Friday, November 30, 2007

Game Time From Westpac Stadium

This will be your live MatchTracker for tonight. The teams are on the field and a sea of yellow and black is ready in the stands.

The Galaxy come out in a 4-3-3 with Cannon in goal, Albright, Klein, Veris and Jazic in the back, Harmse, Tudela and Beckham in the middle and Donovan, Mathis and Buddle up front.

Wellington is in a 3-5-2 with Glenn Moss in goal, Karl Dodd, Richard Johnson and Kristian Rees in the back. Ross Aloisi, Michael Ferrante, Steven Old, Vince Lia and Felipe are in midfield with Vaughan Coveny and Shane Smeltz up front.

2 - Buddle goes close off a left wing cross from Jazic, nearly missing at the near post.

One change from the pregame lineup, Albright is now playing at right back, switching with Chris Klein who is in the middle.

7 - We have the first shot of the night with Michael Ferrante forcing a diving save from Cannon, to set up a corner.

7 - GOAL WELLINGTON - The Galaxy are behind after Felipe's corner is deflected to Steven Old in the Box and the Phoenix #13 jabs at the ball, finding Ross Aloisi at the corner of the six-yard box for a 1-0 Wellington advantage.

15 - Aloisi tries again from long range but it's right at Cannon.

16 - Aftwr a foul on Harmse, the Phoenix try to take it quickly only to hit it straight into the legs of the Galaxy midfielder, who gets booked for it.

17 - GOAL GALAXY - Long ball from midfield finds Donovan in the center of the box. After taking it down on his chest, Donovan cuts right to create a shot which deflects off the leg of a Wellington defender, but right into the path of Mathis who finishes for his first goal in a Galaxy uniform since 2000. 1-1

19 - LA continues push the game with Donovan and Buddle each having chances blocked back by scrambling Phoenix defenders.

20 - A quick counter by Wellington is stopped by Beckham who is called for a foul, leading to some pushing and shoving from both sides.

21 - Mathis just misses with his left at the near post after some neat interplay between himself, Beckham and Albright.

23 - Coveny wins an aerial battle for Wellington, getting the ball to Smeltz whose left-footed blast is saved by Cannon.

27 - The match had calmed down some before Felipe's long and mazy runs finsihes with his shot from the center of the box being saved by Cannon.

27 - Ruud is up off the bench for the first time after a ridiculous foul call by the referee sees a clear Galaxy counterattack brought to a halt.

27 - Buddle flashes a header just over the top off a Jazic cross.

Lineup Correction - Just prior to kickoff, the Phoenix made a change at the back, starting Mark Paston in goal instead of Glen Moss.

33 - Cannon goes down after catching an arm across the cheek from Smeltz, which is not called by this referee...not surprisingly.

39 - Both teams strugglng to create chances, though Mathis cuts in on to his left foot and fires just high.

41 - Cannon bravely comes to the top of the box to punch away a bouncing ball from Coveny, leaving the big Wellington Striker on the ground for an extended time before returning to the field a minute later.

45 - GOAL GALAXY - A long buildup through midfield sees the ball come to Buddle at the top of the box. He cuts left and hits a left-footed shot that is blocked down from 16 yards out, but the rebound comes directly to Donovan who scores with his left, side-footing the ball past Paston.

That is the end of the first half, with the Galaxy leading 2-1 behind goals from Mathis and Donovan.

Four changes for the Galaxy at the half with Cronin, Kirk, Vagenas and Pavon coming on for Cannon, Albright, Harmse and Buddle. One change for Wellington as Royce Brownlie comes on for Shane Spentz up front.

46 - The home fans waste no time in starting the wave as the Galaxy begin the half on the offensive.

48 - GOAL GALAXY - The Galaxy extend their lead as Donovan's left wing cross finds Mathis at the back post. His volley gets under the Wellington 'keeper and Pavon is left to touch the ball over the line for a 3-1 LA lead.

50 - Lia goes close with a freekick for Wellington at the other end.

54 - Donovan, Mathis and Pavon combine nicely, only for Pavon's shot to be bravely blocked away by Dodd.

55 - Cronin is called into action for the first time, blocking a vicious drive from the substitute Royce Brownlie.

57 - A sensatioanl long ball out of midfield from Beckham picks out Mathis on the right, but his shot is high and wide from a tight angle.

58 - Two changes for Wellington as Jeremy Christie comes on for Aloisi and Ahmad Elrich is on for Vince Lia.

60 - Beckham again picks out Mathis on the right as the Galaxy continue to keep the ball. The move ends with Tudela playing Jazic in behind on the left with his cross being kocked away for LA's first corner of the night.

62 - Mathis rolls his right ankle in a tackle with Rees, forcing him to the bench. Wit hthe Galaxy down to ten men and no other options left on the bench, Cobi Jones begins to warm up for the last time.

64 - Mathis goes back on after receiving treatment in front of the bench from Ivan Pierra.

65 - Even with Mathis back on the field, Cobi continues to warmup. As he does so, a perflectly weighted ball from Mathis picks onut the late charging Beckham who gets to the ball only for Rees to desperatly poke it away for a corner.

70 - Cronin saves well from Coveny.

72 - Richard Johnson off for Wellington and he's replaced by the Brazilian Daniel.

73 - A crowd 31,853 is announced for the match as Pavon fires over following a centering pass from Donovan.

75 - Mathis is finally ready to come off, trudging off the field to be replaced by Cobi Jones who is appearing in an LA uniform for the last time.

76 -Wellington brekas straight after the substitution, but Barbarouses' ball to Coveny is offside. Cronin makes the save for good measure and then blocks an sttempted rebound by Brownlie.

77 - GOAL GALAXY At the other end Pavon, is pulled down in the box leading to a penalty. Becks expects Donovan to take it but Landon waves the captain over, which he does, blasting straight down the middle to make the score 4-1 Galaxy.

79 - Coveny's left-footed shot is acrobaticaly saved by Cronin, keeping the score 4-1.

79 - Dodd off as Steven O'Dor comes on for Wellington.

The Galaxy are continuing to maintain possession, looking to kill the game off comfortably.

84 - Barbarouses defly clips a cross into the box from the right, but Cronin gets to it first and claims.

86 - Greg Draper comes on, replacing Vaughan Coveny for Wellington.

87 - A streaker attempts to get onto the field only for two big security guards and the unflapable Craig Love to block the path.

90 - We're into stoppage timewith two minutes left to play as Klein bursts forward, only for his low shot to role wide of the right post.

91 - Pavon, Cobi and Landon help set up Tudela for a volley which is bravely blocked again by O'Dor.

Final Whistle and fireworks blast across the sky as the Galaxy hold on for a 4-1 win.

Seventy Dollars Later, It's Match Time

The credit card bills will need to be checked after trying to purchase Internet access here at Westpac Stadium as the service would take your money but kick you out before giving you a password.

But all issues have been ironed out... hopefully and we're ready for kickoff.

Watch Out Wellington

Game time is almost upon us and the boys are off to the stadium. Ruud gave everyone the team and went over some tactics in a quick meeting prior to departure.

The Galaxy lineup for tonight will see Joe Cannon again get the start in goal with Chris Klein at right back, Kyle Veris and Chris Albright in the middle with Ante Jazic on the left.

Kevin Harmse will sit just in front of the back four with David Beckham and Josh Tudela in front of him.

That leaves a three man forward line of Clint Mathis and Landon Donovan on the wings and Edson Buddle playing as the center forward.

We Have Video Now!!

It took a little while to work out the kinks, but The LA Galaxy now has video.

Check out our inaugural video update, which was filmed and edited by our own Troy Bardy, at the welcome press conference in Sydney.

We'll have a lot more to come.

Happy Birthday Gaz

Many members of the Galaxy staff last night headed out to a local Italian restaurant last night to celebrate the birthday of good friend Gary Richards. For those of you that do not know him, Gary is a former professional footballer who moved to the U.S. and is now the popular host of a number of shows on the Champions Soccer Radio Network, as well as a presenter on Fox Soccer Channel's Super Sunday Plus.

Gary made the trip to Vancouver and also chose to travel to Australia and New Zealand for the matches down here. He's gotten a number of fantastic interviews so far, including a one-on-one with Becks today, and seems to know just about everybody wherever we go.

It's been great to have Gary along with us and we recommend everyone heading over to the CSRN website.

Happy Birthday Gary!!!

The Galaxy Hit Wellington

It's been a long couple of days here in Wellington but the team is ready for tomorrow night's game against the Phoenix.

After arriving in New Zealand on Friday afternoon, the club was welcomed by a traditional Maori welcome at the airport where more than 1,000 fans came out to greet us and were sure to let their voices be heard.

The players were given the night off and most wandered around the city center, stopping along the way for some dinner.

It was back to business on Friday with a morning training session at Westpac Stadium, the site of tomorrow night's game. The session was opened to the public and more than 15,000 fans turned out to see the players train. Many of the 15,000 were school children, with many of the schools in Wellington busing the children to the stadium and giving them some time away from the classroom.

However, the massive crowd did turn slightly problematic as the players were originally scheduled to perform the dreaded Beep Test, a famous method of assessing players' fitness that is used throughout the soccer universe, but with the crowd there, it became difficult to hear the audio and the experiment had to be cancelled for now.

That left the players to play some extended games of possession before wrapping up the session with a small-sided game and some shooting drills. Once again, practice ended with the 'keepers calling out how many shots that they would save out of 11 with both Steve and Lance coming out victorious. But the shooters got their revenge in the final round against Joe scoring six times, including four of which went in off the post, leaving Joe no chance, much to the humor of everybody...except #1 that is.

Later on that night the players were honored at halftime of the Phoenix's 2-1 loss to Adelaide. The match featured two former MLS players with Diego Walsh, formerly of Columbus and Kansas City, playing for the visitors and former Revolution defender Tony Lochead playing in the back for Wellington.

After coming out onto the field to the delight of the record crowd, all of the players and coaches were given traditional New Zealand necklaces before returning to the hotel.

More to come later.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Early Morning Bus Ride

The sun is not up yet but the Galaxy are as the players and staff boarded the coach for the voyage to the airport.

Raul and Jose took the bags over early and Martha Romero is there as well handling the boarding passes so that everything can go quickly and smoothly.

The players bus left the Star City Casino at 5am with most guys getting on the bus and going to sleep straight away.

A few hours from now we will be in New Zealand and from what we've been told, there is quite the welcome in store for us.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Cameraman - Chris Albright

Here are a few of the promised shots from our own #5.

Joe and Landon stretch out for the long flight ahead.

Gordo and Edson looking ready for a good night's sleep.

Carlos Pavon, always on in front of the cameras, even when he'd rather be sleeping.

Ivan Pierra does not look happy to see Chris and our camera.

A Day Off

After an exhausting match last night, the whole team has the day off today to enjoy our final day in Australia. Some guys will go shopping, some are looking to play golf and others will just wander throughout the city.

That's what we'll be doing here.

We'll post a couple of small updates throughout the day as we; as some additional items this evening.

We'll be back on a plane tomorrow, and there is a good chance that Pete and Chris will be dressed just like this once again.

Welcome to Telstra Stadium for the Hyundai Club Challenge

Kickoff is about ten minutes away so we're here and ready to go.

The crowd is continuing to pour in from all directions and the stadium should be at capacity in time for kickoff.

The Ruud Gullit coaching era is soon to begin and his club will be looking to add a second piece of silverware in as many games following the Copa Minnesota earlier this month.

Flashbulbs are popping off around the stadium as the players came out of the tunnel and begin to take the field. Captains David Beckham and Tony Popovic come together for the opening coin toss.

And we're ready to go.

The Sydney lineup will consist of Clint Bolton in goal, Popovic, Iain Frfe, Nikolas Tsattalios, Ruben Zadkovich, Brendan Santalab, Mark Milligan, Adam Biddle, Ufuk Talay, Alex Brosque and Juninho.

First Minute - Landon has the game's opening shot, taking a layoff from Edson only for his shot to be saved by Bolton.

4 - Pavon whips a dangerous cross in for Buddle but Bolton claims the cross.

Galaxy having the better of the play with Pavon, Klein and Albright finding some joy down the right flank.

6 - Long ball from the back nearly creates a chance for Sydney's top scorer Alex Brosque, only for the linesman to flag for offside.

7 - Pavon collects a loose pass along the backline and fires a low shot which Bolton holds.

9 - Juninho bursts through the middle and is able to get the ball to Brosque who turns quickly and hits a left footed shot that clips the top of the crossbar.

13 - Brosque gets in behind and the flag stays down, but Veris recovers to poke the ball away.

14 - Juninho corner from the right wing is headed clear by Harmse that starts a counterattack with Beckham finding Pavon on the left flank with Bolton saving again from Carlos.

Both sets of forwards, Buddle and Pavon as well as Brosque and Juninho are able to find some space up front.

17 - Landon fires high with his left from 23 yards after a quick one touch move in the center of the field.

19 - Clint wins a freekick on the left flank about 30 yards out. Beckham whips the ball in and Bolton bobbles but holds on.

20 - That starts a quick counterattack, with Juninho cutting an angled ball through the defense for Brosque who slots it underneath Cannon, putting Sydney up 1-0.

21 - Becks tries to answer straight away with a curling shot from the top of the box, which Bolton saves and holds.

23 - Talay fires hard from 35 yards but it's right at Cannon and he parries it away before Harmse clears from danger.

26 - Brosque scores again, sliding in behind the defense. Veris was able to poke the ball away, but only off the post, leaving the Brosque with the simplest of finishes. 2-0 Sydney.

27- Beckham goes down after a Zadkovich stumbles into him and is slow to get up.

28 - Zadkovich scores again as Juninho puts him through and his right footed shot deflects off Cannon's hands and into the net. 3-0 Sydney.

31 - Harmse is the first player to go in referee Mark Sheild's book earning a yellow card for a foul on Juninho, leading to some pushing and shoving.

32 - Landon is booked as well as the referee says that he is not 10 yards back in the wall...even tough its fairly obvious he is at least 12 yards away.

35- Beckham places a left wing corner kick into the box, but Bolton punches it away.

37 - Mark Rudan comes on for Mark Milligan in a tactical switch for Sydney.

38- Rudan makes himself instantly useful, heading away a left wing corner.

40 - Buddle and Pavon combine on a one two but the return pass to Buddle is just too far.

42 - Klein fires high from long range.

Becks appears to have shaken off his ankle injury and is moving freely in the center of the park.

45 - Galaxy pull one back as Becks fires a freekick home from 23 yards out. Bolton got a hand to the shot, which was set up by a foul on Pavon, but could not keep it out. 3-1 Sydney.

Very odd Hyundai inflatables are brought out at the half. This could be interesting... turned out not to be.

Halftime subs were Cronin, Tudela and Vagenas on for Cannon, Albright and Pavon.

Internet issues shut us down for 30 minutes or so and we're now in the 73rd minute with the score 4-2 Sydney.

How'd we get there?

Landon picked off a loose ball in the attacking third and sent Buddle in alone, allowing him to score with his right in the 48th minute. The lead was back up to two goals a few minutes later as substitute Robbie Middleby scored.

Landon keeps pushing forward as he is in a more attacking role now.

Harmse is hit in the 75th minute by Adam Biddle and the referee chooses to give both players yellows, leading to a red for Harmse.

Edson has been cramping for the last 20 minutes and has come off, leaving LA with 9 against 11 for the last 10 minutes.

Sydney gets a fifth as Iain Fyfe collects a bobble from Cronin and slots home from close range, making it 5-2.

LA is fatigued but Sydney keeps pushing forward and Landon catches them on a counter. Klein's long ball from teh back finds Donovan who rounds the keeper and slots home with his left, making the score 5-3.

That is the final kick of the match as LA fall 5-3 to Sydney FC.

The fans will go home happy after what was a fantastic display of attacking football. The crowd of 80,295 are still cheering long after the final whistle as David is being interviewed on the pitch prior to the trophy presentation.

Monday, November 26, 2007

And We're Off

The team has left for the stadium with kickoff just over two hours til kickoff.

Ruud gave the squad the lineup after our pregame meal and we can give it to you now.

Joe Cannon will start in goal behind a back four from left to right of Jazic, Veris, Harmse and Albright.

Chris Klein will play wide on the right in midfield, with Clint Mathis on the left and Beckham and Landon in the middle.

Carlos Pavon will partner Edson Buddle in attack, leaving Cronin, Friesz, Tudela, Kirk and Vagenas on the bench. Troy Roberts, Mike Caso and Alan Gordon will all miss out through injury.

We'll have the running commentary here as well as plenty of pregame, in-game and postgame coverage.

Back in Business

Thank goodness that we called that guy!!

Galaxy Director of Operations James Shilkret came through for us in a big way today picking up a new card reader. Shilke as he's known throughout the team has played a major role in the coordination of this entire trip and as well as he's done with that, nothing has been bigger than this.

Well done Shilke!!

On a Walkabout

The whole squad had the chance to see a bit of Sydney today as they walked around Darling Harbour during our pregame walk. Used as an opportunity to get everyone moving and stretching their legs, the walk took us out of the hotel and along the short walk over the the scenic waterfront where there's a big collection of shops, cafes and restaurants and was also the home of the "Seven Strangers" on the most recent season of MTV's The Real World.

We couldn't believe the reception that we got as we walked around, with fans cheering us, taking pictures and collecting autographs. David was the main attraction but the cheers rung out for everyone, including two very vocal Chris Albright supporters who were enjoying their lunch nearby. We think that Chris offered to buy their lunch if they cheered for him but at this time those rumors are still unsubstantiated.

Back to the hotel now for a quick bite to eat as we being getting down to business ahead of tonight's game. The boys are focused and looking for a win, a win which will make tomorrow's off day all that more enjoyable.

Tragedy Strikes the Blog **UPDATED**

The unthinkable has happened!

Unfortunately, the digital card reader that we use to load photos to this site has fried. How or why, nobody knows but suffice to say, there will not be any new pictures for a while we go to find a new one.

Wish us luck...hopefully we can find something better than the Digital Concepts device that lasted all of about three days.


Just so you guys at home aren't worried, our camera is fine and the photo card is fine, we just can't transfer the photos into the blog for the time being. We'll still be shooting throughout so once we have a new reader, we'll try to post everything as quickly as possible. We've read the comments and we're trying to go with bigger pictures throughout the blog so hopefully you'll be happy with what you're seeing.

One on One

Former Galaxy forward Michael Enfield stopped by the Galaxy's training session on Monday to catch up with some old friends and scout the opposition. As most of you are already aware, Enfield signed with Sydney FC earlier this summer, however injury has halted his first season with the club. The former UCLA star is currently rehabbing after undergoing surgery to repair a torn ACL meaning that he won't be available for tonight's game, but that did not stop him from talking to us about Sydney, Australian soccer and life Down Under.

Talk about the experience so far:

Michael Enfield - The injury is the main thing on my mind right now but I'm having a great time here in Sydney, it's a great place and I'm just enjoying myself.

Disappointed that you can't play tomorrow?

ME - Ya, it would have been a lot of fun to play against my former team and against a lot of old friends. It would have been a good time.

It's a new look Galaxy team, but there are still some of you're old teammates out there, have you caught up with them yet?

ME - There's still a lot of guys from the Galaxy teams that I was on so it's really nice to have them out here playing and they look to be doing well.

How would you compare MLS and the A-League?

ME - What I've always said is that there are more similarities than differences, the crowds are about the same size, though there was obviously a big boom in attendance in the U.S. this year.

When was the last time that you made it back home?

ME - I haven't been back since June when I left to come out here, but I should be going back to LA shortly, to do some rehab and just be there for the holidays as well.

Do you miss living in LA at all?

ME - Australia is a great place, but when you leave home you always miss it a bit. California is my home, LA is my home and I love it there and I'm always glad to go back, even if it's just for a little while.

Lastly, can we get you to make a prediction on the match?

ME - I grew up a Galaxy fan but right now I have to give my support to Sydney FC and I hope that we can come out with a win. I know it's the offseason for you guys so fitness might factor into it and help lead to a Sydney FC victory.

Sightings Part Two

Game day has finally arrived and a light rain has covered the city streets. However, the weather could not have been nicer last night as the team and staff attended a private function at the beautiful Cafe Sydney which is set in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge.

This event served as the official prelude to the game with players from both teams, sponsors and other VIPs in attendance. Of the famous faces who we recognized in attendance were Monty Python great Eric Idle who was seen chatting with Ruud Gullit, Sydney FC owner and the goalkeeper for Hollywood United, Anthony LaPaglia, former Olympic swimmer and Australian hero Ian Thorpe (The Thorpedo) who is now an executive with Foxtel, as well as MTV and MySpace star Tila Tequila who was in town to promote the launch of her MTV series, "A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila", as well as many others.

But the one person who left everybody speechless was none other than the one and only Elton John. In town for an upcoming show, John was in high spirits interacting with all the Galaxy players, including his longtime friend David Beckham.

After spending just more than an hour at the event, the players, who all arrived at the party in white limousines, wearing their Hugo Boss suits to walk down a red carpet that housed more than a thousand screaming fans and a huge collection of Australian media, returned to the hotel to get some rest ahead of tonight's game.

However, just because this was a very classy event that was held 24 hours before kickoff, that did not stop some of the players from messing around. One of the first limos to pull up carried Alan Gordon, Peter Vagenas, Chris Albright, Josh Tudela, Carlos Pavon and Edson Buddle. Once the car came to a stop a few of the guys told Edson, who was seated next to the window, to start getting out of the car, however, once he did, the car door was shut and locked behind him leaving an embarrassed Edson left on his own outside with all of the security and event personnel.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


The Galaxy weren't the only famous faces on the flight over to Australia as Grammy Award winning singer Lionel Richie was seated just in front of us in first class. Richie, who was in Sydney for a recent episode of Australian Idol, couldn't have been nicer, chatiing with the group and wishing us luck in the upcoming matches.

Needless to say, we'll all be Dancing on the Ceiling if we can knock off Sydney FC Tuesday night.

Where are the pictures of this you ask?

Well, there aren't any as the photographer had to go back and wait for these two who had each left their suits on the plane.

Thanks guys!

Training Ground Tidbits

The first two training sessions of the Ruud Gullit era with the Galaxy are in the books, with all 19 players in attendance doing everything they can to impress the new gaffer.

Mike Caso (heel), Alan Gordon (foot), Quavas Kirk (foot) and Josh Tudela (strep throat) all missed the first day of practice. Tudela joined in on Monday and will be ready to go tomorrow night. However, Troy Roberts sat out on Monday because of a muscle strain in the hope that he'll be ready to go Tuesday.

The sessions have focused primarily on keeping possession, with players often limited to two or three touches in each drill.

Another thing that was instantly evident in the sessions was the length of each drill was longer than most of the squad is typically accustomed to, leaving a number of very tired players leaving Telstra Stadium on the team bus.

Tuesday's session was very similar with all the players getting stuck in and trying to impress the new man in charge.

No player was trying harder to impress than Joe Cannon. After training, 11 players lined up about 20 yards from goal and tried to strike a dead ball past the Galaxy goalkeepers. Lance Friesz was the first keeper in between the posts and Ruud asked him one simple question... how many shots can you stop? Friesz said that he would allow no more than four goals, only to see five of the 11 shots get past him meaning that he had to do 40 pushups.

Steve Cronin was up next and he said that he would stop six, a feat that he was successful in, making a string of saves and letting just three goals in, forcing the 11 shooters to do the pushups and setting the stage for Cannon.

Joe said that he would stop all 11 and Ruud asked him if he was serious, which he absolutely was. Eleven shots later, Cannon was doing the pushups, but only because Chris Klein placed a pinpoint shot just inside Cannon's lefthand post. That was the only goal that Cannon allowed, but it was just one of the goal he set, and therefore he had to pay the price.

A New Look at Coach Cobi

At training yesterday, we noticed something that will take some getting used to. With Cobi now on the coaching staff, we no longer see him wearing his famous #13 shirt, rather he'll be wearing a blue training top with no number, just Herbalife on the back.

Back on the Bus

After a very spirted training session at Telstra Stadium, the boys hopped on the bus for the 30 minute journey back to the hotel. A shower and quick snack later we're back on the bus heading to the Sydney Football Stadium where we will be the guests of honor at halftime. After a lap around the stadium and a wave to the crowd, the players will head back to the hotel while the coaches and some staff will stay behind to scout Tuesday's opposition.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Coming to You From a Land Down Under... and Yes That is All Chocolate

After a nearly 14 hour flight, the voyage through customs and the wait for more than 40 bags worth of gear and personal items, we have finally arrived at our hotel here in Sydney. Sitting right on the waterfront, we couldn't ask for more with the hotel staff and the FFA (The Australian FA) taking care of every last detail.

There were more than 100 fans and media waiting for the players as they got off the bus and made their way to the elevators, stopping to sign autographs and accepting gifts and trinkets from some of the children.

However, there was no time for rest, especially for yours truly, once we were checked in, with breakfast being served straight away, while also having to unpack and our cell phones and internet access sorted.

Straight from breakfast it was over to the Star Theatre to check out where we would be holding our press conference in a few hours time. After a quick shower and change, it was down to the press conference where Ruud, David and Landon were joined by Sydney FC players Tony Popovic, Juninho and coach John Kosmina.
Next, it was up to lunch before we got some time off to post this.
We're off to training now but we'll have a full report of Ruud's first training session with the club and much more, including a Chris Albright photo gallery...he was the photographer for us on the flight out!!!
More to come.

Friday, November 23, 2007

And We're Off

The whole team is here, well almost, and ready to go. And they have A LOT of bags.

However, with equipment managers like Raul Vargas and Jose Vega, we're sure that they have not forgotten a thing and are ready for whatever mother nature may throw at us.

The only two people who are not here at the airport are Ruud Gullit and David Beckham, each of whom will be meeting the club in Sydney. Gullit has been in Holland since the press conference announcing his hiring, while Beckham played for England on Wednesday against Croatia, setting up his country's second goal in the 3-2 loss.

While they're not here, one new face is as Clint Mathis has officially joined the team and is already decked out in full Galaxy gear. We'll chat with Clint on the flight and see what his life has been like the past week and of course get all of that posted for you guys once we're on the ground. But for now you'll have to settle for the first photo of Clint in his new Galaxy gear.

We'll be on the ground at some point tomorrow with all sorts new stories and info for you so be sure to check back then and be sure to tell us what you want to know and we'll get it to you.

See you all Down Under.

Off to LAX

All the packing is done and the gear is ready... the team is off to Australia.

Well in a few hours it is at least.

We'll be posting once from the airport just before take off but for the next 24 hours or so this blog is yours.

What do we mean by that? You tell us what you want to have us cover while Down Under and we'll try to get to all of it. The games won't be available on television or radio, but we will have a running blog coming to you for each of the games against Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix.

So if you want Q&A's, anecdotes, first hand reports or anything in between, just let us know and we'll do our best to bring it to you.

Talk to you all at the airport.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Nineteen Players Heading to Australia

Nineteen players and almost as many staff members will fly to Australia on Friday for the Galaxy's games against Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix. Forward Clint Mathis will make the trip, pulling on a Galaxy shirt for the first time since 2000, while Gavin Glinton (and a few others as you will see below) will not after being selected in Wednesday's Expansion Draft.

Here is the full list of travelling players...

  • Goalkeepers (3): Joe Cannon, Steve Cronin and Lance Friesz.
  • Defenders (4): Chris Albright, Ante Jazic, Troy Roberts and Kyle Veris.
  • Midfielders (6): David Beckham, Kevin Harmse, Quavas Kirk, Chris Klein, Josh Tudela and Peter Vagenas.
  • Forward (6): Edson Buddle, Mike Caso, Landon Donovan, Alan Gordon, Clint Mathis and Carlos Pavon.

These games will see the debut of the Galaxy's new coaching staff as Ruud Gullit, along with assistants Trevor James and Cobi Jones and goalkeeper coach Ian Feuer will all be on the bench. Alexi Lalas, Tom Payne and Paul Bravo will be in attendance as well. Also "braving" the 16 hour flight will be other team staff such as the medical staff and equipment guys and most importantly for you guys, the staff of The LA Galaxy, who will be documenting the entire experience.

Of the 19 players on the tour, two are unlikely to see any action as Alan Gordon and Quavas Kirk are still not match fit. Earlier this month, Gordon underwent surgery on his left foot to correct lingering problem that plagued him for most of the 2007 season. He will join Kirk, who is rehabbing a case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, in working with the Galaxy medical staff to continue their rehab work.

That leaves Kelly Gray, Ty Harden, Kyle Martino, Mike Randolph, Israel Sesay and Abel Xavier as the six players who are left behind.

Both Harden and Martino underwent hernia operations in Milwaukee on Wednesday while Xavier remains in Portugal rehabbing a left knee injury.

Kelly Gray, Mike Randolph and Israel Sesay are all healthy but will not make the trip for various reasons.

  • Gray, who was acquired in July, is scheduled to be married in Northern California on December 1.
  • Sesay has already returned to his hometown of Gaithersburg, Md. for the offseason.

And in a bit of great news for one of the Galaxy's breakout stars of 2007...

  • Mike Randolph will remain in Los Angeles after having been named to the U.S. Under-23 National Team’s provisional roster for their upcoming camp. The U.S. roster is expected to be announced next week and if Randolph is named in the squad, it will be his first career call-up to the National Team at any level.

The Galaxy will play Sydney FC on Tuesday night (1:30 a.m. for those of you in LA) at Telstra Stadium and then take on Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night (10:15 p.m. in LA) before returning to the States a few days later.

Gavin, Do You Know the Way to San Jose?

Gavin Glinton is going to San Jose.

Former Galaxy head coach Frank Yallop grabbed Gavin in today's expansion draft meaning that he will now head to Northern California and join the Earrthquakes.

Here is the Galaxy's complete press release about having Gavin selected and here is the complete list of players that are now members of the Earthquakes.

With Gavin now an earthquake, he will not be accompanying the team to Australia and New Zealand on Friday. His plane ticket and room reservations were quickly changed to the name Clint Mathis who will join the team on Friday. LA's long-serving equpiment manager Raul Vargas has informed us that Clint will be wearing the #33 jersey on the upcoming tour.

A full travel list will be posted here later today with some interesting info.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Foundations' Feast A Success

Landon Donovan (along with his lovely wife Bianca), Quavas Kirk, Troy Roberts and Peter Vagenas were at The Home Depot Center on Monday night to help spread some Thanksgiving cheer at the Fifth Annual Foundations' Feast. The players, along with staff from the Galaxy and The Home Depot Center served a warm Thanksgiving meal, complete with turkey, ham, mashed potatoes and all the fixings to more than 200 local residents.

But even with Galaxy players and the star of a CBS sitcom in attendance, the star of the night was without a doubt the dessert table where apple pie, pumpkin pie and a special pumpkin cheesecake were gobbled up as quickly as they could be served. We here at The LA Galaxy tried the apple pie and can only offer it the highest of marks.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Welcome to The LA Galaxy!

Welcome to The LA Galaxy, the official blog of your LA Galaxy.

Think of this as the place to expand your Galaxy horizons and a place that’s a little off the beaten track. You’ll be able to find an eclectic mix of news, commentary and musings from our fans, players, coaches and others. It’s all here for you to digest, consider and react to.

There are no right answers and everyone has a voice. So whisper, shout, praise, condemn, exalt, suggest, refute or simply wrap yourself in the warmth that is the official LA Galaxy blog, it's really up to you.



Protected and Unprotected Lists Unveiled

The Galaxy have unveiled their protected and unprotected lists ahead of Wednesday's MLS Expansion Draft. The Galaxy have protected these 11 players...

Chris Albright - defender
David Beckham – midfielder
Edson Buddle - forward
Joe Cannon – goalkeeper
Landon Donovan – forward
Ty Harden – defender
Ante Jazic – defender
Chris Klein – midfielder
Carlos Pavon – forward
Mike Randolph – defender
Troy Roberts – defender

Additionally, midfielder Quavas Kirk and forward Israel Sesay were automatically protected, per MLS rules, as members of the Generation adidas program.

That means that former coach Frank Yallop, now the head coach of the San Jose Earthquakes, will be able to select one of the following 13 players in Wednesday's expansion draft.

Mike Caso – forward
Steve Cronin – goalkeeper
Lance Friesz – goalkeeper
Gavin Glinton – forward
Alan Gordon – forward
Kelly Gray – midfielder
Kevin Harmse – midfielder
Kyle Martino – midfielder
Clint Mathis – forward
Josh Tudela – midfielder
Peter Vagenas – midfielder
Kyle Veris – defender
Abel Xavier - defender

Draft rules stipulate that San Jose can select no more than 10 players in Wednesday's draft and cannot take more than one player from any of the 13 other MLS clubs. Results of the expansion draft will be announced shortly after 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

Welcome Back Clint

More than seven years after he was first traded away from Los Angeles, Clint Mathis is back with the Galaxy following a trade with New York on Monday afternoon. Clint will join the team later this week when they fly out to Australia for next weeks games against Sydney FC and Wellington Phoenix.

Clint played in 65 games with the Galaxy from 1998-2000, before being traded to the MetroStars, scoring 15 goals and adding 17 assists in his time on the West Coast.

For the full announcement click here.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Jones wins Commissioner's Award

Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber presented Cobi Jones with the 2007 Commissioner's Award, given at the MLS Gala Awards Ceremony held Saturday night at the National Building Museum on the eve of the 12th championship game in league history. The MLS Commissioner's Award is presented annually to the group or individual that has made a difference and contributed significantly to the league and the sport in America. For more information click here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Galaxy Beat Thunder on PKs

The LA Galaxy defeated USL First Division side Minnesota Thunder on penalties to take the first ever Copa Minnesota on Sunday night at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis. Just eight minutes into the game Edson Buddle scored the club's lone goal in front of an electrifying crowd of 20,123. For more information click here.

Becks Earns Assist in England Victory

Galaxy midfielder David Beckham started and played 62 minutes to help lead the England National Team over Austria, 1-0, in an international friendly on Friday. In the 44th minute, Beckham earned the assist off a corner kick into the area for Peter Crouch, who nodded home the game's lone goal.

Next, Beckham and his England teammates will finish preparations for their European Championship qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday. England are currently in second place in Group E, three points behind Croatia and two points ahead of Russia, each of whom has a game in hand.

After the game against Croatia, Beckham, who currently has 98 caps leaving him two shy of becoming just the fifth player ever to earn 100 caps for England, will join his Galaxy teammates for the matches in Australia and New Zealand.

Donovan Removed From U.S. Squad

On Monday, Galaxy forward Landon Donovan was removed from the U.S. National Team squad that will play in South Africa on Saturday because of a calf strain. Donovan suffered the injury in the Copa Minnesota victory over the Thunder. The 25-year old, who is currently tied with Eric Wynalda for the most goals in National Team history, played 66 minutes in Minnesota before being replaced by Carlos Pavon. The 2007 Honda Player of the Year, Donovan finished the year with nine goals and four assists in 12 games for the U.S.

The Coaches and the Captains

Prior to last Friday's Press Conference to introduce Ruud Gullit as the Galaxy's new head coach, one photographer was allowed into the LA locker room to snap away.

Here you see one of his shots as Ruud and his new assistant Cobi Jones meet up with the Galaxy's two captains from 2007, David Beckham and Landon Donovan.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Cobi Prepares for the Cup

The Galaxy's newest assistant coach Cobi Jones will be in Washington D.C. this weekend to take part in the festivities at MLS Cup. On Saturday, Cobi, along with Bobby Boswell and Kei Kamara, will conduct a Right to Play Youth Soccer Clinic in the nation's capital.

Read more about it here.