Monday Kicks: England, Belgium – and South Gate

i-489c2889f5db9940271db7bf9a755552-pretty vacant.jpgPretty vacant: Fabio Capello’s England today continued its unimpressive build-up to Saturday’s World Cup opener against the U.S. in South Africa (AP Photo).

England beat a local South African team today, but critics were unimpressed.

Meanwhile, multiple Belgian sources are reporting today that Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan, who missed Saturday’s loss to the Red Bulls because he was reportedly in Europe negotiating a transfer to Anderlecht, will join the club by week’s end. Kljestan’s father is reportedly in Belgium, too.

The deal would suit the 24-year-old. Belgium isn’t one of Europe’s elite leagues, but is a good stepping stone as U.S. center back Oguchi Onyewu showed recently; he won two consecutive Belgian titles with Standard Liege before joining AC Milan.

Moving to Anderlecht, one of the nation’s best teams, would give Kljestan playing time and exposure at a higher level than MLS and hopefully won’t spend much time sitting on the bench.

Finally, what’s billed as the first custom-built “five-a-side” soccer facility of its kind in the U.S. opened this past weekend in South Gate.

Built at a cost of $5.5 million, the 3.5 acre facility includes 11 flood-lit, artificial turf outdoor fields, a pavilion with “professionally-styled locker rooms” and a restaurant.

“We are bringing a world-class soccer experience to the community,” said Les Allan, president, Goals Soccer Centers, Inc. “From the locker rooms to the staff to the pristine fields, we are creating an environment that players have never experienced before, and that will have them coming back for more. This will not only be a place to play soccer, but a place to live soccer all year long.”

More details here.


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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at Cheers!