a lot of time with him. I could see it as an honor, for sure."

The complete story on Landon Donovan's pregame ritual can be found here on the Los Angeles Times website. 

25 November 11:14 am

CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy center back A.J. DeLaGarza was awarded the 2014 MLS WORKS Humanitarian of the Year award on Tuesday according to a league release. 

DeLaGarza, who is heavily involved in the LA Galaxy Foundation's charitable works, drew considerable attention this season due to the passing of his newborn son Luca and his substantial involvement with the heart ward at Children's Hospital of Los Angeles. The 27-year-old is the first-ever Galaxy player to receive the award. 

A complete release about DeLaGarza's award can be found here

25 November 7:39 am

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LA Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers' memoirs entitled "Coming Out To Play" came on Tuesday and ahead of the release, Rogers spoke to NBC host Maria Shriver on the Today Show. 

Check it out above. 

24 November 5:21 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Amid the officiating drama of the LA Galaxy's Western Conference Championship first leg with Seattle Sounders FC, the Professional Referees Organization announced that referee Jair Marrufo will get the whistle in Sunday's decisive second leg. 

Marrufo officiated over four LA Galaxy games this season including the team's 5-0 Western Conference Semifinal second leg victory over Real Salt Lake earlier this month. During the four games, Marrufo whistled an average 16.25 fouls per game while awarding six yellow cards as the Galaxy earned a 2-0-2 record. The 37-year-old official also reffed two games for the Sounders as Seattle earned a 1-1-0 record. During his Sounders matches, Marrufo called an average of 20.5 fouls per game while dishing out five yellow cards. 

Interestingly enough, Marrufo was the man in the middle for a Galaxy/Sounders playoff game in the past as he officiated LA's 3-0 thumping of Seattle in the 2012 Western Conference Championship first leg.

The complete officiating team is below.

REFEREE: JAIR MARRUFO

AR1: Eric Boria

AR2: Corey Rockwell

4TH: Hilario Grajeda

 

24 November 4:49 pm

CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy endured a physical battle in their 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC and when the two teams kick off again next Sunday, a similar game is expected.

In their 1-0 win over Seattle, both teams were prone to heavy challenges as the game ended with a total of 25 fouls being called by referee Mark Stott as well as five yellow cards. During the second leg up at CenturyLink Field, another physical match is anticipated, especially after both teams combined for 40 fouls and six yellow cards.

Galaxy central defender Omar Gonzalez, who admitted after the Seattle victory that he “kept his distance” from Sounders players due to his fear of being issued a second yellow, revealed that he’ll be more aggressive in the second leg in Seattle.

“Next week, that second yellow card doesn’t matter,” Gonzalez said. “I’m able to be more aggressive and I’m able to get up on guys a lot tighter so it’ll be fun.

“It’s going to be more aggressive and there might be worse fouls because of the field and how fast it moves,” he added. “Overall, players have to be smart and no one wants to get sent off.”

Marcelo Sarvas, who remains an injury question mark for the game, noted that Seattle’s physicality might end up hurting the Supporters’ Shield winners this weekend.   

“I didn’t see their team play a game this year when they had to push and score a goal,” Sarvas. “In my opinion, they play very conservative. They keep two guys higher all the time and everyone behind the box so we’ll see what the situation is going to be there [on Sunday].”

24 November 3:00 pm

CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy have one foot in the MLS Cup final with their 1-0 Western Conference Championship first leg victory over Seattle Sounders FC,, but it’s not time to celebrate just yet.

LA must first earn a result in their second leg at CenturyLink Field this Sunday. Holding a 1-0 advantage after their home leg provides LA with comfort especially considering that away goals will be used as the first tiebreaker in the series.

Ahead of Sunday’s clash, the list below includes all of the potential scenarios for LA to reach MLS Cup:

LA GALAXY WIN ON THE ROAD

*Any victory for the Galaxy in Seattle will send them through to the championship.

LA GALAXY EARN A DRAW

*Any draw between the two teams including, but not limited to a scoreless tie will see the Galaxy advance.

LA GALAXY LOSE TO SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC

*Now here is where it gets a little tricky.

A 1-0 victory by Seattle will see the match go into extra time—where away goals are not weighted any further—and could lead to a penalty kick shootout. Any other one goal victory by the Sounders wherein the Galaxy scores a goal will see LA advance to the championship.  However, if the Sounders are able to win by a two goal or more margin, no matter LA’s score, then Seattle will advance to MLS Cup for the first time in MLS history. 

24 November 10:32 am

CARSON, Calif. – Tommy Meyer came through in the clutch during the LA Galaxy’s run to the 2012 MLS Cup and as they look to add a fifth title to the mantel, the defender may be coming up big yet again.

Filling in for the injured Leonardo, Meyer put forth a strong performance on Sunday in the Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle Sounders FC in their Western Conference Championship first leg. Alongside Omar Gonzalez, Meyer was immense in shutting down the Sounders scoring tandem of Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins, frequently limiting their chances to place chances on frame for goalkeeper Jaime Penedo.

“It was good. It was my first 90 minutes in awhile and I got through” Meyer said. "You just have to be aware of where they are when they have the ball and be in position." 

For all his brevity, the stats showcased the magnitude of his showing as he made three recoveries and interceptions apiece as well as six clearances on the night. The finest moment for the defender came in the 78th minute when he scooped up a Martins pass to Dempsey and shut down a Seattle breakaway. 

Meyer’s stellar showing defensively earned him universal praise from the Galaxy locker room, including midfielder Landon Donovan.

“Tommy was great,” Donovan said. “Tommy hasn’t played in a long time. He came in two weeks ago against Salt Lake and was excellent. He was very good again tonight. There were a couple of plays that were a little dicey, but you expect that from a guy that hasn’t played in a long time. I thought he was terrific. I thought that him and Omar [Gonzalez] did a great job shutting down those two. Those two are very, very difficult to play against. They did a great job. And we will need the same next week from them.”