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Donovan signs Extension with LA Galaxy

Posted on 28 August 2013 by iyeo

One of the most prolific players in the history of Major League Soccer will not be going anywhere anytime soon.

On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Galaxy announced that they had reacehd agreement with Landon Donovan on a multi-year extension that will keep the striker/midfielder with the club for the forseeable future.

“I’m thrilled to continue my career here with the LA Galaxy,” Donovan said in a statement. “This organization has always treated me with the utmost respect and I feel truly blessed that I am able to continue playing here. The opportunity to play with the team I love and work to win championships, in front of wonderful fans while also being close to my family is literally a dream come true.”

Donovan joined the Galaxy prior to the 2005 season following a brief stint with German club Bayer Leverkusen. In 210 appearences with the club, Donovan has scored 99 goals and asissted 86 goals and led the Galaxy to championships in 2005, 2011 and 2012, with Donovan scoring thw winning goals in the 2011 and 2012 MLS Cup Final games. This season, Donovan has seven goals and 10 assists in 22 games for LA after returning from a brief sabbatical.

“We are pleased that Landon has re-signed with the Galaxy,” Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena stated. “He is the best player in the history of the game in our country. This signing is instrumental toward our commitment to build a team that can compete for championships year-in and year-out. We look forward to Landon’s continued leadership and excellent play as a member of the LA Galaxy.”

Donovan had actually signed his first professional contract with Bayer Leverkusen in 1999, but had trouble adapting to the lifestyle in Germany and was loaned out to the San Jose Earthquakes in 2001. Donovan played with the Quakes from 2001 until 2004, where he had 32 goals and 29 assists and led the team to titles in 2001 and 2003. Donovan went back to Bayer Leverkusen, where he made seven appearences, but eventuall fell out of favor with the club and shortly thereafter, made his return to MLS. By then, the Galaxy had acuired his rights and traded Carlos Ruiz to FC Dallas for the top allocation spot used to acquire his services. Overall, Donovan has 115 assists and has scored 131 goals in MLS. Donovan is four goals away from becoming MLS’ all-time leading scorer.

“Few players have meant more to this league and this club than Landon Donovan,” Galaxy President Chris Klein stated. “Landon has been a major factor in the growth and sustainability of Major League Soccer and we’re thrilled that he will continue to wear a Galaxy shirt for years to come. Keeping Landon was a major focus for our club and reinforces our desire to acquire and retain the best players from the United States and abroad as we strive to be the premier club in North America.”

In addition to his standout MLS career, Donovan had also been a stalwart on the United States national team. Donovan made his USMNT debut in 2000 and has never looked back, earning 151 caps while scoring 56 goals and assisting 56 goals. Donovan has helped the United States to Gold Cup titles in 2002, 2005 and 2007 as well as this past Summer as well as World Cup appearences in 2002, 2006 and 2010 and hopes to be a factor in the US bid to qualify for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil next summer.

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Galaxy make Omar Gonzalez Third Designated Player

Posted on 16 August 2013 by iyeo

The Los Angeles Galaxy took another big step not only for its franchise, but also for Major League Soccer when it announced it had signed Center Back Omar Gonzalez to a multi-year extension that will keep Gonzalez in Los Angeles for the foreseeable future.

The 6-5 Gonzalez’s salary makes him the Galaxy’s third designated player behind Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane, occupying the third DP slot that was vacated by David Beckham when he left the Galaxy after last season. Gonzalez is also the second defensive player to receive a DP contract since Rafa Marquez signed with the New York Red Bulls back in 2010.

“To be the first Galaxy and U.S. defender to be named as a Designated Player is a great honor for me,” Gonzalez said in a press release. “The Galaxy are the premier club in MLS and I’m looking forward to growing as a professional in LA while working towards winning a third consecutive MLS Cup.”

Gonzalez was drafted third overall out of the University of Maryland by the Galaxy in the 2009 MLS SuperDraft and immediately asserted himself as a presence on the Galaxy backline. Gonzalez started every game and won MLS rookie of the year that season. His presence on defense along with that of college teammate A.J. DeLaGarza was key for Los Angeles that season, as the Galaxy went from a team that had surrendered in inane amount of goals the previous season to a stingy defensive unit that made it all the way to the MLS Cup final that season.

Gonzalez continued his stellar defensive play the next two seasons and in 2011, won MLS Defensive Player of the Year honors as the Galaxy won the MLS Cup that year. Gonzalez’s 2011 season earned him a trial with German Bundesliga club FC Nuremburg, but Gonzalez injured a knee ligament during a collision with Timothy Chanlder, an injury that forced him to miss the first half of the 2012 season. Gonzalez’s absence was certainly felt during the early part of last season, as the Galaxy stumbled off to a 3-8-2 start. Gonzalez returned to the LA lineup in July and slowly but surely, the Galaxy got back on track, becoming one of the hottest teams in the second half of the season. LA then held off the Vancouver Whitecaps in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs before upsetting the Supporters Shield winning San Jose Earthquakes in the semifinals. LA then beat Seattle in the Conference finals to reach the MLS Cup final, where Gonzalez turned the game into his personal showcase, as he scored the tying goal in the match and asserted his presence on defense as the Galaxy won its second straight MLS Cup. His performance that day made him the first defensive player to win Man of the Match.

“We are pleased to that Omar will remain with the Galaxy,” LA Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena stated. “In the past five years, he has arguably developed in to the top defender in MLS. I believe he can continue to grow as a player and leader of our team.”

Gonzalez has also began to feature regularly on the U.S. National team. Gonzalez made his first appearance for the U.S. came in a friendly against Brazil back in August of 2010 and since then, he has started to become a regular on the U.S. backline.

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Galaxy sign Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo

Posted on 06 August 2013 by iyeo

Looking to further solidify its goalkeeper position, the Los Angeles Galaxy took a step towards that direction when it signed Panamanian Goalkeeper Jaime Penedo on Monday.

“He’s a good goalkeeper,” Galaxy Head Coach/General Manager Bruce Arena said in a statement released. “I followed him for years for Panama. He’s got a lot of experience; he probably has between 85 and 90 international caps. We think that he’ll help strengthen the goal position for us.”

The 31-year-old Penedo will be looked upon to provide  cover at the goalkeeper position, which is currently held by Carlo Cudicini, who came over after spending most of his career across Europe, with stints at Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur. Cudicini recorded a shutout on opening week against the Chicago Fire, but his play has been on and off throughout the season.

Penedo began his club career in his native Panama with Plaza Amador before joining Arabe Unido, who he helped lead to the Apertura and Clausura titles in 2004. After two years in Europe, playing in Italy for Cagliari and in Spain for Ossauna, Penedo returned to Central America, joining Guatemalan side Municipal in 2007. Penedo spent the last six years with the Guatemala City-based club, helping them win two Clausura titles (2008 and 2010) and two Apertura titles (2009 and 2011) while appearing in more than 150 games for the club. Municipal also qualified for the CONCACAF Champions League four times in the six years of the competition. Penedo has also been a fixture on the Panamian National Team with 91 caps and leading Panama to the CONCACAF Gold Cup finals in 2005 and 2013, losing both times to the United States.

 Penedo could make his debut on Wednesday when the Galaxy face AC Milan for third place of the Guinness International Champions Cup in Miami.

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Chivas USA parts ways with ‘Chelis’

Posted on 30 May 2013 by iyeo

After four months in in charge, Chivas USA announced on Wednesday night that it had parted ways with head coach José Luis “Chelís” Sánchez Solá and that Jose Luis Real, currently sporting development director at Chivas Guadalajara, will assume hed coaching duties.

It didn’t seem like the two sides would get to this point when the season started. Chivas USA had performed strongly in the preseason and though it did drop its season opener to Columbus at home back on March 2nd, the club went on a hot streak, getting its first win of the season on March 10 against FC Dallas in a 3-1 come-from-behind victory. A 1-1 draw a week later against the Los Angeles Galaxy followed by wins against the Chicago Fire and the Vancouver Whitecaps had Chivas USA 3-1-1 and sitting near the top of the Western Conference, but the club soon sputtered after that, going 0-6-1 in its last seven games. Chivas USA is currently sitting in last place in the Western Conference with 11 points.

Chelis’ departure had actually come after a win, though it was in US Open Cup play, as Chivas had to rally for a 2-1 win over USL side L.A. Blues at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday night. Midfielder Carlos Alvarez scored the equalizer and Keeper Dan Kennedy scored the winning goal, as he was selected to take a penalty kick after Miller Bolanos was fouled in the penalty area.

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Galaxy rebound from Slow Start to win 2012 MLS Cup

Posted on 02 December 2012 by iyeo

Chances are you could easily tell the Los Angeles Galaxy that started the 2012 season from the one that stood at the podium at the end of the MLS Cup Final on Saturday as it accepted the Philip Anschutz Trophy as MLS champions for a second consecutive season.

The LA Galaxy that started the season certainly did not look like the team that had steamrolled through the 2011 season en route to the MLS Cup title, as injuries, absences and an apparent hangover from the 2011 season played a role in the team stumbling to a 3-8-1 start, yet anyone who appeared set to write the Galaxy’s 2012 eulogy back in May would’ve underestimated the battle-tested resolve displayed by this group of players over countless years, and that resolve was more than evident the second half of the season, as LA was one of the best teams the last part of the season and in the end, was the last team standing after yet another grueling MLS campaign.

“I think we made it easy last year because we were exceptional the whole year. This year was different because we made it hard for ourselves,” Galaxy midfielder David Beckham said. “We didn’t start well. Good teams and good character in teams become good at the right time. I think we showed that this year.”

Coming off a 2011 season which in addition to its MLS Cup title, included advancement to the knockout stages of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament and an undefeated year at the Home Depot Center, expectations were high for the Galaxy, which had just reacquired striker Edson Buddle to pair up with Robbie Keane as well as reacquiring Juninho on another loan after the Brazilian midfielder had signed a three-year contract with his main club, Sao Paulo. The Galaxy started off its 2012 season with two important matches, starting off with a CONCACAF Champions League match against Toronto FC in front of 45,000 rowdy fans at the Rogers Centre. The Galaxy fell behind 2-0, but eventually fought back for a 2-2 draw. LA then opened up the 2012 MLS Season at home against Real Salt Lake in a rematch of the Western Conference final from the previous season. LA took the lead midway through the second half, but allowed RSL to fin the back net three times and LA lost 3-1, its first home loss since the 2010 Western Conference final. That loss turned out to be a sign of things to come for the next three months.

The opening week loss to RSL was quickly followed by a 2-1 CCL loss to Toronto FC in the return leg, eliminating them from the tournament. The Galaxy got its first win of the season against DC United four days later, but that certainly was not enough to ward off what would eventually be a sluggish start to the season, with the low point coming on the last week before MLS embarked on a two-week international break. First came its first loss to Chivas USA in five years on May 19, then perhaps the most glaring result, a 3-2 home loss to the San Jose Earthquakes on May 23rd in which it blew a two-goal lead. LA then lost to the Houston Dynamo 2-1 at BBVA Compass Stadium on May 26 and the Galaxy stood near the bottom of the Western Conference with a 3-8-1 record. LA was then eliminated from the US Open Cup by the Carolina Railhawks by the same score three days later.

“I was coming in maybe once a week when those hard times were happening and those days that I would come in, everyone’s heads would be down,” Galaxy Center Back Omar Gonzalez said.

The slow start could be attributed to a number of factors, such as injuries, as LA went without Center Back Gonzalez for the first four months of the season. Galaxy keeper Josh Saunders also missed some time as he went into the league’s substance abuse program. However, the long break in June that followed would provide an opportunity for the Galaxy to turn things around.

“When the season ended last year, we had an endless tour of obligations and we couldn’t put this 2011 season behind us. And I think, as I look back on, it finally came to a close when we went to the White House in May,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “I just said ‘let’s put’ – I want to watch my language here – ‘this past us.’ And not only that but start focusing on getting things right.”

The attitude adjustment was evident the very week MLS play resumed. It started on June 17 at home against the Portland Timbers, as LA welcomed back Saunders between the pipes and the result was a 1-0 win, its first shutout win of the season. The biggest result of that week however came on June 20, as the Galaxy traveled to Utah to face Real Salt Lake. The Galaxy fell behind by two goals, but came back with three unanswered goals to steal the three points from RSL. LA wrapped up that week with a 3-0 home win over the then third-place Vancouver Whitecaps on June 23.

“The guys responded well, but oddly enough in June we still had a horrible run, but you could see things were getting better,” Arena said. “There was an important game, I think a lot of guys mentioned it, when we won in Salt Lake, which was just a character test. You could see that we kind of got that back and then we literally battled every day.”

Slowly but surely, the pieces started to fall back in place for the Galaxy. Gonzalez returned to the lineup on Independence Day, but more importantly, striker Robbie Keane also rediscovered his scoring touch. After scoring three goals the first half of the season, Keane returned after representing Ireland in the European Championships and started finding the back net often, scoring 13 goals to finish with a total of 16 goals on the season. Also rounding into spectacular form was Juninho, who also struggled the first half of the season, but emerged in the second half, scoring seven goals, most of them on his trademark long-range volleys. LA also played with its 2011 championship backline of Gonzalez, Center Back AJ DeLaGarza, Left Back Todd Dunivant and Right Back Sean Franklin for the first time in 2012 on August 12 against Chivas USA and looked every bit the part, neutralizing Chivas’ attack and marching onto a 4-0 win that night, which began a run in which it would earn clean sheets in five of its next seven matches, which included two CONCACAF Champions’ League matches.

“I think Bruce’s experience just took over and said ‘we’re going to be fine,’ (and) we ended being just that,” Gonzalez said. “In the very middle of the season everyone started turning around and everything turned out the way Bruce said.”

LA got as high as second place during that run, but eventually had to settle for fourth place in the Western Conference. The Galaxy’s mettle was certainly tested during its playoff run, as it erased a one-goal deficit in the one-game playoff match against Vancouver, then fell behind by a goal on aggregate in the semifinal series against San Jose as the Earthquakes stole the first leg at the Home Depot Center with yet another late goal. Heading to San Jose midweek for the second leg at Buck Shaw Stadium, the Galaxy weren’t fazed, running out to a three-goal lead in the first half of the last leg against the recently crowned Supporters’ Shield winner Quakes and eventually coming out with a 3-2 aggregate win. Against Seattle in the conference final, LA raced out to a 3-0 home win in the first leg, but held on for dear life in a hostile atmosphere at CenturyLink Field, as Seattle closed to within a goal of the Galaxy before a Robbie Keane penalty restored some breathing room and LA came out with the win.

“Being successful doesn’t come easy. You have to work on it, (and) I think we provided that this year,” Beckham said. “All the way through the season, we had players out of games and young players and players that weren’t in the starting 11 come into the game and perform. This game and this championship is about the whole squad, not just the starting 11.”

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Gonzalez Shines once again for Galaxy on MLS’ Biggest Stage

Posted on 02 December 2012 by iyeo

If there was ever a time to show the value of Omar Gonzalez to the Los Angeles Galaxy, it was during the first four months of the 2012 season.

Gonzalez had missed the first four months of the season after suffering an ACL tear in his left knee while training with German side FC Nuremberg. The Galaxy surely felt his absence during that time, as they went 3-8-1, surrendered an alarmingly amount of goals during that time while going through a succession of Center Backs to fill his spot alongside fellow CB AJ DeLaGarza, so it’s no coincidence that his return has helped spark the Galaxy to a second half turnaround culminating in its second straight MLS Cup, with the 6-5 Defender playing a vital role in the LA backline against the Houston Dynamo on Saturday afternoon.

“Omar’s a good player, he’s a big defensive body, great in the air (and) we knew that coming in,” Dynamo midfielder Brad Davis said. He played a very good game and a player like that who’s on top of his game is tough to beat.”

Of course, Gonzalez’s worth to the Galaxy was evident as far back as his rookie season. Drafted out of the University of Maryland with the third overall pick in the 2009 MLS Superdraft, Gonzalez was expected to turn around the fortunes of a Galaxy backline that had given up over 60 goals in 2008. Gonzalez certainly did just that, as he and college teammate AJ DeLaGarza asserted themselves on the Galaxy backline that had 11 shutouts that season as the Galaxy reached the MLS Cup Final that season only to lose to Real Salt Lake on penalties.

Gonzalez had another stellar campaign in 2010 and parlayed that into his first call-up to the United States National Team in August in a friendly against Brazil and continued to impress in 2011, winning MLS Defender of the Year honors while helping the Galaxy to its first MLS Cup title since 2005. Gonzalez parlayed all that into a trial run with German side FC Nuremberg. However, the stint ended almost as quickly began, as on the first day of training, he suffered an ACL tear in his left knee. Ironically, the tear occurred during a collision with possible US teammate Timothy Chandler.

Gonzalez’s status for the 2012 season ranged anywhere from eight months to perhaps being lost for the entire season. The Galaxy certainly felt his absence during that time. In addition to its 3-8-1 start, the Galaxy were leaking in goals similar to its 2008 performance. Some of those glaring moments were letting in three unanswered goals in its season opener against Real Salt Lake and allowing the San Jose Earthquakes to come back from two-goal deficits in two meetings. The Galaxy struggled to find a suitable replacement for Gonzalez alongside DeLaGarza, starting players such as Tommy Meyer, Andrew Boyens, David Junior Lopes and Bryan Gaul on Gonzalez’s spot.

While the Galaxy were struggling early on, Gonzalez was working hard to get himself back in game shape, and made his return to the lineup much sooner than expected, on July 4 against Philadelphia. His return at first didn’t net immediate returns, but that quickly changed, as the Galaxy went through a run during August and September that saw them earn clean sheets in four straight matches. The Galaxy finished fourth in the Western Conference, but defied the odds to reach Saturday’s final, where Gonzalez turned the game into his personal showcase, using his 6-5 frame every way he could, from marking Dynamo forwards Will Bruin and Calen Carr to asserting himself in the air by cutting off long balls, corners or set pieces to scoring the equalizer via a header off a Juninho cross in the 61st minute.

“Everything was working for him tonight,” Dynamo head coach Dominic Kinnear said. “He’s the type of player, you can move him around. They take advantage, they’re flipping balls up in the air. It happens, but I think he’s been probably the turning point in their season was when he got healthy because a lot of things were good going forward but maybe not as strong defensively. I think he’s definitely an important part of their back four.”

Gonzalez actually could have had a brace on Saturday, but a potential go-ahead goal off a David Beckham corner was disallowed after referee Silviu Petrescu ruled that Gonzalez had held down his marker. Still, his performance on Saturday made him the first defender to win the game’s Most Valuable Player award.

“It just turned out to be an amazing season for me, myself, the organization,” Gonzalez said. “It’s just truly outstanding players and friends on this team that I’ve made. It’s been a really special year.”

Gonzalez’s first United States call-up was against Brazil on August 10, 2010, though the general consensus surrounding both the Galaxy and Dynamo, especially after the Final was that more caps could be in store for Gonzalez in the near future.

“He’s a young player with a lot of talent,” David Beckham said. “I hope someday that he will play for the U.S. national team more regularly because he deserves it. He deserved the MVP today and are very lucky to have a young player with his talent on this team.”

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Vergara outlines Future Plans for Chivas USA

Posted on 13 November 2012 by iyeo

Making his first public appearence regarding the status of Chivas USA since acquiring sole ownership of the club late this past Summer, Jorge Vergara outlined his future plans for the club, which he says will include a more closer affiliation with its parent club, C.D. Chivas Guadlajara, a new head coach, and what he hopes will be a new stadium in downtown Los Angeles.

“We want to bring back the concept that we started when we decided to become Chivas USA,” Vergara said. “It’s a team that has to become an extension of Chivas Mexico with a different philosophy in a sense of the players, but with the same philosophy of how to play football, how to be exciting, how to be spectacular, and of course, how to be successful.”

The team was founded on August 29, 2004 and began play in Major League Soccer in 2005. After a dismal inagural season in which it went 4-22-6, Chivas started to turn the corner, making the playoffs for the next four seasons, the first in 2006 under Bob Bradley and the last three under Preki. Chivas USA’s best season came in 2007, when it went 15-7-8 and won the Western Conference regular season title, but for all the success it enjoyed in the regular season during that span, it could never translate that success into the playoffs, as the team lost in the first round all four years, and the team’s playoff failures from 2007 to 2009 eventually cost Preki his job. The last three years have been forgetable for the Goats, as they have went 23-50-24 over the last three seasons, finishing at or close to the bottom of the Western Conference each time.

Vergara cited two factors for the club’s recent struggles. One factor was the attempt by Chivas USA management to distance themselves from that of Chivas Guadalajara. Vergara pointed out that he offered his U.S. counterparts the services of Manchester United’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez for a season, but was rebuffed by the Chivas USA staff. Another factor Vergara cited was Chivas USA’s attempt to emulate the style of most MLS teams, which relied mostly on strength and athleticism.

“We became nothing,” Vergara said. “We didn’t play like the U.S. and we didn’t play like the Mexicans, we played like nothing, and the best proof was the last season we had.”

One of the many questions that Vergara addressed was the management structure of the team. He stated that Jose Domene, the team’s General Manager, will remain as the team’s Administrative Director and that Johan Cryuff will come on as an advisor, a role he currenlty serves with Chivas Guadalajara. One of the first tasks for the new administration is to choose a replacement for Robn Fraser, who was fired as head coach last week. Vergara stated he hopes to have a head coach in placewithin the next ten days and that Cruyff will be the main desicion-maker on the new head coach. Vergara said that they looked at canidates from Mexico, Argentina, and the Netherlands.

Another pressing issure for Chivas is its quest to find its own stadium. It’s no secret that Vergara prefers a stadium located near downtown Los Angeles and one site that has been talked about is a site at the LA Memorial Coliseum in cohorts with USC. In that scenario, the stadium would be built at the current site of the LA Sports Arena. Vergara said he hopes to restart those talks with USC to see if they’re still interested. Vergara also said that he has had overtures from other cities to move his team there, but was adamant that the team would be staying in Los Angeles for the near future.

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AEG, Galaxy up for Sale

Posted on 19 September 2012 by iyeo

Perhaps the most important man in the young history of Major League Soccer has put one of the league’s most valuable teams on the market.

Late yesterday, it was announced that Phillip Anschutz, the Denver-based billionaire in charge of Anschutz Entertainment Group, a sports and entertainment subsidiary of the Anschutz Corporation, announced that AEG, which owns the Los Angeles Galaxy and the Home Depot Center, in addition to numerous sports entities, would be put up for sale.

Anschutz is revered for investing in a sport, let alone a league, at a time when such an investment was considered risky. Anschutz was one of the co-founders of Major League Soccer in 1995 and its first franchise it owned was the Colorado Rapids. Anschutz eventually came to own the Galaxy as well as the Chicago Fire, DC United, Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting KC) and the New York Metrostars (now the NY Red Bulls). AEG also owned the San Jose Earthquakes when it moved to Houston and became the Dynamo in 2006 and won MLS Cups in 2006 and 2007 and a new Earthquakes franchise was eventually reborn in San Jose in time for the 2008 season. Overtime, Anschutz eventually divested himself of those teams and the Dynamo are in the process of being sold, most likely to Houston Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. AEG built the Home Depot Center in Carson, CA for the Galaxy in 2003 and paved the way for other Soccer-Specific-Stadium projects in Chicago, Houston and New York.

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Galaxy sign Swedish Midfielder Wilhelmsson

Posted on 05 September 2012 by iyeo

The Los Angeles Galaxy took a step towards reinforcing the depth of its lineup ahead of the stretch run of the MLS season on Wednesday, as the team announced it had signed Swedish midfielder Christian Wilhelmsson.

The 32-year old Wilhelmsson has played in numerous countries since his career began in 1997, starting out with Swedish club Mjallby, where he played there until 2000 and scored 11 goals in 51 appearences. Wilhelmsson then moved to Norwegian club Stabæk, where he spent another three years and scored 25 goals in 84 appearences. Wilhelmsson then moved to famed Belgian club Anderlecht, helping them to league titles in 2004 and 2006. Recently, Wilhelmsson has had stints in France, Italy, England, Spain and more recently, with Saudi Arabian club Al-Hilal.

Wilhelmsson had also represented Sweden, collecting 78 caps and playing in the 2006 World Cup and the 2008 European Championships. Wilhelmsson is currently awaiting P-1 visa and International Transfer Certificate (ITC) and if all goes according to plan, he could make his debut on Friday, September 14 against the Colorado Rapids at the Home Depot Center.

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Vergara purchases full stake in Chivas USA

Posted on 30 August 2012 by iyeo

Chivas USA has undergone a major shakeup at the top, and where that leads the franchise from here on out remains to be seen.

Jorge Vergara, owner of Chivas Guadalajara and part owner of the Los Angeles-based MLS club since its inception, annoucend on Wednesday that he along with his wife, Omnilife CEO Angelica Fuentes, had bought out the stake owned by Antonio and Lorenzo Cue and are now fully in control of the club.

“It has been an exciting time for Major League Soccer and we are proud of the role that we played in the growth of the League,” Antonio Cué said in a statement.  “We have enjoyed our time with Chivas USA, and we would like to thank our fellow MLS owners and the League office.”

The Cue brothers and Vergara founded the franchise in August of 2004 and the team began play in 2005 at the Home Depot Center, home of the Los Angeles Galaxy. After a subpar first season, the team was a perenial playoff team, making the playoffs from 2006-2009 and its highest honor came in 2007 when it won the regular season Western Conference title as well as that year’s Honda Spuerclasico against the Los Angeles Galaxy, the only year it has won the in-stadium series from its most prominent neighbor. The team however has never advanced past the first round of the playoffs in the four years it was there and has recently fallen on hard times, failing to make the playoffs the last two season and is in danger of missing out on the postseason for a third straight time. Despite rallying from a three-goal deficit to tie the New England Revolution on Wednesday at Gillette Stadium, Chivas USA still sits two spots out of the fifth and final playoff berth in the Western Conference and nine points back of the Vancouver Whitecaps, who currently occupy that fifth spot, though that hasn’t tempered Vergara’s enthusiasm about the future potential of the club.

“We are very excited about the future of Chivas USA,” stated Vergara.

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