St. Francis grad Peter Vagenas selected in MLS Expansion Draft by Seattle Sounders FC

Above: Peter Vagenas, center, chats with David Beckham as Chris Albright, right, listens before a match against Chelsea FC.

Galaxy midfielder and former St. Francis soccer star Peter Vagenas was selected by the Seattle Sounders FC in the 2008 MLS Expansion Draft this afternoon.

The longest tenured player with the Galaxy this season, having been with the club since 2000, Vagenas appeared in 14 games this season, making 11 starts, tallying one goal and adding three assists.

A native of Pasadena, Vagenas played four years at UCLA, winning a national championship in 1997, before being drafted by the Galaxy in the second round (23rd overall) of the 2000 MLS SuperDraft. He would go on to play nine seasons with the Galaxy, helping the club win five titles, including two MLS Cup championships.

I’m not sure why the Galaxy didn’t protect him from the expansion draft. These days, the Galaxy seems to have no clue as to what they’re doing.

Remember when they fired Sigi Schmidt even though the Galaxy was in first place? And look at Sigi now … He just won another MLS Cup, ironically named the Philip F. Anschutz who happens owns the Galaxy.

BTW, I was at the game where Beckham, Venegas and Albright are pictured below. That was just before the start of the Galaxy-Chelsea match. It was a chaotic scene down there as I watched from the press box. Hope you all had fun watching Beckham last year. I take it Beckham’s favorite song is now, “I say goodbye (America), and you (AC Milan) say hello.”

Above: Beckham, Venegas and Albright are swarmed by a throng of media in Beckham’s first game with the Galaxy.

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Maranatha tries to keep season alive

I’ve been one of the biggest critics of Maranatha football this season. I have questioned their soft schedule. But the important thing is the Minutemen have found to get a win regardless of how they got it. And with these playoffs well underway, it doesn’t matter how they win, as long as Maranatha wins.

Over the past couple of weeks, Maranatha High School’s football team has been somewhat of an enigma, never really knowing which team would show up.

The Minutemen struggled against some inferior Alpha League teams, and their high-octane offense was shut out in the regular-season finale against Brentwood. That resulted in Maranatha dropping from a second seed to no seed.

But the Minutemen still finished with a 9-1 overall record despite the see-saw performances.

And despite the ups and downs, Maranatha is in position to make a deep run in the CIF-Southern Section East Valley Division playoffs.

The Minutemen visit Big Bear for a quarterfinal-round game Saturday at 1 p.m.

“I think it’s a great matchup,” Minutemen coach Joel Murphy said. “Coach (Dave) Griffiths has done an incredible job with his program over the years and we’re excited to get a chance to play for another week.”

In last week’s first-round win over Ontario Christian, Maranatha scored only 16 points despite two players combining for nearly 400 yards of offense.

Senior quarterback Matt Schilz completed 20 of 43 passes for 264 yards and one touchdown but threw three costly interceptions, including two in the red zone.

Senior running back Daniel Kopplin had 117 yards on 17 carries.

“We don’t really have time to think about last week’s game,” Murphy said. “Did we trip up? Sure. But you learn and move on and choose to get better because of it.”
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Girls Volleyball: Mayfield, La Caada sweep into second round of CIF State Playoffs!! Round 2 on Saturday

Mayfield (26-5-1) defeated Tehachapi (20-5), 25-11, 25-11, 25-14, in the first round of the CIF Division III State Championships. The Cubs advance to play the winner of Santa Monica-Cathedral Catholic (most likely Cathedral Catholic). Our own Jeremy Balan will have the complete story in Wednesday’s paper.

La Caada (29-6) defeated Hanford (15-3), 25-17, 25-14, 25-12, in the first round of the CIF Division II State Championships. The Spartans will travel to face top-seed Redlands East Valley on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Good job, ladies.

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……..Rain, rain go away……..

From our boy FJR over on the Eastside with my two Lincolns….

With rain in the forecast through the end of the week, which teams are affected the most?

South Hills-Diamond Ranch: As much as they throw, and as slippery and muddy Covina District can get, add this to the list of things that don’t help the Huskies.

Charter Oak-CV: A Tsunami blowing into town won’t stop the Chargers from routing Crescenta Valley.

Rosemead-San Dimas: Won’t matter, this will be won in the trenches anyway. Might as well mud-it up to add to the mystique.

Glendora-Upland: Won’t matter, both teams are similar in what they do.

Temple City-Azusa: Favors Temple City. They’re going to run, run and run again. The Aztecs have to win the turnover battle. Azusa: meet Max and Joey. Your not-so-new buddies.

West Covina-Burbank: Fits right into the Bulldogs game plans, but the winds do swirl in that part of town.

Rowland-La Serna: The closest game to call in the quarterfinals will probably be decided by the fewest mistakes anyway.

Northview-Paraclete: It can’t help Northview playing on a sloppy field the day after South Hills tears it up. On the plus side, if Paraclete is as good as everyone says, a little neutralizing rain may not be a bad thing.

Rio Hondo Prep-Boron: Bring your gloves. Temperatures will dip into the low to mid 30’s. The conditions will be something Boron will be used to but the Kares, who are used to playing in near-perfect weather, will run away with a win courtesy of Alanis and Esguerra.

Maranatha-Big Bear Lake: This is a 1 p.m. game but showers are still in the forecast. But don’t be surprised if it snows. Celebrate a Minutemen victory by skiing.

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…..Star Picks…..Playoff predictions, the remix

Last week: I went 9-2. Not bad. But I have made my division predictions and according to me, we’ll have two divisional champs in Rosemead and Rio Hondo Prep. My wrong picks this week were: San Gabriel (lost to La Serna) and Muir (lost to Diamond Ranch).

This week: Game of the Week is an obvious pick. I will be covering MD Classic II. Marquise Williams vs. Jordan Canada. Who will out duel one another? Who will lead their team to the semifinals to face Rosemead? The pick here goes to Monrovia.

Friday’s games with predictions:
Monrovia at Duarte, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Monrovia)
San Dimas at Rosemead, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Rosemead)
Temple City at Azusa, 7:30 p.m. — Melendez (Temple City)
Rio Hondo Prep at Boron, 7 p.m. — Melendez (Rio Hondo Prep)

Saturday’s game with prediction
Maranatha vs. Big Bear at Big Bear Middle School, 1 p.m. — Melendez (Maranatha)

Second round: Monrovia at Duarte, 7:30 p.m.; Rosemead over San Dimas, 7:30 p.m.; Northview over Paraclete, at CDF, Saturday, 7 p.m.; Temple City over Azusa, 7:30 p.m.
Semifinals: Rosemead over Monrovia; Northview over Temple City
Championship: Rosemead over Northview

Second round: Charter Oak over Crescenta Valley, 7:30 p.m.; Rowland over La Serna, 7:30 p.m.; Diamond Ranch vs. South Hills at CDF, 7:30 p.m.; West Covina at Burbank, 7:30 p.m.
Semifinals: Charter Oak over Rowland; Diamond Ranch over West Covina
Championship: Charter Oak over Diamond Ranch

Second round: St. Margaret’s over Yucca Valley; Maranatha over Big Bear; Aquinas over 29 Palms; Brentwood over Filmore.
Semifinals: St. Margaret’s over Maranatha; Brentwood over Aquinas.
Championship: St. Margaret’s over Brentwood

Second round: Mojave over Silver Valley; St. Genevieve over Riverside Christian; Bell-Jeff over Linfield Christian; Rio Hondo Prep over Boron.
Semifinals: Mojave over St. Genevieve; Rio Hondo Prep over Bell-Jeff
Championship: Rio Hondo Prep over Mojave

Second round: Palmdale over Beverly Hills; Mira Costa over Warren; Quartz Hill over Lynwood; Alemany over Culver City.
Semifinals: Mira Costa over Palmdale; Quartz Hill over Alemany
Championship: Mira Costa over Quartz Hill

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