Which pretty much covers the topics in this week’s column.
One omission from the list of locals called in to upcoming U-20 camps: Chivas USA’s Glendale-born forward Julio Morales was called into Mexico’s U-20 camp Monday (the information arrived from the club too late for inclusion in the column).
Squandering a surprisingly strong start to the season, Chivas USA displayed its familiar defensive frailties Saturday in a second straight loss that sent its record to 3-3-1 in succumbing 1-0 to Real Salt Lake and plunging down the standings after starting the day sitting in second place in the Western Conference.
Midfielder Edgar Mejia had an eventful day he won’t soon forget, missing a penalty kick and then getting himself sent off as the game wound down, pointlessly and blantantly throwing an elbow in midfield that encapsulated Chivas USA’s frustrating day.
Chivas USA produced a comedy of errors in conceding the game’s lone goal, giving the ball away inside RSL’s half before back pedaling and ball watching their way to a one-goal deficit.
Next for Chivas USA: San Jose Earthquakes Saturday at Home Depot Center
I have on occasion casually chatted with Reis’ mother-in-law, who is very proud of the accomplishments of her daughter’s husband. Now Reis’ father-in-law has become swept up in Monday’s terrorist attack, as Staff Writer Donna Littlejohn reports in this story.
Sending well-wishes to family of alums Nicole (Odom) Reis (@uclasoftball) & Matt Reis (@uclamsoccer). Nicole’s father was injured in Boston.
The Kraft Family, which owns the Revs and the NFL Patriots, announced today they will match $100,000 in donations for victims of the bombing:
The New England Patriots and New England Revolution Charitable Foundations will collect donations online, with funds earmarked to assist with victim recovery. Donations can be made at Patriots.com/donate or RevolutionSoccer.net/donate (please note “Boston Marathon” in field provided).
By the way, is it just me or aside from the Galaxy’s two entertaining CONCACAF Champions League games have we seen some poor games so far this year at Home Depot Center (and I blame the two local clubs’ quality of MLS opponents rather than them for the most part)?
In other Galaxy news, it appears a new international tournament will debut this summer that reportedly will include MLS’ flagship franchise, although whether this is any different from the usual procession of summer friendlies featuring out of shape stars and young prospects remains to be seen.
Staff Writer Phil Collin asks whether this is an early-season novelty act or represents a new reality for the club after Saturday’s win over Vancouver in Carson (featuring one lucky Chivas USA goal and one well-taken strike) in his game story.
And a class last-gasp goal it was too, capping an entertaining game that had a little of everything: defensive errors on both sides, excellent goals by both teams, the return of Landon Donovan, Mike Magee building on his cult-like status with yet another goal and fine performances by attack-minded local youngsters Jack McBean and Jose Villarreal.
Galaxy coach Bruce Arena did not blame central defender Omar Gonzalez for failing to shut down the Toronto attack that led to their second goal:
“It was a long week,” Arena said referring to Gonzalez’ starring role for the U.S. against Mexico earlier in the week. “He can see he was a little bit tired at the end. It’s a lot of games and a lot of travel. It’s not surprising his legs were heavy in the second half.
“He had to run more today than he did on Tuesday in Mexico. He did well, the whole team obviously as a defensive effort by the U.S. team was outstanding.”
Donovan conceded he has some work to do after missing a chance he usually would have put away as a matter of routine just seconds after coming into the game, but also appears to have rediscovered his zest for the game:
“I gave away a lot of passes that I wouldn’t normally give away,” he said.”I’m just not sharp in a soccer way and I’m probably going to need a week or two and then that will come back. … It was a lot of fun. I haven’t felt that way playing in a very long time. That was the desired goal when I stepped away and it was nice to be back.”