Bruce Arena is OK with only one All-Star

Were you surprised that the Galaxy only had one All-Star (Giovani dos Santos) named for the July 28 game against Arsenal?

Bruce Arena wasn’t.

“No, I think what the league did was they gave each team basically a representative,” Arena said Monday. “The All-Star Game is whatever you want it to be. It is really for fans and sponsors, more than anything.

“I think the league on purpose, tried to get representation for every club and in all honesty, most clubs would probably prefer only having one All-Star, so you don’t have guys missing the week and then scrambling to get ready for the next game. I think it is understood that this year, without them saying publicly, my guess is that it was bit of a balancing act.”

 

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A return for Ashley Cole is likely this week

With two games this week, there is a good chance Galaxy fans will see Ashley Cole (hamstring) back in action.

Cole has been sidelined since the U.S. Open Cup game against Portland, June 29. He has missed three league games.

“He was out today and he looked good,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said Monday of Cole. “I think there’s a good chance he will be ready to play.”

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The Morning After recap: Galaxy 1, Houston 0

Steven Gerrard, who scored the winning goal in Friday's 1-0 victory against Houston, makes a run against Ricardo Clark. (Will Lester/SCNG-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

Steven Gerrard, who scored the winning goal in Friday’s 1-0 victory against Houston, makes a run against Ricardo Clark. (Will Lester/SCNG-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

The Galaxy improved to 32 points in the Western Conference with Friday’s 1-0 victory over Houston. It wasn’t pretty, but as the saying goes, a win is a win. The Galaxy is now in third place heading into Saturday’s games. Here is a recap of how it went down.

Gerrard’s goal lifts Galaxy to victory

William Lester’s game day photo album

No Keane, no goals? – It almost looked that way. Robbie Keane, who had scored a pair of goals since his return from international duty, didn’t have that magic touch against Houston. He missed from the penalty spot in the first half and had a couple of other good opportunities to score, but couldn’t. However, some good did come out of one of his late chances as Steven Gerrard, following on the play, knocked in the winning goal in the 66th minute.

Arena: “Well Robbie didn’t get a goal, but he was in position to get a couple. But that’s all a part of it, you can’t depend on one player to score. I think Robbie was a threat all night despite the fact that he didn’t get a goal.”

Defense comes through again – The Galaxy started the same starting 11 as last week’s 1-0 victory over Seattle, so that meant the likes of Dave Romney, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, A.J. De La Garza, Jeff Larentowicz and Baggio Husidic doing the dirty work in front of goalkeeper Brian Rowe to preserve the shutout.

The key question going forward will be will Arena disrupt the chemistry of this defense when Ashley Cole and Nigel de Jong are available to return.

Arena: “De Jong has been a very good player for us this year. I expect him to be on the field.”

Beauty is in the eye of the victor – For consecutive games, the Galaxy has recorded 1-0 victories. They might not have been the best played game, but the Galaxy has done enough to record three points. That’s always the most important thing.

Gerrard: “It’s starting to gel. I think that’s because we’ve got everyone fit and healthy. The team is really strong at the moment. But I’ve been saying for a long, long time that success is built on a defensive platform and we’re defending really well. If we keep that solid defensive base, we’ve got players on the team that can cause the opposition problems, who can assist goals and score goals. And that’s how you get success at the end of the season.”

Up next: Wednesday vs. Seattle in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal, 7 :30 p.m.

Next league game: Saturday, at Portland, 12:30 p.m.

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Friday Galaxy Gameday: Robbie Keane is back and he’s scoring goals

gameday

Robbie’s back and so are the goals.

Since returning to the Galaxy from international duty with Ireland in the European Championships, forward Robbie Keane has scored two goals and both games ended in victories for the Galaxy, moving the team into a tie for third place in the Western Conference heading into tonight’s contest against the Houston Dynamo (StubHub Center; 8 p.m.).

“Score goals, win games, that’s my job to do that,” Keane said Wednesday morning from training. “I never find it difficult to come back and transition. If I keep performing every time I come back, then obviously I’m doing my job.”

Keane is second on the club with six goals entering Friday. He hasn’t wasted much time in his return scoring. His goal against Vancouver (July 4) came in the 12th minute and in the 15th minute Saturday against Seattle.

Will he continue his scoring streak tonight?

Here are some game day links to get you ready for tonight:

Nick Green’s weekly column

Galaxy confident of second-half charge

Nigel de Jong’s suspension extended one more game

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Galaxy’s Nigel de Jong to miss second game

Galaxy midfielder Nigel de Jong will sit out Friday’s game against Houston, serving an additional game suspension following his red card he received against Vancouver, July 4. de Jong served the first game of the suspension Saturday in the Galaxy’s 1-0 victory over Seattle.

He was also fined an undisclosed amount for the “serious foul play that endangered the safety of an opponent” in the game against Vancouver.

 

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Galaxy duo selected for Homegrown Roster

Galaxy forward Jack McBean (Newport Beach) and midfielder Raul Mendiola were CHG16-0839_logo-LtBGselected to the MLS Homegrown Game roster for the July 27 game against Mexico’s U-20 at Avaya Stadium.

The game takes place one day before the MLS All-Star Game, also at Avaya Stadium.

McBean, 21, has made two MLS appearance this season for the Galaxy, along with one start. He’s also made two appearances in U.S. Open competition.He was signed as a Homegrown Player in 2011.

Mendiola, 22, was signed in 2014. He has started both of the Galaxy’s U.S. Open games this season.

The MLS Homegrown team is coached by former Galaxy player Landon Donovan.

MLS Homegrown Players, 23 or under, were available for selection.

Here is the complete roster:

Goalkeepers: Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Maxime Crépeau (Montreal Impact)

Defenders: Danilo Acosta (Real Salt Lake), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Aaron Guillen (FC Dallas), Phanuel Kavita (Real Salt Lake), Jalen Robinson (D.C. United), Tyler Turner (Orlando City SC)

Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Jordan Allen (Real Salt Lake), Jay Chapman (Toronto FC), Coy Craft (FC Dallas), Harrison Heath (Orlando City SC), Aaron Kovar (Seattle Sounders FC), Raul Mendiola (LA Galaxy), Tommy Thompson (San Jose Earthquakes)

Forwards: Joey Calistri (Chicago Fire), Jordan Hamilton (Toronto FC), Jack McBean (LA Galaxy), Jordan Morris (Seattle Sounders FC)

Tickets for the game can be purchased at www.chipotlehomegrown.com

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U.S. Women Olympic soccer team announced

U.S. Women's Olympic team

The U.S. Women Olympic soccer team was announced Tuesday.

The roster includes seven players from the 2012 team that won gold at the 2012 Olympics and 14 players from the last year’s World Cup championship team.

Here is the roster, by position:

GOALKEEPERS: Alyssa Naeher (Chicago Red Stars), Hope Solo (Seattle Reign FC)

DEFENDERS: Whitney Engen (Boston Breakers), Julie Johnston (Chicago Red Stars), Meghan Klingenberg (Portland Thorns FC), Ali Krieger (Washington Spirit), Kelley O’Hara (Sky Blue FC), Becky Sauerbrunn (FC Kansas City)

MIDFIELDERS: Morgan Brian (Houston Dash), Tobin Heath (Portland Thorns FC), Lindsey Horan (Portland Thorns FC), Carli Lloyd (Houston Dash), Allie Long (Portland Thorns FC), Megan Rapinoe (Seattle Reign FC)

FORWARDS: Crystal Dunn (Washington Spirit), Alex Morgan (Orlando Pride), Christen Press (Chicago Red Stars), Mallory Pugh (Real Colorado)

“We’ve got a great blend of players with experience at the Olympic Games and in major events along with the youthful energy of some players who did not play in the Women’s World Cup last summer,” Ellis said. “As a coach in the Olympic Games, you want to put together a group capable of reaching the top of the podium while also being mindful of getting players prepared for the next World Cup, and I think we’ve done that.”

The U.S. will face Costa Rica, July 22 in Kansas for a final Olympic send-off match.

The team opens Olympic play Aug. 3 against New Zealand.

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Galaxy on deck: Houston Dymano

Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard will try to lead the Galaxy to victory, Friday

Gyasi Zardes, Robbie Keane and Steven Gerrard will try to lead the Galaxy to victory, Friday

The Galaxy returns to action Friday with a Western Conference match against the Houston Dynamo.

Here is an early look at the contest:

What: Houston at Galaxy

When: Friday, 8 p.m.

TV: UniMas

The Houston Dynamo currently sits in ninth place in the Western Conference (4-8-6, 18 points)

Houston is coming off of a scoreless draw with Orlando City SC, last Friday.

Giles Barnes, Andrew Wagner and Will Bruin lead Houston with four goals apiece.

Houston announced Monday that defender DeMarcus Beasley will be sidelined following knee injury, with surgery scheduled for later this week.

The Galaxy won the first meeting between the teams, 4-1, back in April in Houston. Giovani dos Santos scored twice, along with Baggio Husidic and Gyasi Zardes.

The Galaxy is now tied for third place in the Western Conference (29 points), following Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Seattle.

Jelle Van Damme and Jeff Larentowicz were selected to the MLSoccer.com Team of the Week following Saturday’s victory.

The Galaxy is undefeated at home (5-0-4). Houston is winless on the road (0-7-3).

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