LA Galaxy II sign 15-year-old Westminster goalkeeper Eric Lopez to USL Pro contract

Galaxy2logoThe LA Galaxy reserve team made USL Pro history today by signing the youngest player in league history — 15-year-old Eric Lopez.

Lopez has progressed through the Academy ranks, making his debut for the club at age 13 and received his first U.S. call-up to the U-17 squad earlier this year.

“Eric is another example of the fully-realized player developmental system that the Galaxy have implemented,” said LA Galaxy Technical Director Jovan Kirovski. “We are excited to complete this deal and keep talented prospects like Eric within the Galaxy organization as their careers progress.”

Inglewood’s Jaime Villarreal is the only other homegrown player to sign a USL Pro contract with the LA Galaxy II.

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Major League Soccer Playoff Video: Real Salt Lake 0 Los Angeles Galaxy 0

Our sister newspaper The Salt Lake Tribune has the game story and video.

Another unwatchable playoff opener with two teams unwilling to give anything away ahead of the second leg, which is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

Quotable:

“Ugly game,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “Lopsided in calls. The fouls were over two to one in our favor. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. It made for one crappy game for sure. … Next week, the game’s going to look a lot different.”

Let’s hope so.

Notable: The Galaxy are now winless in the last four games.

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Major League Soccer Playoff Preview: LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake live at 5 p.m. on NBCSN

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Los Angeles News Group Galaxy beat writer Phil Collin has the game preview for the playoff opener; the Real Salt Lake perspective is here from our sister newspaper The Salt Lake Tribune.

The match by the numbers is here.

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Should former Chivas USA enforcer Jesse Marsch be the coach of the new Los Angeles Major League Soccer franchise?

becksjesseIn your face: David Beckham and Jesse Marsch go nose-to-nose in the heyday of the LA SuperClasico (File photo).

The Golden Age for defunct MLS club Chivas USA was the trio of seasons it advanced to the playoffs back when the likes of hard-nosed Jesse Marsch patrolled the midfield, now EPL goalkeeper Brad Guzan was between the sticks and Cuban defector Maykel Galindo was banging in the goals for the Goats.

Marsch went on to an abbreviated coaching career for the expansion Montreal impact, but didn’t appear to get a fair shake from management.

If the new LA MLS club wants passion and commitment it could do a lot worse than Marsch, who was all about that during his inspirational Chivas USA career.

Full disclosure: Founder of Chivas USA fan group Black Army John Sadante made the suggestion during a conversation we had Sunday ahead of Thursday’s announcement about the MLS replacement for Chivas USA.

Anyone willing to kick a little butt is likely to inspire crowds like Chivas USA once saw back in the club’s Preki-led heyday. What do you think?

C

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Major League Soccer Playoff Preview: Potent LA Galaxy attack focus Saturday for Real Salt Lake

Considering those numbers, it’s no wonder Real Salt Lake will focus on Landon Donovan Saturday in the opening playoff game. But then, they have plenty of other attacking worries from their Southern California opponents, too.

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Video: New in-depth Landon Donovan interview premieres Tuesday night on Time Warner Cable ahead of start of Major League Soccer playoffs

If you haven’t yet had enough of Landon Donovan interviews, then you will want to catch Cobi Jones sitting down for an extended 30-minute conversation with the LA Galaxy playmaker in the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet series “Connected With…”

Donovan will talk about his impending retirement and, of course, his omission from the World Cup squad:

“Of course I was hurt…And the part that I haven’t talked a lot about is that it was painful for my family…They had this amazing trip planned, this amazing life journey…Not only are they devastated for their son, uncle, nephew…but it was a really difficult time for us as a family.”

 

See an excerpt from the interview here. The show premieres at 7:30 p.m,.

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Major League Soccer Playoff Bracket: LA Galaxy open post-season Saturday against Real Salt Lake in Utah

Kickoff is at 5 p.m. live on NBCSN with the return leg in Carson 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9.

From the Galaxy press release:

The winner of the Western Conference Semifinal series will advance to the two-leg Western Conference Championship round, with the conference champions advancing to the MLS Cup match. With a better record than any Eastern Conference team, the Galaxy would host the MLS Cup should the team advance.

Led by first-year head coach Jeff Cassar, Real Salt Lake finished season in third place in the Western Conference with a 15-8-11 record and 56 points. The series marks the second-straight season that the Galaxy face Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Galaxy finished the 2014 MLS Regular Season in second place overall in the MLS standings with an 17-7-10 record and 61 points, scoring 69 goals scored while allowing just 37. LA’s +32 goal differential is the second-highest in MLS history, trailing only the 1998 Galaxy side that recorded a +41 goal differential. The team ends the year with just seven losses in their 34 matches, the fewest in MLS this season.

The Galaxy lost out on the Supporters’ Shield Saturday in Seattle, falling 2-0 to the Sounders.

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Major League Soccer: Seattle Sounders win washes away Galaxy’s Supporters’ Shield hopes

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Weekend Soccer Preview: El Clasico Barcelona-Real Madrid, MLS LA Galaxy-Seattle SoundersFC and EPL

The biggest problem soccer fans will have this weekend is figuring out what to watch — and what to miss.

The biggest game on the planet gets under way at 9 a.m. on BeInSports. Don’t have the channel? No worries. The BJ’s at Del Amo Fashion Center in Torrance and in Glendale will open early for the game. They have a weekend brunch — so it’s a great place for a quick bite (pun intended).

Want an appetizer?

And then…

Chelsea and Manchester United clash at 9 a.m. Sunday on NBC. Preview all the BPL games here.

Finally…

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LA Galaxy plan $15 million StubHub Center upgrade, slash season ticket prices ahead of regular season finale Saturday against Seattle

Here’s the Sounders-Galaxy game Saturday by the numbers and here’s 15 million reasons to visit StubHub Center next year for an MLS game.

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