World Cup Draw Viewing Parties

Chivas USA will host one from 9 a.m. to noon Friday at La Huasteca Restaurant, 3150 E. Imperial Hwy. Suite 100 at Plaza Mexico in Lynwood. The first 50 fans to RSVP at 310-630-4586 or get entered for a chance to win an Xbox and other prizes.

The Galaxy’s party begins at 9 a.m. at ESPN Zone at LA Live. Fans should RSVP to the Galaxy Sales Staff at The first 100 people to send in their RSVPs will receive a complementary breakfast and a guaranteed seat for the event.

And, as previously mentioned: Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan marks the World Cup draw at noon Friday by “unwrapping a giant holiday present for the city and handing out special World Cup holiday gifts to fans at the adidas store on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.” The event includes South African Kwaito music and dancers, adidas giveaways, autograph signings and the chance to win a $500 holiday shopping spree.

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Mike Penner, Los Angeles Soccer Writer: A Tribute

Los Angeles Times writer Mike Penner was an occasional press box colleague.

I didn’t know him well and won’t pretend to.

But he was another voice for soccer in Southern California at a time it seems those voices are diminishing, not proliferating.

And his was an eloquent one.

He came relatively late to the sport. And it showed in his writing. Mike’s genuine affection for a game he was still learning about shone through in his prose. Through his writing I came to rediscover aspects of the sport I had taken for granted.

He gave the sport time, space and respect. He understood the sport’s celebration of cultural diversity; he understood the sport’s inclusiveness. It appeared that it was to him, as it was to so many others, a liberating game.

I think, for a short time, it was a place he belonged.

One of the last times I saw Mike, at the Beckham return to MLS dog and pony show at Home Depot Center in 2008, he had become Christine Daniels. It was one of the first and biggest events Mike had covered as Christine. We hugged. She seemed to have begun to come to terms with who she was.

A few months later she was Mike Penner again.

A Times co-worker told me in recent months that Mike seemed to be withdrawing, spending much of his time anonymously compiling sports briefs rather than penning insightful columns. And on Saturday he died of an apparent suicide, the ultimate withdrawal from the world.

Mike contributed to the growth of soccer in Southern California and will be missed.

Read press box colleague Scott French’s tribute to Mike, here.

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Palos Verdes Estates’ Nakazawa Creates UCLA Winner Over UCSB, Sends Bruins Through to NCAA Quarterfinals

Goalkeeper Brian Perk also made two big second half saves in the 2-1 come from behind win Sunday at Drake Stadium.

Notable: The game was a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Championship – won by UC Santa Barbara.


“We have a pretty big core of seniors on our team, and it was in the back of our heads tonight,” said playmaker Kyle Nakazawa. “It is a bit of redemption … with a way better ending.”

Next: No. 6 seed UCLA (12-3-4) faces No. 3 seed Wake Forest (16-3-3) Saturday in Winston-Salem.

Game story.

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Thanksgiving Day Desk Clearing

With the family tucked up in bed I should mention:

*U.S. Soccer has announced the finalists for its annual awards and Southern Californians are well represented including Torrance’s Shannon Boxx, UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk and UCLA’s Sydney LeRoux. Even Michael Bradley lists Manhattan Beach as his hometown these days, since his dad lives here. Oh, yeah, that Landon Donovan bloke was mentioned, too. Info here.

*Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan marks the World Cup draw at noon next Friday, Dec. 4 by “unwrapping a giant holiday present for the city and handing out special World Cup holiday gifts to fans at the adidas store on Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica.” The event includes South African Kwaito music and dancers, adidas giveaways, autograph signings and the chance to win a $500 holiday shopping spree.

From the adidas press release:

For every World Cup match ball that’s bought at the Santa Monica store Dec. 4-6, adidas and Sacha will donate a ball to Toys for Tots.

*The UCLA women (20-2-1) and Portland (21-1) once again square off for a spot in next week’s NCAA College Cup at 5 p.m. Saturday at Drake Stadium. Tickets are $10 adults, $8 youth/students.

From the UCLA press release:

This Saturday will mark the third time in the last four seasons that UCLA and Portland have met in the NCAA Quarterfinals in Los Angeles. It will also mark the sixth time that the two teams have squared off during the postseason (UCLA leads 4-1). The Bruins own a 7-1 all-time record against the Pilots.

UCLA posted its 20th victory of the season in its 3-0 win over Virginia last week, making it the fifth straight season that the team has reached the 20-win mark. The school record for wins in a season is 22, set in both 2005 and 2008.

*The UCLA men face UC Santa Barbara at 5 p.m. Sunday at Drake Stadium in the second round of the NCAA Tournament after disposing of Sacramento State last weekend.

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Galaxy’s Miglioranzi, Chivas USA’s Thomas Selected by Union in MLS Expansion Draft Today

But not Galaxy defender Todd Dunivant thankfully.

Here’s the complete list of players the expansion Philadelphia Union selected from among the almost 200 available:

Jordan Harvey (D) Colorado Rapids
Andrew Jacobsen (M) D.C. United
Brad Knighton (G) New England Revolution
Sebastien Le Toux (F) Seattle Sounders FC
Stefani Miglioranzi (M) LA Galaxy
Alejandro Moreno (F) Columbus Crew
Dave Myrie (D) Chicago Fire
Shea Salinas (M) San Jose Earthquakes
Shavar Thomas (D) Chivas USA
Nick Zimmerman (M) New York Red Bulls

Thomas, a seven-year MLS veteran started 17 games for Chivas USA last season mainly at center back. Chivas USA conceded just 31 goals in 30 games last season. All told, he played 59 games in two years for the club.

Miglioranzi was playing some of the best soccer of his MLS career last year under Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena before suffering an injury.

Updated: Also, the Galaxy today waived midfielder Kyle Patterson (2009 fourth round draft pick) and defender Julian Valentin (who spent much of the year on loan in the USL).

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The Galaxy’s Last Day of School

Was Tuesday.

The team held a final meeting with Coach Bruce Arena. Players cleaned out their lockers. And they spoke with the media one last time to wrap up the season.

Reporter Phil Collin was there and filed this report.

Phil e-mailed me a few quotes that didn’t fit in his piece for space reasons.

Here’s Landon Donovan on the disappointment of losing MLS Cup:

“I would say I was as disappointed as I’ve ever been to lose a game and thinking back on it the reason is for the first time in my career I put everything I had into something and when it doesn’t come off the way you want it’s every disappointing to completely dedicate yourself to something like that and not turn out the way you want, it’s hard.”

Here’s defender Todd Dunivant on being left exposed in today’s MLS Expansion Draft:

“Any time you’re left unprotected it’s going to make you take notice. That stuff’s out of your control and it comes out of a numbers game sometimes and different things. There’s reasons for it and we’ll see what happens.”

Here’s David Beckham on the possibility of Landon Donovan not returning next year:

“There’s a chance of that every season with Landon because teams are going to be interested in him in Europe and in different places around the world. (After) the last game of the season last year people was expecting it and he obviously (went) to Germany and came back.

Landon can play in many leagues in the world and many teams in the world. There’s always a chance of a good player moving on and if he does obviously good luck to him because he’s done exceptional this season.”

Here’s Beckham on his physical condition at the end of the season:

“You always feel worn out at the end of the season and that’s a part of it. Any athlete would say the same – you don’t get to the end of the season and feel fresh because if you do, there’s something wrong with the effort that you give through the season.

“I’ll go straight into European season, which for me starts in December. I should be fine with it. I’ve played 65 games a year for the last 20 years so nothing changes for me. Obviously I’m a bit older but physically I’ve looked after myself wherever I am the way I
eat the way I drink the way I prepare.

“I’ve got a slight case of asthma which I’ve had for years. It just never came out. I’ve never talked about it, no reason to talk about it. That’s just me.”

Here’s Coach Bruce Arena on next year’s roster ahead of the draft:

“We think we kept a nucleus of players that we want to have around next year. Having said that all that the others we haven’t protected we expect to have them back because at the most you can only lose one player. We’re hopefully we come out of the expansion draft in good shape.”

While we’re at it, here’s a couple of Galaxy-related stories that shed some light on the team and franchise including:
*The roots of midfielder Dema Kovalenko’s close relationship with Arena.

*England’s Observer was the latest newspaper to profile Southern California’s Wizard of Oz – AEG owner Phil Anschutz.

I’ll be back later today with a draft update. Let’s hope the Union don’t swipe Dunivant – but they’ll be dumb if they don’t.

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Landon Donovan to Club America Rumors Resurface

i-7b60e6e8bb080ac1fe0421f6591f461a-LDcup.jpg(AP Photo)

Could have some validity this time around, especially given the time of year and Donovan’s interest in playing at a higher level than MLS. Will we see him wearing Club America’s colors at Home Depot Center at InterLiga in January?

Here’s the report at Univision.

And who owns Club America and Univision? Yep, same company.

Here’s the (rough) Spanish language translation as provided by colleague Gene Maddaus:

According to information from Televisa Deportes, American striker Landon Donovan could be hired by the Aguilas del America for the Clausura 2010, as it is one of the objectives of President Michel Bauer.

He could come for the Interliga.

This was mentioned on the news of Televisa Deportes, but there were no comments from the president of the Aguilas on this subject.

The Aguilas hope to have Landon Donovan for the next Torneo Interliga, which awards two seats for the following Copa Libertadores de America, and also the “azulcremas” hope that he will be their main reinforcement for the Clausura 2010.

It should be remembered that this is not the first time that the name of the striker has made the rounds in connection with Coapa, as last august the brother of the former U.S. national team member Alexi Lalas signaled in a column that Donovan could find himself playing one day with the Aguilas, because the Galaxy striker has all of the requirements to be an “Americanista.”

Landon Donovan is now on vacation, having finished his participation with the Galaxy, the squad that lost the MLS final to Real Salt Lake on penalties.

And here’s another report out of Mexico.

Again, the rough translation provided by Senor Maddaus:

You only have to say the name Landon Donovan in Mexico to bring us bad memories.

Maybe because a few years ago he urinated on the sacred grass of the Estadio Jalisco; maybe because he is one of the best footballers on the continent; but that because he is an American we don’t want to recognize it.

What is clear is that for six months his name has been rumored in Villa Coapa, the home of America.

Today, in the program “Estadio Total” on the “Televisa Deportes Network,” Michel Bauer spoke well of the U.S. national team member.

“He is a good player, the sort of character that any team would want to have in its ranks,” said the president of the “azulcremas”…

Donovan, who now plays for the Galaxy alongside David Beckham, has finished
his participation in the MLS, and as with the former Real Madrid star, has six months “free”, in which he usually searches for an arrangement with a European league.

Certainly Donovan’s character, his style of play and his certain “arrogance” would fit in well at America, a team that is the most obliged to win and to crush its rivals.

Who knows, but maybe the winter market can bring Donovan to America, with those who possibly, very possibly, would debut in the Torneo Interliga, which holds two tickets to the Copa Libertadores de America 2010.

No response from the Galaxy, BTW.

However, Arena reportedly said earlier today he expects Donovan back next season.

And Landon?

“We’ll know soon,” he told “From Bruce’s standpoint, that’s the plan of me being back. We’ll know soon. I haven’t had a ton of time to think about it, but we’ll figure it out shortly.”

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