Galaxy Takes Command of CONCACAF Champions League Group

Puerto Rico Islanders 0 Galaxy 0

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The Galaxy’s Edson Buddle fights for the ball with Puerto Rico Islanders’ Eddie Edward tonight during their CONCACAF Champions League soccer match in Bayamon, Puerto Rico (AP Photo).


BAYAMON, Puerto Rico (AP) — The Galaxy and Puerto Rico Islanders played to a 0-0 draw Wednesday in a CONCACAF Champions League match.

The tie left the Galaxy in the lead in Group 5 (2-0-1) play over El Salvador’s Isidro Metapan, which lies second in the group; the two clubs meet Oct. 25 in their final group game.

The Galaxy were without marquee players David Beckham and Robbie Keane, neither of whom made the trip to Puerto Rico. Neither star played last month either when the Galaxy beat the Islanders of the North American Soccer League, 4-0 in their Aug. 29 CONCACAF match in Carson.

Beckham has been sidelined nearly three weeks with a sprained ankle.

Tweeted Bryan Gaul:

Perhaps more importantly, after Chivas USA’s last-gasp loss to Columbus tonight, a Galaxy win Saturday over Toronto, the worst team in MLS, will clinch a MLS playoff spot for LA.

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Two Games Tonight have Major Implications for up for Sale Galaxy


And one of them don’t even involve the Galaxy, whose parent company, Anshutz Entertainment Group, has put itself on the block. (Incidentally, if you’re wondering what this means for the Galaxy or pointyball football returning to LA, you’re not alone).

Because if Chivas USA lose or tie tonight against Columbus, the Galaxy clinch a playoff spot with a win at home Saturday against Toronto.

A weakened Galaxy team, which handily beat the Puerto Rico Islanders previously in the CONCACAF Champions League, has the next stage of the CONCACAF Champions League in sight tonight in the return fixture.

Phil Collin has more on both games here.

Here’s more on the Galaxy’s CONCACAF Champions League campaign via the club:

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Los Angeles Soccer Salon Set for Saturday

One of the more eloquent local soccer blogs is Jennifer Doyle’s “From A Left Wing,” who approaches the sport from a seldom seen perspective.

Well, Jennifer, a fellow panelist for KPFK during the 2010 World Cup, has organized a soccer salon, an all-day celebration of soccer-related literature, film and art in Los Angeles.

The above video, for instance, featuring the incomparable commentary of former MLS coach Ray Hudson, is among the topics up for discussion and represents your homework should you choose to attend (the video is less than two minutes long).

The full event program is here.

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Weekly Column: What now for women’s pro soccer?*

*Post updated


Moving forward? U.S. striker Abby Wambach and other American players may have a harder time figuring out how to move their career ahead with few options looming over the next three years or so (Photo by Staff Photographer Sean Hiller).

Read today’s column here.


The New York Times had more on the timing o a new coach — and possible new women’s league — here.

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The Next U.S. Women’s National Team Coach?


Tom Sermanni has been mentioned as a possible successor to the departing Pia Sundhage as U.S. Women’s National team coach.

So naturally, I asked him whether he would like the job in the tunnel mixed zone after Sunday’s U.S.-Australia game at Home Depot Center:

“At the moment I’ve got a job – a good job. It’s one of those awkward questions,” he said. “Who wouldn’t be interested? … Of course I would be interested, but I’ve got a very good job at the moment.”

I’ll have more on the U.S. Women’s National Team – and women’s pro soccer – in Tuesday’s column.

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U.S. Olympic Team Victory Tour in Carson


Photo by Staff Photographer Sean Hiller

This wasn’t a game. It was an occasion.

The gold medal-winning U.S. women’s Olympic team duly beat Australia Sunday afternoon in Carson – although they had to come from behind to do it and could have been down by four goals, not one – but really the result was secondary to the event itself.

And a joyous, if hot, day it was, too, with a crowd full of moms and kids happy just to be at Home Depot Center with no pressure or expectations.

Which is also paradoxically the bane of the women’s game, a theme I will explore further in Tuesday’s column.

For now, check out the game story from Staff Writer Phil Collin and a gallery from Staff Photographer Sean Hiller here.

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U.S. Women’s National Team Olympians on Parade at Carson’s Home Depot Center today

Putting aside the elephant in the room for 90 minutes or so the gold medal-winning women’s Olympic team celebrates its performance in London at Home Depot Center at 12:30 p.m. against Australia (live on NBC).

After going through their paces at a steamy Home Depot Center in front of hundreds of fans attending a free practice session, Southern Californians on the team, native and adopted, are looking forward to the game:

Then afterward we can go back to fretting about the future of the women’s pro game in this county without a top-flight league and no significant international competitions for three years.

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Chivas USA Hits Bottom

Chivas USA 0 San Jose Earthquakes 2

Literally, as Staff Writer Phil Collin observed in his game story.

How to sum up this loss?

Assistant Coach Greg Vanney tried to provide a little context looking thought the prism of coach Robin Fraser’s ejection:

“I don’t want to speak for him but we’re all frustrated in a lot of ways,” he said. “Clearly his frustraton was where the call came from, which was a long ways away at midfield and part of his frustration is just trying to get the team going, trying to spur them on, give them something to build on, some emotion to put back in the game because it was a little bit of a deflating moment.”

At this stage of the season, the biggest surprise is that there were allegedly 11,317 brave souls inside Home Depot Center watching this one.

I don’t know whether these sort of comments are admirable for their never say die attributes or delusional:

“The good thing about it is that the (playoff) possibility is still there, we just have to pick our heads up and keep working hard,” Shalrie Joseph said. “We have a quick turn around next week in Columbus; we just have to pick our heads up and try to win the next one.”

We’ve got to keep our head up,” he added. “For some reason God’s still giving us a chance to come back. One game could change the whole outcome of our season.

“We just need to get wins, we just need to win against the right teams,” said midfielder Nick LaBrocca on Chivas USA’s playoff aspirations. “If we can get hot now then we can be in good shape.”

Alrighty then.

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Saturday Soccer: San Jose Earthquakes (16-6-5) at Chivas USA (7-12-7)


Given the predicament Chivas USA finds itself at this stage of the season and what happened the last time these two mismatched teams met, if you were the Goats FO how would you sell this game to fans?

How about this (an actual line from the club game notes): “Chivas come into the game needing every point they can take if they are to stay alive in the playoff chase.”

Um, yeah.

Our sister newspaper The San Jose Mercury News has a more realistic game preview.

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Galaxy’s Willy Whacks Rapids on Debut

Galaxy 2 Colorado Rapids 0

There was a lovely opening goal with excellent interplay between Robbie Keane, Landon Donovan and Marcelo Sarvas.

An encouraging debut from “Little Willy” Christian Wilhelmsson — nickname “Willy” apparently — improvising his way to a debut goal.

But the uninvolving Rapids never really posed a threat and were duly dispatched with a minimum of fuss.

Staff Writer Phil Collin was at the game.

And take a look at the MLS standings. Now, doesn’t that look better?

Welcome to LA Willy:

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