100 Percent Soccer Column: Ready for a packed summer of soccer?


So I suppose it’s tempting fate to write a column about the busy summer of soccer that lies ahead and then elevate the wrong team to the final four of the UEFA CL (not that the two alert Barcelona fans who noticed really minded).

Anyway, the corrected column is here, so mark your calendars or stick it on your fridge or whatever to ensure you don’t miss a game.

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USMNT Olympic and World Cup Qualifying Gameday Video Preview


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100 Percent Soccer Column: Tim Howard, Omar Gonzalez, Gyasi Zardes and Bobby Wood are four to watch for U.S. in World Cup qualifying

howard Hot shot: A stunning 13 saves against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup suddenly brought veteran goalkeeper Tim Howard into the public consciousness, but he’s not done yet (Associated Press file photo).

Read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer Column here.

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Gyasi Zardes called up for USMNT World Cup qualifying

zardesUSOne day after scoring his first two goals of the MLS season, Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes was called up for the U.S. men’s national team’s World Cup Qualifying matches against Guatemala.

Zardes is one of 26 players to make the cut for the critical qualifying matches. The team travels to Guatemala for a 7 p.m. matchup on March 25, then play the second leg of the series on March 29 at 4 p.m. in Columbus, Ohio. L.A. is taking an international break during the weekend.

“I see it as an opportunity to keep working hard and keep learning,” Zardes said after scoring twice the Galaxy’s 3-1 win over San Jose on Saturday. “Every time I get with the national team, I learn so much, not only from the coaching staff, but from the other players who play in different leagues, who play in  the Bundesliga or the EPL. Just playing alongside those guys really helped me progress as a player and as I keep going, I just hope to get better.”

The United States is tied with Trinidad and Tobago for the top spot in Group C with four points and need to finish in the top two to advance to the next round of qualifying. The team plays its final group stage qualifying matches in September, facing St. Vincent and The Grenadines on Sept. 2 and Trinidad and Tobago on Sept. 6.

Former Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez was also called up to the national team.

Full roster

world cup qualiying

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USMNT opens 2016 with win over Iceland

Photo by Micah Escamilla/The Sun

Photo by Micah Escamilla/The Sun

The young guns looked good for the U.S. men’s national team in Sunday’s 3-2 win over Iceland, but veteran Jozy Altidore surely impressed as well. The 26-year-old scored once and got the hockey assist on Michael Orozco’s goal in the 59th minute.

The Toronto FC forward was active up top for the United States during his 75 minutes on the StubHub Center pitch, making dangerous runs and drawing four fouls. Injuries have hampered Altidore in recent years and he said he is focused on maintaining his health to have a successful year.

“I’m just trying to work that much harder, to be that much fitter. To me, the biggest thing is health. trying to keep the injuries to a minimum because that has hurt me int he past couple of years. Continue reading

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