A weekend of soccer beckons:
Thank you Timbers fans and welcome to MLS.
“Even during the warm-up, I thought it was electrifying,” said Timbers coach John Spencer. “Myself and the staff were talking and saying, ‘This doesn’t feel like the U.S.’ No disrespect to anybody, but it felt like you were playing in the [European] Champions League.”
Southern Californians get to take in all the action on television this weekend. For the first time this MLS season both the Galaxy and Chivas USA are on the road:
*MLS announced today that Jovan Kirovskl will receive an additional one game ban for his “verbal abuse” of an official after the game against D.C. United. That tirade initially earned him a red after the final whistle and an automatic one game suspension he served against Toronto Wednesday. He’s also $750 lighter in the wallet, paying a total of $1,000 in fines.
Kirovski joins a growing list of Galaxy (2-1-3) players unavailable for Sunday’s 1 p.m. game in Chicago against the Fire (1-2-1) on Telefutura that potentially includes Landon Donovan.
David Beckham and Juninho are also missing the game for disciplinary reasons.
*The Galaxy Foundation has announced a special “Mother’s Day VIP experience” before the May 7 game against New York.
*Chivas USA (0-2-2) will face some of the most passionate fans in MLS in Vancouver when they pay their first-ever visit to the picturesque home of the Whitecaps (1-2-2) at 4 p.m. Saturday on Prime.
Here’s a video preview from the Vancouver perspective:
It’s already been a great start to the weekend for those of us lucky enough to have had Friday off (and support the Canaries) to watch them go second in the Championship live on Fox Soccer Plus.
Click at top right for a complete run-down of all the soccer action available online and on TV this weekend, but here’s the other games I’ll make sure not to miss:
*Manchester City-Manchester United, FA Cup semifinal, 9 a.m. Saturday on Fox Soccer Channel.
*Barcelona-Real Madrid, 1 p.m. Saturday on GolTV.
*Toronto-D.C. United, 4 p.m. Saturday on FSC.
*Arsenal-Liverpool, 8 a.m. Sunday on FSC.
In other news today:
*The Mexican National team will play a Gold Cup warm-up game June 1 in Denver.
*The Los Angeles Blues announced the signing today of Akeem Priestley, a 2009 Kansas City Wizards draft pick. The Jamaican native played with Azerbaijan Premier League outfit FC Mughan for a season and then almost joined Ireland’s Shamrock Rovers, but couldn’t get a work permit.
Former U-Conn teammate Chucky Chijindu, who is with the Blues on loan from Chivas USA, put him in touch with the new USL Pro team.
“At the time I had a few options in the USL, but he really made me want to come here,” Priestley said. “Chuck told me a lot about the team and got me in touch with the coach, who seemed very nice. Most importantly, the way he wants to play really suits my style. He believes in moving the ball around and keeping possession, which I love. So I jumped at the opportunity.”
In the weirdest start to a season ever by a Southern California soccer team, the Blues travel to the Caribbean (yep, every other team in their division is from the part of the world for reasons that make sense only to the USL) and play four games in a span of nine days so as not to rack up those travel expenses.
First up: Puerto Rico’s Sevilla tonight.