Chivas USA Goalkeeper Guzan Denied U.K. Work Permit & More

U.S. international Brad Guzan is a world-class goalkeeper, but British bureaucrats pulled the plug today on his imminent $4 million move to Aston Villa.

From the (edited) Chivas USA press release:

Club Deportivo Chivas USA of Major League Soccer today announced that 2007 MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and Chivas USA Original Brad Guzan will return to the club for the 2008 season. The announcement comes following the denial of Guzans British work permit application this afternoon, London time. The 23-year-old U.S. international had been set to join storied English Premier League club Aston Villa in a record transfer for an MLS goalkeeper.

It has been my privilege to represent the Chivas colors for the past three years and I look forward to returning to Chivas USA this season, said Guzan in a statement from England. I have always appreciated the support of Chivas USA and its passionate fans and shall continue wear the colors with pride as we strive for great things in MLS and beyond in 2008.

Brad is a world-class goalkeeper who has attracted the interest of some of the worlds best clubs, and Chivas USA is happy to have him back for another season. Although we share in his disappointment at the denial of his British work permit, we know that Brad, like the true professional he is, will continue to work hard to improve every day on and off the field with Chivas USA, said Chivas USA Head Coach Preki Radosavljevic.

Major League Soccers reigning Goalkeeper of the Year, Brad Guzan was selected by Chivas USA with its first pick in the 2005 MLS SuperDraft (No. 2 overall) out of the University of South Carolina, prior to the clubs first season as an expansion team in Major League Soccer, making the then-20-year-old the highest-picked goalkeeper in MLS draft history. After playing 24 games for Chivas USA in his rookie season and earning the distinction of 2005 Chivas USA Defender of the Year, the fan favorite known as El Guzano would go on to make his first of five appearances to date for the U.S. National Team in 2006. In 2007, Guzan recorded 13 clean sheets for a Chivas USA side that finished first in MLSs Western Conference.

Wonder if Jurgen Klinsmann, now with Bayern Munich, is monitoring developments?

In other Chivas USA-related news, the club announced today the 2,000 spots for tryouts with the team via a Spanish-language reality show have been filled. Applicants came from 39 different states and 17 foreign countries.

Meanwhile, Mexico Coach Hugo Sanchez today announced the roster for the Feb. 6 game against the U.S. in Houston. The full roster:

Goalkeepers Guillermo Ochoa (Club Amrica), Lus Ernesto Michel (CD Guadalajara), Moiss Muoz (Morelia); defenders Rafael Mrquez (FC Barcelona / SPA), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven / HOL), Johnny Magalln (CD Guadalajara), Fausto Pinto (Pachuca), Israel Castro (Pumas UNAM), Oscar Rojas (Amrica); midfielders Pavel Pardo (VFB Stuttgart / GER), Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Francisco Arce (Santos Laguna), Andrs Guardado (Deportivo la Coruna / SPA), Antonio Naelson (Toluca); forwards Giovani Dos Santos (FC Barcelona / SPA), Carlos Vela (Osasuna), Juan Carlos Cacho (Pachuca), Adolfo Bautista (Jaguares de Chiapas), Antonio de Nigris (Ankaraspor / TUR).

ESPN confirmed today that outspoken analyst Eric Wynalda was punted from the commentary booth in favor of the presumably less controversial John Harkes. It’s another defeat for those who love color and strong opinions and a victory for those who value the bland and safe. Wynalda, of course, has been on the outs with the network ever since he publicly criticized well-known soccer-hater (and loud mouth) Jim Rome a few months back.

At least soccer fans got rid of Dave O’Brien, though.

From the (edited) ESPN press release:

ESPN and ABC will kick off its 13th straight season of Major League Soccer coverage with a new line-up of in-booth commentators veteran soccer television announcer JP Dellacamera and former U.S. Mens National Team captain John Harkes for MLS Primetime Thursday and U.S. Soccer telecasts including, the 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying matches.

Dellacamera and Harkes will lead ESPNs new on-air crew for U.S. domestic soccer telecasts with sideline reporter Allen Hopkins returning for the second year on select MLS and U.S. Soccer telecasts. Rob Stone, who has been involved with soccer at ESPN since 1997, will continue his role as on-site studio host and play-by-play commentator for select MLS matches, with former U.S. Womens National Team captain and soccer Hall of Famer Julie Foudy as studio analyst.

JP and John will enhance our overall soccer presentation and offer consistency throughout our second season of MLS Primetime Thursday and in our coverage of the U.S. Mens National Team, including upcoming qualifying matches for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, said Tim Scanlan, ESPN vice president for remote productions.

Dellacamera, who has called ten straight FIFA World Cups (six mens and four womens), will take over the play-by-play duties previously held by Dave OBrien, who will focus on his prominent role with ESPNs Major League Baseball and NCAA Mens Basketball telecasts (OBrien also handles radio play-by-play for Boston Red Sox games). Harkes, who paired with Dellacamera to call 2006 FIFA World Cup matches from Germany, will occupy the lead booth analyst role previously held by Eric Wynalda, who has been reassigned to ESPN in-studio soccer duties.

ESPNs new commentator team will debut at 6 p.m. Wednesday during the networks live telecast of the U.S. Mens National Team vs. Mexico match from Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.

Finally, prep coverage from the Daily Breeze is here

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Becks Dropped From England Squad

England Manager Fabio Capello, apparently concerned over David Beckham’s fitness, has told the Galaxy midfielder he will not be included in the England squad for next week’s game against Switzerland.

The (London) Times story is here. The full England squad will be named shortly, by the way.

Reaction to the decision is here.

According to this unscientific poll, most fans agree with the decision.

More on Becks’ Brazilian project – apparently, but not surprisingly backed by Galaxy owners Anschutz Entertainment Group, – is here.

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Chivas USA Coach Vasquez Joins Klinnsmann & More

He’s soft-spoken. Unassuming. Mexican-American. The perfect No. 2 for Jurgen Klinsmann at Bayern Munich.

From the Chivas USA press release:

Martn Vsquez has been a member of Chivas USA since the very beginning, and I would like to thank him for his service to our club. He will be sorely missed, said Chivas USA Head Coach Preki. Our search for an assistant who can capably fill Martns shoes has begun in earnest, and we look forward to making an announcement in the coming weeks.

Working with Chivas USA since its first season in 2005 has been a valuable learning experience and a tremendous source of pride for me. I would like to thank Chivas USAs players, coaching staff, and all my colleagues and friends in the organization for the chance to work with this special club during the past three years, said Vsquez. Although I look forward to working with Jrgen Klinsmann at an important institution such as Bayern Munich, out of respect for Bayerns current manager Ottmar Hitzfeld, I shall refrain from making further public statements until officially assuming my new post in July.

July? Nice vacation.

Oh, and The Washington Post’s Steven Goff tells us what’s going on in our own backyard. Barbados may be one of the few nations that don’t have So. Cal contingents outnumbering U.S. fans.

Finally, the Pan-Pacific Championship press folks generate a generally vapid weekly report that this week included this exchange with Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz: Q:

In Dallas you were the marquee star and the go-to person on the team, but obviously on the Galaxy there are several stars like Beckham and Landon Donovan. Does this change the way you will approach your role with LA?

A: We know what kind of stars, what kind of players we have on our team. My job is to come here, play well and try to score goals. Im not trying to be a star. Im trying to be a good player on the field and a good teammate outside of the field.

No nightclubbing then?

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Wednesday Nuggets: Guzan Gone to Villa & More

Chivas Chatter

Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan left the U.S. training camp in Carson to sign with EPL team Aston Villa.

Guzan and Everton’s Tim Howard are likely to share U.S. goalkeeping duties for years to come.

It’s been a pleasure watching Guzan mature between the posts at Home Depot Center and the move is well-deserved. Still, local soccer reporters never like to see someone like the always quotable Guzan exit the locker room. And considering the state of the Chivas USA roster – no goalkeepers listed you’ll notice – new Chivas USA goalkeeping coach Leo Percovich is probably wondering about his job security.

Here’s more on Percovich’s appointment Tuesday from the (edited) Chivas USA press release:

A native of Montevideo, Uruguay, Percovich served as goalkeeper coach for the Colorado Rapids from 2006 to 2007. He replaces Zak Abdel, Chivas USAs goalkeeper coach from 2006 to 2007, who has left the club to pursue other opportunities.

Leos professionalism and playing experience at the highest level will serve our goalkeepers and our team well as we prepare for the 2008 campaign, said Chivas USA Head Coach Preki. I am confident he will capably fill the shoes of Zak Abdel, who did outstanding work for us during his time with Chivas USA.

Percovich, 39, joins Chivas USA from the Colorado Rapids, where starting in August 2006 he worked with 2006 Panasonic Goalkeeper of the Year finalist Joe Cannon, and later with Bouna Coundoul, who enjoyed a breakout 2007 season and was named to the Senegalese National Teams roster for the current 2008 African Nations Cup. Percovich has also apprenticed under goalkeeper coaches throughout Europe and Latin America, including stints with club sides Real Madrid, Valencia, Stuttgart, Cruziero and Pachuca, as well as the national teams of Brazil, France, and Uruguay. Following the 2006 season, Percovich was also named assistant coach to Rapids head coach Fernando Clavijo.

As a player, Percovich made six appearances with the Uruguayan National Team during a professional goalkeeping career that included time with South American powerhouses Nacional de Montevideo (1987-1993), Atltico Mineiro (1994), Guaran FC (1995), and Fluminense FC (1995-1999) and Alianza de Lima (2000), as well as Spanish side Racing de Ferrol (2001). While with Nacional, Percovich won the Uruguayan First Division twice, as a starter in 1991 and 1992, as well as the prestigious Copa Libertadores in 1989.

In other Chivas USA news, the team will participate in a preaseason tournament in Texas in early March, playing D.C. United, the Houston Dynamo and Toronto FC. Details here.

And three Chivas USA players have signed new contracts, according to the team:

Chivas USA players Jorge Flores, Bobby Burling, and Anthony Hamilton recently signed developmental contracts in anticipation of the 2008 season. Flores, a forward, won the first Sueo MLS competition which was held last spring, and made his first team debut for Chivas USA on Sept. 9 against the New York Red Bulls. Forward Anthony Hamilton made two regular season appearances last year before coming on a substitute in Chivas USAs 0-0 tie against the Kansas City Wizards during the 2007 MLS Cup Playoffs. Meanwhile, Burling, a defender, showed tremendous potential while playing for the Chivas USA Reserve team in 2007.

The Ramon Nunez experiment has apparently ended though and he’s returned to his native Honduras.

Galaxy Gossip

Over at the Galaxy, David Beckham opened his third academy in Brazil
this week and is anxiously awaiting word on whether he’ll be named to the England squad Thursday in hopes of winning his 100th cap.

The Galaxy have belatedly got around to officially announcing their two-game tour of Asia and extended the deadline until Sunday for their open tryouts.

Incidentally, recently reacquired striker Carlos Ruiz won’t be joining the Guatemalan national team for their Feb. 6 game at the Coliseum against Argentina the Galaxy announced Wednesday:

Recently acquired LA Galaxy forward Carlos Ruiz will remain in Los Angeles to prepare for the clubs preseason training and to continue to rehabilitate his right knee which underwent successful arthroscopic surgery in November to clean up his lateral meniscus. Therefore Ruiz, who was acquired by the Galaxy on January 15, was not part of Guatemalan National Team head coach Hernn Daro Gmezs 35-man roster which reported for training camp on Monday in Guatemala.

Carlos is coming off a period of inactivity that included arthroscopic knee surgery. To jump right back into international competition would be irresponsible and counter-productive, said Galaxy President and General Manager Alexi Lalas. We want Carlos to progress through a proper preseason so that he is ready for the start of the MLS season and World Cup qualifying with Guatemala later in the year.

Ruiz initially began to feel discomfort in his right knee in September while with his former team, FC Dallas, following a U.S. Open Cup Semifinal win in Seattle. An MRI after that game revealed loose fragments in his knee, but no extensive damage. The 28-year old missed one game as a result of the injury but did not miss any more time for the rest of the regular season and postseason as a result of it.

We had a chance to examine Carlos on Friday and upon our examination, we did not feel that his knee has progressed to the stage of being ready for the rigors of international competition quite yet, said Galaxy club doctor Dr. Bert Mandelbaum. We now have a plan of systematic progression in place for Carlos and with this we expect him to be ready for the upcoming season.

Didn’t take long for the Galaxy to start accumulating injuries, did it?

Nats News

U.S. Soccer has unveiled its new men’s national team jersey.

Initial reviews are, to put it kindly, mixed.

Finally, tickets go on sale at noon today for the Olympic qualifying games in March:

The eight-team event, which includes national teams at the Under-23 age level, will be played as eight doubleheaders from March 11-23, 2008, and will send two finalists to the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Group A, which includes the United States, Honduras, Cuba and Panama, will play at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla. on March 11, 13 and 15. Group B features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico facing off on March 12, 14 and 16 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif. LP Field in Nashville will host the semifinals on Thursday, March 20, and the championship match and third-place game on Sunday, March 23. Tickets priced from $18 to $65 for each of the eight doubleheaders in the tournament go on sale beginning Wednesday (January 30) at 12 p.m. local time in each venue through, by phone at 813-287-8844 (Tampa), 213-480-3232 (Los Angeles) or 615-255-9600 (Nashville) and at local Ticketmaster ticket centers in the venue cities.

Preps Press

Is here from the Daily Breeze and here and
here from the Daily News.

The Long Beach Press-Telegram checks in with prep coverage here.

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Monday’s Last Word: Champions League & More

CONCACAF Champions League

More on this in Tuesday’s column.

But here’s the basics from today’s CONCACAF press release:

CONCACAF (Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football) announced today the official launch of the new continental club championship, the CONCACAF Champions League which will commence in August 2008. The CONCACAF Champions League will replace the Champions Cup which will cease to exist after the 2008 edition.

The CONCACAF Champions League will see a Confederation record number of 24 teams from all sectors of the CONCACAF region participating. The preliminary round begins in August 2008 with the first CONCACAF Champions League winner to be crowned in late April 2009.

The CONCACAF Champions League will feature four teams from Mexico and USA; three Caribbean sides; two clubs each from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Panama; and one representative coming from Canada, Belize, and Nicaragua.

Eight clubs (two Mexican, two USA, one each from Costa Rica, Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador) will be seeded and progress directly to the first round of the CONCACAF Champions League, while the Caribbean slots have been increased to three teams for this event.

The remaining 16 teams will be paired in eight home-and-away preliminary match-ups taking place from 26-28 August and 2-4 September.

The preliminary round winners will join the other eight seeded teams in the group stage that consists of four groups of four. All the teams in each group will play each other in a round-robin system during six match dates (three home games, three away games) from 16 September 30 October.

The top two clubs from each group will advance to the knock out phase playing home-and-away elimination. The quarterfinals commence in February 2009; semifinals begin in March; and the Finals will take place in late April.

The CONCACAF Champions League winner will qualify as the CONCACAFs representative to the 2009 edition of the FIFA Club World Cup.

Three Dozen Looks (Or So)

U.S. Women’s National Team Coach Pia Sundhage called 37 players into a camp that starts Friday in Carson.

The U.S. men are already in camp at the HDC.

Hall of Fame Builders Ballot

Former U.S. Coaches Bruce Arena and Bob Gansler head the list announced today.

Speaking of……

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Sunday Soccer: Sueo MLS 2008, Guzan Update & More

Sueo MLS 2008

Should American soccer fans rejoice that last year’s winner of Spanish-language reality television show Sueo MLS, Anaheim’s Jorge Flores, latched on with Chivas USA or worry that the domestic scouting system can’t unearth players like that (especially Latinos) in more conventional ways?

In any event the show returns at noon today on Univision for a second season.

More details in this (edited) press release:

Sueo MLS, the nationally-televised search for Americas best undiscovered young soccer player, attracted in its inaugural year of 2007 an overwhelming 2,000 hopefuls from across the U.S. and several foreign countries to Chivas USAs open tryout. After six weeks of intense competition, forward Jorge Flores, a 17-year old high-school senior from Anaheim, CA, was crowned the winner. Flores not only earned a spot on Chivas USAs roster, but he was later called up to the United States Under-20 National Team.

Today, the dream continues for thousands of aspiring players around the nation as Major League Soccer unveils plans for Sueo MLS 2008. The program returns to Los Angeles as Chivas USA searches for the next Jorge Flores. Simultaneously, Sueo MLS will also take place in Dallas, providing an opportunity for another set of aspiring young soccer players to showcase their talent in an effort to earn their way onto the FC Dallas roster.

Celtic or Aston Villa for Guzan?

Chivas USA and U.S. international goalkeeper Brad Guzan has reportedly been offered a contract with Scottish powerhouse Glasgow Celtic by Manager Gordan Strachan and is mulling the offer, although there is at least one report claiming Guzan is headed to England’s Aston Villa. Keep in mind though, the source is the breathless News of the World, among the worst examples of the English gutter press.

For what it’s worth, here’s what the newspaper reported:

The Celtic gaffer will miss out on American goalie Brad Guzan after Aston Villa’s last-ditch 2million swoop.


Yank Guzan’s apparent snub comes as a huge blow though. Celtic had identified him as a successor to Artur Boruc.

Last week we revealed the USA international was jetting in to join up with the Hoops at their Lennoxtown base.

The 23-year-old, voted the best goalie in the MLS last season, took just one session to convince Strachan and his coaching staff he was the real deal and well worth the 1.5m the MLS wanted.

At his weekly press conference, Strachan confirmed chief executive Peter Lawwell had offered Guzan a contract and the player was heading home “to think about things”.

But it’s understood he headed instead for hush-hush talks with Villa representatives, and is on the verge of signing a pre-contract.

Galaxy Head (Far) East

Details are emerging about the Galaxy’s preseason trip to Korea and China. More here.

Argentina-Guatemala at Coliseum Feb. 6

Tickets start at $25 to see what is apparently Argentina’s Under-23 or Olympic team play the senior Guatemala team at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 6 at the LA Memorial Coliseum.

Among the over-age players Argentina is bringing are Liverpool’s Javier Mascherano and former Barcelona midfielder Juan Romn Riquelme. Barcelona’s Lionel Messi is recovering from injury, in case you were wondering.

Full squad is here.

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Waiting for the Weekend: Becks, Mia & More

Will David Beckham be named to the England squad next week for Fabio Capello’s first game as coach? Is Capello dumb enough to risk the ire of Beckham fans worldwide and run against strong public sentiment lobbying for GoldenBalls to win his 100th cap?

Highly unlikely, you gotta think. The speculation is well under way.

In Carson Saturday, fans can expect a high of 63 degrees and showers for Mia Hamm’s 1 p.m. charity game at Home Depot Center. Among the soccer stars expected to play: Hamm, Landon Donovan, Chris Albright, Brad Guzan, Alexi Lalas (wonder if Albright will give the Galaxy GM a whack on the shin after his trade), Eric Wynalda, Taylor Twellman, Julie Foudy and Kristine Lilly.

Tickets are $20. Full details here.

Meanwhile, Tony DiCicco, head coach of the U.S. Womens National Team from 1994-1999, was named today as head coach of the U.S. Under-20 Womens National Team and is presumably waiting in the wings should Pia Sundhage fail during her short-term contract as national team coach.

The (edited) U.S. Soccer press release:

DiCicco replaces Jillian Ellis, who has been hired by current U.S. Womens National Team head coach Pia Sundhage as an assistant on her staff through the 2008 Olympics, should the USA qualify in April.

DiCicco, one of the most legendary coaches in U.S. women’s soccer history, won 103 matches, the 1996 Olympics and the historic 1999 Womens World Cup with the U.S. Women. DiCicco will be charged with taking over a team that will attempt to qualify for the 2008 FIFA U-20 Womens World Cup being held in Chile from Nov. 20-Dec. 7. Dates and venues for the CONCACAF Qualifying Tournament have yet to be set.

When Jill agreed to join my staff as an assistant, it left a void in a very important position, said Sundhage. Tony has won gold medals at the highest levels. He knows what it takes to become a great player for the National Team and that knowledge will be very valuable for these young players. With the kind of experience these young players get from playing with the U-20s and other youth national teams, Ive seen in the past that its especially important for the coach to share what it takes to reach the next level. It makes the players experience even better.

I am also excited that Jill has joined our staff. She knows many of the players on the National Team now and her experience internationally and knowledge of the young players will be very valuable to us.

Last fall, DiCicco was named head coach of the Boston Breakers in the new womens professional league, the WPS (Womens Professional Soccer), slated to start play in 2009. DiCicco currently serves as the technical director of FSASoccerPlus Football Club in Connecticut, a youth club that he founded in 2003. He is also the head coach of the SoccerPlus CT Reds of the Womens Premier Soccer League (WPSL) which won the USASA U-23 National Championship in 2007.

This is a tremendous opportunity to coach an elite group of talented and motivated U.S. players, said DiCicco, who went 103-8-8 as head coach of the USA. Our goal is two-fold. In the last two youth world cups we have come up shy of the championship so one of our goals is to win the championship. Second, we want to help develop top international players for Pia Sundhage and our full womens national team.

Finally, Chivas USA defender Lawson Vaughn is out for up to six weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery today to remove scar tissue from his left ankle. And practically on the eve of training camp opening, too.

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SuperDraft Leftovers, Camps & More

Supplemental Draft

Even the name sets the pulse racing doesn’t it?

The Galaxy’s moves today from the team’s (edited) press release:

The LA Galaxy made four selections in this afternoons 2008 MLS Supplemental Draft, selecting a pair of defenders, as well as a goalkeeper and a midfielder in the four round draft. These four selections, as well as the six players drafted by the Galaxy in last weeks MLS SuperDraft are scheduled to arrive at The Home Depot Center early next month when the club begins preseason training for the 2008 campaign

In the first round of the Supplemental Draft, the Galaxy selected defender Michael Gavin from Portland with the fourth overall pick. A four-year starter for the Pilots, Gavin appeared in 76 games during his four years in Portland, tallying four goals with two of them being game winners while helping his team reach the NCAA Tournament twice.

The Galaxy used their second round pick (16th overall) to select 2007 Big West Goalkeeper of the Year, Charles Alamo, from University of CaliforniaRiverside. A four-year starter for the Highlanders, Alamo had six shutouts as a senior and finished his college career with more than 300 saves.

One round later, the Galaxy took UCLA defender Greg Folk with the 32nd overall selection. An honorable mention All-Pac-10 defender as a senior in 2007, the former captain of the U.S. Under-18 National Team started 64 of his 72 career games with the Bruins, including the 2006 College Cup Final.

With their final pick of the Supplemental Draft, the Galaxy selected midfielder Daniel De Geer from the University of San Francisco. De Geer scored a career-high two goals as a senior and played 44 career games for USF where he was a teammate of Brandon McDonald, who LA drafted in the fourth round of the MLS SuperDraft.

Chivas USA picked: San Diego State University forward Kraig Chiles, UC-Berkeley midfielder Javier Ayala-Hill, North Carolina State midfielder El Hadj-Cisse and UNC defender Andre Sherard .

UCLA defender Brandon Owens was selected by D.C. United. The (edited) UCLA press release:

Owens, who was chosen as the 10th pick in the first round, was a starter on three Pac-10 Championship squads. Owens was team captain for the U.S. Under-17 National Team at the 2003 World Youth Championships and has 36 career caps with the U-17s and U-20s.

Bob’s (and Pete’s) Boys

U.S. Coach Bob Bradley Thursday named a 21-player roster that will train in Carson ahead of the Feb. 6 game against Mexico that’s essentially the same as the camp for the Sweden game minus New York’s Jozy Altidore, Fontana’s Maurice Edu, Chivas USA’s Sacha Kljestan and UCLA’s Marvell Wynne who will participate in the Under-23 camp being held through Feb.3 in Bradenton, Fla. European players will be named later for the Mexico game.

Local participants in camp include Galaxy goalkeeper Steve Cronin (0 caps/0 goals), Landon Donovan (97/35) and soon-to-be-ex-Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan (5/0).

Coach Peter Nowak’s picks included UCLA products Kamani Hill (Vfl Wolfsburg), Patrick Ianni (Houston Dynamo), Chance Myers (Kansas City Wizards) and Chad Barrett (Chicago Fire).
Also in camp: Mike Randolph (Galaxy) and Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers (Columbus Crew).

Chivas USA-Columbus Crew in Santa Clarita

The game is Feb. 23.


A Pasadena kid gets a chance in England.

Best Vets

Finally, the National Soccer Hall of Fame released its list of eligible vets today.

It’s disgraceful that former LA Aztec (and Hermosa Beach bar owner) George Best is still not a member.

Your vote doesn’t count, but presumbably you can send a message here.

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A Week is a Long Time in Football

Goes the old British soccer saying. And in blogging.

Here’s a quick recap of the last week while 100 Percent Soccer was 100 Percent Frozen in the white wilds of Canada.

With the Galaxy set to reintroduce Carlos Ruiz to the local media today, reports out of Newcastle, England suggest the Magpies’ former Nigerian left back Celestene Babayaro is apparently heading to the Galaxy to link up with his former Chelsea manager Ruud Gullit, according to reports out of Newcastle and confirmed by Galaxy beat reporter Billy Witz.

Chris Albright sounded none too pleased with the Galaxy’s devious move that ended with him heading to New England on draft day telling

They could have dealt my rights [before they re-signed me]. They negotiated an offer with me to help them on their cap. Its a bit of a slap in the face. I felt that Id done enough to deserve that consideration.

Read the entire interview here.

So with left back Ante Jazic out injured (again) and right back Albright traded it looks like two new outside defenders for the Galaxy next season then?

A recap of the UCLA contribution to the MLS draft is here.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA continued its policy of picking up journeymen MLS pros by picking up Chicago’s Jim Curtin.

Kudos to Torrance’s Shannon Boxx for her role in leading the U.S. to a win in the Four Nations Tournament.

Dumb ass quote of the (last) week goes to Carson Mayor Jim Dear who told the LA Weekly as he talked about the 2003 Women’s World Cup held in part at Home Depot Center: “You remember the woman who took her blouse off (during the games)? She did that in Carson.”

Um, that would be Brandi Chastain. In 1999. In Pasadena.


Hawthorne-based AYSO has folowed the Galaxy’s lead and signed a sponsorship deal with Herbalife, which has a significant presence in the South Bay. The clue as to why the deal was done is at the bottom of the (edited) press release:

The American Youth Soccer Organization and Herbalife Ltd. (NYSE:HLF), a global nutrition and direct selling company, announced a first-ever four-year agreement that makes Herbalife the Official Nutrition Advisor and Official Health and Wellness Provider of the countrys leading youth soccer organization.

Similar to Herbalifes agreement with the Los Angeles Galaxy Major League Soccer club, the AYSO sponsorship gives Herbalife the rights to display its name and logo on the front of AYSO jerseys, a first for the non-profit national organization. The agreement also includes Herbalifes presence on the AYSO Web site, signage at games, an on-site presence at national and sectional events, and a nutrition column in Play Soccer, AYSOs online publication.

With child obesity on the rise, it is imperative to educate children and their parents about proper nutrition and how to have a healthy, active lifestyle, said Herbalife Chairman and CEO Michael O. Johnson. Herbalife is on a mission for nutrition, while AYSO provides children, adolescents and teens an outlet to be active.

Its a natural fit as our two organizations are engaged in improving the health of todays youth, said AYSO National President Mike Wade. The AYSO National Board of Directors unanimously approved the agreement. Were excited about our partnership with Herbalife and the role well play together to reach out to kids and help educate them and their parents about the importance of healthy choices.

The AYSO was started in Los Angeles in 1964 with nine teams. Today, the organization has more than 80,000 teams, in 1100 regions serving approximately one million kids located across the U.S. Its activities are based upon its five philosophies: Everyone Plays, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching, and Good Sportsmanship.

According to the United States Department of Health & Human Services, Childhood obesity has nearly tripled for adolescents in the past two decades The U.S. government agency points to lack of physical activity, unhealthy eating patterns or a combination of the two as the leading factors in the rise of these frightening statistics.

In July 2006, Herbalife announced the launch of the Herbalife Kids line of nutrition products that includes shakes and multivitamins with protein, fiber, and 100 percent of key nutrients kids need daily.

Lastly, UNICEF ambassador David Beckham made a three-day trip to Sierra Leone that ended Sunday:

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