CARSON, Calif. – It’s starting to come together for Gyasi Zardes. The speed and the dynamic movements are clearly there, but there is still work to be done before he finds the back of the net.
The LA Galaxy Homegrown forward went 35 minutes in the LA Galaxy’s 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo on Sunday. The match was Zardes’ second after undergoing surgery for a broken fifth metatarsal, Zardes admitted that all fitness concerns were gone, but he’ll need to be sharper in order to contribute.
“I felt pretty good. Once I came on I tried to contribute as much as possible,” Zardes told reporters. “We had a couple of opportunities; we were just unlucky (that) the ball didn’t go in the back of the net.”
The energy was certainly there in spades for Zardes, who repeatedly found his way behind the Houston defense, but at times, an extra touch turned a shot on goal into a clearance or a save. His best chance came in the 66th minute when he cut through the Dynamo defense, only to see his shot fired into the chest of Houston ‘keeper Tally Hall for one of LA’s two shots on goal on the night.
After an uneven performance, Zardes understands that he’ll have to be quicker with his trigger in the future.
“With more practice comes consistency and I understand I have to keep practicing and just make sure my head is up so I can look at teammates and put it in the box,” Zardes said. “I definitely need to work on being more of a threat and more aggressive, instead of looking for a pass sometimes just going on to goal and being the initial threat.”
Arena agreed: “Gyasi had his moments; technically he could have been a little bit better. It is going to take him a little bit of time.”
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According to Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl, the LA Galaxy may end up landing Frank Lampard this summer as a Designated Player. However, it seems just as likely that it may not happen.
Wahl's source, who has knowledge of the negotiations notes that he thinks that the Galaxy will end up landing the Chelsea midfielder, but "they still could screw it up."
See Lampard coming to the Galaxy? Think LA will scoop up another player?
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Highlights of the LA Galaxy's 1-0 defeat to the Houston Dynamo.
CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy fell 1-0 to the Houston Dynamo in a disappointing defeat that saw Landon Donovan miss a penalty kick in the 25th minute of play.
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CARSON, Calif. -- Following the match, fourth official Ricardo Salazar provided a response as to why referee Allen Chapman did not award a yellow or red card to Houston Dynamo goalkeeper Tally Hall for bringing down Jose Villarreal in the penalty area in a play that resulted in Landon Donovan's missed penalty kick in the 25th minute of play of the Dynamo's 1-0 win over LA.
"In the play in question, the Galaxy player [Villarreal] touches the ball in the direction of the corner [flag] so the Galaxy player was not going towards goal so this is why there was not a red card on the play," Salazar said. "Also the referee did not deem the foul to be reckless or tactical in nature this is the reason for no yellow card on the play."
Following the match, LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena chimed in with his thoughts on the play.
"The referee certainly screwed that play up big time, but I'll let them deal with that. I think that in most cases that's a red card as well," said Arena. "To not even give a card, if they a yellow card you can understand that maybe, but remarkably he didn't give a card on the play, but we have a gentleman [Professional Referee Organization's Peter Walton] in charge of our referee's now so it'll be interesting to see if they make a decision on that."
Meanwhile Landon Donovan called for consistency.
"Well, we saw a similar play earlier today with Dan Kennedy and I think that if it is not a red card then you don't get a red card in either case. If it is a red card then you give a red card in both cases. I think we just want consistency from officials because now we see two today where nobody really knows what the outcome is going to be. If you blatantly take down a forward as he's going towards goal, I think it's probably a red card, I think tha the probably got that one wrong."
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CARSON, Calif. -- The LA Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo in Sunday's Cinco de Mayo clash at The Home Depot Center.
A few links, match ups to watch and my predicted lineup is below...
*Injuries to Robbie Keane and Todd Dunivant have the two starters questionable, this may open up another chance for Charlie Rugg and Greg Cochrane.
*LAGalaxy.com's Larry Morgan has provided this preview to the match.
*Lastly, my Three Points to the match.
MATCH UPS TO WATCH
A.J. DELAGARZA vs. GILES BARNES
DeLaGarza's speed and positioning will be vital to deal with Barnes, who is Houston's leading goal scorer. Expect DeLaGarza to attempt to limit space for Barnes, who can strike from distance.
JOSE VILLARREAL vs. BOBBY BOSWELL
The veteran Dynamo center back will be tested by the in-form Villarreal. Expect the young forward to attempt to lure Boswell out of position and open up space for the likes of Landon Donovan and Mike Magee.
LANDON DONOVAN/MIKE MAGEE vs. CORY ASHE/KOFI SARKODIE
The battles that will decide the game: Houston will look to put pressure on LA immediately with their marauding outside backs, but Donovan and Magee will be key to leading the charge on the counter.
Cudicini; Franklin, Gonzalez, DeLaGarza, Cochrane; Donovan, Juninho, Sarvas, Magee; Rugg, Villarreal
Robbie Rogers seems set to resume his MLS career in 2013, but that may not happen if he is forced to join the Chicago Fire.
Rogers promptly retired after coming out as gay in January, but in an interview with "Soccer Today" on ESPN Radio in Dallas (103.3 FM), Rogers believes that there is "a really good chance” that he’ll return to soccer in 2013. The 25-year-old trained with the LA Galaxy this week and admitted that he was encouraged by his fitness level and his reception within the Galaxy locker room.
"To be honest, I had no plans of going back to football at all and definitely not this soon," Rogers told the station. "But I was looking over some video clips that MLS sent to I think it was CNN or ABC of me just training, fooling around and just enjoying football. ... And it kind of just like [made him say], 'Oh my gosh, I miss this stuff.
"I just need a bit more time to evaluate and to see how things play out, but I've really enjoyed myself [in Galaxy training]. It feels normal to be back. I've grown up playing soccer my whole life. I've always been on a soccer field, so I feel at home on a soccer field."
The news of Rogers considering resuming his professional career corresponds with the announcement by NBA center Jason Collins, who became the first openly gay athlete in one of the U.S. four major professional sports in an open essay in Sports Illustrated. But if Rogers does return to MLS, it likely won’t be with the Chicago Fire, who currently hold his rights after a trade with the Columbus Crew and have expressed interest in retaining the U.S. international.
"I don't want to go to Chicago," Rogers said. "I think if it comes down to you can only play in Chicago, then I probably won't go back. I need to do it somewhere where I'm totally 100 percent comfortable so ... I would most likely do it closest to my family. … I'm not closing the doors or saying no to anyone else that I've talked to but ... that would be my priority."
He admits that the Galaxy locker room has been “normal” while all the players have been “very welcoming and cool.” As for his abilities on the soccer field, Rogers is pleased with his training level during his week of training with LA.
"I'm doing a lot better than I thought I would. Maybe it's that I just feel like myself. I don't know what it is. I'm not that out of shape, and I think the Galaxy is a bit surprised because I haven't trained,” Rogers said. “I've been running and lifting but I haven't touched a football for three and a half, four months. So I've been a lot better than I thought I would be."
CARSON, Calif. – Gyasi Zardes may not be ready for first time minutes, but the LA Galaxy Homegrown forward has already drawn rave reviews from his teammates.
Zardes made his MLS debut in Saturday’s match with a 37 minute shift against RSL and with Jack McBean and possibly Robbie Keane on the shelf; he’ll likely be in contention for minutes in Sunday’s clash against the Houston Dynamo. Earlier this week, LA attacker Mike Magee, who is currently tied for the MLS lead in goals scored with six, tabbed Zardes for big things.
“Gyasi was skinning some guys today. You definitely don’t want to find yourself one-on-one with him with the ball,” Magee told reporters on Friday. “We all enjoy watching him play and enjoy when he comes on the field because he takes a lot of pressure and he’s kind of a dynamic that we haven’t had with so much speed and skill. Speed skills."
Several times during the preseason, Zardes was stationed out wide and up top which leads to the question: could Zardes become the next versatile attacker in the Mike Magee mold?
“Me and Gyasi will never be confused for the same player,” Magee quipped before adding that he wouldn't try his luck racing Zardes. “I wish that I had that speed and his dribbling ability, but nah, I don’t think that we’ll be confused for each other.”
But with the likes of Zardes, McBean, Charlie Rugg, and Jose Villarreal all under the age of 23, Magee believes that the Galaxy forward corps are well set for the future.
“We’re doing all right,” said a beaming Magee. “ We've got good veterans; good young guys and we’re in a good way right now.”
LAGalaxy.com has provided this preview as LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena and attackers Mike Magee and Landon Donovan preview LA's clash against the Houston Dynamo.
Watch the video below...
The LA Galaxy will take on the Houston Dynamo in a rematch of the last two MLS Cups.
Below is the LA Galaxy Injury Report found in LA’s game notes for Sunday’s match.
Out: Jack McBean (Fractured Left Clavicle – Underwent surgery on April 30)
Questionable: Carlo Cudicini (Right Leg Strain), Landon Donovan (Right Leg Strain), Todd Dunivant (Left Leg Strain), Robbie Keane (Left Ankle)