MLS Lost in Las Vegas, Becks on Leno Tonight & More

Just in case any reminder was needed regarding the peripheral role MLS plays in the sports mainstream in this country, a trip to Las Vegas on the opening weekend of the season provided it.

Avoiding news about MLS (so I could watch TiVo’d Galaxy and Chivas USA games Monday night and this morning respectively) was disconcertingly easy.

No mention of MLS on the ESPN bottom of the screen crawl during March madness on the ubiquitous televisions in casinos (and this is the league’s alleged broadcast partner?).

Most sports books don’t take bets on MLS games (the Station Casino chain is an exception).

And Fox Soccer Channel and others that carry the game simply aren’t one of the options at the gazillions of television choices at sports books.

So it wasn’t until Monday night I learned the Galaxy’s new look team looked a lot like their old ones in a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of the Colorado Rapids. That was L.A.’s worst loss since the waning days of the Steve Sampson era (May 6, 2006 to be precise). Exactly a month later, Sampson was fired.

Are you listening Ruud Gullit?

Perhaps even more drastic action needs to be taken in the case of increasingly embarrassing cart horse defender Abel Xavier, who is slowing down almost visibly with every game and was to blame on several of the goals. And I wasn’t thinking he needs to be put out to pasture.

Let’s see David Beckham laugh that one off at 11:35 p.m. this evening with Leno on “The Tonight Show.”

Meanwhile, the Galaxy announced today they will host a U.S. Open Cup qualifying game Tuesday May 27 against those same Rapids. Let’s hope Colorado doesn’t play another (ahem) “weakened” line-up. Tickets are on sale now for the 7:30 p.m. game.

Good thing Maykel Galindo and Chivas USA are likely to be a lot more diverting than the Galaxy again this year, the Cuban saving the point against Dallas Sunday with a late equalizer.

Condolences to classy Mexican veteran defender Claudio Suarez, a resident of the Palos Verdes Peninsula, who missed the game due to the death of his father.

Congrats to Downey High junior Briant Reyes, 16, named the winner of the Los Angeles portion of “Sueo MLS 2008: The Dream Continues.” The Salvadorian-American joins the Under-16 Chivas USA team.

And farewell to reserve Chivas USA forward John Cunliffe who got shipped off to San Jose for Canadian defensive midfielder Chris Pozniak.

Lastly, Shannon Boxx of Torrance, USC’s Amy Rodriguez and UCLA’s Lauren Cheney were all named Monday to the U.S. Olympic qualifying squad.

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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 and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!