Tuesday Kicks: Galaxy announce preseason schedule & more

*The club will play the expansion Portland Timbers Feb. 8 and the San Jose Earthquakes Feb. 10 at Home Depot Center, although there’s no word whether fans will be able to peer over a fence and watch or the games will be behind closed doors.

The Galaxy will also play three games against MLS opponents while training in Arizona from Feb. 13 through Feb. 23.

Also, West Virginia goalkeeper Zach Johnson, the club’s third round pick in the Supplemental Draft, has “elected to pursue other professional opportunities and will not join the club,” officials announced today.

My guess is he saw his first likely MLS wage packet and decided to get a job at McDonald’s instead.

That leads 26 players in camp “vying” for a spot on the expanded 30-player roster, the club said:

In addition to the 17 players who remain with the club from a year ago, the Galaxy have added nine players to their roster ahead of the start of this season. Juan Pablo Angel and Frankie Hejduk were each acquired in Stage 2 of the MLS Re-Entry Process, Chad Barrett and Adam Cristman were added through trades earlier this month. Paolo Cardozo and Hector Jimenez were each selected by the club in the 2011 MLS SuperDraft while Daniel Keat, Dustin McCarty and Ryan Thomas were each added a few days later in the MLS Supplemental Draft.

The full preseason roster:

GOALKEEPERS (3) – Brian Perk, Donovan Ricketts, Josh Saunders

DEFENDERS (8) – Gregg Berhalter, A.J. DeLaGarza, Todd Dunivant, Sean Franklin, Omar Gonzalez, Frankie Hejduk, Leonardo, Ryan Thomas

MIDFIELDERS (11) – David Beckham, Chris Birchall, Paolo Cardozo, Landon Donovan, Hector Jimenez, Bryan Jordan, Juninho, Daniel Keat, Jovan Kirovski, Dustin McCarty, Michael Stephens

FORWARDS (4) – Juan Pablo Angel, Chad Barrett, Adam Cristman, Mike Magee

Who’s missing?

Per the Galaxy:

Seven players who were with the Galaxy at the end of the 2010 MLS season are no longer with the club. Chris Klein and Eddie Lewis each retired, Edson Buddle signed with FC Ingolstadt of the German 2. Bundesliga, Tristan Bowen was traded to Chivas USA, while Alex Cazumba, Dema Kovalenko and Trinidad & Tobago international Yohance Marshall did not have their options picked up.

Marshall made just two appearances for the Galaxy last season.

*Down the hall at Home Depot Center, Chivas USA announced today a “landmark agreement” that will see Grupo Modelo plaster the name of Corona Extra across the team’s jerseys.

i-b71288fbbe0f16e8f2027ec6bb77b206-andygray.jpgCanned: Sky Sports analyst Andy Gray has been made redundant, as they say in England, for making derogatory statements about a female match official. Shouldn’t this guy worry about his own glass house before mouthing off on how someone else looks? (AP Photo).

*Proving sexist behavior is not limited to ESPN’s American sports analysts, the Brits have got in on the act just to confirm that men are pigs around the globe:

LONDON (AP) — One of British soccer’s leading television commentators was fired Tuesday, a day after being taken off the air and temporarily suspended for making sexist remarks about a female match official.

Andy Gray, the face of Sky Sports’ soccer coverage for the past 20 years, was dismissed by the broadcaster after “new evidence of unacceptable and offensive behavior” that took place off-air last month.

The former Scotland striker and broadcast colleague Richard Keys had been reprimanded and removed from duty Monday for making derogatory comments about lineswoman Sian Massey, former referee Wendy Toms and West Ham executive Karren Brady.

“Andy Gray’s contract has been terminated for unacceptable behavior,” Sky Sports managing director Barney Francis said Tuesday. “After issuing a warning yesterday, we have no hesitation in taking this action after becoming aware of new information today.”

Francis was referring to footage that appears to show Gray making a suggestive comment and gesture toward Sky Sports colleague Charlotte Jackson in the studio.

The outspoken Gray was widely reported to be earning $2.7 million a year from Sky. He worked in studio for Los Angeles-based Fox Soccer Channel during the World Cup last year and was an analyst for ESPN at the 2008 European Championship.

He made a name for himself with his forthright opinions — particularly on referees.

The 55-year-old Gray was broadcasting the Premier League match between Wolverhampton and Liverpool on Saturday when he and Keys make disparaging remarks about Massey, who was officiating the game.

Gray questioned whether Massey knew the offside rule, a basic rule in soccer, and made an abusive reference to Toms, saying she had been “hopeless” as a lineswoman.

The remarks were leaked to a Sunday newspaper. More footage that compromised Gray and another member of Sky Sports’ commentary team — Andy Burton — was also passed to the media. Burton was taken off the air Tuesday.

Burton was talking to Gray off-air on the touchline at Molineux before the kickoff on Saturday and said: “Apparently a female lino today, bit of a looker.”

In another remark on Massey’s appearance, Burton added that another member of the Sky Sports crew said Massey was “all right,” adding: “Now, I don’t know if I should trust his judgment on that?”

Gray then said: “No, I wouldn’t. I definitely wouldn’t … I can see her from here,” before
swearing and adding: “What do women know about the offside rule?”

Gray didn’t publicly apologized for his remarks, unlike Keys, who telephoned Massey on

Sky Sports hasn’t said when or if Keys will return to the air.

Keys and Gray have been widely condemned by media commentators and anti-discrimination groups, with many calling for them to resign or be fired. Others described the exchange between Keys and Gray as tongue-in-cheek banter.

Brady said the comments made her “blood boil,” and England captain Rio Ferdinand said their views were “prehistoric.”

Gray played his club soccer for Aston Villa, Wolves and Everton, among others, in a career that spanned 17 years. After retiring, he was an assistant coach at Villa but soon turned his focus to a career in the media.

The 25-year-old Massey has been withdrawn as a lineswoman for Tuesday’s fourth-tier league match between Crewe and Bradford, the Professional Game Match Officials organization said Tuesday.

“Sian is an excellent professional who has unwittingly found herself in the middle of a story that has nothing to do with her competence as a match official,” PMGO general manager Mike Riley said. “Sian only wants to be notable for her performance as an assistant referee and is keen for things to get back to normal so she can return to officiating as soon as possible.”

And I bet Massey knows that the word “offside” is singular (except when speaking of multiple infractions of the rule), which is more than I can say for some soccer analysts.

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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!
  • Benny Dargle

    I was wondering how they were going to get by with 7 int’l slots after signing Angel and drafting Keats. I guess releasing Marshall was part of that process, but does that mean one more of the international players has to be let go or do the players on the reserve roster (e.g., Keats and possibly Cardozo) count differently?

  • Here’s the answer to your question, almost word for word as it was received from the Galaxy’s communications department: We have seven international slots for this season, meaning that on the date in which all teams need to be roster compliant (March 1 in past years, not sure yet for 2011) we cannot have more than seven players classified as internationals.

    That means that between now and that date, we will need to either let go of one of those players, acquire an extra international slot via a trade or have one of the international players receive their green card.

    So for now were good, but the clock is ticking for a move to get done.

    And as far as the reserves go, there are no specific reserve and first team players. The league should have the official language for all of this available soon, but for this purpose, we have seven international slots to use across our entire roster, regardless of their roster designation.

  • Benny Dargle

    Thanks Nick. So, unless someone is close to receiving their green card, we either have to release someone or trade for an international spot in the next month. I suppose I could see them releasing one of our rookies if they turn out to be duds, but that seems unlikely given the presence of the reserve squad and the chance for them to prove themselves. It also seems unlikely we will release our returning international players. Leonardo would be the most likely candidate, but we are already thin at center fullback. Birchall also seems secure with the departure of Dema. That leads me to conclude we will be trading for an international slot once other teams have settled on their rosters and we find out which team has some extra international slots or we will be trading someone like Leonardo for a domestic reserve center back on another team.