Thursday Kicks: Chivas USA, FIFA Soccer 11 & more

While we await the kickoff of tonight’s Galaxy-Union game nibble on this roundup of local news and links:

*Chivas USA pair Dario Delgado and Osael Romero will miss Saturday’s game in Carson against Toronto after being called up by their respective national teams. That Costa Rica should select Delgado, a defensive mainstay for Chivas USA this season, for games Friday against Peru and Tuesday against El Salvador isn’t surprising.

But Romero? (El Salvador also plays Panama Friday).

Have soccer officials from El Salvador seen Romero play this season? Chivas USA fans haven’t (much) – and the stats prove it.

*If Romero’s selection wasn’t weird enough, the timing of this announcement is just surreal (from the Chivas USA press release):

Chivas USA will hold a coaching seminar on October 22-23 at The Home Depot Center in Carson, providing coaches of all levels expert instruction from Chivas USA staff. The two-day event will feature on-field instruction, presentations from Head Coach Martn Vsquez, Assistant Coaches Carlos Juarez and Nick Theslof, and U-18 Head Coach Sacha van der Most, visits to a Chivas USA practice, and ends with the match against the Chicago Fire on Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 p.m.

Would you pay $75 to listen to the coaching wisdom and tactical brains behind an MLS team with a 7-15-4 record that sits in the Western Conference basement? Then click here.

Seems like a long way to go to sell a match tickets to me.

*Incidentally, those attending Saturday’s game at Home Depot Center should know that Chivas USA is joining MLS’ breast cancer awareness effort. So don’t let the pink game ball freak you out.

From the club press release:

Chivas USA players and coaches will incorporate pink into their gear, with special patches on uniforms, sweatbands for players, and scarves for coaches. The team will also be promoting Breast Cancer Awareness through other matchday events, including a special halftime presentation by the ChivaGirls, and pink t-shirts worn by the Band of the Game, volunteers, participants in the Parade of Champions, and more.

The club’s efforts are intended to raise money for this nonprofit group.

*Los Angeles native, former Galaxy player and unlikely U.S. World Cup rep Herculez Gomez does a little Q&A here.

*Cal State Northridge (2-6-2) junior midfielder Rafael Garcia scored two goals within five minutes and the Matadors came back from two goals down Wednesday to tie Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.

*Finally, for a lot of soccer fans last week’s release of FIFA Soccer 11 was and is a big deal.

Me? Well, let’s just say I still have a copy of FIFA 2004 sitting unopened in its original packaging (Thierry Henry in an Arsenal shirt is on the cover).

I was stung by my experience with FIFA 2000 (featuring commentary by Julie Foudy and “deeper emotion,” although I think the two are unrelated) and never quite recovered to be honest. If I’m going to spend a lot of time doing something that’s supposed to be fun, but I’m never likely to become very good at I’ll blog or something (hey, I heard that).

It does sound, however, that the latest version of this game has come a long way from the “facial animations” (!) of the version of a decade ago, according to the EA Sports press release:

“Individual abilities are now reflected in-game, allowing clear differentiation for every player on the pitch. Plus, experience true freedom in man-to-man interactions with 360 Fight for Possession that transforms physical play from lateral jostling to full 360 collisions and new Pro Passing, where pass accuracy is determined by a gamer’s ability on the control pad, and player skill, situation and urgency on the pitch.”

In any event, the game’s marketing campaign is in full swing and since Landon Donovan is a well-known devotee of the game this tongue-in-cheek ad starring soccer fan Steve Nash that promotes the “EA Sports Pro Player Challenge,” a competition that will “identify the best FIFA Soccer 11 gamer among professional soccer players,” seemed apt to post. And, it’s pretty funny.

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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!