CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy need a spark in the attack when they face the Houston Dynamo on Friday, and newcomer Sebastian Lletget just might be the one to deliver that little boost.
The former West Ham United midfielder made his debut for the club last Sunday during their 4-0 defeat to Orlando City SC, going 21 minutes in the loss. During the match, Lletget was unable to truly make an impact on the game due to Orlando's dominance, but the 22-year-old is confident that if he’s given an opportunity against Houston, he can have an impact.
“I believe I am [ready to start],” Lletget told LA Galaxy Insider. “I always believe that I’m practicing really hard. Obviously, coming in the middle of the season, I do need to do a little bit of catch-up in terms of philosophy and our style of play, but I think that I’m ready.”
Just when Lletget makes that first start, however, is in the hands of head coach Bruce Arena who says that Lletget might need to wait a little longer.
"He needs more time,” said Arena. “But it was good to get him out on the field for the first time."
ORLANDO, FL – Juninho grew up admiring his Brazilian countryman and national soccer legend Kaka, but on Sunday, he’ll have the chance to match wits with the former FIFA Player of the Year when the LA Galaxy meet Orlando City SC at the Citrus Bowl.
Sunday’s game won’t be the first time that the two Brazilians have faced off before an exhibition when Kaka was still suiting up for Real Madrid, but this time, given the league competition.
In those friendly matches, there is the temptation for MLS players to get a bit starry eyed when facing such accomplished competition but Juninho knows that this situation is much different. When the first ball is kicked at the Citrus Bowl on Sunday, he’ll be focused on shutting down the Brazilian international.
“My mentality is to not leave him alone,” Juninho told LA Galaxy Insider. “I want to be around him most of the time, and just play my game. I know that it’ll be a hard game with Orlando having a full house. We just want to try and score, and not leave Kaka alone to do what he does so well.”
HANOVER, N.J. -- The LA Galaxy will not have Robbie Keane for their clash against New York Red Bulls on Sunday, but with the club in the middle of a two game winning streak, the absence of the reigning MLS MVP is not troubling Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
Still stricken with a groin strain that will now cost him his third consecutive game, Keane did not make the trip with the Galaxy to New Jersey for Sunday's clash. Keane was limited in training throughout the week and appeared doubtful for Sunday, but Daily Breeze's Nick Green confirmed the worries on Saturday morning.
Although the Galaxy will be without their captain for the third straight match, Arena said that his absence changes little about LA's preparations for New York.
"Doesn't change anything. We haven't played with him in the last two games," Arena told LAGalaxy.com after the team's training session at the New York Red Bulls training facility. "It doesn't change anything that we do at all."
CARSON, Calif. -- Since 2009, the LA Galaxy and Seattle Sounders FC have set the gold standard for Major League Soccer.
Over the last six years, the Galaxy and Seattle have accounted for three of the last six MLS Cup winners (all Galaxy), four of the last six U.S. Open Cup winners (all Seattle), and three of the last six Supporters' Shield winners. All the while, both sides have enjoyed the two highest winning percentages in Major League Soccer.
Ahead of Sunday's clash between the two teams, MLSsoccer.com has provided a breakdown on the rivalry in the infographic below.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will be without centerback Leonardo for their upcoming match against Vancouver Whitecaps FC, head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Tuesday.
Leonardo suffered an apparent leg strain in the 52nd minute when launching a shot just wide of goal during LA's 1-0 defeat to D.C. United last week. Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena had no update on Leonardo's status after the game, but on Tuesday, he confirmed that the Brazilian center back will likely miss out on Saturday's clash with Vancouver.
"He'll probably be out this week," Arena said. "He'll probably be out this week."
Arena admitted that the unforgiving BC Place turf was part of the reason that Leonardo would not feature against the Whitecaps.
"I don't think that you want to play anybody on that surface that has a leg injury," Arena said.
The LA Galaxy will be without Brian Perk for the duration of the 2015 MLS season, after the goalkeeper underwent successful surgery to repair a dislocated and fractured left ankle, the team announced on Friday.
Perk suffered the non-contact injury during a scrimmage with Galaxy II several weeks ago. The 25-year-old goalkeeper has made seven career appearances for the Galaxy first team since joining the club in 2010.
Perk's season-ending surgery comes after a difficult past two seasons that saw the goalkeeper deal with concussion symptoms as well as other injuries.
By the Numbers: LA Galaxy look to continue their dominance at StubHub Center in 2015 season opener against Chicago Fire
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy's season is finally here.
The club will open up the 2015 MLS regular season on Friday when they host the Chicago Fire at StubHub Center. In 2015, the Galaxy will look to once again dominate at home where they went an astounding 15-1-4 in both regular season and postseason matches.
In the very first edition of By the Numbers in 2015, we take a look at the Galaxy's goal differential at home during the 2014 campaign.
Robbie Keane has a message for budding star Bradford Jamieson IV as the youngster prepares to carve out a starting role during the 2015 regular season.
Keep your head up.
No, he’s not saying it figuratively, but quite literally, as the winger seeks to become an offensive force along the left side of the Galaxy midfield.
Jamieson earned the start on the left flank in the club’s final preseason match against the San Jose Earthquakes. However, the game was a mixed bag for Jamieson who displayed an ability to launch clever shots at goal, but also struggled to make a consistent impact along the flank before he was pulled for eventual goal scorer Jose Villarreal.
Following the match, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said that Jamieson is “still just a kid” with a “ways to go” in his development, but his captain declared that there will be “no more excuses” made for the Galaxy’s youngsters, stating that they’ll be expected to contribute in the year ahead.
“He’s young. He still has to learn,” Keane said after the club's final preseason game in San Jose. “With the ability that he has, he can beat people no problem, but what young players do, and I’ve seen this for many years, they feel like if they beat someone then they can just keep going and keep [moving forward]. The reality is that it doesn’t always happen that way.
To truly hammer home the lesson, Keane referenced 2014 breakout star Gyasi Zardes, and the strides that he has made over the past two years.
“[Jamieson] got to keep his head up and once he learns to do that, as we saw last year with Gyasi...,the quicker that the younger lads learn then the better that they’re going to be, and the more opportunities that they’re going to have for the team,” said Keane. “Sometimes he just needs to pick up his head a little bit more and see what his options are. Once he does that, he’ll be a big player for this team because he’s got all the ability in the world.”
Jamieson, to his credit, agreed with the captain and noted that if he’s going to challenge for a regular starting spot then he’ll need to become a consistent contributor.
“[Keane] told me that I need to be able to pick my head up a half a second [quicker], and other little things that are going to allow me to separate myself from other players,” said Jamieson. “I still feel that if I’m pushing hard and I’m putting in good performances, I think that I’ll be to solidify a spot on the squad. This is a huge opportunity for me.”
Training Notebook: Edson Buddle expected to be contribute in 2015; Robbie Keane hopes StubHub Center remains a fortress
It's no secret that Edson Buddle will be joining the LA Galaxy, but LA boss Bruce Arena expects the veteran forward to contribute in the upcoming season.
Arena revealed on Monday that the Galaxy will be signing the forward before the end of week after a successful preseason training stint with the club. Buddle will look to return to form with the Galaxy after two difficult seasons with the Colorado Rapids, but despite his difficulties with the Rapids, Arena has full confidence in Buddle to perform in 2015.
"He's an experienced forward. He's scored 100 goals in this league and there's no reason to believe that he can't score a few more," he said. "He's a good experienced forward. He can hold the ball up, he's hard to play against. He's going to play a role for us this year. We're going to have a lot of games this year and it's going to help having an experienced forward on the field."
THE GALAXY WANT TO MAKE STUBHUB CENTER A FORTRESS
The LA Galaxy had a nearly unblemished record at StubHub Center in 2015, and if the club is to repeat as MLS Cup champions, the belief is that they must continue to dominate at home.
A year ago, the Galaxy went a stunning 15-1-4 at home in all MLS competitions with their lone loss came in club's season opener way back on March 8, 2014. As the Galaxy prepare for the upcoming season, team captain Robbie Keane believes that staying perfect at home is key for LA's hopes of another title.
"We need to continue to do the same [thing we did last year]," said Robbie Keane. "We need to make sure that this place is difficult for players and teams to come. We want them to not enjoy coming here and know that it'll be a difficult game when you play against the LA Galaxy."
BRUCE ARENA: LA GALAXY AREN'T "DEFENDING" ANYTHING IN 2015
The LA Galaxy will enter the 2015 season as the defending champions of Major League Soccer, but Galaxy boss Bruce Arena has a qualm with the use of the word "defending."
"We're not defending anything," said Arena. "Its' a new season. We're trying to win a championship, we're not defending one."
LA Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter named to Costa Rica Under-23 squad for upcoming IMG’s Suncoast Pro Classic
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter has been selected to represent the Costa Rica Under-23 squad at the upcoming IMG Suncoast Pro Classic in Bradenton, Fla. from Feb.18-28.
The native of Turrialba, Costa Rica was signed by Galaxy II in January for the upcoming 2015 USL season. A Big West All-freshman team selection during his only year at Cal Poly in 2014, Lassiter last played with Swedish second division club GAIS where he made 12 appearances scoring one goal.
During the tournament, the Costa Rican Under-23's will face MLS sides Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC as well as OKC Energy FC (USL), HB Koge (Denmark), and London United, which is a team made up of out of contract players.
The tournament will serve as a tune-up for this summer's CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying tournament which will be held in the United States from October 1-13. The top two teams will qualify for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil while the third place team will face Colombia in a two-leg playoff in Brazil in March 2016.