A grab bag of Southern California-related soccer news this morning:
*The MLS off-season is over (sort of). The league permits teams to open training camp today.
Galaxy players will report to Home Depot Center Monday for physicals and fitness work in the gym, but won’t hit the practice field until Feb. 1. The trio of young Brazilians GM and coach Bruce Arena signed won’t be there Monday though; they’re awaiting visas. Chivas USA opens camp Tuesday.
MLS clubs must be roster (and salary cap) compliant, with 20 senior players and four developmental, by March 1.
Look for the complete MLS schedule to be released in the first week of February. And as of Wednesday, players under contract in other countries may be signed by MLS clubs through April 15.
*U.S. Coach Bob Bradley was asked whether Landon Donovan playing in the EPL against English players the Americans will see in their opening World Cup game is a good thing. Um, yeah.
*Hotshot UCLA striker Sydney Leroux scored a brace and was named player of the game as the U.S. crushed Jamaica 6-0 Thursday in its opening CONCACAF qualifier for the U-20 World Cup. Game details here.
*PDL team the Ventura County Fusion will play against the Mexican Under-21 team at 7:30 tonight at Buena High School in Ventura, 5670 Telegraph Rd. Tickets are $20 adults, $10 kids under age 12. Kids under the age of six get in free.
*As always, click the link at top right for an exhaustive run-down of the weekend’s games, but I’ll be paying special attention to:
Chelsea-Preston North End 4:30 a.m. Saturday (FA Cup fourth round) Fox Soccer Channel
Fulham-Accrington Stanley 7 a.m. Saturday FSC (giant killing possibility?)
Leeds United-Tottenham Hotspur 9 a.m. Saturday FSC (the leaders of League 1 play an EPL outfit)
Tigres-CD Guadalajara 5 p.m. Saturday KVEA
U.S.-Honduras 6 p.m. Saturday FSC
And there’s two big derbies Sunday: Inter Milan-AC Milan 11:30 a.m. on FSC and River Plate-Boca Juniors at 5 p.m. for those of you who get Fox Sports Espanol.
I’ll blog from the U.S.-Honduras game Saturday so check back in then (or better yet if you’re local, come on down; I suspect the U.S. could use the support).