“Landon Donovan’s commitment to growing the game in North America is unrivaled and his contributions to Major League Soccer are immeasurable,” said Commissioner Don Garber. “When he joined MLS in 2001, he showed other American players that this was his ‘League of Choice.’ His legacy will be forever etched in our league’s history, and we appreciate everything he has accomplished, both on and off the field.”
The Southern California native, the all-time leader in MLS goals and assists, said he was “extremely humbled” by the gesture:
“As a child, soccer was merely an outlet for me — a way to express myself,” said Donovan. “To have this prestigious award named after me is truly unimaginable.
During a recent interview with the principals involved in the brewery that resulted in this Daily Breeze story I was told Galaxy head honcho Chris Klein had already visited the business that has hopes of hosting road game viewing parties and suggested they brew a special beer for the club that may eventually be sold at the stadium.
Newly-added Fox Sports soccer analyst Alexi Lalas along with Rob Stone and the rest of the studio team will become a Sunday afternoon fixture for MLS fans this year (Photo courtesy Fox Sports 1).
Los Angeles-based Fox Sports 1 will air 34 Sunday afternoon MLS games this year, most beginning at 4 p.m., the network announced today.
Sunday afternoon MLS games in the past have not fared well on television so it will be interesting to see how Fox does as MLS returns to the network after a five-year absence as part of an eight-year rights agreement.
The schedule includes three doubleheaders with the first set for 4 p.m. March 8 when Sporting Kansas City hosts the New York Red Bulls followed by the Seattle Sounders facing Eastern Conference Champion New England Revolution at 6:30 p.m.
Five Galaxy games are scheduled starting with a March 15 game against the Portland Timbers. Two contests against Seattle are also on the Fox schedule on April 12 and Oct. 4.
Here’s more from the Fox Sports press release:
This season, MLS and its broadcast partners, including FOX Sports 1, introduce flex scheduling on the penultimate weekend of the regular season which allows the league and its media partners to decide the most impactful matches to telecast as the season draws to a close.
In addition to the flex scheduling, MLS also unveils its new “Decision Day” scheduling format on the last day of the regular season. On Sunday, Oct. 25, all five games in each conference are scheduled to be played at the same time, with Eastern Conference matches kicking-off at 5:00 PM ET and Western Conference games beginning at 7:00 PM ET. FOX Sports 1 is slated to televise an Eastern Conference match.
FOX Sports 1 and ESPN divide MLS CUP PLAYOFFS matches (outside of two games televised by Univision), and alternate televising the MLS CUP and AT&T MLS ALL-STAR GAME. Television plans for 2015 are expected at a later date.
I was just in awe,” Zardes told reporters Monday after his first training session of the email he received from national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann inviting him to camp. “When I was in Hawthhorne this was a dream. It’s what you dream about.”
Klinsmann has spoken of the importance of players like Zardes’ attacking partner on the Galaxy, Robbie Keane, and recently-signed EPL veteran Steven Gerrard and their role in grooming up and coming youngsters:
“Theyre doing a tremendous amount of work getting our players to another level. These are the guys we need in the United States to help our guys grow even faster.”
“Robbie Keane is a phenomenal player and I’m a student of the game and I just try to learn as much as I can from the veterans like these guys who are on the national team,” he said, adding that he is looking forward to seeing Keane, who had brief spell at Liverpool, and Gerrard reunited with the Galaxy.
Galaxy players report to preseason training Jan. 22 for physicals and will play two overseas preseason tuneups in Europe, but the team is not scheduled to play a home preseason friendly ahead of the MLS opener March 6 against the Chicago Fire in Carson, the club announced today.
The Galaxy departs for Europe Feb. 11 where it will meet fellow Anschutz Entertainment Group-owned club Hammarby Feb. 16 in Sweden and Irish club Shamrock Rovers Feb. 21 in Dublin.
Want to try out for the Galaxy? here’s more from the club press release:
LA Galaxy II will hold its second-annual Open Tryout Jan. 31 and Feb. 1 for a chance to join the team for the upcoming 2015 USL PRO season. Members from the LA Galaxy and LA Galaxy II technical staff, who will be on hand for tryouts, will select a minimum of two players to trial with Los Dos for the preseason with the opportunity to play in the club’s 2015 campaign.
The 28-player roster contains the usual mix of veterans (Clint Dempsey, Chris Wondolowski), youngsters (Hawthorne’s Gyasi Zardes and Galaxy defender Oscar Sorto) and even some players veteran journalists have never heard of (but there’s no room for Galaxy left back Robbie Rogers or Omar Gonzalez for that matter).
Guess I'm washed up. 3 players on the #USMNT roster I have never, ever heard of.
The camp runs Monday through Feb. 8 at StubHub Center and culminates with a Feb. 8 friendly against Panama in Carson (more than 10,000 tickets sold already U.S. Soccer reported today). In between the team will head to Chile for a Jan. 28 friendly.
“The prize in 2015 for the senior National Team is the Gold Cup, and this camp will give a lot of our players a chance to kick start their preparations for an important year,” said coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “We also get an opportunity to introduce the next wave of young players into the program, and in particular work with many of our Olympic-age guys as they build toward qualifying for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.”
Notable: Zardes, 23, scored 16 goals during the 2014 MLS regular season.
Here’s the full roster:
goalkeepers – Alex Bono (unattached), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Jon Kempin (Sporting Kansas City), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake).
defenders — Matt Besler (Sporting Kansas City), Steve Birnbaum (D.C. United), Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC), Jermaine Jones (New England Revolution), Perry Kitchen (D.C. United), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy)
Midfielders – Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Mix Diskerud (out of contract), Dennis Flores (Club Leon), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake), Miguel Ibarra (Minnesota United FC), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Marc Pelosi (Liverpool FC), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (Orlando City SC), Wil Trapp (Columbus Crew)
forwards – Tesho Akindele (FC Dallas), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Julio Morales (Tepic), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes), Bobby Wood (1860 Munich), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy)
MLS has made a massive effort to schedule the vast majority of games on weekends (only three Wednesday Galaxy games in 2015) although the new television rights deal has dictated an increased number of Friday night games.
And although it makes scheduling a road trip to take in more than one away game a lot more challenging (Orlando in June or October in Seattle anyone?), MLS has also attempted to alternate home and away games in an apparent effort to get fans in the routine of expecting a home game every other week (something this critic has long wanted to boost attendance).
Among the tidbits: 14 games on national TV and the other 20 on local television, expansion team New York City FC visits StubHub Center Sunday, Aug. 23.
Here’s more from the Galaxy news release:
The first California Clasico against San Jose will take place when the Galaxy travel to Stanford Stadium on Saturday, June 27. The Galaxy will host the California Clasico at StubHub Center Friday, July 17 before the third and final matchup will take place at San Jose’s new Avaya Stadium Friday, Aug. 28, with both matches shown live on Univision. The Galaxy are 28-18-12 all-time against their Northern California rivals in regular season matches.
The club’s annual Fourth of July game features a match against Toronto at StubHub Center, marking the 20th consecutive season that the Galaxy will host a game on Independence Day, the longest such stretch in American professional sports.