U.S. Open Cup Galaxy & Chivas USA Gameday


The U.S. Open Cup, the American version of the storied FA Cup, makes its annual appearance Tuesday night with the 3-8-2 Galaxy in action on the other side of the country against the minor league 0-4-5 Carolina Railhawks (there’s a couple of records to set pulses racing) and Chivas USA closer to home in Ventura County to play the PDL Fusion in a 7 p.m. game at Ventura College.

Travis Bowen, younger brother of Chivas USA’s Tristan – who watched the Fusion game Saturday – scored a second-half hat trick as the Fusion recorded their fifth consecutive victory Saturday with a 4-1 win against the Southern California Seahorses, incidentally.

You can stream the Galaxy game here at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

Here’s a video preview:

No column from me today due to the Memorial Day holiday and I’m going to enjoy a little staycation the next few days, so expect minimal blogging.

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Torrance’s Shannon Boxx is three-time Olympian


South High product Shannon Boxx s one of four U.S. players named to the squad for the games in London this summer who will have played in three or more Olympics.

Boxx, who went the full 90 in a 4-1 U.S. win over China Sunday, is one of several Southern California players on the roster.

That list also includes scoring sensation Alex Morgan (Diamond Bar), who collected two goals against China to up her total to 24 in just 39 international appearances; Hermosa Beach resident Abby Wambach, who scored the 135th goal of her U.S. career Sunday; UCLA product Sydney Leroux, 22, the youngest member of the squad; and forward Amy Rodriguez (USC).

Palos Verdes Estates’ Christen Press, currently playing professionally in Scandanavia, was named as an alternate. She has not made an appearance for the U.S.

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Agudelo scores first goal for Chivas USA against Seattle in drab 1-1 tie


Chivas USA 1 Sounders 1

The goal was the distinguishing feature of an otherwise tame game between two unimpressive teams in front of 12, 280 at Home Depot Center.

Staff Writer Phil Collin sat through this one and filed this report.

Still, Chivas USA are unbeaten in their last four and looking more stable with Danny Califf in the heart of the back four and dangerou with Agudelo’s initiative up front, as former Galaxy and current Sounders coach Sigi Schmid observed:

“They are an improved team. Obviously Califf gives them a veteran influence in the back, gives them a little bit of steel in the back. Agudelo is obviously the future and hopes. He’s a talented kid that wasn’t getting enough time in New York, so now he’s getting an opportunity to play. The more games he plays the better he’ll become. I think those two additions have infused their club, and they are playing with a little more confidence.”

MLS Standings.

Next for Chivas USA: Ventura County Fusion Tuesday in a third round U.S. Open Cup game set for 7 p.m. at Ventura College.

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Southern California soccer writer Grahame L. Jones wins U.S. Soccer honor

Recently retired Grahame L. Jones, one of the pioneering and authoratative soccer voices in this country, was named the U.S. Soccer Colin Jose Media Award winner for 2012.

Here are the details:

CHICAGO: (AP) — Soccer writer Grahame L. Jones has won the Colin Jose Media Award from the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

The longtime Los Angeles Times reporter will be honored during the hall’s induction ceremonies before the United States plays Brazil in an exhibition Wednesday in Landover, Md.

In his 38 years on the soccer beat at the Times, Jones covered 12 men’s or women’s World Cups, the North American Soccer League, Major League Soccer, two European Championships, one Copa America and four Olympic tournaments.

The award has been given out since 2004 and is named for Colin Jose, Historian Emeritus of the National Soccer Hall of Fame.

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Video: Galaxy’s Donovan scores hat trick as U.S. demolishes Scotland

United States 5 Scotland 1


Dominant Donovan: The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, seen here sailing by a flailing Scott Brown, proved yet again why he is the greatest goalscorer this country has ever seen (AP Photo).

This was an exhilarating display of attacking soccer by a rampant U.S. who were up by two within 10 minutes and won in a canter against an typically brittle Scottish team.

The Galaxy’s Landon “I’m so bored with soccer” (or something like that) Donovan showed what he can do when interested and motivated, rising to the occasion magnificently with a succession of goals fans of his club team can only fantasize about him performing in their colors. He now has 49 for his national team.

The best goal, however, was scored by Michael Bradley, looking confident and composed after a season in Italy’s Serie A, a half volley of delectable timing and precision.

They’re all worth watching:

Small gripe: The “Where’s Waldo” look of the U.S. jerseys has to go especially if we can’t see the numbers on the back of the players’ shirts (which rather defeats the purpose).

Next: Brazil on Wednesday.

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Friday kicks: Chivas USA’s Agudelo cut from U.S. WCQ Roster & more

Good news for Chivas USA, perhaps, if they had wanted Juan Agudelo to settle in with the team as quickly as possible after his trade from New York.

Now he will have ample opportunity to do so with the lengthy MLS hiatus because of the international fixtures helping, too, after Chivas USA’s Saturday game against Seattle at Home Depot Center.

The 19-year-old returned from a week in Florida with the U.S. team and is practicing this morning in Carson with Chivas USA.

And look which club team can claim the most U.S. internationals.

Here’s more on the U.S. roster announced today ahead of Saturday’s game against Scotland in Florida, which have seen advance ticket sales of 36,000 so far:

KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) — Forward Juan Agudelo, defender Alfredo Morales and midfielders Danny Williams and Graham Zusi were cut Friday as U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann picked his 23-man roster for upcoming exhibition games and World Cup qualifiers.

The moves leave the U.S. with seven defenders, seven midfielders and six forwards for their five matches.

“We have chosen the 23 players who are in the best form right now and ready to get the job done,” Klinsmann said. “These guys have put in a tremendous amount of hard work in the last 10 days, and they are hungry to get started with the matches.”

Corona is the only player on the roster for the first time. He scored four goals in qualifying as the U.S. under-23 team failed to make the London Olympics.

Five players are from Major League Soccer. Four each are based in Germany and Mexico, three in England, two each in Scotland and Denmark, one apiece in Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.

The Americans have exhibitions against Scotland on Saturday at Jacksonville, Fla., Brazil on Wednesday at Landover, Md., and Canada on June 3 at Toronto. Seeking their seventh straight World Cup berth, the Americans open qualifying on June 8 against Antigua and Barbuda at Tampa, Fla., then play at Guatemala on June 12.

The roster:

Goalkeepers: Brad Guzan (Aston Villa, England), Tim Howard (Everton, England), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake);

Defenders: Carlos Bocanegra (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Geoff Cameron (Houston), Edgar Castillo (Tijuana, Mexico), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover, Germany), Clarence Goodson (Brondby, Denmark), Oguchi Onyewu (Sporting Lisbon, Portugal), Michael Parkhurst (Nordsjaelland, Denmark)

Midfielders: Kyle Beckerman (Salt Lake), Michael Bradley (Chievo Verona, Italy), Joe Corona (Tijuana, Mexico), Maurice Edu (Glasgow Rangers, Scotland), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim, Germany), Jermaine Jones (Schalke, Germany), Jose Torres (Pachuca, Mexico)

Forwards: Jozy Altidore (AZ Alkmaar, Netherlands), Terrence Boyd (Borussia Dortmund, Germany), Clint Dempsey (Fulham, England), Landon Donovan (Galaxy), Herculez Gomez (Santos Laguna, Mexico), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose)

Incidentally, Glasgow Rangers defender Carlos Bocanegra – I almost wrote former Rangers player and that may not be too far off – gives us a little insight to living in Scotland ahead of the game via this video from U.S. Soccer:

Bocanegra is seen as one of the keys to the game in this video preview from MLS:

*It appears that in Seattle, ahead of Saturday’s game against Chivas USA, fans and critics are asking the same questions of the Sounders supporters and reporters are asking down here of the Galaxy.

In fact, if you replace the references to Seattle with the word “Galaxy” in this Seattle Times story from this morning the similarities are downright eerie.

*Finally, U.S. Soccer announced this morning that it has sold out 18,500-capacity PPL Park, home of the Philadelphia Union, for Sunday’s 4 p.m. USWNT game against China
The game will not be televised.

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England to honor Beckham’s 100-plus cap international career June 2


Only happy when it rains?: Don’t call him Garbage; David Beckham’s England career will be honored next month in Blighty (AP Photo).

The recognition comes as the Galaxy and the rest of MLS is on an international break, so at least David Beckham won’t miss any MLS games, although maybe he will play in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup game back in Carolina before heading across the pond. Hey, it’s sorta on the way.

Here’s more from AP Sports Writer Rob Harris:

LONDON (AP) — David Beckham’s England career will be honored at the team’s final European Championship warmup match, with the former captain receiving an award from the continent’s governing body for players who have at least 100 international appearances.

The 37-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, who made the last of his 115 appearances for England in 2009, will receive a commemorative cap and medal at halftime of the June 2 exhibition against Belgium at Wembley, the English Football Association told The Associated Press.

The award will also be presented to 1966 World Cup-winning forward Bobby Charlton, who played 106 times for England, and retired goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who made a record 125 appearances.

Family members of 1966 World Cup captain Bobby Moore and Billy Wright, a defender in the 1940s and ’50s, will receive the award from FA chairman David Bernstein.

The ceremony was introduced by Michel Platini, the president of the Union of European Football Associations, to celebrate players who have played in at least 100 national team games.

Despite never winning any honors with England, Beckham established himself as the biggest star English soccer has produced.

“Throughout my career I’ve been pretty successful,” Beckham said last week. “I’ve played for some pretty big teams. I’ve played for my country quite a few times and for managers without sentiment … I’m very proud of the fact and I have always found it an honor that people want to buy my shirt, that fans turn up to watch the team I am playing in or to see myself. I’ve always found that a huge honor.”

After beginning his career at Manchester United in 1992, Beckham made his England debut against Moldova in September 1996.

The low point of his international career came at his first World Cup, in 1998, when he was sent off for petulantly kicking out at Argentine midfielder Diego Simeone. Some England fans hung effigies of Beckham after the second-round loss.

Beckham managed to bounce back and his injury-time goal on a free kick against Greece clinched a World Cup berth. He then captained the team at the 2002 World Cup under coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.

Beckham tearfully relinquished the England captaincy after the 2006 tournament, when England reached the quarterfinals for the second straight time. He was then dropped from the squad by new coach Steve McClaren, but was restored in the ultimately unsuccessful 2008 European Championship qualifying campaign.

Beckham’s international career survived initially in 2010 World Cup qualifying under McClaren’s replacement, Fabio Capello, who coached him at Real Madrid.

But Beckham was injured three months before the World Cup in South Africa and went only in a non-playing role as an unofficial coach.

Despite returning to fitness after the tournament, Beckham was dismissed by Capello as being too old for a role in team, meaning that his appearance as a second-half substitute against Belarus in October 2009 earned him his 115th and last international cap.

Beckham’s focus now is securing a spot in Britain’s soccer team at the London Olympics.

He has been included in coach Stuart Pearce’s 80-man shortlist that will be whittled down to 18 shortly to form Britain’s first Olympic squad since 1960. If chosen, he would be one of the three players over age 23 allowed on each roster


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European soccer outdraws NHL, horse racing on U.S. network TV in key demographic groups


And by that read younger viewers, those most prized by advertisers since they represent the future.

It’s always interesting to put TV ratings for soccer in a broader context with other more established American sports.

So why don’t American newspaper editors and producers of sports television shows devote more attention to soccer in line with its ratings than they do?

Beats me. And yet they wonder why newspaper readership and the number of eyeballs glued to TV are steadily eroding.

Here are the details via the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — Chelsea’s penalty-kicks win over Bayern Munich in last weekend’s Champions League final had a 1.1 rating and 3 share, according to final ratings from Nielsen Media Research, down from 2011 but up over 2010.

Chelsea’s 4-3 shootout victory following a 1-1 tie was seen by 2 million viewers, Nielsen said Thursday, with the audience rising to 2.4 million from 5-5:30 p.m. EDT.

Among men 18-34, the Champions League final averaged a 1.6, between the 0.8 for the New York Rangers’ 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils in the NHL playoffs on NBC and the 1.8 for San Antonio’s 96-86 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA playoffs on ABC. The Preakness on NBC had a 0.6 among men 18-34.

Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Manchester United last year, a game involving teams with bigger U.S. followings, had a 1.4 rating and 4 share, and was watched by 2.6 million.

Inter Milan’s 2-0 win over Bayern in 2010, involving teams more comparable to this year’s
finalists, received a 1.0 rating and 3 share, and was seen by 1.6 million viewers. That was the first Champions League final televised by a U.S. over-the-air network.

The Los Angeles-based Fox Soccer cable channel said it averaged 185,000 viewers for its 118 live Premier League telecasts this season, about the same as 184,000 for 112 matches in 2010-11.

Fox averaged 54,000 for its 96 live Serie A broadcasts this year from Italy and 53,000 for its four Ligue 1 showings from France. Its one live Scottish Premier League match, between Glasgow Celtic and Rangers, had 86,000 viewers.

Among individual English clubs, Manchester United averaged 266,000 viewers for 20 live games, Manchester City 218,000 for 22, Arsenal 215,000 for 16, Liverpool 208,000 for 11, Chelsea 194,000 for 21 and Tottenham 185,000 for 18.

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Game-winner Gordon reacts to scoring against former club Galaxy

The goal that gave the San Jose Earthquakes a road win Wednesday night in Carson against California rivals the Galaxy came deep into second half stoppage time and was Alan “Supersub” Gordon’s third consecutive late goal for the team to salvage at least a point and, in this case, a road win.

Considering Gordon played the better part of a half dozen seasons or so for the Galaxy before being traded to Chivas USA, you could be forgiven for thinking the goal held some special significance.

Not so, said the Long Beach native after the game:

“It feels amazing. I don’t have any grudge against LA or anything. It doesn’t feel anymore better here than somewhere else. We want points, we got points, we feel good right now.

Was it a lucky bounce?

“Of course. Forwards get lucky. I got lucky. I don’t care. I put it in. End of story. Period.

I was just following up the play,” he said earlier in the interview. “There was a little bit of hesitation on their part. … The ball bounced. They hesitated. I didn’t. I finished it.

Read more about Wednesday’s MLS action in the previous post

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