Angeleno composed MLS on NBC Sports network “rock orchestra” theme music

Philadelphia and Colorado kickoff at 1 p.m. today in the second NBC Sports Network MLS telecast.

The theme music was composed by 32-year-old West LA resident Cody Westheimer.

Westheimer, who said he is an avid runner/cyclist and triathleye and composed the Tour de France theme for Verses (the former name of the rebranded NBC Sports Network) is also a newfound soccer fan.

“I do like soccer, and have just started to follow the LA Galaxy – the defending champs!” he said via email. “I played as a kid, but who knows….maybe it will become my next obsession.”

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White out: Chivas USA falls to 0-2 against the Vancouver Whitecaps

Chivas USA 0 Vancouver Whitecaps 1

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Chivas USA’s James Riley largely held Vancouver Whitecaps’ Sebastian Le Toux in check Saturday at Home Depot Center, but couldn’t prevent the Goats from sliding to 0-2 on the young MLS season (AP Photo).

Chivas USA had almost 60 percent of the possession in the first half. In the second half they dominated with nearly 71 percent of the ball. It wasn’t good enough.

The visiting Vancouver Whitecaps made Canadian soccer history and prevailed on the road for the first time ever against an MLS team, 1-0.

Chivas USA simply lacked virtually any attacking ideas in the final third, a lack of confidence — or a lack of talent – contributing to see another game inexorably ebb away.

Game story

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Chivas USA Saturday Gameday

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It is absolutely filthy weather here in the South Bay this morning and although the rain may taper off during the day it looks to me like a soggy cold evening is in store for those willing to brave the elements at Home Depot Center tonight for the meeting between Chivas USA and the Vancouver Whitcaps (live 7:30 p.m. KDOC).

A fellow reporter with MediaNews’ Los Angeles News Group told me a source within the Chivas USA organization told him the club was going to pad the club’s attendance tonight by distributing 5,000 (!) tickets to kids. It will be interesting to see how many of their mom’s let ‘em out tonight in this weather.

Which reminds me: true Goats fanatics take note that the Chivas USA reserve team game scheduled for Sunday morning against UC Riverside has been pushed back until 1:30 p.m. on Field 5, so sleep late and eat your oatmeal before venturing out.

On the field the experienced Chivas USA pair of Alejandro Moreno and Juan Pablo Angel will sip hot soup in a suite while missing the game through injury, while the 1-0 Whitecaps come into the game sensing an opportunity to win on the road against a 0-1 club still struggling to maintain their confidence after sucumbing late on last weekend in their home opener.

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Your weekend Southern California soccer weather forecast

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It is still officially winter – and fans who plan to brave the elements for Saturday’s Chivas USA-Vancouver Whitecaps match or Sunday’s Galaxy-D.C. United encounter will know it.

So bundle up if you plan on heading to Home Depot Center for the games because baby, it’s gonna be blustery and c-c-c-cold outside:

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A cold late-season winter storm will reach the Southland this weekend, bringing rain, high surf, strong winds and snow to lower elevations.

The storm’s cold front will approach the Central Coast tonight, then sweep across the
southwestern tier of the state, generating “widespread precipitation” for around six hours Saturday and creating “the possibility of thunderstorms with small hail,” according to
the National Weather Service.

“Behind the front, there will continue to be the threat of additional showers and snow showers over the region into Sunday” as cold and unstable air engulfs the area, said an advisory.

The storm is projected to produce between three-quarter of an inch and 1.5 inches of rain, although between 1.5 and three inches is possible in the foothills and mountains, NWS forecasters said.

The snow level will be at between 5,000 and 6,000 feet tonight and Saturday but drop to around 3,000 feet Saturday night into Sunday, according to the weather service. Between 10 and 16 inches of snow are expected to accumulate above 6,000 feet, it said.

But “snowfall will be possible down to 2,500 feet in heavier showers, which would include the Santa Monica Mountains and Antelope Valley. Dangerous winter weather conditions can be expected to affect mountain roadways … into Sunday morning,” the NWS said.

The storm, resulting from an upper-level low-pressure system, will be accompanied by stiff winds. Gusts of up to 60 mph are possible in the mountains.

“Heavy snow, gusty winds, low visibilities in blowing snow, and icy roads are possible, making for dangerous travel conditions,” said an NWS advisory.

A winter storm watch — denoting the potential for an accumulation of snow, sleet or ice — will be in effect in mountain areas from late tonight through Sunday morning.

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Galaxy announce MLS-record 10-year, $44 million jersey sponsorship extension

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Galaxy Coach Bruce Area and Anshutz Entertainment Group Chief Executive Officer Tim Leiweke annoint Herbalife Chief Executive Officer Michael Johnson as the Galaxy’s new No. 10 at a press conference near Torrance today (Photo by Staff Photographer Robert Casillas).

The six-year Galaxy-Herbalife sponsorship deal will now extend through 2022, bringing in an MLS-record $44 million to the MLS club.

No wonder Tim Leiweke said today he expects the Galaxy to break even this year after wallowing in the red in 2011 as they invested in the DP likes of Robbie Keane atop the not inconsiderable salaries of Landon Donovan and David Beckham.

“Our goal is to be a break-even organization and that’s probably where we’re headed,” Leiweke said. “We’re not an organization that’s about trying to make as much money and trying to distribute as much money as we can. We tend to put our money right back into the club.

“We continue to put huge resources into Chris Klein and his (youth) academy, we continue to put a fair amount of resources into our training facility and we continue to spend more money in the league than anybody on designated players. What all that does is it allows us to continue that spending spree we’ve been on here.

“The Galaxy has to lead the pack and right now we have great respect for Seattle — they do a much better job on ticket sales than we do — and they have more capacity. They do a better job of season ticket sales — so do another half dozen clubs in the league. So we’ve fallen by the wayside on season tickets so what (new Galaxy head honcho) Chris McGowan and his team will do is make that a higher priority. We need to have a season ticket base for this team of 10,000 people and we need to be in a position where we don’t need to sell single tickets every game.

“We’re at the top of every revenue stream in Major League Soccer with the exception of a couple and one of them is season tickets. We need to be at the top because we do spend more than any other club in the league, so it’s a high priority. We weren’t dealing with it the right way and we brought in some fresh blood and experienced veterans who understand this marketplace.”

Whew! And I think I only asked one question (well, OK, maybe two).

For more on today’s news conference, check out my news — not sports story, folks — here.

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Poll: What should the Galaxy do about its glaring weakness in central defense?

Take the poll:

How should the Galaxy solve its gaping hole at center back left by the injury to Omar Gonzalez?
Sign an experienced defender to fill the position as soon as possible
Stick with the youngsters Coach Bruce Arena drafted; they just need time to adjust to the pro game
Fill the position with another experienced player on the roster, perhaps Sean Franklin?
  
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Leave a comment

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Galaxy, winless in three games to start season, seeks answers – fast

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It’s surely too early to describe the Galaxy, without a win in three games to begin the defense of their MLS crown and having crashed out of the hemisphere’s most prestigious club competition to a franchise that often resembles the Chivas USA of Canada, as a team in crisis.

But it is undeniable that with the foundation of the Galaxy’s success – its customarily rock-solid defense – shipping seven goals in just three games, something must be done before even the more forgiving MLS season prematurely slips away.

Arena hasn’t wanted to blame the season-ending knee injury to central defender Omar Gonzalez – the 2011 MLS Defender of the Year – for the Galaxy’s futility so far. But it’s apparent to everyone that his absence has affected the team more than Arena has so far publicly admitted.

Arena quite rightly pointed out after Tuesday’s game that there was plenty of culprits out there for the loss, the second consecutive one at Home Depot Center, a fortress for the club last year.

“We played poorly in both boxes and that was the difference in the game,” he said. “We didn’t get the job done at both ends of the field.

“Tonight we actually played very well,” he added. “It’s ridiculous we went down a goal at half time. We were dominant in the first half, had a couple of chances, didn’t covert. … It’s a couple of plays that made a difference. We should have scored goals tonight.

“Somebody told me that Toronto had two shots tonight. I don’t think our goalkeeper made a save tonight.”

But teams are now beginning to focus on the weak link in the Galaxy back four — rookie Tommy Meyer — as Toronto Coach Aron Winter conceded last night. And the Galaxy don’t want to put themselves in the position of attempting to outscore their opponents to compensate, despite the undoubted firepower of their front six. That’s a dangerous strategy as Ruud Gullit discovered back in 2008.

To be fair, the Galaxy have looked sluggish in virtually every facet of their game so far in 2012, as both players and Arena have readily acknowledged.

“We’re definitely lacking a bit of bite right now as a team,” said veteran midfielder Mike Magee. “We can’t point fingers at forwards for not finishing, at defenders for not kicking the ball away from the goal, in the midfield we’re a bit slow — we’re second to balls — it’s across the board.

“We needed something to be lit under us because we’re second to every ball and we’re second in every game,” he added. “We’re not panicking first of all. We’ll be all right. It’s just that we had high hopes in this competition. Last year I don’t think we had two many let downs all year. We’ve played three games and all of a sudden we’re without a win. We’re left scratching our heads.”

David Beckham’s free kicks have gone awry on an unusually large number of occasions, failing to even breach the wall and give attackers an opportunity to put the ball away from a threatening set piece.

Usually consistent performers such as Juninho and Sean Franklin have looked tired or out of sorts.

And Robbie Keane has been uncharacteristically hesitant in front of goal – Wednesday’s performance was possibly the worst of his brief Galaxy career so far – and he was similarly reticent to explain his performance to this reporter and slipped away during the mixed zone Tuesday saying he was in a “bad mood” and didn’t want to talk.

“He’s like a lot of athletes in different sports – he’s lost a little confidence because he’s had some chances these past three games,” Arena said. “You lose your confidence. He’s got to get it back real quick. He’s had his chances. He has to turn it back around.”

And Keane has to meet his shortcomings head on, too, which seemingly wasn’t the case Wednesday.

But the spotlight is certainly shining brightest on the back four and rookie Tommy Meyer, whose mistakes Wednesday night led to both Toronto goals.

“We got blown up in the back,” Arena said. “Certainly didn’t do a good job of marking on the first goal or the second goal. Period. What can you say: there’s a few plays we’ve got to get better defensively (on) in the penalty area.

“(Meyer) got caught on a couple of plays,” Arena added. “He’s an inexperienced player and got burned on a few of them. He’s got to a little bit better, he’s got to learn from it.”

Arena, a coach who has always demonstrated loyalty to his players and managed to bring out qualities in even the most pedestrian of players others don’t see, isn’t ready to give up on Meyer yet.

He conceded it was a “possibility” that a more experienced player – it doesn’t appear that Arena regards former Chivas USA defender Andrew Boyens as anything more than a stopgap reserve – could be brought in.

But it seems far more likely than Arena won’t give up on his draft pick investment yet.

“These games will be our experience,” he said. “We’ve played with a lot of young players the last couple of years and took our lumps doing that. Maybe we have to take our lumps a little more before we get better in those positions.”

But to do that experienced players have to step up and do their part to compensate and that has yet to happen, said playmaker Landon Donovan.

“We always knew losing Omar was going to hurt, but we’ve not done a good enough job of covering up for it,” he said. “We have guys capable of making the plays that we need to make.

“We haven’t had much time in practice the last couple of weeks and it’s pretty clear where the problems are and we need to work on them.”

The Galaxy have three days to get to work before facing D.C. United Sunday at Home Depot Center. A.J. DeLaGarza knows the pair must gel quickly or what is a long season could appear even longer before it has barely started.

“Me and (Meyer) both need to do a better job of marking in the box,” he said. “They had two goals today you can blame on us just not marking. It’s unacceptable. We haven’t played together that much — it’s going to take some time.”

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What do you think? Should the Galaxy trade for an experienced central defender? Or should fans continue to put faith in Arena’s excellent judgment so far when it comes to grooming promising young players? Let me know in the comment section below.

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