LA Galaxy face Club Tijuana tonight in Carson in CONCACAF Champions League

Former Galaxy striker Alan Gordon of Long Beach rose for a late, trademark header Tuesday as the San Jose Earthquakes tied Mexico’s Toluca in the first leg of their CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal.

That was San Jose’s first competitive game of 2014 and now the Galaxy will face Mexican opposition  — Club Tijuana — in just their second game of the season.

Can you imagine if major European clubs such as Barcelona and Manchester City — who meet at 12:30 p.m. today in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 clash on Fox Sports 1 — were asked to do the same thing?

For more, read this week’s column and see what passes for trash talking in CONCACAF here.


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Weekly Soccer Column: LA Galaxy-Club Tijuana CONCACAF Champions League Preview and more


So, it was pretty mild, but did the Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez just diss U.S. Men’s National Team teammate Herculez Gomez in the above video?

The San Jose Earthquakes play tonight in the CCL, while the Galaxy’s encounter with Club Tijuana in Carson Wednesday is the subject of today’s column, which also looks at who Chivas USA defender Bobby Burling dedicated his winning goal to Sunday in the 3-2 defeat of the Chicago Fire.
More on all the CONCACAF Champions League games is here.

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Major League Soccer Preview: Chivas USA hosts Chicago Fire Sunday in Carson

You reset your clocks, right?

Chivas USA will be up bright and early to greet its final MLS season with a noon kickoff on Unimas for the game against the Chicago Fire at StubHub Center, which apparently is being met with great anticipation in Pakistan.

Quite who will bother to show up for this one locally is unknown, however. Last year, at the handful of games I could bring myself to witness in person, you could literally drive straight in without any delay whatsoever just a few minutes before kickoff.

On the field though, Chivas USA actually look more promising in theory than they have in years and are still adding players — SuperDraft third-round pick Kristopher Tyrpak, 21, — out of Houston Baptist University was the latest on Saturday.

“Kris is an extremely talented left-footed attacker who has a set of very special and uncommon skills for a player that young,” said Chivas USA coach Wilmer Cabrera.  “He has tremendous speed and is an excellent dribbler.  He loves to score and is well aware of where the goal is. Kris has great potential and will be a very good addition to our team.”

For more, read the preview by Los Angeles News Group MLS beat writer Phil Collin here.

At least the game gave us a Tweet of the Week candidate:

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Video Preview: LA Galaxy opens Major League Soccer season Saturday in Carson against Real Salt Lake

A rematch of last year’s Western Conference semifinal that saw Real Salt Lake eliminate the Galaxy from the playoffs gets the 2014 MLS season under way Saturday in Southern California (live at 7:30 p.m. on Time Warner Cable Sports). For full details on the game and 2014 MLS season, check out the following links:

  • Los Angeles News Group MLS beat reporter Phil Collin has the season and game preview.
  • Our sister newspaper, The Salt Lake City Tribune, previews the game from the perspective of Real Salt Lake.
  • For more, check out the match-up by the numbers.
  • Orange County’s Luis Gil, an increasingly influential presence in midfield for RSL, is a player to watch in Saturday’s game and the season.
  • Earlier in the week, I took a look at five MLS teams to keep an eye on as the season begins.
  • Finally, Galaxy hotshot Robbie Keane has signed a new contract with the club.
  • And late Friday, the Galaxy signed veteran MLS defender Dan Gargan, 31, who made more than 130 appearances over eight seasons with Chivas USA, Colorado Rapids and the San Jose Earthquakes.
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New LA Galaxy Jersey Unveiled, but Defender Greg Cochrane Won’t be Wearing One

Good thing Greg Cochrane wasn’t in the above video.

The 2013 SuperDraft pick was shipped to the Chicago Fire after making a dozen MLS appearances last year. In return, the Galaxy got a conditional draft pick.

Given that coach Bruce Arena isn’t a huge fan of the draft the move suggests the Galaxy simply wanted to get a young defender they didn’t rate highly off the roster and payroll.

Incidentally, the video did feature Galaxy stars Robbie Keane and Landon Donovan; LA Galaxy II player Elijiah Martin; retired Galaxy greats Cobi Jones and Mauricio Cienfuegos; Academy player Ryan Lane; fans Aly and Elise Lane; Angel City Brigade member Ethan Ruiz; LA Riot Squad representative Andrew Alesana; and longtime Galaxians stalwart Carlissa Perdomo.

And about that jersey design, from the Galaxy press release:

The new kit features an updated sash that showcases the energy and nonstop motion of LA. The sash is composed of 11 individual stripes, which symbolize the Starting XI players and completes the traditional sash. The kit’s neck tape displays the traditional LA quasar, also featured in the lenticular crest. “This Is LA”, a supporter-inspired team slogan, appears on the jock tag.

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Webcam: Check out the progress of Torrance’s two new soccer fields

TorrancelogoCompletion of Torrance’s two new $3.2 million soccer fields is scheduled for early March.

And I’m already hearing from city officials that requests to rent the artificial turf facility are rolling in quickly from deep-pocketed soccer clubs and others.

Crews are fairly close to finishing work on the project that is right across the street from the Los Angeles Galaxy Soccer Center.

Check out the view on the webcam here.

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Watch: LA Galaxy Preseason Video Introducing new signings Stefan Ishizaki and Rob Friend and other updates

One thought: How much pressure does the signing Thursday of 31-year-old former Swedish international midfielder Stefan Ishizaki heap on under-performing Galaxy midfielder Robbie Rogers?

Galaxy coach Bruce Arena called Ishizaki an “exceptional passer,” which is what he has been demanding — and not getting –from Rogers to help unlock opposing back lines.

Also, today the Galaxy announced it has moved the scheduled home game against D.C. United on March 15 to Wednesday, Aug. 27 to a give the team more time to prepare for its CONCACAF Champions League games against Club Tijuana.

Finally, Clint Mathis has joined former Galaxy coach Frank Yallop at the Chicago Fire as an assistant coach. Mathis had served as supervisor of the Galaxy’s camps and clinics.

“I have tremendous respect for Frank and the team he’s assembling in Chicago,” said Mathis. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to return to MLS with such a respected organization.”

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Watch: U.S. Men’s National Team Live from Carson Today and Saturday — and a sky high Jurgen Klinsmann

This is U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann flying in a Torrance-made Robinson Helicopter over the South Bay and metropolitan Los Angeles. Klinsmann talks about how he likes to fly low in the video: wonder if he is aware of the controversy raging in Southern California over helicopter noise? Keep it down up there, Jurgen!

Meanwhile, a press conference with U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann and a player begins at 11:30 a.m. today here with live coverage of a training session set for 12:30 p.m. ahead of Saturday’s sold out clash against South Korea

Saturday’s coverage includes the team’s arrival in the stadium before the 2 p.m. game, Klinsmann’s post-game press conference and player interviews.

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