Kansas City Wizards at Chivas USA

Chivas USA, unbeaten in their last seven and needing a point to land a playoff berth, host the visting Wizards who are in the seventh and penultimate playoff spot.

Chivas USA has MLS shutout leader Brad Guzan between the pipes as usual, with Alex Zotinca returning from suspension in the backline alongside the returning captain Claudio Suarez, Shavar Thomas and Jonathan Bornstein.

With Jesse Marsch suspended, Lawson Vaughn lines up in midfield with regulars Sasha Kljesten, Paulo Nagamura and Panchito Mendoza.

Maykel Galindo, the fourth leading scorer in MLS with 12 goals, returns to start up front with Ante Razov (nine goals).

Former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman returns to the HDC for the first time against Chivas USA, in front of the first choice back four of Jack Jewsbury, Jose Burciaga Jr., and Nick Garcia.

Michael Harrington comes into midfield in place of Kurt Morsink, with the trio of Carlos Marinelli, Kerry Zavagnin and Davy Arnaud.

Eddie Johnson, who has 15 MLS goals on the season, partners Ryan Pore up front in place of the injured Scott Sealey.

Ex-Galaxy player Sasha Victorine is on the bench.

The Wizards have just two wins in their last seven, but are coming off a 3-2 come-frrom-behind win against the Columbus Crew, when they scored two goals in second half stoppage time.

Marsch, by the way, will blog for 100 Percent Soccer beginning Monday and will vent about his suspension.

The game is on FSN.

Updated: Hartman is three saves away from recording his 1,000th save, which will make him only the third MLS galkeeper to reach that mark.

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Saturday Gameday: U.S. Women Win, Chivas USA Preview, College Scores & More

Boxx Goal Clinches U.S. Win Over England

With a goal that typifies her game, Torrance’s Shannon Boxx won the ball outside England’s 18-yard box and grabbed the second of three U.S. goals scored within a 15-minute second half span today to send the Americans through to the World Cup semifinals.

Abby Wambach (her fourth in four World Cup games) and Kristine Lilly also contributed goals in the 3-0 victory.

“Cat actually got the tackle in,” said Boxx of her decisive left-footed shot for the second goal. “It popped right in front of me and my thought was just to take a quick shot. I hit it low ,which is what the midfielders have been working on, and the field, I think, helped. It skipped in. It was nice and quick.

Boxx and Leslie Osborne combined well in midfield and England threat Kelly Smith was largely shut down.

Something just clicks with us, our communication,” Osborne said of the partnership. “We feel comfortable with each other out there. We read off each other really well, and we played offense and defense tonight. Were not just two defensive midfielders. We can keep the ball for us, possess, and were not going to let anything past us. Its just fun out there, and we enjoy being out there together.

All three U.S. goals aptly exemplified the style of the player who scored: Wambach crashed in for her goal off a corner, Boxx won the ball and then quickly attacked for her 16th international goal while Lilly poached her’s.

Nice to see ESPN belatedly get commentators J.P. Dellacamera and Julie Foudy to China, too.

In the day’s other game, Germany disposed of North Korea.

Saturday Sorcery

Chivas USA Coach Preki pits his tactical tricks against former team the Kansas City Wizards today at Home Deport Center with a playoff place on the line.

Here’s a preview.

And even if Chivas USA takes a lead against the Wizards, the team shouldn’t automatically assume K.C. can’t come back, The Kansas City Star suggests. Chivas USA are unbeaten at home this season, but at times have looked (more than one critic has suggested) brittle at the back.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA opens its first American retail store Sunday in Huntington Park.

From the press release:

The ChivasPop store, the first of its kind in the U.S., will carry official adidas Chivas USA merchandise, as well as official Reebok merchandise from Chivas USAs Mexican parent club Chivas de Guadalajara, including jerseys, posters, soccer gear and a whole lot more.

ChivasPop stores, which in recent years have opened across Mexicos largest cities, derive their name from Chivas Popular, a tribute to Mexicos most beloved soccer brand. The ChivasPop store, the first of its kind for a professional soccer team in Los Angeles County, bears the same layout and feel of all existing ChivasPop stores in Mexico.

Chivas USA captain Claudio El Emperador Surez, as well as midfielder Francisco Mendoza and forward Maykel Galindo, will be on hand at Sundays Grand Opening, where Chivas fans will have the opportunity to meet and greet all three players, plus the ChivaGirls and Chivas USA officials.

College Roundup

Friday’s college games are here (South Bay-oriented) and here (Valley-centric)

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Shannon Boxx, Saturday Gameday Thoughts

I asked Torrance’s Shannon Boxx to blog while she was in China at the World Cup representing the U.S. Women’s National Team.

She had trouble connecting to the Internet in China Friday , but persevered and kindly took the time to blog these thoughts that landed in my in box at 11:50 p.m. Friday PT mere hours before the 4:55 a.m. US-England game that’s live on ESPN2.

Here’s what Boxxy had to say:

Ni Hao from China: Its game day here in Tianjin.

We are now in the playoff rounds of the tournament and its either win or go home.

After coming in first in our group we now face a good England team at 8 p.m. local time.

We have had three good days to rest our legs after playing in our third group game against Nigeria in Shanghai. The team is now itching to get back on the field.

My game day routine is not much different over here than it is back in the States. The hotels we have been staying in have been great about cooking us the food that we like to eat.

This morning I woke up and had my banana pancakes and coffee, a game day ritual for me.

I have taken a walk by the river that runs next to our hotel and have visited with my mom and sister who have come over to watch. Now its just about staying relaxed and getting hydrated.

Our pre-game meal is in about an hour and I’m thinking about watching a couple Rescue Me episodes, which I have become hooked on while being here.

Even though I am counting down the days till I can have my first El Burrito Jr. meal I hope tonight will be successful and we will continue on the road to bringing home the World Cup trophy.


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Friday’s Short Passes: Galaxy, U.S. Men & More

Don’t forget to set up that TiVo (or get up early for the U.S.-England World Cup game Saturday morning).

Read the previous post for a complete game preview, but here’s what else is going on in soccer-related news locally today.

No season ticket increase for Galaxy games in ’08

That’s what the club announced today – for current season ticket holders – in a press release.

And considering the quality of soccer on the field this year, even the Galaxy wouldn’t have the chutzpah to shaft their most loyal supporters.

Still, from what I’ve been hearing, long-time fans have been slowly drifting off ever since former Coach Sigi Schmid was fired.

Not surprisingly there’s a lively debate on a couple of message boards among fans discussing whether to renew or not.

Here’s the (edited) press release:

As a sign of our appreciation for our season ticket holders continued support and loyalty, they are being given the exclusive opportunity to purchase 2008 season tickets at the 2007 prices if renewed by October 19, 2007, said LA Galaxy President and General Manager Alexi Lalas. The results to date have not been what our fans expect or deserve, but there is much to be excited about for 2008 and beyond. As always, we remain committed to giving our season seat holders a successful and entertaining team and one that fans can be proud to support, on and off the field.

In response to requests from fans that the club confirm next seasons seat locations as early as possible, the Galaxy are asking for the commitment of returning full season ticket holders for the 2008 season by October 19, 2007. After that date, any unsecured seating locations will be released to people wishing to relocate or purchase new season tickets, and the 2007 season price will no longer be available.

U.S.-Catalonia Friendly Officially Cancelled

In the day’s least surprising news, U.S. Soccer formally announced what most fans knew a couple of weeks back: the U.S.-Catalonia game set for Oct. 14 is off after the Spanish FA nixed it.

Here’s the (edited) press release

No replacement match will be scheduled, and the U.S. will face 2008 European Championship co-host Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel. Kickoff at St. Jakob Park is set for (11:30 p.m. PT) live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision.

U.S. Soccer spent two weeks negotiating with the Catalonian Federation and the RFEF trying to reach a positive resolution. The Spanish Federation, who has authority for sanctioning any match played in Spain, ultimately chose not to allow the match to take place.

“We are disappointed that the match will not be played, since we believe playing Catalonia would be an excellent experience for our players, said U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati. Nonetheless, we respect the decision of the Spanish Federation.

The U.S. will now focus on playing Switzerland on Oct. 17 in Basel.

Switzerland finished in first place in Group G of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, ahead of eventual runners up France. Falling to Ukraine in the Round of 16 in penalties after a 0-0 draw in regulation time, the Swiss became the first team in World Cup history to be eliminated from the tournament without surrendering a single goal. As co-hosts, Switzerland is automatically entered into Euro 2008, which will take place from June 7-29 across eight venues in Austria and Switzerland.

LMU Women & Bruins Men Win

Palos Verdes Estates’ Kyle Nakazawa played a major role in the UCLA victory.

Soccer is Good For You!

But you knew that.

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U.S.-England World Cup Quarterfinal Preview

The U.S. meets England at 4:55 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2 in the World Cup quarterfinals as the knockout phase of the tournament begins.

South Bay resident Brian Boswell, coach of Women’s Premiere Soccer League team Ajax America Women agreed to provide a pre-match analysis for 100 Percent Soccer.

Ajax America Women are the current U.S. Open Womens Cup Champions and ranked No. 4 team in the world by Womensworldfootball.com.

Under Boswell, Ajax America Women have won the U.S.Womens Open Cup five times since 1998. Boswell is ranked the No. 5 womens coach in the world behind U.S. coach Greg Ryan by the same ranking service. Boswell is a native of London, England.

Former South (Torrance) High star Shannon Boxx and Abby Wambach played for Ajax America before joining before the U.S. Womens team camp.

Here’s Brian’s view of the contest:
One of the tournament favorites, the U.S., plays an up and coming England team, with the Americans winning their group and England finishing second to a powerful Germany.

Before the start of the tournament forecasting this result was easy, with the U.S. ranked No. 1 in the world and unbeaten in 42 games playing the tenth-ranked England team who just made it out of Europe to qualify for the World Cup.

But now the tournament has started things are a little different.

The U.S. battled to a tie with North Korea in their first group game after being 2-1 down. The U.S. was lucky not to concede a third in the final minutes to a Korean team that had more possession, better movement off the ball and matched the U. S. athletically.

The second game against a Swedish side that plays similarly to the U.S. finished with a fairly comfortable 2-0 victory for the Americans.

In the third game a deflection off a soft shot gave the U.S. a 1-0 lead against Nigeria after 57 seconds and the Americans were able to hold onto that lead for the next 90 minutes.

England also tied their first game against Japan after being ahead twice. Japan tied the game with two great free kicks from just outside the penalty area, although England should have won.

Englands second game was a 0-0 tie with Germany which had just come off of an 11-0 demolition of Argentina. England defended for most of the game but was able to keep the free-scoring Germans at bay.

Englands third game was a 6-1 thrashing of hapless Argentina.

So how do they match up now?

The U.S. certainly has not hit their stride yet. Is it the pressure of being pre tournament favorites or knowing they were in the group of death with the third, fifth, and nineteenth ranked teams in the world? Or the expectations of their soccer playing homeland that feel anything less than a championship would be failure?

I think it was all these.

I have got to know a number of the U.S. players and I know the pressure and expectation has been intense. Comparisons with previous American teams have also been thrust upon them. Can they compare with the teams of Mia, Julie, Brandi, and Joy etc.?

All of these factors heaped upon the shoulders of the least experienced team the U.S. has sent to a World Cup since 1991 made for a difficult beginning to the tournament. The group of death has gone, it’s time to play. I think it is easier now the games are must win.

England is certainly living up to expectations. They had a tie that should have been a win against a Japanese team that was almost playing at home. A great game against Germany and a resounding win against Argentina.

How do the teams stack up against each other?

U.S. Coach Greg Ryan has tinkered with the formation playing 4-3-3 against North Korea and reverting back to a more comfortable 3-4-3 against Sweden and Nigeria.

The U.S. plays forward quickly and has great attacking options in Abby Wambach and Kristine Lilly.

The problem in the early games is that the defense was bypassing the midfield and going straight to the forwards, asking too much of the forwards without support from their midfield. Im sure that in the last few days the coaching staff has emphasized more midfield possession and playing the ball wide earlier. The nerves should be gone and the confidence to play the ball out of trouble will again be apart of the U.S. game. Abby and Kristine will get more support and you will see Carli Lloyd become much more of an attacking option. The U.S. is the fittest, most athletic team in the tournament and when their game comes together they will be very, very difficult to beat. They need to possess the ball more and not rush to get it forward.

England on the other hand seem set in their 4-4-2 formation.

They possess the ball well, but I feel with the U.S. pressure this will become more difficult.

Look for them to defend in numbers and try to hit the U.S. on the counter attack.

They rely greatly on Kelly Smith (four goals so far) who is one of the best-kept secrets in the World Cup. Kelly was with Philadelphia in the WUSA before tearing her ACL. She now plays for the Arsenal womens team along with seven others in the England squad. Arsenal are the English League Champions, F.A. Cup champions, League Cup Champions and European Champions. This core of players adds greatly to the England success. They have all played many high profile matches, which is helping them in their first World Cup.

Both teams have some great players, but I feel the U.S. has more.

The attacking pair of Wambach and Lilly is probably the most potent in the world and should be too much for the England defense.

The U.S. midfield is young, but it is anchored by Shannon Boxx who when on her game is the best holding female midfield player in the world. She started off slowly against North Korea but now seems to be back into stride.

The defense is anchored by two veterans, Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf. Stephanie Lopez, still at college, seems to get better with each game. Behind all of these is Hope Solo, possibly the best goalkeeper in the World Cup, although she did let a soft one in against North Korea.

Expect deep-lying Smith to battle with Boxxy.

Katie Chapman is Englands Boxx; She did not play against Argentina due to yellow card accumulation, but will be well rested for the U.S.

England will depend on her to win balls and settle things down. Faye White, the player of the game against Germany, is the glue for the defense.

England is playing better as a team, although their group was easier, but the U.S. just has too many weapons.

The game should be tight, but I think the U.S. pressure will wear the English down.

Prediction: 3-1 U.S.

Boxxy sat down for an interview with U.S. Soccer before Saturday’s game.

AP has more on the game here.

Also, one of the best American soccer reporters, Steven Goff of The Washington Post, has been blogging from China.

A couple of notes from U.S. Soccer:

FAIR PLAY DAY – FIFA will hold World Fair Play Days during the quarterfinal matches to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Peace Friday, an invitation to all nations and people to honor a cessation of hostilities around the world. Shortly before kick-off, both team captains will read a declaration to support fair play on the pitch and in society. The special activity will be broadcast to 200 territories across all six confederations. FIFA has celebrated Fair Play Days since 1997 and this year is the fourth time that the events will be linked to the International Day of Peace.

ABBY TO HIT 100 – The England match will be the 100th career cap for Wambach, making her the 20th U.S. player to hit the century mark. The 27-year-old has the best goals per game ratio in U.S. history, having found the net 80 times in her 99 matches, and averages a goal for about every 90 minutes she plays for the national team.

WEATHER REPORT – A crowd of more than 30,000 is expected in what will likely be the first match in the Womens World Cup for the USA played in good weather and on a pitch in excellent condition.

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Thursday Kicks: Galaxy, World Cup, College & More

Galaxy Can’t Hold Lead

Pasadena City College product Yura Movsisyan getting an assist in his Real Salt Lake debut against the Galaxy Wednesday, UEFA Champions League results and news of drama at Chelsea is here.

Torrance’s World Cup Fern

Torrance’s Simone Carmicheal (Ferrara), who overcame an Achilles tendon rupture to make New Zealand’s squad, played the last eight minutes of the Ferns’ World Cup-ending 2-0 loss to China this morning.

I’ll have a preview on Friday of the U.S. Women’s quarterfinal Saturday against England including a pre-game analysis from one of the top women’s soccer coaches in the world, Ajax America’s Brian Boswell.

School Is In

College beat writer Chris Jackson riffs on the prospects for local college programs including LMU and Cal State Dominguez Hills here.

The LMU women look to extend their two-game winning streak with a pair of matches this week. First, LMU seeks revenge for last year’s NCAA first round loss against Cal State Fullerton at 7 o’clock tonight at Titan Stadium. Sullivan Field is the site for the first match of a five-game home stand against Fresno State at 11 a.m. Sunday.

The CSUDH men ran their win streak to seven Wednesday beating UC San Diego 3-0 at Toro Stadium. The Toros (7-1, 5-0 CCAA) continue their homestand Friday with a 4:30 p.m,. game against cross-town rival and Far West Finalist Cal State L.A.

Freshman keeper Alyssa Congdon (South Torrance High) tallied 10 saves the as the Cal State Dominguez Hills women drew 0-0 with UC San Diego in double overtime Wednesday at Toro Stadium. CSUDH plays at 7p.m. Friday against Cal State L.A.

The sixth-ranked UCLA women’s soccer team (3-1-1) has a pair of matches this week, traveling to Pepperdine (1-4-1) for a 3 p.m. Friday game and hosting Hawaii (5-0-1) at 1 p.m. Sunday. UCLA boasts a 10-match winning streak over Pepperdine.

Long Beach State (4-3-0) participate in the Oklahoma Sooner Classic this weekend playing Middle Tennessee (3-2-1) Friday and North Texas (6-0-0) on Sunday.

U.S. Head to 2010 World Cup Hosts in November

The U.S. Soccer press release:

The U.S. Mens National Team will make their first-ever trip to South Africa when they take on the 2010 FIFA World Cup hosts on Nov. 17 in Johannesburg as part of the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup. Kick off at Ellis Park Stadium, which will host one World Cup semifinal match in 2010, is set for 7 a.m. PT, with the television schedule yet to be determined. Fans can follow the match live on ussoccer.coms MatchTracker.

The Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup, an annual one-off event typically hosted in South Africa, began in 1994 and has seen South Africa face opponents like Brazil, Argentina, Holland, Nigeria and a host of others.

It is a great honor to be invited to participate in the Nelson Mandela Challenge Cup, said U.S. head coach Bob Bradley. South Africa has always had a talented team, and the match represents an excellent opportunity for our players to travel and play in South Africa.

The United States will make a rare trip to Africa, playing on the continent for just the third time in their long history. Their last visit came eight years to the day before the November match, a 1-2 loss to Morocco on Nov. 17, 1999 in Marrakech. The only other trip to Africa was also against Morocco in 1992, when the U.S. suffered a 3-1 loss in Casablanca. As the 2007 Gold Cup Champions, the U.S. will represent CONCACAF in the 2009 Confederations Cup to be held in South Africa one year prior the World Cup.

In the only prior meeting between the two sides, the U.S. beat South Africa, 4-0, on June 3, 2000, in Washington, D.C. Cobi Jones tallied twice that day, with Earnie Stewart and Claudio Reyna rounding out the scoring as Kasey Keller earned the shutout.

Under the leadership of Bradley, the United States has posted an impressive 10-5-1 record in 2007. Bradley, who took the reigns in December of 2006, became the first coach in U.S. history to record victories in his first three games with wins against Denmark, Mexico and Ecuador. Leading the charge on the field has been two-time U.S. Soccer Male Athlete of the Year Landon Donovan, who has already amassed nine goals in 12 games played this year. With his strike in the Gold Cup final, the 25-year-old moved into a tie for first place on the USAs all-time leading goal-scoring chart with 34 goals.

Eight days after the Nov. 17 match, South Africa will host the Preliminary Draw for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. The event, held in Durban, will determine the qualifying schedule for 156 countries spanning five confederations. The South American qualifying competition begins Oct. 13 with all ten teams in action.

Updated 2 p.m.

China out, Carlos Ruiz in against Mexico in LA?

Soccer United Marketing announced today that Guatemala will replace China as Mexico’s fifth and final opponent of the year on U.S. soil Oct. 17 at the Coliseum. No reason was given for the switch.

Tickets, starting at $25, go on sale Friday.

The (edited) press release:

The game will mark the Los Angeles debut of Hugo Snchez as head coach of el Tri, closing out Mexicos 2007 U.S. Tour.

Three of the four matches so far have been played in front of sold-out crowds across the country, from San Diego to Oakland to Boston.

The last time the Mexican National Team played in Southern California was May 2006, when Mexico defeated Venezuela in front of more than 50,000 fans at Pasadenas Rose Bowl. Guatemala drew large crowds in Los Angeles during the recent 2007 CONCACAF Gold Cup including a sold-out match day at the Home Depot Center when the Central American national faced its rival El Salvador on June 9th.

The match in Los ngeles will be the first meeting between both sides since 2006 World Cup qualifying when Mxico beat Guatemala in San Lus Potos, Mxico 5-2 on October 8, 2005. In its history, Mexico has a record of 17-3-6 against the Central American country.

Futbol Fiesta, a pre-game fan interactive zone that spans more than 100,000 square feet at every game that includes live music and thousands of promotional items, will be part of the event.

Youth Is Served in Carson

From U.S. Soccer:

“The U.S. Under-14 and Under-15 Girls National Teams are participating in the second annual Womens Nike Friendlies, which began Wednesday evening and run through Sunday at Home Depot Center.

The Under-14 squad, all born in 1993, will match up against the top Under-16 club teams from all over the country, while the Under-15 team will be pitted against the nations best Under-17 clubs.

Under-15 head coach Tad Bobak named a 23-player roster for the friendlies last week, and will also be watching the U-14 GNT in their first-ever competitive matches to get an early start on picking next years player pool.

Southern Californians on the roster include: (for the U.S. U-15 team) goalkeeper Makenna Henry (Fountain Valley); defender Mia Bruno (Rancho Palos Verdes); midfielders Michelle Cruz (Thousand Oaks) and Natalia Ledezma (La Mirada).

(For the U.S. U-14 team): midfielders Jennifer Gonzalez (Alta Loma), Loeau LaBonta (Rancho Cucamonga), Vania Robles (Arcadia), Haley Rosen (Palos Verdes).

Here’s a game schedule.

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Kyle Nakazawa, How May I Assist You?

Kyle’s third post:
It was an exciting weekend for UCLA men’s soccer as we went into the weekend without a win under our belts for the beginning of the season but came away with two wins.

The first match played on Friday night against Ohio St. was a very eventful night game where we tallied three goals.

The first goal resulted from a through ball I played to Maxwell Griffin, who nicely placed it past the keeper. Soon later, we were awarded a penalty kick from a handball in the box, and Mikey Stephens converted it with ease.

The first half involved some impressive play from our side, as we were able to connect numerous combinations and present a style of soccer that is very enjoyable to watch.

The third goal came from a corner in the second half that I hit to Jason Leopoldo, who jumped above every defender to perfectly head the ball in the back of the net. The win against Ohio State really gave us some momentum going into Sunday’s game.

Sunday’s game was another great showing for us against our opponent Penn State, ending 4-1 in our favor, which concluded a very promising weekend for us.

The game showed an exciting display of offensive-minded soccer from us, but defensively we were very efficient in ensuring the win. The game was highlighted by Maxwell Griffin’s hat trick where all three goals began with great build-ups from the back to the front. What a way to top off the weekend!

We are off to San Francisco Wednesday to play USF on Thursday night and then Santa Clara on Saturday night. It will be two very challenging games, but we are up for the challenge.

Go Bruins!

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Galaxy Gameday Wednesday

The Galaxy are in Utah tonight with kick off at 6 o’clock on FSN.

Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz has a preview, a note on security at Home Depot Center in the wake of the SuperClassico and another money-spinning David Beckham exhibition.

The Galaxy’s Chris Klein talked to The Salt Lake City Tribune about his time with Real Salt Lake.

By the way, Cobi Jones could achieve a notable statistical milestone this evening, according to the Galaxy PR folks:

Galaxy midfielder Cobi Jones is now just one game away from competing in his 300th regular season game of his MLS career. Since the inaugural 1996 season, Jones has appeared in 299 games for the Galaxy, scoring 70 goals and adding 89 assists. If Jones, who has said that he will retire after the 2007 season, appears in just one more game, he will join Steve Ralston, Chris Henderson and Jason Kreis as the only players in league history to have appeared in 300 or more regular season games in MLS history.

Here’s more on the Galaxy exhibition in New Zealand. The figure quoted in the story is in New Zealand dollars, of course.

Meanwhile, a moment I’ve been dreading has arrived: the Galaxy are asking media members for their nominations for Defender of the Year and MVP.


Um, how about Chris Albright (for both?).

Suggestions welcome.

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Women’s World Cup: the South Bay Kiwi & Canadian Bruin


Shannon Boxx isn’t the only Southern Californian at the Women’s World Cup; Torrance resident Simone Carmichael (Ferrara) is representing New Zealand after recovering from a devastating achilles injury in May.

New Zealand plays China at 4:55 a.m. Wednesday on ESPN2 in its last group game so I e-mailed Simone to see if she would get some playing time.

Her response:

There is a possibility that I’ll get a little bit of time tonight, but I’m not positive. The World Cup experience has been amazing, I feel very lucky to have been given this opportunity, especially with my injury. What an amazing event.

Its been a very different experience for me because I haven’t been playing, but one I will remember for the rest of my life. It has been a great spring board for me to be ready for the Olympics.

My Achilles is finally feeling pretty close to 100%, perhaps about a week too late, but I can’t complain about my recovery.”

Meanwhile, Bruin Kara Lang plays at 1:55 a.m. for Canada against Australia on ESPN2.

Canada, which suffered a 2-1 loss to Norway in its opening match of the tournament, likely needs a win to move out of the group, although a draw would be good enough if Ghana defeats Norway. Lang, who has started both matches in China, could be back in a Bruin uniform at the earliest Sept. 28 against Portland at home.

Updated 8:30 a.m. Wednesday: The two games were postponed.

An updated television schedule is here.

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U.S. Women Win and Ch-Ch-Changes for Ch-Ch-Chivas USA

Despite a fast start to the game for the U.S. against Nigeria this morning, the Americans couldn’t put the Africans away in the 1-0 win. Nigeria actually had a couple of good opportunities to equalize in the last 15 minutes, almost making the U.S. pay for not being more ruthless in what were admittedly extremely difficult conditions.

Still, the U.S. tops its group and plays Saturday against England.

Here’s the game story.

To give you an idea of how awful the weather for the game was, here is what Shanghai is bracing for.

Not surprisingly, that’s meant some adjustments to the World Cup schedule.

Meanwhile, I took a look at what the recent hiring of former AEG exec Shawn Hunter means for Chivas USA in my regular weekly column.

Chivas USA co-owner Antonio Cue, right, welcomes new club president
and CEO Shawn Hunter with a team jersey. El Cazador means “the hunter” in

Finally, the UEFA Champions League resumes for another season today with ESPN2 televising the Liverpool-Porto game (kick off is 11:30 a.m.). Here’s the complete television schedule.

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