Thursday Kicks: Mexico’s Gold Cup crunch clash & more

*To say there’s a bit of pressure on Mexico this evening in Seattle is a bit of an understatement give the team’s poor recent run of results. You can watch how this plays out at 7:30 tonight on Fox Soccer.

*Will Chivas USA provide a cure Friday for the wall Philadelphia Union coach John Hackworth is worried about?

*Caleb Calvert made history earlier this week when he became the youngest pro in Chivas USA franchise history. Well, today the Wrightwood resident was named the Western Conference U-15/16 National Player of the Year:

“Personally it means I have achieved something I thought I wouldn’t have accomplished in quite a while and I’m just shocked and amazed by it,” Calvert said. “Now I want to use this as stepping stone, move forward and get better.”.

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Chivas USA snag Torres from CD Guadalajara

torresTorres arrives: Chivas USA’s goal shy front line got some badly needed reinforcements today in the form of striker Erick Torres (Photo courtesy Chivas USA).

As expected, Chivas USA’s long-rumored loan move for 22-year-old striker Erik Torres from CD Guadalajara was completed today.

“Cubo,” as he is known, most notably scored a half dozen goals in 15 games in the 2011 Clausura for the mothership. He came up through CD Guadalajara’s youth system and made his professional debut in 2010 at age 17.

“Érick’s arrival is very important to Chivas USA as he will strengthen an area of the team that most needs it,” said Technical Director José Luis Real. “He’s a different and highly experienced player. He’s a young forward who made his debut at age 17 and who has always proven himself to be a player with a very bright future. Mentally he is very strong and positive, and that’s what we need in a center forward at Chivas.”

Torres, who will wear the No. 10 shirt, is awaiting paperwork and it’s unclear whether he will be eligible to play against the Union Friday in Philadelphia.

Chivas USA is at the bottom of the Western Conference and has scored just 16 goals this year, the second fewest in the league.

 

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Fourth of July holiday weekend kicks: Galaxy, USMNT & more

HDC_FireworksIt’s an incredibly busy long holiday weekend of soccer action in the area, but I will take the Fourth of July and beyond off for what I believe is the first time since the former Home Depot Center opened in 2003, which means no column Tuesday either.

While I will add links to this blog post when I’m not clutching a cold beverage, posting will be even more spotty than usual on a holiday weekend.

Before I go there’s time to note that:

*Four goals in four MLS games since joining the Chicago Fire has earned former Galaxy cult figure Mike Magee the MLS Player of the Month award. The MLS leading scorer led the Fire to an unbeaten 3-0-1 record in June since joining the club May 25. In contrast the Galaxy lost four games last month and only managed to beat lowly Chivas USA.

*The Galaxy have a chance to improve on that record with their annual Independence day game that features opponents the Columbus Crew, the former club of Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers, who replaced Magee on the LA roster.

*If you’ll be in San Diego for the holiday, check out the free U.S. national team training session open to the public ahead of Friday’s 8 p.m. friendly against Guatemala. Gate H at Qualcomm Stadium opens at 4:30 p.m. Thursday for the public.

*Heading to Pasadena Sunday for the Gold Cup opening doubleheader that includes Mexico? Don’t forget to wave:

 

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Weekly Soccer Column: Summer of soccer schedule, Carlos Bocanegra comes home to Southern California with Chivas USA

dodgerstadium

Dodger Stadium will host two soccer games this summer for the first time in the venue’s 51-year-old history (Daily Breeze file photo).

Read the column here.

For the complete Galaxy CONCACAF Champions League schedule mentioned in the column, click here.

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Video Highlights: Van Nuys’ Tristan Bowen scores for Chivas USA, Neymar’s wonder move, no LA Galaxy action worth showing

Having sat through the Galaxy’s largely flat and uninteresting 0-0 draw with the Portland Timbers Wednesday in Carson it’s perhaps best, if you must know more, to read the account by staff writer Phil Collin and skip the video lowlights.

Not so coincidentally no one had much interesting to say afterward either, coach Bruce Arena conducting a post-game press conference all of two minutes long.

I asked him what his team had discussed in the locker room after the game about their (largely invisible) offense. He said they hadn’t really talked about it. I asked him to elaborate and he said he couldn’t because, well, they hadn’t talked about it.

Seemed reasonable based on the game. One of those games when you look forward more to the beer afterward than a substantive post-game discussion, frankly, or find more than a degree of empathy with this sort of lawsuit (why are soccer fans forced to subsidize the Dodgers and Lakers anyway)?

Let’s hope Passback Pete hides that game video from the kids in the Academy. And not much of an ad for the upcoming less than SuperClasico lately against host Chivas USA at the rather late hour of 8 p.m. on Sunday. Will it be a stinker of a game…?

Speaking of Chivas USA, they lost again so I’m sure most of us from Southern California don’t want to see that, even you hardy, but dwindling number of Goats fans out there. Van Nuys’ Tristan Bowen had a great opener against the Whitecaps in Vancouver though that sadly will become largely a footnote in the loss. Cool goal though by the former Galaxy forward:

And, while we’re on the subject of a play worth seeing again, check out one Neymar today for Brazil against Mexico in the Confederations Cup:

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Wednesday Video Kicks: USMNT highlights, LA Galaxy preview & more

A busy day for Southern California soccer fans no matter what team or nation you support.

So let’s dig in starting with the highlights of the U.S. men’s win over Honduras:

It wasn’t a vintage performance by the U.S. men Tuesday night, but it was enough to see off Honduras, solidify the American position atop the group and all but qualify for the World Cup. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann may have said it best in this game story from sister newspaper The Salt Lake City Tribune: “The big picture is that we are growing,” he said. Quite.

MLS

The faltering Galaxy meet the surging Portland Timbers as StubHub Center makes its official game debut tonight and the visitors are eying first place in the Western Conference.

Meanwhile, last place Chivas USA have scuttled all the way to Canada for its first game under yet another new coach with the Vancouver Whitecaps promising to #kicksomechivas tonight. The Vancouver perspective is here.

Also:

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Former Galaxy striker Herculez Gomez joining Club Tijuana & more

xoloslogoThe Mexican club are expected to formally announce the latest addition to their growing American contingent later today.

If you plan to head to TJ to watch the LA native with the thousands of other Americans who regularly cross the border for games, however, read the last paragraph of the story.

At least Gomez, who like the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan was recently named to the pool of potential players for the Gold Cup, won’t have to travel far for the recently announced July 5 U.S.-Guatemala in San Diego ahead of the tournament.

Gomez, of course, is currently with the U.S. team in Jamaica ahead of Friday’s now even more critical World Cup qualifier for the hosts after last night’s loss to Mexico left them already dangerously adrift in the standings.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Crooks, heroes and up and comers

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).

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Thursday Kicks: El Tri, LA Galaxy & More

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