blog

LA Galaxy

10 March 12:10 am

Last year, before the season started, I very cleverly predicted that LA would win the West, the Shield and the Cup. I predicted that Houston would win the East. And I came up with a few other good ones that panned out.

Unfortunately I made these predictions on Twitter, and 4000 posts later, I was no longer able to have my moment of glory. Not gonna make the same mistake this year.

Western Conference
Real Salt Lake

Eastern Conference
Houston Dynamo

Supporters' Shield
RSL

MLS Cup
Seattle Sounders

US Open Cup
Chicago Fire

MVP
Fredy Montero

Golden Boot
Chris Wondolowski

Defender of the Year
Geoff Cameron

Rookie of the Year
Luis Silva

Coach of the Year
Martin Rennie

And the most important question... will another forward come out of the blue and rack up double-digit goals? Wondolowski and Dom Oduro have done so in the last two seasons. This year's version will be... Tommy "Disco" Heinemann.

Feel free to bookmark this and throw it in my face 9 months from now.

Cheers, and enjoy the soccer.

08 March 7:13 pm

Needless to say, Wednesday's CONCACAF Champions League games were exciting.

Perhaps even more so because of the nearly unprecedented attendance. Between the two CCL matches, 71,001 fans showed up. That's an average of 35,500.

By comparison, UEFA's four Champions League games this week averaged 49,776.25. That includes 75,632 fans who packed the Nou Camp in an attendance figure nearly as ridiculous at Barcelona's 7-1 destruction of Bayer Leverkusen.

Take what you will from it, but it's fair to say that the bar for CCL matches hosted by MLS teams has been raised.

08 March 3:01 pm

More predictions today from FIFA 12. Not only is it one of the greatest time-sucks/soccer video games ever created but it is also a predictor of Golden Boot winners.

According to EA Sports the game "predicted that Galaxy striker Robbie Keane will win the 2012 Budweiser Golden Boot, awarded to the top goal scorer at the end of the regular season. EA SPORTS has predicted Keane will score 19 goals this season."

19 for Keane? It's catchy and it rhymes, so why not.

Here's a look at how FIFA 12 predicts the rest of the race will play out. Personally, I'm wondering if Juan Agudelo will get 10 starts in 2012 let alone 10 goals.

08 March 11:44 am

At the beginning of every season every outlet under the sun makes their predictions as to who will lift the Philip F. Anschutz trophy at the end of the year. For ages this has been the domain of both professional & amateur soccer journos, TV pundits and sports radio personalities. You can now add video games to the list.

Yes, even inanimate objects are experts now...kind of.

Using the latest version of their best-selling FIFA soccer franchise, the minds at EA Sports were able to predict who they think will take home the hardware in 2012. And guess what? They're thinking repeat as they've got the Galaxy pegged to do it all over again.

To come to this conclusion, EA Sports simulated the entire 2012 MLS regular season, testing all 19 clubs under the same conditions they will face in the months ahead to determine that the LA Galaxy will finish first overall in the 34-game regular season with a league record 75 points, posting a 22-9-3 win-draw-loss record. This would see the Galaxy completing a record-setting regular season and winning the MLS Supporters’ Shield for the third straight year.  No team has ever finished first three consecutive MLS seasons.

Here's how FIFA 12 predicted the tables would turn out for both the Eastern and Western conferences this year. Where does your club land?

So go on Galaxy-haters, start sharpening those knives and yelling about big-market bias. Just aim your anger squarely in the direction of your game console, not 420 Fifth Ave.

08 March 11:12 am

Les deux rencontres de Ligue des champions impliquant des clubs de MLS ont a été riches en spectacle ce mercredi soir. Avec des scores serrés, le suspense reste intégral pour les quarts de finale retour.

Devant une foule record au Centre Rogers, le Toronto FC a pris un départ canon, profitant d’une des faiblesses défensives du LA Galaxy, les corners, pour ouvrir la marque tôt dans la rencontre. On ne jouait pas depuis 20 minutes que le jeune Luis Silva punissait une défense californienne pas encore dans son match pour faire 2-0. Les détenteurs de la dernière Coupe MLS mettaient ensuite la machine en route et réduisaient l’écart à 2-1 avant la pause.

Lors d’une seconde période spectaculaire, Beckham et ses partenaires poussaient de plus en plus vers l’égalisation. Plus Torsten Frings, auteur d’un grand match, peinait physiquement, plus la défense locale pliait. Elle a fini par rompre dans les derniers instants, sur un corner de Beckham que Donovan a propulsé au fond des filets (score final 2-2 - voir le résumé en vidéo).

À peine la rencontre terminée, les yeux étaient rivés sur Seattle où Santos Laguna semblait à prendre. Rapidement, les Sounders ont ouvert la marque et ils semblaient en mesure d’accentuer leur avance. Mais en fin de première période, les Mexicains ont haussé le rythme, puis égalisé méritoirement à l’heure de jeu. Leur joie fut de courte durée : quelques instants plus tard, Evans offrait la victoire 2-1 à Seattle. Un résultat dont les deux équipes ont semblé se satisfaire.

Mardi, le choc 100% mexicain a été remporté par Monterrey, qui s’est imposé 1-3 à Morelia. Ce jeudi soir, Metapan a causé la surprise en battant les Pumas de l’Unam 2-1. Les quarts de finale retour se joueront la semaine prochaine.

06 March 6:00 pm

À quelques jours du coup d’envoi de la saison 2012, plusieurs clubs de MLS font déjà face à une échéance internationale importante. Les matchs aller des quarts de finale de la Ligue des champions se jouent cette semaine et aussi bien le LA Galaxy que Toronto et Seattle ont des ambitions élevées.

LE SOMMET

Le duel entre Toronto et Los Angeles nous intéresse de plus près puisqu’il est le seul à mettre aux prises deux clubs de MLS. Par crainte des rigueurs de l’hiver (finalement, la météo prévoit plus de 10 degrés demain…), les Torontois ont délaissé BMO Field pour le Centre Rogers, muni d’un toit et où 45 000 supporters sont attendus. Le tout sur un terrain artificiel dont Aron Winter a préféré ne pas commenter la qualité.

Vainqueur de la dernière Coupe MLS, Los Angeles part largement favori du duel avec sa pléthore de stars que sont David Beckham, Landon Donovan et Robbie Keane, encore renforcée par Edson Buddle durant l’hiver. Sauf que la préparation n’a pas été rose, avec une victoire 3-2 contre le voisin du Chivas USA comme principal résultat positif. Si l’équipe n’a pas tellement changé par rapport à la saison passée, elle devra quand même rapidement retrouver ses meilleures sensations.

Bruce Arena, l’entraîneur du Galaxy, dit n’avoir que deux soucis : la surface de jeu et… l’adversaire. Bien qu’ayant fini en fond de classement en 2011, Toronto a développé un jeu qui s’est amélioré au fil des mois et continue de bâtir sur ces fondations. Grâce à l’apport de Koevermans, l’attaque est capable de faire parler la poudre, ce qui sera nécessaire face à une défense californienne solide et qui se connaît bien. Privée de De Guzman et Soolsma suspendus, l’équipe canadienne pourrait donner sa chance au jeune Luis Silva, véritable révélation pendant la préparation.

Lors de la saison précédente, Los Angeles n’a jamais battu Toronto et l’apport du douzième homme, dans un match historique pour le club, sera un adjuvent supplémentaire pour l’équipe locale. En battant Santos Laguna à Montréal au même stade de la compétition il y a de cela trois ans, l’Impact de Montréal a montré l’exemple à suivre…

LE DÉFI

Santos Laguna est justement l’adversaire de Seattle, l’autre club de MLS encore en lice à ce stade de la compétition. Il peut entrer dans l’histoire à titre de premier club étranger à éliminer un club mexicain en Ligue des champions depuis que celle-ci a adopté sa nouvelle formule en 2008. Santos Laguna avait frisé la catastrophe face à Montréal il y a trois ans, se qualifiant in extremis au match retour. Les Mexicains sont donc prévenus, mais il semble que ça ne les empêchera pas d’aligner une équipe jeune ce mercredi à Seattle.

Les Mexicains partiront avec un avantage non négligeable : ils ont le rythme de la compétition dans les jambes, puisque leur championnat est déjà vieux de 9 journées, alors que la MLS ne recommence que ce week-end. Actuellement quatrièmes, ils disposent de la meilleure attaque mais sont friables défensivement et ne font pas preuve d’une régularité exemplaire. À Sigi Schmid et à ses hommes d’en profiter !

LES AUTRES RENCONTRES

Dans l’absolu, le véritable choc de ces quarts de finale sera le duel 100% mexicain entre Morelia et Monterrey. Le tenant du titre se déplace sur les terres du leader du championnat du Mexique, qui reste sur cinq victoires consécutives. Les Rayados devront se méfier particulièrement de l’attaquant Miguel Sabah, qui respire la forme.

Le dernier quart de finale opposera les Pumas de l’UNAM, qui peinent à s’imposer depuis le début de l’année, aux Salvadoriens de Metapan, invités surprises des quarts de finale après avoir sorti les Colorado Rapids et le Real España au stade précédent de la compétition.

LE PROGRAMME

Horaire Match Télévision
Mardi 6 mars, 22h00 (HE) Monarcas Morelia (Mex) - Monterrey (Mex)

Galavision, ESPN Latin Norte, ESPN Caribbean

Mercredi 7 mars, 20h00 (HE) Toronto FC - LA Galaxy

Fox Soccer, Sportsnet, TeleFutura, ESPN Dos (Mexique, Venezuela, Caraïbes)

Mercredi 7 mars, 22h00 (HE) Seattle Sounders - Santos Laguna (Mex)

Fox Soccer, Sportsnet One, TeleFutura, ESPN Dos (Mexique, Venezuela, Caraïbes)

Jeudi 8 mars, 20h00 (HE) Isidro Metapan (Slv) - Pumas Unam (Mex)

Galavision, ESPN Latin Norte, ESPN Caribbean

Rencontres également disponibles sur CONCACAF TV
Les matchs retour seront disputés entre le 13 et le 15 mars

06 March 10:30 am

With 45K expected to be in the house for tomorrow night's massive CONCACAF Champions League match between Toronto FC and the LA Galaxy, they're rolling out the red carpet at the Rogers Centre.

Or should I say the green carpet?

Despite an expected temperature of 59 degrees on Wednesday tomorrow night's match will be played indoors, a rare soccer match in the home of MLB's Toronto Blue Jays. If you can't make it to downtown T. Dot for the game FOX Soccer has got you covered (kickoff is at 8pm ET). And if you're not up on the current storylines surrounding the game just know these two things: Bruce Arena is feeling confident and Aron Winter is prepared.

02 March 9:36 am

It was a boldface lie. Ferrell has turned around and shot a film entirely in Spanish … So what better place than Mexico vs. Colombia to promote the flick alongside stunning actress  Genesis Rodriguez? With Ferrell’s attendance at a Mexican national team match, we put his Spanish and his loyalty to the US colors to the test.

27 February 10:03 pm

One of the hot topics around the soccersphere today was news of sanctions levied against supporters of the Houston Dynamo. Below is the letter sent from MLS to leaders of the Houston Dynamo supporters groups on Monday. According to MLS spokesperson Will Kuhns, this is not the first time that an MLS supporters group’s privileges have been suspended for behavior issues. In the letter, you will see that the incidents at issue occurred during road games, and that the sanctions apply only to road games.
 

Major League Soccer and its Clubs are committed to the growth of a vibrant and healthy environment in our stadiums.  We are focused on fostering a League-wide culture that embraces the passion of our core fans. That passion however, must be displayed in a responsible manner that is in accordance with the MLS Fan Code of Conduct.
 
This letter serves to address several violations of the MLS Fan Code of Conduct committed by Dynamo supporters at the following events:
1.     MLS Cup, Houston Dynamo vs. LA Galaxy at the Home Depot Center (November 20, 2011): Violations of the MLS Fan Code of Conduct included
a.     multiple illegal smoke bombs were brought into the stadium, ignited and thrown onto the field
b.    various objects that presented a safety risk thrown onto the field in the direction of players and stadium personnel
c.     obscene language and gestures by multiple supporters
2.     Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Park (November 6th, 2011): Violation of the MLS Fan Code of Conduct included
a.     a prohibited smoke bomb that was brought into the stadium and ignited
3.     Houston Dynamo vs. FC Dallas at Pizza Hut Park (September 24, 2011): Violations of the MLS Fan Code of Conduct included
a.     a prohibited smoke bomb that was brought into the stadium and ignited
 
As of March 1, Dynamo traveling supporters will not be permitted to utilize items listed as Supporter Group Exemptions in the MLS Prohibited Items policy (e.g. flags, banners, confetti, drums). This sanction shall continue to be in effect until otherwise notified by MLS; provided, however, that at a minimum it shall apply to the following games:
1.     Houston Dynamo vs. Chivas at the Home Depot Center (March 11, 2012)
2.     Houston Dynamo vs. Sporting Kansas City at LIVESTRONG Park (July 7, 2012)
 
The decision to impose this sanction is based on the League-wide position that misconduct at any MLS event can affect a fan’s standing at other MLS facilities. MLS will not tolerate behavior which threatens the safety of any fan, stadium employee or match participant. The actions of just a few individuals can influence the perception of all of our supporters, clubs and League.
 
After the opening of BBVA Compass Stadium on May 12, 2012, the League will evaluate whether to lift the ban on the previously stated privileges. The following factors will be considered in determining the ultimate length of this restriction:
 
1.     Supporter conduct at 2012 MLS away games
2.     Supporter conduct at BBVA Compass Stadium
3.     Implementation of a supporter charter
4.     Formation of an effective leadership system for all Dynamo supporters that is recognized by the club
 
The League is encouraged by the ongoing discussion between the Dynamo supporters and the front office to learn from past events and prevent them in the future. While regrettable that these incidents took place, it is our hope that 2012 marks the year that such misconduct is a thing of the past so that we can return to our focus of supporting the Texian Army, El Battallon, Brickwall Firm, La Bateria and any other legitimate group supporting the Dynamo.
 
 

27 February 2:09 pm

Most people would agree that Italians Arrigo Sacchi and Marcelo Lippi are two of the best managers. Ever. Between them, after all, they have six Serie A Scudetti, three Champions League/European Cup titles, and one World Cup.

At the club level, they saw the majority of their success at AC Milan (Sacchi) and Juventus (Lippi).

Ahead of this past weekend's Milan-Juve top-of-the-table clash, La Gazzetta dello Sport (the pink paper) brought the two tacticians in and had them imagine how the match would go using Subbuteo, the classic table soccer game. Check it out:

This, of course, got us thinking: Which two MLS coaches would we like to see sitting across from each other like chess grandmasters, discussing tactics, formations, predictions, and players' strengths and weaknesses, and then leaning forward to move a little painted figurine to demonstrate?"

It would be cool to see the LA Galaxy's Bruce Arena and the Seattle Sounders' Sigi Schmid square off. They are two of the most solid strategists MLS has ever seen.

Or how about hearing the Houston Dynamo's Dominic Kinnear explain the intricacies of his tried-and-true 4-4-2 and how it stacks up against, say, the Ajax-inspired 4-3-3 employed by Toronto FC's Aron Winter.

Or a Rookie Rumble: New England's Jay Heaps vs. Montreal's Jesse Marsch?

Tell us what matchup you would want to see, and we'll look into making it happen. No joke.