Friday Football

A grab bag of Southern California-related soccer news this morning:

*The MLS off-season is over (sort of). The league permits teams to open training camp today.

Galaxy players will report to Home Depot Center Monday for physicals and fitness work in the gym, but won’t hit the practice field until Feb. 1. The trio of young Brazilians GM and coach Bruce Arena signed won’t be there Monday though; they’re awaiting visas. Chivas USA opens camp Tuesday.

MLS clubs must be roster (and salary cap) compliant, with 20 senior players and four developmental, by March 1.

Look for the complete MLS schedule to be released in the first week of February. And as of Wednesday, players under contract in other countries may be signed by MLS clubs through April 15.

*U.S. Coach Bob Bradley was asked whether Landon Donovan playing in the EPL against English players the Americans will see in their opening World Cup game is a good thing. Um, yeah.

*Hotshot UCLA striker Sydney Leroux scored a brace and was named player of the game as the U.S. crushed Jamaica 6-0 Thursday in its opening CONCACAF qualifier for the U-20 World Cup. Game details here.

*PDL team the Ventura County Fusion will play against the Mexican Under-21 team at 7:30 tonight at Buena High School in Ventura, 5670 Telegraph Rd. Tickets are $20 adults, $10 kids under age 12. Kids under the age of six get in free.

*As always, click the link at top right for an exhaustive run-down of the weekend’s games, but I’ll be paying special attention to:

Chelsea-Preston North End 4:30 a.m. Saturday (FA Cup fourth round) Fox Soccer Channel

Fulham-Accrington Stanley 7 a.m. Saturday FSC (giant killing possibility?)

Leeds United-Tottenham Hotspur 9 a.m. Saturday FSC (the leaders of League 1 play an EPL outfit)

Tigres-CD Guadalajara 5 p.m. Saturday KVEA

U.S.-Honduras 6 p.m. Saturday FSC

And there’s two big derbies Sunday: Inter Milan-AC Milan 11:30 a.m. on FSC and River Plate-Boca Juniors at 5 p.m. for those of you who get Fox Sports Espanol.

I’ll blog from the U.S.-Honduras game Saturday so check back in then (or better yet if you’re local, come on down; I suspect the U.S. could use the support).

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Goal! Ball Drive Scores

While we await the expected noon announcement of Landon Donovan’s likely move to Everton and perhaps vastly improved contract terms to ensure he actually returns to MLS (would the Galaxy schedule a press conference just to announce his loan move away from the club?), it’s good to note that the dreams of a group of local kids are certain to come true this year thanks to Daily Breeze readers.

The annual Daily Breeze ball drive reached the goal of 1,400 balls collected for children at the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Los Angeles Harbor thanks to a late influx of donations.

Special appreciation to all the 100 Percent Soccer readers who responded to the request for donations in a down economy and especially the Galaxy whose late contribution of 100 goals pushed the Breeze over its goal. Who knows whether one of those kids getting a ball turns out to be the next Donovan or Shannon Boxx?

BTW, a 36-man U.S. Under-20 camp gets under way today at Home Depot Center. Locals involved include defender Cesar Zamora (Chivas USA; Sylmar), midfielder Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Jrs.; San Pedro) and strikers Tristan Bowen (Galaxy; Van Nuys) and Victor Chavez (Real So Cal; Fontana).

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Thursday Kicks


*The MLS playoffs begin tonight and Seattle Sounders fans will demonstrate the right way to support a team – by going freaking nuts in the stands. Hope Galaxy and Chivas USA fans are taking note. The Dynamo-Sounders game is on ESPN2 at 7 p.m. Game preview here.

*Incidentally, the U.S. is playing Malawi at the U-17 World Cup live on ESPNU right now. It’s 0-0 at the half. You can also follow along on Matchtracker. Updated: The U.S. win 1-0 on an Alex Shinsky goal

*The U.S. women are in Germany for a sold out friendly that starts at 10 a.m. The Sol’s Brittany Bock is a doubt because of a knock. Sounds like her participation is a game time decision.

*Belated congratulations to former Chivas USA goalkeeper Brad Guzan who saved four penalties (!) deputizing for regular starter Brad Friedel for Aston Villa the other night. More here.

Finally, the Cal State Northridge men (7-7-2, 2-4-1 BWC) lost 2-0 to UC Santa Barbara Wednesday. Next: hosting UC Riverside at 3 p.m. Saturday at Matador Field. Take along three cans of food as a contribution to the food drive being held and you’ll get in free.

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Tuesday’s Column: MLS Playoff Preview – The Hallway Series

Read it here.

Oh, and the Becks to AC Milan deal is done, say the Italian club.

BTW, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team predictably lost 2-1 to a technically (and creatively) superior Spain Monday in Ghana Nigeria at the World Cup for that age category.

San Pedro’s Carlos Martinez was an unused sub; Fontana’s Victor Chavez played the second half.

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Tuesday’s ChivaClasico Column & More

I previewed Wednesday’s Chivas USA-CD Guadalajara game Wednesday at the Rose Bowl. Read the column here.

BTW, two Chivas USA players – Gerson Mayen and Jorge Flores – won’t play because they, along with UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk and midfielder Michael Stevens, are in Egypt preparing for the FIFA Under-20 World Cup that starts Thursday.

ESPN will show all 52 games from the tournament, most on ESPN

All three of the U.S. group games will be on TV, however:

*6:55 a.m. Saturday ESPN Classic U.S.-Germany
*9:40 a.m. Tuesday ESPN2 U.S.-Cameroon
*9:40 a.m. Oct. 2 ESPN2 U.S.-Korea

ESPN will also show the final Oct. 16.

A tournament preview is here.

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Chivas USA’s Flores, UCLA’s Perk, Stephens Named to U-20 World Cup Roster

Here’s the full squad:

goalkeepers – Sean Johnson (Central Florida; Lilburn , Ga. ), Josh Lambo (FC Dallas; Middleton, Wis. ), Brian Perk (UCLA; Rancho Santa Margarita)

defenders – Gale Agbossoumonde ( Miami FC; Syracuse, N.Y. ), Kyle Davies (FC Dallas; Danville, Calif. ), Aaron Maund (Notre Dame; Dorchester, Mass.), Ike Opara (Wake Forest; Durham , N.C.), Anthony Wallace (FC Dallas; St. Petersburg, Fla.), Sheanon Williams (Unattached; Boston)

midfielders – Danny Cruz ( Houston Dynamo; Glendale, Ariz. ), Mikkel Diskerud (Stabak; Oslo, Norway ), Dilly Duka (Rutgers; Montville, N.J.), Jorge Flores (Chivas USA ; Anaheim), Jared Jeffrey (Club Brugge; Richardson, Texas ), Brian Ownby (Virginia; Glen Allen, Va.), Dillon Powers (Notre Dame; Plano, Texas), Michael Stephens (UCLA; Naperville, Ill.)

forwards – Sam Garza (Denver; Highland Village, Texas), Peri Marosevic (FC Dallas; Rockford, Ill.), Brek Shea (FC Dallas; College Station, Texas), Tony Taylor (Jacksonville; Jacksonville , Fla.)

There’s no room for Chivas USA’s Gerson Mayen though.

Every game of the tournament from Egypt will be shown on an ESPN-branded channel.

The U.S. opens against Germany Sept. 26, faces Cameroon Sept. 29 and finishes group play against South Korea Oct. 2.

The best U.S. finish: fourth in 1989 with Kasey Keller in goal.

Tournament home page.

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Spreading Swine Flu Forces Soccer Postponements in Mexico

AP Photo

Azteca Stadium in Mexico City sat eerily empty Sunday during the game between Club America and Tecos because of the swine flu outbreak.


CONCACAF today canceled the remainder of the Under-17 championships in Tijuana and postponed the second leg of the Champions League final because of escalating fears of a swine flu pandemic.

The U.S. Under-17 team, which includes midfielder Carlos Martinez of San Pedro, is returning to its home base in Florida.

The U.S. is advising residents not to travel south of the border.

Professional games in Mexico City were played behind closed doors over the weekend.

Here’s the (edited) CONCACAF press release:

Due to the growing concerns about the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, CONCACAF General Secretary Chuck Blazer announced Monday that the remainder of the confederation’s Under-17 Championship in Tijuana has been canceled and the second-leg of the CONCACAF Champions League finals has been postponed.

Mexican authorities previously had closed schools in Mexico City and on Monday extended that decision nationwide. Based on the actions of the Mexican government, CONCACAF responded to safeguard the health of players, officials and fans.

Costa Rica, Honduras, Mexico and the USA all had clinched berths the FIFA U-17 World Cup 2009, and were to play the semifinals on Wednesday with the championship and third-place match scheduled for Saturday. The four semifinalists will advance to the U-17 World Cup in Nigeria from 24 October – 15 November.

The second-leg of the CONCACAF Champions League finals between CD SC Cruz Azul (MEX) and Atlante FC (MEX) was to be played Wednesday in Cancun, but that game now will be delayed until Tuesday, 12 May at 9 p.m. local (10 p.m. EDT). Atlante leads the two-game title series 2-0 from its opening win in Mexico City last Wednesday.

The CONCACAF Beach Championship in Puerto Vallarta, scheduled to begin Wednesday and continue through Sunday, is under review with a final decision expected Tuesday.

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Friday Football: Quakes Quit & More


* The San Fernando Valley Quakes of the Premier Development League announced today that they are the latest casualty of the economy. The team lasted three years. The 2009 season was scheduled to begin May 1.

* MLS gets its Becks bucks.

* Manhattan Beach resident Amy Massey, a defender with the USC soccer team, will attend Oxford on a NCAA scholarship. Massey played her final season for USC last year.

*The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team, which includes Carlos Martinez of San Pedro, has qualified for the World Cup this fall. The team beat Canada 4-2 Thursday to clinch qualification.

*Sol striker Camille Abily scored in France’s 2-0 win over Switzerland Wednesday in Dijon; the teams meet again Saturday.

*First-place Chivas USA (4-1-1) hosts FC Dallas (1-3-1) at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Home Depot Center in a game that’s live on KAZA and tape-delayed at 9 p.m. on Prime. Kids 16 and under get in free with every adult ticket purchased. The Galaxy are on the road in Colorado Saturday, (the game will be shown on tape-delay at 10 p.m. on Fox Sports West) as are the Sol who face Saint Louis Athletica.

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Monday Night Football Eye Candy & More


*MLS “eye candy” Robbie Rogers of Rolling Hills Estates (and others) here. Also featured: Chivas USA ‘s ‘sexy” Sacha Kljestan and rookie Galaxy defender A.J. ‘the hunk” DeLaGarza.

*The U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team plays Cuba at 4 p.m. Tuesday in its opening game of the regional championships in Tijuana. No TV.

*The U.S. Women’s National Team will play Canada July 19 iin Rochester, N.Y., and July 22 Charleston, S.C., it was announced today. From U.S. Soccer:

“The matches will be the last for the U.S. Women’s National Team at home in 2009, but the team is scheduled to gather for training camps and a European tour following the completion of the inaugural WPS campaign.”

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So Cal Youth Soccer Spotlight

I stopped blogging about high school soccer last year and I don’t think any readers noticed (or at least said anything). All the newspapers this bog is affiliated with have prep sports blogs now and I didn’t want to be redundant.

But what about youth soccer?

Do you care? Let me know.

U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team
The U.S. beat Bolivia 2-1 today and faces Argentina Wednesday and Uruguay Friday in Buenos Aires as part of a three-game trip in South America ahead of the CONCACAF U-17 Championship in Tijuana.

Southern Californians on the squad include midfielders Luis Gil (Pateadores; Garden Grove) and Carlos Martinez (Wilmington Juniors; San Pedro).

U.S. Under-17 Women’s National Team
The team holds a 24-player camp from April 5-11 as part of early preparations for the 2010 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup.

Among the locals called in are midfielder Katie Speidel (Real So Cal/Oak Park) and striker Courtney Proctor (Santa Clarita United Blazers/Santa Clarita).

U.S. Under-18 Women’s National Team
The U.S. will hold its first training camp of the year April 4-11 at Home Depot Center with Southern Californians on the roster including forwards Michelle Cruz (Slammers/Thousand Oaks) and Samantha Johnson (Real So Cal/Palmdale).

U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team
UCLA Coach Jillian Ellis has been named coach of the U.S. U-20 team as it begins a new cycle that will hopefully culminate in Germany with a spot in the 2010 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup; she had previously served as coach of the team, but had stepped down in January 2008 after she was named assistant coach with the national team. Now she will continue in that post and add the U-20 team (again). Got that?

2009 U.S. Youth Soccer ODP Champions
*Crowned as champions Sunday were the 1993 Girls from California South who beat North Texas 1-0 in Frisco, Texas. Locals on the roster included Marie Mackenzie of Simi Valley, Monique Pendleberry of Newbury Park, Courtney Proctor of Santa Clarita and Haley Rosen of Rolling Hills.

*The 1993 California South Boys beat Oklahoma 4-3 in OT with such locals as Christopher Lopez, Reseda; Eduardo Quezada, South Gate; Henry Rios, Norwalk; Cody Thompson, Westlake Village; and Andrew Trejo, Santa Clarita on the roster.

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