Friday Kicks: Galaxy’s Stephens, Chivas USA’s Villafaa, UCLA’s Rowe named to U-23 team camp roster & more

Clearing up a few odds and ends before the weekend (that would have posted hours sooner had our soon-to-be-replaced blogging software not freaked out):

*Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens, Chivas USA’s Jorge Villafaa (formerly Flores) and UCLA midfielder Kelyn Rowe were named today to the U-23 camp set for Sunday through Jan. 25 at Carson’s Home Depot Center and in Costa Rica. All but four of the 22-player roster, including Rowe, were in the December U-23 camp in Florida. Full roster, camp details here.

*The increasingly unimportant MLS Combine, a precursor to the increasingly unimportant MLS Draft, is under way in Florida.

There are several Southern California-based players involved from the likes of UCLA and Cal State Northridge. The complete roster of combine participants is here. You can watch the combine here.

*Chivas USA President Jose Domene tweeted this morning that a new player signing was imminent.

The club has also released four players who won’t be missed: starting midfielder midfielder Marcos Mondaini; defender Michael Umana, a second time wash-out in MLS after featuring for Steve Sampson’s Galaxy back in 2005; striker and noted braggart Victor Estupin, who boasted he would score 25-plus MLS goals and ended up with one; and third choice goalkeeper Sergio Arias.

*Former Chivas USA coach Thomas Rongen has joined Toronto as Academy director, the club announced today.

*Toronto also announced today that tickets for the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal against the Galaxy will go on sale next Friday. Tickets start at $29. Anyone making the trek from LA?

*Hermosa Beach native Dan Tobias has joined the South Bay Force as director of coaching for the club’s girls program. The Mira Costa High grad and was a two-time PAC-10 Coach of the Year at the University of Arizona during a seven-year tenure at the school.

*Glasgow Rangers manager Ally McCoist said the club turned down an inadequate offer from French club Sochaux for midfielder Maurice Edu of Fontana.

McCoist was quoted by the Associated Press as saying the bid, which he didn’t disclose, “was so far away that I would be very surprised if they came back in.”

Sochaux is already home to American forward Charlie Davies, who spent last year on loan with D.C. United.

“I can tell you that I want Maurice Edu to sign a new contract rather than go anywhere,” McCoist said.

*There’s yet more on the scandals involving FIFA and CONCACAF today:

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA says former vice president Jack Warner peddled “inaccuracies and falsehoods” when he claimed last month that he got World Cup television rights for $1 in exchange for supporting Sepp Blatter’s presidential campaigns.

FIFA confirms that Warner received Caribbean broadcasting rights for $1, though from 1986 and not — as Warner claimed — from 1998 when Blatter was first electe d.

FIFA says the deals had “nothing to do” with Blatter’s election campaigns.

FIFA says World Cup rights were often sold until 1998 for nominal sums to maximize coverage in developing nations, and provide soccer bodies with extra revenue from selling on rights to broadcasters.

The governing body says Warner was expected to raise money for the Caribbean Football Union.

*Finally, if you only watch one game this weekend, I recommend the Manchester derby in the FA Cup third round that’s set to air locally at 5 a.m. Sunday on Fox Soccer.

Enjoy what is shaping up to be another stunning winter weekend in Southern California.

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