Thorrington, Rogers, Franklin, Kljestan & Bornstein Named to January USMNT Camp in Carson

U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Bob Bradley has included 19 players with 10 or fewer international appearances, including nine in search of their first cap, on the roster for the traditional January camp at Home Depot Center.

Those players include Palos Verdes’ John Thorrington of the Chicago Fire (three caps, 0 goals), Cal State Northridge product Sean Franklin of the Galaxy (0/0), Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers (0/0) and Riverside’s Chad Marshall of the Columbus Crew (4/1).

Also named to the squad were Chivas USA’s Sacha Kljestan of Huntington Beach (12/0) and Jonathan Bornstein of Los Alamitos (13/1).

The camp for the 25 players that begins Jan. 4 culminates Jan. 24 with a game against Sweden in Carson.

Here’s the complete roster.

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Tuesday’s Column: Vote For the Top Southern California Soccer Star of ’08

‘Tis the season.

Not only for journalists to use that over-used phrase, but for largely meaningless end of year awards. Still, they’re also fun.

So this blog is joining the party with a highly prestigious (ahem) award of our own: the 100 Percent Soccer Southern California Soccer Personality of the Year.

Read the column then cast your vote. We’ll announce the winner New Year’s Day.

Who is the inaugural 100 Percent Soccer Southern California Soccer Personality of the Year?
Shannon Boxx
Landon Donovan
Joe Flanagan
Sacha Kljestan
Sigi Schmid
Free polls from

Thanks for reading.

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Toro Gallaugher Named Division II National Player of the Year & More

Cal State Dominguez Hills junior defender Kevin Gallaugher was today named the Division II National Player of the Year by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.

He led the Toro defense to 14 shutouts on the year, including three in five games in the NCAA postseason. The defense gave up just 19 goals on the season.

It’s the first such honor for the program in eight years, when Juan Carlos “JC” Bolanos led CSUDH to its 2000 NCAA Title.

“Throughout the year in our 27 games, I don’t think Kevin had one bad game,” reflects head coach Joe Flanagan, who also coached Bolanos during the 2000 run. “This award shows how complete and prepared of a player he is in every game, and the level he played at. As a great defender, he truly deserves the opportunity to be player of the year.”

In other news that filtered out over the holidays:
*Two Galaxy players – David Beckham and Landon Donovan – are in Dubai training with two different European teams.

*HDC press box colleague Luis Bueno brings us up to date on Chivas USA midfielder Panchito Mendoza, who played over the weekend in CD Guadalajara’s 2-1 win over Necaxa. Bueno translates what Mendoza had to say about the Mexican league in comparison to MLS.

*The New York Times Goal blog follows the lead of England’s FourFourTwo magazine and asks famous players to name their best all-time team. Chivas USA’s Claudio Suarez names his here.

*The U.S. men’s Under-18 National Team on Sunday began a week-long 72-player camp at Home Depot Center. Among the locals being evaluated by former Chivas USA assistant coach and newly-appointed U-18 Coach Mike Matkovich are: defender Jesus Gonzales (Chino Hills, Calif.; FC Barcelona); midfielders Eder Arreola (Chino Hills; UCLA), Antonio Benitez (Azusa; LAFC Chelsea), Miles Byass (San Bernardino; Arsenal FC), Alejandro Cobarubias (Cudahy; Galaxy), Pablo Cruz (Azusa; LAFC Chelsea), Chris Ortega (Chula Vista; Arsenal FC), Patrick Otte (Thousand Oaks; Middlesborough Academy); Giovanni Rollie (Los Angeles; LAFC Chelsea), Michael Roman (Oxnard; Real So Cal); forwards Orr Baroush (Reseda; Chivas USA Academy), Marquis Brooks (Chula Vista; Galaxy),

*Celebrities confirmed for the second annual Mia Hamm & Nomar Garciaparra Celebrity Soccer Challenge, a Jan. 17 charity soccer match benefiting Childrens Hospital Los Angeles and the Mia Hamm Foundation at Home Depot Center include: skateboarding pros Tony Hawk and Ryan Sheckler, U.S. Olympic Gold Medalist Kerri Walsh, former NFL running back Marcus Allen, Zachary Levi of Chuck, Jimmy Jean Louis of Heroes and Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo. Tickets are $20 through the HDC box office or via TicketMaster.

Finally, a reminder that $50 gets you a tryout Jan. 17-18 with PDL team Ventura County Fusion. Details here.

Sporadic posting will continue through the new year. But check back tomorrow for my regular weekly column and a poll.

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Riverside’s Chad Marshall Re-signs With Columbus Crew

MLS Defender of the Year Chad Marshall has signed a new multi-year contract with the MLS champion Columbus Crew, the club announced today, after he had reportedly tested the market overseas.

“We have made a significant commitment to ensure that Chad remains a member of the Crew and we are very pleased to have gotten that priority accomplished,” said Crew technical director Brian Bliss. “It goes without saying that he played a vital role in our championship season and re-signing him allows us to retain our core group of key contributors.”

Marshall, 23, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2004 Superdraft, rebounded from an injury-shortened 2007 season to start 29 games and rank second on the team in minutes played. Anchored by Marshall, the Crew’s defense allowed the third fewest goals in the league en route to the best regular season record in MLS.

He capped the year by scoring the winning goal at MLS Cup in Carson.

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Happy Holidays From Van Nuys’ Tristan Bowen of the Galaxy

While searching for a suitable holiday video (freestyle soccer moves set to Christmas music? Yuck. A burning yule log? Been there done that.) I ran across this offering on the Galaxy blog from Van Nuys’ Tristan Bowen.

Bowen, of course made history late this year when he became the first youth player to come up through the ranks of an MLS club and sign a professional contract.

He is also one of the very few players to emerge from the San Fernando Valley in recent years.

So here’s an obviously enthused Bowen talking (a little wide-eyed it must be said) on the Galaxy’s recent trip to New Zealand reflecting on the dramatic turn his life took in 2008.

And of course, it’s always a good time of year to remind aspiring soccer players that, like Bowen’s, your dreams can come true, as well.

Happy holidays from 100 Percent Soccer:

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Galaxy Sign Jamaican Goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts

He’s made 67 appearances for the Jamaican National Team.

Is a veteran of the lower divisions in England.

And has apparently impressed Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena:

“I have known Donovan for a number of years as a goalkeeper with the Jamaican National Team and have always been impressed with his physical qualities. After a closer examination of the player, I am absolutely amazed with his abilities both on and off the field. It is also a position that we felt the need to improve and believe that he will be a great addition to our team and has the potential to be one of the best goalkeepers in MLS.”

Of course, some fans of one of his former teams, Bradford City, have quite a different opinion of the 31-year-old veteran, which they expressed here when 100 Percent Soccer broke the news the Galaxy were chasing Rickets.

Here’s the rest of the Galaxy press release:

At 6-foot-4, Rickets is a commanding presence in the box. A member of Jamaica’s 1998 World Cup squad as a 21-year-old, Ricketts has made 67 international appearances for his country. He boasts an impressive 11-7-6 record in 24 World Cup qualifying matches, including all eight of Jamaica’s games during qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Despite recording three consecutive shutouts at the end of the qualifying campaign, including one in a 1-0 win over Mexico in Kingston, Jamaica on October 10, Ricketts and the Reggae Boyz narrowly missed out on advancing to the final stages of the 2010 CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, losing out to Mexico on goal difference. Earlier this month, he helped lead Jamaica to the 2008 Digicel Caribbean Championships where they defeated Grenada 2-0 in the final.

A native of Montego Bay, Jamaica, Rickets started his professional career playing for his hometown club of F.C. Waddadah before signing with Village United, who plays in Jamaica’s top league, in 2002. In January 2004, he moved to England, signing with Bolton Wanderers of the English Premier League. Ricketts never played a game for Bolton and in July 2004 was signed on loan by League Two side Bradford City, who then signed him on a permanent basis at the end of that season. He spent four years with the Bantams, appearing in more than 115 games for the club before returning to Jamaica to again sign with Village United this summer.

The Galaxy certainly needed an experienced netminder after enduring the shaky likes of Steve Cronin, Josh Wicks and Josh Saunders this season. Given the comments from British fans though, is he right for the Galaxy? Sounds like we’re going to have an entertaining time finding out at the very least.

What do you think?

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Tuesday’s Column: Galaxy’s Five-Day Camp a Fantasy Come True

Photos by Steve McCrank

Coach Ralph Perez leads the Galaxy fantasy Camp

I’ve always been curious about the annual Galaxy Fantasy Camp held at Home Depot Center.

Does former Galaxy defender Abel Xavier guest lecture and demonstrate “The Art of Playing Effective Central Defense”? Does former Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas stop by to speak on “How to Build A Winning Team”?

O.K., maybe not.

So I accepted the invitation Saturday to get a little taste of why about 40 wanna be pros a year fork over $1,000 (not including airfare and hotel) to spend five days training like real soccer players.

Read about it here.

Thanks to coach Ralph Perez, camp director Blane Shepard and, especially, the 40 campers who allowed me to gate crash their fantasy camp experience.

And in case anyone was wondering, yes, my muscles are still sore.


Poetry in motion (that’s Rafa Melgoza on the ball, BTW).

Photo Courtesy of the Galaxy


Barely five minutes into warm-up drills and your trusty soccer columnist wonders if he’ll get through the day.

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Chivas USA’s Panchito Mendoza to Train With CD Guadalajara

More fuel for the idea frenetic midfielder Francisco Mendoza,23, has exited Chivas USA for good after scoring five goals in 111 games (a record for a Mexican in MLS), although we may well see him play one last time in Carson.

From the Chivas USA press release:

Under head coach Efran Flores, Chivas de Guadalajara is currently preparing for the upcoming InterLiga tournament. Guadalajara faces Atlas and Club Amrica in Texas and then Tigres UANL Jan. 9 at Home Depot Center in the final doubleheader of the tournament’s opening round.

Chivas de Guadalajara opens its 17-game Clausura 2009 campaign on Jan. 17 when it hosts Cruz Azul at Estadio Jalisco.

Mendoza will join up with Chivas at their preseason camp.

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Video: Beckham in Milan

David Beckham was just introduced to the crowd before today’s 11:30 a.m. AC Milan-Udinese game that’s live on Fox Soccer Channel, BTW, flanked by two rows of little kids wearing AC Milan replica jerseys emblazoned with his name and number (32, geddit?). And no, he’s not playing.

Read about Saturday’s introductory press conference here or watch the highlights below:

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