Gyasi Zardes called up for USMNT World Cup qualifying

zardesUSOne day after scoring his first two goals of the MLS season, Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes was called up for the U.S. men’s national team’s World Cup Qualifying matches against Guatemala.

Zardes is one of 26 players to make the cut for the critical qualifying matches. The team travels to Guatemala for a 7 p.m. matchup on March 25, then play the second leg of the series on March 29 at 4 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio. L.A. is taking an international break during the weekend.

“I see it as an opportunity to keep working hard and keep learning,” Zardes said after scoring twice the Galaxy’s 3-1 win over San Jose on Saturday. “Every time I get with the national team, I learn so much, not only from the coaching staff, but from the other players who play in different leagues, who play in  the Bundesliga or the EPL. Just playing alongside those guys really helped me progress as a player and as I keep going, I just hope to get better.”

The United States is tied with Trinidad and Tobago for the top spot in Group C with four points and need to finish in the top two to advance to the next round of qualifying. The team plays its final group stage qualifying matches in September, facing St. Vincent and The Grenadines on Sept. 2 and Trinidad and Tobago on Sept. 6.

Former Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was also called up to the national team.

Full roster

world cup qualiying

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ICYMI: Brazil-Ecuador, Colombia-Paraguay and Mexico-Jamaica to play Copa America Centenario games at Rose Bowl this summer


The draw for the 16-team tournament that will be held in the U.S. for the first time ever was Sunday.

The Rose Bowl hosts three first-round fixtures: Brazil vs. Ecuador Saturday, June 4; Colombia vs. Paraguay Tuesday, June 7; and Mexico vs. Jamaica Thursday, June 9.

A complete schedule is here.

Full details and ticket information is here.

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Chivas to play Arsenal July 31 at StubHub Center in Carson



Arsenal will tour the U.S. for the second time in three years and will also play against the MLS All-Star team July 28 in San Jose.

“Pre-season is a critically important time for us and we are delighted to be coming to San Jose and Los Angeles to participate in the 2016 MLS All-Star Game and to play Chivas,” said Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger. “We have tremendous support across America and enjoyed our visit to New York in the summer of 2014 when we played the New York Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena.”

BTW: Arsenal have won 13 English championships; Chivas USA have won 11 Mexican league titles.

Ticket information has yet to be announced.

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MLS Pre-season Video Highlights: LA Galaxy-Club Tijuana




“We understand each other,” central defender Jelle van Damme said of his rapport with Brazilian defensive partner Leonardo.”As defenders you need to speak a lot and help each other out, and with Ashley as well. You need to talk a lot and I like to talk. It’s always a good feeling for the fans to have a clean sheet.”

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Watch the live stream of LA Galaxy-Club Tijuana from StubHub Center here at 7 p.m. Tuesday


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Fox acquires U.S. English-language TV rights to air Mexico home games




Fox Sports has secured the English language broadcast rights to Mexican National Team games through the 2018 World Cup, the network announced today.

Fox Sports 1 will televise all El Tri home matches, including a highly anticipated qualifier between Mexico and the United States from the Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, should both teams advance in World Cup qualifying.

“Outside of Mexico, the United States has more El Tricolor supporters than anywhere else in the world,” said David Nathanson, head of business operations for Fox Sports. “FOX Sports is now home to the most prestigious tournaments featuring El Tricolor including the 2016 Copa America Centenario, 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup for which Mexico will represent the CONCACAF region, and the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.”

The first game under the deal airs Wednesday when Mexico, under new coach Juan Carlos Osorio, faces Senegal.

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USMNT opens 2016 with win over Iceland

Photo by Micah Escamilla/The Sun

Photo by Micah Escamilla/The Sun

The young guns looked good for the U.S. men’s national team in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Iceland, but veteran Jozy Altidore surely impressed as well. The 26-year-old scored once and got the hockey assist on Michael Orozco’s goal in the 59th minute.

The Toronto FC forward was active up top for the United States during his 75 minutes on the StubHub Center pitch, making dangerous runs and drawing four fouls. Injuries have hampered Altidore in recent years and he said he is focused on maintaining his health to have a successful year.

“I’m just trying to work that much harder, to be that much fitter. To me, the biggest thing is health. trying to keep the injuries to a minimum because that has hurt me int he past couple of years. Continue reading

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