MLS Combine: Nick DePuy ready to take next step in professional career

Nick DePuy started his soccer playing in Southern California, as a resident of Irvine.

This week, he’s back, paving the way to the first big professional step on his journey.

DePuy, who attended Mater Dei HS for one year before moving to Colorado, mls_logo-svgis one of participants in this week’s MLS Player Combine. The ultimate goal is to have his named called during Friday’s MLS SuperDraft.

He played four years at UC Santa Barbara.

“It was a great experience,” DePuy said of his time at UC Santa Barbara. “I worked really hard. Coming into my freshman year, I was a high recruit, but I wasn’t guaranteed any minutes.”

It also wasn’t any guarantee that DePuy would end up with the career that he eventually had for the Gauchos.

DePuy arrived at UCSB as a defender and it took a bit of being at the right place at the right time for him to move up the field.

“I ended up starting three games in,” he said. “My second year, I started out as a defender again, at center back, and then one of our strikers went down with an injury.

“My coach, halfway through the season, put me up top. I scored a bunch of goals my sophomore (10) year, had a really good junior year (15 goals).”

After his junior year, DePuy said he started receiving interest from professional teams, but decided to return for his senior year, where he scored just six goals and he added that his last year “was kind of disappointing.”

“We lost a lot of guys that I didn’t think we were going to lose,” he said. “My junior year, we went to the Sweet 16 and we only had three seniors that we knew we were losing.  By the start of summer, we had five or six starters that were either injured of transferred. We had a bunch of new players and a lot young guys as well and I believe that the connection and chemistry wasn’t as good as it was the other years.

DePuy went on trial with clubs in Europe recently. He said that he learned a lot. Now, he’s trying to put everything to use to catch the eye of the MLS Scouts that will result in his name being called during Friday’s SuperDraft.

“It has always been a dream of mine to go professional,” he said. “This has always been a hobby for my, but once my sophomore and junior year hit, I was like this could really happen and my dream is really going to come true.”

 

 

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Jelle Van Damme selected finalist for two awards

Galaxy defender Jelle Van Damme has been a savior in the back for the Galaxy this season in his first year in MLS.

Tuesday, it was announced that Van Damme was a finalist for both the MLS Defender and galaxyNewcomer of the Year awards.

Van Damme joined the Galaxy from Standard Liege of the Belgian first division. He made 28 appearances during the regular season, helping the Galaxy become one  of the league’s stingiest defenses, allowing just 39 goals.

The Defender of the Year award will be announced Nov. 11. The Newcomer of the Year will be awarded Nov. 21.

 

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Update: USL suspends Orange County Blues FC’s Richard Chaplow; he denies use of slur toward Robbie Rogers

The United Soccer League (USL) announced it has suspended Orange County Blues FC midfielder Richard Chaplow for two games fined him an undisclosed amount for “offensive and abusive language directed at another player” during the Aug. 20 game against LA Galaxy II.

The incident involves the Galaxy’s Robbie Rogers, who took to Facebook Sunday with a lengthy post stating that an opposing player had called him a homophobic slur during the game.

“The USL has zero tolerance for this type of behavior,” USL President Jake Edwards said. “We cannot, nor will we, condone any language that is counter to the values we have instilled throughout the USL.”

The suspension was determined following the USL Disciplinary Committee’s investigation that included a video review, speaking with the referee and with players and staff of both teams.

Chaplow told The Telegraph that he didn’t use a homophobic slur, but he did said that he used foul language toward Rogers.

Orange County Blues released a statement Wednesday, regarding the situation.

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Brazilian men and American women are the gold medal favorites at the Rio 2016 Olympics

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Odds courtesy of www.bovada.com

Olympics Soccer Men – Winner

Brazil 1/1
Germany 6/1
Mexico 8/1
Portugal 8/1
Argentina 10/1
Colombia 14/1
Nigeria 16/1
Sweden 20/1
Denmark 33/1
Japan 50/1
South Africa 50/1
Algeria 66/1
Honduras 66/1
Iraq 100/1
Fiji 500/1

Olympics Soccer Women – Winner

USA 7/5
Germany 3/1
Brazil 21/4
France 11/2
Canada 10/1
Sweden 10/1
Australia 28/1
China 33/1
New Zealand 80/1
Colombia 100/1
South Africa 125/1
Zimbabwe 300/1

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Arsenal announces preliminary roster California trip

Arsenal will face the MLS All-Stars, July 28 in San Jose and a couple of days later, the arsenal1London club will take on Chivas Guadalajara at StubHub Center (July 30). Arsenal released its 20-man travel roster for the games, Friday.

Chuba Akpom (forward); Hector Bellerin (defender); Krystian Bielik (defender); Joel Campbell (forward); Santi Cazorla (midfielder); Petr Cech (goalkeeper); Calum Chambers (defender); Francis Coquelin (midfielder); Mathieu Debuchy (defender); Mohamed Elneny (midfielder); Gabriel (defender); Kieran Gibbs (defender); Rob Holding (defender); Alex Iwobi (forward); Emiliano Martinez (goalkeeper); Per Mertesacker (defender); Nacho Monreal (defender); David Ospina (goalkeeper); Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Midfielder); Jeff Reine-Adelaide (midfielder); Theo Walcott (forward); Chris Willcock (Midfielder); Jack Wilsher (midfielder); Granit Zhaka (midfielder); Gedion Zelalem (midfielder)

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The Morning After recap: Galaxy 1, Houston 0

Steven Gerrard, who scored the winning goal in Friday's 1-0 victory against Houston, makes a run against Ricardo Clark. (Will Lester/SCNG-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

Steven Gerrard, who scored the winning goal in Friday’s 1-0 victory against Houston, makes a run against Ricardo Clark. (Will Lester/SCNG-Inland Valley Daily Bulletin)

The Galaxy improved to 32 points in the Western Conference with Friday’s 1-0 victory over Houston. It wasn’t pretty, but as the saying goes, a win is a win. The Galaxy is now in third place heading into Saturday’s games. Here is a recap of how it went down.

Gerrard’s goal lifts Galaxy to victory

William Lester’s game day photo album

No Keane, no goals? – It almost looked that way. Robbie Keane, who had scored a pair of goals since his return from international duty, didn’t have that magic touch against Houston. He missed from the penalty spot in the first half and had a couple of other good opportunities to score, but couldn’t. However, some good did come out of one of his late chances as Steven Gerrard, following on the play, knocked in the winning goal in the 66th minute.

Arena: “Well Robbie didn’t get a goal, but he was in position to get a couple. But that’s all a part of it, you can’t depend on one player to score. I think Robbie was a threat all night despite the fact that he didn’t get a goal.”

Defense comes through again – The Galaxy started the same starting 11 as last week’s 1-0 victory over Seattle, so that meant the likes of Dave Romney, Daniel Steres, Jelle Van Damme, A.J. De La Garza, Jeff Larentowicz and Baggio Husidic doing the dirty work in front of goalkeeper Brian Rowe to preserve the shutout.

The key question going forward will be will Arena disrupt the chemistry of this defense when Ashley Cole and Nigel de Jong are available to return.

Arena: “De Jong has been a very good player for us this year. I expect him to be on the field.”

Beauty is in the eye of the victor – For consecutive games, the Galaxy has recorded 1-0 victories. They might not have been the best played game, but the Galaxy has done enough to record three points. That’s always the most important thing.

Gerrard: “It’s starting to gel. I think that’s because we’ve got everyone fit and healthy. The team is really strong at the moment. But I’ve been saying for a long, long time that success is built on a defensive platform and we’re defending really well. If we keep that solid defensive base, we’ve got players on the team that can cause the opposition problems, who can assist goals and score goals. And that’s how you get success at the end of the season.”

Up next: Wednesday vs. Seattle in U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal, 7 :30 p.m.

Next league game: Saturday, at Portland, 12:30 p.m.

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Report: Jurgen Klinsmann in ‘discussions’ with England

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According to The Guardian, Jürgen Klinsmann, the U.S. men’s national team head coach, is in “discussions” to take the head coaching position for the English national team, according to Germany general manager Oliver Bierhoff.

“Perhaps it is an advantage that good players go to England and other countries, so our clubs have to bring other players through,” Bierhoff said of the English Football Association’s intention to appoint a strong figure to revive the English program after the team flopped out of the European Championships. “But since the arrival of Jürgen Klinsmann – who I think is in discussions with England – we have also given the national team a certain pride, atmosphere and organisation. The success of the story is the high quality but also the good organization and good atmosphere we have in the group.”

Klinsmann took over the U.S. post in 2011, steering the U.S. national team to a Round of 16 run at the 2014 World Cup and the semifinals of Copa America this summer. The team’s fourth-place finish at Copa America tied the team’s best-ever performance at the tournament.

The head coaching position in England is vacant after Roy Hodgson resigned following his team’s Round of 16 loss to Iceland in Euro 2016.

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Copa America Preview (and the hottest games on the secondary ticket market)

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Read the Copa America preview from staff writer Thuc Nhi Nguyen here.

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The above chart, compiled by secondary ticket seller rukkus.com, shows that U.S. isn’t the biggest draw in the tournament it is hosting.

The get in price, BTW, is essentially the cheapest ticket on the secondary market, said Jake Sharpless, rukkus.com data and content manager.

“In some cases these tickets are selling for less than face value, which truly indicates the demand of the event,” he said. “Average prices to see Argentina or Mexico games are higher than those of the U.S. For Mexico we know there is a strong contingent of Mexican American fans that attend games whenever they play in the US, but the Argentina draw is coming from Americans who want to see Messi in person.”

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