Monday, November 30, 2009

Watch the World Cup Draw at the ESPN Zone at LA Live

The Galaxy have once again joined forces with the ESPN Zone at LA Live to bring you an exciting opportunity to play hooky and catch some soccer.

The official draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup will be held on Friday morning and you can watch all of the action live at the ESPN Zone starting at 9 a.m.

Fans wishing to attend this event are asked to RSVP to the Galaxy Sales Staff at tsintern@lagalaxy.com. The first 100 people to send in their RSVPs will receive a complementary breakfast and a guaranteed seat for the event.

Click here for more information and be sure to send in your RSVPs soon!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

To all the Galaxy fans out there that read and visit the blog throughout the year, we would like to wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving holiday.

Additionally, it's been a wild and exciting month for everyone associated with the Galaxy and as a result, we're going to take a couple of days off to reflect on an unforgettable season and begin to get ourselves ready for the 2010 campaign.

So enjoy your weekend and we'll be back in a few days.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Landon Donovan Nominated for U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year

Landon Donovan is one of five players who have been nominated as the U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year. The MLS MVP and Honda Player of the Year, Donovan will look to complete the hat trick of awards by winning the award for the third time.

The Galaxy captain is nominated alongside Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard and Oguchi Onyewu. You can learn more about the award here while online voting for the award can be done here.

Curtain Officially Closed on 2009 Campaign

The players and coaches held their final meeting of the season yesterday at The Home Depot Center, officially closing the curtain on the 2009 campaign. Despite Sunday's loss, which still stings all of us, the guys were on good spirits as they emptied their lockers, got some last minute items signed by their teammates and generally wished everyone well. It's a day that is akin to the last day of school, where everyone parts ways knowing that they won't all be back together for a few months.

The media also made their way out to the stadium for the day to get some reaction after Sunday's loss, while also looking ahead to the 2010 season.

Here is what a few of the guys had to say.

Bruce...

Landon...

David...

Todd...

Chris...

Stefani Miglioranzi Selected in Expansion Draft; Two Players Waived

LA Galaxy midfielder Stefani Miglioranzi has been selected by the Philadelphia Union in the 2009 MLS Expansion Draft. A 2008 MLS Cup winner with the Columbus Crew, Miglioranzi appeared in 23 games for the Galaxy this season, despite missing the final month of the regular season and the playoffs with a groin injury.

The Union will be the 16th MLS team when they begin play during the 2010 MLS season.

Miglioranzi began his MLS career with the Galaxy in 2006, signing with the club late in the season and appearing in three games before being traded to Columbus prior to the start of the 2007 season. The 32-year-old spent two seasons with the Crew, playing 37 games for the Crew, tallying three goals and three assists while helping lead the club to their first-ever MLS Cup championship in 2008.

He returned to the Galaxy in January, when the club acquired him from the Crew in exchange for a fourth round pick in the 2010 MLS SuperDraft. An NCAA champion at St. John’s, Miglioranzi tied a career-high with 23 games played while starting a career-best 20 games for the Galaxy this season. He was used primarily in the center of midfield this season, playing in front of an LA defense that allowed just 31 goals this season, exactly half the number of goals that they had allowed in 2008. Miglioranzi finished tied for second on the team with four yellow cards this season and was fourth on the team with 33 fouls committed.

Additionally, midfielder Kyle Patterson and defender Julian Valentin were waived by the club today.

Join us in thanking Julian, Kyle and Stefani for all their service to the Galaxy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Protected Player List

The LA Galaxy today announced the club’s list of protected and unprotected players for Wednesday’s MLS Expansion Draft. Philadelphia Union, Major League Soccer’s sixteenth team, will be able to select 10 players in the draft, but may not select more than one from any of the other 15 MLS clubs. The expansion draft will be held on Wednesday, Nov. 25.

Each of the 15 teams that competed in MLS during the 2009 season were allowed to protect 11 players, leaving all others unprotected. Additionally, per the rules of the expansion draft, the Galaxy were only able to leave two of their five international players unprotected, meaning that three of the club’s 11 protected players are categorized as internationals.

The Galaxy selected the following 11 players to protect:

Protected
David Beckham – Midfielder (International Player)
Gregg Berhalter – Defender
Chris Birchall – Midfielder (International Player)
Edson Buddle – Forward
A.J. DeLaGarza – Defender
Landon Donovan – Forward
Sean Franklin – Defender
Omar Gonzalez – Defender
Dema Kovalenko – Midfielder
Mike Magee – Forward
Donovan Ricketts – Goalkeeper (International Player)

Additionally, forward Tristan Bowen was automatically protected as a member of the Generation adidas program. Omar Gonzalez, the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year, was a Generation adidas player this season but has now graduated from the program.

That means that the following 14 Galaxy players will be available for selection by Philadelphia in Wednesday’s expansion draft:

Unprotected
Todd Dunivant – Defender
Alecko Eskandarian – Forward
Alan Gordon – Forward
Leonard Griffin – Defender
Bryan Jordan – Forward
Jovan Kirovski – Forward
Chris Klein – Defender
Eddie Lewis – Midfielder
Yohance Marshall – Defender (International Player)
Stefani Miglioranzi – Midfielder
Kyle Patterson – Midfielder (International Player)
Tony Sanneh – Defender
Josh Saunders – Goalkeeper
Julian Valentin – Defender

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Galaxy Fall on Penalties in MLS Cup

LA Galaxy 1, Real Salt Lake 1 (Real Salt Lake Wins 5-4 on Penalty Kicks)
MLS Cup 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
Qwest Field — Seattle, Wash.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Mike Magee 2 (Landon Donovan 1, David Beckham 1) 41’
RSL – Robbie Findley (Unassisted) 64’

Penalty Kicks:
LA – David Beckham (Goal) 1-0 LA
RSL – Clint Mathis (Goal) 1-1
LA – Gregg Berhalter (Goal) 2-1 LA
RSL – Robbie Findley (Goal) 2-2
LA – Jovan Kirovski (Save) 2-2
RSL – Kyle Beckerman (Save) 2-2
LA – Landon Donovan (High) 2-2
RSL – Ned Grabavoy (Goal) 3-2 RSL
LA – Mike Magee (Goal) 3-3
RSL – Andy Williams (Save) 3-3
LA – Chris Klein (Goal) 4-3 LA
RSL – Chris Wingert (Goal) 4-4
LA – Edson Buddle (Save) 4-4
RSL – Robbie Russell (Goal) 5-4 RSL

Misconduct Summary:
RSL – Will Johnson (Yellow Card) 14’
LA – Chris Birchall (Yellow Card) 39’

Lineups:
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts (Josh Saunders 66’), Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez (A.J. DeLaGarza 89’), Sean Franklin, Chris Birchall (Chris Klein 79’), Jovan Kirovski, Landon Donovan©, David Beckham, Mike Magee, Edson Buddle.

Subs Not Used: Yohance Marshall, Dema Kovalenko, Eddie Lewis, Alan Gordon.

Real Salt Lake: Nick Rimando, Robbie Russell, Nat Borchers, Jamison Olave, Chris Wingert, Kyle Beckerman©, Will Johnson (Ned Grabavoy 46’), Andy Williams, Javier Morales (Clint Mathis 22’), Robbie Findley, Yura Movsisyan (Fabian Espindola 75’).

Subs Not Used: Chris Seitz, Tony Beltran, Jean Alexandre, Pablo Campos.

Notes:
• With the loss, the Galaxy are now 2-4 all-time in MLS Cup, winning in 2002 and 2005 while losing in 1996, 1999, 2001 and now 2009.
• Tonight’s game was the fifth time in the Galaxy’s six trips to MLS Cup that the game went to extratime. LA lost in extratime in 1996 and 2001, while winning in 2002 and 2005.
• This was the second time in league history that the MLS Cup went to penalty kicks and the first time that the Galaxy have ever gone to penalty kicks in an MLS match. LA did lose on penalties in the final of the 2007 SuperLiga and the 2009 Pan-Pacific Championship.
• The Galaxy entered tonight’s game with 11 of the club’s 31 players and coaches having won an MLS Cup at some point of their career. Of those players, Landon Donovan had the most Cup victories with three, winning in 2001, 2003 and 2005.
• This was the first-ever postseason game between the Galaxy and the Real Salt Lake.
• The two teams met twice in the regular season, playing to a 2-2 draw at Rio Tinto Stadium on May 6 and RSL winning 2-0 at The Home Depot Center on June 13, snapping the Galaxy’s 10-game unbeaten streak.
• Bruce Arena made three changes to the team that beat the Houston Dynamo 2-0 in the Western Conference Championship on November 13. Todd Dunivant returns from an illness to replace A.J. DeLaGarza at left back, Chris Birchall replaces Dema Kovalenko in central midfield and Jovan Kirovski replaced Chris Klein in the midfield as well. DeLaGarza, Klein and Kovalenko all started the game on the bench.
• However, the Galaxy were without Alecko Eskandarian, Stefani Miglioranzi and Julian Valentin, who all missed the game through injury.
• Mike Magee scored his second goal of the postseason in the 41st minute to give LA a 1-0 lead.
• Landon Donovan and David Beckham each assisted on the goal. Those were the Galaxy’s first assists of the postseason as each of the first five goals LA scored in the playoffs were unassisted.
• This was the first time all season that the Galaxy did not win a game in which they scored the game’s first goal. They had been 2-0-0 in the postseason and 12-0-1 in the regular season.
• Chris Birchall was booked in the first half of tonight’s game. It was his second yellow card in two games this postseason. He collected his two yellow cards in nine regular season games.
• Former Galaxy forward Robbie Findley tied the score for Real Salt Lake in the 64th minute. That goal snapped the Galaxy’s string of 314 consecutive minutes played in the postseason without allowing a goal.
• Donovan Ricketts suffered a right hand contusion early in the second half of the game but remained on the field until the 66th minute. He made two saves before being replaced by Josh Saunders.
• This was the third time this season that Saunders entered a game for an injured Donovan Ricketts. Saunders came on midway through the first half of the 1-1 draw at Kansas City on July 25 and late in the 2-0 win at Chicago on August 19.
• Saunders made his MLS postseason debut in the game, making one save in his 54 minute on the field.
• The Galaxy’s goalkeeping substitution was the first substitution of a goalkeeper in MLS Cup history.
• All three of Real Salt Lake’s former Galaxy players played in the game, with Findley starting and Ned Grabavoy and Clint Mathis each coming off the bench. Just one of the Galaxy’s three former Real Salt Lake players entered the game, with Chris Klein replacing Chris Birchall in the 79th minute.
• A.J. DeLaGarza replaced Omar Gonzalez in the 89th minute. It was just the second time this season that the Gonzalez did not play the match in its entirety.
• Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena made his full complement of three substitutions in all 30 regular season games and all four postseason games this year.
• Landon Donovan and Robbie Findley finished as the joint top scorers in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs, each finishing with three goals. Donovan scored in each of the first three of the Galaxy’s postseason games.
• The attendance for today’s game was 46,011, making it the fourth biggest crowd in MLS Cup history and the largest since 2002.
• For more about today’s game, please visit www.lagalaxy.com.

We're Here

The team arrived at the stadium (looking dapper in their Tommy Hilfiger suits might we say) and is on the field for pregame warmups.

It's a cold night here is in Seattle, but that has not dettered the fans who continue to pile into the stadium in droves.

There are three changes for the Galaxy who will look to win the third MLS Cup in club history. A.J. DeLaGarza, Chris Klein and Dema Kovalenko return to the bench. They are replaced by Chris Birchall, Todd Dunivant and Jovan Kirovski. Here is the full team that Bruce Arena will put out on the field.

--------------Buddle-------Magee-------------

Donovan-----------Kirovski-----------Beckham

--------------------Birchall---------------------

Dunivant------Berhalter---Gonzalez----Franklin

--------------------Ricketts---------------------

Subs: Saunders, Marshall, DeLaGarza, Kovalenko, Lewis, Klein and Gordon.

For Jason Kreis and Real Salt Lake, here is the team that they will put out onto the field.

-----------------Findley----Movsisyan------------

----------------------Morales---------------------

------------Johnson--------------Williams---------

----------------------Beckerman-------------------

Wingert--------Borchers------Olave---------Russell

------------------------Rimando--------------------

Subs: Seitz, Beltran, Alexandre, Grabavoy, Mathis, Espinndola, Campos

Ready for Real

It's game day and there is no doubt about it; the guys are ready.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Looking Good

Kick off is just about 24 hours away and everything is set. The team will go over the final gameplan tonight and tomorrow morning but there is no more work to be done on the field until Kevin Stott blows the whistle blows to kick off MLS Cup 2009.

In fact, more than 10 months after holding their first practice of the season, the Galaxy held their final one of the year today.

Here are some images from that session.




The guys were all bundled up today in their training gear, with some adding gloves and winter hats to their wardrobe. But that is not something that anyone will need to worry about come tomorrow afternoon when the team makes their way to the stadium thanks to the good folks at Tommy Hilfiger. One of America's top designers, Tommy has provided the club with their official match day suit for tomorrow's game. All of the players were fitted for the suits upon arriving in Seattle on Thursday and will debut them tomorrow before the game.

Here's to hoping that there is some extra luck packed into the pockets.

Back at Practice


Morning Reading

A little light reading to go along with your morning coffee and TV.

The Los Angeles Times has a quick breakdown of Sunday's game, while from Seattle, Grahame Jones looks at the state of MLS heading into the league's 14th championship game.

Phil Collin from the Daily Breeze is also on the ground in Seattle and he caught up with Donovan Ricketts after Friday's practice and gave the Galaxy shotstopper a chance to take a friendly jab at Gregg Berhalter in the process. Phil's partner in crime over at the Daily Breeze is Nick Green, who may not be in Seattle, but keeps the news coming over at 100 Percent Soccer.

For an east coast perspective on the Galaxy, specifically the club's two rookie defenders, read Steve Goff's feature of A.J. and Omar.

Over at MLSnet.com, Jeff Carlisle has more with the Galaxy's Jamaican goalkeeper, Larry Morgan speaks with a few of the 11 Galaxy players and coaches that have won an MLS Cup, Steve Davis talks about the sizzle factor of David and Landon, Morgan and Carlisle team up to put together an in depth notebook featuring a number of interesting items, Michael Lewis looks at Dave Sarchan, the yin to Bruce Arena's yang. And MLSnet.com has the game guide with all the numbers and stats heading into tomorrow's game.

If you want to read more article's like these, be sure to visit the MLS Newsstand for all the latest.

And if just listening to Dan Patrick with David Beckham yesterday was not enough, now you can see two minutes of the show from The 101 on DirecTV.

Finally, don't forget that if you cannot be in attendance at today's Supporter's Summit here in Seattle, you can follow all of the action live on MLSnet.com starting at 1 p.m.

Something Fishy

We teased this a bit yesterday, but now you can see all the action from Alan Gordon's trip down to Pike Place to throw some fish. One of the many locally themed events that go on surrounding MLS Cup, helping to build up the game's hype locally, Gordo and RSL's Chris Seitz took a lesson and quickly perfected the art of fish throwing and catching. A large crowd, including the ESPN broadcast crew of J.P. Dellacamera and John Harkes, was on hand to cheer Gordo on, but amongst the sea of fans, it was four familiar faces that made Gordo the most nervous. Leo, Stefani, Josh and Julian all made their way down to the market to watch all of the action live. Here is what Gordo and Seitz had to say about the event. But we wanted to get a bit more from Gordo, so we stopped him at the hotel this morning to get his thoughts on what had just gone down.

Meet Up with Fellow Galaxy Fans

Galaxy fans that have made the trip to Seattle are invited on Sunday to make their way to the HawksNest Bar and Grill, which will be the official LA Galaxy bar for the weekend. All of the club's supporters and much of the front office (maybe even the blog staff!) will be in attendance starting at 11 a.m. as fans count down the hours until the kick off of MLS Cup 2009 from Qwest Field.

The HawksNest is located at 1028 1st Avenue in Seattle and will be offering a number of deals all day long for Galaxy fans, including some $3 beers.

Click here to visit the official website of the HawksNest and we hope to see you there on Sunday.

Additionally, if you're stuck in LA for the game, be sure to make it to one of the Galaxy's seven official viewing parties throughout the Southland. Click here for a full list of locations.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Gone Fishin'

We'll have much more on this tomorrow morning. But for now, use your imagination.

Meeting the Media

After training today, the Galaxy met en masse with the media, with nearly every player stopping to answer at least some questions from some reporter from some outlet from some corner of the globe. Bruce Arena was the most popular quote, while veterans like Chris Klein, goalscoring hero Gregg Berhalter and the soft-spoken Donovan Ricketts all drew a big crowd as well.
Of course the two people that everyone wanted to speak with were David Beckham and Landon Donovan, who were the featured speakers at the prematch press conference, following Real Salt Lake's Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando. You can see the full video of the press conference here, or read the transcript here.

In addition to the press conference, those two popped up on a number of local and national radio shows today, in addition to meeting with the host broadcasters ESPN and Galavision.

David popped up on the Colin Cowherd Show on ESPN Radio, as well as the Dan Patrick Show. Speaking of the Dan Patrick Show, if you can't make it out to Seattle for Sunday's game and you're watching at home, be sure to join the show's producer Paul Pabst, a great friend of and supporter of the Galaxy for a live chat in the Dan Patrick Show Locker Room.

Landon also popped up on ESPN Radio in Los Angeles, taking live with the Mason and Ireland Show. He will also be a guest on the Tony Bruno Show on Fox Sports Radio, which airs on AM 570 tonight at 8:30 p.m.

Heating Up

A blast of cold and rain greeted the Galaxy as they made their way over to Qwest Field this afternoon for their first training session on site here in Seattle. The rain seemed to dissipate a bit when the guys hit the field, but as soon the guys got onto the bus, the weather kicked back up, making for a slow ride back to the hotel.

Be sure to head over to mlsnet.com to check out the archived footage of today's press conferences for both sides, featuring Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando from Real Salt Lake and David and Landon from our side. You can also read all the latest news about Sunday's game there and some amazing fresh video, as well as at lagalaxy.com and lagalaxyfutbol.com. Larry Morgan and Armando Varela are on the ground and embedded with the club here in Seattle, while Mark Rogondino chimes in with his final View from the Booth of the season.

As we type this, the sun is trying to fight its way through the clouds, meaning that we could have some nice weather for this afternoon's special event featuring Alan Gordon and SoCal native Chris Seitz from Real Salt Lake, who will be making their way down to Pike's Place Market to take part in a traditional "fish toss". The event will happen at 4 p.m. (PT) if you're in Seattle already, but if you're not, be sure to come back here later in the day to see what it was all about.

If you don't know what the fish toss is, check it out below.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Wheels Up, Wheels Down; Ready to Roll in Seattle


After today's training session the guys all made their way over to LAX for this afternoon's flight to Seattle. The rash of delays caused by an FAA computer glitch had no effect on the team's charter flight up here to Seattle, with the guys all boarding the plane in good spirits under sunny skies.

A variety of snacks, sandwiches, water and Gatorade awaited the guys on board, but most were content to read a book or catch a few hours of sleep on the way up to the Emerald City.

Three hours later, we were on the ground and straight from the plane to the bus which would take us over to the team's hotel.

Raul Vargas and Igor Pierra from the club's equipment staff made sure that all the bags made it from one mode of transportation to the other, while many of the guys did what they do on all bus trips, play cards.

Once at the hotel, all the guys received their room keys and signed a number of items for the league while also picking up a gift bag that included and MLS Cup scarf, beanie, rain jacket and pin. That was it for the guys who all headed off to dinner and then back into their rooms and out of the wet, cold Seattle night.

The work continues tomorrow with the club's first practice in Seattle and won;t stop until late in the Washington night on Sunday.

One final note, Alecko might be up here in Seattle with us now, but you can catch him join Sounders owner Drew Carey on The Price is Right on Friday morning. In an episode that was taped a few weeks ago, Eskandarian helps to give one lucky Showcase winner an unbelievable trip to MLS Cup. Be sure to tune in to CBS tomorrow morning (10 a.m. in LA) to see who the lucky winner will be.

Landon Donovan Named MLS MVP

LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan was today named the 2009 Volkswagen Major League Soccer Most Valuable Player. Donovan claimed the award, the first MVP award of his MLS career, over fellow finalists Jeff Cunningham of FC Dallas and Shalrie Joseph of the New England Revolution after garnering the most votes in polling of MLS players, general managers, coaches and members of the media.

The winner of the Galaxy’s Most Valuable Player and Budweiser Golden Boot awards this season, he led the club with 12 goals and six assists in 25 games, despite missing a month of the season while at the FIFA Confederations Cup with the U.S. National Team. This was the fourth time in his five seasons with the Galaxy that he led the team in both goals and assists. He was a finalist for the MLS MVP award in 2008 when he scored a career-best 20 goals, but lost out on the award to Guillermo Barros Schelotto of the Columbus Crew.

Three of Donovan’s 12 goals this season were game-winners while five of his goals came in the final 15 minutes of games to turn loses into draws or draws into victories. The Player of the Month for July, Donovan helped lead the Galaxy to a first place finish in the Western Conference with a 12-6-12 record on the season, just one year removed from finishing the season tied for the worst record in the league.

The 27-year-old Donovan, who was named to the MLS All-Star Team for the ninth consecutive season, is also the leading scorer so far in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs, scoring in all three of the Galaxy’s playoff games this season. His goal against Houston in extratime on Friday was the 17th postseason goal of his MLS career, making him the all-time leading scorer in MLS postseason history.

Donovan joins Carlos Ruiz as the only Galaxy players ever to be selected the league’s Most Valuable Player. Ruiz was named the MLS MVP in 2002 when he scored a club record 24 goals to lead the Galaxy to the first MLS Cup championship in club history.

This will be the sixth time in league history, and the second straight season, that the MLS MVP will also play in the MLS Cup. Three of the previous five MVP winners who went on to reach the MLS Cup ended up winning the title, with all three of those, Tony Meola in 2000, Carlos Ruiz in 2002 and Guillermo Barros Schelotto in 2008, also winning the MLS Cup MVP award.

We caught up with Landon to get his thoughts on the award.

Heading North



The Galaxy went through their final training session this afternoon at The Home Depot Center before flying to Seattle.

We'll check in with everyone once we get up there, but be sure to check this space at 2 p.m. (PT) to see if Landon Donovan has won the Volkswagen MLS MVP award.

See you all in Seattle!

Catch Landon Donovan on the BS Report

Over at ESPN.com, the Sports Guy Bill Simmons caught up with Landon on the BS Report to talk about Sunday's MLS Cup, the bizarre win over Houston, his history as a penalty taker and the National Team heading into the 2010 World Cup.

Be sure to give it a listen here.

Also, check out World Football Daily later today when Eddie Lewis joins the guys to talk about Sunday's MLS Cup and how the team has gotten to where it is at this point of the season. The show starts at 10 a.m. and Eddie will join pretty early in the podcast.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Postseason Tour Cancelled

With spirits high as the club prepares for their first MLS Cup since 2005, it is with much disappointment that Tom Payne, the Galaxy's President of Business Operations, is forced to issue this statement regarding the Galaxy's now cancelled postseason tour of Germany.

“We are very disappointed to announce the cancellation of our 2009 Postseason Tour due to a lack of communication and performance by the tour’s organizer and promoter IMC Group, Inc. Unfortunately, IMC Group Inc has not performed their obligations of the agreement thus far, nor do we have faith that they will be able to do so in the future.”

“With MLS Cup 2009 this weekend in Seattle, we feel that it is important to make this decision now and remove the potential distractions to our team, rather than continue to hold out hope that the tour will indeed take place.”

“These matches were to be a great way to conclude the year and we looked forward to playing two excellent matches against top German teams and in front of the great fans in Germany. I certainly understand that many fans will be disappointed not to see the Galaxy on tour, but we look forward to one day being able to play on German soil. We regret this decision but were left with no other choice.”

Getting Ready for Seattle


Not only are the guys getting ready for Seattle, but so is the city itself. Yesterday, workers installed the LA Galaxy logo atop Seattle's famed Space Needle, 550 feet above the ground, to commemorate MLS Cup 2009.

If you feel like sharing the photo, feel free to use this link. Also, check out the entire photo gallery of the logos going up here.

While we're sharing links, we also recommend you check out our Facebook page. We've posted 25 fantastic photos from Friday night there. Special thanks to Robert Mora for sharing those photos with us.


Earlier today, Bruce Arena and Landon Donovan met with the media, which was out in full force today. The request for Landon was so big, we had to split up the group into two.

Here's what they had to say.

Bruce...

Landon...

We also caught up quickly with Donovan Ricketts, who was talking to the media about Real Salt Lake and his defenders.

Tomorrow the guys will train in L.A. one final time before flying out to Seattle. The league is announcing the winner of the 2009 MLS Volkswagen MVP as well. Busy tomorrow, be sure to keep it here for all the announcement and some behind the scenes stuff.

Landon Donovan Wins 2009 AT&T Goal of the Year Award

LA Galaxy captain Landon Donovan was today named the winner of the 2009 AT&T MLS Goal of the Year Award. With the scored tied 0-0 between the Galaxy and New England Revolution on August 8, Donovan hit a left-footed volley off a New England clearance that beat the diving Matt Reis and curled just inside the far post to give the Galaxy a 1-0 lead.

The Galaxy went on to win that game 2-1, stretching their unbeaten streak to six games and giving the club their first regular season road win over the Revolution since July 11, 1999. Donovan’s goal was his ninth of 12 on the season and stretched his consecutive games played with a goal streak to three games.

Donovan’s strike was one of three Galaxy goals on the initial list of 40 goals that was compiled by Major League Soccer for Goal of the Year voting. Eddie Lewis’ late equalizer against Columbus on May 17 made the list but was eliminated in the first round of voting, while Alecko Eskandarian’s first half volley in LA’s 3-1 win over the New York Red Bulls on July 16 was one of the ten goals to reach the final round of voting.

Donovan is just the second Galaxy player to win the MLS Goal of the Year award, joining Carlos Ruiz who claimed the award in 2002. His goal against the Revolution was voted by fans as the best of the 571 goals scored in Major League Soccer this season.

Here is another look at the goal and be sure to check below for a complete list of past Goal of the Year winners.



MLS Goal of the Year Winners

2009: Landon Donovan – LA Galaxy
2008: Will Johnson – Real Salt Lake
2007: Cuauhtémoc Blanco – Chicago Fire
2006: Brian Ching – Houston Dynamo
2005: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes
2004: Dwayne De Rosario – San Jose Earthquakes
2003: Damani Ralph – Chicago Fire
2002: Carlos Ruiz – Los Angeles Galaxy
2001: Clint Mathis – MetroStars
2000: Marcelo Balboa – Colorado Rapids
1999: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
1998: Brian McBride – Columbus Crew
1997: Marco Etcheverry – D.C. United
1996: Eric Wynalda – San Jose Clash

Monday, November 16, 2009

Awards and Announcements Aplenty

The final awards of the 2009 MLS season will be handed out this week, with a Galaxy player at the heart of most of them.

Yesterday, Landon Donovan was named to the MLS Best XI for the second straight season and he could claim another prize on Thursday, when the league announces the Volkswagen Most Valuable Player award. Landon has never before won the award and only needs to beat out fellow nominees Jeff Cunningham of FC Dallas and Shalrie Joseph of New England to scoop the top individual honor in MLS.

The team will fly to Seattle on Thursday, so hopefully we'll be able to pass along some good news before we take off.

Speaking of awards, don't forget to go to MLSnet.com on Wednesday to find out if Alecko or Landon has won the AT&T Goal of the Year award. Alecko's long range blast from Giants Stadium was one of 10 finalists, as was Landon's Goal of the Week winner from the August 8 win at New England. No Galaxy player as won the Goal of the Year award since Carlos Ruiz did so in 2002, so be sure to check out MLSnet.com tomorrow morning to find out who won.

As much as the Landon and Alecko would love to win that award, I think that they would be more than happy to bypass that award if they can guarantee to get their hands on this come Sunday evening.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Postgame Celebration

After a four year hiatus, the LA Galaxy is back in MLS Cup.

If you're into watching athletes celebrate with champagne bottles, skip to the 3:46-minute mark in the video below.

Enjoy...



MLS Cup 2009 is next Sunday, Nov. 22, at Qwest Field in Seattle (5:30 p.m. on ESPN and Galavision). The Galaxy will take on Real Salt Lake, who advance with a 5-4 win over Chicago in penalty kick in the Eastern Conference Championship on Saturday night.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Saying It All

The saying goes that a picture says a thousand words, but only six words are needed to describe the photo above and they are...

Players React to Western Conference Championship Win

The champagne was flowing in the Galaxy locker room, but we were able to pull a few of the guys away to answer some questions about tonight's game.

Here is what they had to say.

LOS ANGELES GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA
On the match:
We came out on top tonight against a great team. I thought we played extremely well in the first half, and in segments of the second half, Houston took the game to us. [Donovan] Ricketts made great saves, and [Pat] Onstad came out with a bunch of great saves for Houston throughout the game. We beat a great team and a classy team. I think the world of Dominic [Kinnear], he does a great job with his team, and all fairness to them, I think the extra 30 minutes they had to play on Sunday really depleted their tanks. Obviously, when we got to overtime, I felt very comfortable that our team would find a way to get a goal. It was a game that could’ve gone either way. Let’s be fair about that. They had their chances, we had ours. I give our guys a lot of credits. Our concentration was great. Our center backs were terrific tonight with three forwards that were a handful. What can you say these games – a play or two makes the difference. We were the team that was fortunate to capitalize on our opportunities.

On being crown Western Conference Champions:
I don’t want to end it here. We have to win another game. I think can celebrate the next 12 hours or so, 24 hours, but then we have to get back to business and trying to win the MLS Cup. But, I am really happy for our players. They really came together this year to be a good team. I think a bunch of you know what we looked like the beginning of the year. It was going to take a little time and patience, with the leadership of Landon [Donovan] and David [Beckham] our second half of the season has been terrific. These games aren’t easy. You look back, and there were a couple of plays here and there during the year that made the difference. The home field advantage for the Western Conference Championship was huge. Give our guys a lot of credits, they played very well over the last two months or so.

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER EDDIE LEWIS
On the match:
Certainly both teams had their chances to win and looked a little bit nervy at times but at the same time you never knew which way it was going to go. I think tactically we gambled a little bit holding on with a few guys but in the end it paid off and certainly we were the stronger team.

On the lights going out:
He tried to keep everybody going obviously, but in all honesty it was difficult. As we sort of talked about it, it was probably quietly welcomed—at least the first one. Once the second one went you know it is always a little bit awkward and certainly the first few minutes coming back after something like that you want to make sure there is not somebody that is not really quite out there yet or half asleep and it can cost you a goal so we were a little bit concerned with the starts after the break but certainly I thought we handled things well. The guys got in good situations tonight.

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DAVID BECKHAM
On winning:
You know we still haven’t won anything we want to win next week. Reaching it was the biggest thing we’ve done that, we’ve done that with the hard work and the togetherness that I have spoken about for some time and this team deserves it.

On making MLS Cup:
The important part for us is a franchise and to reach the playoffs. Once we reached the playoffs—anything could happen. And, we’ve proved that. We’ve worked hard and we rode our luck along the way. You have to have a certain amount of luck in any sport. We’re in this position because we’ve worked hard, and whatever’s been going on around the team and around the club—it’s been brought into the locker room—which is the important part.

Los Angeles Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez
On the first goal:
I was just ready to put my body on the line, I just had to get my head on it. I haven’t gotten to many headers all year, but time was winding down and I just wanted to get my head on it and it just happened to fall off a Dynamo player and Gregg [Berhalter] was there to finish it up. Beckham put a great ball in there.

On his rookie season:
This was just a dream come true season. Winning the MLS Cup will just make us better. Playing every single game, playing with these players has been just tremendous for me it has definitely helped me grow. I am just happy to be here.

On playing through the two stoppages:
Stopping twice for fifteen minutes was really tough. It takes you out of the game a little bit but you just have to be on your game. Just being able to focus and just fight through that. You body cools down and you just have to get yourself back in the game.

LA Galaxy Defender Gregg Berhalter
On his goal:
Obviously Jovan [Kirovski] looked like he has going to hit it back I just went to the ball and fortunately got in a good position to put it in. It was fun it was an important goal and goals like that are great.

On lights going out:
It’s tough. It’s tough to stop the game it makes it hard to get back into the game but to both teams credit we did that, putting the effort and I think it was a good performance by both teams.

On the team’s performance this year against the Dynamo:
We just stayed together, we stayed focused on what we wanted to do and every time we played them it was an important game and we’re really proud of that. The first time, we were coming off two losses and we really needed a win. The second time was for Western Conference basically first seed so we had a lot of importance. And this obviously was for the Western Conference Championship, so I think we were really focused on the game. This is what you want. It is a lot of hard work and it’s been a long season but it’s rewarding too.

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan
On the game:
Give Houston a lot of credit. At the end of the day we knew that we had to make a play in order to win the game and we did.

On the team’s improvement from last season:
Anything is possible. It hasn’t been easy, it has been a lot of hard work but I think that we deserved it.

On the team:
Houston deserves a lot of credit too, but the reality is that this is a real team you don’t win a soccer game with one player, two players or three players you win a soccer game with 11, 14, 18, 22 or 24 guys through out the year and that is what have been.

On dealing with all the delays:
It makes it interesting. It is a little bit weird but I was really impressed how our guys dealt with it. A lot of times it can be really frustrating but we got on with it and it was what it was.

HOUSTON DYNAMO HEAD COACH DOMINIC KINNEAR
On the team’s performance:
We just had bad decisions on the ball. We could have taken another touch, keep possession of the ball because it’s a big field, there are a lot of gaps out there, but I think sometimes we were just trying to get the ball forward too fast.

On the Dynamo players:
I’m proud of the guys the way they played. A great group of guys that could have asked to go above and beyond like a lot of teams do in this league, and they came through. Some young guys have made some good season and great strives, and all the veterans are consistent. So in the end when you don’t win, you kind of come out empty.

HOUSTON DYNAMO MIDFIELDER RICARDO CLARK
On the game:
I think it was unlucky, we couldn’t finish our chances. I thought we had the better chances, we had one header in the crossbar, and we had a goal that was called badly. So, it was tough. I think the officiating kind of let us down tonight, but at the end of the day, there is nothing you can do about it so we just have to move on, it was a good season.

On the foul that led to the Galaxy’s first goal:
The foul that led to the set piece for the goal was kind of soft based on the previous calls the referee has been make it. I don’t think they were consistent with that at all. So, I think that caused us the game. I think it was fair to call the penalty but I don’t think the foul that ended in Galaxy’s first goal was fair.

HOUSTON DYNAMO MIDFIELDER STUART HOLDEN
On the game:
I don’t take anything away from LA, they are a good team, but I thought we had the better of the play for the majority of the first and second half. We didn’t take our chances and obviously, it was a game that was going to be decided by a mistake or a set piece, and that’s what it came down to. From there, we were pushing forward, and they got the penalty kick. It’s disappointing because I think we have a winning team, we could have won it all, but it didn’t work out that way.

On the season:
It was up and down throughout the year, but overall it was a good year for us. To finish second in the Conference tied in points with LA, to done well in Champions League up to the last game, I think overall this team under circumstances, all that we put on a yearly basis, I think we did well to get wherever we were. But obviously we are not satisfied with that; we think we had a team that could have won the MLS Cup.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Galaxy Advance to MLS Cup with 2-0 Extratime Win Over Houston


LA Galaxy 2, Houston Dynamo 0
Friday, November 13, 2009
The Home Depot Center — Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Gregg Berhalter 1 (Unassisted) 103’
LA – Landon Donovan 3 (Penalty Kick) 109’

Misconduct Summary:
HOU – Brian Mullen (Yellow Card) 26’
LA – Dema Kovalenko (Yellow Card) 72’
LA – Landon Donovan (Yellow Card) 89’
HOU – Bobby Boswell (Yellow Card) 111’
HOU – Luis Angel Landin (Yellow Card) 119’

Lineups:
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts, A.J. DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin, Dema Kovalenko, Landon Donovan©, David Beckham, Chris Klein (Jovan Kirovski 63’), Mike Magee (Eddie Lewis 101’), Edson Buddle (Alan Gordon 96’).

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

Houston Dynamo: Pat Onstad, Wade Barrett, Geoff Cameron, Bobby Boswell, Andrew Hainault, Ricardo Clark, Brad Davis (Eddie Robinson 96’), Stuart Holden, Brian Mullan (Corey Ashe 82’), Bring Ching©, Dominic Oduro (Luis Angel Landin 72’).

Subs Not Used: Tally Hall, Ryan Cochrane, Craig Waibel, Cam Weaver.

Notes:
• With the win, the Galaxy advance to MLS Cup 2009, against the winner of tomorrow’s Eastern Conference Championship between the Chicago Fire and Real Salt Lake. MLS Cup will be played on Sunday, November 22 at 5:30 p.m. (PT) at Qwest Field in Seattle.
• This was the first-ever postseason game between the Galaxy and the Houston Dynamo.
• The two teams met twice in the regular season, with the Galaxy winning 1-0 at home on June 28 behind a first half goal from Todd Dunivant. They met again at Robertson Stadium on October 18, with that game finishing 0-0.
• Bruce Arena made one change to the team that beat Chivas USA 1-0 on Sunday with A.J. DeLaGarza entering the lineup at left back in place of Todd Dunivant who missed the game through illness. Chris Birchall, who had missed Sunday’s game through illness, took DeLaGarza’s spot on the bench for LA.
• In addition to Birchall, the Galaxy were alsowithout Alecko Eskandarian, Stefani Miglioranzi and Julian Valentin, who all missed the game through injury.
• DeLaGarza made his MLS postseason debut in the game. He is the seventh Galaxy player to make his MLS postseason debut in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
• Gregg Berhalter’s goal in the 103rd minute was the first goal of his Galaxy career in all competitions.
• Landon Donovan converted a penalty kick in the 109th minute to make the score 2-0. He now has three goals this postseason, scoring in all three of the Galaxy’s playoff games. He is the leading goalscorer in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
• The goal was the 17th of his MLS postseason career, making him the league’s all-time leader in playoff goals.
• After earning just three penalty kicks in the regular season, the Galaxy have now earned two in three postseason games, with each coming at the south end of The Home Depot Center.
• Under the current playoff format, Donovan has played the Western Conference Championship three times, scoring four goals in those matches and winning all three.
• Donovan Ricketts made five saves to earn his second consecutive postseason shutout.
• Dema Kovalenko and Landon Donovan were each booked in this game but are eligible to play in MLS Cup 2009. No Galaxy players will be suspended for that game.
• The game entered the half tied at 0-0. It was the Galaxy’s second consecutive postseason game that entered the half 0-0 and the second straight game between these two sides that was 0-0 at halftime.
• After playing 120 minutes tonight without scoring a goal, the Dynamo have now gone 367 consecutive minutes without a goal against the Galaxy. That streak dates back to the 23rd minute of the Dynamo’s 3-0 win over LA on October 18, 2008, a loss that eliminated the Galaxy from postseason contention.
• This was the Galaxy’s first MLS Cup Playoff game to go to extratime since MLS Cup 2005, which they won 1-0 over the New England Revolution thanks to a 105th minute goal from Guillermo “Pando” Ramirez.
• The last time the Galaxy went to extra time in an official competition was the 2007 SuperLiga Final, which was tied 1-1 after 120 minute of regulation and extratime. The Galaxy would eventually lose that game to Pachuca 4-3 on penalties.
• The stadium lights went out at two separate times in the game, first at the 17:55 mark in the first half and then again at the 50:23 mark in the second half. The first delay lasted 18 minutes and 10 seconds while the second also lasted 18 minutes and 10 seconds.
• As a result of the power outages and extratime, the game took a total of three hours and five minutes to complete.
• The attendance for today’s game was 25,373, making it the second biggest crowd to see a non-MLS Cup, postseason game at The Home Depot Center. Only Sunday’s sellout crowd for LA’s 1-0 win over Chivas USA was bigger.
• For more about today’s game, please visit www.lagalaxy.com.

Western Conference Championship on the Line

Two teams, one game, one berth in MLS Cup on the line.

The Western Conference Championship is up for grabs tonight as the Galaxy host the Houston Dynamo. LA defeated the Dynamo 1-0 here on June 28, with Todd Dunivant getting the game's only goal that night. While a repeat of that result would be welcomed tonight, the goalscorer will have to be different as Dunivant will miss the match through illness. He is replaced in the starting lineup by A.J. DeLaGarza who will make his postseason debut.

Here is the complete Galaxy team...

-----------Buddle-------Magee-----------

Donovan---------Beckham-----------Klein

-----------------Kovalenko----------------

DeLaGarza--Berhalter--Gonzalez--Franklin

------------------Ricketts------------------

Subs: Saunders, Marshall, Lewis, Birchall, Jordan, Kirovski, Gordon.

No surprises for the visiting Houston Dynamo, who lineup like this...

-------------Ching--------Oduro------------

Davis-------------Holden-------------Mullan

-------------------Clark---------------------

Barrett----Cameron----Boswell-----Hainault

-------------------Onstad-------------------

Subs: Hall, Cochrane, Robinson, Waibel, Ashe, Landin, Weaver

This Week Inisde the Galaxy - Western Conference Championship

Come along as we look back at the win over Chivas USA and ahead to the Western Conference Championship against the Houston Dynamo. We also catch up with award winners Bruce Arena and Landon Donovan.

All that and more, This Week Inside the Galaxy.

Twitter Game Day Chant

Photo Courtesy LA Kings

Earlier this morning, a Twttierphenomena occurred when Galaxy fans started a Game Day Chant that made a lot of noise in the Twitterverse. Even our good friends the LA Kings got into it (see photo above of David at a recent Kings game).

Other people that chanted: KIIS-FM and American Idol's @RyanSeacrest @HerbalifeHQ @BJ6 @LA_Live @HomeDepotCenter @MissLAGalaxy 2010 ESPNZoneLALive @StaplesCenterLA @Power106LA @pattyrodriguez @AlyshaDelValle @ibjeffg @DaveStyles and many, many more...

We would like to take this moment to thank everyone who took part in the chant this morning. If you have a Twitter feed, it's not too late to join in on the fun. It's very easy, simply Tweet-- Match Day Twitter Chant: Let's Go @LAGalaxy!! (Keep it going and RT!)

See you at the stadium!

Gameday is Here and the Guys are Ready

Here is what Landon and David had to say about tonight's game.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Handing out the Hardware

Bruce Arena and Omar Gonzalez each picked up a league award this week, with Arena being named the MLS Coach of the Year on Wednesday and Gonzalez picking up the Rookie of the Year award earlier today.

Here is what those guys, and a few of the other guys had to say about the honors.



Speaking Up

The guys have been putting in a lot of work the last couple of days, both on and off the field. Members of the local, national and international media have been out at training the last couple of days to talk to both players and the coaching staff ahead of Friday's Western Conference Championship against the Houston Dynamo.

Here's a sampling of what they've had to say...

Bruce...

Landon...

David...

Klein...

Todd...

Omar Gonzalez Named MLS Rookie of the Year


It was two awards in two days for the Galaxy as Omar Gonzalez was named the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year this afternoon.

Gonzalez was the only Galaxy player to appear in all 30 of the club's games this season, setting club records for games started and minutes played by a Galaxy rookie. You can read more about Omar and his accomplishments here and here, and be sure to check back in this space later on for some words from the man himself.

Until that time, join us in congratulating Omar, the 2009 MLS Rookie of the Year.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Catch Landon Thursday Morning on The Dan Patrick Show

Landon will be live on the Dan Patrick Show tomorrow morning, so be sure to tune in to AM570 at 7:45 a.m. to listen to the interview live.

If you can't make it to your radio, you can listen live on AM570's official site, or head over to danpatrick.com and pull up the interview in the On Demand player.

This interview is now complete, be sure to head to danpatrick.com in a bit to listen it in full.

Wednesday Wrap-Up

We caught up with a few of the guys after Sunday's win and at training on Tuesday to talk about the historical significance of the win over Chivas USA and the challenges that will be posed by the Dynamo on Friday.

As you all already know, Bruce Arena was named the MLS Coach of the Year earlier this morning. Tomorrow we will find out if Omar has earned the MLS Rookie of the Year award.

Sticking with the awards theme, the finalists for Goal of the Year and Save of the Year were cut down to the top 10 in each category today, with the Galaxy taking 20% of the final 10 spots. Alecko's first half wonder-goal at Giants Stadium qualified for the final 10, as did Landon's Goal of the Week winner at New England from early August. Click here to vote for Alecko or Landon, while also remembering Eddie's goal against Columbus, as well as the three Donovan Ricketts saves and the one from Josh Saunders, which were nominated for the Save of the Year award but did not make the final round of voting.

Finally, on Tuesday afternoon, Bruce and Landon, and the Houston Dynamo's Dominic Kinnear and Brian Ching participated in a conference call with the national media to preview Friday night's game. Take a listen.

Back with more in a bit.

Bruce Arena Named MLS Coach of the Year

Major League Soccer just announced Bruce Arena as the league's 2009 Coach of the Year.

Join us in congratulating Bruce on this well deserved honor. You can read more about the award here.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Back in Business

The guys were back on the training field this afternoon under the watchful eye of Bruce Arena and the rest of the Galaxy coaching staff. We'll all find out tomorrow morning if Bruce has been named the MLS Coach of the Year, but it the time being, he continues to get the club ready for the Western Conference Championship against Houston.
It was a focused but relaxed session this afternoon, as the guys went through their normal start of the week routines. Dema and Gregg were each going 100% as is always the case for the pair in training. Kovalenko, who has never missed the MLS Cup Playoffs, is looking to get back to the MLS Cup for the first time since 2004, while Berhalter is looking to close out a dream first season in the league with a championship.Chris Birchall joined those two on the field today after missing a day of training in the middle of last week, as well as Sunday's game because of an illness. Chris Klein replaced him in the starting lineup on Sunday against Chivas USA e attempts to get back into the team for Friday night's game.

Speaking of Friday, the game against Houston will be just the second Friday night game of the year for the Galaxy, with the only other coming on October 2 when a first half goal from Landon Donovan was enough to see off the Chicago Fire 1-0. I think that it is safe to say that most Galaxy fans would welcome a similar result this time around, as would all the guys below.
We'll be back tomorrow with all the latest from training as well as a host of interviews with the guys as we move that much closer to Friday night.

Win Tickets to the Western Conference Championship at The Home Depot Center

Thanks to the great response that we got the first time around, we're pleased to announce that we have once again joined forces with The Original Winger to give a few lucky fans a chance to see Friday night's showdown against Houston in person at The Home Depot Center.

Click here to read all about this contest and how you can enter.

Also, stayed tuned to this site and Nick Green's 100 Percent Soccer for more news about another possible ticket giveaway with their readers.

Monday, November 9, 2009

[UPDATE] More Highlights and More Reactions

You all were in the crowd last night to provide the passion, energy and atmosphere.

We were on the field and in the locker room to provide the insight and get behind the scenes to the win.

Here is what the guys had to say.



También te presentamos este resumen del partido en español por parte de él periódico Hoy/We also want to share with with you this recap of the game done by Hoy Newspaper.

 

Look Back at Last Night's Win over Chivas USA

The team went through a light training session this morning at The Home Depot Center but will really ramp up their preparation tomorrow.

In case you missed any of the highlights from last night, be sure to watch them below. (Be sure to enjoy J.P. Dellacamera's final words)

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Galaxy Players Talk After Series Win Over Chivas USA

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER QUOTE SHEET
SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 8, 2008 -- LA GALAXY 1, CHIVAS USA 0

LA GALAXY HEAD COACH BRUCE ARENA
On the win:
That was a certainly a great win. It was a real battle. I think both teams should be commended; they played real hard. It was a game like most playoff games. It was going to come down to one or two plays, and certainly the referee showed a lot of courage. It was clearly a foul on [Mike] Magee, and [Landon] Donovan had to set up under pressure and convert a penalty kick. I think our guys played hard tonight and they deserved to win. I think Chivas deserves a lot of credit for a good tough performance. They certainly had a very good year. We respect what they brought to the series. It was outstanding and special for us because this franchise has not been where they want to be over the last couple of the years, and we are moving in the right direction. Our next game is certainly going to be a challenge. I think most people in MLS would tell you that Houston is the best team in Major League Soccer, and we have to go against them on Friday night. That will be equally, if not more, challenging than tonight’s game. We look forward to getting some rest and getting recovered, and having our guys ready to go on Friday against Houston.

On the play of Dema Kovalenko:
Obviously, this is our fifth game this year. We know each other very well. Dema was matched up against a player that is equally as aggressive in [Pablo] Nagamura and it was a real battle between those two in the center of midfield. If you know Dema, his performance tonight wasn’t a whole not out of character.

On the late goal and the play of his team:
Every game is different. I don’t care when the goal comes, it doesn’t matter. If you followed Chivas in the year, I think they led the league in shutouts. It’s not it was going to be a bunch of goals scored in this game.
It was pretty obvious from the start that it was going to be a tight contest, and it was probably going to be a 1-0 type of game. The game on Friday on Houston will present different problems. I can’t even look at tonight and say it has to get better against Houston. It’s going to be completely different circumstances. If we won 1-0 on Friday and the goal comes in the 95th minute, I’ll take it. Obviously, we had a few chances tonight. I think our passing could have been a little cleaner in the final third, hit a couple of better crosses, but for the most part defensively we were good. It was just the kind of game we anticipated it was going to be tonight. To be able to have the concentration and discipline we showed tonight for 95 minutes is a real plus, and we are going to have bring that on Friday night .You saw the Seattle/Houston series—they played 180 minutes without a goal, and a goal came extra time today. One would surmise that perhaps Friday will be a similar type of game.

On the Galaxy’s defense:
It was very good. [Chivas] had nine shots, three in the second half, which is good. You know they are a good team—they come at you. Obviously, last week in the second half, Chivas broke us down a lot, got behind us. For the most part tonight, we were really solid in that aspect of our defending. It was a good performance. [Donovan] Ricketts wasn’t called on to a do a whole lot, which is a real positive.

On Landon Donovan’s performance:
I’ve known Landon since he was 17 years old, and actually even earlier than that. But his growth this year, to me, has been remarkable. He’s grown on the field as a player. He’s a more mature consistent player, but he’s role off the field with this team has been perhaps even better, remarkable. The things he did to help build this team to have the right kind of team chemistry, to be a leader and being in a year where things were not where we wanted them to be—Landon was consistently here everyday, and taking the responsibility of a captain. He’s been doing a fabulous job. It’s great that he had the game winner tonight, and hopefully he can get a couple more for us this year as well.

LA GALAXY FORWARD LANDON DONOVAN
On beating Chivas USA in the playoffs:
It’s huge. There may never be another opportunity to play them in the playoffs, so we have to think of the historic value of it too. So, you want to take advantage of these opportunities, obviously you are kind of living in the moment, but when you think of that from a historical perspective, that’s huge.

On his Penalty Kick:
There were a lot of thoughts in my head before taking it. My thought was to get to the ball and keep an eye on him [Zach Thornton], and if he moved really early, I was going to make my decision. My thought was actually to go to that side, but I saw him step the other way and start leaning that way, so I just closed it and put it in.
On celebrating in front of the fans:
We have some loyal fans and it’s been a rough couple of years. The expectations were high and they’ve been let down over the past few years so it was nice to reward them. We expect Friday night to be loud again; they certainly helped us tonight.

On the young teammates: (said in Spanish)
I really think the young players stepped up tonight. Everybody had a great game, especially Omar. In the first leg of the playoffs, they were a little nervous, but they come out big tonight.

On the Western Conference Championship against Houston Dynamo: (said in Spanish)
Houston is a team that has a lot of experience. Both of the games that we played during the regular season were really close, so I expect this game to be close as well. One play should define the course of the game.

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DAVID BECKHAM
On the match against Chivas USA:
It was never going to be a five or six goal thriller like in the past, but we knew it was going to be tough. We know whoever scored the first goal was likely to win the game because it was so tough between us two. We worked hard; we knew if we defended well then we would have the chances. We were always going to get chances with good players like Landon and especially Edson. We defended great tonight because after the last game we had to work on a few things and tonight our back four tonight was exceptional. When we defend like that, there is always a chance we are going to win.

On playing Houston on Friday in the Western Conference Championship:
You know Houston are a tough team. When we played them away, a few weeks back and they were a tough team to play against. They have some good players, some young players and also some experienced players. Its going to be a tough game again, but this stage of the season, this stage in the playoffs there are no easy teams. We proved that tonight against our rivals and we’re happy that we beat them.

On the team’s play so far this season:
We’re happy with tonight, but we still have not won anything. We’ve done well and deserve to be in the position we are, but we can’t get carried away because we want to go further. One more win and we’ll be in the final, but it’s a tough game first.

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER MIKE MAGEE
On the team’s strategy:
We wanted to come into the game go into the first half and go forward and we expected more, but they kind of came at us. They were pretty active. At half time we collected ourselves and realized what was going on and said that we have to take it. This is not a team that was going to give it to us, so we started attacking with more numbers and we got more chances.

On the foul that lead to the penalty kick:
Landon played me a perfect ball, and I had anything but a perfect touch. My second touch was good, I got hit where no man wants to get hit. It took me a little bit to go down, but it was definitely painful and a penalty.

LA GALAXY MIDFIELDER DEMA KOVALENKO
On beating Chivas USA:
I’m so happy for this team. We worked hard all year to be here and we deserve it. They were a good team, but we are a better team and that’s why we are here. Nothing to take away from Chivas, but we deserve it more.

On playing in the Western Conference Championship:
[Houston is] a tough team, there are no easy games anymore. Everyone wants to be in the finals and it’s going to be the same type of game—fighting—but we are ready. We have good enough players. It’s another day, another game, there is a little bit more on the line, but we’re ready. We’ve been training and working all year for this. We’ll be ready.

Galaxy Advance to Western Conference Championship with 1-0 Win Over Chivas USA

LA Galaxy 1, Chivas USA 0
Sunday, November 8, 2009
The Home Depot Center — Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
LA – Landon Donovan 2 (Penalty Kick) 73’

Misconduct Summary:
CHV – Carey Talley (Yellow Card) 38’
LA – Sean Franklin (Yellow Card) 60’
CHV – Zach Thornton (Yellow Card) 72’
CHV – Paulo Nagamura (Yellow Card) 78’
CHV – Yamith Cuesta (Yellow Card) 79’
CHV – Sacha Kljestan (Yellow Card) 94+

Lineups:
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts, Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter, Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin, Dema Kovalenko, Landon Donovan©, David Beckham (Alan Gordon 78’), Chris Klein (Jovan Kirovski 67’), Mike Magee (Eddie Lewis 86’), Edson Buddle.

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

Chivas USA: Zach Thornton, Jonathan Bornstein, Shavar Thomas, Yamith Cuesta, Carey Talley©, Paulo Nagamura, Michael Lahoud (Eduardo Lillingston 76’), Jesus Padilla (Maykel Galindo 60’), Sacha Kljestan, Justin Braun, Maicon Santos (Jorge Flores 84’).

Subs Not Used: Jon Conway, Ante Jazic, Mariano Trujillo, Marcelo Saragosa.

Notes:
• With the win, the Galaxy advance to the Western Conference Championship against the Houston Dynamo. The Galaxy won their Conference Semifinal Series over Chivas USA 3-2 on aggregate after a 2-2 draw in Game #1 and tonight’s 1-0 win.
• Bruce Arena made one change to the team that played to a 2-2 draw with Chivas USA in Game #1 of the series last weekend. Chris Klein was brought into the lineup in place of Chris Birchall who missed the game through illness. Klein was replaced on the bench by Bryan Jordan.
• In addition to Birchall, the Galaxy were without Alecko Eskandarian, Stefani Miglioranzi and Julian Valentin, who all missed the game through injury.
• Birchall was the only Galaxy player to enter tonight’s game with a yellow card, meaning that nobody will be suspended for the Conference Championship against Houston.
• Landon Donovan scored the game’s only goal with a penalty kick in the 73rd minute. That was his second goal of the postseason, leaving him tied with the Columbus Crew’s Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Real Salt Lake’s Robbie Findley as the leading goalscorer in the 2009 MLS Cup Playoffs.
• That goal was the 16th of Donovan’s postseason career, tying him with Carlos Ruiz for the most goals in the history of the MLS Cup Playoffs. Donovan has 16 goals in 20 career playoff games, including six postseason goals in six games as a member of the Galaxy.
• Donovan’s penalty kick was the Galaxy’s first penalty kick since the 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake on May 6. That was the Galaxy’s seventh game of the season, meaning that they went the final 23 games of the regular season and the first posteason game without earning a penalty kick.
• Galaxy goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts made two saves for his first-ever postseason win and postseason shutout.
• This was the seventh game this season that the Galaxy won by a 1-0 scoreline, with all seven coming at The Home Depot Center. This was the third 1-0 win of the year over Chivas USA.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 27,000, making it the biggest postseason crowd for a non-MLS Cup Final in the history of The Home Depot Center.
• The Galaxy are back in action at 8 p.m. on Friday, November 13 when they host the Houston Dynamo in the Western Conference Championship. That game will be shown live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
• The Galaxy were 1-0-1 against the Dynamo this season, winning 1-0 at The Home Depot Center on June 28 behind a goal from Todd Dunivant and playing to a 0-0 draw at Robertson Stadium in Houston on October 18.
• For more about today’s game, please visit www.lagalaxy.com.

Battle for Los Angeles - Act II

We are set to go at The Home Depot Center as the fans continue to pour through the turnstiles.

It's winner take all this evening and a date with the Houston Dynamo awaits the winner. The Dynamo were 1-0 winners over Seattle in extra time earlier today, meaning that if LA is victorious, they will host Houston on Friday, November 13 at 8 p.m.

Bruce will make just one change to the squad from last week with Chris Klein stepping in on the right side of midfield in place of Chris Birchall who misses out through illness. Bryan Jordan is added to the bench, replacing Klein.

Here's the full Galaxy team...

-----------Buddle---------Magee-----------

Donovan--------Beckham-------------Klein

-----------------Kovalenko-----------------

Dunivant---Berhalter----Gonzalez---Franklin

------------------Ricketts--------------------

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

There are changes for Chivas USA as well, with Preki making two changes and electing to send out this team...

-------------Braun------Santos---------------

Kljestan------------Padilla-------------Lahoud

-------------------Nagamura------------------

Bornstein----Thomas-----Cuesta--------Talley

--------------------Thornton------------------

Subs: Conway, Jazic, Trujillo, Flores, Saragosa, Galindo, Lillingston