Vegas Catch-Up: Galaxy Open Pre-season Camp & More

I’m back from Vegas, but still technically on vacation until Monday.

Still, since I’m scanning on-line what I missed, I may as well pass along what I’m reading:

*The Galaxy players hit the field for the first time Wednesday at Home Depot Center and the Galaxy released their pre-season roster.

*Projected starting right back Sean Franklin went under the knife in Germany to resolve a hernia injury he picked up training with the national team. Given the struggles we’ve seen the likes of Chivas USA striker Maykel Galindo endure to come back from hernia surgery, Franklin must instantly be a doubt for the March 22 season opener, no matter what the club says. More here.

*The Galaxy confirmed Tuesday the acquisition of midfielder Dema Kovalenko from Real Salt Lake in exchange for allocation money and a conditional draft pick in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft. The 10-year MLS veteran has made 220 MLS appearances for the likes of the D.C. United, Chicago Fire and Red Bulls, (scoring 37 goals and adding 38 assists) so he’s a known commodity for Coach Bruce Arena:

“I have the greatest respect for Dema. He is a very good player and a winner,” he said. “His work ethic and competitiveness will be a real plus for our team.”

He arrives in camp the South Bay late Thursday.

*There are 33 players on the roster with 24 in camp; 20 were with the Galaxy last year. Trialists include the Venezuelan defender (Bautista) I mentioned last week and veteran U.S. defender Tony Sannah, 37, who has been slowed by injuries and missed all of last season.

*Newly acquired goalkeeper Ricketts and top draft pick Gonzalez arrive next week.

* Landon Donovan scored a second goal Monday for Bayern Munich.

*Chivas USA opens camp this coming Wednesday.

*The U.S. women kicked off a 25-player, 17-day camp in Carson Tuesday ahead of the Algarve Cup in Portugal in March. What’s most notable about the roster U.S. Soccer released? It includes players’ WPS affiliation for the first time:

goalkeepers – Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)

defenders – Rachel Buehler (FC Gold Pride), Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Marian Dalmy (Chicago Red Stars), Kendall Fletcher (Los Angeles Sol), Heather Mitts (Boston Breakers), Christie Rampone (Sky Blue FC)

midfielders – Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tina DiMartino (FC Gold Pride), Tobin Heath (North Carolina), Carli Lloyd (Chicago Red Stars), Christine Nairn (Penn State), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Lindsay Tarpley (Chicago Red Stars), Kacey White (Sky Blue FC), Angie Woznuk (St. Louis Athletica)

forwards – Tina Ellertson (St. Louis Athletica), Angela Hucles (Boston Breakers), Natasha Kai (Sky Blue FC), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars), Amy Rodriguez (Boston Breakers), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom).

*The weekly Thursday night MLS game has either been dropped or had 27 of 37 scheduled games moved to other days or nights depending on who is doing the spinning. MLS claims the move gives the league greater flexibility; media reports have cited generally crummy ratings on Thursdays that fell more than 12 percent last year and were on par with the Arena Football League. And we know what happened to their 2009 season.

“It also provides more flexibility for Chivas USA and the Galaxy to appear on ESPN if we have Saturday night games (due to the HDC ordinance with weekday games),” MLS spokesman Dan Courtemanche observed in an e-mail to me while I was away.

The complete MLS schedule will be out by month’s end.

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