Monday Night Football: Mexican National Team Autograph Session & More

Spent the day columnizing for Tuesday’s newspaper about the most popular national team in Southern California – Mexico – which plays an 8 p.m. Wednesday exhibition at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum against Chile.

Fans who want to get an autograph or two from Mexican National Team stars should show up at the adidas Sports Performance store Tuesday on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica. Tecos goalkeeper Jess Corona, Pachuca’s Fausto Pinto and Jaime Correa, Toluca’s Antonio Naelson and Monterrey’s Luis Prez will be on hand for the hour-long autograph session that begins at 11 a.m. Fans can win match tickets and gift cards.

In other news, Landon Donovan was named MLS Player of the Week Monday (surprise!) after his dominating three-goal performance in the 5-2 win over on the weekend over D.C. United. The award is the ninth of Donovan’s MLS career, tying him with Jeff Cunningham, retired Galaxy great Cobi Jones and Chivas USA’s Ante Razov for the most in MLS history.

Donovan, who leads the league in goal scoring, now has 19 goals and will inevitably become the third player in Galaxy history to score 20 or more goals in a season. Carlos Ruiz got 24 goals in 2002 and Eduardo Hurtado slammed home 21 goals in 1996. The Galaxy have reached the MLS Cup in each of the previous seasons in which they had a 20 goal scorer. Oh great, helluva time to break the string, huh?

How prolific is Donovan? This from MLS:

“For just the second time in MLS history, a player has reached the 19-goal mark in 20 games. Landon Donovan did it Saturday with his hat trick against D.C. United. The only other player to score at that pace through 20 games was Trinidadian Stern John, who did it with the Columbus Crew in 1998 en route to 26 goals in 27 games.

John’s 1998 campaign is still the best scoring rate during a single season at 0.96 goals per game. Donovan could break that record this season.”

The chart:
Highest Single-Season Scoring Rates in MLS History:

Yr. Player Team GP Goals AVG
1998 Stern John CLB 27 26 0.96
2008 Landon Donovan LA 20 19 0.95
2000 Mamadou Diallo TB 28 26 0.93
2002 Carlos Ruiz LA 26 24 0.92
1996 Roy Lassiter TB 30 27 0.90

Oh, and Donovan was saying all the right things over the weekend in encouraging Juergen Klinsmann’s Bayern Munich to come in for him after the season. Contrary to at least one report, however, the German giants have not tendered any sort of offer for Donovan.

BTW, David Beckham and Alan Gordon have joined Landon Donovan and Greg Vanney on official warning from MLS, meaning that they will receive a mandatory one-game suspension if they receive one more yellow card. Next for the Galaxy: the Fire Thursday in Chicago on ESPN2.

In college soccer, Loyola Marymount University junior goalkeeper Patrick Simpson was named West Coast Conference Player of the week for the second time this season. That’s the first time an LMU player has won the honor in a season since former Chivas USA player Arturo Torres did it three times in 2000. Simpson came within seven minutes of pitching two shutouts against #9 Northwestern and #11 Illinois-Chicago over the weekend.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekend College Scores & More

UCLA men 2 (2-3-1) Santa Clara 0
No. 2 UCLA women 3 (7-0-1) New Mexico 0
No.4 USC 4 (7-1-0) SMU 0
Long Beach State 3 (5-2-2) Utah State 0
Pepperdine 0 (3-4-2) Marquette 0
Arizona State 2 Cal State Northridge women 1 (5-3)
Sacramento 1 Cal State Northridge men 2
Loyola Marymount women 4 (4-3-2)Oral Roberts 1
Loyola Marymount men 0 (1-2-3) No. 11 Illinois-Chicago 0

U.S. Women’s National Team 2 Ireland 0
U.S. lineup: 1-Hope Solo (18-Nicole Barnhart, 46); 17-Lori Chalupny, 3-Christie Rampone (4-Rachel Buehler, 46), 15-Kate Markgraf, 2-Heather Mitts (14-Stephanie Cox, 46) 16-Angela Hucles (10-Aly Wagner, 46), 7-Shannon Boxx – Capt., 11-Carli Lloyd, 9-Heather O’Reilly, 5-Lindsay Tarpley, 6-Natasha Kai (21-Kacey White, 63).

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Galaxy-D.C. United Post-Game

Serious bloggers actually blog immediately after the game.

The rest of us go to Oktoberfest.

Game story from a Galaxy perspective.

The United view.

By the way, David Beckham had yet another sub-par game complete with errant passes, petulant behavior and little creativity. Yet Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena, perhaps playing politics, praised his performance as “excellent,” while Becks himself simply conceded it was “all right.”
“I’m sure I’ve played better,” he said. “I’ve definitely played worse.”

Best line of the night goes to Bruce Arena as he left the post-game conference, leaving David Beckham to face the media. “Monday!” said Bruce brightly of the next practice day, which players usually have off. “Yes, Monday,” said Becks, considerably less enchanted with the idea.

Pete Vagenas on the early goal:

“I was ready to walk out the stadium when they scored off the corner kick to be honest with you. I can’t tell you how many times we went over set pieces this week.”

United Coach Tom Soehn on the outcome:

“We got careless. I’m not sure if the early goal caused that. We turned over the ball in some really bad spots. Guys like Landon, you can’t afford to leave them unmarked.”

On the officiating:

“The officiating crew had a bad night. … The red card? The whole Galaxy staff looked at me – it was just a soft card.”

On the season:

“I won’t lie – it’s been a tough season. As we look to get guys back it’s going to take a little bit of time to find our rhythm. … Some of the mistakes we’re making are real basic.”

On the Swiss cheese-like United defense:

“Landon did a good job of finding the holes and we didn’t account for them. … They moved the ball around well and exposed some of our weaknesses.”

Arena on the early goals in each half:

“The way we came out in the second half – we gave up another goal. These are bad habits. These are things we have to get better at – concentration has to improve.”

On the difference between the desultory performance last weekend in Kansas City and tonight:

“I accept the responsibility for Kansas City – because I put Landon and David in an unfavorable position. They had a lot of games, travel and I put at least two tired players on the field. My job as the coach here is to position players to be successful and I didn’t do David any favors in Kansas City nor did I do Landon any favors. … If I had to redo it, I’d probably do things differently on that day.”

On the officiating:

“What can I say? At this point we’re not willing to give back the three points. We needed three points tonight so we’re going to take them anyway we can get them.”

Beckham on the end of the winless streak:

“To go so many games without a win – I’ve never done that before – and I’m sure many of the other players have not done that before.”

Ante Jazic on the D.C. defense: “They reminded me of our defense early on in the season.”

On the difference Arena has made:

“If anyone knows soccer, they can see we’re more organized, more compact, especially the back line. … Before we were a little bit of a make-shift team. But now we’re playing as a unit.”

Landon Donovan on the season so far:

“Before the season started my goals were to lead the league in scoring and be the league MVP and I got a lot closer to both those tonight, which is good.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chivas USA Gets Crucial Road Win, Moves to Second in Western Conference

Chivas USA did exactly what they needed to do Saturday, beating Real Salt Lake 1-0 on a 72nd minute Alecko Eskandarian goal and moving above their opponents to take second place in the Western Conference.

Somewhat of a comedy routine gave the former Real Salt Lake striker the winner over his old team: Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando and defender Nat Borchers collided and the ball bounced past them to Eskandarian, who gratefully accepted the gift that was his third goal of the season.


“We got a fortunate goal,” said Chivas USA Coach Preki. “This year luck hasn’t been on our side too often, so tonight we’ll take it. It’s that time of year that we’ll take the points, it doesn’t matter how they come.”

*The win means Chivas USA holds the head-to-head tiebreaker over RSL in the event the teams finish level on points.
*Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein suffered a concussion in the first half and was replaced by former Galaxy midfielder Sasha Victorine, who made his debut for the club.
*Enforcer Jesse Marsch made his first appearance for Chivas USA since sustaining a fractured jaw Aug. 14 against the Galaxy when he entered the game as a 66th minute sub for Ante Razov.
*The third largest crowd in RSL history – 26,391 – took in the final game at Rice-Eccles Stadium before the team moves next month into its new home in Sandy.
*Next for Chivas USA Saturday: the Kansas City Wizards when at Manhattan Beach Night “city leaders will be greeted by Manhattan Beach resident Jesse Marsch and a special ‘Parade of Champions’ will give soccer-loving kids from Manhattan Beach the opportunity to walk around the field before the game.”

Game story.


Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Final Result: D.C. United at Galaxy

The Galaxy snapped their 12-game winless streak in some style, dissecting a defense that had more holes than their own for a 5-2 win capped by a Pete Vagenas (!) volley in the 81st minute.

Donovan scored his third and the Galaxy’s fifth in second half stoppage time although he appeared more than a tad offside.

D.C. played with 10 men for the final half hour, after Marc Burch stupidly received a straight red for hacking David Beckham’s ankle with the ball already out of play It wasn’t a particularly nasty challenge and it appeared even Beckham thought a straight red was overly harsh and he appeared to have more than few words with the assistant referee.

Before Vegenas’ late goal – created by Donovan who held the play up while awaiting Vagenas’ arrival – the Galaxy had led by just one goal after South African striker Thabiso Boyzzz scored his first MLS goal three minutes after the break.

It was the third time the Galaxy had scored five goals all season.

The first win for Bruce Arena hauled the Galaxy off the Western Conference basement and into a tie with San Jose for fifth place.

Back with more from the locker rooms later.


Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Half Time: D.C. United at Galaxy

After giving up a goal just 71 seconds into the match – and earning deafening boos from the almost capacity crowd – the Galaxy came back to score three straight, the first three goal outburst in a half since May for L.A.

It should have been four – Edson Buddle couldn’t beat D.C. goalkeeper Louis Crayton (a Liberian who played most of his career in Switzerland and was picked up by D.C. in August) when he was in alone on stoppage time and then hit the bar when the ball came back out to him.

Landon Donovan got two of them, extending his MLS best goalscoring streak to 18 in 20 games, already the fourth most goals in a season for the Galaxy.

Devon McTavish got the first for D.C. from an Ivan Guerrero corner kick, deftly trapping, turning and firing home while his marker – Buddle – had completely lost him. It was the fourth fastest goal the Galaxy had ever given up.

Donovan equalized in the 23rd minute, when a Chris Klein through ball from his own half beat three square D.C. defenders and LD coolly shot over a sprawling Crayton.

A Donovan scorcher from 25 yards out in the 35th minute made it 2-1 and three minutes later Alan Gordon made it three. A hard Lewis shot was only parried by Crayton and the ball fell to Gordon who snuck home a shot just inside the near post, two D.C. players on the goal line failing to stop the ball. It was Gordon’s fifth goal of the season.

In between, a Lewis header hit the post and Beckham received a yellow card for dissent after screaming at the referee. One more booking in the next three games and he’ll be suspended for a game.

The Galaxy ended the half with 11 shots on goal to United’s four.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

D.C. United (10-11-3) at the Galaxy (6-10-8)

First off, my thoughts are with Palos Verdes Peninsula resident Bill Mason this evening, a long-time AYSO referee and a score board operator for the Galaxy, who I discovered tonight had a stroke last Sunday and is in intensive care at Torrance Memorial Medical Center. Bill has struggled with ill health for some time and certainly didn’t need this, so let’s hope he’s back in the press box soon.

Back to business: the mediocre meets the truly awful tonight in a game that could realistically spell the end of the Galaxy’s season without three points.

D.C. United come into the game occupying the eighth and final MLS playoff spot, although they are winless in their last five games and have just one win in their last five games.

The antidote may be the Galaxy, without a win in a dozen games now and counting, although they began the day just four points out of the third and final guaranteed playoff spot in the Western Conference.

David Beckham and Landon Donovan are playing together at Home Depot Center for the first time since July 10.

The Galaxy lineup: Wicks, Klein, Franklin, Roberts, Jazic, Beckham, Donovan, Vanney, Lewis, Buddle, Gordon.

Bryan Jordan drops to the bench after last week’s depressing loss to the Wizards.

United starts former Galaxy midfielder Santino Quaranta, while Luciano Emilio – fourth on the MLS goal-scoring charts with 11 goals – is up front.

The game is on Fox Soccer Channel.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Saturday Galaxy/Chivas USA Gameday & More

More than you ever wanted to know about your blogger: Why am I posting this alleged “preview” when it’s almost noon? For the first time in years I stayed up until the wee hours in a (ultimately futile) attempt to finish this (highly recommended) novel.

So I’ll keep this brief.

Galaxy game preview.

If you’re going to the game tonight (an unusual 8 p.m. kick off, BTW, live on Fox Soccer Channel), there’s a pre-game concert by A Cursive Memory.

Check them out:

Chivas USA is in Salt Lake City.
Game story.

Both ex-Galaxy midfielder Sasha Victorine and Brazilian Dejair, who has received his work permit, could make their debuts for Chivas USA.

Incidentally, Chivas USA supporters group the Union Ultras will host a viewing party at the Black Watch English Pub in Upland at 5:30 p.m. The pub is at 497 N. Central Avenue.

Friday college scores:
No. 2 UCLA women 3 Miami 0
No. 13 Oklahoma State 4 (7-0) Loyola Marymount women 0 (3-2-2).
No. 9 Northwestern 1 (6-0-1) Loyola Marymount men 0 (1-2-2).
Arizona State 2 Cal State Northridge women 1 (5-2).
Utah 1 (3-5-1) Long Beach State 0 (4-2-2).

Gotta finish this book…….

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Guest Blogger Chris Cognac: A Chivas USA Convert

i-a2de627e1e67f425812184ee905510d2-NWS-BEATCOP-SH1.JPGSgt. Chris Cognac, who works for a South Bay Police Department, is also a food, wine and travel writer for the Daily Breeze and hosted “The Hungry Detective” on the Food Network. Cognac is a season ticket holder for the L.A. Avengers Arena Football team and will soon become a Chivas USA season ticket holder. In this guest post, he explains how he discovered his love of soccer and why he spurned the Galaxy for Chivas USA.

I was raised in Torrance and like a typical teenager in the 1980s I loved football and wrestling.

I didn’t really care much for soccer. I wouldn’t take time out of my busy teenage schedule to watch a game (besides, there weren’t many girls there).

I remember my disdain for the fact Cal State Dominguez Hills was going to allow a soccer stadium to built on campus for a sport that like 50 people watched. I mean, where was I going to see Lollapalooza now!

While I had an outward disdain for soccer, I was secretly impressed by the likes of Cobi Jones and Alexi Lalas, who ran so fast his wild red hair would streak back like his head was on fire.

Still, while soccer was cool for all those English dudes, this was California.

Then 2008 came along, I was fat from filming for the Food Network and needed to do something else besides eating in restaurants, so I became addicted to Arena Football and the Los Angeles Avengers. Well, that season ended (not well I might add) and I needed a “fix.” I had to find a sport to love, to scream at the top of my lungs in support of, to obsess over the players, to bond with the fans and become “part of”.

And, oh yeah, it had to be affordable for my family of four, just like Arena Football.

Beckham, Beckham, Beckham – all I heard about was David Beckham. Maybe I should just go check out this soccer thing at Home Depot Center.

Well, I clicked on the Galaxy Web site and saw that a family four-pack was $100 bucks for four tickets and four hats. I wasn’t into soccer that much to spend a “Hundy” for a game.

Then I discovered Chivas USA also played at Home Depot Center and for $58 I could get four tickets, four hats – and four hot dogs. I couldn’t click fast enough to order – but I couldn’t figure out the stupid online ordering thing.

Enter the most important guy in my Chivas USA world – ticket rep John Santos.

John set me up with tickets and answered my important questions:
*Is the game announced in Spanish or English? (Both, it turned out).
*Are there fights in the stands? – I had seen English soccer riots on TV. (He assured me that Chivas USA games are family friendly and I would have a good time).

I bought the “coolest looking” jerseys in MLS and went with my wife, Martha, and the boys. Game time came and before I knew it, I was cheering along with the Union Ultras yelling “Chivas USA, Chivas USA” at the top of my lungs. My adrenaline was kicking in, my wife and boys were screaming and I realized – what was this? – I was screaming for soccer. And loving it!

Like a giant tuna, I was hooked. And when they scored and the announcer yelled GOOOOOLLLLLLLLLLL!!!, I began making plans for a return to Home Depot Center to cheer on Chivas USA again!!

I managed to get to a Galaxy game a short time after and while it was OK (Landon Donovan is amazing), it just didn’t “do it” for me.

I mean, it’s so “West side.” The crowd just does not seem to get into the game like a Chivas USA crowd does.

You get lots of “snooty” looks from the “don’t you know who I am” type crowd (no, I don’t know who you are and you don’t know who I am, so we are even). We all felt the “vibe” and felt like outsiders.

When we are at a Chivas USA game my family feels like we are truly part of the “international” crowd of soccer with drums, chants and horns. It’s very worldly. I feel part of something bigger – and not that I just came to see Beckham.

I have been to CONCACAF Champions League and SuperLiga games with my boys rooting hard for Chivas USA.

Seeing my favorite players like Ante Razov, Sacha Klejstan, Paulo Nagamura and Jim Curtin (that dude works hard!) became so exciting. I am a soccer “junkie.”

Then today I went to the HDC box office to get some Galaxy tickets, since I needed something to do on Saturday.

I was told by the box office that the least expensive ticket available was $42! Wow – I wasn’t about to pay almost $200 bucks for four tickets to watch the LAST PLACE team lose yet again.

I looked behind me and saw the Chivas USA players walking out the door and down the sidewalk to practice. I asked one of them, “are your practices open, can I watch?”

“Sure,” they replied, so I followed them down to the field and from about 10 feet away, observed these athletes practicing. For them, it seemed to be about “love and passion” for the game. They all had smiles on and great attitudes about practicing. Impressed and tired from just watching them, I took that as a sign from the gods that I was destined to be a Chivas USA fan!

I wish them luck for the rest of the season and hope that I can take my family to watch them in the playoffs and MLS Cup (hear that Galaxy?). Destiny and good value brought us together.

If you have not gone to an MLS game, check out Chivas USA.

Oh, and did I mention that the Chivas USA mascot “Chiva Fighter” is about the coolest mascot ever – plus he gave my seven-year-old the scarf he was wearing. (How great is that!)

Now where do I get red and white paint to make stripes on my face for the next game?

See you in the end zone section!

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Hitler is a Galaxy Fan

Apparently this parody was first done earlier this year just before the Super Bowl.

But this version will resonate more with long-suffering Galaxy fans.

Check it out before the video Gods take it away. (Caution: lots of naughty words).

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email