Brad Guzan finally secured the work permit he needed today to join Aston Villa of the EPL.
Chivas USA this morning posted a tribute video to Guzan:
“Brad was the first goalkeeper to defend the colors of Chivas USA in Major League Soccer. This organization has seen him grow from a 20-year-old rookie to a U.S. Olympian, the reigning MLS Goalkeeper of the Year and now a member of one of England’s great clubs,” said Chivas USA President and CEO Shawn Hunter. “We trust that Villa supporters will soon see what Chivas USA fans have known for some time: that this is a very special young man with the potential of becoming one of the great goalkeepers in the international game.”
With all the money flowing into the game in England these days, Guzan has hit the proverbial jackpot, although he won’t make as much as the 25 richest young footballers in England.
Closer to home, with the Galaxy and Chivas USA on the road there’s no live local top-class soccer (I’ll have a best of what’s on the box below), but this is always a fun event:
And yeah, Rod will really be there this year.
Nansen Field is a gorgeous little private facility where you can sip a beer on the sidelines while watching the games (bring a blanket or lawn chairs and a picnic lunch).
I wrote about this event three years ago and it’s pretty much the same. Here’s a reprint of the story from the Daily Breeze archives:
Pop star Rod Stewart performs in concert in Manchester, England, tonight, but his heart will be in Rolling Hills Estates.
A group of English expatriates take on their Scottish counterparts today in a fifth annual soccer game at Nansen Field with the Bob Stewart Caledonian Trophy at stake. Bob Stewart, Rod’s father, died in 1990.
His singer son customarily plays in the game — for Scotland against the nation known as the “auld enemy”– and his picture usually adorns posters advertising the game. As many as 800 people have watched the game in past years.
“The majority of people do come out to see him and take pictures,” said Keith Wales, the event’s chief organizer for Brits at Nansen, one of several groups of various nationalities who share the venue. “It’s a tradition now and he wouldn’t want us to not have it.”
Stewart has played at Nansen, a secluded, superbly maintained field with a clubhouse on aptly named Hidden Valley Road, for about four years, his touring schedule and 60-year-old legs permitting.
Stewart has contributed several signed items, including a soccer ball, hat and T-shirt, that will be sold at a silent auction.
Proceeds from the auction and event itself go to pay off legal bills incurred when in 1989 the Norwegian government, which contended it owned the 9.5-acre property, moved to sell it.
Locals balked and Norway sued. A judge eventually ruled that the true owner was a nonprofit group founded in 1952 so taxes didn’t have to be paid on the property.
But the group was left with a $320,000 legal bill; that’s now down to about $121,000.
To compensate for Stewart’s absence, organizers have made the event a doubleheader.
A U.S. team will take on a team of German expatriates in the opening match.
Several well-known former soccer players have been invited to take part in both games, including former English international Gary Mabbutt.
Thomas Dooley, a German native who made 81 appearances for the U.S. National Team, will line up for the Germans against Hall of Famer Paul Caligiuri.
“What a little traitor, huh,” laughed Dooley’s former national team teammate who coaches at Cal Poly Pomona. “It’s going to be a nice reunion with some of the guys.”
But it’s the world’s oldest international rivalry between England and Scotland, which dates back to 1872, that is the main draw.
A piper leads the teams onto the field, British food is the order of the day and spectators are encouraged to wear their national colors.
“At the moment (the series) is tied at two apiece,” Wales said. “People like to come to this game whether (Rod) is there or not. Families come with kids.”
The trickiest thing about the event for newcomers is finding the field. You basically just head out of Torrance and up the hill to the Palos Verdes Peninsula.
Here’s a Google map:
View Larger Map
Finally, here’s the highlights of the weekend TV schedule:
Today – CD Guadalajara-Tecos (delayed) 9 p.m. KAZA
Saturday- Chivas USA-Chicago Fire 5:30 p.m. FSN
W-League Championship Pali Blues-FC Indiana 8 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel (delayed)
Sunday – Galaxy-San Jose Noon FSN
4 p.m. Chivas Guadalajara- Barcelona 4 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel
Have a great weekend and I’ll let Rod serenade us toward quitting time today.