Galaxy game day: Giovani dos Santos likely to make return against Portland

Giovani dos Santos (right) is expected to return from a left quad strain while Steven Gerrard (left) will be out with a left calf strain.

Giovani dos Santos (right) is expected to return from a left quad strain while Steven Gerrard (left) will be out with a left calf strain.

Kickoff: 6:30 p.m. at StubHub Center

TV/Radio: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Deportes/, ESPN Deportes

The Galaxy host the Portland for the first time since the Timbers got a 5-2 win over L.A. last October in Carson that propelled them to their first MLS Cup in franchise history. On Oct. 18 the Timbers poured five goals in during the second half to hand L.A. just its second home loss of the year. Portland went undefeated in its next seven games (five wins and two draws) and hoisted the MLS Cup at the end of the year.

“We owe them,” forward Alan Gordon said. “We let them in and they took advantage and won a championship off this game.”

While Portland turned its season around for a win, Gordon lamented that the Galaxy’s season went the other way. L.A. lost the next two MLS games including the knockout round loss to Seattle.

But not everyone on the team shares Gordon’s desire for revenge. Head coach Bruce Arena said he hasn’t watched tape of the last game and doesn’t plan to talk about the game with his players.

“The game’s over,” forward Gyasi Zardes said. “All that’s on my mind is we’ve got a game Sunday.”

Forward Giovani dos Santos will likely play for the first time since he suffered a muscle strain in his left quad in the season opener. Midfielder Steven Gerrard is out with a left calf strain, and forward Robbie Keane is still out after knee surgery last week. Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz and goalkeeper Dan Kennedy are working their ways back on the field after both started in Friday’s Galaxy II game.

A capacity crowd is expected for the game, so plan accordingly.

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MLS national triple-header Sunday concludes with LA Galaxy hosting Portland Timbers at 6:30 p.m. on Fox Sports 1


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Copa America Trophy visits four Los Angeles-area locations this weekend including Sunday’s LA Galaxy game in Carson


Before the actual Copa America tournament this summer comes the trophy tour:

  • 11 a.m. to noon Saturday at Intaktics, 1214 254th Street for the LAFC futsal tournament.
  • 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. Sunday at The Greyhound, 5570 N. Figueroa St., for the LA Spurs  Tottenham-Manchester United watch party.
  • 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at 1739 Public House, 1739 N. Vermont Ave., for the American Outlaws USWNT-Colombia watch party.
  • 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday at Stubhub Center for the Galaxy-Portland Timbers game
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Galaxy play to scoreless draw against 10-man Vancouver

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The L.A. Galaxy played a man up for 62 minutes against Vancouver on Saturday at BC Place, but failed to generate any goals in a 0-0 draw while all three of their designated players stayed in Los Angeles.

Vancouver’s Matias Laba was sent off in the 28th minute after a studs up tackle on Galaxy midfielder Mike Magee. It was the second straight game in which the Galaxy played significant time a man up after a red card sent an opponent off.

L.A., which will be without the services of forward Robbie Keane for four to six weeks after the captain underwent arthroscopic knee surgery earlier this week, outshot Vancouver 15-5, but only got four shots on goal.

“We were very poor on our crossing,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena told reporters. “We’ve got to do a better job getting players in front of the goal and in dangerous positions. … We’re looking for the last pass, to walk the ball in the goal, but we need to shoot more from distance, we’ve got to deliver balls in front of the goal a lot earlier and just be better.”

Keane’s injury was the latest in a string for the Galaxy. The team was without all three of its DPs, as midfielder Giovani dos Santos did not travel due to lack of fitness stemming from his muscle strain suffered in the season opener and midfielder Steven Gerrard was sidelined with a left calf strain.

Keane’s absence opened the field for 21-year-old Ariel Lassiter, who made his MLS debut and got the start at forward next to Sebastian Lletget. Lassiter played 67 minutes before getting subbed off for Alan Gordon.

“Ari was great,” Magee said. “He hustled, he ran. I don’t think we played to his strengths, but he did good. The kid’s got an incredibly bright future.”

Midfielder Emmanuel Boateng earned his first MLS start, while Baggio Husidic started in Gerrard’s place in the midfield.

Video highlights of the match:

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Weekend Soccer TV Preview: Real Madrid-Barcelona at 11:30 a.m. Saturday is highlight of busy weekend that also includes MLS, EPL action



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100 Percent Soccer Column: Tim Howard, Omar Gonzalez, Gyasi Zardes and Bobby Wood are four to watch for U.S. in World Cup qualifying

howard Hot shot: A stunning 13 saves against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup suddenly brought veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard into the public consciousness, but he’s not done yet (Associated Press file photo).

Read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer Column here.

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LA Galaxy injury notes: Steven Gerrard ‘week-to-week,’ coaches U18s

Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff photographer

Photo by Steve McCrank/Staff photographer

Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said Tuesday after training that midfielder Steven Gerrard, who injured his left calf in the first minute of the team’s 3-1 win over San Jose on March 19, will be “week-to-week” with a calf strain. Gerrard was not training with the team Tuesday as he was running the training session for the LA Galaxy Academy’s Under-18 team.

Forward Giovani dos Santos, who suffered a muscle strain in his left leg during the season opener, was present at training Tuesday and walked off the field with a bag of ice on his left quad.

Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy (groin) and Jeff Larentowicz, who underwent offseason hernia surgery, were both on the field Tuesday. Kennedy returned to the training field for the first time since getting injured in the season opener against D.C. United, but did leave training early.

Jose Villarreal, the oft-injured 22-year-old forward, is battling a right knee injury and trained Tuesday.

The team is taking this weekend off for the FIFA break and resume MLS play on April 2 in Vancouver against the Whitecaps.

Forwards Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes and defender A.J. DeLaGarza are on international duty this week. Keane is playing for the Republic of Ireland in a pair of friendlies, while Zardes (United States) and DeLaGarza (Guam) will represent their respective countries in FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches.


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Robbie Keane unimpressed by Galaxy offense in 3-1 San Jose win

Galaxy forward Robbie Keane takes a shot on goal as San Jose defender Marvell Wynne watches Friday in San Jose. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/The Associated Press)

Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, pictured in a match against San Jose in 2015, has scored twice in the first three games of the 2016 season, but only on penalty kicks. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/The Associated Press)

Although the Galaxy outshot San Jose 17-6, including a 7-1 advantage in the first half when the sides where an even 11 vs. 11 on the field, during Saturdays’ 3-1 victory, captain Robbie Keane was not impressed.

“I wouldn’t say it was a great day for us, apart from the win,” Keane told Time Warner Cable after the game.

In a tactical change from previous games, Sebastian Lletget played up top next to Keane with Mike Magee sliding back into the right midfield. The Earthquakes were very compact during the first half before Simon Dawkins got sent off with a red card, limiting the Galaxy’s looks at goal, but there was good passing between Magee, Lletget and Gyasi Zardes.

Yet Robbie Keane, the King himself, has yet to score a goal within the run of play this year. The forward has two goals in the first three games of the season, with both coming on penalty kicks. He has five combined shots in the first three games of 2016 when last year, he averaged three shots a game.

“Create more chances, keep the ball,” Keane said of what the offense needs to do to improve. “That’s two games that I haven’t touched the ball very often … so changing the system or something because when you play the front on your own, naturally you don’t get many touches as a number nine. But what you should be doing is getting some chances in and I haven’t gotten any chances in the last few games so that’s a bit disappointing. So hopefully that will change in the next few weeks.” Continue reading

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Jelle Van Damme shows impressive offensive ability in San Jose win

AP Photo

Jelle Van Damme (right) has been a valuable asset for the L.A. Galaxy on offense and defense, while quickly becoming a locker room favorite. (AP Photo)

As Nigel de Jong answered a question at his postgame media scrum in the Galaxy locker room after the Galaxy’s 3-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday, he paused. He heard a familiar song come over the speakers.

“Is that the Dutch National Anthem?” the Dutch midfielder wondered aloud, peering over the glob of media members for the source of the song.

He didn’t have to look very far. Defender Jelle Van Damme was smiling by his locker right behind the crowd of cameras and microphones.

“This brother right here,” de Jong said. “He’s just different.” Continue reading

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