Thursday, March 1, 2012
GALAXY: No moves on compliance day
By Scott French
How did the Galaxy deal with Major League Soccer's roster-compliance deadline? They didn't.
The club made no moves, and didn't have to, to come in under the $2.81 million salary cap on a roster of not more than 30 players, giving themselves another week, even longer, to make decisions on draft choices and the final trialist in camp.
L.A. has 28 players on their official roster, of which 18 to 20, depending on designation, count against the cap. The club has not divulged how it has divided players within the roster, and it is uncertain whether it will do so.
Five non-roster players, four of them selections from in January's SuperDraft and supplemental draft, remain in camp, battling for positions on the team. Injured defender Omar Gonzalez won't count against the roster while he is on the Disabled List, at least until September, so there is room for three additions and plenty of time to make moves.
“We think we've got a handle on it,” assistant coach Dave Sarachan told ESPN Los Angeles a few hours before the 2 p.m. PT compliance deadline. “There is some decision-making still taking place. It's not a rubber-stamping thing. With some of the trialists, draft picks, they've made it hard on us, and that's a good thing. There's still a couple decisions that need to come.”
Those decisions, he said, would come “more likely after this weekend.”
The Galaxy opens the season Wednesday night in Toronto, in a CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal first leg. They'll play their league opener March 10 against Real Salt Lake at Home Depot Center.
The roster-freeze date is in mid-September, but players can't participate in competitive games -- MLS Reserve League excepted -- until they are under contract.
FRONT-OFFICE MOVES: Chris McGowan's appointment as chief operations officer of the Galaxy and the dismissals of three club officials is part of a realignment within AEG, which has formed AEG Sports to the company's many sporting enterprises, according to sources within AEG and the Galaxy. McGowan, 38, also the L.A. Kings' COO, will head the new division and report to AEG President Tim Leiweke.
AEG has not officially announced the realignment but has revealed McGowan's appointment.
President of business operations Tom Payne, communications director Patrick Donnelly and marketing director Veronica Avila have left the club, and more departures are possible. Leiweke told Sports Business Daily that McGowan's top priority was to “dramatically” improve Galaxy ticket sales. “This is all about season-ticket sales for the Galaxy,” he said. L.A. has sold about 7,500 season tickets this season, Leiweke told the publication, far below the clubs in Seattle, Portland and Toronto.
Former Galaxy midfielder Chris Klein, who heads the club's academy, is taking on added business responsibilities within the realignment.
WORTH NOTING: Robbie Keane will arrive in Southern California by the weekend and join up with his teammates before departing Monday for Toronto and next week's Champions League quarterfinal. … Landon Donovan, recovering from bronchitis, is “pretty close” to getting back on the field, Sarachan said. Might he play in Saturday's Desert Diamond Cup final against New England in Tucson? “We haven't made that decision.” ... Injured defender Sean Alvarado's contract was not renewed. … New York coach Hans Backe said goalkeeper Ryan Meara suffered a broken nose in Wednesday night's Desert Diamond Cup clash against L.A.
ROSTER LIST: Here's the roster the Galaxy submitted to MLS:
Brian Perk (Rancho Santa Margarita/UCLA)
Josh Saunders (Lake Forest)
Andrew Boyens (New Zealand)
Sean Franklin (Palmdale/Cal State Northridge)
Omar Gonzalez (DL)
Bryan Jordan (Temple City)
Tommy Meyer (R/draft)
David Beckham (DP, England)
Paolo Cardozo (Argentina), on loan from Quilmes (Argentina)
Landon Donovan (DP, Redlands)
Hector Jimenez (Bell Gardens)
Juninho (Brazil), on loan from São Paulo (Brazil)
Dan Keat (New Zealand)
Kyle Nakazawa (Palos Verdes Estates/UCLA)
Marcelo Sarvas (Costa Rica)
Michael Stephens (UCLA)
Jose Villarreal (R, HGP/Inglewood)
Chad Barrett (UCLA)
Robbie Keane (DP, Ireland)
Jack McBean (HGP, Newport Beach)
IN CAMP, NOT ON THE ROSTER
D Justin Davies (R/draft)
M Rafael Garcia (R/draft, Canoga Park/Cal State Northridge)
D/F Bryan Gaul (R/draft)
D J.T. Murray (R/trial)
M Kenney Walker (R/draft)
DL -- Disabled List
DP -- Designated Player
HGP -- Home Grown Player
R -- Rookie
Note: Local hometowns/colleges and/or foreign designations in parentheses