Thursday Kicks: U.S. schedules friendly in Mexico & more


*U.S. Soccer has scheduled an Aug. 15 exhibition game against Mexico at Estadio Azteca in Mexico City, the first friendly between the two nations south of the border since 1984.

“Mexico has proven to be one of the top teams in the world in the moment, so for us this is a huge opportunity,” said U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann. “The U.S. and Mexico have a very special rivalry, and the chance to be challenged in an environment like Estadio Azteca in Mexico City will be another important experience for the development of our players.”

The game is a designated FIFA fixture date, which means the U.S. should have its top players available in an effort to beat Mexico for the first time ever on its own soil. The U.S. record in Mexico: 0-23-1.

*In other local, yet internationally-oriented soccer news, Zachary DeVille, a sophomore forward from San Diego who made nine appearances for Cal State Northridge last season, is spending his summer with Team Guam in a series of international matches in the Philippines in preparation for the East Asian Football Championships in July.

*The new Pac-12 network means 58 live televised soccer games from the conference are on tap later this year, brinding unprecedented visibility to college soccer. The USC women’s program, for instance, will have nine games on TV, five at home and four on the road.

“It’s really exciting to see that our sport and our conference will be on TV for all to see this season,” USC head coach Ali Khosroshahin. “It’s an opportunity for our athletes to get exposure, so we can really show the strength of our programs and the Pac-12 as a whole.”

The UCLA men’s program will have a dozen games televised on the new channel.

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Lightning strikes as the Galaxy win on the road, Chivas USA at home on same night


Before Wednesday night, the Galaxy had won just once on the road, Chivas USA just once at home. By the end of it the respective clubs had doubled those totals.

The Galaxy clawed back from the two-goal deficit they were down within just 30 minutes to score three unanswered goals and defeat the best team in MLS at their own stadium.

Meanwhile, Chivas USA welcomed former midfield enforcer Jesse Marsch and his expansion Montreal Impact to Home Depot Center for the first-time ever and scored two goals there for the first time this season to win 2-1 on a late 82nd minute goal by veteran Juan Pablo Angel.

Before Galaxy fans get carried away with two consecutive wins for the first time this season, it should be pointed out that calamitous RSL defensive errors were to blame for their first two goals and while the third was old-school Donovan of a few years ago the defense didn’t cover itself with glory in that instance either.

Nor does Chivas USA’s unprecedented home goal outburst exactly signal the awakening of a mighty attacking force from its slumber either; the club needed a goal scoring angel late on and got it in Angel, whose positioning and sense of timing remain of Premier League quality.

Coach Robin Fraser’s substitutions looked inspired given the role Angel and Jorge Villafana played in the winning goal, but the team remains in need of more consistent offensive threats.

Net result: Both teams got much-needed confidence-building wins and accumulated sorely-needed points in an unlikely fashion.

Our sister newspaper, The Salt Lake Tribune, has the story of the Galaxy win from the other locker room.



The other side:

Next for the Galaxy Saturday at Home Depot Center: the Vancouver Whitecaps, who drew 1-1 tonight with New York.


Staff Writer Phil Collin was at Home Depot Center to watch Chivas USA win and filed this report.

The dismal attendance incidentally: 10,376.


*Said Chivas USA coach Robin Fraser:

“You really can’t say enough about the three subs who came in. Jorge and Juan [Pablo ngel] combined for the goal and then Pete had some very intelligent minutes down the stretch. So overall it’s a performance that we feel certainly good about. We always feel like things could be better but certainly it was a performance and a result that we are happy with.”

*Montreal coach Jesse Marsch:

“For me, it’s a game that we 100% shouldn’t lose. We made critical mistakes, we’ve talked about dealing with set pieces and dealing with crosses, and that’s what hurt us. But for the most part, I felt like that game was under control. I thought we had that under control, and it was going to be a tie, or a win down the stretch. This is what we’re still trying to learn, because we’ve had a lot of games that look like this this year. We feel like we were good enough on the day to get a result, and we wind up somehow giving it away.”


Twitter Reaction:

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Wednesday MLS Gameday: Galaxy on the road in Utah tonight, Chivas USA meets a familiar face in Carson


Galaxy stylin’: Looking good off the field in their new Macy’s manwear, stinkin’ things upon it, despite last weekend’s rare win. From left, this is Todd Dunivant, Juninho and Mike Magee, incidentally.(Photo courtesy LA Galaxy).

What would you rather do this evening?

Journey to Carson to watch Chivas USA, which seemingly can’t win at home, play expansion Montreal, now coached by former Goat guy Jesse Marsch (also live at 7:30 p.m. on Prime Ticket)?

Or stay home and watch the Galaxy, which seemingly can’t win anywhere, despite last weekend’s rare home win, get creamed on the road by MLS’ best team — Real Salt Lake — live at 6 p.m. on KDOC and KWHY.

And yeah, I know some of you are saying neither, but Euro 2012 is taking a brief break today before the quarterfinals begin Thursday.

The two MLS games are among a half dozen on tap today.

Staff Writer Phil Collin takes a look at the challenges facing Chivas USA (losers to RSL last weekend remember) and the Galaxy in his piece today.

Here’s the RSL perspective:

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Weekly Column: Rooney makes his Euro 2012 entrance for England*



England Expects: Striker Wayne Rooney, seen here watching the game against Sweden, makes his much-anticipated England debut today at Euro 2012 (Associated Press Photo).

You could hardly call Wayne Rooney fashionably late to Euro 2012.

Truth is, most England fans are just relieved the their nation is still in with a chance at the tournament while awaiting Rooney’s return from suspension.

Could Rooney stamp his mark (um, poor choice of words, you know what I mean) on the tournament just as the quarterfinals begin and spark an England run deep into the later rounds? Or not.

We’ll find out beginning today.

For more, read today’s column on Rooney and Euro 2012.



Wayne’s tournament? Wayne Rooney made his first appearance at Euro 2012 today and promptly scored the game’s lone goal in a 1-0 England win over Ukraine (AP Photo).

I’m not sure whether England won the game as much as Ukraine lost it, but with the country meeting Italy in the quarterfinals of Euro 2012 Sunday I very much doubt that many of my fellow England fans are complaining.

And it was the returning Wayne Rooney who made the difference in exploiting a goalkeeping error to seal the victory.

Good thing goal line technology isn’t yet in place though (if you’re an England fan).

Game story here.

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A Special Father’s Day Shutout for LA’s Saunders as Galaxy finally win

Galaxy 1 Portland Timbers 0

It was a game the Galaxy needed to win to win at home for their self-belief, against a struggling oppponent after a lengthy period of enforced reflection. And they duly did.

*Staff Writer Phil Collin explains the significance of the win for goalkeeper Josh Saunders – for more than one reason.

No one is throwing any parties yet:

Still, doesn’t this look better?

Next for the Galaxy: at Real Salt Lake Wednesday, then back home Saturday in Carson to face the Vancouver Whitecaps.

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Sunday Soccer: Galaxy host Portland Timbers in Carson


Portland Timbers (3-5-4) at Galaxy (3-8-2).

The game kicks off live at 4 p.m. on KDOC and KWHY. Gameday info here.

When the Galaxy needed a boost earlier this seaon they faced the Portland Timbers in Carson and duly got the tonic they needed.

The same is true of today’s game, too, and the possible return of starting goalkeeper Josh Saunders could be the difference for the Galaxy, as beat writer Phil Collin reports.

Here’s more from the Galaxy:

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Saturday Soccer: Chivas USA hosts MLS leaders Real Salt Lake in Carson & more


While we await the start of Euro 2012 for the day and the beginning of the final games of the group stage (games will take place at exactly the same time to ensure no hanky panky occurs), this weekend also marks the resumption of MLS play after a three-week break.

Both local teams are in action over the next two days at Home Depot Center with Chivas USA up first tonight against league leaders Real Salt Lake. Soccer beat writer Phil Collin brings us up to speed with the Goats ahead of the clash and reminds us of the shock upset when these two teams met earlier this season.

Sister paper The Salt Lake Tribune has the Utah perspective.

The 7:30 p.m. game is live on Prime Ticket in English and KWHY Channel 22 in Spanish.

Oh, and there’s Mexican wrestling before the game.

Here’s more from the Chivas USA camp:

Real Salt Lake filed this video report ahead of the game:

Also today, the U.S. Women’s National Team beat Sweden, 3-1. Here’s the second U.S. goal scored by Alex Morgan of Diamond Bar:

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Galaxy’s Keane, Ireland dumped out of Euro 2012


Irish eyes ain’t smiling: A glum Robbie Keane ponders Ireland’s epic Euro 2012 failure and looks forward to returning to MLS (ahem) at the conclusion of today’s Spanish spanking (AP Photo).


Spain scored four goals, the Irish none.

Spain had 20 shots on target, Ireland had four.

Spain looks likely to advance to the quarterfinals, Ireland became the first nation eliminated from Euro 2012.

How dominant were Spain? This is from the Republic of Ireland official website:

Spain, the reigning European and World champions, showed their undoubted class by inflicting a heavy defeat on Ireland in the EURO 2012 tie in Gdansk.

Spain ensured that skill was the ultimate arbiter as they coped with ease with all of the energy, determination and spirit that Ireland could muster on a night when the world order as it affects Ireland was illustrated with stark reality.

Ireland surrendered a goal within four minutes of the start of the game to leave themselves at a huge disadvantage, just as they had done in their previous game against Croatia. And, in a remarkable re-run of that first match, Ireland lost a second goal just four minutes after the interval.

These goals effectively put the result beyond doubt but, in truth, this was never a contest. While Ireland showed all of their traditional qualities and were still running hard at the end of 90 minutes, they were always involved in a damage limitation exercise. Spain were just too good and worked so hard that Ireland were held as if in a vice.

Match report here.

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Croatia tops Euro 2012 group with tie against Italy


Euro stunner: Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic, center, scores his side’s equalizer in a 1-1 tie with Italy today in a Euro 2012 Group C game Poznan, Poland (AP Photo).


Who would have predicted Croatia would top Euro 2012 Group C after two games (even if the nation has played a game more than world champions Spain, who face Ireland in 15 minutes or so).

Aside from a few optimistic San Pedro Croats few others I suspect, but nevertheless that’s the case after Croatia tied 1-1 today with Italy.

Croatia’s Mario Mandzukic now has three goals in two Euro 2012 games, while Italy has to beat Ireland Monday to assure themselves of advancing.

Croatia play Spain Monday in their third and final group game.

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