Seattle Sounders seek to lift Galaxy “hex”

i-455067535e3914451c1cc51ab5980da3-soundersgroupshot.jpgGoalkeeper Kasey Keller leads the Sounders into Home Depot Center Monday in a 7:30 p.m. Independence Day game against the Galaxy (Photo by Getty Images).

One of the last chances for Southern California soccer fans to pay tribute to long-time national team mainstay Kasey Keller, who will retire from MLS at season’s end, comes Monday when the Sounders face the Galaxy in Carson. Here’s a preview of the game, which usually sells out and will feature one of the largest fireworks display in the area afterwards:

TUKWILA, Wash. (AP) — Through two decades of world-class goalkeeping, Kasey Keller has put up some world-class statistics. But through two-plus seasons in Major League Soccer, the stats for Keller and the Seattle Sounders when facing the Galaxy haven’t been nearly as good.

In fact, Seattle is just 1-5-1 — regular season and playoffs — against the Galaxy in their
three seasons in existence. Seattle has dropped five straight heading into a July 4 showdown in Carson.

Small wonder that Keller and the rest of the Sounders figure they’ll have plenty of added
incentive in the nationally televised game between two of the top three teams in MLS. Los
Angeles is 9-2-8 for a league-leading 35 points; Seattle is 8-4-7 with 31 points, tied with
Dallas for the second-best total.

“There should be a little bit (of extra motivation) there. They’ve had our number the last few years,” Keller said. “They’re a good team, lots of experience, and we’re going to have our work cut out for us. Hopefully, we’re in good form, and we’re very confident going down there.

“And like I said, we owe them one.”

Seattle has been among the leading teams in MLS since joining in 2009. It has qualified for the playoffs both years, and has won back-to-back U.S. Open Cups.

But after taking four of a possible six points in ’09 — a 1-1 tie in Seattle, and a 2-0 win in
Carson — the Sounders have gone 0-5-0 against the Galaxy, and have been outscored by their Southern California rivals 11-2. That includes a 3-1 rout last July 4 in Carson, two losses in last year’s first round of the playoffs and a 1-0 defeat at Seattle in this year’s season-opener.

“I think the guys know what the results have been against L.A., and that we haven’t had good results lately,” head coach Sigi Schmid said. “It’s another proving ground for us. They’re a team that plays with a little bit of a swagger and has some confidence. I think we’re starting to get some of that. We just have to go down there and play well.”

Added defender James Riley, “For us, we have to take chances when we get them. We always create chances against them. We’ve just been unfortunate not to stick ‘em in.”

Many around MLS might fully have expected the Galaxy to bring the league’s top record into the game. Very few would have expected the Sounders to bring the second-best mark.

Even fewer would have expected it after both of the Sounders’ early-season scoring leaders were lost to injury. Midfielder Steve Zakuani had two goals and two assists before suffering a broken leg on April 22 at Colorado. Forward O’Brian White also had two goals and two assists before he was lost just five days later to surgery for a blood clot in his leg.

In their absence, the Sounders have become a team by committee: 24 players have seen action, 21 have started, and 13 have scored goals.

“Like we’ve always said, it says Sounders on all of our uniforms, and that means guys have to be capable of playing, and that’s why they’re here,” Schmid said. “Different guys have stepped up.”

Keller is counting on more of the same come Monday, in part because of the 1 vs. 2 factor, but in larger part because of who is on the other side of the field.

“At this point of the season, it’s not necessarily the end-all, be-all,” Keller said. “(But)
we’d love to go down there and close that gap against them. We need to go down there and show the same kind of heart and determination that we’ve shown the last several weeks. And if we do that, we give ourselves a great chance.”

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Gold Cup ratings & more

The Gold Cup may not have done much for the reputation of the USMNT program, but it did wonders for broadcasters.

Los Angeles-based Fox Soccer Channel drew the largest audience in its history – 954,000 viewers – for the Mexico-U.S. final.

From FSC:

“(That’s) by far a new Fox Soccer record and the most-watched soccer match on English language cable television since the 2010 World Cup. The telecast more than doubles Fox Soccer’s previous record of 418,000 viewers for this year’s Chelsea vs. Liverpool “Game Before the Game” pre-Super Bowl telecast on Feb. 6 2011.

“US-Mexico delivered a 1.43 household coverage area rating, becoming the first FOX Soccer telecast in the network’s history to break a 1.0. The 1.43 nearly doubles FOX Soccer’s previous record HH rating of 0.77 for the 2009 Gold Cup final between the same two countries.

Spanish-language network Univision similarly did well with its 10.8 million viewers who tuned in to all or part of the broadcast making it the No. 1-ranked program the entire day in any language and in key demographic groups. It was the top-ranked program in LA Saturday, too.

*The Wednesday, Aug. 3 Galaxy game against the Timbers in Portland has been picked up for national broadcast by ESPN2 and will now kickoff at 7:30 p.m. rather than 8 p.m.

*Want to see the Galaxy’s third jersey, which the team will wear for the first time Monday, when its unveiled Friday at a party at Staples Center? It will cost you $75 to attend (not including a ticket to the game).

Order tickets here.

*Chivas USA closed practice to the media today and will do so again on Thursday. A cynic might suggest they’re learning new ways to lose after three consecutive losses, so I won’t do that. Chivas USA hosts the Chicago Fire Saturday at home Depot Center, a game that will be followed by a “Fireworks Fiesta.”

*The Chicago Fire today waived waived rookie midfielder Davis Paul of Upland, who played just 45 minutes this season – against the Galaxy April 17 in Chicago.

*The U.S. Under-17 team will play Germany in the quarterfinals of the World Cup in Mexico at 1 p.m. Thursday live on ESPNU.

*Finally, former USC striker Amy Rodriguez is playing in the World Cup – and planning her wedding at the same time. Good thing there’s lots of down time between games.

Watch:

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Bruin Lauren Cheney scores “pure joy” at World Cup

i-bc4c6f514a013683ecce508ec685640c-cheney.jpgNorth Korea’s Kim Su Gyong, left, and United States’ Lauren Cheney battle for the ball Tuesday during their nations’ World Cup opener.

Associated Press Writer Nancy Armour has more on the late blooming Bruin and her World Cup dream:

HEIDELBERG, Germany (AP) — When 11-year-old Lauren Cheney and her teammates went to watch the United States play Nigeria at the 1999 World Cup, they brought along playbooks so they could write down what they would do when it was their turn on soccer’s biggest stage.

Hard to imagine they drew it up any better than what Cheney did Tuesday.

Cheney scored in her first World Cup appearance, giving the United States its first goal of the tournament and turning what had been an uncomfortably tight game into the kind of confident and creative performance that has made the U.S. the world’s most dominant team the last two decades. With their 2-0 victory over North Korea, the Americans are atop Group C and could book a spot in the quarterfinals as early as Saturday.

“This is what we live to do,” Cheney said Wednesday. “We play because of this tournament, because of this stage.”

A latecomer to the U.S. national team — she started with the U-20 team instead of working her way up through the youth squads as so many players do — Cheney’s big break came in 2008. After helping the Americans qualify for the Beijing Olympics, the Indianapolis native was named an alternate.

Then in the last game before the U.S. left for Beijing, Abby Wambach broke her leg.

“I actually wouldn’t watch the game. I would listen to it, but I didn’t want to watch
completely because I was still a little torn,” Cheney said. “But my dad was watching and he said, ‘Oh my gosh, Lauren, Abby just got hurt. It’s bad.’ ‘I said, ‘Oh, she’s dramatic. She’s fine, totally fine.’”

Ten minutes later, Cheney’s phone rang. It was Wambach, calling from the ambulance to say Cheney needed to start packing.

“She said she knew that I could do it. And that I deserved it,” Cheney said. “To have Abby tell me she thought I belonged there, it made me feel comfortable going in.”

Her role in Beijing would be much different than she was used to, however. At UCLA, she was a star. She had led the Pac-10 in points and goals as a freshman, and finished second in voting for the Hermann Trophy — soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman — as a sophomore. Her name was a given in the starting lineup, and everyone knew she’d be getting the ball.

In Beijing, Cheney would be a role player. NBC wouldn’t be doing a sappy, pre-game feature on her. She’d be coming off the bench — if she got in a game at all.

“The ’08 experience, it humbled me completely,” Cheney said. “I wasn’t going to be star, I
wasn’t going to be even remotely close to a starter. But I could encourage everybody else. I could make them better players just by being there. That was the first time I’d ever really done that. I learned how to be a teammate instead of just playing.

“It taught me how to work even harder, too,” she added. “You want to work harder for your teammates. You want them to be the best they are when they’re starting, when they’re playing.”

The lessons Cheney learned in Beijing have stayed with her, even as she’s become an
increasingly important part of the U.S. team. Though she occasionally found herself back in the starting lineup last season as Wambach recovered from an Achilles injury, most of her appearances have come off the bench.

Rather than moping about a supporting role, Cheney relishes the education it’s given her.

“I actually embraced that role because I get to figure out what’s going on in the game first
before I go in. So when I go in, I know exactly what I need to do and how I can switch the
game,” she said. “Starting is extremely different. You have to be ready, have to have good warmup, do everything right from the beginning. Not only that, you have to figure it out on the field.”

But Cheney’s sharpness in training impressed Sundhage enough that she started the 23-year-old against North Korea. It was Cheney’s first start since March.

“It’s so important to create an environment where you’re fighting for that spot,” Sundhage
said. “It’s not been just one or two practices. Consistently, for a while, she’s been fighting
for that spot.”

Cheney was relentless in the attack, repeatedly peppering North Korean goalkeeper Hong Myong Hui. Hong managed to corral all of Cheney’s shots until the 54th minute, when Wambach sprinted up the left flank, turned a North Korean defender around with a nifty step and then served up a perfect cross that Cheney headed into the net. The goal erased the nerves the Americans had and they dominated the North Koreans the rest of the game.

It may not have been a 7-1 rout like Cheney and her friends saw back in 1999. But the
Americans were the only team in the tournament to win their opening game by more than one goal, and they easily could have tacked on another two or three.

“That feeling is surreal,” Cheney said. “To be on the field, it’s just pure joy.”

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Wednesday Kicks: No Blues for Galaxy & more

i-981dc752187daaa3ec3cea0408dc104d-griffinsmall.jpgFormer Galaxy player Leonard Griffin out jumps Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez in a U.S. Open Cup game Tuesday between the LA Blues and the MLS club at Cal State Fullerton (Photo courtesy LA Blues).

*Staff Writer Phil Collin made the trek to Orange County for the U.S. Open Cup game between the Galaxy and the minor league LA Blues and filed this game story.

*Earlier in the day the U.S. Women’s National Team opened their World Cup campaign against North Korea with Torrance’s Shannon Boxx going the full 90 and looking dominant in midfield.

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Tuesday’s column: U.S. still not a soccer nation

i-18a6c311b662ab55f453f7f8fcda586f-humbled.jpg“Empty feeling:” U.S. goalkeeper Tim Howard reacts after Saturday’s Gold Cup final defeat (AP Photo).

Soccer fans in the U.S. like to think the sport is growing and it is, incrementally.

Last year pubs and bars in LA were packed with soccer fans watching World Cup games, last week a stunning 45,000 or so showed up for a regular season MLS game in Seattle and last weekend there were more U.S. fans at a game against Mexico in Southern California than I’ve ever seen.

Yet, the Rose Bowl crowd was still overwhelmingly pro-Mexican, some MLS clubs still struggle to draw much over 10,000 on a regular basis and a lot of those fans watching the World Cup were, like me, immigrants to this country.

The U.S. is still not a soccer nation and let’s not kid ourselves into believing it is. And that affects performances and (should at least) expectations.

That’s the case I make in today’s column in the wake of the Gold Cup loss.

Read it here.

Incidentally, the U.S.-North Korea game is under way as I write this live on ESPN. It’s 0-0 as the game approaches the 25th minute mark.

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Galaxy’s Ricketts out up to six weeks with broken arm

i-1f24c88ae4cd7c57569f5457c698c1fc-donovan-ricketts.jpgDonovan Ricketts broke his left ulna – one of the two long bones in the forearm – after colliding with the Earthquakes’ Khari Stephenson in the 21st minute of Saturday’s game in San Jose.

An x-ray taken today confirmed the suspected fracture. The Jamaican international, who had just returned from Gold Cup duty, will have surgery Tuesday in Santa Monica and miss a minimum of four weeks.

Ricketts, 33, is leading MLS in goals against average, allowing just six goals in 12 games. He also has six shutouts.

Not good news for the Galaxy with the busiest weeks of the season still ahead.

Incidentally, midfielder Mike Magee was named MLS Player of the Week today for the 47 minutes he played in goal during the game after Ricketts’ replacement, Josh Saunders, was red-carded. Magee made four saves.

The Galaxy play a third round U.S. Open Cup game against the USL Pro LA Blues at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Titan Stadium in Fullerton.

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Soccer Saturday wrap: Gold Cup, Galaxy, Chivas USA

U.S. 2 Mexico 4

i-f0dd5a7591d645d9e0f35ed3194be7a4-rosebowlceleb.jpgGolden boys: Mexico celebrates their win in style Gold Cup victory that featured a dazzling display of attacking soccer the U.S. just couldn’t stay with (AP Photo).

*Staff writer Miguel Mendez has the game story.

But really you could boil it down to this comment from Tim Howard:

“We didn’t get it done – that’s what it’s about.”

The long version of pretty much the same comment from Coach Bob Bradley:

“They have some very good attacking players and I think that we do too. I think sometimes a final becomes a real test of both teams going after each other. That was the way we chose to play this game knowing that it would still require good reactions defensively to deal with those situations. In there, there are some plays where our reactions don’t end up being as good and sometimes there are some plays where at the end you give credit. Dos Santos’ fourth goal is a great piece of skill.”

Watch:

Notable: No reporter asked Bradley if he thought he deserved to stay on as coach as World Cup qualifying approaches. I’ll have more on this in Tuesday’s column.

Earthquakes 0 Galaxy 0

*Read the game story.

Notable: The Quakes out-shot the Galaxy 17-5.

*Watch:

Quotable:

“I thought that the first half was the best soccer that we have played since the team came back in 2008,” said San Jose coach Frank Yallop. “We were moving the ball well and we created a number of chances. We should have been up a couple of goals. You have to give LA credit though because they didn’t buckle. In the second half, their game plan worked and ours didn’t. We couldn’t get that goal that would have changed the game.”

Ricketts reportedly has a broken arm. That’s the sort of injury to one of the dominant goalkeepers in MLS that can see a season begin to unravel for his team.

Union 3 Chivas USA 2

Read the game story.

Quotable:

“The biggest area of improvement for us is we’ve got to stop shooting ourselves in the foot,” said Chivas USA Coach Robin Fraser. “We’ve done it game in and game out. We’re giving up way too many leads and either tying or losing games that I think we should win.”

Chivas USA lineup: Dan Kennedy, Zarek Valentin, Michael Umaa (Andrew Boyens 46), Heath Pearce, Ante Jazic, Paulo Nagamura, Ben Zemanski (Blair Gavin 76), Nick LaBrocca, Jorge Flores, Justin Braun, Marcos Mondaini (Chris Cortez 71).

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Live Gold Cup final from Pasadena: U.S.-Mexico

Final: U.S. 2 Mexico 4

i-baf0a63a6fe560e4c99ff31001cb715a-howardpain.jpgPain ‘o plenty:Tim Howard reacts after Giovani dos Santos scores Mexico’s fourth and final goal Saturday in Pasadena (AP Photo).

If this game had been the equivalent of a first date for the U.S. they wouldn’t get a second: Great first impression, but no staying power and little penetration means no consummation.

The Mexicans were simply better: Technically and in terms of their speed and execution. At the very top levels of the game the U.S. just can’t compare. There’s a reason Chicharito plays for Manchester United and Clint Dempsey Fulham.

Any time you score four goals in succession and the opponent is unable to reply that just underlines the class you possess.

More later.

Update

Sacha Kljestan has come on for Freddy Adu in the 86th minute, but this one looks all but over anyway.

***********************

Dos Santos just scored the best of the six goals in this game wriggling loose from the U.S. defense (again) in the 77th minute and sending a perfectly weighted, curling left-footed shot over the head of Eric Lichaj and into the top corner. A thing of beauty, but once again the U.S. gave the Mexicans far too much time and space in their own box.

*********************

Juan Agudelo has come in for Alejandro Bedoya up front as Bob Bradley searches for the equalizer with 25 minutes left.

*****************************

A Clint Dempsey snapshot from 18 yards out hits the bar in the 60th minute letting the capacity crowd of 93,420 know there’s life in the U.S. yet.

************************************************
Mexico is really pushing for a fourth, Dos Santos in particular giving the U.S. fits down the right flank.

The Mexican fans are in full voice now after scoring three goals without reply.

***************************

Barrera has a second for Mexico in the 50th minute, which shows patience in the penalty box to finally get the ball out wide. Barrera has plenty of time and space to put a shot past Howard at the far post.

Halftime

Dos Santos is finding plenty of room down the left and the U.S. defenders can’t keep pace with him.

Pros and cons for both teams in the opening half. Bob Bradley will have to find a way to shore up his defense, which can’t keep up with the much faster Mexicans. Bradley’s problem: the U.S. just doesn’t have EPL quality defenders.

On the plus side, the U.S. is breaching the Mexican defense with regularity, Freddy Adu in particular having the best 45 minutes of his international career so far.

Mexico had nine shots and the U.S. five in the first half. Mexico’s goalkeeper was not forced into making a save, however.

*************************

Rafa Marquez has a hamstring issue; Hector Renoso came in at the 43rd minute mark.

Michael Bradley having a terrible game — he was just dispossessed inside his own half. Mexico is finding it far too easy to penetrate a back-pedaling U.S. midfield.

******************

Guardardo picks up a deflection and somehow manages to get the ball past a sprawling Tim Howard in the 36th minute. The goal was fine – no offside as some U.S. players were pleading for. What a game.

*********************

Landon Donovan picked up a yellow in the 33rd minute.

*************

Mexico has pulled one back in the 29th minute, Barrera getting on the end of a long ball that sliced open the U.S. defense, outrunning two U.S. defenders to score past Howard. Where was Bornstein on that one?

Incidentally, Jorge Nilo came in for Carlos Salcido right before the goall was scored by Mexico.

*********************

A dream start for the U.S. Landon Donovan putting the Americans two up from eight yards out in the 23rd minute off a pass from Clint Dempsey. It was Freddy Adu that unlocked the Mexican defense though; he’s tormenting the Mexicans down the right wing.

Pretty move.

Cherundolo suffered a sprained left ankle. Bornstein is at left back now, while Lichaj moves to the right back spot.

******************

Chicharito hit the post in the 15th minute. He was offside anyway.

*************

Former Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein has come in for Steve Cherundo after just 11 minutes. Cherundolo didn’t look happy about it as he came off.

**************

Michael Bradley scored via a near-post header in the eighth minute from a Freddy Adu corner. Lovely little glancing header.

The crowd is quieter now.
Just a minute before Dos Santos just wriggled his way past the last two U.S. defenders, sending a shot wider of Tim Howard’s left post.

********

The game is under way in Pasadena. The chants of “ole” have already started as the Mexicans pass the ball around on the perfect field.

***********

i-35f61efbe849da5593bb86498af54c2d-goldcuprosebowl.jpgTempting fate? Dallan Larsen, right, and Casey Stagner wear U.S. flag costumes as they walk past Mexican soccer fans before the Gold Cup final outside the Rose Bowl (AP Photo).

Updated

The Galaxy have drawn 0-0 with the San Jose Earthquakes this afternoon in the Bay Area to stretch their unbeaten streak to 10 games.

Mike Magee – yup, that Mike Magee – got the shutout after starting goalkeeper Donovan Ricketts was injured and sub Josh Saunders got himself red-carded.

**************************

It’s hot here in Pasadena, one of those soccer games where an air-conditioned press box and free water makes for a welcome respite.

A huge round of boos from the predominantly pro-Mexico crowd as the U.S. came out to warm up a few minutes ago, followed by a huge roar as the Mexicans emerged from the tunnel a few moments later.

With 40 minutes or so until kickoff the sun-drenched crowd is really filling in.

U.S. Coach Bob Bradley has made two changes to the starting XI that faced Panama in the semifinal: Landon Donovan reclaims his starting spot from Sacha Kljestan and Freddy Adu makes his first international start in two years in place of Juan Agudelo.

The U.S. XI: 1-Tim Howard; 6-Steve Cherundolo, 21-Clarence Goodson, 3-Carlos Bocanegra (capt.), 14-Eric Lichaj; 4-Michael Bradley, 13-Jermaine Jones; 22-Alejandro Bedoya, 10-Landon Donovan, 8-Clint Dempsey, 20-Freddy Adu

Notable: Just one U.S. player was in the starting lineup in the 2009 final that saw an under-strength American side thumped by Mexico – Goodson.

The Mexico lineup is pretty much as expected with the ELP starting strike partnership of Tottenham’s dos Santos and Manchester United’s Chicharito up front and the rest of the starters unchanged from the team that beat Honduras in the semifinal.

Mexico: Alfredo Talavera; Efrain Jurez, Hector Moreno, Rafa Mrquez, Carlos Salcido; Pablo Barrera, Israel Castro, Gerardo Torrado, Andres Guardado; Giovani Dos Santos, Javier Hernndez.

The games starts at 6:10 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel and Univision.

Refresh this post for updates throughout the game.

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Golden Soccer Saturday

i-18a2b39043fdc1d167c69499e0de9590-754771671c.jpg*They’re bracing for a huge crowd for a much anticipated U.S.-Mexico Gold Cup final in Pasadena where temperatures are expected to top out at in the 80s.

Kickoff is at 6:10 p.m. incidentally, live on Fox Soccer Channel and Univision. I’ll blog live from the game.

Notable: It’s the first time in 11 years Mexico and the U.S. have faced each other in Southern California.

How long ago is that? Landon Donovan made his U.S. debut in the 2-0 U.S. win back then. He now has 135 caps, trailing only Cobi Jones (164). Donovan is the U.S. all-time leader in goals (45), assists (47) and points (137).

In case you’re wondering, Clint Dempsey now has 22, the goal against Panama pushing him past Bruce Murray and good for fifth place on the all-time U.S. goalscorers list

How much would you pay to see this game?

CONCACAF’s Chuck Blazer is expected to chat with the media before the game so I’ll have his thoughts on the recent scandals ripping through FIFA a little later.

I’m off to hydrate before heading out to the game, but first let us reflect upon the words of Fox Soccer analyst Kyle Martino on whether Coach Bob Bradley is in trouble if the U.S. puts in a poor performance:

“Yes, he is. Getting another term with a national team is a very rare thing. There were only two coaches in South Africa that were coaching the same team in the previous World Cup. After a good, but disappointing, World Cup, many were surprised to see Bradley get another shot. With the U.S. job being one of the most coveted national team positions in the world, the pressure is on for Bob to produce. Losing to Mexico on U.S. soil and missing out on the (FIFA) Confederations Cup would be an early disappointment, one that would turn the heat up on U.S. Soccer’s president, Sunil Gulati

“If you’re judging based on the performances since the World Cup, the team may have regressed a little. The U.S. has been unable to put together dominant performances against teams they should beat convincingly. With that said, this game against Mexico will be the best measuring stick to find out where the U.S. team truly stands. A good performance against a team that has the potential to go far in Brazil 2014 should instill confidence in the U.S. faithful and prove that the U.S. is in good shape.”

My prediction: Mexico 2 U.S. 1 with Chicharito getting both goals before an adoring crowd further cementing his growing reputation as one of the best strikers in the world.

Your thoughts?

*There are also two MLS games of local interest today.

The Galaxy are in San Jose to play the Earthquakes (live at 3:30 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel). Sister paper The San Jose Mercury News has the game preview.

Chivas USA are in Philadelphia to face the Union in a game that is now scheduled to kickoff at 5 p.m., 30 minutes later than originally planned (live on Prime).

Game preview here.

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MLS fines Galaxy for essentially lying about injuries

i-63a0bb19a27b8da58238ab78ed7516bd-torched.jpg Burned over Beckham: The Galaxy’s penchant for not fully disclosing injuries finally caught up with them and David Beckham, seen here holding the Olympic torch earlier this month with Lord Sebastian Coe, ahead of the 2012 London Olympics (AP Photo).

Specifically, David Beckham’s unreported back spasms that kept him out of last weekend’s game against the Colorado Rapids.

From the MLS press release:

MLS requires its clubs to submit an injury report twice a week during the regular season and those reports must be as accurate as possible. The League determined that the Galaxy deliberately omitted David Beckham’s name from their injury report despite knowing that he would miss the game because of back spasms.

MLS fined the club owned by billionaire Phil Anschutz $5,000.

That’ll teach ‘em.

Incidentally, this isn’t the first time this year the Galaxy has employed this little tactic either (Landon Donovan was the player in question) and they have done it in past years, too.

When asked about it, club officials shrug and mumble some crap about their being no specific MLS guidelines about reporting injuries and blah blah blah.

At least in this case the Galaxy got (rightly) nailed.

MLS officials probably were embarrassed by this column that appeared in sister paper The Denver Post after the game.

Or at least they should have been.

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