FILE – In This June 19, 1974 file photo, Netherlands Johan Cruyff, left, dodges the tackle from Sweden’s Kent Karlsson during a World Cup soccer match in Dortmund, Germany. Dutch soccer great Johan Cruyff, who revolutionized the game with the concept of ‘Total Football,’ died Thursday March 24, 2016. He was 68. (AP Photo/File)
Cruyff was part of the versatile Dutch team that prompted the term total football, such was their silky teamwork, and starred for manager Rinus Michels in a starting XI that included such greats as Johan Neeskens (his son, John Neeskens, just joined LA Galaxy II) Johnny Rep and Rob Rensenbrink.
He also played a major role as a Barcelona player and coach in making the club what it is today
Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said Tuesday after training that midfielder Steven Gerrard, who injured his left calf in the first minute of the team’s 3-1 win over San Jose on March 19, will be “week-to-week” with a calf strain. Gerrard was not training with the team Tuesday as he was running the training session for the LA Galaxy Academy’s Under-18 team.
Forward Giovani dos Santos, who suffered a muscle strain in his left leg during the season opener, was present at training Tuesday and walked off the field with a bag of ice on his left quad.
Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy (groin) and Jeff Larentowicz, who underwent offseason hernia surgery, were both on the field Tuesday. Kennedy returned to the training field for the first time since getting injured in the season opener against D.C. United, but did leave training early.
Jose Villarreal, the oft-injured 22-year-old forward, is battling a right knee injury and trained Tuesday.
The team is taking this weekend off for the FIFA break and resume MLS play on April 2 in Vancouver against the Whitecaps.
Forwards Robbie Keane and Gyasi Zardes and defender A.J. DeLaGarza are on international duty this week. Keane is playing for the Republic of Ireland in a pair of friendlies, while Zardes (United States) and DeLaGarza (Guam) will represent their respective countries in FIFA World Cup Qualifying matches.
Zardes is one of 26 players to make the cut for the critical qualifying matches. The team travels to Guatemala for a 7 p.m. matchup on March 25, then play the second leg of the series on March 29 at 4 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio. L.A. is taking an international break during the weekend.
“I see it as an opportunity to keep working hard and keep learning,” Zardes said after scoring twice the Galaxy’s 3-1 win over San Jose on Saturday. “Every time I get with the national team, I learn so much, not only from the coaching staff, but from the other players who play in different leagues, who play in the Bundesliga or the EPL. Just playing alongside those guys really helped me progress as a player and as I keep going, I just hope to get better.”
The United States is tied with Trinidad and Tobago for the top spot in Group C with four points and need to finish in the top two to advance to the next round of qualifying. The team plays its final group stage qualifying matches in September, facing St. Vincent and The Grenadines on Sept. 2 and Trinidad and Tobago on Sept. 6.
Former Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was also called up to the national team.
Galaxy forward Robbie Keane, pictured in a match against San Jose in 2015, has scored twice in the first three games of the 2016 season, but only on penalty kicks. (Marcio Jose Sanchez/The Associated Press)
Although the Galaxy outshot San Jose 17-6, including a 7-1 advantage in the first half when the sides where an even 11 vs. 11 on the field, during Saturdays’ 3-1 victory, captain Robbie Keane was not impressed.
“I wouldn’t say it was a great day for us, apart from the win,” Keane told Time Warner Cable after the game.
In a tactical change from previous games, Sebastian Lletget played up top next to Keane with Mike Magee sliding back into the right midfield. The Earthquakes were very compact during the first half before Simon Dawkins got sent off with a red card, limiting the Galaxy’s looks at goal, but there was good passing between Magee, Lletget and Gyasi Zardes.
Yet Robbie Keane, the King himself, has yet to score a goal within the run of play this year. The forward has two goals in the first three games of the season, with both coming on penalty kicks. He has five combined shots in the first three games of 2016 when last year, he averaged three shots a game.
“Create more chances, keep the ball,” Keane said of what the offense needs to do to improve. “That’s two games that I haven’t touched the ball very often … so changing the system or something because when you play the front on your own, naturally you don’t get many touches as a number nine. But what you should be doing is getting some chances in and I haven’t gotten any chances in the last few games so that’s a bit disappointing. So hopefully that will change in the next few weeks.” Continue reading →
The Galaxy welcome their in-state rival for the first California Clasico of the year Saturday at 7:30 p.m. as they try to shake off a last-second loss to Colorado last weekend. The Earthquakes are one of three MLS teams to start the season with two straight wins, but you can throw out the records for a rivalry as heated as this one.
Forward Giovani dos Santos is likely out for Saturday’s game, head coach Bruce Arena said on Thursday. Additionally, Gordon (neck) and left back Ashley Cole (back) are healthy. Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy will be out with a partially torn groin for up to a month. Defender Leonardo is still recovering from knee surgery and will be out a few more weeks. Midfielder Jeff Larentowicz is still working back from offseason hernia surgery, while forward Jose Villarreal is listed on the MLS injury report with a leg injury.
Since San Jose returned to the league in 2008, the overall series is almost even, with the Earthquakes owning a 10-9-7 advantage.