Game-winner Gordon reacts to scoring against former club Galaxy

The goal that gave the San Jose Earthquakes a road win Wednesday night in Carson against California rivals the Galaxy came deep into second half stoppage time and was Alan “Supersub” Gordon’s third consecutive late goal for the team to salvage at least a point and, in this case, a road win.

Considering Gordon played the better part of a half dozen seasons or so for the Galaxy before being traded to Chivas USA, you could be forgiven for thinking the goal held some special significance.

Not so, said the Long Beach native after the game:

“It feels amazing. I don’t have any grudge against LA or anything. It doesn’t feel anymore better here than somewhere else. We want points, we got points, we feel good right now.

Was it a lucky bounce?

“Of course. Forwards get lucky. I got lucky. I don’t care. I put it in. End of story. Period.

I was just following up the play,” he said earlier in the interview. “There was a little bit of hesitation on their part. … The ball bounced. They hesitated. I didn’t. I finished it.

Read more about Wednesday’s MLS action in the previous post

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Torrance to host AYSO National Games in 2014, honors MLS coach Sigi Schmid & father


Soccertown USA honors hometown soccer heroes Fritz Schmid and son, Sigi Schmid: From left, Torrance Mayor Frank Scotto; long-time AYSO referee Fritz Schmid; Valerie Schmid, wife of Seattle Sounders coach Sigi Schmid, an original AYSO player in the inaugural season in 1964; and Roland Schmid, of Seattle, Sigi’s brother, are honored Tuesday evening by the Torrance City Council for their contributions to soccer in the South Bay.

On the same evening AYSO announced Torrance would co-host the 2014 National Games in the community where the nonprofit was founded 50 years ago, the city honored long-time Torrance residents Fritz Schmid and his son, Sigi, former coach of UCLA, the Galaxy, Columbus Crew and currently, the Seattle Sounders.

Sigi Schmid moved to the city from Germany with his parents as a child and didn’t move away until he took the jobs in Columbus and Seattle.

“There’s a lot of East Coast guys who are discovering what we knew all along,” Sigi Schmid told the City Council, “that Torrance is basically where soccer was born as an American sport and truly became engrained in the American culture. It was always part of the United States, but it was part of the immigrant (experience).

“Torrance is the birthplace of that. It’s something Torrance will always be proud of and I’m proud to have been associated with it and to be associated with AYSO all these years.”

Here are the pair of proclamations honoring father and son:

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Inglewood’s Villarreal living South Bay soccer dream with the Galaxy

Inglewood resident Jose Villarreal, 18, who still lives at home with his parents, has become the first South Bay native to join the South Bay-based Galaxy from the club’s youth academy.

He spent his first day on the job Monday, not so much overawed by training on the same field as the likes of David Beckham as shivering because of the torrential rain players endured.

“It was OK, but I couldn’t focus it was so cold out there,” he said. “It was raining. It was freezing. I couldn’t feel my hands.”

Welcome to the daily life of a soccer pro. With a locker right next to the absent Robbie Keane’s, it’s an existence Villarreal is still getting accustomed to.

He grew up cheering for his dad’s Mexican team, Cruz Azul, but started paying attention to the Galaxy and MLS when David Beckham signed five years ago.

“I’m pretty excited,” he said. “I’ve got a bunch of friends who are asking: ‘When is your jersey coming out?’ (he was assigned No. 33, incidentally.

“I get a lot of texts, a lot of Facebook messages, (asking) ‘how does it feel to be with Beckham?’”

His answer: Don’t know yet (Beckham introduced himself and that’s about it so far).

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Diamond Bar’s Morgan raises the bar


American girl: Diamond Bar’s Alex Morgan is emerging as the new face of U.S. women’s soccer (AP Photo).

Staff Writer Larry Morgan headed out to the USMNT camp at Home Depot Center to chat with former WPS top draft pick Alex Morgan, expected to become an ever-more influential figure on a national team that, frankly, needs exciting and photogenic stars. Read the story here.

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Wednesday Kicks: South Bay soccer players abroad & more

*Where are you going to watch the Galaxy’s Landon Donovan and his U.S. international teammate Tim Howard face Spurs and U.S. goalkeeper Brad Friedel? Kickoff is at 11:30 a.m. on Fox Soccer. A preview is here.

Tweeted LD: “Getting excited for the Tottenham game Wednesday! Won’t be easy…3rd game in 7 days. Time to dig deep and #WinFromWithin”

*The Euro dreams of Robbie Rogers, who grew up in Rolling Hills Estates, could come true. Rogers, who previously played in Holland as a teen before returning home a bit homesick, has signed for second tier Leeds United – providing he gets a work permit.

Tweeted Rogers: “Excited to be joining Leeds United! Really hoping my work permit gets sorted!”

*Yesterday we took a look at the Galaxy’s MLS SuperDraft prospects (which are really straightforward — wait to see what other teams do).

Chivas USA has an even simpler task: Pick fifth. That’s it.

Guess who the club plucked from the fifth spot back in 2006? Rogers’ good friend, with whom he played in Huntington Beach, Sacha Kljestan, now of Anderlecht.

Chivas USA also has four picks in Tuesday’s Supplemental Draft.

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Weekend rewind: Highlight reel goal from Lawndale’s Kamara & more

Catching up on the weekend highlights:

*Lawndale’s Kei Kamara is now just three goals away from last year’s career high of 10 when he scored a cooly taken winner for Kansas City Saturday in the 1-0 win over D.C. United.


*And while I didn’t see a Daily Mail reporter in the press box Saturday in Carson watching the action on the field between the Galaxy and San Jose Earthquakes highlighted by the perfectly written script of one Robert Kean, the English tabloid was moved to check out what was going on off the field in today’s edition.

*College programs have begun play and the Loyola Marymount women got off to a promising start in Texas, beating Texas State 1-0 Sunday, following up on Friday’s 3-1 defeat of No. 19-ranked Texas.

*In contrast, No. 25-ranked USC dropped two home games on the same weekend for the first time ever, a 3-1 Sunday loss to San Diego coming on the heels of Sunday’s 2-1 loss to Long Beach State.

*Long Beach State is 2-0 after a 3-0 victory over Sacramento State in the 49ers’ home opener Sunday afternoon at George Allen Field and the win over USC.

*Pepperdine is similarly 2-0, defeating Arizona 2-0 at Tari Frahm Rokus Field Sunday and beating Cal 2-1 in Berkeley Friday.

*The Cal State Northridge men walloped Cal State Dominguez Hills 5-0 Saturday; the CSUN women lost 2-0 to No. 9 UCLA Friday night at Matador Field.

Lastly, ESPN2 features the Tottenham Hotspur-Manchester United game at noon today.

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Two South Bay players win WPS awards

i-9b903fab84ab4a5363af217d14f87fe6-20080117_wps_medium.jpgPalos Verdes Estates’ Christen Press (magicJack) was named Rookie of the Year, while Rolling Hills Estates’ Whitney Engen (Western New York Flash) received the Defender of the Year honor in Women’s Professional Soccer.

Engen, 24, led the regular season champions to a 13-2-2 record and missed just one game (while on national team duty) all season; Press, the reigning 2010 MAC Hermann trophy winner out of Stanford, scored eight goals for magicJack – almost one-third of the team’s total – and just two behind former LA Sol striker Marta, who took the Golden Boot Award despite playing in just 14 games.

“It’s a huge honor to be recognized amongst such phenomenal players,” said Engen. “One of the main reasons I was even able to be nominated was because of the support and play of everyone around me.”

The Flash, the regular season champion, will play the winner of Saturday’s semifinal between the Philadelphia Independence and magicjack (live at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Net) on Aug. 27 in Rochester (live at 1 p.m. on Fox Sports Net).

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Jokester Jimmy Conrad of Chivas USA nails one-liners throughout farewell news conference

i-835d30872590127d0af00ce83074b538-conradfarewll.jpgChivas USA Coach Robin Fraser, Jimmy Conrad and Chivas USA General manager Jose Domene yuck it up during the loosest retirement press conference in MLS history (Photo courtesy Chivas USA).

Like fans, journalists like to watch great players; players capable of fantastic quotes, we love even more.

They are far, far more rare.

Here’s Chivas USA central defender Jimmy Conrad’s farewell address

Athletes don’t like to talk about concussions; Conrad was no exception:

“The biggest relief (now that I’m retiring) is that now I can tell everyone what happened and I can get on with my modeling career.”

Jimmy, thanks for a great 13 years. Reporters everywhere will miss you.

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Manchester City officially announce U.S. tour roster, former Galaxy striker Gordon traded (again) & more

i-90a01f6edbf1482faa0cc70d513a24f4-carlostevez.jpgMissing star: Manchester City’s Carlos Tevez, arguably the club’s biggest star – and box office draw – won’t play against the Galaxy later this month. The forward, who wants to exit the club, is seen here training with Argentina at Copa America (AP Photo).

*The Galaxy have released the squad for Manchester City’s U.S. tour.

City faces the San Jose Earthquakes and Vancouver Whitecaps in the World Football Challenge before heading to Home Depot Center July 24 for a game against the Galaxy. Tickets start at $30.

Striker Carlos Tevez, who is the subject of a $80 million (or so) bid from Brazilian club Corinthians and wants to move back home to be closer to his family, is not on the roster. He is currently with Argentina at Copa America.

Here’s the squad for the reigning FA Cup holders:

GOALKEEPERS – Joe Hart, Eirik Johansen, Loris Karius, Stuart Taylor

DEFENDERS – Jrme Boateng, Dedryck Boyata, Gal Clichy, Aleksandar Kolarov, Vincent Kompany, Joleon Lescott, Ryan McGivern, Micah Richards, Stefan Savi, Frederic Veseli

MIDFIELDERS – Gareth Barry, Nigel De Jong, Adam Johnson, Andrea Mancini, James Milner, David Silva, Denis Suarez, Yaya Tour, Vladimir Weiss, Shaun Wright-Phillips

FORWARDS – Mario Balotelli, Edin Deko, John Guidetti

*Former Galaxy and Chivas USA striker Alan Gordon is heading to his fourth MLS club in two years.

The Long Beach native was traded back to California today, joining the San Jose Earthquakes from Toronto in a deal that saw forward Ryan Johnson go in the opposite direction, while midfielder Jacob Peterson and defender Nana Attakora also made the move south.

“We are rebuilding the club and this deal was necessary to continue that process” said Toronto FC Coach and Technical Director Aron Winter.

Gordon has spent eight years in MLS, scoring 21 goals in 116 appearances including four in eight games this season.

The trade means Gordon is set to return to Home Depot Center Aug. 20 to face the Galaxy – unless he gets traded again.

*Speaking of former Galaxy personnel, Sigi Schmid has signed a contract extension with the Seattle Sounders that could bind him to the club through 2015.

“From the moment we hired Sigi I knew it was the right decision, and that he was the right man for this particular club,” said Adrian Hanauer, owner and general manager. “I feel that even more strongly today.

The two-time MLS Coach of the Year led the Galaxy to its first MLS Cup triumph in 2002.
Schmid, 58, grew up in Torrance and is the MLS career leader in wins with a 148-107-82 record.

*And while we’re hearing about Galaxy old boys, the last time I saw Pete Vagenas at a Galaxy practice this season he was just hoping to get back in MLS; now he has quite a different outlook on what really matters in life.

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Tuesday Kicks: U.S. faces Costa Rica in Carson in September & more

*U.S. Soccer announced today an 8 p.m. Sept. 2 friendly against Costa Rica at Home Depot Center that will air on ESPN2.

Tickets go on sale July 15 starting at $20.

It’s a rare non-January friendly in Southern California against a Latin American team, which U.S. Soccer officials customarily attempt to avoid because of their fan support here. The U.S. has a 8-1-2 record at Home Depot Center.

The two nations haven’t faced each other since the fall of 2009 when a Jonathan Bornstein goal saw the U.S. qualify for the World Cup in a 2-2 draw. Costa Rica were forced into a playoff for a World Cup spot with Uruguay and lost.

The U.S. will also play belgium four days later in Brussels (11:30 a.m. ESPN Classic). It’s the first U.S. game against the Europeans since 1998.

The matches against Costa Rica and Belgium represent another great opportunity to continue the building process as we move towards the start of 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying,” said U.S. Coach Bob Bradley. “We will have the chance to look at a variety of players and at the same time challenge ourselves against two very different opponents.”

*The Galaxy reserves lost to their Seattle counterparts today at the HDC.

*The Palos Verdes Peninsula’s John Thorrington is still trying to shake off persistent injuries and add to his 52 minutes of action this season for the Vancouver Whitecaps.

*Fan voting for the MLS All-Star game ends at 9 p.m. tonight.

ESPNU has increased its college soccer coverage. From the press release:

ESPNU, the 24-hour college sports network, will double its men’s soccer coverage and showcase the strongest women’s line-up in the network’s six-year history during the 2011 NCAA season. In addition to four more regular season games on its six-week schedule, the network will televise both the men’s and women’s ACC championship matches for the first time.

A total of 10 women’s – up from eight in 2010 – and four men’s regular season games will be televised throughout the fall.

*And no, you didn’t miss today’s column. I took Monday off; the column returns next Tuesday.

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