Friday Football

*The U.S. Under-23 National Team plays the Ivory Coast at 9 a.m. today on Fox Soccer Channel from France.

*Fontana’s Maurice Edu of Toronto FC has been called into the senior national team for next week’s game against England, presumably as a replacement for the injured Benny Feilhaber.

*The Galaxy’s Ante Jazic has only just returned from injury, but the defender has been recalled by Canada’s National Team for its May 31 game against Brazil in Seattle.

*In other MLS news, former Galaxy midfielders Jovan Kirovski and Kelly Gray have joined the San Jose Earthquakes from the Colorado Rapids, with former Chivas USA reserve goalkeeper Preston Burpo moving in the opposite direction.

*ESPN has announced that Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League final between Manchester United and Chelsea – the first-ever between two English teams – was ESPN2’s highest-rated and most-watched UEFA telecast in history.

From the ESPN press release:

The telecast was seen in an average of 798,000 homes (and by 1,097,000 viewers), and received an 0.8 rating. The network’s previous UEFA record was the 2006 final, seen in 613,000 homes (and by 770,000 viewers), based on a 0.7 rating.

On ESPN Deportes, the Spanish-language telecast earned a 4.5 Hispanic coverage rating, representing 153,000 Hispanic homes, the highest rating the network has ever received.

ESPN Classic will re-air the telecast as an instant classic at 5 p.m. Saturday.

*Meanwhile, Electronic Arts’ UEFA Euro 2008 video game has gone on sale, featuring 52 teams.

From their press release:

A new game mode called Captain Your Country will enable gamers to put themselves on the pitch, earn the captaincy of their team, and truly inspire their country to glory. Gamers will be able to celebrate their success on-field through user-controlled celebrations that will add to the pageantry and atmosphere of the event.

*Cal State Northridge women’ soccer has announced the signing of eight high school seniors to letters of intent: sweeper Nicole Cruz and defender Emily Geckle (both Thousand Oaks High); goalkeeper Christina Herrera (Pasadena High); defender Marie Hirsch (Notre Dame High); midfielder Marissa Miller (Righetti High); defender Katie Russ (Canyon High); midfielder Brielle Slepicoff (Saugus High); and midfielder Sinead Vaughan (Royal High).

*Only two local PDL games scheduled this weekend.

At 7:30 tonight the San Fernando Valley Quakes play at Los Angeles Legends.

At 7 p.m. Saturday, it’s the Bakersfield Brigade at Southern California Seahorses at La Mirada High.

*The Women’s Premier Soccer League begins play locally this weekend.

Games scheduled locally:
Saturday- Ajax America Women Los Angeles Rampage at noon at Nansen Field in Rolling Hills Estates.
San Diego WFC SeaLions- West Coast FC at 7 p.m. at Cathedral Catholic High in San Juan Capistrano.
Claremont Stars- SD United at 5:30 p.m. at Claremont High School.

*Finally, if you thought MLS officiating was bad, check this out.

Have a great weekend.

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