Archive | March, 2012

Galaxy set to open MLS season

Posted on 09 March 2012 by iyeo

Fresh off its best season in years culminating with an MLS Cup, its right back to work for the Los Angeles Galaxy, and they’ll start off with a familiar foe.

Almost four months after dueling for the Western Conference title in November, the Galaxy will open defense of its MLS Cup against Real Salt Lake at the Home Depot Center on Saturday, and the intensity figures to be no different that from the last meeting back in November.

“We knew it was going to be a tough start to the season,” Galaxy midfielder Landon Donovan said. “Sometimes where you’re the champion, you hope to get a little easing into the league, but this is as good as it gets.”

In last year’s Western Conference final, the Galaxy jumped out early, as defender Omar Gonzalez drew a foul in the penalty box and Landon Donovan converted the penalty to put LA ahead. Salt Lake though equalized a mintue later, as a Javier Morales corner found the head of Jamison Olave, which then went to Alvaro Saborio, who punched in a header to tie the match. LA however broke through in the second half with goals from Mike Magee and Robbie Keane to seal its trip to the MLS Cup final. RSL was at an disadvantage entering the final, as their two center backs, Nat Borchers and Jamison Olave carried injuries stemming from its aggregate series against Seattle. Borchers was unable to got, but Olave gave it a ride, going 82 minutes that evening.

“Salt Lake is always difficult to play against,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “They play soccer in the right way, they have a lot of good players and experienced players.”

While RSL returns pretty much the same squad from last year, the Galaxy have been busy reloading for another run, bringing back striker Edson Buddle to pair up front with Robbie Keane as well as bringing back midfielder Juninho for another loan when it looked like they had lost him to his old club Sao Paulo. One big question mark remains for LA, and that is the absence of center back Omar Gonzalez, who is out with a torn ACL.

The Galaxy had its first menaingful competition of 2012 on Wednesday, as they faced off against Toronto FC in the first leg of the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League in front of 47,568 at Rogers Centre. Toronto got out early, as goals from Ryan Johnson and Luis Silva staked TFC to an early two-goal lead. The Galaxy finally broke through with a goal from Mike Magee in the 29th minute and Landon Donovan’s goal in stoppage time salvaged the draw for Los Angeles.

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Sounders Roll Over Santos Laguna, Head To Mexico Up 2-1

Posted on 08 March 2012 by Kyle Alm

In what had been hailed as the biggest match in club history, Sounders donned their Super Cyan jerseys and met Santos Laguna for the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Quarterfinals in Seattle.

Sounders fielded the usual suspects  in their staring eleven, with David Estrada filling in Eddie Johnson as Fredy Montero’s strike partner.

Both sides were able to scamper back and forth in the first five minutes, neither side able to muster a shot on goal except for a Rosales strike that went directly at the goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez.

In the 11th minute Fredy Montero crossed a ball into space near the back post for a streaking David Estrada who put his diving header past Sanchez for the opening goal, second assist to Leo Gonzalez. Shortly afterward, Adam Johansson got into the attacking third on an overlapping run to cross for Montero, but the Colombian was unable to collect his balance for a header and the ball deflected off of his shoulder.

19′ Heculez Gomez gets a ball and the top left of the box and tests Gspurning who was unable to gather the ball, but Johansson was closest and able to clear the ball out of bounds for a corner.

Alvaro Fernandez had the play of the night that was nearly a spectacular goal a little give and go with Rosales on the left side. Alvaro got a ball parallel to the top of the box, gave a little dummy like he was going to break for the endline before letting the ball continue to roll setting him up for a curling right footer than went just over the bar.

45′ Juan Pablo Rodriguez tried to flick a header passed Gspurning that landed on top of the goal roof just before the half expired.

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Santos were clearly frustrated by the clever off the ball movement by Sounders, the elbow to Fernandez’s face is probably out of that frustration. Santos did not create an easy goal scoring opportunity. Their balls into the box were searching and hopeful. There were no substitutions for either side at the half.

Santos had a much more positive play than they did in the first half. After having difficulty creating space they were able to open up a few holes in Sounders defense and keep some possession.

52′ long ball to the corner from Rosales finds Estrada, Sanchez coming out to get the ball, crosses into the middle and finds no one.

58′ Leo Gonzalez is cautioned for tripping a player after he had been tripped.

Santos Laguna drew level in the 60′ when Marc Crosas crossed from top left of the box and found Herculez Gomez at the near post who finished his goal to the far post past a diving Gspurning.

Less than a minute after the restart Mauro Rosales crossed a set piece in to Brad Evans who managed to guide the ball home with the back of his head. Evans, not known for his scoring prowess and oft-maligned, had an understated, but competent, performance before scoring what would become the winning goal.

Hurtado was stretchered off late in the match but was able to reenter the match.

There appeared to be several altercations between Santos & Sounders players during the first leg in Seattle. It was consistent throughout the match. It is clear that winning this series and advancing to the semis is of the utmost importance to both clubs. Being down a goal and heading home is not a horrible position to be in.

After the match Sigi Schmid revealed that four starting players, Gspurning, Montero, Alonso, & Kennedy, were stuck in traffic due to a rollover accident in the Mount Baker tunnel on I-90. It wasn’t until 6:30 when all of the players were finally at the ground. Hopefully no one was seriously injured in the accident.

23,433 in attendance tonight.

 

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Galaxy appear to be even stronger in 2012

Posted on 06 March 2012 by iyeo

Coming off a championship season for the first time in six years, the Los Angeles Galaxy appear to be even better heading into the 2012 season.

The 2011 season was a special one for the Galaxy, as they won its second straight Supporters Shield with an accumulation of 67 points. The Galaxy then defeated the New York Red Bulls in the two-game first round aggregate series, then outlasted Real Salt Lake in a classic Western Conference final before winning its first MLS Cup since 2005 on a cold wet Sunday November evening against the Houston Dynamo 1-0 in front of 30,000 plus at the Home Depot Center. During that span, the Galaxy went undefeated on its home ptich and also reached the knockout stage of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament, which it will resume on Wednesday as they head to Canada to face Toronto FC in the opening leg at Skydome.

But even as the champagne was flowing in the Galaxy clubhouse, question lingered around what the Galaxy would look like in 2012. Standout Brazilian midfielder Juninho had agreed to return to Sao Paulo on a three-year deal, Landon Donovan had returned to Everton on a short-term loan similar to his 2010 stint and striker Robbie Keane followed suit, albeit it to Aston Villa. To make matters even more complicated, 6-5 Center Back Omar Gonzalez tore his ACL during a stint with German Club FC Nuremberg and is feared lost for the season.

The biggest question however was the status of midfielder David Beckham, who enjoyed his best season since his much-hyped arrival in 2007, as he finished second in the league in assists, playing a part in 15 Galaxy goal last season. Even before his magnificent 2011 season, Beckham was gauging interest from several clubs abroad, with French club Paris Saint Germain being the most serious of the contenders for Beckham’s signature.

But while PSG went out of its way to court the English midfielder, the Galaxy kept a low profile, and in the end, they won out, as the Galaxy’s resurgence combined with family desires led Beckham to sign a two-year extension with LA.

Beckham’s decision to stay in LA could prove to be a good one. Thanks in large part to a slew of allocation money acquired during the calendar year, Galaxy General Manager/Head Coach Bruce Arena re-tooled the squad and as a result, the 2012 Galaxy could be even better than last season’s squad. The first major acquisition was actually a re-acquisition, as striker Edson Buddle re-joined the team after a short stint with German club Ingolstadt. Buddle’s last season in a Galaxy shirt was a memorable one, as he scored 17 goals in 2010 and coming in second in the Golden Boot race that season. Buddle is expected to form a formidable partnership up front with Robbie Keane.

That move however was only the beginning, as Juninho was reacquired on another loan from Sao Paulo. Juninho is expected to continue his stellar partnership alongside Beckham in central midfield. Juninho is not the only Brazilian midfielder on the squad, as LA signed Marcelo Sarvas during the offseason, presumably to fill Juninho’s spot in central midfield, now he will most likely be used strictly for depth, although he won’t be able to participate for the Galaxy in any remaining CCL games since he played in the tournament for L.D. Alajuelense during the group stages last year, ironically in the same group as the Galaxy.

Filling Gonzalez’s spot in central defense appears to be the only question mark for Los Angeles. As of right now, 6-4 Andrew Boyens appears to be the man to fill the void. The 28-year old New Zealand international had stints with Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls prior to the upcoming season and will get his first opportunity to prove himself on Wednesday against Toronto.

The Galaxy will be thrown into the fire right from the get go. After its first leg of the CCL matchup against Toronto, LA will open the MLS regular season against Real Salt Lake on Saturday at the Home Depot Center in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference final, then comes the return leg of the CCL series against Toronto at the HDC a week from Wednesday.

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Sounders FC vs Jaguares de Chiapas Photo Gallery

Posted on 01 March 2012 by dlindsay

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Sounder FC completed their preseason undefeated by beating Mexican squad Jaguares de Chiapas 2-0 at CenturyLink Field on February 29, 2012.

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Sounders FC vs Jaguares de Chiapas Photo Gallery

Posted on 01 March 2012 by dlindsay

no images were found

Sounder FC completed their preseason undefeated by beating Mexican squad Jaguares de Chiapas 2-0 at CenturyLink Field on February 29, 2012.

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