Wednesday Kicks: Cosmos come to LA & more

The newly-revitalized New York Cosmos announced today they are taking over the Pasadena-based Los Angeles Football Club – known as LAFC Chelsea – moving it to Pomona and opening a West Coast youth academy.

“Chelsea and adidas have been good to us, however they are no longer associated with LAFC,” said Cosmos Academy West Director Teddy Chronopoulos, a former player with the New England Revolution. “Under the new partnership with The New York Cosmos, the Academy will now be outfitted by Umbro.”

The Cosmos also announced today that Giovanni Savarese, the former New York MetroStars striker, will become director of Cosmos Academy (East).

From the Cosmos press release:

LAFC, based out of Pasadena, is one of the nation’s most esteemed and competitive youth soccer organizations will now be called Cosmos Academy (West), based out of Pomona. The Academy will field teams from U9-U18 (boys) and participate in major leagues and tournaments throughout California, in addition to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy. LAFC has received widespread recognition in the sport, most recently being ranked the No. 1 youth club in California, and No. 6 across the country by Soccer America.

As part of the agreement, Cosmos Academy (East) and Cosmos Academy (West) will now be funded by The New York Cosmos, whereby costs normally incurred by the families of these elite players will now be fully covered – such as registration fees, uniforms, coaches’ salaries along with the cost of participating in select tournaments and its related travel. In addition, the respective club teams under LAFC and BWG will now be called LAFC Cosmos and BWG Cosmos.

With a focus on youth development, The New York Cosmos is investing significantly to provide young talented players with elite coaching programs, facilities and training opportunities to help them realize their dreams. All of this is part of The New York Cosmos’ fundamental preparation and underpinning needed to field an MLS franchise team in New York in the near future.

“Our priority is the long-term development of players who will one day represent The New York Cosmos at the highest possible professional levels in soccer,” says Terry Byrne, Director of Soccer, The New York Cosmos. “Developing that talent, with the Academies and coaches that we now have on both coasts, will give us an outstanding platform for the future of The New York Cosmos as well as U.S. Soccer.”

The involvement of Byrne, a close friend of David Beckham who negotiated his MLS contract, has spurred speculation the sometime Galaxy midfielder could become involved in the Cosmos, if it becomes an MLS expansion team.

The league wants a second New York team and Beckham has indicated his interest in one day owning an MLS club.

In other news today:

*Chivas USA announced they have signed youth player Bryan de la Fuente of Bell to a professional contract.

The U.S. Under-18 international becomes the fourth former Chivas USA youth player on the club’s first team roster. Also making the grade were Carlos Borja (Anaheim), Jorge Flores (Anaheim), Cesar Zamora (Sylmar) and Gerson Mayn (Los Angeles). Mayen is currently on loan with Miami FC.

“Bryan has been with the youth program for the last three years, and he’s also been consistently with the U.S. U-20′s playing for Thomas Rongen,” said Coach Martn Vsquez. “We need to look at our youth program before we bring someone from outside. He’s a player for the future of this team, but we’re going to give him an opportunity, and help him develop in the short-term.”

From the Chivas USA press release:

The versatile midfielder played in the Guadalajara youth system from 2005-2007 before moving to Bell, Calif., where he joined the Chivas USA Under-16 team coached by Miguel Ramos and Samuel Rivas. Moving up to the Chivas USA U-18′s under coaches Sacha van der Most and Jos ‘Cuco’ Mancilla, de la Fuente played in the Copa Chivas in Guadalajara and the Copa Saprissa in Costa Rica, two of the most prestigious youth tournaments in the region. This year, de la Fuente has played for the United States U-20 National Team under head coach Thomas Rongen at the Dallas Cup and in the Milk Cup in Ireland, which the team won.

Incidentally, the club will hold tryouts at 4 p.m. Thursday for players born between 1997 and 2003 (U-7 to U-13) for its Bell Gardens youth academy. Cost is $20. E-mail tryouts@cdchivasusa.com for more information.

*Lastly, a preview of the Harbor College men’s team is here.

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Wednesday Kicks: Fusion fall in cup, England win World Cup & more

*The Ventura County Fusion’s first-ever U.S. Cup appearance was short – they lost to the Arizona Sahuaros Tuesday night up the coast.

I couldn’t resist posting this if only because these are the only pictures I’m likely to see of an England captain (that’s the late great Bobby Moore, for those who don’t know) hoisting the World Cup trophy (ahem) this year: Life.com has just posted these “never-before seen photos” of England’s lone World Cup win when they hosted the tournament in 1966.

The photos are by award-winning photographer Art Rickerby. Former Galaxy exec in training Alexi Lalas provides the text.

Check out the rest of the posted photos here.

And actually this Life.com World Cup-themed gallery was even better. (Ahem ahem).

*Random World Cup fact: DirecTV is airing “more than 50 matches with Portuguese commentary on ESPN Deportes, and offering alternate audio feeds for the ESPN games on DirecTV channel 210-1 in Arabic, German, Japanese, Korean and Portuguese (although not all languages are available for each game).

*Fox Soccer Channel will air the July 10 Club Amrica and Cruz Azul friendly at the Rose Bowl. More info on the game is here.

* Loyola Marymount assistant coach Michael Erush (and former player) has been named Director of Player Development for the Orange County Blue Star of the Premier Development League and this summer will coach the U.S. team at the Maccabi Games in Australia. The Maccabi Games are “a celebration of Jewish Unity, Culture, and Heritage through world athletic competition.”

From the LMU press release:

Erush, who will be entering his fourth season as LMU assistant coach this fall, was head coach of the Hollywood Hitmen of the Premier Development League, leading them to a first-place finish and Southwest Division championship in the team’s inaugural season. This summer, he has returned to the top of the standings with the Blue Star, who are based out of Irvine and currently lead the division with a 6-0-3 record through June 14. Orange County finished eighth in the division in 2009.

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UCLA’s Ellis, Leroux Lead U.S. Women’s Under-20 Team in Guatemala

UCLA and U.S. Under-20 Coach Jill Ellis and Bruin striker Sydney Leroux, named the 2008 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Golden Shoe and Golden Ball winner, lead a 20-player squad in an eight-team regional qualifying tournament in Guatemala for the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup set for Germany.

The opening U.S. game against Jamaica can be seen live at 2:30 p.m. Thursday on Fox Soccer Channel or streaming (free) here (registration required). It’s the first time CONCACAF or any regional confederation has offered free live coverage of a youth tournament online.

Leroux, who had 23 goals for the Bruins last season, scored five goals in the U-20 World Cup, earning her the Golden Ball as tournament MVP and the Golden Shoe as top scorer. Leroux is the most capped player at the U-20 level on the qualifying roster, with a dozen goals in 16 games.

Also on the squad is Bruin midfielder Zakiya Bywaters.

More on the team and tournament here.

The U.S. also plays Trinidad & Tobago Saturday and Mexico Monday at the same time.

Three nations will qualify for the World Cup.

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Chivas USA Selects Akron’s Blair Gavin with Top Pick in MLS SuperDraft

i-e58ae092f84d991113351d246acd4777-gavingarber0002.jpgGavin, meet (MLS Commish Don) Garber. (Photo by Jose Argueta/MLS).

The midfielder from Kentucky had five goals and three assists for the Zips last season.

He was the 10th overall pick in today’s draft.

More info on Gavin is here.

In addition, the Philadelphia Union took UCLA freshman midfielder Amobi Okugo with the sixth pick overall and former UCLA Coach Sigi Schmid plucked Bruin forward David Estrada for his Seattle Sounders with the 11th overall pick.

The No. 1 pick: 6-foot-2 Danny Mwanga, 18, who scored 14 goals and had two assists in 18 games for Oregon State last season and was named Pac-10 Player of the Year.

Tweeted Galaxy striker Alecko Eskandarian: “Congrats and welcome to the #1 Pick Club, Mr. Danny Mwanga. U will love playing for Peter Nowak.”

Updated: In addition, Chivas USA defender Ante Jazic was among 17 players selected for a Canadian National team camp that begins Monday and ends Feb. 1 in Florida. Canada plays Jamaica in a friendly Jan. 31.

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Palos Verdes Estates’ Press Propels Stanford to College Cup Final Over UCLA

i-351350fba595b16a15675a3468121498-pressstanford.jpgStanford’s Christen Press celebrates her game-winning goal Friday in overtime against UCLA. (AP Photo)

Christen Press scored in overtime Friday to send unbeaten Stanford through to the College Cup final Sunday after beating UCLA, 2-1.

The Cardinal and Press will face North Carolina and Rolling Hills Estates’ Whitney Engen. The Tar Heels disposed of Notre Dame Friday

The game kicks off at 10 a.m. on ESPN2.

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Palos Verdes Estates’ Nakazawa Creates UCLA Winner Over UCSB, Sends Bruins Through to NCAA Quarterfinals

Goalkeeper Brian Perk also made two big second half saves in the 2-1 come from behind win Sunday at Drake Stadium.

Notable: The game was a rematch of the 2006 NCAA Championship – won by UC Santa Barbara.

Quotable:

“We have a pretty big core of seniors on our team, and it was in the back of our heads tonight,” said playmaker Kyle Nakazawa. “It is a bit of redemption … with a way better ending.”

Next: No. 6 seed UCLA (12-3-4) faces No. 3 seed Wake Forest (16-3-3) Saturday in Winston-Salem.

Game story.

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