Monday Wrap: Olympic Qualifying on TV & More

MLS teams grappling with today’s roster and salary budget compliance deadline didn’t generate much news, with few teams actually announcing their cuts (including the Galaxy).

I’ll have more on that in Tuesday’s column, but I can tell you that Chivas USA didn’t have to make any cuts since they have just 17 senior players on their roster. (Defender Bobby Burling, striker Anthony Hamilton and Jorge “Sueno” Flores – who has been playing at left back during preseason – are developmental players who don’t count toward the 18-player senior roster).

Presumably, Chivas USA will add another goalkeeper, a critical need if starter Brad Guzan can secure a work permit in England during the summer transfer window.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA left today for a preseason tournament in Texas.

From the Chivas USA press release:

Chivas USA Head Coach Preki has selected 28 players to travel to San Antonio this week for the Texas Pro Soccer Festival. Chivas USA departed today for San Antonio, where it will play three games, against Major League Soccer opponents D.C. United Wednesday, the Houston Dynamo Friday and Toronto FC Sunday.

The roster: goalkeepers Brad Guzan, Lance Parker, Sam Reynolds; defenders Jonathan Bornstein, Bobby Burling, Jim Curtin, Jorge Flores, Claudio Surez, Shavar Thomas, Lawson Vaughn, Alex Zotinca; midfielders Kraig Chiles, John Cunliffe, Eric Ebert, Luciano Fusco, Jesse Marsch, Gerson Mayen, Paulo Nagamura, Daniel Paladini, Keith Savage, Raphal Wicky; forwards Justin Braun, Chukwudi Chijindu, Maykel Galindo, Anthony Hamilton, Atiba Harris, Arnaldo Salazar, Ante Razov.

Chivas USA midfielder Francisco Mendoza (groin strain) and forward Alecko Eskandarian (groin strain) will stay behind in Southern California as they continue their respective rehabs. Also absent: midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who is currently with the United States Under-23 National Team in Florida as it prepares for Olympic qualifying.

Some unfamiliar names there: Mayen and Salazar are on Chivas USA’s Under-18 team, Fusco was discovered playing in rec leagues in San Francisco, Chiles played at San Diego State, Ebert is from Irvine and played at Cal.

By the way, for those who keep track of these things “Sueo MLS 2008: The Dream Continues” is down to its final 18 players, who will play at Home Depot Center March 13.

Over in Galaxyland, Coach Ruud Gullit is reportedly upset with the state of the pitch the Galaxy will play on Wednesday.

“The pitch is in bad shape and dangerous, there were stones and bones, shells, everything was on the pitch. It is pretty difficult to play on it, so I hope they can clean it,” he said.

Finally, Fox Soccer Channel will show all of the U.S. men’s Olympic qualifying games.

From the press release:

Fox Soccer Channel will show a total of seven qualifying matches, including all three of the USAs first-round matches, semifinals, third-place and championship match.

All three U.S. matches in Group A will be played at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla., with the U.S. taking on Cuba at 5 p.m. March 11, Panama at 5 p.m. March 13 and Honduras at 4 p.m. March 15.

Group B features Canada, Guatemala, Haiti and Mexico facing off on March 12, 14 and 16 at Home Depot Center.

Fox Soccer Channel will broadcast both semifinal games at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. March 20, along with the third-place match at 11 a.m. and the final at 2 p.m. March 23.

Both finalists go to China.

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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!
  • Ben

    Thanks for some MLS Roster Updates :)

    Looking forward to your column.