The names Rob Friend, Samuel and Baggio Husidic may well sound like a rejected FourFourTwo spineline, but for Galaxy fans they are now a reality, welcome or not. For more, read this week’s column and revel in the anticipation that is the MLS SuperDraft (ahem).
Now that I’ve (briefly) come up for air from a Breaking Bad watching binge, it’s worth noting that:
Both the Galaxy and Chivas USA refined (and perhaps completed) their preseason plans by confirming games in Fresno and Las Vegas respectively.
The Galaxy have finally responded to frustrated fans’ pleas for new signings adding 22-year-old Brazilian attacker Samuel from Fluminense, scorer of 15 goals in 72 games for the club over the last two years.
The player will add another offensive option for the Galaxy, which struggled to unlock opposing back lines last season with the inventiveness seen in previous years.
Here’s more from the Galaxy press release:
Samuel debuted for Fluminense during the 2012 Campeonato Brasileiro Serie A season, scoring five goals in 23 league appearances for the club, which won their fourth championship in club history that year. He also made five appearances in the 2012 Campeonato Carioca, which is the regional championship for the state of Rio de Janeiro, helping lead the club to that title as well. Last season, the 22-year-old had nine goals in 45 appearances in all competitions, scoring four times in Serie A play, four times in the Campeonato Carioca and once in the Copa do Brazil. He started in 12 of his 24 league appearances for Fluminense while also appearing in eight games during that year’s Copa Libertadores, helping his team reach the quarterfinals of South America’s premier continental club competition.
Conventional wisdom suggests that’s a real long shot, but 2013 MLS MVP Mike Magee — scorer of 21 goals last season — has made a habit of doing the unlikely:
“I have a chance,” said Magee in this interview. “I’m motivated to leave a footprint on this team.”
Of course, given that Jurgen Klinsmann has been watching the likes of the unproductive like’s of Sunderland’s Jozy Altidore in England this season — although he is admittedly on one of the offensively weakest teams in the EPL — maybe he is searching for suitable replacements.
Meanwhile, here’s the complete roster with the usual suspects on board including Galaxy players Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan.
U.S. Soccer has more facts and figures breaking down the squad here, including the fact 15,000 tickets have been sold for the opening U.S. game of 2014 in Carson.
This year’s Torrance Rose Parade entry was sponsored by the nonprofit American Youth Soccer Organization, which was founded 50 years ago in the South Bay city and boasts a Torrance address to this day. Galaxy great Cobi Jones was among the riders on the float. (Photo by Staff Photographer Leo Jarzomb).
With 162 days to go until the World Cup in Brazil, ESPN will debut a 60-second clip, edited down from the 90-second version above, Wednesday during the 100th Rose Bowl game.
Wondering about the origin of some of the clips you see in the video?
Here’s a rundown, according to an ESPN press release issued today:
Pele and his triumphant celebration in 1970
Germany’s Franz Beckenbauer and Dutch captain Johan Cruyff exchanging flags moments before the 1974 Final
Diego Maradona and his brilliant performance for Argentina in 1986
Zinedine Zidane, whose epic performance for France led the host country to win the Cup in 1998
Andres Iniesta, whose beautiful strike sealed Spain’s first World Cup title in 2010
Cameroonian striker Roger Milla’s famous dance in 1990
Dutch legend Johan Cruyff’s immortal turn in 1974
England striker Geoff Hurst’s record-setting three-goal performance in a World Cup title match in 1966
Dutch striker Dennis Bergkamp’s memorable touch against Argentina in 1998
Carlos Alberto’s wonder-strike for Brazil in 1970
Paolo Rossi hoisting the cup for Italy in 1982
And Landon Donovan’s celebration after his last-gasp winner against Algeria earned the U.S. Men’s National Team a place in the single-elimination rounds in the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa.
Yes, you read that right, FC Shirak, the current Armenian champs, play the Galaxy at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at StubHub Center in a preseason game.
Tickets, which start at $17 for the general public, go on sale Jan. 14.
The opposition is calculated to appeal to the large Southern California Armenian community, estimated at around 465,000 or so.
Here’s more on FC Shirak, from the Galaxy press release:
Under the direction of head coach Ararat Harutyunyan, Shirak currently sit in second place with a 6-4-4 record and 22 points through the first half of the 2013-14 Premier League season. Based in the city of Gyumri in the northwest of Armenia, Shirak are led by Ivorian midfielder Serge Deble, who is tied for the league lead in goals over the first half of the season with nine. Shirak, who won the 2013 Armenian Super Cup and reached the Second qualifying round of the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League, will travel to Southern California as part of their preparations for the start of the second half of their season, which begins in early March.
*The Galaxy announced today that Inglewood’s Jose Villarreal has gone on loan to Mexico’s Cruz Azul for the 2014 MLS season. The Mexican club will have the option to buy the promising striker.
The 20-year-old made 31 appearances for the Galaxy last year, scoring four goals, but was generally outshone by fellow young forward Gyasi Zardes.
“Sending Jose Villarreal to Cruz Azul provides one of our Homegrown players an opportunity to gain additional experience,” said LA Galaxy general manager and head coach Bruce Arena. “We’ll monitor Jose’s play with Cruz Azul and wish him well while in Mexico.”
Incidentally, Villarreal will be a teammate of San Jose Earthquakes midfielder Rafael Baca (LMU) and midfielder Michael Farfan at Cruz Azul. The Philadelphia Union announced today that the latter midfielder was bought by the club.
*Also, the Columbus Crew signed 29-year-old midfielder Daniel Paladini from Chicago. The Van Nuys native also played for Chivas USA in 2008, the now-defufunct San Fernando Valley Quakes in 2007 and began his career with the Galaxy in 2006.