Los Angeles Galaxy manager Bruce Arena found out this past weekend that goalkeeper Josh Saunders is on trial with Real Salt Lake, perhaps to provide some depth and competition to incumbent netminder Nick Rimando.
The club do retain his rights but Arena believes that if Saunders wants to sign with a new club, the Galaxy will give him their blessings.
“Josh is no longer with the Galaxy,” said Arena to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “Whatever the technical issues are, we’ll get that resolved. That’s not going to be in Josh’s way to move on to that team or another team in the league. We’ll support a move for him anyway that we can.”
In preseason action, the Galaxy took on USL Pro’s Los Angeles Blues and won handily, 3-0. Scoring for the G’s were Robbie Keane and Jose Villareal. Los Angeles took the lead on an own goal in the fourth minute of play.
LA Galaxy 3, Los Angeles Blues 0
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The Home Depot Center – Carson, Calif.
LA – Own Goal 4’
LA – Robbie Keane 2 15’
LA – Jose Villarreal 2 76’
LA – Colin Clark (Yellow Card) 41’
LA – Jose Villarreal (Yellow Card) 82’
LA Galaxy: Carlo Cudicini (Brian Perk 46’); Sean Franklin (Oscar Sorto 46’), AJ. DeLaGarza (Kofi Opare 60’), Tommy Meyer (Leonardo 46’), Todd Dunivant (Bryan Gaul 46’); Mike Magee (Paul Arriola 46’), Rafael Garcia (Hector Jimenez 46’), Marcelo Sarvas (Andy Riemer 46’), Colin Clark (Greg Cochrane 46’); Gyasi Zardes (Jose Villarreal 46’), Robbie Keane (Jack McBean 46’).
One of the players that was not in action was Juninho, who felt like a huge weight had been lifted off his shoulders when he was signed with the Galaxy to a full contract from Sao Paulo FC this past winter.
“I’m so happy,” Juninho told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “It was easy because I don’t play there too much. Here (Galaxy head coach) Bruce (Arena) gives me all the support and love here. I play a lot of minutes. I’m happy to be here.”
“It’s just good to have Juni as a permanent part of our league,” Arena added. “Sao Paulo is a club with a lot of talented players, and sometimes they can’t keep everybody. We were fortunate to create a relationship where we were able to get Juni here.
“Our past experiences were it wasn’t going to be easy, but it turned out to be something that made sense for both clubs. We’re happy for the player, we’re happy for our club.”
In Academy news, the Galaxy have formed the Galaxy Academy Alliance, which is an extensive soccer development program that will be a feeder to the LA Galaxy Academy teams. adidas, South Bay Force and West Coast Futbol Club are the first new partners to join this alliance.
How will this work? Each Galaxy Alliance club will house an Under-12 Galaxy Academy team that will be fully funded and fully supported by the Galaxy Academy and adidas, a partner of the Galaxy Academy since 2009, who will be providing Galaxy uniforms and equipment for each of the teams to use. Once a week, all Galaxy Alliance teams will hold a combined training session at The Home Depot Center that will be led by LA Galaxy legend and Galaxy Academy Youth Technical Director Mauricio Cienfuegos.
An illustration of the Galaxy Alliance Pyramid can be seen on this article.
“The LA Galaxy are committed to creating the best Academy system in the United States and the Galaxy Alliance will allow us to better identify and develop a greater number of players throughout the region,” said LA Galaxy President Chris Klein to reporters this week. “By aligning ourselves with some of the best youth soccer clubs in the region, we are in a position to create a central coaching philosophy and curriculum, allowing us to teach the finest youth soccer players in Southern California how to play the game the Galaxy way.”
“The partnership will provide unparalleled opportunities for Orange County youth to reach new levels in the game, and possibly open doors for a select few to become professionals” said Oliver Wyss, Director of West Coast FC. “We are looking forward to increasing the quality of the talent in our program by implementing a unified philosophy and working on a common goal for all different age levels. This will create a pathway for WCFC players to join the LA Galaxy Academy with little or no adjustments to the style of play.”
“The partnership with the LA Galaxy has been very successful for South Bay Force as evident by the number of players we have helped to develop for the first team already,” said South Bay Force Director Todd Saldana. “We’re excited to be a part of the Galaxy Alliance and look forward to continuing to build our relationship with the LA.”
“Our partnership with the LA Galaxy Academy Alliance provides a great opportunity for adidas to help top young athletes in Southern California grow and develop their soccer skills,” said Antonio Zea, director of soccer for adidas. “We share a long-term vision with the LA Galaxy and Major League Soccer to ensure our homegrown athletes have opportunities to play soccer at the highest level and to foster the next generation of American soccer stars.”
The Los Angeles Galaxy open up their season against the Chicago Fire on Mar. 3 at the Home Depot Center.