The Course of the Force is with the Galaxy today in Redondo Beach


In an apt sporting-charitable event, at about 5:20 p.m. today Galaxy stars Edson Buddle, Bill Gaudette and Pat Noonan will participate in the “Course of the Force” lightsaber relay in Redondo Beach.

The trio will receive a Star Wars lightsaber at the corner of Torrance Boulevard and Catalina Ave. and bring it to the day’s final tour stop at the Redondo Beach Pier.

The “Course of the Force” is an Olympic torch style relay run with a lightsaber, which is heading down the Southern California coast in the days leading up to the San Diego Comic Con.

Proceeds from the event benefit the Make-A-Wish chapters of San Diego, Greater Los Angeles and Orange County and the Inland Empire.


Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Chivas USA Saturday Gameday: Vancouver Whitecaps visit Carson


Live at 7:30 p.m. on KDOC (English), KWHY (Spanish)

This is a big game in Carson as the standings suggest and Staff Writer Phil Collin points out in his game preview even if the likely dismal attendance won’t reflect its status, which I suspect has a lot to do with Chivas USA’s performance in its rental acccommodations.

The Whitecaps, too, will remember the history they made the last time these two teams met in Southern California, something they will be inclined to repeat.

Each team will miss key offensive weapons this evening, while Chivas USA welcomes back defender Bobby Burling, an LMU product whose MLS career has now come full circle.


Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Friday Football: Galaxy buys Torrance’s Soccer City & more

*Anschutz Entertainment Group & the Galaxy have expanded their South Bay sports empire, purchasing Torrance’s South Coast Soccer City futsal facility for an undisclosed amount.

*Chivas USA today waived rookie defender Scott Gordon, who made three appearances this season for a total of 23 minutes of playing time.

*The Vancouver Whitecaps, which plays Chivas USA Saturday at Home Depot Center, have almost sold out their July 18 home game against David Beckham, according to the headline in the Vancouver Sun. Let’s hope he doesn’t somehow manage to get suspended for the game then.

*Pepperdine senior goalkeeper Roxanne Barker was named to the 2012 South African Olympic team. Barker grew up in Irvine. South Africa is making its Olympic debut.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

More refs, goal-line technology approved by FIFA

The changes represent the most sweeping technologically-based modifications the sport has ever seen. AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar has more:

ZURICH (AP) — Soccer gave its stamp of approval Thursday to goal-line technology and headscarves for female Muslim players.

Also adopted was a proposal for a five-referee system to officiate matches — placing an
additional assistant beside each goal.

The three decisions will be “long-lasting and resonate throughout the world,” said Patrick
Nelson, chief executive of the Northern Ireland association.

FIFA said it will introduce the goal-line mechanism at the seven-team Club World Cup in Japan in December, with plans to use it in Brazil at the 2013 Confederations Cup and 2014 World Cup.

“We want to make sure that the systems at the World Cup work at 150 percent, not 90 percent,” said Jerome Valcke said, secretary general for the governing body.

FIFA will use both Hawk-Eye and GoalRef systems in Japan, after they won “unanimous” support from the International Football Association Board panel, Valcke said.

The English Premier League is expected to adopt one of the systems — which are likely will cost up to $250,000 per stadium — during next season.

The ruling on headscarves reversed a ban on the Islamic hijab that’s been enforced in FIFA competitions since 2007. Soccer rules prohibit equipment that is dangerous or makes religious statements.

The IFAB gave its OK after FIFA’s medical committee decided two scarf designs do not threaten the safety of female players. The designs use quick-release velcro fasteners and magnets.

FIFA previously blocked using technology to help referees make decisions.

FIFA chief Sepp Blatter’s conversion came two years ago when he saw England denied a clear goal by midfielder Frank Lampard against Germany at the 2010 World Cup. Two days later, Blatter said FIFA must reopen the debate, though insisted it must involve only goal-line decisions. Video replay remains off limits for judgment calls, such as penalties or offside.

Blatter achieved his goal against the wishes of UEFA President Michel Platini, who opposes giving match officials any hi-tech aids. Still, Platini’s rival project which seeks to keep all technology out of decision-making also received support Thursday.

The five-referee proposal, made by European soccer’s ruling body, won IFAB approval after three years of trials in more than 1,000 matches.

That decision came just two weeks after Platini’s pet project suffered its biggest public
failure, helping eliminate co-host Ukraine at the European Championship.

A Hungarian refereeing team did not spot that a shot by Ukraine forward Marko Devic crossed the line before England defender John Terry hooked the ball clear. England won 1-0 and advanced to the quarterfinals.

Neither goal-line technology nor the five-referee system is binding on leagues or competition organizers. Both are options to choose — and pay for — once IFAB approved the principle.

Major League Soccer has said it wants to adopt goal-line systems.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Video: Galaxy’s mascot-molesting Beckham suspended additional game

Major League Soccer announced today that Galaxy midfielder David Beckham has received an additional one-game suspension for popping off verbally and physically at the end of the June 30 4-3 loss against San Jose.

He also missed last night’s game against the Union.

The league called it “confrontational and provocative behavior”; Beckham will no doubt call it as rest day since he won’t have to travel to Chicago Sunday for the Galaxy game against the Fire.

Beckham’s antics included kicking a ball at the referee, confronting opposing players and finally taking it all out on the Earthquakes’ mascot, who is apparently named Q.

“The MLS Disciplinary Committee … considered his conduct unacceptable and detrimental to the League’s public image,” a statement released today said.

You can see the whole thing above.

Meanwhile, the committee also levied undisclosed fines for public criticism of the officials to Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena and Montreal Impact Coach Jesse Marsch.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Galaxy reserve striker Cristman retires with concussion issues, injured defender Gonzalez activated in surprise move


Galaxy striker Adam Cristman has become the latest sports figure to retire because of concussion-related issues, the club announced today.

Cristman, 27, made 13 MLS appearances over two seasons for the Galaxy, scoring one goal.

“The concussions I have suffered this year have forced me to retire,” Cristman said in a statement released by the club. “While this is not the way I wanted to leave the game, I am excited for what the future holds as I transition into the next phase of my life.”

Cristman missed the first two months of the season because of a concussion suffered in a preseason game against New York.

He made his season debut as a second half substitute in the 1-1 home draw with FC Dallas April 28 and then started the following game at Seattle before suffering a second concussion in training.

The University of Virginia product also scored the Galaxy’s opening goal in their unsuccessful CONCACAF Champions League campaign against Motagua, added a goal against Seattle in the U.S. Open Cup, two more in the MLS Reserve League and one more against Real Madrid in an exhibition game.

The Washington D.C. native has also played for D.C. United, Kansas City Wizards and the New England Revolution since starting his MLS career in 2007.

In a second move Tuesday that even took some club officials by surprise, injured defender Omar Gonzalez, who played 45 minutes in a scrimmage Monday, was activated off the disabled list making him eligible to play in Wednesday’s game against the Philadelphia Union.

The move does not, however, mean the MLS 2011 Defender of the Year is likely to make an equally surprising return to first team action in the game, a club official observed.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly Column: MLS Pressure


When former New York Red Bull and Aston Villa striker Juan Pablo Angel joined the Galaxy a couple of seasons ago, he was asked to compare the pressure of playing in MLS with the English Premier League.

An uncomfortable-looking Angel didn’t say much for several long seconds as expectatant reporters looked on, then shrugged and mumbled something to the effect that you can’t compare the two.

Point taken.

But is comfortable MLS with its focus on selling tickets, building stadiums and other commercial aspects of the game finally becoming more competitive where it counts — on the field — rather than in the office of the team accountant?

Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan believes that’s the case and that’s the point behind this week’s column.

Enjoy your Independence Day holiday.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Galaxy’s Gonzalez goes 45 minutes today in scrimmage

Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez, whose absence through injury has caused, well, a giant 6-5 hole in the middle of the back four, passed his sternest rehabilitation test yet this morning, coming through a 45-minute scrimmage against Academy youngsters with no significant problems.

It was his longest outing in a game since the injury.

“I’m taking it day by day,” Gonzales said who has been back in full training with the team for just over two weeks. “I’ve been getting stronger every day. I’m having a lot of fun.

“For the most part I did well, but I wasn’t really tested,” he said of today’s scrimmage. “I didn’t have to get up for a lot of headers.

“My knee feels great. Some spots are a little tender. There’s still the overall healing process going on.”

Gonzalez is projecting a return to the first team at month’s end or the start of August.

Incidentally, Michael Stephens had a nice goal from long-range today.

I’ll have more on the Galaxy and MLS in general in Tuesday’s column.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email