Several familiar faces missing as Galaxy open training camp

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BY ADAM SERRANO

CARSON, Calif. –Fresh off one of the most successful seasons, the Los Angeles Galaxy returned to the practice field amid a steady downpour at the Home Depot Center.

Missing several pieces like Landon Donovan, Robbie Keane (both on loan), Omar Gonzalez (injury) and Juninho (joined Sao Paulo) the club returned to the training ground in preparation for their CONCACAF Champions League matches against Toronto FC in March.There may have be a number of faces missing on the first day of camp, but the Galaxy revealed that one member of the 2011 MLS Cup Champion side would be returning.

Brazilian defender Leonardo is set to return to the club on an extension of his previous loan agreement from Brazilian club Sao Paulo.  The Brazilian defender is still recovering from tearing his ACL and LCL in his right knee last April.

“Leonardo will be coming back. He’ll be in this week,” said head coach Bruce Arena. “He’s getting close [to returning], he should be fully able to play in April.”

When Leonardo returns from his injury layoff, he will likely play a key role alongside AJ DeLaGarza in 2012 with Omar Gonzalez sidelined for seven to nine months.  In the offseason, the Galaxy sought to bolster their back line with a number of additions such as New Zealand International Andrew Boyens. 

A great deal of uncertainty surrounds the Galaxy defense as ten defenders are currently in preseason camp — with Leonardo on the way shortly. Although there is a great deal of pressure for someone to step in for the MLS Defender of the Year, the Galaxy are preaching patience. 

“Everyone is going to step up, we’ve played without Omar and we had to fill in and guys had to step up,” said Dunivant. “It’s the same difference, everyone has to step up and do their role, you can’t too far out of your own position or your own role, but if everyone does their job then we’ll have someone in [that position] capable without a doubt.”

KIROVSKI JOINS COACHING STAFF

Arena bolstered his coaching staff on Monday by announcing that Jovan Kirovski had joined the club’s coaching staff as an assistant coach. Kirovski, 37, ends a 20-year playing career that began when he was a member of the Manchester United youth academy. The forward ended his career with stints at a number of clubs including Borussia Dortmund, Birmingham City and the Colorado Rapids among others.

Kirovski spent much of the offseason, earning his coaching licenses and joins the season with his class “A” USSF coaching credential. Kirovski takes over for former assistant coach Gregg Berhalter, who became the head coach of Swedish club Hammerby,

“Bruce called me a month ago and put it out there and I was really excited because it’s a great opportunity,” said Kirovski. “I definitely wanted to and it was great to have the opportunity to do that for a club.”

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27 Responses to Several familiar faces missing as Galaxy open training camp

  1. A wise man once says:

    …I really don’t see them finishing in first again.

  2. predicto says:

    Galaxy need to pick up Edson when Everton gives him the bad news.

  3. GSScasual says:

    Can we talk about the philly player from colombia busted with coke?

  4. predicto says:

    He said, ‘it’s common back home – we use it like toothpaste’

  5. abc says:

    I think that has already happened (Everton bad news) and trying to latch on to some relegation-threatened team in Belgium (Westerlo).

    Sad times for Buddle…

  6. abc says:

    What? Which one? Link?

  7. george3000 says:

    Like the addition of Kirovski to the coaching staff. Seems like a good guy to maintain good vibes between staff and players. That and he’s familiar with Bruce’s system after all these years.

  8. Sid says:

    If LA could get him back as a non-DP, he would pair nicely with Robbie Keane. He is a proven score in this league and the Galaxy have no legitimate strike after Keane.

  9. Scott says:

    LA has to do more than Leonardo to replace Omar. Leo is coming off a serious injury. Even if he is back in April, he wont be 100%.

  10. Wookie says:

    about time…Now could they get the 3 stooges Cristman, Noonan, and Barrett to accept retirement???

  11. CJ says:

    It’s hard to believe now, but at one time Kirovski & Beckman were considered fairly even, talent-wise, in the ManU academy. Go luck to Jovan in his new career.

  12. NF says:

    They were far and away the best team last year, buta lot will depend on how well Leonardo and Sarvas play this year. I expect them to finish top 2.

  13. sammysounder74 says:

    I’m wondering if there’s an option to buy Donovan. He’s nothing left to prove here.

  14. Adam Cristman says:

    Wha’bout me?

  15. Good Jeremy says:

    When I hear Kirovski all I can think of is this shot.
    link to youtube.com

  16. Edwin in LA says:

    I’m guessing Dassan Robinson will see some time, I do think maybe they need another CB considering they have 2 CCL matches before the season starts or at leasat 1 before and then another after First Kick.

    Then in the summer there’s US Open Cup and they have 4 games and need to end 1st in the group so at least they need to win both at home and 1 away…

    If Barrett can stay healthy all year long and improve on his 9 goal output from last year, maybe say 12 I can see them doing just fine in MLS, Keane should get somewhere between 12-15 goals with a full season and somewhat of a preseason worth of training with the team, although he won’t spend as much of it, but he will be in form proven by his recent brace in EPL.
    Last year Barrett took some time to get going, he missed some clear chances especially isolated situations that left him 1 on 1 with the GK or a last defender to get to the GK, but when he got going he was on his way to double figure scoring, I’m hoping he can get going fast…

    They have to score more and be more efficient until Omar comes back as they won’t be as solid, more so in the air as he would reject everything coming his way

  17. Mig22 says:

    Such a huge moment. After the disaster of France ’98, to come out and do that was pretty special.

  18. CSD says:

    link to supersport.com

    I hope the Galaxy players on loan in Europe are careful while performing and they don’t pick up any injuries.

  19. The Imperative Voice says:

    I find wild that this Bruce character that LAG are rumored to be targeting actually switched from Republican Ireland to Northern Ireland for socce r nationality. We’ve had our Zimmermann tempest ina teapot about Germans with passports, but people switching back and forth between those two is interesting.

  20. Air Jordanz says:

    That’s pretty ambitious. I’d say definitely make the playoffs without a play-in game, but nothing more for certain at this moment.

    Beckham no longer has anything to prove, now that he has the Cup, and 2 of the 5 best players are gone.

  21. g-dub says:

    Gotta say that Bruce Arena is a great coach. The way he develops a system that everyone buys into 100% and sets an expectation that every player in the club regardless of their role is critical.

    I wonder if he and Phil Jackson ever hang out.

  22. The Imperative Voice says:

    What impresses me is he does this over and over with team after team. There are a few flavors of the month who earn praise with a particular team in a particular year — Nowak comes to mind — but Arena won at UVa, DC, USA, LA, etc. And in the case of LA he had to basically revamp a bad team with a messed up salary structure to fit around Landon and Bex. The league helped but they did seal the deal in the playoffs finally.

    That would also be my response to those advocating Kreis, Kinnear, and others as good coaches. Have them win in multiple places with a few rebuild jobs and I’ll believe they’re worthy of The Bruce.

  23. Hawley says:

    LA is too highly regarded to settle for Barrett or Cristman as a starter. There are plenty of young foreigners that would love the chance to play alongside Keane to showcase their skills.

    LA could be playing more attractive footbal than 1-0 matches.

  24. beachbum says:

    excellent post, thank you

  25. PetedeLA says:

    Less doughnuts, more swiftness drills.

  26. PetedeLA says:

    Barrett was very useful. Don’t see why he gets thrown in with those other guys.

    Of course, he missed quite a few chances, but I’d love for him to stay.