No, this isn’t Jean Claude that Los Angeles Galaxy manager Bruce Arena has signed. However, defender Jelle Van Damme is a player that Bruce Arena hopes will be a difference maker for the club. Van Damme hails from Standard Liege, where he made more than 200 appearances for Les Rouges.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) January 26, 2016
“I think that given our situation last year. The backline wasn’t well organized,” Arena told LAGalaxy.com. “There wasn’t enough leadership or vocal leadership. I think Van Damme will give us that.
“He’s physically a force. He’s a big player at 6-foot-4 and 195 pounds who has played predominantly at left back during his professional career. He’s a good player,” Arena said. “We’re going convert him to a center back. I think that at this point of his career at 32-years-old, it’s a position that he can play.
“He’s got good experience, he passes the ball well, and he’s a leader. I think that he’s a guy that’s suitable to help us strengthen our backline.
“It’s important for our entire team to be together at the start of the year. We didn’t have that last year. It might have impacted us a little bit, but we’re anticipating having a good preseason and being ready by the time we play Santos Laguna in CONCACAF Champions League, as well as D.C. United to start the season.”
One think to point out is the issue regarding Englishman Ashley Cole. It was expected that Cole would finalize the deal with Los Angeles Galaxy and be announced as a signing this week, but the Independent has reported that Manchester United are looking to make a panic buy, given their insipid situation in the Premier League.
Despite Ashley Cole’s availability after leaving Roma, it is understood that United are reluctant to move for the 35-year-old, although an inability to secure proven quality could yet prompt a rethink on the former Chelsea and England left-back.
Van Gaal admitted that finding the right player to provide a short-term solution is proving a difficult challenge. “Only [Matteo] Darmian is fit, so I need full-backs,” he said. “The difficulty is that we ask for a certain level [standard] and we are looking, but it is not so easy. You have seen how I have used youngsters like [Cameron] Borthwick-Jackson and [Guillermo] Varela, who are doing great, but the level of Manchester United is high.”
Finally, Curt Onalfo‘s LA Galaxy II have announced their schedule for the 2016 USL season. Here is the list of games.
2016 LA GALAXY II SCHEDULE:
|Saturday, March 26||Arizona United SC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, March 30||Saint Louis FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, April 2||Real Monarchs SLC||Salt Lake||6:00 p.m.|
|Friday, April 8||Orange County Blues FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, April 13||San Antonio||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Friday, April 22||Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, April 30||Rio Grande Valley FC||RGV Stadium||5:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, May 4||Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, May 7||Sacramento Republic FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Sunday, May 15||Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2||Vancouver||2:00 p.m.|
|Sunday, May 22||Seattle Sounders FC 2||Seattle||5:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, May 28||Arizona United SC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, June 4||Sacramento Republic FC||Sacramento||8:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, June 11||Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Friday, June 17||Tulsa Roughnecks FC||Tulsa||5:30 p.m.|
|Friday, June 24||Tulsa Roughnecks FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, July 2||Orange County Blues FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, July 16||Portland Timbers 2||Portland||2:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, July 23||San Antonio||San Antonio||5:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, July 30||Orange County Blues FC||Orange County||7:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, August 6||Portland Timbers 2||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, August 13||Oklahoma City Energy FC||Oklahoma City||5:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, August 20||Orange County Blues FC||Orange County||7:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, August 27||Swope Park Rangers||Kansas City||5:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, August 31||Arizona United SC||Arizona||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, September 3||Colorado Springs Switchbacks FC||Colorado Springs||6:00 p.m.|
|Saturday, September 10||Sacramento Republic FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Wednesday, September 14||Rio Grande Valley FC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, September 17||Sacramento Republic FC||Sacramento||7:30 p.m.|
|Saturday, September 24||Real Monarchs SLC||Los Angeles||7:30 p.m.|
BREAKDOWN OF THE LA GALAXY II’S 2016 USL SCHEDULE
Games by Day of the Week:
- Wednesday (5), Friday (4), Saturday (19), Sunday (2)
Home Games by Day of the Week:
- Wednesday (4), Friday (3), Saturday (8)
Road Games by Day of the Week:
- Wednesday (1), Friday (1), Saturday (11), Sunday (2)
Games by Month:
- March (2), April (5), May (5), June (4), July (4), August (5), September (5)
Home Games by Month:
- March (2), April (3), May (3), June (2), July (1), August (1), September (3)
Road Game by Month:
- March (0), April (2), May (2), June (2), July (3), August (4), September (2)