Friday Kicks: Galaxy update & more

*The Galaxy’s Todd Dunivant can do without frequent flyer miles.

*USL Pro team the LA Blues (of Orange County) have entered a U-23 team in the Premier Development League replacing and assuming the schedule of the Hollywood Hitmen who joined the National Premier Soccer League.

*Meanwhile, the Blues’ senior team have signed a well-known San Fernando Valley player.

*Chivas USA has a special event at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach tonight that features players Tristan Bowen and Sergio Arias.

*Click on the Live Soccer TV link at top right for a run-down of all the televised soccer action, which includes foul-mouthed Wayne Rooney taking on Clint Dempsey and Fulham at 7 a.m. Saturday on Fox Soccer Channel.

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Friday Kicks: U.S. announces June game against Spain & more

i-49cec0c284ea8695fc077addedd995ec-xavi.jpg

Barcelona star Xavi Hernandez is set to win his 100th cap for Spain today and hopefully U.S. fans will see the midfield maestro up close and personal later this year (AP Photo).

*Spain plays the Czech Republic at 1:55 p.m. today on ESPN2 in a Euro 2012 qualifier and U.S. fans will see the World Cup holders live in on the East Coast in June:

CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. men’s soccer team will play World Cup champion Spain in a June 4 exhibition, their first meeting since the Americans upset the world’s No. 1 team in the 2009 Confederations Cup.

The game will be in Foxborough, Mass., and takes place just three days before the U.S. starts play in the Gold Cup, soccer’s championship of North and Central America and the Caribbean.

It will be just the fifth meeting between the teams, and first in the United States, with Spain winning all but one of their previous games.

The lone U.S. victory came in the semifinals of the 2009 Confederations Cup, when goals by Jozy Altidore and Clint Dempsey gave the Americans a 2-0 win and ended the European champion’s streaks of 15 wins and 35 unbeaten games.

And for those of you who like to mark their calendars, here’s the full U.S. schedule of games this year announced so far:

Saturday, Jan. 22 — United States 1, Chile 1
Saturday, March 26 vs. Argentina at East Rutherford, N.J., 4:11 p.m.
Tuesday, March 29 vs. Paraguay at Nashville, Tenn., 5:11 p.m.
Saturday, June 4 — vs. Spain at Foxborough, Mass., 1:30 p.m.
Tuesday, June 7 — vs. Canada at Detroit, 5 p.m. (Gold Cup)
Saturday, June 11 — vs. Panama at Tampa, Fla., 5 p.m. (Gold Cup)
Tuesday, June 14 — vs. Guadeloupe at Kansas City, Kan., 6 p.m. (Gold Cup)
Aug. 10 — possible exhibition
Sept. 2 — World Cup qualifier
Sept. 6 — World Cup qualifier
Oct. 7 — World Cup qualifier
Oct. 11 — World Cup qualifier
Nov. 11 — World Cup qualifier
Nov. 15 — World Cup qualifier

*And in another sign of his unwavering commitment to the Galaxy (ahem), David Beckham will wear the captain’s armband for the Galaxy this weekend for the first time in three years:

CARSON (AP) – Coach Bruce Arena decided Beckham will be captain for Saturday’s MLS game at Real Salt Lake, with Landon Donovan away on international duty.

The former England captain took over as L.A. skipper when he joined the team in 2007, but last captained the Galaxy on Oct. 26, 2008. The armband was given to Donovan the following year.

“Bruce has asked me to wear it, and I’ll be proud to wear it,” Beckham said. “It doesn’t change the way I play. It’s something you’re very proud to wear, but you need more that that one leader on the field.”

Donovan will miss the game to be with the U.S. national team for its friendly Saturday against Argentina in East Rutherford, N.J.

*Speaking of scheduling, the PDL, which includes five Southern California teams, has announced its schedule.

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Davies signs for D.C., will play two preseason games in So. Cal.

i-86782ee3b4aaaeced9348d5776ef92ab-daviesdc.jpgCharlie Davies talks with reporters earlier this month in Florida; D.C. United announced today that the former U.S. international will join the club on loan (AP Photo).

The striker will be formally introduced by the team at an 11 a.m. news conference today before flying to D.C. United’s training camp at Oxnard College.

As previously reported here, United is scheduled to play a preseason friendly at 3:30 p.m. Saturday against the PDL Ventura County Fusion and another at noon Feb. 25 against Chivas USA at Home Depot Center.

Tickets are $8 adults and $5 for youths for the Oxnard game. You can purchase them in advance here.

I’m guessing tickets for that game suddenly got a lot more popular.

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Friday Football: Waiting for the Super Bowl weekend

*Need to see live MLS soccer after the long offseason?

You can (of a sort) when the expansion sorry, new, Portland Timbers play their first-ever scrimmage against the PDL Ventura County Fusion tonight in Ventura.

More from a Portland perspective is here.

The game kicks off at 7 p.m. at Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Rd. Tickets are $12 adults, $6 youth at the gate.

The Fusion also plays D.C. United Feb. 19 at Oxnard College, a game that could take on more import if Charlie Davies is still with the club by then.

*In other big football games this weekend, I’m told there’s a huge one Sunday – Liverpool-Chelsea on Fox Soccer Channel (I’m also told there’s some sort of big pointyball football game on, too, on a different channel).

Anyway, in an effort to give Americans even more time sitting on their butts Sunday, FSC is expanding its coverage of the EPL game to four hours beginning at 7 a.m.

Hosted by Eric Wynalda, Kyle Martino, Warren Barton, Keith Costigan and Christian Miles in the NFL on Fox set, coverage includes an exclusive interview with new Liverpool owner John Henry (who also owns an American rounders team called the Boston Red Sox), while Wynalda will take part in a field goal / penalty kick contest with USC athletes.

There’s also a segment “comparing tailgating in the U.S. and England, and some of the traditional gameday food served in England.” That should be hilarious considering the little problem England has these days. (We Brits usually don’t mess around with the likes of Bud Lite).

Still, what will be more fun? Watching smug Mark Rogondino freeze his butt off in Texas or wondering whether $80 million man Fernando Torres will score against his old club at Stamford Bridge?

A bunch of other great games this weekend with the pick of the bunch from my perspective being – Burnley-Norwich at 2 p.m. 11 a.m. Saturday on Fox Soccer Plus (delayed). Finally, it’s a good time to support the Canaries.

Incidentally, a little team named Manchester United who are playing reasonably well in the EPL this season are playing against lowly Wolves at 9:30 a.m. Saturday on FSC. Do you smell an upset brewing? Well, no, me neither, but you never know, I suppose.

Click at top right for all the rest of the games and enjoy the weekend.

Update

I stand corrected.

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Thursday Kicks (Part Deux): Former defender Suarez joins Chivas USA as advisor & more

i-8c8ef20b65748fee4d5da6b6aa512972-suarez0002.jpgAs I continue to catch up during my enforced break:

*Chivas USA announced Thursday afternoon that former defender and captain Claudio Suarez, one of the most respected figures in Mexican soccer, has rejoined the club he retired from in 2009 in an advisory capacity.

“Claudio is a true legend in the soccer world, and we’re thrilled that he’ll be working with us again at Chivas USA,” said Interim General Manager Jose Domene. “His experience as a player, understanding of the game in both Mexico and the United States, and eye for talent will help us both in the short and long term.”

To get his new role under way, Surez visits Chivas de Guadalajara’s facilities Friday where he will conduct clinics on defensive skills to first team and youth team players.

Suarez, the most capped Mexican National Team player of all-time, made 64 appearances for Chivas USA between 2006 and 2009, following long careers with CD Guadalajara and Tigres.

“This is an exciting new opportunity with a club that I know and love,” said Surez. “It will give me the chance to work both in Los Angeles and Mexico, helping strengthen the club in a number of different areas, especially scouting.”

Chivas USA opens pre-season training Friday in Carson. I’ll have more on that in a subsequent post.

*The likelihood of David Beckham getting on an EPL field for an actual game this season is looking slimmer and slimmer.

*New USL Pro team the LA Blues have signed a couple of MLS castoffs and a couple of other players the club announced Thursday: Striker/midfielder Dane Saintus of SMU, a 2010 Dallas draft pick; Alta Loma’s Cameron Dunn, 26, a defender out of UC Irvine drafted by Chivas USA in the 2007 MLS draft who later played with the Portland Timbers; 25-year-old forward Seyed Hosseini from Iran who played for Saba Battery, the 2007 league champions; and 23-year-old Jaime Chavez from the City of Industry, who was the leading scorer for PDL club Hollywood United last year.

*Speaking of the PDL, the Ventura County Fusion have announced they will play a couple of MLS teams in Ventura County next month.

Expansion team the Portland Timbers are up first with a 7 p.m. Feb. 4 game at Ventura College during a week-long preseason training stint that begins Feb. 1.

Then, D.C. United takes on the Fusion at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 19 at Oxnard College, while the MLS club conducts 10 days of preseason training in Southern California.

Tickets to the games are $8 for adults and $5 for youths in advance, increasing to $12 and $6 respectively the day of the game. Order here.

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Thursday Kicks: Galaxy get their scoring Angel & more

Back from an enforced vacation and a voluntary trip to a (very) soggy Seattle it’s time to play a little catch-up and note that:

*On Wednesday the Galaxy announced the signing of their third designated player, former Aston Villa and New York Red Bull striker Juan Pablo Angel, with the presence of the man who brought the Colombian to MLS – Coach Bruce Arena – proving pivotal to LA getting their replacement for the now departed Edson Buddle. Reporter Phil Collin has the full details with a story in today’s newspaper.

The Galaxy observe that no MLS player scored more goals than Angel during his four-year New York tenure. And scoring at a clip of more than a goal every other game over that length of time – 58 goals in 102 regular season games – is no mean feat no matter what league we’re talking about.

Regular readers of this blog should be happy considering the overwhelming result of this poll.

*Meanwhile, the Galaxy picked up four players and Chivas USA two in Tuesday’s Supplemental Draft.

The Galaxy got New Zealand Olympian and Dartmouth midfielder Daniel Keat with the third overall pick; Stanford defender Ryan Thomas of Claremont; North Carolina midfielder Dustin McCarty, brother of D. C. United midfielder Dax McCarty; and goalkeeper Zach Johnson out of West Virginia.

Chivas USA picked up midfielder/forward Ernesto Carranza from Sacramento State and Canadian defender Curtis Ushedo out of the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

*Former Chivas USA defender Carey Talley has retired after 13 MLS seasons and 315 appearances with five different clubs, the New York Red Bulls announced Wednesday. I for one will miss Talley, a class act, a great quote and a tenacious defender who as fun to talk to as he was to watch.

*LA Blues, the new local team that will play in the USL’s Pro league, announced their 2011 schedule. The club’s first home game at Titan Stadium on the campus of Cal State Fullerton is on May 1 against Antigua Barracuda FC.

If you’d rather be on the field than in the stands for the opener, here’s your chance: the club will host open tryout this weekend in Norco. Full details are here.

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Tuesday Kicks

*I have 10 words: Chivas USA’s Justin Braun is in a national team camp.

* No European loan for Beckham?

*The Los Angeles Blues of USL Pro signed center back Gareth Evans Tuesday as their fourth player in preparation for their 2011 debut season. Evans, 23, has played for Wales’ Wrexham, as well as the Austin Aztex and, most recently, Real Maryland Monarchs of the USL2.

Updated

*The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan isn’t going anywhere either. More here.

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Thursday kicks: MLS transfer rumors & more

Yup, it’s that time of year:

*The Galaxy and Chivas USA have supposedly both made inquiries about Newcastle Jets’ out of contract former Australian international central defender Ljubo Milicevic. So Gregg Berhalter is retiring then?

*David Beckham has reportedly turned down the chance to join England’s Leicester City.

*New USL Pro team LA Blues, which will play most of its games in the OC, unveils their first player Tuesday – an unnamed veteran of Mexico’s top division (and two other new signings).

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Chivas USA striker Galindo joins Division 2 FC Tampa Bay on loan

But the door apparently remains open for Maykel Galindo, who has one goal in six games this season, to return to the club, Chivas USA announced today.

“This move allows Maykel to get first team matches as he works toward regaining his form,” said Chivas USA Coach Martn Vsquez. “The opportunity exists for him to return to our team this season or next.”

From the Chivas USA press release:

Since joining Chivas USA in 2007 from then-USL side Seattle Sounders, Galindo has played in 67 matches (48 starts), with 18 goals and 9 assists. The native of Villa Clara, Cuba, had a stellar 2007 campaign for the Red-and-White, in which he scored 12 goals in 28 games (24 starts), but has had three up-and-down seasons since, often due to injuries.

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Sunday Soccer: World Cup podcast & more

i-285a8b09b13c0b01eee901c8df6a26e4-mohawk.jpgTen-year-old Tylo Kenneth wears a colored mohawk wig while walking through the spectator zone on the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town (AP Photo).

*”The People’s Game” latest podcast from KPFK that includes me talking about the U.S.-England game the morning after the night before is here.

*Univision said today about four million viewers – double the 2006 figures despite the time similarity – watched the opening game of the World Cup Friday. Almost 5.4 million watched the Mexico-South Africa opener on Univision, making it the No. 1 program of the day, while about 2.6 million watched on ESPN.

*ESPN, BTW, said today the U.S.-England game was the most-watched World Cup game since 1994 and the fifth highest all-time. Through the first five games, ESPN and ABC ratings are up 95% and 108% respectively. ESPN’s most-watched game: Argentina-Nigeria.

*The Ventura County Fusion plays at 7:05 p.m. Tuesday against the Arizona Sahuaros in the U.S. Open Cup first round at Ventura College, 4667 Telegraph Road. The Fusion beat Fresno 2-1 Thursday in PDL play.

*After playing 90 scoreless minutes the San Jose Earthquakes won 6-5 in a penalty-kick shootout win over Chivas USA Saturday in the ultra-prestigious and inaugural Sacramento Cup. Chivas USA managed all of one shot on goal during the 90 minutes. No word yet if Chivas USA will play in the upcoming Jersey Jockstrap.

Chivas USA lineup: Zach Thornton (Dan Kennedy 46), Mariano Trujillo (Jorge Flores 46), Michael Umaa, Daro Delgado, Carlos Borja, Michael Lahoud (Marcelo Saragosa 46), Osael Romero (Jose Macotelo 46), Blair Gaven (Ben Zemanski 46), Jess Padilla (Gerson Mayn 46), Justin Braun (Maicon Santos 46), Maykel Galindo (Chukwudi Chijindu 46).

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