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.
It's officially official. Steven Gerrard is a member of the LA Galaxy.
The club announced on Wednesday morning that Gerrard will be joining the club upon the conclusion of Liverpool FC's 2014-15 English Premier League campaign and will be eligible to play for the club when the transfer window opens up in July. Per club and league policy, the details of the contract were not disclosed.
CARSON, Calif. – The last two years have been frustrating for Brian Perk and now the longtime LA goalkeeper finds himself possibly searching for greener pastures after his option was declined earlier this month.
Much like the 2013 season, Perk was plagued with recurring concussion issues that rendered him unable to suit up for the Galaxy or their USL PRO affiliate Galaxy II for wide stretches. The 25-year-old ‘keeper saw only brief action for the first team as he appeared in two matches at the beginning of the year while primary starter Jaime Penedo ironed out visa issues after LA’s demise from the CONCACAF Champions League.
In his three appearances, Perk showcased the quality shot-stopping ability that has been a hallmark of his as he made held a 1-0-1 record that included a shutout of Chivas USA in March. However, concussions rendered Perk unable to build on this performance as he was inactive for much of the season, allowing Brian Rowe to seal the No. 2 spot behind Penedo. When Perk did return, he became a staple for Galaxy II appearing in five matches for the club including each of their two USL PRO playoff games.
After having his option declined, where Perk’s career goes from here remains in question. The goalkeeper is up for stage two of the MLS Re-Entry Draft on Thursday and if he is not selected, he could be eligible to sign with any club that he wishes. Although injuries forced him into limited action this season, Perk’s stellar shot stopping ability—which has drawn comparisons to RSL starter Nick Rimando— should make him a contender to lock down a job with the Galaxy or elsewhere.
How would you rate Perk’s performance in 2014? Read my review of the goalkeepers on LAGalaxy.com and provide him with your own personal rating below.
The LA Galaxy passed on making any selections in stage one of the 2014 MLS Re-Entry Draft.
Only three players were selected in the first process as former Sporting KC goalkeepers Eric Kronberg and Andy Gruenebaum were selected by Montreal Impact and San Jose Earthquakes respectively while former Real Salt Lake forward Robbie Findley was taken by Toronto FC.
Teams will now have a chance to regonotiate with their players made available for the Re-Entry Draft process before stage two on Dec. 18
HERMOSA BEACH, Calif. –Rob Friend is hanging up his boots.
The little-used Canadian forward announced his retirement on Monday at the club’s MLS Cup championship rally in Hermosa Beach. Friend made just 12 appearances for the Galaxy in all competitions while tallying just one assist for the club after joining in January.
Friend’s injury troubles began in July following the club’s friendly with Manchester United in what he described as a “freak accident” that occurred when a ball struck him in the forehead during training when he wasn’t looking. Since the injury, which he believes was only made worse due to repeated head injuries during his decade-long career; Friend has tried to make a recovery, but fallen short each time.
“I made a few attempts at a comeback, but it’s my body telling me that I’ve taken one too many hits to the head. I’m still struggling with a few symptoms and a lot of headaches. It’s a combination of that it is not worth it to maybe take one more hit,” Friend said. “I have to make that decision for myself and my family. I have hopefully a very long life ahead of me and I need to be a good father and a good husband to take care of my family. I don’t ever want to go through what I’ve been through with this concussion again.”
Although the decision seemed inevitable given his inability to return to the field, the striker admitted that he didn’t come to decision lightly as he saw specialists across North America as he considered returning to the game. But despite the bittersweet ending to this chapter in his life, Friend still admits that he can hold his head up high given his success across Europe throughout his career.
“It’s unfortunate. I wish the fans and the organization could have seen me at my best,” said Friend. “I’ll always take pride in my work ethic and attitude. I wasn’t a fancy player but I think that I have a lot of respect from every player and organization. I had a lot of highs especially playing in the Bundesliga and coming from a small town in Canada, I had a lot against me and I succeeded.”
As for what’s next for the newly retired Friend, the 33-year-old now hopes to move into the business of soccer in some respect which is fitting for the Canadian who holds a degree in Business Economics from U.C. Santa Barbara.
One avenue that may be worth exploring for Friend if he is up for consideration is with the Canadian Soccer Association, a group that the former national team forward believes needs considerable reforms.
“I would love to change the entire dynamic of the Canadian Soccer Association. We’re 20 years behind the U.S. and I think there is a lot of ideas and tips that we can take from them. We’re just too far behind and it takes guys who have been outside of Canada and made it around the world to change the mentality and the system. It takes a lot of work and not one man is going to change it, but I would love to help out.”
A weighted lottery was held on Monday with FC Dallas winning the top selection in next week's Dispersal Draft. Following the top selection, New York City FC and Sporting Kansas City will hold the second and third picks in the draft which will distribute former Chivas USA players around the league.
According to MLSsoccer.com, picks in the Dispersal Draft can not be traded.
Chivas USA Dispersal Draft order:
- FC Dallas
- New York City FC
- Sporting Kansas City
- DC United
- New England Revolution
- Montreal Impact
- Orlando City SC
- Colorado Rapids
- San Jose Earthquakes
- Real Salt Lake
- Houston Dynamo
- Portland Timbers
- Chicago Fire
- Toronto FC
- Columbus Crew SC
- LA Galaxy
- Philadelphia Union
- New York Red Bulls
- Seattle Sounders FC
- Vancouver Whitecaps FC
Everyone is rushing to honor Landon Donovan ahead of his final cap for the U.S. National Team and the latest to the party is the soccer website Soccerly.
In the stunning graphic below, Soccerly designer Shio created a composite of all the USMNT jerseys that Donovan wore during his 15 years with the national team.
Check it out.
With the postseason looming, LA Galaxy II bolstered their roster by signing U.S. youth international forward Kainoa Bailey and French defender Jason Bli.
Bailey, 19, joins Los Dos on a free transfer from German club Bayer 04 Leverkusen where the Nevada native signed his first professional contract last year. Meanwhile, Bli arrives on a free transfer from L'Entene Sannois Saint-Gratien in the French fourth division. The 20-year-old defender spent time on trial with los Dos earlier this year, playing in matches against the Fresno Fuego and the Galaxy first team.
“The addition of Kainoa Bailey to our roster brings a different dimension to our attack,” said LA Galaxy II head coach Curt Onalfo in a club statement. “Kainoa is a young, talented player who is very fast in the attack and we are excited to strengthen our roster by bringing him to LA.
“Jason is another great addition to our roster, and we are excited to see him join the team,” added Onalfo. “Bli is a skillful player and we are sure he will add great depth to our backline.”
In addition to the two signings, the Galaxy USL PRO affiliate released outside back Eder Arreola. The former UCLA Bruins star made 11 appearances for Galaxy II in his lone season with the club.
Thoughts on the moves?
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CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy bolstered their attack on Monday by acquiring veteran forward Alan Gordon.
LA acquired the forward from the San Jose Earthquakes in exchange for allocation money, the club announced on Monday. Gordon has 180 appearances and 39 goals as well as 26 assists in his 11 years in MLS.
“Alan is a proven MLS player who adds another scoring threat to our roster going forward,” said LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena in a statement. “We are pleased to welcome him back as a member of the Galaxy.”
Gordon joins a Galaxy strike force that includes Robbie Keane, Gyasi Zardes, Rob Friend and Chandler Hoffman.