Thursday Kicks: Becks on Ellen & More

David Beckham, apparently too chicken to chat with Stephen Colbert, shows up at 4 p.m. on KNBC on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Expect plenty of fawning from the host. Promo clip here.

In completely unrelated news, the Galaxy have relaunched their Kids Club. The $15 membership fee includes, well, not very much: a free poster, a password for the club Web site, a club card, a “special” Galaxy gift and a discounted ticket to a game. Sign up at the Galaxy Web site.

Meanwhile, the, um, hype begins for Saturday’s Galaxy-Chivas USA derby with a Thursday press conference with the Galaxy’s Chris Klein and Ruud Gullit and Chivas USA’s Maykel Galindo and Preki.

Whether anyone will say anything remotely interesting is quite another thing. Bet they won’t top Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan at any rate who recently said:

“I always think about the Galaxy because I always feel that I have my good games when I play against the Galaxy. I don’t enjoy beating anybody else better than I enjoy beating the Galaxy.”

Read the whole thing here.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Wednesday Quick Kicks

Didja remember to TiVo the 11:30 a.m. Manchester United-Barcelona UEFA Champions League semifinal game live on ESPN2?


(Very) briefly: Rolling Hills Estates’ trigger happy midfielder Robbie Rogers of the Columbus Crew will answer questions from fans at 11 a.m. at

And GolTV, fresh off securing the rights to German National Team games, will now also air Italy’s 2010 World Cup qualifying campaign as well as some friendlies, starting May 30 with the game against Belgium.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Tuesday’s Column & More

This is likely the final MLS season for Chivas USA defender Claudio Suarez, one of the true gentlemen in the league.

Suarez graciously sat down for an in-depth interview Monday, spending about an hour reminiscing about his career.

Left out for space reasons were the following nuggets:
*Best moment of his career – lifting the Confederation’s Cup in 1999 as Mexico’s captain.
*Worst moment – being accused of doping in 1997 during the same tournament. Suarez was eventually exonerated completely by FIFA.
*Toughest opponent in MLS: New York Red Bull striker Juan Pablo Angel.
*Toughest opponent he’s ever faced: Argentina’s Gabriel Batistuta.

Incidentally, while I was chatting with Suarez, the Chivas USA reserves were beating their FC Dallas counterparts 3-0 Monday, with Ante Razov getting two goals.

The Galaxy reserves, by the way, lost 2-1 to Houston Sunday, despite a Bryan Jordan goal. The Galaxy reserves fell to 0-2-1 with the loss.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chivas USA Post-Game

Not surprisingly, Chivas USA officials and coaches had little to say after that dour performance.

But Preki rejected the idea this was a game to forget.

“I’m going to look at the video, see what’s going on,” he said.

Always quotable veteran Jesse Marsch had the strongest words.

“As a team we couldn’t get a goal and we couldn’t find a rhythm,” he said. I’ll take responsibility for the way we played tonight. I’m embarrassed for us.”

In contrast, Dallas Coach Steve Morrow said it was his team’s best performance of the season.

“It was a real team effort tonight,” he said, pointing out it was the team’s second consecutive shutout. “We want to build on good, strong defensive displays.”

Game story here.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Final Result: Chivas USA-FC Dallas

Dallas assumed sole possession of the Western Conference lead after scoring the game’s second goal 10 minutes from time on a breakaway from Abe Thompson who outran two defenders to put this one of the reach of Chivas USA, which fell to 1-2-1.

Dallas kept Chivas USA in check pretty much the entire game, controlling without dominating the flow and tempo of the game and performing well enough to deserve the win.

Chivas USA attempted to rustle up the firepower to break down the Dallas defense, sending on strikers Ante Razov and Atiba Harris around the hour mark, but it wasn’t enough.

In a move that summed up the evening for Chivas USA, Razov almost collected a consolation goal in the 90th minute, connecting with a zipping little left-footed half volley from just seven yards out, but the shot rattled off the post.

There were 10,237 on hand to watch this one, incidentally. The two teams’ reserve units play at 10 a.m. Monday at the Home Depot Center’s Track & Field Stadium. Admission is free.

I’ll be back with more from the respective locker rooms.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Half Time: Chivas USA-FC Dallas

Dallas took a one-goal lead after five minutes to provide one of the few noteworthy moments in an otherwise undistinguished first half largely played in the middle third of the field.

Dax McCarty crossed and Ricardinho headed the ball down into the path of Kenny Cooper who swept it into the net from close range for his fourth goal in four games, good for second on the MLS goal scoring chart behind Landon Donovan.

And that, frankly, was largely it until Kraig Chiles tested Dario Sala with a stiff shot a minute before the end of regulation in the first half.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chivas USA-FC Dallas at Home Depot Center

Lovely late spring afternoon in Carson for soccer.

Unfortunately for (1-1-1) Chivas USA there are negligible lines, no parking hassles and few fans.

Nice and mellow for the rest of us.

To the lineups: Chivas USA Coach Preki makes five changes to the eleven that lost 4-3 to the Columbus Crew last weekend.

Brad Guzan starts in goal as usual, while Claudio Suarez returns in the center of defense for his first MLS start of the campaign. Chris Pozniak, Shavar Thomas and Jonathan Bornstein also feature in the back.

Lawson Vaughn returns to start in midfield, alongside Jesse Marsch and Paulo Nagamura, while Kraig Chiles makes his MLS debut.

Justin Braun starts up front in place of Atiba Harris, relegated to the bench, and Maykel Galindo returns.

Jim Curtin and Keith Savage lose their places and drop to the bench.

Both Panchito Mendoza and Sacha Kljestan are suspended.

Dallas (1-0-2), the lone undefeated team in MLS after Chicago’s loss to the Wizards earlier today, makes two changes to the team that beat Red Bull New York 2-0 last weekend. Juan Toja and Pablo Richetti are both out through injury and Marcelo Saragosa and Ricardinho get the starts in their stead.

Otherwise, its Dario Sala in goal, Drew Moor, Dulio Davino, Adrian Serioux and Blake Wagner in the back, Dax McCarty, Andre Rocha, Arturo Alvarez and the aforementioned Saragosa in midfield. Kenny Cooper partners Ricardinho up front.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chivas USA Gameday Sunday, Olympic Soccer Tournament Draw & More

Let’s start with the draw for the men’s and women’s Olympic soccer tournament made this morning in Switzerland.

Here’s the reaction from U.S. players to the men’s team drawing Holland, Nigeria and Japan.

Women’s Coach Pia Sundhage had this to say about the women’s draw:

Im very excited about the challenge of the draw overall. Group F is certainly the strongest of the three groups, but our group will be very good as well. We will play three very different teams with very different styles of play, which will test our ability to adapt in a world championship tournament with just a few days rest between games.

Also noted: the U.S. roster for upcoming friendlies against Australia and Canada.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA will test the depth of their squad this afternoon (5 p.m. Fox Sports) at Home Depot Center against FC Dallas, who have similar issues.

Dallas is out for revenge, while Chivas USA seems likely to welcome veteran Mexican defender Claudio Suarez back for his first game of the season.

Finally, condolences to notable local Kei Kamara of Lawndale, who scored in San Jose’s 2-0 win over the Colorado Rapids Saturday to help the expansion team to their first MLS win, but lost an older brother a few days ago who died in Africa – after getting some teeth pulled.

Puts a mere game in perspective, doesn’t it?

I’ll blog from the HDC this afternoon as usual. See you then.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Galaxy Post-Game

First, lets break down the half time personnel moves by Galaxy Coach Ruud Gullit that changed the nature of this game.

Gullit inserted new Galaxy signing Joey Franchino – a player he had seen only on video – into the middle of the park in place of the ineffective Alan Gordon. Josh Tudela also came out, with left back Mike Randolph slotting into left midfield and Sean Franklin moving over into his position. Abel Xavier came in for Franklin in central defense.

“I had to have a little bit more power in midfield,” Gullit said, adding that Franchino was valuable because of his left foot.

“We didn’t have control of midfield (in the first half),” Gullit added. “There were too many gaps.”

Goalkeeper Steve Cronin also credited Franchino for restoring order – and perhaps intimidating the Dynamo a little, too.

“He’s a presence there,” Cronin said. “He’s a hard-nosed guy.”

David Beckham lamented the lack of “fight” and “urgency” the Galaxy demonstrated in the opening 45 minutes.

“A few words were spoken at half time by players and management,” he said.

But Beckham rejected the notion he and Donovan had essentially played the role of white knights for the Galaxy.

“It’s more about the fight that went on before it,” he said. “That’s what got us back into the game.”

Dynamo Coach Dominic Kinnear conceded that on the balance of play the draw constituted a “fair result,” considering how the momentum “came and went” for his team after outplaying the Galaxy in the opening 45 minutes.

“We just couldn’t hold onto the ball as well as we did in the first half and it hurt us a little bit,” he said.

But just in case the importance (over reliance?) of Donovan for the Galaxy needed emphasizing, it’s worth pointing out he now has five goals in four games and has scored all but one of the Galaxy’s goals so far in this young season (Becks has the other).

Game details here.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Final Result: Galaxy-Dynamo

David Beckham and Landon Donovan combined on two second half goals to pull LA into a 2-2 tie with the Dynamo, essentially rescuing a Galaxy team that had trailed by a goal and appeared headed for the Western Conference basement with just six minutes in regulation time left to go.

Both goals illustrated the gulf in class that separate Donovan and Beckham from the rest of the Galaxy team or most of MLS for that matter.

The first equalizing Galaxy goal was a thing of beauty, Beckham curling over a cross that was met by a spectacularly diving Landon Donovan at the near post, who beat Dynamo defender Patrick Ianni to the ball and let the UCLA product know it. Just minutes earlier Ianni had gone shoulder to shoulder with Donovan chasing a ball with a perfectly legitimate challenge, but one that visibly annoyed both Beckham and Donovan.

The Dynamo scored what they thought was likely the winning goal 10 minutes later, Brian Ching hitting the bar and Franco Caraccio following up to slot it into the net from close range.

But Beckham and Donovan combined again to pull the Galaxy back from the precipice, Donovan beating a Houston defender to the ball to poke it into the net.

The Galaxy almost notched a winner in second half stoppage time, Ianni capping an eventful evening by clearing an Edson Buddle header off the line.

It’s a fine line between success or failure at this stage of the season for the 2-2-0 Galaxy.

More after the press conference, including the unusual personnel switches Coach Ruud Gullit made at half time (Joey Franchino: playmaker!?).

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email