Chivas USA-Toronto Post-Game

Game story.

*Chivas USA was without seven players due to injury and suspension: Maykel Galindo (sports hernia surgery), Jesse Marsch (fractured jaw), Claudio Surez (R hip strain), Carey Talley (L thigh strain), Raphal Wicky (R ankle surgery), Alex Zotinca (R knee surgery) and defender Shavar Thomas (yellow card accumulation).
*Thomas has been called into the Jamaican National Team for its World Cup qualifiers against Mexico and Honduras. He will miss Tuesday’s game against Tauro F.C. in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League Preliminary Round and Chivas USA’s game at Toronto Saturday.

*Toronto Coach John Carver on his team’s defending at the end of the game (he blamed goalkeeper Greg Sutton):

“You can’t defend like that. … It was suicide defending. And that’s not good enough. … For me that’s the worst we’ve played since I’ve been here. … I’m absolutely furious.

*On the return game with Chivas USA next Saturday where Carver will have 10 players away on international duty and another two long-term injuries – on an 18-man senior roster:

“We asked the MLS, because we thought it’s an extreme circumstance, if we could postpone the game. They turned us down. … On this occasion I don’t think common sense has prevailed.

“I’m going to have to get kids and put kids in. It’s that embarrassing. I may even have to go get kids who play in amateur teams.

If I’m a fan of Toronto FC, I don’t think I’m getting value for money because I’ve paid good money for my season ticket – we’ve got fantastic support up there – yet we’re not putting the product on the pitch.

“It’s something they have to look at. I don’t think there’s another league in the world that would ask a team to play in these circumstances.”

Preki on the debilitating injuries this season:

“We’re having a tough time putting the same 11 out two weeks in a row. That’s been the biggest problem for us.”

Sacha Kljestan on their position now:

“It’s good for the team. We’re in the playoff spot. It’s ours to lose.

On out-shooting Toronto 20-5, yet having a hard time scoring:

“It’s easy to get frustrated. After the first 15 minutes it should have been 3-0 probably. To be fair they had some early chances too, but we really should have put the game out of reach in the first 20-30 minutes and not left it late like we did.”

On the difference between Tuesday in Panama and Saturday against Toronto:

“Playing at home makes a difference for us. I think our confidence level is a little higher.”

Former Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz, reportedly a transfer target for Chivas USA before he signed with Toronto, on former Galaxy coach Ruud Gullit with whom he reportedly had a rocky relationship:

“I didn’t have any problems with Ruud. Maybe in the beginning it was bad communication. But we spoke about a couple of things and then everything was clear. … It was not good for me to came to L.A. Galaxy for this season.”


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It’s Official: This is The Worst Galaxy Team Ever

Or at least they are tied with the 2006 team as the worst ever.

By running their winless streak to 10 games with a 2-2 tie Saturday against the New England Revolution, the Galaxy tied the mark for the longest winless stretch in club history, first set in 2006 when the Galaxy went 0-8-2 from May 6 until June 24.

This time around the Galaxy are 0-5-5 and have been outscored 24-14.

It’s instructive to compare the relative talent levels of the two teams.

Here’s the Galaxy team that originally set the record: Kevin Hartman, Chris Albright, Ugo Ihemelu, Tyronne Marshall, Nate Sturgis, Josh Gardner, Quavas Kirk, Paulo Nagamura, Marcelo Saragosa, Herculez Gomez, John Wolyniec. (Cobi Jones came on as a sub and Landon Donovan didn’t play).

Here’s Saturday’s lineup: Steve Cronin (GK) (Josh Wicks 46), Ante Jazic, Sean Franklin, Troy Roberts, Chris Klein, Eddie Lewis (Eduardo Dominguez 81), Greg Vanney (Mike Randolph 65), Peter Vagenas, David Beckham , Landon Donovan, Edson Buddle.

Both teams were led by new coaches, the 2006 version by Frank Yallop (he had been appointed 18 days earlier) and the current edition by Bruce Arena, on the job 13 days.

Here’s a recap of Saturday’s game from a Boston perspective.

*Saturday’s attendance of 39,256 was the third largest of the season to see the Galaxy. The game in New York drew 46,754 and one in San Jose attracted 39,872. It was the largest crowd to see a regular season MLS game at Gillette Stadium. Becks was injured when the Galaxy played in Boston last year.
*Landon Donovan’s two goals tonight extended his MLS goalscoring lead to 14.
*Eddie Lewis made his Galaxy debut in midfield and had an immediate effect, creating Donovan’s second goal with a laser-like pass.
*Revolution officials (no word from the Galaxy as of this writing) said Galaxy goalkeeper Steve Cronin broke his finger in the collision on Taylor Twellman’s first half goal. He was replaced at the half by rookie Josh Wicks, who made his MLS debut.

The Galaxy actually looked better than they had in weeks giving one of the best teams in MLS real problems at times. Is Arena having an effect already?

Finally, it’s an apt time to point out that now Columbus Crew Coach Sigi Schmid can officially begin worrying about getting fired.

His Crew moved past the Revs into the MLS lead today; the former UCLA coach you’ll recall was infamously fired from the Galaxy job in a Manhattan Beach bagel shop while L.A. sat atop the MLS standings.

How much do you think Sigi would like to be at this year’s MLS Cup – to be held at Home Depot Center?

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Final Result: Toronto at Chivas USA

Chivas USA are now sitting in the third and final Western Conference playoff spot after a dramatic 2-1 come-from-behind victory with an Atiba Harris winner coming in the last minute of stoppage time.

The Galaxy’s winless streak is up to 10, but Chivas USA stopped their own winless streak at six when Harris’ shot squirted through the hands of Toronto goalkeeper Greg Sutton to break the 1-1 deadlock. A nice Bobby Burling dummy allowed the ball to come through to Harris.

Things were considerably quieter in the second half, but once again both sides squandered good opportunities.

Chivas USA though, won’t rue missing their chances as much as Toronto after the victory.

Zach Thornton did well to come out to the edge of his penalty box to close down the angle on a Chad Barrett breakaway in the 63rd minute and stop a shot with his legs.

The Chivas USA defense stood and watched Marco Velez enjoy a free header within the six yard box from a corner kick immediately afterward.

Justin Braun couldn’t finish Chivas USA’s best second half chance in the 89th minute before the last-gasp goal sealed the win.

It was the second-ever come-from-behind victory for Chivas USA.

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Half Time: Toronto FC-Chivas USA

Two teams with shaky defenses=open, entertaining game.

The teams ended the first 45 minutes tied 1-1, but both could and probably should have had more goals than that.

Toronto FC opened the scoring when Rohan Rickets found a streaking Jim Brennan on the right wing with a piercing ball. The former Norwich City player beat Chivas USA goalkeeper Zach Thornton with a low shot.

Exactly 64 seconds later, Chivas pulled level with its first goal in four games, Alecko Eskandarian scoring from an Ante Razov pass.

Toronto’s Chad Barrett had a couple of good opportunities, including when Bobby Burling missed a Jonathan Bornstein back pass in front of the goal that almost let in the former Chicago striker.

Chivas USA finished the half with 11 shots.

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Toronto (7-9-5) at Chivas USA (6-9-6) & Galaxy Update

First off, the Galaxy has just drawn 2-2 with the New England Revolution, Landon Donovan getting both goals.

Sean Franklin and Troy Roberts started in the center of defense with Eddie Lewis on the left wing, by the way.

More on that game later, but for now….

Chivas USA has Zach Thornton in goal as usual, Lawson Vaughn is at right back, Jonathan Bornstein on the left and Bobby Burling and Jim Curtin in the middle. Claudio Suarez is out through injury.

Midfield: Atiba Harris, Sacha Kljestan, Paulo Nagamura and Francisco Mendoza.

Up front Alecko Eskandarian makes his first start ofn the season alongside Ante Razov.

Toronto starts a Southern California strike force (of a sort) with former Bruin Chad Barrett partnering ex-Galaxy striker Carlos Ruiz in his first appearance for the Canadian outfit.

Ex-Chivas USA midfielder Amado Guevara is in midfield, while former Galaxy defender Tyrone Marshall starts in the back.

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Bruins Lose Heartbreaker in Carson in Overtime & More

UCLA conceded an equalizing goal in the 90th minute and went on to lose 2-1 in overtime to Maryland at Home Depot Center Friday before 3,214 fans, the third biggest crowd ever to see a Bruins home game.

This was the first game of the season for both teams and it showed.

UCLA dominated the opening 45 minutes, scoring a 27th minute goal created by Palos Verdes Estates’ Kyle Nakazawa, who used his inside knowledge of former roommate at the U.S. Under-17 Academy in Bradenton. Fla., Omar Gonzalez, to beat the giant defender and cross the ball to Jason Leopaldo. He headed over to Eder Arreoloa, who knocked it to Maxwell Griffith, who finished from close range.

UCLA sat back in the second half and Maryland came at them looking for the tying goal. That proved to be the Bruins’ undoing when Maryland equalized in the 90th minute from a corner kick, Sean Flatley heading in the winner unmolested provoking UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk to angrily remonstrate at the sloppy defending.

Worse was to come in golden goal overtime, Maryland’s Drew Yates splitting a static UCLA defense with an incisive ball that found Rodney Wallace for the winning goal.

Maryland squandered several second half chances, but in the end UCLA paid the price for nonchalantly sitting back.

UCLA Coach Jorge Salcedo on the second half:

“They had some players that were dangerous and some guys who did well up top. (The) outside midfielders (were) strong players for them. We saw the game out far too much and sometimes when that happens you’re going to get bit and that’s what happened to us tonight.”

On the second half:

“We started to become very predictable, just knocking balls forward. It was never our intention to sit back and see the game out. But for one reason or another the group did that in the second half.”

On the state of the team:

“We had some younger guys I didn’t think really found their legs until the middle of the first half. It was a choppy game. I don’t think we were at our best. I don’t think they were at their best. It’s going to take some time to round into form.”

Palos Verdes Estates resident and 100 Percent Soccer blogger Kyle Nakazawa on why they didn’t close out the game:

“We were comfortable with the one-zero lead and in soccer you can’t do that. One-zero, even two-zero you can’t do that ever. The guys were tired. We had maybe ten minutes left and guys were just trying to see the game out and a lot of times when you do that you end up getting scored on.”

Goalkeeper Brian Perk on the equalizing goal:

“I was pretty angry. … I was just wondering where our team is. I didn’t even go for it. I’m kind of disappointed in myself more than anything.”

On the season ahead:

“I don’t think a lot of people are going to expect a lot of us, which I can understand, we lost a few people. Fourteen is a pretty generous ranking, I believe. But I think we’re going to surprise some people because every game is going to be like this. We’re not going to be an easy team to beat.”

On the defensive reaction to the play that led to the winning goal:

“They had that one moment where we weren’t prepared and that’s what it came down to. (The defense) mentally fell asleep and the guy took his chance and they took it well. It was a lucky header to be honest. I don’t think he even had his eyes open. That was justice in the second half. They were a little bit better than us.

In other college action today:
*The LMU women lost 4-0 to Notre Dame; the LMU men tied No. 10-ranked New Mexico 1-1, as did San Diego and Saint Louis in Westchester.
*Pepperdine tied 1-1 with Arizona State.
*The Matador women beat Southern Utah 5-2, while the men lost 1-0 to Georgetown.

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Bruins Gameday: UCLA-Maryland at Home Depot Center Tonight & More

South Bay product and last year’s team MVP Kyle Nakazawa leads the No. 14-ranked Bruins tonight in a rare 7 o’clock game against No. 8-ranked Maryland at Carson’s Home Depot Center live on Fox Soccer Channel.

Tickets are $10 adults, $5 students and kids. Parking is free.

UCLA returns six All-Pac-10 players from last year including the team’s top two scorers, Maxwell Griffin (nine goals) and Palos Verdes Estates’ Nakazawa (three goals, seven assists).

Also returning: 2006 season leading scorer David Estrada (12 goals) while the midfield also includes Jason Leopoldo. Manning the net is U.S. Under-20 National Team starter Brian Perk, who has five shutouts in 27 career starts during his two seasons.

Notable: With a victory tonight UCLA Coach Jorge Salcedo can record the 50th win of his college coaching career.

It’s the third time UCLA have played at Home Depot Center. The Bruins played in the first collegiate game at the venue in 2003 crushing Cal State Fullerton 5-0 behind a Matt Taylor hat trick and two goals and three assists from Chad Barrett. UCLA also played to a scoreless tie there in 2004 with Loyola Marymount.

I plan to blog from the game.

On Sunday UCLA will host a doubleheader on campus, taking on UC Riverside at 12:30 pm, followed by Maryland-California at 3 pm. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for youth. UCLA students are free with valid ID.

In college games Thursday:
The No. 11-ranked Cal State Dominguez Hills men beat No. 20 Grand Canyon 1-0, while the No. 13-ranked women defeated their female counterparts 3-1 in Carson.

In other college games this weekend:
*Three games are scheduled today at Matador Soccer Field, with the Cal State Northridge women playing Southern Utah at 11:30 a.m., followed by a men’s game between Cal State Fullerton and Alabama A&M. At 4:30 p.m. the Matador men take on Georgetown. They finish the busy weekend with a 2:30 p.m. game against Alabama A&M back in Northridge.
*The No. 1-ranked USC women are in Oregon for the weekend, playing Portland State and No. 6 Portland, while the No. 2-ranked UCLA women play Portland Saturday and Portland State Monday.
*The Loyola Marymount women are similarly on the road facing No. 4-ranked Notre Dame today and on Sunday 12th-ranked West Virginia, the defending Big
East champions.
*The LMU men host their annual Fall Classic Tournament beginnning today.
* Pepperdine plays today at 3 p.m. in Malibu against Arizona State ans Sunday against UC Santa Barbara. Pepperdine lost its season-opener last weekend 1-0 against Cal State Fullerton.

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Matadors Blogger: The Jake Wright Experience

i-1bd1299aeb2dc40199db1b6970501970-Wright_Jake_08.jpg Goalkeeper Jake Wright, of Rancho Palos Verdes, will blog for 100 Percent Soccer this season providing an inside look at the Cal State Northridge men’s soccer program. Wright was a two-year starter at Peninsula High and is entering his sophomore year at Cal State Northridge. This summer Wright played for Orange County Blue Star of the United Soccer Leagues Premier Development League.

This is his his first post.

After a rigorous preseason camp of intense fitness conditioning and two weeks of grueling double days in the searing valley heat, our boys were really excited to see what all our hard work was going to show for in our exhibition match last Saturday up at Cal.

Following our morning practice Friday, we headed up I-5 on our seven hour bus trip up to San Francisco. After a few movies on the bus, we finally got to the hotel. It was awesome, right on the water at the Berkeley marina. Later that night after a quick meeting, it was off to, what I think, was the best meal I’ve had on a road trip since I’ve been playing for Northridge: pasta, bread, chicken, salad – just awesome.

Soon after dinner was over, a couple of us went for a quick dip in the jacuzzi and then went up to our rooms to check out the gold medal soccer game from Beijing, between Argentina and Nigeria, then dozed off and got some rest before game day.

The first ten or fifteen minutes were very back and forth, with both teams trying to find a rhythm. A few close attempts, including a great save from the Cal goalkeeper, as well as a great save off the line from our goalkeeper Kevin Guppy, were the highlight of the beginning of the match. Our closest chance of the first half came off of a great ball from senior forward Devin Deldo, right in stride to Cameron Sims, who missed by just inches in his first touch of the game after coming on only seconds earlier.

After the half time break, we definitely came out hungry. With a tighter back line and better possession play, we were really moving the ball around well, but just couldn’t put one in the back of the net.

At the end of full time, and the conclusion of the first overtime, we knew it was coming. Just three minutes into the second extra time period, after a great buildup from the back line, a quick turn and shot from Moy Gomez secured our first victory of the season.

We were all ecstatic, knowing that all of our hard work the weeks prior had paid off, but still knowing that there lots of areas of our game that still needed work if we wanted to achieve our ultimate goal of bringing a National Championship back to the Ridge.

It was good to see Chad Borak back after his season ending injury last year, as well as great play from the rest of our back line, midfielders, and forwards as well. Hopefully we can keep our momentum going into this weekend for our Friday night game against Georgetown, and Sunday afternoon match against Alabama A&M.

One thing is for sure, come Friday night, we’ll be ready to go, in our first step in achieving that goal of a Big West and National Championship.

Go Matadors!

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U.S. World Cup Qualifying Roster Announced – No Place for Buddle or Cooper (Again)

U.S. Coach Bob Bradley has just announced a 20-man roster for the pair of upcoming World Cup Qualifying games against Cuba Sept. 6 in Havana and Trinidad & Tobago on Sept. 10 in Chicago.

There are just two changes and two additions to the squad Bradley selected for the recent qualifier in Guatemala.

Former Galaxy defender Danny Califf replaces Watford’s Jay DeMerit in the back, while Colorado’s Pablo Mastroeni is out and Houston’s Ricardo Clark comes in at midfield.

In addition, Marvell Wynne of Toronto FC and Michael Orozco, who plays in Mexico and is the only uncapped player on the roster, come into the senior squad.

The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan and Eddie Lewis retain their places, as does Sacha Kljestan of Chivas USA.

“These next two games are very important to help us position ourselves to advance to the final stage,” Bradley said. “With the win against Guatemala, we have put ourselves in a good situation at the start of the semifinal round. I was very pleased with the way our team stuck together in a difficult environment. We need to have that same type of effort in the matches against Cuba and Trinidad & Tobago.”

But Bradley has once again ignored Dallas striker Kenny Cooper and the Galaxy’s Edson Buddle who have 25 goals between them and sit in the No. 2 and No. 3 positions respectively in the MLS scoring race.

Here’s the full squad, with World Cup qualifying caps and goals (or in the case of goalkeepers shutouts) listed in parentheses:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa: 2/2 SO), Tim Howard (Everton FC: 4/3 SO).

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes: 14/2), Danny Califf (FC Midtjylland: 2/0), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96: 16/0), Frankie Hejduk (Columbus Crew: 12/1), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege: 9/0), Michael Orozco (San Luis: 0/0), Heath Pearce (Hansa Rostock: 3/0), Marvell Wynne (Toronto FC: 0/0).

Midfielders: DaMarcus Beasley (Glasgow Rangers: 17/4), Michael Bradley (SC Heerenveen: 3/1), Ricardo Clark (Houston Dynamo: 1/0), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers: 2/0), Sacha Kljestan (Chivas USA: 1/0), Eddie Lewis (Los Angeles Galaxy: 20/3).

Forwards: Brian Ching (Houston Dynamo: 8/4), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy: 22/8), Clint Dempsey (Fulham FC: 9/2), Eddie Johnson (Cardiff City: 8/8)

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