Galaxy ‘keep heads above water’ despite injuries ahead of Salt Lake matchup

(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

(Rick Bowmer / Associated Press)

The Galaxy host the only undefeated team in MLS on Saturday as they face Real Salt Lake on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. If not for a stoppage time goal by Marco Pappa in the final 30 seconds of a 1-0 L.A. loss to Colorado, Saturday’s matchup at StubHub Center could have been between two undefeated teams.

At 3-1-2, the Galaxy’s bad days haven’t ended too badly, even when goalkeeper Dan Kennedy suffers a torn groin on the first goal kick of the season or when Steven Gerrard goes down with a calf strain 30 seconds into a rivalry game at home. Through a rash of injuries that started literally in the first minute of the season, L.A. has “managed to keep our heads above water,” head coach Bruce Arena said. Continue reading

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Galaxy score first win at Houston since 2010

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.

Steven Gerrard and Giovani dos Santos  starred in the Galaxy’s 4-1 win over Houston on Friday. Photo by Steve McCrank // Daily Breeze

Giovani dos Santos and Steven Gerrard led the L.A. Galaxy to a dominant 4-1 road victory over Houston on Friday with dos Santos notching a brace and Gerrard adding an assist in his first action since injuring his calf almost a month ago. The win is the first in Houston for the Galaxy since 2010.

Highlights from the match:

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One thing we learned from Sunday’s Galaxy game via Twitter: Nigel de Jong (is still) a violent excuse for a player

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Galaxy salvage tie on Portland own goal

The Galaxy's Nigel de Jong goes up for a header against the Portland Timbers. (Ringo H.W. Chiu - The Associated Press)

The Galaxy’s Nigel de Jong goes up for a header against the Portland Timbers. (Ringo H.W. Chiu – The Associated Press)

The Galaxy escaped StubHub Center with one point Sunday night after Portland’s Nat Borchers headed in an own goal in the 84th minute to give L.A. a 1-1 tie.

With forward and captain Robbie Keane still sidelined due to recent knee surgery, the Galaxy lacked a good finishing touch. L.A. created several chances, but needed an opponent to find the back of the net for them. The Galaxy outshot Portland 13-4 (4-2 in shots on goal).

Highlights:

Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong was the center of a yellow card controversy after he injured Portland’s Darlington Nagbe on a tackle. Nagbe left the field in a wheelchair with an apparent lower leg injury. De Jong said he did not meant to harm Nagbe and that he was only going for a “50-50 ball.”

Galaxy injury report: 

Robbie Rogers left the game early with a hip contusion. He said it “locked up” after he was hit in the side. After the game, he was unsure of his timetable to return, but didn’t suspect it to be serious.

A.J. DeLaGarza sat out with a left foot injury that has been bothering him lately. He said this week he tweaked it during preseason, was playing through it, then re-aggravated it during practice recently. It is the same foot that he injured last year.

Other injuries:

  • Robbie Keane — knee surgery, out for at least three more weeks. Keane was originally scheduled to return in four to six weeks. Bruce Arena seemed optimistic about the captain’s rehab though, and said this week that Keane was ahead of schedule.
  • Steven Gerrard — left calf.
  • Leonardo — knee
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Nigel de Jong on tackle on Nagbe: “It was never my intention to hurt him”

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong, left, crashes into Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe during the second half of an MLS soccer game in Carson, Calif., Sunday April 10, 2016. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong, left, crashes into Portland Timbers midfielder Darlington Nagbe during the second half of an MLS soccer game in Carson, Calif., Sunday April 10, 2016. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong was issued a yellow card for a tackle that resulted in Portland’s Darlington Nagbe getting wheelchaired off the pitch after the teams played to a 1-1 draw on Sunday at StubHub Center.

Portland head coach Caleb Porter did not have a definitive update on Nagbe’s injury, saying the team was still evaluating it. De Jong spoke to Nagbe after the game to say he did not mean to harm the Portland midfielder.

“I went for the ball and I caught the ball a little bit, and caught most of his ankle,” de Jong said. “It’s just a pity. It was never my intention to hurt him. He’s a good kid as well. I said that after the game as well. It’s a pity, but that’s football as well. When the ball comes in that situation, you always go for it 100 percent, but unfortunately, I caught him.” Continue reading

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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/LAGalaxy.com, 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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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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USMNT Olympic and World Cup Qualifying Gameday Video Preview

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SoCal 2016 Summer Soccer: Chelsea-Liverpool at Rose Bowl July 27, Leicester City-Paris Saint-Germain in LA July 30

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Complete details on this year’s version of the International Champions Cup is here.

All matches will air live on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes.

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