The 2014 FIFA World Cup has finally concluded, but as the old saying goes: we’ll always have the memories of a thrilling month of action in Brazil.
On Sunday night, I nominated my two breakout stars of the tournament on Twitter, but ESPN FC went into greater depths to offer the best moments of the month-long tournament in this stunning montage.
Just an FYI: the video may not be available abroad, but if you click this link then you should be able to see the clip.
CARSON, Calif. – There will be an LA Galaxy connection at the 2014 FIFA World Cup final as LA legend and Time Warner Cable SportsNet color analyst Cobi Jones will serve on the U.S. Presidential delegation.
Jones joins several cabinet dignitaries and executives at the famed Estadio Maracana ahead of the final between Germany and Argentina. For Jones, who was a longtime international, the chance to represent the U.S. and the presidency is a great honor.
“I didn’t believe it at first even though I was kind of in Brazil as part of the State Department…It’s quite an honor. It shocks you, it surprises you right off the bat. But there is also pressure. It’s kind of like an acknowledgement of what I did in the sport, but also what I’m still doing—that I’m still a factor in the fact that what I’m doing, and people are paying attention and noticing,” Jones told LA Galaxy Insider. “I want to continue to build this sport, within U.S. but also around the World—the relationship that soccer has to the United States internationally.
“To get the word that the White House wants you to represent them as United States at World Cup final…what more can you ask for?” he said. “As a former player that’s the top. That’s everything. Because you are going to the top of your sport and you are representing the top club of your country.”
CARSON, Calif. -- Don't look now, but here come the LA Galaxy?
The Galaxy extended their league unbeaten run to seven games on Saturday with a 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake. Despite inconsistent play that has marred the team's start to the season, the Galaxy extended their undefeated streak on the heels of a first half goal by Gyasi Zardes.
With the team set to play three games -- including their friendly against Manchester United -- over the next 10 days, the Galaxy believe that the team is finally starting to come together.
“We’re getting there. We’re getting, in my opinion, the best defender in the league back soon, and that can only help. I think defensively we’ve been very good this year. In most games we shouldn’t have allowed goals and we’re getting back to having a really good defensive mentality," said Landon Donovan. "Having Omar [Gonzalez] there will help us, and attacking wise, we’re starting to get better. We’ve had a lot of different guys coming in and out of the lineups, so that sort of hurts with continuity, but tonight was good. We realistically should have scored three or four goals probably. We’re playing well on that end of the field, but if we keep defending like that we are going to be hard to beat.”
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena addressed reporters following his team's 1-0 victory over Real Salt Lake.
Check it out below.
(On the result...)
ARENA: “I think we played a fairly solid 90 minutes tonight. Had chances to get a second goal on a few occasions in the second half. We could have made the game a little easier. It’s good for us to win a game like this. It’s what I would call a good ugly game against a good team. We did a job good on the defensive end of the field. That was encouraging. Any time you get a shut out speaks volumes for the whole team. I think for the most part we played well and deserved to get the three points tonight. We know we need to get a little bit better. That’s certainly not a perfect performance.”
(On the goal by Gyasi Zardes...)
ARENA: “Good goal. If I remember correctly, Marcelo [Sarvas], on the right side, cut a ball in and I think Landon [Donovan] dummied it to Gyasi [Zardes]. And, obviously a pretty good finish off the two posts.”
(On the play of Robbie Rogers...)
ARENA: “He’s getting a lot of experience in that position. He’s been very good defensively and does a good job going forward. We are very pleased with his performance.”
(On Zardes, Donovan and Keane...)
ARENA: “They did alright. We could be better. We were playing against three good players in [Kyle] Beckerman, [Nat] Borchers and [Chris] Schuler. It was a good battle for 90 minutes, but I think they did well.”
In the latest edition of LAGalaxy.com's What to Watch For, I join Joe Tutino to break down the LA Galaxy's match against Real Salt Lake.
Check it out below.
With the LA Galaxy terminating the loan of Samuel on Thursday, I decided to revisit in an old piece that I initially wrote when Christian Wilhelmsson signed with the club back in 2012.
Samuel and Wilhelmsson were the last players to don the number nine kit for the Galaxy which has a dubious place in Galaxy history due to a history of underperformance. Below is a list of all the Galaxy players to wear the number nine shirt throughout the club’s history and their performances in MLS regular season play…
2014: Forward Samuel with eight league appearances in the regular season and two in the CONCACAF Champions League, scoring one goal and zero assists.
2013: No number nine.
2012: Midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson with nine league appearances in regular season and MLS Cup Playoffs, scoring one goal and one assist.
2012: Forward Chad Barrett with 18 league appearances, scoring one goal and three assists.
2011: Forward Juan Pablo Angel with 22 league appearances, scoring three goals and one assists.
2010: Forward Jovan Kirovski with 21 league appearances, four goals and two assists.
2009: Forward Jovan Kirovski with 22 league appearances, two goals and one assist.
2008: No number nine.
2007: Forward Gavin Glinton with 19 league appearances, four goals and zero assists.
2006: Forward Guillermo Gonzalez made zero league appearances.
2005: Forward Guillermo Gonzalez made zero league appearances.
2004: Forward Guillermo Gonzalez with six league appearances, scoring zero goals and zero assists.
2003: Forward Alex Pineda Chacon made six league appearances, scoring zero goals and zero assists.
2002: Forward Brian Mullan with 21 league appearances, scoring three goals and two assists.
2001: Forward Brian Ching with eight league appearances, scoring one goal and one assist.
2000: Forward Seth George with 14 league appearances, scoring one goal and zero assists.
1999: Defender/Forward Jose Vasquez with zero league appearances.
1998: Forward Jose Botello with two league appearances, scoring zero goals and zero assists.
1997: Goalkeeper Jorge Campos with 19 league appearances, scoring zero goals and two assists.
1996: Goalkeeper Jorge Campos with 24 league appearances, scoring zero goals and one assist.
A few notes: Jovan Kirovski leads all-time scoring of number nine's with six goals and three assists. Meanwhile Gavin Glinton (2007) has scored the most goals over one season with four while Chad Barrett (2012) has tallied the most assists with three. Wilhelmsson will also become the first Galaxy midfielder to don the nine shirt.
As you can see, the Swedish winger will have his work cut out for him in terms of performances, but with an accomplished roster and extensive European and International pedigree, there is no reason that Wilhelmsson can’t become the club's most effective number nine.
CARSON, Calif. -- LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters on Friday that center back Omar Gonzalez is "unlikely" to play against Real Salt Lake on Saturday.
The center back has not participated in outdoor training with the team since Tuesday when he spoke to the media for the first time since returning from his stint with the U.S. National Team at the 2014 FIFA World Cup. During his interview, Gonzalez stated that he needed to be "smart" with the ankle injury that he suffered in the second half of their Round of 16 defeat to Belgium last week.
After stating that Gonzalez is "unlikely to play" against RSL, Arena reiterated that he had confidence in LA's center back tandem of Tommy Meyer and A.J. DeLaGarza.
"There's no rush. He hasn't been here for two months so there's no point," said Arena. "Our [defenders] have been doing fine."
CARSON, Calif. – LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters that “it was in everyone’s best interest” that Brazilian forward Samuel returned to Brazilian Serie A club Fluminense.
The Galaxy announced on Thursday that the club had terminated the loan of the 23-year-old who scored just a single goal in 10 appearances across all competitions for the Galaxy. Samuel is likely to receive considerable minutes upon returning to the Brazilian giants with incumbent starter Fred likely angling for a move after his stint with Selecao at the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
“It’s a good move for him. [Fluminense] had an interest in him coming back and we thought that it was an appropriate time to do that,” said Arena on Friday after the club's training session ahead of their match against Real Salt Lake on Saturday. “He was a player that got better , but our style of play and our league is different and this was a new experience so it would have taken some time. At the same time, since the loan arrangement was only for one year, it would have taken him a year to make a [full] adjustment.
“At this point, it was probably in everyone’s best interest that he returned to Fluminense,” Arena added before mentioning that he was not surprised that the forward’s transition took as long as it did. “He was a really good guy who got better and we liked him. We’re sorry that it didn’t work out as quickly as we’d want, but it is not surprising. Sometimes the transitions can be quicker, but sometimes they take a little bit longer.”
With Samuel gone, the Galaxy boss said that the club is looking to make a move as they seek to contend for a fifth MLS Cup title.
“We’re looking to make an addition to our team at some point,” said Arena. “We do anything that we can to make our team better.”