MLS Regular Season
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena stays tight-lipped on the club's plans for third spot in the allocation order
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy made a splash last week when they moved into the third spot in the MLS allocation order by dealing fan favorite Marcelo Sarvas to the Colorado Rapids, but with preseason training camp scheduled to begin later this week, LA have yet to make a move to bolster their roster.
In an interview with MLSsoccer.com's Scott French, Galaxy head coach and general manager Bruce Arena was mum on the team's plans to add a new piece to the puzzle, simply stating that he is "looking to make the team better."
LA Galaxy select defender Daniel Keller and goalkeeperAndrew Wolverton in final rounds of the MLS SuperDraft
CARSON, Calif. -- The 2015 MLS SuperDraft concluded on Tuesday with the LA Galaxy making two selections, nabbing Louisville defender Daniel Keller and Penn State goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton with their picks in the third and fourth rounds of the draft.
The Galaxy nabbed Keller, a central defender who spent four years with the Cardinals, with the 62nd overall selection in the third round. A regular starter in his last two years with Louisville, Keller scored three goals and tallied two assists while making a total of 52 appearances for the Cardinals.
With their final selection, the Galaxy drafted goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton out of Penn State University. A four year starter with the Nittany Lions, Wolverton maintained a record of 38-23-8 during his time with Penn State while also making 225 saves and keeping 32 shutouts.
Landon Donovan says he can't think of a better player to join the LA Galaxy than Liverpool's Steven Gerrard
PHILADELPHIA – Count retired LA Galaxy legend Landon Donovan among those who were impressed by the club’s ability to acquire Liverpool FC and former England captain Steven Gerrard to replace him as the team’s third Designated Player.
In an interview with LA Galaxy Insider after the announcement that Major League Soccer will be naming their Most Valuable Player award, the “Landon Donovan MVP trophy,” Donovan said that he was immensely pleased when he heard LA had signed the 34-year-old English soccer star.
“I was incredibly impressed with the [Galaxy’s] ability to bring in a player like Steven Gerrard and that, he’s the quality of player that they wanted,” Donovan said. “When I played at Everton [Liverpool’s arch rival], Everton fans hate Liverpool players and Liverpool fans, but Steven Gerrard was the one player that everyone respected on both sides. Everyone in the Premier League has so much respect for him and I can’t think of a better person to come here and hopefully lead the team to a sixth trophy next year.”
PHILADELPHIA -- The LA Galaxy drafted Iona's Ignacio Maganto with the 21st overall pick of the 2015 MLS SuperDraft.
The Spanish midfielder spent five years playing for Getafe in Spain before coming over to Iona College.
Marcelo Sarvas was an integral part of the LA Galaxy’s 2014 MLS Cup Championship campaign, but various reports are stating that the midfielder be on the move as part of a series of deals that could see Sacha Kljestan come to the StubHub Center.
Goal.com’s Ives Galarcep and ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle reported this week that with the Galaxy interested in signing Kljestan who is currently out of contract with Belgian club Anderlecht, Sarvas could be moved as part of a deal to acquire the Huntington Beach native. If Kljestan does sign with MLS, he will be subject to the league’s allocation order which would require interested parties—reported to be LA, New York Red Bulls,Philadelphia Union, and Seattle Sounders FC—to trade up with the Montreal Impact, who currently hold the top spot.
Sources confirmed both reports by Goal and ESPN FC that the Brazilian midfielder is seeking a pay raise after his stellar 2014 season, despite Sarvas having one more year on his current contract. Carlisle reported that during the league’s draft combine that several coaches said that would be interested in Sarvas if he were to become available by the Galaxy, including San Jose Earthquakes head coach Dominic Kinnear who’s side holds the second spot in the allocation order.
Kinnear even addressed potential interest with a brief comment to Carlisle.
LA Galaxy to report for 2015 preseason on Jan. 22; will play Hammarby in Sweden as part of European preseason tour
A little more than a month after winning MLS Cup, the LA Galaxy are getting back to business.
The club announced on Tuesday that Galaxy players will report for physicals on Jan. 22 before returning to the field a day later. LA will train at StubHub Center until Feb. 11 before the departs for Europe for a pair of friendlies against Swedish -- and AEG owned -- side Hammarby at Tele2 Arena in Stockholm on Feb. 16 at 11:30 a.m. PT (7:30 p.m. local time) before taking on Republic of Ireland giant Shamrock Rovers in Dublin on Feb. 21 at 8 a.m. PT (4 p.m. local time). The Galaxy will return to Los Angeles on Feb. 22 and begin to their turn their focus to the regular season opener against the Chicago Fire on March 6.
Prior to the first team's departure for Europe, USL PRO affiliate LA Galaxy II will host open try outs at StubHub Center on Jan. 31 and Feb. 1
Excited for the Galaxy to return to action?
LA Galaxy fans will still need to wait about seven months until Steven Gerrard suits up for the club, but it's very apparent that the 34-year-old Liverpool FC legend will be in top form once he arrives.
On Friday morning during Liverpool's preparations for Saturday's match against Sunderland (4:45 am on NBCSN/mun2) at their training ground Melwood, Gerrard delivered an impressive left-footed volley that sailed into the back of the net.
Watch the goal above.
Excited to see what Gerrard will bring once he arrives? How closely will you be watching Liverpool FC's games now?
Share your thoughts below.
In a special LA Galaxy Insider Breakdown, I look at how the LA Galaxy's new signing of Liverpool FC midfield can benefit the team and just where he'll fit.
Check it out above.
LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena on Steven Gerrard: "we want to get him pushed as close to goal as we can"
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena spoke to reporters on Wednesday to discuss the club’s newest Designated Player signing of Liverpool FC midfielder Steven Gerrard.
Gerrard will remain with Liverpool until the end of their season and will be eligible to play when the league’s transfer window opens in mid-January.
Arena’s complete comments from the conference call can be found below.
(On how the Galaxy intend to rotate their midfield around Gerrard…)
ARENA: I’m not spending a whole lot of time on that right now. We have seven months or so until Stevie arrives here in Los Angeles, and we’re going to play out the process of our team, see how it moves forward, and see how we’re ready to utilize Stevie once he gets here.
(On how Gerrard relates to other European arrivals to MLS like Beckham and Keane…)
ARENA: I think that they have proven track records. They’re winners, they’re great people, they’ve been terrific leaders on their clubs previous to coming to the Galaxy, and their qualities speak for themselves. Stevie has the characteristics of David Beckham and Robbie Keane, he’s a terrific players, he’s of great character, a great teammate and a great leader, so I think he’ll complement our team in a very positive way.
(On Gerrard’s versatility in the midfield…)
ARENA: In my observation of Stevie over the years, he’s not only been a central midfielder, he’s played a little bit shaded to the left or right underneath the strikers, so he can play a variety of positions in midfield. My guess is we’ll play him closer to the forwards than our center backs. He’s a player obviously with very good attacking qualities and we want to get him pushed as close to goal as we can, when we can. So I think we can accommodate that through a variety of positions. It’ll take a little bit of time, but we’ll get it figured out by the time that Stevie arrives.
(On the criticism that Gerrard receives for being unable to track back…)
ARENA: Steven Gerrard is a great player. He played in the 2014 World Cup, he plays for one of the top clubs in England… He’s got great experience, great understanding of the game; he’s quite capable of playing on both sides of the ball. I believe he’ll be a very good player for us in MLS.C
(On if Arena will manage Gerrard’s minutes…)
ARENA: I will manage his minutes. I’m going to try to get him on the field as much as possible.
(On the process to sign Gerrard…)
ARENA: First of all, I think Stevie did his homework, he was well aware of MLS and the Galaxy. He’s been here a couple of times, obviously with Liverpool, so he knew Southern California and L..A. He understands MLS, so there weren’t a whole lot of questions and he’s obviously been aware of Beckham and Keane at the Galaxy. But on and off over the years, Stevie’s always been a name that we’ve examined as a potential player to come to the Galaxy, and obviously over the recent months we’ve obviously pursued the player… Over the last two or three weeks, things came together pretty quickly.
(On if the Galaxy had other options…)
ARENA: We were looking at three or four players over the last three or four months, and obviously, Stevie was there all along. I would say that I thought it was going to be a longshot to acquire Stevie, but as we got closer to the year, interest on both parties picked up, and we were very fortunate to be able to secure a deal.
(On how Keane and Gerrard will combine…)
ARENA: They’re two outstanding players. They’ve played together before, they know each other, and I think in a short period of time they’re going to be able to have a great understanding of each other, and I’m quite confident that we’ll see they’re going to be able to help create chances for the LA Galaxy.
(On Robbie Keane’s input in the Gerrard signing…)
ARENA: To be honest with you, I have not spoken to Robbie Keane about this. Maybe a month or so ago, I let him know we were talking with Stevie, but we didn’t talk about how he fit in with the team and everything else. I just acknowledged the fact that Stevie was a player that we had an interest in.
CARSON, Calif. – The signing Steven Gerrard represents a major addition for the LA Galaxy, but just where does the Englishman fit in an already stacked LA midfield?
The Galaxy lifted their fifth MLS Cup on the strength of one of – if not the best—midfield in Major League Soccer which was anchored by the Brazilian tandem of Juninho and Marcelo Sarvas. Meanwhile on the flanks, a hodgepodge of Landon Donovan, Baggio Husidic and Stefan Ishizaki provided width to a Galaxy attack that scored a league-high 69 goals during the regular season.
At the height of his powers, Gerrard was one of Europe’s best midfielders with ability to not only provide defensive cover, but also create chances on his own due to his unparalleled work rate. In more recent times, Gerrard has settled into a holding midfield role that has allowed him to orchestrate from deeper in the parking and use his pinpoint passing to open up chances for teammates across the field.
Considering that at 35, Gerrard does not have the same engine that he had at his peak, Bruce Arena may opt to use the Englishman in defensive midfield capacity ala David Beckham in his final two seasons with the club.
What does Arena himself think? Well, the Galaxy head coach and general manager isn’t focusing on it just yet.
“I’m not spending a whole lot of time thinking about that right now,” said Arena during the team’s media availability after announcing the signing. “We have seven months or so until Stevie arrives here in Los Angeles and we’re going to play out the process of our team. We’ll see how it moves forward and see how we’re ready to utilize Stevie once he gets here.”
But now I’ll give you an option to predict the Galaxy’s next midfield. Below are a series of midfield combinations and I’ll allow you to decide which midfield you’d like to see lineup when Gerrard arrives. Obviously, the list is hardly exhaustive so add your own midfield combos in the comment section beneath.