New Order: Madchester meets Hollywood as City face Galaxy in Carson

i-b2f8c68c313ac30ad894635a75fa4aa1-manciniarena.jpgPoker faces: Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena insists it’s his counterpart, Manchester City’s Roberto Mancini, left, who holds all the cards today as the teams meet at Home Depot Center in Carson (AP Photo).

Manchester City plays the final game of its U.S. tour at 1 p.m. today (live ESPN) against the Galaxy at Home Depot Center.


*This tour, for Manchester City, involved at least one day at the beach.

*Have your picture taken at today’s game with the FA Cup.

*Here’s Mancini on want away striker Carlos Tevez.

I plan to live blog the game so join me later for updates from Home Depot Center.


*Here’s the latest on the Tevez transfer saga.

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Braun impersonates British bus, Chivas USA unwinds Dynamo

Chivas USA 3 Houston Dynamo 0

i-66ec1b7311cb186b8786277ff2d9f0cd-brauncongrats.jpgThree and out: Chivas USA striker Justin Braun is subbed out by Coach Robin Fraser with just three minutes left after scoring three goals in a game for the second time this season in Saturday’s win over Houston (Photo by Getty Images).

Goals by Justin Braun this season are like British buses; you don’t see one for ages, then three come along all at once.

Staff Writer Phil Collin has the game story.

This was the sort of game that can potentially mark a turning point in a club’s season, as Fraser seemed to sense after the game.


We’re very excited, not only because of the result but the way we were able to play tonight,” Fraser said. “I thought that once we started connecting a bit at midfield in the first half then, I think you can see our confidence grow. As we started to get a little bit more confident, we gained more and more possession and we were able to turn those possessions into decent chances.

“At the end of the day, some of the goals were really good in terms of good service, great runs by Justin and very good finishing. For us it was a good night, and more so than just winning, we were able to play with confidence, which is something we’ve talked about in this team, and when we do play with confidence, we are a decent team.”

Houston Coach Dominic Kinnear had the opposite reaction:

“We didn’t play good. I’m not going to mistake any excuses. … When you don’t play good you lose more games than you win, so we deserve what we got.”

“(We’re going to) try and forget this as soon as possible, but realize the mistakes that we made.”

Notable: Francisco “Panchito” Mendoza tied Jonny Bornstein’s all-time Chivas USA appearance record when he made his 123rd appearance for the club as a 78th minute substitute.


Next for Chivas USA: At Dallas Sunday as the Goats start their longest road trip of the year.

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Saturday Soccer: Manchester City beach day, Equality Night & more

i-c47c11e94b33c2695ed028e1ed6e577c-beachdaysmall.jpgManchester City players staked out their place in the sun Friday in Long Beach playing beach soccer games and other activities with kids from East LA (Photo courtesy MUFC).

*Before Manchester City plays the Galaxy Sunday at Home Depot Center (tickets, starting at $30, are still available for the 1 p.m. game that’s also live on ESPN) they hosted kids from the East Los Angeles Boys & Girls Club to a day on the beach Friday.

Players (I’ll let you ID those in the photo above) posed for photos, signed autographs and, of course, played beach soccer.

*Read more on the club’s U.S. tour – media access has been extremely limited with all practices closed to the press at the club’s website.

City are also playing the PDL Ventura County Fusion, which lost last night to Argentina’s Independiente at Oxnard College, in a scrimmage as I write this.

*Chivas USA, winners of just one game in their last seven, take on the Houston Dynamo, unbeaten in their last four games, tonight at 7:30 at Home Depot Center.

Here’s the MLS game preview

Tonight marks an MLS first with Chivas USA, in their continuing search for new fans, hosting the first-ever Equality Night recognizing the local gay community.

The acclaimed Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles, which promotes civil rights, tolerance and acceptance though music will sing the national anthem before tonight’s game.

A ticket special is on offer for the game.

Goalkeeper Dan Kennedy has recorded a PSA for the event.


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Want to have your picture taken Sunday with the FA Cup in Carson?

i-717a937ec90bdb8ccb54099961aafed7-FA Cup.jpgThe glittering Football Association Challenge Cup – yup, that’s its full name – was displayed at the British Consulate in San Francisco earlier this month (AP Photo).

You can when holders Manchester City play the Galaxy at 1 p.m. at Home Depot Center (live on ESPN).

Tickets, starting at $30, are still available.

The knockout FA Cup, where minnows were pitted against giants beginning in the third round and the tournament built to its day-long televised finale a la the Super Bowl, was a much-loved and prestigious sporting event when I was growing up in England, unlike the lightly-regarded U.S. Open Cup here.

It’s Victorian Era beginnings – it began in 1871 – and reputation for unlikely giant-killing moments (Hereford United and Ronny Radford anyone?) gave the tournament an air of nostalgia and romance.

The 1923 “white horse” final (the first at Wembley), the epic 1953 Stanley Matthews final and classics like Chelsea-Leeds United in 1971 on that bog of a pitch are an integral part of the competition’s lore.

And the indelible images of any post-final celebration always included the iconic trophy being held aloft by the captain and its lid atop the Man of the Match’s head.

From the Football Association website:

The original trophy, much smaller than the present one, was made by Messrs Martin, Hall & Co. and cost 20. In 1895, after Aston Villa had won the competition, the cup was stolen from the window of a firm of football outfitters in Birmingham where it had been placed on display. It was never recovered.

The present trophy, played for since 1992, is the competition’s fourth and an exact replica of the third. Manchester United have won the Cup the most times (11), followed by Arsenal (10) and Tottenham Hotspur (eight). Forty-two different clubs have won it.

But never by Norwich City – not that I’m bitter (ahem).

From the Galaxy press release:

Fans at Sunday’s game will be able to have their photo taken with the actual FA Cup that Manchester City won last year, as well as the Supporters’ Shield which the Galaxy won in 2010 for having the best regular season record in MLS. Additionally, fans will have the chance to enter to win an authentic Galaxy or Manchester City jersey from Sunday’s game, simply by having their photo taken with either of the trophies inside the Southwest entrance of the stadium.

It’s free.

City beat Stoke City 1-0 to win the cup.

Now Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson is describing his club’s closest rival as being among the favorites for the EPL title.

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Friday Football: Galaxy’s Beckham rules out move back to EPL & more

*David Beckham’s affection for Manchester United won’t allow him to play for Tottenham Hotspur or any other EPL team once his MLS contract ends.

*Chivas USA fans are still waiting for the club to make any sort of movement in the transfer market, but Saturday night’s opponent in Carson, the Houston Dynamo, have been busy and could showcase a new face at Home Depot Center. The game kicks off at 7:30 p.m. (live on FSN)

*Speaking of Chivas USA, former coach Martin Vasquez has resurfaced with Real Salt Lake (so-to-speak).

*Will Brazil be ready for the 2014 World Cup? Yes, insists the government:

BRASILIA, Brazil (AP) — Brazil’s sports minister says the construction and renovation work on the 12 stadiums scheduled to host matches at the World Cup will be concluded by late

Orlando Silva said Thursday in a conference call that 10 of the stadiums will host matches for the 2013 Confederations Cup, a test event for soccer’s showcase tournament.

Silva says Brazil will invest $14 billion in airports, urban transportation, ports and stadiums for the World Cup.

*Los Angeles native and former Galaxy striker Herculez Gomez makes his Tecos debut at Toluca as the new Mexican league season kicks off tonight at 6 o’clock on Galavision.

*In other games of note this weekend:

Manchester United plays the Chicago Fire at 2 p.m. Saturday on ESPN2 fresh from putting seven goals past the Seattle Sounders in a game that will be played in wilting heat:

“We’ve come from the nice, cool atmosphere in Seattle to a furnace,” United Manager Sir Alex Ferguson told the Associated Press today. “I think I’ll just stay in the hotel.”

Dallas is at New York at 3 p.m. Saturday on Galavision

Everton takes on D.C. United at 4:30 p.m. Saturday on Fox Soccer Channel

At noon Sunday Monarcas visits Tijuana as the Xolos make their top division debut on KAZA.

At 1 p.m. Sunday Manchester City plays the Galaxy at Home Depot Center on ESPN.

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No Tevez for Galaxy fans Sunday, but he remains a Manchester City player – for now

i-bc81b65db0eb7b262ac6ec8fbab8b501-mufcgalaxynewsconf.jpgFrom left, Manchester City Manager Roberto Mancini, Manchester City player Gareth Barry, Galaxy striker Juan Pablo Angel and Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena attend a news conference today in Marina Del Rey to promote Sunday’s World Football Challenge game between the two teams at Home Depot Center (AP Photo).

From the obligatory World Football Challenge news conference today at the Ritz-Carlton:

MARINA DEL REY (AP) – Manchester City Manager Roberto Mancini considers Carlos Tevez an important member of his squad despite the Argentina striker’s uncertain future with the club.

Tevez has expressed a desire to leave the English Premier League club after
two seasons in order to be near his family in South America. He remains with Manchester
City after an agreement on a move to Corinthians was unable to be worked out.

“At the moment, Carlos is still a City player,” Mancini said. “In the future, we will see what
can happen. For us, Carlos is an important player.”

Mancini said he has yet to speak with Tevez but respects the captain’s wish to play closer to his family. The Manchester City manager said the uncertainty isn’t affecting the way he is preparing for the season.

“Carlos wants to leave for his family,” Mancini said. “Only because of this the, club accepts
it. I think it’s because we respect his reason.”

Tevez appeared to be on his way to Corinthians until the proposed move fell through this week. The transfer would have reunited Tevez with his former club, but Corinthians said they needed more time to arrange a deal.

Tevez has been a stabilizing force up front in his time with City, scoring 43 goals in Premiership play over the past two campaigns. He had 20 goals last season in helping
Manchester City qualify for the Champions League.

While his departure would be a blow to Manchester City, the club is exploring avenues of
improving its squad through the acquisition of multiple players, according to Mancini, who
wouldn’t mention specific names.

The club has been linked to highly sought-after striker Sergio Aguero of Atletico Madrid. But Mancini cautioned that the competitive market doesn’t make it easy to sign players of Aguero’s caliber.

“It’s difficult to buy good players because all the good teams want these players,” Mancini
said. “I hope before the game against United, we can add players.”

Manchester City has been training in the United States in preparation of its season opener
against Manchester United in the FA Community Shield on Aug. 7.

Manchester City will play the third game of its preseason tour Sunday against the Galaxy. Already Manchester City has defeated Club America and the Vancouver Whitecaps on its trip.

“The games have been good for what we need at this stage of preseason,” midfielder Gareth Barry said. “The one on Sunday will probably be the toughest test. But we’re where we want to be.”

Tevez has been absent from the U.S. tour while playing for Argentina in Copa America. Barry said his teammates remain relatively unaffected by the uncertainty surrounding the star striker.

“Obviously, there are a few conversations about it. But the lads are just trying to get fit and enjoy the games,” Barry said. “For the players, there’s nothing really you can do anything about.”

Here’s how Brit Chris Birchall, the Galaxy midfielder, is approaching the game against a club that dwarfs those he played for in England.

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Live: Columbus Crew (7-5-7) at Galaxy (10-2-9) at Home Depot Center

Final: Galaxy 1 Columbus Crew 0

Columbus were more effective in the second half out-shooting the Galaxy 6-5, but it didn’t matter.

The win makes it 13 games without a loss now for the Galaxy, who were last defeated in Dallas on May 1 and are unbeaten against Eastern Conference teams (they’ve now played them all). This is the 10th longest unbeaten streak in MLS history.

David Beckham got a yellow card for delaying the game on a free kick in stoppage time and is now suspended for one game. Whitecaps fans won’t get to see him in Vancouver on July 30.

The Galaxy have opened up a four point lead atop the Western Conference with the victory. It’s their 11th shutout of the season, too.

The Galaxy finished with 16 corners in case you were wondering, three shy of tying the league record.

A crowd of 24,709 witnessed this one.

More later.


i-91dbb5e07859d2b281bbb2861fe96662-rogersfranklin.jpgCarson tango: The Galaxy’s Sean Franklin and the Crew’s Robbie Rogers get tangled up in Carson (AP Photo).

Sean Franklin broke the deadlock in the 70th minute getting over the ball and keeping it down with a lovely 25 -yard strike with the side of his foot, saving us from another potential scoreless draw. He got a deflection, but still it was a well taken opportunity after David Beckham had a rather tame free kick blocked.

It was Franklin’s first MLS goal; he scored in the CONCACAF Champions League last year.


If it’s goals you want you should have been watching Manchester United play the Seattle Sounders tonight; United won 7-0 with Wayne Rooney getting a hat trick – and he didn’t come on until halftime.


The Galaxy have now had 14 corner kicks and we’re in the 63rd minute so there’s plenty of time to break the MLS record of 19 corner kicks set by New York against Kansas City way back in 1999. New York lost that game, by the way, 2-1.


JPA almost scored in the 55th minute getting in a low, darting header that almost caught out Will Hesmer after Gregg Berhalter had flicked on another David Beckham corner.


I don’t think we’ve seen a more dominant performance by the Galaxy in a half this season than the one we saw here tonight.

Not that Columbus put up much resistance – the only two whiffs of goal they had came from two Robbie Rogers shots, one from long range, the other from an acute angle.

But the Galaxy had nine corners (the Crew had one), won virtually every ball in midfield and often dispossessed the Crew rather easily.

Given all that plus eight shots at goal – two on target, just like the Crew – the Galaxy probably should have made a dent on the scoreboard though.


A lovely run by Landon Donovan that began in his own half on the half hour mark and included sending red-faced rookie Eric Gehrig spinning to the ground was finished far too casually by Juan Pablo Angel with a shot he dinked past the far post.


Given too much space, the Crew’s Robbie Rogers hit a cracking 35-yard shot in the 23rd minute that Galaxy goalkeeper Josh Saunders initially had trouble holding.


Galaxy defender Gregg Berhalter received a deserved yellow card for a scissors-like tackle on Bernardo Anor in the 16th minute, right in front of the referee.


In case you were wondering Galaxy striker Chad Barrett is out with a knee strain; defender Omar Gonzalez is on the bench despite a broken nose.


The Crew’s lone striker, Andres Mendoza, who scored on his first-ever goal for Columbus against LA at the HDC last September, has come out of the game in the fourth minute with an injury. Tommy Heinemann replaces him.


The Galaxy has announced a two-year sponsorship agreement with Farmers Insurance, which includes giving away free tickets to 4,000 fans tonight, which should pad the attendance for a weekday game (as will $10 tickets in the various fan group sections and the scattering of fans in the inexpensive grass berm seating that also went on sale for the game).

It’s a busy night in MLS with no fewer than five games being played, which are rather strangely competing with international friendlies for fan and media attention, too.

Here in Carson, the rash of Galaxy injuries (and the suspension of Chris Birchall) means veteran Jovan Kirovski has received his first start of the season in midfield. Sean Franklin has been restored to the defense despite being listed as questionable with a hamstring strain and A.J. DeLaGarza returns too, partnering with Gregg Berhalter in the middle.

Here’s the Galaxy XI: Josh Saunders-Sean Franklin, A.J. DeLaGarza, Gregg Berhalter-Todd Dunivant, Jovan Kirovski, David Beckham, Juninho, Landon Donovan-Juan Pablo Angel, Miguel Lopez.

There’s no room on the gameday roster for the scorer of the lone Galaxy goal against Real Madrid, Adam Cristman, however.

On the bench is the likes of teenager Jack McBean, being named to the Galaxy bench for an MLS game for the first time ever, while Michael Stephens and Mike Magee are other options.

Columbus has Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers in midfield.

The game has just started and is live on Prime.

Refresh this page for updates throughout the game.

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Wednesday Galaxy Gameday Kicks: FSC adds Wambach WPS game to schedule Wednesday & more

*Staff Writer Phil Collin has the Galaxy-Columbus Crew game preview. The game is live at 7:30 p.m. on Prime from Home Depot Center.


Click here for $10 tickets to the game.

*In the wake of the ratings success of the World Cup final, Los Angeles-based Fox Soccer Channel has added to its schedule tonight’s WPS game between Abby Wambach’s magicJack and the Western New York Flash, which is based in the Hermosa Beach resident’s home town of Rochester.

The game kicks off at 4:30 p.m.

And the game could break the WPS attendance record held by the now defunct LA Sol:

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Abby Wambach is coming home to an anticipated full house in Rochester in the U.S. women’s soccer star’s first game since a World Cup final loss to Japan last weekend.

The Sahlen’s Stadium ticket office reported Tuesday morning that there are about 100 tickets left for the Women’s Professional Soccer league game Wednesday night between Wambach’s magicJack and the Western New York Flash. The downtown Rochester stadium’s capacity is 13,500, though temporary bleachers have been added that would boost the total to about 15,000.

The draw has the potential to be record-setting in the WPS’ three-year history. The league’s attendance record stands at 14,832, set in the WPS’ first game in 2009 at Los Angeles. Second on the list is a crowd of 8,076 that turned out in Rochester in May to watch Wambach make her first trip home this season in a 3-0 loss to the expansion Flash, who are led by Brazilian star Marta.

The 31-year-old Wambach is from suburban Pittsford. The first 1,000 fans will receive Wambach bobbleheads.

*The Camarillo Eagles won a record fourth U-23 national championship.

*The Loyola Marymount University women’s program has added a Dutch international to the squad.

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Tuesday’s Column: Men’s game could learn from the women

i-1daf3aa223a37d47ac909d167d06f8de-abbyWCfinal.jpgHead scratcher: Abby Wambach and the rest of the U.S. women’s team were left to rue what could have been after Sunday’s World Cup final loss to Japan (AP Photo).

You could talk about the jillion wasted first half chances the U.S. women missed in the first half of a World Cup final they would eventually lose to Japan.

You could talk about the coaching wisdom of having defensive players (Shannon Boxx?) step up first for the penalty kicks rather than strikers to put the pressure on the opponent in a pressure-filled situation.

You could talk about the fact the rest of the world has made significant progress in the women’s game while the U.S. has in large measure appeared to tread water.

You could, but I chose not to in today’s column.

For me the Women’s World Cup was a welcome breath of fresh air in comparison to some of the men’s games I’ve seen recently (and don’t even get me started on the disappointing showings of the likes of Brazil and Argentina at Copa America).

Read the column here.

Look ahead to next year’s Olympics and the prospects for the USWNT here

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