*Loyola Marymount sophomore Rafael Baca of Lawndale was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of America All-Far West Region Third Team, the first Lion to receive the honor since Bobby Burling and Diego Barrera in 2006. He has led LMU in scoring the last two years.
*Long Beach State sophomore midfielder Lindsay Bullock of Manhattan Beach and senior midfielder Hayley Bolt of Lakewood were named to the NSCAA/adidas All-West Region second-team and third-team respectively. Bullock led the team with 10 goals, while Bolt had nine.
It was a pleasant surprise this evening to turn on the New England-Chicago playoff game on ESPN2 and be greeted by former Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas.
Lalas may have had issues as GM, but he’s always articulate and entertaining.
Lalas has kept a low profile since getting fired from the Galaxy and I believe the comments he made about the situation before the game were the first of any depth.
Here’s an excerpt of what he had to say about what new GM and Coach Bruce Arena needs to do:
“His first order of business is to find some leadership, to fill the void that exists in the Galaxy with leadership. He needs to go out there and find some real SOB’s; some guys who don’t care about saying the truth, don’t care about hurting people’s feelings and aren’t afraid they’re going to lose their job for doing so.
“He needs to make one of those guys captain, to be quite honest. This not a question of a Galaxy that doesn’t have talent, it’s a question of there was a leadership void. The fact is you need to send a message that nobody is bigger than the club whether you’re David Beckham or whether you’re Tristan Bowen, an 18-year-old coming into the club.
“Everybody has to understand it’s the team first.
“If I regret something it’s that I recognized that early on and probably didn’t do enough to correct that situation.”
I wonder how Beckham would react to having the captaincy taken away from him? And why does a team that has the experienced likes of Beckham, Landon Donovan and Pete Vagenas not have leaders anyway?
Still, Lalas’ prescription for improving the Galaxy sounds an awful lot like Arena’s, who has essentially said the same thing.
Incidentally, Beckham is joining a team in AC Milan that is top of the Italian league for the first time in four years.
BTW, Beckham is supposedly going to share taking free kicks with Ronaldinho.
And what could be – let’s emphasize the could – Beckham’s first game is the 11:30 a.m. Sunday Jan. 11 encounter against Roma. Fox Soccer Channel will televise that game live.
By the way, they’ll likely be no blogging first thing in the morning.
I’m heading downtown to the Biltmore Hotel for the 10th Honda Symposium, a two-day event that culminates Friday with the Honda Player of the Year Award Ceremony (the nominees are the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan, Fulham’s Carlos Bocanegra and Everton’s Tim Howard).
Speaking Thursday are Galaxy GM Alexi Lalas, U.S. Men’s National Team Coach Bob Bradley and Mexican Football Federation General Secretary Decio de Maria.
The Biltmore has Wi-Fi so I’ll blog as events warrant.
Updated 8 a.m. Thursday:
It didn’t take long for the Beckham for England speculation to crank up over there.
Not noted in that BBC story: The Galaxy have home games Oct. 13 and Oct. 18 against Toronto and New York respectively
The Galaxy’s season went from merely horrendous to catastrophic late this afternoon when they received the official medical diagnosis: removal of the Beckham cash-making machine.
Wait, no make that a sprained medial collateral ligament (MCL) in his right knee, discovered after a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) performed by team physician Dr. Ronald Kvitne at the Kerlan-Jobe Orthopaedic Clinic in Los Angeles.
So that’s eight games and out for Beckham (five MLS, two SuperLiga and one World Series of Football).
That’s in addition to the left ankle injury he has nursed ever since picking it up June 6 playing for England.
He’s missed three of the Galaxys last six league games and all three in the opening round of SuperLiga.
By the time he returns the MLS season will almost be over and England’s future in Euro 2008 decided.
The only MLS games left after you count six weeks out: the Red Bulls at the HDC Oct. 18 and Oct. 21 in Chicago.
He’ll also miss an Oct. 3 friendly against the Vancouver Whitecaps that’s being heavily promoted.
It’s impressive just to go down the list of players on the England squad and their teams and see “David Beckham, LA Galaxy.”
It’s a reminder that a player The Times (of London) recently called the 32nd best player in the world is now playing in MLS.
And if Wednesday’s game is any indication, Beckham (when fit) won’t just play. He’ll dominate.
It’s instructive to note that since Juan Pablo Angel joined the Red Bulls he has become the league’s most exciting player. Today the third leading goalscorer in MLS, Angel never really blossomed in England. He was too small, not physical enough.
In MLS though, Angel’s skill comes through.
It will be the same with Beckham. Judging by Wednesday’s sterling performance, where frankly at times he looked like a man playing against boys, Beckham will shine.
His soccer brain, anticipation and touch were so superior to every other player on the field that in a sport where one player usually does not dominate the other 21 on the field, Beckham will become an exception.
“The difference is the game savvy,” said Landon Donovan. “He understands the game on every level. And he knows how to win a game.”
Judge for yourself by checking out Wednesday’s action:
For more on Beckham’s impact on MLS, this is what Galaxy beat writer Billy Witz wrote today.