Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts returns to LA Galaxy on salary cap roundabout as Jaime Penedo exits club

drickettsRicketts’ Returns: Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts is back with the Galaxy for their late-season MLS drive. (Photo courtesy LA Galaxy).

Donovan Ricketts’ LA Galaxy goalkeeping career ended because of salary cap issues; now it may resume for the same reason as first-choice goalkeeper Jaime Penedo and his $178,125,00 salary exits the club by mutual agreement.

The deal was “announced” — I’m not kidding — by Steven Gerrard who let it slip during an interview last night during the MLS All-Star game telecast. Coach Bruce Arena later confirmed the negotiations.

Ricketts, who made 70 appearances for the Galaxy between 2009 and 2011 — second most for a club netminder after Kevin Hartman, — was making $260,000 a year with Orlando.

So how does the deal pencil out for the Galaxy if Ricketts makes more than Penedo, who made a total of 54 Galaxy appearances?

Because it turns out, “a portion” of Ricketts’ salary with Orlando is being paid by his previous club, the Portland Timbers. Assume Orlando are doing the same to unload Ricketts to the Galaxy.

I’m guessing the Galaxy could be on the hook for only something like $65,000-$70,000 for Ricketts until the end of the year.

That’s good business for the club.

They get rid of a goalkeeper who clearly did not enjoy Arena’s full confidence and trust this season — Penedo made 16 appearances this season — for a 38-year-old who backstopped the Galaxy to an MLS Cup in 2011.

As a Daily Breeze colleague remarked it’s a typical piece of Bruce business. Ricketts’ replacement in the starting XI with the Galaxy was Josh Saunders; he made just over $77,000 in 2012 with the Galaxy.

“Donovan is one of the most experienced and successful goalkeepers in MLS,” said Arena. “He is familiar with our team and has proven to be a player capable of winning championships. We are happy that he is once again a member of the LA Galaxy and look forward to his contributions to our club.”

Nearing age 40, Ricketts is clearly a short-term solution for the Galaxy, but one Arena clearly believes could result in another MLS Cup this year.

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Record Spanish-language television network ratings for soccer seen as debate intensifies about Liga MX proving MLS All-Star Game opposition

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With debate intensifying over the format and future of the MLS All-Star Gameset for tonight in Denver — some observers, including MLS Commissioner Don Garber, have suggested a Liga MX All-Star team could provide the opposition.

It’s likely no coincidence this surfaces as Univision Deportes reports record ratings in July driven by soccer:

“Univision Deportes Network outperformed ESPN 2, Fox Sports 1 and NBC Sports Network, among others, in primetime among total viewers, adults 18-49 and ranking as the No. 2 sports network regardless of language in July.

“Univision Deportes also registered impressive audience figures with its coverage of the 2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup. The Mexico vs. Jamaica Gold Cup final aired on Sunday night on the Univision Network (simulcast on UDN), ranking as the No. 1 program for the week among Adults 18-49.

“The growth of UDN in just three years is a testament to the power of soccer among fanáticos in the U.S.,” said Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president of Univision Deportes. “In this short time, our network has been able to beat major sports competitors regardless of language and has continuously delivered blockbuster ratings for major live sporting events like the recent Gold Cup tournament.”

“UDN set new ratings records in July, tying with ESPN for #1 among men 18-34 and delivering more total viewers than every cable sports network beside ESPN in primetime, regardless of language. This was the first time a Spanish-language cable sports network ever ranked as the No. 1 or No. 2 sports network for a month.”

Incidentally as another big name — Sebastian Giovinco — dropped out with an injury today, his Toronto teammate Jozy Altidore was drafted into the game.

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MLS All-Star Game Video Preview: Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard withdraw from contest at 6 p.m. Wednesday against Tottenham Hotspur on Fox Sports 1 and UniMas

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Galaxy duo Gyasi Zardes (four goals and two assists in 18 games this season) and midfielder Juninho (four goals and three assists in 23 games this season) replaced Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard on the MLS All-Star Game roster today after the veterans withdrew through injury.

You can bet coach Bruce Arena didn’t want to see his fragile veterans play an unnecessary game, Commish picks or no.

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ICYMI Monday Video Rewind: Mexico wins Gold Cup, Andrea Pirlo’s stunning MLS debut and more

GCMexicoMagnífico Mexico: Mexico jolted Jamaica’s unlikely Gold Cup hoes with a 3-1 victory Sunday in Philadelphia (Associated Press Photo).

Read the game story here. And circle Oct. 9 on your calendar.

Think Steven Gerrard had a great MLS debut for the Galaxy the other week? Then check out the second half eight-goal explosion that occurred when former Juventus midfielder played his first game Sunday for NYCFC:

As for the Galaxy, LA lost on the road 3-0 to Houston. It’s now about 10 months since the Galaxy won away from home if I recall correctly. And no, you don’t want to see highlights.

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Weekend TV Soccer Schedule: MLS, World Cup draw, Gold Cup and the return of Liga MX

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Kickoff is at 6 p.m. live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Time Warner Cable Deportes.

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Kickoff is at 4:45 p.m. Sunday on Fox Sports 1

A complete Liga MX TV schedule is here.

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Whittier artist-illustrator Dave Walston captures LA Galaxy players in caricature

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Whittier artist Dave Walston kindly allowed us to feature some of his excellent work here. Check out his website for more.

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I’ll let you decide who the last two are of after the jump.

Continue reading

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Video Preview: 2015 MLS All-Star Game features LA Galaxy’s Robbie Keane against former club Tottenham Hotspur at 6 p.m. July 29 on Fox Sports 1

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Capital Cities will play a free concert in Denver Sunday ahead of the MLS All-Star Game the following Wednesday. The roster for that game was announced Saturday with Robbie Keane, Omar Gonzalez and Steven Gerrard (a Commissioner’s Pick along with NYCFC’s Frank Lampard, natch) representing the Galaxy.

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Video Highlights: Robbie Keane hits hat trick as rampant LA Galaxy overwhelm San Jose Earthquakes 5-2 at Stubhub Center as Steven Gerrard makes MLS debut

Galaxy's Steven Gerrard, left, celebrates his first MLS goal with Robbie Keane, right, against the Earthquakes in a MLS soccer game at the StubHub Center, Friday, July 17, 2015, Carson, CA. The score at halftime was tied 2-2.Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes.Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer

Galaxy’s Steven Gerrard, left, celebrates his first MLS goal with Robbie Keane, right, against the Earthquakes in a MLS soccer game at the StubHub Center, Friday, July 17, 2015, Carson, CA. The score at halftime was tied 2-2.Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes.Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer

See more images from the game by Staff Photographer Steve McCrank here.

And this all improbably occurred as the Galaxy fell two goals behind in the opening 25 minutes. Staff Writer Chris Trevino has the game story.

Galaxy's Steven Gerrard celebrates his first MLS goal against the Earthquakes in a MLS soccer game at the StubHub Center, Friday, July 17, 2015, Carson, CA. The score at halftime was tied 2-2.Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes.Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer

Galaxy’s Steven Gerrard celebrates his first MLS goal against the Earthquakes in a MLS soccer game at the StubHub Center, Friday, July 17, 2015, Carson, CA. The score at halftime was tied 2-2.Los Angeles Galaxy vs. San Jose Earthquakes.Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff Photographer

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Surprise, surprise: Neymar and Messi Barcelona no-shows for Galaxy game Tuesday at Rose Bowl

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Staff Writer Jaime Cardenas has the details.

You could see this coming (or at least this soccer blogger/columnist did).

Now, the Galaxy will say they didn’t guarantee appearances by any player, the implication as the Galaxy ad for the game shows (we added the crosses) is those two massive stars will play.

Incidentally, wonder what this will do to the secondary market for tickets?

We received the following information from Seatgeek.com before Barcelona made the announcement:

Tickets to the July 21 match between the LA Galaxy and FC Barcelona are currently averaging $113 on the secondary market, making this the most expensive soccer match in Los Angeles since 2012.

The Galaxy’s most expensive regular season MLS game this year, against New York City FC, averaged $52 on the secondary market. That means that the average ticket price to the Galaxy-Barcelona match is more than double the price of the Galaxy’s most expensive non-exhibition game this season. In fact, the ICC match is almost triple the average ticket price to a regular season Galaxy match of $38.

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And I would love to hear what the Galaxy has to say about this.

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