If the weather is good and May gray free (and this weekend temperatures are forecast to rise into the 80s) the Memorial Day weekend is usually one of my favorites in LA.
As usual, folks head out of town leaving relatively empty roads, restaurants, movie theaters and bars in their wake as they sit/stand/sleep/walk cheek to cheek in crowded Vegas, Santa Barbara, Yosemite or wherever.
And as much as still get goosebumps every time I attend a game at Home Depot Center, both Chivas USA and the Galaxy know better than to schedule a home game this weekend, meaning I get to hang around the house and BBQ (well, OK the wife grills, but I do have to keep her wine glass topped up) while watching their games and others on TV.
That doesn’t mean there are no soccer related activities locally however including a couple of soccer festivals:
*The PDL Southwest Division league-leading Ventura County Fusion (4-1) host the Hollywood Hitmen (1-2-2) at 7 o’clock tonight at Buena High, 5670 Telegraph Rd. Military personnel get in free with valid ID.
*Organizers of the inaugural and free Fiesta Soccer Sunday at the LA Memorial Coliseum hope to attract 15,000 to the event aimed primarily at Latinos (but everyone is welcome, of course) with entertainment, activities, booths and futbol celebrities.
*Meanwhile, the estimated 35,000 folks of Croatian heritage who live down in San Pedro hold the fourth annual Croatian Independence Day Small Goals Tournament from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday at the Field of Dreams (Gaffey & Westmont), which is a prelude to the Croatian Independence Day Street Festival in downtown Pedro that begins at 3 p.m. and continues into the night. The biggest event of its kind in the U. S. attracts 3,000 revelers and Croatians from throughout North America (and LA Mayor Antonio Villiagrosa) to enjoy traditional food, music and dance.
“This year marks the 20th anniversary of Croatian Independence from Yugoslavia and is a proud day for Croatian-Americans,” said Croatian Hall board member Danijel Blasic.
Should be quite a party.
For those of you who don’t want to leave the comfort of your TV, here are my picks for the games you should not miss this weekend including an MLS showdown between the only two remaining undefeated teams, the Eastern Conference leading Columbus Crew (6-0-2) and the Western Conference leading Galaxy (8-0-2). Can the Crew (who lead the East in goals with 14), score on a miserly Galaxy defense that has given up just two goals with a third of the season gone?
*10:30 a.m. Saturday ESPN2 and Galavision U.S.-Turkey
*4:30 p.m. Saturday FSN Columbus Crew-Galaxy
*4:30 p.m. Saturday Prime D.C. United-Chivas USA
*5 a.m. Sunday Fox Soccer Channel England-Japan
*8 a.m. Sunday KVEA Mexico-Gambia
*5 p.m. Sunday Chicago Fire-AC Milan.
I understand Galaxy fan group Angel City Brigade will be starting their day at Alpine Village near Torrance to watch the U.S. game, while both the Galaxy and Chivas USA host viewing parties for their road games.