Does the Galaxy need another aging English import like Ashley Cole?

cole What signing? You want to sign this guy, a jocular Ashley Cole seems to be asking. (AP file photo).

The possibility of former England left back Ashley Cole joining MLS and the Galaxy from Italian side Roma at the age of 35 first appeared six days ago in that paragon of journalistic credibility, The Irish Sun.

ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle picked up the story, closely followed by the LA Times who appeared to have pinned down usually evasive Galaxy coach Bruce Arena with a grudging admission the media reports were “reasonably accurate.”

Not so fast.

Hours later English tabloid the Daily Mail was reporting Cole was still undecided about his future.

How excited are you about the possibility of Cole, who has played sparingly since joining Roma, joining 35-year-old Steven Gerrard in the Galaxy lineup next season? (Ahem).

Let’s hope someone tells him about the heat, humidity and long road trips. Don’t want that to be a nasty surprise like it was for Stevie, after all.

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LA Galaxy transfer Juninho to Club Tijuana

Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez // AP

Two days after transferring Omar Gonzalez to Liga MX side C.F. Pachuca, the LA Galaxy announced another major transaction in the transfer of Brazilian midfielder Juninho to Club Tijuana.

“We thank Juninho for his contributions on and off the field during his time here,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We wish him the best of luck with Tijuana.”

Since joining the Galaxy in 2010 on loan from Sao Paolo, Juninho made 187 appearances with the club and 180 starts, and was one of the team’s most consistent midfielders. He earned his first MLS all-star selection in 2015. However, his role was reduced with the addition of Steven Gerrard in the summer.

Juninho’s agent Ricard Silveira told the LA Times soon after the Galaxy lost in the knockout round of the MLS playoffs that his client “likes to play for Bruce, (but) Juninho wants to be recognized, that’s for sure.”

Juninho scored 18 goals and notched 23 assists with the Galaxy, scoring four times and assisting seven goals in 2015. After Gerrard joined the squad in July, Juninho did not score in MLS play, but recorded four assists.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to have worn the LA Galaxy jersey for the past six seasons,” Juninho wrote in a statement released on social media and I have worn it with pride, however, it is time for me to trade in my Galaxy jersey for a new one. I’ve always welcomes the opportunity for growth and for change. To play for Club Tijuana in Mexico is a tremendous opportunity for me.”

The transfers of Gonzalez and Juninho free up considerable financial space for the Galaxy, who are undergoing a major roster reconstruction after their disappointing 2015 season. reported that Juninho’s transfer fee was believed to be in the $1.5 million range, while Gonzalez’s was in the $750,000 range. According to data released by the MLS Players Union, Juninho was guaranteed $350,000 in 2015.

Club Tijuana is scheduled to face the Galaxy in a preseason friendly on Feb. 9 at StubHub Center in advance of the 2016 MLS season.

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100 Percent Soccer Column: Departure of LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez gives promoted Daniel Steres an opening on back line

steresPhoto courtesy Los Angeles Galaxy

It was a case of good timing when LA Galaxy II captain Daniel Steres sat down Monday with the Los Angeles Newspaper group to discuss his promotion to the first team the week before.

The next day Omar Gonzalez was shipped to Liga MX.

Read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column here.

BTW: Steres was inspired by the luminary likes of Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and Carles Puyol, a Catalan who played for Barcelona, the pride of that fiercely independent Spanish region.

Here’s why:

“I just like the tenacity that they played with,” Steres said. “I’m kind of a more calm, easy-going guy and I just like to watch them, how they get into tackles, how everything mattered with them, especially Puyol. He won every single ball, everything was just stuck in and hard and Ramos bought a little more flair.”

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LA Galaxy open season at home against DC United

MLSlogoThe LA Galaxy will open their season on March 6 at home against DC United at 7 p.m., the league announced on Tuesday. The game will cap off a full opening day schedule that features 10 matchups.

The Galaxy will play their second game on the road against the Colorado Rapids in Colorado’s home opener.

A 2015 MLS Cup rematch between Columbus and MLS Cup winners Portland highlights the opening day slate at 1:30 p.m.

A full regular season schedule will be announced on Jan. 7.

Full MLS schedule for the first day of the season.

Full MLS schedule for the first day of the season.

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LA Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez transferred to Liga MX’s C.F. Pachuca

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu

The LA Galaxy announced the transfer of defender Omar Gonzalez to Liga MX C.F. Pachuca on Tuesday.

“We thank Omar for his contribution and dedication to this club throughout the past seven years,” head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “We wish Omar the best of luck with Pachuca.”

Gonzalez signed with the Mexican side Tuesday morning after the deal went through after about one week of quick negotiations, he said in an interview in Spanish with Pachuca. He also said there was an offer from the Galaxy, but he turned it down in order to sign with the Liga MX team.

The Galaxy previously expressed a commitment to keep Gonzalez for 2016, but his contract, which was bought down from designated player status with Targeted Allocation Money (TAM) in 2015, and the salary cap proved too difficult to reconcile. Gonzalez was guaranteed $1.45 million in 2015, according to MLS Players Union data. The terms of Tuesday’s deal were not announced.

Although MLS added more $800,000 of TAM this season for each team, it was still not enough for the team to buy down Gonzalez’s contract again. The transfer offers more financial flexibility for the Galaxy, who were subjected to their longest offseason in seven years after getting bounced from the MLS Cup Playoffs in the knockout stage.

“Omar is a part of our family and always part of the Galaxy family,” Galaxy president Chris Klein said in a phone interview. “We’ve had some great times with him. In the end, it’s a part of sports, it’s a part of soccer. … Omar has moved on and the Galaxy has to get to work in building up our roster and now we have more resources to do that.”

Gonzales was drafted by the Galaxy in 2009 and anchored the Galaxy backline to three MLS Cups. He was named to the MLS Best XI and earned MLS Defender of the Year honors in 2011 but had a shaky season last year, which included him not getting called up for the U.S. men’s national team for the CONCACAF Cup against Mexico.

“Leaving is never easy and change can be difficult,” Gonzalez wrote in a statement he released on Twitter and “However, this is an opportunity for me to continue to grow as a player and as a person.”

As the Galaxy continue to retool their roster, Klein said the team is not focused solely on one position as it gets ready for CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal play in late February and the 2016 MLS season, which opens March 6.

The team president told previously that retaining forward Alan Gordon, who is currently out of contract, is a priority. Rumors of European interest in forward Gyasi Zardes continued during the offseason, but reported last week that Zardes was close to re-signing with the Galaxy. Zardes said last week while visiting his high school alma mater he is fully focused on returning to the Galaxy and he has two years left with the club.

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Best reason for a Las Vegas road trip: LA Galaxy play San Jose Earthquakes there Feb. 13, four days after playing Club Tijuana in Carson

monteFrom Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. Photo by Jeff Bedford.

The LA Galaxy will host the Xolos at 7 p.m. Feb. 9 at StubHub Center before taking on the Earthquakes 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at 9,334-capacity Cashman Field, a minor league baseball stadium.

Tickets to the game against the Xolos go on sale Jan. 11.

The Galaxy previously announced a Jan. 31 friendly against Armenian club FC Shirak in Carson.

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Star Wars Opening Weekend EPL TV Video Preview: Man Utd face Norwich City at 7 a.m. Saturday on USA


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100 Percent Soccer Column: Former Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy has “surreal” SoCal return with Galaxy

TS22-SOCCERCOL--- Carson, CALIFORNIA--1/21/13--- Staff Photo: Robert Casillas --- Chivas USA All-Star GK Dan Kennedy waves to cheering fans at practice.

TS22-SOCCERCOL— Carson, CALIFORNIA–1/21/13— Staff Photo: Robert Casillas — Chivas USA All-Star GK Dan Kennedy waves to cheering fans at practice.

Former Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is now a member of the LA Galaxy. Read one view of what that means for the club in this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

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