Sunday, February 28, 2010

Loan Pair in Action

While the Galaxy players were given the day off because of the rain here in Arizona, David Beckham and Landon Donovan were in action with Milan and Everton.

Beckham was back in the starting lineup for Milan, joining Andrea Pirlo and Massimo Ambrosini in a three-man midfield for their 3-1 win over Atalanta. Beckham played the full 90 minutes in the win, which stretched Milan's lead over third place Roma to three points with 12 games remaining in the season. Milan remain four points behind first place Inter, who defeated Udinese on Sunday.

While Beckham was back in the starting lineup for the first time since the 3-2 loss to Manchester United in the Champions League, Landon Donovan was forced to come off the bench for Everton for the first time since he joined the club last month. Battling the flu, Donovan was forced to start the game against Tottenham on the bench and entered in the 63rd minute, replacing Victor Anichebe, who had started on the right side of midfield in place of Donovan. Everton trailed 2-1 when Donovan entered the game and the score would stay that way, dropping them to 10th in the Premier League standings.

Everton are back in action on Sunday when they host Hull City while Milan travel to Rome on Saturday to take on Roma. Before those games, both players will be in action for their National Teams, with Landon and the U.S. taking on Holland in Amsterdam on Wednesday and David and the England National Team hosting Egypt at Wembley, also on Wednesday.

Scrimmage Cancelled

Today's scheduled scrimmage against the Kansas City Wizards has been cancelled after heavy rains overnight and this morning left the field at Arizona State unplayable.

As a result, today will be a day off for the guys ahead of tomorrow's flight back to Los Angeles.

Final Day in Scottsdale

Just like at the start of the trip, the rains have again returned to Arizona making for a wet final day here for the Galaxy. But despite the weather, the club will still hold their fourth and final scrimmage of the trip against the Kansas City Wizards this afternoon.

Before that game, we caught up with Bruce and a few of the guys to see what they had to think of the Arizona portion of preseason and life on and off the field here in the Copper State.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Finishing Up

A few of the guys welcomed the end of this morning's training session by juggling in small groups, trying to keep the ball from hitting the ground......while Gregg worked one on one with BJ on how to better shield the ball and keep it away from defenders.
But as we told you earlier, it was the finishing drills that really brought out the competitive juices. Guys like nothing more than winning some bragging rights from their teammates and there was some serious trash talk going on throughout the drills.

Doing their best to come out on top, the guys put their best foot forward throughout. Take a look...

Final Arizona Training Session is Complete

The full team, with the exception of Donovan Ricketts, who was given the day off because of an illness, made their way over to Sun Devil Stadium for their final training session here in Arizona.After a long stretch and warmup, the team was divided into two groups, with Cobi taking the nine field players who played the full 60 minutes yesterday to one end of the field and Bruce and Dave taking the other 10 guys, those who will likely feature in tomorrow's scrimmage against the Wizards, to the other end.
That group played some 4v4 possession with the pairs of Edson and Mike, Dema and Juninho and Eddie and Tristan rotating through as the neutral players. The number of touches that the guys were allowed to take alternated with each game, giving everyone plenty of touches on the ball.

It was a similar scene at the other end of the field where the group of nine played 7v2, again, with varying passing restrictions and touches allowed.Once those exercises were complete, most of the guys did a pair knockout finishing drills, where players would be eliminated if they missed the target or had their shot saves and the player with the next shot successfully converted their attempt.

Juninho, one of the youngest players in Galaxy camp, won the first game while Jovan, one of the older players in camp, won the second contest.

We'll have a few photos from the finsihing drill posted here soon.

Berhalter's Game-Winning Penalty

We'll be back later today with more video from yesterday, but while we head out to training, here is Gregg Berhalter's game-winning penalty kick from yesterday's win over the Rapids. As you'll see, Edson Buddle drew the foul by pressuring Jimmy Conrad into a turnover before being pulled down by Eric Kronberg.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Berhalter penalty gives Galaxy 1-0 Win

Gregg Berhalter scored the only goal of the game as the Galaxy defeated Kansas City 1-0 today in a 60-minute scrimmage at Reach 11 in Phoenix. Berhalter converted his penalty after Edson Buddle had been pulled down in the box by the Kansas City keeper.

Buddle nearly put the Galaxy in front after just five minutes when Chris Birchall swung the ball out to Bryan Jordan on the left flank and Jordan crossed into the box for Buddle, whose shot was deflected off the crossbar by Kansas City goalkeeper Eric Kronberg.

The Galaxy maintained the better of the possession throughout the first half and went ahead just three minutes before the break when Sean Franklin's long ball out of the back was cut out by Jimmy Conrad, only for Buddle to muscle Conrad off the ball to go in alone on goal. Buddle drew the keeper toward him and then put the ball around him, forcing Kronberg to pull him down for the penalty. Berhalter stepped up to take the spot kick and calmly converted it to send LA into the break ahead 1-0.

The Galaxy made just one change at the half, bringing on Mike Magee for Edson and the Galaxy continued to control the game.

However, with 15 minutes remaining, Josh Saunders was forced to race off his line to clear the ball and was adjudged to have fouled the K.C. attacker, with the referee also decoding to send Saunders off.

That brought on Kevin Guppy for the final 15 minutes, with the former CSUN goalkeeper helping to keep yet another clean sheet for the Galaxy, who have not allowed a goal so far during the preseason.

The two teams will meet again on Sunday at Arizona State before the Galaxy return to Los Angeles on Monday.

Galaxy Lineup: Josh Saunders (Kevin Guppy 45'); Alex Cazumba, Gregg Berhalter, Yohance Marshall, Sean Franklin; Chris Birchall, Bryan Jordan, Michael Stephens, Chris Klein; Jovan Kirovski, Edson Buddle (Mike Magee 31')

Underway Against the Wizards

We've kicked off here at Reach 11 in Phoenix with the Galaxy taking on the Kansas City Wizards in the first of two scrimmages between the two teams here in Arizona.

Today's game will go 60 minutes (two 30-minute halves)with a majority of the starters scheduled to go the distance.

Here is the lineup that Bruce and Co. will put out on the field...

Galaxy Lineup: Saunders, Franklin, Marshall, Berhalter,Alex Cazumba; Birchall, Jordan, Stephens, Klein; Kirovski, Buddle.

Ramping it Up

After playing most guys 45 minutes in each of the first two games here in Arizona, the coaching staff will look to build the team up to their next fitness benchmark starting with tonight's game against the Wizards. It will be a 60-minutes scrimmage, played over two 30-minute halves meaning that few substitutions are expect from the coaching staff.

As a result, nine of the guys, including two of the three goalkeepers made the journey to Arizona State this morning for a short training session. After a jog and stretch, Ian took the two goalkeepers down to one end of the field for some crossing/catching drills while the rest of the guys played some 5v2 before being joined by Dave and Cobi for some 4v4 possession with Dave wearing the orange bib and serving as the extra man for the attacking side.

After 10-15 minutes of play, the group broke up again for some crossing and finishing drills before heading back to the hotel ahead of tonight's game at Reach 11.

We'll check in again from the field with the Galaxy lineup, with a complete match summary to follow.

Not a Day Off at All

The guys may not have made their way out to the training field yesterday, but they were busy as they made their way over to the Athletes Performance training facility out here in Arizona. The brand new facility opened a few months ago and gave the players plenty of options with which to go through their recovery day.

We caught up with the club's Strength and Condintioning Coach Ben Yauss to give us some background into the facility and the workout that he put the guys through.

Finding Some Down Time

No matter how much training and fitness work guys put in during the preseason, there is always going to be a significant down time, especially when you're on the road and away from your family.

As a result, even with an adequate amount of rest and time with the trainers, there are a lot of hours to fill. The local restaurants have seen their fair share of Galaxy players passing through their doors as the guys have been given most evenings off to get out. On top of that, we caught up with a few of the guys to see how they have gone about passing the time here in Scottsdale.

Josh Saunders was joined by his brother, who lives in the area, as well as BJ, Kevin Guppy and Eddie Lewis out for some clay shooting here in the area. This gave BJ a chance to pose for this picture.
While those guys were shooting, others were watching shots at the PGA Tour's Waste Management Phoenix Open here in Scottsdale. One of the most unique experiences in all of golf, the crowds at the tournament, especially at the famed 16th hole, garner just as much attention as the golfers themselves. Bruce, Dave, Cobi and Ian made their way over to the TPC Scottsdale to watch the proceedings, as did golf fans Chris Klein and Gregg Berhalter. Ian provided us with this image (of a postcard) to show the 16th in its full glory with a capacity crowd and of course the permanent skyboxes, the only such one in all of golf.
Others such as Alex Cazumba and Michael Stephens hit the ping pong table that resides right next to the pool and jacuzzi that have begun to get more and more use as the skies have cleared.

We're only here for a few more days, but if anyone has any recommendations on how to pass the time, we're all ears.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Highlights from Wednesday's Win Over the Rapids

Hitting the Gym

In lieu of a training session at Sun Devil Stadium this morning, the team made their way over to the local Athletes Performance training facility for a workout and regeneration session. This is the first time in nearly two weeks that the club did not spend at least a portion of the training day on the field.

The guys will be back on the field tomorrow evening at Reach 11 in Phoenix for the first of two scrimmages against the Kansas City Wizards.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Magee Leads Galaxy Past Colorado

Mike Magee scored twice in the first half to lead the LA Galaxy to a 2-0 victory over the Colorado Rapids in an preseason scrimmage played in Casa Grande, Ariz. Magee opened the scoring in the 7th minute and then added a second in the 33rd as the Galaxy improved to 1-0-1 during their 10-day camp.
Magee re-directed home a left wing cross from Eddie Lewis to put the Galaxy up 1-0. He doubled the lead less than 30 minutes later when he tapped in a low Tristan Bowen cross. After a string of passes through the midfield, the ball came to Juninho whose angled through ball picked out Bowen who drew Colorado keeper Matt Pickens toward him before squaring the ball for Magee who was left the easiest of finishes.

Bruce Arena again made wholesale changes at the break, replacing 10 of his starters, leaving just Todd Dunivant on the field for the full 90 minutes.

Bryan Jordan, Jovan Kirovski, Alex Cazumba and Yohance Marshall all had chances after the break, but were unable to add to the two-goal lead.

Donovan Ricketts and Josh Saunders were not called upon to do a lot in goal for the Galaxy, with each making a couple of saves. Including the 4-0 win over UCLA two weeks ago, the pair has combined to keep the shutouts in all three of the Galaxy's preseason games so far in 2010.

The Galaxy are back in action on Friday when they scrimmage against the Kansas City Wizards on Friday. The same two teams meet again on Sunday before returning to Los Angeles, where the club will finish out their preseason, on Monday morning.

Galaxy Lineup: Donovan Ricketts (Josh Saunders 46'); Todd Dunivant, Gregg Berhalter (Leonardo 46'), Omar Gonzalez (Yohance Marshall 46'), Sean Franklin (A.J. DeLaGarza 46'); Dema Kovalenko (Chris Birchall 46'), Eddie Lewis (Alex Cazumba 46'), Juninho (Michael Stephens 46'), Tristan Bowen (Chris Klein 46'); Mike Magee (Jovan Kirovski 46'), Edson Buddle (Bryan Jordan 46').

Underway at Casa Grande

We're underway against the Colorado Rapids here at Casa Grande, Ariz.

Mike Magee has given the Galaxy the lead after just seven minutes, heading an Eddie Lewis cross home for a 1-0 LA advantage. Magee has added a second goal to his tally, the Galaxy now lead 2-0 at the half.

Here is the full Galaxy lineup for the first half.

Ricketts; Dunivant, Berhalter, Gonzalez, Franklin; Kovalenko, Lewis, Juninho, Bowen; Magee, Buddle.

Ready for the Rapids

The Galaxy will make the hour-long drive to Casa Grande this afternoon for a scrimmage against the Colorado Rapids. This will be the second of four games during the club's Arizona excursion, with the other two each coming against the Colorado Rapids later in the week.

To prepare for the game and the season opener that is now just more than a month away, Bruce and Co. put the guys through another spirited training day at Sun Devil Stadium yesterday.

Troy Bardy was on hand at the session and filed this report.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Building Team Chemistry

There have been two constants for the squad while in Arizona, the rain and bonding. Lots of bonding.

And in no way is that a negative, defender Sean Franklin says in the Galaxy's latest video update from the team's training camp in Tempe, Ariz.

"This is what we need," Franklin says. "Team bonding. That is what helped us a lot last year, that we were real close as a team in the locker room and outside the locker room."

Associate Head Coach Dave Sarachan and fellow defender Omar Gonzalez agree. See what they have to say in the club's latest video.


Monday, February 22, 2010

Monday's Training Notes

The Galaxy were back on the field this morning following yesterday' scoreless draw with the Crew. If you have not already seen the highlights, you can find them here.

With a light rain falling, the Galaxy were taken through an extensive warmup by strength and conditioning coach Ben Yauss. Then, it was on to a possesion and passing game with the group split into three teams within a grid divided into thirds. The goal was to complete six passes before sending the ball over the middle grid to the far grid to earn a point. The always competitive Dema Kovalenko led his group to the win. Season ticket holder should remember this drill from last year's training session in the stadium.

Next, the team played 11v11 with the goals set at the top of the 18 yard box with three ten minute games. It was a good session with the players showing a lot of life despite yesterday's game. The only one not to participate was Mike Magee who sat out this portion after being the only one to play the full 90 minutes on Sunday. Gregg Berhalter, who received a cut on his left check folling a collision with the Crew's Steven Lenhart that required a couple of stitches, was on the field for training today. None the worse for the wear.

Here are a few photos from today's training session, but be sure to check back later for soundbites and video.

Video: LA vs Crew Highlights

Here are some of the highlights from Sunday's scrimmage against the Crew.

New adidas Techfit Uniform

As few of you may have noticed, some of the players were wearing the new 2010 adidas techfit jerseys in yesterday's scrimmage, while other wore training gear. They are the latest techonolgy from adidas and are designed to improve a players endurance, power and speed. On Saturday, adidas did a presentation for the team on the new techfit uniform. You may see some of the players wear these tighter fitting kits this season. A few photos of the new tops.

We hope to have highlights from yesterday's scrimmage later today after training today as some internet connecntions issues prevented us from properly uploading the video this morning. So for now, here are a few shots.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Updated: Galaxy and Crew Play to a Scoreless Draw

The Galaxy played to a 0-0 draw against the Columbus Crew on Sunday afternoon at ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium. It was the first of four games the club will play during the team’s 10 day training camp in Arizona. At the half, LA brought on a fresh eleven with the exception of Mike Magee who was the only one to play the full 90 minutes. Next up, the Galaxy will take on the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday.

Here are the lineups from today's scrimmage.

First half: Ricketts, Dunivant, Leonardo, Gonzalez, DeLaGarza, Lewis, Kovalenko, Juninho, Bowen, Magee, Buddle.

Second half: Saunders, Alex Cuzumba, Berhalter, Marshall, Franklin, Magee, Stephens, Birchall, Klein, Kirovski, Jordan

Scoring Summary:

Video: Day 1 In The Books From AZ

Following up on yesterday's photos, here are some highlights from Saturday's first training session in Arizona. We also had a chance to check in with Gregg Berhalter, Mike Magee and A.J. DeLaGarza to get their thoughts on the first day, preparations for Sunday's scrimmage against the Columbus Crew and the week ahead. Enjoy!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

First Day of Training at ASU

On Saturday morning, the team was up early for breakfast on their own in the hotel restaurant. Then, the team piled into a few vans and headed out to ASU’s Sun Devil Stadium for the club's first day of training in Arizona.

With dark clouds over head, the team walked out onto the field but soon the skies opened up in a steady rain that came down throughout training. The team went through an extensive warmup as the coaching staffed stressed the importance of getting loose so no one would pull a muscle. Next, the team went through several passing drills and then broke up into the offense and defense to work on positioning while the forwards worked on their finishing. At the end, a short field 11v11 ended the day.

Be sure to check back tomorrow morning for soundbites and video from today. For now, here are a few photos of the first day. Enjoy!