Saturday, November 27, 2010

Galaxy Fall 2-1 to Newcastle in The Qantas Challenge

LA Galaxy 1, Newcastle Jets 2
The Qantas Challenge
Saturday, November 27, 2010
EnergyAustralia Stadium – Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Scoring Summary:
LA – Landon Donovan (Sean Franklin, Chris Birchall) 7’
NEW – Sasho Petrovski (Ali Abbas, Adam D’Apuzzo) 39’
NEW - Labinot Haliti (Kasey Wehrman) 53’

Misconduct Summary:
None

Lineups:
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts (Josh Saunders 46’); Sean Franklin (Chris Klein 63’), A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez (Gregg Berhalter 46’), Todd Dunivant (Eddie Lewis 46’); Chris Birchall (Dema Kovalenko 68’), David Beckham, Juninho (Mike Magee 72’), Michael Stephens (Alex Cazumba 57’); Landon Donovan© (Bryan Jordan 46’), Edson Buddle (Jovan Kirovski 46’).

Subs Not Used: Brian Perk, Leonardo.

Newcastle Jets: Matthew Nash, Tarek Elrich, Taylor Regan, Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Adam D’ Apuzzo (Brodie Mooy 56’); Ruben Zadkovich (Marcello Fiorentini 46’), Kasey Wehrman© (Jacob Pepper 83’), Jobe Wheelhouse (James Virgili 76’), Ali Abbas (Kaz Patafta 46’); Sasho Petrovski (Zhang Shuo 56’), Marko Jesic (Labinot Haliti 46’).

Subs Not Used: Sam Gallaway, Mario Simic, Scott Pettit, Fabian Iacovelli, Jack Duncan.

Notes:
• With the loss for LA, the Newcastle Jets win the inaugural Qantas Challenge.
• The Galaxy are now 2-2-0 all-time against teams from the Hyundai A-League. They beat the Wellington Phoenix in 2007 and Sydney FC in 2008 while losing to Sydney FC in 2007 and now the Jets.
• The Galaxy are now 0-2-0 all-time in Australia.
• This was the Galaxy’s fifth and final international friendly of the year. They finished with a 2-2-1 record in those games, beating Puntarenas FC (Costa Rica) and Boca Juniors (Argentina) while tying CD Aguila (El Salvador) and losing to Real Madrid (Spain) and the Newcastle Jets (Australia). This was the only one of those games that was not played in Southern California.
• Landon Donovan gave the Galaxy a 1-0 lead in the 7th minute, re-directing a Sean Franklin cross over the line from close range with his chest. That was his second goal in the club’s five friendlies this season, though he only played in three of them.
• Chris Birchall was also credited with an assist on that goal.
• Juninho nearly doubled the Galaxy lead two minutes later, but his long range shot was adjudged not to have crossed the goalline by the referees, though video replays later showed that it had.
• Donovan Ricketts had to make his first save of the game a few minutes later, pushing a close range shot from Sasho Petrovski around his right post.
• Petrovski eventually equalized for the Jets in the 29th minute, heading an Ali Abbas cross past Ricketts from close range, tying the score at 1-1.
• Halftime substitute Labinot Haliti scored the eventual game-winning goal in the ** minute, shortly after coming on as a halftime substitute.
• Chris Klein each came on as substitutes, making the final appearances of their professional careers.
• Newcastle Jets owner Nathan Tinkler offered to donate $5,000(AU) to HMRI for every goal scored in the game, meaning that $15,000(AU) was raised for the charity.
• A total of 20 of the 22 players that made the trip to Australia played for the Galaxy, with only Brian Perk and Leonardo not seeing action.
• Only A.J. DeLaGarza and David Beckham played the full 90 minutes for the Galaxy.
• Tonight’s game was shown live on Fox Soccer Channel in the United States with a number of replays to be shown throughout the week. Check www.foxsoccer.com for a complete schedule of broadcasts.
• There was a sellout crowd of more than 23,000 at EnergyAustralia Stadium, which is the process of being renovated. This was the Jets’ biggest home attendance of the season.
• For more about today’s game, please visit www.lagalaxy.com.

Final Game of 2010 is Set to Kickoff

The guys are completing their pregame warmups ahead of tonight's friendly against the Newcastle Jets at EnergyAustralia Stadium. This is the club's final game of the year so most if not all of the 22 players that made the trip can expect to see some action.

Here is the starting XI that Bruce Arena will put on the field tonight...

Ricketts; Dunivant, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Franklin; Birchall, Stephens, Juninho, Beckham; Donovan(c), Buddle.

Subs: Saunders, Perk, Leonardo,Berhalter, Cazumba, Kovalenko, Klein, Lewis, Kirovski, Magee, Jordan.

And here is the lineup for the host Newcastle Jets, who are coached by Branko Culina...

Nash; D'Apuzzo, Regan, Topor-Stanley, Elrich: Wheelhouse, Zadkovich, Wehrman(c); Jesic, Petrovski, Abbas.

Subs: Mooy, Fiorentini, Patafta, Haliti, Shuo, Gallaway, Virgili, Simic, Pettit, Iacovelli, Duncan.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Sign Says it All

A city that was for much of its early years known for the number of convicts that resided here, the city of Newcastle has thrown open its doors to the LA Galaxy. A quaint coal mining town on the northern coast of New South Wales, the city of Newcastle is abuzz ahead of Saturday night’s game between their Jets and the Galaxy at EnergyAustralia Stadium.Local businesses have been quick to welcome the club through their doors, treating all the guys like travelling rock stars. While the constant reporters and photographers surrounding the team hotel has been a little tiresome for most, the guys have still managed to get out and see some of the finer things that the city has to offer, such as lush beaches to lay out on or surf at, a vibrant waterfront area full of restaurants and bars, nearby wildlife reserves and some of the best wine that you will find in all of Australia.

It was that last one that the guys were told of shortly after landing in Sydney yesterday that seemed to peak their collective interests, with both Landon and David mentioning that they would have to partake in a few glasses of the local flavor after the game.

And it might not be the local wine, but this nearby pub has figured out a way to try and draw David through their doors.No word yet on whether or not he has made it in…nor if anyone has taken this language school up on their offer for free aboriginal speaking lessons.All things considered, the people of Newcastle have been fantastic to everyone associated with the club, making all of us feel right at home during our short stay. Making it feel even more like home was a meet and greet with a number of local Herbalife distributors that have come out to support the club that proudly wears the company's name across its chest. The 30 or so lucky distributors got to meet the entire team and get autographs from the guys before posing for a group photo that they are all sure to cherish.

Making Their Day

In their first full day here in Newcastle, the Galaxy players put on a show for many of the children in the area, conducting a 30-minute clinic along with the Newcastle Jets' players and coaches. After being introduced to all the kids, who roared in approval at each new name, the guys were split into two groups to begin the clinic and start the eventPlayers from the Galaxy and the Jets, as well as the Jets women’s team, joined in on a series of small sided games with the kids from local Northern New South Wales youth soccer leagues. The players needed little prodding to interact and mess around with the kids who were thrilled to meet many of their local heroes on the Jets roster, as well as the visiting Galaxy stars like David, Donovan, A.J. and Leonardo that you can see below.After the clinic, the Galaxy players and staff made their way across the parking lot and into EnergyAustralia Stadium for the first time, going through a 60-minute training session ahead of Saturday’s game. With more than a thousand kids and their parents watching on, the Galaxy played some possession and a small sided game in their first organized workout since arriving here in Australia. The crowd cheered their way throughout the session, with goals from Edson, Mike and Jovan, as well as a diving save by Josh, eliciting the biggest cheers.Once the day was done, David thanked everyone for coming out to the stadium and told them how much all the players were looking forward to tomorrow night’s game. All the guys then made their way over to the fans and signed autographs, took photos and spent some time with the kids, much to their delight.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wheel Up, Wheels Down, Wheels Up, Wheels Down

The Galaxy arrived in Sydney today...and then flew on to Newcastle shortly after meeting a number of local dignitaries and members of the media inside one of Qantas Airlines' hangers.With a giant Airbus A380 serving as the backdrop, Bruce, Landon and David spoke to the media about their excitement of being in Australia for Saturday's game against Newcastle. The guys fielded the usual array of questions, with most of the media more focused on what the guys hope to do off the field, rather than what they're looking to do on the field at EnergyAustralia Stadium against the Jets.
Once the press conference was over, the guys boarded a significantly smaller Qantas plane, with this one taking the guys up the coast to Newcastle in just under 30 minutes. More fans and media were waiting for the guys there, including this guy who is clearly a big fan of the Galaxy captain.
After arriving at the hotel here in Newcastle, the guys got settled in and then went their separate ways, with some electing to head to the local beach, while others chose to get their workout in at a nearby gym.

Tomorrow afternoon will see the guys go through their only training session before Saturday's game while also conducting a clinic for a number of youth soccer players here in the region. We'll have images from all of this and more straight through until the team's return to Los Angeles on Sunday afternoon.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Players React to Being Named to Best XI

We caught up with the four players that were named to the Best XI earlier today to see what they had to say about the honor.

Here is what they said...

Edson Buddle -

“I am honored to be chosen for this year’s MLS Best XI. I am grateful to those who voted for me and to everyone that has contributed to my being here, including my family, friends, my coach and most importantly, my fellow teammates with the LA Galaxy.”

Landon Donovan -

“I take a lot of pride in being named to the Best XI, especially as our league continues to develop and get better. I believe that it says a lot about our team that four players were named in the Best XI this year and I would like to congratulate all the members of this year's Best XI, in particular, Edson, Donovan, and Omar.”

Omar Gonzalez -

“I am grateful and humbled to be named to the Best XI, as there are so many great defenders in our league. The fact that this is an award that is voted on by fellow players makes it that much more special and I want to thank everyone who helped to make this possible.”

Donovan Ricketts -

“I am honored to be named to the MLS Best XI and would like to once again thank everyone who voted for me. This is another tremendous award, one that I could not have earned without the assistance of my goalkeeper coach Ian Feuer and fellow goalkeeper Josh Saunders.”

Four Galaxy Players Named to MLS Best XI

The Galaxy tied an MLS record today by placing four players on the MLS Best XI, which which annually honors the league’s best players at their positions. Donovan Ricketts, the 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year was selected as the Best XI goalkeeper, Omar Gonzalez, the Galaxy's 2010 Defender of the Year and a finalist for the MLS Defender of the Year award was one of three defenders named to the squad, while Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, the club's all-time leading goal scorer, was one of five midfielders named to the team. Edson Buddle, the Galaxy's 2010 MVP and a finalist for the MLS MVP award was also named to the Best XI after finishing the year with a career-high 17 goals.

This is the first Best XI selection for Buddle, Gonzalez and Ricketts, while it is the fourth of Donovan’s career, having also been named to the team in 2003 as a member of the San Jose Earthquakes, as well as in 2008 and 2009 with the Galaxy. All four were also named to the MLS All-Star Team that played Manchester United on July 28 in Houston.

The Galaxy’s four entries to the MLS Best XI set a new club record, eclipsing the former record of three, which was set in 1996 and then matched in 1998 and 1999. LA are the first team to send four players to the Best XI since D.C. United did so in 2006 and just the fifth team in league history to do so.

Read more about the four Best XI honorees here.

Juninho and Ricketts Take Second Place In MLS Goal of The Year and Save of The Year Voting

MLS announced today that Donovan Ricketts' save on Steven Lenhart finished second in the league's NAPA Save of the Year voting.

The league also announced that Juninho's "no regard for humanity" strike from long-range against the Seattle Sounders on July 4 finished second in the voting for AT&T Goal of the Year.

MLS will announce the winners of Save of the Year and Goal of the Year tomorrow, though we find it hard to believe a finer save or goal were made this season.

And because we know you enjoyed seeing Donovan's tip over the crossbar in Columbus, and Juninho's beautifully placed shot against the Sounders, here, for your viewing pleasure, are they are once again...

Ricketts save on Lenhart...
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Juninho's long range blast for his first-ever goal in MLS...
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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Locker Room Reaction to Western Conference Championship Defeat

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LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On the game overall:
“We had no excuses. We were outplayed. We were certainly in position in the first half to get a lead and maybe take control of the game, but we failed on that. Maybe a couple of calls didn’t go our way, but that is part of it. If you play in this league, the officiating sometimes doesn’t go your way. There are no excuses. We were outplayed. We were beat on most matchups on the field, and we were outcoached. Dallas deserved the victory. I give them a lot of credit and wish them the very best in the Cup Final.”

On FC Dallas’ goals:
“I haven’t seen it, but there was that play on the sideline where Eddie Lewis got fouled and play went on and I am not certain what happened between DeLaGarza and Gonzalez on that. The third goal looked to me offside, and I can’t tell you what led to the second goal. When you look back on the game, Hartman made a couple of outstanding saves in the first half. The one on Landon was unbelievable and the one on Beckham’s free kick. Those little plays make a difference, and we had a chance to have the first goal in the game and didn’t get it. I guess you have to give Hartman an awful lot of credit. He made plays to keep his team in the game, and ultimately it won his team in the game”

On the fouls suffered by Edson Buddle:
“Buddle was fouled an awful lot. He got kicked in the head, got cut in the box, he was clotheslined on one play. I think he got frustrated certainly. That’s how it has been all year. I think Edson Buddle was the most fouled player in the league this year, and very rarely got a call in his favor. Did it make a difference in the game, I don’t think so.”

On FC Dallas’ first goal:
“It is against the run of play, but what can you say. Give them credit. I think [Ferreira] was obviously outstanding tonight. He and Hartman obviously were the difference in that first half.”

On David Beckham’s injury:
“David played well. He was hurt. David showed a lot of character playing for 90 minutes. We saw 15 minutes in that he had a problem. He hung in there, and we talked to him at halftime and there was a chance we were going to take him off but he stayed in. If we have all of our players with his kind of character and commitment, we would continue to do well. He did well given the circumstances. It wasn’t easy for him to play with that injury and he hung in there.”

On not having another serious scoring threat besides Edson Buddle:
“We won the most games in the league by a large number. We scored probably the second most goals in the league. Would it be nice to have another forward that can score 17 or 18 goals. Of course, but I don’t think that’s the reason why we weren’t successful tonight. Landon played up there for 40 minutes and didn’t really get any chances. We weren’t sharp tonight. Our passing wasn’t good. I look at this game, we got outplayed in most of the matchups on the field. When that happens the chances of winning are not good. I think, in all fairness, that’s how I summarize the game. We were outplayed man for man.”

On what he said to the team after the game:
“I spoke to them briefly. I thanked them for the season. I think especially after losing a game like this, there is going to be a lot of disappointment, but you can’t forget about the fact that they had a pretty good season. They had the third most points in the history of the league. For the most part, it was a good year. We certainly wanted to win the championship, but when you fall short I don’t think it is fair to ignore everything else that happened previous to that. On the night, we were beat. There is no excuse, but we got beat. We had everything positioned for us to win this game tonight, and we didn’t win it. You don’t look anywhere else but inside our locker room and we all take responsibility for it, the coaches and the players. We are going to move on from here and respect the fact that we had a good year and under a lot of odd circumstances and issues. Am I disappointed in the way it has ended. Of course, but I not going to ignore the fact that we are starting to move forward with this team and franchise.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On the result:
“We’re disappointed obviously, just in the result. I think the effort was fine. I think our willingness to put everything into was good. I think at the end of the day it was pretty simple, they made the plays they needed. They had five shots on goal and scored three. We had a bunch more and didn’t score. Their goalie played out of his mind. In soccer, a goalie can be a great equalizer and he certainly was tonight.”

On Dallas’ defense:
“They defended really well. I give them a lot of credit. Early on we broke them down quite a few times and we were unlucky or Hartman made a good save. Their defending as a group was good. For the most part, we were pretty solid. A few plays broke down and they made us pay. They didn’t waste their chances.”

On the officiating:
“The problem is when things don’t get called and they lead to goals—it’s frustrating. I think the first goal, Eddie gets pushed in the back and fell and they continue on and score. I think overall the official did an OK job. If there were a few missed calls, it certainly didn’t excuse losing 3-0.”

On the physical play against Edson Buddle:
“It’s happened all year to him. It’s kind, not quite the same analogy, but like Shaq when he plays, he’s so strong and physically and gets fouled almost every play and the refs don’t call it. That’s happened to Edson a lot, and it’s happened all year.”

On Dallas:
“They are a good team. I give them a lot of credit. They made a few really good plays. The first goal was a fantastic goal from David [Ferreira]. It almost came out of nothing. It’s almost hard to remember what happened on the play. The next thing you know, the ball is in the back of your net. They had nothing for nothing for 25 minutes, and then they made the play that changed the game.”

On the season ending:
“You’re always disappointed when you lose. We put a lot into this year, and anytime you don’t win, it’s disappointing, especially on your home field. It’s just the way it is. This team is used to winning, and it hurts when you lose.”

On the play of David Beckham:
“He hasn’t been at full strength since he’s been back. He’s got a lot of different things going on. When you come back at that age from an Achilles injury, there are going to be residual effects. My hats off to him—he’s played through a lot of pain, more than you guys know. He’s been struggling the last few weeks with a couple of different things, but he’s a competitor and he wants to keep going.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On his reaction to the loss:
“Obviously it was disappointing to go out like this at home. A game away from the final, so obviously we are disappointed. I think overall it’s been a good season. If you step back and look at the way we’ve played, but it counts for nothing because we are out.”

On Dallas’ goal:
“It hit us hard, I think. I knew when we kept getting the chances, one didn’t go in. It was going to happen. We stepped off the pedal for a moment, and they got their first goal. It seemed to knock us out. We should have kept on playing our football, the way we’ve been playing all season, but I think we panicked a little bit and we couldn’t get back into the game. Like I said, we’re a good team, a good team of young players, and we’ll get over this and push forward for next season.”

On the officiating:
“I don’t want to get myself in trouble with even commenting on that tonight because it puts a sour note on Dallas as well. Full credit to them, they played well tonight. They deserved to win. Yeah, some of the calls weren’t right, but that’s the way it goes.”

On the club’s inability to score in the first half:
“I think if one of the goals would have gone it, it would have calmed us down. We would have gone on all and played and won the game. But, like I said, full credit to Dallas, they are good team. They’ll be good in the final.”

On Kevin Hartman:
“Funny thing was the manager spoke about him all week because of his injury. He had a great game, and we wish him good luck on the final.”

On his performance:
“At the end of the day, as long as I give 110 percent in every game, like I do, I’ll look at myself in the mirror and know that I’ve done that. It’s just disappointing to go out the way we’ve gone out.”

On judging the season as a whole:
“It’s harder to take when we’ve played the way we’ve played and won the way we’ve won. We’ve worked as a team all season, and not to go all the way and to not win something is very frustrating. We have a lot of young players on this team and a lot of good players on this team, hopefully we can keep a majority of our team and keep that stability because why we’ve had success is because of the stability we’ve had.”

LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle

On the physicality of the game:
“I think they got the refs attention early in the game where they were worried about me throwing elbows and maybe that didn’t work to my advantage and the ref didn’t call some of the fouls on them. I think he let some things go both ways. It was a physical match and with a game like this, there is a lot at stake. It didn’t catch me by surprise. It is something I have been dealing with all year. With that being said, I have to commend them on their win tonight.”

On Dallas’ offensive attack:
“We were pressing after they got that goal. I think we did a good job of pressing them early and Hartman did what he was supposed to do, stop balls from going into the net. After they got that goal, we opened up a little bit and they got the second one and from there, they just kept coming.”

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

On the first goal:
“At that point, it didn’t really deflate us. There was still a lot of game to be played. We still had tons of chances that we didn’t finish. Hartman did well, and their defense did well to stop us. I think that is the way soccer goes sometimes and it just wasn’t our day.”

On the game overall:
“Hartman did a phenomenal job for them. He kept them in the game. We had tons of chances in the first half, but we just couldn’t score. They get one chance in the first half and they finish it. That is just the way things go. We were dominating in the first half and then they scored. In the second half, we just got beat.”

On the Galaxy’s effort:
“We didn’t stop fighting. We were still trying to get a goal at the end. I think we had a great effort, it just didn’t go our way tonight.”


FC Dallas Head Coach Schellas Hyndman:

On winning tonight:
“I guess the opening statement would be it’s fantastic to be here. Winning a Western Conference Championship for the first time in the history of FC Dallas and defeating a very, very good team. We had to play exceptionally well. Looking across the field, we really didn’t have a player that didn’t have a good game. It took every player having a good game for us to get this result. I couldn’t be any more proud of this team and their performance tonight.”

On the play of Kevin Hartman:
“Kevin Hartman has been unbelievable. You know Kevin from the area and when he played for the Galaxy. He just fell into our laps just before preseason. After our third game, he started for us and has been tremendous. He picked up a unique injury and that is why you didn’t see him taking any of the goal kicks. When he is on the field, he organizes so well. What you saw tonight was tremendous saves, one after another, especially in the first half when LA was really putting the heat on us. We scored the first goal, and it changed the game a put us in a situation where they had to chase us. Coming out in the second half, you saw the great save he made there on David Beckham. He could very well be the man of the match. David Ferreira could be, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Daniel Hernandez, but Kevin was exceptional.”

On the play of Dallas’ attack:
“The game had some moments, and those key moments make the whole difference. They hit a couple of shots, one on an open goal when Kevin came out and they missed it. That’s not the same Galaxy team that we have seen all year that would capitalize and put those opportunities away. I think where we caught them by surprise was in going with Atiba Harris in the attack. I don’t think they were ready for Atiba Harris. Atiba had a very good game. We thought that Omar would have a few more problems with Atiba because he is big and strong and physical. I think Atiba really surprised us with how well he held the ball under pressure. Chavez was making those darting runs. I call him the mosquito because he is small and irritable. He irritates defenders. I thought David [Ferreira] was fantastic with the balls that he was sending in there. All in all, I don’t if it was LA having a so-called bad game, I just think that we had an exceptional game.”

On the focus coming into this game:
“This week in training, we emphasized two things. The first thing was the diagonal ball that Beckham was going to be sending in and you saw that the whole second half. David [Ferreira] said ‘Coach we are a good team, why are we so concerned with LA’, and I said because I think we are going to see this so many times. I’m not so concerned that we win the diagonal ball, I was more concerned that we win the second ball. The other think we focused on this week was the counter attack. We are a good team that counterattacks well. We don’t want to think that we are just a good counterattacking team. We keep preaching to our players, think forward, look forward, pass forward and run forward. We keep saying that every game and we want to instill that mentality that when people get the ball we are running forward. I think we caught LA on their back heels. If you remember the first half, we had a couple of great chances that we didn’t get anything out of, but we had three or four people counterattacking.”

On the matchup against Colorado in MLS Cup:
“Good team. Obviously, interesting. I think Bruce [Arena] predicted that a team from the West is going to win MLS Cup. I go along with him on that. Right now, I think Colorado is a good team and they will probably be a little bit more acclimatized to that weather than we are. At the same time, we will be at our best. These games only come so often in one’s lifetime. If it is good enough, then we are going to win the MLS Cup. If it is not good enough, we know we will have given our best.”

FC Dallas Midfielder David Ferreira (translated from Spanish)
On the 2010 season:
“I believe we have gotten here by playing it calm and cool. We have gone from having nothing to having everything and with the same humbleness we are going to Canada, but with respect to Colorado knowing that we are close to making history. Tonight we are going to celebrate this victory and tomorrow we start focusing on the MLS Cup.”

FC Dallas Midfielder Daniel Hernandez
On the team’s performance:
“Tonight was impressive. Coming into LA, at there house, great fans and great atmosphere, we knew it was going to be tough. Even at half time being up 1-0 we knew they were going to come out with everything in the second half. We stepped up played with a lot of heart and a lot of character. This just shows the character of this team that we have shown all year and it was no different today. I thought that in the second half we just completely dominated LA; with all due respect to them I know they’ve had a great year. We came in here with a lot of heart and a goal and that was to get to the MLS Cup.”

FC Dallas Midfielder Dax McCarty
On playing the Colorado Rapids in MLS Cup:
“During the regular season they gave us a tough game both times. They are very dangerous attacking with [Conor] Casey and [Omar] Cummings. We know that they are defending well at the moment but we obviously are going to be very confident getting a great result like we did against LA. We are under no illusions this is going to be a dog fight in Toronto.”

On his performance tonight:
“Playing against LA they do such a great job in the midfield it is tough to get forward they really pressure you high all over the field. Sometimes it wasn’t the prettiest from us in the middle especially from me but I was just trying to work hard and get our outlet passes out to the guys to get them on the counter attack but it was just an overall great team performance by us.”

On the team:
“We don’t have any DP’s and we don’t have any superstars. Obviously David Ferreira in my eyes is the MVP of the league. He has been absolutely quality. He is probably the steal of the past decade in terms of what you get out of him. If the league is just he will get the MVP. We are just a bunch of hard working guys. Schellas [Hyndman] brought in the right players. We play towards our system, we play towards our strengths and we are not afraid of anyone. We are not afraid of LA. I think I said before the game I don’t think we are under dogs and I think we showed that tonight.”

FC Dallas Midfielder Brek Shea
On heading to the final
“I am excited. This is the first time this club has ever been to a final and the first time I have ever been to a final, it will probably the most important game of my career so far. I am excited, we can’t wait.”

On playing facing Colorado in the final
“They are a good team. They have very good forwards with Conor Casey and Omar Cummings. You saw Omar’s speed getting behind San Jose. He had a lot of chances last night so we have to prepare for that and hopefully we go out and play the way we know we can play and get a good result.”

On the team:
“Our team is very close. I think there are 29 players including the guys that aren’t here everyone is very close. Everyone hangs out with each other. It is the closest team I have ever been on. Every one is friends with everyone. It is pretty cool how everyone gets along with everyone. There are never any fights. Obviously on the training field people get into it but they help each other. No one is negative. It is incredible.”

FC Dallas Defender Ugo Ihemelu
On tonight's game:
“This game was a prime example of our season, the guys on this team, the character of all the players on this team. We knew it was going to be a tough game coming to LA. They have had a great season, they have a few designated players, guys with real talent, but we came and out worked them and played as a team and that was the result we had tonight.”

Galaxy Season Ends with 3-0 Loss to FC Dallas in Western Conference Championship

LA Galaxy 0, FC Dallas 3
Western Conference Championship
Sunday, November 14, 2010
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.

Scoring Summary:
FCD – David Ferreira 1 (Marvin Chavez 1, Atiba Harris 1) 26’
FCD – George John 1 (Brek Shea 2, Ugo Ihemelu 1) 54’
FCD – Marvin Chavez 1 (David Ferreira 3) 73’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – Dema Kovalenko (Yellow Card) 31’
LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 73’
LA – Chris Birchall (Yellow Card) 82’
LA – Alex Cazumba (Yellow Card) 84’
FCD – Zach Loyd (Yellow Card) 85’

Lineups:
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Eddie Lewis (Jovan Kirovski 82’); Dema Kovalenko (Chris Birchall 65’), Juninho, David Beckham, Landon Donovan©; Mike Magee (Alex Cazumba 55’), Edson Buddle.

Subs Not Used: Josh Saunders, Gregg Berhalter, Todd Dunivant, Michael Stephens.

FC Dallas: Kevin Hartman; Jackson, George John, Ugo Ihemelu, Jair Benitez; Daniel Hernandez©, Dax McCarty (Eric Alexander 87’), Marvin Chavez (Zach Loyd 74’), David Ferreira, Brek Shea; Atiba Harris.

Subs Not Used: Dario Sala, Bruno Guarda, Eric Avila, Jeff Cunningham, Ruben Luna.

Notes:
• With the loss, the Galaxy have been eliminated from the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs.
• With the loss, the Galaxy are now 2-2-0 all-time when reaching the Western Conference Championship under the current playoff format, winning the game in 2005 and 2009 while losing in 2004 and now 2010.
• The Galaxy finish the year 2-1-0 against FC Dallas in all competitions, winning both games in the regular season, but losing tonight.
• Bruce Arena named an unchanged starting XI on the evening, using the same 11 starters that played both legs of the Western Conference Semifinal Series against Seattle. The only change in the 18-man squad was the return of Michael Stephens, who was in the 18-man squad for the first time during the postseason. He replaced Tristan Bowen, who did not dress, on the bench.
• Nine of the 11 players that started for the Galaxy tonight also started in the 2009 Western Conference Championship. The only differences between the two starting lineups were Eddie Lewis and Juninho included in the lineup in place of Gregg Berhalter and Chris Klein.
• David Ferreira scored in the 26th minute to give FC Dallas a 1-0 lead. This was the first time all postseason that the Galaxy trailed in a game.
• The goal was the first goal that the Galaxy had allowed in the first half of a postseason game since the first leg of the Western Conference Semifinal Series against Chivas USA on November 1, 2009.
• The Galaxy went into halftime trailing 1-0. This was the first time that they did not score in the first half of a playoff game this season. During the regular season, LA were 0-5-1 when trailing at halftime.
• The Galaxy went into the half trailing despite outshooting Dallas 8-3 and holding a 5-1 advantage in shots on goal.
• The Galaxy went behind 2-0 in the 54th minute when George John scored his first-ever postseason goal. This was the first time that the Galaxy trailed 2-0 in a postseason game since the 2004 Western Conference Championship at Kansas City, a game that the Wizards won 2-0.
• Shortly after that goal, Alex Cazumba entered the game for Mike Magee, making his MLS Cup Playoff debut.
• Dallas went in front 3-0 in the 73rd minute through Marvin Chavez, who finished off a feed from David Ferreira.
• The 3-0 loss tied the record for the Galaxy’s biggest postseason defeat. The had lost by three goals on four other occasions, including once against Dallas in 1997.
• The Galaxy had not been shutout in 10 straight postseason games before tonight, dating back to their 2-0 loss to Kansas City in the 2004 Western Conference Championship.
• Donovan Ricketts made two saves in the game, but suffered his first-ever postseason loss. He is now 4-1-1 in the MLS Cup Playoffs. He saw his goals against average rise from 0.66 to 0.99 after allowing a postseason career-high three goals.
• Prior to tonight’s game, the Galaxy had not allowed three goals in a postseason game since losing 5-2 in the second leg of the 2003 Western Conference Championship against San Jose.
• This was the Galaxy’s first home postseason loss since 1998, when they lost 1-0 to the Chicago Fire. The Galaxy are now 20-3-1 all-time at home in the postseason.
• The Galaxy were 2-6-2 during the regular season when allowing the first goal.
• LA are now 4-11-4 all-time when allowing the first goal in the postseason.
• The Galaxy have now allowed a goal in 12 consecutive MLS games at home, last keeping a clean sheet on May 15 against Toronto FC.
• Including the regular season, the Galaxy finish the year 10-5-2 at home this season.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 27,000. This was the Galaxy’s second consecutive home postseason sellout and their fourth in the last five games at the stadium.
• For more about today’s game, please visit www.lagalaxy.com.

Western Conference Championship Is Set To Kickoff

We are just moments away from kickoff here at The Home Depot Center, where the LA Galaxy will take on FC Dallas for the right to represent the Western Conference in Toronto at MLS Cup.

This is the second consecutive season the LA Galaxy are hosting a team from Texas in a Western Conference Championship, last year the club hosted and defeated Houston, 2-0, in extratime.

For the second straight game, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena has elected to not make any changes to his lineup, naming the same starting XI that he used in both legs of the Western Conference Semifinal Series agianst the Seattle Sounders FC.

Here is the complete Galaxy squad that Arena will put on the field tonight...

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

Donovan--------------Juninho------------------Beckham

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

Lewis--------Gonzalez-------DeLaGarza--------Franklin

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

Subs: Saunders, Berhalter, Alex Cazumba, Dunivant, Birchall, Stephens, Kirovski.

And here is how FC Dallas will line up for head coach Schellas Hyndman.

----------------------------Harris--------------------------

Shea----------------------Ferreira---------------------Chavez

---------------Hernandez-------------McCarty------------------

Benitez--------Ihemelu---------------John--------------Jsckson

------------------------Hartman----------------------------

Subs: Sala, Loyd, Alexander, Avila, Guarda, Cunningham, Luna

Saturday, November 13, 2010

This Week Inside the Galaxy - Western Conference Championship

Join us This Week Inside the Galaxy as we look ahead to Sunday's Western Conference Championship against FC Dallas and look back at the Night the Lights Went Out against Houston in the 2009 Western Conference Championship against Houston.
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Getting Ready for Gameday


The Western Conference Championship is just over 48 hours away and the Galaxy continue to prepare for FC Dallas. With the team fully recovered and rested from last weekend's game against the Sounders, Bruce Arena and the rest of the coaching staff amped up the intensity at training a few levels this afternoon.

After today's session, Bruce, Landon, David and Edson all stopped to speak with reporters about the challenges that Dallas present and the club's quest to return to MLS Cup for a second straight season.

Here is what they had to say.


Bruce...



Landon...


David...


Edson...

For more photos from today's training session, check out the photo gallery on LAGalaxy.com.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Focusing on FC Dallas

Three days remove from Sunday. Three days removed from hosting FC Dallas in the Western Conference Championship at The Home Depot Center.

The LA Galaxy were a "focused" group on Thursday as they went through their usual training session ahead of this weekend's 6 p.m. conference championship. You can tell the guys are more focused just by looking at the photo above of Landon, or reading the article that came out in today's edition of the LA Times.

But it's not just Landon, it's everybody that is focused on the task at hand.

After the workout, we caught up with a few of the guys to get their thoughts on this weekend's opponent, what's been going on at training and compare this year's to last year's conference championship.

Dema...


Michael...

Gregg...

Mike...

Below are more photos today's training session, as well as two photos of Landon from yesterday's in-studio interview with The Loose Cannons on AM 570, where after the interview Landon jumped on the phones to help out with the radio station's fundraiser for the Paralyzed Veterans of American which raised over $115,000.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

One Day Left to Vote for Goal and Save of the Year

Juninho's long range strike against Seattle on July 4 is one of 30 goals that have been nominated for the AT&T Goal of the Year award while Donovan Ricketts' reflex save off Columbus forward Steven Lenhart's close range header on May 29 is one of 30 nominees for the NAPA Save of the Year award.

Click here to watch Juninho's blast once again, as well to vote for his goal.

And click here to see Ricketts' save once again and to vote for it.

Voting for both awards ends Thursday night at 8:59 p.m. (PT).

The Save of the Year award debuted in 2009 and no Galaxy player has ever won it, while Juninho is looking to become the third Galaxy player to win the Goal of the Year award, joining Landon Donovan who claimed the prize last year for his curling, left-footed volley at New England and Carlos Ruiz who won the award in 2002.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Look Back at Seattle Sweep

Seattle is in the rear view mirror and FC Dallas is all that stands between the Galaxy and a second straight berth in MLS Cup.

With the team off today there is not expected to be much if any news coming out of the team this afternoon, so uses this time to look back one last time at the 2-1 win over Seattle on Sunday night.

Enjoy.
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Monday, November 8, 2010

Bowen Gets International Call

On Monday, Galaxy forward Tristan Bowen was one of 18 players named to the U.S. Under-20 National Team for the upcoming Torneo de las Americas in Kennesaw, Ga. Thomas Rongen’s team is scheduled to report to camp starting on Sunday, November 21 before opening the three-team, round robin tournament against Colombia on Friday, November, 26 and then facing Mexico on Sunday, November 28.

Bowen, who has also played for the U.S. Under-18 National Team, played in 17 regular season games for the Galaxy in 2010 while also playing in both of the club’s CONCACAF Champions League games and the U.S. Open Cup Third Round win over AC St. Louis. Bowen had two goals and two assists in the regular season while also adding a goal in the friendly win over Boca Juniors. This is his first inclusion with the U.S. U-20’s since a three-game trip to Spain in November 2008.

If the Galaxy advance to MLS Cup in Toronto, Bowen would not join up with the U-20’s until after that game, which will be played on Sunday, November 21. As a result of being in this camp, Bowen will not accompany the Galaxy to Australia for their friendly against the A-League’s Newcastle Jets on Saturday, November 27.

CORRECTED: Doing The "John Wall Dance"

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It was very brief, but there is no denying what happened. After beating Seattle's defense and burying a header past Kasey Keller, Omar Gonzalez celebrated by sticking out his chest, flexing his right arm and doing the "The John Wall Dance".

What's the John Wall Dance? It's a dance move popularized by Washington Wizards rookie John Wall while he was at the University of Kentucky. The dance was back in the national spotlight last month when Wall incorporated the move into his rendition of "the Dougie" prior to his first NBA home game (see video below).

While we've seen Wall and others do the dance on SportsCenter and other places, this is the first time we've seen a soccer player doing it on the pitch. Our reaction: Not bad.

So, in case you missed it, check out the highlight of Omar's goal again. The University of Maryland-product busts out the dance move at the 11 second mark. (Feel free to send us videos of yourself doing the same dance movie while wearing Galaxy gear.)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Postgame Reaction to Series Win over Seattle

Here is what Edson, Omar and David had to say on the field after the game.

And here is what players and coaches from both sides had to say in the locker rooms after the games...

LA Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena

On tonight’s win:
“It’s obviously a very good win for our team. I thought we played very well in the first half. The second half, we were a little bit sloppy in the last 20 minutes. If we had been a little smarter, a little sharper, perhaps we would have gotten that third goal and really killed the game. Give Seattle credit, they never quit. They came at us right until the end. It was a tough battle for 95 minutes.”

On tonight’s performance compared to others this season:
“We played well in the first half. Whether it is the best we have played all season, I’m not sure. In a game of this magnitude, this time of the year, I am pleased with it. Whether it is the best we have played, I don’t know, but it was certainly good enough to carry us through the second half, and push us through in the series.”

On the injury to Donovan Ricketts:
“No, but obviously, [Fernandez] went in with him and you could see he got cleated. We were hopeful that it was only a bruise and not a ligament or anything and that is what it turned out to be. But it took him five or ten minutes to shake it off.”

On the defensive performance:
“They played well for 70 minutes. I think we got a little tired and Seattle started throwing everyone forward. We didn’t do a good enough job getting to the ball. We gave it away at times, a little bit too early. All in all, I think they played well. I think this Montero is a terrific player and to be able to hold him in two games is pretty impressive. They have a good team, and we played well. We are going to need more of that next week against Dallas.”

On starting Eddie Lewis over Todd Dunivant:
“Eddie played well last week. He is pretty rested. Todd didn’t get into practice until Thursday, so we felt Eddie was a little fitter, and a little bit more prepared to play in this game.”

On David Beckham’s set pieces:
“Terrific. The second one in particular, that Omar scored on, was a great goal. David is getting back in form. He had a tough week recovering from the field in Seattle. He started to come around on Friday. I thought he put in a good effort tonight. His reputation on set pieces is well-known, well-respected, and well-earned. Tonight, it was the difference in the game.”

On the defensive effort to keep the ball from Seattle’s wingers:
“It is having a collection of players behind the ball and being in good blocks. Also, having a good understanding of where their strength is, and their strength is certainly in Zakuani and Montero, but at times, Nkufo did a decent job of coming in underneath and getting them possession and letting them advance the ball. There wasn’t that particular tactic as much as we had to have a good combined effort in defending which we have gotten in this series, and I think that is the way we were able to neutralize Seattle’s attack.”

LA Galaxy Forward Landon Donovan

On the team’s defensive performance:
“It’s the playoffs. That’s what it takes. We have guys with a lot of experience in how to play in games like this. Talk about the defense all you want, but we still scored two goals and had some chance to score more.”

On the wing play of the Sounders:
“I watched a lot of their games at the end of the year, and that was certainly their strength. Zakuani and Nyassi were playing very well, so we knew if we took that part of their game away, we would beat them. They didn’t do as well as they had in previous games and I would attribute that to how well we played.”

On the team’s desire to defeat the Sounders:
“We heard for a week before we played them how happy they were to play us in this series, and my guess is that they probably have some different feelings now.”

On the injury to Donovan Ricketts:
“We have seen him go down before. Like all goalies, he puts his body on the line. He is tough and when all is said and done, he is a tough guy, but also we are ok with it because we have got a guy behind him (Josh Saunders) who could start on most teams in this league.”

On the two goals:
“Great finishes. Fantastic service from David. This is the best David has played since he has been a Galaxy player. He is inspiring everyone with the way he is running, the way he is defending, with the way he is talking on the field and leading. He has been fantastic.”

LA Galaxy Forward Edson Buddle

On the fans chanting MVP:
“It feels good. At the end of the day the league makes the decision, but it’s good that the fans recognize the way I’ve been playing.”

On his first goal:
“I think the ball just went over Omar’s head and when that happened I just continued my run and got a good head on it and redirected it. In the playoffs thing are going to be tight, so I expected that (Marshall to be marking tight on the play), but I was still able to get good contact on it and that’s why I found the net.”

On his confidence:
“This season has been going pretty well, as far as scoring goals. My team is getting me the ball in the right position and it’s making my job a lot easier.”

On the Galaxy’s experience advantage over Seattle:
“I think last year’s experienced helped with this year. It feels like we’ve been here before and we’re hungry to get back to the Final and finish the job. I can definitely feel that in the locker room.”

Overall thoughts on FC Dallas:
“From the last matchup we just played, not too long ago, it’s going to be very physical and they have good chemistry. It’s going to be tough to get opportunities, especially in a semifinal game.”

LA Galaxy Defender Omar Gonzalez

On his goal:
“Definitely. I think that I could have gotten at least the two before hand. The one Edson scored on, I was pretty close too. I was feeling pretty good, and just happy to get one.”

On the set piece that set up his goal:
“It was a foul outside the box, maybe about ten yards outside the box on the right side. I was just trying to get into that space behind them and I curled my run inside, instead of trying to go behind them and I just found a ton of space.”

On David Beckham’s free kicks:
“David does wonders with the ball, so it is just great having him on this team. He really showed everyone why he is here.”

On the defensive performance:
“It is one of the strongest. We still gave up a goal which is kind of a bummer. I would have rather had a shutout, but you know it happens. We did well enough in the first game and tonight to be up two goals. I think we did well and we just have to keeping playing well defensively and go from there.”

LA Galaxy Midfielder David Beckham

On if the team’s character this season:
“We had a good opportunity last year. Obviously, we didn’t go all the way and win the whole thing, so we are happy so far and we are performing well. I think the character is showing through. We still have two matches, obviously one more to go to get through to the final, and hopefully we can do that. We can only do that with hard work, character, and the professionalism that we have shown so far.”

On his drive to succeed:
“It doesn’t make any difference. I am always driven to be successful, and I am always driven to win. Obviously, having the injury was a disappointment, but my drive has never been an issue. I have always wanted success. I am 35-years-old now and I still want it as much as I did when I was 18 and 19.”

On his free kicks:
“Obviously, it is what I have done for many years, but it is important to me to have players to put the ball on the top of their heads or on their feet. I know that if I put the ball in the right area, we have brave enough players, we have good enough players to score goals. It worked tonight. Some other games, it hasn’t worked, but tonight it worked.”

On regaining full fitness:
“I think obviously it is my kind of preseason. I’m still trying to get fitness. It helps when I play the full 90 minutes. I’m still getting the aches and the pains of preseason. I felt physically good tonight. I think if I look after my body like I have done since I have been back, then hopefully I will continue to progress.”

On recovering from playing on Seattle’s turf:
“It was a tough week recovering. When you play on that kind of surface, especially after the injury that I had, it is going to take time. It was a good week because I got most days in training. I think there is only one day that I missed and the rest was good. Tonight was a good night for us.”

LA Galaxy Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts

On the team’s strong defensive performance:
“We are finishing the way we started. Strong defensively. If you want to win a championship, you have to be strong defensively, so that is good.”

On the possibility of leaving the game due to injury:
“No, I never leave games unless something is broken, so no chance. It was painful initially, but as the game went on, it got a little bit better.”

On their goal:
“They needed to score. We knew they were going to come hard. Unfortunately, I let a soft goal in and it put us on our back foot for the remainder of the game, but we came through.”

LA Galaxy Defender Todd Dunivant

On playing 10 minutes:
“It felt good. Didn’t feel anything. It was good to get out there and get back into the flow and running again. So, yeah, it felt great.”

On the Galaxy’s effort:
“Superb. When you get two goals in the first half and put them on their heels like that and get a 3-0 advantage, obviously it takes a lot of the pressure off and really makes the game for you. So that was great, got us to a start and we were able to defend off of that.”

On the pairing of Gonzalez and DeLaGarza:
“They’ve done great. Every time he’s been asked too, AJ has stepped in and done a good job for us and he’s done it in the big games in the last little bit. They are on a good form, they won the National Championship together in Maryland and they are carrying that same success over to this.”

On if that was the Galaxy’s best game:
“I wouldn’t say that. I thought we could have finished the game a little bit better, we gave them a few too many chances when the game opened up, so I think there’s still room for improvement, but when you score two goals off of set pieces like that and finish your chances that’s doing things right.”

Seattle Sounders FC Head Coach Sigi Schmid

On the Sounders performance:
“Basically, we started off the game poorly, put ourselves behind the eight ball. They scored on two set pieces. I think we showed some character in the second half, created enough chances, but creating chances alone doesn’t do it. You have to score goals.”

On the play of the Galaxy in the first half:
“I think we did more things to ourselves in the first half. They really came out with the same structure, but the game was too big an occasion for a couple of guys on our team. They just turned over the ball, and turned over the ball in bad positions.”

On his team’s lack of experience in big games:
“It’s a lack of experience. Obviously when you are playing a 23-year-old midfielder against a 32-year-old and you have Beckham who has played in a lot of big games. We have a lot of guys who haven’t been in those big games yet and the only way you get that experience is by being in those games.”

On the team moving forward:
“We still have to grow up a little bit. What we have done as a franchise, we have been in five competitions in two years and we have won two championships. I think that is pretty good. You know, the Galaxy is still looking for its first championship in these two seasons. Whether you attach importance to the Open Cup or not, it’s still a competition and you are trying to win. For us though, it is still a matter of maturing and growing up, getting into those big games and understanding each other. We are still building the team. There are still new guys out there. We lost a lot of guys to injury.”

On the performance tonight:
“We still are not there yet. We have to get better. We cannot give up goals on set pieces like that. We can’t start to play 20 minutes into the game. We have to start to play sooner.”

On his substitutions:
“We made the changes I felt comfortable with. We brought in Fernandez to give us a little bit more possession of the ball. On the wings, we went into a 3-5-2 pretty early when we brought in Fucito. He has shown very well in training. Then we came with Jaqua late and stayed in a 3-5-2. When you look at the chances we had in the second half, there were four goals in there for us. The one Jaqua just misses, the one Alonso has, the one Montero has. Zakuani has one earlier. There were enough chances to bang away goals and to get three was not impossible.”

Seattle Sounders FC Goalkeeper Kasey Keller

On tonight’s game:
“Obviously we didn’t mark well on set pieces and we paid the price for it. We put ourselves in a big hole. I was proud of the way the guys responded in the second half. We didn’t roll over and die. We made it very difficult. We had chances to really put them in a difficult situation but in the end over the two legs the better team won and we know what we have to do next year.”

Seattle Sounders FC Steve Zakuani

On tonight’s game:
“First of all congratulations to LA. Over the two legs it was the better team that took the chances. I felt we put ourselves in a hole giving away two goals early on coming in already trailing 1-0 so it was going to be tough. We did the best we could. It wasn’t good enough this year. We have to go away and live to fight another day next year.”

On the team’s performance:
“We gave up two bad goals. You can’t do that against a team like LA. They have some world class service from David Beckham. Edson finished the first one well and Omar [Gonzalez] made the second one but like I said we put ourselves in a hole. We didn’t play too bad. We had a lot of chances. We could have scored three or four towards the end but we missed them. In this kind of game at this stage of the play offs it is about taking your chances. Over the two legs they did better than we did.”

Seattle Sounders FC Defender Tyrone Marshall

On tonight’s game:
“It was one of those games. We gave up two goals early in the first half off set plays and it put us behind the eight ball quick. I think we got into a good rhythm in terms of getting the ball wide and getting them in. Give it to LA for putting the pressure on us. In the second half I thought we came out with some more urgency. We got the goal but it was too late. We had some chances earlier but obviously we were in such a deep hole, it was like climbing a mountain. I thought in the second half we showed good character, we fought till the end but it was unfortunate we came up short. Looking back it was a good season. We made some good strides in terms of our playing and our personnel. We just have to come back ready again. Bring it again next year and perhaps go a bit further.”

Seattle Sounders FC Forward Fredy Montero (Translated from Spanish)

On Zakuani’s goal:
“It was too late. We could have had the tying goal, we had the chances. In the second half I think it was more about passing, dribbling and taking chances which led to the scoring opportunities, but that’s how it is. The goalkeeper had another great game and unfortunately we couldn’t advance.”

On Seattle’s season:
“I am never happy with what I do. I always want to do better. But it wasn’t an easy year for us. We know that the first half of the season was difficult, we weren’t playing well, we weren’t scoring and we weren’t in a playoff spot. In the second half of the season we made a come back. We got our act together and we qualified for the playoffs. We are happy with what we achieved but once again we fall short. We have to learn from this so we don’t repeat it again next year.”

Galaxy Advance to Second Straight Western Conference Championship with 2-1 Win

LA Galaxy 2, Seattle Sounders FC 1
Western Conference Semifinal Series – Game Two
Sunday, November 7, 2010
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.


Galaxy Win Series 3-1 on Aggregate

Scoring Summary:
LA – Edson Buddle 2 (David Beckham 1) 19’
LA – Omar Gonzalez 1 (David Beckham 2) 27’
SEA – Steve Zakuani 1 (Nate Jaqua 1) 86’

Misconduct Summary:
LA – David Beckham (Yellow Card) 8’
SEA – Patrick Ianni (Yellow Card) 65’

Lineups:
LA Galaxy: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez, Eddie Lewis; Dema Kovalenko (Chris Birchall 74’), Juninho, David Beckham, Landon Donovan©; Mike Magee (Todd Dunivant 80’), Edson Buddle (Tristan Bowen 71’).

Subs Not Used: Josh Saunders, Gregg Berhalter, Alex Cazumba, Jovan Kirovski.

Seattle Sounders FC: Kasey Keller©; James Riley, Tyrone Marshall, Patrick Ianni (Nate Jaqua 77’), Leo Gonzalez; Osvaldo Alonso, Nathan Sturgis (Michael Fucito 64’), Sanna Nyassi (Alvaro Fernandez 46’), Steve Zakuani; Fredy Montero, Blaise Nkufo.

Subs Not Used: Terry Boss, Taylor Graham, Tyson Wahl, Roger Levesque.

Notes:
• With the win, the Galaxy advance to the Western Conference Championship where they will host FC Dallas. FC Dallas advanced past Real Salt Lake in their Western Conference Semifinal Series, winning 3-2 on aggregate.
• This is the second straight season that the Galaxy have advance to the Western Conference Championship and the tenth time in club history that they have reached this round of the postseason. Of the first nine trips to this round of the postseason, the Galaxy have advanced to MLS Cup a record six times.
• Under the current playoff format, which began in 2003, the Galaxy have reached the Western Conference Championship all four times that they made the postseason, advancing to MLS Cup in 2005 and 2009 while losing the Conference Championship at Kansas City in 2004.
• Since MLS adopted the current playoff format in 2003, the Galaxy are now 3-1-1 all-time in the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series. In the previous five trips to this round of the playoffs, they have now advanced to the Conference Championship four times.
• The Galaxy finish the year 4-1-0 against the Sounders in all competitions this season, winning both regular season games as well as both games of the Western Conference Semifinal Series, while losing in the Quarterfinals of the U.S. Open Cup.
• Bruce Arena named an unchanged starting XI on the evening, using the same 11 starters that played in the first leg against Seattle. The only change in the 18-man squad was the return of Todd Dunivant, who missed the first leg with a right hamstring strain. He replaced Chris Klein on the bench.
• While Dunivant returned, the Galaxy were without Leonardo, who did not train this week because of left knee pain.
• LA was also without Yohance Marshall, who on international duty with Trinidad & Tobago, where he played in two of their three Group F games, helping them finish a top their group and earn a spot in the tournament’ final group stage at the end of the month in Martinique.
• Edson Buddle gave the Galaxy in the 19th minute with his second goal of the playoffs. He is now tied with San Jose’ Bobby Convey as the top scorer in the 2010 MLS Cup Playoffs.
• Buddle has scored the opening goal in each of the Galaxy’s two playoff games this year. Buddle scored LA’s first goal 12 times this season, giving them a 1-0 lead on 11 of those occasions. The Galaxy were 10-1-0 in those 11 games.
• David Beckham assisted on the goal, sending a corner from the right wing into the box for Buddle, who beat Tyrone Marshall to the header. This was Beckham’s first assist of the postseason and the second of his MLS Cup Playoff career.
• Beckham then assisted on the Galaxy’s second goal eight minutes later, sending a freekick into the box for Omar Gonzalez to head home.
• This was the first postseason goal of Gonzalez’s postseason career.
• Buddle was replaced by Tristan Bowen in the 71st minute. This was Bowen’s postseason debut.
• David Beckham was booked for the Galaxy, but Juninho, Jovan Kirovski and Dema Kovalenko were not, meaning that all are eligible for selection in the Western Conference Championship against FC Dallas.
• Steve Zakuani’s goal in the 86th minute was the first postseason goal in Seattle history.
• Before that goal, Donovan Ricketts had allowed just one goal in his last 492 minutes of postseason play.
• Ricketts made three saves in the game and improved his postseason record to 4-0-1.
• The Galaxy have now allowed a goal in 11 consecutive MLS games at home, last keeping a clean sheet on May 15 against Toronto FC.
• The Galaxy are now 22-3-0 all-time in the postseason when scoring two or more goals, with one of those losses coming via the shootout.
• The Galaxy are now 20-2-1 all-time at home in the postseason.
• Including the regular season, the Galaxy are now 10-4-2 at home this season.
• The attendance for today’s game was a sellout crowd of 27,000.
• The Galaxy will host the Western Conference Championship against FC Dallas on Sunday, November 14 at The Home Depot Center. That game kicks off at 6 p.m. and can be seen live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
• For more about today’s game, please visit www.lagalaxy.com.

Conference Championship Berth on the Line in Carson

The final spot in the Western Conference Championship is up for grabs as the Galaxy host the Seattle Sounders FC in the second and final leg of their Western Conference Semifinal Series. The Galaxy take a 1-0 lead on aggregate into tonight's game and looking for a similar result tonight, Bruce Arena will named an unchanged starting XI. The only change for LA comes on the bench where Todd Dunivant returns from his hamstring injury in place of Chris Klein.

Here is the complete Galaxy squad that Arena will put on the field tonight...

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

Donovan--------------Juninho----------------Beckham

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

Lewis--------Gonzalez-------DeLaGarza-------Franklin

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

Subs: Saunders, Berhalter, Dunivant, Alex Cazumba, Birchall, Kirovski, Bowen.

And here is how the Seattle Sounders FC will line up for head coach Sigi Schmid, who makes one change to his squad, replacing the injured Jeff Parke with former Galaxy defender Tyrone Marshall.

---------------Montero-----------Nkufo------------------

Zakuani---------------------------------------------Nyassi

---------------Sturgis-------------Alonso------------------

Gonzalez--------Marshall---------Ianni---------------Riley

------------------------Keller----------------------------

Subs: Boss, Graham, Wahl, Fucito, Fernandez, Levesque, Jaqua.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Focused on Sunday

Three quarters of the Conference Championships are set after tonight's results and now the Galaxy will look to complete the group on Sunday evening at The Home Depot Center. The club addressed the press for the final time on Friday afternoon with everyone appearing to be on the same page.
While the guys are happy to be up 1-0 going into the second leg, they know that they will need to reproduce the fighting spirit that they showed in Seattle last weekend. A lot of energy was put into that game while Sunday's second leg could possibly go to 120 minutes, so there was a strong focus on getting the guys back to 100% fitness ahead of Sunday's game.

Helping that cause was the return of two players that missed the opening leg through injury. Todd Dunivant and Michael Stephens each returned to training at the start of this week giving Bruce Arena a nearly full strength squad with which to choose from on Sunday.

Here is what he had to say after training on Friday.


And a bit more from the Galaxy coach...







And if you're in the mood for some video, here is more from Landon, David and Edson from MLSSoccer.com.
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And of course don't miss the latest edition of This Week Inside the Galaxy from the previous post

This Week Inside the Galaxy - Set for Seattle

This Week Inside the Galaxy, we catch up with the new MLS Goalkeeper of the Year, Donovan Ricketts and look ahead to Sunday's second leg against Seattle.

Enjoy...
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Friday, November 5, 2010

In Praise of Donovan

In this edition of Galaxy Raw, listen to what Donovan Ricketts' coaches and teammates had to say about the 2010 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.
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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Listening In

With the buzz around Sunday's game growing, Landon, Sean and Omar popped up on a number of different shows to talk about the game, the series against Seattle and the season so far.

Landon joined the Loose Cannons this afternoon at the start of their third hour today on AM 570. Is this the first edition of the soon to be famous MLS Report? Take a listen (he's the first guest and is on for about nine minutes) and find out.

Sean was one of six postseason performers to join Jason, Greg, Nick and Simon of ExtraTime Radio at MLSSoccer.com. Sean (who joins the program 58 minutes in) talked about making The HDC a fortress ahead of what he hopes is the first of two home playoff games and also handed out some stick to Simon Borg over his "questionable" 3-0 prediction in favor of the Sounders after the opening leg.

Earlier in the morning, Omar joined Steven and Kenny at World Football Daily to discuss his nomination for the Defender of the Year award, his international future and his hopes for Sunday against the Sounders.

Finally, for those of you that were watching the game in Seattle on Sunday (and we would guess that it was more than a few of you) you may have missed this interview with Landon Donovan on KNBC's The Challenge. Take a look...


View more news videos at: http://www.nbclosangeles.com/video.

Hearing Is Believing

Sit back, and enjoy.

Re-live Edson Buddle's game-winning wonder goal from Sunday's game in Seattle, a 1-0 victory for the Galaxy in the first-leg of the Western Conference Semifinal, and listen to how the radio voice of the Galaxy Joe Tutino called the action.


This is how Rolando Gonzalez and Armando Aguayo called it in Spanish:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

All About the Defense

The Galaxy were back on the training field this afternoon under a sweltering sun at The Home Depot Center. Just three days removed from last weekend's win in Seattle, the club has begun to put together their game plan for Sunday's second and final leg of the series.

But while the guys were working hard during the session (and after as Gregg Berhalter and Chris Birchall led a group through extra fitness work), playing a series of 3v3 games in addition to the standard training regiments, the talk before and after training was all about Donovan Ricketts being named the MLS Goalkeeper of the Year. While Donovan was quick to thank goalkeeper coach Ian Feuer and his teammates, those same teammates (and Feuer) were quick to praise the Jamaican international for the impact that he has had on the LA defense in his two years with the club.

We caught up with Bruce and Ian to get a coach's perspective on the play of the Galaxy #1, while also talking with the man himself and three of the defenders that play in front of him to see what they thought about Ricketts' honor and what they're looking for from the Sounders this weekend.

Here is what they had to say.

Bruce...


Ian...

Donovan...

Omar...

Todd...

A.J...