Back to School

The Labor Day weekend traditionally sees the college soccer season get under way in earnest. Here’s a program by program look at what’s going on where.

Bruins Rule

Or at least the No. 1-ranked Bruin’s men’s team did until today when they lost 2-1 to No. 9 Notre Dame in their 2007 season opener at the adidas/IU Credit Union Classic. Sophomore Chance Myers of Thousand Oaks High scored for UCLA.

Next up Sunday is seventh-ranked Indiana.

UCLA has 22 returning players, including 17 with starting experience this season.

They include the team’s top two goalscorers from last year, sophomore forward David Estrada (12 goals) and junior midfielder Jason Leopoldo (8 goals).

Also back is junior forward Maxwell Griffin, who was leading UCLA in scoring with five goals before going down in the eighth game of the year with a knee injury; Palos Verdes Estates’ Kyle Nakazawa (4 goals 8 assists); U.S. Under-20 National Team starter Tony Beltran; and 2006 UCLA Rookie of the Year Michael Stephens.

The major loss was Sal Zizzo who turned pro after the U-20 World Cup in July, forgoing his final two years of eligibility.

Zizzo made his debut with the full national team Aug. 22 in Sweden.

Detailed preview here as well as Cal State Northridge and LMU.

More Roaring

LMU’s men’s team opens its season at home Saturday for the first time since 2002, welcoming Cal Poly to Sullivan Field.

LMU then hits the the road for two consecutive tournaments, returning home for the LMU/UCSB Tournament that also features Ivy Leaguers Harvard and Columbia.

LMU’s season preview is here.

Meanwhile, the LMU women lost 1-0 away to UC Santa Barbara Friday night on Joe Mallia’s head coaching debut.

LMU hosts Dayton 1 p.m. Sunday in its home opener.

Beach beats Bakersfield

No. 25-ranked Long Beach State won their season opener Friday 5-0 at CSU Bakersfield with Nikki Myers getting two second half goals.

The CSU Long Beach womens program is coming off a 14-5-1 season, the best in school history.

Their toughest schedule to date sees Beach face six of last year’s NCAA Tournament teams, including Utah in its home opener 9 a.m. Sunday at George Allen Field. It’s the only home game for Beach in the first five.

Toro Tech

CSUDH Athletics now offers live stats, a Monday emailed newsletter, Toro text messages, and an RSS feed to keep fans up on its sports programs including soccer.

Details at the newly-redesigned site.

Lakewood’s Kelly Matosian scored two goals to lead the CSUDH women Thursday to a 4-0 win over host Grand Canyon University.

Also, the first of four soccer web casts on is set for 6 p.m. Sunday against Seattle University. The others: 7 p.m Sept. 24 against Cal State San Marcos; 11 a.m. Oct. 21 against Chico State; 5 p.m. Oct. 28 verses Cal State San Bernardino.

CSUN Downs Detroit

The Matador men beat Detroit 6-1 Friday in the valley heat.

Trojans Trounce Weber State

Ali Khosroshahin, Jim Millender’s successor at USC, started the season Friday with a 5-1 win over Weber State.

Millender, a long-time Torrance resident and former El Camino College and LMU head coach, did not have his contract renewed last November after 11 seasons.

Here’s a belated season preview.

No Waves

Pepperdine and No. 22-ranked Duke deadlocked Friday in the Waves’ regular season opener in San Diego.

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Scan Confirms Beckham Out Six Weeks


The Galaxy’s season went from merely horrendous to catastrophic late this afternoon when they received the official medical diagnosis: removal of the Beckham cash-making machine.

Wait, no make that a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee, discovered after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed by team physician Dr. Ronald Kvitne at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.

So that’s eight games and out for Beckham (five MLS, two SuperLiga and one World Series of Football).

That’s in addition to the left ankle injury he has nursed ever since picking it up June 6 playing for England.

He’s missed three of the Galaxys last six league games and all three in the opening round of SuperLiga.

By the time he returns the MLS season will almost be over and England’s future in Euro 2008 decided.

The only MLS games left after you count six weeks out: the Red Bulls at the HDC Oct. 18 and Oct. 21 in Chicago.

He’ll also miss an Oct. 3 friendly against the Vancouver Whitecaps that’s being heavily promoted.

Here’s the reaction from the BBC.

Updated 8 a.m. Friday: Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz has more on the $10,483.87 per minute man. (Yes, he did the math).

You can check out how Beckham sustained his latest injury plus see the rest of the Galaxy-Pachuca highlights below.

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Beckham Says He’s Out 4-6 Weeks

David Beckham said after Wednesday’s magnificent loss to Pachuca he expects to miss most of the remainder of the MLS season after spraining a right knee ligament.

He is already, of course, struggling with a long-term left ankle injury he keeps aggravating over and over by trying to play.

“Maybe it’s a sign for me to get it right and not come back until it’s really right,” he said. “If it’s 4-6 weeks (I’m out) I wouldn’t have thought I will fly to England” for Euro 2008 qualifiers.

Beck’s will receive a scan in the morning and we’ll know more then.

“At the moment, it doesn’t feel great,” he said.

Beckham removed his runners-up (losers?) medal immediately after it was placed around his neck.

“I wasn’t being disrespectful,” he said. “I hate losing.”

It was a tough loss reflected by Coach Frank Yallop’s evident frustration in the post-game press conference when he dropped a number of F-bombs.

“We’re absolutely spent,” he said when he stopped swearing

On top of it all, Real Salt Lake beat the Wizards 3-1 Wednesday meaning that the Galaxy are now at the bottom of MLS; they play RSL Saturday in what is now the biggest game of the season. Without Beckham.

“We’re not as good when Beckham is not on the field,” said Chris Klein. “He’s one of the best players in the world.

“The guy’s are 100 percent in Frank’s corner, we know what goes on behind the scenes,” he added, responding to press speculation the Galaxy may turn to former Germany Coach (and OC resident) Jurgen Klinsmann to replace Yallop. “The guy’s want to see him stay — this is Frank’s team.”

Landon Donovan was trying not to let his anger at himself show for missing the fifth penalty that would have clinched the title for the Galaxy.

“I was proud to be a part of it,” he said. “I’m not angry, but I’d like to be happy.”

Still, the result aside, the first SuperLiga seemed to capture the imagination of the Latino fans MLS is trying to attract.

“If I’m a fan how do you not want to come back next year?,” Donovan said.

The Galaxy though, won’t be based on their MLS record.

Want more?

Here are all the game details.

Here’s the story in pictures.

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Pachuca 4 Galaxy 3 — Pachuca wins SuperLiga on PK’s

Defender Abel Xavier missed the Galaxy’s sixth penalty kick sending it far, far wide into the stands and Pachuca won the inaugural tournament on a PK from substitute midfielder Carlos Rodriguez.

(Pant, pant)

It was a breathless climax to a thrilling game.

Donovan had the chance with the fifth and last of the first round of penalty kicks to win it for the Galaxy, but his shot was saved by Calero.

The Galaxy may look woeful in MLS, but this was an inspired, determined performance that did them credit. They went to to toe with Mexico’s champions and lost by the narrowest of margins.

One thought: are the Galaxy now the second best team in Mexico and the U.S.?

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Pachuca 1 Galaxy 1 — SuperLiga goes to penalty kicks

No score in 30 minutes of extra time means the inaugural SuperLiga final will go to penalty kicks.

It will be five apiece to start, as usual, and then if the score is still tied we’ll go until someone misses.

MLS Commissioner Don Garber is here along with his Mexican counterpart and Chuck Blazer, secretary general of CONCACAF. Bet they’re all basking in this great ad for the competition.

Remember: $1 million is on the line.

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Pachuca 1 Galaxy 1 — SuperLiga goes to OT

Galaxy defender Chris Klein scored a spectacular bicycle kick from seven yards out in the third minute of stoppage time to send the final into overtime. The ball had come out to him via a couple of headers after a Mike Randolph header hit the bar.

Donovan had almost scored four minutes from time when Pachuca goalkeeper Miguel Calero failed to hold his shot from close range and it dribbled agonizingly past the post.

It was a dramatic end to a thrilling 90 minutes of regulation and sent the crowd of 12,500 into rapture.

The Galaxy looked like a different team and never stopped pressing.

It’s two 15 minute overtime periods, with no golden goal.

Updated: Beck’s is on the bench in his gray Burberry suit for OT.

Hold on.

Updated: It’s still 1-1 at the end of the first abbreviated half.

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Pachuca 1 Galaxy 0 (Half Time); Beckham Out Injured

David Beckham left the game in the 33rd minute with a right knee strain after going in hard for a 50-50 ball with Pachuca’s Fernando Salazar, who suffered exactly the same injury.

Beck’s immediately signaled he wanted to come out, probably to ensure he doesn’t miss England’s Euro 2008 qualifier Sept. 8 against Israel.

Frankly, he looked like he was going to cry as he sat on the bench disconsolately and he slowly limped off at the end of the half, cutting a lonely figure.

Striker Alan Gordon came in for Beck’s.

Until then, with Beckham setting up most of the attacks for the Galaxy, the game had a wide-open feel with plenty of opportunities at both ends.

Upon his departure, Pachuca began to take control with Cacho and Alvarez combining well in particular. They have 10 shots to the Galaxy’s two, although neither was on target.

In the end the Galaxy were fortunate to be down by just one goal.

Pete Vagenas scored it at the wrong end, almost slamming home a Christian Gimenez cross in the 28th minute with a touch he rarely displays at the right end of the field.

Cannon has made several fine saves to keep the Galaxy in it and Roberts cleared another near goal off the line.

Updated: They’ve changed Beckham’s injury from strain to a sprain. says a “sprain refers to damage or tearing of ligaments or a joint capsule. Strain refers to damage or tearing of a muscle.”

Which is worse?

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SuperLiga Final: Pachuca at Galaxy

The Galaxy have most of their regular starters back, but the question is how fit are they and can they stay with Mexico’s best team?

Joe Cannon is in goal as usual, while Chris Klein, Troy Roberts, Abel Xavier and Mike Randolph make up the back four.

Pete Vagenas is restored to what is an increasingly infrequent starting role as defensive midfielder, while David Beckham is in the center of midfierld. Kevin Harmse and Kyle Martiono are the other two midfielders; up front it’s Carlos Pavon and Landon Donovan.

Pachuca have made five changes to the starting line-up they fielded against the Galaxy July 24 when the teams met in SuperLiga group play and they had players on international duty.

In come Mexican internationals Fausto Pinto at left back, Paraguyan international Julio Mansur in central defence, Argentine Damien Alvarez and Jaime Correa in midfield and striker Juan Cacho, who started for Mexico during the Gold Cup.

The game just kicked off. It’s on Telefutura.

Updated: The Galaxy are wearing black armbands in honor of Sevilla midfielder Antonio Puerta who died Tuesday, three days after collapsing on the field during a La Liga game. He was just 22 years old.

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Wednesday SuperLiga Gameday

Crunch Time

The Galaxy’s season is on the line tonight in the SuperLiga final at Home Depot Center. Beat writer Billy Witz sorts through the rumors and maneuvers here.

And this link has been up on for a while, but it’s worth noting just for the headline as some copy editor strains mightily to get this T. Rex verses Bex story read. Guess it worked.

Toros Tie

The Cal State Dominguez Hills Women’s Team tied visiting Azusa Pacific 1-1 Tuesday in Carson. Senior Corrie Hirokawa of North (Torrance) High continued her scoring streak eight minutes into the contest, but the game needed two overtimes before it was settled. Toro goalkeeper Rachel Rood (West Hills/Pierce College) saved a penalty in the 37th minute.

CSUDH travels to Phoenix to take on Grand Canyon on Thursday, before returning home for a 7 p.m. Tuesday kickoff against Marine Cano’s Biola.

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Tuesday’s column, Beckham and More

Former U.S. Soccer president Alan Rothenberg, former Cosmos defender Bobby Smith and retired U.S. internationals Julie Foudy and Mia Hamm donned red jackets Sunday for their induction into the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

Guess which one Tuesday’s column pays tribute to.

No Beckham, no SuperLiga title

Looks like the half-empty Home Depot Center Wednesday will see less than half a team with less than half a chance to win the inaugural SuperLiga tournament.

Updated 3:45 p.m.
Beck’s will play Wednesday after all.

Turns out the weekly Galaxy update issued every Monday had old info on players’ injuries. Naturally, our reporter assumed a current press release contained current information. Not so, apparently.

Wonder when the last time Beckham played in front of just 12,500 people (the stadium’s capacity was cut for the game because school has just resumed on the CSUDH campus)?

Harbor Hopes

September’s approach signals the start of the college soccer season. Here’s the Harbor College preview.

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