Thanksgiving Eve Kicks: Gazidis to Arsenal & More

Before you head to Gramma’s house for the holiday, know that:

*Those English newspaper reports were true for once and MLS Deputy Commissioner Ivan Gazidis is off to England’s Arsenal as chief executive officer in the new year. Is this Stan Kroenke at work?

Arsenal Chairman Peter Hill-Wood said: “Ivan’s credentials are first class. It is evident that he has a wealth of business acumen together with a broad knowledge of football that will not only help to maintain Arsenal’s pre-eminent standing but enhance our reputation within the football community and international commercial markets.”

The South African was one of the founding executives of MLS and was responsible for all player contracts.

*The Sigi Schmid family’s run of cup success continues. UC Irvine, (15-1-6) where the MLS Cup-winning Schmid has a son who plays and another who is an assistant coach beat Cal Poly 3-0 Tuesday to advance to a NCAA Tournament semifinal Saturday against St John’s. The game was played before the first-ever sellout (and drenched) crowd of 2,500 in the OC.

Complete bracket.

Soccer on TV today:
*At 11 a.m. on ESPNU the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team plays China in its third and final group game of the U-20 World Cup; the U.S. is through to the final round already, while China must win.

*At 11:30 a.m. on ESPN Bordeaux plays Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League.

*At 2 p.m. on ESPN Classic it’s Sporting Lisbon-Barcelona.

* At 5 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel it’s the Houston Dynamo and El Salvador’s CD Luis Angel Firpo in the CONCACAF Champions League. The Dynamo must win to advance.

Back later with word on the MLS Expansion Draft.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!