UEFA Champions League Draw: Who will your team face when group play begins Sept. 15?


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Five cool places to watch the UEFA Champions League Cup Final Saturday between Barcelona and Juventus in Los Angeles


*Alpine Village near Torrance:


*Guinness will host a watch part at Hennessey’s Tavern in Hermosa Beach on Pier Plaza. There will be International Champions Cup ticket giveaways, swag and specials on select Guinness drinks.

*Cock ‘n” bull Pub, Santa Monica.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Ghastly LA Galaxy overshadowed by magic of Lionel Messi and other high-quality events on sports landscape

messigoalBarca Bombs Bayern: Lionel Messi and Barcelona were rampant Wednesday in all but gutting Bayern Munich’s UEFA Champions League hopes with a masterful 3-0 win over a quality opponent that left the jaws of even cynical soccer reporters dropping (Associated Press photo).

I’d like to thank Lionel Messi and Barcelona for eloquently making the case for my weekly 100 Percent Soccer column in today’s UEFA Champions League semifinal against Bayern Munich where the quality of soccer on display was quite simply stunning.

Next up later today: Lowly Real Salt lake against a LA Galaxy team nowhere near firing on all cylinders.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Unreal Real Madrid and Cristiano Ronaldo seek global soccer supremecy

It was only a couple of years ago that this soccer columnist and plenty of others around the world were raving about Lionel Messi and Barcelona. Incredibly, it seems rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid could even eclipse those achievements. For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

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Thursday Kicks: Galaxy’s Donovan, Gonzalez named to U.S. WCQ squad as expected & more

*U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann today named a 23-man roster for the upcoming pair of World Cup qualifiers, which not surprisingly includes an on fire Landon Donovan who on Wednesday pledged his immediate future to MLS and the Galaxy.

Notable: It’s the first call-up for Donovan since June 2012 and he’s missed the last dozen U.S. games.

A total of 11 players were part of the Gold Cup winning squad, while eight players on the U.S. roster will receive a one-game suspension if they cautioned in the next game: Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Geoff Cameron, Brad Evans, Clint Dempsey, Tim Howard, Fabian Johnson and Jermaine Jones.

*Check out the UEFA Champions League draw.

*You think Galaxy coach Bruce Arena likes known quantities around him at every level of the Organization? The Academy staff the club announced today will feature seven former MLS players, including four former Galaxy players:

LA Galaxy Academy U-18 Head Coach Ante Razov

LA Galaxy Academy U-16 Head Coach Mike Muñoz

LA Galaxy Academy U-16 (B) Head Coach Andrew Boyens

LA Galaxy Academy U-14 Head Coach Greg Vanney

LA Galaxy Academy U-14 (B) Head Coach Ted Eck

LA Galaxy Academy U-12 North Head Coach Alex Yi

LA Galaxy Academy U-12 South Head Coach Braeden Cloutier

LA Galaxy Academy Technical Coach Mauricio Cienfuegos

LA Galaxy Academy Goalkeeper Coach: Ruben Messina

LA Galaxy Academy Coordinator: Billy Bizzaro

LA Galaxy Academy Head Athletic Trainer: Pablo Chung

LA Galaxy Academy Strength and Conditioning Coach: Jonathan Brooks


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Weekly Soccer Column: Champions League Primer*

For both sides of the Atlantic.

Read the column here.

More on the task ahead for Lionel Messi and Barcelona is here.

Going to Wednesday’s Galaxy game? Essential gameday info is here.


Two historic comebacks in Champions League action Tuesday, one in Barcelona, the other in Seattle.

Count the Galaxy impressed.

I plan to Tweet this evening from the Galaxy CONCACAF Champions League game @lasoccerblog, while MLS beat writer Phil Collin will have a full game wrap here tonight.

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European soccer outdraws NHL, horse racing on U.S. network TV in key demographic groups


And by that read younger viewers, those most prized by advertisers since they represent the future.

It’s always interesting to put TV ratings for soccer in a broader context with other more established American sports.

So why don’t American newspaper editors and producers of sports television shows devote more attention to soccer in line with its ratings than they do?

Beats me. And yet they wonder why newspaper readership and the number of eyeballs glued to TV are steadily eroding.

Here are the details via the Associated Press:

NEW YORK (AP) — Chelsea’s penalty-kicks win over Bayern Munich in last weekend’s Champions League final had a 1.1 rating and 3 share, according to final ratings from Nielsen Media Research, down from 2011 but up over 2010.

Chelsea’s 4-3 shootout victory following a 1-1 tie was seen by 2 million viewers, Nielsen said Thursday, with the audience rising to 2.4 million from 5-5:30 p.m. EDT.

Among men 18-34, the Champions League final averaged a 1.6, between the 0.8 for the New York Rangers’ 3-0 win over the New Jersey Devils in the NHL playoffs on NBC and the 1.8 for San Antonio’s 96-86 victory over the Los Angeles Clippers in the NBA playoffs on ABC. The Preakness on NBC had a 0.6 among men 18-34.

Barcelona’s 3-1 win over Manchester United last year, a game involving teams with bigger U.S. followings, had a 1.4 rating and 4 share, and was watched by 2.6 million.

Inter Milan’s 2-0 win over Bayern in 2010, involving teams more comparable to this year’s
finalists, received a 1.0 rating and 3 share, and was seen by 1.6 million viewers. That was the first Champions League final televised by a U.S. over-the-air network.

The Los Angeles-based Fox Soccer cable channel said it averaged 185,000 viewers for its 118 live Premier League telecasts this season, about the same as 184,000 for 112 matches in 2010-11.

Fox averaged 54,000 for its 96 live Serie A broadcasts this year from Italy and 53,000 for its four Ligue 1 showings from France. Its one live Scottish Premier League match, between Glasgow Celtic and Rangers, had 86,000 viewers.

Among individual English clubs, Manchester United averaged 266,000 viewers for 20 live games, Manchester City 218,000 for 22, Arsenal 215,000 for 16, Liverpool 208,000 for 11, Chelsea 194,000 for 21 and Tottenham 185,000 for 18.

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