Dismally disjointed LA Galaxy lay egg in Vancouver as Whitecaps top MLS with 2-0 win

With the 2-0 road loss to Vancouver Saturday, the Galaxy are now winless in their last three games and are already beginning to lose touch with the leading MLS teams in the young season. Next for the Galaxy: 4 p.m. Sunday against the Seattle Sounders at StubHub Center.

Quotable:

“They were the better team all night, they outplayed us the entire match,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “Personally every player can look at their performance and make sure it doesn’t happen again…We didn’t do anything well tonight, no excuses.”

Notable:

Despite making five changes to the starting XI, the Galaxy lost their ninth straight road game.

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Video: Robbie Keane of LA Galaxy gives a passionate explanation of his MLS fine for “unprofessional conduct.”

You watch Robbie Keane on the soccer field and you’re not going to find a more intense competitor.

His goading of teammates, his pleading to referees, his eagerness to get in the face of opponents rubs more than a few the wrong way.

He must have been itching to start the season last week because the Galaxy’s 2-0 win over Chicago, Keane was in midseason form. It culminated in his celebration after scoring the second goal and the MLS lip-readers were on the spot to fine him for “unprofessional conduct.”

Keane explained it all Thursday after practice:

“Ah, nothing. Passion. I’m a passionate guy,” Keane said. “I like to win all the time.”

Earlier in the game, he appeared to upbraid teammate Stefan Ishizaki for a build-up gone awry.

“If you don’t play with passion, which I’ve always done since I’ve been here, that’s the way I play,” Keane said. “That’s the way I get the best out of myself and get the best out of players.
“One million percent it wasn’t (directed) at the fans. You can’t just speculate if you don’t know. It’s not a big deal. I’m expecting a fine. It’s no problem.”

It’s what helped drive Keane to score 19 goals, dish out 14 assists and win the MLS MVP award in 2014. Oh, and help his club capture its third MLS Cup in four years.

“Passion,” Keane said. “I want to win all the time. I want to be better. I do a lot of things to get people going in a different way. It’s my way of doing things. I do it on the training field, I do it on the field. I’ll always continue to do it. There’s other things you won’t see that I do all the time. Sometimes it’s to get people going, to get a reaction from other people. It’s about caring about what you do.
“If it’s going to make us a better team, than the job’s done.”

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Video: Bruce Arena after Galaxy exhibition win plus Ramon Martin Del Campo update

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.

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UCLA midfielder Leo Stoltz named nation’s best college soccer player

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.

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Video: Remembering the Christmas football truce of WWI exactly 100 years ago

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.”

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Weekend Soccer TV Preview: MLS Cup, EPL and Women’s World Cup Draw

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.

The draw is live at 9 a.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1

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MLS Commissioner Don Garber hopes to keep Erick ‘Cubo’ Torres in MLS

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.

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