Omar Gonzalez targeting Monday return to LA Galaxy’s defense

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Thanks to a combination of factors, Omar Gonzalez hasn’t taken his place in the LA Galaxy defense since May 3, when he suffered a knee injury against the Colorado Rapids. Then came the World Cup, a rolled ankle against Belgium, and a layoff after his return from Brazil. Though Gonzalez had hoped to play on Wednesday against Manchester United, the friendly became the latest in a long line of matches the Galaxy tackled without its best defender.

On Friday in Carson, Calif., the U.S. international was finally back in full training, and while match fitness remains a huge concern, the 25-year-old is hoping Monday’s game at CenturyLink Field will mark his return to Bruce Arena’s starting XI.

From Major League Soccer’s website:

“Still very optimistic about Monday,” he said. “Thought it best just to miss the Manchester game, make sure that I get healthy for Monday because that’s the most important game. … I could have played a couple minutes [on Wednesday], but we thought an extra day could help me. So now, hopefully, that day off will help me, and, hopefully, I will go 90 minutes on Monday.”

According to Arena, Gonzalez’s training had been limited since his return from the World Cup. On Friday, following a day off, he returned to full practice. Though the turf in Seattle is a concern, both team and player remain hopeful a weekend’s work will leave him ready to go:

“Obviously, the injury that I had just takes time to recover from, but when you get injured, the one [issue] is always, ‘Are you game fit, are you ready to go 90 minutes?’” he said. “And I think I am.”

As a testament to players like A.J. DeLaGarza, Dan Gargan, and Leonardo, LA’s defense hasn’t suffered in Gonzalez’s absence. In the six games Gonzalez started, the Galaxy conceded five times, giving up multiple goals only once. In the 11 league games that’ve followed, LA’s allowed 11 goals, compensating for injuries by relying on the likes of Robbie Rogers.

Regardless, the best version of the LA Galaxy is one where Gonzalez performs like his former Defender of the Year self. And the only way for him to do that is to get back on the field.

Report: NYCFC seeks stadium project near Belmont Park

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New York City FC has found its feet pretty well in MLS, and the club could finally be closing in on a location for its own stadium moving forward.

Newsday Sports is reporting that NYCFC is prepared to bid on land at Belmont Park as the club continues its search to find a permanent stadium for its future.

[ MORE: Which players should be up for MLS MVP honors? ]

The report also states that Belmont isn’t NYCFC’s preferred destination to play matches, with the stadium in Elmont — roughly an 18-mile distance from the club’s current venue, Yankee Stadium.

In the past, Flushing Meadows has been one of many sites discussed as a location for NYCFC to build its own venue, which would make sense given the fact that the land currently houses the New York Mets as well as the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

NYCFC has shared Yankee Stadium with MLB franchise, New York Yankees, since the MLS side entered the league in 2015.

A move to Belmont could hinge on what the New York Islanders of the NHL do moving forward as well because the hockey team is reportedly looking at options outside of the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, where they currently play.

UCL Tuesday preview: Dortmund hosts Real; 3 PL sides in action

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Round two of the UEFA Champions League is back on Tuesday, and while clubs cannot book their place in the Round of 16 just yet it’s just as easy for them to put themselves out of contention.

Three Premier League sides will be action on the afternoon, including Tottenham — who has the chance to start Group H play with six points.

Meanwhile, Liverpool and Manchester City will also take the pitch in Group E and F, respectively.

The day’s biggest clash of the day though comes in Germany as Borussia Dortmund and Real Madrid meet in the other Group H fixture. Dortmund will be looking for a positive result after falling to Spurs in their opening day loss in the competition.

[ MORE: Who is the most complete striker in the Premier League? ]

Here’s the full rundown of matches on Tuesday’s UCL docket.

All games kick off at 2:45 p.m. ET

Group E

Spartak Moscow vs. Liverpool
Sevilla vs. Maribor

Group F

Manchester City vs. Shakhtar Donetsk
Napoli vs. Feyenoord

Group G

Besiktas vs. Red Bull Leipzig
Monaco vs. Porto

Group H

Borussia Dortmund vs. Real Madrid
APOEL vs. Tottenham Hotspur

Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints take in Arsenal match

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The New Orleans Saints will be playing a different sort of football on Sunday at historic Wembley Stadium, but the NFL franchise took in Arsenal’s match today during their trip to London.

[ MORE: PL playback — Who is the most complete striker in the PL? ]

Super Bowl-winning quarterback Drew Brees posted a picture on Instagram with several of his Saints teammates taking in the Arsenal-West Brom fixture at the Emirates Stadium six days before the NFL team plays the Miami Dolphins.

The Saints-Dolphins matchup is the second NFL game to take place in England thus far in 2017, after the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Baltimore Ravens, 44-7, on Sunday at Wembley.

Headed to the Arsenal game in London. Our first Premier League game! Pumped

A post shared by Drew Brees (@drewbrees) on

The 2 Robbies podcast: Talking Arsenal win, striker depth in PL

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Robbie Earle and Robbie Mustoe react to Arsenal’s 2-0 win over West Brom, Brighton’s 1-0 victory against Newcastle and get into a deep discussion over the plethora of strikers in the Premier League.

Join Earle & Mustoe on The 2 Robbies Football Show, Saturdays at 5pm ET. Listen on the NBCSports Radio App and call 855-323-4622 in the U.S. for lively passionate debate.

All of the The 2 Robbies content can be accessed by clicking on this link:

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Listen to the latest pod by clicking play below.

Follow them on Twitter @The2Robbies