US National Team

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. ." 

04 February 12:48 pm

Bruce Arena reiterated his desire to acquire an additional player to bolster the LA Galaxy ahead of their 2015 MLS campaign in an exclusive interview to the Washington Post’s Steven Goff on Tuesday.

In his brief Q&A with the Washington Post, Arena reiterated prior comments that the club is looking to add to their roster at some point in the near future.

“We’ll add some more players at some point, either before the season or later,” Arena told Goff.

Should that player be a particularly prominent one particularly after the Galaxy came up short in the chase for U.S. international Sacha Kljestan?

“Anyone who can help us. Whether he fits that definition or not, we think he will be an important player. If we find the right player, we will try to bring him in.”

One name that you can completely rule out is Freddy Adu who Arena vehemently stated that he has had zero contact or interest in bringing the former U.S. international into the fold.

“I don’t think he is a target for us at the moment,” Arena said. “Freddy Adu’s name always comes up. He has come up for the last 10 years. He will not be on trial with the LA Galaxy.”

28 January 6:00 pm

LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Gyasi Zardes made his international debut on Wednesday going 22 minutes for the U.S. National Team in their 3-2 defeat to Chile in Rancagua.

Brek Shea put the U.S. up with an early goal only six minutes into the match, but the Chileans soon equalized as Roberto Gutiérrez scored just four minutes later. New Toronto FC striker Jozy Altidore gave the Americans the lead after 31 minutes to give hope to Jurgen Klinsmann’s side heading into the second half.

The lead did not hold, however, as Mark González found the back of the net in the 66th minute after a flurry of chances for the home side were turned away by USMNT goalkeeper Nick Rimando. After the Chileans brought the score level, Klinsmann opted to insert Zardes to create some offensive punch, but La Roja’s attack proved too strong as they edged ahead on another tally from Gonzalez in the 75th minute.

The U.S. National Team will play their second and final match of their annual January camp on Feb. 8 at StubHub Center. 

27 January 4:36 pm

CARSON, Calif. – Whatever plans that the LA Galaxy had for their third spot in allocation order may have changed on Tuesday due to a blockbuster deal between the New York Red Bulls and Montreal Impact.

The Red Bulls dealt Ambroise Oyongo, midfielder Eric Alexander, allocation money and a 2015 international roster spot to Montreal for Felipe and the top spot in the allocation order.  If reports are to be believed, New York are after reported Galaxy target Sacha Kljestan and with the top spot in the allocation order, they will have first choice should U.S. international return to Major League Soccer.

After Galaxy practice on Tuesday, LA head coach and general manager Bruce Arena said that the Red Bulls move up the order may change things for his team’s plans.  

“Well certainly it changes the pecking order on players that are available. That’ll likely be the case that maybe our first preferred choice we wouldn’t get and we get somebody else,” Arena told LA Galaxy Insider. “We’re confident where we are we’re going to get a good player to match our needs. In all honesty I don’t think it matters whether we get our first choice player, second choice player or third choice player. We’re in good shape.”

 Although New York’s move up to queue may put a wrench in LA’s reported plans for Kljestan, Arena is adamant that his club will wait until the right player comes along even if it is not in this transfer window.   

“We don’t need to [sign anyone] in this transfer window,” said Arena. “We’ll bring someone in sometime and I would say certainly before July. We’ll try to bring in somebody in February or March. If we can’t do that now then maybe a little bit later.”

22 January 3:17 pm

CARSON, Calif. -- U.S. Soccer have chosen to award their highest honor to LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena. 

On Thursday, the Galaxy boss was named the 2014 receipient of the Werner Fricker Builder Award. The award is the highest honor that an individual can receive from the U.S. Soccer Federation and is given only to those who have "worked tirelessly on furthering the interest of the sport of soccer without regard to personal recognition or advaancement."

“Every year we are presented with examples of extraordinary individuals who have developed the game of soccer in this country and this year we are extremely pleased to honor Bruce Arena with the Werner Fricker Builder Award,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati in a statement. “Bruce’s contribution to soccer in the United States began as a coach at Virginia 37 years ago and during that time he has guided college, professional and National Teams to national and international titles. The path he paved certainly set the bar higher and the legacy he created will last for future generations.”
 
Arena is by far the most celebrated U.S. head coach with five MLS Cups to his credit  and is the winningest all-time head coach in U.S. National Team history. The New York native led the U.S. to two FIFA World Cups including the team's best finish in team history during the 2002 tournament.
 
“I am honored to receive the Werner Fricker Builder Award from U.S. Soccer,” said Arena in a U.S. Soccer issued release. “I’ve been privileged to have the opportunity to build the sport of soccer in the United States over the last 40 years. I am humbled by this honor and proud to be amongst the prestigious company of the other Werner Fricker Soccer Builder Award Winners.”

 

21 January 7:44 pm

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." 

“Every time we make a move, in principle it's to make our team better,” Arena told MLSsoccer.com. “Whether that means it enables us to acquire another player or a number of players remains to be seen, but we will try to make our team stronger. That's the goal.”
 
Arena told French that the club had no specific plans for what to do with the allocation order placement, but that "we have thoughts on what we need to do."
 
The Galaxy have been linked through various reports with 29-year-old U.S. international Sacha Kljestan who is a Huntington Beach native and has been with Belgian giants Anderlecht since 2010. Amid the rumors of a possible return stateside, Kljestan notched his first brace for the club on Tuesday as he scored two goals and one assist in a win over Zulte-Waregem. 
 
21 January 5:29 pm

LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson IV played the hero with a late goal that put the U.S. Under-20 national team through to the U-20 CONCACAF Championship playoff stage. 

The young American squad struggled offensively throughout the match with Jamieson even having a chance saved off the line in the 49th minute. However, Jamieson came through in the end as he found himself on the end of a Paul Arriola cross after a U.S. breakaway that gave Tab Ramos' squad second place in Group A. The Americans finish second in Group A behind Panama. 

"I'm very excited obviously. A lot of us put our heads together and we won the game," Jamieson told Fox Sports after the match. "In the end, I think that we were rewarded for our hard work."

The U.S. will now play either Honduras or El Salvador on Jan. 24 with a spot in the this summer's U-20 World Cup on the line. 

16 January 6:04 pm

Jurgen Klinsmann’s decision to call-up a heaping of Under-23 eligible players may have been the reason that LA Galaxy left back Robbie Rogers was not on the U.S. National Team’s January camp roster, but the USMNT boss insists that the door is open for the LA defender to return to the U.S. fold.

Following a stellar 2014 season that saw Rogers rejuvenate his career with a move to left back, the 27-year-old was considered a frontrunner to earn a call-up for the annual January camp at StubHub Center. However with Klinsmann calling 11 players who are age-eligible for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero, Klinsmann said that Rogers could not make the cut.

“There was a thought about Robbie,” Klinsmann told reporters on Wednesday. “He had a good season, also, obviously, a winning season. The situation is just, and this is what this kind of camp ended up with was: How can we develop the maximum amount of Olympic team players at the same time? If it was purely senior guys, Robbie would be in that camp.”

Rogers was an Olympian himself the last time U.S. qualified back in 2008 and has complied 18 appearances for the senior team, which included making the 30-man preliminary roster ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Although Klinsmann did not room for Rogers this January, the U.S. head coach provided assurances that the LA Galaxy player remains on his radar -- possibly for this summer's CONCACAF Gold Cup. 

“I said, 'Ah, it's a pity not to give that guy that a chance,'” Klinsmann said. “On the other side, we said, 'You know what, it is important to have 12, 13 Olympic team players in here, because we've got to build them. The sooner the better.’ And that's why some players were left out, and Robbie was one of them. But there's always definitely an open door.”

14 January 5:25 pm

The U.S. Under-20 national team finally found their attack on Thursday as they destroyed Aruba 8-0 in their third Group A match at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship in Jamaica. 

LA Galaxy Homegrown Player Bradford Jamieson earned the start in the win and scored twice as the U.S. offense roared to life after two lackluster games against Guatemala and Panama. Columbus Crew youngster Romain Gall led all scorers with three goals while Emerson Hyndman, Tommy Thompson and Amando Moreno each added one goal in the victory. 

Their first win in the competition secured, the U.S. will now take on host nation Jamaica on Sunday before ending their group stage play against Trinidad and Tobago on Jan. 21. The top team from both groups qualifies automatically for this summer's U-20 World Cup in New Zealand while the second and third place teams will face off in a decisive one-game playoff for a chance to qualify for the tournament.