Improbable Liga MX playoffs reaches semifinals

Pachuca's German Cano heads the ball alongside America's Rubens Sambueza at a Mexican soccer league match in Mexico City, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Palma)

Pachuca’s German Cano heads the ball alongside America’s Rubens Sambueza at a Mexican soccer league match in Mexico City, Saturday, May 16, 2015. (AP Photo/Christian Palma)

Improbable is a good word to use to describe what happened in Mexico’s Liga MX this past weekend in the first round round of the playoffs, a.k.a, la liguilla.

The fact that no club really took a commanding hold of the league during the regular season– the top 12 teams were separated in the standings by only five points— should have been an indicator that things could get crazy in the playoffs. But no one could have anticipated a Liga MX semifinals without any the top four seeds in the playoffs. None. No Tigres, no Club America, no Veracruz and no Atlas.

Improbable is not bad, though.

I’m certainly not complaining about being witness to some amazing soccer, and one supporters group’s very angry reaction. Passion, which can not be manufactured with clever marketing, was on clear display during the first round of “la liguilla” and I hope it continues to be present in the semifinals.

No. 5 Chivas vs. No. 8 Santos: The safe bet is to pick Chivas to move on to the finals, but don’t overlook Santos– and nothing has been safe, so far, anyway. Santos is 5-1-3, including playoffs, since losing to Club America on March 14. Before Sunday’s 4-1 win over Atlas, Chivas had just one win in its previous seven contests. The first leg of the series is Thursday at Santos’ TSM Corona stadium Thursday at 8 p.m.

No. 6 Chiapas vs. No. 7 Pachuca: While Chiapas’ is not a household brand in the U.S., their roster features a few familiar names– most notably, Brazil’s Ronadinho. Former Vancouver forward Camilo Sanvezzo and ex Chivas USA defender Johnny Bornstein (Los Alamitos H.S.) are also part of the club. Chiapas benefited from a bit of Roanldinho magic, and a goalkeeping error, to beat Veracruz and advance to the semifinals. They’ve only lost once in their last nine games. Pachuca is no stranger to this stage of the tournament, they’re one of the winningest clubs in Mexico of the last two decades, but not many gave them a chance after receiving a seventh seed. They advanced to the semifinals by beating America with an aggregate score of 7-5. The first leg of the semifinals is Thursday at 6 p.m. at Pachuca’s Estadio Miguel Hidalgo.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Video: U.S. Olympics team downs Mexico 3-0 in Carson

Read more here. And before anyone asks, it doesn’t appear all three goals are available on YouTube


Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

U.S.-Mexico Olympic teams clash tonight in Carson live at 8 p.m. on UniMas from StubHub Center

From the U.S. Soccer press release:

In six matches between the U.S. U-23’s and Mexico since 1992 (when Olympic soccer was first designated as an Under-23-tournament), the USA has gone 5-2-0, including a victory during the squads last matchup on Feb. 29, 2012 by a score line that has become familiar for these two rivals: 2-0.

Mexico, the defending Olympic champion, went an undefeated 10-0-1 in its 11 matches in 2012 on the way to the gold medal and will look to continue that success with the 20-man roster it has brought to Carson for this match.

The 2015 CONCACAF Men’s Olympic Qualifying championship will be played in the United States from Oct.1-13.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

MLS Monday Rewind: USMNT sensation Jordan Morris on U.S. roster for U-23 clash against Mexico Wednesday in Carson, last-gasp Galaxy win and more

morrisMagic Morris: After scoring the winner on his USMNT debut against Mexico, Jordan Morris will attempt to repeat the feat Wednesday in Carson for the U-23 team (AP Photo)

In a move that should add a twist of intrigue to Wednesday’s U-23 pre-Olympic qualifying tune-up in Carson against Mexico, USMNT and Stanford star Jordan Morris was named to the roster Monday along with the Galaxy’s Jose Villarreal and Oscar Sorto.

Morris scored the first goal in the 2-0 U.S. win over Mexico last week of course:

Goalkeepers: Cody Cropper (Southampton; Maple Grove, Minn.), Jon Kempin (San Antonio Scorpions; Leawood, Kan.); defenders: Christian Dean (Vancouver Whitecaps; East Palo Alto, Calif.), Juan Pablo Ocegueda (Alebrijes de Oaxaca; Riverside), Boyd Okwuonu (Real Salt Lake; Edmund, Okla.), Shane O’Neill (Colorado Rapids; Boulder, Colo.), Dillon Serna (Colorado Rapids; Brighton, Colo.), Oscar Sorto (LA Galaxy; Los Angeles), Sam Strong (UC Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara), Walker Zimmerman (FC Dallas; Lawrenceville, Ga.); midfielders: Fatai Alashe (San Jose Earthquakes; Northville, Mich.), Luis Gil (Real Salt Lake; Garden Grove,), Alejandro Guido (Club Tijuana; Chula Vista), Benji Joya (Santos Laguna; San Jose), Daniel Metzger (New York Red Bulls II; Holmdel, N.J.); forwards: Alonso Hernandez (C.F. Monterrey; El Paso, Texas), Alfred Koroma Shams (Unattached; Southlake Carol, Texas), Jordan Morris (Stanford; Mercer Island, Wash.), Mario Rodriguez (Borussia Mönchengladbach; North Hollywood), Jose Villarreal (LA Galaxy; Inglewood.)

Tickets are still available; the game is also live at 8 p.m. on UniMas.

Gonzalez shakes a leg

MLS beat writer Phil Collin watched the Galaxy stretch their home unbeaten streak to 25 games Saturday with a lucky last-minute winner by Omar Gonzalez with virtually the last kick of the game.

Next for the Galaxy: at New York Sunday against the Eastern Conference-leading Red Bulls, the only remaining undefeated team in MLS this season. The Red Bulls beat the San Jose Earthquakes over the weekend.

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekend Video Soccer Rewind: LA Galaxy in D.C., Mexico at the Coliseum

mex1Viva Mexico: Packed Coliseum crowd sees Chicharito score El Tri’s lone winner against Ecuador (Photo by Micah Escamilla/Los Angeles Daily News).

Staff Writer Chris Trevino had the game recap.

Galaxy-D.C. United game story via The Washington Post

Quotable:

“We have nobody to blame but ourselves, but I thought the referee made a bad call at the end,” Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said. “It was ridiculous, the way he called the game. That is just part of it though and we have to accept responsibility too.

“The ref was inconsistent and you cannot let the goalkeeper get charged at the end,” he added. “Having said that, we still should have gotten a point today. Losing that game was ridiculous.”

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

International Soccer Preview: Mexico-Ecuador from Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum headlines weekend games

mexcolESPN2 will show the sold out game live.

Staff Writer Jaime Cardenas has the preview.

So you missed Spain beating Ukraine 1-0 and England dispensing with Lithuania 4-0 Friday?

Don’t worry, there are plenty more international games on tap this weekend.

Here are our recommended games:

  • 1:20 p.m. Saturday BeIN Sports Argentina-El Salvador
  • 7 a.m. Sunday BeIN Sports Brazil-Chile
  • 9 a.m. Sunday Fox Sports 2 Georgia-Germany (Euro 2016 qualifier)
Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Weekly Soccer Column: Gold Cup, Olympic qualifying, Women’s World Cup cram 2015 international calendar

Need a cheat sheet to keep up? Check out this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Name-dropping Soccer Round-Up: Hope Solo, Bruce Arena, Sigi Schmid and more

Busy day in soccer news included:

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email

Tweets of the Day: The career of LA Galaxy star Landon Donovan by the numbers, meet MLS star Kei Kamara Saturday in Lomita and more

Facebook Twitter Plusone Digg Reddit Stumbleupon Tumblr Email