Trade rumors: Ze Roberto a Goat?

i-f94161f6fdf782cb9df13025bf5bc511-ze-roberto-2009-7-1-6-51-6.jpgGoat meat? Could former Bayern Munich midfielder Ze Roberto be headed to Chivas USA? (AP Photo).

We’ve heard these Ze Roberto to MLS rumors before of course and just because a player’s agent expresses interest is often meaningless.

Especially in French (ahem) so here is the Google translation:

Out of contract with Hamburg (D1 Germany) in June, Z Roberto could slip in Major League Soccer, and more specifically to Chivas USA. A designated player contract of three years with an additional year was submitted to his agent, Jerome Meary. “He also offers in Qatar in Dubai and Germany. But he is hot to live in the United States and the challenge MLS pleases him enormously, ” he told us exclusively. Brazilian international midfielder of 36 years should meet its leaders by the weekend, and huge severance offers, except-cons, they could mean to his departure in June.

Well, at least he’s allegedly “hot” to be in the U.S.

Would Chivas USA loosen the purse strings and make Ze Roberto a DP, however?

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MLS preview: Wednesday Galaxy gameday

i-3012df5da07033c3d51fda99ad275dcf-chadbto.jpgCenter of attention? Former Galaxy striker Chad Barrett just knew there would be hordes of media types awaiting his return to his former club. Oh, wait…(AP Photo).

As hard as it is for us jaded Southern California types to believe there are still places on this continent where David Beckham is seen as a novelty. Of course, no one in Toronto has actually seen him play a competitive game in the city, despite this being his fifth year in the league, so perhaps the excitement over the 5 o’clock game tonight against the Galaxy is understandable.

And yet, not everyone is impressed.

“He looks tired of being here, which may be why he spends most of each off-season attempting to leave,” one Toronto columnist observed. Read that piece here.

Of course, Galaxy fans won’t get to see Beckham play tonight either unless they have Direct Kick or stream the game via (for a fee) since this is that rare game not on free TV.

However, another viewing alternative is here. I’ll see you there.

Just for balance, here’s a more charitable view of Beckham’s impact on MLS from Canada.

The Galaxy’s opponents tonight, well, they didn’t quite receive the attention Beckham did in Canada ahead of the game in their house.

Let’s let the overlooked Barrett have the last word, shall we?

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Beckham could return to MLS in 2012

i-a529bac627fe87a1fe8e55e5df27eebc-becksTO.jpgMLS beckons Becks: David Beckham talks to reporters today in Toronto (AP Photo).

Now that makes the column I wrote today even more timely (see previous post):

TORONTO (AP) — David Beckham said it’s possible he could be back in the MLS next season after his five-year contract expires.

The Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder turns 36 next month.

“Yeah, there’s a chance,” Beckham said Tuesday. “I haven’t made any decision about what I’m going to do after this year. I think it’s important that I just concentrate on my play this year.

“I feel fit, I feel good in games, I feel as if I’m performing well. I need to continue that and then in a few months I’ll think about what I want to do at the end of the day.”

Beckham spent about 10 minutes with reporters during a media availability at a downtown hotel.

The former England captain also said he’s quite interested in the 2012 Olympics in London.

“I think it’d be something that I’d like to be involved in, and I’d like to be involved in as
a player,” Beckham said. “But we’ll have to wait and see. That’s a year away yet. So we’ll
see. I’ll enjoy the rest of this season, you know we’re only five games in.

“So I’ll enjoy this season and then in the future, we’ll see. It’s going to be a busy

Beckham will make his return to BMO Field on Wednesday night when the Galaxy play Toronto FC. It will be his first game action in Toronto since the 2008 MLS All-Star game.

“We know it’s a difficult game, it always is when you come to Toronto,” Beckham said. “You know, with the fans and with the team. So we’re looking forward to getting into it.”

Beckham looked relaxed Tuesday in a white Galaxy T-shirt, shorts, a black hat and sandals.

Beckham was even asked about his recent soda commercial, where he kicks soccer balls into distant garbage cans on a beach. He flashed his trademark smile when asked whether it was for real.

“I spent five or six hours on the beach, so I had a lot of time to practice,” Beckham said
with a chuckle.

His four-plus years with Los Angeles haven’t been as much fun.

Beckham has shown touches of his on-field brilliance, but he has been saddled with injuries for a good chunk of his run with the Galaxy. However, coach Bruce Arena said this could be a very productive season for the veteran player.

“David’s a very good player, a lot of experience and ability,” Arena said. “And if healthy and fit and into it, he makes a difference each and every game. We’re beginning to see that he’s making progress.”

Beckham has three assists so far this season.

“At 35, regardless of who you are, you’re at the tail end of your career,” Arena said. “But it doesn’t mean that your career is over and you can’t be a good player. David is still capable of producing game in and game out.”

Arena added that Beckham has been “fantastic” for the league as a whole.

“We’ve played three games on the road this year — we’ve sold out Seattle, Salt Lake and here,” he said. “That’s an example. How many teams in the league have been on the road for their first three or four games and have sold out the buildings?”

Toronto FC coach Aron Winter said Beckham is still a force on the pitch.

“Everybody knows David Beckham,” Winter said on the team’s website. “He is still one of the best players in the world.”

Beckham said the quality of play in MLS has gone up since he first arrived in 2007.

“It has improved over the last few years,” he said. “Especially when you’ve got players like Thierry Henry coming into the league.”

It will be a busy year for Beckham as he’s expecting a fourth child with his wife Victoria,
who rose to fame as a member of the Spice Girls pop group.

“It’s an exciting year for us as a family and an exciting year for me as a player as well,” he said. “My family is always my No. 1 priority but being successful at my job and being
successful as a soccer player has always been up there.

“I feel I can do both.”

Didja notice he says nada about returning to the Galaxy?

Oh, and here’s that YouTube video mentioned in the story above:

The debate: Did he really do that or was it faked?

What say you?

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Tuesday’s column: Five already on the MLS hot seat & a few words with the Crew’s Robbie Rogers

i-f199b456194f4e19ae81399da985bd1b-henry1.jpgThierry Henry: No. 1 in New York – for now (AP Photo).

When Juan Pablo Angel was introduced to the Los Angeles media after signing from New York in the off-season, he was asked about the weight of expectations in MLS compared to the pressure of, say the EPL, where he once played for Aston Villa.

Angel laughed and without answering the question directly, acknowledged that there was plenty of pressure in England, leaving unspoken the fact that in the U.S. most fans are interested more in other leagues than MLS.

Still, it’s a fact there are already players this young MLS season under pressure to perform for one reason or another and they are responding – or not.

Read more in today’s column about Red Bulls striker Thierry Henry, D.C. United’s Charlie Davies, Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy, former Galaxy and Chivas USA forward Alan Gordon and yes, David Beckham (you knew I couldn’t write that column without mentioning him, right).

One player not featured in the column for space reasons, but who could well be, is Columbus Crew winger Robbie Rogers, who grew up in Rolling Hills Estates and Huntington Beach.

Rogers, a good friend of Sacha Kljestan, seems to have the same problem the former Chivas USA midfielder did on the field toward the end of his time in MLS when he appeared disinterested and stale.

An early pass Rogers attempted in the game against Chivas USA Saturday seemed to sum up his situation – it was lazy, inaccurate and appeared to show he doesn’t really care (although he insists the opposite is true in interviews) about MLS and wants out so he can head back to Europe after finishing the last year of his contract.

Rogers’ problem, however, is that he appears to be squandering his youthful potential and is failing to grow as a player. And the root of the problem, as he pretty much admits, is more psychological than physical.

Rogers is in and out of the USMNT (these days more out than in) and Crew Coach Robert Warzycha told reporters Saturday he expected to see more from Rogers considering his potential.

Rogers did not disagree when he talked to reporters after the game.

Question: What did you think of your performance against Chivas USA?
Answer: “First half it was not great. I created some good chances for us, but it wasn’t my best (showing) and then I thought the second half was better, I created some chances and I thought I was dangerous, I got some fouls – I thought I was OK.

I agree with (the coach). I hold myself to a high standard. I think that I can do it more consistently. I think I need to be more dangerous. I think I need to be held more responsible for creating chances for our team. So, it’s something I really need to do this year. I’ve worked my butt off. But it’s not about how hard I work now, it’s just getting my mind right and doing it. So, that’s what I’ve got to do, that’s what I’m going to do.

Q: Is this a make or break season for you because you’re in the last year of your contract?
A: No, not at all. I’m excited this is the last year of my contract. I’m excited in the interest (from other clubs) I’ve had so far. I think so far this season I’ve started to get back to myself, I feel more happy on the field.

I think in the past two seasons there was a point in the first half where I haven’t really had the confidence to cut back and get a cross off and that’s kind of what I used to do. I’ve felt a little bit more like myself. It’s stupid to say you should always be yourself, but sports are difficult. It’s a mind game. Like I said I need to be more consistent and dangerous for 90 minutes and help my team out more.

Q: Is returning to Europe the next step?
A: Yes, of course, I want to go back to Europe. I think that’s every player’s dream here in MLS. I was close to making the last World Cup (squad) and if I really want to make the next World Cup I really need to get to Europe.

If I fail, at least I took that chance. Obviously I need to go there with confidence and be positive and just not let myself fail. This is the last year of my contract – I’m going to work off my butt with the Crew or wherever I am and I’ve just got to be positive and confident.

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Monday TV Kicks: Where to watch Wednesday’s Galaxy game & more

A few broadcast notes:

*The 5 p.m. Wednesday Toronto-Galaxy game is that rarity – unavailable on free TV and can only be seen online or via Direct Kick. The best place to watch in Southern California is at Torrance’s Alpine Village, which has the commercial Direct Kick package.

The event is an official Galaxy viewing party and there are beer specials from among the 15 German brews at AV, which drew hundreds for World Cup games. Take the Torrance Boulevard exit off the Harbor Freeway and Alpine Village is right there. I may well see you there.

Naturally, the UEFA Champions League games will also be shown at Alpine Village earlier in the day Tuesday and Wednesday. It’s Manchester United-Chelsea at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday in the best/closest game of the bunch.

*BTW, Galaxy midfielder Chris Birchall returns from suspension and is available for the game Wednesday, while Jovan Kirovski misses the game after his post-final whistle red last weekend against the D.C. Divers.

Today’s injury report:

OUT – Gregg Berhalter (Left MCL – Sprain), Adam Cristman (Left Knee – Surgery)

QUESTIONABLE – Landon Donovan (Right Knee – Inflammation), Hector Jimenez (Right Wrist – Surgery)

*Random factoid: the Galaxy have scored exactly one goal a game in the last five games, a feat they had not accomplished since the days of Sigiball.

From the Galaxy:

“The last time the club scored exactly one goal on five straight games was at the end of the 2002 season and into the start of the 2003 campaign. LA won their last two games of 2002, beating San Jose 1-0 in each before opening the 2003 season with three consecutive 1-1 draws.”

And those ties were all on the road if I remember correctly, while we awaited the opening of the HDC. Road draws=Sigiball.

*Chivas USA (0-2-2) plays at 4 p.m. Saturday in Vancouver against the Whitecaps (1-2-2) in a game that’s live on Prime.

Chivas Reserves beat the LA Blues 2-0 Sunday in a reserve game scheduled after Seattle belatedly pulled out of the fixture apparently because of airline issues.

*The Lancaster Rattlers, which are moving from the Premier Development League to the National Premier Soccer League has announced a broadcast deal that includes live audio play-by-play coverage for home games and live video play-by-play coverage for all away games.

“This is an excellent move in the right direction, to make it easier for our fans to follow us not only at home but while on the road,” said Gerald Brunner, CEO of Rattlers FC. “Another step to show our intent to bring professional soccer to the valley. We hoping this will also show to our sponsors and sponsors to be how serious we are about the game.”

The Rattlers FC opener is Saturday, April 23rd against FC Hasenthal at Palmdale High.

*United Soccer Leagues has announced a three-year “relationship” with Fox Soccer Channel that includes “regular season and postseason games from USL Pro and the championship games from the Premier Development League and W-League through 2013. FOX Soccer also continues to air the 30-minute magazine show USL Breakaway, which is now a year-round monthly program.”

Coverage of the USL Pro league begins June 11 and includes an 8 p.m. Friday, July 15 LA Blues game against River Plate Puerto Rico.

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Chivas USA-Columbus Crew Post-game

Chivas USA 0 Columbus Crew 0

*Reporter Phil Collin has the game story.

Notable: The second half was better for Chivas USA than the first; they had two shots on target instead of one. The Crew had one shot on goal in the second 45 minutes for a total of two in the game.


“A shutout is good – that’s definitely one of the things we wanted to get out of this game,” said Chivas USA playmaker Nick LaBrocca. “That was No. 1. Obviously, to get it with the win (would have been better). But you’ve got to start somewhere, I guess. A shutout is huge, y’know? It’s something to definitely build on.”

Also notable: The Crew has never won at Home Depot Center – in seven attempts.


Programming note via Chivas USA Twitter:

“Reserve league game vs. Seattle Sounders postponed, and instead we’ll take on the LA Blues on Sunday morning at 11am at the HDC.”

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Former Galaxy striker and LA native Herculez Gomez scores twice for Pachuca

Hitman Herc has struck:

MEXICO CITY (AP) — American forward Herculez Gomez entered as a second-half substitute and scored his first two goals of the Clausura season in Pachuca’s 3-0 win over Chiapas on Saturday night.

Gomez came in in the 62nd minute and scored in the 70th and 78th to give Pachuca a 2-0 lead.

A member of last year’s U.S. World Cup team, he signed with Pachuca last May and scored one goal in 14 appearances during the Apertura season.

Last year, he scored 10 goals during the Clausura season and became the first American to win or share the Mexican league’s regular-season scoring title.

Tweeted Herc:

Thanks for never loosing faith. I know this is just the beginning for us. Feels great to score but it feels even better to win at home.

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Live: Columbus Crew (1-1-1) at Chivas USA (0-2-1) from Home Depot Center

Final: Chivas USA 0 Columbus Crew 0

Chivas USA is still looking for its first win under Robin Fraser, but at least got their first shutout. Baby steps.

Chivas USA improves to 0-2-2, but the scoreline is an accurate depiction of a game between two poor teams that never got started.

A brave 13,385 sat through this one.

More later.


An excellent save by a sprawling Dan Kennedy denied Eddie Gaven a goal in the 74th minute, the closest either team has come to a goal. Gaven had a nice breakaway that caught out a backpedaling Chivas USA defense, but couldn’t capitalize on the opportunity. Kennedy just got a hand to Gaven’s shot from 18 yards out and pushed the effort around the post.


After just over an hour played – we’re in the 67th minute – this half is only marginally better.

Zarek Valentin managed to get a boot to a ball and put it over the bar before Emilio Renteria, bearing down on the goal from close range, could reach it.

Chivas USA’s Jorge Flores received a yellow in the 65th minute.


It’s always a bad sign when your coach is more animated than the players on the field. Crew Coach Robert Warzycha, who has been up and down several times gesticulating over the first 45 minutes, was clearly as unimpressed with the play of his team as we were up in the press box.

This is not pretty stuff.

Allegedly each team had one shot on target.


Chivas USA’s Marcos Mondaini just got a yellow card in the 35th minute for elbowing Emilio Renteria. Maybe the most decisive move either team has made tonight in this snoozefest.


We’re 20 minutes in; nothing of any consequence has occurred. Really.


After getting their first point of the season last weekend in Toronto, Chivas USA will strive for their first win of the season in Carson tonight against the visiting Columbus Crew.

Andrew Boyens gives way on the back four for Zarek Valentin, back from U-20 duty, the only change in the starting XI for Coach Robin Fraser.

Chivas USA XI: Dan Kennedy-Ante Jazic, Heath Pearce, Zarek Valentin, Michael Lahoud-Ben Zemanski, Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores, Marcos Mondaini-Justin Braun, Alejandro Moreno.

Robbie Rogers of Rolling Hills Estates gets the start in midfield for the Crew.

Crew XI: William Hesmer-Sebastian Miranda, Julius James, Chad Marshall, Rich Balchan-Eddie Gaven, Dejan Rusmir, Kevin Burns, Robbie Rogers-Emilio Renteria, Emmanuel Ekpo

Refresh this page for updates throughout the game.

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Final: Galaxy at D.C. United

D.C. United 1 Galaxy 1

i-0f6a3f3aa007334e9f414ec791e933d2-juniondax.jpgMidfield battlers: D.C. United’s Dax McCarty pursues Juninho Saturday in the nation’s capital (AP Photo).

A blatant Charlie Davies dive in the game’s waning moments that allowed him to score from the penalty spot denied the Galaxy (2-1-2) a deserved road win Saturday, the spot kick negating a 12th minute Mike Magee goal that had seemed sufficient for LA to secure the shutout against a 10-man D.C. United (1-2-1).

It took only the merest of touches on the arm from Omar Gonzalez to send Davies sprawling in the box and score his second MLS goal of the season from the resultant PK.

The Galaxy protested to no avail and ended the game clearly frustrated, substitute Jovan Kirovski getting a red card at the final whistle for something he said to the referee.

The Landon Donovan-less LA (he stayed back in Southern California with what’s being described as a bruised knee) had appeared in firm control of the game and United didn’t really start to exert much pressure offensively until the final 25 minutes.

The oft-maligned Magee’s goal came from a David Beckham corner kick, a near post flick with his head producing the game’s opener, three United defenders left in his wake at the set piece.

Beckham picked up yet another yellow card – a league-leading fourth – for an ill-advised tackle from behind and will miss a game should he receive a fifth. And yeah, he should have got a red.

Next for the Galaxy: at Toronto Wednesday.

More later.


*Here are the game basics.

*Here’s the perspective from the Washington Post and be sure and take the poll on Charlie ‘diver” Davies and the spot kick call. Good to see (presumably) readers of a predominantly D.C. United blog calling BS on the ref’s decision judging by the results.

Watch the highlights below and you decide whether the PK call was legit – or (essentially) another Charlie Davies lie:

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