Sol Clinches Inaugural WPS League Title

In a 0-0 game.

Each team had 10 shots tonight at Buckshaw Stadium in San Jose. The Sol could only manage one shot on target; FC Gold Pride had three.

Game story.

Sol XI: Karina LeBlanc; Manya Makoski, Sharlota Nonen; Brittany Bock, Keri Sanchez, Aly Wagner (77: McCall Zerboni), Camille Abily, Lisa Sari (46: Shannon Boxx), Aya Miyama, Han Duan, Marta.

There are still three weeks left in the regular season to determine who the Sol will face in the title game.

Tickets for the WPS Championshp game Aug. 22 at Home Depot Center go on sale Wednesday; the price for the first couple of days is $20.

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Trade Rumors: Galaxy’s Donovan to Italy’s Livorno?

Italy’s Livorno, back in Serie A this season, are reportedly eying Ricardo Clark and the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan.

With those rumors picking up colleague Phil Collin spoke to Donovan after training today:

“My agent has been in discussions with a lot of different teams, but at this point I’m not worried about that. I’m not going anywhere in the immediate future. I’m enjoying being the captain of this team and doing well with this team.”

And, naturally, Phil asked Landon whether he had spoken to David Beckham about the half time incident with the Riot Squad during Sunday’s AC Milan game:

“You guys just won’t let it go, will you? (almost a half-smile). I didn’t say a word to David. I didn’t know what had happened. He, I think, spoke to Bruce and it’s over. We’re moving on.”

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Guest Blogger: One Galaxy Fan’s Rant at Home Depot Center Management

Douglas Morino is a reporter at the Daily Breeze in Torrance who attended last weekend’s Galaxy-AC Milan game in Carson as part of the capacity crowd.

I asked him to write about his experience as a fan; he does not paint a pretty picture.

What my friend and I, along with hundreds of other soccer fans, experienced Sunday night at Home Depot Center was nothing short of outrageous.

I expected the bad traffic.

What I didn’t expect was it to take us two hours to drive from the Avalon Boulevard off-ramp to the Home Depot Center parking lot. It was clear from the beginning the powers that be were unprepared for the influx of soccer fans descending upon the HDC.

I can deal with long lines for overpriced beer.

But outside the ticket gates closest to the tennis stadium, there were hundreds of people – literally, hundreds – lined up waiting to enter. The line was a dozen people thick and
stretched to the parking lot. The scene was unsettling. At that point, the match was already underway.

Frustrated, we went to the opposite end of the stadium, where the line to get in was shorter. We walked into the stadium 10 minutes after kickoff.

We had tickets in the general admission area – first come, first served – and by the time we reached the section it was clear there were no open seats. We stood for a while, along with dozens of other fans who were venting their frustrations at security guards and ushers. Who could blame them? It was hot, crowded and there was no where to sit.

I looked to the press box with envy as I envisioned a colleague sitting comfortably, maybe enjoying a cold drink and air conditioning, as he observed the match from the 50-yard line and typed away on his laptop.

Around the 25th minute we sat in fold-out chairs behind the general admission section along with about a dozen other people. We were immediately told to leave, and the argument with stadium officials would last until the final whistle blew.

After halftime, people continued to scramble to find a place to sit, or even stand. Some seats lining the section remained empty the entire match, and security guards and ushers would not allow them to be filled. The growing crowd continued to protest.

Security, not surprisingly, was having no part of it. They told us to leave the section, they told us to take it up with customer service, then they threatened to kick us out. By this time, the crowd behind the section had grown substantially – and so had their anger. Security called at least one sheriff’s deputy to the scene. It was obvious they had oversold that section and the entire stadium. I wondered were the Fire Marshall was to enforce any fire code.

Finally, in the 70th minute, a sympathetic security guard intervened, and using verbal force, cleared some space and found us a few seats in the general admission section. Unfortunately, many who paid to get into the section were left standing, far removed from the action on the field and in the stands.

Trying to get in the stadium was one thing. Trying to get out was something completely different.

After the final whistle blew, an elderly man took a break from the massive herd trying to leave the section and sat down in an empty seat. A young female security guard promptly told him to stand up. People passing by spoke up in defense of the old man.

“I don’t have to take any of your (expletive),” she shouted.

We finally made it outside and literally ran to our car to avoid the impending onslaught of traffic. I’ve been to packed Dodger playoff games, BCS bowl games, and sporting events in the Developing World, and nothing compared to the disorganization and blatant disrespect being forced upon paying customers Sunday in Carson.

My friend and I drove out of the stadium parking lot that night, vowing never to return.

It seems Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns and operates the stadium, as well as the Galaxy, keep finding ways to drive new fans like Morino away. Incidentally, a press box colleague (who arrived late to the game) had a very similar experience with the traffic control (or total lack thereof outside the stadium) calling it “complete chaos.” And power hungry security at the stadium is another recurring theme, too. I’d be interested in hearing from other fans and AEG officials are welcome to respond as well in the comment section.

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Galaxy Striker Buddle Out for a Month

He just tweeted his latest injury.

Buddle has started just eight MLS games this season because of a succession of injuries.

He apparently suffered the injury in the first 15 minutes of last Sunday’s AC Milan friendly and was subbed out.


Despite what Edson tweeted, the official diagnosis is sprained right foot. And there’s no time line on his return, so it’s unclear if he will actually be out a month.

BTW: Alecko Eskandarian does have a broken nose; Dema Kovalenko trained all week – yet to be determined is whether he’s fit enough to play against Kansas City this weekend.

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Thursday Sol Gameday & More

The Sol (11-2-4) can clinch the inaugural WPS regular season title with just a point on the road tonight at FC Gold Pride (3-9-3), a team that hasn’t won in eight games and are 0-3 against LA this season.

Gold Pride will play on just three days rest after taking the field Sunday, while the Sol have had a considerably longer opportunity to relax, sustaining a rare 1-0 home loss July 8 to St. Louis Athletica. The Pride expects Nicole Barnhart, Rachel Buehler and Leslie Osborne back from national team duty after two unnecessary games against Canada in four days; similarly the likes of midfielder Shannon Boxx (who went the full 90 last night) and goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc (an unused sub Wednesday night) return for the Sol.

Sol defender Allison Falk is listed as questionable with a right ankle injury.

Former Brazilian international Sissi, now 42-years-old, could find herself lining up against the Sol’s Marta in a clash of different generations.

Meanwhile, Northern California native and oft-injured Sol star Aly Wagner sadly sounds more and more as if she’s edging toward a premature retirement.

There’s no TV or radio.

(BTW, the U.S. beat Canada 1-0 Wednesday night in South Carolina, the 89th minute goal coming from 18-year-old Christine Nairn just eight minutes after she entered the game as a sub. She was playing in her second national team game).

TV options tonight include a Gold Cup semifinals doubleheader with the U.S. facing Honduras at 4 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel and the Mexico-Costa Rica game following at 7 p.m. on Univision.

The Hondurans will no doubt be distracted by events at home.

Finally, as the college soccer season approaches, check out this story about UCLA’s prized top recruit.

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L.A. Riot Squad Issues Statement on Beckham Incident

The fan group e-mailed it out this evening.

Here it is in its entirety:

What/why were we booing?
We want to support our teams and our players, and we do that week after week. We were really torn between our desire to support the team and the need to register our disappointment with the entire Beckham circus. We don’t fault David for his desire to play for his country and for playing abroad during the off season, but we do find fault with his stated desire to play in Europe rather than the Galaxy. After going out on loan last winter to Milan, Beckham shortly made it clear that he no longer wanted to play for the Galaxy. He returned this month only because he and Milan were unwilling to meet AEG/MLS’ price for a transfer, yet his public comments don’t reflect this reality. Rather, he has rather unbelievably said he is “fully committed” to the Galaxy, as if repetition can make it so. He has been unable or unwilling to show any understanding of why the fans are disappointed with his actions and choices. We chose a friendly match, one arranged as part of the payment by Beckham and Milan to extend his loan, to let him know that if he was unhappy to be here, we were unhappy too.

Did LARS ban anyone?
No. We do, however, have an actual meeting scheduled later this week with Galaxy officials to discuss the matter.

Will we appeal the ban?
We have a meeting scheduled later this week with the Galaxy to discuss the events.

Did we cross the line?
No. We questioned David’s loyalty to the club and we sang, made signs and chanted things that were bluntly dismissive. As far as we can determine, no one from LARS crossed over to referencing his family, as Beckham has claimed. In our discussions on our internet forums prior to the match, we agreed that David’s family (is) expressly off limits. We know that Beckham has received very rough and deplorable treatment during his career, and that’s why we were genuinely shocked by his response to us on Sunday. We don’t believe questioning Beckham’s commitment to our team is over the line, but it’s clear that David feels otherwise.

Explain the confrontation at halftime.
We have a meeting scheduled later this week with the Galaxy to discuss the events.

Will we support Beckham in the future?
We want to support David – we want to support anyone that wears our team’s shirt. Had David responded differently on Sunday, the booing and chanting probably would have ended by halftime. We will almost certainly end the booing and chanting when Beckham plays in his first MLS match at our stadium, but it is ultimately up to David. If (he) shows the evident disinterest he did at the end of last season, or if he provokes us further, we might have something more to say to him, but our ultimate desire is to support him.

Requests for further info should be directed to:


Riot Squad Member in Half Time Altercation With Beckham Banned for Life?

Galaxy-AC Milan Post-Game

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Fusion Folds to England’s Burnley

As one would expect in a game between a newly-promoted EPL team and the Ventura County Fusion, which play in the fourth tier of American soccer.


Quite a different atmosphere than the one 90 minutes or so away in Pasadena, but no doubt considerably cooler at Buena High in Ventura.

Thanks to loyal 100 Percent Soccer reader Evan Z from Camarillo for sharing some of the pics he shot during the game.

Game story.

The view from England.

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Blues Cruise Over Special One’s Milan

AP Photosi-16c0957aa6c696ab7a08a76496649558-theron.jpgThe celebs (Ashton Kutcher, Charlize Theron, Will Ferrell, et al) were out.

So was a loud and appreciative crowd of more than 80,000 that braved rush hour traffic and suffocating heat in Pasadena.

i-0a197a454a8ac6d21f07214458640d5f-specialone.jpgAll to see a meaningless friendly between Jose Mourinho’s old club – Chelsea – and his current team, Inter Milan, at the Rose Bowl.

Read the game story here.

I was impressed: clearly there are soccer fans in L.A. with more fortitude than myself.

After working all day, I couldn’t face a 90 minute commute in the withering heat from the South Bay to Pasadena (especially with a Dodger game scheduled) so chose to stay home and snuggle up with a cold one in front of my hi def TV. (And yeah, I know I’m a spoiled wimp of a journalist considering I get to sit in an air-conditioned press box).

Still, it was a fun spectacle from my vantage point – or at least the first half was – despite the less than illuminating color commentary of John “not so brilliant” Harkes and his lingering fake English accent. (How the hell that guy – also responsible for perhaps the most poorly written soccer-related biography of all time keeps his job is beyond me. My biggest pet peeve? When he insists on saying “offsides” when he means offside – singular. Aggh!).

Which is why I was a little surprised to see the tone of this column from co-worker Scott Wolf.

Scott is a huge fan of the European game, owns more replica jerseys than any human being I know and often heads to Europe to take in a few games.

Scott has a lacerating sense of understatement he usually uses to good effect to skewer the deserving, but this one missed the mark (check out the comments at the end of the story).

Do pointy-ball football teams sell out preseason games? Thought not.

When that many people show up to an exhibition game early in pre-season (that one would think could be of questionable quality) on a weekday in these weather conditions at a time when this country is saturated with visiting top-class teams, well, the U.S. soccer community should be saluted, not condemned, for it’s showing.

I know I do. From the comfort of my couch.

Here’s the perspective from England.

And here’s the answer to the question, do these games help soccer grow at the grassroots level? In this case, yes.


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Three for Tuesday: Chivas USA, Galaxy and UCLA Updates

Playing a little catch-up with some non-David Beckham related news:

*Three Chivas USA players and two from UCLA were selected for a 10-day camp in Argentina that begins today that is the final tune-up for the United States Men’s Under-20 National Team that plays in the FIFA World Cup for that age category in late September in Egypt.

Chivas USA players summoned for the camp were converted defender Jorge Flores of Anaheim, midfielder Gerson Mayen of Los Angeles and recent signing Cesar Zamora of Sylmar; representing UCLA are goalkeeper Brian Perk of Rancho Santa Margarita and midfielder Michael Stephens of Illinois. It’s Zamora’s first call-up to the national team.

*Galaxy forward Bryan Jordan of Temple City was the subject of a profile in his hometown newspaper recently that talked about him “living a childhood dream” – and that was before he scored a goal Sunday against AC Milan.

*Finally, this is timely given that the Tour de France is on-going – and it’s for a good cause if you’re a Bruin.

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International Soccer Gameday: Chelsea, Inter – & Burnley

In Pasadena at 8 p.m. it’s Chelsea against Inter Milan. The game is live on ESPN2.

i-8b1b6a7d9c9e5208996319dac309b406-terry.jpgJohn Terry’s Chelsea future is still up in the air (AP Photo).

Game preview.

Meanwhile, Chelsea’s Michael Ballack has returned to England with a broken toe, while trade rumors continue to swirl around John Terry.

Inter go to Hollywood.

The people and nation who will really benefit from tonight’s game.

This author signs copies of his book at the game today.

Meanwhile, up in Ventura at a high school stadium the PDL Ventura County Fusion will play EPL newcomers Burnley. (You can listen to game commentary at the Web site).

Game preview.

More here.

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