Los Angeles Galaxy

Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy logo.svg
Full name Los Angeles Galaxy
Nickname(s) Galaxy, Los Galacticos
Founded 1995
Stadium The Home Depot Center
Carson, California
(Capacity: 27,000)
Owner United States Philip Anschutz (AEG)
Head Coach United States Bruce Arena
League Major League Soccer
2010 Western Conference: 1st
Overall: 1st
Playoffs: Semi-Finals
Website Club home page
Home colors
Away colors
Third colors
Current season

The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional soccer team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer (MLS), the top professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. It is one of the ten charter clubs of MLS, and the league's second most-decorated club, after D.C. United.

The Galaxy are the reigning MLS Supporters' Shield champions. They have won the MLS Cup twice (2002, 2005), the Supporters' Shield four times (1998, 2002, 2010, 2011), the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup twice (2001, 2005), and is one of just two MLS teams to win is now called the CONCACAF Champions League, which they accomplished in 2000.

Initially, the Galaxy played their home games at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, but since 2003 they have played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, which they share with their rival, Chivas USA. The club's current head coach is former US national team coach Bruce Arena.

In January 2007, the club made international headlines by signing English superstar David Beckham from Real Madrid in a deal potentially worth $250 million, which was the highest-profile signing in the history of MLS.

Contents

History

1955–1996: Los Angeles soccer heritage

Los Angeles is home to a storied soccer tradition. The first professional soccer team in the Los Angeles area was the Los Angeles Kickers, formed in 1955 by the former owner of the Fall River Marksmen, Sam Mark.

Prior to the launch of Major League Soccer in 1996, teams from Los Angeles played in the Western American Soccer League, the North American Soccer League and the American Soccer League/A-League, winning ten league championships (1955, 1957, 1958, 1960, 1961, 1962, 1963, 1964, 1974, 1976), seven Lamar Hunt US Open Cups (1958, 1964, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1978, 1981), four regional championships (1955, 1956, 1958, 1961) and one international championship (1975). George Best, Johan Cruyff, and many other notable players graced the soccer field during this period in Los Angeles soccer history, for clubs such as the Los Angeles Aztecs, California Surf and the Los Angeles Salsa.

Los Angeles officially adopted and recognized the city's soccer heritage during the opening of the Home Depot Center in June 2003.[citation needed] In addition, the stadium features several tributes recognizing the soccer tradition in Los Angeles.[citation needed]

1996–2005: Decade of success

Cobi Jones playing for Galaxy in 2003

Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 as part of the United States' bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup.[1] The first season took place in 1996 with Los Angeles being one of the ten founding teams. The name "Galaxy" was derived from Los Angeles being home to the "stars" of Hollywood.[2] Los Angeles began well by clinching 1st in the Western Conference and finishing second in the MLS Cup after losing to D.C. United in the final. The 1997 season started out 1–7 after 8 games, but they went 15–9 for the rest of the season to qualify for the playoffs. The Galaxy ended up 2nd in their conference by losing to the Dallas Burn. In 1998, the Galaxy left off on a streak, eventually finishing 24–8. The Galaxy defeated the Dallas Burn, 9–3 on aggregate. They lost in the final to the Chicago Fire, 2–1 on aggregate.

The Galaxy again finished first in the Western Conference in 1999, with a final record of 20–12, with a win in the CONCACAF Champions Cup, but they lost to United again 2–0. The 2000 season had the Galaxy in 2nd in the Western Division, at 14–10–8. Despite this, they lost to the Kansas City Wizards after a tied aggregate and a sudden death game. 2001 was another successful year for Los Angeles, winning the Open Cup and scoring 1000 all-time points, and with Cobi Jones scoring the 300th goal, but again they fell short by being defeated by Landon Donovan and the San Jose Earthquakes. Again the club clinched first in the Western Conference with a 16–9–3 record, their fifth time being first. In 2002, the Galaxy won their first MLS Cup in four tries by defeating the New England Revolution 1–0.[3] 2003 was a poor year, with L.A. finishing 4th because they were forced to play away games due to stadium construction, though they got a good rhythm and finished 9–12–9. The Galaxy bounced back by gaining 2nd with a 11–9–10 record. They lost to the Wizards in the final, 0–2. With 2005 came on of the Galaxy's most recognized players, Landon Donovan. The club won the Open Cup again ending with a record of 13–13–6 to cap off their first decade. The Galaxy has a distinction of making all the playoffs in the 10 seasons.[4]

2006–present

The 2006 season began on March 16 with the sudden death of Doug Hamilton, the team's 43-year-old general manager, who suffered a heart attack on board a plane carrying the team back from Costa Rica where they had played Saprissa in the CONCACAF Champions' Cup.[5] The team finished fifth in the Western Conference, eliminating them from playoff contention for the first time since the league's inception. Midway through the season, Steve Sampson was sacked as Head Coach,[6] replaced by Frank Yallop.[7] The team managed to make a run to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final, but lost 3–1 against the Chicago Fire.

David Beckham playing for Galaxy in 2007

In March 2007, Herbalife signed a five-year deal, worth between $4–5 million a year, with Los Angeles to be the primary shirt sponsor.[8] Four months later, the club signed David Beckham from Real Madrid. His debut was made at The Home Depot Center before a record crowd of nearly 35,000,[9] including many celebrities,[10][11] coming on in the 78th minute in a 1–0 loss to Chelsea in a match during the World Series of Football tournament. The match brought unprecedented TV coverage from ESPN, who used 19 cameras to cover it, including one trained only on Beckham, even when he was on the bench.[12] The match set an all-time record high for TV ratings for MLS on ESPN.[12] In that season's SuperLiga Los Angeles reached the final, but lost to Pachuca on penalties after extra time. Los Angeles nearly made the end-of-season play-offs, but were eliminated following a 1–0 loss to the Chicago Fire. In the off-season, Cobi Jones retired and, amidst rumors that he was going to be sacked, Yallop resigned as head coach following a friendly match at Home Depot Center. The San Jose Earthquakes, bought out his contract and offered a 3rd round draft pick to the Galaxy to make Yallop their new head coach.[13] Yallop was replaced at Los Angeles by Ruud Gullit, who signed a three-year contract with the club which made him the highest paid coach in MLS history.[12] Cobi Jones returned as assistant coach. Los Angeles went on a promotional tour of Australia and New Zealand, setting attendance records in both countries. 80,295 people showed up at Stadium Australia for the match between Sydney FC and Los Angeles Galaxy, which the home side won 5–3.[14] They also played a tour of Asia, and competed in the inaugural Pan-Pacific Championship in Honolulu, Hawaii,[15] finishing third after beating Sydney 2–1 in the third-place match.[16]

In the 2008 MLS season, Los Angeles went on a seven-game winless streak which saw them drop from first place in the Western Conference to outside playoff contention, prompting the resignation of manager Ruud Gullit and firing of general manager Alexi Lalas.[17] Gullit was replaced by Bruce Arena, but he was not able to lead Los Angeles into a play-off spot, for the third-straight season.[18]

In the following off-season both club captain David Beckham and vice-captain Landon Donovan were involved in loan deals with European clubs until the beginning of the new MLS season; Beckham to A.C. Milan in Italy and Donovan to German club FC Bayern Munich. Donovan was seeking a permanent transfer to Munich, while Beckham was expected to return to L.A. in March, prior to the 2009 season.[19] Beckham went on to seek a permanent transfer to Milan, in a bid to sustain his England career through the 2010 World Cup,[20] and Milan made a bid for the player, which was rejected by Los Angeles.[21] One day before his loan deal was to expire, Milan and Los Angeles reached an agreement to allow Beckham to stay in Italy until the conclusion of the Rossoneri's season in June, before returning to Los Angeles in July.[21] Donovan was not offered a contract by Bayern, and returned to the US in time for the beginning of the 2009 MLS season.[22] In the book The Beckham Experiment by Grant Wahl, Donovan openly criticized Beckham for his handling of the loan deals. Beckham and Donovan would later reconcile upon Beckham's return to Los Angeles in July.[23]

Los Angeles finished the 2009 season top of the Western Conference, and runners-up in the MLS Supporters' Shield, qualifying for the 2009 MLS Cup. They reached the final by beating Chivas 3–2 on aggregate in the quarter-final, and Houston Dynamo 2–0, after extra time, in the semi-final. In the final they drew 1–1 with Real Salt Lake at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington, but lost 5–4 on penalties. By reaching the final they qualified for the 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League Preliminary Round.

After the 2009 success, both Donovan and Beckham again went out on second loan spells. Donovan went to Everton FC, while Beckham returned to AC Milan, where he ruptured his achilles tendon and therefore missed his chance at playing in the World Cup for England and subsequently missing most of the Galaxy's 2010 season.

In 2010, the Galaxy stayed at the top of the table and won the Supporters' Shield. They then lost to Dallas in the Western Conference Final one game away from making another appearance at MLS Cup.

In 2011, they won their fourth Supporters' Shield with 2 games remaining, becoming the third straight team to win consecutive Shields.

Colors and badge

Carlos Ruiz wearing Galaxy's old gold-and-teal uniform

The Los Angeles Galaxy's current colors are white, dark blue and gold, and were adopted to coincide with David Beckham's arrival with the team in 2007 as part of an overall rebranding exercise. Prior to 2007, the Galaxy played in various color combinations, usually comprising gold, teal green and white with black accents, and often highlighting an iconic 'sash' design from the left shoulder and across the chest.[24] Their original jersey, used in the inaugural 1996 MLS season, featured black-and-teal halves, black sleeves with gold and red accents, black shorts and black socks.[25]

The Galaxy have had two logos to date. The original brand was gold, teal and black, and featured the Galaxy wordmark superimposed over a golden swirl, with a stylized black outline. The logo was changed in 2007, again to coincide with David Beckham's arrival, and now features a blue shield with a gold border, the LA Galaxy team name, and a star at the top of the crest.

Stadium

The Home Depot Center, Los Angeles Galaxy's home stadium since 2003

From 1996 to 2002, the Galaxy played their home games at the 107,000-capacity Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, but often held Lamar Hunt US Open Cup games at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton. The Galaxy played ten games in total at Titan; the US Open Cup Final was held there in 2001 when Galaxy won the tournament.

In 2003 they moved to The Home Depot Center, on the campus of California State University, Dominguez Hills in Carson, California, approximately 10 miles south of downtown Los Angeles. The venue's title sponsor is home-improvement retailer The Home Depot. The "HDC" is a 27,000-seat soccer-specific stadium, the second of its kind in the MLS,[26] but has hosted other sports such as rugby and football. Galaxy fans sometimes refer to the stadium as The Toolbox and Victoria Street, the latter after one of the main streets in Carson which runs past the northern side of the stadium. Since the 2005 season, the Galaxy have shared the stadium with league rivals C.D. Chivas USA, with whom they compete for the Honda SuperClasico.

Club culture

Cozmo entertaining the fans

Supporters

Galaxy currently has three organized supporter's groups: the Angel City Brigade (ACB),the Los Angeles Riot Squad (LARS), the Galaxians

Mascot

The Los Angeles Galaxy's mascot is "Cozmo", a frog-like extraterrestrial. It is said that Cozmo was beamed down to The Home Depot Center from his intergalactic spaceship on June 7, 2003. The team's website also claims that Cozmo is also "universally known as a goalkeeper who can stop shots traveling at the speed of light," but also possesses the speed and skill to play forward for any team on the planet.

Cozmo is loved for his antics while entertaining fans during games. In addition, he makes special appearances throughout Southern California, representing the team and is known for teaching kids the basics of soccer.

Cozmo replaced the Galaxy's original mascot, "Twizzle", who also looked like it was from outer space but was more humanoid in form, wearing a space-man's helmet and cape.[27]

Rivalries

The Galaxy's chief rival is the San Jose Earthquakes, which is known by the fans and media as the California Clasico. The intrastate rivalry dates to the founding of MLS, and their encounters in the MLS Cup playoffs and final. Some also cite that the rivalry developed in reflection of traditional Northern California vs Southern California sports rivalries.[28]

Their crosstown rivals, are C.D. Chivas USA, whom they compete with in the L.A. Derby.[29] The derby has been heavily dominated by the Galaxy, who have won nine of the 15 encounters between the two sides. Chivas USA has not won the derby in four years.

Finally, the Galaxy share an out-of-conference rivalry with D.C. United, who are the only MLS club to have more success than the Galaxy in terms of major trophies and award won. The rivalry is claimed to have started in the inaugural MLS Cup, as each side has jockeyed on another as the flagship franchise in MLS. The two clubs share the largest fan bases in the league.[30]

Broadcasting

Los Angeles Galaxy matches are televised regionally in English on Fox Sports West and Fox Sports Prime Ticket alternatively.[31] FSW broadcasts feature commentary by Jim Watson and Mark Rogondino, with sideline reporting by Jackie Pickering.

Radio coverage of regular season matches are broadcasted on KLAC AM 570 (Los Angeles/Orange County) & KTLK 1150 AM alternatively in English and in Spanish on KWKW 1330 AM (Los Angeles). Joe Tutino does the English play-by-play while Rolando "El Veloz" Gonzalez (Play-By-Play) and Armando Aguayo (Commentary) handle the Spanish broadcasts.[32]

Players and staff

Current roster

As of June 3, 2011.[33]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
1 Jamaica GK Donovan Ricketts
2 United States DF Todd Dunivant
3 United States DF Gregg Berhalter
4 United States DF Omar Gonzalez
5 United States DF Sean Franklin
6 United States DF Frankie Hejduk
7 United States FW Jovan Kirovski
8 Trinidad and Tobago MF Chris Birchall
10 United States FW Landon Donovan (captain)
11 United States FW Chad Barrett
12 Puerto Rico GK Josh Saunders
14 Republic of Ireland FW Robbie Keane
15 New Zealand MF Dan Keat
16 United States MF Héctor Jiménez
17 United States FW Adam Cristman
No. Position Player
18 United States FW Mike Magee
19 Brazil MF Juninho (on loan from São Paulo)
20 United States DF A. J. DeLaGarza
21 United States MF Dustin McCarty
22 Brazil DF Leonardo (on loan from São Paulo)
23 England MF David Beckham (vice-captain)
24 United States GK Brian Perk
25 Argentina MF Miguel López (on loan from Quilmes)
26 United States MF Michael Stephens
27 United States FW Bryan Jordan
28 United States DF Ryan Thomas
29 United States DF Dasan Robinson
30 Uruguay MF Paolo Cardozo
32 United States FW Jack McBean
33 United States DF Sean Alvarado

Reserve team players

This list shows players who have played for the team in official 2011 MLS Reserve Division games, but are not part of the senior roster.[34]

Note: Flags indicate national team as has been defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Position Player
United States GK Kevin Guppy
United States GK Vince Paldino
Mexico GK Carlos Lira
United States DF Grady Howe
United States DF Drew Murphy
No. Position Player
United States DF Matt Tilley
United States MF Jeffrey Payares
United States MF Riley Wolfe
United States FW Justin Dhillon
Brazil FW Paulinho Le Petit

Retired numbers

13United States Cobi Jones, Midfielder, 1996–2007

Notable former players

This list of former players includes those who received international caps while playing for the team, made significant contributions to the team in terms of appearances or goals while playing for the team, or who made significant contributions to the sport either before they played for the team, or after they left. It is clearly not yet complete and all inclusive, and additions and refinements will continue to be made over time.

  • See also All-time Los Angeles Galaxy roster
Sigi Schmid led Galaxy to their first MLS Cup title in 2002

Head coaches

Achievements

  • MLS Cup
    • Winners (2): 2002, 2005
    • Runner-up (4): 1996, 1999, 2001, 2009
  • MLS Western Conference
    • Winners (Regular Season) (8): 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011
    • Winners (Playoffs) (7): 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011

Record

Year-by-year

Year Regular Season Playoffs US Open Cup CONCACAF
Champions' League
1996 1st, West Final Did not enter Did not enter
1997 2nd, West Quarter-Finals Did not enter Final
1998 1st, West* Semi-Finals Did not enter Qualifying playoff
1999 1st, West Final Quarter-Finals Did not qualify
2000 2nd, West Semi-Finals Semi-Finals Champions
2001 1st, West Final Champions Did not qualify
2002 1st, West* Champions Final Did not qualify
2003 4th, West Quarter-Finals Semi-Finals Quarter-Finals
2004 2nd, West Semi-Finals Fourth Round Did not qualify
2005 4th, West Champions Champions Did not qualify
2006 5th, West Did not qualify Final Quarter-Finals
2007 5th, West Did not qualify Third Round Did not qualify
2008 6th, West Did not qualify Did not qualify Did not qualify
2009 1st, West Final Did not qualify Did not qualify
2010 1st, West* Semi-Finals Quarter-Finals Did not qualify
2011 1st, West* Quarter-Finals Preliminary Round
2012 Quarter-Finals
(2011–12)
2013 Group Stage
(2012–13)

* Won MLS Supporters' Shield

Year-by-year stats

Year League Record Top Scorer
P W L D F A Pts Name G
1996 32 19 13 0 59 49 49 Eduardo Hurtado 21
1997 32 16 16 0 55 44 44 Welton 11
1998 32 24 8 0 85 44 68 Cobi Jones 19
1999 32 20 12 0 49 29 54 Cobi Jones/Carlos Hermosillo 08
2000 32 14 10 8 47 37 50 Cobi Jones 07
2001 26 14 7 5 52 36 47 Luis Hernández 08
2002 28 16 9 3 44 33 51 Carlos Ruiz 24
2003 30 9 12 9 35 35 36 Carlos Ruiz 15
2004 30 11 9 10 42 40 43 Carlos Ruiz 11
2005 32 13 13 6 44 45 45 Landon Donovan 12
2006 32 11 15 6 37 37 39 Landon Donovan 12
2007 30 9 14 7 38 48 34 Landon Donovan 08
2008 30 8 13 9 55 62 33 Landon Donovan 20
2009 30 12 6 12 36 31 48 Landon Donovan 12
2010 30 18 7 5 44 26 59 Edson Buddle 17
2011 34 19 5 10 48 28 67 Landon Donovan 12
Total 492 233 169 90 770 624 768 Landon Donovan 83

International tournaments

Sydney FC playing against the Galaxy at ANZ Stadium in 2007
Qualifying Playoff v. Mexico Santos Laguna – 4:1
Quarter-Finals v. El Salvador Luis Ángel Firpo – 2:0
Semi-Finals v. United States D.C. United – 1:0
Final v. Mexico Cruz Azul – 3:5
Qualifying Playoff v. Mexico Necaxa – 1:1 (Club Necaxa advances 4–3 on penalties)
Quarter-Finals v. Honduras Real España – 0:0 (Los Angeles advances 5:3 on penalties)
Semi-Finals v. United States D.C. United – 1:1 (Los Angeles advances 4:2 on penalties)
Final v. Honduras Olimpia – 3:2
Group Stage v. Norway Lyn Oslo – 5:0
Group Stage v. Russia Torpedo Moskva – 3:0
Group Stage v. Norway Odd Grenland – 0:1
Third Place Match v. Norway Viking – 3:0
First round v. Honduras Motagua – 2:2, 1:0 (Los Angeles advances 3:2 on aggregate)
Quarter-Finals v. Mexico Necaxa – 1:4, 1:2 (Club Necaxa advances 6:2 on aggregate)
Group Stage v. Uruguay Nacional – 0:0
Group Stage v. Germany 1860 München – 0:0
Group Stage v. Netherlands PSV Eindhoven – 1:4
Quarter-Finals v. Costa Rica Deportivo Saprissa – 0:0, 2:3 AET (Saprissa advance 3:2 on aggregate after added extra time)
Group Stage v. Mexico Pachuca – 2:1
Group Stage v. Mexico Guadalajara – 1:2
Group Stage v. United States FC Dallas – 6:5
Semi-Finals v. United States D.C. United – 2:0
Final v. Mexico Pachuca – 1:1 (Pachuca win 4:3 on penalties)
Semi-Finals v. Japan Gamba Osaka – 0:1
Third Place v. Australia Sydney FC – 2:1
Semi-Finals v. Japan Ōita Trinita – 2:0
Final v. South Korea Suwon Bluewings – 1:1 (Suwon Bluewings win 4:2 on penalties)
  • 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League
Preliminary Round v. Puerto Rico Puerto Rico Islanders – 1:4, 2:1 (Puerto Rico advances 5:3 on aggregate)
  • 2011 World Football Challenge
Group Stage v. Spain Real Madrid – 1:4
Group Stage v. England Manchester City – 1:1 (Manchester City win 7:6 on penalties)
  • 2011–12 CONCACAF Champions League:
Group Stage v. Honduras Motagua – 2:0
Group Stage v. Costa Rica Alajuelense – 2:0
Group Stage v. Mexico Morelia – 1:2
Group Stage v. Costa Rica Alajuelense – 0:1
Group Stage v. Mexico Morelia – 2:1
Group Stage v. Honduras Motagua

Team records

Landon Donovan is Galaxy's all-time top scorer, three-time MVP, and five-time Golden Boot winner

MLS regular season only, as of November 8, 2011[35]

Most Valuable Player

Year Name Country
1996 Eduardo Hurtado  Ecuador
1997 Mauricio Cienfuegos  El Salvador
1998 Cobi Jones  United States
1999 Kevin Hartman  United States
2000 Simon Elliott  New Zealand
2001 Ezra Hendrickson  Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
2002 Carlos Ruiz  Guatemala
2003 Kevin Hartman  United States
2004 Kevin Hartman  United States
2005 Herculez Gomez  United States
2006 Landon Donovan  United States
2007 Chris Klein  United States
2008 Landon Donovan  United States
2009 Landon Donovan  United States
2010 Edson Buddle  United States
2011 Landon Donovan  United States

Golden Boot

The Golden Boot winner is the leading goal scorer at the end of the season (only goals in MLS count). This award did not exist from 1996 to 2004. The MLS Scoring Champion Award included both goal and assist totals those years.

Year Name Country Goals
2005 Landon Donovan  United States 12
2006 Landon Donovan  United States 12
2007 Landon Donovan  United States 8
2008 Landon Donovan  United States 20
2009 Landon Donovan  United States 12
2010 Edson Buddle  United States 17
2011 Landon Donovan  United States 12

Defensive Player of the Year

Year Name Country
1996 Jorge Campos  Mexico
1997 Robin Fraser  United States
1998 Robin Fraser  United States
1999 Robin Fraser  United States
2000 Danny Califf  United States
2001 Greg Vanney  United States
2002 Alexi Lalas  United States
2003 Danny Califf  United States
2004 Tyrone Marshall  Jamaica
2005 Tyrone Marshall  Jamaica
2006 Chris Albright  United States
2007 Ty Harden  United States
2008 Sean Franklin  United States
2009 Donovan Ricketts  Jamaica
2010 Omar Gonzalez  United States
2011 Omar Gonzalez  United States

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  28. ^ Jeff Carlisle (2008-04-02). "Galaxy and Quakes resume their rivalry". http://soccernet.espn.go.com/columns/story?id=522131&root=mls&cc=5901. Retrieved April 4, 2008. 
  29. ^ Sports.yahoo.com[dead link]
  30. ^ Krishnaiyer, Kartik (2009-03-21). "Majorleaguesoccertalk.com". Majorleaguesoccertalk.com. http://www.majorleaguesoccertalk.com/the-rivalry-that-defines-mls-galaxy-dc-united/2635. Retrieved 2011-10-30. 
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