Friday Football: USWNT win & More

Busy today so I’ll keep this brief:

*The USWNT beat Norway 2-1 today at the Algarve Cup and plays Sweden Sunday Monday with a berth in the championship game on the line. More details here.

*Chivas USA single game tickets for the upcoming MLS season went on sale today starting at $15. Galaxy single game tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Monday; their cheapest seat is $20.

*Here’s one for Fantasy Island. David Beckham could have played for the world’s oldest club, England’s Notts County, now languishing in the lower divisions and almost penniless. Apparently Beckham is available in October. Read more here.

*Mexico has announced its roster for Wednesday’s game against New Zealand at the Rose Bowl:

goalkeepers – Luis Ernesto Michel (CD Guadalajara), Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey)

defenders – Efran Juarez (UNAM), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven), Francisco Javier Rodriguez (PSV Eindhoven), Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart), Hector Moreno (Az Alkmaar), Rafael Mrquez (FC Barcelona)

midfielders – Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (UNAM), Andres Guardado (La Corua), Jonathan Dos Santos (FC Barcelona), Luis Miguel Noriega (Puebla) Braulio Luna (San Luis)

forwards – Aldo Jesus De Nigris (Monterrey), Carlos Vela (Arsenal), Javier Hernandez (CD Guadalajara), Giovanni Dos Santos (Galatasaray), Cuauhtmoc Blanco (Veracruz)

*Click to the right for complete TV listings; sadly no Landon Donovan on TV this weekend, but if you like drama don’t miss Chelsea-Manchester City at 4:30 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2 where we’ll see if Wayne Bridge and John Terry go in studs up if the two tackle each other.

*Fox Soccer Plus replaces Sentanta Monday. The channel announced Friday it has reached carriage agreements with DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FiOS.

*Finally, wanna see even more EPL on U.S. TV? It could happen: LONDON (AP) -English Premier League channels are set to start broadcasting across the world next season when a new 24-hour service is launched, a league executive with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Friday.

The league will provide a continuous international feed of programing for broadcast rights holders outside Britain to form their own Premier League channels, the executive said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because a public announcement is yet to be made.

International broadcasters are set to pay around $1.6 billion to show live Premier League matches for the three seasons starting in August 2010 – an 80 percent increase on the current TV deal.

Local networks will be able to pick and choose content from the league’s official feed, which will include news and feature shows along with classic matches. The networks will be able to include local advertising and live matches.

While it is a de facto Premier League TV channel, the continuous feed officially is being called a “content service” so that it doesn’t impede the ability of clubs, including Manchester United and MUTV, to sell their own channels around the world.

It will be run by Premier League Productions, a joint venture between the league and TWI, the sports production part of International Management Group. The Premier League is searching for a recognizable anchor to be the face of the content

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U.S. Squad named for Netherlands game

The 20-player roster for the March 3 game:

goalkeepers – Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Marcus Hahnemann (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Tim Howard (Everton)

defenders – Jonathan Bornstein (Chivas USA), Carlos Bocanegra (Rennes), Jay DeMerit (Watford), Clarence Goodson (IK Start), Heath Pearce (FC Dallas), Frank Simek (Sheffield Wednesday), Jonathan Spector (West Ham United)

midfielders – DaMarcus Beasley (Rangers), Alejandro Bedoya (Orebro), Michael Bradley (Borussia Mnchengladbach), Landon Donovan (Everton), Maurice Edu (Rangers), Stuart Holden (Bolton Wanderers), Jos Torres (Pachuca)

forwards – Jozy Altidore (Hull City), Robbie Findley (Real Salt Lake), Eddie Johnson (Aris Thessaloniki)

Considering this is a FIFA-designated international game date and the final contest before U.S. Coach Bob Bradley names his 23-player World Cup squad this is a pretty good indication of who is likely to go to South Africa.

And don’t forget, the likes of Ricardo Clark, Charlie Davis, Clint Dempsey, Benny Feilhaber and Oguchi Onyewu are all out injured.

Have such players as Robbie Rogers, Sacha Kljestan and Brian Ching seen their chance of making the squad evaporate?

Notable: Johnson only played 75 minutes in two appearances as sub for the USMNT last year and Bedoya, who earned his first U.S. MNT cap against Honduras in January, must have impressed Bradley at the HDC camp. Simek hasn’t made a national team appearance since 2007.


“This is the final match before we bring the team together for the World Cup, so to have a match against one of the top teams in the world like the Netherlands is a big benefit and a good challenge for our group,” Bradley said. “They are expecting a large crowd to turn out for the game, and we are looking forward to an exciting atmosphere in Amsterdam.”

The U.S. is 0-3 against the Netherlands.

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Thursday Kicks: Desperation to fill World Cup seats & more

i-91d6d3e5ae1577956e6bda6548c2a406-emptystadium.jpgFIFA is seeking to avoid desolate scenes like this at Cape Town’s Green Point Soccer Stadium during the World Cup (AP Photo).

Can things get any worse for FIFA as fans around the globe stay away from South Africa because of price gouging, rampant crime and crummy transportation?


JOHANNESBURG (AP) — World Cup organizers are more than doubling the number of tickets priced for working-class South Africans, amid indications wealthy foreigners aren’t snapping up seats.

Only 11 percent of tickets had been set aside for citizens of the host country at about $20 each, far less than the price of other tickets. That number has increased to 29 percent, said Danny Jordaan, chief executive of the South African organizing committee.

“You have to take into account that (soccer) fans in South Africa are working-class people of low income,” Jordaan said.

Labor unions and the media pressed Jordaan to make more low-cost tickets available. Half of South Africans live in poverty, and at least a quarter of the nation’s work force is

Other steps taken to make soccer’s premier event accessible to those hosting it include
distributing 120,000 free tickets through sponsors like Coca-Cola, and giving more free
tickets to the men and women who built the stadiums.

“We have made this commitment that the tournament will be affordable,” Jordaan said.

The CEO added he would not be able to determine until all the tickets had been sold what effect the larger percentage of inexpensive tickets would have on his bottom line.

“We are comfortable we have enough money, more than enough, to deliver,” he said.

FIFA acknowledged this month that only half of the VIP tickets for spots in luxury booths had been sold, which organizers blamed on the global recession.

FIFA secretary-general Jerome Valcke, who joined Jordaan on Thursday following an organizing committee board meeting, said 2.24 million of 2.9 million total tickets had been sold.

Officials said other matters discussed at the board meeting included concerns about the
readiness of some stadiums. Drainage problems were discovered at the stadium in Nelspruit, in eastern South Africa, and a special committee has been formed to monitor the playing surface in all 10 facilities.

Valcke said that while work remained outside the main Johannesburg stadium, where parking lots and access roads are not complete, the field itself is impressive.

“There could be a game tomorrow morning,” Valcke said of Soccer City, which will host the opening match and final. “From the inside, this stadium looks beautiful.”

South Africa has faced persistent questions about whether a developing country can pull off a World Cup, and officials have just as persistently insisted they would be ready for the June 11 opener.

“The work goes on,” Jordaan said, “and the next two weeks are quite critical.”

Meanwhile, the England team is in increasing turmoil ahead of its World Cup opener against the U.S. with it now appearing the Brits have as many problems at left back as the Americans:

LONDON (AP) — A bridge too far?

Wayne Bridge is refusing to play for England in the wake of teammate John Terry’s alleged affair with his former partner, saying Thursday that his presence on the World Cup squad could be “divisive.”

i-1c37fc1f3c20983160088b99d97274af-waynebridge.jpgWayne’s world crashed when former friend John Terry got too friendly with Bridge’s now former partner (AP Photo).

Coach Fabio Capello expected Bridge to play for England after stripping Terry of the captaincy when details of his affair with Vanessa Perroncel were published. The announcement by Bridge creates problems with team selection and harmony three months before South Africa.

“It has always been an honor to play for England,” Bridge said in a statement released by his lawyers. “However, after careful thought I believe my position in the squad is now untenable and potentially divisive.”

After weeks of lurid headlines about his players — including first-choice left back Ashley Cole — Capello spoke Tuesday of the need to restore unity in the locker room.

However, Bridge is apparently unable to forge a professional relationship with Terry. The rift could be on display Saturday if the pair don’t shake hands in the pre-match formalities at Stamford Bridge when Manchester City plays Chelsea, the club that Bridge left last year.

Terry’s presence could also cause friction with England teammates aware that his alleged affair with the mother of Bridge’s child forced his one-time friend to miss the World Cup.

Expressing sadness at his decision, Bridge’s statement continued: “I feel for the sake of the team and in order to avoid what will be inevitable distractions, I have decided not to put myself forward for selection. … I have today informed the management of this decision. I wish the team all the very best in South Africa.”

England’s soccer association has supported Capello to ensure the fallout from the Terry-Bridge saga doesn’t affect the squad at the World Cup.

“If you want to have great team spirit then you need someone who can manage that and we have the world’s best in Fabio dealing with these difficult decisions,” FA chief executive Ian Watmore told Talk Sport radio. “Fabio has to judge what’s best for team spirit. We won’t win in South Africa if we don’t have that. But we should have confidence that we will have it.”

An immediate issue for Capello is filling the left back slot for Wednesday’s friendly against Egypt, with first-choice Cole recovering from a broken ankle and uncertain whether he will be fit for England’s World Cup opener against the United States on June 12.

“It leaves Capello with no tried and tested left backs, and that causes a slight problem,”
said former England defender Danny Mills, who played at the 2002 World Cup. “Ashley Cole, if all being well and his recovery time is as quick as we think it might be, might make it back for the end of the season.

“But it won’t take an awful lot of that to be delayed slightly and for him to miss out too, so
that makes this friendly and the next few England games very, very important.”

Capello will use Wednesday’s match to audition others in the position with the likeliest
candidates being Leighton Baines and Stephen Warnock.

Baines is yet to appear for the England senior side but has impressed for Everton this season, while Warnock’s only international experience amounts to six minutes as a substitute against Trinidad and Tobago in June 2008.

Americans can’t do any gloating though. MLS was formed, in part, to not only develop the sport in this country, but the U.S. National Team. How will a MLS strike help that cause?

Read more here:

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Brian Ching is worried a possible Major League Soccer strike could hurt the chance of U.S.-based players to make the World Cup roster.

“If we’re not playing games week in and week out, that puts us at a big disadvantage,” Ching said Wednesday night after helping the U.S. rally past El Salvador 2-1 in an exhibition. “Hopefully, it doesn’t happen.”

Ching scored on a diving header in the 75th minute and assisted on Sacha Kljestan’s go-ahead goal in the second minute of stoppage time.

All but one of the U.S. players was from MLS, which appears to be on the verge of its first strike, and for many it was their last chance to impress coach Bob Bradley before he selects his 23-man U.S. roster. The Americans again badly missed their Europe-based starters, who also weren’t used in the 3-1 loss to Honduras on Jan. 23.

Chivas USA’s Jonathan Bornstein said the potential shutdown should not be the focus.

“It’s something we’ll take in stride if it were to happen,” Bornstein said. “We’re all
professionals here. We all know what it’s going to take, should something happen, to stay in shape and do what we have to do. Should it happen, we’ll hit it head on when the time comes.”

The 14th-ranked U.S. outshot No. 71 El Salvador 18-3 with the “B” team. If there is an MLS strike, Bradley will adjust training plans ahead of the arrival of Europe-based players in mid-May.
“The only thing that I think matters from a national team standpoint is that we’ll react
accordingly in terms of schedule, training, that kind of thing,” he said.

Ching, Kljestan, Bornstein and Heath Pearce were among only a handful of U.S. players on the night’s roster who appear to have a decent chance of being selected for the World Cup roster.

Ching was on the 2006 team but didn’t get into a match.

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U.S. unimpressive in victory over El Salvador

i-b6b45e8c76a4a17205c78c1e9f2a5beb-rogerselsalvador.jpgColumbus Crew midfielder Robbie Rogers of Rolling Hills Estates is tackled by El Salvador’s Juan Carlos Moscoso today in the penultimate U.S. game before Coach Bob Bradley selects his World Cup squad (AP Photo).

Chivas USA’s Sacha Kljestan may have booked his spot to South Africa with the kind of opportunistic play Coach Bob Bradley will be looking for when he stole the ball late on from a dithering defender, played a one-two with Brian Ching and smashed the ball home to snatch a U.S. victory in stoppage time.

But for the third consecutive game against El Salvador, the U.S. had to come from behind to win and few players covered themselves with glory today.

Robbie Rogers showed poor decision-making ability when he shot instead of crossing in the second half as two U.S. attackers lurked in the box, earning him a withering look from Ching.

It was Ching’s well-taken near-post header that gave the U.S. the equalizer.

Here’s the game report:

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Without its Europe-based regulars, the U.S. appears far from ready for the World Cup.

Brian Ching scored on a diving header in the 75th minute and Sacha Kljestan got the go-ahead goal in the second minute of stoppage time Wednesday night in a 2-1 exhibition victory over against 71st-ranked El Salvador.

Ching, a second half sub, scored on a 7-yard shot off a long cross from Heath Pearce that goalkeeper Miguel Montes misplayed, offsetting Rudis Corrales’ 59th-minute goal
for Los Cuscatlecos.

Kljestan intercepted an errant pass, exchanged passes with Ching and scored from 6 yards.

Ching, Kljestan and Pearce were among only a handful of U.S. players on the night’s roster who appear to have a decent chance of being selected for the World Cup roster. Ching was on the 2006 team but didn’t get into a match.

All but one of the U.S. players was from Major League Soccer, which appears to be on the verge of its first strike. The Americans again badly missed their Europe-based starters, who also weren’t used in the 3-1 loss to Honduras on Jan. 23.

For next Wednesday’s exhibition against the third-ranked Netherlands in Amsterdam, the No. 14 U.S. lineup should more closely resemble the team that helped the Americans qualify for their sixth straight World Cup. That is the last match before U.S. coach Bob Bradley selects his 23-man World Cup roster.

Players will gather in mid-May and have exhibitions against the Czech Republic (May 25) and Turkey (May 29 at Philadelphia) before leaving for South Africa. Coming off first-round elimination at the 2006 World Cup, they open the tournament June 12 against England, play Slovenia six days later and close the first round June 23 against Algeria.

Pearce started at left back and Brad Evans at right back, with Jonathan Bornstein and Clarence Goodson — the lone Europe-based player — in the center. Ching entered at the start of the second half in place of Conor Casey. Nick Rimando was surprise starter in goal in place of Troy Perkins.

Corrales put El Salvador ahead after Evans made an errant header deep in the U.S. zone that appeared intended for Rimando.

The U.S. had five shots on goal to one for El Salvador in the first half, with Montes making diving saves on Kljestan and Robbie Rogers.

Who from this game should make the World Cup roster? Ching? Rogers? Kljestan? Anyone?

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Wednesday Kicks: Donovan Drops Everton Hints & More

The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan sounds more than a mite interested in staying/returning to Everton: “Every day that goes by makes me think that I want to stay here,” he told the Associated Press.

Full story here:

LIVERPOOL, England — Landon Donovan expects to return to Everton in the future even though he will leave the Premier League club when his 10-week loan ends next month.

The United States midfielder was Everton’s player of the month for January and has helped lift his new team from 12th place to eighth.

“I’m enjoying it and enjoying every day that I’m here,” Donovan said. “Every day that goes by makes me think that I want to stay here. “I would definitely imagine that I will be back here at some point in my life.”

The 28-year-old Donovan is due to head back to the Los Angeles Galaxy for the club’s opening Major League Soccer game on March 27.

Fans have set up a Facebook group to promote keeping Donovan at Everton. It has attracted more than 3,900 fans since being created Feb. 12.

“I wasn’t aware of that,” Donovan said. “That’s pretty funny. We’ll see what happens.”

Meanwhile, David Beckham didn’t get off the bench today as AC Milan moved into second in Serie A with a last minute 2-1 victory over Fiorentina.

The Galaxy beat Colorado 2-0 in a scrimmage today in Arizona.

Chivas USA drew 1-1 and 0-0 in a pair of 60-minute scrimmages today with the Kansas City Wizards in Arizona. Mariano Trujillo got the goal in the first game.

Chivas USA lineup (first game) – Jon Conway, Carey Talley, Emilio Viades, Carlos Borja, Ante Jazic, Mariano Trujillo, Blair Gavin, Michael Lahoud, Jorge Flores, Maykel Galindo, Justin Braun

Chivas USA lineup (second game) – Dan Kennedy, Miguel Sanchez, Claudio Surez, Yamith Cuesta, Kevin Tangney, Cesar Zamora, Mario Padilla (Jesus Ochoa 45), Ben Zemanski, Chris Ross, Chukwudi Chijindu, Artur Aghasyan

The U.S. Women’s National Team won its Algarve Cup opener today.

i-82bcb3c8a6245dd1d2adf6a1265b9c5c-boxxyalgarve.jpgTorrance’s Shannon Boxx glides past Iceland’s Rakel Honnu today in the two teams’ Algarve Cup opener (AP Photo).

Finally, Scotland-based defender Steven Old has replaced injured captain Ryan Nelsen on New Zealand’s roster for the March 3 World Cup warmup against Mexico at the Rose Bowl. The former D.C. United defender is out out four to six weeks after pulling muscles and bruising a knee Monday night during Blackburn’s 3-0 Premier League win over Bolton, but should be fit by the World Cup.

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U.S.-El Salvador Wednesday Gameday

The game starts at 4 p.m. on ESPN Classic.

With the U.S. never having lost to El Salvador on American soil (although the U.S. had to come from behind to win its two World Cup qualifiers over El Salvador) the suspense surrounding this game has less to do with the result than who will go to South Africa for those players on the bubble of making the roster including an improbable, but possible appearance by veteran Jeff Cunningham.

Just before the USMNT broke camp in Carson last weekend I asked Coach Bob Bradley about the significance of this game given that so few players involved are likely to be a part of the 23-player U.S. World Cup roster:

“The last time around we all know it wasn’t what it needed to be; hopefully this will be a better performance,” he said, referring to the disappointing 3-1 loss last month at Home Depot Center against Honduras. “Anybody who comes into a camp in a World Cup year understands the importance of doing well.”

“It’s a follow-up on everything that took place in January,” he added. “It’s another chance for guys to play, show where they are in this whole thing and it has helped so as we make decisions the following Wednesday we’ve got a good up close look at a core of players with the idea that some of them are going to be part of that squad. The timing of the second game this time was in conjunction with the game against Holland (March 3) so now we can balance off our roster, understand where we were with players in Europe and then look at players here and really have a good handle on exactly where they are as we make decisions.”

I hadn’t had the opportunity to speak with Bradley since the U.S. scheduled its last two World Cup warm-up games against the Czech Republic May 25 and Turkey May 29, so I asked him what the significance was in playing those two opponents in particular:

“The fact we are beginning our camp in the U.S. and felt if we could get a game or two in the U.S. (that) was important. Now you have to see what possibilities exists (in terms) of teams that will come to the U.S. But I do think that in both cases there are similarities with opponents, there are players on those teams I think are similar to different guys on teams that we’ll play against (in the World Cup group stage), so I think not only are they good teams but it will help us prepare well.”


*Five players in the squad were part of the 18 who dressed when the USA last met El Salvador in the final round of CONCACAF World Cup qualifying. Defenders Jonathan Bornstein and Chad Marshall played 90 minutes in the 2-1 win Sept. 5, midfielder Kyle Beckerman making a late appearance as a sub in front of his hometown crowd at Rio Tinto Stadium in Sandy while Brian Ching and Robbie Rogers didn’t make it off the bench.

*Ten players on the roster boast fewer than 10 caps, while at the other end of the spectrum striker Brian Ching has the most with 43.

*The American roster was given in the first link above, but here’s the roster for El Salvador. Chivas USA fans will have an added reason to watch this game closely – midfielder Osael Romero will join the club after the game and be presented at a press conference next Monday in Carson:

goalkeepers – Miguel Montes (Aguila), Dagoberto Portillo (F.A.S.)

defenders – Dennis Alas (Firpo), Alexander Escobar (Metapan), Marvin Gonzalez (F.A.S.), Mardo Henriquez (F.A.S.), Alfredo Pacheco (F.A.S.), Manuel Salazar (Firpo), Deris Umanzor (Aguila)

midfielders – Edgar Alvarez (San Jacinto College), Ramon Flores (F.A.S.), Josue Odir Flores (Metapan), Shawn Martin (Aguila), Juan Carlos Moscoso (F.A.S.), Osael Romero (Chivas USA), Ramon Sanchez (San Jose Earthquakes)

forwards Arturo Alvarez (San Jose Earthquakes), Rudis Corrales (Aguila), Andres Flores (Metapan)

Interim El Salvador Coach Jos Luis Rugamas will coach his first game in charge of the team; predecessor Carlos de los Cobos joined the Chicago Fire this season.

*Finally, here are the line-ups the last time these two nations met:
USA: 1-Tim Howard; 2-Jonathan Spector, 15-Chad Marshall, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 12-Jonathan Bornstein; 8-Clint Dempsey , 5-Benny Feilhaber (16-Kyle Beckerman, 80), 4-Michael Bradley, 10-Landon Donovan; 9-Charlie Davies (7-Stuart Holden, 73), 17-Jozy Altidore (14-Jose Francisco Torres, 85)
Subs not used: 6-Steve Cherundolo, 11-Brian Ching, 13-Robbie Rogers, 18-Brad Guzan

El SALVADOR: 1-Miguel Montes; 3-Marvin Gonzlez, 4-Mardoqueo Gonzalez, 12-Manuel Salazar, 13-Deris Umanzor; 5-Ramn Flores (14-William Reyes, 63), 6-Arturo lvarez (8-Osael Romero, 50), 7-Ramn Snchez (capt.), 10-Eliseo Quintanilla (9-Rudis Corrales, 75), 17-Christian Castillo; 11-Rodolfo Zelaya
Subs not used: 2-Alexander Escobar, 15-Alfredo Pacheco, 16-Denis Alas, 18-Dagoberto Portillo

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MLS Strike Looming?

It’s looking more and more possible.

Tweeted Sports Illustrated’s Grant Wahl this morning: MLS strike? LA’s Chris Klein: “I’m optimistic by nature…it’s reached a stage now where I don’t have that optimism.”

And now, there’s this, late this afternoon:

NEW YORK (AP) — Negotiators for Major League Soccer players and owners failed to meet Tuesday, two days before the latest extension in their labor talks is due to expire.

With players failing to match management’s no-lockout pledge with a no-strike offer, the
league’s first work stoppage appears possible, one that could postpone the first game of the expansion Philadelphia Union and the official opening of Red Bull Arena.

Negotiators met Monday in Washington, D.C., before league officials returned to their New York office.

The league’s first collective bargaining agreement expired Jan. 31, and the sides twice
extended bargaining, with the latest additional time running out Thursday. Players say they want increased free-agent rights and more guaranteed contracts.

While the league says it has offered a higher percentage of guaranteed deals, management says it cannot afford to increase free-agent rights within MLS when contracts expire.

MLS president Mark Abbott said last weekend the league will not lock out players and is
prepared to start the season under the terms and conditions of the expired five-year

While the league schedule opens March 25, when the expansion Philadelphia Union is at Seattle, Columbus hosts Toluca on March 9 in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League on March 9, then plays the second leg at the Mexican club eight days later.

CONCACAF, the regional governing body, isn’t sure how it would deal with a strike, whether it would cause a postponement or a forfeit.

“We have a couple of choices,” CONCACAF secretary general Chuck Blazer said Tuesday. “We could go back to the committee at that point and deal with it under extraordinary matters, since it hasn’t been dealt with before. “I’m hoping it doesn’t happen. It would be a sad thing for that to be the case. We’re in the midst of building something for everybody, and we hope they would view it that way, as well. We would have to consider what we would do at the point in time when we are confronted with the actual facts.”

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A few words with USMNT striker Brian Ching & More

I chatted (briefly) to USMNT striker Brian Ching just as the team broke camp this weekend at Home Depot Center.

Question: How are you approaching this camp in a World Cup year when you are probably one of those players on the bubble to make the squad?
Answer: Any time you come into a camp where you’re going to play a game for the national team you’re always kind of being evaluated and judged. This camp is no different. Yes, it is a World Cup year, but I think throughout this camp I wanted to kind of get back into shape, get back into soccer fitness. And I felt that I did that – I’m coming together slowly – I don’t think I’m exactly where I want to be just yet, but I’m hoping I get there by the beginning of our season first of all and then carry that through to the World Cup.

Q: What do you think you need to do to make the World Cup squad?
A: Score goals. Do the things I do, well. Help the team win. For me the biggest thing is not to try to do too much. Play within my means. Work hard both offensively and defensively, create chances and score goals. It’s simple to say that and it basically comes down to that.

Q: How are you feeling physically?
A: I’d say I’m 75 to 80 percent. I’m getting closer (to match fitness). This camp really helped me out. The off-season this year was great for me. It gave me a long break and I kind of got that hunger and desire back, because that was a long couple of years with not much rest. … I needed that little bit much longer of a break from soccer. And I used that time to work out with a buddy at a gym, try to get a litlte bit quicker, a little bit stronger, prepare my body for this year and a World Cup.


*Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers has the quote of the week:

“My dad doesn’t know a thing about soccer and he’s never played a minute in his life, but using my left foot was one thing he always wanted me to work on. We’d go to the park and he would just throw the ball to me and I’d use only my left foot.”


Complete interview here.

*Much more about Galaxy training Monday than you ever wanted to know.

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