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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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!