LA Galaxy open preseason camp without Cudicini, Stephens

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY

The LA Galaxy made some significant roster announcements this morning, as well as making clear their pre-season schedule. The release states the Galaxy have eight players not returning to the club in 2014, after finishing 2013 with 31 players under contract.

The LA Galaxy made some significant roster announcements this morning, as well as making clear their pre-season schedule. The release states the Galaxy have eight players not returning to the club in 2014, after finishing 2013 with 31 players under contract. New forward signing Samuel also arrived this morning at LAX.

The eight players who have left the club or were not offered new contracts after 2013 are Colin Clark, Laurent Courtois, Carlo Cudicini, Sean Franklin, Hector Jimenez, Pablo Mastroeni, Michael Stephens, and Jose Villarreal. Running down that list to recap, Villarreal is on loan with Cruz Azul. Sean Franklin and Hector Jiemenz have new MLS clubs. Of the five remaining players, Michael Stephens and Carlo Cudicini were mysteries as they didn't put it for the Re-Entry Draft.

That's no surprise on Cudicini, who's had plenty of time to take up retirement hobbies in the months since Jaime Penedo joined the club. Michael Stephens is more surprising, as he's only 24 and his minutes with the club continue to increase. My suspicion would be that they are negotiating down to the wire, but that he'll be in pre-season camp. However, there's nothing stopping him from showing up on trial at another MLS club.

The confirmed new signings for LA per the release are Samuel, Rob Friend, Baggio Husidic, and Kyle Venter. This puts the current roster at 26 players. That doesn't include the all-but-confirmed FWM Stefan Ishizaki, or the homegrown signings reported at the MLS SuperDraft. It also doesn't include Stephens.

The Galaxy also confirmed their pre-season schedule, which includes the already announced friendly against Shirak FC and the friendly against the San Jose Earthquakes in Fresno. The new addition is a closed door scrimmage against Pumas in Mexico City. This takes place on the Tuesday between the already announced friendlies.

The first report day for training camp is today, giving the club two weeks to prepare for the friendly against Shirak. Expect further developments to start coming quickly. The off-season is officially over.

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