Women’s College Soccer Result: Florida 0 at USC 1

USC qualified for the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament for the first time in its history tonight, beating SEC Champion Florida 1-0 and earning the right to play West Virginia Friday, Saturday or Sunday. It’s unclear yet whether the game will be played here or back East; USC and UCLA have a pointy ball game Saturday at the Coliseum.

McAlister Field, the usual home field for USC, has a capacity of just 1,000 and is considered inadequate for tournament play; the Trojans drew a crowd of 1,469 tonight.

Florida’s 14-game undefeated streak – and its season – ended on a Kasey Johnson header from seven yards out in the 47th minute. The freshman from Sierra Madre got on the end of a Ashley Nick free kick to score her first-ever collegiete goal.

“It was really shocking,” Johnson said.”I didn’t think it was going to happen.”

USC dominated Florida, which had lost its second-leading scorer KeLeigh Hudson to a season-ending knee injury last weekend, out-shooting their tiring opponents 9-2 in the second half.

USC could have made it two, but top scorer Amy Rodriguez put the ball wide of the next from seven yards with only the goalkeeper to beat with just six minutes left in the game.

Updated: USC Coach Ali Khosroshahin, who joined a program in turmoil at the start of the season when his predecessor, Torrance resident Jim Millender, was fired, was shocked at how far his team had come.

“If you would have told me at the beginning of the season we’d be in this position, I’d have asked you what drugs you were on,” he said. “We weren’t a very cohesive unit at the start of the season.”

“They’re believing in us, they’re believing in the plan,” he added when asked what had changed for his players. “We’re really starting to enjoy being around one another, which at the start of the year that wasn’t the case at all.”

Khosroshahin still sees plenty of room for improvement, though, even though the team had spent plenty of time slogging up and down the Coliseum steps.

“Our finishing could have been better and it wouldn’t have been as nail biting as it was,” he said. “Our fitness level still isn’t very good, but it’s better than it was.”

Florida Coach Becky Burleigh said her team was disjointed this evening and observed the difference was a well-worked free kick.

“It was a good goal that they scored on a set piece,” she said. “We were a little bit out of rhythm in terms of connecting passes in the final third.”

Here’s how Scott French saw the game for The Gainsville Sun.

Here’s the complete tournament bracket.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Women’s College Soccer: Florida 0 at USC 0 (Half Time)

USC, which went with the same starting eleven that beat Missouri 1-0 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, had the better of the attacking opportunities in the opening half at a rather desolate-looking Coliseum.

USC’s two best opportunities came at either end of the first half.

The first came after six minutes when a close-range shot by Lauren Brown hit the bar and denied the striker out of Chino Hills her seventh goal of the season.

The second came two minutes before half time, when junior Kelly Finch just failed to prod home a ball from three yards out.

Florida looked dangerous on the counter attack, but was unable to put USC under sustained pressure.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Bruins & Trojans College Soccer Saturday

Bruin Ball

UCLA striker Lauren Cheney broke the Bruins’ single-season school record for points Friday, with a goal and an assist in a 2-1 overtime win over Virginia at Drake Stadium.

She now has 55 points on the season, moving past the 52 Traci Arkenberg notched in 1997.

The UCLA men (8-8-3, Pac-10 runner-up) open NCAA Tournament for the 25th straight year at 7 tonight at Drake Stadium against New Mexico (12-4-2, MPSF champions).

The game pits the 2006 NCAA runner-up (UCLA) against the 2005 NCAA runner-up. The two programs last met in 2006, UCLA winning 2-0 on the back of two Maxwell Griffin goals in New Mexico.

Griffin leads UCLA this season with nine goals in 18 games.

Tickets to the game are $9 adults and $7 for students and youth and can be purchased at the door.

An audio broadcast along with live stats will be available at UCLABruins.com.

Trojans Tackle Florida

Making the first-ever trip to the NCAA Third Round, USC (16-3-2) is seeking to set a program record of 17 wins with a victory over No. 3 seed Florida (17-4-3) tonight at the Coliseum.

It’s the first USC women’s game at the 92,000 capacity stadium in six years.

USC shutout Creghton and Missouri respectively in the first two rounds of the tournament, winning by a combined score of 4-0.

The game kicks off at at 7 p.m. with live stats and live video available at www.usctrojans.com.

Tickets are $10 adults and $5 for children, seniors and students. Parking will be available at Lots 4 and 5 (at the intersection of Martin Luther King and Hoover) for $8.

I plan to blog from the game.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

World Cup Draw Is Sunday

As hard as it is to believe the 2010 World Cup draw is Sunday with U.S. goalkeeper Kasey Keller helping out, although games are already under way in South America and elsewhere.

You can watch it at fifa.com, and will have to if you live in the U.S. because I don’t see a listing on any of the ESPN channels. (Even with what seems like three jillion ESPN channels the U.S. is not one of 173 countries to show the draw live?).

Meanwhile, the U.S. dropped one spot to 19th in the monthly world rankings released today.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Friday Football: Bruins, Klinsmann and Chivas USA

The top-seeded UCLA women (18-1-2) and fourth-seeded Virginia (13-3-6) meet at 6 o’clock tonight at Drake Stadium to battle for a spot in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Tournament.

A preview is here.

Tickets for the game are $10 for adults and $8 for youths and students.

Meanwhile, Franz Beckenbauer is talking up Orange County resident and one-time Galaxy advisor Jurgen Klinsmann for the now-vacant England coaching job.

Finally, Chivas USA has announced a Dec. 2 benefit game in Orange County for victims of the devastating floods in Mexico against a team that includes former Galaxy stars Carlos Hermosillo and Luis Hernandez.

From the (edited) Chivas USA press release:

After finishing atop Major League Soccers Western Conference with a 15-7-8 regular-season record, Chivas USA will close out 2007 in style, as it plays for the very first time in the city of Santa Ana, Calif., against a team of Mexican Soccer Legends featuring Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernndez, Alberto Garca Aspe, Jose Manuel Chepo de la Torre and many other Mexican futbol stars in a special benefit match at Santa Ana Stadium next Sunday, Dec. 2 at 4:00 p.m.

Tickets, costing $20 for adults and $15 for kids go on sale at noon Monday via Ticketmaster or by calling 1-877-CHIVAS-1.

All proceeds from next Sundays Chivas USA vs. Mexican Soccer Legends match will go to victims of recent flooding in the southeastern Mexican states of Tabasco and Chiapas, which has destroyed countless homes and prompted the evacuation of over a million inhabitants. In turn, Banamexs disaster relief fund will match dollar-for-dollar all monies collected by Chivas USA during the match.

This will be Chivas USAs second benefit match in two weeks dedicated to the residents of Tabasco and Chiapas, but the first in the United States; on Nov. 17, Chivas USA faced parent club Chivas de Guadalajara in an historic Tabasco and Chiapas relief match at Guadalajaras Estadio Jalisco.

Chivas USAs opponent, an all-star team of Mexican Soccer Legends, includes key stars from the Mexican National Team and the Mexican First Division during the last 10 years.

Confirmed particpants include Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernndez, Manuel Negrete, Jose Manuel Chepo de la Torre, Adolfo Ros, Adrin Chvez, Alberto Garca Aspe, Alfredo Tena, Martn Ziga, Daniel Osorno, Jess Ramrez, Jos Luis Salgado and Joaqun del Olmo.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Turkey Soccer with San Pedro’s Crazy Croats & More

I’ve watched Scottish games with a bunch of wound-up Scots, games in Germany with every nationality you can think of and now a Croatia game with a couple of hundred Croats at San Pedro’s Croatian American Club.

It’s the differing nationalities and ethnicities brought together by soccer that makes the sport truly unique and yet the experience, no matter where you watch a game in the world, is universal.

What’s more, England are always likely to disappoint.

Check out the atmosphere of the England-Croatia Euro 2008 qualifier here. And thanks to San Pedro’s Croatian community for their hospitality.

David Beckham said England’s players are hurting (he should try being a fan).

England Coach Steve McClaren was fired as expected today in the wake of the game.

And there’s one thing we Brits can do to ease the pain: blame America.

Catch upon the rest of the Euro 2008 qualifiers here.

Meanwhile, the Galaxy named its travel squad late Wednesday for its trip down under.

From the Galaxy press release:

Nineteen players, including the newly acquired Clint Mathis, but not forward Gavin Glinton who was taken earlier today in the MLS expansion draft, will make the trip to Australia on Friday for next weeks games against Sydney FC on Tuesday and Wellington Phoenix on December 1.

The game in Australia will be the Galaxy debut of the clubs new head coach, Ruud Gullit, who will be assisted by Trevor James and Cobi Jones.

The Galaxys complete travel squad for these matches: goalkeepers Joe Cannon, Steve Cronin and Lance Friesz; defenders Chris Albright, Ante Jazic, Troy Roberts and Kyle Veris; midfielders David Beckham, Kevin Harmse, Quavas Kirk, Chris Klein, Josh Tudela and Peter Vagenas; forwards Edson Buddle, Mike Caso, Landon Donovan, Alan Gordon, Clint Mathis and Carlos Pavon.

Of those 19 players, two are unlikely to see any action as Alan Gordon and Quavas Kirk are still not match fit. Earlier this month, Gordon underwent surgery on his left foot to correct lingering problem that plagued him for most of the 2007 season. He will join Kirk, who is rehabbing a case of plantar fasciitis in his left foot, in working with the Galaxy medical staff to continue their rehab work.

Defenders Ty Harden and Abel Xavier will not make the trip as a result of injury, nor will midfielder Kyle Martino. Both Harden and Martino underwent a hernia operation in Milwaukee earlier today while Xavier remains in Portugal rehabbing a left knee injury.

Kelly Gray, Mike Randolph and Israel Sesay are all healthy but will not make the trip for various reasons. Gray, who was acquired by the Galaxy in July, is scheduled to be married in Northern California on December 1 and will therefore miss out, while Sesay has already returned to his hometown of Gaithersburg, Md. for the offseason.

Randolph will remain in Los Angeles after having been named to the U.S. Under-23 National Teams provisional roster for their upcoming camp. The U.S. roster is expected to be announced next week and if Randolph is named in the squad, it will be his first career call-up to the National Team at any level.

Incidentally, These games will be televised in Australia and New Zealand and last I heard the Galaxy were attempting to have them shown in the U.S.

Finally, Thanksgiving Day marks the kick off of the Daily Breeze’s annual ball drive.

So give.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Galaxy Ins and Outs: Euro 2008 & MLS Expansion Draft

David Beckham will stay with the Galaxy all summer next year after England today ineptly backed their way out of Euro 2008, despite Becks getting an assist in a 3-2 loss to Croatia.

That was about the only silver lining for the Galaxy’s English fans, although the 200 crazy Croats I watched the game with in San Pedro were pretty happy. I’ll have more on that in a story in Thursday’s Daily Breeze.

Meanwhile, the San Jose Earthquakes went shopping in the pre-Thanksgiving sale known as the MLS Expansion draft and picked up Galaxy supersub Gavin Glinton and sometimes Chivas USA starting defender Jason Hernandez among others.

From the Galaxy press release:

Glinton finished the 2007 season tied for third on the Galaxy with a career-high four goals in 19 games. Used primarily off the bench, Glinton started just three of his 19 games but still managed to score a number of crucial goals for the club, including three during the Galaxys late season, seven-game unbeaten streak. Two of those goals were game-winners while the other gave LA the lead late on in the eventual 2-2 draw at Real Salt Lake on Sept. 19.

Glinton appeared in 51 career games for the Galaxy during two stints with the club. Originally drafted by the Galaxy in 2002, he won the MLS Cup as a rookie after scoring once in 22 games. Midway through the 2003 season, Glinton was dealt to Dallas. After spending some time as a college soccer coach and in the USL First Division, Glinton return to the Galaxy late last season, playing in one game.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

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.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Corrie Hirokawa, Final Whistle Blows on Her College Career

Corrie Hirokawa ended the season with nine goals and nine assists for the 14-5-4 Cal State Dominguez Hills women, the highest points total on the team. This is her final post for 100 Percent Soccer.

Our 2007 college soccer season has finally come to an end.

I will never play in a competitive college soccer match again, and believe me, that is hard to swallow.

We traveled up to Seattle for the first round of the NCAA playoffs to face UC San Diego once again.

We battled hard and never stopped fighting even when it went into overtime.

With only one minute left in the first overtime I passed the ball to Yvonne Vasquez and she sent it right into the net.

The way I felt at that moment is what I will always remember about playing college soccer.

I was so proud of the team and of all the hard work we put in together to win that game.

It was a fight from start to finish and we never gave up. After the game I started crying because I was so physically and emotionally exhausted.

Those feelings of intense passion for the game of soccer are what I will always cherish.

Of course I am going to try to play on other teams, but nothing will ever compare to my years playing for Cal State Dominguez Hills.

The final match of my senior season was against Seattle Pacific, which was ranked second in the nation.

Their record was 20-0, a perfect season, and going into that match, although I knew it was going to be a tough battle, I had faith in the team that we were going to give it our best shot.

SPU was a great team and beat us 3-0, but our team never gave up.

Seattle Pacific worked well as a team and was ahead by three goals at the beginning of the second half.

When I looked at the game clock during the final minutes of the match, I knew that we were going to lose the game, but we did not stop fighting. And in my eyes that says a lot about our character.

Even though my season came to an end, I wasn’t upset with the effort we put in against Seattle Pacific.

And I have had a tremendous four years of college soccer and have made beautiful friendships and memories that will last forever.

Life without college soccer brings tears to my eyes, but it has been a pleasure playing with my teammates and playing against some of the best players in the nation.

I will now look forward to what the rest of my life has in store for me.

Thank you for reading my blog posts. It has been fun!

And as always, GO TOROS!

Corrie Hirokawa, #9

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Tuesday’s Column & More

I talked to Paul Bravo, the Galaxy’s director of soccer, in what I believe was the first in-depth interview he has given since his appointment in late August for my weekly column.

A couple of things left out of the column for space reasons:
*Bravo said the team is looking for a consistent goal scorer (goodbye Carlos Pavon?), a holding midfielder to protect the back line (goodbye Pete Vagenas, Kevin Harmse?) and some pace wide in left midfield.

Meanwhile, the English player Croatia said they fear most in Wednesday’s European qualifier is David Beckham, which probably tells you how mediocre this England team is than anything else.

The UCLA men Monday were awarded a berth in the NCAA Tournament.

More details here.

Finally, U.S. Men’s Paralympic Team midfielder Marthell Vazquez, originally from Long Beach, was named the Most Valuable Player of the recently-concluded 2007 Cerebral Palsy International Sports & Recreation Association World Championships in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Vazquez was the leading scorer for the U.S. with four goals. The U.S. team finished in 10th place.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email