Big college game, big crowd on TV tonight

How big?

Big West Conference leaders UC Santa Barbara (10-3-2, 6-1) play at fifth-place Cal Poly (5-5-3, 2-2-2) tonight at 8 o’clock on Fox Soccer Channel.

Both schools are among the top 10 men’s soccer attendance leaders with UC Santa Barbara (on the road tonight) likely to shatter the national record the program set last year.

UCSB has won 10 of their last 11 games and seven in a row. The Gauchos are only 2-2-1on the road, however.

Should be a fun game to watch.

And UCSB will also host the 2010 NCAA Men’s College Cup Dec. 10-12.

Here’s a video preview from a UC Santa Barbara perspective:

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Miss LA Galaxy 2011

i-f1515b7d25ddf5182bd4662a64a28a0a-mgalaxy20100022.jpgMiss LA Galaxy 2011: Corona teacher Lara Hosseinzadeh. (Photo courtesy LA Galaxy).

Riverside Unified School District high school teacher Lara Hosseinzadeh – she has an Iranian father and Mexican mother and speaks both Farsi and Spanish – has been named Miss LA Galaxy 2011.

Hosseinzadeh, who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education from the UC Riverside, bested nine other contestants at the event held before the season finale against Dallas over the weekend at the HDC.

She receives a paid position on the 2011 court, $1,000 cash, a cruise vacation, one year supply of Covergirl makeup and another $100 as the Fan’s Choice Winner for receiving the most votes cast online.

She also volunteers by “planting trees in troubled neighborhoods.”

Yes, but what position does she play?

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Your Daily Beckham

i-eaf08bc3d538be3ecf9195638425d92a-beckseaactive.jpgDavid Beckham demonstrates his new exercise video game, “EA Sports Active 2,” Monday in Los Angeles (AP Photo).

The latest news and non-news surrounding the Galaxy’s Golden Balls:

*But first, the answer to the trivia question I asked in the previous post. And, as one commenter already deduced, indeed, David Beckham has never played on the artificial turf at Qwest Field (for the Galaxy against the Sounders), which should, of course, do his recently-operated upon Achilles tendon a world of good (ahem).

*Meanwhile, here’s a stunner.

Becks will see out his $6.5 million a year contract with the Galaxy. Hey, where else could he scam make that much money playing around 10 games a year. Nice work if you can get it:

LOS ANGELES (AP) — David Beckham plans to play out the final year of his contract with the Galaxy in 2011 while continuing to hope he’ll play for England again.

Beckham said in an interview with The Associated Press on Monday that he doesn’t know what will happen after his contract expires next year.

“I want to play as long as my legs can take me,” he said. “I know it sounds a cliche, but I
love playing soccer, I love playing the game, it’s my passion. When I stop enjoying it then I’ll know I need to stop.”

Beckham has a five-year contract with Major League Soccer worth $32.5 million. He could buy out the final year and leave next month when the playoffs end.

“I’m definitely going to be here for the rest of my contract,” he said. “My sons go to school here, we’re all happy living here, so I can’t see us moving.”

The former England captain would hurry home, though, if England coach Fabio Capello called on him to play for his country again. Beckham is England’s most experienced active player with 115 international appearances.

“I’d love to continue to play. Whether I do or not, that is obviously down to the manager and obviously down to myself to perform,” he said.

Beckham won’t go on loan to a European team like he did with AC Milan the last two years to keep fit during the MLS offseason, which could dash his hopes of playing for England again.

The Galaxy won’t allow another loan after his Achilles’ tendon injury kept him out of most of this season.

“I would love to say that I’d be able to, but with the injury that I’ve had you have to give
it a certain amount of rest,” Beckham said.

Capello has suggested he wants to rejuvenate the England team with younger players and will only consider Beckham for a farewell match in an exhibition. This month, he dismissed the suggestion that Beckham has played himself into contention.

Asked if Capello has fairly considered him, Beckham said, “He’s a fair man. He gives everyone a chance.”

The 35-year-old superstar says he is “80 to 85 percent” fit after tearing his left Achilles’
tendon while on loan in March. He was sidelined for six months and missed the World Cup in South Africa.

“It’s obviously difficult to come back from,” he said. “I’ve been playing just over a month
now and the fitness level is almost there.”

The Galaxy open the playoffs next Sunday at Seattle. Beckham scored the tying goal in the team’s 2-1 weekend victory over FC Dallas to help them finish with the league’s best record of 18-7-5.

Last year, the Galaxy lost on penalty kicks to Real Salt Lake in the MLS Cup final.

“I wouldn’t say we’re favorites,” he said. “I believe we’ve got the right team, we’ve got the
right manager, so everything sets up right. It’s just about us performing on the field.”

The severity of his injury has kept Beckham from thinking too far into the future, especially when it comes to making the rosters for Euro 2012 or the World Cup in 2014.

“At the moment, I’m just taking each game as it comes,” he said.

Beckham will join the Galaxy for its friendly in Newcastle, Australia, next month.

His latest injury is one of many that have knocked Beckham out since he arrived to
unbelievable hype four years ago, stating his goal was to raise soccer’s profile in the United States.

“We wanted to grow the league, which we have,” he said, citing new MLS franchises, new soccer-specific stadiums and international players who’ve followed him stateside as proof of the growth.

“I always said it wasn’t going to take a year or two. It’s going to take five, 10 years to be
able to get up to a level which could compete with the European leagues. So far, so good.”

Beckham spent Monday in a Hollywood studio doing promotional work for EA Sports Active 2, a line of interactive fitness products set to debut Nov. 19 in Europe and Australia. Wearing a heart rate monitor and a motion sensor, he did a boxing and mountain biking workout with his heart rate and calories burned posted on-screen when he was done.


* A comic book biography titled “Fame: David Beckham” is available Wednesday in stores and on

The 32-page book costs $3.99.

From the press release:

Writer Pete Rogers and artist Pablo Martinena bring Beckham’s amazing career to life, from his earliest days on the soccer field, when he dreamed of playing for Manchester United, to the challenges of his soccer days in the United States. The comic book will feature two different collector covers.

*There’s a double dose of David on radio and TV Wednesday.

From the Galaxy press release:

Beckham will be a guest on two nationally syndicated radio and TV shows here in Los Angeles. First up will be an in-studio appearance on KISS FM’s “On Air with Ryan Seacrest” at 7:30 a.m. that will air locally on 102.7 FM. Then later that afternoon, Beckham will be a guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” that will air on KNBC 4 at 4 p.m.

Expect hard-hitting questions from both these interviewers (ahem).

*Lastly, you’ll be thrilled to know a big Beckham (and Manchester United) fan is now living in the expat Brit soccer hotbed of Miami, according to McClatchy Newspapers.

How big?

As in 7-3 big, the height of new Miami Heat center Zydrunas Ilgauskas.

His first love growing up in Lithuania was soccer and he watched Manchester United on TV whenever he got a chance.

His favorite players past and present: Eric Cantona, Paul Scholes, Roy Keane, Ryan Giggs, Wayne Rooney – and David Beckham.

In fact, his 5-year-old Newfoundland dog is named Beckham.

“But my dog is better-looking, more handsome than the soccer player,” Ilgauskas joked.

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Weekly soccer column: 30 down, four more to go?


In this week’s column I looked back at the end of the Galaxy’s regular season and ahead to the new, briefer version that begins Sunday in Seattle.

Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena summed up the team’s philosophy heading into the game: “It’s a new season and we’ve got to be ready to play a team that’s been very good for the last half of the MLS season. Our last game in Seattle means nothing to be honest with you.”

And don’t forget, the return game in the two-game Western Conference semifinal series is scheduled for 5 p.m. Nov. 7 at Home Depot Center.

Trivia question: which regular Galaxy starter has never played at Qwest Field?

I’ll provide the answer a little later today.

Meanwhile, read the column here.

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College scoreboard: Long Beach’s Gonzalez sets CCAA record with four goals & more

Sunday’s scores:

*Cal Poly Pomona junior Luis Gonzalez of Long Beach scored four goals and had two assists to set a new California Collegiate Athletic Association record for points in a match with 10 in a 7-0 demolition of Cal State East Bay. Cal Poly plays Cal State Dominguez Hills Friday.

*Long Beach State beat Cal State Northridge, 2-1. Game story.

*The No. 11 UCLA men (10-4-1, 5-2-0) lost for the first time this season to No. 12 Cal, who with the win now have sole possession of first place in the Pac-10.

*The post-season hopes of the LMU women (9-5-2, 1-2-2 West Coast Conference) dimmed in a 0-0 tie with San Francisco. LMU is now sitting in a tie for fifth place in the WCC on five points with two matches remaining.

*Pepperdine beat Saint Mary’s 2-0 for its first WCC victory of the season. Pepperdine improved to 8-5-5 overall and 1-2-2 in the WCC.

*In a Saturday evening game, the Cal State Northridge men (2-11-2, 1-5-1 BWC) lost 4-0 to UC Santa Barbara.

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Galaxy-Dallas postgame

Galaxy 2 FC Dallas 1

Final standings, playoff matchups and schedule


The extended dance for the Supporters’ Shield (that’s the Galaxy’s Mike Magee at right, who apparently loves a good polka, dancing with Dallas’ Zach Loyd) finally ended Sunday as the MLS season came to a climax in its final game.

Game story

Notable: It’s the third time the Galaxy have won the Supporters’ Shield; they did so in 1998 and 2002 – and in the latter year lifted the MLS Cup.


“We played as good a team as there is in this league,” said Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena. “We had to earn it tonight.

“We want to believe we have four games left in the MLS season,” he added.

Here’s Landon Donovan on Edson Buddle not winning the MLS Golden Boot:

“I was bummed for him,” said “Awards like that are always disappointing because in the end Edson gets punished for making the World Cup team.

“Wondolowski was there all year and had an opportunity to play more games. I’m taking nothing away from him, the kid did great this week to go out and win it. But I think all in all Edson from day one through this weekend has been by far the best player in the league.”

And here’s Donovan on if there was a PK, would Edson have taken it?


Earlier this season between the Galaxy and Seattle Sounders, courtesy of the Galaxy:

The Galaxy and Sounders met twice in league play this season, with the Galaxy winning 4-0 in Seattle on May 8 and then winning 3-1 at The Home Depot Center on July 4. Landon Donovan had a goal and four assists in those two games, while Edson Buddle, Todd Dunivant, Omar Gonzalez, Juninho and Jovan Kirovski all added goals for LA.

The two sides also met in the Quarterfinals of the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup, with eventual cup champion Seattle winning that game 2-0 to advance to the Open Cup Semifinals.

i-d7c838ba57cc1b974101e782d4ec56fb-becksgosal.jpgDavid Beckham: the goal, the glory (AP Photos).

Great minds: Not only did the media name Edson Buddle the Galaxy’s MVP, the LA Riot Squad named Buddle their Player of the Year, too.


Finally, the best quote by a player who didn’t play a minute in the game? Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who expects to be back for the playoffs, said of his incident with Thierry Henry that left him injured:

“At least me and the Irish people have something in common.”

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FC Dallas (12-3-14) at Galaxy (17-7-5) at Home Depot Center

Regardless of the result tonight we now know when the Galaxy will host the second leg of the opening round of the MLS playoffs – 6 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 7. The time and day were just announced.

Now we just need to figure out the opponent, which will become apparent in a little over two hours from now

Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena is resting Gregg Berhalter this evening, allowing A.J. DeLaGarza to partner Omar Gonzalez in central defense and Todd Dunivant to return at full back.

With this being Chris Klein’s final MLS game, rookie Michael Stephens didn’t make the 18-man squad today.

Chris Birchall is out with a calf contusion, so Dema Kovalenko returns to the starting lineup and Landon Donovan drops back into midfield.

Mike Magee will partner Edson Buddle up front.

Here’s the Galaxy XI (4-4-2): Ricketts, Franklin, DeLaGarza, Gonzalez, Dunivant, Beckham, Juninho, Kovalenko, Donovan, Buddle, Magee.

Klein, the similarly-retiring Eddie Lewis, Tristan Bowen and Jovan Kirovski are all bench options for the Galaxy.

Dallas goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, out for a lengthy practice before the teams took the field for pre-game warm-ups will not start in goal against his former club this evening, so Dario Sala continues between the posts.

Jeff Cunningham and David Ferreira are up front for Dallas; midfielder Brek Shea is on the bench.

Dallas XI: Sala, Goncalves, Loyd, John, Benitez, Harris, McCarty, Alexander, Chevez, Cunningham, Ferreira.

Refresh this post for updates as the game progresses.


Galaxy 1 Dallas 1

Well, the Home Depot Center’s wi-fi signal is incredibly weak and I was unable to access the Internet in the first half, let alone blog, so apologies for that.

Dallas struck first in the game when former Chivas USA midfielder Atiba Harris ghosted in behind two oblivious Galaxy defenders to head home the opening goal at the far post from four yards out in the 22nd minute. Eric Alexander provided the cross.The Galaxy appealed for offside, but Harris was not in an offside position, although another Dallas attacker – I believe that was Jeff Cunningham – was, but did not interfere with the play.

The Galaxy equalized in the 33rd minute, Donovan blatantly shoving defender Jackson Goncalves off the ball at the end line and feeding the ball to Beckham who steered home his second goal of the season with a finely-placed right-footed 20-yard shot.

BTW, Edson Buddle has been named the Galaxy MVP for the season – yes, I voted for him. Buddle and Donovan apparently tied for most first-place votes, incidentally.

The Galaxy pulled ahead in the 46th minute when Zach Loyd failed to clear a Donovan cross adequately, Juninho met it at the edge of the penalty box and nailed the shot with a pretty volley.

The Galaxy have the result they need, but Buddle needs one more goal to win the scoring title outright. Sala got a hand to a strong Buddle header off a Beckham corner kick from eight yards out in the 67th minute, just denying him that goal.

Klein and Lewis are coming on in the 89th minute to take a final bow before the home fans. Here’s a trivia question answer: Klein came on for Beckham (Lewis came on for Buddle, BTW).

Final: Galaxy 2 Dallas 1

Next for the Supporters Shield winners: 5 p.m. in Seattle Sunday for the opening game of the Western Conference semifinal.

Gonzalez was named Galaxy defender of the Year at game’s end.

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Sunday Galaxy gameday

FC Dallas (12-3-14) vs. Galaxy (17-7-5) at Home Depot Center, 5 p.m., FSN

Reporter Phil Collin has the everything to play for preview for the Galaxy – and striker Edson Buddle:

The Galaxy still must earn their way to the top in the Western Conference after Real Salt Lake’s stunning comeback Saturday night. RSL rallied to tie Colorado with a penalty kick in injury time to pull even in the standings at 56 points with the Galaxy, and RSL holds the tiebreaker. The Galaxy need at least a tie to earn the Supporters’ Shield and home-field advantage in the playoffs. … If the Galaxy win or tie today, they will face Seattle in the first round. For Dallas, it now holds its postseason destiny in its hand: with a tie or a loss it will face Real Salt Lake in the first round and with a win will face the Galaxy. … Now needing a result, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena can’t afford the luxury of sitting any stars to get them rest. … Galaxy forward Edson Buddle needs to score a goal to earn the league’s Golden Boot award. He has 17, but San Jose’s Chris Wondolowski scored his 18th on Saturday. Buddle holds the tiebreaker (more assists) for the honor. Landon Donovan is on the verge of capturing the assist title for the first time in his career. … Midfielder Chris Birchall is questionable with a calf bruise suffered last week. Defender Todd Dunivant (groin strain) practiced this week and should be ready to go if called upon. … This will be the final regular-season match for Galaxy midfielders Chris Klein and Eddie Lewis, who announced their respective retirements this week.

Here’s how the stage was set for today’s game with the wild finish in Colorado.

Check out the highlights:

Incidentally, former Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman, who hasn’t played since Sept. 16 when he was injured in the infamous Thierry Henry incident, is listed as “probable” to return to the net for Dallas.

If Dallas striker Jeff Cunningham scores his 133rd MLS goal he will become the league’s all-time leading scorer; he is currently tied with the now-retired Jaime Moreno.

Finally, there’s all sorts of prizes and events tonight at what is Fan Appreciation Night.

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

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Magical McBride scores MLS 80th on retirement day

Chivas USA 1 Chicago Fire 4

Reporter Phil Collin had the game story.

If, like me, you skipped this meaningless last Chivas USA game, you missed history and Brian McBride’s last-ever MLS goal. And an inventive final contribution it was, too.

Relive it here:

Quotable: “The transition has been difficult,” said Chivas USA Coach Martin Vasquez, as he summed up the season. “Tonight, our team has been hit, like other teams in MLS. This season, our fans, our ownership, our players have been tested and challenged, but we also think that we have to continue to work. Other franchises, other teams, other coaches, other players have responded in our league, that’s what we have to do. We have to regroup. This last game comes at the best time because we need to take a deep breath and regroup. The emotions are difficult right now but the only way we turn this around is by making sure that we learn from the mistakes that we made this season.”

Jonny B also said he’s been reflecting on his MLS career – and packing for Mexico:

“More than anything I have those discussions with my family, when we’re at dinner, at family parties or barbecues. We talk about the good moments of the year, the not-so-good ones and generally what lies ahead because I won’t be with them to have those conversations any more all the time like I have been.

It’s been a good year and been a good run at Chivas USA. They basically gave me my chance as a professional player and I’m very thankful for that. I tried to do as best I could for the club.

I want to get a little bit of time to kind of just get away from everything. I’ve got to figure out a lot of stuff in terms of what’s going with me to Mexico. That’s kind of going to be the
immediate future.”

Chivas USA honored its 2010 team award winners before the game:

*Michael Umaa was Defender of the Year.
*Justin Braun took the Golden Boot and Most Valuable Player.
*Jonathan Bornstein received the Claudio Surez Award, given to the player who best represents the spirit of Chivas USA.

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