Galaxy week ahead: Road trip continues to Minnesota

Fresh of their first victory on the East Coast since 2013, the Galaxy will look to carry that momentum into Sunday’s contest against expansion side Minnesota United.

The Galaxy (3-5-2) defeated the New York Red Bulls, 3-1, Sunday, thanks to two goals from Romain Alessandrini and Giovani dos Santos’ penalty kick.

Sunday, the Galaxy is back on the road against Minnesota (3-6-2) at TCF Bank Stadium. Both teams are sitting on 11 points.

Christian Ramirez leads the club with six goals. Kevin Molino has five.

Minnesota lost three of their first four games, allowing a whopping 18 goals. Since then, things have stabilized a bit. Still, their propensity for allowing goals should brighten the eyes of the Galaxy attackers. Minnesota has allowed 28 goals so far this season.

“It is a tough venue,” Onalfo said of TCF Bank Stadium. “Turf field. It’s narrow and they haven’t conceded a lot of home, so we’re going to have to have that road mentality, push the game and do whatever we can to mimic what we did last week.”

 

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Orlando City SC’s Kaka tops MLS salary for 2017

Brazilian and Orlando City SC midfielder Kaka is the highest paid player in Major League Soccer this year, according to information released by the MLS Players Union.

KaKa is set to earn a base salary of $6.66 million with a guaranteed compensation of $7.16 million.

Toronto FC’s Sebastian Giovinco is the second highest paid, earning a base of $5.6 million and guaranteed of $7.12 million.

Toronto FC’s Michael Bradley ($6.5 million), New York City FC’s Andrea Pirlo ($5.9 million) and David Villa ($5.6 million) round out the top five

The Galaxy’s Giovani dos Santos is sixth with a guaranteed compensation of $5.5 million.

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MLS announces ownership groups vying for expansion franchises

A total of 12 groups haves ubmitted official applications for the next round of MLS expansion

After reviewing expansion applications and meeting with each ownership group, Major mls_logo-svgLeague Soccer will announce the four expansion teams in groups of two based on the following timeline:

**Two new expansion teams before the end of 2017. Teams 25 and 26 will begin play in MLS by the 2020 season.

**Two additional expansion teams will be announced at a later date. The timeline for selecting clubs 27 and 28 will be decided later this year.

Here are the 12 cities applying for expansion:

Charlotte

Cincinnati

Detroit

Indianapolis

Nashville

Phoenix

Raleigh/Durham

Sacramento

St. Louis

San Antonio

San Diego

Tampa/St. Petersburg

From MLS: With the addition of Atlanta United and Minnesota United FC, MLS will have 22 clubs playing during the 2017 season. In addition, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) will join the League in 2018. Also, MLS is making progress with plans for an expansion team in Miami, which would bring MLS to 24 clubs. In December of 2015, MLS announced plans to grow to 28 teams.

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MLS commissioner Don Garber confirms expansion of Targeted Allocation Money

Targeted Allocation Money or TAM will increase to $1.2 million for each team, MLS commissioner Don Garber confirmed at a press conference in Toronto, Friday.

Last year, teams were given $800,000. The increase will give teams a bit more flexib3ility on the league’s $3.6 million cap.

TAM is designed to help teams attract top talent outside of the three Designated Player spots.

 

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Start of MLS off-season calendar will keep teams extremely busy

It  has already been a busy off-season for the Galaxy and it will only get busier with the official start of the MLS off-season calendar.

Here is a quick primer of what’s ahead for MLS for the next 10 days.

Sunday, Dec. 11
  • Half-Day Trade Window from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. ET
  • No trades involving players will be permitted after 12 p.m. ET up until the conclusion of the Expansion Draft
Monday, Dec. 12
  • Expansion Draft Protected Player List and eligible Free Agents made public
Tuesday, Dec. 13
  • Expansion Draft held at 2 p.m. ET
  • Beginning at 5 p.m. ET, Free Agents may engage in negotiations with all MLS clubs.
Wednesday, Dec. 14
  • List of players eligible for selection in the Waiver Draft made public
Thursday, Dec. 15
  • Waiver Draft held at 2 p.m. ET
  • Beginning at 5 p.m. ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players (player-trade blackout window)
  • List of players available in Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft made public
Friday, Dec. 16
  • Stage One of the Re-Entry Draft held at 3 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Dec. 21
  • Starting at 11 a.m. ET, clubs may no longer sign or trade their own Re-Entry eligible players (player-trade blackout window)
  • List of available players in Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft made public
Thursday, Dec. 22
  • Stage Two of the Re-Entry Draft held at 3 p.m. ET
January 7-12, 2017
  • 2017 adidas MLS Player Combine
Friday, Jan. 13, 2017
  • 2017 MLS SuperDraft presented by adidas
Monday, Jan. 23, 2017
  • 2017 MLS preseason begins
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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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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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Galaxy recap: One goal is all it takes to sink Galaxy

It was an early goal, one that probably shouldn’t have counted, but that was all it took for New York City FC to defeat the Galaxy, 1-0, Saturday at Yankee Stadium.

NYCFC’s David Villa scored his 16th goal of the season in the sixth minute. He appeared to be in an offside position when Ronald Matarrita sent in a shot that deflected off of Galaxy goalkeeper Clement Diop.

The Galaxy record is now 9-4-11 with 38 points, tied with Sporting Kansas City for fourth place in the Western Conference.

Arena on what went wrong:

“Well, there wasn’t a whole lot of quality to our passing in the last third today. And then you look at the game, it was a tight game, we concede a goal early. In the first half, Nigel has an open goal that he misses. Second half, Robbie Keane has an open goal with his header. [He was] probably a little hesitant to head the ball coming off a concussion and fractured orbital bone, but those chances, they’re not going to come that often. They kept their players in pretty tight at the end of the game, and took out some players in the midfield and really clamped down. The couple of chances we get, we have to put one in the back of the net. That’s the name of the game. The conditions were tough for both teams, and that’s that.”

What’s next: The Galaxy remains on the road and heads to Chicago, Wednesday (5:30 p.m.) The Fire is in last place in the Eastern Conference.

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Reunion weekend for Lampard, Cole and Gerrard in New York

Former teammates, close friends, this weekend is a reunion of galaxysorts for Steven Gerrard, Ashley Cole and Frank Lampard.

The trio were fixtures on the England National team and Lampard and Cole were teammates at Chelsea FC.

Saturday at Yankee Stadium, Gerrard and Cole will try and slow down one of the league’s top scoring teams in Lampard’s New York City FC.

I’m going to try and see Ash and Stevie at the hotel,” Lampard said to NYCFC.com. “I’ve got a couple of Chelsea friends over from London as well for the game. We might go and see them if I have the chance. But we’re focused. We’re friends, but in the buildup to games I like to keep my head down and Ashley is the same. If they stay over after the game then maybe we’ll share a dinner or a beer afterwards.”

Lampard has scored nine goals this season and David Villa has 15. Cole and the Galaxy defense will have to be on top of their game to slow down the duo.

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