Thursday Kicks: Chivas USA’s Valentin named to U.S. U-20 for CONCACAF Championship & more

*Defender Zarek Valentin, Chivas USA’s top draft pick this year, was one of several players with Southern California connections named to the 24-player roster ahead of the tournament scheduled for next month in Colombia.

Also on the roster: midfielders Moises Orozco (UANL Tigres; Oxnard), Kelyn Rowe (UCLA; Newport Beach) and UCLA product Amobi Okugo, the PAC-10 Freshman of the Year in 2009 who is now with the Philadelphia Union; and forwards Eder Arreola (UCLA; Chino Hills) and Bobby Wood (TSV 1860 Mnchen; Irvine).

Full details here.

*Van Nuys’ Tristan Bowen of Chivas USA will have a different role on the team this year.

*Upland resident Davis Paul, a midfielder out of Cal who was the Chicago Fire’s third round pick in this year’s MLS draft, has signed with the club, officials announced today.

“We’ve been pleased with Davis’ skill, effort and attitude on-and-off the field,” said Fire Technical Director Frank Klopas. “Davis is a creative player and a strong competitor with the ability to play up top and on the wing. We are excited about his future with the club.”

*The U.S. Women’s National Team will play games against Japan May 14 in Columbus, Ohio and May 18 in Cary, N.C.

“Our entire team and staff have great sympathy for the people of Japan following the tragedies that struck their country and we are looking forward to hosting the team here in the United States,” said U.S. Coach Pia Sundhage. “We have tremendous respect for the Japanese players, for the way they play the game and for the heart they show on the field, and we will be expecting two excellent matches.”

The games were in the works before the recent earthquake in Japan.

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer 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!