Monday Night Football: The Emperor, Donovan Returns & More

i-8c8ef20b65748fee4d5da6b6aa512972-suarez0002.jpgCatching up after a Beckham-centric couple of days it’s worth noting that:

*Veteran Chivas USA defender Claudio Suarez announced his retirement Saturday and chatted on ESPN Deportes Radio live in Lynwood. The Rancho Palos Verdes resident plans to stay in the area, playing soccer in a semi-professional league and starting youth soccer clinics with Ramn Ramirez and Robert Zuiga.

Chivas USA failed to mention the retirement of one of the greatest Mexican internationals ever in its weekly update today and it doesn’t sound like the parting of the ways with the club was particularly amicable, according to local blogger Luis Bueno with a translation from La Opinion.

Not a good reflection on the club, by the sound of it. Suarez is one of the classiest and most thoughtful players players out there (despite the fact his English and my Spanish are both inadequate) and I for one will miss his astute observations after games. Gracias, Claudio.

*Landon Donovan returns to Galaxy training Tuesday and will hold a press conference afterward. I’ll blog so stay tuned, but Donovan (exhaustively) answered questions from fans about his stay at Bayern on his Web site the other day. A sample:

“Q: Landon, In early January, coach Klinsmann was quoted as saying about you, “He has unbelievable pace and dribbling skill, he looks for the one-on-one situations. … Having closely followed your career throughout the years (including what I’d consider your best performances at the 2002 WC and 2005 MLS playoffs), I’d agree that your most outstanding moments come through dribbling and one-on-ones — but I didn’t see you searching out opportunities to take over games in this way while at Bayern. (Instead, I saw a lot of one-touch passing and trying to position yourself for headers or rebounds; Ribery played as I’d hoped you would.) Did the coaching staff instruct you to play in a more limited capacity? Did you have different instructions for different games (and could you share some of them?) Thanks a lot, and best of luck — we all believe in you (even to take on and beat John Terry)

A: This is a great question and hopefully I can help people understand some things about coming into a new environment. With the U.S. team and the Galaxy, I feel more comfortable because I usually have 90 minutes to make an impact and my teammates will forgive mistakes because they know what I’m capable of. Coming into an unfamiliar environment, it’s difficult to balance, 1.) Being selfish and trying to make an impression with, 2.) Trying to fit into the team and do what is needed in a given situation. It’s one of the trickiest parts of being a new player on a team.”

You can read the entire Q&A here.

*The Galaxy reported Monday that “Edson Buddle (quad), Todd Dunivant (ankle), and Eddie Lewis (hamstring) all missed training late last week and on Monday and are unlikely to join the club in Arizona for Saturday night’s game against Chicago. Lewis was injured during the Pan-Pacific Championship, while Buddle suffered his injury in training early last week. However, both are expected to be ready for the season opener against D.C. United on March 22.”

Dunivant is out of the season opener though; Bryan Jordan returned to training today after missing the last two weeks with a foot injury and is expected to be available for the game in Tempe.

*Joe Tutino will have the call for the game starting at 6:45 p.m. on www.galaxy.com.

*Also, the Galaxy is one of three teams participating in the nationally-televised player search Sueo MLS, which gave us Jorge Flores at Chivas USA. The Galaxy will host the finals at Home Depot Center later in the season. More than 800 signed up Sunday for the Galaxy tryouts March 28-29 in San Bernadino.

*Over in Spain, the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team opened the 10 Nations Tournament with a 3-2 victory over Norway on Monday, with Sydney Leroux of UCLA among the goalscorers. The U.S. faces France Wednesday as it prepares for qualifying for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup in Germany.

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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 www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Torrance Mom & Chivas USA fan

    Sorry to hear that Claudio Suarez is retiring. I don’t care about his age, it was all about his leadership and maintaining the first line of defense. Chivas USA will be hard-pressed to find someone of his talent and experience. Too bad corporate greed will undermine the team. Fans won’t like it. Muchas Gracias, Claudio!

  • Torrance Mom & Chivas USA fan

    Sorry to hear that Claudio Suarez is retiring. I don’t care about his age, it was all about his leadership and maintaining the first line of defense. Chivas USA will be hard-pressed to find someone of his talent and experience. Too bad corporate greed will undermine the team. Fans won’t like it. Muchas Gracias, Claudio!

  • Torrance Mom & Chivas USA fan

    Sorry to hear that Claudio Suarez is retiring. I don’t care about his age, it was all about his leadership and maintaining the first line of defense. Chivas USA will be hard-pressed to find someone of his talent and experience. Too bad corporate greed will undermine the team. Fans won’t like it. Muchas Gracias, Claudio!

  • Torrance Mom & Chivas USA fan

    Sorry to hear that Claudio Suarez is retiring. I don’t care about his age, it was all about his leadership and maintaining the first line of defense. Chivas USA will be hard-pressed to find someone of his talent and experience. Too bad corporate greed will undermine the team. Fans won’t like it. Muchas Gracias, Claudio!

  • Studs Up

    Re Donovan’s playing style: He is an open field player with great pace, good vision and a good striker of the ball but he is NOT a gifted dribbler like Ribery or any other classic midfielder who can control a game. That is why the gaLAxy has suffered as team most of the time he has been here. He needs a great playmaker behind him and we haven’t had one (incl. DB) since Cien. You watch him try to dribble and he’ll lose the ball before the 3rd touch just about every time. Oh, how I wish he could really dibble or for that matter any other American-born player. Mathis was the best we’ve had at his prime. He was the best pure “soccer” player born and raised here (Tab Ramos was born in Uruguay if I’m not mistaking or otherwise it would have been him).

    Peace and hang on to that ball dearly everyone, don’t give it up so cheaply! MLS should send all the drafted players to Argentina and Brasil for a year for re-tooling.