Thursday Kicks

Briefly:

*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 360.com.

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.

i-c54626efeed8dff2404a1e6311fafeac-azteca.jpg

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

Briefly:

* 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

Briefly:

*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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Chivas USA Draw, Galaxy Gouge

Photo by Juan Miranda/Chivas USAi-d4c9382812f77691c3c46ac3d0669cda-lillingston0002.jpgEduardo Lillingston, Chivas USA’s newest signing in action against the Dynamo tonight.

Chivas USA drew 2-2 with the Houston Dynamo Friday night at Home Depot Center with Atiba Harris and Shavar Thomas scoring. (Full disclosure: I was stuck at work with a project and missed the game).

Lawndale’s Kei Kamara went 80 minutes for Houston, but didn’t score. Houston midfielder Ricardo Clark was sent off in the 77th minute for a foul on Paulo Nagamura that cleared both benches. It was Chivas USA final game before next Saturday’s season opener against the Colorado Rapids at Home Depot Center.

Lineups:
Chivas USA – Zach Thornton, Jonathan Bornstein, Shavar Thomas, Carey Talley, Mariano Trujillo, Sacha Kljestan, Paulo Nagamura, Jesse Marsch (Diego Scotti 85), Atiba Harris (Bojan Stepanovic 66), Eduardo Lillingston (Maykel Galindo 56), Justin Braun.

Houston Dynamo – Pat Onstad, Richard Mulrooney, Bobby Boswell, Julius James (Chris Wondolowski 46), Wade Barrett, Geoff Cameron, Ricardo Clark (Corey Ashe 80), Stuart Holden, Brad Davis, Brian Ching (Kei Kamara 80), Brian Mullan.

Scoring Summary:
CHV – Atiba Harris (Justin Braun) 43′
HOU – Chris Wondolowski (unassisted) 46′
CHV – Shavar Thomas (Carey Talley ) 63′
HOU – Brad Davis (unassisted) 76′

Meanwhile in Galaxyland, tickets for the club’s friendly against AC Milan July 19 go on sale at 10 a.m. Saturday. The catch? You must also buy a ticket to the season opener March 22 against D.C. United (think they’re having trouble selling tix?).

Prices start at $50. Call 1-877-3GALAXY.

Updated: UCLA goalkeeper Brian Perk stopped two penalties as the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team played to a scoreless draw Friday with Trinidad & Tobago, but advanced to the title match after winning 4-3 on penalty kicks. The U.S. plays Costa Rica Sunday for the championship.

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Friday Football

Briefly:

*Could Inter Milan also play in Carson this fall? Don’t bet on it.

*The U.S. Under-20 Men’s Team plays Trinidad & Tobago tonight, but Chivas USA’s Jorge Flores will not be there after getting a late red in his first start for the team against El Salvador. Here’s what he had to say after his ejection.

*Thanks to all who participated in the Beckham poll. I’d say the results were fairly conclusive. Will Beckham get booed when he returns?

*Updated – Here’s the Galaxy travel roster from the club’s official blog for the game Saturday in Arizona against the Chicago Fire:

Goalkeepers: Donovan Ricketts and Josh Saunders

Defenders: A.J. DeLaGarza, Sean Franklin, Dan Gargan, Omar Gonzalez, Yohance Marshall, Tony Sanneh and Julian Valentin.

Midfielders: Chris Klein, Dema Kovalenko, Kyle Patterson and Josh Tudela.

Forwards: Tristan Bowen, Landon Donovan, Alan Gordon, Bryan Jordan, Jovan Kirovski and Mike Magee.

That means that Edson Buddle, Todd Dunivant, Leonard Griffin, Eddie Lewis, Stefani Miglioranzi and Israel Sesay remain behind in Los Angeles.

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