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Category: Galaxy

Juninho and Leonardo coming back to Galaxy

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Maybe Juninho is Portuguese for boomerang. Because the Galaxy midfielder of the same name, who left Major League Soccer to re-sign with his Brazilian club Sao Paulo two months ago, is returning after all.

Actually, Juninho is a common nickname for Brazilian soccer players whose given names include Junior. But no matter what he wants to be called, Coach Bruce Arena is just happy to have him and fellow Brazilian Leonardo back.

Juninho, 23, started 30 regular-season games for the Galaxy last season and played a key role in helping the team to the MLS Cup title. His decision to return home looked to be a devastating loss for the Galaxy,  but with Sao Paulo flush with midfielders, the Brazilian club agree to loan him back to the Galaxy.

Terms of the deal were not immediately available. Juninho is expected to meet the Galaxy in Southern California next week.

Leonardo, 24, figured in the Galaxy's plans in central defense last season, but his year was cut short after he tore two ligaments in his right knee, leading to season-ending knee surgery after just seven games. He has played in just 17 of 64 regular-season games since joining the Galaxy in 2010.

He will join the Galaxy as a free transfer.

The team also announced that Jose Villarreal underwent successful surgery Monday for bilateral lower leg compartment syndrome -- basically really bad shin splints. The condition was  diagnosed last week and Villareal is expected to miss about a month and a half.

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Photo: Galaxy midfielder Juninho celebrates during a Galaxy victory over FC Dallas in August. Credit: Bret Hartman / Associated Press

Edson Buddle back with the Galaxy

Edson Buddle

High-scoring striker Edson Buddle is back with the Galaxy after agreeing to a deal Wednesday morning, just hours after being released by his German club.

Buddle scored 42 goals in 87 regular-season games over four years with the Galaxy before accepting an 18-month contract to play for Ingolstadt in the 2 Bundesliga following the 2010 season. Buddle, 30, also played with the Columbus Crew, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC before joining the Galaxy.

His best Major League Soccer season was his final one in which he scored a career-high 17 goals, made the postseason Best XI and was named to the U.S. World Cup team. That made him the only player in MLS history to score 40 or more goals for two clubs. He had 42 goals in five seasons with his first club, Columbus.

For his MLS career, he has 90 goals in 231 regular-season matches, making him the eighth-highest scorer in league history.

Buddle, who scored seven times for Ingolstadt this season, was in the process of finalizing travel plans Wednesday morning and could join the MLS Cup champion Galaxy in training camp by the weekend.

Per league and club policy, terms of his new Galaxy contract were not released.

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Photo: Galaxy forward Edson Buddle, left, and FC Dallas defender Jackson Goncalves battle for the ball in 2010. Credit: Mark J. Terrill / Associated Press

Galaxy, Chivas USA set to open training camps

Beckham1Newly re-signed midfielder David Beckham is expected to join 15 Galaxy teammates for physical and other testing Saturday before leading Major League Soccer's defending champions in their first workouts of  preseason training camp Monday at the Home Depot Center.

Beckham, who announced Thursday he had reached agreement on a two-year, $15-million deal with the Galaxy, will be attending the start of training camp for the first time in his six years with the team.

Coach Bruce Arena said the team will spend the first week of camp concentrating on fitness training before taking the field on Jan. 30.

Chivas USA, which shares the Home Depot Center with the Galaxy, will open its training camp Monday in Oxnard.

However both teams will be without several key players for most of the training period. Among those missing from the Galaxy camp are Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane, A.J.De La Garza, Brian Perk and Michael Stephens, who are playing either intentionally with a U.S. national team or overseas on loan.

Among the players on the Chivas roster likely to miss the start of training are defender Heath Pearce, who is with the U.S. national team, Jorge Villafana, who has been playing with the U.S. U-23 team, as well as midfielders Miller Bolanos and Oswaldo Minda and defender David Junior Lopes, who are waiting for immigration documents. Bolandos and Minda are from Ecuador; Lopes is Brazilian.

Chivas USA is scheduled to scrimmage the Ventura Fusion on Jan. 27.

The MLS season opens in March.

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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Galaxy midfielder David Beckham looks on during a news conference at Staples Center on Thursday announcing his re-signing with the team. Credit: Joe Klamar / AFP/Getty Images

It's official: David Beckham to return to Galaxy for two seasons

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The Galaxy confirmed Wednesday afternoon that midfielder David Beckham has signed a new two-year contract with team, a deal reportedly worth $15 million.

"This was an important decision for me," Beckham said in a statement. The English star turned down an 18-month,  $18.7-million offer from the French club Paris-St. Germain to return to Major League Soccer. "I had many offers from clubs around the world. However I'm still passionate about playing in America and winning trophies with the Galaxy.

The agreement will be officially announced at a press conference in Los Angeles Thursday.

In deciding to stay with the Galaxy, which signed the former English team captain to a five-year deal in 2007, Beckham put his family's desire to remain in Southern California over the potential to earn millions more in Europe.

"I've seen first-hand how popular soccer is now in the States and I'm committed as ever to growing the game here," Beckham, who turns 37 in May. "My family and I are incredibly happy and settled in America and we look forward to spending many more years here."

Beckham's deal also includes a sabbatical that allows him to leave the Galaxy to play for Britain in this summer's Olympic Games in London, plus he and business manager Simon Fuller have an option to own a future MLS expansion team.

Continue reading »

David Beckham will return to the Galaxy

FabforumDavid Beckham is coming back to the Galaxy.

The star midfielder, whose record five-year, $32.5-million contract with the Major League Soccer club expired Dec. 31, will announce Thursday that he has reached agreement on a new contract for the 2012 season, which begins in March. Details of the contract were not immediately available but it is expected to call for a summer sabbatical from MLS play, allowing Beckham to play for the British team in the London Olympics.

[FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this post misidentified the British Olympic soccer team as English.]

Beckham, who turns 37 in May, was offered an 18-month contract with French club Paris-St. Germain that would have paid him $1 million a month.

But Beckham, who has long said family concerns would play the biggest role in deciding where he would play, turned down that offer last month because his wife and four children enjoy living in Southern California.

Beckham had the most productive season of his short MLS career last year, playing 26 games and recording 15 assists, the second-highest total in the league.

That not only won him Comeback Player of the Year honors and a spot on the postseason Best XI, but it also helped the Galaxy to an MLS title, giving Beckham national titles in three countries.

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Photo: David Beckham, shown here in December, is returning to the Galaxy. Credit: Quinn Rooney / Getty Images.

Four UCLA players taken in MLS supplemental draft

Three UCLA players were among the first 18 selections in Major League Soccer's four-round supplemental draft Tuesday with midfielder Andy Rose going to Real Salt Lake with the sixth pick, defender Shawn Singh going to Sporting Kansas City at No. 16 and midfielder Eder Arreola going two picks later to Houston.

UCLA goalkeeper Brian Rowe was one of five players drafted by Chivas USA, with the fifth selection of the second round. The Bruins, who reached the Final Four of last year's NCAA tournament, had two players chosen in last week's MLS SuperDraft.

Chivas USA also picked Cal State Fullerton defender Kevin Venegas in the second round, one pick ahead of Cal State Northridge midfielder Rafael Garcia, who went to the Galaxy.

Chivas' other selections were R.J. Allen, a defender from Monmouth; Daniel Steres, a defender from San Diego State; and Fabian Kling, a defender from Fort Lewis College.

In addition to Garcia the Galaxy drafted Bryan Gaul, a forward from Bradley; Brazilian youth international Yuri Gorentzvaig, a forward; San Diego State defender Justin Davies; and University of San Diego forward Stephen Posa.

Other Southland players drafted in the second round included UC Riverside forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro, to San Jose; UC Irvine midfielder Miguel Ibarra to Portland; and UC Santa Barbara defender Tim Pontius, taken by Seattle.

UC Irvine keeper Andrew Fontein was taken by Vancouver in the third round. UC Santa Barbara defender James Kiffe (San Jose), Loyola midfielder Logan McDaniel (Portland) and Loyola defender Tyler Krumpe (San Jose) went in the fourth and final round.

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Galaxy, Chivas both address needs in MLS SuperDraft

Bruce3The Galaxy has already lost a starting midfielder and a star defender this off-season. So guess what they went after in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft?

Choosing last in both rounds of the two-round draft, General Manager and Coach Bruce Arena selected Indiana defender Tommy Meyer with his first pick and Louisville midfielder Kenney Walker with his second. And while Arena isn't expecting either player to fill the voids created when midfielder Juninho decided to return to his native Brazil and MLS Defender of the Year Omar Gonzalez torn ligaments in his knee, the Galaxy are hoping Meyer and Walker will give the roster additional depth.

A four-year starter at Indiana, Meyer was an all-conference selection last season and is the first defender taken by the Galaxy in the opening round of the SuperDraft since 2009 -- when the team choose Gonzalez, who went on to win Rookie of the Year honors.

"He's a player that has a good profile to be a center back in this league," Arena said of Meyer. "He has physical size, he's a good header of the ball, a good defender and a decent passer. Once we get him into our setting we can learn a little bit more and work with him and try to make him better."

Walker, the 38th and final player taken Thursday, is a defensive midfielder who had a career-high five goals in 23 games last season, leading the Cardinals to the NCAA quarterfinals.

"He had a very good combine," Arena said. "He is ... an aggressive type of player and a good passer."

Continue reading »

Galaxy to be without Omar Gonzalez for most of 2012

FabforumThe Galaxy will be without Omar Gonzalez, Major League Soccer's top defender last year, for nearly all of the coming season, Coach Bruce Arena said.

Gonzalez, a former MLS rookie of the year, tore ligaments in his left knee earlier this month when he collided with fellow American Timmy Chandler during his first training session with FC Nuremberg. Gonzalez was on loan to the Bundesliga club.

Galaxy team doctors examined Gonzalez after his emergency return from Germany, and though they have yet to make a full diagnosis, Arena said he doesn't expect to see Gonzalez on the field until the tail end of the 2012 season.

The Galaxy are already without steady midfielder Juninho, who signed a contract to play at home this season. And though the team hopes to re-sign David Beckham, officials say contract talks with the former English team captain are drawing on longer than anticipated.

Juninho, Gonzalez and Beckham all played major roles in leading the Galaxy to the MLS Cup title last fall.

Arena said he doesn't expect to be able to fill the void left by Gonzalez in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft, adding that a replacement player or two would "likely" come from abroad. In recent years the Galaxy has been among the most active MLS teams in terms of bringing foreign players into the league.

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Photo: Omar Gonzalez poses with the MLS Cup in November. Credit: Jeff Gross / Getty Images.

David Beckham update: AEG's Leiweke says deal "not done yet"

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And, just like that, David Beckham did not vanish into the French night.

Assumed to be all but gone -– bags virtually packed, if you believed some European media reports -- the 36-year-old global icon won’t be going to the French soccer club Paris Saint-Germain, according to team officials.

But there is not a deal in place for Beckham to stay with the MLS champion Galaxy. Not yet, at least.

"The stories were all over the front page of every newspaper in Europe that he was going to Paris; I told everyone I would not pay a lot of attention to that," said AEG’s Tim Leiweke, in a telephone interview with The Times. "And now that the stores are that he is going to the Galaxy, I would repeat the same advice: Premature.

"We have been talking with David about staying with the Galaxy for three months. And I said back in November, I was confident David would stay here and I still am.

"Does it look more likely that is heading in that direction? Yes. Are we done? No."

There are many other issues complicating the situation. PSG was and is not the only powerhouse interested in acquiring Beckham, said Leiweke, who is the chief executive officer and president of AEG.

"It’s not just Paris. He’s had other offers," Leiweke said. "And every one is greater and more expansive, bigger than anything we’re talking about. In addition to that, we have the added complication that David has the right to purchase a franchise in this league.

"There are a lot of issues we are going through. We are committed to David and he has always felt strongly about the Galaxy in L.A., and it does not surprise me that his family would prefer to stay in L.A. But we’re not done yet."

They have made substantial progress in negotiations.
 
"We’re down the road," Leiweke said. "I am confident we’ll get it done. We have to work to do but we’re not there yet. And as much as I didn’t get too low when they were planning the parade down the Champs-Elysees … now as much as the media is reporting that we’re done, I’ve been on the phone with his people all day. Trust me, we’re not done."

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Photo: David Beckham hasn't given a full thumbs-up to the Galaxy yet. Credit: Jason Redmond / AP.

David Beckham is staying in Los Angeles, PSG president says

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David Beckham will be staying in Los Angeles, according to the president of the French soccer club that had been trying to lure the English superstar away from the city that has been his home since signing with the Galaxy five years ago.

“David Beckham is in Los Angeles,” Paris Saint-Germain President Nasser Al Khelaifi said at the Qatar Open tennis tournament Tuesday. “And he's going to stay there.”

Beckham is said to be working with the Galaxy on a new contract, possibly for two years, something that could happen as early as this week.

When his initial five-year contract with the Galaxy ended last year, Beckham was believed to be as good as gone from Los Angeles. PSG went after the 36-year-old midfielder hard, with French media reporting that the organization would have almost doubled the annual base salary of $6.5 million Beckham was earning with the Galaxy.

But Beckham, his wife, Victoria, and their four children are said to be quite happy living in Los Angeles. And Beckham is finally enjoying the kind of success he had hoped for when he signed with the Galaxy, which won the MLS Cup in November.

So after weeks of negotiations, Beckham will not be joining PSG, Al Khelaifi confirmed Tuesday.

“David Beckham is not coming,” Al Khelaifi said. “We feel a little disappointed. But both sides agreed it would be better that we not do the deal … maybe in the future.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo: David Beckham. Credit: Ted Aljibe / AFP / Getty Images

Galaxy's A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez named to U.S. team

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Galaxy defenders A.J. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez were named Thursday to the 20-man roster Coach Jurgen Klinsmann has summoned to training camp ahead of the U.S. national team's friendlies against Venezuela and Panama next month.

Gonzalez, a former Major League Soccer rookie of the year, was named the league's top defender this year after helping the Galaxy tie an MLS record with 17 regular-season shutouts. DeLaGarza, a teammate at the University of Maryland, played beside Gonzalez in central defense for the Galaxy, starting 30 of the team's 34 regular-season matches.

Gonzalez has been called up to the national team before, making his debut in August 2010 against Brazil, then playing in January's draw with Chile at the Home Depot Center. However, this invitation to training camp marks his first appearance with the national team since Klinsmann took over as coach.

DeLaGarza, meanwhile, is looking for his first international cap. More than half the players called up Thursday have appeared in two or fewer matches for the U.S.

"This is a very important opportunity for these players," Klinsmann said. "We will spend the next few weeks introducing them to our ideas on how we want to play and what it means to be a part of the national team.

"I'm very curious and excited to see this group."

The U.S. team, a largely domestic-based group, will begin training Jan. 3 in Arizona before relocating to the Home Depot Center for a week beginning Jan. 13. Its match with Venezuela is scheduled for Jan. 21 in Phoenix and the team plays Panama four days later in Panama City.

The full roster (by position):

GOALKEEPERS (3): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Sean Johnson (Chicago Fire), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake)

DEFENDERS (7): Geoff Cameron (Houston Dynamo), A.J. DeLaGarza (Galaxy), Omar Gonzalez (Galaxy), George John (FC Dallas), Zach Loyd (FC Dallas), Michael Parkhurst (FC Nordsjaelland), Heath Pearce (Chivas USA)

MIDFIELDERS (6): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Ricardo Clark (Eintracht Frankfurt), Benny Feilhaber (New England Revolution), Jeff Larentowicz (Colorado Rapids), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

FORWARDS (4): Juan Agudelo (New York Red Bulls), Teal Bunbury (Sporting Kansas City), C.J. Sapong (Sporting Kansas City), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes)

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— Kevin Baxter

Photo: A.J. DeLaGarza, right, heads the ball away from Angel Guirado of the Philippine national team. Credit: Rolex Dela Pena / EPA

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