Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme confirms injury and timetable

Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme was subbed out of Saturday’s game with a knee injury. The extent wasn’t available then, but the defender confirmed Monday that he has a sprained MCL.

Van Damme has been the Galaxy’s top defender this season.

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Galaxy preview: Galaxy returns home to host Vancouver

Things are getting crowded in the Western Conference MLS standings and the GalaxyGalaxy is looking to make a big move with the first of two home games, starting tonight.

The Galaxy (9-4-12) will host Vancouver (8-12-6) at the StubHub Center at 7:30 p.m.

Vancouver is currently in ninth place in the Western Conference on 30 points. The Galaxy is in fourth with 39 points.

The teams have met twice already. The first meeting ended in a draw, the Galaxy won the second. Will the Galaxy be able to pick up a much-needed three points?

pregame reading: Brian Rowe is ready for a return

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Robbie Keane announces retirement from international competition

Galaxy forward Robbie Keane announced Wednesday morning that he is retiring from international duty with the Republic of Ireland national team, following next week’s international friendly.

Keane was selected to roster for the Aug. 31 game against Oman at Aviva Stadium in Robbie+Keane+returnsIreland. That will be his final game. Keane is Ireland’s all-time leader in goals (67) and appearances (145) over 18 years. He made his international debut in 1998 at the age of 17.

In a statement posted on his Facebook, Keane said:

“Today, I am announcing my decision to retire from international football following the
upcoming game with Oman on 31st August in the Aviva Stadium. It has been a wonderful journey for me to have played with the Irish international team for over eighteen years.”

“It has also been a great honor, for both me and my family, to have been given the opportunity to captain my country for over ten years. I have been on the most incredible journey with the Irish team and fans over the last 18 years and words cannot express how proud I am to be Irish.”

In his career with Ireland, Keane appeared in the 2002 World Cup and the 2012 and 2016 European Championships.

In this statement, he also stated his desire to continue his club football playing. His contract with the Galaxy reportedly expires in January.

“While this is the end of my international career, I hope to continue to play for some years yet. I love my time playing with LA Galaxy and intend to focus my energies on continuing my club football for a few more seasons.”

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Galaxy’s Robbie Rogers says he was called slur during Saturday’s game

galaxyGalaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers said he was subject to a homophobic slur during Saturday’s USL-game with LA Galaxy II against the Orange County Blues.

Rogers, who revealed that he was gay in 2013, posted a lengthy Facebook story about the incident from Saturday’s game.

Here are portions of the post:

“In the heat of the last fifteen minutes of the game a player from the opposing team called me a “queer” repeatedly. To be honest my initial reaction was one of shock. This is my fourth season back in the MLS and I’ve yet to hear another player use that or any other gay slur during a game. I quickly became enraged, I spent the drive home wishing I had channeled my inner Zidane and punched or head-butted this player even though I knew punching this person wouldn’t have helped either of us, my team, or the greater cause of advancing equality in sports. I went to bed upset last night. Angry at this player and his ignorance. Angry at myself for not doing more in the moment.

“Sad we still live in a time where this kind of intolerance still exists in my sport and elsewhere. And if I’m being honest, I was even a bit ashamed that a single word could make me feel, even just for a moment, all the awful feelings I felt for so many years: small, less than, wrong, and unworthy of love and respect by my family or god forbid by my teammates.

“But it was just for a moment.

“Minutes later my head was back in the game. And this morning even most of the anger has faded and the predominant emotions left are just love and gratitude. I’m happy that I practiced restraint worthy of my sport. I’m thankful for the many players on my team and even the opposing one who apologized to me for one man’s actions. Today, I woke up grateful to work in organization filled with so many players and coaches who have worked hard to practice tolerance of everyone and to help change a culture.

“But mostly I’m proud of myself. I am proud more than ever that I had the courage to come out as a queer man. I feel so fortunate to have gotten to share my story with others and to have gotten to play this sport I love so much as an openly gay person. I am, more than ever, thankful to have teammates and a family that love and support me for the son, brother, partner, father and queer player that I am.

“I’m encouraging, as I did when I came out four years ago, all athletes to find the courage within themselves to come out. Listen, only you know when and how it’s best for you to live your truth and share your story, but each one of you that chooses to make this courageous step is not just vastly improving your own life but literally saving others.”

LA Galaxy II was defeated by the Orange County Blues, 2-0, Saturday.

In a statement from Major League Soccer, released Sunday evening, the league said: “Soon after Robbie Rogers shared his story on social media on Sunday about being subject to a homophobic slur while playing for the LA Galaxy II in a USL match on Saturday, Major League Soccer and the United Soccer League began an investigation. Although the investigation is ongoing, both MLS and the USL have zero tolerance for homophobia or any type of discrimination in our game.”

The USL statement read: The USL has begun a full investigation into allegations of homophobic slurs directed at a player during last night’s Orange County Blues FC vs. LA Galaxy II game. The USL has zero tolerance for any discriminatory behavior.

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Galaxy recap: One goal is all it takes to sink Galaxy

It was an early goal, one that probably shouldn’t have counted, but that was all it took for New York City FC to defeat the Galaxy, 1-0, Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

NYCFC’s David Villa scored his 16th goal of the season in the sixth minute. He appeared to be in an offside position when Ronald Matarrita sent in a shot that deflected off of Galaxy goalkeeper Clement Diop.

The Galaxy record is now 9-4-11 with 38 points, tied with Sporting Kansas City for fourth place in the Western Conference.

Arena on what went wrong:

“Well, there wasn’t a whole lot of quality to our passing in the last third today. And then you look at the game, it was a tight game, we concede a goal early. In the first half, Nigel has an open goal that he misses. Second half, Robbie Keane has an open goal with his header. [He was] probably a little hesitant to head the ball coming off a concussion and fractured orbital bone, but those chances, they’re not going to come that often. They kept their players in pretty tight at the end of the game, and took out some players in the midfield and really clamped down. The couple of chances we get, we have to put one in the back of the net. That’s the name of the game. The conditions were tough for both teams, and that’s that.”

What’s next: The Galaxy remains on the road and heads to Chicago, Wednesday (5:30 p.m.) The Fire is in last place in the Eastern Conference.

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Robbie Keane can’t wait to get back on the field

Monday marked the five-year anniversary of Robbie Keane’s signing with the Robbie+Keane+returnsGalaxy.

If he would have had his way, he would have celebrated by scoring a couple of goals in a victory against Colorado, Sunday.

Instead, Keane wasn’t available, having gone through the league concussion protocol following an orbital bone fracture in a collision against the New York Red Bulls, Aug. 7.

Wednesday, before the team departed for New York and today’s visit to Yankee Stadium to face New York City FC (Noon/ESPN), Keane wasn’t pleased about having to sit out.

“Could I have played the weekend?” Keane asked. “I should have been. I should have been playing that game. I don’t care about a fracture. That’s part of football. You get knocks in football, you get whacks. If I get another whack will it hurt? Yes. If I get a whack without the fracture will it hurt? Yes. So, there’s no difference to me whether I get a whack or not.

“That’s part of the game. It’s a man’s game and you just have to accept it. I definitely would have been able to play some part on Saturday, but it wasn’t to be.”

It would be impossible to keep Keane off of the field today. He returned to training late last week and could play with a protective mask today.

With Keane on the field, this match-up is as star-studded as any in the league. NYCFC, led by David Villa (Spain), Frank Lampard (England) and Andrea Pirlo (Italy), is currently in first place in the Eastern Conference. Factor in the play of midfielder Thomas McNamara and Jack Harrison and you have one of the league’s best attacks.

The Galaxy should have its full assortment of Designated Players as well, with Giovani dos Santos, Frank Lampard and Gerrard.

“It seems like every week that we play a game it is always rivals or against big name players,” Keane said. “For us, this is just another game. Of course there’s a lot of quality and top players, so certainly for the fans, it is a game that excites everybody, but for us, we just have to go into every game like it is just another game.”

Keane and the Galaxy are currently on a nine-game unbeaten streak and enter the week in third place in the Western Conference on 38 points.

For as potent as the NYCFC attack has been (43 goals), the defense has been troubling. The second-year club has allowed 43 goals, most in the league.

“If we approach the game with the right mindset and right mentality, there’s no reason why we can’t get something from the game,” Keane said. “The pressure is on them, they’re on top, they’re playing well at the moment and so are we, so it is going to be an interesting game.”

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Galaxy’s Jack McBean loaned out to Coventry City

The Galaxy announced Friday that forward Jack McBean (Newport Beach) has been loaned to Coventry City of the England’s League One for the remainder of the MLS season.

McBean, who attended Corona del Mar HS, was initially signed as a Homegrown Player in 2011. At 16, he became the youngest player to appear in a game, start and score a goal for the Galaxy.

“Jack is a young and talented player that has continued to develop within our club,” Galaxy Head Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said. “We think this loan will put him in a position to help reach his potential while providing him with consistent playing time against strong competition.”

In 2015, McBean, 21, signed a USL contract with LA Galaxy II. He was the team’s MVP, last year, scoring 39 goals during the regular season and six with five assists in the USL postseason.

This year, McBean made two MLS and U.S. Open Cup appearances for the Galaxy.

“He’s played all of his football in the US leagues and will need a certain amount of time to adapt to the physical demands of the English game,” Coventry City manager Tony Mowbray said. “Jack will spend some time with Nicky Eaden in the U21s side to work on his match fitness and we’ll continue to monitor his progress in line with the needs of the first-team.”
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