MLS TV Weekend Video Preview: Faltering LA Galaxy (3-4-5) host hot Houston Dynamo (4-4-4) at 7:30 tonight on Univision Deportes

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The Galaxy, winless in five games, meet a Dynamo team seeking their third straight win on a channel many English-speaking MLS fans don’t subscribe to.

And it will likely be a lightly attended game, too, given that LA traditionally clears out for the holiday weekend (maybe they should have held the game in Vegas since that’s where a good many Angelenos will) and tickets were being offered for 50 percent off this week.

Robbie Keane, who should return up front for the Galaxy tonight, has warned the incoming Steven Gerrard that he should not expect to come to Southern California with the attitude he is on summer vacation.

A game preview is here.

Finally, despite the Galaxy’s recent form there will be fireworks — literally — in the form of a post-gme fireworks display.

As for me I’m heading out of the office for a week, so expect light blogging here until I return.

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Weekly Soccer Column: LAFC hopes to create not just a club, but community through urban renewal

lafcfan2Football fan: LAFC owner Henry Nguyen spoke passionately earlier this week about using the expansion MLS club to help improve the community surrounding Exposition Park.

LAFC’s ambitious plans for its proposed $250 million stadium that will open in 2018 at Exposition Park extend off the site and into the surrounding economically depressed neighborhoods.

“Its a natural next step in the evolution and development and revitalization of the downntown corridor here,” said co-owner Henry Nguyen. “The Figueroa corridor is something that’s been talked about for decades and now we have an opportunity to be one of the southern gateways or landmarks of this corridor.

“No single entity including us can transform a neighborhood,” he added. “It takes a really collaborative effort. I feel like all the elements are here. You can’t avoid an area just because there’s problems. You really have to address it head on. … As many challenges there are to a site like this we can bring some solutions.”

Combined with a proposed soccer museum as part of 100,000-square-feet of redevelopment that will includes retail and offices, Nguyen hopes the stadium will become a tourist attraction. Go see the Space Shuttle next door at the California Science Center, then check out the soccer facility will become the message it seems.

“We have over seven million visitors to this great city every year and we hope this is one of the great landmarks they are going to want to see,” Nguyen said. “This is going to be an intimidating, tight, urban soundbox stadium.”

MLS Commissioner Don Garber hopes that LAFC will do for south Los Angeles what the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers did for their neighborhoods.

“We’ve seen what Seattle has been able to do to drive development in and around that building,” he said. “As the commissioner of a major sports league I believe stadiums drive development, drive opportunity and drive hope.”

And drive catchphrases apparently.

It all sounds good, but I suggest in this week’s column that a huge challenge lies ahead for LAFC in part because of the relatively insular campus they sit on that makes the area different from downtown Seattle or Portland (in part because it is not in a downtown, for instance).

For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

LAFCoutLAFC Fans: Will the LAFC crowd mirror the demographics of the neighborhood it calls home?

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Three things you didn’t know about the new LAFC franchise and its MLS stadium proposal

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You may not find these little nuggets in most news stories today about LAFC unveiling its stadium plans, but it’s offhand comments that often provide the most interesting factoids you might never have considered:

*The stadium site already has a nickname, according to owner Henry Nguyen, who, incidentally knows which English stadiums contain the Kop and Stretford End (do you?).

“The property is shaped like a boot and we’re probably going to end up calling it the boot,” he said. Sounds better than the cleat to me.

*For really big games, expect LAFC to use the next door LA Memorial Coliseum.

“I do expect our Classicos (with the Galaxy) to one day draw 80,000-90,000 people and we can go right next door,” he said.

*LAFC is not yet the club’s official name and is kind of sounding a tad repetitive in MLS these days, but given that this is Tinseltown don’t be surprised if that does indeed become the official club brand.

“Working titles tend to stick,” Nguyen said.

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MLS Video Rewind: LA Galaxy release “highlight” reel of crushing 4-0 loss to Orlando FC (the kickoff looked good)

Quotable:

“We were awful on the day, said coach Bruce Arena. “I had 14 players that played and I thought about three of them played in an acceptable manner. We were outplayed all over the field. Really, there’s not much you can say.

“Starting two young players in the attack probably didn’t help, but our passing was so poor,” he added. “For us to connect on anything it was dangerous and next to impossible because of the quality of our passing. We had a majority of players that didn’t play well.”

Notable:

“We basically helped create every one of their goals with our poor passing and dispossessing the last half of the field,” Arena said.

I think we’ll leave it at that.

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Video: Watch the official Liverpool tribute to Steven Gerrard before he heads to the LA Galaxy

farewellFinal farewell: Steven Gerrard played his final game Saturday at his beloved Anfield before heading to MLS and Southern California (Associated Press Photo).

Safe to say the outcome of the game itself was not what most at Anfield had in mind as a fitting end to an icon’s career.

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LAFC set to make major announcement on Monday, presumably about a stadium site near USC

Today’s announcement notification that’s set for 11:15 a.m. Monday (although the exact location is a secret for now):

Los Angeles Football Club will be making a major announcement regarding the Club’s future in Los Angeles. The announcement will feature prominent members from the Club’s ownership including venture capitalist and businessman Henry Nguyen, entertainment mogul Peter Guber, Club President Tom Penn, basketball legend Earvin Magic Johnson, U.S. soccer superstar Mia Hamm Garciaparra, MLB All-Star Nomar Garciaparra, and elected leaders.

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