Red Bull Arena all-go for All-Star Game
On Tuesday, Major League Soccer announced that Red Bull Arena in Harrison, New Jersey will be hosting the 2011 MLS All-Star Game. This marks the first since since 1997 that the New York City metropolitan area hosts the All-Star Game.
“The combination of one of the most spectacular stadiums of its size in the world with the passionate soccer supporters in the metropolitan New York area will provide a terrific showcase for our All-Star Game,” league commissioner Don Garber said. “Red Bull Arena will be a tremendous venue for this marquee event and we are pleased to bring the All-Star Game to an area with a rich soccer tradition.”
New York was the venue for the All-Star Game in back-to-back years during the league’s first two seasons in 1996 and 1997. The old Giants Stadium hosted East vs. West matchups on both occasions.
The MLS squad has lost only one of those eight matches—against Manchester United last year at Reliant Stadium in Houston in front of a record-breaking crowd of more than 70,000.
The 2011 MLS All-Star Game is scheduled for July 27 and the All-Star opponent will be announced later in February.
"It will be of the caliber of clubs we’ve played in the past,” Garber said. “It will be a major, major international opponent. We’re in very productive negotiations with a number of teams and we should be able to finalize it earlier than we have in the past.
“We are in discussions with a number of international clubs about bringing handful of these major clubs to the USA this summer. We’ll continue to do that both as part of the All-Star Game and as part of the international matches that we’ve held for so many years.”
“It would be pretty special,” Henry said. “I think they are the two teams that play the best football right now in the world. That would be a great thing. If one of the two teams is involved, it would be amazing. It’s a game that is very important for us to show that we can compete with the great teams of Europe.”
Thanks for the layoff, Hosni Mubarak!
Apparently due to the political crisis in Egypt, the USA men's national team canceled their Feb. 9 friendly with Egypt.
"We were excited about the opportunity to play against Egypt, but due to the current situation, all parties agreed it was best to cancel the match," USSF president Sunil Gulati said in a release announcing the news. "We appreciate the efforts of the Egyptian Football Association and the US State Department as we worked through this situation."
Landon Donovan, you can rest now.
Meet Jack McBean
Local Galaxy youth academy prospect Jack McBean was signed by the Los Angeles Galaxy as a homegrown player. McBean, of Newport Beach, California, becomes the youngest player ever to sign for the club since Tristan Bowen in 2008.
McBean starred for the Galaxy Academy’s U-16 team before being selected for the U.S. Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla. earlier this month.
McBean will remain with the U-17’s through the completion of qualifying for this summer’s FIFA U-17 World Cup before officially joining the Galaxy at a later date.
“Jack is a player that I was immediately made aware of upon accepting my position with the Academy. He has shown tremendous growth and potential since joining our program and we believe that he this is more than ready to make this next step in his career,” said Chris Klein, the Senior Director of the LA Galaxy Academy.
“The goal of our Academy is to create a direct link through which our top young players like Jack can progress into our first team where they can continue their maturation and development in a professional environment.”
“I am very excited to be given this opportunity to join the Galaxy and I can’t wait to get back to California so that I can begin training with my new teammates,” McBean said. “I am still growing and improving as a player and I believe that having the opportunity to train and play in this new environment will only make me better.”
Prior to joining the Galaxy Academy, McBean helped the 94 Region IV Regional Team win a National Championship in Dec. 2009.
A special on McBean as part of the "This is The Los Angeles Galaxy" series will be posted later this year.
Back at camp
With the addition of McBean, there are now 28 players on the Galaxy's preseason roster, with 26 in camp. Aside from McBean's absence, David Beckham continues to train with Tottenham Hotspur FC.
Juan Pablo Angel, Juninho and Miguel Lopez each arrived for their first day on Monday, with Angel and Lopez taking part in the day’s session. Juninho completed his physical and fitness testing in the morning and will train with the team for the first time on Tuesday.
New numbers are in the way for a number of players:
Juan Pablo Angel No. 9
Chad Barrett No. 29
Gregg Berhalter No. 3
Paolo Cardozo No. 30
Adam Cristman No. 17
Sean Franklin No. 5
Frankie Hejduk No. 6
Hector Jimenez No. 16
Dan Keat No. 15
Jovan Kirovski No. 7
Miguel Lopez No. 25
Jack McBean No. 32
Dustin McCarty No. 21
Ryan Thomas No. 14
The new man in charge
Juan Pablo Angel got to work immediately and began training for the team in the cozy confines of Victoria Street and the Home Depot Center.
“Little by little, it will happen,” Ángel said after the team's training session on Tuesday. “I’ve only been here two days. We have the rest of February, the beginning of March to build partnerships. Right now, the focus is to be fit, to get used to the ball again. There’s plenty of time to do the rest.”
Angel was pleased by his first impressions of the club.
“It’s too early to tell, but there’s some good balance,” Angel said. “There are some experienced players—that are always important on a team—and there are some good, young talented players.
“The important thing about this team is that there is a good core. A lot of players have been together for a number of years and that always gives you an advantage.”
Adding to the team's chemistry will be crucial to his success with the Galaxy, according LA's No. 9.
“All the new guys coming in right now, we’ll try to adjust to the philosophy of the team as soon as possible and try to start getting it together,” he said. “The quicker we settle in, the better for everybody.
“First of all, I need to get into the rhythm of the game again, get to know the players, hopefully they get to know me quick, hopefully start to perform well.
"I want to win with this team. This team has been doing well the last couple of years, but the only thing that has been lacking has been the championship. Hopefully this year could be the one.”