Chivas USA: A wedge of lime with that?

i-071b0bd18679a59b719bec7349dbe7a5-chivascoronasmall.jpgThis year’s model: Chivas USA players Alejandro Moreno, Justin Braun, Sergio Arias, Jimmy Conrad and Francisco Mendoza unveil the club’s new shirt sponsor at the Standard Hotel rooftop bar downtown (Photo courtesy Chivas USA).

Chivas USA haven’t exactly had shirt sponsors in the past that connect with their fan base.

A cement company?

A chain of Mexican convenience stores?

But this time around club officials can genuinely gush about a Mexican brand that is the top-selling import beer in the U.S.

“By far, this is the most significant and most important deal in terms of sponsorships that we have signed in the history of Chivas USA,” said club Vice President of Marketing and Sponsorship Rodrigo Morales. “They are both companies with a strong Mexican heritage and an internationally known name.”

The main significance of the above picture? I’m told Arias and Mendoza will be officially announced as Chivas USA players in a few days.

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Galaxy fall 4-2 to Rapids in scrimmage today

Rapids striker Conor Casey scored the opening two goals of the game six minutes apart to give Colorado a 2-0 lead after just 25 minutes on the campus of Arizona State University in Tempe.

Landon Donovan scored from a second half spot kick and Adam Cristman pulled the Galaxy level six minutes later, but the Rapids responded by scoring twice more in three minutes to seal the Galaxy’s first preseason loss.

Galaxy lineup: Donovan Ricketts (Josh Saunders 62′); Sean Franklin (Frankie Hejduk 62′), Leonardo (Gregg Berhalter 62′), Omar Gonzalez (Ryan Thomas 77′), Todd Dunivant (A.J. DeLaGarza 46′); Chris Birchall (Jovan Kirovski 46′), Landon Donovan (Hector Jimenez 62′), Juninho (Paolo Cardozo 62′), Miguel Lopez (Michael Stephens 46′); Juan Pablo Angel (Adam Cristman 62′), Mike Magee (Bryan Jordan 46′).

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Davies signs for D.C., will play two preseason games in So. Cal.

i-86782ee3b4aaaeced9348d5776ef92ab-daviesdc.jpgCharlie Davies talks with reporters earlier this month in Florida; D.C. United announced today that the former U.S. international will join the club on loan (AP Photo).

The striker will be formally introduced by the team at an 11 a.m. news conference today before flying to D.C. United’s training camp at Oxnard College.

As previously reported here, United is scheduled to play a preseason friendly at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against the PDL Ventura County Fusion and another at noon Feb. 25 against Chivas USA at Home Depot Center.

Tickets are $8 adults and $5 for youths for the Oxnard game. You can purchase them in advance here.

I’m guessing tickets for that game suddenly got a lot more popular.

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MLS Commish: No U.S. WC, no fall-spring MLS schedule

So there, FIFA, take that. And just to drive the point home, MLS Commissioner Don Garber made his comments in Canada:

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) — Now that the United States failed to land the 2022 World Cup, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber says his league has no plans to align with football’s international calendar anytime soon.

At the MLS Cup final in November, Garber said “we’re going to do a study” and “we’re telling the world we’re going to begin taking a very serious look at this whole issue.”

Then, on Dec. 2, FIFA voted for Qatar to host the 2022 World Cup instead of the United

This year’s MLS season will run from March 15 to Oct. 23, with playoffs to follow. Most
European leagues are on an August to May/June schedule.

“I don’t think we are going to a winter calendar any time soon,” Garber said on Monday on a visit to Vancouver, which joins MLS this season. “To think about playing in Toronto in January or December, it’s hard to imagine we are going to be able to do that. The fact our league is only 16 years old we don’t yet have that deep, deep commitment from fans to come through thick and thin. I’m not sure we are ready for that. But at some point I think we probably will be.”

FIFA sets aside certain dates for national teams to play. Because MLS also schedules on some of those dates, its teams must play without some stars who away on national-team duty.

“I’m not sure if we are ever going to get full alignment with FIFA’s international calendar,”
Garber said. “That being said . . . there are not enough weeks in our current schedule to really have an ideal schedule. We are going to have to continue to look at expanding our season.”

Garber admitted the FIFA vote was a factor in what he said in November.

“We thought it would be smart to show the international football community that we were open to do some things that would more align with the international confines of the sport,” Garber said. “That is probably less important for us now.”

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Chivas USA acquires defender Heath Pearce from Dallas

i-b2bdb7249d076120a15e2b8c6b0e9455-heathchivas.jpgThe oft-maligned USMNT left back, seen here outpacing Chivas USA midfielder Blair Gavin last June, comes over from Dallas in exchange for allocation money, the club announced today.

The 26-year-old joined Dallas in 2009 after stints in Germany and Denmark. The University of Portland product made 27 starts for the Western Conference champions last season.

The Spanish-speaking Pearce has 32 U.S. caps.

Pearce is one of several signings Chivas USA has made in recent weeks in a bid to shore up its defense including central defender Jimmy Conrad, New Zealander Andrew Boyens and defensive midfielder Simon Elliott.


Chivas USA has released three players from preseason camp: Former Cal State Northridge goalkeeper Kevin Guppy, who last year was a pool goalkeeper for the league; Canadian defender Curtis Ushedo, a Supplemental Draft pick; and Norberto Ochoa, 20, who was out of Riverside Poly.


Chivas USA dropped its second consecutive preseason game today, losing 2-0 to Real Salt Lake in Casa Grande, Ariz.

Chivas USA lineup: Sergio Arias (Zach Thornton 60), Jorge Flores (Ante Jazic 60), Eriq Zavaleta (Michael Umaa 60), Andrew Boyens (Jimmy Conrad 60), Jimmy Asprilla (Zarek Valentin 60), Ben Zemanski (John Okafor 60), Guillermo Torres (Chukwudi Chijindu 29, Blair Gavin 60), Mariano Trujillo (Mike Lahoud 60), Jess Padilla (Francisco Mendoza 60), Victor Estupian (Gerson Mayn 60), Alejandro Moreno (Alan Gordon 60)

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Tuesday Kicks: Today’s column & more

i-869a73a9d50999011215c7a2e54d9d6b-rooneybicycle.jpgBiker boy: Wayne Rooney scored Saturday what he described as the best goal of his career. Let’s hope the highlight reels shift into OT when the round of 16 begins today in the UEFA Champions League (AP Photo).

*Dema Kovalenko, who finished a 13-year career with just over 20 appearances for the Galaxy in the last couple of seasons, has confirmed what most of us had already assumed – his retirement.

One of those polarizing players who always had a reckless – some might say downright dangerous – streak, Kovalenko was also a genuine, down to earth locker room presence who was always quick with a joke and a smile with reporters he knew.

*David Beckham’s libel lawsuit against a tabloid gossip sheet who alleged he scored with a $10,000 a night hooker was thrown out by a Los Angeles judge.

*Finally, I think you can make a case that the best soccer tournament on the face of the planet is not the World Cup, but the UEFA Champions League. I certainly remember more great moments and great games from that tournament in recent years than the World Cup.

So will you be planted in front of a TV set at 11:30 a.m. today when Tottenham and AC Milan open the knockout round of the UEFA Champions League on Fox Soccer Channel? Me too. Read more here.

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Galaxy sign all five 2011 draft picks

The club, currently in Arizona on preseason training, announced Monday afternoon it had reached contract terms with all five of its 2011 draft picks who attended camp (a sixth pick, goalkeeper Zach Johnson out of West Virginia, opted not to pursue a pro career and never joined the Galaxy).

Most significant among them is top pick Paolo Cardozo, a Uruguayan midfielder who has quickly become the talk of camp after scoring two goals and creating a third in three preseason games so far.

The other four: midfielder Hector Jimenez of Bell, New Zealand midfielder Dan Keat out of Dartmouth, who has yet to appear in a preseason game after picking up a heel injury at the MLS Combine; left back Ryan Thomas of Claremont; and converted right back Dustin McCarty, younger brother of D.C. United midfielder Dax McCarty, who played in midfield in college.

Thomas and McCarty both played in midfield in college.

Incidentally, Galaxy striker Jack McBean of Newport Beach came on as a 73rd minute sub today as the U.S. beat Cuba 3-1 in the opening CONCACAF qualifier for the U-17 World Cup.

Esteban Rodriguez of Palmdale got the third U.S. goal.

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Monday Kicks: The week ahead

Here’s what lies ahead for SoCal soccer lovers this week:

*The Galaxy and Chivas USA are both out of town.

The Galaxy headed to Arizona Sunday for a 10-day camp that will see them play the Colorado Rapids Wednesday and Vancouver Sunday and next Tuesday.

From the Galaxy weekly update:

This is the third time in Arizona for the Galaxy in as many years. A total of 26 players made the trip, though just 24 were on Sunday’s morning flight from LAX – Gregg Berhalter arrived Sunday night while Adam Cristman is scheduled to arrive on Monday night. In addition to the 26 players, a total of 13 coaches and staff members made the trip.

*Chivas USA announced several new trialists Monday via their weekly update:

A trio of players has joined the Red-and-White on trial while the team is in Casa Grande, Ariz., for a week, in Colombian defender Jimmy Asprilla, recent Wake Forest graduate goalkeeper Arika Fitzgerald, and midfielder Guillermo ‘Memo’ Torres, recently of Pachuca and the younger brother of United States National Team player Jose Francisco Torres.

Chivas USA dropped a 1-0 decision to the Seattle Sounders Saturday in Casa Grande, with David Estrada getting the 75th minute winner.

Chivas USA plays Real Salt Lake Tuesday and the Vancouver Whitecaps Friday before returning home.

Here’s the Chivas USA lineup against Seattle:

First 60′: Zach Thornton, Zarek Valentin, Jimmy Conrad, Michael Umaa, Jimmy Conrad, Ante Jazic, Michael Lahoud, Blair Gavin, Gerson Mayn, Victor Estupian, Francisco Mendoza, Alan Gordon

Final 30′: Sergio Arias, Jimmy Asprilla, Andrew Boyens, unnamed trialist, Jorge Flores, Ben Zemanski, Guillermo Torres, Mariano Trujillo, Jess Padilla, Sal Zizzo, Chukwudi Chijindu

*While the two local MLS clubs are absent this week, D.C. United head to Oxnard College Wednesday for preseason training and will play the Ventura County Fusion Saturday. It appears increasingly likely that former U.S. international Charlie Davies will still be in the United camp by the time the game rolls around.

*Mexico’s victory last Wednesday over Bosnia-Herzegovina made Telefutura the No. 1 station among adults aged 18-49 in Los Angeles.

*Speaking of soccer on TV, Clint Dempsey’s Fulham plays Chelsea at noon today on Fox Soccer Channel ESPN2, while the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League cranks up Tuesday and Wednesday. I’ll have more on that in Tuesday’s column.

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Galaxy’s newest pro McBean on U.S. U-17 roster for WCQ


Newport Beach’s Jack McBean, 16, just weeks after signing a pro contract with the Galaxy, has made the U.S. U-17 squad that will take part in CONCACAF qualifying next week with a place in the World Cup in Mexico at stake.

McBean is the lone professional on the 20-player roster, but is also one of the least experienced youth internationals on the squad.

The full schedule is here.

The full roster is here.

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