2012 MLS Cup Champions Los Angeles Galaxy Portraits

Nibbles of news on Landon Donovan, Omar Gonzalez

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The MLS Draft is mostly for drafting, of course. But it’s also a chance for discovery, since every coach is there. (Well, unless you’re coaching Toronto FC … but let’s not go there right now.  And, well, unless you may or may not be taking that dusty, vacant coaching seat in New York … but let’s not go there right now.)

Back on point … is there a Landon Donovan resolution coming soon? And what of Omar Gonzalez, who is out of contract after this season with the Galaxy?

During today’s draft, ESPN’s Monica Gonzalez asked Galaxy manager Bruce Arena about both players.

On Omar Gonzalez (pictured), the best player at MLS Cup 2012, Arena said the club would “let this year play out,” apparently indicating that they either will not or cannot bind Gonzalez to a longer deal.

Arena acknowledged that his big center back will have “lots of options” going forward. Indeed.

The guess here is that Arena and the Galaxy aren’t so much letting “this year play out” as much they are making the best of a lesser situation. That is, Gonzalez’s representation arm has probably told MLS and the Galaxy that their client will not sign a new deal. That means he’s heading overseas as soon as possible.

That leaves the Galaxy with two choices (assuming they don’t sell Gonzalez now at top value, which remains technically possible during the ongoing international transfer window):

They could sell him in the summer at a sharply reduced price (because Gonzalez could also sign a pre-contract, playing out the MLS season while under obligation to move in January, thus diminishing his value over where it stands today). Or the Galaxy could just let Gonzalez play out the year, gaining as much as they can from his ability and then letting him go for free 11 months from now.

(MORE: Donovan not on U.S. camp roster)

As for Donovan, who has yet to decide his future in pro soccer, here’s what Arena told Gonzalez:  “We’re going to have an opportunity to sit down with Landon this weekend and really find out where he’s at, what direction we’re all headed, and hopefully everything will work out for him and for the Galaxy.”

How will USMNT line up vs. Mexico in CONCACAF Cup?

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You probably don’t need reminding, but just in case you do, the U.S. national team face Mexico in a huge one-off CONCACAF Cup game on Saturday at the Pasadena Rose Bowl.

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The winner will represent CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia as Jurgen Klinsmann’s USMNT side are the underdogs against El Tri.

With plenty of struggles and a hangover from the 2015 Gold Cup failure, Klinsmann is under pressure and getting his team selection spot on will be crucial if the USA are going to get past Mexico in front of over 90,000 fans at the Rose Bowl.

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Below I suggest three possible starting lineups, then give my conclusion on how I think the U.S. will lineup.

Let us know if you agree by posting your own lineups in the comments section below.

JPW’s choice

—– Guzan —–

— Johnson — Cameron — Besler — Ream —

Jones —– Bradley

— Bedoya — Dempsey — Zardes —

—– Altidore —–

Mix-and-match XI

—– Howard —–

— Cameron — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Williams —–

— Yedlin — Bradley — Zusi —

— Altidore — Zardes —

Stopping Mexico

—– Howard —–

— Johnson — Besler — Ream — Beasley —

—– Cameron —–

— Dempsey — Williams — Bradley — Jones —

— Altidore —


I think Klinsmann’s choice is the way to go, although Tim Howard‘s presence in goal over Brad Guzan would certainly help strengthen the USA’s defense. A center back pairing of Cameron and Besler must happen, while having Johnson in at right back will be a boost and Ream’s size may see him get the nod over Beasely but the veteran is likely to start if fit. In midfield I’d go with Jones and Bradley sitting in front of othe back four and then that would allow, Zardes, Bedoya and Dempsey to support Altidore up top.

The final selection is ultra-defensive, but given the form of his team and Mexico’s attacking talents, Klinsmann may start more defensive and then change tact as the game goes on. Having all of your most-experienced players on the pitch will prove vital to succeeding at the Rose Bowl, therefore, even though the Mix-and-Match XI looks speedy and is dangerous, I’d expect to see “JPW’s choice” or “Stopping Mexico” to be more like the starting lineup on Saturday.

“Legends World Cup” hope to bring Beckham, Zidane to Mexico

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David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane coaxed out of retirement to play in a “Legends World Cup” you say?

Well, that got my attention.

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According to an interview with the BBC’s world service, the organizers of the 2017 Legends World Cup are hoping to entice both Becks and Zizou to roll back the years and represent their nations in Mexico.

Beckham, 40, and Zidane, 43, are already putting their boots back on to captain a Great Britain and Ireland XI vs. a World XI for a friendly at Old Trafford on November 14 to raise money for UNICEF, and former Mexico goalkeeper Jorge Campos, 48, has urged the duo to take part in the tournament in 2017 where he will coach Mexico’s team.

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From the BBC:

“I want to see Zinedine Zidane, David Beckham, Brazilian Ronaldo,” said Campos, 48, the flamboyant ex-Mexico goalkeeper who will coach his country.

“Everybody wants to see Argentina’s Diego Maradona, but he can’t play. He’s too old.”

The tournament is scheduled to take place at the beginning of 2017, with 12 teams in total — four from the Americas, six from Europe and one each from Africa and Asia — taking part.

Given the age (players must be aged between 35-45) and caliber of the players Campos and Co. are trying to recruit, let’s have a think about who would play for the U.S.

Landon Donovan and Brian McBride up front? Brad Friedel in goal? Let us know who would make the squad.