Los Angeles Galaxy
Los Angeles Galaxy
is a football (soccer) club from United States.
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About Los Angeles Galaxy
The Los Angeles Galaxy are an American professional Association football team, based in the Los Angeles suburb of Carson, California, which competes in Major League Soccer (MLS). 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 Cup and MLS Supporters' Shield champions. They have won the MLS Cup three times (2002, 2005, 2011), the MLS 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 what is now called the CONCACAF Champions League, which they accomplished in 2000.
Initially, the Galaxy played their home games at the Rose Bowl (stadium) in Pasadena, California, but since 2003 they have played at The Home Depot Center in Carson, which they share with their rival, C.D. 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.
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. In addition, the stadium features several tributes recognizing the soccer tradition in Los Angeles.
1996–2005: Decade of success
Major League Soccer was founded in 1993 as part of the United States' bid to host the 1994 FIFA World Cup. The 1996 Major League Soccer 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.
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 Soccer Club, 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 D.C. 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. 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.
The 2006 season began on March 16 with the sudden death of Doug Hamilton (soccer), the team's 43-year-old general manager, who suffered a myocardial infarction on board a plane carrying the team back from Costa Rica where they had played Deportivo Saprissa in the CONCACAF Champions League. 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, replaced by Frank Yallop. The team managed to make a run to the Lamar Hunt US Open Cup final, but lost 3–1 against the Chicago Fire S.C..
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. Four months later, the club signed David Beckham from Real Madrid C.F.. His debut was made at The Home Depot Center before a record crowd of nearly 35,000, including many celebrities, coming on in the 78th minute in a 1–0 loss to Chelsea F.C. 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. The match set an all-time record high for TV ratings for MLS on ESPN. 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. 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. They also played a tour of Asia, and competed in the Inauguration Pan-Pacific Championship in Honolulu, Hawaii, finishing third after beating Sydney F.C. 2–1 in the third-place match.
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. 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.
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. Beckham went on to seek a permanent transfer to Milan, in a bid to sustain his England national football team career through the 2010 FIFA World Cup, and Milan made a bid for the player, which was rejected by Los Angeles. 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. 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.
Los Angeles finished the 2009 season top of the Western Conference (MLS), and runners-up in the MLS Supporters' Shield, qualifying for the 2009 MLS Cup. They reached the final by beating C.D. Chivas USA 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, the first time MLS played a balanced schedule. They then lost to Dallas in the Western Conference Final one game away from making another appearance at MLS Cup.
In 2011, a year in which they added the Republic of Ireland national football team all-time leading goalscorer Robbie Keane, they won their fourth Supporters' Shield with 2 games remaining, becoming the third straight team to win consecutive Shields while amassing the second best points total in MLS history. They followed this up with their third MLS Cup, defeating Houston Dynamo 1–0 in the MLS Cup 2011.
In January 2012, after much speculation, David Beckham signed a new two-year deal with them to secure his short term future at the club.
Colors and badge
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. 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.
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.
File:Los Angeles Galaxy logo (1996-2007).svg; Pasadena, California (1996–2002)
- Titan Stadium (Cal State Fullerton); Fullerton, California (1999–2011) 10 games in US Open Cup
- The Home Depot Center; Carson, California (2003–present)
From 1996 to 2002, the Galaxy played their home games at the 107,000-capacity Rose Bowl (stadium) in Pasadena, California, but often held Lamar Hunt US Open Cup games at Titan Stadium (Cal State Fullerton) 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, 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.
SupportersGalaxy has three organized groups of supporters: The LA Riot Squad, the Angel City Brigade, and the Galaxians.
MascotThe Los Angeles Galaxy's mascot is "Cozmo", a frog-like Extraterrestrial life in popular culture. 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.
RivalriesThe 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.
Their crosstown rivalry, are C.D. Chivas USA, whom they compete with in the Honda SuperClasico. 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.
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 awards won. The rivalry is claimed to have started in the MLS Cup '96, as each side has jockeyed on another as the flagship franchise in MLS. The two clubs share the largest fan bases in the league.
In recent years Real Salt Lake has developed as a formitable rival, as RSL beat the Galaxy in 2009's MLS Cup and the Galaxy beat RSL in the semifinals on the way to winning MLS Cup 2011.
BroadcastingAt the end of the 2011 season Galaxy announced New Lakers Networks, to begin at the end of the 2012 MLS season. It is, by far, the most lucrative local media contract in MLS history. Previously, Galaxy matches were televised regionally in English on Fox Sports West and Prime Ticket alternatively. While awaiting the launch of those networks, all 2012 English-language matches will be split between local outlet KDOC-TV, NBC Sports Network and ESPN Major League Soccer, with one match showcased on the aforementioned new cable network near the end of the season. Commentary is handled by Mark Rogondino and former Galaxy legend Cobi Jones.In Spanish, 2012 matches will be shown on independent outlet KWHY with Adrian Garcia Marquez and Francisco Pinto commentating.
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.
Players and staff
Reserve team playersThis list shows players who have played for the team in official 2011 MLS Reserve Division games, but are not part of the senior roster.
Notable former playersThis 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.
- Chris Albright (2002–2007)
- Juan Pablo Ángel (2011)
- Chris Armas (1996–1997)
- Gregg Berhalter (2009–2011)
- Danny Califf (2000–2004)
- Paul Caligiuri (1997–2001)
- Jorge Campos (1996–1997)
- Joe Cannon (soccer) (2007)
- Pablo Chinchilla (2005)
- Brian Ching (2001)
- Mauricio Cienfuegos (1996–2003)
- Simon Elliott (1999–2004)
- Alecko Eskandarian (2009)
- Robin Fraser (1996–2000)
- Cornell Glen (2006)
- Gavin Glinton (2002–2003, 2006–2007)
- Herculez Gomez (2003–2006)
- Kevin Hartman (1997–2006)
- Ezra Hendrickson (1997–2003)
- Carlos Hermosillo (1998–1999)
- Luis Hernández (footballer) (2000–2001)
- Andreas Herzog (2004)
- Hong Myung-Bo (2003–2004)
- Eduardo Hurtado (1996–1998)
- Ante Jazić (2006–2009)
- Cobi Jones (1996–2007)
- Jovan Kirovski (2004-2005, 2009-2011)
- Chris Klein (soccer) (2007–2010)
- Alexi Lalas (2001–2003)
- Eddie Lewis (American soccer) (2008–2010)
- Martín Machón (1997–1998)
- Tyrone Marshall (2002–2007)
- Clint Mathis (1998–2000, 2007, 2010)
- Alejandro Moreno (2002–2004)
- Roy Myers (1999)
- Curt Onalfo (1996)
- Carlos Pavón (2007)
- Santino Quaranta (2006–2007)
- Guillermo Ramírez (2005)
- Carlos Ruíz (football) (2002–2005, 2008)
- Wellington Sanchez (1999–2000)
- Peter Vagenas (2000–2008)
- Greg Vanney (1996–2001, 2008)
- Welton Melo (1997–1999)
- Abel Xavier (2007–2008)
- See also All-time Los Angeles Galaxy roster
Achievements- CONCACAF Champions League
- - Winners (1): 2000
- MLS Cup
- - Winners (3): 2002, 2005, 2011
- MLS Supporters' Shield
- - Winners (4): 1998, 2002, 2010, 2011
- Western Conference (MLS)
- - Winners (Regular Season) (8): 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2009, 2010, 2011
- - Winners (Playoffs) (7): 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2011
- Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup
- - Winners (2): 2001, 2005
- Minor Trophies
- - California Clasico (10): 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2008, 2009, 2011
- - Honda SuperClasico (6): 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011
- - Puerto Rico MLS-USL Challenge (1): 2007
- - Desert Diamond Cup (1): 2012
- - Hyundai Club Challenge (1): 2012
Year-by-year- Won MLS Supporters' Shield
International tournaments- CONCACAF Champions' Cup 1997
- CONCACAF Champions' Cup 1999
- CONCACAF Champions' Cup 2000
- 2003 La Manga Cup
- CONCACAF Champions' Cup 2003
- Peace Cup 2003
- CONCACAF Champions' Cup 2006
- 2007 North American SuperLiga
- Pan-Pacific Championship 2008
- Pan-Pacific Championship 2009
- 2010–11 CONCACAF Champions League
- 2011 World Football Challenge
- 2011–12 CONCACAF Champions League:
Team records- Games: Cobi Jones (306)
- Goals: Landon Donovan (83)
- Hat Tricks: Cobi Jones Edson Buddle (4)
- Assists: Cobi Jones (86)
- Cleansheets: Kevin Hartman (62)
MLS regular season only, as of November 8, 2011
Most Valuable Player
Golden BootThe 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.
Defensive Player of the Year