World Cup help is on the way for Chivas USA, eventually

But will it get there fast enough?

Midfielder Oswaldo Minda played for Ecuador, which was eliminated in the groups stages of the World Cup. Midfielder Marvin Chavez played for Honduras, which suffered the same fate in Brazil.

They’re on their way back to Chivas USA, and if they arrived in time to play for in Wednesday’s game at San Jose, it would be not a moment too soon for a team that played Saturday night and plays again next Saturday.

For Chivas coach Wilmer Cabrera, you could almost see the pain of weighing what the duo just went through with their respective nations against what he needs with his own club after Saturday’s win over Real Salt Lake.

“We’re waiting for them,” Cabrera said. “We need to see what kind of condition they are mentally and physically because when you finish a competition like the World Cup, you need to have a little bit of a mental break. Because of the adrenaline you have spent in that tournament, you cannot recover in three or four days.

“We’re going to try to bring them in a very good way, we’re going to try to give them a little break but obviously we need them. We need to have them, because that’s why they’re World Cup players. It’s important for them to be with us.”

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Watch: Two great goals from Hawthorne’s Gyasi Zardes and Cubo Torres give LA Galaxy and Chivas USA MLS shutout wins

“If Barcelona scored a goal like that, people would be talking about it for weeks,” said Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan. “It was a good sequence: it was a great ball by Robbie, great run by Marcelo and Gyasi peeled off with a great run and a finish, so I think it was as good a team goal as you’ll seen in this league.”

Here’s the Chivas USA game story from Los Angeles News Group reporter Phil Collin
Reporter Elliott Almond from our sister newspaper the San Jose Mercury News has more on the Galaxy win over the Earthquakes

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Major League Soccer resumes today: LA Galaxy in San Jose, Chivas USA hosts Real Salt Lake

 

Reporter Phil Collin has the capsule previews for the Galaxy and Chivas USA games.

The Galaxy and Earthquakes have just four wins each.

A big crowd is expected at Stanford Stadium for tonight’s Galaxy-Earthquakes game.

Here’s the perspective from Salt Lake City via sister newspaper The Salt Lake City Tribune.

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Landon Donovan clams up, Bruce Arena talks World Cup

GalaxyLandon Donovan has been all over television delivering his takes on the World Cup. He refused to do so with the local media on Thursday.

“I have an obligation,” he said after finishing practice with the Galaxy, which resume MLS play Saturday against San Jose at Stanford.

That didn’t sit well. His opinion is exclusive to TV viewers for a certain network? Never mind the fact that the dozens of current and former athletes in all sports who have broadcast duties are happy to share their thoughts with anyone who asks from a different platform.

It was a completely strange juxtaposition, then, to have Galaxy coach Bruce Arena happy to opine on the United States’ standing in the World Cup. The Galaxy held off their practice until 11:30 on Thursday so they could watch the Americans face off against Germany.

And give a little leeway for Donovan’s segment of Q&A.

Arena, it should be mentioned, has time and again in the past been reticent to assess the play of the U.S., not wanting to step on the toes of his successors as the national team coach.

But he didn’t mind talking about the road of the U.S. and the tournament in general as it headed into the round of 16.

“It’s good to advance. The game wasn’t particularly good,” Arena said after Germany’s 1-0 victory. “They are playing one of the better teams in the world but that’s the way the U.S. is going to play. They’re going to grind it out, get good goalkeeping, create an odd chance every now and then but they’re a battling team, they’re a fit team, they’re an organized team.”

Arena on the next U.S. challenge:

“Belgium’s certainly a good team. It’s not a bad matchup for (the U.S.). It’s a good matchup for the U.S.”

Arena, of course, was coaching when the U.S. reached the final eight in 2002 following a landmark win over Mexico. The U.S. hasn’t been that close since, but has now advanced out of the group stage in two consecutive tournaments for the first time.

“I think it’s a sign of progress,” Arena said. “I think we need to obviously improve as a team but that’s not going to happen in this World Cup. We’re one or two World Cups away from competing with the big boys.”

And surviving the “Group of Death” with Germany, Ghana and Portugal?

“It’s good. There’s one very good team in the group in Germany,” Arena said. “The others were pretty close to each other and we managed to be the team that came out in the end. Ghana was a pretty talented team. Inconsistent, obviously, going into an important game more worried about the cash being on the plane. Very odd preparation.”

“Give the U.S. credit. They persevered in a very difficult group. I thought all along that they needed to get three points against Ghana and one point against Portugal and that’s the way it played out.”

And that means what?

“I should do (prognostication) rather than coaching,” he said with a smile. “I’m better at that I think than working with this team right now.

“Believe me, I don’t think anybody could have predicted this World Cup. At the end of the day when the dust settles, the big boys are going to be around, there aren’t going to be any Cinderellas. However, I think Costa Rica may make it to the last eight.”

Sorry, Greek fans.

And Arena on the first start for Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez:

“He did a good job.”

And Donovan would rather have talked about the Galaxy against San Jose.

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Chivas USA signs Japanese defender Akira Kaji

akirachivasChivas USA shores up its defense with a former Japanese international with World Cup experience (Photo courtesy Chivas USA).

Chivas USA has signed former Japanese international Akira Kaji from J-League Division 1 club Gamba Osaka, the club announced today.

The 34-year-old right back played for his country at the 2006 World Cup.

“Akira is a very experienced player who is going to help us solidify our back four,” said Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera. “He brings World Cup experience along with an impressive career in a league that is very strong, athletic, competitive and that has a very fast pace. He is a very technical and smart player capable of not only defending but also distributing and possessing the ball when going forward. We are very happy to have Akira join Chivas USA, as his addition will strengthen our team in all aspects.”

Kaji, who has made more than 225 J-League appearances, will be eligible to make his MLS debut after the international transfer window opens on July 8.

Chivas USA resumes action after the MLS World Cup break Saturday against Real Salt Lake in Carson.

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Sunday SuperClasico Preview: LA Galaxy-Chivas USA



Los Angeles News Group MLS writer Phil Collin has the preview and will be in attendance this afternoon taking in the game between two teams having sub-par seasons so far.

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World Cup Countdown: LA Galaxy-Chivas USA, USMNT-Nigeria highlight soccer TV weekend

SuperClasicoposter14Who knew there were any skyscrapers in suburban Carson? (I kid; the poster will be on sale at the game Sunday at StubHub Center with proceeds benefiting charity).

The Galaxy will face a Chivas USA team Sunday desperately adrift in MLS before making way for the World Cup for a couple of weeks.  It’s a doubleheader: LA Galaxy II (7-2-3) host the Dayton Dutch Lions (2-6-2) after the main event on the same field.

Other MLS games may offer more exciting options especially since it is a free MLS Live trial weekend. (if you haven’t seen a game on the MLS iPad app, you’re missing a thing of beauty. Check it out).

There’s a trio of international games today I’m watching:

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Watch: Two minute Sunday Soccer Rewind with LA Galaxy, USMNT goals

No time to watch the USMNT and Chicago Fire-LA Galaxy games Sunday?
Get caught up on the two games in about two minutes distilled down to two excellent goals.
The first from Fabian Johnson for the U.S. was the highlight of an entertaining game against Turkey, with a fragile U.S. defense and a sporadically dangerous attack (we’re looking at you goalless Jozy Altidore) unlikely to convince neutrals the Americans will even flirt with getting out of its tough group.

The second from Landon Donovan for the Galaxy was created by Robbie Rogers, who was playing some of his first senior minutes at full back for the injured Dan Gargan and looked far more dangerous going forward as a defender than he ever did as an attacking midfielder. Really.

The goal capped a woeful spectacle done in by the heat and humidity in Chicago. Don’t take my word for it, here’s what Irish striker Robbie Keane had to say:

 “I don’t know who makes these (expletive) stupid decisions.  Play a (expletive) game at three o’clock in the afternoon?  Who wants to watch that crap?  Do you?  I don’t want to watch that crap.  These people who haven’t got a clue about soccer make these decisions when we play a game.  Why not play at eight o’clock? It wasn’t on national television.  It’s so stupid.  They need to look at these games and use their head and be clever.  No player wants to play in that humidity.  Everyone was affected by the heat.  Why would you want to play at three o’clock in the afternoon?  On the hottest day of the year so far here in Chicago, knowing it is going to be that hot.  And you can’t blame the Kings-Hawks game because you didn’t know that was going to happen until two days ago.  This is absolutely ridiculous.  We have to stop.  We have to listen to the players instead of listening to people who have never kicked a soccer ball in their whole life.”

Next for the Galaxy: Against Chivas USA Sunday in Carson.

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TV Doubleheader Soccer Sunday Video Preview: USMNT, LA Galaxy

While you’re hanging around the house awaiting game 7 of the Kings series with a Stanley Cup berth at stake (5 p.m. NBCSN), there’s a Sunday soccer doubleheader made for Southern California: at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 the U.S. plays Turkey, followed by the Galaxy renewing acquaintances with Mike Magee and the Chicago Fire at 1 p.m. on TWCSN.

Oh, and reporter Phil Collin watched the latest Chivas USA loss last night in Carson, so we didn’t have to. Boxscore.

 

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