Galaxy’s Rafael Garcia sees his hard work starting to pay off

On a team full of stars, players like Rafael Garcia are important to the potential success, either on the training field or in game action.galaxy

What he lacks in star power, Garcia, who attended CS Northridge, makes up for with sheer determination that helped him crack the starting lineup for the first time this year in Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Orlando City SC.

Garcia had played sparingly this season, getting three minutes in the 3-3 draw against Real Salt Lake (Sept. 7), 10 minutes against Columbus (Sept. 3). His first appearance this season came all the way back on Apr. 10.

That would have been enough to frustrate the 27-year-old from Canoga Park.

“Mostly patience,” he said Sunday as one of the keys to earning the starting nod. “It has been a long year, filled with ups and downs, but at the end of the day, I think my hard work and being patient, paid off in the end. It is one match, but it is the first start of the year for me and I was happy to be on the field and help my teammates.

You have some good days, you have some bad days, but at the end of the day, hard work and perseverance pays off.”

Garcia started in midfield and found himself around Brazilian superstar Kaka for the majority of the game.

“He was a hand full,” Garcia said. “My job was to kind of frustrate him by being all over him and kind of did that.”

Garcia went the full 90 minutes and along, with Raul Mendiola, drew high praise from coach Bruce Arena. Mendiola has started two of the last three games for the Galaxy.

“They work real hard in training and they have a great work ethic,” Arena said. “They understand what they can bring to the team and they forced themselves on you. These are the guys, when you pick sides, you don’t mind picking them because they compete so well and they know how to play through mistakes and they give great effort.”

Since Garcia has been with the Galaxy he’s been fortunate to watch and learn from some world class players and he’s relishing every day he’s around them.

“They’re world class players,” Garcia said. “They played in World Cups and they’ve played in big games. More than anything, what rubs off on me is their confidence. How they deal with games and move forward.


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Giovani dos Santos earns MLS Player of the Week honors

Giovani dos Santos said Sunday that he believes that he’s in the “best moment of my career.”

And after the last two games, he would certainly know.

Giovani dos Santos in action Sunday (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Giovani dos Santos in action Sunday (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

Dos Santos scored four goals and added three assists last week and Tuesday was selected MLS Player of the Week.

Dos Santos had two goals and an assist in a 3-3 draw against Chicago Wednesday and two goals and two assists in Sunday’s 4-2 victory over Orlando City SC.

So far this season, dos Santos has scored 14 goals and added 11 assists.

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Galaxy preview: Landon Donovan returns; Galaxy welcome Orlando City SC to StubHub Center

It was nice and quiet around the Galaxy this week. Nothing big happened, except for the galaxyreturn of Landon Donovan. Donovan ended his retirement and rejoined the club for the remainder of the season.

This is essentially the stretch drive of the season. The Galaxy has six games remaining, including today. With a victory, the Galaxy can vault into second place in the Western Conference and would be just four points behind FC Dallas.

Robbie Keane should be back today. Landon Donovan could be available. Oh and Orlando City SC has the firepower that could give the Galaxy defense some problems.

This should be fun.

Game day links (Mostly on Landon Donovan, OK, all about Landon Donovan)

Galaxy expect Landon Donovan to fit right in

Landon Donovan professes love for Galaxy for his return

Landon Donovan ends retirement, rejoins the Galaxy



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James Keston becomes new owner of Orange County Blues FC

Orange County Blues FC of the United Soccer League (USL) has been sold to L.A-based businessman James Keston, the league announced Thursday.

Keston is the Chief Investment Officer of LARO Properties, an investment company.

“We are thrilled to welcome James Keston to the USL and reaffirm one of our key

James Keston

James Keston

tenets of finding local and committed ownership,” USL Chief Executive Officer Alec Papadakis said. “James is part of an established Los Angeles family who has passion for soccer and has some very exciting initiatives planned for the team.”

Previous owner Ali Mansouri will remain as a minority investor. Mansouri founded the club in 1998 and became owner in 2010.

“This is a realization of a lifelong dream,” Keston said by phone. “I have a number of plans, starting with a compete rebranding and we will be seeking fan input, a redesign of the logo and improving stadium requirements.”

The OC Blues have played their home games at Anteater Stadium on the campus of UC Irvine since 2014.

“We want to have a fan and game experience that’s greatly enhanced and make the fans feel part of their local team,” Keston said. “The current owner has done a great job and has taken the team to a certain point.

“Our plan is to build out the rest of the team staff, double or triple the front office staff, bring in more sales and marketing and make sure every one knows that Orange County has a local team. The amount of kids and fans playing in Orange County is unparallel to anywhere and we want to be the one team that’s speaking for Orange County.”

All of this work begins once the season is over. The Blues are currently in ninth place in the Western Conference. Last year, the club reached the Western Conference semifinals.

Keston said there are plans to develop an academy system to identify the top talent in Orange County.

“Our focus is winning USL championships and creating a professional environment and give an opportunity to the talented youth to play soccer with men and develop their game,” Keston said. “We understand our place within the (soccer) chain. We’re going to take a look at everything and make a lot of important decisions.”

LARO Properties specializes in investments in real estate, private equity funds, hedge funds, direct equity investments and publicly traded securities. Keston has also served as Chief Restructuring Officer for Larwin Company, during which he led negotiations with banks and creditors on behalf of the company in successfully resolving a distressed portfolio of over $150 million in outstanding loans.

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Landon Donovan comes out of retirement and rejoins the Galaxy

Landon Donovan is back.

After a brief retirement, Donovan, 34, is returning to the Galaxy, the move was confirmed Thursday after. The Galaxy released a video of Donovan putting on a No. 26 jersey.

When Donovan announced he was retiring two years ago, it sent shockwaves through the soccer world, especially after the season he had.

Donovan, who was born in Ontario and grew up in Redlands, scored 10 goals with 19 assists in 2014, leading the Galaxy to the MLS Cup.

Since his retirement, Donovan has spent time as an analyst for Time Warner Cable SportsNet and Fox Sports. He’s also re-married and had a baby boy (Talon). Donovan has also stepped into ownership, becoming a part-owner of Swansea City of the English Premier League.

In a Facebook statement, Donovan explained his reason of returning, the first thoughts hit him while working the Galaxy game against Vancouver, Aug. 27.

“Since my retirement, I have remained in close contact with many of the staff and players on the Galaxy. I spoke with some of them that week (against Vancouver) and they jokingly asked if I was ready to make a return to the field to help fill some of the void left by the injuries and departures. I reminded them that I haven’t played a meaningful soccer game in almost two years and I certainly couldn’t fill the holes left by those players.”

Donovan will train with the Galaxy Friday.

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Wild night at Rio Tinto leaves Galaxy with missed opportunity

The Galaxy were close to getting out of town with a full three points Wednesday night, before Juan Manuel Martinez scored in the 94th minute to give Real Salt Lake a share of the points in a 3-3 draw.

The Galaxy led 3-1 after the 64th minute. Giovani dos Santos broke a 1-1 tie with a goal in the 57th and 64th minute. RSL got closer on Joao Plata’s goal in the 67th minute and then Martinez added his for the draw.

The Galaxy is now tied with RSL for second place with 44 points heading to this weekend’s games.

Here are the goals from dos Santos that had the Galaxy thinking a road victory was well within its grasp

goal No. 1

and goal No. 2

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Galaxy preview: Galaxy faces Real Salt Lake in key showdown

The Galaxy snapped its six-game winless streak with its 2-1 victory over Columbus galaxy1Crew SC, Saturday. Now, on a short turnaround, Bruce Arena and company are in Utah to face Real Salt Lake (TWCS; 6:30 p.m.)

Both teams and Colorado are tied for second on 43 points in the Western Conference.

The teams met earlier this season with the Galaxy winning 5-2.

RSL, Galaxy and Colorado are eight points behind leader FC Dallas. The Galaxy returns home Sunday to take on Orlando City SC, while FC Dallas takes on Colorado on Saturday.

Things are getting interesting in the Western Conference.

Game day preview: Bruce Arena focused on RSL; not No. 200


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Forbes ranks Galaxy as second most valuable MLS franchise

Forbes announced franchise valuations for Major League Soccer Wednesday. According to the report, the Galaxy is valued at $265 million, second to the Seattle Sounders ($285 million).

The report also stated that the Galaxy has the highest revenue from 2015 with $58 million.

Here is the complete top 10:1. Seattle $285 million; 2. Galaxy $265 million; 3. New York City FC $255 million; 4. Toronto FC $245 million; 5. Orlando City FC $240 million; 6. Houston $215 million; 7. Portland $210 million; 8. Sporting Kansas City $195 million; 9. New England $185 million; 10. San Jose $180

Forbes’  valuation estimates are based on multiples of revenue, as well as projections of future growth for the league. According to the report, the average MLS team is worth $185 million, up 18 percent from last year and 80 percent from 2013.

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MLS Cup ready for prime time and USMNT faces Trinidad & Tobago at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports 1 with World Cup place at stake


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