US National Team

20 March 12:25 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo this Saturday in their third match of the 2015 MLS regular season. 

In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's By the Numbers, we take a look at the club's recent struggles against the Dynamo.

Check it out below. 

16 March 10:26 am

The LA Galaxy Academy may have two players in this fall’s U-17 FIFA World Cup as the United States’ Hugo Arellano and Mexico’s Abraham Romero helped their respective teams qualify over the weekend.

Arellano and the Americans booked their ticket on Sunday with a thrilling penalty kick shootout victory over Jamaica after their playoff game ended in a scoreless stalemate. Arellano was joined on the squad by U-17 star Haji Wright who has spent time with the Galaxy Academy over the past year. Meanwhile Romero, who has suited up for the U.S. and Mexico, served as El Tri’s goalkeeper throughout the competition and helped Mexico win their second consecutive U-17 CONCACAF Championship

The 2015 U-17 World Cup takes place in Chile from Oct. 17 to Nov. 8.   

28 February 9:52 am

LA Galaxy Academy defender Hugo Arellano scored as the U.S. U-17's demolished Cuba 5-0 in their Group A opener at the 2015 U-17 CONCACAF Championship. 

Joe Gallardo scored three times while Alejandro Zendejas and Arellano rounded out the scoring for Richie Williams' squad. Midfielders Christian Pulisic and Luca de La Torre each tallied two assists in the Americans' confident victory. 

Arellano needed just five minutes to put the U.S. ahead as the U-17 captain smashed a Pulisic corner into the back of the net for the opening goal. In the 40th minute, Pulisic played the distributor again as he found Joe Gallardo from close range for the irst of his three on the evening. Just three minutes later, Zendejas pounced on a failed Cuban defensive clearance and tallied his fourth goal of his U-17 career. 

Once the second half began, Gallardo left no doubt of the Americans dominance as he combined with de la Torre twice for goals in the 65th and 88th minutes to seal the win. 

The U.S. return to action on Monday when they face Trinidad and Tobago at 3 p.m. PT. 

23 February 5:31 pm

LA Galaxy Academy defender Hugo Arellano has been selected for the U.S. Under-17 squad as they look to qualify for this summer's U-17 World Cup in Chile. 

Arellano has been a mainstay in Richie Williams' squad and will join the 20-man group as they head to Honduras for the 2015 CONCACAF U-17 Championship. Joining Arellano on the squad is former Galaxy Academy starlet Haji Wright who has been training recently with German club Schalke. 

The tournament begins from Feb. 27 through March 15, and will see four teams from two groups qualify for Chile. The Americans open the tournament on Friday against Group A opponents Cuba. They'll be joined in Group A by Jamaica, Guatemala, and Trinidad & Tobago. 

Like the U-20 tournament earlier this year, the top team from each group will qualify while the second-and-third place sides will play in a one-game knockout match to determine the rest of CONCACAF's participants. 

The complete roster is below. 

Goalkeepers: William Pulisic (Richmond United/USA); Kevin Silva (Players Development Academy/USA)

Defenders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls/USA); Hugo Arellano (LA Galaxy/USA); Daniel Barbir (West Bromwich Albion FC/ENG); Tanner Dieterich (Real Salt Lake Arizona/USA); John Nelson (Internationals Soccer Club/USA); Matthew Olosunde (New York Red Bulls/USA); Alexis Velela (San Diego Surf/USA)

Midfielders: Eric Calvillo (Real SoCal/USA); Lucas de la Torre (Fulham FC/ENG); Thomas McCabe (Players Development Academy/USA); Christian Pulisic (Borussia Dortmund/GER); Alejandro Zendejas Saavedra (FC Dallas/USA)

Forwards: Pierre da Silva (Orlando City SC/USA); Orrin Gaines II (Lonestar SC/USA); Joe Gallardo Jr (Monterrey/MEX); Joshua Perez (unattached); Brandon Vazquez (Club Tijuana/MEX); Haji Wright (unattached)

20 February 7:39 pm

Life is a process of continual evolution for LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers both on the field and off.

In my latest piece for LAGalaxy.com, I spoke to Rogers about his attempt to reconnect with U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann and the defender’s perceptions on his legacy as the first openly gay athlete in a major American professional sport. However not all of my conversation with Rogers made the story. 

Below are other excerpts from Rogers discussing his book Coming out to Play and his continued growth as a soccer player and a person.

(On his decision to write his book…)

ROGERS: It was definitely more about – After I came out publicly and had that relation from people which was something that I didn’t think would happen in a million years, I realized that I could write a book about my story which so many people can relate to. The biggest difference that I’ve made is just being on the field and then afterward writing a book and going into detail and exposing a vulnerable part of myself helps as much as being on the field and playing.

 (On his transformation as a gay athlete…)

ROGERS: “For me, it was about first whether my teammates respected me and if they did respect me and enjoyed playing with me. Of course, you want to accomplish things on the field. This year, especially, I was never thinking of myself as a gay athlete. That’s the big difference between 2013 and 2014, last year I was on the road and I was the only gay guy and I had to deal with that which wasn’t because of how I was treated by the team but what I was dealing with. This year, there were so many times where it just wasn’t even an issue. I never had to talk about it. This year, I realized that when the book was coming out then but I would just not think about it.”

(On how Rogers ultimately hopes that he’s remembered when he decides to retire…)

ROGERS: I hope that I have a good enough career and I’m successful enough that people just think about me as a player on the Galaxy who helped win championships and played for good teams. I hope teammates like Landon, Robbie and Omar can remember me as a guy on their team who was a good soccer player and a good person, regardless of me being gay or straight.

(On whether he understands the conceptual change within him…)

ROGERS:  I was so introverted and I was so afraid to have close relationships because I was afraid that people would get to know me. I was afraid to be this crazy person on the dance floor. I was so afraid of so many things and this year, it was so completely different and I’m so happy that I’m able to enjoy it. After all, if you can’t enjoy winning a championship, what is the point of being a professional soccer player? What’s the point of being successful in any career if you can’t enjoy the little moments where you have a triumph.  I think a lot of people can’t enjoy moments because they want to move onto what’s next, but I know that in that moment especially after what happened a few years earlier, I just had to cry. I was happy to show that emotion to them as well that they see that he’s human.

(On the distinct difference between how he acted as a child and today…)

ROGERS: It’s really sad. It’s so sad how depressed and how homophobic I was to myself. I was simply isolated and alone, and afraid to share this side to anyone even myself. It’s been two years since I came out and it’s incredible how different things have been. My family wasn’t ready to support same sex marriage but now they can’t wait till I get married. It’s crazy how things change so quickly. I can’t explain that. It’s really changed overnight.

(On whether he expected any anger from his stories in the book…)

ROGERS: This is all a learning experience. Everything in the book is the truth but I’ve just been supported by everyone that I spoke about in the book. I was able to then come out and move back to the states and go through everything that I went to. I heard the most ridiculous things from people who love me so much and I realized that they’re not homophobic  they say things because their church tells them to or to make people around them laugh or they’re supposed to. I learned that people aren’t homophobic but have this pack mentality which I was part of when I was younger.

(On dealing with the locker room mentality and the focus that has gotten since his announcement…)

ROGERS:  When you live that your life, you’ve seen in it. Whether it was Columbus or Leeds or Holland or college or even when I was younger in High School, you hear on a daily basis that you shouldn’t be such an [expletive] or don’t be so gay. These are really things that you think when you are gay and you are raised that is wrong and you hear them, it slowly chips away at you. It makes you feel like you ever accept that side of you that something will change and they might not accept you.  It scared the [expletive] out of me.

(On how his own insecurities played into the writing of his book…)

ROGERS: I didn’t know the book would be so therapeutic. Just sitting with Eric and writing and talking for hours and hours helped me realized that I was raised for so long in an environment where I couldn’t express myself. I’m still really bad at expressing myself and being open with people because for 20 years, I wasn’t. Nothing changes over night. But Eric would say to me that he’s 50 and he’s still working on all his flaws. I didn’t realize that was going to happen or take place. Our hope was to write a book that would reach people that had a gay son or knew someone that was gay and could read this and pass it along, but also help that person [that was reading]through whatever they were dealing with.

(On a unique experience speaking to people a book signing at a Los Angeles CostCo...)

ROGERS: Usually when you have an appearance or a book signing, people know who you are but at Costco, they don’t have a connection [with a gay person]. People were coming up to me asking who I and I’d tell them, they’d sit there and read the book. They’d stand there and just keep reading then tell me ‘oh my gosh, this is a great story. It’s so great that you’re doing” then they ended up buying a copy and telling me, I’m going to read this or give it to someone else and pass it along. I thought that this is great because not all these people are gay but they can read the story and connect to it. They realize that it’s about someone who has a coming out experience that feels isolated and depressed at some point. They can pick the book up and relate to it. That was our hope, to connect with people that weren’t necessarily in the LGBT community but felt that they had a coming out (either they had a divorce or changed religions and had to confront their family about it) we knew that.”

(On his perceptions on the frustrating 2013 season with the Galaxy…)

ROGERS:  It was weird. Even last year, I thought to myself that I hope other people come out because I didn’t want to be the only gay athlete. I remember that 2013 was tough. I remember saying to my family that even when you come out, everything isn’t great. You’re still struggling with a lot of things. This year was more about finding a balance and being at peace with what I’m doing. I’m not just a gay athlete, I play for the Galaxy, I’m a left back and we have a good team. It was more than just that. It was just figuring out my life and being comfortable. I had just come out six months before I started playing with the Galaxy. It’s not like you just come out and you’ve solved everything in life because you’re still a 20-something trying to figure stuff out. But the book did help me figure out stuff about myself.”

13 February 2:17 pm

LA Galaxy midfielder Juninho is interested in one day suiting up for the U.S. National Team, but fans of the Brazilian should hold their horses before running to buy U.S. jerseys with "Juninho" on the back.

Juninho recently told the Brazilian outlet Globoesporte of his intention of suiting up for the U.S. National Team rather than his home land which recently capped his brother Ricardo Goulart. Sources close to the midfielder have told LA Galaxy Insider that this has been a long standing wish of the Brazilian, but even though the 26-year-old has lived in the United States since joining the Galaxy in 2010 and currently holds a green card -- which he obtained in the summer of 2013 -- he must still wait five years until he can apply for citizenship.

When Juninho is finally eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship, the Brazilian midfielder will be nearly 30-years old. If the process is completed quickly, Juninho could be eligible to play for the USMNT during their qualifying efforts for the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar. 

"I have expressed my desire to play for the US national team," Juninho told Globoesporte.com. "I think the US national team is closer than the Brazilian national team [for Juninho] because of the five years I've been there [in USA] and because of the knowledge I have of the league and the players. I've played a long time with Landon Donovan and he always opened my mind and this possibility is not too distant." 
 
--
 
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10 February 4:07 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Bradford Jamieson IV and the U.S. Under-20’s learned their opponents for this summer’s U-20 World Cup in New Zealand late Monday night.

The U.S. was drawn into Group A alongside hosts New Zealand as well as Myanmar and Ukraine. Tab Ramos’ squad will open the tournament against Myanmar in Whangarei on May 30 before facing the Kiwis on June 2 in Auckland. They'll end the group stage just three days later against Ukraine.

“It was a good draw for us,” Jamieson told LA Galaxy Insider on Tuesday. “We’re going to be playing against the hosts so obviously it’ll be a good game with a great turnout. We know that no team can be taken lightly and if we are considered the favorites then we have to prove everyone right and top the group.”

Heading into a tournament as favorites is nothing new for the U.S. U-20’s as they entered into the 2015 U-20 CONCACAF Championship as top favorites to not only advance but win the group. However, the competition hardly went according to plan as the U.S. needed to defeat El Salvador in a playoff match to lock down a World Cup berth.

According to Jamieson that experience should aid the U.S. side as they look to make a name for themselves in New Zealand.

“[That tournament] just goes to show that anything can happen in these tournaments,” said Jamieson who scored two goals in six appearances at the CONCACAF qualifying tournament. “Those teams came from smaller countries like some of the teams in our World Cup group so they’re coming to prove themselves. It’ll be a place where our players can showcase our talents to the world.”

Soon after returning from Jamaica, the 18-year-old quickly put himself in the conversation for the Galaxy’s left midfield role with strong shift against Seattle Sounders FC in a preseason scrimmage. But despite his recent success, Jamieson understands that there is still plenty of work to be done before he locks down a spot on Ramos’ final roster for New Zealand.

“My mentality has to be on point and my physicality has to be as close to 100 percent as possible,” said Jamieson. “I just need to keep working hard and stick to what I know and do what I’ve been doing to get to where I am now.

“It gives me confidence that Bruce has been giving me time in the [left midfield position] because obviously I want to continue to prove them right and give back to the team and the club. I just want to keep working so that I can solidify my spot in that position.”

09 February 10:27 pm

Bradford Jamieson IV and the rest of the U.S. Under-20's are smiling on Monday after the U.S. youth side was drawn a favorable draw at this summer's U-20 World Cup. 

The U.S. U-20's were drawn into Group A alongside host nation New Zealand, Myanmar and Ukraine. Tab Ramos' squad will open the tournament against Myanmar in Whangarei on May 30 before facing the Kiwis on June 2 in Auckland. They'll wrap up the group stage just three days later against Ukraine. 

While the Americans were left celebrating their group, their arch rivals Mexico were likely frustrated as they were drawn into Group D along with Uruguay, Serbia and an African nation yet to be decided. 

The complete list of groups are below. 

07 February 1:21 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- Many have taken U.S. head coach Jurgen Klinsmann to task for his recent comments about the fitness of members of the  U.S. National Team, but LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes believes that he is a true success story of Klinsmann's conditioning program. 

Superior fitness has long been the hallmark of American soccer players, but  Klinsmann called that into question following the team's 3-2 defeat to Chile last week , leading to considerable condemnation from former players and the American soccer media. In a interview earlier this week, Klinsmann stated that the reason the U.S. has won just a single match in their last nine and suffered repeated late game collapses were because of the team's lack of emphasis on offseason fitness preparation

"I want to help them get back into shape, get back into rhythm, but, oh, by the way, we're going to play [two friendlies]. So some learned over time and prepared themselves really well, and some don't have that knowledge yet," Klinsmann said.  “They don't have that 'oh, OK, at the beginning of December, go to Athletes' Performance in Phoenix and get myself fit.' That culture we don't have yet. What the other sports are doing really well, they use their preparation for preseason, four to six weeks prior to going into preseason with their NBA team, NFL team of whatever, they go to these fitness institutes and they get themselves fit.”

Klinsmann's claims were met with major pushback from numerous places including by former national team defender Alexi Lalas but such condemnation of Klinsmann meant little to LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes who is in camp with the national team and is expected to play a major role when they take on Panama on Sunday at StubHub Center.

In fact, Zardes believes that he's gotten even fitter just by training with the U.S. over the last month. 

"Fitness is a key component of the game because you need to be good for 90 minutes. I'm glad that we do a lot of fitness with the national team and it's wonderful to experience different types of fitness because each coach has different methods. [Jurgen's] philosphy toward fitness is incredible," Zardes told LA Galaxy Insider.  "I personally think that it is helping me improve as a player because I feel myself able to run longer. My stamina is up and my acceleration is growing even more. I think that I'm growing in this field."

05 February 11:22 am

CARSON, Calif. -- Oscar Sorto had just received our nation's highest honor when he was honored along with the rest of the LA Galaxy by President Barack Obama at the White House on Monday, but within minutes of being recognized by the commander in chief, he learned that nation's top soccer coach was in need of his services. 

Immediately after the ceremony that honored both the LA Galaxy and Los Angeles Kings for their respective championships, Sorto was motioned over by Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena for a quick chat.

Jurgen Klinsmann was calling and he needed the 20-year-old defender to jet back to California immediately. 

"Right after the President gave his speech, Bruce told me that Jurgen Klinsmann called and he wanted me back for two days," Sorto,who was called back to the Galaxy just before the USMNT departed for Chile, said. "I flew back right away and I think that was good because now the coaches know that I really want to be with the team. It was a good two days of training." 

Sorto will not be in the picture for the USMNT when they take on Panama on Sunday at StubHub Center, but the Galaxy Homegrown product took pride in the fact that he was able to experience life with the national team, not just for two quick days, but throughout the last month. 

"It helped me a lot because it made me realize that I could compete with any player," he said. "No matter who they are, I know that I can be competitive and I can compete. And at the end of the day, it'll be up to me to earn a spot with the Galaxy. ."