The Galaxy today loaned forward Chad Barrett and his $250,000 salary to Norway’s Vlerenga through the end of their 2012 season, which concludes in November.
The 27-year-old has just one goal and three assists in 18 games with the Galaxy this season.
“The guys were on fire here and we’re really deep at forward,” Barrett told the Galaxy’s website. “I was approached by my agent, who said there was interest overseas and it was a team that I almost went with when I was with Toronto.
“Obviously, I didn’t produce as well as I should of, so there are a lot of factors that go into it,” he added, observing that he is in the final year of his MLS contract. “Ultimately, this is probably what is best for me at this particular juncture. Like I said, I hate bringing politics into this locker [room], but that’s why we have agents and sometimes you got to do it.”
Barrett, who trained with Vlerenga for a week earlier this month, travels to Oslo on Wednesday to link up with the club, which lies sixth in the league with a 7-6-4 record.
In total, Barrett has eight goals and eight assists in 45 regular season games for the Galaxy since joining the club from Toronto in January 2011.
He missed last year’s MLS Cup with an injury.
*The Galaxy announced today the upcoming home game against the Colorado Rapids was pushed forward two days to 8 p.m. Friday, Sept. 14 (live on KDOC) to give players extra time to recover before their first road Sept. 19 CONCACAF Champions League game against the Puerto Rico Islanders.
The MLS game was originally set for Sunday, Sept. 16.
“We have made this decision, with the support of Major League Soccer and our opponents the Colorado Rapids, for purely competitive reasons,” said Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein. “We want to position our team as best we can to be successful in our trip to Puerto Rico on September 19 to face the Islanders in the CONCACAF Champions League and felt that we would be more adequately prepared for that important game with two extra days of rest and training ahead of it.”
*Meanwhile, it’s city of Torrance Night at the Aug. 26 Galaxy-Dallas game at Home Depot Center.
*El Salvador will play Guatemala Aug. 11 at Home Depot Center. Tickets starting at $30 went on sale Monday.
*Chivas USA will give away 2,500 backpacks to children attending KIds Day Out, the unprecedented 1 p.m. Wednesday MLS game against the Portland Timbers at the HDC. The forecast high Wednesday for Carson: 72 degrees.
Soccer pride: Polish lawmaker Robert Biedron holds Euro 2012 soccer championships mascots during a gay rights parade last weekend in the Euro 2012 cohost nation (AP Photo).
I have returned from vacation (thanks to those of you who noticed the lack of blogging) just in time for my favorite soccer tournament, Euro 2012
Eurosnobs will tell you this ESPN-televised tournament is the best on the planet involving national teams generally of higher quality across the board than the World Cup.
And they’d be right.
What’s more, the tournament is rivaling the World Cup when it comes to money, too.
How big is it? Associated Press sports writer Graham Dunbar breaks down the numbers (and I wonder what the Galaxy’s cut is for Irish striker Robbie Keane):
WARSAW, Poland (AP) — The European Championship begins Friday boasting the numbers to back its reputation as one of world sports’ elite events.
UEFA will earn commercial revenues of at least $1.6 billion for the 16-team tournament in Poland and Ukraine, rivaling FIFA’s 32-nation World Cup for average match value.
With each match slot expected to draw an average television audience of 150 million fans
worldwide, Euro 2012 will bring a near-daily diet of ratings bigger than the Super Bowl.
A 237 million audience for the Euro 2008 final was worthy of a Summer Olympics opening
“You can see it is mega,” said David Taylor, chief executive of UEFA Events, which has contracts with 203 broadcasters. “Certainly, when we are talking to sponsors and others, they are interested in the wider global impact.”
Such global popularity allows UEFA to be a generous host and budget to earn a nine-figure profit. Teams get a bigger participation fee than at the World Cup and clubs get a bigger share than FIFA gives from World Cup revenues.
It also helps explain why six of FIFA’s major sponsors team with UEFA for the quadrennial
“We would never claim to be bigger than the World Cup,” Taylor told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “But you can see in certain territories, if your own national team is doing well you get some very good numbers.”
When champion Spain and semifinalist Russia starred four years ago, the national ratings set records.
UEFA’s financial figures for Euro 2012 also stack up well despite a global downturn and doubts lingering over the co-hosts.
The 31-match tournament is set to reap $51.6 million a game, compared with FIFA’s average earnings of $56.7 million from the 2010 World Cup. In South Africa, FIFA banked $3.6 billion in commercial revenue tied to its 64-match prize asset.
“It’s very robust and a good performance commercially to come up with these numbers,” Taylor said. “Particularly given the environment in which we were working and the countries concerned. At the outset we were unsure how our sponsors would react to go to eastern Europe, and going to these countries in particular, but the reaction has been positive.”
UEFA gambled going behind the old Iron Curtain, even as its Champions League becomes a popular and commercial juggernaut which could ultimately undermine national team soccer.
A fashionable view values the Champions League above the World Cup, and its commercial revenues will top $1.6 billion for each of the next three seasons.
Fans’ appetite for week-in, week-out drama has also made England’s Premier League a cash cow with 20 clubs sharing almost $1.54 billion in prize money last season.
Still, UEFA will profit from Euro 2012, though short of the $394 million banked last time in
risk-free Austria and Switzerland.
“The actual net left for UEFA will be less than Euro 2008, but the actual operational
performance in terms of revenue will be at or about the same level,” Taylor said.
UEFA spent more than expected helping Poland and Ukraine authorities manage the Euro 2012 project. A $49,750 payment per match was also added for teams who must fly between the neighbors to games.
UEFA also chose to spread $124 million among clubs worldwide as daily-rate compensation for releasing their players to take part. FIFA will pay just $70 million to bring twice as many players to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
UEFA will pay a further $244 million in participation and prize money to the 16 national
associations. A team can earn a maximum $23 million for lifting the trophy having won all three group games. Spain got $30 million from FIFA for its 2010 World Cup title.
And UEFA gives FIFA its taste of Euro 2012 revenues — a 1 percent levy on total sales of the 1.4 million tickets available. That’s estimated to be worth $1.43 million for soccer’s world governing body, UEFA said Tuesday.
Yet for all the outlay, there’s more money looming in UEFA’s near future.
Euro 2016 in France will have 24 teams and 51 matches. At today’s rate, that’s a $2.6 billion tournament.
Only happy when it rains?: Don’t call him Garbage; David Beckham’s England career will be honored next month in Blighty (AP Photo).
The recognition comes as the Galaxy and the rest of MLS is on an international break, so at least David Beckham won’t miss any MLS games, although maybe he will play in Tuesday’s U.S. Open Cup game back in Carolina before heading across the pond. Hey, it’s sorta on the way.
Here’s more from AP Sports Writer Rob Harris:
LONDON (AP) — David Beckham’s England career will be honored at the team’s final European Championship warmup match, with the former captain receiving an award from the continent’s governing body for players who have at least 100 international appearances.
The 37-year-old Los Angeles Galaxy midfielder, who made the last of his 115 appearances for England in 2009, will receive a commemorative cap and medal at halftime of the June 2 exhibition against Belgium at Wembley, the English Football Association told The Associated Press.
The award will also be presented to 1966 World Cup-winning forward Bobby Charlton, who played 106 times for England, and retired goalkeeper Peter Shilton, who made a record 125 appearances.
Family members of 1966 World Cup captain Bobby Moore and Billy Wright, a defender in the 1940s and ’50s, will receive the award from FA chairman David Bernstein.
The ceremony was introduced by Michel Platini, the president of the Union of European Football Associations, to celebrate players who have played in at least 100 national team games.
Despite never winning any honors with England, Beckham established himself as the biggest star English soccer has produced.
“Throughout my career I’ve been pretty successful,” Beckham said last week. “I’ve played for some pretty big teams. I’ve played for my country quite a few times and for managers without sentiment … I’m very proud of the fact and I have always found it an honor that people want to buy my shirt, that fans turn up to watch the team I am playing in or to see myself. I’ve always found that a huge honor.”
After beginning his career at Manchester United in 1992, Beckham made his England debut against Moldova in September 1996.
The low point of his international career came at his first World Cup, in 1998, when he was sent off for petulantly kicking out at Argentine midfielder Diego Simeone. Some England fans hung effigies of Beckham after the second-round loss.
Beckham managed to bounce back and his injury-time goal on a free kick against Greece clinched a World Cup berth. He then captained the team at the 2002 World Cup under coach Sven-Goran Eriksson.
Beckham tearfully relinquished the England captaincy after the 2006 tournament, when England reached the quarterfinals for the second straight time. He was then dropped from the squad by new coach Steve McClaren, but was restored in the ultimately unsuccessful 2008 European Championship qualifying campaign.
Beckham’s international career survived initially in 2010 World Cup qualifying under McClaren’s replacement, Fabio Capello, who coached him at Real Madrid.
But Beckham was injured three months before the World Cup in South Africa and went only in a non-playing role as an unofficial coach.
Despite returning to fitness after the tournament, Beckham was dismissed by Capello as being too old for a role in team, meaning that his appearance as a second-half substitute against Belarus in October 2009 earned him his 115th and last international cap.
Beckham’s focus now is securing a spot in Britain’s soccer team at the London Olympics.
He has been included in coach Stuart Pearce’s 80-man shortlist that will be whittled down to 18 shortly to form Britain’s first Olympic squad since 1960. If chosen, he would be one of the three players over age 23 allowed on each roster
Party on: “Soccer is the world’s sport and Las Vegas is the world’s playground,” said Vegas-based Justice Entertainment Group Chairman and CEO Susan Joseph.
Tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Thursday and start at $68.
Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino is host hotel.
Bonus coverage: Soccer blog DuNord has a list of all the soccer friendlies involving foreign teams announced so far this summer in the U.S. here.
Are we getting spoilt? This is the fourth time since 2005 Real Madrid will have faced the Galaxy in Southern California, something those of you who picked up a free Galaxy poster at the gate Saturday for the Red Bull game apparently already knew.
Or is it just that these expensive meaningless friendlies – this one will be at smallish Home Depot Center Aug. 2 so ticket prices will presumably have to be higher all around than those at bigger venues – don’t really tell us much about either team despite the hyperbole that always surrounds the occasion.
“It will truly be one of the must-see sporting events of the year,” Galaxy Chief Operating Officer Chris McGowan said.
Hmm, dunno about that. Last year’s 4-1 win for Real Madrid at the Coliseum on Carmageddon night was hardly a nail-biter. The Galaxy also predictably lost to Madrid in 2005 and 2010.
That the game is scheduled at all here probably says more about the fact the current Spanish champions really like training at UCLA than anything else.
This post has nothing to do with soccer in and around Los Angeles and everything to do about a player who is emerging as arguably the greatest ever to play the sport. If you’re a soccer fan (and if not why are you here?) read this piece by Associated Press Sports Writer Joseph Wilson — and wonder:
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Step aside John Cruyff.
Move over Laszlo Kubala, Romario and Ronald Koeman. And, please, don’t even mention Ronaldinho.
If anyone doubted who is the best scorer to don Barcelona’s burgundy and blue, Lionel Messi ended the debate in emphatic fashion on Tuesday night with a hat trick to become the club’s career goals leader.
Messi broke Cesar Rodriguez’s 57-year-old Barcelona record, getting his eighth hat trick of the season in a 5-3 Spanish league win over Granada that increased his goals total to 234.
“We are before the best player in absolutely every facet,” Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola said. “He is capable of everything that a football player must do and he does it every three days. I am sorry for those who want to dethrone him, but he is simply different from all the rest. Messi has entered the history of the club at just 24 years of age. If he continues like this in the coming years, he will score so many goals that he will never be surpassed.”
Guardiola said that Messi was to soccer what Chicago Bulls great Michael Jordan was to
“Jordan dominated his sport and Messi dominates this one,” the former Barcelona midfielder said. “The first thing about Messi to point out is his mentality. He has great quality, of course. But the important thing is his mental strength.”
While Cesar set the mark in 13 seasons from 1942-1955, Messi needed just under eight campaigns to pass his milestone.
“He is defining an era. He is the best,” Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdez said.
Nicknamed “The Flea” for his headlong, goal-bound bursts, Messi made his Barcelona debut in 2004.
He tied Cesar’s record on a left-footed shot in the 17th minute for his 232nd goal, then chipped the goalkeeper for a 3-2 lead in the 67th. He added a goal from a tight angle in the 86th, increasing his season total to a career-best 54.
A three-time FIFA player of the year, Messi has 17 goals during a seven-game scoring streak and leads La Liga with 34 goals, two ahead of Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
The hat trick was Messi’s 18th for Barcelona and gave him 154 goals in his last 153 games over three seasons. His six hat tricks in La Liga this season tie the record set by Ronaldo last year.
Messi has scored 153 goals in the Spanish league, 49 in the Champions League, 19 in the Copa del Rey, eight in the Spanish Supercup, four in the Club World Cup and one in the European Supercup.
Late Monday, Barcelona announced Cesar’s total from 1942-55 was three fewer than the team previously said. A review by Barcelona’s Center of Documentation and Studies and the La Vanguardia newspaper determined Cesar did not score goals attributed to him during the 1947-48, 1948-49, 1949-50 and 1952-53 seasons and also credited him with an additional goal in 1945-46.
Barcelona’s sixth consecutive league win cut first-place Real Madrid’s lead to five points ahead of its game at Villarreal on Wednesday.
“Messi was calm as always after the game and thanked us all for our efforts,” said Cristian Tello, who also scored for Barcelona. “I have no doubt that he will end up as the best to have ever played this sport. Each game he shows that he is on another level. He doesn’t stop surprising us.”
CONCACAF qualifying for the London Summer Olympic Games begins Thursday in Nashville, Tenn., and Friday in Carson at Home Depot Center.
Today’s column amounts to a modest primer.
The price is right: you get two games with tickets starting at $20.