Wednesday kicks: MLS Expansion Draft, Euro 2008 & More

As Galaxy Director of Soccer Paul Bravo observed earlier this week, Los Angeles (and presumably Chivas USA) will probably lose a player they don’t want to see picked in today’s MLS Expansion Draft set for 10 a.m.

For San Pedro’s large Croatian community (an estimated 35,000 strong) and English expats like me living in Southern California the big event of the day is today’s crucial Euro 2008 qualifier at noon. England have dropped the Galaxy’s David Beckham from the starting lineup along with error-prone goalkeeper Paul Robinson in a game they must not lose.

I plan to watch the game on closed circuit television at San Pedro’s Croatian American Hall and will have a story in Thursday’s Daily Breeze on the atmosphere. And no, I won’t tempt fate (or excitable Croats) by wearing an England replica jersey.

Meanwhile, USC and UCLA are priming themselves for this weekend’s NCAA tournament third round games. A preview is here.

Finally, for Anaheim’s Jorge Flores, the winner of a reality show to make the Chivas USA squad, the dream lives on with a call-up for international duty. From the Chivas USA press release:

The 18-year-old Anaheim native, signed to a Developmental Contract earlier this year after winning Chivas USAs Sueo MLS reality tryout in March, has been called up by the U.S. Under-20 National Team for its upcoming trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina, from Nov. 23 to Dec. 3.

This is the first international call-up for Flores, the 2007 graduate of Anaheim High School who made his MLS debut for Chivas USA in September and also started five games in the 2007 MLS Reserve Division. This past Saturday, Flores even played 15 minutes for Chivas USA at Guadalajaras Estadio Jalisco in a benefit match against parent club Chivas de Guadalajara.

Led by head coach Thomas Rongen, the U.S. U-20 Mens National Team will conduct an 11-day training camp in Buenos Aires, Argentina, that will include matches against the U-20 squads of Paraguay (Nov. 26), Argentina (Nov. 28) and Uruguay (Dec. 1). Rongens 18-player roster departs the day after Thanksgiving, and returns to the U.S. on Dec. 3, one day after Chivas USA closes camp for 2007.

In March 2007, Jorge Flores reached national prominence when he was officially named the winner of Sueo MLS: Chivas USA Wants You!, a nationally televised open tryout held by Chivas USA and Major League Soccer in which more than 2,000 participants competed for a spot on Chivas USAs roster.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!