New Dawn Thursday

Always a little jarring when events take you away from something familiar and it’s a little hard to recognize at first when you get back isn’t it?

Hope you like the new look of the blog. Feedback always appreciated.

It was something I knew was coming, but not the time line and in fact I didn’t know the change had been made until a reader informed me. It’s probably why I was unable to blog after the Toronto-D.C. United game where Coach Tom Soehn is increasingly looking the best bet to follow Steve Morrow out the rotating coaching door next.

Penalty highlights of the UEFA Champions League final are below, by the way.

Galaxy fans may remember Afshin Ghotbi, an assistant coach with the Galaxy during Steve Sampson’s reign and notable for his role in developing John O’Brien, who has turned up coaching in his native Iran.

Finally, the experimental U.S. Under-23 National Team dropped its first game of the Toulon Tournament 3-2 to Turkey in the early hours of Wednesday morning despite second-half goals from Eric Brunner and Sammy Ochoa.

The U.S. lineup: 18-Dominic Cervi; 13-Blake Wagner (7-Tony Beltran, 46), 3-Eric Brunner, 6-Julian Valentin, 25-Jonathon Leathers; 16-Corey Ashe, 10-Benny Feilhaber – capt. (21-Brek Shea, 67), 8-Greg Dalby, 17-Lee Nguyen (7-Kamani Hill, 46); 19-Sammy Ochoa, 9-Gabe Ferrari.
Subs Not Used: 1-Chris Seitz, 2-Rob Valentino, 4-Kyle Davies, 5-Michael Gavin, 11-Ellis McLoughlin, 14-Bryan Arguez, 15-Bryan Jordan, 24-Quentin Westberg
Head Coach: Peter Nowak

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Extra Time

Wednesday’s Telly

6:30 a.m. Fox Soccer Channel U.S. Under-23 National Team-Turkey in Toulon.

11:30 a.m. ESPN2 Manchester United-Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League Final.

4:30 p.m. Direct Kick Toronto FC-D.C. United.

Bradley’s Boys

U.S. Coach Bob Bradley has named a 22-man roster that will travel to London to prepare for the friendly against England on May 28 at Wembley Stadium including Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan and the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan:

goalkeepers Dominic Cervi (Out of Contract), Brad Guzan (Chivas USA), Tim Howard (Everton FC); defenders Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham FC), Dan Califf (FC Midtjylland), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Jay DeMerit (Watford FC), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Michael Orozco (San Luis), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United); midfielders Freddy Adu (SL Benfica), DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo), Benny Feilhaber (Derby County), Eddie Lewis (Derby County); forwards Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Nate Jaqua (Out of Contract), Eddie Johnson (Fulham FC), Josh Wolff (Out of Contract).

And here’s the England squad:

David James (Portsmouth), Joe Hart (Manchester City), Chris Kirkland (Wigan); Wayne Bridge (Chelsea), Wes Brown (Manchester United), Ashley Cole (Chelsea), Rio Ferdinand (Manchester United), Phil Jagielka (Everton), Glen Johnson (Portsmouth), John Terry (Chelsea), Stephen Warnock (Blackburn), David Wheater (Middlesbrough), Jonathan Woodgate (Middlesbrough); Gareth Barry (Aston Villa), David Beckham (Los Angeles Galaxy), David Bentley (Blackburn), Joe Cole (Chelsea), Stewart Downing (Middlesbrough), Owen Hargreaves (Manchester United), Tom Huddlestone (Tottenham), Steven Gerrard (Liverpool), Jermaine Jenas (Tottenham), Frank Lampard (Chelsea), Theo Walcott (Arsenal), Ashley Young (Aston Villa); forwards Gabriel Agbonlahor (Aston Villa), Dean Ashton (West Ham), Peter Crouch (Liverpool), Jermain Defoe (Portsmouth), Michael Owen (Newcastle), Wayne Rooney (Manchester United).

Noteworthy: Galaxy forward Landon Donovan, 26, is one cap away from becoming the fourth-youngest male player to reach 100 international appearances. After becoming the all-time U.S. goalscorer Donovan Wednesday would surpass the nation’s most capped player – Galaxy Assistant Coach Cobi Jones (164) – as the youngest U.S. player to hit the century mark.

Galaxy Gossip

Galaxy players already managed to get an MLS coach fired this season and it wasn’t Ruud Gullit. Dallas Coach Steve Morrow got the hook after his team’s plumbing the depths of ghastly performance last weekend.

Tidbits on a date with the knife for Gullit, Galaxy UEFA Champions League final picks (c’mon, name names) here.

Under-20 Galaxy Rios forward Tristan Bowen has been named the to the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team for the upcoming Lisbon International Tournament, where the U.S. will take on Norway on May 21, Portugal on May 22 and Sweden on May 24. The team plays at the HDC Saturday in the season opener.

Also named: defender Jose Diaz (Chivas USA Academy) and midfielder Mike Roman (Real So Cal).

Foxy Programming

Fox Soccer Channel has announced a four-year renewal of its broadcasting rights to televise programming from England’s governing body for soccer.

That includes the F.A. Cup as well as the final, finally back on free TV in the U.S.

Other games include the Community Shield and England internationals.

FSC also snared rights to the CONCACAF Champions League, for four seasons beginning in 2008/2009. FSC airs 56 games this year.

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Monday Night Football

Spent the day working on Tuesday’s column about former Galaxy Coach Sigi Schmid (see next post), but noted these items in passing:

The Galaxy’s Edson Buddle, 27, he of the mazy run around/through four Dallas defenders and hat trick was voted Major League Soccer’s Player of the Week by the North American Soccer Reporters. Buddle has 57 career MLS goals.

An alternate view: Anaheim’s Jorge Flores get a shout-out from the most comprehensive soccer blog around – DuNord – for his performance this weekend.

Details of the Beckham incident Sunday: Beckham received a yellow card in the 76th minute after he got into a shoving match with Adrian Serioux and Arturo Alvarez of FC Dallas (2-3-3). Serioux, who brought Beckham down with a slide tackle, was given a red card and ejected.

“It was a terrible tackle. I could have broken my leg,” Beckham said. “It’s not my decision to give out cards. The player [Serioux] was saying, ‘Welcome, baby, welcome,’ afterward.”

It was Beckham’s second yellow card in two Texas appearances.

Or as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram put it:

In an effort to avert any misunderstanding in the British Parliament, Serioux hails from Canada. We colonists know Beckham is a museum piece.


And former Chivas USA-UCLA striker Matt Taylor keeps popping up.

From a U.S. Soccer press release:

U.S. Women’s National Team head coach Pia Sundhage will bring 27 players to a two-week training camp at Home Depot Center in Carson starting today.

At the end of the camp, Sundhage will choose a 20-player roster to compete in the 2008 Peace Queen Cup in South Korea, where the U.S. will play Australia (June 15), Brazil (June 17) and Italy (June 19).

Two players currently recovering from minor surgery – goalkeeper Nicole Barnhart (knee) and captain Christie Rampone (gall bladder) – will join the camp should they be fit enough to participate. Defender Keeley Dowling and midfielder Angie Woznuk return to camp after missing action while recovering from back injuries.

With Barnhart sidelined, Sundhage has called in 2004 Olympic gold medalist Kristin Luckenbill to join Hope Solo and Briana Scurry in the U.S. net.

Sundhage has also called in one player who has yet to see training camp action, giving a look to uncapped defender Kendall Fletcher, a former UNC star and veteran of the U.S. U-21 Women’s National Team.

Defender Ali Krieger, who is currently playing for FFC Frankfurt, the top women’s club in Germany and one of the best in Europe, will join camp on May 25 after she is released from club duty.

The roster: goalkeepers Kristin Luckenbill (Paoli, Pa.), Briana Scurry (Dayton, Minn.), Hope Solo (Richland, Wash.); defenders Rachel Buehler (Del Mar, Calif.), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis, Mo.), Stephanie Cox (Elk Grove, Calif.), Keeley Dowling (Carmel, Ind.), Kendall Fletcher (Cary, N.C.), Ali Krieger (Dumfries, Va.), Kate Markgraf (Bloomfield Hills, Mich.), Heather Mitts (Cincinnati, Ohio), Cat Whitehill (Birmingham, Ala.); midfielders Shannon Boxx (Redondo Beach, Calif.), Tobin Heath (Basking Ridge, N.J.), Angela Hucles (Virginia Beach, Va.), Carli Lloyd (Delran, N.J.), Leslie Osborne (Brookfield, Wis.), Lindsay Tarpley (Kalamazoo, Mich.), Aly Wagner (San Jose, Calif.), Kacey White (Arlington, Texas), Angie Woznuk (El Cajon, Calif.); forwards Lauren Cheney (Indianapolis, Ind.), Natasha Kai (Kahuku, Hawaii), Heather O’Reilly (East Brunswick, N.J.), Amy Rodriguez (Lake Forest, Calif.), India Trotter (Plantation, Fla.), Abby Wambach (Rochester, N.Y.).

Finally, (indulge me) Norwich City fans everywhere are glad to see Darren Huckerby hyped as a possible MLS signing by former Canaries striker Ted MacDougall.

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Weekend Wrap: Galaxy Blitz Dallas & More

Just when it was least expected, the Galaxy put on one of the most devastating offensive performances in recent club history, demolishing FC Dallas by a four goal margin in a 5-1 victory Sunday that included an Edson Buddle hat trick.

It was the sort of game that sent you rushing to the record book:
*This was the Galaxy’s biggest MLS victory since a a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay in August 2001.

*This was the first road Galaxy 5-1 MLS victory since a Aug. 5, 2000 win over the Wizards.

*Chris Klein made the 93rd consecutive start of his MLS career, tying him with ex-Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman (Peninsula High) for the most consecutive starts in MLS history.

*Buddle’s hat trick was the 14th in Galaxy history and the second this season.

*This was the first time Dallas surrendered five goals in a regular season game since a 5-2 loss at Los Angeles in the last game of the 2006 season. The five goals were the most Dallas has ever surrendered at Pizza Hut Park in a regular season game.

*Today’s attendance of 22,331, was the largest regular season crowd for a Dallas game at Pizza Hut Park.

The win propelled the Galaxy up the standings.

Meanwhile, the W-League Pali Blues won their first home game decisively Saturday.

The W-League Ventura County Fusion won, but the PDL men lost.

The W-League standings.

Also In the PDL this weekend:
Lancaster Rattlers 0 Los Angeles Legends 5
Southern California Seahorses 1 Lancaster Rattlers 0
Orange County Blue Star 1 San Francisco Seals 1

The league table.

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Chivas USA Post-game

After United’s second half collapse, Coach Tom Soehn kept the locker room doors firmly closed for more than a half hour for the first time this season to conduct an internal postmortem.

When he finally did emerge, he looked grim, spoke tersely and softly and generally looked like an employee awaiting a pink slip anytime now.

“We’re all held accountable players, coaches everybody,” he said. “We gave away the ball too much. In the end we gave them a lot of confidence about how to put pressure on us.”

“We threw caution to the wind after they scored, started taking chances and taking risks and they punished us.”

So what did he say to his players in the locker room anyway?

Well, this was a common refrain from several players and Soehn:
“Games aren’t won over 60 minutes, they’re won over 90 minutes.”

Jaime Moreno went with the simplest explanation: “We’re making mistakes, very simple. That’s what we’ve got to eliminate.”

Putting Jesse Marsch back into midfield at the start of the second half was in part to give the defensive midfield more bit and in part to protect young Dan Paladini from picking up a second yellow, so he was pushed out wide right.

You sensed Preki was relieved to escape with this one: “I wasn’t sure who I was going to play in the back.”

Marsch sounded similarly relieved: “We needed a break. We got the break,” he said. “I’ve been looking for something to rally around so hopefully this can be a turning point.”

Oh, and Sueno was “very happy.”

Game details here.

Here’s how The Washington Post’s Steven Goff saw the game

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Final Result: D.C. United at Chivas USA

Two second half goals inside three minutes saved this game for Chivas USA – or in truth two incredibly poor D.C. United errors did.

This game wasn’t half as good as the 3-1 scoreline suggest; it was one of those games your mother should have told you never to watch, between two frankly bad teams with a combined record of 3-9-2.

As banged up as Chivas USA is, D.C. was in worse shape.

The equalizer came in the 73rd minute, when substitute Jorge Flores beat Quavas Kirk to the ball, D.C goalkeeper Zach Wells made a hash of things and Jess Marsch redeemed himself with a goal.

Three minutes later, Atiba Harris skipped past Gonzalo Martinez along the sideline and crossed to Sacha Kljestan for what proved the winning goal.

Sueno scored the third eight minutes from time, too, with Wells guilty (again) of some very suspect goalkeeping.

It’s the first time Chivas USA has ever – ever – come from behind to win a game and the first time they’ve ever beaten United.

The biggest question after this game: how long has D.C. Coach Tom Soehn got left?

Dressed in a black suit and crisp white shirt, one press box wit observed he looked like a mortician.

Appropriate, given that United’s season already looks all but dead and buried.

Back with more from the locker room later.

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Half Time: D.C. United at Chivas USA

It took Jesse Marsch half an hour to make an impression at sweeper.

A bad one.

Marsch was comprehensively beaten by Marcelo Gallardo just outside the top of the box, who put D.C. one up with a sweet move and shot.

Jaime Moreno almost added to his MLS goal total in first half stoppage time, sending a shot skimming over the bar that looked to have been redirected by Brad Guzan.

And that was largely it for on-field highlights.

Chivas USA finished the half without a shot on target; D.C. had a half dozen total, Chivas USA just one.

Razov had a goal disallowed for offside, by the way.

On a side note, Chivas USA has apparently found one way to fill the stands: invite really big high school bands to the game.

Legion 1908 is boycotting their second consecutive home game tonight.

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D.C. United-Chivas USA at Home Depot Center

Wholesale changes for Chivas USA tonight, with all four of their regular starters in defense out, including Shavar Thomas and Claudio Suarez (both with hamstring problems).

Eric Ebert is dropped from the back line, although Bobby Burling retains his place in defense alongside Jim Curtin and veteran Jesse Marsch (now 10th on the all-time list of top flight games played in the U.S., according to the National Soccer Hall of Fame) assumes a sweeper role for the first time since he was age 13 in Racine, Wisc.

Daniel Paladini makes his first-ever start in midfield, along with Panchito Mendoza (listed as a defender, but he really isn’t), Sacha Kljestan and Paulo Nagamura. Justin Braun presumably is playing as a withdrawn striker.

Up front Atiba Harris deputizes for the injured Maykel Galindo and partners Ante Razov.

On the bench is well, virtually no one of note, although Jorge “Sueno” Flores scored a goal and had an assist in two games the U.S. Under-20 team played recently in England.

D.C. United also makes several changes from the team that was shut out for a second consecutive game against the Chicago Fire in their last outing.

Zach Wells is in goal as usual, but Marc Burch moves to defense, Dominic Mediate replaces Gonzalo Peralta and Gonzalo Martinez also starts.

Two changes in midfield for D.C. United with Ryan Cordeiro and Marcelo Gallardo drafted in alongside Santino Quaranta andClyde Sims.

Jaime Moreno partners former New York Red Bull striker Francis Doe, making his first start with D.C., in attack.

Luciano Emilio is on the bench, as is former Galaxy midfielder Quavas Kirk.

The game is on Fox Soccer Channel.

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