Saturday Soccer Gameday: Sol & SuperLiga

Worst meets first in the WPS Bagel Bowl at the HDC at 10 a.m. (!) today as the visiting Chicago Red Stars (2-5-5), without a win in eight, meet the league-leading Sol (9-1-4), who are without a loss in nine games.

Motivation for going: every fan gets a free Sol T-shirt.

Motivation for heading to the free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop: a live Webcast here. Los Angeles Sol Director of Media Relations Nick Ammazzalorso has the call with color commentary provided by Aaron Heifetz, press officer for the United States Women’s National Team.

Meanwhile, if Chicago don’t beat Tigres in a game that kicks off at 5 p.m. it may not be worth going to the Chivas USA-San Luis SuperLiga game that kicks off at 7 p.m. at the HDC (assuming you’re a Chivas fan).

Details here.

Lastly, it appears many of you believe the U.S. has already made a point to the world regardless of the Confederations Cup finale’s outcome Sunday against Brazil. Agree? Disagree? Vote here.

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Friday Football: July 4 Exhibition at Coliseum Cancelled & a Galaxy Update

Coliseum officials announced today they had been forced to cancel the Independence Day exhibition game that was to star Lionel Messi after receiving word football’s worldwide governing body had objected to the event:

Coliseum officials were notified by CONMEBOL that it has received communications from FIFA, dated June 23rd and 24th, stating that it is FIFA and CONCACAF’s position that the exhibition scheduled for July 4th in the Coliseum is not permitted.

The Coliseum hopes to resolve any FIFA concerns as soon as possible, so that the nine Futbol All-Stars events previously agreed to (annually) may proceed.

Refunds will be made available at the point of purchase.

The 4th of July Fireworks Extravaganza will go on as scheduled, without charge, with the 60 minute pyrotechnic display set to start shortly after sunset. Efforts are currently under way to introduce a soccer component to the day’s festivities at the Coliseum.

Coliseum officials didn’t specify what FIFA’s concerns were. Fans had already questioned the credibility of the event especially after 100 Percent Soccer reported exclusively this week that Mexican striker Cuauhtemoc Blanco was not “confirmed” for the game as organizers were claiming (and advertising).

In Galaxy news, rookie defender Yohance Marshall left for Austin Thursday where he joined the USL Aztecs on loan at least through their U.S. Open Cup game Tuesday against the Houston Dynamo.

Let’s hope he doesn’t meet the same fate as the Galaxy’s Julian Valentin, scheduled to undergo surgery today for a broken right foot sustained while he was on loan to Cleveland of the USL.

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Waiting for the Weekend

A busy weekend of soccer with all three pro teams playing at home and the U.S. in the final of a FIFA competition for the first time:

10 a.m. Saturday – The runaway WPS-leading Sol plays its last weekend game of the season at the early hour at Home Depot Center against the Chicago Red Stars. There’s a ticket special: two for $30 plus a Marta bobblehead and a $50 ESPN Zone game card. Call 1-877-4-SOL-TIX.

7 p.m. Saturday – Chicago must defeat Tigres Saturday and then Chivas USA must beat San Luis by at least two clear goals to advance in SuperLiga. Tickets start at $15. Call 1-877-CHIVAS-1 for tickets.

11 a.m. Sunday – Coverage begins on ESPN and Univision for the U.S. showdown with Brazil in the Confederations Cup final. BTW, the National Soccer Hall of Fame tweeted that the organization “is requesting a game ball from Sunday’s championship match for display What else should we ask for?” What about a U.S. win?

7 p.m. Sunday – $1 beer, $1 dogs as the 2-3-9 Galaxy play the Western Conference leading Houston Dynamo in Carson. Call 1-877-3GALAXY for tickets.

In related news, the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan has again been nominated for an ESPY.

So has the Sol’s Marta. The current and three-time FIFA World Player of the Year is up against Russian pole vaulter Yelena Isinbayeva, Mexican golfer Lorena Ochoa, Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice and Russian tennis player Dinara Safina in the category of Best Female International Athlete. I’m told only ESPN’s international viewers can vote in this one.

ESPN hands out the awards in July at the Nokia Theater at LA Live.

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Sunday Brunch With Brazil: A Poll

Or should that be Brazil for brunch? After all, the South Americans only narrowly beat South Africa today in the second Confederations Cup semifinal.

Vote below and elaborate in the comments section if you wish.

Can the U.S. beat Brazil Sunday in the final of the Confederations Cup?
Hell, yes
No, lightening does not strike twice
It doesn’t matter: the U.S. earned respect by beating Spain
Free polls from
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Young U.S. Gold Cup Roster Named & More

Only six players on the 23-man roster have caps in the double digits – Freddy Adu, Brian Ching, Jimmy Conrad, Steve Cherundolo, Heath Pearce and Santino Quaranta.

Chivas USA and Galaxy fans will not doubt be more interested in the players not picked; there is no Landon Donovan, Jonathan Bornstein or Sacha Kljestan on the U.S. roster.

There are only four carryovers from the Confederations Cup squad: Adu, Pearce, Charlie Davis and goalkeeper Luis Robles.

Full roster and details here.

Also: Mexico routed Venezuela last night in Atlanta.

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EPL Team Burnley to Play PDL Fusion in Ventura.

Barcelona. Chelsea. AC Milan. And Burnley.

Add the humble Lancashire team to this summer’s packed international soccer calendar

Newly-promoted EPL team Burnley, a founding member of the English Football League in 1888, will play in Ventura as part of a two-game U.S. tour July 21 against PDL team the Ventura County Fusion.

Tickets are a modest $10 for adults in advance.

Details here.

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Chivas USA Acquire Former Galaxy Midfielder Harmse From Toronto

Apparently South African-born Canadian Kevin Harmse was homesick – for Southern California.

Chivas USA acquired the 24-year-old defensive midfielder from Toronto today for allocation money.

“Kevin is a strong, technical player who can play in both midfield and defense,” said Chivas USA Coach Preki. “We’re excited to welcome him to the club and eager for him to contribute to our team.”

Harmse played 17 games for the Galaxy in 2007 before joining Toronto last year.

“Kevin requested a move back to the U.S,” said Toronto manager Mo Johnston. We tried very hard to hang on to him, but this move is what’s best for Kevin right now.”

He will join Chivas USA after he represents Canada at the Gold Cup, requiring the club to make a roster decision of some kind at that point, club officials said.

A somewhat surprising move from Chivas USA given that Paulo Nagamura is having a career season, but perhaps he’s seen as a long-term replacement for veteran Jesse Marsch.

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One of the greatest performances in national team history (yes, let’s veer from horror to hyperbole) even if it is a lightly-regarded tournament.

Box score.

Where have these guys been?

Sheer effort, movement off the ball, closing attackers down, goalkeeper Tim Howard looking unruffled and seemingly increasing in confidence with every save; the U.S. had it all today.

And the world’s best team couldn’t break down that defense.


Updated 3:35 p.m.: Freddy Adu just tweeted – “whattttttttt. greatest win in US Soccer history straight up. finals here we come.”

The game will be shown again at 8 p.m. on ESPN2, BTW.

Game story.

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