Los Angeles Galaxy
Landon Donovan did a chat with Huffington Post Live while in New York yesterday, and one of the questions raised was about LGBT issues in soccer.
Among issues surrounding gay soccer players in general, he talked about Robbie Rogers’ time training with the LA Galaxy:
Robbie’s a friend of mine and it’s very nice to have him there. To be honest it’s been sort of seamless, it’s normal. After the first few days there was probably some hesitation and [being] careful what you say or what you do but again we’re all human and he’s just like all of us and it’s been really nice.
With 17 new players signing on, last week was an amazing start to our team by team recruitment drive for our Allies List. Can the LA Galaxy keep up the pace?
The Galaxy have a trio of players on the list right now with Colin Clark and A.J. DeLaGarza both signing on at this time of year. DeLaGarza and Omar Gonzalez both also work with Athlete Ally through its Ambassadors program.
How many players from the team who has welcomed Robbie Rogers to their practice field will join them? Help us by asking the players on the list below. We’ll keep an eye on our @gay4soccer handle and #soccerally hashtag for replies. You can also sign on as a fan by signing onto our statement of support on our Fan Allies page.
Multiple Major League Soccer clubs express an interest in having the winger on their side
— Adam Serrano (@LAGalaxyInsider) April 30, 2013
Robbie Rogers began his anticipated training stint with the LA Galaxy, leading to further speculation as to his full-time return to MLS and interest from multiple coaches.
According to the LA Galaxy Insider, coach Bruce Arena did not say if he was approached by Rogers, but he would be welcomed back to training with open arms.
From the Insider:
“He’d always be welcome to train with us,” LA’s head coach said. ”I’m in contact with players and people all the time in the game, and I don’t make my conversations or communications public. They don’t need to be. But he’s always welcome to train with us.”
Chris Seitz, A.J. DeLaGarza, and Omar Gonzalez have joined the Athlete Ally program, a nonprofit aimed at encouraging and welcoming LGBT participation in sports. They are the first Major League Soccer players to join.
Seitz, FC Dallas goalkeeper, and DeLaGarza, LA Galaxy defender, were both University of Maryland teammates of Robbie Rogers, the MLS and USMNT alumus who came out last month. Their outstanding freshman class also included Seattle’s Marc Burch and Kansas City’s Graham Zusi. LA defender Gonzalez joined the team a year later, after Rogers left for the Netherlands.
Chris Seitz told AthleteAlly.org:
As an athlete, I’ve learned first hand what leadership means and seen how small actions can make a huge difference. By joining Athlete Ally, I hope my voice will reach gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth and remind them that they are welcomed and respected in sports.
If you’re anything like me watching the fourth hour of the Today Show is the highlight of any day off from work, and last week the LA Galaxy hung out with hosts Kathie Lee and Hoda.
It was Winesday Wednesday as the ladies call it, so they were challenged to a little competition with the winner owing the loser a bottle. But beyond the soccer, they also had a side mission to get under the guys’ kits. Edmonton keeper Lance Parker experienced this first hand when he and the other Cosmo Magazine eligible bachelors visited the show, although shirt removal was part of that deal.
So just because they amuse me so much, here is the LA Galaxy kicking it with Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotbe:
CARSON (g4s) – Los Angeles Galaxy invited fans and media Monday evening to celebrate Saturday’s MLS Cup victory over Houston Dynamo. A crowd of 4,000 fans were in attendance to celebrate the club’s fourth league championship and to show their appreciation to a roster that may see significant changes during the off-season.
Fans were treated to speeches from Galaxy Vice President (and former Galaxy star) Chris Klein, Galaxy Head Coach Bruce Arena, and stars Landon Donovan, Mike Magee, Omar Gonzalez, Robbie Keane and, in what is most likely his last public appearance as a Galaxy player, David Beckham.
The man who helped make Galaxy’s star the brightest in MLS’ constellation, Beckham thanked fans, coach Arena, and his teammates for making his time with Galaxy special. Amid chants of “one more year” – chants encouraged by midfielder Juninho – Beckham re-confirmed that Saturday was his last match in a Galaxy kit, but hinted at his post-playing plans by noting his expectation to remain a part of the club in the future.
The hour-long casual affair was not without surprises, however. Mr. Klein announced to media after the festivities that there would be no post-season tour for the team. As in previous years, a tour seemed like a foregone conclusion – particularly after an MLS Cup victory – but the decision was made earlier in the day to scrap plans for doing so. Mr. Klein noted that players were informed just before the celebration ceremony that they would be experiencing a full off-season for the first time in nearly four years.
That doesn’t suggest the team will be inactive for the next four months, however.
Los Angeles faces a number of obstacles heading into the off-season. Many of Galaxy’s starting roster will certainly invite loan or trade offers from elsewhere – particularly MLS Cup MVP Gonzalez, fellow defender Sean Franklin and Sao Paolo loanee Juninho. In addition to possibly losing current starters due to their increasing desirability elsewhere, coach Arena has the unenviable task of dowsing the future of his team captain, Landon Donovan.
Donovan, who hasn’t been sparing in expressing his inner turmoil during the latter stages of the season, has kept reporters at arms’ length in the lead-up to the championship final whenever asked about his future with the team – and the sport. It’s Donovan’s desires that will determine whether Galaxy experiences a remodeling leading into 2013 or a complete rebuild.
One man Arena and Los Angeles shouldn’t have to worry about retaining is Robbie Keane. The Irish international and vice-captain has expressed his contentment with living in Los Angeles and playing for Galaxy. It was his leadership – and goals – widely regarded as key to the team’s dominance after the All-Star break. Should Donovan depart Galaxy, Arena has a ready-made captain in Keane to take his place.
And finally, Galaxy face the monumental task of replacing the departing Beckham with a figure who can perform at least to his level on the field – even if he cannot match Beckham’s dominance off of it. Real Madrid midfielder Kaká has been a lightening rod for rumors as of late whenever talk turns to a post-Beckham superstar, but Arena and Galaxy executives have remained coy throughout the weekend when asked if talks were underway.
An unavoidable certainty looms for Los Angeles as they rest and regroup heading into the new year: MLS’ marquee team must be prepared for the 2012-2013 CONCACAF Champion’s League elimination rounds. The team – and the league – grow increasingly expectant of bringing the region’s top club honor to American soil. Like the 2011-2012 tournament, Los Angeles is regarded as a heavyweight contender, but the team will want to avoid a glass-jaw knockout blow like the one it received in last year’s tournament from Toronto FC.
But talk of 2013 can wait… at least for one more night. Los Angeles faithful took advantage of an evening meant to celebrate the 2012 campaign and the men who endured a nightmare start only to bring home silverware for a second consecutive year.
Los Angeles Galaxy followed up last week’s CONCACAF Champion’s League 5-2 win over Isidro Matapan with another dominating performance on Wednesday night – this time, over the visiting Puerto Rico Islanders. The reigning MLS Champion’s 4-0 victory on Wednesday night is all the more impressive considering it was accomplished with the team’s reserves.
On a night that saw Robbie Keane serving a red card suspension, David Beckham recovering from illness and Landon Donovan from injury,and with the team schedule to play an important match this weekend versus Vancouver, Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena opted to start his B squad.
Wednesday’s home win against the Portland Timbers ended a poor run of form for Chivas USA and brought promise to the team heading into Saturday’s Superclasico matchup against the LA Galaxy. However, an extremely poor first half set the stage for the 4-1 loss to the cross town rivals.
The Goats came out on Wednesday with a bit of a different lineup – Ryan Smith was inserted for Blair Gavin, with Alejandro Moreno as the lone striker. John Valencia also started in the defense for Raushawn McKenzie, though this seemed to be more of a rest thing with the Superclasico coming up. The team got off to a promising start, scoring an early goal in the 15th minute. Ryan Smith charged forward and passed the ball along the front of goal to Miller Bolaños who tapped it in. Of course I picked that moment to go to the bathroom at the Home Depot Center and missed it happen live. Nothing else really happened to speak of, and the match ended 1-0. I felt that it was a promising performance leading up to Saturday’s game as they showed some offensive sparks that had previously been missing.