Weekly Soccer Column: The legend of Landon Donovan grows; Harbor Area, San Fernando Valley vie for LAFC

LDKeanoDynamic Duo: Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane celebrate yet another goal Sunday against Real Salt Lake (Photo by Staff Photographer Stephen Carr).

Read this week’s column about Landon Donovan and why the San Fernando Valley and Harbor Area are vying to be the home of the new LAFC stadium.

Read the text of the full letter:
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Check out the 12-acre waterfront site in San Pedro:
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Finally, check out the highlights of the Western Conference Semifinal last night between FC Dallas and the Seattle Sounders:

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Major League Soccer Video Playoff Preview: LA Galaxy hosts Real Salt Lake in Western Conference Semifinal at 4:30 p.m. Sunday live on ESPN2

With the away goals rule in effect for the MLS playoffs for the first time, Real Salt Lake knows an early goal would put pressure on the Galaxy — who would then have to score twice to advance — on Sunday in Carson.

The winner will meet Seattle or Dallas in the conference final; the two teams are tied 1-1 ahead of the sold-out clash the Sounders will host at 7:30 p.m. Monday:

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Major League Soccer Playoff Video: Real Salt Lake 0 Los Angeles Galaxy 0

Our sister newspaper The Salt Lake Tribune has the game story and video.

Another unwatchable playoff opener with two teams unwilling to give anything away ahead of the second leg, which is set for 4:30 p.m. Sunday live on ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.

Quotable:

“Ugly game,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “Lopsided in calls. The fouls were over two to one in our favor. I’m not sure if that’s good or bad. It made for one crappy game for sure. … Next week, the game’s going to look a lot different.”

Let’s hope so.

Notable: The Galaxy are now winless in the last four games.

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Major League Soccer Playoff Preview: LA Galaxy at Real Salt Lake live at 5 p.m. on NBCSN

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Los Angeles News Group Galaxy beat writer Phil Collin has the game preview for the playoff opener; the Real Salt Lake perspective is here from our sister newspaper The Salt Lake Tribune.

The match by the numbers is here.

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Video: New in-depth Landon Donovan interview premieres Tuesday night on Time Warner Cable ahead of start of Major League Soccer playoffs

If you haven’t yet had enough of Landon Donovan interviews, then you will want to catch Cobi Jones sitting down for an extended 30-minute conversation with the LA Galaxy playmaker in the new Time Warner Cable SportsNet series “Connected With…”

Donovan will talk about his impending retirement and, of course, his omission from the World Cup squad:

“Of course I was hurt…And the part that I haven’t talked a lot about is that it was painful for my family…They had this amazing trip planned, this amazing life journey…Not only are they devastated for their son, uncle, nephew…but it was a really difficult time for us as a family.”

 

See an excerpt from the interview here. The show premieres at 7:30 p.m,.

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Major League Soccer Playoff Bracket: LA Galaxy open post-season Saturday against Real Salt Lake in Utah

Kickoff is at 5 p.m. live on NBCSN with the return leg in Carson 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9.

From the Galaxy press release:

The winner of the Western Conference Semifinal series will advance to the two-leg Western Conference Championship round, with the conference champions advancing to the MLS Cup match. With a better record than any Eastern Conference team, the Galaxy would host the MLS Cup should the team advance.

Led by first-year head coach Jeff Cassar, Real Salt Lake finished season in third place in the Western Conference with a 15-8-11 record and 56 points. The series marks the second-straight season that the Galaxy face Salt Lake in the Western Conference semifinals.

The Galaxy finished the 2014 MLS Regular Season in second place overall in the MLS standings with an 17-7-10 record and 61 points, scoring 69 goals scored while allowing just 37. LA’s +32 goal differential is the second-highest in MLS history, trailing only the 1998 Galaxy side that recorded a +41 goal differential. The team ends the year with just seven losses in their 34 matches, the fewest in MLS this season.

The Galaxy lost out on the Supporters’ Shield Saturday in Seattle, falling 2-0 to the Sounders.

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LA Galaxy plan $15 million StubHub Center upgrade, slash season ticket prices ahead of regular season finale Saturday against Seattle

Here’s the Sounders-Galaxy game Saturday by the numbers and here’s 15 million reasons to visit StubHub Center next year for an MLS game.

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