By ADAM SERRANO
CARSON, Calif. — The Los Angeles Galaxy have welcomed Clarence Seedorf in for a training stint, but don't look for the former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder to sign with the Galaxy, at least according to Galaxy head coach Bruce Arena.
"Clarence is just in town looking to train a little bit," Arena said after practice on Thursday.
Word of Seedorf's training stint became public on Wednesday when the 36-year-old told reporters that he intended to decide his club future by July 2. When Arena was asked if the stint was part of a deal that could bring the former Dutch International to Los Angeles, the Galaxy boss admitted that it was a "one-in-a-million" chance.
"Sure, I'd be glad to sign him," Arena said. "And if Messi walks through town, I would do the same."
Although it appears that Seedorf will not be signing with the Galaxy, Landon Donovan admitted that having him around has been a real benefit for the club.
"Even though he's not really fit, you can tell he knows how to play the game," said Donovan. "So it's been fun for the guys and good for some of the young guys to see how he moves."
Seedorf played 30 games in all competitions for AC Milan this past season, scoring three goals.
Here are a few more notes from the Galaxy:
GONZALEZ NEARING CLOSER TO RETURN
Almost six months removed from a major knee injury, centerback Omar Gonzalez is inching closer and closer to being able to help the Galaxy's back line.
With nearly two weeks of full training under his belt since tearing his ACL during a training session with German side FC Nurnberg, Gonzalez, the reigning MLS Defensive Player of the Year, is making strides that may see him return to the game day roster sooner rather than later — something that would be a tremendous boost to a Galaxy defense that has been anything but consistent this season.
"Omar is getting there," Arena said. "He's in full training, so we're taking it one day at a time. He's getting to a point now where he can be considered in the near future to be on our roster."
GALAXY OFFER SUPPORT TO BECKHAM AFTER OLYMPIC SNUB
There will be no Olympic send-off for David Beckham, and after the English midfielder learned of the heartbreaking news, his Galaxy teammates were quick to offer their support.
The news came down on Thursday morning that Team Great Britain manager Stuart Pearce had omitted Beckham from his Olympic roster, reportedly choosing to select Ryan Giggs, Micah Richards and Craig Bellamy as the squad's three overage players.
Beckham did not speak to the media after Thursday's training session, but his teammates admitted that they were shocked that he was not named to the squad.
“The opportunity to play in an Olympics in your own country is really special,” Donovan, who played in the 2000 Olympics, told reporters on Thursday. “To have that taken from you is devastating, especially for a guy who has done so much for his sport in that country.
“We probably all don’t agree with the decision, but that’s the way soccer is. Always has been that way.”
CLUB LOOKS AHEAD TO CALIFORNIA CLASICO
If last week's nine point performance was a turning point for the Galaxy, then Saturday's match-up against the red-hot San Jose Earthquakes at a sold-out Stanford Stadium is a true test to determine how far along the defending MLS Cup champions really are.
Owners of the best record in MLS, the Earthquakes have become one of the league's most dangerous teams, complete with a knack for turning late game deficits into victories. The Galaxy know that better then any other team, when San Jose overturned a two-goal deficit and scored three unanswered second half goals to defeat them 3-2 at the Home Depot Center on May 23.
"It's dangerous when you have a team like that, because you can never relax, you have to make sure that you play for 90 minutes and that's what it's going to take Saturday," Donovan said. "We'd love to be up in the game, and we'd love to have a lead, but if that does happen, we know that it's not over. It's going to be a tough game, and we know that."
While the focal point of the Earthquakes' attack is Chris Wondolowski, who currently leads MLS with 13 goals, the Galaxy defenders believe that special attention must be paid to tenacious forwards Steven Lenhart and Alan Gordon. In their other meeting, both players scored, with Gordon tallying the game-winner.
For Los Angeles to extend its winning streak to four games, the club is well aware that the only way to stop the Earthquakes' highly physical forwards is to match them step-for-step.
"They're two of the most physical players in the league and are guys, who are going to bump you and bruise you and will look to create a lot of contact, that's their game," said defender Todd Dunivant. "From the wide play, we have to do a good job of limiting their service…and at the same time, we have to mark on the box because they're always crashing and getting on the end of things."
While San Jose's flair for the dramatic has taken them to the top of the league table, Arena admitted that he wouldn't mind if San Jose had a chance for more late game heroics. He simply wants to earn three points.
"We want to be ahead. If San Jose attempts their heroics, then that's great as well," said Arena. "Because it means that we're going to be ahead, going into the closing minutes of the game, so that's fine."