Monday Kicks: Friday’s Galaxy-NYRB game heading toward a sellout & more

*The Galaxy announced today that general admission seating for the grass berm at Home Depot Center has gone on sale for Friday’s eagerly anticipated game against the New York Red Bulls in Carson with tickets priced at $24.

From the Galaxy press release:

In addition to the Grass Berm, a limited number of tickets remain in Corner ($50), Sideline ($75) and Club ($125) sections for the game against the Red Bulls, so fans are encouraged to buy their tickets now. Seating in the General Admission, Endline, Upper Corner, Upper Sideline and Fieldside sections are sold out.

The game is, as Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena observed Saturday, one that MLS has awaited for years: a face off between the two teams in the nation’s largest TV markets, both doing well in the league at the same time (for once), featuring star-studded lineups of World Cup players as well as the league’s two leading scorers (Edson Buddle and Juan Pablo Angel) on national television.

And yes, the hype is for a regular season game. I’ll do my part to pump things up in Tuesday’s column.

Call 1-877-3GALAXY (342-5299) for tickets.

*Before I go write let’s wrap up Sunday’s local college action briefly:

Pepperdine (5-3-1) beat host Hawaii 2-0 at the Outrigger Hotels and Resorts Soccer Classic after suffering a 1-0 loss to Washington State on Saturday night.

The No. 17 UCLA men (4-1-1) beat San Diego 3-2 in overtime at Drake Stadium. The No. 10 UCLA women (5-2-1) lost 1-0 to host Colorado in double OT.

The LMU men (3-3) battled back from a goal down, but hosts San Jose State took advantage of playing a man up to score the game-winner three minutes from time in a 2-1 victory that handed the Lions their third straight defeat at Spartan Stadium in San Jose. The LMU women beat Penn 1-0 at at Sullivan Field.

The Cal State Northridge men (0-5-1) remained winless on the season, conceding two unanswered goals to University of Illinois-Chicago and losing 2-1 with the winner for their opponent coming in the 84th minute in Northridge.

Long Beach State (6-3-1) beat Akron 4-1 at the UNLV Rebel Classic in Las Vegas.

Junior Greg Piechota (San Diego) scored twice and the ref handed out 10 yellow and two red cards in a 2-2 double-overtime draw between the CSUDH men (4-0-2) and visiting San Francisco State. One year after scoring both goals in a 2-1 win over San Francisco State, now junior Jessica Murphy (West Torrance High) snatched another brace as the Cal State Dominguez Hills women (5-1) won again 2-1 over the Gators in Carson.

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Ow ow ow

My neck hurts just looking at this picture.

But the Galaxy’s Sean Franklin escaped serious injury in this painful looking incident with D.C. United’s Santino Quaranta in the second half of the Galaxy’s come from behind 2-1 win Saturday over D.C. United at Home Depot Center.


AP Photo

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Your Sunday soccer funny

Today’s Pearls before Swine

i-be9928c317010f9dc0e2ee66bceb53cb-swin e0022.jpg

I needed a laugh after forgetting to DVR today’s Liverpool-Manchester United game on Fox Soccer Plus – a channel I’m paying $15 a month for. Catching the end of Chelsea pulverizing soon to be relegated Blackpool didn’t cut it.

More Pearls before Swine here.

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Chivas USA Sunday gameday

Chivas USA (7-12-4) hosts Lawndale’s Kei Kamara and the Kansas City Wizards (7-9-6) at 5 p.m. today (live on FSN) at Home Depot Center with the Goats, losers of only one game in their last eight, still holding onto slim playoff hopes.

Chivas USA’s problem is that they face a rested, similarly resurgent foe, who have played some of their best soccer in the last couple of months and have seen the results go their way to match it. But here’s the motivation for the Goats, seventh in the Western Conference with 25 points: a win would see them leap over their opponents in the standings. KC sits fourth in the Eastern Conference with 27 points.

Kamara is the Wizards’ main scoring threat with eight goals, while Chivas USA counter offensively with the ever-improving Justin Braun and reigning MLS Player of the Week Alan Gordon, who pulled all the strings in Chivas USA’s 2-0 win over New England last time out.

Read more from the Wizards’ perspective here.

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Galaxy-D.C. United post-game

i-4df0b2afc262454753ff1d854abd0577-becksld.jpgDavid Beckham may be front and center in this picture, but it was Landon Donovan, behind him, who stole the show tonight (AP Photo).

Game story.

MLS standings.

Galaxy fans will have the unusual experience of cheering on Chivas USA against the Kansas City Wizards Sunday at Home Depot Center. A Goats win puts the Galaxy in the playoffs.

I asked Coach Bruce Arena in the post-game press conference whether he believed the Galaxy deserved the victory. Arena, after calling the question “ridiculous” (thanks, Bruce) said he believed they did.

Landon Donovan wasn’t as sure:

“To be honest, after the way we played, if we’d gotten a point I would have been ecstatic and to win the game was pretty remarkable, but we’ll take it.

“We didn’t play well tonight. I don’t know what the deal was. I don’t know why – I wish I had an answer for it. We didn’t compete like we did the last few weeks. We didn’t pass the ball well. Our final decisions in front of the goal was poor. We had a bunch of really not good performances. We were fortunate to get something out of the game.”

Ah ha! (So there, Bruce).


“We’ve done OK, guys, and it hasn’t been perfect, I know that,” said Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena in the post-game press conference. “We’ve kept our heads above water.”

Arena believes the Galaxy must win four of their last five games to win the Supporter’s Shield.

Notable: I didn’t really notice Yohance Marshall making his MLS debut in central defense. And that’s a good thing. He had been on loan with the Austin Aztex, appearing in 24 games. He was recalled by the Galaxy Monday, presumably after Arena had reflected on Leonardo’s performance last week.

Galaxy lineup: Donovan Ricketts; Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Yohance Marshall, Todd Dunivant; Dema Kovalenko, Landon Donovan, Juninho (Tristan Bowen 78′), Alex Cazumba (Eddie Lewis 63′); Jovan Kirovski (David Beckham 53′), Edson Buddle


Next for the Galaxy: Against the New York Red Bulls Friday at Home Depot Center – Rafa Marquez, Thierry Henry, Juan Pablo Angel et al. Arguably the biggest MLS game of the year so far and perhaps one of the most significant in league history.

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Landon Donovan’s history-making night

i-b46955a32c35f389eb766e8e6f4f6ea1-donovanscoresutd.jpgLandon Donovan equalizes for the Galaxy Saturday against D.C. United in Carson (AP Photo).

If you watched Saturday night’s Galaxy-D.C. United game you witnessed history.

That’s because Landon Donovan’s two goals tonight in the 2-1 win pushed him past Assistant Coach Cobi Jones as the Galaxy’s all-time leading scorer. Donovan has 71 goals now.

The funny thing is I don’t think many of my colleagues in the press box were aware of the significance of the goals and Donovan wasn’t asked about his achievement when he spoke after the game.

But the manner in which the goals came – Donovan essentially taking over a game and engineering a Galaxy comeback, as we’ve seen him do before – made the goals even more meaningful. And it’s a helluva statement about the kind of gritty player Donovan can be, especially when he gets a little ticked off, as I think he was tonight with the performance.

So I stuck around after everyone else had left the locker room to ask him about it:

Me: You do know you made history tonight, right?

Donovan: How’s that?

Me: You now have 71 goals for the Galaxy.

Donovan: Which is?

Me: You just surpassed Cobi Jones as the all-time leading scorer for this club.

Donovan: Did I? That’s awesome. Cobi has been the guy I’ve watched most throughout my career not only when I was young on TV, but also since I’ve been in MLS and especially since I’ve been with the Galaxy. I have a lot of respect for what he’s done and it’s nice to join that company.

Me: It’s a great game to do it in, too. I mean, (scoring) two goals, five minutes apart at the end of a game.

Donovan: Against D.C. – Cobi’s old nemesis. It’s nice to score, I like to win. And tonight asked for me to do a little bit more. But I really enjoy winning, so it was a good night.”

And it was a privilege to be there to see it.

Incidentally, let’s not forget that Donovan is also the leading U.S. National Team goalscorer with 45 goals in 128 games.

Oh, and I tried to get Cobi’s reaction, but he’d already left the stadium.

Relive some of Donovan’s best goals for the Galaxy in the last two years here:

I’ll be back a little later with a full post-game wrap.

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D.C. United (5-16-3) at the Galaxy (14-5-5) at Home Depot Center

Real Salt Lake’s 1-0 win over Chicago today means they have pulled level in the Western Conference with the Galaxy on 47 points, so LA will have extra motivation with a win and three points tonight to keep their neck in front of the Utah club as we enter the season’s home stretch.

Chicago’s loss also means the first of three results the Galaxy need to go their way this weekend to qualify for the playoffs is now a reality. The Galaxy now need to beat United tonight and hope Chivas USA disposes of Kansas City Sunday back here in Carson.

Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena tonight will coach against the former player he signed to his first professional contract, Interim United Coach Ben Olsen.

David Beckham is not yet ready to start after returning to MLS last week and is on the bench alongside Eddie Lewis, Chris Birchall, Michael Stephens, Tristan Bowen and Mike Magee.

Tweeted the Galaxy’s Tom Payne: “David should get 30 to 45 (minutes) we hope.”

Central defender Gregg Berhalter, who was jogging alone around the field before the players came out to warm-up remains sidelined with what has variously been described as a neck or viral issue.

The biggest (and only) change to the starting lineup is that young central defender Yohance Marshall makes his MLS debut in place of Leonardo, who culminated several questionable performances with a clanger that led to the lone Columbus Crew goal in last week’s win over Columbus and is dropped from the gameday roster entirely.

Here’s the Galaxy XI; Donovan Ricketts, Todd Dunivant, Yohance Marshall, Omar Gonzalez, Sean Franklin; Dema Kovalenko, Juninho, Alex Cazumba, Landon Donovan; Jovan Kirovski, Edson Buddle.

United has a lengthy injury list, which grew longer later in the week when veteran Jaime Moreno, who is retiring at season’s end, was denied a final game against the Galaxy in Carson after coming down with an upper respitory infection.

Branko Boskovic, United’s designated player, starts on the bench for D.C., incidentally.

The game is live on Fox Soccer Channel.


After 30 minutes we’ve had muffed shots, poor defending and bad officiating here at the HDC – a typical MLS game, really, I can hear the cynics saying.

There’s been no clear cut chances from either team though, as the game slides into mediocrity.


Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez just picked up a 39th minute yellow card after bringing down Pablo Hernandez. That means he is suspended because of yellow card accumulation for a second time this season and will miss Friday’s game against New York.


The highlight of the half came two minutes before the end of the first 45 minutes when Donovan Ricketts failed to hold a Pablo Hernandez shot. The ball squirted through his arms, but Ricketts managed to scramble back in time to prevent it trickling across the goal line.

Other than that there wasn’t much to recommend this game so far. The Galaxy need to pick it up in the second half against the league’s worst team. First task: crisper passing.

Key stat: Galaxy lead D.C. in shots on target 3 to 1.


United DP Branko Boskovich came on at the half for Stephen King. No changes for the Galaxy.


It’s a switch of former Manchester United players as David Beckham enters the game in the 52nd minute, replacing Jovan Kirovski.


An untidy goalmouth scramble in front of the Galaxy net resulted in Andy Najar putting United up by one in the 60th minute. Bit of a comedy of errors in the defense with Ricketts failing to shut down the play and defenders not exactly helping much.

United are looking for a third road win on the season.


A defensive mix-up between United defenders Dejan Jakovic and sub Clyde Simms about 25 yards out allowed Landon Donovan to skate in, steal the ball and score the equalizer in the 81st minute.


Two Landon Donovan goals five minutes apart has put the Galaxy up 2-1 in the 86th minute. Sean Franklin put the ball out wide on the right to sub Tristan Bowen. United’s defense allowed his cross to bounce in the box and reach a lurking Donovan at the far post.

That goal has allowed Donovan to eclipse Cobi Jones as the leading goalscorer in Galaxy history with 71 goals.


Galaxy 2 United 1

I think United Coach Ben Olsen just summed up the prevailing feeling for D.C., kicking his bench in frustration at the final whistle before having a few words with his former mentor Bruce Arena.

I’m not sure the Galaxy deserved to win this one, but good teams are able to eke out results even when they don’t play particularly well.

The final score could have been much different had Boskovich’s 16 yard shot in the 85th minute not been denied in a one on one by Ricketts, too.

More later

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Saturday Galaxy gameday, Friday college scores & more

i-1dfbd109c0530bbae4f0cfd89d749e8d-michaell0022.jpgChivas USA’s Michael Lahoud threw out the first pitch at last night’s Dodgers game, a 7-5 loss to the Colorado Rockies (Photo Juan Miranda/Chivas USA). Chivas USA plays the Kansas City Wizards at Home Depot Center Sunday.

*MLS’ worst meets first tonight at Home Depot Center (7:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel) as D.C. United (5-16-3) visits the Galaxy (14-5-5). United have the worst road record in the league, but have shown flickering signs of life under Interim Coach Ben Olsen, with two wins in their last six games.

*Former Galaxy player Anthony Harry Sanneh (!) who has visited earthquake victims in Haiti, is now assisting victims of Pakistan’s devastating floods.

*In Friday’s local college games:

USC (5-1-2) beat visiting Oklahoma 4-1

The Cal State Northridge men (0-4-1) lost 3-0 Friday to host Akron Zips (4-0), last year’s College Cup runners-up and currently ranked No. 1 in the nation.

The Cal State Northridge women (4-4) lost 1-0 to Penn in Northridge.

Playing in front of the 10th-largest regular season crowd in NCAA history (8,717), the UCLA men (3-1-1) and host Cal Poly tied 0-0 in San Luis Obispo.

Long Beach State (5-3-1) beat UNLV 2-1 in Las Vegas.

The Cal State Dominguez Hills women (4-1) beat Cal State Monterey Bay 2-1 in Carson, while the CSUDH men (4-0-1) beat Cal State Monterey Bay 5-0.

The LMU men (3-2) lost to Sacramento State 1-0, while the LMU women (5-2) beat Utah State 2-0 in Westchester.

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Get your Goats at the Los Angeles County Fair

i-709e1506eabc9d957929c8627bb6d693-goatgirll.jpg(Photo courtesy LA County Fair)

Saturday is Chivas USA day at the Los Angeles County Fair, which runs through Oct. 3 at the fairgrounds in Pomona.

Activities include a mini soccer clinic and appearances by the ChivaGirls, ChivaFighter mascot and four players – goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, UCLA product Sal Zizzo, Orange County’s own Carlos Borja and Bell resident Bryan de la Fuente, who recently graduated from Chivas USA’s youth program to the club’s senior squad.

What’s more, Chivas fans wearing team apparel can get $5 off the fair’s regular $17 admission for adults and $12 admission for kids 12 and under.


Click here.

More info on the fair itself is here.

Best of all, fans who go Saturday won’t miss a Chivas USA game.

The Goats play 5 p.m. Sunday against the Wizards at Home Depot center.

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