And he is almost the most experienced defender on the injury-hit squad — with all of five caps.
And as I Tweeted Sunday, Galaxy striker Robbie Keane is with the Irish team; both will miss Saturday’s home game against the Colorado Rapids.
Jurgen Klinsmann will talk to the media in a few minutes via a conference call. Here’s a few highlights.
*On the absence of veteran defender Carlos Bocanegra: “The reason why he’s not here is he simply isn’t playing (in the Spanish second division). … He has no flow, no rythmn. Carlos is still in the picture. This is not the end of his national team career.”
*Klinsmann said he will hold off on naming a captain publicly until Tuesday after he has informed players who will all arrrive by tonight. Former captains Bocanegra, Landon Donovan and Tim Howard are all missing from the squad.
*On the inexperienced squad: “This is the roster we have total trust in and they will gain more experience by doing that.”
*Landon Donovan’s name came up, but it doesn’t sound like Klinsmann has spoken with the Galaxy star in some time. Klinsmann said simply “no” when asked whether he’s going to tell Donovan that his country needs him and he needs to get off the couch and start training.
*On Omar Gonzalez: We just want to give him the opportunity to mature and grow in our environment. … We believe there is a real special talent coming through the system.”
Quotable: “A lot of people probably thought that game was over once the Galaxy scored,” said Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy. “I was really proud of us last week when we came back from a goal down to score three and get a victory. This week I have that same exact feeling. We had everything against us, we were playing with ten men against the two-time defending champs, and we showed that we could still get on the board and make this match competitive.”
Led by Irish talisman and club captain Robbie Keane, the Galaxy would appear to have the rub of the green today at home against their struggling cross hallway rivals in an early season SuperClasico that has an air of mystery about it and a notable absence of hype.
“I think everybody is surprised. He’s been great for this club, for this league and for everything he’s done for AEG and me personally.
“He’s the one that brought me to this club so I’ve got a lot to thank him for. Everybody was shocked, as you can imagine. We’re going to certainly miss him. He’s a great character, a great guy, and we’re certainly going to miss him in that locker room after games and before games and his enthusiasm for the Galaxy and the Kings was exceptional.
“For me to come over from the UK, to bring my whole family over here, he made it so easy for myself, my family and we’re forever grateful for that. He’ll always be a great friend to me.”
“I am very surprised. He’s obviously a guy that is so massive to what this league’s become, a guy that went to bat for us when no one else really would. It’s sad. We don’t know the details, but it’s something that you just remember times when the league was kind of going south, and he was always a guy who stuck up for the league and obviously put a boat-ton of money into our team and this league when no one else would. It’s sad and hopefully he finds his way back somehow.
“He set the bar pretty high. I couldn’t imagine AEG changing anything it’s been doing with us, but it definintely makes you think twice if it will be the same or not.”
“Devastating. The night before, he was in our locker room congratulating us on going through and he seemed really excited about it. And the next day, he’s gone.
“Everyone was just shocked and it’s sad to see him go, but I’m sure he’ll be fine wherever he lands. He was great to me, he was great to the Galaxy, the overall league and he will definitely be missed.
“From what I understand nothing’s changing. We are still going to be determined to be the gold standard moving forward, to keep on bringing in big names and to keep on winning championships. He kind of started that movement by brining in names but now it’s up to us to kind of keep it going, to keep that standard high.”
“I love Tim Leiweke,” Galaxy coach and general manager Bruce Arena said of the departure of the long-time president of Anschutz Entertainment Group, the Galaxy’s parent company. “I think he’s one of the best things to happen to me in my career. I’m going to miss Tim. I can speak for everyone in our organization — we care a lot about Tim and we certainly wish him the best.
“He’s been a phenomenal person to work with, a great leader, an inspiration. He’ll be missed.”
It remains to be seen how Leiweke’s successor, Dan Beckerman, continues the Galaxy’s efforts to remain a champion and lure top talent. But Beckerman is a longtime employee of AEG and is a known quantity to the Galaxy.
Arena doesn’t think that part of the Galaxy’s quest will change much.
“We don’t believe so,” Arena said. “We’ll have the same resources. It won’t be the same way (Leiweke) approached it. It can’t be. We can’t replicate Tim in terms of the way he does business, but it doesn’t mean we can’t do it as well if not better. That’s our charge and we’re going to have try to move forward.
“Dan’s a great guy. We’ve worked him throughout. Extremely bright, very supportive. A different kind of personality than Tim for sure, but obviously a very competent businessman and a person who works with the utmost integrity so we’re real pleased to continue to work with Dan.”
An entertaining, virtuoso performance over an admittedly inferior opponent that showcased the Galaxy’s abundant pipeline of young, local attacking talent wrote another page of club history tonight in Carson.
It’s the sort of tuneup for a derby managers dream about and another early season indication the Galaxy are in a confident, purposeful mood.
Accomplished goals by Inglewood’s Jose Villarreal — who received a standing ovation from a crowd aware it was witnessing a special, blossoming talent as he came off late in the game — and Newport Beach’s Jack McBean were highlights, but wiley Robbie Keane led by example and helped himself to a goal, too.