Friday Football: Galaxy, Chivas USA Previews & More

Goals aplenty are expected Sunday when the Galaxy plays D.C. United on the road in a rare nationally televised MLS game on ABC that precedes the Euro 2008 final.

The official Galaxy blog has a video preview.

Speaking of Euro 2008, sports media columnist Tom Hoffarth had more today on the broadcast snafu that frankly ruined the first semifinal Wednesday between Germany and Turkey. The problem wasn’t ESPN’s fault and the network is due some props for hiring the likes of former Scottish pro Andy Gray to provide expertise, but it still has some serious credibility problems.

(Climbs on soap box)

For one thing, if ESPN weren’t so cheap they would have somebody at the game – so they don’t have to solely rely on commentators in a U.S. studio in the event of an outage – who could provide an audio feed as the BBC apparently did.

Second, with the network crowing about its Euro 2008 ratings then their coverage must go to the next level and actually have their broadcast teams at the stadium. The crowd noise is noticeably lower because ESPN is not there live and that doesn’t help the atmosphere of a game that’s being aired.

(Climbs down).

Chivas USA continue their lengthy home stand Saturday with a game against the Red Bulls that features a special Disneyland half time show. Good time to point out that with every adult ticket purchased a munchkin 12 or under gets in free. Tickets start at $14.

The club has a video preview here.

An interesting article about Chivas USA forward Maykel Galindo rekindling a childhood friendship with a fellow defector who now plays for the Seattle Mariners is here. (Thanks to Bruce over at DuNord for unearthing that story).

Apparently John Thorrington, who grew up on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, was such a late choice for last weekend’s World Cup qualifier he had not brought along a certain important document needed to travel and had to return home to Chicago to get it.

Finally, other local games set for this weekend include:
7:30 p.m. Friday San Jose Frogs at Los Angeles Legends at A.P.U. – Cougar Stadium.
7:30 p.m. Saturday Fresno Fuego at Los Angeles Legends at A.P.U. – Cougar Stadium.
7:30 pm Saturday Lancaster Rattlers at Ventura County Fusion at Buena High School.

8 p.m. Friday Fort Collins Force at Ventura County Fusion at Newberry Park High School.
5:00 p.m. Saturday Fort Collins Force at Los Angeles Legends at Azusa Pacific.

Enjoy your weekend and rejoin me Saturday for the Chivas USA game at Home Depot Center.

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Xavier Fined

Galaxy defender Abel Xavier was fined $500 by MLS following comments criticizing the officials after last week’s 3-3 draw with Columbus.

Xavier was given a yellow card by referee Mark Geiger and called for a foul that set up the game-tying goal in the 88th minute. Xavier was upset afterward and said his foot cleanly touched the ball first.

“C’mon, the referee is so bad,” Xavier said after the game. “The question of one of the things they must improve in this league is the referees. It is very clear my foot was on the ball. If someone has eyes, they see clear contact with the ball.

“I can name 15 wrong decisions with the ref on both sides.”

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Chinese Soccer Job Ad & More

More on the unusual classified ad at the bottom of the post.

But first, a couple of other odds and ends.

Columbus Crew Coach Sigi Schmid, one of the South Bay’s favorite soccer sons, talks about the long-distance relationship he has with his wife while he labors in Ohio.

The influence of Cal State Long Beach women’s soccer Coach Mauricio Ingrassia, a native of Argentina, on the program is recounted here.

Finally, here’s an ad you don’t see everyday, culled from Craigslist and reprinted here exactly as it appears there:

Reply to:
Date: 2008-06-26, 5:09PM PDT

Our company are currently looking for Mandarin orCantonese speaking candidate to broadcast live soccergame at the following location:


If you know any friend that are located in thefollowing location, please have them contact me ASAP.It is a part-time position and flexible time. If youare looking for some extra income in a flexibleschedule, this is a very good opportunity. Pleasecontact me ASAP. $150 per game for 2 hours.

Almost worth learning Mandarin at that price.

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Gullit Break

Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit was absent from today’s training session because he went to Holland for personal reasons, according to officials. Gullit is expected to rejoin the Galaxy in Washington, D.C., for Saturday’s match with D.C. United.

“We won without David (Beckham) and Landon (Donovan) and then we won with Landon, so now we’ll win without Ruud,” Galaxy defender Chris Klein joked.

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Thursday Kicks: Euro 2008, Galaxy Update & More

Germany narrowly beat Turkey 3-2 at Euro 2008 and will take on the winner of today’s Spain-Russia semifinal (11:30 a.m. ESPN2) in Sunday’s final. Let’s hope today’s game isn’t marred by the technical problems viewers both here and around the world endured during Wednesday’s game. I don’t know about you, but the telecast missing two of the game’s goals (and returning just in time to catch Germany’s last minute winner) spoiled the excitement of the game for me.

Over in Galaxyland, The Washington Post’s Steven Goff is reporting more than 30,000 tickets have been sold for Sunday’s game against D.C. United in the nation’s capital, where he is fretting about L.A.’s status as the highest-scoring team in MLS and United’s league-worst defense. He doesn’t mention the Galaxy’s penchant for blowing leads and defensive holes Luciano Emilio is capable of exploiting though.

Meanwhile, rookie Galaxy defender Julian Valentin has joined the world of blogging and fills us in on his trip to Costco (really) and his goldfish purchase.

The Red Bulls, heading west to play Chivas USA Saturday in Carson, beat the mothership 1-0 in Arizona Wednesday night where newly-signed former Galaxy draft pick Gordon Kljesten saw action for New York. Will he play against brother Sasha and Chivas USA this weekend?

Claudio Reyna won’t play though and Red Bull fans are displeased to put it mildly.

Chivas USA learned Wednesday night that if they beat the USL’s Seattle Sounders in the U.S. Open Cup they’ll face either the Kansas City Wizards in Carson or USL team the Carolina Railhawks in Cary, N.C. on July 8 in the quarterfinals.

Lastly, in PDL action Wednesday the Southern California Seahorses finally got a win against the Orange County Blue Star in La Mirada.

The league table is here (scroll down).

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Humpday Update: Euro 2008, U.S. Open Cup & More

Turkey, already a long shot to beat Germany in today’s first Euro 2008 semifinal, (live 11:30 a.m. on ESPN) has several starters missing through injury or suspension and the Germans are in a confident mood. Derek Rae and Andy Gray will call the game, while the second semifinal between Spain and an entertaining Russian side follows at the same time Thursday.

The winners play Sunday on ABC in a game preceded by the Galaxy-D.C. United game at 9 a.m.

In another televised game today at 8 p.m. on Telefutura, CD Guadalajara plays the New York Red Bulls in a Phoenix friendly. The Red Bulls are heading west to take on Chivas USA Saturday night at Home Depot Center.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA learned Tuesday they will play the USL’s Seattle Sounders in the third round of the U.S. Open Cup July 1 in the Pacific Northwest. The Sounders Tuesday thumped the amateurs of Hollywood United 6-0.

By the way, tickets to the 5 p.m. July 20 Chivas USA-New England Revolution game in Fullerton that is the third SuperLiga group game for both teams are now on sale. Call 1-877-CHIVAS-1.

A look at the challenges faced by Chivas USA Under-18 player Omar Becerra is here.

In a PDL game tonight, Orange County Blue Star visits the Southern California Seahorses at 7 p.m. at La Mirada High.

Finally, if you’re Jewish and can play soccer, the U.S. Jewish National Soccer Team wants to hear from you.

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Tuesday’s Column: U.S. Women’s Olympic Team

Details on the U.S. Women’s National Team roster announced Monday that will participate in the Olympics was the subject of my weekly column.

Here’s Coach Pia Sundhage on the attributes of USC striker Amy Rodriguez:

“She offers speed and not only speed, if you play to her feet she can turn on a dime and just go. That is important in international games. … In a foot race she will beat many players.

The U.S. departs Friday for a pair of games in Scandinavia before returning home to play two more before the Olympics begin in August.

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Galaxy Update: Becks, Buddle & More

Landon Donovan was named MLS Player of the Week for the third time this season after his two-goal performance in the 3-3 draw with Columbus Saturday that gave him a league-best 11 goals in 10 games.

Donovan’s second goal was the 75th of his MLS career, making the 26-year-old the youngest player to reach that milestone.

Also on the awards front, Edson Buddle has been nominated for MLS Goal of the Week for the second consecutive week.

The Galaxy Rios Under-20 demolished the Bakersfield Brigade 8-0 in a USL Super-20 game last weekend. The 3-1-1 Rios are currently tied for first place in the league with the Ventura County Fusion, who they meet 5 p.m. Sunday at Home Depot Center. Admission is free.

Finally, the studliest pen commercial you’ll ever see:

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U.S. Women’s National Team Roster For Olympics Announced

U.S. Coach Pia Sundhage announced today her 18-player roster for the Olympics (with college, caps and goals in parentheses):

goalkeepers: Nicole Barnhart (Stanford, 9), Hope Solo (Washington, 64); defenders Rachel Buehler (Stanford, 11/0), Lori Chalupny (North Carolina, 70/6), Stephanie Cox (Portland, 42/0), Kate Markgraf (Notre Dame, 181/0), Heather Mitts (Florida, 78/2), Christie Rampone (Monmouth, 193/4); midfielders Shannon Boxx (Notre Dame, 92/18), Tobin Heath (North Carolina, 12/2), Angela Hucles (Virginia, 84/7), Carli Lloyd (Rutgers, 62/15), Heather O’Reilly (North Carolina, 90/19), Lindsay Tarpley (North Carolina, 96/26), Aly Wagner (Santa Clara, 121/21); forwards Natasha Kai (Hawaii, 48/19), Amy Rodriguez (USC, 19/4), Abby Wambach (Florida, 123/98).


*Nine players on the roster were members of the U.S. team that won the gold medal four years ago in Athens, including team co-captains Christie Rampone and Kate Markgraf, who will both participate in their third Olympics.

*At age 20, Heath is the youngest player on the roster, while Rampone (who turns 33 Tuesday) is the oldest. The average age of the squad is 26.

*Veteran goalkeeper Brianna Scurry, who was at the center of the controversy with fellow net minder Hope Solo at the last World Cup, did not make the squad. Sundhage said the controversy had nothing to do with her decision and the door remains open for Scurry in the future.

*Scurry was named as one of four alternates available in case of injury, as was UCLA’s Lauren Cheney.

Quotable: Captain Christie Rampone –

“It’s been a long seven months, with Pia coming in and making a huge transition for this team, but everyone has been very receptive and willing to change. It’s tough when you have limited time, but everyone trusted Pia and believed in Pia. She’s done an amazing job with this team and in the way we have changed this system. We are a more possession-oriented team. Of course, there are times when we get away from it, but she believes in us and we keep trying to getting better on the field.”

I’ll have more on the roster selection and the run-in to the Olympics for the team in Tuesday’s weekly column.

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