LAFC notebook: Hamm committed to bringing women’s team to LA

City council member Curren Price, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Will Ferrell, Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm. (Photo Thuc Nhi Nguyen/LA Daily News)

City council member Curren Price, Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, Will Ferrell, Nomar Garciaparra and Mia Hamm. (Photo Thuc Nhi Nguyen/LA Daily News)

LAFC announced its crest and colors yesterday in a carefully scripted press conference that also included two new owners in actor Will Ferrell and video game mogul Brandon Beck. It was quite the affair: There were streamers, chants and a Lakers drum.

Next, there will a stadium, an academy and eventually a team for LAFC. U.S. Soccer great and LAFC co-owner Mia Hamm hopes the club will also bring a women’s team to Los Angeles.

“I know it’s a business, but if there’s any place in the country that has a fan base and support, it’ll be here in L.A., in Southern California,” Hamm said Thursday after the press conference. Continue reading

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MLS releases 2016 schedule

stubhub MLS released its 2016 full schedule on Thursday. The season kicks off with 10 games on Sunday, March 6, and wraps with another (hopefully) epic Decision Day with all 10 games kicking off at the same time.

The LA Galaxy start their season with a home match against DC United at 7 p.m., and close the regular season at home against FC Dallas.

LA plays rival San Jose three times (on the road March 19 and June 25 and at home May 22). The Galaxy play their first two games against Western Conference foe Seattle on the road (July 9 and July 31) and host the Sounders on Sept. 25.

The Galaxy also have 18 nationally televised matches (six on FS1, four on UniMas, seven on ESPN).

Continue reading

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Galaxy sign free agent midfielder Jeff Larentowicz

Jeff Larentowicz  (Photo courtesy Chicago Fire)

Jeff Larentowicz (Photo courtesy Chicago Fire)

The L.A. Galaxy announced the signing of free agent midfielder Jeff Larentowicz on Wednesday.

“Jeff is an experienced and proven midfielder in our league,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said in a statement. “He gives our team another veteran presence on the field and in the locker room. We are excited to add Jeff to our roster and look forward to his contribution this season.”

Larentowicz, 32, figures to be the replacement for Juninho, who was transfered to Liga MX side Club Tijuana last month. Larentowicz, an 11-year MLS veteran, is part of the league’s first free agency class. The midfielder has previously played for the New England Revolution, Colorado Rapids and Chicago Fire.

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Another reason to avoid paying attention to USMNT Camp Cupcake in Carson: it’s an Olympics identification camp

ussoccer

The Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes was included in the roster for the annual USMNT camp in Carson that starts next week as was a whole bunch of youngsters with an average player age of just 24.

“We start out our year with a January camp where we give the opportunity to the next wave of players to come in and make an impression and see if they are ready to step it up into international level, if they are ready to understand what it takes to become a National Team player,” said Klinsmann. “This camp will be a little bit different because we’re going to mix it almost half-and-half with senior players that are already National Team players or some that are older and maybe get the chance to play their first cap, and a lot of the Under-23 players that hopefully qualify us for Rio de Janeiro. This will be more of an identification camp and a development camp. We want to give those players a head start into their very busy year 2016, but we also want to make it clear to them that it’s a huge opportunity that you have to understand what it takes to step it up and to become an international-level player.”

From the Galaxy press release:

Zardes earns the call up after making 19 appearances for the USMNT in 2015, tying Claudio Reyna’s 1994 record for most caps by a U.S. player in their debut year with the National Team. He earned his first-ever call up to the USMNT during last year’s January camp and made his first start at StubHub Center in a 2-0 win over Panama, where he provided the game-winning assist to Clint Dempsey. In all, the Galaxy Homegrown Player score three goals and added three assists for the U.S. in 2015. Last season in MLS play, Zardes finished the campaign with six goals and four assists, bringing his Galaxy total to 26 goals and 10 assists in three seasons with the club.

Read more here.

The U.S. concludes camp with friendles against Iceland (12:45 p.m. Jan. 31 ESPN2) and Canada (7:15 p.m. Feb. 5 Fox Sports 1, UniMás, UDN).

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Bruce Arena talks with ExtraTime Radio on offseason changes, Omar Gonzalez, Juninho

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

(AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

The Galaxy’s longest offseason since the first season of the Bruce Arena era certainly hasn’t been boring. Two weeks after sending two team stalwarts to Liga MX in Omar Gonzalez and Juninho, Arena told ExtraTime Radio that the moves, while personally difficult, were part of a necessary rebuilding process after a disappointing 2015.

“None of it’s easy,” Arena said. “Every year unfortunately we lose players, there’s nothing we can do about it, but it’s all part of the business.” Continue reading

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Does the Galaxy need another aging English import like Ashley Cole?

cole What signing? You want to sign this guy, a jocular Ashley Cole seems to be asking. (AP file photo).

The possibility of former England left back Ashley Cole joining MLS and the Galaxy from Italian side Roma at the age of 35 first appeared six days ago in that paragon of journalistic credibility, The Irish Sun.

ESPN FC’s Jeff Carlisle picked up the story, closely followed by the LA Times who appeared to have pinned down usually evasive Galaxy coach Bruce Arena with a grudging admission the media reports were “reasonably accurate.”

Not so fast.

Hours later English tabloid the Daily Mail was reporting Cole was still undecided about his future.

How excited are you about the possibility of Cole, who has played sparingly since joining Roma, joining 35-year-old Steven Gerrard in the Galaxy lineup next season? (Ahem).

Let’s hope someone tells him about the heat, humidity and long road trips. Don’t want that to be a nasty surprise like it was for Stevie, after all.

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LA Galaxy transfer Juninho to Club Tijuana

Photo by Marcio Jose Sanchez // AP

Two days after transferring Omar Gonzalez to Liga MX side C.F. Pachuca, the LA Galaxy announced another major transaction in the transfer of Brazilian midfielder Juninho to Club Tijuana.

“We thank Juninho for his contributions on and off the field during his time here,” Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena said. “We wish him the best of luck with Tijuana.”

Since joining the Galaxy in 2010 on loan from Sao Paolo, Juninho made 187 appearances with the club and 180 starts, and was one of the team’s most consistent midfielders. He earned his first MLS all-star selection in 2015. However, his role was reduced with the addition of Steven Gerrard in the summer.

Juninho’s agent Ricard Silveira told the LA Times soon after the Galaxy lost in the knockout round of the MLS playoffs that his client “likes to play for Bruce, (but) Juninho wants to be recognized, that’s for sure.”

Juninho scored 18 goals and notched 23 assists with the Galaxy, scoring four times and assisting seven goals in 2015. After Gerrard joined the squad in July, Juninho did not score in MLS play, but recorded four assists.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to have worn the LA Galaxy jersey for the past six seasons,” Juninho wrote in a statement released on social media and LAGalaxy.com. I have worn it with pride, however, it is time for me to trade in my Galaxy jersey for a new one. I’ve always welcomes the opportunity for growth and for change. To play for Club Tijuana in Mexico is a tremendous opportunity for me.”


The transfers of Gonzalez and Juninho free up considerable financial space for the Galaxy, who are undergoing a major roster reconstruction after their disappointing 2015 season. Goal.com reported that Juninho’s transfer fee was believed to be in the $1.5 million range, while Gonzalez’s was in the $750,000 range. According to data released by the MLS Players Union, Juninho was guaranteed $350,000 in 2015.

Club Tijuana is scheduled to face the Galaxy in a preseason friendly on Feb. 9 at StubHub Center in advance of the 2016 MLS season.

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100 Percent Soccer Column: Departure of LA Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez gives promoted Daniel Steres an opening on back line

steresPhoto courtesy Los Angeles Galaxy

It was a case of good timing when LA Galaxy II captain Daniel Steres sat down Monday with the Los Angeles Newspaper group to discuss his promotion to the first team the week before.

The next day Omar Gonzalez was shipped to Liga MX.

Read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column here.

BTW: Steres was inspired by the luminary likes of Real Madrid’s Sergio Ramos and Carles Puyol, a Catalan who played for Barcelona, the pride of that fiercely independent Spanish region.

Here’s why:

“I just like the tenacity that they played with,” Steres said. “I’m kind of a more calm, easy-going guy and I just like to watch them, how they get into tackles, how everything mattered with them, especially Puyol. He won every single ball, everything was just stuck in and hard and Ramos bought a little more flair.”

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LA Galaxy open season at home against DC United

MLSlogoThe LA Galaxy will open their season on March 6 at home against DC United at 7 p.m., the league announced on Tuesday. The game will cap off a full opening day schedule that features 10 matchups.

The Galaxy will play their second game on the road against the Colorado Rapids in Colorado’s home opener.

A 2015 MLS Cup rematch between Columbus and MLS Cup winners Portland highlights the opening day slate at 1:30 p.m.

A full regular season schedule will be announced on Jan. 7.

Full MLS schedule for the first day of the season.

Full MLS schedule for the first day of the season.

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