Kick Off: Galaxy identify Gonzalez replacement abroad

Kick Off - Omar Gonzalez in Morelos

Photo Credit: 
MexSport

The LA Galaxy are looking ahead … and overseas.

With MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez out for the near future due to a knee ligament tear and injured Brazilian center back Leonardo only returning to action in April, LA is on the international market in search of a new sidekick for A.J. DeLaGarza. This report claims that the Galaxy are in discussions with Leeds United regarding Alex Bruce.

Gonzalez’s absence was one of the biggest talking points at the opening of Galaxy camp on a rainy Monday: “A.J. DeLaGarza is going to be our main guy. Whoever they bring in [to play next to him] they have to teach him quick,” says forward Chad Barrett.

The Galaxy kicked off training camp yesterday with a new addition to the coaching staff as ex-player Jovan Kirovski slides down the bench and takes the place of Gregg Berhalter: “I had to get him off the field somehow,” joked manager Bruce Arena.

New LA acquisition Marcelo Sarvas has high expectations surrounding him as the replacement for Juninho in central midfield: “I know the story of Juninho here in this club. He came and did big things here. I'm not coming here to replace Juninho. I'm here to implement my own game here.”

In Philadelphia, they are reporting that today’s press conference at 11 am ET (live stream on MLSsoccer.com) from City Hall featuring MLS commissioner Don Garber, Union CEO Nick Sakiewicz and Philly’s mayor is All-Star related.

The same article has interesting news about a possible replacement for Sébastien Le Toux at the Union: He’s the top scorer in the Colombian league.

Here’s one forward any MLS clubs would want to get their hands on: Zlatan Ibrahimovic. The agent for the AC Milan star says that the Rossoneri represent his final club in Europe and then, “He could go to America. I don't see him in China and Russia would be difficult.”

With Alessandro Del Piero’s representative recently stating that he didn’t know who Montreal’s coach was and that he had never spoken to him, Montreal Impact owner Joey Saputo responded with this statement.

At the same time as the announcement in Philadelphia at 11 am ET, the Montreal Impact will be playing against Estudiantes Tecos this morning in their second friendly of the preseason.

In addition to the move for Scottish forward Kris Boyd which fell through, the Houston Dynamo also reportedly made a run at Mexican international Pablo Barrera, currently on loan at Real Zaragoza.

Vancouver Whitecaps manager Martin Rennie went all the way to Malta to scout forward Etienne Barbara before signing him for the Carolina Railhawks. The two are now reunited at Whitecaps camp but the story about the scouting trip is still a good one: “He got the ball around the halfway line and I said to myself, 'If he scores from here, I'll sign him.’ Believe it or not, he scored from there.”

One newcomer to MLS who is just fitting right in is new Seattle goalkeeper Michael Gspurning, who was brought in to replace Kasey Keller. Here’s all you need to know about his personality: "He's 30 years old, but he acts like he's 15. He's a jokester," says fellow ‘keeper Bryan Meredith. Watch Gspurning speak in this interview.

It’s been only a few days into Seattle Sounders camp for Englishman Jason Banton but he already has a nickname: “Bakuani,” which is a play off the similarities to compatriot Steve Zakuani.

Another former Arsenal product is in an MLS camp. We’re talking about Sebastian Svard, who is reportedly trialing with D.C. United.

The New England Revolution, who currently find themselves in Arizona for camp, have invited four more players on trial including a name that will be familiar to many American fans: Jeremiah White.

The New York Red Bulls are reportedly bringing anywhere between 12 and 14 trialists into camp among which are two former player of the now defunct FC New York USL team. Find out more about them here.

There was something noticeably different about the Portland Timbers start to preseason training yesterday. It had to do with manager John Spencer: “Last year, John was a little more light-hearted in the beginning. … Now, John has come out all business and a lot of the guys who were here last season know that,” says veteran ‘keeper Troy Perkins.

Meanwhile, Spanish-language reports indicate that the Timbers are looking to acquire a fifth Colombian player. His name: Juan David Duque.

There was a very different look about Dynamo camp, which opened without Brian Ching and Eddie Robinson for the first time since 2006. "It feels odd," admitted manager Dominic Kinnear. "It's weird at first, but once the ball gets going, it's like when you make a trade in the middle of the season." The report by the Houston Chronicle also confirms that the club have made “multiple trade offers” to try to get Ching back from Montreal.

There was one thing that didn’t change in the Colorado Rapids’ first day of preseason on Monday: Pablo Mastroeni is still the captain. Manager Oscar Pareja didn’t waste any time handing the armband to Mastroeni, who shares a mutual respect for his manager from their playing days: “It looks like he's been coaching first-team soccer for many, many years. … There's a fire in your belly to want to get out there and work for Oscar.”

The New York Red Bulls have apparently identified the defender they have chosen to replace Tim Ream, who has received his UK work permit and looks to be heading to Bolton Wanderers in a deal reportedly worth $3 million, which would mark the highest transfer fee for an MLS defender.

Speaking of American defenders, former US youth international Neven Subotic, who plays for German champions Borussia Dortmund, is reportedly under investigation. Find out what complaint German authorities are reacting to in this article.

Toronto FC fans have reason to rejoice if the last part of this article is to be believed. Apparently right back Richard Eckersley is set to cancel his contract with English side Burnley by mutual consent, opening the door for a permanent move to TFC.

Fans can point the finger at former Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter as the reason that young forward Billy Schuler is not in MLS: "I was pretty much going to go to MLS before Gregg called with Hammarby. … Gregg, being an American and from UNC and New Jersey like I did was almost too unlikely to turn down.”

Today there is Coppa Italia action between Juventus and Roma (2:45 pm ET, GolTV), the Copa del Rey return match between Mirandés and Espanyol (3:30 pm ET, ESPN Deportes) and the Carling Cup semifinal second leg between Cardiff City and Crystal Palace for a place in the final (2:30 pm ET, Fox Soccer Plus). And for those Copa Libertadores fans out there, the preliminary round first legs kick off today with a doubleheader on Fox Deportes (6 pm ET and 8:30 pm ET).

It’s also USA vs. Mexico tonight in women's CONCACAF Olympic qualifying (10:30 pm ET, Universal Sports Network), where there are now reports that two players from the Cuban squad have defected.

Real Salt Lake revealed details of their local TV deal which sets them apart from all the rest: They’re the only team in MLS that will have 30 of their matches broadcast on an over-the-air station in HD. And the broadcaster will be pre-empting network programming for 15 of those games.

FC Dallas goalkeeper Richard Sanchez was called up by the Mexican Under-18 national team and FCD manager Schellas Hyndman reveals that in Mexico they have high hopes for Sanchez: “We’ve been contacted by several Mexican clubs interested in having him come down and train, but we’ve got big plans for Richard ourselves.”

Ricardo Clark’s representative wishes that Eintracht Frankfurt’s coach had big plans for his client, but he admits in this German report that it’s not the case. He also makes it clear that Clark wants to stay in Germany, specifically Frankfurt. There have been talks with FSV Frankfurt in the same city. (GERMAN)

Speaking of American Exports, FC Dallas’ on-loan defender George John scored for West Ham today. Find out against which team here.

Now this is a goal. If you haven’t already seen it, check out how this player finds the top right corner from inside his own half. It came in a match between FC Metalist and Dinamo Moscow. (VIDEO)

MLSsoccer.com Must-Reads:

Brian McBride and USMNT’s Benny Feilhaber on the latest edition of ExtraTime Radio

Heart-Stoppers: Top 10 USMNT stoppage time goals since 2000

Whatever Happened To: Raul Díaz Arce finally finds a place in the sun


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