Friday, October 30, 2009

Ready or Not

The Galaxy held their next to last training session ahead of Sunday's game this afternoon under perfect skies in Carson. Despite the heightened appeal and drama surrounding the series against Chivas USA, it was business as usual for the club as they went through the day.

There was some full field work, shadowplay, and finishing to be work on, with most of the guys staying out on the field a bit longer after the practice to talk in groups about what they can expect come Sunday and soaking in the playoff atmosphere, something that we unfortunately have not been a part of since 2005.

With the team practicing behind closed doors tomorrow, today was the media's final chance of the week to speak with the Galaxy players and coaches before Game #1 kicks off. As a result, the press corp was bigger today than most days, with most of the group looking to speak with the triumvirate of Landon, David and Bruce.

Here is what those guys, as well as Edson and Chris Klein had to say going into Sunday's match.

Bruce -

Landon -

David -

Klein -

Edson -

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Back in Blue

After taking yesterday off, the Galaxy were back at work this morning ahead of Sunday afternoon's clash with Chivas USA.

After their warmup, the team went straight into a full field 11v11 game that would go for 10-15 minutes before the coaches stopped play, made some adjustments and played for another 10-15 minutes. This went on for nearly an hour, giving everyone a chance to get some touches on the ball and get prepared for the types of challenges Chivas USA might present come Sunday.

After the game, the coaches went through both attacking and defending set pieces before giving the guys a chance to work on their own ahead of their team video session.
As is usually the case, the guys used their free time to work on their finishing, doing the "teams of two and first to four goals" game that has been so popular as of late. But unlike last week, Dema and Tony were unable to pull out a victory, with the duo of Todd and Mike combining to claim the title.

After the drill, a few of the guys stayed out on the field to put in a little more work with Landon and Edson staying out the longest, working with Chris Klein on some crossing and finishing.

After the training session, the LA Galaxy Foundation, along with The Home Depot Center Charitable Foundation, opened its doors and allowed to the community to Trick-or-Treat inside The Home Depot Center. More than 500 kids showed up for the annual Halloween "Treat-N"Suites" event. Galaxy players Tony Sanneh, Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez and Mike Magee where here giving out candy and signing autographs.

Back At Trainning

After having the day off on Wednesday, the guys returned to the training field this morning to continue their work ahead of Sunday's playoff game against Chivas USA.

On Tuesday, Troy Bardy came out to training and talked to Chris Klein, Edson Buddle and Alan Gordon about being back in the playoffs. Here's what they had to say...

We also caught up with Alecko Eskandarian, who gave us some insight into how Chivas USA prepares for the SuperClasico. "It's the biggest rival ... Tactics kind of go out the window. I've been on both sides and it's more or less about heart."

Be sure to check back later today. We will have more reactions from the guys as they continue to get ready for the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Galaxy Talks About Facing Chivas USA in the Playoffs

Since the Galaxy did not find out who their opponent in the Western Conference Semifnals was until after their game on Saturday night, Monday was the first chance players and coaching staff had to talk about facing Chivas USA in the playoffs.

Everybody is in agreement that soccer fans are in for a real treat with this series.

"To play two games with that much at stake, I think it's great," Gregg Berhalter said.

"It makes it interesting for MLS. It's a good game to watch if you're neutral, and even more passionate for the fans," said Donovan Ricketts.

Read Larry Morgan's article on for more reaction.

Also, check out these two videos to see some of what Berhalter and Arena had to say, as well as a few pictures from today's training session.

Looking Back Once More

The team began their preparation for Sunday's game against Chivas USA this morning at The Home Depot Center. But while the players are fully focused on the task at hand, we thought we take another opportunity to look back at Saturday's win that won the West.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Galaxy to play Chivas USA in Western Conference Semifinal Series

The Galaxy's playoff schedule is set, and very little traveling will be required.

LA's first playoff game since the 2005 MLS CUP Final will be on Sunday, Nov. 1 at 2 p.m. at The Home Depot Center, though not as the home team. Galaxy will face Chivas USA in the opening round of the 2009 MLS Cup Playoff as the away team in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinals.

The second will be a week later on Sunday, Nov. 8, also at The Home Depot Center, at 4:30 p.m. The team with most goals in the aggregate score will win the series.

The winner of first ever playoff edition of the SuperClasico will advance to play either Houston Dynamo or Seattle Sounders FC in Western Conference Finals.

Tickets are on sale now.

UPDATED: Postgame Locker Room Reaction

We spoke to both coaches and a number of players from both sides following last night's match.

Here is what they had to say…

On the win:
I thought it was a good game tonight. San Jose really pushed us. I think we played well for long periods of the game. I think the first half our passing was poor, and it got us in trouble a couple of times, but I think overall we had a real good effort. The guys played well. Thirty games in—it’s been a good year. There is no question about that. We deserve a day to pat ourselves on the back before we have to get back to work and try to win this first playoff series.

On coming in first place in the Western Conference:
I know we won the tiebreaker, but I don’t know if that crowns you that. But that’s great. It certainly wasn’t something we were thinking about as we started to rebuild the team in the offseason, but it’s a fabulous accomplishment for the players and our coaching staff and our organization, so it’s been gratifying to see the progress we’ve made. Hopefully this is the start of things being better and having a team that is constantly good. Only time is going to tell with that.

On Donovan Ricketts winning LA Galaxy Defender of the Year:
Well deserved. He has a fabulous year for us.

On his preference on who the Galaxy meets in the first leg of the playoffs:
No. It doesn’t matter. How many people even thought we would be here? I’m not in a position to pick and chose who we are going to play. We are please to be at this point. We’ve made the playoffs, and the next week or so we are going to taste that competition. I think its all old stories. We’ve played Chivas three times this year, and Houston twice. Everyone knows what those teams are about. They are both very good teams, and there is very little that separates either one of us. I don’t know. I can rattle off names and everything else. I think everyone here is well aware of those two teams and what they offer. Once you get into the playoffs in this league, it’s not like there are any unknowns—everyone knows each other. It’s simply going to be when you roll that ball out if you can play 90 minutes better than your opponent.

On the Galaxy’s fans:
It was a great crowd tonight. I haven’t been here very long, but my understanding and I remember the early days in ’96, ’97 and ’98 when I was with D.C. United and we visited LA, you could see that the fan base was phenomenal. I know that over the last two or three years, it’s been disappointing. This is a fan base and an organization that deserves better. We are pleased that we have been able to make progress this year, and to get the team better and to have a team that is worthy is of our fan base and our organization. That hasn’t been easy, and my hat goes off to everyone that has been involved with this team this year to be able to do that. It’s nice on a night like tonight. It’s the last game of the year, and there was so much at stake for our team and our fans. To come out on top was fabulous. I’m hopeful our fans are pleased and they go home with a smile on their faces because they’ve supported us. They’ve obviously supported this team in good times and bad times. They deserve a lot of credit, and I’m happy we’ve been able to turn things around a bit.

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham
On winning tonight…
“Tonight we wanted to finish off on a high, especially in front of our fans, and we did do that. It was important that we won the game and finish on top of our conference, which we did. We have played better in [other] games and have passed the ball better in [other] games but, you know what, we won the game. It pleased the fans and it made us tops. We won’t stop here because there is a lot of work to be done, but we are happy with the position we’re in.”

On receiving a standing ovation…
“There’s been up and downs this season [with the fans], and it has been made aware of by a lot of people, but it’s always nice to have the support of your fans. You always go out there and play your hardest. You can’t always make everybody happy, that’s just life, but it’s been good in last couple of weeks, or months. I hope it continues because we need the support of the fans, for the whole team, not just myself. We need the support we had there tonight for the playoffs.”

On what Galaxy need to do to win the MLS Cup…
“Win every game. Apart from that, stay together as a team. We don’t want to get over confident because that can bring certain things to a team, which we don’t want to see. It’s that unity that we need to keep and that togetherness. We just need to stay focused and continue were we left off.”

On making the playoffs for the first time since 2005:
It feels great; it’s been a long time for the fans and for me personally. Some of the new guys or the rookies have no idea, but it’s been a long time coming from this organization, and we are proud of it.

On finishing first in the Western Conference:
It gives us every advantage. We know that the other three teams are going to be difficult no matter who we play, but it gives us that little edge. We like going on the road first, we are going to like coming home second, and then we win that series and get a home game before MLS Cup, that’s huge for us.

On the overall season:
I think back to the beginning of the year, we had all those ties in a row. I think we were all a little disappointed that we weren’t winning games, but you look back now, and three, four or five of those ties have made the difference, and putting us where we are today. I think we were close then, and we’ve become a complete team. And now we are playing very well.

In comparison with the teams that did not make the playoffs:
I am confident in my ability and I am confident in our team’s ability, but it doesn’t mean that it always come together. In the past we had a lot of talented players, but it hasn’t worked out. I think Bruce has done a great job, I think the guys who have come in have been terrific. We keep getting better, we keep building, and now we are in a good spot.

On finishing in first place:
It’s a huge reward. We put ourselves in a position tonight to be the Western Conference Champions, and we worked really hard and we didn’t want that to slip away, so we wanted to take advantage of it, we wanted the momentum going to the playoffs, and I can’t imagine anybody wants the playoffs right now.

On the Galaxy’s goals tonight:
The first one was an own goal. I was just trying to cross it, and it came off Bobby [Burling], and it was just a lucky play. But, you put pressure on people, put them in awkward positions and those things happen. And the second one, it was a great ball from [Chris] Klein through, and it kind of got away from me a little, and I just reached for it, and popped it through Joe [Cannon]’s legs.

On the team’s attitude throughout the season:
Everybody in this locker room is competitive. It doesn’t matter who you put on the field, they just want to win, and at the end of the day, I think that is the most important thing. Sometimes in soccer, it doesn’t come out to be the best on some days, but if you have guys that compete, fight, and want to win and do the little things. Like they always say, if you do the little things, the big things take care of themselves. And, that’s what we did today and what we’ve been doing it the whole year. We have great chemistry in this locker room, good younger guys, good older guys, it’s a good mix of players.

On the team’s performance:
We were doubted pretty early on in the season, a lot of people set their expectation on us pretty low, and maybe for a moment we believed it; but the work we’ve put in this year, starting all the way back in January, it’s been incredible. From the first guy to the last guy, we showed up every single game, we might have had one or two games in all year we were led up. But, I am really proud for being part of this team.

On clinching the first spot in the Western Conference:
It’s huge. The West this year was by far the harder conference, and we won it. So, it’s incredible, it’s one of the best things I’ve had.

On his optimism heading into the postseason:
I wouldn’t count us out in any game. We’ve shown that we’re tough on the road, and we can win games at home, so nobody take us for granted.

On the result:
First of all, congratulations to the Galaxy for their performance this season and making the playoffs. Well done to them. I think the game probably hinged on us having some chances at 1-0 and not really taking them. The second goal kind of killed the game off, but I’m proud of the way our guys kept on going tonight. We don’t have a full roster right now; we have a few injuries here and there with a few guys back home. We kept going to the end. I’ve seen some good signs with this squad. I think we will be a good side next season.

On the Galaxy:
They are well organized. I think that you saw tonight—the big, big thing for me—the big difference for any team is a person like Landon. I think that he makes any good team very good. I think that they used him well. They find him in good spots. They are difficult to break down. I think we had chances against them, but we didn’t have a ton. Defensively as a unit, they are tough to get chances against. Goalkeeper is good. Good all around unit.

On the Galaxy goals:
The first goal, I think, had an unlucky bounce. We were just unlucky not to get the goal back, and then create to Landon. He beat his man and it was two-nothing. We didn’t create much all day, which is disappointing.

On playing at The Home Depot Center:
It’s like any other place. I’m not a big fan of the surface; the pitch is really wide, which is nice. They seem to wet it a little bit much. But other than that, I like playing in front of big atmospheres. The atmosphere tonight was really good I think because of what they had on the line tonight. I don’t mind playing here. It’s a nice place.

On game:
We played well. They were organized a little bit better than us. They got lucky on the first goal—very fortunate off the deflection. Landon took the second goal very well. We fought to the end of the whistle. That showed some character that we didn’t give up even though our season was over.

On the match:
It was a hard battle. They came in with everything they had. Obviously, they had a lot on the line. They took first place in the Western Conference. I thought we did well. We were unlucky on the first goal, but a lapse on the second one. I thought we did alright. They just came and brought their A game.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Galaxy Clinch Top Seed in the Western Conference with 2-0 Win Over San Jose

LA Galaxy 2, San Jose Earthquakes 0
Saturday, October 24, 2009
The Home Depot Center — Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Own Goal (Bobby Burling) 24’
LA – Landon Donovan 12 (Chris Klein 3) 77’

Misconduct Summary:
SJ— Bobby Convey (Yellow Card) 17’
SJ – Arturo Alvarez (Yellow Card) 69’
LA – Omar Gonzalez (Yellow Card) 78’

LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts, Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin, Dema Kovalenko, Landon Donovan© David Beckham (Jovan Kirovski 86’), Chris Birchall (Chris Klein 76’), Mike Magee (Eddie Lewis 66’), Edson Buddle.

Subs Not Used: Josh Saunders, Yohance Marshall, A.J. DeLaGarza, Bryan Jordan

San Jose Earthquakes: Joe Cannon, Ramiro Corrales©, Bobby Burling, Brandon McDonald, Chris Leitch, Simon Elliott, Bobby Convey, Ramon Sanchez, Shea Salinas (Quincy Amarikwa 66’), Arturo Alvarez, Ryan Johnson.

Subs Not Used: Andrew Weber, Aaron Pitchkolan, Michael Zaher, Jamil Roberts, Antonio Ribeiro.

• With the win, the Galaxy finish the season with a 12-6-12 record, giving them 48 points. LA finishes the season atop the Western Conference and will be the #1 seed in the conference heading into the Western Conference Semifinals, which start next week. They will now face either Chivas USA or Houston in the Western Conference Semifinal Series.
• This is the first time since the 2002 season that the Galaxy finished the regular season atop the Western Conference. They also accomplished the feat in 1996, 1998, 1999 and 2001.
• Bruce Arena made one change to the team that drew 0-0 on Sunday at Houston. Eddie Lewis, who started that game as the Galaxy captain, began the game on the bench and was replaced in the starting lineup by Landon Donovan, who again wore the captain’s armband today.
• The Galaxy were without Alecko Eskandarian, Stefani Miglioranzi and Julian Valentin, who all missed the game through injury.
• The own goal by Bobby Burling in the 24th minute gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead. That was the second own goal of the season scored for LA, with the other coming in the first half of the 6-3 loss to FC Dallas on September 12.
• Landon Donovan added the Galaxy’s second goal for his team-best 12th of the season. This is the fourth time in his MLS career that he scored exactly 12 goals, also doing so in 2003 with San Jose, and 2005 and 2006 with the Galaxy. Donovan helped lead his team to an MLS Cup title each of the first two times that he scored 12 goals.
• Chris Klein assisted on Donovan’s second half goal for his third assist of the season. All three of those have come on Landon Donovan goals, with the last two each coming in Galaxy home victories.
• The Galaxy scored the game’s first goal and finish the season with a 12-0-1 record when scoring the game’s opening goal.
• Donovan Ricketts made two saves to record his ninth clean sheet of the season and 10th victory. He is the first Galaxy goalkeeper to record 10 wins in a season since Kevin Hartman did so in 2006 and his nine shutouts are the most since Hartman set a team record with 11 in 1999.
• The clean sheet tonight was the Galaxy’s 12th of the season, setting a new club record. Ricketts had nine of those shutouts, while Josh Saunders had two and the duo combined for one other. In 2008, LA set a club record for fewest shutouts in a season with two, both of which came against San Jose.
• This was the second time that the Galaxy have faced San Jose at The Home Depot Center since their return to MLS last year. Both of those games have ended 2-0 in favor of the Galaxy with Landon Donovan scoring the second goal in each.
• After allowing an MLS-worst 62 goals in 2008, LA allowed exactly half that number, 31, this season. The Galaxy's 31-goal defensive improvement is the best in MLS hitsory, breaking the former mark of 30 goals, which was set by the Colorado Rapids who allowed 69 goals in 1998 and 39 goals in 1999.
• The Galaxy have now kept a clean sheet in each of their last three games. This was the third different time this season that LA kept a clean sheet in three straight games.
• This was the first time since August 29 and September 12 that the Galaxy used the same starting back four as the previous match.
• Bruce Arena used all three of his available substitutes in the game. LA made three changes in all 30 of their regular season games this season.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 27,000. This was the Galaxy’s second home sellout of the regular season.
• Following the game, the Galaxy handed out their annual team awards, with Landon Donovan winning the club’s MVP and Budweiser Golden Boot award as the team’s top scorer, Donovan Ricketts winning the team’s Defender of the Year award and Todd Dunivant claiming the U.S. Soccer Foundation Humanitarian of the Year award.
• The date and opponent of the first leg of the Galaxy’s Western Conference Semifinal Series is yet to be determined, but the Galaxy’s home leg will be played on Sunday, November 8 at The Home Depot Center, kicking off at 4:30 p.m.
• For more about tonight’s game, please visit

Galaxy Set for Season Finale with San Jose

The final game of the 2009 LA Galaxy regular season is only a few minutes away as teh Galaxy look for the win that would clinch the top seed in the Western Conference.

Here is the lineup that Bruce Arena will put on the field for tonight's game...






Subs: Saunders, DeLaGarza, Marshall, Lewis, Klein, Jordan, Kirovski

And here is the lineup, featuring three players who played for the Galaxy in the past (and one who was drafted by the club but never played for them), that Frank Yallop puts on the field.





Subs: Weber, Pitchkolan, Zaher, Roberts, Ribeiro, Amarikwa

This Week Inside the Galaxy - Season Finale

Look back on the Galaxy's 0-0 draw at Houston and look ahead to the season finale against San Jose.

Additionally, we catch up with Landon Donovan after he was named the 2009 Honda Player of the Year and look back at the annual Meet the Team event for season ticket holders.

All that and more, This Week Inside the Galaxy

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Win for the West

The Galaxy head into tomorrow night's game against San Jose with one clear thought in mind.

A win and they claim the top seed in the Western Conference.

Thanks to Chivas USA's 1-0 loss at Chicago last night, the Galaxy remain in a three-way tie with Chivas USA and Houston for first place in the Western Conference, with all three teams having one game left on the schedule. And the Galaxy own the tiebreaker on each of those clubs, meaning that a win over the Earthquakes will see LA finish at the top of the Western Conference standings for the first time since 2002.

This would be the sixth time in the club's 14-year history that they would finish at the top of the Western Conference at the end of the regular season.

Here is how the club has fared in the postseason after finishing first in their conference...

1996 - MLS Cup Finalist - Lose 3-2 to D.C. United in extra time
1998 - Western Conference Finals - Lose 2 games to 0 to Chicago
1999 - MLS Cup Finalist - Lose 2-0 to D.C. United
2001 - MLS Cup Finalist - Lose 2-1 to San Jose in extra time
2002 - MLS Cup Champions - Defeat New England 1-0 in extra time

Now, with a win on Saturday, we will be adding another line to the bottom of that list

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Your Chance to Chat with Bruce Arena

In case you didn't have a chance to get your question answered by Bruce Arena at the Meet the Team event on Tuesday night, now is your chance.

Bruce will join Joe Tutino, the radio voice of the Galaxy, tonight on XX Sports Radio 1090 AM. Arena goes on the air at 8:10 p.m. and will discuss the club’s impressive turnaround this season and the upcoming MLS Cup Playoffs.

Click here to listen live and call 858-457-1090 or 877-792-1090 to ask a question on air.

Getting Ready for One of the Rivals

It's been more than four months since the Galaxy last played the Earthquakes and nearly an incredible 19 months! since LA last hosted Frank Yallop's squad at The Home Depot Center.

Suffice to say, things have changed a bit since Landon and David each scored on that night as LA pulled out a 2-0 victory in San Jose's return to MLS. Seven of the 12 players who were on the field that night for the Galaxy are no longer with the club and only three players who started for LA on that night are expected to be back in the starting lineup this weekend.

But despite all the new faces on the Galaxy squad, one thing that is bringing the entire team together this week is a desire to get their first win of the year against their rivals from Northern California.

With that ambition in mind, the Galaxy went through an intense 90 minute training session at The Home Depot Center this morning.Bruce and Co. got the team together for some full field, 11v11 work, utilizing a number of different lineups before wrapping up with some finishing.The standard finishing drills that end the session took a more competitive turn today, with the players pairing up with a partner in a race to score four goals. Player A would have to chip the ball wide on the right flank to Player B who would then cross the ball back into the box with their right foot for Player A to try and finish.Once that was successful, the two players would trade roles until another goal was scored. The pair would then have to do it all again, this time from the left flank and with the left foot, meaning that the first team to score four goals would be named the winner.

That title would go to the team of Dema and Tony who needed just six attempts to complete the circuit in what has to be a record of some kind.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Galaxy Treat Season Ticket Holders to Special Evening

On Tuesday evening, the Galaxy hosted their annual Meet the Team event exclusively for Season Ticket Holders including a team training session and autograph session with the players at The Home Depot Center. FS West Analyst Mark Rogondino hosted the event, which also featured food and a performance from the Band X86.

The festivities kicked off with a welcome from President of Business Operation Tom Payne, who thanked our most dedicated fans for their support this season. He also talked about the club's return to the playoffs for the first time since 2005 and the importance of their support as we "Go for Gold" in the MLS Cup Playoffs.
Fans enjoyed the opportunity to watch a training session with the entire team up close and personal on the stadium's main field. Bruce addressed the crowd thanking them for their amazing support this season. He also introduced the players and coaching staff, providing his own unique commentary. He then broke down each portion of training to explain what the players were doing and the scoring for each competition with updates as well.
In addition, Arena captivated fans answering a number of questions which covered a wide range of topics including the season, playoffs, and even some off the field happenings.
At the end of training, Galaxy captain Landon Donovan addressed the fans sharing with them his thoughts on the season and their support of the team. He made sure to thank fans and remind them that there is still one more game to be played against San Jose on Saturday before we move back to where we belong, the postseason.
Following training, the players were divided up into different locations and signed autographs for more than a hour. While there was not enough time to get everyone, fans came away with a great memory and a few autographs to boot.
All in all, it was a great evening for everyone.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Landon Donovan Named Honda Player of the Year and Player of the Decade

Congratulations are in order for Galaxy captain Landon Donovan who was just unveiled as the winner of the 2009 Honda Player of the Year award, which is given out annually to the player who is voted as having the best year with the U.S. National Team. This is the sixth time in his career that Donovan has won the award. No other player has won the prize more than twice.

In addition to being named the Player of the Year, Donovan was also named the Honda Player of the Decade. This honor comes as little surprise as he had won the Player of the Year award in six (2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009) of the last 10 years.

Congratulations to Landon on these impressive honors and read more about the awards here.

Ricketts Diving Stop Nominated for Save of the Week

Any of Donovan's four saves from the draw at Houston on Sunday afternoon could have been nominated for the MLS Save of the Week award, but it was this diving stop off the foot of Luis Angel Landin that has earned the nomination.

We might be a bit biased on this one, but I don't think that there was a better (or more important) save this week.

Click here to place your vote and to see another angle on the Ricketts save, as well as the rest of the nominees.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Playoff Possibilities

The Galaxy head into the final week of the 2009 MLS season in a three-way tie at the top of the Western Conference along with Chivas USA and Houston. All three teams have 45 points, though Chivas USA has a game in hand on the other two sides, playing at Chicago on Thursday and at home against Houston on Sunday, while the Galaxy end their season against the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday night at The Home Depot Center.

With a win against the Earthquakes, the Galaxy will be guaranteed of a top two spot in the West, meaning that they would host the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series against a yet to be determined opponent. That game would be played on the weekend of November 7 or 8.

The Galaxy can finish in first place in the West for the first time since the 2002 season with a win over the Earthquakes, combined with…
• A Chivas USA loss at Chicago on Thursday night
• A Chivas USA win or tie at Chicago on Thursday night AND a Chivas USA loss or tie to Houston on Sunday afternoon.

Additionally, the Galaxy can win the West with a draw against the Earthquakes combined with a Chivas USA loss at Chicago on Thursday night, a Seattle loss or tie at home against FC Dallas on Saturday night and a tie between Chivas USA and Houston on Sunday afternoon.

A Galaxy loss to the Earthquakes would eliminate LA from winning the top seed in the Western Conference and could see the club slip to third or fourth place in the West, which would mean that the Galaxy would host the first leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series next weekend.

Bruce Arena Nominated for National Soccer Hall of Fame

Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena was today named one of 10 finalists for the National Soccer Hall of Fame on their builders ballot.

Builder candidates are selected for the Final Ballot by the votes of the Builder Screening Committee, composed of 16 Hall of Famers. The committee selected candidates from the 59 eligible builders listed Preliminary Ballot. Thirty-four candidates received votes in the Screening Committee process. In a change from past elections, current rule require ten candidates to appear on the Builder and Veteran Player Final Ballots.

The final ballot will be distributed later in the month to all Hall of Famers and a select group of soccer administrators. To be elected to the Hall of Fame, the leading candidate must appear on at least 50% of ballots cast. Elections rules permit the election of two builders should the top candidates tie and meet the 50% standard. Announcement of results is planned for early next year.

To read more about this award, click here.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Players React to Scoreless Draw

We spoke to both coaches and a number of players from both sides to see what they had to say about today's game.

Here is what they had to say…


On the game …
“Houston is a real difficult team to play when they’re at home, obviously, with the small field and the physicality. Their quality on set pieces is good. It was a battle for 90 minutes. I like the mentality of our group and the concentration they showed for 90 minutes.”

On the atmosphere …
“I think that game was good practice for the players. I think on the road, we’re going to see that kind of atmosphere and that kind of intensity in the game.”


On the game …
“This is the same kind of atmosphere you get in the playoffs. Playing on the road, I think we did enough to get the point.”

On their road mentality …
“When you play on the road, you have to play different then when you play at home. At home, you should be aggressive and defensively, that can be a problem for me.”


On the game …
“I thought it was an exciting good game. I think we expected a physical game. There were good chances both ways, and in the end I think it was a fair result.”


On playing in Houston for the first time …
“It was a great turnout, suitable for the stadium, and obviously this is the first time I’ve played here. You could feel it was a great atmosphere, a friendly, fun atmosphere; an atmosphere of people that are proud about their team. It’s a nice atmosphere to play in.”

About the red card to Brian Ching …
“It had nothing to do with me. He pushed someone in the face. He wasn’t really pushed in the face, but you can’t really do that in the game. But it’s really nothing to do with me because I wasn’t the one pushed in the face.”

On the game …
“Both teams wanted to win the game. Both teams had good chances but just couldn’t put it away. Both teams kept on pressing to the end. There were two good teams with talented players, but they just couldn’t get a goal.”


On the game …
“I thought we played OK. You’re never going to have a full 90-minute game where everything goes your way. They had some opportunities, they defended well. The two center defenders for them - I think there were a lot of missed fouls, but they are very physical.”

On Bruce Arena not starting Landon Donovan …
“I take it as a sign he is trying to rest Landon. He has put in a lot of minutes and a lot of travel, and maybe he felt he needed a rest and would be a better option coming in off the bench. I’d rather have Landon on the field for 35 minutes than for 90.”

On the result …
“You always want to get three points every time you step on the field, but I thought Ricketts had some great saves off of Landín and Holden as well. Both teams didn’t give up a lot. There were some chances there, but they were spread out. Of course we wanted to give the fans a treat and win.”


On the red card …
“I ended up touching the guy in the face, and the ref saw it and gave me a yellow card. The linesman and fourth official wanted to get more involved, so they came over and told the ref to give me a red. It was a stupid play on my part, but I think it was an intense game and the ref dealt with it fine. I think everyone was fine with the yellow card, but then the red came. It was a stupid play on my part. Back-to-back red cards doesn’t look good. I let my teammates down, but better for it to happen now than in the playoffs. I definitely learned my lesson two weeks in a row.”

On the game …
“It was intense. I think both teams treated it like a playoff game. We played really well in the first half. In the second half, they did a good job of coming in and breaking it up. Overall all it was a tough intense match, we played well, and we just didn’t capitalize.”


On the game …
“It was a tough game. I thought we were all over them in the first half. I think we started to get away from it and play a little too direct in the second half. The guys battled, and we were lucky that their chances didn’t bounce their way. There were some iffy offsides calls there in the first half. It’s tough to have those things in such a tight game and having things like that disrupt it.”

On the Dynamo’s rash of red cards …
“We’ve been hurting ourselves. Almost everybody in here at some point has received a red card. The game against Chivas, we need Ching, but now we don’t have him. We just need to calm down a little bit and keep our heads in the game. I know we all want to stick up for each other, but we need to know that that stuff is going to hurt us.”

Galaxy Play to 0-0 Draw in Houston, Back in Three-Way Tie for First Place

LA Galaxy 0, Houston Dynamo 0
Saturday, October 18, 2009
Robertson Stadium — Houston, Texas

Scoring Summary:

Misconduct Summary:
LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 82’
HOU – Brian Ching (Yellow Card) 82’
HOU – Brian Ching (Red Card) 82’
HOU – Dominic Oduro (Yellow Card) 86’
LA – Alan Gordon (Yellow Card) 91+

LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts, Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin, Dema Kovalenko, Eddie Lewis© (Jovan Kirovski 84’), David Beckham, Chris Birchall, Mike Magee (Landon Donovan 53’), Edson Buddle (Alan Gordon 67’).

Subs Not Used: Josh Saunders, Yohance Marshall, Chris Klein, Bryan Jordan.

Houston Dynamo: Pat Onstad, Mike Chabala, Bobby Boswell, Geoff Cameron, Andrew Hainault, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis, Stuart Holden, Brian Mullan, Brian Ching© (Sent Off 82’), Luis Angel Landin (Dominic Oduro 83’).

Subs Not Used: Tally Hall, Wade Barrett, Ryan Cochrane, Eddie Robinson, Craig Waibel, Abe Thompson.

• With the draw, the Galaxy are now 11-6-12 on the season, giving them 45 points. LA is now in a three-way tie with Houston and Chivas USA at the top of the Western Conference. Seattle remains in fourth place, one point behind those three clubs heading into the final week of the regular season.
• With the draw, the Galaxy win the season series against Houston, going 1-0-1 against the Dynamo. LA did not allow a goal in either of those contests.
• Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that beat Chicago 1-0 on October 2 in the Galaxy’s last game. A.J. DeLaGarza missed this game through injury, while Landon Donovan and Chris Klein each started on the bench. In their place, Todd Dunivant, Dema Kovalenko and Mike Magee.
• In addition to DeLaGarza, the Galaxy were also without Alecko Eskandarian, Stefani Miglioranzi and Julian Valentin, who all missed the game through injury.
• For Kovalenko, it was his first appearance for the club since leaving the 2-0 win at Chicago on August 19 at halftime with an right Achilles tendon injury. He played 90 minutes for the first time since June 13 today.
• Todd Dunivant returned to the starting lineup after missing the win over Chicago. He was an unused substitute in that game, marking the first game that he had not started since the 1-1 draw with Columbus on May 17.
• This was the fifth consecutive game in which the Galaxy had made a change to their starting back four after using the same four players every game in the back from June 13-September 12, a span of 12 games.
• Landon Donovan entered the game in the 53rd minute, replacing Mike Magee. This was just his second appearance as a substitute this season, with the other coming in the 2-0 loss to Seattle on August 15.
• Donovan Ricketts made four saves to earn his second consecutive clean sheet and his eighth of the season.
• The Galaxy have now kept 11 clean sheets on the season, tying a team record that was first set in 1999.
• This is the seventh Galaxy game this season that has been tied 0-0 at the half. LA is now 1-0-6 in those seven games.
• This was the Galaxy’s third 0-0 draw of the season and first since Augsut 22 at D.C. United.
• Alan Gordon was booked in the first minute of stoppage time. That was his fifth yellow card of the season meaning that he will now miss the season finale against San Jose. Gordon is the first Galaxy player to be suspended for yellow card accumulation this season.
• Gregg Berhalter, Jovan Kirovski and Eddie Lewis all also entered the game with four yellow cards, leaving them one away from a mandatory one-game suspension, but none were booked, meaning that those will be available for the Galaxy’s final game of the season against San Jose next weekend. If any of those four players are booked in that game, they will not be forced to miss the Galaxy’s first playoff game.
• Bruce Arena used all three of his available substitutes in the game. LA has made all three changes in all 29 of their regular season games this season.
• The attendance for today’s game was a 29,470.
• The Galaxy return to action on Saturday, October 24 when they host the San Jose Earthquakes on Fan Appreciation Night at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (PT) and can be seen live on FS West, starting with ‘Galaxy Live’ at 7 p.m.
• For more about tonight’s game, please visit

Top of the Table Showdown

Chivas USA may have jumped to first place in the Western Conference with their draw last night, but both the Galaxy and Dynamo can overtake them with a win this afternoon at Robertson Stadium.

A Galaxy win leaves them alone atop the West heading into the final game of the season next weekend while a draw would once again create a three-way tie at the top between LA, Houston and Chivas USA. However, a Galaxy loss would drop them into a tie for third-place with Seattle, one of the few teams that owns the head-to-head tiebreaker with LA.

Here is the team that Bruce Arena will put on the field this afternoon as they look for their second straight win and a complete of the season sweep of the Dynamo. Dema Kovalenko is back in the team for the first time since the 2-0 win at Chicago on August 19 while Todd Dunivant is back in as well in place of A.J. DeLaGarza, who misses out with a right hamstring strain. Additionally, after playing 90 minutes in Honduras last weekend and against Costa Rica on Wednesday, so he starts the game on the bench, with Mike Magee partnering Edson Buddle up front.






Subs: Saunders, Marshall, Klein, Jordan, Kirovski, Donovan, Gordon.

And here is how the Dynamo will line up...






Subs: Hall, Barrett, Cochrane, Robinson, Waibel, Oduro, Thompson

Saturday, October 17, 2009

On the Ground in Houston

The Galaxy arrived in Houston this afternoon ahead of Sunday afternoon's all important battle of Western Conference heavyweights.

As is always the case when we hit the road, the media descended on the club's hotel this afternoon to speak with the club's captain, Landon Donovan, who re-joined the team this afternoon following his stint with the U.S. National Team, and David Beckham who is making his first-ever trip to Houston. In 2007, Beckham missed LA's 2-1 win over the Dynamo with a knee injury while he missed the 3-0 loss here last season, a loss that eliminated the Galaxy from postseason contention, because of a suspension for yellow card accumulation.

Before those guys met the press, the entire team hit the gym for a quick workout to get the blood flowing and the legs moving after the three-hour flight this morning from LA.

Once finished with the weights and on the treadmills and the exercise bikes, Landon and David made their way upstairs to speak with the press. Here is what they had to say.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Big Guns Ready for Houston

Landon and David were not with the team at training this week because of international duty, but that did not stop them from being available to talk about Sunday's showdown with Houston.

Here's what they had to say.

And be sure to check out the Galaxy's latest TV spot here.

Hitting the Road - Tomorrow and in the Future

Games don't often come along that are more important than Sunday's showdown between the Galaxy and Houston. The two sides are tied for first place in the Western Conference with two games remaining apiece.
But before we get to the all the playoff possibilities, we just wanted to pass along word that the Galaxy will participate in a postseason tour for the third consecutive season. But unlike the last two years which saw the club travel to Oceania, this year's trip will see the Galaxy travel to Kaiserslautern, Germany to take on FC Kaiserslautern of the Bundesliga 2. This game will be played at the Fritz Walter Stadion (known to many of you as the venue in which the U.S. played Italy to a 1-1 draw in the 2006 World Cup) on Thanksgiving, giving Galaxy fans some soccer to enjoy along with their diet of NFL football on Turkey Day. You can read more about this game here.

Back to more pressing matters such as the Western Conference playoff picture. Suffice to say, it's cloudy.

The Galaxy are in. We know that. They will be joined by Columbus, Houston, Chivas USA and four others. The only teams to have already been eliminated from postseason contention are New York and San Jose, meaning that nine teams are fighting for four spots.

The Galaxy are currently part of a three-way tie at the top of the Western Conference, along with Houston and Chivas USA, but that may have all changed by the time Sunday's game kicks off as Chivas USA and fourth place Seattle (41 points) are each in action on Saturday, as are fellow Western Conference foes Colorado (40 points), Real Salt Lake (37 points) and FC Dallas (36 points).

LA, Houston, Chivas USA, Seattle and Colorado can all still win the west and they can all finish second. The last two could be out of the playoffs all together.

No club can clinch the top seed with a win this weekend, but the Galaxy can clinch a top two spot, which would mean a road playoff game in the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinal Series, with a win over the Dynamo and a Seattle loss or tie.

However, a Galaxy loss combined with a Seattle win and a Chivas USA win or draw would drop the Galaxy all the way back to fourth place, possibly as little as a point above fifth place, depending upon Colorado's result. If the Galaxy finished fifth in the West, they would then cross over to the Eastern Conference to play one of the top two teams in that conference. LA can finish no lower than fifth in the West, though six teams could potentially qualify from the conference.

That means that there are still 11 potential Conference Semifinal Series opponents for the Galaxy; a number that should shrink after this weekend.

With that in mind, we would all like to see LA finish with the top seed in the Western Conference, but who would you like to see us face in the Conference Semifinal Series? And if we advance who do you want in the Western Conference Final or (fingers crossed) the MLS Cup?

Let us know.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Training in the Rain

The conditions at today's training session were not ideal. Far from it (look at above picture).

But the guys (blog staff included, well, sort of) toughed it out and trained outside in the rain. The guys started the session by working on some head-to-head drills, which consisted of one player sending a lob to a player about 30 yards away and then running toward him to prevent him from getting a clean shot on goal.

After that, the group was split into two for a finishing drill that turned very competitive. Each time someone would score, the entire side would loudly cheer in the direction of the other team. The rain was coming down hard at this point and we were trying to stay dry underneath a tent located on the opposite of the field (told you we sort of toughed it out) and were unable to tell who won. The winners did celebrate loudly however.

The day came to an end with the players talking to the media and the group being split into three for a game of keep away. Speaking with the crew from Telemundo, Bruce said that Dema Kovalenko, who has been training at full speed for most of the month could feature this weekend while Stefani Miglioranzi will likely not be available for the final two games of the regular season but could return for the club's first playoff game.

Be cause of the rain, and our location, today's photos are a bit grainy and shot from a distance.