Friday Football: Camping with Beckham & more

*The EPL’s Tottenham Hotspur hopes/believes/is trying to convince themselves (take your pick, one is as good as another at this point since the Galaxy never confirm any deal until every “i” is dotted) that David Beckham could be on loan to them by Sunday. Details here. And don’t you just love those vague comments from Spurs boss Harry Rednapp. Personally I’d rather hear what Landon Donovan has to say about Beckham’s loan.

*Meanwhile, with Beckham possibly off to what amounts to a (high-profile) London training camp, the Home Depot Center fields are getting busier and busier as various U.S. national teams crank up their activity another notch.

*Zenit St. Petersburg striker Eugene Starikov arrived in the South Bay Thursday, bringing to 25 the number of mostly young players in the U.S. Men’s National Team camp in Carson. Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Starikov grew up in Florida and attended Stetson University.

*The U.S. women open a six-day camp in Carson Saturday with 26 players in attendance including UCLA’s Sydney Leroux, Diamond Bar’s Alex Morgan, USC product Amy Rodriguez and Rolling Hills Estates’ Whitney Engen.

*A 24-player women’s U-23 contingent starts practicing at the HDC Sunday and includes the likes of striker Christen Press of Palos Verdes Estates and midfielder Megan Jesolva of La Mirada.

Incidentally, I’m often asked whether practices are open to the public, what time they are, where players are staying, etc. The short answers are no, it varies and U.S. Soccer officials don’t want fans knowing.

But the USMNT usually practices around 10 a.m. daily (although there are unannounced off days) and fans can peer over a fence, while the team itself usually stays in hotels in either Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach (in truth I don’t know exactly where for this camp). And you didn’t read that here.

Finally, those of us disinclined to take afternoon/early evenings strolls along The Strand or staking out hotel lobbies in order to get a glimpse of players have plenty of footie to choose from on TV this weekend.

The Mexican league starts up again with Monterrey hosting San Luis (3 p.m. Saturday on KVEA) and Tigres at Queretaro at the same time on KFTR (although now former Chivas USA defender Jonny Bornstein is out injured and won’t play for UANL).

My pick of the weekend? Liverpool visiting Manchester United at 5:30 a.m. Sunday on Fox Soccer Channel. Will the under-fire Roy Hodgson still be on Merseyside come Monday?

Click on the Live TV link at top right for a complete run-down of all games on TV and online and enjoy the weekend.

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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 www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Studs Up

    USSF does an excellent job of NOT promoting it’s teams and players. You’d figure in a town with a media as dis-interested as in Los Angeles, the Federation would encourage the public to attend their pratices and provide an opportunity to meet the players. With genuine fan interest in the most exciting group of new faces to come aboard the Federation should seek all opportunities to ride the momentum that was created in S. Africa in 2010 – twice.

  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    Studs Up, I can speak from personal experience on this point: Media relations directors are *not* interested in granting access but in protecting their clients, whether players, coaches or organizations. They will only grant access on their terms, not anybody else’s. That’s how insular the profession is.

  • Studs Up

    Protecting their clients from what in this case – adoring fans? This is the first time I can remember since camps have been held at HDC that we were even denied watching the team workouts from outside the fence. What is Bradley’s thinking? Is he afraid the Chilean miners are going to steal his game plan for a B team int’l scrimmage or is he afraid that thousands of hooligans are going to invade his hide-out. Pathetic.

  • http://www.insidesocal.com/soccer Nick Green

    Studs Up: How are they preventing you from looking over the fence? The HDC is on a university campus – it’s publicly-owned. Unless they’re seeking privacy behind the opaque, green fences the Galaxy use to shield David Beckham from prying eyes I don’t believe they can run you off.

  • Studs Up

    We were driving in and that was the instruction given to the attendants at the main gate on Tuesday. Don’t know the source, USSF or HDC security. I didn’t persist opting for clarification from the Federation, without luck I must add.