Tuesday Gameday

The group phase of SuperLiga concludes today and Wednesday with the Galaxy visiting Dallas at 5p.m. and CD Guadalajara and CF Pachuca following that game from Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver. Both games are live on Telefutura.

Overshadowing the Galaxy game, however, is the latest no-show by David Beckham due to his sensitive ankle.

Here’s my take on that from my regular weekly column.

Below is the Group A table and the scenario that needs to unfold for teams to advance:

Group A W L T Pts. GD
CD Guadalajara 1 0 1 4 +1
LA Galaxy 1 1 0 3 0
FC Dallas 0 0 2 2 0
CF Pachuca 0 1 1 1 -1

Group A Scenarios
A win or a tie by Guadalajara against Pachuca would assure Chivas a spot in the semifinals.
A win by the LA Galaxy against FC Dallas would qualify the team to the semifinals. If the Galaxy tie, they would need a loss or tie by Pachuca in the other group match, in order for the Galaxy to be guaranteed of qualification.
A win by FC Dallas against LA Galaxy would qualify the team to the semifinals.
If Pachuca defeats Guadalajara AND either LA Galaxy or FC Dallas WINS, then Pachuca moves on to the semifinals.
If Pachuca wins and LA Galaxy and FC Dallas draw, the three teams would have four points.

The first tiebreaker is head-to-head competition between the tied clubs, the second is goal difference and the third is goals scored. You don’t want to know the fourth.

For more on Wednesday’s games visit the SuperLiga Web site.

Meanwhile on Monday Chivas USA reserves (3-1-2) defeated their Kansas City counterparts.

From the (edited) Chivas USA press release:

“Rookie forward Anthony Hamilton (U.C. Irvine) scored two goals for the Red-and-White, including the 72nd-minute winner, while former Chivas de Guadalajara midfielder Rodrigo Lpez recorded two assists. Defender Bobby Burling also scored for Chivas USA, while Yura Movsisyan (Pasadena City College) and Will John added goals for the home side. Sueo MLS Winner Jorge Flores of Anaheim, signed last week to a developmental contract by Chivas USA, made his debut for the reserves.”

Finally today, the UCLA mens soccer team has been tabbed as the pre-season No. 1 by College Soccer News.

Here’s the (edited) UCLA press release:

“The Bruins return eight starters from last years national finalist squad, including top two goal scorers David Estrada and Jason Leopoldo, U.S. Under-20 international Tony Beltran and Palos Verdes Estates’ Kyle Nakazawa.

UCLA plays 10 games against Top 30 teams, including three straight to open the season on the road (No. 11 Notre Dame Aug. 31, No. 8 Indiana Sept. 2 and No. 21 Creighton Sept. 8).

Here’s the College Soccer News Pre-Season Top 10:

2. Duke
3. UC Santa Barbara
4. Wake Forest
5. Santa Clara
6. Virginia
7. SMU
8. Indiana
9. Maryland
10. New Mexico

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Breaking News: Injured Becks Won’t Travel To Dallas For Tuesday’s SuperLiga game


The David Beckham road show has been delayed with Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop confirming at training this morning what was widely suspected: Beck’s will not travel with the team to Dallas’ sold out Pizza Hut Park and remain home rehabbing his still-injured left ankle.

Beckham is now targeting Sunday’s MLS game against Toronto F.C. for a return to the field, Yallop said, although that will be played on artificial turf in Canada, which is hard on even completely healthy knees and ankles.

“He’s going to start running on it … tomorrow, so he can get on it and see what it feels like,” Yallop said. “He’s got to get rid of the pain.”

Also out for Tuesday’s final SuperLiga group game: Kyle Martino (groin) and Cobi Jones, who was undergoing an MRI Monday to determine the severity of a deep hip strain it’s hoped is not a tear.

I’ll have more on Beckham’s health woes in Tuesday’s column.

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MLS Monday

Rookie striker John Cunliffe got his first-ever MLS goal, but couldn’t stop Chivas USA from losing Sunday, while Pasadena City College’s Yura Movsisyan was the hero for the Wizards. Former Galaxy forward Joseph Ngwenya also scored in SuperLiga action for Houston. Details are here.

We’ll find out this morning if David Beckham plays tomorrow against Dallas; with a month on the road looming the Galaxy have opened training to the media.

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Sunday Soccer

Cuauhtemoc Blanco and the Chicago Fire are visiting Toronto F.C. right now live on Telefutura (the game started at noon). If you’ve never seen a game from the stadium where David Beckham will allegedly make his MLS debut Saturday, you might want to check it out. The atmosphere is the best in MLS.

Meanwhile, here’s a roundup of Saturday’s soccer action including SuperLiga, MLS and the U.S. Women’s National Team.

South (Torrance) High’s Shannon Boxx may have awakened this morning with a headache after clashing heads with an opponent Saturday, but she did score her first goal for the U.S. women since her serious knee injury, so that’s worth a few more game details.

Southern California youngsters continue to excel at the national championships.

In other games today, Club America visits D.C. United while Morelia meets the Houston Dynamo in back to back SuperLiga games that begin at 5 p.m. on Telefutura.

An hour earlier over on Prime Ticket, Chivas USA takes on the Wizards.

Finally, while this has little to do with soccer in Southern California, it’s somewhat comforting to know there is one unifying force in Iraq.

Here’s more on the actual game.

Updated 3:45 p.m. Can you wait a decade for the World Cup to return to North America?.

I’m betting Canada would be the No. 1 nation on FIFA’s list since it has never hosted the event and just put on the successful Under-20 version.

Still, 10 years give us enough time to replace the Coliseum with something resembling a world class soccer venue. Doesn’t it?

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Result: Chivas 2 Galaxy 1

The game wasn’t as close as the scoreline suggests, with Chivas notching a comprehensive win tonight against a thoroughly outclassed Galaxy team, which became the first American side to lose so far in SuperLiga.

The first goal came in the 59th minute when Francisco Rodriguez outjumped a ruck of players to latch onto an Omar Esparza cross.

The second came in the 82nd minute when Galaxy defender Abel Xavier couldn’t quite cut out a Ramon Morales cross that was met by substitute Omar Bravo, Chivas’ top scorer last season.

The Galaxy pulled one back in the 88th minute, when Rodriguez inadvertantly chested a hopeful cross into the path of Landon Donovan, who made no mistake from close range.

The Galaxy should have had another, but striker Carlos Parvon (who has been rather invisible so far in his short Galaxy career) put his shot over the bar from just five yards in the 77th minute.

Rodriguez was named Man of the Match.


After the game, Coach Frank Yallop said he was encouraged by his team’s second half showing.

“We had some chances to score, we fought back into the game,” he said. “We’re still growing as a unit. …I wouldn’t say it was a step back.”

Abel Xavier, who has emerged as a leader in marshalling the defense, said he was encouraged by the seven offside calls in the second half (it was actually five) that he believed illustrated improving organization at the back.

“We must believe we are strong and can match with any team,” he said, adding that many of the Galaxy’s problems are mental ones. “If you feel you are strong you don’t chase the game, you control the game.”

The crowd apparently filled in, too: 37,337 was the final attendance figure.

The result means the Galaxy sit second in SuperLiga Group B to Chivas, with Dallas third on two points and Pachuca trailing with just one point.

The final games in the group stage are set for Tuesday with the Galaxy on the road against Dallas and Chivas playing Pachuca in Denver.

Updated: Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz has a biting assessment: of the game.

Updated: The natives are restless.
(Parental discretion is advised)

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Chivas 0 Galaxy 0 (Half Time)

Chivas didn’t so much hold the Galaxy in check in the first half as had them checkmated.

Chivas totally dominated the tempo of the game — taking 11 shots to their opponent’s one – and the Galaxy found it difficult to get out of their own half.

The Galaxy had no shots on target at all. So ineffective were their forwards that Coach Frank Yallop pulled off striker Alan Gordon in the 40th minute, replaced him with defensive midfielder Pete Vagenas and moved Landon Donovan up front to get him nearer the goal.

Chivas had the game’s two best chances.

First, a punishing Ramon Morales run left Abel Xavier in his wake and he squared the ball perfectly to Omar Arellano, who missed a sitter from just seven yards out.

A couple of minutes later Morales sent a direct free kick blazing goalward only to see his effort pushed around the post by an acrobatic Joe Cannon save.

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Chivas at Galaxy

With a win tonight the Galaxy can clinch a berth in the semifinals, but now they run up against Chivas’ A team.

Chivas gave nine first team players time off after Copa America and they missed Tuesday’s 1-1 tie against F.C. Dallas, but most are back tonight.

In all, there are six changes to Chivas’ starting line-up tonight compared to the Dallas game.

Ernesto Michel remains in goal, but 25-year-old Hector Reynoso is the lone holdover in the back four from the team that played Dallas. In come Omar Esparza (a starter for Mexico at the Under-20 World Cup) and Mexican National Team players Francisco Rodriguez and Jonny Magallon.

In midfield, Edgar Mejia and Sergio Santana retain their places and are joined by captain Ramon Morales and Gonzalo Pineda, who were both with the Mexican National Team.

A young striking tandem sees Jesus Padilla, who was raised in San Jose and turned down the chance to play for the U.S. Under-20 National Team, starting up front alongside 21-year-old Omar Arellano.

The Galaxy make just one change from the starting 11 that beat Pachuca, drafting in young Quavas Kirk for Kyle Martino who has been bothered by a groin injury. David Beckham is on the bench

Kick off is at 7 p.m. on Telefutura.

There does not look to be 40,000 people in the stands though; press box wisdom is fewer than half that are here. (Perhaps slightly more the number that were here at the Coliseum for the USC spring football game, estimated Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz).

Updated: Ooops. The CD with the Mexican national anthem was skipping and they took it off and apologized for the “technical difficulties.”

Updated: F.C. Dallas and Pachuca tied 1-1 in the first SuperLiga game of the night in Frisco.

Former Galaxy star Carlos Ruiz gave Dallas the lead in the 75th minute; Argentine Christian Giminez tied it up on a penalty kick three minutes from time.

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SuperLiga Saturday (and more)

First off, David Beckham didn’t practice all week and won’t play today against Mexico’s Chivas at the Coliseum in the second Superliga group game (he’s targeting next Saturday’s MLS game in Toronto for a return to the field).

Still, Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz stirs the pot and revisits Landon Donovan’s on-field emnity for Mexican teams.

Also, Mexican players talk nice about MLS.

The Galaxy-Chivas game begins at 7 p.m. on Telefutura. The F.C. Dallas-Pachuca game precedes it at 5 p.m. on the same channel.

Meanwhile, as the Women’s World Cup nears, the U.S. will beat Japan today (the U.S. has never lost to that nation) in the Bay Area in a game that can be seen at 7 p.m. on the Internet only.

There’s only one MLS game today — the Revs visit Real Salt Lake at 6:30 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel — while Chivas USA takes on the Wizards at 4 p.m. Sunday.

And we can’t forget the youth nationals.

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Friday Football

Chivas USA beat the Red Bulls 2-0 in New York last night before 10,732. Anaheim’s Jorge Flores did not get off the bench if you’re wondering.

The game details are here.

Here are the all-time MLS leaders in goals by the way (the asterisk means the player is still playing in the league):
Jason Kreis 108
Jaime Moreno *108
Ante Razov *104
Jeff Cunningham *96
Roy Lassiter 88
Taylor Twellman *83
Raul Diaz Arce 82
Preki 79
Carlos Ruiz *77
Ronald Cerritos 71

Finally, here’s an update on the youth national championships.

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Thursday Gameday: MLS, SuperLiga & More


This is Anaheim’s Jorge Flores, 17, and if you think he’s happy here, wait until Chivas USA plays tonight on national television.

To find out why this teenager is smiling (and so is UCLA’s Sal Zizzo), for more on the rumor of Juan Sebastian Veron coming to MLS and a Chivas USA game preview click here.

Meanwhile, American teams remain undefeated against their Mexican counterparts in SuperLiga.

Here’s the upcoming TV schedule for SuperLiga, including the showdown between the Galaxy and the real Chivas on Saturday.

And So Cal youth soccer players aren’t doing bad at the national championships either.

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