SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The LA Galaxy will get their first week-long break in little over a month this week and the respite could not come at a better time for striker Robbie Keane.
Due to his participation in Ireland’s UEFA Euro 2016 qualifying campaign, the Irishman has traveled considerable distances bouncing around from Southern California, Dublin, Tbilisi, Georgia, Montreal, and San Jose.
After the Galaxy’s 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes, Keane admitted that he’s eagerly looking forward to a little rest before LA return to action this Saturday against FC Dallas.
“It’s been a tough few weeks for me personally. I'm absolutely shattered to be honest with you and it'll be nice to have a week without traveling,” said Keane after LA's draw to San Jose. “I've been feeling the effects over the last couple of days so it'll be nice to rest and not have to travel. I've endured a long 10 days with some 40 hours of traveling and it was taking my toll. I'll just refresh myself and get ready for Saturday’s game.”
With some needed time to rest, Keane believes that he’ll be able to better aid the Galaxy as they look to erase Seattle Sounders FC’s slim three point lead in the Supporters’ Shield chase.
“It’s in our own hands,” said Keane. “We're playing the teams around us and they'll be tough games, but we’re quite capable of beating anybody.”
Typically a victory for Seattle Sounders FC is hardly met with applause let alone smiles from LA Galaxy circles, but Seattle's U.S. Open Cup triumph on Tuesday may end up benefiting the Galaxy at the end of the season.
By defeating the Philadelphia Union 3-1 in the U.S. Open Cup final, Seattle not only won the Lamar Hunt Open Cup Trophy, but they also clinched one of U.S. Soccer's four Champions League spots. Under MLS and U.S. Soccer's request, those berths were changed by CONCACAF last December to be awarded to the following:
1) MLS Cup winner
2) Supporters' Shield winner
3) Winner of the conference regular season winner opposite the Supporters Shield holder
4) U.S. Open Cup winner.
Also according to CONCACAF, if an MLS team is in possession of two of the honors or if a Canadian team wins any of the above three, then the CCL berth will fall to the team with the next best regular season record.
Just how does all this benefit the Galaxy?
If the Galaxy are unable to catch Seattle Sounders FC in the Supporters' Shield chase -- they currently trail Seattle by three points -- but finish in second at the end of the season, then the CCL berth that Seattle won for finishing with the league's best regular season record will fall to the Galaxy.
Happy to have the (possible) safety net in case the Galaxy don't win the Supporters' Shield? Or do you think that LA should just go out and try to win the Shield -- and MLS Cup for that matter -- anyway?
Share your thoughts below.
The buzz surrounding the release of EA Sports' FIFA 15 reached a fever pitch across social media on Monday as the ratings were released for each MLS club.
The LA Galaxy are the highest rated team in MLS with an overall mark of 66 which is two points better than a quintet of five other sides measured at a 64 rating. Galaxy captain Robbie Keane is the fourth-highest rated player in MLS with a total score of 79 which is three points behind the league's top ranked player Seattle Sounders FC striker Clint Dempsey. Landon Donovan is ranked sixth best in MLS with a 77 ranking.
Galaxy center back Omar Gonzalez is the highest-ranked defender in MLS with a 74 overall mark while goalkeeper Jaime Penedo is the second best goalkeeper in MLS behind Real Salt Lake's Nick Rimando.
The complete ratings for the LA Galaxy are below. (Also note that the Jose Villarreal card is clearly not the Galaxy Homegrown Player and has his named misspelled.)
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Tommy Meyer made his first start for the LA Galaxy since July 19 and the defender did not miss a beat in the club’s 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.
In his first match since suffering a groin injury in Galaxy II’s August 9 match against Arizona United SC, Meyer was steady as the Galaxy were rarely tested over the course of 90 minutes. The lone blemish for LA's defense came in the 66th minute when Chris Wondolowski scored the Earthquakes' only tally of the afternoon.
“It was good and it was nice to get 90 minutes under my belt especially in a physical game against them,” Meyer told LA Galaxy Insider. “The game kind of got out of hand a bit [in the second half], but we made sure that we stayed focused. Even though we gave up a goal that we shouldn’t have, we gritted it out and got a point which is better than nothing.”
Meyer’s performance earned the defender praise from center back Omar Gonzalez who described the third-year center back as “solid” throughout his 90 minute shift. His first performance since the World Cup break under his belt, Meyer is eager to become a regular in the Galaxy starting XI much like he did two years ago when the club made their run to a fourth MLS Cup title.
"The main thing is that I get 90 minutes under my belt,” said Meyer. "It’s nice to get back into the mix and put myself in a good position going forward.”
LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo will rejoin the club this week from the Copa CentroAmericana, but even though Panama did not win the Central American championship, Penedo will leave with some silverware.
Penedo was awarded the tournament’s Golden Glove award for best goalkeeper after conceding just two goals during Panama’s three games. Panama finished the tournament in third place after defeating El Salvador 1-0 in the third place match on Saturday afternoon at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
The award comes on the heels of Penedo's Golden Gloves showing at the 2013 CONCACAF Gold Cup when Penedo was instrumental in Panama’s run to the final. By finishing in the CentroAmericana's top four spots, Panama earned a berth in the 2015 edition of the Gold Cup.
SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena speaks after the club's 1-1 draw with the San Jose Earthquakes.
Arena's comments are below...
(On Robbie Keane's missed penalty kick...)
ARENA: "It's big. We've missed five penalty kicks this year and it's cost us a good number of points. We have the best two penalty kick takers in the league in theory and ... our record is terrible. You have to make penalties and unfortunately we didn't. It's part of the game, but that's life. We've either loss games or only gotten a point in games where we've failed to convert a penalty. It adds up at this point in the season when you're three points behind in the Supporters' Shield race. It's cost us between five and nine points."
(On the integration of Alan Gordon...)
ARENA: "Alan has done well."
(On the reason that the team lost momentum in the first half and later in the second half...)
ARENA: "The heat. The officiating made for a really difficult game. In the first half, there was no such thing as a foul. In the second half, instead of fouls there were yellow cards. It was a very inconsistent game by the referee and it made the second half very awkward. It was very sloppy."
(On San Jose's physical play...)
ARENA: "You know that's going to happen when you play them. That's a big part of their game."
(On how important it'd win Supporters' Shield....)
ARENA: "It'd be nice."
(On the play of A.J. DeLaGarza and his coping with the death of his infant son...)
ARENA: "He played very well. He's had a lot of support and he's a strong person."
(On the heat...)
ARENA: "This principle of playing games at noon in these climates is probably not good for the players; and probably not good for the fans either."
(On the defensive effort...)
ARENA: "We played well. They didn't have too many chances on the day and you can't complain how we defended. It was not good that we gave up a goal given the fact that they were not very dangerous. We could have gotten another goal or two. This game is all on us. We should have three points today."
(On how the result hurts given the Supporters' Shield chase...)
ARENA: "How do you answer that question? We just expected to win every game and win 10 games in a row? We have the second best road record so apparently not everyone gets three points on the road every time that they play. After it's all said and done, we'll figure out who has won this thing. It wasn't decided by today's game."
LA Galaxy goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and Panama finished third at the 2014 Copa CentroAmericana on Saturday with their 1-0 victory over El Salvador.
Defender Roman Torres scored the only goal as Penedo earned his second straight shutout of the tournament despite Los Canaleros playing a man down for the last 24 minutes in the match. The Galaxy 'keeper exits the tournament with two wins and a draw and just two goals conceded.
Panama will be joined in the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup by Costa Rica, Guatemala and El Salvador.