The LA Galaxy will be without some of their top players during the upcoming international friendly and Euro 2016 qualifier dates. Fortunately for the Galaxy, they're idle this week, meaning that the absence of top contributors won't be felt on the field.
Omar Gonzalez and Gyasi Zardes are two Galaxy players looking to make an impact with Jurgen Klinsmann's US Men's National Team as they take on Peru (9/4) and Brazil (9/8). Klinsmann has already stated that these friendlies are to prepare for the USMNT's playoff match against Mexico on October 10th, which will decide whether the US or Mexico represents CONCACAF at the 2017 Confederations Cup.
"The bigger picture is to get some answers for how we put things together for the Mexico game a month from now," said the USMNT head coach, "Our message to these guys is simple: Prove a point that you want to be at the Rose Bowl."
For Gonzalez and Zardes, it's important to shine and prove they belong in the group that Klinsmann knows he can rely on to get results when it counts. These two have been on opposite trajectories with the National Team group recently, with Zardes seeing his role increase rapidly after his first call-up in January, while Gonzalez has perhaps fallen slightly out of favor. Gyasi will be looking to continue his rise while Omar will look to break his way back into the fold against tough opponents.
Galaxy Leading scorer and sudden MVP candidate Robbie Keane will also be headed off to international duty as the captain of Ireland, who face Gibraltar (9/4) and Georgia (9/7) as part of FAI's Euro 206 qualifying campaign. Keane's form with the Galaxy has been nothing short of electric, scoring 16 goals and adding seven assists in just 18 matches. He leads Major League Soccer with .89 goals per ninety minutes among players with over 500 minutes.
Also called up for an important slate of matches was A.J. DeLaGarza, who will join Guam ahead of more FIFA World Cup qualifying matches in their group alongside Turkmenistan, India, and Iran. DeLaGarza played an instrumental role in helping Guam earn their first-ever WCQ wins over Turkmenistan and India earlier this year.
On the youth front, Christian Onalfo and Oscar Sorto have been named to the United States U-20 and U-23 teams, respectively.
Galaxy Academy member Onalfo, 18, is earning his first call-up to the U-20s after earning his first professional minutes this Summer with LA Galaxy II, having been named to a 23-player squad to represent the United States at the Stevan Vilotic-Cele tournament in Serbia. The U-20s will face Serbia on September 3 and France on September 4, before facing a TBD opponent in a placement match on September 7.
Sorto will join the US U-23s for their final training camp in Manchester, England before 2016 Olympic qualifying begins in October. The squad will take on England on September 3 and Qatar on September 8. These matches will serve as the group's final preparation for the CONCACAF Olympic Qualifying tournament next month.