Just when the View from Avalon assumed that Frank Lampard staying at Chelsea was done and dusted, now there is talk that Lamps’ move to Bruce Arena’s Los Angeles Galaxy is drawing closer and close to its climax. According to Emily Sheridan from the Daily Mail, fiancee Christine Bleakley agrees that a move Stateside will be in the future of the couple.
Hope springs eternal for Los Angeles, who need to fill their third designated player slot. Earlier in April, the Galaxy announced that a 3rd DP could be announced in early May. Well, it’s early May right now, and it won’t be long before it’s set in stone. Time is of the essence and it’s running out for Chelsea—who are facing Benfica in the 2013 UEFA Europa League final—in their quest to keep Lampard at Stamford Bridge.
Meanwhile, on the home front, Los Angeles Galaxy Academy midfielder Paul Arriola has quit the club and has signed with Liga MX powerhouse Club Tijuana Xoloitzcuintles de Caliente.
“It’s a little disappointing,” Galaxy technical director Jovan Kirovski told MLSsoccer.com’s Nick Firchau. “He went through our system, we offered him a contract and he decided to move on and go somewhere else. But that’s going to happen. It’s something that has happened before, and it’s something that will happen again.
“In terms of playing and soccer-wise, I’m not sure it’s the best place for him. Everybody has their own opinion and own ideas, but we feel that we have a program that is set up for him to develop that would be better for him. But that’s up to him, and he decided to go down there.”
Depth is a key sticking point ahead of this Sunday’s match between the Galaxy and Dominic Kinnear’s Houston Dynamo at the Home Depot Center (kickoff: 8 p.m. PT/11 p.m. ET, ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes). Rookies Charlie Rugg and Greg Cochrane are at the ready to put in another solid shift in the blue and white of the Galaxy.
“I’m a little bit more comfortable having the first one out of the way. Otherwise, it’s just another game that I’ll be ready for,” said Rugg to LAGalaxy.com’s Adam Serrano. “I recognize that [the game is an opportunity]. Each game that I get the opportunity, I take it for what it is and I prepare myself just as well for each one.”
“Getting his first goal in his first game, scoring goals, that’s what he does and that’s what he did in college. To be able to do it right away [in MLS] proves to him that he can do it at this stage,” Cochrane added. “I think his confidence has gone up another level and you can tell that he’s a lot more confident in all his movements.
“I always feel ready to play whenever Bruce wants me to play. If it’s a starter role or if it’s coming off the bench. Any way that I can help the team out, I always train like I’m going to be a starter because if I have that mentality then it doesn’t matter if I am one or not because I’ll always be ready.”
After a camp with the USA Under-20 Men’s National Team and manager Tab Ramos, midfielder Jose Villareal feels he can also pitch in and press for playing time.
“I think that it all comes down to how I did in Mexico. I feel like I did a good job, we did a good job and worked as a team,” Villarreal told Serrano. “I had some errors that I could have worked on better [in camp], but it was a good week and I’m just looking forward the next tournament that we have. I think Charlie [Rugg] did a good job in the game [against RSL] and Gyasi [Zardes] did a good job so we have guys that can play.”
For former Dynamo midfielder Colin Clark, Sunday will mark a bit of a bittersweet moment as he prepares to face his former teammates at Victoria Street.
“My goal is not just to get on the field for this game,” Clark told LAGalaxy.com’s Larry Morgan. “I want to get on the field and help this team throughout the rest of the season. If I get on the field Sunday that’s awesome. If it takes a couple more weeks or even until the end of the season that’s what I’m out here working for.
“You’ve got to be prepared to play when your number’s called, whether it’s starting or coming off the bench. Anything Bruce needs in the game I’ll be happy to provide.”
Goalkeeper Carlo Cuducini was a no-show in the Galaxy’s 2-0 shutout win over Real Salt Lake last weekend due to a right leg strain. This week, Cudicini is healthy and anticipates the start against the Dynamo.
“It feels alright today. I got back with the team doing some short games and it feels alright. Tomorrow we’ll be off so it’ll be another good day to work and have treatment on Saturday, we’ll go 100 percent,” Cudicini told Serrano. “Goalkeeping training is fine, it was more about kicking that was the problem, but I’ve been training with the goalkeeper coach which is fine and it was more kicking that started [the strain].
“I feel that everywhere, the player who deserves [to play] in training and during the games will be the one in top form. As I said, we’ll take it tomorrow and we’ll go for treatment and gym then Friday and Saturday, we’ll see how it is.”