Carson, CA. – David Bingham did not leave the San Jose Earthquakes on the best of terms when he was acquired by the LA Galaxy for a combined $200,000 in general allocation and targeted allocation money last Dec. 18.
He has gone on record as saying he felt disrespected by the organization and was anxious to get a fresh start in Southern California when the long-rumored deal officially was announced. Friday marks the first regular-season meeting between Bingham and his former teammates (8 p.m., StubHub Center, UniMas), but if he harbors any ill will toward his old club he prefers to keep it to himself.
The same goes for Galaxy assistant coach Dominic Kinnear, who twice was head coach of the Earthquakes.
“I just want to win. That’s all I want,” Kinnear politely told reporters on Wednesday.
Bingham wasn’t quite as tight-lipped but he chose his words carefully.
“I think the general answer you guys get is usually no,” he said regarding any revenge motive, “which is kind of cliché. But I think there’s always something you want to prove or however you want to say it.
“I still talk to a lot of the guys, but on Friday when it’s game time I’m probably going to hate them all. It will be an interesting game, it’s going to be a lot of fun and we’re going to be ready for it.”
Bingham said he didn’t necessarily have Friday’s game circled on his calendar because of his history with the Earthquakes, but he is looking forward to it because it marks the first chapter of this year’s “California Clasico.”
“I think all the rival games, however you want to call them, are always on your calendar,” he said. “We play them three times this year. We play them back to back here pretty quickly” – again on June 30 at Stanford Stadium – “so it’s important that on Friday we start to distance ourselves from them. At the end of the day we want to win; they’re our rival and we want to keep them at the bottom of the table where we feel they need to be.”
Bingham said no friendly wagers have been made with his former teammates.
“It will be more chatter on the field, I’m sure,” he said with a grin.
Monday’s 1-0 victory in Montreal marked defender Emrah Klimenta’s first appearance with the Galaxy, and he admitted he wasn’t especially satisfied with his performance.
Klimenta, formerly of the USL’s Sacramento Republic FC who signed with the Galaxy in January, started at right back and gave himself “a six or seven” out of 10 in the Galaxy’s hard-earned win.
“I know personally,” he said, “I’m better than what I showed defense-wise. I got beat a couple of times, which you know happens when you’re a defender. It was my first 90-minute game with the first team, my debut, first start and all that.
“I was happy we got the victory, which is the main thing.”
Galaxy head coach Sigi Schmid said he thought he did fairly well as the Galaxy continues to seek a replacement for Rolf Feltscher, who could be sidelined for as long as four months after recently undergoing shoulder surgery to repair a torn pectoral muscle.
“It was OK,” Schmid said of Klimenta’s play. “We tried to keep it simple. We thought (Montreal’s Ignacio) Piatti was going to start on the left wing, and they didn’t go there until more towards the end of the game.
“We just wanted him (Klimenta) to be part of our defensive effort. I think he was prepared that way and he played with confidence.”
Klimenta said he has relied on veteran left-back Ashley Cole for advice and added he “has a lot more to show and prove.”
“Hopefully,” he went on, “I’ve done enough to make the coach rethink about playing me again. All in all, we came out with a victory and I’m very happy with that.”
Cole said he was happy to hear the rumors that Wayne Rooney has decided to leave English Premier League side Everton for D.C. United.
Rooney reportedly was visiting Washington, D.C. this week as negotiations continue on a designated player contract that could pay him at least $5 million a season, according to the Washington Post. The MLS club, however, would have to pay Everton a transfer fee for Rooney, who is under contract with the Toffees until next summer.
“I think it’s good. I think it shows the improvement of the league,” Cole said of his former teammate on the English national squad. If the move does reach fruition, Rooney would become the fifth starter on England’s 2006 World Cup team to move to MLS. The others are David Beckham, Cole, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard.
Schmid wasn’t in the mood to talk about the reports until a deal is reached.
“I really won’t say anything about the comments until they actually happen,” he said. “There are so many rumors. You have the (New York City FC head coach) Patrick Viera rumor where is he going to Nice … is he not.
“They’re all rumors right now, and we all like reading about them.”
Cole was a little more expansive on the matter.
“He’s a little bit older,” he said of the 32-year-old Rooney, “but to attract these kinds of players is great for the league. It’s not going to be the 18-year-old Wayne Rooney, but I think he’s got enough quality for this league, yeah.”