Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy will take on Jason Kreis’s Real Salt Lake in an important MLS Western Conference tilt on Saturday at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy, Utah. Kickoff is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. PT/9:30 p.m. ET and will be televised by Time Warner Cable SportsNet.
One player that will be looked on to deliver for the G’s is defender Sean Franklin. Franklin can play midfield of defense, and his versatility was key in LA’s 2-0 shutout victory over Sporting Kansas City, when the familiar backlin of Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Omar Gonzalez and Todd Dunivant was on showcase. Franklin slot it at right back in the victory.
“Obviously it’s my most comfortable position,” Franklin told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “It’s nice being back with the back four that I’ve been familiar with over the years. It felt comfortable there. Bruce has put me at right back and right mid. Wherever he plays me I have to make sure I adjust to it.”
“That’s a position he knows so well playing the last four or five years there,” DeLaGarza said of Franklin’s position at right back. “He’s more comfortable. It’s good to have him back at right back.”
On the managerial front, Jovan Kirovski shines as Technical Director of the team. His years of experience as a player, combined with the natural leadership and accountability he brings every day to the team, is evident and rubs off on the players.
“Bruce Arena and Chris Klein came to me a while ago and asked me to move into this role. It is something that I think is suited perfectly for me,” Kirovski told LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “I really enjoy being part of the Galaxy and being part of the team. I grew up in California and I’m a fan of the club and I really want for us to succeed. It was something that I really wanted to do.”
“Jovan is obviously very qualified. His history as a player and the systems that he’s come through gives him valuable experience for developing the next generation of players for the Galaxy,” said Los Angeles Galaxy President Chris Klein. “The experience that he had playing and coaching with Bruce gives him not only experience, but a tie to and the respect of our first team and their staff.
“His approach has been great, with developing players and being in charge of the technical direction of our club it has to be a labor of love and he’s certainly taken to that. He’s gotten off to a good start and he’ll be able to build on some of the things we’ve done in the past, but we’ve only scratched the surface with where we’re going to go with this.”
Returning to matters with the team, young gun Jack McBean continues to take his lumps as a target forward. With two goals and an assist to his credit, the man his peers call “McFrijolito” is ready to make an impact this Saturday against Javier Morales, Alvaro Saborio and Real Salt Lake.
“It’s always good to be out there playing with the first team, it’s good for my confidence and my game,” McBean told Serrano. “It’s good to get some minutes after a couple years of not really getting a lot with the first team. “We have really good coaches who have developed my game in a positive way so [Homegrown forwards] Jose [Villarreal] and myself have gotten a lot of opportunities so far.
“I’m just getting in the right positions from the start. [I’m] getting my body in front of the guys so that they have to go through me.”
Some of his younger peers are with the Los Angeles Galaxy. As Sueno MLS 2013 comes to the Home Depot Center, the Galaxy Academy Under-18s, Under-16s, Under-14s and Under-15s were mostly successful in their efforts.
The Under-18s defeated Pateadores 3-1 in Development Academy play, the Under-16s drew 1-1 with Pateadores in Development Academy action, the Under-15’s crushed Riverside Futbol Club in the Cal South National Cup and and also in the competition, the Under-14’s routed Pacific Coast Soccer Club 7-1. Finally, the Under-12’s won the Copa Ventanilla U-13, 5v5 Soccer Tournament title, hosted by the LA-Mexican Consulate.
Speaking of Academy action, Top Draw Soccer has reported that Raul Mendiola of the Under-18s will sign with the Galaxy, pending some financial red tape with Pachuca. Also, USA Men’s National Team boss Jurgen Klinsmann stirred the pot by arguing that Landon Donovan is behind on the depth chart in terms of skills, ability and other qualifying intangibles.
“There are a lot of questions,” Klinsmann told Alex Labidou of Sporting News. “Looking back now, over the last two years that we’ve been in charge of the program, there have been a lot of players who have joined the program and are making a big impact, showing that they are 1,000 percent committed to the cause and to the team and have placed themselves in a very strong position.
“There are players clearly ahead of Landon now. Things will develop over time We will see how he does over the next couple of weeks, months. We will look at the entire picture and make our call.”
Finally, in an act of philanthropy, a Reading Garden was constructed at Annalee Avenue Elementary School in Carson after they won the Reading Challenge, held by the LA Galaxy Foundation and the Home Depot Center Charitable Foundation.
“Especially on Earth Day, it’s good to show these children that we need to take care of the earth,” Galaxy midfielder Colin Clark told LAGalaxy.com’s Will Strome. “The way that we’re taking care of it right now can be a lot better and if we want it to be here well beyond our time then we need to put in our work and take care of it now.”