Friday Kicks: Galaxy’s Leonardo returns, Boyens on DL & more

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The Galaxy’s David Beckham holds the Olympic torch today during a ceremony to mark the arrival of the Olympic flame to Britain from Greece. Good to see he’s preparing for a game against the Galaxy’s biggest rivals Saturday with his usual (ahem) diligence and respect for MLS and fans (AP Photo).

In other soccer news today:

*Galaxy Brazilian center back Leonardo has come off the disabled list, while former Chivas USA center back Andrew Boyens has gone on it, the club reported today.

That means Leonardo is eligible for action in Saturday’s derby against Chivas USA, while Boyens, who will undergo sports hernia surgery next week, must miss a minimum of six MLS games. He’s made two error-riddled appearances for the Galaxy this season after joining the team from the Goats.

Leonardo, 24, returned to training last month and played 45 minutes of the club’s reserve game against San Jose last week before he was replaced at half time by Boyens.

Leonardo signed a permanent deal with MLS in February after spending the last two seasons on loan at the club. He has made 17 starts for the club, including the first seven games of 2011, which seemed to include a major error in every game, before injuring his right knee.

*The June 12 U.S. World Cup qualifier won’t be on free TV. Blame money-grubbing Guatemala:

HOBOKEN, N.J. (AP) — The United States’ World Cup qualifier at Guatemala on June 12 will be shown on pay-per-view over the objection of the U.S. Soccer Federation.

Traffic Sports USA purchased the rights from the Federacion Nacional de Futbol de Guatemala and announced an agreement Friday with Integrated Sports Media to distribute the match in the U.S.

It will have a suggested retail price of $29.95 and will be available on iN Demand,
DIRECTV, DISH Network and Avail-TVN.

FIFA gives home teams rights to World Cup qualifiers. The Americans’ home qualifiers against Antigua and Barbuda on June 8 and Jamaica on Sept. 11 will be televised by ESPN2.

USSF spokesman Neil Buethe says “the pay-per-view route is definitely not our preference.”

*I guess they won’t find new investors for the LA Sol after all; the Women’s Professional Soccer league folded today after three seasons. Does anyone really care? Here’s more from the Associated Press:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The WPS had canceled the 2012 season in January, at the time hoping to return next year.

“We sincerely regret having to take this course of action,” T. Fitz Johnson, owner of the
Atlanta Beat and chairman of the board of governors, said in a statement today.

The league’s predecessor, WUSA, also lasted only three seasons, burning through more than $100 million in investments in the euphoric aftermath of the U.S. victory at the 1999 World Cup.

American fans again watched the Women’s World Cup in large numbers last summer, but it wasn’t enough to save the WPS.

The 2012 WPS season was scrapped amid a legal dispute with ousted owner Dan Borislow of the magicJack South Florida franchise. WPS said Friday it had reached a confidential out-of-court settlement with Borislow, who sued the league last summer.

Striker Abby Wambach Tweeted Friday: “The greatest accomplishments usually come after the biggest let downs. Never give up.”

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group columnist and blogger Nick Green writes about soccer at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Joseph D’Hippolito

    “Striker Abby Wambach Tweeted Friday: ‘The greatest accomplishments usually come after the biggest let downs. Never give up.’”

    You learned that from Hope Solo, the teammate you tried to destroy in China five years ago, right, Plowhorse?