Preseason notes: Robbie Rogers gets run out at right back, decision on LA Galaxy trialists may come before Europe Trip and more
CARSON, Calif. – Robbie Rogers excelled with the LA Galaxy as a left back last season, but during Friday’s 2-1 scrimmage victory over Seattle Sounders FC, he showcased his versatility.
Rogers started and went 45 minutes at right back while Todd Dunivant started along the left side. The switch allowed Dunivant to slide into his natural position while Rogers—who is naturally right footed—was slide into a new place along the back four.
"That's an option and obviously we're in preseason, we'll look at all options,” Arena told reporters of the outside back switch. “As we experienced last year during the season, we have to have players prepared to play a number of spots along the back line and that's a good exercise for us to get in today.”
Added Rogers, “I can play on both sides wherever Bruce needs me. It is a little different in terms of finding the space on the field so I have to get used to that, but it comes pretty quickly.
For Dunivant, Rogers’ move to the flank could be his path back into the starting lineup after an injury-riddled 2014 season.
“It is still the preseason so we’re still trying to figure out what combination works. It’s all about getting better,” he said. “I need to earn the spot in training and continue to learn every day and get better. I’ll let the cards fall where they may and I think if I’m healthy and Robbie is healthy then we’ll both be on the field one way or the other.”
Decisions on trialists upcoming
The LA Galaxy will likely have a decision on whether they will keep trialists Andre Auras, Edson Buddle and Ramon Martin Del Campo with the club prior to the trip to Europe.
In an interview with reporters earlier this week, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that a decision was a possibility before the team departs for the Republic of Ireland at the end of the week.
Draft picks Ignacio Maganto and Daniel Keller are expected to travel to Europe while injured goalkeeper Andrew Wolverton will not join the team until they return from Europe. Meanwhile, defender Daniel Steres who had been training with the club since the start of the season has been dealing with a calf injury.
A.J. DeLaGarza may return to practice next week
Right back A.J. DeLaGarza has yet to suit up for the Galaxy in a scrimmage during the preseason due to a leg injury, but head coach Bruce Arena assured reporters earlier this week that he'll be back in practice before the team departs for Europe.
"It's possible that he'll be training next week," Arena told reporters after the club's 2-1 victory over Seattle Sounders FC. "We're not sure yet at this point."
CARSON, Calif. – The season may be over for LA Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant as head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Tuesday that he is “not likely” to return for the remainder of the season.
Dunivant has yet to return to full training since tearing his left groin muscle during LA’s 6-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids back in September that ruled him out for six weeks. Injuries have been a frequent problem for Dunivant who missed out on four months of the season due to an abdominal tear.
The 33-year-old has made some progress over the last week by taking part in fitness work, but he revealed to reporters on Tuesday that he is still unable to train without experiencing pain.
“Injuries are part of the game and you have to deal with it accordingly,” said Arena. “On the team side, it can’t be an excuse and on the player side, you certainly feel for the player, but we have to move on and take care of business.
“We’ve had eight guys who have helped us in the back and they’ve all been needed.”
CARSON, Calif. –The LA Galaxy will be without defender Todd Dunivant for at least the next month.
The Galaxy's 33-year-old left back told reporters at training on Sunday that the he will be out for around six weeks with a left groin tear. Dunivant needed to be stretchered off the field in the 26th minute after suffering the injury during a collision with a Rapids attacker minutes earlier. The injury is the second long-term injury for Dunivant this season as he only recently returned from abdominal surgery that was needed to repair an abdominal tear suffered in April.
"I had the MRI yesterday. It was a pretty significant tear," said Dunivant on Sunday. "I can't walk straight. It sucks."
With Dunivant out, the Galaxy's outside back depth appears thin as veteran James Riley is only now returning from a left meniscus tear, and made his first gameday roster on Friday since suffering the injury in March. Meanwhile Robbie Rogers is continuing to deal with a left hamstring strain that forced him from the gameday squad against the Rapids.
“It’s been bizarre in that outside back is where we’ve had the most trouble [with injuries],” said Landon Donovan. “Guys have stepped in and they’ve done a great job. It’s been a bit a mish-mash of guys throughout the year, but through all of that, we still have the best defensive record in the league and we’re still playing well defensively.”
At training on Sunday, Rogers revealed that he will be traveling with the team to Montreal, but expects to only be limited to reserve duty against the Impact as he looks to return to full starting duty against the San Jose Earthquakes three days later.
For both Dunivant and Rogers, the injury-riddled 2014 campaign has been a frustrating one, but Rogers insists that the two will overcome—by any means necessary.
“Todd and I were saying that someone needs to walk the field with incense and use voodoo,” Rogers joked. “For whatever reason this year, our [outside] defenders have had trouble with injuries, but that’s just part of the job.
“We've been dealing with injuries all season to different guys, but the team has done a great job of stepping up,” Rogers added. “Our team isn’t just one player obviously.”
Gutcheck moment in dramatic victory over Colorado Rapids may define LA Galaxy season says Todd Dunivant
COMMERCE CITY, Colo. – It was a true homecoming for Todd Dunivant on Wednesday when the LA Galaxy defeated the Colorado Rapids 4-3 in dramatic fashion.
Finally recovered after an abdominal tear that has sidelined him since the third game of the season, Dunivant returned to the Galaxy starting XI for the first time since April 6. In attendance to see the 32-year-old defender’s first start in months were nearly 90 members of the Colorado native’s family who were in town holding a family reunion.
What they saw, however, was less than positive –at least to start— as LA sputtered out of the gate conceding three goals in the opening 30 minutes of play to fall behind 3-1 at the half. During that slow start, Dunivant lacked sharpness as he was frequently targeted down the flank by Colorado.
“We didn’t come out strong enough. Who knows what it was? They got behind us too many times and they jumped on us,” Dunivant told LA Galaxy Insider. “We had our chances too, but we just weren’t ready.”
In the second half, the Galaxy appeared revitalized after a rousing halftime speech by head coach Bruce Arena. It didn’t take long for LA to pull level as goals from Omar Gonzalez and Alan Gordon tied up the score after just 68 minutes. In the 80th, Landon Donovan scored to seal the victory for the visitors.
For Dunivant who was lifted in favor of A.J. DeLaGarza just two minutes prior to Donovan’s game-winner, the win may come to define the Galaxy’s season.
“Sometimes these types of wins are more important than complete game performances because you need to dig deep and see what we’re made of,” said Dunivant, who claimed to be feeling no ill effects from his abdominal injury after the game. “We had a gut check moment at half time where a lot of words were said, but we were obviously able to come back.
“Playing in Colorado is always a tall task, but it was great to be back on the field and getting a win was fantastic for this team.”
With Robbie Rogers on the mend, left back Todd Dunivant aiming to return to the LA Galaxy starting lineup
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Veteran left back Todd Dunivant made his first MLS appearance since April during the LA Galaxy's 4-1 defeat to the Columbus Crew last Saturday and now he may be in line to start Wednesday’s clash with the Colorado Rapids.
Incumbent left back Robbie Rogers started the match against the Crew despite suffering a quadriceps injury earlier in the week, but was forced to exit the defeat midway through the second half. After Rogers’ injury, the Galaxy switched to a 3-5-2 formation as they looked to erase a one goal deficit, but after falling behind 4-1 in the 84th minute, Dunivant was inserted into the match.
The minutes were the first for Dunivant since the left back suffered an abdominal tear in April. Dunivant has been in full training since early August and recently went nearly 80 minutes for LA Galaxy II on Aug. 9.
“It wasn’t the best circumstances [to return] because we’re down three goals, but it was great to get back on the field and get some minutes,” Dunivant told LA Galaxy Insider at training at Ohio State on Monday. “It’s not easy as a defender to get minutes because there’s not a lot of circumstances where it makes sense to insert a defender so I was happy to be on the field, but it would have been nice if the score was the other way around.”
With Rogers admittedly “day to day,” Dunivant may have a chance to make his first start against the Rapids on Wednesday where the Colorado native is expected to have more than 80 friends and family in attendance.
Although the 33-year-old admits that he’d be overjoyed to return to the field, he knows the decision will ultimately be made by head coach Bruce Arena.
“It’s a great opportunity, but we’ll see what Bruce decides. I’m definitely ready to go and I’m anxious to get back on the field,” said Dunivant. “We’ve been on a great run and I want to be able to contribute to that.”
If both players are healthy, who should get the start at left back: Todd Dunivant or Robbie Rogers?
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CARSON, Calif. – Todd Dunivant returned to the LA Galaxy game day roster on Saturday after a lengthy injury spell and now the veteran left back is continue his recovery by appearing in a match for LA Galaxy II.
In an interview with LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan, Dunivant states that he’s expecting to suit up for Los Dos on Saturday when they take on Arizona United SC at the StubHub Center Track and Field Stadium. If Dunivant does play, it’ll be his first action since he suffered an abdominal tear during LA’s April 6 match with Chivas USA.
Following Galaxy II’s training session on Monday, Los Dos head coach Curt Onalfo stated that all signs point to Dunivant suiting up against Arizona.
“We just have to see how the week progresses, but he could certainly be a guy that we could give minutes to as he continues to progress from injury,” said Onalfo. “As long as he’s healthy then he’s going to get minutes.”
CARSON, Calif. – For the first time since April, LA Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant made his return to a game day roster as he looks to return to the starting XI.
Dunivant has been sidelined since early April after suffering an abdominal injury during LA’s match against Chivas USA that later required surgery. For the 33-year-old left back, the chance to sit on the team’s bench during their 3-1 victory over the Portland Timbers was a joy as he looks to inch closer to game fitness.
“It was good to get back in with the guys. I’m obviously training now so it’s awesome,” said Dunivant. “An ideal world, I’d love to get some time with Galaxy II and build my way in, but I’ve had a week of training and I just want to build on it. Fitness and soccer fitness are different things.
“We’ll see how the week of training goes, but we need to talk to Curt [Onalfo] and get his assessment, but I’d love to get a game there.”
Said Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena, “He’s coming back. He’s been out since early April. We have to start to get him moving again and maybe even get him a game with LA Galaxy II.”
But whether he’ll start once he does returns to full fitness is still a question mark due to the stellar play of Robbie Rogers. Rogers put in yet another strong performance on the left side of defense adding an assist on the team’s opener while also earning plenty of praise from Arena.
“I think that coming from a deeper position is good for him,” said Arena. “But the thing about Robbie in that position is he’s an excellent defender, which is the number one box you need to check when you are going to play as a defender. He does that exceptionally well. The other stuff like going forward is icing on the cake.”
But Dunivant acknowledges that despite Rogers’ success, he won’t be ceding the position.
“He’s done really well,” said Dunivant. “That’s great and that’s what you want to see. No complaints from me. It’s a good problem for Bruce to have.”
CARSON, Calif. – As two of the LA Galaxy’s most important pieces head off on international duty, two other members of Bruce Arena’s starting XI appear to be on the road back to the field.
Arena told reporters on Tuesday that defender Todd Dunivant and midfielder Marcelo Sarvas are each “moving forward” in their respective injury recoveries that have kept them off the field for multiple matches.
Dunivant has been sidelined with an abdominal strain since April and is making strides according to Arena, but the Galaxy head coach admitted that it'd be “optimistic” to assume that he'd be available for Saturday’s road match against the Houston Dynamo. Meanwhile, Sarvas has been sidelined with an MCL sprain that has forced him to miss LA’s last two matches.
The LA Galaxy will return to action against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday and ahead of the match, the team issued an injury report that includes one member of their frequent starting XI.
Midfielder Marcelo Sarvas is listed as questionable due to a a knee issue and is joined on that list by goalkeeper Brian Perk (left adductor strain) and left back Todd Dunivant (abdominal strain). Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters earlier in the week that Dunivant was "unlikely" to participate against the Rapids on Saturday.
On Thursday, Dunivant spoke to the Corner of the Galaxy podcast and voiced his frustrations about his recovery.
"It's slower than I'd like. The frustrating part is that there's nothing that you can do about an abdominal tear," said Dunivant. "It's one of those injuries that is frustrating because you can't do anything, you can't do fitness, you can't [lift] weights because everything you do, you use your abs. It's frustrating from an athletes standpoint because you just have to be patient and rest.
"After giving it a couple of weeks, I tried to come back and everything was going fine, but it just wasn't fully healed yet," Dunivant said. "So we had to give it more time and back off, and that's where I am right now."
As for the timetable for his recovery, Dunivant is making no assurances that he'll be back by LA's match against the Portland Timbers next week.
"I'd love to say next game, but I really can't," Dunivant said. "This thing has been unpredictable and I have pain even just sitting up...I was out at training earlier this week on Monday and I was able to run and get around the field without too much difficulty, but then, I still can't sit up right or do a sit up without a sharp pain.
"It's healing, but it is not all the way there. I haven't even touched a ball yet and I still have to get through those reps," he continued. "It's going to be a little while longer and hopefully I can [make it back] quicker, but this thing has a mind of it's own and when it is ready to heal then it is going to be ready."
CARSON, Calif. – Despite making strides with his recovery, LA Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant is “unlikely” to suit up for LA during their match against the Colorado Rapids on Saturday according to head coach Bruce Arena.
Dunivant, who was out running during training earlier this week, was not present during Galaxy training on Tuesday. Arena told reporters that the left back is “moving forward” and will be back training “soon” as he looks to recover from an abdominal injury that has sidelined him since LA's April 6 victory over Chivas USA.
With Dunivant unavailable, it seems likely that A.J. DeLaGarza will fill in out on the left side of defense on Saturday.
#LAGalaxy defender Todd Dunivant was running off to the side during the team's training session today. First time he's been out in weeks.
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) April 28, 2014