When asked about the Los Angeles Galaxy's regular season success against the Seattle Sounders, manager Bruce Arena didn't read too much into it.
“Every game is different and any game that we’ve played previously in Seattle is almost a wash at this point,” Arena said. “It’s a new season and we’ve got to be ready to play a team that’s been very good the last half of the MLS season. Our last result in Seattle means nothing."
On May 8, Los Angeles defeated Seattle at Qwest Field, the site of the first leg of their 2010 Major League Soccer Western Conference Semifinal, to the tune of 4-0. And on July 4, the Galaxy drubbed the Sounders 3-1.
“I prefer going to Seattle than going into altitude,” Arena said when asked about playoff destinations. “There was always a chance that we could go into Colorado or Salt Lake and the altitude’s an issue. What we’ve assured ourselves of [by winning the Supporters’ Shield] is that we’re not going to be playing at altitude, not that that guarantees anything.
"It’s a lot easier for the players to adjust to the artificial field than it is to the altitude.”
Defender A.J. De La Garza noted that the Sounders were rolling again. After the July 4 contest, Seattle finished the rest of the season with a 10-2-3 mark to end their regular season at 14-10-6 (48 points) and successfully defended a U.S. Open Cup to boot.
“They are probably one of the hottest teams in the league right now,” De La Garza said of the Sounders. “They just lost to Houston [Dynamo over the weekend], but they are on a hot streak, so it’s going to be tough...especially on the turf, in front of 36,000 fans in Seattle.”
Another sellout crowd is expected, and the home fans will seek revenge—and hopefully no refunds—for their shortcomings in the previous two meetings in MLS play.
Kickoff for the first leg of this semifinal is scheduled for Halloween at 5:00 p.m. PT/8:00 p.m. ET and will be televised by ESPN2 and ESPN Deportes.
INS & OUTS
Youth Academy Update
As mentioned in the past Ins & Outs, the Under-18s were drubbed by Seattle 5-0 while shutting out Crossfire Premier 2-0. In the match with Crossfire, goalkeeper Adam Zepeda played a full 90 minutes to maintain the clean sheet, while Riley Wolfe opened the scoring 15 minutes into the contest. A 25th-minute goal from Angel Ayala gave the Under-18s a lead they would not relinquish. With the results, the Galaxy Under-18s improve to 2-2-1 on the season.
Also as mentioned in the past Ins & Outs, the Under-16s defeated Seattle 3-0 and held Crossfire Premier to a 1-1 draw. In the match with the Sounders, Robert Casney, Drew Murphy and Cole Dimond were on the score sheet as keeper Josh McNeely earned his third clean sheet of the campaign. Sean Dhillon scored the Galaxy's lone goal against Crossfire.
Also on Saturday, the Galaxy Youth Academy's Under-14 sides picked up wins. The "A" squad defeated West Covina FC, while the "B" squad trounced Cruz Azul USA Academy. Both are 6-1-0 on the season and trail Cosmos Academy West 96 for first place in the Cal South LA Futbol Circuit table. This Saturday, the "B" squad faces Chivas USA at the Home Depot Center while the A squad takes the week off.
Steve Nash and the quest for Landon Donovan
As the international smash hit videogame FIFA 11 by EA Sports hit shelves worldwide, NBA All-Star and Vancouver Whitecaps part-owner Steve Nash was in Carson to do a series of promos featuring Galaxy captain Landon Donovan.
Apparently, LA's No. 10 seems to be pretty busy doing the usual business...
No regrets for Buddle in failing to win Budweiser Golden Boot
Galaxy forward Edson Buddle had no regrets about failing to garner the Budweiser Golden Boot over the week.
“I enjoyed the win, getting the Supporters’ Shield as a team,” Buddle said. “We wanted to continue to lead and finish out strong. I’m very happy with that. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the Golden Boot. You keep the bitter and the sweet.”
“It’s always frustrating when you can’t get a player like Edson, who is chasing records and things like that,” midfielder David Beckham said. “Edson has got time to get as many goals as he wants to because he’s been great this season, again, and him going to the World Cup was great for him. For us, he’s been amazing.”
“Awards like that are always disappointing, because in the end, Edson gets punished for making the World Cup team,” Donovan noted. “But Wondolowski was there all year and had opportunities to play in more games. Taking nothing away from him—the kid did great this week to go out and win it—but I think Edson, from Day One through this weekend, has been by far the best player in the league.”
Of course, Buddle was named the Galaxy's Most Valuable Player.
“It’s richly deserved,” Arena said of Buddle's award. “There were certainly some other candidates but looks like a pretty good choice to me. He’s had a fantastic season. He was an important part in the beginning of the year when he scored seven of our initial goals. He’s consistently been good throughout the season."
As for Los Angeles's No. 14, he understood that there were bigger fish to fry.
“There is a lot more to be accomplished,” Buddle said. “The final is where my main focus is at.”
Lana Hosseinzadeh named 2010 Miss LA Galaxy
High school teacher Lana Hosseinzadeh of Riverside, California was named the 2010 Miss LA Galaxy at the match against FC Dallas on Oct. 24. As part of her award, she earned a paid position on the 2011 court, a $1,000 cash prize courtesy of COVERGIRL, a cruise vacation package courtesy of Bixby Travel Company, a one-year supply of COVERGIRL makeup, a flower bouquet, a crown and an embroidered satin sash and gifts from participating sponsors.
“This experience has truly been a blessing and I can't believe it has only just begun. I am so excited to take on the role of Miss LA Galaxy and start to make a difference in the lives of people I encounter,” said Hosseinzadeh. “With my passion for education and helping the community, I feel in my heart that this experience with the Galaxy will be one that will last a lifetime.
"A big thank you to the Galaxy, COVERGIRL, Bixby Travel company and to all the fans who voted and supported me along the journey. I am eternally grateful. Go Galaxy!"
Hosseinzadeh, whose father is from Iran and mother is from Mexico and speaks both Farsi and Spanish, holds a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in education from the University of California, Riverside (UCR).
Hosseinzadeh defeated nine other finalists in the contest, which was held in the main concourse of the Home Depot Center prior to the Galaxy's regular season finale. All ten finalists have spent the past few months representing the Galaxy at over 40 events and appearances, as well as interacting with fans at Galaxy home matches and doing interviews for both radio and TV.
Before the match, the ten finalists competed in one final competition consisting of sportswear, personal interviews, modeling, and a segment of team trivia. The winner received the highest total points in a number of categories including congeniality, public and private interviews, sportswear, evening wear and trivia.
Those named to the 2011 Miss LA Galaxy court were:
First Runner-Up Kathleen Ibarra receives a paid position on 2011 court, a $500 cash prize, a flower bouquet and an embroidered satin sash
Second Runner-Up Monique Garcia receives a paid position on the 2011 court, a $200 cash prize, a flower bouquet and an embroidered satin sash
Third Runner-Up Chelsea McGrath receives a paid position on the 2011 court, a $200 cash prize, a flower bouquet and an embroidered satin sash.
All finalists, including the 2011 court, received a gift bag, including COVERGIRL makeup and various Galaxy prizes.