LA Galaxy ‘weren’t very good’ says head coach Bruce Arena

LA Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena hasn’t defended his team’s performance in the 1-1 draw with Houston Dynamo at the StubHub Center on Saturday night and says they still aren’t “sharp enough” or “fit enough” yet.

“I didn’t like a whole lot on the night, we weren’t very good to be honest with you, we lost too many battles,” said Bruce Arena in his post match press conference.

He was very frank in his description of how his team performed and admitted that Houston “played harder” than the Galaxy and that “made the difference” in the game.

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The LA boss was also extremely disappointed with the defending for the Dynamo goal, especially considering the equaliser came just minutes after the Galaxy had taken the lead.

“We had a mental breakdown on a corner-kick, Robbie Rogers loses his man and it’s a goal.

“In a game like this where your opponent is sitting back and defending with numbers looking to get at you on the break, we’ve got to be better than that. To concede a goal shortly after we scored, that’s not good on our part.”

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LA Galaxy’s lacklustre passing was another concern to Bruce Arena, but he did credit the Houston Dynamo’s efforts in defence.

“Our passing on the night wasn’t good. Our backline didn’t pass the ball very well and I think that impacted the ability for the midfielders to have a better impact on the game.

“Overall I think on the night they [Houston Dynamo] defended pretty well.”

LA Galaxy are still undefeated after three games of the new MLS season having won one and drawn two.

They’re currently third in the Western Conference and their next game is a tough trip to DC United on Saturday, March 28.

Was Bruce Arena right to publicly criticise his LA Galaxy team?

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Teal Bunbury: We can win the MLS Cup

Teal Bunbury believes New England Revolution can win trophies in 2015 after an “unbelievable” first year with the club.

“The welcoming I got throughout the whole year just progressed and it was an unbelievable season. I enjoyed every minute of it. It was exciting and I’m still excited to this day to be part of the Revs,” said Bunbury while talking to the New England Revolution YouTube channel.

Bunbury joined the Revs after a four-year spell at Sporting Kansas City and chipped in with six goals and eight assists from his 35 appearances in all competitions.

The 24-year-old forward come winger is in a confident mood heading into the new season.

“I hope it’s just like last year, I want it to be a progression. I want to be able to give all I can on the field. And this year, I feel we can win the MLS Cup and Open Cup as well.”

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New England Revolution fell just short of winning their first ever MLS Cup in 2014 when they lost 2-1 to LA Galaxy after an extra-time winner from Robbie Keane in what was a pulsating final.

The Revs have now been to five MLS Cup finals and have failed to get over the line on every occasion, but Bunbury feels this New England side has the spirit to finally win that elusive title in 2015.

“When you’re a player it’s all about winning games, it’s about winning championships and that’s really what you play for. You obviously want do well individually, but as a team I feel this group of guys has the best chemistry I’ve seen on any team, through my club days when I was younger up until now.”

Can Teal Bunbury and the New England Revolution win the MLS Cup in 2015?

Seattle Sounders head coach Schmid hails “sublime” Martins and Dempsey

Seattle Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid has talked up the ability of strike partners Obafemi Martins and Clint Dempsey following their 6-0 preseason win over FC Tucson on Wednesday.

Dempsey bagged himself two goals in an emphatic performance, and although fellow forward Martins wasn’t on the scoresheet, he did play a hand in the first two goals, which has pleased Schmid.

“Some of the combinations, the goal where they combined on the 2nd goal, as a coach you just sit there and what do you say?” Schmid said while talking to the Seattle Sounders YouTube channel.

“I can’t teach that, we can’t diagram that and show them that. That’s just their instincts. And their ability to play off of each other is just so sublime.”

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The lethal partnership contributed an astonishing 55 goals between them via goals scored and goals assisted in the 2014 regular season and it looks as though they mean business again in 2015.

“I was happy for Clint, happy for the goals that he got because as a goalscorer you always want to get your confidence there. Oba (Martins) will be back on the board as well sometime soon,” Schmid added.

Lamar Neagle and Kevin Parsemain also both helped themselves to two goals each on the night.

How important will Clint Dempsey and Obafemi Martins be for Seattle Sounders in 2015?

EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Otis Earle ahead of MLS Player Combine

Young English defender Otis Earle will be at the MLS Player Combine in early January, looking to impress scouts from all 20 Major League Soccer clubs ahead of the MLS SuperDraft on January 15.

The 22-year-old London native is the son of former Premier League player Robbie Earle who now does media work in America.

Otis Earle moved from Epsom College to California to play for UC Riverside and after impressing during his four seasons with the Highlanders, he is now close to making it as a professional in the fastest growing sports league in the world.

“I’m very excited for the MLS Combine. It’s a great opportunity to represent my school, as well as myself and I am looking forward to showing the various scouts and coaches what I can do,” he said.

“Football in the US is growing, there’s no doubt about that. So as a young player striving to get drafted, it’s a very exciting time.”

Otis Earle in action for UC Riverside (Photo by Gabriel L. Acosta)

Otis Earle in action for UC Riverside (Photo by Gabriel L. Acosta)

More and more English youngsters are moving to America to play soccer and the Earle belives the standard is almost as good as that in the UK now.

“The standard over here is very high. Extremely close to that seen in England. Especially in Southern California, where I’ve been playing. The game is played the right way, with a lot of technical players.

“I think the idea of scholarships and college sports are a great idea and something that the UK could possibly learn from.

If you don’t make it at a young age in the UK, there are no real options. Over here, you can still pursue your professional goals whilst attending a college and getting an education.”

The MLS SuperDraft see’s MLS clubs draft college players and other youngsters, and it is a great way for players such as Earle to get their chance to play in the rapidly growing world of Major League Soccer.

The left-back scored two goals and picked up four assists in 15 games for UC Riverside in 2014 and is certainly a player with the potential to be a star.

He will now be preparing for the MLS Player Combine in less than a month and Earle admits that he is ready for the next chapter of his career.

“I would love to get drafted. I feel like I’m ready to make the next step in my career and to challenge myself as both a person and a player.

It’s an exciting time but I need to just keep my head down, stay focused and hopefully things will work out.”

Exclusive: An interview with new Orlando City star Aurelien Collin

Aurelien Collin has a new home in Major League Soccer. The dominant French defender joined expansion franchise Orlando City from Sporting Kansas City in Monday’s half-day trading window in exchange for allocation money and future considerations.

Collin spent four successful seasons in Kansas City, making over 100 appearances for the club and although he must now concentrate on the next exciting chapter of his career, the 28-year-old centre-back will never forget his time with SKC.

“The last four years were the best of my life. Winning the MLS Cup and the US Open Cup were special moments for me,” he said.

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Sporting Kansas City manager Peter Vermes revealed on Monday that Collin was only let go as a result of salary cap constraints and the 2013 MLS Cup MVP will definitely be missed at Sporting Park.

But Collin is glad that he has been able to stay in MLS by moving to Orlando, and is looking forward to playing alongside Brazilian superstar Kaka in 2015.

“I’m very happy. MLS is growing very fast and Orlando is a big city with big plans.

“Playing with Kaka will be an honor for me, both as a Christian and a soccer player, and I will learn a lot from him.”

Collin has played in France, Spain, Scotland, Greece, England and Portugal. But he has belonged in MLS ever since moving to the league in 2011.

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He knows the league and what is required to succeed, having won both the MLS Cup and US Open Cup with Sporting Kansas City. His experience will be vital for Orlando in their debut campaign and he will need to be a leader for those new to MLS in the Lions’ locker room, including Kaka.

Wednesday’s MLS Expansion Draft is another huge day for Orlando City as they have the chance to add some more much-needed depth to their squad.

And although many may assume the new boys will try and ease their way into life in Major League Soccer, Collin is targeting success from the onset.

Aurelien Collin Orlando City

When asked what his hopes for the team were in their inaugural campaign, he simply replied: “We want to make the playoffs!”

It will be fascinating to see how Orlando perform next season. But in Aurelien Collin, they already have a leader in defence. And the three-time MLS All-Star certainly knows how to succeed in the ever-growing world of Major League Soccer.

How good a signing is Aurelien Collin for Orlando City SC?