Tuesday Kicks: Chivas USA Win & More

A couple of things to pass along this evening:

*Chivas USA scored twice in each half Tuesday at a cold and rainy UC Irvine to beat the hosts 4-0 in a preseason scrimmage. Artur Aghasyan, who was with the PDL Ventura County Fusion last season, scored both first half goals. Gerson Mayn and draft pick Chris Ross added two more in the second 45 minutes.

Lineups:
Chivas USA (first half)- Zach Thornton, Mariano Trujillo, Carey Talley, Michael Umaa, Ante Jazic, Michael Lahoud, Blair Gavin, Ben Zemanski, Jorge Flores, Jess Padilla, Artur Aghasyan.

Chivas USA (second half) – Dan Kennedy, Miguel Sanchez, Carlos Borja, Emilio Viades, Kevin Tangney, Chris Ross (Cesar Zamora 72), Marcelo Saragosa, Alfonso Motagalvan, Gerson Mayn, Justin Braun, Maykel Galindo

Chivas USA departs for Guadalajara Thursday for two games during a week-long stint in Mexico.

*New Zealand has named a 17-player squad that will face Mexico March 3 for a World Cup warmup against Mexico at the Rose Bowl. Only two players are missing from the lineup that beat Bahrain 1-0 in September to qualify for the World Cup: Goalkeeper Mark Paston is injured and defender Ivan Vicelich is suspended.

The roster:
goalkeepers: James Bannatyne (Team Wellington), Glen Moss (Melbourne Victory)

defenders: Andrew Boyens (New York Red Bulls), Tony Lochhead (Wellington Phoenix),
Ryan Nelsen (Blackburn Rovers), Ben Sigmund (Wellington Phoenix), Tommy Smith (Brentford

midfielders: Andy Barron (Team Wellington), Leo Bertos (Wellington Phoenix), Tim Brown (Wellington Phoenix), Simon Elliott (San Jose Earthquakes), Michael McGlinchey
(Mortherwell, Scotland), Craig Henderson (Mjallby)

forwards: Rory Fallon (Plymouth Argyle), Chris Killen (Middlesbrough), Shane
Smeltz (Gold Coast United), Chris Wood (West Bromwich Albion)

*The U.S. Women’s National Team open its 2010 domestic schedule next month
with a pair of matches against Mexico, the first at 2 p.m. March 28 at Torero Stadium in San Diego (live on Fox Soccer Channel), the second at 6 p.m. March 31 in Salt Lake City (live on ESPN2). Tickets for the game in San Diego go on sale at 10 a.m. Friday. Call (1-800) 745-3000.

*Los Angeles F.C. Chelsea has joined the Women’s Premier Soccer League in the wake of their merger with the Los Angeles Rampage and will play their home games at La Canada High School. Former rampage Coach Emamuel “Manny” Martins will head up LAFC Chelsea.

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Tuesday’s Column: World Cup Countdown

It’s getting to be now or never for domestic-based players on the bubble for the U.S. World Cup roster.

Bonus quote –
Here’s Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan on Stuart Holden, who he observed is probably his main rival for a World Cup roster spot. The two have never played for the U.S. in the same XI, he said:

“When I was out of the team he was just coming into the team. There’s definitely a correlation between the two of us – we play a similar position, we play a similar style. Hopefully we both go, but we’ll see. He’s a good friend of mine, but it’s going to be tough. Maybe one of us will go, maybe neither of us will go.”

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Chivas USA Camp Update

From Monday:

*Coach Martin Vasquez is considering playing Jonny Bornstein at center back and Ante Jazic at left back this season because of a lack of center backs; he was impressed with the 2006 Galaxy full back combo of Chris Albright and Jazic. Jazic, BTW, was just made captain of his country for the first time.

*Speaking of center backs: veteran Claudio Suarez, who returned to Mexico last week because his mother died, was back in camp today pounding around the track in the Track & Field Stadium by himself to build up his fitness.

*Another veteran, out of contract striker Ante Razov – who did not play all of last year – is not expected in camp any time soon, said Vasquez:

“We would love to see Ante out here, but first he has to be 100 percent and I’m not sure he’s there yet. … Where is he at exactly, we don’t know. … The last communication was that once he’s 100 percent we’re going to sit down and talk and if he wants to come out here then he’ll come out here. If he’s 100 percent and he wants to give it a last shot we will support that.”

*Chivas USA travels to Mexico later this week for games Saturday against Irapuato and Tuesday against Club Universidad de Guadalajara.

I’ll have more in Tuesday’s column from the Chivas USA camp.

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Mathis Out 4-6 Weeks and Other Galaxy & Chivas USA Injury Camp Updates

The Galaxy’s newly-signed veteran midfielder Clint Mathis, 33, went under the knife Friday in Santa Monica after injuring his left miniscus (that’s knee cartilage for the non-medically-inclined) in training last week.

“Mathis has already begun his rehabilitation and could return to full training before the end of the preseason,” the club said today in a press release. “He is expected to be available for the club’s season opener against the New England Revolution on Saturday, March 27.”

The 12-year MLS veteran, who has scored 61 goals in 249 regular season games, is in his second or third stint for the Galaxy depending whether you count the short episode in 2007 when the club and player were unable to come to contract terms and Mathis opted to play in Greece.

“It has nothing to do with age,” Coach Bruce Arena said of the injury after training at Home Depot Center this morning. “Clint has a history with knees. You never like to see an injury, but if there’s going to be one the best time to do it is now because he has plenty of time to rehabilitate and be ready for the first part of the season.”

Meanwhile it appears Galaxy fans won’t be seeing striker Alecko Eskandarian teaming up front with Edson Buddle any time soon.

Eskandarian, who suffered yet another concussion last year in a career punctuated by them, will be out some time it appears:

“The status of Alecko will be finalized this week, but he hasn’t been cleared to play,” Arena said. “I wouldn’t say his career (is done), but his ability to play in the short term is going to be delayed for sure. … Once his status is determined we’ll fully explain where he’s at. … Maybe in the old days this guy might have a chance of playing, but I think we’re being very cautious and thinking of the player first. … Whatever is in his best interests in the long- and short-term we’re going to go with.”

Finally on the walking wounded front, Chivas USA striker Maicon Santos is out six to eight weeks after injuring his left MCL in a collision with Loyola Marymount University’s goalkeeper in a scrimmage last Thursday. Rest, not surgery, is the prescription for this injury, club officials said.

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Beckham’s Carson Academy Closes

i-b7a3efc616630d4df27c8705a8f1e490-academy0001.jpgVery, very quietly in a rare failure for Golden Balls.

Regular readers first heard about the shuttering of the academy at Home Depot Center mentioned here a couple of days ago.

Curious that AEG made no public announcement of it in conjunction with the closure of the London academy back in December. But not surprising given the damage control/spinning AEG and 19 Entertainment representatives spent much of Friday engaged in as they tried to convince me this was not a story. When a Beckham rep calls you from home at about 12:30 a.m. Saturday London time, you know how sensitive his management team is to ANY suggestion of bad news.

(Updated: The Galaxy youth teams – the club’s academy teams, if you will – are now using the Beckham academy’s former FieldTurf pitch, as well as one of its trailers.)

BTW, unlike last January (when Becks scored and AC Milan beat Bologna 4-1), the two teams tied 0-0 today. Beckham came on as a 79th minute sub for AC Milan, who are now 10 points behind table-topping rivals Inter.

AC Milan haven’t won in their last four games.

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10-Man Liverpool Dampens Donovan Derby Debut

i-44b8cea0d07f2e7120f435a0704252da-donovanliverpool.jpgEverton’s Landon Donovan holds off Liverpool’s Emiliano Insua on this play, but couldn’t stop the Reds from doing the same to their cross-park rivals at Anfield Saturday, despite playing with a man advantage for most of the game. (AP Photo).

The on-loan Galaxy midfielder and Everton displayed little creativity in attack and Liverpool were deserved 1-0 winners in a typical blood and thunder derby that was never going to be mistaken for a shining example of fluid football.

Game story.

David Beckham’s AC Milan play Bologna live at 6 a.m. Sunday on Fox Soccer Channel.

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Chivas USA’s Marsch Officially Announces Retirement, Joins USMNT Coaching Staff

The expected (but long-delayed) announcement came today from U.S. Soccer.

Jesse Marsch, 36, one of the last MLS originals still playing, was always a fiery character on the field, but a thoughtful and quotable one off it and will be missed in the Chivas USA locker room. He made 106 appearances for Chivas USA over three seasons and is the club’s second all-time leader in games played, games started, and minutes.
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i-7cf5289446d8fad84b6cde0dba79efd6-becksjesse.jpg
Here’s more from the U.S. Soccer press release: Marsch, who holds a USSF ‘A’ license, will join the U.S. team for training camp beginning Monday at Home Depot Center, ahead of the game against El Salvador on Feb. 24 at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

“I have had the opportunity to work with Jesse for many years, and I believe the knowledge and experience he brings will be a great benefit to both the players and the coaching staff,” said U.S. Coach Bob Bradley.

Marsch made two appearances for the U.S. Men’s National Team, most recently against China in June of 2007. His first came Nov. 11, 2001, in a World Cup qualifier against Trinidad & Tobago in Port of Spain.

“I’m excited about this opportunity with U.S. Soccer,” said Marsch. “I am looking forward to working hard to help this team be successful in the future.”

Marsch, who wore the captain’s armband for Chivas USA for much of the 2008 and 2009 seasons, made 358 appearances in his 14-year MLS career. One of the most decorated players in league history, he has collected three MLS Cup titles and four Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup medals.

The former midfielder has worked with Bradley since 1992, when Marsch was a freshman at Princeton under Bradley the Tigers head coach. In the inaugural season MLS season in 1996, Bradley served as an assistant coach for D.C. United and Marsch a midfielder during their run to the MLS Cup title, the start of three successive league titles for both men. In 1998, Bradley took the reigns of the expansion Chicago Fire and Marsch helped the club complete its historic double, winning both the U.S. Open Cup and the MLS Cup. When Bradley took over as head coach of Chivas USA prior to the 2006 season, Marsch moved to the club and went on to make 106 appearances in four seasons.

The Racine, Wis., native lives in Manhattan Beach with his wife Kim and three children.

Marsch’s teammates react to the news here.

And here’s Marsch in his own words:

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Friday Football: Big Game Weekend

No, not that Super Bowl thingie, which, as it turns out, is is not that super when it comes to global viewership anyway.

The big game for Southern California fans of real football is Landon Donovan’s first taste of the Merseyside derby between Liverpool and Everton at Anfield. Just walking out the tunnel into the sold-out stadium is guaranteed to give the Galaxy playmaker goosebumps. And the game is live at 4:30 a.m. on ESPN2HD.

Donovan will be seeking to erase the bad memories of the last time he played at Liverpool’s stadium: a horrific UEFA Champions League performance for Bayer Leverkusen that pretty much killed his career in Germany back in 2005.

Sounds like he’s up for it.

Here are some more previews including:
* The probable lineups.

* The game basics from the BBC.

(Updated 7:30 p.m. – BTW, I swiped this from Facebook just now: For those interested in watching this Saturday’s Merseyside Derby, featuring Landon Donovan… Breakfast then Liverpool vs. Everton match at the Off Campus Pub in Carson, this Saturday, Feb. 6. Breakfast will be served at 9 a.m., replay of the game will start at 10 a.m. $3 beer, $2 mimosas.)

Click to your right for the full slate of this weekend’s games, but I recommend checking out the Chelsea-Arsenal encounter at 8 a.m. Sunday on Fox Soccer Channel.

What else is going on this morning?

*Well, John Terry has lost his cherished England captaincy ahead of the World Cup and that crucial opening game against the U.S.

*The Galaxy Friday announced it will play a preseason friendly at 7:30 p.m. March 10 against Costa Rican team Puntarenas at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium. Galaxy season ticket holders may purchase tickets for $10 beginning Monday; the cost to everyone else is $20 and those tickets go on sale Wednesday.

*Former Galaxy player Tony Sanneh reflects on his career and his time with the club here.

*2008 Galaxy draft pick Julian Valentin has joined the reformed Tampa Bay Rowdies of the USL.

*Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy is raring for the MLS season to start after missing last year through injury.

*Chivas USA scored four goals in 13-minute span, including two by striker Maicon Santos, in a 5-1 victory over Loyola Marymount University in a preseason scrimmage Thursday at Home Depot Center. Check out the lineups (and I wonder how close the team that played the first 45 minutes is to the club’s lineup on opening day?):

Chivas USA (first half)- Zach Thornton, Jonathan Bornstein, Carlos Borja, Michael Umaa, Carey Talley, Jorge Flores, Marcelo Saragosa, Sacha Kljestan, Michael Lahoud, Maykel Galindo, Justin Braun.

Chivas USA (second half)- Jon Conway, Kevin Tangney, Emilio Viades, Matt McManus, Miguel Sanchez, Gerson Mayn, Ben Zemanski, Blair Gavin, Chris Ross (Cesar Zamora 70), Artur Aghasyan, Maicon Santos.

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