Tuesday Tidbits: Olympic Qualifying Draw & More

Lots of soccer news today, so let’s get to it.

Olympics in Carson

CONCACAF announced today that the U.S. will host Cuba, Honduras and Panama in Tampa, Fla., on March 11, 13 and 15 in Olympic qualifying.

Here on the West Coast it’s Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico at Home Depot Center with doubleheaders on March 12, 14 and 16.

Series tickets, by the way, go on sale at 10 a.m. Wednesday priced between $36 and $195. Call 213-480-3232. Individual match day tickets will go on sale at a later date, if they’re still around.

Two teams from the eight qualify for the Olympics in China.

MLS Tweaks Rules

MLS announced today it added one international player slot per team and will not require the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan and two other high-paid players to become designated players.

The moves mean:
* Teams can have eight internationals on the roster. This year teams were allotted seven international spots per team, four of them so-called senior international and three youth International slots. That distinction has now been removed.
*Donovan, striker Eddie Johnson of the Kansas City Wizards and Carlos Ruiz of FC Dallas who had big buck contracts before the adoption of the designated player or Beckham rule, will not become DP’s, which simplifies things greatly for the Galaxy since they would have to trade for another slot.

MLS also released its (early) 2008 calendar.
The highlights:
Jan. 11- 15 – MLS Combine in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Jan. 15 – April 15 – Transfer window.
Jan. 18 – MLS SuperDraft.
Jan. 24 – Supplemental draft.
Jan. 26 – Pre-season training camps may begin.
March 29 – Season opens

Awards, Awards and More Awards

On Monday, UCLA forward Lauren Cheney and USC goalkeeper Kristin Olsen were named as two of the four finalists for the Honda Award, which recognizes the nation’s top collegiate player.

Cheney led the Pac-10 with 23 goals, a UCLA single-season record.

Olson had 12 shutouts and allowed a record-low 13 goals for USC.

Also nominated: Ashlee Pistorius of Texas A & M and Mami Yamaguchi of Florida State.

Galaxy Update

Three Galaxy “moments” are up for consideration in awards in 18 categories for the best sporting moments in 2007 in Southern California. They are: David Beckhams first game, the run to the SuperLiga final and the retirement of Cobi Jones. More info and vote here

Meanwhile, tickets to the Pan-Pacific Championship in Hawaii in February went on sale Tuesday starting at $10. Details here.

Finally, this link is a couple of days old, but new Galaxy Coach Ruud Gullit riffs on England and David Beckham here.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes 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!