Galaxy fans able to vote to determine Player of the Year

For the first time in team history, the Galaxy will allow the fans to vote to decide the Player of the Year.

Voting is open now. The award was previously chosen by the media.

The candidates are Robbie Keane, Giovani dos Santos, Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Jelle Van Damme. The winner will be awarded during the Oct. 23 regular season finale against FC Dallas.

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Galaxy notes: Steven Gerrard in England for apparent injury rehab

Welcome to another day of MLS’ favorite soap opera, “As the Galaxy turns”.

Galaxy, who is in preparation for Sunday’s match against Houston,

Former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard practices for the first time with the L.A. Galaxy at StubHub Center in Carson, CA on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

Former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard practices for the first time with the L.A. Galaxy at StubHub Center in Carson, CA on Tuesday, July 7, 2015. (Photo by Scott Varley, Daily Breeze)

returned to the practice field this week without Steven Gerrard and Robbie Keane.

Thursday, Gerrard was spotted at Liverpool’s Melwood training groud Thursday by the Mirror.

The Galaxy confirmed Thursday that Gerrard is in England and  dealing with a hamstring issue that will knock him out of Sunday’s crucial match against Houston. The Galaxy begins the week in third place in the Western Conference.  If they finish in either third or fourth, they will host the knockout round game.

“I don’t expect him to be at the game Sunday,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said of Gerrard Thursday following training. “He won’t be playing on Sunday …he’ll be back next week. He has a hamstring injury.”

Keane was also absent at training. He was apparently in the training room. On if he expects him to play, Arena said “it remains to be seen.”

ESPN reported that Gerrard would be back on Friday.

“How they hell would they know,” Arena said. “Who cares if he’s back Friday or Saturday or Sunday? Does that really matter?”

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Galaxy approaching final weeks of regular season with new focus

With two weeks remaining in the regular season, the Galaxy returned to the practice field Monday with a clearer focus.

The Galaxy can’t finish in top 2 spots in the Western Conference, but could still host the knockout round game, if they’re able to finish either third or fourth.

“We got a lot of good work in,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said of last week. “I think we

Photo by Steve McCrank // Staff Photographer

Photo by Steve McCrank // Staff Photographer

made a lot of progress with our team. There were definitely some things we wanted to work on, just getting our team better and having a clearer understanding of what we want to be about as we close out the regular season.”

The road to either the third or fourth place spot will be interesting. The Galaxy will go in Sunday’s game at Houston with 48 points. Real Salt Lake has 45. Seattle (44) has a midweek against Houston, so if current form holds, the Sounders would be expected to win, giving them 47. Sporting Kansas City has 43.

“Our success has put us in a difficult position,” Arena said. “Every game we play is a big game for our opponents. The game in Houston is going to be a difficult game and we know that.”

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All of the Western Conference games on Sunday will start at 2 p.m. (PST).

Galaxy at Houston; Sporting Kansas City at Real Salt Lake; Vancouver at San Jose; Colorado at Portland and Seattle at FC Dallas.

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There is a good chance that the Galaxy could have three consecutive home games to start the playoff run. They host FC Dallas (Oct. 23) in the final game of the regular season. If they finish third or fourth, the Galaxy will host the knockout round game (Oct. 26 or 27) and if they’re successful, they would host the first leg of the conference semifinal against Colorado or FC Dallas.

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ICYMI: Carson StubHub Center upgrade designed to counter forthcoming new LAFC stadium

The StubHub Center in Carson could play host to numerous Olympic events if Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 games Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Carson, CA.   The main stadium, which is the host for the L.A. Galaxy soccer team would most likely be used for rugby.Photo by Steve McCrank, Daily Breeze/SCNG

The StubHub Center in Carson could play host to numerous Olympic events if Los Angeles is awarded the 2024 games Tuesday, September 27, 2016, Carson, CA. The main stadium, which is the host for the L.A. Galaxy soccer team would most likely be used for rugby.Photo by Steve McCrank, Daily Breeze/SCNG

Read the story here by Staff Writer Sandy Mazza.

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LA Galaxy to launch Girls’ Academy teams

The Galaxy announced Tuesday that it has launched LA Galaxy girls U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19 academy teams that will will compete in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League, starting next Fall

The Galaxy Girls’ Academy team will be the first and only program to be fully-funded by galaxya Major League Soccer side, allowing talented local athletes to join free of charge.

Each team will consist of up to 23 players from within a 75 mile radius of StubHub Center. With this move, the LA Galaxy has created multiple possibilities for girls across Southern California to compete in the U.S. Soccer Girls’ Development Academy League, by complimenting their alliance youth club, LA Galaxy San Diego, who have already been admitted to the Development Academy program.

“The LA Galaxy want to continue to invest in and lead the development of youth soccer in North America in every facet,” Galaxy President Chris Klein said. “Adding an Academy program for girls is a huge step for this club in order to continue that investment. We are thrilled to launch this program and provide a structure for young girls to grow and develop in a professional environment free of charge.”

StubHub Center and the LA Galaxy will now house the LA Galaxy, LA Galaxy II, LA Galaxy Academy boys and girls teams and the LA Galaxy Blended Learning Program, which will all operate within the stadium facilities.

The teams will train at StubHub Center four times each week while playing their matches in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy League throughout the region.

The program competition will feature local and regional matches as well as regional and national events with playing rules based on international standards, no re-entry, limited substitutions and proper rest and recovery periods. The season will be structured over a 10-month period and as in the Boys’ Development Academy, the clubs will be organized by divisions and conferences with national and/or regional events incorporated into the overall program.

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U.S. Women’s National Team to play last game of year Nov. 13 in Carson at StubHub Center

ussoccerlogo

The U.S. Women’s National Team will play its first game in Southern California in four years Nov. 13 when it plays against Romania (6:30 p.m. Fox Sports 1) in what will be its final contest of the year.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday.

From the U.S. Soccer press release:

The U.S. Women have played 20 matches in Southern California, 10 of them at the StubHub Center, where the team has gone 10-0-0, scoring 37 goals and allowing just three. The most recent match was a 2-1 win vs. Australia on Sept. 16, 2012.

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Weekend TV Preview: World Cup qualifying and USMNT, Mexico exhibitions

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100 Percent Soccer column: Can an American Premier League coach prove English skeptics wrong?

bradleyapTrailblazer: Former USMNT coach Bob Bradley has become the first coach of a Premier League team when he joined Welsh club Swansea City; former U.S. star Landon Donovan is also an investor in the club. (Associated Press photo).

Read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column here.

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