Wednesday Kicks: Chivas USA waives Santos & more

*Chivas USA today released Brazilian striker Maicon Santos, 26, and sparsely-used midfielder Jos Macotelo.

Santos had started his MLS career relatively brightly under previous Chivas USA coach Preki in Aug. 2009 and scored two goals in 11 starts for the club, but had been relegated to a substitute’s role by Preki’s successor Martin Vasquez. Macotelo, 24, was on loan from Puntarenas F.C. in his native Costa Rica and made just three appearances as a sub since joining Chivas USA April 30.

*Incidentally, former Chivas USA defender Shavar Thomas, lost to the Philadelphia Union in the expansion draft, was traded to the Kansas City Wizards today. He made all of one appearance for the Union – as a sub.

*As was expected, Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena will lead the MLS All-Stars against Manchester United July 28 on ESPN2, MLS announced today. The coach whose team has the best points per game average gets the honor of leading the 18-man roster.

The roster will be announced July 19.

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Galaxy & Chivas USA U.S. Open Cup wrap

It was the Galaxy 2 AC St. Louis 0 at Home Depot Center. Phil Collin has the game story.

Notable: the announced attendance was 2,179.

Quotable: Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena was asked whether St. Louis’ five-man midfield posed a problem in the first half and he responded,

“No, the 11 players wearing white were giving me some problems. We just needed to play a little bit better. We had to pass better, we had to be a little bit quicker. Certainly, it was to be expected they would tire. You can’t run faster than the ball and if we moved the ball a little bit better a little bit quicker in the second half we had a better chance to break them down.”

Goal scorer Chris Klein made a similar observation:

“As the game wore on we started to find more and more openings. Even though we had the ball a lot in the first half we didn’t create all that many opportunities. We talked at halftime about being patient and that the opportunities will come. The worse thing you can do is to start to press in these games and think they’re a league below (us) and we have to be killing them because that’s never the case.”

Proof of that was in the stats: the Galaxy outshot St. Louis 8-3 in the second half.

Galaxy lineup: Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Alex Cazumba, Chris Klein, Jovan Kirovski, Clint Mathis (Chris Birchall 80′), Eddie Lewis, Alan Gordon, Tristan Bowen (Juninho 73′).

Subs Not Used: Donovan Ricketts, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Michael Stepehens.

Next for the Galaxy: the Seattle Sounders at 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Home Depot Center complete with the return of Landon Donovan and a fireworks show.

Across town in Fullerton it was Chivas USA 1 Austin Aztex 0. Reporter Andrew J. Campa has the game story.

Quotable: Chivas Coach Martin Vasquez sounded relieved about finally getting a win, albeit in the U.S. Open Cup rather than MLS,

“I thought we did well against a good team. I like the way we approached the game. We were serious, we were disciplined, and we created some good chances. That’s all positive at this time where we need to reinforce and have something to build on.”

Chivas USA lineup: Zach Thornton, Ante Jazic, Michael Umaa, Mariano Trujillo, Blair Gavin (Marcelo Saragosa 73), Michael Lahoud, Ben Zemanski, Osael Romero (Gerson Mayn 70), Jesus Padilla, Chukwudi Chijindu (Daro Delgado 78)

Substitutes Not Used: Dan Kennedy, Jorge Flores, Carlos Borja, Justin Braun

Next for Chivas USA: the Philadelphia Union at Home Depot Center at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. Jonny Bornstein returns from World Cup duty and yes, there will be a fireworks show.

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Final: Galaxy-AC St. Louis

Galaxy 2 AC St. Louis 0

Jovan Kirovski almost scored a long-range third for the Galaxy in the final minutes after spotting AC goalkeeper Alec Dufty off his line, but he just managed to get back in time.

The Galaxy plays the winner of Wednesday’s game between the Portland Timbers and defending U.S. Open Cup champion Seattle Sounders. If the Sounders win the game is in Seattle July 7; the Timbers will visit Carson July 7 if they triumph.

Read more on that game here.

Incidentally, Chivas USA beat the Austin Aztex in Fullerton 1-0 on a first half Jesus Padilla goal. That ends a string of six straight defeats even if it is the U.S. Open Cup. Next for Chivas: the Dynamo next week in Houston.

More on both games a little later including full match reports, quotes and stats.

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Update: Galaxy-St. Louis

Galaxy 1 AC St. Louis 0

Veteran midfielder Chris Klein just scored his first goal since May 2008 to put the Galaxy ahead.

Clint Mathis started the move, pushing the ball out wide to Tristan Bowen whose short pass to Klein, standing a couple of yards outside the penalty box, ended up being curled into the far corner of the net. A pretty and succinct move in the 69th minute.

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Halftime: Galaxy-AC St. Louis

Galaxy 0 AC St. Louis 0

Considering AC St. Louis’ lowly league position the Division II team have given a fairly good account of themselves against the MLS leaders.

AC is playing a five-man midfield with a lone front-runner and that’s clogging up the middle for the Galaxy who have been reduced to mainly long range shots. For some reason they are not stretching St. Louis sufficiently and getting the ball out wide to Chris Klein on the right or Eddie Lewis on the left because once you get past their packed midfield St. Louis looks vulnerable.

Also striker Tristan Bowen apparently has license to roam all over the place sometimes playing deep, sometimes out wide left, which has made him a little hard to find.

Clint Mathis and AC’s Gauchino exchanged shots in the opening five minutes of the first half, the opposition’s effort requiring Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders to dive at full stretch to cover the shot.

Mathis also sent a shot zinging over the bar from about 35 yards in the 11th minute when Klein intelligently pulled the ball back from his wide position to find the veteran.

Eddie Lewis had a pretty curling cross in the 28th minute Alan Gordon met with his head but saw sail just over the bar.

In all the Galaxy have had seven shots to AC’s four, each team getting just a lone attempt on target.

Incidentally, Chivas USA are up by one in Fullerton at the half, Jesus Padilla scoring against Austin Aztex.

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Galaxy-AC St. Louis U.S. Open Cup lineups

It’s an overcast, if humid South Bay evening here in Carson where the field looks good and the stands empty.

It looks like striker Alan Gordon found a magic lantern that made a wish come true – a third start of the season. Landon Donovan is making the rounds of television shows and won’t return until the weekend. As is customary with these games, Coach Bruce Arena gives some regulars a rest.

Here’s the Galaxy XI: Josh Saunders, Bryan Jordan, A.J. DeLaGarza, Leonardo, Alex Cazumba, Chris Klein, Jovan Kirovski, Clint Mathis, Eddie Lewis, Alan Gordon, Tristan Bowen.

On the bench is the likes of Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Chris Birchall, Juninho and Michael Stephens.

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Tuesday World Cup Kicks: Galaxy to face Real Madrid, Galaxy’s Donovan’s on TV & more

*Galaxy officials said this afternoon the previously announced game against Inter Milan has been canceled and an Aug. 7 game against Real Madrid at the Rose Bowl has been scheduled in its place.

“While we were looking forward to playing Inter Milan, we are very pleased to be able to bring our fans a game against one of the world’s biggest clubs, one that features a host of the world’s top players in Real Madrid,” said Tom Payne, president of business operations. “Many fans will remember Madrid’s last visit to Los Angeles when the teams played in front of a capacity crowd at The Home Depot Center in 2005, and now we will be hosting them at the historic Rose Bowl in what will prove to be another memorable game for soccer fans throughout Southern California.”

Tickets are on sale starting at $46, which includes a ticket to the Independence Day game against the Seattle Sounders (guess they were having trouble moving those).

Real Madrid has 10 players at the World Cup. New Real Madrid Manager Jose Mourinho is expected to bring such players to Southern California as 2007 FIFA Player of the Year Kaka, 2008 FIFA Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo, Dutch midfielder Rafael Van der Vaart, Argentine forward Gonzalo Higuain and Spanish goalkeeper Iker Casillas, the Galaxy said.

i-57c89a3c92dc4b2cc1d4efd8aee325f3-LDletterman.jpgLD is on Letterman tonight (AP Photo).

Here’s what Donovan said to David Letterman on his appearance at 11:35 tonight on CBS:

NEW YORK (AP) — Soccer either needs more referees or instant replay, Landon Donovan told David Letterman on Tuesday night.

The U.S. soccer star appeared on the “Late Show” on CBS after returning from the World Cup, where the Americans won their group for the first time in 80 years. The United States was twice the victim of the disputed calls that have plagued the tournament, as the team had goals disallowed.

“It’s difficult because we know how fast the game is, and as a referee, you can’t see
everything,” Donovan said. “So you either need more eyes on the field or you need some sort of instant replay.”

Donovan said it’s frustrating “to put that much into something you’re doing, and then all of a sudden, it’s taken away from you.”

*The Galaxy captain four other national television appearances in New York Wednesday before returning to Southern California for Sunday’s game against the Seattle Sounders, where the best American player at the World Cup should rightly receive a red, white and blue hero’s welcome.

Donovan’s other TV appearances:

*7:30 a.m. Wednesday on “Good Morning America” on ABC.

*8 a.m. Wednesday on “The Early Show’ on CBS.

*9 a.m. Wednesday on “Live with Regis and Kelly” on ABC

*11 p.m. Wednesday on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” on Comedy Central.

All times are approximate.

i-0a8f16f1f81ac55542d41636ed235b1b-ronaldo.jpgCristiano Ronaldo and Portugal fell to Spain at the World Cup today (AP Photo).

*Spain won the battle of the Iberian Peninsula today 1-0 over neighboring Portugal. The World Cup quarterfinals are now set.

Commented Akecko Eskandarian on Facebook:

Cristiano Ronaldo is out of the #WorldCup. This means a lot less women will be watching games, and one less crybaby will be playing in them.

*Both the Galaxy and Chivas USA return to action tonight in the U.S. Open Cup. The Galaxy play Division II AC St. Louis. at 7:30 p.m. at Home Depot Center. Tickets are $10, parking is free and the swanky Stadium Club is open to all spectators.

The Steve Ralston-less and financially troubled St. Louis advanced to tonight’s game with back-to-back 1-0 road wins over the Des Moines Menace and the NSC Minnesota Stars.

The Galaxy boast the best record in MLS at 10-1-3, while conceding just four goals, while AC St. Louis is at the foot of the Division II table with a mark of 2-7-2 and just fired their head coach. The new coach, Dale Schilly, made his debut last weekend in a 0-0 tie with the Vancouver Whitecaps.

From the Galaxy press release: If the Galaxy defeat St. Louis on Tuesday night, they will play the winner of the game between Portland and Seattle in the Open Cup Quarterfinals. If Portland wins, they will play the Galaxy at The Home Depot Center on Wednesday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m., while if Seattle wins, they will host the Galaxy at Starfire Sports Complex on Wednesday, July 7 at 7:30 p.m.

I plan to blog from the game, so check back later for updates.

Chivas USA (3-9-1), losers of six straight games, play the Austin Aztex at 7:30 p.m. at Cal State Fullerton’s Titan Stadium in Fullerton. Tickets are $10.

Chivas faces a considerably tougher task on paper than the Galaxy.

From the Aztex press release:

In league play, Austin sits atop the USSF D-2 Pro League table with 30 points – eight points clear of the next closest competition. The Aztex also lead the league in scoring and need just one more goal in their next league match to tie their total from a season ago in half as many games.

A victory against Chivas USA, paired with a Houston Dynamo victory against the Miami FC Blues, brings the Aztex back home for the quarterfinal matchup against Houston next Tuesday. However, Miami FC would host the Aztex if both teams emerge on top Tuesday night.

The Aztex beat the PDL DFW Tornados and amateur Arizona Sahuaros before facing Chivas USA in the U.S. Open Cup.

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