CARSON, Calif. – Back from injury and feeling healthy, Robbie Rogers is beginning to progress into a genuine option for LA head coach Bruce Arena, but to get over the hump, he’ll need to improve in the final third.
Given a chance to start after Pablo Mastroeni suffered a late injury, Rogers went 78 minutes on the right side of the Galaxy midfield in LA’s 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC last Sunday. The start was Rogers’ first league start since July 13 and his second appearance in a week after going 45 minutes in LA’s 4-0 defeat to El Salvador's Isidro Metapán in CONCACAF Champions League.
As he aims to regain a consistent starting role with the Galaxy, Rogers admitted that it was
“[The game was] important for me because I haven’t played a game like that for a long time, so it’s important for my growth and just my development,” said Rogers, who nearly found the back of the net in the 40th minute when he his shot was saved by goalkeeper Michael Gspurning. “I've been trying to focus on every day just improving a little bit and I haven’t played that many games in two or three months, but I think that each game I've gotten a little better.
“I think that it’s good time that I’m a little bit more fit and stronger heading into the playoffs.”
LA associate head coach Dave Sarachan, who a week earlier heralded Rogers as a potential third attacking option behind work horses Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, admitted that he did well on the turf at CenturyLink Field.
“I think that he’s turned a corner physically,” said Sarachan. “We were pleased with the effort that he gave in Seattle. Going forward, there wasn't a lot for him or other players, but as far as the dirty running, tracking back, and defending, he seemed to do well… Now he has to get it going in the attacking third a little more that part needs to get a little cleaner.”
“[The Seattle game] was a difficult one, so that’s definitely one think I need to do when we’re playing at home, on such a big and with the way that we play,” said Rogers. “That would be combining a good defensive effort with creating chances [offensively]."
Want Rogers to start on the right side of midfield? Think he’ll find a goal in the postseason?
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Kevin Stott to officiate the LA Galaxy's Western Conference Semifinal first leg against Real Salt Lake
CARSON, Calif. – Veteran referee Kevin Stott will serve as the head official for the LA Galaxy’s Western Conference Semifinal first leg against Real Salt Lake at StubHub Center on Sunday.
Stott officiated just two games for the Galaxy this season when LA opened the season with a 4-0 victory over the Chicago Fire—calling 27 fouls and awarding a single yellow card to Todd Dunivant in the 75th minute–and LA’s 3-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes, in which he called 15 fouls and awarded a penalty to Gyasi Zardes that was converted by Robbie Keane.
Meanwhile, Stott served as head official for just a single match for RSL during the 2013 regular season: their scoreless draw with the Portland Timbers at JELD-WEN Field. Stott called 29 fouls and gave two yellow cards, one of which was to RSL midfielder Yordany Álvarez.
A couple of interesting notes about Stott: He was the referee for LA’s 2009 MLS Cup penalty kick defeat to Real Salt Lake back in Seattle and he also officiated LA’s dramatic 3-1 Western Conference Semifinals second leg victory against San Jose Earthquakes in 2012.
The complete crew is below.
REFEREE: KEVIN STOTT
ASST 1: Kermit Quisenberry
ASST 2: Fabio Tovar
4th: Juan Guzman
SEATTLE –Avoiding the Knockout Round was a major objective for the LA Galaxy during the final stretch of the regular season and with that goal accomplished, they plan on taking advantage of the six days to prepare for the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal against Real Salt Lake on Sunday.
The rest is sorely needed with Landon Donovan (left ankle inflammation), Omar Gonzalez (left hip strain), and Todd Dunivant (right MCL sprain) dealing with injuries while others like A.J. DeLaGarza, Pablo Mastroeni, and Robbie Rogers are still seeking to regain full match sharpness.
“This is huge. Because the effort we put out tonight, it would have been hard to go again on Wednesday,” Gonzalez said. “So to get this draw and put us in for a game on the weekend is huge. I know some guys need some treatment, including myself, so we're going to take this week to put in a good effort in practice, get the bodies ready and concentrate toward Salt Lake.”
Following the match, Donovan admitted the team will “happily take a week of rest” ahead of a match against a Real Salt Lake that should provide a major test for the Galaxy.
“The beauty with playing them is that both teams try to play and attack, so it should make for a very exciting series,” said Donovan “A lot of times in the playoffs, you'll see teams sort of bunker in and be safe, but we know when they come to LA, they like to pllay. It's a big field, they'll try to play, and we always try to play at home. And when we go there [for the second leg], it will be the same.
“It should be an exciting series, and it's going to come down to who makes the most plays.”
It's that time of the year, the LA Galaxy have entered the MLS Cup Playoffs looking to defend their title for a third consecutive year.
LA's postseason will begin with a two-leg, aggregate series against Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals. With LA set to kick off the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs on Sunday, I ask the question: just how confident are you about LA's chance to win their third straight MLS Cup?
Vote and leave your comments below...
SEATTLE – Thanks to Robbie Keane’s tying goal in the 78th minute, the LA Galaxy’s tempers were soothed after Omar Gonzalez’s apparent goal in the 42nd minute went uncalled by referee Mark Geiger and assistant referee Greg Barkey.
Following the match, the Galaxy players addressed the non-call that almost sent the team into the Knockout Round.
OMAR GONZALEZ: “The video shows it all. After I scored the goal, I looked at the linesman and he’s in terrible position and inside the end line when I think that he should be on the end line to make sure that the goal went in. It was clearly a yard-and-a-half in. It’s a bit disappointing that I didn’t get the goal, but the fact that we kept on playing well, and playing well, and got over it as quick as possible, shows a lot of character from us. The fact that we were able to come out in the second half and play how we did was huge for us.”
ROBBIE KEANE: “I mean, it was so obvious, wasn't it? I was standing right there. That's why I went a bit crazy at the referee, because I was right beside [the play] and I knew the ball was over the line. When something like that happens, it's very frustrating because you’re hoping that the linesman can help you out. I don't know whether [Barkey] was in line or not, I'm not too sure, but if he wasn't, it's a big problem. I hope that he wasn’t because that’s an excuse. It was definitely a goal.”
LANDON DONOVAN: “I saw it very clearly. I saw it as clearly as the linesman, so for me it was a no-brainer. I was looking right across, waiting for him to put his flag up and signal goal, but for whatever reason he didn't. I would suggest that goal-line technology would help, but that one didn't even need goal-line technology. It was real obvious. It's unfortunate. We've had a little hard luck with some linesmen this year, but hopefully it gets better in the playoffs.”
ROBBIE ROGERS: “It was a goal. I watched the replay and it was a bit ridiculous. It was such an important game too and it was in the 42nd minute, which is a very important part of the game. I don’t mean to be too harsh, but it was a really bad call.”
SEATTLE – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena’s postgame comments following LA’s 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC.
The comments are below...
(On the game…)
ARENA: “Competitive game. Pretty even game. It was a good result for us.”
(On the missed call on the apparent goal…)
ARENA: “Obviously I don’t see it from where I am, but I was told it was about a yard over the line. For some reason, I think we should be able to see that one. We’re fortunate to get out of it, not using that as a major sticking point in the game.”
(On Robbie Keane’s goal…)
ARENA: “It was a big goal. The second half, we played better. The game slowed down a little bit and we got a little more comfortable on the surface. We’re pleased with the point.”
(On the team’s defense…)
ARENA: “They played well tonight. I thought it was Omar’s [Gonzalez] best game in a while. Kofi Opare has been really solid for us. He’s a good young player. We play two first-year players with Kofi and [Greg] Cochrane so I’m real pleased with those young players. And Gyasi [Zardes] as well, so we got incredible experience tonight for our young kids. I think down the stretch, our veteran players made a difference for us.”
(On the tough defending at the end…)
ARENA: “It was a good game in preparation for the playoffs for us. We’re pleased with that.”
(On Robbie Rogers…)
ARENA: “I thought Robbie held up really well physically. We have to get him a little more comfortable in the attack, but I thought his game was fairly balanced. He certainly did a good job defensively. If we can get a little more out of him in the attack, it will be a positive.”
(On facing Salt Lake…)
ARENA: “I don’t remember the last time we’ve seen them. We had a good series with them this year. They’re a very talented team. We look forward to the game. It will be a good series.”
(On Robbie Keane’s play…)
ARENA: “He had a solid game and when he gets that goal, you have to say he had a very good game. Goals are rare in this sport and Robbie seems to get them at the right time. Overall, I thought the last 10 or 15 minutes of the game, he was very influential for us in terms of leadership. He and Landon [Donovan] really stepped up and got the players organized and confident so we could walk off the field with a point.”
(On being undefeated in the black kits…)
ARENA: “I mean whatever. I’m not quite sure it’s the uniforms. You put 11 bad players in that kit and I don’t think you’re going to win too many games.”
(On how this game propels them into the playoffs…)
ARENA: “We’ll only know once we’re done with the season. We’ve had a good run since August. We’ve done a good job and we’ll hopefully be healthy by the weekend when we play. We’ll be in a good position to be competitive and hopefully win the first series.”
(On how the team is physically…)
ARENA: “We had a few scrapes [tonight], but for the most part I think we held up OK.”
The LA Galaxy are heading to the 2013 MLS Cup Playoffs as the third seed in the Western Conference after their 1-1 draw with Seattle Sounders FC on Sunday.
The draw earns the Galaxy a series against Real Salt Lake, who the Galaxy are 1-0-1 against RSL in postseason games, with the lone draw being LA’s penalty kick defeat to Salt Lake in the 2009 MLS Cup. This season, the Galaxy are 2-1-0 against Salt Lake with LA outscoring the two seed by a seven to five margin.
The first match will be on November 3 at StubHub Center with the return leg being days later at Rio Tinto Stadium.
Thoughts on facing RSL?
SEATTLE - The LA Galaxy appeared to have equalized in the 40th minute of the LA Galaxy's match against the Seattle Sounders, when Omar Gonzalez's header appeared to cross the line, but it was not allowed by referee Mark Geiger or assistant referee Greg Barkey.
The video can be seen below. Thoughts and comments should be directed to the comment section.
Robbie Keane has become the unquestioned leader of the LA Galaxy on and off the field this seaon and his influence has been profiled in a piece by Los Angeles Times reporter Kevin Baxter.
The profile can be read here on LATimes.com. In 22 matches this season, Keane has tallied 15 goals and 11 assists this season with the Galaxy earning a 12-3-7 record with Keane on the field as opposed to a 3-8-0 record when he's not available. When asked by Baxter about his success, the Irishman stated that it is due to his immense passion to continue to improve even at the age of 33.
“You should always have … that fire in your belly. That you always want to achieve, always want to get better,” Keane told the Los Angeles Times. “Because as soon as you take your foot off the pedal, well that’s when you start going down.”
During the piece, both Landon Donovan and Keane expound on their connection that has seen them net a combined 21 goals and 16 assists in their 15 games together. During his conversation with Baxter, Donovan stated that Keane's own flair allows him to be "more creative on the field" but as for where that connection was first discovered?
“We met on Match.com," Donovan quipped to the L.A. Times.
Is Keane the MLS MVP? Is Keane the LA Galaxy's team MVP this season?
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After the Portland Timbers 5-0 shellacking of Chivas USA, the LA Galaxy can finish as high as third but as low as fifth in the Western Conference following their MLS regular season finale against Seattle Sounders FC.
The complete list of seeding scenarios is below…
WIN vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
*Finish as the number three seed in the Western Conference and face Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals. LA host the first leg on either November 2 or November 3 at StubHub Center.
TIE vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
*Finish as the number three seed in the Western Conference and face Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference Semifinals IF Vancouver Whitecaps FC win or draw against the Colorado Rapids. LA host the first leg on either November 2 or November 3 at StubHub Center.
*Finish as the number four seed in the Western Conference and host Seattle Sounders FC in the Knockout Round IF Colorado Rapids defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC. LA host Seattle Sounders on either Oct. 30/Oct.31 at StubHub Center.
LOSE vs. SEATTLE SOUNDERS FC
*Finish as the number four seed in the Western Conference and host Colorado Rapids in the Knockout Round if Vancouver Whitecaps FC win or draw against the Colorado Rapids. LA host Colorado Rapids on either Oct. 30/Oct. 31 at StubHub Center (LA and Colorado would be level on points, but hold MOST WINS tiebreaker over Colorado)
*Finish as the number five seed in the Western Conference and play on the road against the Colorado Rapids in the Knockout Round if the Colorado Rapids defeat Vancouver Whitecaps FC. Colorado Rapids host LA Galaxy on either Oct. 30/Oct. 31 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. (Colorado and Seattle would be level on points, but Seattle hold the MOST WINS tiebreaker over the Rapids)