Soccer players never get tired of playing the game.

That’s what this page is all about.

Where your FIRST TOUCH SOCCER book ends, the FREE KICK page begins.

It’s a chance for you to learn more about the LA … and for me to talk about some of the great stories I couldn’t squeeze into the book.

Scroll down to get the latest news … and to learn more about American soccer. And check out some of the cool collectibles I have in my home.

Enjoy this site, check back whenever you like, and contact me with any questions or comments.

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Breaking News

Ashley Cole
(© Topps, Inc.)

What’s up with the LA

2020 Season Preview: High-scoring Zlatan Ibrahimovic has moved on, but the Galaxy still has a valuable leader in Jonathan dos Santos. He is joined on the field by World Cup standout Cristian Pavon of Argentina and Spanish League star Javier Hernandez.

October 24, 2019: The Galaxy lost to rival Los Angeles FC in the second round of the playoffs, ending an exciting season. Team captain Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the 500th goal of his career during the year, while Uruguayan star Diego Polenta was a standout on defense in his first MLS season.

September 15, 2019: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored three goals in a 7–2 wipeout of Sporting Kansas City. It was his second hat trick of the season.

July 19, 2019: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored all three goals in a 3–2 victory over arch-rival Los Angeles FC.

September 16, 2018: Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the 500th goal of his career in a game against Toronto FC. It was his 17th goal in 18 games since joining the Galaxy.

2018 Season Preview: There is nowhere to go but up for LA in 2018. To secure a winning season the Galaxy will need big contributions from midfielders Gio and Jona dos Santos, as well as forward Ola Kamara, who joins the club after a trade with the Columbus Crew.

May 30, 2017: Eight members of the Galaxy were named to the MLS All-Star Game fan ballot: Brian Rowe, Ashley Cole, Jelle Van Damme, Jermaine Jones, Ema Boateng, Romain Alessandrini, Gyasi Zardes, and Giovani dos Santos.

Major League Soccer & the MLS Cup

MLS Cup
(© Major League Soccer)

  • The LA are members of Major League Soccer (MLS), the top soccer league in North America. MLS played its first season in 1996 with 10 teams. In 2017, MLS had 22 teams. Each club plays 34 games in the regular season, followed by the playoffs. The MLS schedule stretches from March to December (including the playoffs). Most pro leagues around he world begin in the fall and end in the spring, leaving time for top players to compete in summer tournaments, such as the World Cup.

  • Much like other U.S. sports leagues, the MLS clubs with the best records compete in postseason playoffs. The winner of each conference advances to the MLS Cup, the league’s one-game championship final.

Collector’s Corner

Cobi Jones
(© The Upper Deck Company)

More treasures from the author’s collection!

  • Cobi Jones — Midfielder
    1996–2007
    Cobi Jones was one of the most talented and recognizable players in American soccer. In 1998, he was second in MLS with 32 points (19 goals+13 assists). He was also named U.S. Soccer Athlete of the Year that season.

  • Mauricio Cienfuegos — Midfielder
    1996–2003
    Mauricio Cienfuegos finished his long career as an international soccer star as a member of the Galaxy. He was one of the top playmakers in MLS, and also scored 35 goals for Los Angeles.

  • Greg Vanney — Defender
    1996–2001 & 2008
    Greg Vanney starred on defense for the Galaxy and helped the club reach the MLS Cup final three times. Vanney was also named to the MLS Best XI team twice.

  • Peter Vagenas — Midfielder
    2000–2008
    Peter Vagenas was often the smallest player on the field, but he made big plays every game. He was captain of the Galaxy in 2005, when they won the U.S. Open Cup and MLS Cup. Galaxy fans loved the fact that he grew up nearby, in Pasadena, CA. They called him “Pasadena Pete.”

  • Alexi Lalas — Defender
    2001–2004
    Alexi Lalas came out of retirement and finished his playing career with the Galaxy. He helped the club win its first championship, in 2002. Lalas later became the General Manager of the Galaxy.

Fun Facts

Landon Donovan
(© Futera FZ)

Did You Know?

• Among the club’s longtime fans are Hollywood stars Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, and Samuel L. Jackson. Cruise hosted a Welcome to L.A. party for David Beckham when he joined the Galaxy in 2007.

• The Galaxy sold more than 5,000 season tickets in the 48 hours after Beckham joined the club.

• Between the 2009 and 2010 MLS seasons, the Galaxy loaned Landon Donovan to Bayern Munich for seven games.

• Galaxy star Robbie Keane was captain of Northern Ireland’s national team from 2006 to 2016.

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