The Galaxy opened their exhibition season with a 2-0 victory over Ventura County Fusion on Wednesday at StubHub Center. Reigning MLS MVP Robbie Keane scored in the first half and Edson Buddle scored in the second half for the Galaxy.
Buddle is still not under contract, but pairing with Keane for a goal won’t hurt his cause.
Coach Bruce Arena used a number of younger players mixed in with the regulars. Forward Charlie Rugg, who played all of last year with the Galaxy II, played a midfield wing position.
The Galaxy are also taking a long look at undrafted free agent Ramon Martin Del Campo, a central defender who shined at UC Davis, took part in the MLS combine but was not selected.
“It was motivating,” Del Campo said of not being drafted. “Approaching it I had my hopes up, obviously it didn’t work out. It’s fine. That’s life and you’ve got to face adversity. A successful career is impossible without minor setbacks so I just saw it was motivation to get back out there to get back training harder and we’ll see what the future takes.”
Del Campo said he was sick right before the combine but took the risk of going through the tryouts anyway.
“I had strep throat going in,” he said. “I didn’t want to tell anybody because I wanted to prove to coaches that I was stronger than it, that tiny things won’t hold me back. Obviously it was a very difficult thing.
“I don’t regret anything. I just see it as a learning lesson. There’s no point in regretting, it doesn’t make me a better player, doesn’t help my status.”
Del Campo was born in Mexico but grew up in Chula Vista (Bonita Vista High) and is a U.S. citizen.
— UCLA Men's Soccer (@UCLAMSoccer) January 10, 2015
The UCLA Leo Stolz was named the winner of the 2014 Missouri Athletic Club’s Hermann Trophy today after winning the most votes cast by the nation’s college coaches. He joins former Galaxy player Sasha Victorine and U.S. national team goalkeeper Brad Friedel as UCLA winners of the trophy.
Next up: a trip to the MLS College Combine.
Here’s more from the UCLA press release:
The two-year team captain started all 24 games for the Bruins, leading the team in goals (9) and points (24), while tying for the lead in assists (6). A native of Munich, Germany, Stolz logged 2,054 minutes and recorded points in 11 of his 24 matches.
Stolz finishes his three-year UCLA career with 20 goals, 22 assists and 62 points in 63 appearances (60 starts). The senior led the Bruins to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances, including a trip to the College Cup Finals in 2014.
Torrance Councilman Tim Goodrich certainly did on Tuesday in his invocation:
As Christmas draws nearer, let our thoughts draw closer to the things that matter most; our families and our friends.
And as we are in the midst of the 100th anniversary of the famous “Christmas Truce” in which the British and German fighters of World War 1 laid down their arms, let us remember “Peace On Earth, and Good Will to Others.”
— Marisabel Munoz (@MarisabelMunoz) December 1, 2014
— Premier League (@premierleague) December 5, 2014
Saturday’s televised EPL games include Newcastle United-Chelsea at 4:45 a.m. on NBCSN, Liverpool-Sunderland at 7 a.m. on NBCSN and Machester City-Everton at 9:30 a.m. on NBC.
— ME¶HUSELA™_COOLFM (@iammethusela) December 5, 2014
The draw is live at 9 a.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1
Will MLS exercise the option it has on forward Erick “Cubo” Torres to keep him in MLS? Torres, of course, was the leading scorer for the now-disbanded Chivas USA but clearly will have opportunities to continue his career in Mexico or elsewhere.
“It’s a great question. Let’s say we’d like to,” Garber said. “We haven’t been able to make that decision yet. We think Cubo’s been a great player in our league and certainly he deserves to be in a position where he can thrive in a new team setting from one that he was in.
“We’re going to go through that process as you know that we extracted him from the way we went about a process for the other players that were on Chivas USA. A decision hasn’t been made yet but I’ll tell you we’d love to have him continue with the league.”
The other now-former Chivas players will be placed in a dispersal draft for the rest of the league to choose from next week.
Yes, expansion arrives next year with two more teams. With the league then at 20 teams (with plans to be at 24 before the end of the decade), the playoff format could be expanded to 12 teams instead of 10. The league’s ownership will decide on that.
Currently, of the five playoff teams in each conference, the top three teams in each bracket don’t play in a first-round game. In the proposed format, only the top two in each conference would be off for the first round.
And, by the way, the weighted away goal in the home-and-home playoff series will be continue to be implemented.
MLS Commissioner Don Garber gave his state of the league address today via roundtable and the biggest news that was announced was the MLS Best XI.
Defender Omar Gonzalez, midfielder Landon Donovan and forward Robbie Keane of the Galaxy were named to the squad. You can’t argue with the selections of the team’s three designated players unless the cynics point out that A.J. DeLaGarza was named the Galaxy’s defender of the year ahead of his longtime teammate.
For Donovan, it was his seventh selection to the team to establish an MLS record.
Keane is also up for the league MVP award, which will be announced in downtown L.A. on Wednesday. With 19 goals and 14 assists this season and earned his third consecutive Best XI honor.
Landon Donovan was the last Galaxy player off CenturyLink Field after the Galaxy eliminated rival Seattle in the MLS Western Conference finals to reach the MLS Cup.
He was, per custom, trailed by a number of media. But before he ducked into the tunnel to head to the locker room and celebrate with teammates, he took some time to soak in the admiration from fans. Even Sounders fans who understood this was the last time they would see him play in their stadium. Actually, it seemed like Donovan was taking it in far more than the fans were.
In an apparently impromptu gesture, he took the shirt off his back and gave it to a fan and didn’t hesitate to sign autographs.
He wasn’t done and headed toward another group to sign autographs and shake hands.
Oh, and endure the wrath of a different kind of fan.
Warning. Adult language here. Or as they say, NSFW.
Donovan will play his last game on Sunday at StubHub Center when the Galaxy take on New England for the MLS Cup title.
Just a guess, but that’s a part of the game he might not miss so much.
“I can’t believe it. Actually, I can believe it.”