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

goldcup

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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Weekend Video Rewind: LA Galaxy have luck of the Irish in win over Shamrock Rovers in Dublin

Bottom line: The Galaxy beat Shamrock Rovers on a fortunate deflection off an opposing defender in the 1-0 win Saturday in the Dublin friendly that was a homecoming for Eire captain Robbie Keane.

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LA Galaxy II striker Ariel Lassiter called in to Costa Rican U-23 team

Galaxy2logoLA Galaxy II forward Ariel Lassiter has earned a call-up to the Costa Rican U-23 team after notching five goals and four assists with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in 21 games last year.

Lassiter, who signed with Los Dos ahead of the 2015 season that begins March 22, is the son of former MLS star Roy Lassiter and was born in Costa Rica while his father was playing there.

Costa Rica will play in the IMG Suncoast Pro Classic in Bradenton, Fla. Feb. 18-28 against Columbus Crew SC, Philadelphia Union, New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC in addition to USL outfit OKC Energy FC, Danish first division team HB Koge and London United, composed of players currently out of contract.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Reeling from criticism after string of poor results, U.S. seeks to rebound Sunday in Carson against Panama

clintstubhub Striker Clint Dempsey, above, and his USMNT teammates, training Monday in Carson, are seeking a new start to the new year Sunday at StubHub Center after a string of poor results culminated in a road loss last weekend to Chile to begin a pivotal 2015 (Photos by Staff Photographer Robert Casillas).

USMNT Jurgen Klinsmann, despite being taken to task by MLS Commissioner Don Garber for his criticism of the league and how it dovetails with the aspirations of U.S. Soccer, continued Monday to point out the shortcomings of American soccer culture ahead of Sunday’s clash with Panama in Carson.

“The (foreign) teams that have peer pressure in their environment allow themselves to drop 10 or 20 percent not 30 or 40 percent; that is the difference with what we deal with in the aftermath of the World Cup,” he said. “Their club environment puts them back on their toes. … Our players are not there yet educationally or mentally to understand the dynamic so they lose their spots on their European teams or they drop 30 or 40 percent in MLS.”

For more on Sunday’s U.S.-Chile game Sunday in Carson, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

BradleyStubHub USMNT midfielder Michael Bradley wasn’t interested in talking to all of three reporters Monday at the USMNT training camp in Carson. Will he do his talking on the field?

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Twitter reaction to 3-2 USMNT loss against Chile as LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes wins first cap (and watch the goals on video)

Here are the U.S. goals:

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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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FA Cup Weekend kicks off at 7 a.m. Saturday on Fox Sports 1 with Manchester City-Middlesborough

Fox Sports 1: 7 a.m. Saturday Manchester City-Middlesborough

Fox Sports 2: 9:30 a.m. Saturday Liverpool-Bolton Wanderers

Fox Sports 2: 6 a.m. Sunday Bristol City-West Ham United

A complete FA Cup TV schedule is here.

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