Former UCLA striker Chandler Hoffman among four LA Galaxy players available Friday in Re-Entry Draft

GalaxyStriker Chandler Hoffman, who played for USL Pro team LA Galaxy II last season, was one of four Galaxy players available in Friday’s Re-Entry Draft for out of contract players.

The other three: little-used defender James Riley, acquired in March from D.C. United; former UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk; and Rafael Garcia of Canoga Park.

Other notables in the draft: former Galaxy striker Edson Buddle and MLS veteran Dwayne DeRosario.

Here’s more from MLS on the eligible players:

The Re-Entry process will consist of players at least 23 years of age with a minimum of three years of MLS experience whose options were not exercised. In addition, players out of contract who have not received a Bona Fide Offer and who are at least 25 years of age with a minimum of four years of MLS experience, and/or players at least 30-years-old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience are included.

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Concussion issues prompt LA Galaxy forward Rob Friend to retire

The Canadian made 10 appearances for the Galaxy after signing with the club last January.

Rob Friend played the bulk of his career in Europe.

From the Galaxy press release:

Friend, 33, was originally drafted by the Chicago Fire in 2003 MLS SuperDraft but instead signed with Moss FK in the Norwegian professional division. Friend scored 16 goals for Moss FK before transferring to Molde FK in Norway, where he went on to score 14 more goals from 2004-2006.

After a year in the Netherlands playing for SC Heerenveen, Friend signed with Borussia Monchengladbach for 2007 season, where he led the team in goals with 18 as his side finished first in Bundesliga 2 and was promoted to the first division. The forward spent two more years with Borussia, scoring 28 total goals during his time with the club. Friend remained in Germany until 2014, where he had stints with Hertha BSC, Eintracht Frankfurt and TSV 1860 Munchen.

Friend signed with the Galaxy this January ahead of the 2014 MLS Regular Season. He recorded the game-tying assist in the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw on the road in Vancouver on a goal from Robbie Keane in the 77th minute.

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Could MLS MVP Robbie Keane leave the LA Galaxy?

That’s what the veteran Irishman hinted at Monday night during the Galaxy’s MLS Cup celebration in Hermosa Beach, even if coach Bruce Arena downplayed Robbie Keane’s comments.

Still, speculation is already swirling about a possible overseas destination and EPL club QPR are reportedly already mulling a short-term loan move for Keane during the MLS offseason.

Hey, maybe it’s a ploy for an improved contract. Keane makes $4.5 million a year.

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Midweek Kicks: U.S. Men’s National Team to play Panama Feb. 8 in Carson and more

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  • U.S. Soccer announced a schedule of seven USMNT games in the first half of 2015 including the Feb. 8 contest in Southern California and a home game against Mexico April 15 at a venue to be determined. Tickets for USA-Panama go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. More details are here.
  • The Univision Deportes telecast of MLS Cup Sunday was watched by 678,000 viewers making it the channel’s top-rated finale to an MLS season ever. The Galaxy-New England game beat six live EPL games on NBCSN last week. When combined with the audience watching on UniMas, a combined 923,000 Spanish-language soccer fans watched the game. Another 964,000 viewers watched on ESPN, making it the third most watched MLS Cup final on the channel.
  • The Chicago Fire today signed Illinois native and former Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens, who had played for the last year in Norway.
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The LA Galaxy after Landon Donovan and Major League Soccer Expansion Draft Live at 11 a.m. Wednesday

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MLS beat writer Phil Collin looks at how the Galaxy will fill the void left by Landon Donovan’s retirement. But before the addition, comes a possible subtraction in the shape of Wednesday’s Expansion Draft. Watch it live here.

Update

The Galaxy didn’t lose a single player in the just completed draft.

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Photos: LA Galaxy Celebrate Record Fifth MLS Cup in Hermosa Beach

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A photo gallery of the Galaxy MLS Cup celebration on Pier Plaza in Hermosa Beach by staff photographer Steve McCrank is here.

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Five-time MLS Cup Winners LA Galaxy to host rally tonight at Hermosa Beach Pier

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Event includes speeches by Galaxy President Chris Klein, coach Bruce Arena, captain and MLS MVP Robbie Keane, defender Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan, who will say a final goodbye to fans before retiring.

Los Angeles Group MLS beat writer Phil Collin has the MLS Cup game story.

Read more about the performance of MLS Cup MVP Robbie Keane.

And Landon Donovan went out a champion.

Quotable:

“I’ve said it before, this is my best year on the field, and my worst year off the field personally,” said defender A.J. DeLaGarza. “At the end of the game, you guys saw I just kind of laid there and sobbed a little bit. Obviously, I wish my son was here, so that was all I thought about.”

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MLS Cup 2014: Los Angeles Galaxy-New England Revolution live from Carson at noon today on ESPN, Univision and UniMas

The stage is set.

The Galaxy eye a dynasty, and perhaps a legacy, with a chance for a third MLS championship trophy in four years today with a win over a rebuilt New England Revolution.

Landon Donovan, the greatest outfield player American soccer has ever seen, is looking at going out in his final game before retirement as a champion.

MLS MVP Robbie Keane is seeking to cap off his fine season with another trophy and more goals.

And homegrown South Bay star Robbie Rogers is desperate to play his part in a championship-winning team.

Los Angeles News Group MLS beat writer Phil Collin breaks down the game with this MLS Cup preview, while all the stats are here.

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MLS Cup Preview: After a lifetime of supressing his sexuality, LA Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers is “Coming Out To Play”

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MLSCUP2014For the first 25 years of his life, Robbie Rogers would not admit — even to himself — that he was gay.

And he confided to no one his fears and hopes during a lifetime of denial:

“Why didn’t I speak to anyone — a therapist or anyone?” he wondered during an interview Thursday. “That just shows how afraid I was.”

But today, Rogers has the support of his family, friends and the extended soccer community who encouraged the only active gay athlete in a major U.S. sport not to quit the game. To complete his journey — and that of Landon Donovan — the Galaxy must win Sunday against the New England Revolution in Carson.

“There’s been a lot of things happening outside of soccer and we’ve all supported each other,” he said. “I think it shows on the field.”

“I feel very blessed,” he added. “Now it’s the perfect way to end a perfect yr.”

Read more about how Rogers is “Coming Out To Play” in this story that ran on the front page page today of Los Angeles News Group newspapers.

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