Jelle Van Damme and Giovani dos Santos selected to Best XI

Galaxy midfielder Giovani dos Santos and defender Jelle Van Damme were selected to the MLS Best XI, recognizing the league’s top players at each position on the field as determined by media, MLS players and MLS club staff.galaxy

In his first season with the Galaxy, Van Damme, 33, developed into the key to the Galaxy defense, making 28 starts. He was a finalist for both the MLS Defender and Newcomer of the Year awards. He ranked third in the league in blocked shots (27) and in the top 10 in interceptions (95).

Dos Santos,27, was also in his first full season with the Galaxy. He was one of two players this season to record double digits in goals scored (14) and assists (12).

Here is the complete team

2016 MLS Best XI

Goalkeeper: Andre Blake (Philadelphia Union)

Defenders: Matt Hedges (FC Dallas), Axel Sjoberg (Colorado Rapids), Jelle Van Damme (LA Galaxy)

Midfielders: Mauro Diaz (FC Dallas), Giovani dos Santos (LA Galaxy), Sacha Kljestan (New York Red Bulls), Ignacio Piatti (Montreal Impact)

Forwards: Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC), David Villa (New York City FC), Bradley Wright-Phillips (New York Red Bulls)

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Dealing with altitude one of challenges facing Galaxy this weekend

To get through the second leg of their Western Conference Semifinals, the Galaxy has to deal with their No. 1 nemesis.

Tim Howard? The Colorado defense? Sure, they’re both concerns, but for the Galaxy, how

Photo by Steve McCrank // Staff Photographer

Photo by Steve McCrank // Staff Photographer

it deals with the altitude will determine how things go Sunday afternoon.

“Right now, we have a 1-0 lead and we know it is going to be tough,” Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme said. “This is going to be my second time. I struggled (the first time) after 20-30 minutes, so we have to be prepared, rest our body and just deal with it.”

The Galaxy’s first trip to Colorado this season (Mar.12) was Van Damme’s first time playing at altitude. .

“They told me it was going to be tough,” he said of that first game. “I thought it was just a mental thing, but it came true.”

Colorado went undefeated during the regular season (11-0-6). One of those victories came against the Galaxy (1-0) on March 12.

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena is no stranger to dealing with altitude, whether in Colorado or Mexico City with the U.S. national team.

Is there an easy way to prepare? The Galaxy is scheduled to arrive in Colorado Saturday, a day before the game, which has been reported could lessen the impact that the altitude could have on a team.

“There’s not a whole lot you can do,” Arena said. “Make sure your team is hydrated. If you’re fit, you can deal with it. The fitter you are, the better you’re able to cope with it.

“I’ve done this for years, talking to specialists on altitude, getting the U.S. team ready for Mexico City …nobody knows. The only way to acclimated to altitude is to live there and to live there for three weeks or so in Denver, three months in Mexico City …nobody knows.”

 

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LA Galaxy to host Stadium Club viewing party Sunday at StubHub Center for Western Conference semifinal against Colorado

stadiumclub (Photo courtesy StubHub Center).

Galaxy fans can watch the second leg of the Western Conference semifinal against the Colorado Rapids that kicks off at 11 a.m. Sunday on the largest video screen in MLS from the newly-renovated Stadium Club at StubHub Center.

From the Galaxy press release:

Doors for the watch party will open at 10 a.m. for the 11 a.m. kickoff, with free parking available for all guests in attendance.

There will be various food options featured, with drink specials available for guests, including $2 beers, $5 Bloody Marys, $5 mimosas, coffee and soft drinks. The watch party will feature various prizes and giveaways for fans, with Cozmo and the LA Galaxy Star Squad set to be in attendance. Fans will also have the opportunity to take photographs with all five of the LA Galaxy’s MLS Cup trophies, which will be inside the Stadium Club. In addition to the LA Galaxy-Colorado Rapids match on GalaxyTV, there will also be NFL games shown on televisions inside the Stadium Club.

The Galaxy lead the two-game, aggregate score series 1-0.

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MLS Playoffs: Conference semifinals recap

conferencesemisThe first legs of the conference semifinals took place Sunday and all four games were won by the home teams. That sets the stage for what should be wild Sunday (Nov. 6) for the second legs.

Here is a recap and second leg schedule

Montreal 1, New York 0: Matteo Mancosu’s goal in the 61st minute led the Impact to victory.

Up next: Montreal at New York, 1 p.m. (ESPN)

Galaxy 1, Colorado 0: Giovani dos Santos scored in the 55th minute to lead the Galaxy to the 1-0 home victory.

Up next: Galaxy at Colorado, 11 a.m. (ESPN)

Toronto FC 2, New York City FC 0: Jozy Altidore scored in the 84th minute and Tosaint Ricketts added another in the 92 minute for TFC.

Up next: Toronto FC at New York City FC, 3:30 p.m. (FS1)

Seattle 3, FC Dallas 0: In perhaps the biggest shock of the first leg, the Sounders erupted for three goals in an eight-minute span to take the victory. Nelson Valdez scored in the 50th minute and Nicolas Lodeiro scored in the 55th and 58th minute.

Up next: Seattle at FC Dallas, 6 p.m. (FS1)

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Weekend TV Preview: MLS Playoffs Sunday and more

mlssf

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100 Percent Soccer: LA Galaxy plays game of season Wednesday at same time as Lakers’ season opener, but how many fans noticed?

L.A. Galaxy’s Emmanuel Boateng(24) gets the ball past Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando,(18) for the goal in the Western Conference, host sixth-seeded Real Salt Lake in an MLS Knockout Round showdown in  Carson CA. Wednesday, October 26, 2016. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova, Press-Telegram/ Daily Breeze/SCNG)

L.A. Galaxy’s Emmanuel Boateng(24) gets the ball past Real Salt Lake’s Nick Rimando,(18) for the goal in the Western Conference, host sixth-seeded Real Salt Lake in an MLS Knockout Round showdown in Carson CA. Wednesday, October 26, 2016. (Photo by Thomas R. Cordova, Press-Telegram/ Daily Breeze/SCNG)

It was good to see the Galaxy rouse themselves from their wretched form of late led by an inspirational performance by live wire Emmanuel Boateng, who scored two impressive goals in the playoff knockout game Wednesday at Stubhub Center against Real Salt Lake.

But the Galaxy were done no favors by the timing of the game.

Read more in this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

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Galaxy notes: Lineup changes are coming for Sunday’s regular season finale

The Galaxy wraps up the regular season Sunday against FC Dallas. While the game means a lot for FC Dallas (they’re in the hunt for the Supporters’ Shield), things are the opposite for the Galaxy.

The Galaxy is locked into the third-seed and will be home for the knockout-round, Oct. 26 galaxyor 27.

Bruce Arena that the lineup that he sends out will have a different look.

“Clearly, we’ll play a few different players, how many remains to be seen,” he said Wednesday.

Three players we will likely not see are Robbie Keane (hip flexor), Steven Gerrard (hamstring) and Gyasi Zardes (foot). Keane and Gerrard stayed behind and didn’t make the trip to Houston last week. Zardes has been rehabbing from his foot surgery.

“They’re making progress,” Arena said. “When they’re able to get back in remains to be seen.”

 

 

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Galaxy wrap: Alan Gordon’s goal just enough for the Galaxy

By no means was it pretty, but it was memorable and just enough for the Galaxy.

Alan Gordon’s 72nd minute goal snapped a scoreless tie and proved to be enough to give the Galaxy a 1-0 victory on the road over Houston. The Galaxy caught a huge break on the goal with Houston defender David Horst actually playing the ball into Gordon’s direction.

The goal came on Gordon’s 35th birthday.

With the victory, the Galaxy improves to 51 points. They remain in third place and clinches a home match in the knockout round (Oct. 26 or 27).

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