Catching up on the day:
*U.S. Soccer said today a USMNT Feb. 24 exhibition at home against El Salvador is under consideration. The U.S. has confirmed games before the World Cup begins against Honduras Jan. 23 at Home Depot Center and the Netherlands in Amsterdam March 3.
*Chivas USA announced this afternoon that striker Eduardo Lillingston is going out on loan to second division Mexican team Tijuana.
The 32-year-old veteran led Chivas USA last year with nine goals, but often disappeared for long stretches of games and former Coach Preki was never overwhelmed by his work rate.
Lillingston joins former Chivas USA midfielder Panchito Mendoza, who is similarly on loan from CD Guadalajara, at the club.
Lillingston will supposedly return to Chivas USA after the transfer window re-opens July 15.
“This move allows us some flexibility with our roster, and will give Eduardo a good opportunity to play games during the offseason before rejoining our team,” said Chivas USA Vice President of Soccer Operations Stephen Hamilton.
*U.S. Women’s National team coach
April Heinrich Pia Sundhage has called in 26 players for a 20-day camp running Jan. 17 through Feb. 4 at Home Depot Center ahead of the annual Algarve Cup in Portugal.
The roster is essentially the same as the players called in for a December camp except for veteran defender Stephanie Cox (55 caps); midfielder Tobin Heath, the 2009 U.S. Soccer Young Female Athlete of the Year who was sidelined from the December camp through injury; goalkeeper Jillian Loyden, Hope Solo’s back-up for St. Louis Athletica; and U.S. Under-23 defender Brittany Taylor.
The full roster:
goalkeepers – Nicole Barnhart (FC Gold Pride), Jillian Loyden (St. Louis Athletica), Alyssa Naeher (Penn State), Hope Solo (St. Louis Athletica)
defenders – Lori Chalupny (St. Louis Athletica), Stephanie Cox (Los Angeles Sol), Amy LePeilbet (Boston Breakers), Heather Mitts (Philadelphia Independence), Meghan Schnur (Sky Blue FC), Brittany Taylor (UConn), Cat Whitehill (Washington Freedom)
midfielders – Yael Averbuch (Sky Blue FC), Shannon Boxx (Los Angeles Sol), Tobin Heath (UNC), Lori Lindsey (Philadelphia Independence), Carli Lloyd (Sky Blue FC), Heather O’Reilly (Sky Blue FC), Megan Rapinoe (Chicago Red Stars)
forwards – Lauren Cheney (UCLA), Ella Masar (Chicago Red Stars), Alex Morgan (California), Casey Nogueira (UNC), Kelley O’Hara (Stanford), Amy Rodriguez (Philadelphia Independence), Abby Wambach (Washington Freedom)
*Finally, Fox could reportedly launch a second all-soccer channel called “Fox Soccer Plus,” using rights purchased from financially-challenged Sentanta, who dropped EPL games from its schedule this weekend.
That’s not going to help viewers this weekend though, because the EPL program is devastated anyway due to the unusually cold weather sweeping Europe.
What’s left to watch from England?
Wigan Athletic-Aston Villa is still on at this writing (7 a.m. Saturday FSC), as is Birmingham, City-Manchester United (9:30 a.m. FSC).
Hull City-Chelsea is off Saturday, as is Liverpool-Tottenham on Sunday. And before you ask, no, FSC won’t be showing Landon Donovan’s potential debut for Everton against Arsenal.
But, if you’re truly desperate for a little LD facetime, he pops up at 8 p.m. Sunday on ABC on “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.” And, no, I’m not kidding.