Mexico finally won in San Diego Wednesday night before an unusually small crowd that illustrates the depth of the skepticism over the quality of this Mexican team, while the U.S. women drew New Zealand.
*As expected, Galaxy playmaker Landon Donovan was named to the 23-player U.S. Gold Cup roster today and will link up with the squad Monday ahead of the July 5 game in San Diego against Guatemala. That means Donovan will miss at least three Galaxy games while he tries to impress with the U.S. “B” squad in an effort to win back his spot on the U.S. starting XI:
“When Landon came back in the end of March after the long break, he needed time to get back in a rhythm, get back in shape and work on his game again,” coach Jurgen Klinsmann said. I think now the process is on a good roll. He’s getting sharper every game and every week. We’ve watched his games and believe now is a good time to get him back into the National Team and give him the opportunity to prove his point. He knows that the group that played the World Cup Qualifiers is ahead of the curve and have a very strong position right now, and that he’s been observed by us and has to rebuild his case. We have all respect for what he has done in the past, but sports are about the present and about the future, and that’s what we are building on. We are really happy to have him back in the group, and he has the opportunity now to show where he’s at.”
Galaxy players Oscar Sorto of Los Angeles and Jose Villarreal of Inglewood are among the Southern California contingent on the U.S. U-20 World Cup roster that opens today (Photo courtesy LA Galaxy/German Alegria).
More on the opening match against World Cup favorites Spain (who have taken an early 1-0 lead) currently under way on ESPN 2 is here.
A busy day for Southern California soccer fans no matter what team or nation you support.
So let’s dig in starting with the highlights of the U.S. men’s win over Honduras:
It wasn’t a vintage performance by the U.S. men Tuesday night, but it was enough to see off Honduras, solidify the American position atop the group and all but qualify for the World Cup. Coach Jurgen Klinsmann may have said it best in this game story from sister newspaper The Salt Lake City Tribune: “The big picture is that we are growing,” he said. Quite.
It doesn’t sound like Chivas USA know a thing about it, but that didn’t stop LA city officials from dropping the club’s name in connection with a rather pie in the sky plan for a downtown soccer stadium.
The U.S. Women’s Team is back in action tonight with Hermosa Beach resident Abby Wambach closing in on a famous Mia Hamm mark.
The Galaxy’s Jose Villarreal was on target in the U-20′s final game before the World Cup gets underway.
BTW, Tuesday’s games are back on ESPN, which has a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. with Mexico-Costa Rica followed by U.S.-Panama.
Meanwhile, ESPN has announced it will show all 52 games from the Under-20 World Cup that kicks off June 21 with all three U.S. group games on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. As expected, the U.S. squad has a large Southern California contingent.
Which pretty much covers the topics in this week’s column.
One omission from the list of locals called in to upcoming U-20 camps: Chivas USA’s Glendale-born forward Julio Morales was called into Mexico’s U-20 camp Monday (the information arrived from the club too late for inclusion in the column).