CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has a number of questions to answer ahead of the March 3 season opener against the Chicago Fire, but one of the most important is, just who will start alongside Omar Gonzalez in central defense.
A.J. DeLaGarza and Leonardo appear to be the primary options with second-year centerback Tommy Meyer suffering from a nagging hamstring strain. Arena has repeatedly told reporters this week that Meyer is "moving along" but his status remains in question. DeLaGarza is likely the safest choice due to his deep understanding with Gonzalez, but should Leonardo get the nod, Arena may opt to place DeLaGarza at the right back position while Sean Franklin is pushed into midfield.
“It’s a strong defensive formation. A.J. is very good [at right back] because that was his old position and Sean is dynamic and more than comfortable [at right midfielder]. I think that the Galaxy defense is as solid as ever [with that formation] and teams will see that.”
Whether or not that particular formation is used, if the Brazilian has his number called for the opener, he believes that he’s fully prepared to get the start.
“We all should be ready to play and start,” said Leonardo. “I consider myself to be ready if that opportunity is given to me.”
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Time Warner Cable SportsNet unveiled their new broadcast team for LA Galaxy matches this season with John Shrader taking over play-by-play duties on Tuesday evening.
Shrader, who was a staple covering various teams in the Bay Area, takes over for previous incumbent Mark Rogondino. Shrader will be joined by Cobi Jones who serves as LA’s color commentator for the second straight season while newcomer Kelli Tennant will perform sideline reporting duties.
Shrader’s thoughts on joining Time Warner Cable SportsNet are below and a sample of his play-by-play is below…
(On joining TWCS…)
SHRADER: “Well, I spent 15 years broadcasting the San Jose Earthquakes and I’ve watched the league grow and get better. We’ve always been watching from afar at the league’s gold standard the Galaxy. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of this and the confidence that the people at Time Warner have shown me is humbling. I just can’t say how excited that I am to get started.”
(On what makes him unique as a play-by-play man…)
SHRADER: “I do have a lot of passion for the game, I think that I see the game very well and I’m a great person to work with, in terms of the color announcers and sideline reporters because I anchor the show and move it along. I also try to bring a little more excitement to the goal scoring part of it so you’ll hear a goal call that you won’t hear from English broadcasters very often. I hope that the fans will recognize that I care about the game and care about the players. I have respect for the game and I love the craft of broadcasting so it’s important for me to do things right. I hope that the fans will get all of that.”
(On moving from Earthquakes games to the Galaxy…)
SHRADER: “The last couple of the years with the Earthquakes was a little weird because Comcast took over the broadcast and hired their own staff guy to broadcast the games. So we just came to an amicable separation and then I moved to Southern California. I’ve had a year separated from that, but really, it’s the game and it’s the business. Players get traded from one team to another and even announcers move from one team to another. If it happens to be that an announcer just moves between the two teams that hate each other more than any team in this league, well, then it just adds to the adventure right?”
What are your thoughts on Shrader's appointment?
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Villarreal notched two goals as the U.S. defeated Canada 4-2 in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship quarterfinal to qualify for the U-20 World Cup. MLSsoccer.com's Tom Marshall caught up with the Galaxy Homegrown forward who admitted that he'll be staying with the U-20's for the duration of the tournament. Villarreal and the U-20's will fight for a berth in the final on Friday against Cuba.
“I’m just happy to be able to help out my team however possible,” Villarreal told reporters. “If they need me to score, I’ll score, if they need me to defend, I’ll defend. We work as a unit so I’m proud.”
Villarreal, Real Salt Lake (and Garden Grove, Calif. native) Luis Gil, head coach Tab Ramos, and others break down the U.S. U-20's victory in this reaction video from U.S. Soccer below...
What are your thoughts on Villarreal's performance? Do you expect him to start for the Galaxy once he returns?
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EL SEGUNDO, Calif. – Joining their sister network Time Warner Cable SportsNet, Time Warner Cable Deportes added a new voice for their LA Galaxy telecasts in veteran Mexican broadcaster Samuel Jacobo.
Joining Jacobo will be former Mexican goalkeeper Martin “El Pulpo” Zuinga who will serve as color commentator and sideline analyst Elmur Souza. Prior to joining Time Warner Cable Deportes, Jacobo served as a broadcaster for Fox Deportes, HBO, ESPN Radio Los Angeles, Prime Ticket, and Univision.
Jacobo’s thoughts on joining Deportes and a sample of his play-by-play style can be found below…
JACOBO: “I was glad that they wanted to capture the Latin presence in Los Angeles. Time Warner Deportes wants to capture Latin public to see that we have a team in Los Angeles and form a connection to the team….I was excited and I feel like I am a pioneer and the first narrator that can give[that connection] to the Latino community. I have an exclusive contract with Time Warner and I want people to associate my name with the Galaxy. We are very happy to make history [with Time Warner Cable Deportes] and we’re going to give it a great effort.”
LA Galaxy Homegrown forward Jose Villarreal catapulted the U.S. U-20's into a berth in the 2013 U-20 World Cup on Tuesday with a pair of goals in the U.S.' 4-2 victory over Canada in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship quarterfinals on Tuesday.
As reported by scribes Tom Marshall and Kyle McCarthy, who were both at the match in Puebla, Villarreal will not return to Southern California like several of his U.S. teammates, but will remain with the U-20's for the duration of the tournament. The U.S. face Cuba -- who defeated Costa Rica 2-1 -- on Friday in the semifinal round.
The complete highlights can be found here while Villarreal's goals are below...
Goal 1 (40th Minute)
Goal 2 (54th Minute)
What are your thoughts on Villarreal's performance? Expect him to play an important role for the LA Galaxy this season?
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Jose Villarreal scored two goals in 84 minutes of play as the U.S. U-20's advanced to the U-20 World Cup with a 4-2 victory over Canada in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship quarterfinals.
Canada took the lead in the 24th minute with a 30-yard blast from Dylan Carreiro, but LA battled back with three unanswered goals in the first half. Real Salt Lake midfielder Luis Gil provided the equalizer four minutes later, but Villarreal put the U.S. up for good with his strike in the 40th minute play off an assist by former Galaxy Academy product Mario Rodriguez.
The U.S. added a third goal in the 45th minute with a goal from Columbus Crew Homegrown Wil Trapp. Villarreal completed his brace in the 54th minute off a dish from Benji Joya. Canada pulled one back in the 63rd minute with a goal from Samuel Piette, but could not complete the comeback.
The U.S. U-20's will now take part in the U-20 World Cup in Turkey which takes place from June 21 to July 13.
Remember, the Galaxy have two other players, forward Jack McBean and defender Oscar Sorto who remain eligible for selection.
EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy's broadcast partner's Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Deportes officially announced the on-air and broadcast talent for the 2013 season.
On the English-language side, veteran broadcaster John Shrader will provide play-by-play for LA this season with Cobi Jones providing color commentary while Kelli Tennant will serve as the sideline reporter. Also on the English side, Chris McGee will serve as the studio host with Clint Mathis serving as the studio analyst on game days.
Meanwhile, on the Deportes side, Samuel Jacobo will perform play-by-play alongside color commentator Martin Zuniga, while Elmur Souza performs sideline reporter duties. Enrique Gutierrez will serve as the studio host for Deportes while Steve Sampson and Christian Bozzo serve as analysts.
Thoughts on the changes?
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CARSON, Calif. – The LA Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinal CS Herediano may be a week away, but we have confirmation on where the match will take place— Estadio Eladio Rosabal Cordero.
On Tuesday, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena confirmed that the match will take place at Herediano’s usual home field rather than the Estadio Nacional where they hosted Real Salt Lake in the group stage. “El Rosabal” as it is known to locals was constructed in 1949 and seats 15,000 fans according to the club’s official site.
Los Rojiamarillos are currently in ninth place in the Campeonato de Verano and recently underwent a coaching change when Marvin Solano took over Mauricio Solís.
Yes, the El Clasico match -- long considered the "biggest match in the world " -- between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will take place tonight, but the most important for American and Canadian soccer fans will take palce in Puebla, Mexico.
That's where the U.S. U-20's will face Canada in the CONCACAF U-20 Championship Quarterfinals (3 p.m. PST, Fox Soccer/Univison Deportes) with the winner earning a berth in the FIFA U-20 World Cup in Turkey. Galaxy Homegrown forward Jose Villarreal has played an important role for this team by notching a goal in the U.S.' 1-0 victory over Costa Rica on Friday.
Below U.S. head coach Tab Ramos, midfielder Caleb Stanko, defender Shane O'Neill, and forward Mario Rodriguez preview the match in this video produced by U.S. Soccer.
CARSON, Calif. -- Unlike most MLS teams who took trips to exotic locales like Tucson, Orlando, Charleston or Portland this preseason, the LA Galaxy stayed close to home this year. And according to head coach Bruce Arena, they’ll be all the better for it come March 3.
Aside from a brief trip up Highway 101 to Santa Barbara, the Galaxy were stationed at The Home Depot Center for the entire preseason. Thus allowing players to sleep in their own beds rather than spend considerable time in out-of-town hotel rooms. Although the exceptional Southern California weather played a part in the Galaxy’s decision, so too did last season’s poor start.
After what Arena described as a “messy” start in 2012, the Galaxy boss believes that LA has achieved some continuity ahead of the regular season by staying close to home.
“I think that we’ve had some kind of continuity in training. Last year, with the trip to Tucson, we never got in any kind of rhythm and I think this year, we’ve established a rhythm in our training and the build up with the way that we’ve pieced our games together,” said Arena. “We could slowly build guys in with their minutes and their play and with different guys covering different positions; it’s been a lot easier this year being at home and being able to do that.”
But could preseason trips fit into Arena’s plans for future teams? Possibly.
“I just think that it’s better for us this year to do this,” said Arena. “Maybe next year, it’ll be something different. But we just felt with the overload that we had the last three or four years that we needed to be settled a little bit in preseason and that’s why we did this.”