Surprise, surprise: Neymar and Messi Barcelona no-shows for Galaxy game Tuesday at Rose Bowl

champions

Staff Writer Jaime Cardenas has the details.

You could see this coming (or at least this soccer blogger/columnist did).

Now, the Galaxy will say they didn’t guarantee appearances by any player, the implication as the Galaxy ad for the game shows (we added the crosses) is those two massive stars will play.

Incidentally, wonder what this will do to the secondary market for tickets?

We received the following information from Seatgeek.com before Barcelona made the announcement:

Tickets to the July 21 match between the LA Galaxy and FC Barcelona are currently averaging $113 on the secondary market, making this the most expensive soccer match in Los Angeles since 2012.

The Galaxy’s most expensive regular season MLS game this year, against New York City FC, averaged $52 on the secondary market. That means that the average ticket price to the Galaxy-Barcelona match is more than double the price of the Galaxy’s most expensive non-exhibition game this season. In fact, the ICC match is almost triple the average ticket price to a regular season Galaxy match of $38.

Galaxy chart

And I would love to hear what the Galaxy has to say about this.

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U.S. Women’s World Cup Opener sets ratings record for Fox Sports

WCFoxFox Sports announced today that Tuesday’s U.S.-Australia Women’s World Cup game has become the highest rated group game in tournament history on American television.

The 3.3 million viewers that watched the 3-1 U.S. win beat the previous record of 2.5 million for the 1999 U.S-Denmark contest. That means three times as many fans watched the game as they did the U.S. opener in the 2011 World Cup.

The game also earned the highest-ever rating for a soccer game on Fox Sports 1.

The rating in Los Angeles was the 10th highest in the nation with Baltimore No. 1.

Overall through the first eight games of the tournament, viewership has increased 76 percent over 2011 when the tournament was held in Germany, Fox Sports announced..

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Video: Former FIFA official who resigned in disgust compares Sepp Blatter to Mafia Don on “60 Minutes Sports” tonight on Showtime

wrageWindow dressing: Former FIFA official dishes on imperious FIFA head Sepp Blatter tonight on Showtime (Photo courtesy Showtime).

Alexandra Wrage, an anti-corruption specialist who served on FIFA’s International Governance Committee, a group meant to reform the organization, tells Showtime’s “60 Minutes Sports” that Sepp Blatter rebuffed her suggestion to add a few independent members to his executive committee to create transparency.

“There was really clear evidence in my mind that we were just going to be used as window dressing,” she said.

Coincidentally today we found out why Blatter had that attitude. American FIFA official Chuck Blazer has admitted taking bribes in connection with the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, part of a larger network of alleged FIFA bribery believed to involve $150 million over the last 25 years.

The show airs at 9 o’clock tonight.

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New 5-a-side soccer center opens May 15 in Norwalk with free tournaments

us53dSoccer Central: The new Urban Soccer 5 Center in Norwalk (Image courtesy US5).

Free 5-a-side soccer tournaments will be held May 15-25 at Norwalk’s Urban Soccer 5 Center as the new 10-field facility opens.

The facility is intended for all age groups hosting kids’ games and corporate events, while HD cameras capture the action that can be streamed live or replayed later from the LED lighted fields.

The venue also includes a soccer shop, cafe for lunch and breakfast and private lockers and individual showers.

Urban Soccer 5 center will be open from 6 a.m. to midnight.

Check it out:

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Photos: Special (Olympics) Day for Galaxy players Omar Gonzalez and Jaime Penedo

specialgalaxySpecial Day: Galaxy players Omar Gonzalez, left, and Jaime Penedo participated in a soccer game in Carson Tuesday with Special Olympics Southern California players ahead of the July event in Los Angeles (Photos courtesy Herbalife).

The Special Olympics World Games will be the world’s largest sports and humanitarian event this year and the biggest single event Los Angeles has hosted since the 1984 Olympics when it is held July 25 through Aug. 2.

The event will attract an estimated 7,000 athletes and 3,000 coaches representing 177 countries, along with 30,000 volunteers and 500,000 spectators.

Galaxy sponsor Herbalife is donating more than 300,000 meal and protein snack bars to athletes and volunteers.

More on the Special Olympics from Staff Writer Donna Littlejohn is here.

special2

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Four with soccer ties named to Top 50 LA Sports power list

Two more locals associated with soccer — agent Richard Motzkin and Galaxy defender Robbie Rogers, who is emerging as a respected spokesman in the gay community — make the list of the top five up and comers.

And of the five whose stock has fallen the most in Southern California sports circles, there are two with soccer ties: former AEG head honcho Tim Leiweke and former owner of the now-defunct Chivas USA Jorge Vergara.

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Weekly Soccer Column: MLS undermines product as it ignores world soccer calendar

BradleyStubHubMIA MLS: Toronto’s Michael Bradley is one of more than 50 players who will miss games this weekend while on national team duty. (Daily Breeze file photo).

If MLS insists on moving forward with a full slate of games despite all the missing stars, shouldn’t they provide discounts to their loyal fans this weekend?

Like that’s going to happen, even if league officials know they are putting out a sub-par product:

Read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column here.

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English Premier League’s World Cup bump arrives

APTOPIX Britain Soccer Premier LeagueConverted: Record numbers of U.S. viewers watched the opening weekend of EPL action that included this Wayne Rooney goal for Manchester United in a losing cause against Swansea City (Associated Press photo).

That World Cup bump I wrote about a couple of weeks ago? It’s here.

NBC said today that:

  • Saturday’s Arsenal-Crystal Palace game on NBC averaged 885,000 viewers and became the most-watched opening weekend match in U.S. history. It out-drew last year’s corresponding fixture by 12 percent.
  • Sunday’s Newcastle-Manchester City game on NBCSN averaged 514,000 viewers, ranking it as the most-watched opening weekend game on cable in U.S. history. It topped the previous record holder in 2012 when ESPN showed the game.
  • All told, 3.3 million watched the five games that aired on NBC and NBCSN, the most ever for the opening weekend of EPL action.
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