Jamaica, El Salvador, Canada join Costa Rica for July 8 Gold Cup doubleheader at StubHub Center in Carson


The three nations were added to the Group B field for the Gold Cup, CONCACAF announced today:

The Group B doubleheader action will kick off at 5 p.m. PT as Costa Rica takes on Jamaica at StubHub Center on July 8 followed by a clash between El Salvador and Canada at 7:30 p.m. PT. The CONCACAF Gold Cup will be played throughout North America from July 7-26.

Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m. Thursday.

Complete tournament details including the U.S. group opponents are here.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Gold Cup, Olympic qualifying, Women’s World Cup cram 2015 international calendar

Need a cheat sheet to keep up? Check out this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column

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Spanish language Gold Cup viewership double that of English language coverage

More than twice as many American soccer/futbol fans watched Univision’s coverage of the U.S. Gold Cup victory over Panama Sunday compared to those watching in English on Fox.

Fox announced today that an average of 2.4 million viewers watched the game on the channel, tying the figure for the networks’ most -watched soccer game ever, the 2011 UEFA Champions League final.

That translates into a rating of 2.4 and a share of 4 (which means 4 percent of all television sets turned on at the time were tuned to Fox).

However, an average of 4.9 million fans watched on Univision — and, of course, Mexico wasn’t even playing.


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Red-hot Landon Donovan continues plundering Gold Cup with two goals to lead U.S. to Sunday’s final

Landon Donovan has three goals and six assists in 13 appearances for the Galaxy in 2013.

But for the U.S. Donovan has seven Gold Cup assists and a team-leading seven goals in six games since rejoining the national team set-up after scoring twice and creating the opener in a 3-1 win over Honduras Wednesday to send the U.S. through to a 1 p.m. Sunday Gold Cup final (live on Fox and Univision) against Panama, who upset Mexico for a second time in the tournament in Wednesday’s other semifinal.

Donovan’s seven assists increased his national team record total to 55 career assists in 150 games, while his record-setting U.S. goal total jumped to 56 career goals.

The likely upshot of Wednesday’s results: Donovan will rejoin the U.S. World Cup qualifying campaign, while El Tri will seek a new coach.

Notable: The Gold Cup winner qualifies for a playoff against the winner of the 2015 tournament to determine the CONCACAF entrant in the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup in Russia.

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Golden Kicks: Gold Cup, Golden State Kickabout & more

saccanaryFanboy: Why the 100 Percent Soccer blog was on hiatus.

Before I was a journalist, I was a soccer fan.

Still am as this photograph taken last Thursday in front of the Capitol Building in Sacramento indicates.

I grew up supporting modest EPL team Norwich City and despite moving multiple times to different states and countries, I’ve remained loyal.

Last season was difficult to watch, as City struggled to remain in the EPL, with a long run of discouraging results not helping matters (Chivas USA fans, I know how you feel, in a sense).

Still, I hadn’t seen City play live since the club visited Seattle back in the mid-1980s, so I jumped at the chance for a little soccer and craft brewery road trip, mixing in a Thursday game in front of a capacity crowd at Sacramento’s Raley Field against Mexican second tier opposition and one the following Saturday in San Jose against the Earthquakes at one of my favorite venues, Buckshaw Stadium.

In truth, the experience was much better than the actual quality of play on the field with City slow and out of shape, while clearly coming to grips with an influx of new players.

It’s precisely why preseason games are strictly for hardcore fans.

While I was roving the state, the Galaxy got back on the winning track (conceding an early goal is always better than conceding a late one), Chivas USA actually won a game against a team even worse than they are and Landon Donovan was drawing rave reviews for his play with the the U.S. at the Gold Cup.

Oh, and the Galaxy signed a 30-something French player from Chivas USA, which smacks of grasping at straws to me to deal with on-going midfield issues Robbie Rogers has yet to solve, but coach Bruce Arena likes known, veteran quantities he hopes to squeeze a little more out of.

Gold Cup action resumes tonight in Texas with both the U.S. and Mexico in action.

Me? I’ll be watching my Canaries take on the Timbers in Portland in the final game of their U.S. tour.



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Weekly Soccer Column: Galaxy and Gold Cup

MLS parity is forgiving.

While the inconsistent Galaxy currently occupy the fifth and final Western Conference playoff spot, they are also only three points out of second spot.

Still, given their current form, explored in today’s column, who knows what their chances are of seeing those heights again.

Read more in today’s column, which also includes a brief preview of today’s U.S. Gold Cup game.

Our sister newspaper The Denver Post has more on Mexico’s Gold Cup campaign.

Also: will this former Chivas USA import catch on with the Galaxy?

One clarification to the column about who the U.S. will face in the quarterfinals, according to U.S. Soccer:

The United States needs only a draw to secure a first-place finish in the group, which would mean a match against the third-place team from either Group A or Group B in the quarterfinal.
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Thursday Kicks: Mexico’s Gold Cup crunch clash & more

*To say there’s a bit of pressure on Mexico this evening in Seattle is a bit of an understatement give the team’s poor recent run of results. You can watch how this plays out at 7:30 tonight on Fox Soccer.

*Will Chivas USA provide a cure Friday for the wall Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth is worried about?

*Caleb Calvert made history earlier this week when he became the youngest pro in Chivas USA franchise history. Well, today the Wrightwood resident was named the Western Conference U-15/16 National Player of the Year:

“Personally it means I have achieved something I thought I wouldn’t have accomplished in quite a while and I’m just shocked and amazed by it,” Calvert said. “Now I want to use this as stepping stone, move forward and get better.”.

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Wednesday Kicks: Galaxy’s Donovan hits U.S. national team milestone and more

*The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan had a goal and two assists in the U.S. Gold Cup opener Tuesday, but wasn’t the biggest star for the Americans on the night.

*The inaugural Steve Nash Foundation Showdown LA is set for 6:30 p.m. Sunday at the Salvation Army Red Shield Community Center, 1532 West 11th St. Participating past and present Southern California soccer stars in the pick-up style charity soccer game include Robbie Keane, Carlo Cudicini, Robbie Rogers, John O’Brien and Kyle Martino. General admission is free.

*Casting director Lyle Dohl, who has worked on several TV reality shows in recent years. is seeking a local “underdog” soccer team for a new show:

“I’m working on a project right now for an immensely talented commercial director named Randy Krallman,” Dohl said in an email. “He has me looking for a charismatic coach of an underdog boys soccer team possibly best described as a “turn-around team” or a “worst-to-first place team”.  Or, if you like movie references, maybe a team like The Bad News Bears or in the 2012 Oscar Award-wining documentary Undefeated.  Essentially, a team that wasn’t picked to do anything but surprised everyone at the end of the season or tournament due to great coaching and hard work.  We’re mainly looking in the tri-county (LA, OC, Ventura) area but will definitely go farther for the right story.”

More info is here.

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