LA Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant out six weeks after Colorado “wishbone” in injury-plagued season

GalaxyVeteran Galaxy left back Todd Dunivant was making just his fifth start of an injury-wracked season Friday against Colorado when he collided with Rapids midfielder Nick LaBrocca in the first half and could be sidelined the rest of the season.

The former Chivas USA playmaker stepped on one of Dunivant’s feet and caught him in what Dunivant described as a “wishbone-” like challenge that ripped his groin, sending him crashing to the turf in an injury that was obviously extremely painful.

Dunivant had only returned from a lengthy injury-induced lay-off in the 4-1 Aug. 27 win over D.C. United.

“I had the MRI yesterday,” the 33-year-old defender said Sunday. “It was a pretty significant tear.”

“I can’t walk straight,” he added with a grimace, observing he faced another six weeks of rehabilitation. “It sucks.”

Especially because an abdominal stain in April later required abdominal surgery, keeping him out for most of the season so far.

Robbie Rogers, who has switched from ineffective left winger to dangerous overlapping left back in Dunivant’s absence has at times looked his heir apparent, but Rogers, too, has suffered a succession of injuries that have restricted him to just 11 starts this season. He, too, remains sidelined yet again and hopes to return to the starting XI by the time the Galaxy travel to the Bay Area Sep. 14 to face San Jose, although he will travel to Montreal for Wednesday’s game against the Impact.

“I just want to be careful because I’ve had a few hamstring problems over the last few months,” he said Sunday.

“Todd and I were saying we needed to walk the field with incense or a voodoo guy,” he added. “For whatever reason with defenders this year we’ve had a little bit of trouble with injuries. It’s sports. It’s part of the job. But it sucks.”

“I felt really bad for (Todd) to get hurt that early in the game (Friday) after he had been out for a while. We’ve been dealing with it all season with injuries for different guys and the team as done a great job of being able to cover for people.”

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Watch: Free-scoring LA Galaxy pay tribute to defender A.J. DeLaGarza and family in emotional win over Colorado Rapids in Carson

On a night of heartfelt tributes to A.J. DeLaGarza’s new-born son, Luka, who died Thursday after just a handful of days on this earth because of a congenital heart defect, the LA Galaxy gave perhaps the most stirring performance soccer players can give, walloping their opponent in an exuberant 6-0 romp Friday that represented the team’s biggest margin of victory since the high-scoring 1998 season.

“We think the world of A.J. [DeLaGarza] and his family,” coach Bruce Arena said. “It’s a difficult moment, so our thoughts are definitely with them. It was emotional. He’s a person that we all care about. He’s such a great person. Him and his wife. It’s awful difficult to be in that position. We feel his pain, and we will be as supportive as we can be for A.J. and his family. Certainly, our thoughts were with him tonight. It’s certainly it was a game we wanted to win for him.”

“We play a sport for a living that we tend to think is very important, and people I think get carried away with parts of it,” said Landon Donovan. “We try to keep it all in perspective and life is more important. We’re heartbroken for our teammate [A.J. DeLaGarza] and our friend Megan [DeLaGarza] and their family and we do our job and we get on with it, but it doesn’t change what happened yesterday. That’s going to be a part of our season going forward; it doesn’t mean that after tonight we forget about it. It’s still a piece of all of us that we feel is lost and it’s a sad night.”

“Obviously it’s a tough time for A.J. [DeLaGarza] and his family, but obviously for us as well,” said DeLaGarza’s college friend and central defensive partner Omar Gonzalez. “He is part of the family and he is a longtime friend and teammate of mine so I definitely feel for him. There aren’t words to express how I feel and there aren’t words to say to him because I don’t understand. It is really tough so we just want to let him know that we are here for him no matter what. If he needs a shoulder to lean on, we’ll be ready when he is ready to talk about it. Tonight, I just texted him and said, ‘is there something I can do for Luca?’ He said, ‘just get a shutout, and play hard for Luca. That would mean the most.’ And everyone is wearing the black Luca armbands; some of us wore the shirts. Tonight was about something bigger than all of us and playing for his family. It’s just great that there’s so much love here and I’m happy that we could get this win for him tonight.”

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Major League Soccer Preview: LA Galaxy face Colorado Rapids tonight in Carson with heavy hearts after death of defender A.J. DeLaGarza’s newborn son

Phil Collin has the capsule game preview, while here’s the match-up by the numbers. I presume A.J. DeLaGarza, who was not in training Thursday, will also miss tonight’s game. More on his family’s saga is here. Major League Soccer remains a fairly small family and members of the community are using Twitter to express their thoughts. I will retweet them throughout the day so check the rolling feed to the right.

Updated

  • The Galaxy will wear black arm bands with the name LUCA inscribed on them for the match, the club has announced.
  • Before the match there will be a moment of silence for Luca DeLaGarza.
  • Fans in attendance are urged to stand at the 20th minute and celebrate the fight and heart Luca showed.
  • Individuals interested in donating to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome research may donate on AJ and Megan DeLaGarza’s page here.

 

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SuperClasico Labor Day Weekend Rewind: Game over for rivalry as LA Galaxy beat Chivas USA (yet again)


Since losing to Sporting Kansas City July 19, the Galaxy have reeled off six wins, dropping just five points in the eight games and ending with a 13-goal spree over four games in 11 days. Impressive.

No wonder coach Bruce Arena lost track of how many games they have played where. Next up: Colorado Friday in Carson.

Mercifully, this rivalry series is finished.

And no column from me today because of the holiday weekend.

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SuperClasico Shootout: LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes V. Chivas USA’s Cubo Torres

It’s a match made for MLS: the prolific American starring for his local MLS club that plays in Carson a short South Bay skip from his Hawthorne hometown verses the all-time top Mexican scorer in MLS facing off in one of the biggest soccer markets in the country.

The face-off isn’t perfect.

Both players have cooled off of late.

And Torres, who should be pulling in capacity crowds, plays for a uniquely unpopular club fumbling toward oblivion and is virtually unknown compared to revered Mexican stars he has surpassed such as Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernandez and Cuauhtémoc Blanco.

Yet players like these represent the future of MLS.

Beat writer Phil Collin sat down with both of them ahead of Sunday’s last-ever SuperClasico.

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LA Galaxy defender A.J. DeLaGarza and family in fight for life of newborn son today, putting latest win over D.C. United in perspective

The Galaxy’s game Wednesday night in Carson was all but over by half time as a dominant Los Angeles took a 3-0 lead during the opening 45 minutes of a game against Eastern Conference leaders D.C. United they would go on to win 4-1 ahead of Sunday’s final SuperClasico over Chivas USA.

Defender A.J.DeLaGarza started for the Galaxy in their latest victory, but the real fight for his family begins today with the birth of his first-born son who has a life-threatening congenital heart condition.

“I was very happy to get my first MLS goal with my feet instead of my head,” DeLaGarza’s fellow central defender, Maryland graduate and good friend Omar Gonzalez said. “I was pretty surprised that it went in and I just ran over to A.J. to lift my shirt with “Luca Knows Heart.” Tomorrow’s a very important day for him and we’re all going to be here for him. I’m happy to get the win for him tonight so he can focus on what he has to focus on tomorrow.”

Finally, it was a good night for returning striker Alan Gordon, too:

Update

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Major League Soccer Preview: LA Galaxy hosts D.C. United in Carson at 7:30 p.m. at StubHub Center

There’s a doubleheader of sorts today:

*MLS beat writer Phil Collin has the capsule preview.
*Here’s the (Landon Donovan perspective) from The Washington Post
*In case you missed it, my weekly soccer column is here.

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Weekly Soccer Column: With SuperClasico looming at weekend, U.S. Soccer announces LA Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan to make final national team bow Oct. 10

The game in Hartford, Conn., is a friendly against Ecuador and will air live on ESPN.

“For 15 years, Landon has thrilled us with his amazing abilities on the field and impressed us with his gracious approach off the field,” said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. “We are looking forward to celebrating his legacy during our next home National Team match and allowing fans the opportunity to thank him for all the memories he’s provided over the years.”

There was no quote from Jurgen Klinsmann in the press release, BTW.

Oh, and for the actual column on the upcoming SuperClasico, click here.

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Major League Soccer Sunday: LA Galaxy win over Whitecaps in Carson, Chivas USA lose again

This was a more comfortable victory for the Galaxy than the 2-0 scoreline reflected over a Vancouver team seemingly without the self-belief to try for a win in Southern California where the visitors have traditionally performed poorly. Reporter Phil Collin filed the game story.

The result has the Galaxy lurking menacingly just two points behind the trio of Western Conference leaders and putting a seven-point cushion on the fifth-place Whitecaps.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA lost yet again, this time in Boston to the New England Revolution and haven’t scored in five consecutive games.

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Major League Soccer Saturday: LA Galaxy host Vancouver Whitecaps tonight at StubHub Center in Carson

The Galaxy are leaking goals all of a sudden, while Vancouver is having trouble scoring. The Whitecaps have switched out Torrance for Long Beach in an attempt to change their fortunes in Southern California.

Phil Collin has the game basics.

Last place Chivas USA are in Boston.

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