Chivas USA’s Brad Guzan wins MLS Goalkeeper of the Year Award


Brad Guzan, who could well be on his way to Arsenal next year, was today deservedly named MLS Goalkeeper of the Year.

“Winning the award reflects the hard work the guys have put in all year,” Guzan said today after training. “The biggest thing for me throughout the year was to be able to keep my head straight, never getting too high and never getting too low.”

Guzan beat out the New England Revolution’s Matt Reis and the Houston Dynamo’s Pat Onstad for the award and became the 10th different player to win.

From the MLS press release:

Guzan, 23, in only his third year as a professional, was awarded the Leagues top honor for goalkeepers after leading his club to the best record in the Western Conference (15-7-8), ranking first among goalkeepers in shutouts (13), tied for second in wins (14) and second in goals against average (0.93). Guzans 13 shutouts rank as the second most all-time behind Tony Meolas 16 in 2000. His goals-against average was the fourth best of all-time in MLS.

The native of Homer Glen, Ill., and former South Carolina Gamecock anchored a strong defense that allowed just 28 goals this season, the second-best mark in MLS this season.

Rumors over the last two weeks that Arsenal were scouting him were not dispelled by Guzan.

“I will wait for a later date to release that information,” he said. “If it does happen, great.

“I think they’re possibly one of the best teams in the world right now, if not the best,” he added. “The amount of talent they have is unbelievable.”

Except in the goalkeeping department, where the starter is the aging Jens Lehmann, who turns 38 next month.

Prediction: Guzan will join the English Premier League leaders when the international transfer window opens in January.

It will be a loss for MLS, but Guzan is already developing into a world class goalkeeper and U.S. Coach Bob Bradley will undoubtedly be happy if Guzan heads to England.

Goalkeepers typically peak much later than outfield players, so we can expect Guzan and Everton’s Tim Howard to compete for the starting job in the U.S. net for years to come, much as Tottenham Hotspur’s Kasey Keller and Blackburn Rovers’ Brad Friedel did in their prime.

In other MLS awards announced today, New England Revolution defender Michael Parkhurst was named the winner of the individual Fair Play award.

In 25 regular season games, he committed just five fouls and received no yellow or red cards, a remarkable achievement for a defender and a testament to his skill, positioning and ability to read the game.

Parkhurst is also expected to pick up the Defender of the Year Award.

The Columbus Crew earned the MLS Team Fair Play award, recognizing the Major League Soccer club with the fewest disciplinary points during the 2007 regular season.

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Wednesday Footie: Chivas USA, Beckham & More

Preki Profiled

Former Kansas City Wizards star Preki is profiled by The Kansas City Star ahead of Saturday’s decisive playoff clash between his old team and Chivas USA at Home Depot Center.

Preki reveals he was miffed the Wizards didn’t come calling when he went into coaching. And like the Galaxy’s Cobi Jones, Preki conceded he didn’t initially know what he would do after his playing days ended.

The profile is here.

Meanwhile, the Wizards are auctioning off goalkeeper Kevin Hartman’s pink game worn (and now signed) jersey with the proceeds going to breast cancer charities. (Fortunately pink doesn’t clash with the black fingernails Hartman was sporting the last time I saw him).

Hartman, the former Galaxy, UCLA, Cal State Dominguez Hills and Peninsula High product, had a grandmother survive breast cancer.

He wore the jersey Oct. 5 in a 1-1 tie against D.C. United in observation of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

The auction ends Nov. 16. Those with more than $400 to spare (that’s the most recent bid as of this post) may bid here.

By the way, Chivas USA hosts a fan rally Thursday ahead of this weekend’s game from 7:00 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Plaza Mexico, 3100 E. Imperial Highway, Lynwood.

Becks for England?

The Galaxy are set to return to training Thursday ahead of Sunday’s charity game for victims of the recent wildfires, but David Beckham is reportedly resisting playing in another benefit match in Spain Nov. 19 in case he gets called up by England for their Nov. 21 European Championship qualifier against Croatia.

Long Beach State Must Go Long

Long Beach State made things tough on themselves by losing 1-0 to UC Irvine in a crucial Big West encounter Tuesday.

Complete conference standings are here.

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Tuesday’s Column & More

A week is a long time in soccer.

In the last week Chivas USA have gone from Western Conference champions to looking like a team unlikely to survive the opening round of the MLS playoffs.

And Galaxy Coach Frank Yallop has gone from “dead man walking” to looking like he will be around next season after all.

I took a look at both stories in this week’s column.

Meanwhile to no-one’s surprise, Brazil today was awarded the 2014 World Cup, while Germany snagged the women’s version in 2011.

Finally, the basement-dwelling Loyola Marymount men, without a West Coast Conference win this season, lost yet again Monday, succumbing 2-0 at San Diego for their second loss to the same team in four days.

The 2-11-1, 0-7-0 WCC Lions travel to Oregon Thursday to meet Oregon State and on Sunday play at Santa Clara.

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InterLiga Participants Announced

The Mexican Football Federation announced Monday the names of the eight teams that will play in the fifth annual InterLiga in January at four U.S. venues including Carson’s Home Depot Center.

InterLiga determines two of the four Mexican berths for the Copa Libertadores, the Latin American version of the UEFA Champions Leagues. It’s also a money-spinner for organizers, since it generally draws big crowds to Mexican-Americans starved for live Mexican futbol.

With CD Guadalajara and Pachuca already qualified for the Copa Libertadores, the eight teams playing in InterLiga area are Club America, Atlas, Toluca, Morelia, Cruz Azul, Pumas, Monterrey and San Luis.

Locally, the HDC will host a Jan. 9 doubleheader with Toluca playing Morelia and Atlas facing Club America.

The stadium also hosts the Jan. 12 finals.

Full tournament details are here.

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MLS Announces 2007 Awards Finalists

Two Chivas USA players as well as Coach Preki and the Galaxy’s Cobi Jones are among the local finalists for MLS’ year-end awards, the league announced today.

Award winners, as voted by players, team officials and media members, will be named at regular intervals through Nov. 17.

First up Wednesday is the Goalkeeper of the Year Award, with Chivas USA’s Brad Guzan (the regular season shutout leader) going up against seemingly ageless Canadian Pat Onstad (who had the best goals against average in MLS) of the Houston Dynamo and former Galaxy goalkeeper Matt Reis of the New England Revolution.

The same day the Galaxy’s Cobi Jones will learn whether he won the Individual Fair Play Award. The other finalists are similarly retired defender Eddie Pope and the Revs’ Michael Parkhurst.

Chivas USA’s savvy veteran defender Claudio Suarez is up for the Defender of the Year Award, against Parkhurst and the Dynamo’s Eddie Robinson.

Up against Preki for the Coach of the Year Award are Dominic Kinnear of the Houston Dynamo and Tom Soehn of D.C. United.

Also notable: the Revs’ Adam Cristman, Toronto FC’s Maurice Edu and New York’s Dane Richards are finalists for Rookie of the Year; MVP finalists are Juan Pablo Angel of the Red Bulls, Cuauhtemoc Blanco of the Chicago Fire and MLS top scorer Luciano Emilio of D.C. United.

With no most over-hyped player award, David you know who didn’t get a mention.

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CONCACAF Dissed in World Cup Rotation

Attention conspiracy theorists: FIFA announced today the policy of rotating the World Cup between continents will end in 2018, when it was scheduled to be held in a North American, Central American or Carribean country.

Realistically, that meant either the U.S., Mexico or Canada was in line to be the host since they are the only nations in the region with the resources to hold the tournament. That doesn’t mean the U.S. won’t be awarded the tournament, it’s just that there will be more competition, which was apparently the whole idea.

The move was made, not surprisingly, over the protestations of CONCACAF.

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Monday College Kicks

Crunch time is approaching for local colleges.

The UCLA men lost their home unbeaten record Sunday to Washington despite out-shooting their opponents 15-4.

UCLA remains first in the Pac-10 by one point.

Three second half goals by the Loyola Marymount women was enough to defeat visiting San Francisco 3-0 in a West Coast Conference match Sunday at Sullivan Field.

The win keeps LMU third in the West Coast Conference with one game remaining on the season.

The Cal State Northridge women (4-10-2, 1-4-1) and UC Irvine (8-5-2, 2-1-1) played to a scoreless draw Sunday afternoon at Matador Soccer Field.

With the draw, Cal State Northridge remains in the Big West conference basement with two games remaining on the season.

The Cal State Dominguez Hills men clinched a berth in the CCAA Championship with an 8-0 mauling of Cal State Bernadino Sunday in Carson. Sophomore Mario Guerrero scored a hat trick.

The CSUDH women beat CSU SB 3-0 with two goals coming from junior forward Yvonne Vasquez in their regular season finale.

Tournament play begins Friday in Carson with the men playing at 7:30 p.m. against Cal State LA and the women playing at 1:30 p.m. against an opponent to be determined.

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Chivas USA Playoff Sunday & More

A fire in a house across the street from mine delayed blogging this morning (no one was hurt), but at least the structure didn’t get fully involved.

Much the same can be said of Chivas USA, which slumped to an impotent 1-0 loss Saturday in Kansas City and without their starting striking tandem of Maykel Galindo and Ante Razov never really looked like scoring.

“We have to find a way to get results,” Chivas USA Coach Preki told The Kansas City Star with the team’s lack of attacking depth dramatically exposed in the loss.

Former Long Beach Press Telegram Chivas USA beat writer Matt Zimmerman, who quit to go back to graduate school in Missouri, was on hand to provide the Southern California perspective.

* Should Chivas USA advance from its series against Kansas City, as the highest seed in the West the club would host MLSs Western Conference Final the following Saturday at 7:30 p.m. (Nov. 10) against the winner of the Houston-Dallas series.

*Chivas USA midfielder Lawson Vaughn, red-carded in Chivas USAs final regular-season game on Oct. 20 against the Houston Dynamo, served his one-game suspension and did not play in Kansas City, but is eligible to return for the second leg at home.

*On Thursday, a special Chivas USA Fan Rally will be held at 7 p.m. at Plaza Mexico in Lynwood.

*Former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman (Peninsula High) set numerous marks Saturday including a 246-minute scoreless streak that enabled him to equal the all-time postseason shutout record of 13 with Zach Thornton.

Hartman also extended his all-time records in wins (22), minutes played in goal (3,682), saves (141), games played in goal (40) and games started in goal (40).

He now ranks second all-time in games started among all players, trailing only former teammate Cobi Jones of the Los Angeles Galaxy (43).

Despite the loss, Chivas USA midfielder Jesse Marsch remains bullish on the return game.

“We feel good about tonight’s result. I thought we dominated the match. We were able to dictate the game the way we wanted. We didn’t give them any chances tonight, and we were unfortunate that the free kick glanced off the wall.”

CSUN Beached in Santa Barbara

The Matadors men lost 3-0 at UC Santa Barbara Saturday night, before a crowd of almost 2,000, which allowed the Gauchos to overtake Cal Poly at the top of the Big West conference.

Northridge returns to Big West action at 2 p.m. Wednesday against Cal Poly at Matador Soccer Field.

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Chivas USA Gameday Saturday & More

Prairie Goats

The season is now a maximum of four games long for Chivas USA, which begins its MLS Cup quest at 5 p.m. this afternoon in Kansas City. The game is on Prime.

Ahead of the game beat writer Ivan Orozco catches up with one of the few Mexicans to succeed in MLS, Chivas USA midfielder Panchito Mendoza. He’s also one of only three players, (goalkeeper Brad Guzan and defender Orlando Perez are the others) to remain from Chivas USA’s awful inaugural season. Check out Mendoza’s stats here.

Former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman (Peninsula High, CSU Dominguez Hills, UCLA) provides the Wizards perspective.

By the way, Chivas USA has a viewing party set at El Gordito restauarant, 11655 Valley Blvd., El Monte.

One More Galaxy Game

The Galaxy and celebrity team Hollywood United play a benefit match for victims of the recent wildfires at 5 p.m. Nov. 4 at Home Depot Center.

Here’s the (edited) Galaxy press release:

All proceeds from the match, including donations collected on the day of the game, will go to the American Red Cross and The Salvation Army to aid in their efforts to assist those affected by the wildfires.

Weve all witnessed the destruction these wildfires have caused throughout Southern California, Galaxy President and General Manager Alexi Lalas said. Through soccer, we have the ability to help those who have been impacted by this disaster, and thanks to the support of the Herbalife Family Foundation, were proud to say that 100% of the proceeds generated will go directly to the relief effort. We encourage all Galaxy fans and soccer fans everywhere to come out and support this worthy cause.

All tickets for the match will be $20 general admission seats, available on a first come, first serve basis, with the exception of a limited number of luxury seats available for $60.

Additionally, all firefighters will receive free admission to the match by showing their badge at The Home Depot Center box office starting on Monday.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased through the Galaxy at 877-3GALAXY or online at and with funds being donated directly to the participating charities. In conjunction with the Galaxy, Ticketmaster has waived its service fees for all tickets purchased for this charity match.

Additionally, parking for the game will be free to all spectators.

College Roundup

The top-ranked UCLA women prevailed 2-0 in their local derby against USC on Friday, while the Pepperdine and CSUN women also won, as did the UCLA men.

A quick note on the Bruins’ games (the event was a doubleheader): the 3,345 fans in attendance was the second-largest crowd in UCLA history and the largest in six years.

In other games:

*The Loyola Marymount men (2-10-1, 0-6 WCC) scored first, but lost 2-1 to San Diego (7-6-1, 4-1-1 WCC) in a West Coast Conference match at Sullivan Field that was moved from San Diego because of the wildfires. The teams will meet again at 7 p.m. Monday in San Diego.

*Freshman Lily Sorentino’s 35-yard strike in overtime gave the LMU women a 2-1 victory over visiting Saint Mary’s in a WCC game Friday at Sullivan Field. The Lions snapped their two-match losing streak while posting their eighth straight victory at home.

The 10-5-1, 2-2-0 WCC Lions go for win number 11 on the season at 11 a.m. Sunday against San Francisco.

*The Cal State Dominguez Hills men won their sixth-straight game 3-1 over visiting Cal Poly Pomona on Friday night at Toro Stadium, in their penultimate game of the season.

The 15-3, 11-2 CCAA Toros concludes the regular season with a 5 p.m. game Sunday against Cal State San Bernardino in Carson.

The Cal State Dominguez Hills women’s 2-2 draw with Cal Poly Pomona at Toro Stadium Friday keeps CSUDH in post-season limbo.

CSUDH (12-3-4, 7-3-3 CCAA) is assured a berth in the CCAA Tournament with a win on Sunday against Cal State San Bernadino in Carson, or if Cal State Stanislaus either ties or loses against Chico State today.

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Friday Football: MLS Playoffs, EPL in USA & More

MLS Playoff and Awards Update

The Chicago Fire beat D.C.United 1-0 Thursday in the opening MLS playoff game, while Chivas USA left early for Kansas City because of the locally poor air quality to prepare for their Saturday playoff game against the Wizards.

Just as the NFL is making excursions into England, could we see the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United facing off at the Home Depot Center?

Meanwhile, the MLS awards season is cranking up with announcements of every stripe gradually dribbling out (I’m looking forward to that club PR department award).

You can check out why D.C. United’s Luciano Emilio won the Golden Boot below:

And fan voting for the MLS Goal of the Year has just begun.

Fans are asked to choose the best 10 from 34 nominees in the first of the three-phase process, which lasts until Oct. 31.

Fans can vote here.

U.S. Nats Changes

U.S. Soccer is shuffling some coaches.

Under-17 Men’s National Team Coach John Hackworth has been named an assistant coach to Bob Bradley at the full national team level.

From the U.S. Soccer press release:

In addition to joining Bob Bradleys national team staff, Hackworth will also serve as the Development Academy Director in U.S. Soccers new player development initiative that launched earlier this year. The program which launched this fall is designed to improve the environment for elite players throughout the country, in many ways emulating the successful U.S. Soccer Under-17 Residency Program in Bradenton, Fla., which Hackworth has been a part of since 2002.

Joining Bob Bradleys staff as that team gets focused on World Cup qualifying in 2008 is a great next step as a coach, said Hackworth. Ive known Bob for many years and we have a great connection in terms of how we see the game, both technically on the field and in the ways you can help prepare a team off the field. Im greatly looking forward to being a part of his staff on the road to South Africa.

(Am I alone in thinking that’s an unfortunate name for an elite soccer coach?)

This morning U.S. Soccer introduced Hackworth’s replacement, new U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team head coach Wilmer Cabrera to the media.

From the U.S. Soccer press release:

Cabrera, who holds a USSF A Coaching License, is a veteran of two World Cups with Colombia (1990 & 1998) and joins the U-17 Residency Program after serving as an assistant with the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team this year. Cabrera moved to the U.S. in 2003 to play with the Long Island Roughriders and most recently worked with the MLS Futbolito and Verano MLS grassroots programs of Major League Soccer.

A demographically smart move by Gulati given the numbers of emerging Latino players the U.S. needs to ensure don’t fall through the cracks.

College Update

Local college action today includes:

*The No. 1-ranked UCLA women’s soccer team (11-1-2; 4-0 Pac-10) hosting one of its biggest matches of the year as No. 9 USC (11-1-2; 3-0-1 Pac-10) visits at 7:30 p.m. at Drake Stadium. Tickets for the match are $7 for adults and $5 for youths and students. UCLA students are admitted free with a valid Bruin Card. Friday is a doubleheader with the UCLA men’s team, which plays at 5 p.m. against Oregon State.

*The Cal State Northridge womens soccer team (3-10-1, 1-4-0) returns home for the rest of the 2007 season after playing six of its past seven matches on the road and plays at 2:30 p.m. against Cal State Bakersfield (4-10-1).

*In a scheduling change, the wildfires have forced the kickoff of the UCLA-Washington men’s soccer game at Drake Stadium to be moved from 1 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. That’s because San Diego State’s game against Oregon State on Sunday has been moved to Los Angeles. The Aztecs and Beavers will play at 1 p.m. at UCLA’s North Athletic Field.

Updated 3 p.m.: Long Beach State announced this afternoon that poor air quality from the wildfires has forced the postponement of tonight’s game at UC Irvine. The game has been rescheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday.

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