Saturday morning links
Were you surprised that the Galaxy only had one All-Star (Giovani dos Santos) named for the July 28 game against Arsenal?
Bruce Arena wasn’t.
“No, I think what the league did was they gave each team basically a representative,” Arena said Monday. “The All-Star Game is whatever you want it to be. It is really for fans and sponsors, more than anything.
“I think the league on purpose, tried to get representation for every club and in all honesty, most clubs would probably prefer only having one All-Star, so you don’t have guys missing the week and then scrambling to get ready for the next game. I think it is understood that this year, without them saying publicly, my guess is that it was bit of a balancing act.”
With two games this week, there is a good chance Galaxy fans will see Ashley Cole (hamstring) back in action.
Cole has been sidelined since the U.S. Open Cup game against Portland, June 29. He has missed three league games.
“He was out today and he looked good,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said Monday of Cole. “I think there’s a good chance he will be ready to play.”
The Galaxy improved to 32 points in the Western Conference with Friday’s 1-0 victory over Houston. It wasn’t pretty, but as the saying goes, a win is a win. The Galaxy is now in third place heading into Saturday’s games. Here is a recap of how it went down.
No Keane, no goals? – It almost looked that way. Robbie Keane, who had scored a pair of goals since his return from international duty, didn’t have that magic touch against Houston. He missed from the penalty spot in the first half and had a couple of other good opportunities to score, but couldn’t. However, some good did come out of one of his late chances as Steven Gerrard, following on the play, knocked in the winning goal in the 66th minute.
Arena: “Well Robbie didn’t get a goal, but he was in position to get a couple. But that’s all a part of it, you can’t depend on one player to score. I think Robbie was a threat all night despite the fact that he didn’t get a goal.”
Defense comes through again – The Galaxy started the same starting 11 as last week’s 1-0 victory over Seattle, so that meant the likes of Dave Romney, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, A.J. De La Garza, Jeff Larentowicz and Baggio Husidic doing the dirty work in front of goalkeeper Brian Rowe to preserve the shutout.
The key question going forward will be will Arena disrupt the chemistry of this defense when Ashley Cole and Nigel de Jong are available to return.
Arena: “De Jong has been a very good player for us this year. I expect him to be on the field.”
Beauty is in the eye of the victor – For consecutive games, the Galaxy has recorded 1-0 victories. They might not have been the best played game, but the Galaxy has done enough to record three points. That’s always the most important thing.
Gerrard: “It’s starting to gel. I think that’s because we’ve got everyone fit and healthy. The team is really strong at the moment. But I’ve been saying for a long, long time that success is built on a defensive platform and we’re defending really well. If we keep that solid defensive base, we’ve got players on the team that can cause the opposition problems, who can assist goals and score goals. And that’s how you get success at the end of the season.”
Up next: Wednesday vs. Seattle in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal, 7 :30 p.m.
Next league game: Saturday, at Portland, 12:30 p.m.
Robbie’s back and so are the goals.
Since returning to the Galaxy from international duty with Ireland in the European Championships, forward Robbie Keane has scored two goals and both games ended in victories for the Galaxy, moving the team into a tie for third place in the Western Conference heading into tonight’s contest against the Houston Dynamo (StubHub Center; 8 p.m.).
“Score goals, win games, that’s my job to do that,” Keane said Wednesday morning from training. “I never find it difficult to come back and transition. If I keep performing every time I come back, then obviously I’m doing my job.”
Keane is second on the club with six goals entering Friday. He hasn’t wasted much time in his return scoring. His goal against Vancouver (July 4) came in the 12th minute and in the 15th minute Saturday against Seattle.
Will he continue his scoring streak tonight?
Here are some game day links to get you ready for tonight:
Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong will sit out Friday’s game against Houston, serving an additional game suspension following his red card he received against Vancouver, July 4. de Jong served the first game of the suspension Saturday in the Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle.
He was also fined an undisclosed amount for the “serious foul play that endangered the safety of an opponent” in the game against Vancouver.
The game takes place one day before the MLS All-Star Game, also at Avaya Stadium.
McBean, 21, has made two MLS appearance this season for the Galaxy, along with one start. He’s also made two appearances in U.S. Open competition.He was signed as a Homegrown Player in 2011.
Mendiola, 22, was signed in 2014. He has started both of the Galaxy’s U.S. Open games this season.
The MLS Homegrown team is coached by former Galaxy player Landon Donovan.
MLS Homegrown Players, 23 or under, were available for selection.
Here is the complete roster:
Goalkeepers: Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Maxime Crépeau (Montreal Impact)
Defenders: Danilo Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Aaron Guillen (FC Dallas), Phanuel Kavita (Real Salt Lake), Jalen Robinson (D.C. United), Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC)
Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake), Jay Chapman (Toronto FC), Coy Craft (FC Dallas), Harrison Heath (Orlando City SC), Aaron Kovar (Seattle Sounders FC), Raul Mendiola (LA Galaxy), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)
Forwards: Joey Calistri (Chicago Fire), Jordan Hamilton (Toronto FC), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)
Tickets for the game can be purchased at www.chipotlehomegrown.com