CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy Reserves will play their final Reserve League game of the season on Friday against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves for a chance to win the West Division championship, but while a title will be a nice reward for the club's reserve squad, their true reward has been measured in the development that they have experienced this season.
Among those that has developed immensely this season has been rookie midfielder Kenny Walker. Drafted with the second round of the MLS SuperDraft with the 38th overall pick, the 23-year-old rookie from the University of Louisville has seen considerable time for the club's reserves this season appearing in all nine games this season. The Reserve League showings have been a boon for Walker, who has also made one start for the first team as well as two appearances in CONCACAF Champions League play.
During his time with the Galaxy Reserves, Walker has formed a solid midfield partnership with rookie Rafael Garcia, whose ability to go forward at times, balances Walker's defensive abilties.
Although his career is still in its beginning stages, Walker admits it has been a "blast" and a "dream come true" playing with the Reserve League squad.
WALKER: "Development wise, learning the speed of play and from the first team guys and building a team with the second team guys has been a blast and a dream come true pretty much...I've grown in the speed of play, it's a lot different from college because you have to know what you're going to do before you get the ball and your first touch has to be 10 times better than it was in college and even thought you work on it everyday, it takes a little bit to develop it. So getting into [Reserve] games as well as going against the first team everyday and comparing yourself against some of the best players in the world-- guys like David [Beckham], Robbie [Keane] and Landon [Donovan] is good."
(On the chance to win a Reserve League West Division title...)
WALKER: "It's been a long couple weeks, just training so it's nice to have a game to look forward to so it's just fun being able to get ready for something and play for a championship. It's just the Reserve League, but it's big to us so it's going to be fun...it's been excellent coming out here and playing with these guys in training and building up with the Reserve team. We've done very well so we'd like to cap it off with a win.
The United States Under-20's dropped the first match in the Marbella Cup on Wednesday, 2-1 to Canada.
LA Galaxy youth product Javan Torre started the match and Jose Villarreal came on at the start of the second half as former Galaxy youth player Mario Rodriguez scored the lone goal for the young Americans. . The start was a surprising one for Torre as he was thrown immediately into the lineup by U-20 head coach Tab Ramos, just hours after being called into the squad.
For those unfamiliar with the UCLA freshman defender's Galaxy credentials, Torre was a regular for the Galaxy Under-18's last year, playing 25 times for the U-18's, in addition, to a pair of appearances for the Reserve League squad. Torre has made six appearances and one start for the Bruins this season.
CARSON,Calif. -- Landon Donovan is back in Southern California and set to be evaluated by the LA Galaxy's team physician Dr. Bert Mandelbaum on Wednesday according to head coach Bruce Arena.
Donovan was forced to withdraw from the U.S. national team squad ahead of two World Cup Qualifiers due to an apparent knee injury that the Galaxy captain suffered in last Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake.
Following practice on Wednesday, head coach Bruce Arena said that he is optimistic that Donovan's injury is not serious.
ARENA: "I don't believe that it is anything serious and we will see him back again...We're hopeful that it is nothing serious and we're optimistic."
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy's digs are a bit nicer these days after the unveiling of the new team's new players' lounge on Monday morning.
What began as an initative to install a functioning sink in the team's players' lounge turned into a complete remodel funded by Galaxy Presenting Partner Herbalife. A video on the unveiling as well my story with thoughts from AEG President Tim Leiweke, Herbalife executives, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and various Galaxy players can be found here.
Below is a series of photos taken from Monday's unveiling of the Herbalife Players' Lounge...
AEG President Tim Leiweke addresses the crowd...
Head Coach Bruce Arena and Herbalife President and CEO Michael Johnson cut the ribbon to the new Herbalife Players Lounge.
Galaxy Players Inspect the new lounge
Arena shows the players an iPad that controls all of the television equipment.
A look at the door to the lounge and the motivational wall
It began with a sink...
The LA Galaxy Reserve League squad will go for the Western Division Championship this Friday against the Vancouver Whitecaps FC Reserves.
During the club's weekly training update, the Galaxy released that Friday's Reserve League match is set for 10 am PDT and will take place on U.S. Soccer Field #3. In this map, U.S. Soccer Field #3 is the closest field to Avalon Blvd. and to the left of The Home Depot Center's main entrance. LA can clinch the West Division title with a victory or a tie with Vancouver, but a loss will give the title to the San Jose Earthquakes Reserves.
Ahead of the match, Reserve League head coach Curt Onalfo issued a call to arms for Galaxy fans to attend the match.
ONALFO: "It's exciting, we've proven that we've got a deep roster. We've got some exciting young players and it's a great opportunity for the fans to see players that aren't playing regularly to contribute day in and day out to the success that this team has had over this season and last season. It's a great opportunity for them to see future players that will be stars for the Galaxy and play in games that are fun to watch."
Amid the news of LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan withdrawing from the U.S. National Team squad for this month's World Cup Qualifiers, report by Soccer By Ives' Ives Galarcep revealed that Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was on the Jurgen Klinsmann's provisional squad as an alternate for the Qualifiers.
Galarcep's tweet is below...
Random USMNT note: Omar Gonzalez was on provisional roster for this camp (He's an alternate). A well-earned spot back on Klinsmann's radar.
— Ives Galarcep (@SoccerByIves) October 9, 2012
The news is a well-deserved for Gonzalez, who has played an integral role in helping to steady the Galaxy's back four since returning to full fitness in July after undergoing offseason knee surgery. Since Gonzalez returned to fitness, the Galaxy have risen up the Western Conference standings, going an impressive 8-3-2 in the 13 competitive matches (12 league games and one CONCACAF Champions League contest) while tallying five shutouts and allowing just 13 goals with Gonzalez on the field. .
What do you think of the news? Feel Gonzalez has earned his way back on the national team? Hope that Klinsmann calls him up for the next set of World Cup qualifiers?
Share your thoughts below.
Landon Donovan will not be participating in the U.S. World Cup qualifiers after all.
U.S. Soccer revealed that Donovan and FC Dallas' midfielder Brek Shea will not be participating in the upcoming World Cup qualifiers after evaluations by the national team's medical staff. The LA Galaxy captain underwent an MRI on Monday according to the Associated Press, but was ruled out on Tuesday afternoon. No replacements were named to the U.S. squad for their World Cup qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda and Guatemala.
According to the statement issued by U.S. Soccer and a later statement released by the Galaxy, Donovan will return to Los Angeles on Tuesday evening to be evaluated by the club's medical staff. Donovan suffered an apparent knee injury during the latter stages of LA's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake last Saturday.
What are your thoughts on Donovan being removed? Think that he could participate against San Jose on Oct. 21?
Share your thoughts below.
CARSON, Calif. -- The road to a top three finish got considerably more diffciult for the LA Galaxy, but the club remain confident that they can finish among the Western Conference's top three.
With their 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake and Seattle Sounders FC's 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers, LA fell into fourth place in the Western Conference. The Galaxy still have two league games remaining against the San Jose Earthquakes on Oct. 21 and against Seattle on Oct. 28, but must win out to remain in contention.
Following the loss to Salt Lake, centerback Omar Gonzalez admitted that the Galaxy are still in the hunt for a top three spot, they must first learn from the mistakes that prevented them from getting three points against RSL.
GONZALEZ: “This game didn’t go the way we wanted it, but we’re still in the playoffs. I think we certainly want the wins, but now is the time to start get the little things right. Just like tonight we got punished on those plays, next game we can’t make those mistake and we’ve got to be on the entire game. So even though we didn’t get the win tonight, I think we can still take a lot from it and grow from it because there’s two more games left in the season and then the true test comes. We’re not going to win Supporters’ Shield so that doesn’t matter, now it’s all about getting it right for the playoffs.”
(On how much the Galaxy are thinking about playoff positioning...)
GONZALEZ: “We certainly don’t want the play-in game. I think right now we’re just trying to get in second or third and it’s looking right now like it’s kind of tough to be second so we’re fighting for that third spot. I think Seattle plays Salt Lake next so hopefully they can help us out there, but we’ve just got to win out.”
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy confirmed on Monday that they will be releasing their new third jersey next season.
LA had planned to reveal the winner of the fan contest that led to the creation of the uniform during the October 6 match against Real Salt Lake, but were forced to push the announcement back to next season.
A club spokesman provided me with the following statement on Monday afternoon, "The contest winner has been informed of the club’s selection, but because of production timeline issues in producing the uniform, we’re unable to have a complete uniform to unveil at this time."
Jurgen Klinsmann says that Landon Donovan is ready to play an important role for the United States upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
The Galaxy captain was called into the United States' 24-man squad for a pair of World Cup qualifiers on October 12 against Antigua and Barbuda and on Oct. 16 against Guatemala at LIVESTRONG Sporting Park. That Donovan would participate seemed surprising as he was forced to come off in the latter stages of last Saturday's 2-1 defeat to Real Salt Lake due to an apparent knee injury.
During a conference call with the members of the media, Klinsmann touched upon a few questions regarding Donovan.
(On Donovan's condition...)
KLINSMANN: "We were in touch over the last few days, obviously. He was supposed to do an MRI this morning in LA and he skipped it because it improved a lot during the day. We spoke last night and he said that if [the knee issue] is even better in the morning then he would skip the MRI and come straight to Miami, which is the case."
(On what role Donovan plays with the USMNT...)
KLINSMANN: "Definitely as an attacking player. If he comes wide or if he comes behind two strikers, what we need in these two games is to create chances and we need to score goals. Obviously, we are happy that Landon is part of these two games. He kind of shook off that knee issue that he experienced on Saturday night so he's ready to go. If he plays wide or comes through the middle, as long as we create chances and we score goals then it's all fine with me."
(On Donovan's injury...)
KLINSMANN: "We have been in touch with [the Galaxy] medical team, our trainer Ivan Pierra knows everybody really well so they communicate back and forth. We communicated with Landon Back and forth so first thing, he comes in here this afternoon, we'll check him out, but as he said to us, the reason why he's on the plane [to Miami] is because it looks really good."