Galaxy in damage control mode as soccer fans protest San Diego Chargers move to Carson and MLS schedule released

chargersstubhub Imagine: How the Chargers’ fightforla website imagines an NFL game would look like at StubHub Center in Carson.

Galaxy fans are not reacting well to the news that lumbering pointy-ball players will rip up their pristine soccer field that will now be marred by ten yard lines all over the place:

Here are the dates the Chargers WON’T be playing in Carson:

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Tuesday Kicks: U.S. World Cup Qualifying Morass & More

A quick roundup of essential soccer links for the day:

  • A must-read on the USMNT WCQ on-going meltdown.
  • Recall that more than soft Chivas USA red card issued during Sunday’s SuperClasico? It never happened.
  • Also, Chivas USA has re-signed back-up goalkeeper Tim Melia, 26, to an unspecified contract extension, the club announced today.
  • The Galaxy has named their Dallas Cup roster.
  • Former Cal State Northridge soccer standout Devin Del Do, 26, of Valencia has signed a two-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rowdies of the North American Soccer League.
  • Mia Hamm’s LA Fest Celebrity Soccer Challenge is set for Sunday at Home Depot Center.
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Monday Kicks: LA Galaxy Video Highlights & More

MLS beat writer Phil Collin (who you will notice has started blogging here) has the game story.

Also:

*Carson’s Home Depot Center will soon become Stub Hub Center.

*Inglewood’s Jose Villarreal of the Galaxy and the U.S. U-20 team fell to Mexico Sunday, but still qualified for the World Cup later this year.

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Mexican champions Santos Laguna to play July 8 at Home Depot Center*

*Post updated

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Tickets go on sale Thursday at 10 a.m. Saturday starting at $25 for the clash between Santos Laguna, led by supersub and Los Angeles native Herculez Gomez, and Club Lon, Orange County-based USL Pro team the Los Angeles Blues announced today.

The club is sponsoring the 5 p.m. July 8 game. Tickets are available at the HDC box office or by calling 888-9-AXS-TIX or 714-738-8011.

Gomez, who has scored two goals in his last two appearances for the U.S. National Team, stars in a team that also includes former Mexican international goalkeeper Oswaldo Sanchez and current Mexican national team players Aaron Galindo and Oribe Peralta.

Newly promoted Lon boasts Mexican international midfielder Jonny Magalln and former FC Dallas defender Duilio Davino in their squad.

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Smile soccer fans! You’ll be on a Candid Camera as you head down Carson’s Avalon Boulevard to Home Depot Center

Yup, the city of Carson is spending $300,000 of taxpayer money to spy on taxpayers.

So, crooks be sure and use other major thoroughfares such as 190th Street or Main Street where there are no cameras yet.

And sure, while we may have no expectation of privacy in a public place, how many of us really wants to live in an society with such Orwellian overtones here in the alleged land of the free (and watched)?

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Your weekend Southern California soccer weather forecast

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It is still officially winter – and fans who plan to brave the elements for Saturday’s Chivas USA-Vancouver Whitecaps match or Sunday’s Galaxy-D.C. United encounter will know it.

So bundle up if you plan on heading to Home Depot Center for the games because baby, it’s gonna be blustery and c-c-c-cold outside:

LOS ANGELES (CNS) – A cold late-season winter storm will reach the Southland this weekend, bringing rain, high surf, strong winds and snow to lower elevations.

The storm’s cold front will approach the Central Coast tonight, then sweep across the
southwestern tier of the state, generating “widespread precipitation” for around six hours Saturday and creating “the possibility of thunderstorms with small hail,” according to
the National Weather Service.

“Behind the front, there will continue to be the threat of additional showers and snow showers over the region into Sunday” as cold and unstable air engulfs the area, said an advisory.

The storm is projected to produce between three-quarter of an inch and 1.5 inches of rain, although between 1.5 and three inches is possible in the foothills and mountains, NWS forecasters said.

The snow level will be at between 5,000 and 6,000 feet tonight and Saturday but drop to around 3,000 feet Saturday night into Sunday, according to the weather service. Between 10 and 16 inches of snow are expected to accumulate above 6,000 feet, it said.

But “snowfall will be possible down to 2,500 feet in heavier showers, which would include the Santa Monica Mountains and Antelope Valley. Dangerous winter weather conditions can be expected to affect mountain roadways … into Sunday morning,” the NWS said.

The storm, resulting from an upper-level low-pressure system, will be accompanied by stiff winds. Gusts of up to 60 mph are possible in the mountains.

“Heavy snow, gusty winds, low visibilities in blowing snow, and icy roads are possible, making for dangerous travel conditions,” said an NWS advisory.

A winter storm watch — denoting the potential for an accumulation of snow, sleet or ice — will be in effect in mountain areas from late tonight through Sunday morning.

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Galaxy Open House Sunday in Carson

The free event runs from noon to 4 p.m. at Home Depot Center.

Current season ticket and mini plan holders will have a rare first-come first-served opportunity to get on to the field at the stadium where the club won MLS Cup last year, participate in drills with players Todd Dunivant, Josh Saunders and Bryan Jordan and play a scrimmage.

All attendees will receive a behind-the-scenes tour of the stadium, a 25 percent discount on all Galaxy gear at the TEAM LA Store and watch the Galaxy Academy U-18 and U-16 teams take on their Vancouver Whitecaps counterparts at 10 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. respectively.

Gourmet food trucks Kog, The Grilled Cheese Truck and Coolhaus will serve up food.

And yeah, the club will be more than happy to sell you season tickets.

Full details are here.

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Wednesday’s “ticket nightmare” for Galaxy fan who missed must-see game

Last night’s CONCACAF Champions League game featured one of the most frenzied endings to a game in Carson I can remember.

But at least one fan didn’t even see the beginning.

I received the following email last night from frustrated reader Antonio Marquez
who saw an apparent ticket screw-up compounded by the largely unpublicized 7,500-spectator limit imposed at Home Depot Center for the game in an agreement with the neighborhoods around the stadium.

Here is my story from tonight:

Last week I called my Galaxy ticket representative, Tiffony Warner, and told her I really wanted to go to the Morelia game. Anyway, I also told her I was interested in MLS Cup tickets. So she said that the best option was to buy a three ticket mini-plan which included the MLS Cup and she would comp me the Morelia game. I said great, because for the same price I could go to the two games I really wanted to see, plus as a bonus get to see RSL and Chivas. So I purchased four ticket packages.

OK, so I am all pumped up all week looking forward to a good game. Pick up my son and wife, and we drive to the HDC from San Dimas. I walk up to the will call window to pick up my tickets, and they said sorry nothing for you. My heart sank, I called Tiffony, but no answer. Ok I think, there was a mistake, so I get in line to buy three tickets. When I walk up they say sorry, we are sold out!!!

I feel like the Galaxy office scammed me and I am really upset. There were many people outside the stadium wondering how the game could be sold out when we could see a nearly empty stadium. Regardless of the result of the game, tonight was a disaster for me. I have been a loyal fan since 1996, and I feel like the Galaxy robbed me tonight.

Incidentally, the Galaxy never (to my knowledge) publicized the severely reduced capacity for the game beyond tweeting a picture of the seating configuration earlier in the day that grouped fans together of just two sides of the stadium (and made it appear from outside the gates that the stadium was half empty, as indeed it was).

Given that the previous two Champions league games at the stadium this season drew announced crowds of 8,196 and 9,855 you would have thought the Galaxy could have sensed a possible PR debacle brewing (unless, of course, those figures were inflated as they often are and the Galaxy thought there was no reason for concern).

Anyone else locked out of the game?

I’ll see if I can get a response from the Galaxy front office.

Updated

I heard Friday from Tom Payne, Galaxy president of business operations, who observed that the Galaxy opened up another 100 or so seats before the game when they realised they had fans who couldn’t get in.

He said only a few fans suffered the experience the letter writer above did and couldn’t get in at all. And he acknowledged the club should have done a better job of letting fans know about the small capacity for the game in advance, which by the way is exactly what Antonio wanted.

A larger than expected walkup from Morelia fans caught the club by surprise, Payne said.

The 7,500 stadium capacity was imposed by Cal State Dominguz Hills to ensure students attending night classes had parking available, incidentally.

Let’s hope the school doesn’t make a similar request to limit the the stadium capacity during the playoffs; the Galaxy are likely to host a midweek game.

As for Antonio, the club gave him playoff tickets for his trouble. Hopefully they’ll mail them out to him in advance so he doesn’t have to take any chances at will call before the game again.

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Galaxy and Chivas USA ticket prices: A comparison

A Torrance family I know will attend the Chivas USA game Saturday night at Home Depot Center, not because they are huge fans of the lads in red and white, but because they received cheap tickets via AYSO.

Price is important to casual MLS fans, especially given the continuing weak economy.

Given that, I thought it worthwhile to contrast and compare ticket prices between the two Carson-based teams, which both host their respective home openers this weekend on consecutive days.

Chivas USA, as one might expect given the demographics of their primary fan base and the absence of a huge name like David Beckham, offer cheaper tickets than the Galaxy.

The cheapest single game Chivas USA ticket that’s available is $15 compared to $25 for the Galaxy. Buy an 18-game Chivas USA GA season ticket package and the price per ticket drops to $10.

How good a deal is that? The cheapest Galaxy adult ticket was $22 – back in 2003.

Chivas USA has held the line on ticket prices this year – perhaps wisely after their bottom of the Western Conference showing last year – while the MLS championship-contending Galaxy have instituted modest increases over 2010 and, in some limited cases, decreased prices, too. A Galaxy general admission ticket – the section is also larger and now includes some seats on the upper deck – increased by $1.

Price comparisons cannot be made across the board for Chivas USA and Galaxy games since the clubs define some sections a little differently.

For instance, Chivas USA sells “corner” seats for $22; the Galaxy have folded their corner section where tickets were $50 last year into their endline section and priced those tickets at $35 (the Galaxy also eliminated their upper corner section, which sold for $20 last year). But Galaxy officials observe that in a couple of sections in the north end of the stadium, seats that were classified as being in the corner section last year have been reclassified as general admission seating, thus slashing the price of those seats in half to $25.

The Chivas USA price for the end zone, incidentally, is $18.

Other ticket prices for the two clubs include field tickets (those are deck chairs on the turf) that are $100 for Chivas USA, $200 for the Galaxy; sideline tickets for Chivas USA are $38 preferred, $30 for midfield and $24 all others, while the Galaxy price them at $85 preferred, $75 for reserved sideline, $50 for other sideline seats and $40 for an upper sideline seat.

Galaxy officials, by the way, note that the sideline seats priced at $50 cost $75 last year.

Confusing? Well, yes, so it always pays to consult a stadium seating guide to find out exactly where you’re sitting.

And, of course, if you are a wallet-conscious Galaxy fan you just might want to buy tickets to the May 21 game hosted by Chivas USA.

But even paying the above prices is usually unnecessary.

Ticket deals abound whether you’re purchasing from a scalper outside the stadium (buyer beware) or online at a variety of sites, while both clubs generally offer a variety of ticket deals for every game.

For instance, Chivas USA for Saturday’s 7:30 p.m. opener against Kansas City, is selling four tickets plus four hot dogs or four hats or one parking pass starting at $59. The Galaxy have a similar deal for the 5 p.m. Sunday game against the New England Revolution with four tickets, four hot dogs and four sodas for $96.

So it pays to have friends.

Full ticket details for Galaxy games can be found here and for Chivas USA here.

One other thing: As someone who has sat just about everywhere in the stadium at one time or another, I can tell you there really isn’t a bad seat in what is a relatively intimate stadium by soccer standards.

See you at the games.

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LA Riot Squad issue call to arms for Sunday’s Galaxy playoff game

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Galaxy fan group the LA Riot Squad are exhorting fans who like to stand and sing to join them in their designated section this week in an effort to ensure visiting Seattle Sounders fans visiting Southern California for the 6 p.m. Sunday Western Conference semifinal second leg are drowned out as much as possible at Home Depot Center.

The above image was on the groups’ Facebook page and I figured they wouldn’t mind if I reprinted it in all its glory.

Especially after seeing the excellent Sounders supporters first-hand last week in the Pacific Northwest. Duplicating that goosebump-raising atmosphere as much as possible here is not only good for the Galaxy, it’s good for MLS and soccer in general.

So give the Riot Squad a call and tell ’em 100 Percent Soccer sent you.

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