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Category: LA Galaxy

Galaxy's Donovan heading back to Everton

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Galaxy captain Landon Donovan is heading back to the English Premier League next month, on a two-month loan to Everton.

Donovan also played for Everton in 2010, appearing in 13 games and scoring twice. He will be eligible to play his first match with the team Jan. 4 against Bolton Wanderers 4 and will remain with the club through its Feb. 25 game against Liverpool before rejoining the Galaxy.'

Donovan played in 34 of the Galaxy's 46 games this season, missing six because of injury and five others to his duties with the U.S. national team. That's an average of more than a game a week between the opening of the Major League Soccer season in March and the Galaxy's victory in the MLS Cup final in November.

Nevertheless, the 29-year-old midfielder called the chance to rejoin Everton "too good to pass up."

Donovan led the Galaxy in scoring with 16 goals in MLS and CONCACAF Champions League play. His last score came in the Cup final and accounted for the only goal in the Galaxy's 1-0 win over the Houston Dynamo. Donovan was named MVP of that game and also made the MLS Best XI for the fourth consecutive year.

"This is a great opportunity for Landon," Galaxy Coach and General Manager Bruce Arena said in a statement. "During the final months of the 2011 season he was limited because of an ongoing injury and he just started to get his legs back during the playoffs. Therefore I think his opportunity with Everton comes at a perfect time as he is relaxed and ready to go."

The coming year figures to be another busy one for Dononvan with the Galaxy resuming both Champions League and MLS play in March and the U.S. national team resuming World Cup qualifying in June.

Striker Robbie Keane, whom the Galaxy acquired in August, has also been the subject of loan requests but the Irish national team star has said he has no desire to play in Europe this winter, preferring to rest and recuperate from a series of injuries that limited his playing time n MLS.

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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Landon Donovan. Credit: Bret Hartman / Associated Press.

You can bank on sick David Beckham playing in MLS Cup final

David

When midfielder David Beckham was a no-show at the Galaxy's training session Thursday, it piqued the interest of more than one journalist. And Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena had a ready -- if typically acerbic -- answer for the question.

"He’s downtown today," Arena said "I think he’s protesting the banking system in this country."

That would be unlikely given that Beckham, the highest-paid player in MLS, was estimated by Forbes to have made $40 million last year, making him the wealthiest soccer player in the world.

Actually, Arena finally confessed, Beckham was given the morning off with a cold although members of the team said he is resting a hamstring problem.

Asked by a British journalist whether Beckham would play in Sunday's MLS Cup final, Arena said: "I’d even let you answer that question. He played last year in the playoffs with an Achilles that was freshly operated on. David will be on the field Sunday."

The banks, after all, will be closed then.

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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: David Beckham. Credit: Bret Hartman / Associated Press.

Galaxy's Bruce Arena named MLS coach of year

Arena_275Bruce Arena, who coached the Galaxy into Sunday's MLS Cup final, was Monday named Major League Soccer's coach of the year for the third time.

Arena, a former U.S. national team coach and a member of the National Soccer Hall of Fame, is the only man to win the award third times. He also won in 1997 and 2009.

Voting was conducted among clubs, media and players based on regular-season performance. The Seattle Sounders' Sigi Schmid and Sporting Kansas City's Peter Vermes were the other finalists.

Arena's Galaxy finished the regular season 19-5-10, giving it the league's best record for the second consecutive season. The Galaxy also won all three of its playoff matches and is unbeaten at the Home Depot Center this season, which is where the team will play Sunday's MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo.

Arena will be a head coach in MLS Cup for the fifth time, also a league record.

Arena, in his fourth season as Galaxy head coach, guided a team that earned at least a point in more than 85% of its regular-season games. The Galaxy had 17 shutouts -– or one in half of its regular-season games -- tying the all-time record set by Kansas City in 2000. It also conceded the fewest goals in MLS this season (28) for a goals-against average of 0.82, third all-time behind Real Salt Lake in 2010 (0.67) and Houston Dynamo in 2007 (0.77).

Arena was hired as head coach and general manager of the Galaxy on Aug. 18, 2008. Since then, the Galaxy has gone 51-23-30 in regular-season games.

Before being hired by the Galaxy, Arena served as coach of the New York Red Bulls during the 2006 and 2007 seasons. As the head coach of D.C. United from 1996 through 1998, Arena captured two MLS Cup championships in three appearances. Arena ranks second all-time in MLS regular season wins (128) and has compiled a regular season coaching record of 128-74-40. He holds the highest postseason winning percentage (.742) and is the all-time leader in postseason wins with 21.

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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Bruce Arena. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Galaxy's David Beckham wins comeback player honors

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Galaxy midfielder David Beckham was named Major League Soccer's comeback player of the year on Monday.

A torn Achilles tendon limited Beckham to just seven MLS games in 2010, but he rebounded this season to play a career-high 26 MLS games, starting 25 of them. He also finished second in the league in assists, with 15.  

The Galaxy went 10-1-3 in games in which Beckham notched a goal or assist. Beckham also made the MLS First XI, the league's postseason all-star team.

MLS club representatives, media and players voted on the award. D.C. United forward Charlie Davies and Chicago Fire forward Dominic Oduro were among the other finalists.

Beckham will lead the Galaxy into the MLS Cup final Sunday at the Home Depot Center.

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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: David Beckham. Credit: Pedro Armestre / AFP / Getty Images

Galaxy's Chad Barrett out of MLS Cup after injury

Chad3
The Galaxy will be without forward Chad Barrett in the Nov. 20 MLS Cup after Barrett dislocated his right ankle in training.

Barrett, a 26-year-old finishing his seventh Major League Soccer season, started 20 games during the regular season and all three in the playoffs. He had seven goals -- second only to captain Landon Donovan's 12 -- and five assists.

Barrett played his college soccer at UCLA.

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Photo: Galaxy forward Chad Barrett argues a call with an official during a game against Houston on Oct. 23. Credit: Bob Levey / Getty Images

MLS Cup is sold out

MLSlogoMajor League Soccer's Nov. 20 championship game between the Galaxy and Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center is sold out.

The league had held back nearly 1,000 tickets for season-ticket holders of the Houston team and those were scooped up just minutes after they went on sale Tuesday. A crowd of more than 27,000 is expected.

-- Kevin Baxter

Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez named league's top defender

Gonzalez
The Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez was named Major League Soccer's Defender of the Year on Wednesday, his second major postseason award in three seasons.

In 2009 he was the league's Rookie of the Year. At 23, Gonzalez becomes the youngest player to win the league's top defensive honor. Teammate Todd Dunivant finished fifth in the voting.

Gonzalez anchored a backline that allowed a league-low 28 goals in 34 games this season while posting a record-tying 17 shutouts.

The Galaxy, which finished with the league's best regular-season record before running the table in the playoffs, meets the Houston Dynamo in the MLS Cup final Nov. 20 at the Home Depot Center.

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Photo: Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, in white, battles Real Salt Lake's Fabian Espindola for the ball during the second half of the teams' MLS western conference playoff soccer game in Carson, Calif., on Nov. 6. Credit: Alex Gallardo / Reuters

Galaxy's Landon Donovan pulls out of U.S. team exhibition

Donovan-arena_600

Galaxy captain Landon Donovan has withdrawn from the U.S. national team and its scheduled friendly Friday in Paris to remain in Southern California to prepare for the Nov. 20 MLS Cup against the Houston Dynamo.

Donovan was scheduled to leave for France on Monday morning, hours after the Galaxy beat Real Salt Lake in the Western Conference final, which earned the team a berth in the Cup final. But Donovan, who missed the last three regular-season games with a leg injury, phoned U.S. national team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann and asked to be excused.

Because the U.S. match with France and another four days later with Slovenia are taking place on international FIFA fixture dates, Klinsmann could have asked for Donovan to be sanctioned for failing to play with the national team.

"The plan was to have Landon come in for the match against France and then return to the L.A. Galaxy in preparation for MLS Cup. But after further discussion, Landon expressed his desire to stay in Los Angeles," Klinsmann said. "While my preference was to have Landon with us for this important match, I respect his decision. I'm very happy with the progress this team is making and the commitment they have shown in each and every camp. We look forward to the challenge of the next two games."

>Two other Galaxy players will be competing internationally between now and the Cup final. Forward Robbie Keane will be with Ireland for its two-match  European Championships qualifying playoff while midfielder Chris Birchall will play for Trinidad and Tobago against Guyana in CONCACAF World Cup qualifying Friday and Nov. 15.

-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Galaxy star Landon Donovan and Coach Bruce Arena hoist the MLS Western Conference championship trophy after defeating Real Salt Lake, 3-1, on Sunday. Credit: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

Galaxy earns spot in MLS title game with 3-1 win

Galaxy1_600

A first-half penalty-kick score from Landon Donovan and second-half goals by Mike Magee and Robbie Keane lifted the Galaxy to a 3-1 victory over Real Salt Lake at the Home Depot Center on Sunday, giving it Major League Soccer's Western Conference crown and earning a trip to the MLS title game in two weeks on its home field.

Real Salt Lake's goal came on a header by Alvaro Saborio midway through the first half.

The Galaxy will meet the Houston Dynamo in the championship game Nov. 20 Houston won the Eastern Conference final Sunday, upsetting Sporting Kansas City, 2-0, despite losing midfielder Brad Davis, a leading MVP candidate, to a strained right quadriceps late in the first half.

Houston’s goals, both in the second half, came from Andre Hainault and Carlos Costly.

The Galaxy and Real Salt Lake, meanwhile, were the most difficult teams to score against during the MLS regular season. And Sunday, playing in chilly weather before an announced crowd of 23,437, they showed why, bending but rarely breaking on the defensive end.

The Galaxy missed a chance to take a quick lead when Chad Barrett got loose behind the Real Salt Lake defense in the third minute and ran down a through ball. But his open left-footed shot from inside the 18-yard box was high.

Two minutes later Salt Lake missed a great chance of its own after Javier Morales' corner kick was volleyed in front of the Galaxy net where Robbie Russell got a foot on it. But his hard shot from short range went right into midsection of a surprised Josh Saunders, allowing the Galaxy keeper to make the save.

And that just the start of what would be an active and entertaining first half in which the teams combined for 11 shots and 17 fouls, with the Galaxy leading by one in both categories.

Continue reading »

Landon Donovan joins U.S. team that has games during MLS playoffs

Donovan_640
The Galaxy's push for the Major League Soccer Cup might have hit a small bump in the road Thursday when U.S. national team Coach Jurgen Klinsmann named Landon Donovan to his 22-man team for a pair of friendlies in Europe beginning next week.

For Donovan, who is coming off a leg injury, that will make for a challenging schedule beginning with Thursday night's playoff match with the New York Red Bulls at the Home Depot Center. If the Galaxy win the two-leg playoff series with New York -- and since they lead 1-0 after Sunday's win, to advance the Galaxy must simply avoid losing by two or more goals -- Donovan will play Sunday in the conference final.

[Updated 1:45 p.m.:]

The U.S. team is scheduled to gather in Paris on Monday, ahead of matches with France on Nov. 11 and Slovenia Nov. 15. The MLS Cup final will be played at the Home Depot Center on Nov. 20.
 
Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena was hoping that Klinsmann would avoid calling up players involved in the MLS playoffs -- and he largely did, selecting only Donovan and Real Salt Lake defender Kyle Beckerman on MLS teams that are still playing. And Klinsman said that whichever player's team makes the MLS Cup final will be allowed to leave the national team after the France friendly to return to his MLS team a week before the final.
 
"We have a very positive line of communication with MLS," Klinsman said. "We agreed that whoever will be involved in the final will be released after the game against France, which gives them more than a week to prepare.”

U.S. ROSTER BY POSITION

GOALKEEPERS (2): Bill Hamid (D.C. United), Tim Howard (Everton)

DEFENDERS (7): Carlos Bocanegra (Rangers), Timmy Chandler (Nürnberg), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Clarence Goodson (Brondby), Alfredo Morales (Hertha Berlin), Michael Orozco Fiscal (San Luis), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon)

MIDFIELDERS (9): Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona), Clint Dempsey (Fulham), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim), Jermaine Jones (Schalke 04), Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew), Brek Shea (FC Dallas), Danny Williams (Hoffenheim)

FORWARDS (4): Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar), DaMarcus Beasley (Puebla), Edson Buddle (Ingolstadt), Landon Donovan (LA Galaxy)

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-- Kevin Baxter

Photo: Landon Donovan. Credit: Joe Nicholson / US Presswire

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