Sunday Soccer Wrap

The U.S. Women’s National Team beat Sweden 1-0 Saturday with Torrance’s Shannon Boxx going the full 90 and USC striker Amy Rodriguez getting a few minutes late. The U.S. now returns home for its final two Olympic warm-up games.

If you want to get caught up on the Chivas USA win Saturday read the previous post; for game reaction and video highlights of the Galaxy’s 2-1 loss to New England Friday go here.

In the PDL Saturday it was: Ventura County Fusion 2 Southern California Seahorses 0.

In the W-League Saturday, the expansion Pali Blues clinched the league title with a 1-0 win over the Seattle Sounders.

Standings.

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Galaxy Gameday & More

As readers of this blog learned Wednesday from beat writer Scott Wolf, neither David Beckham (sore hamstring) or Landon Donovan (flu) practiced with the team yesterday and could miss tonight’s game against the New England Revolution, who will have Taylor Twellman on the bench.

So possibly no stars for the Galaxy, but there will be fireworks after the game. It’s live on Prime at 7:30 p.m.

Chivas USA plays Saturday at Home Depot Center (and yeah, they have fireworks, too) against San Jose. The Earthquakes are the lowest-scoring team in MLS so naturally they are bidding to sign a - 37-year-old Brazilian midfielder.

In other unexpected player news, former Galaxy player Joseph Ngwenya is trying out for former Galaxy Assistant Coach Martin Zuniga and his boss Jurgen Klinsmann at Bayern Munich.

From the interminable award department: Becks and Donovan as well as Juan Pablo Angel (New York Red Bulls), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Chicago Fire), Luciano Emilio (D.C. United) and Matt Reis (New England Revolution) are up for the MLS Best Player of the Year Award at the 16th annual ESPY’s. Donovan has won the last two years.

Fans can vote through July 12 at www.espys.tv The show airs at 6 p.m. July 20 on ESPN.

Not to be outdone Univision has their own set of awards for Latino athletes such as Cuauhtmoc Blanco (Chicago Fire), Omar Bravo (CD Guadalajara) and Guillermo Ochoa (Club Amrica) who are up for North American Soccer Player of the Year. (I nominate Univision for the Creatively Named Category Award, by the way).

There are 10 categories in the “Tecate Premios Deportes” awards airing July 20.

Other nominees: Cuauhtmoc Blanco, Juan Pablo Angel, Guillermo Barros Schelotto, Claudio Suarez – and Jonathan Bornstein (?).

Details here.

In the W-League Thursday, the Seattle Sounders beat the Ventura County Fusion 3-0.

In the PDL tonight, the San Fernando Valley Quakes play at the Lancaster Rattlers in a 7 p.m. game at Pete Knight High.

Enjoy the holiday and break away from the bar-b-que occasionally to check back here on the Galaxy’s progess tonight where I’ll blog the game highlights.

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The Most Expensive Grass in Carson & More

The Galaxy announced today they are selling tickets for Friday’s game against the New England Revolution on the grass berm at the north end of the stadium – for $36 a pop.

Considering the cheapest seats in the stadium are $15 for the game that seems more than a little pricey, especially considering you have to bring your own blanket. By way of explanation though the Galaxy press release observes that the berm “will give one of the best views of the postgame fireworks over the South end of the stadium.”

It’s not the best place to watch the actual game though (despite the Galaxy insisting that it is), but on Independence Day it’s all about the fireworks off the field anyway.

A capacity crowd is expected, so get their early to avoid the Home Depot Center parking hassles.

Call 877-3GALAXY for tickets.

It seems Sigi Schmid has designs on trading for the Galaxy’s Carlos Ruiz, which seems a little strange since Sigi used to complain about how much time Fish spent in local night clubs when he was the coach here in L.A. Guess there are few nightclubs in Columbus.

The U.S. Women’s National Team beat Norway – their first opponents at the Olympics – 4-0 today.

Hermosa Beach resident Abby Wambach had an assist and a goal in the 87th minute to register her 99th international goal (USC’s Amy Rodriguez had the assist).

Next for the U.S.: Sweden on Saturday.

Finally, W-League team the Ventura County Fusion hosts the Seattle Sounders at 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Buena High.

Gotta run – just 30 minutes or so left to register my picks for the MLS All-Star Game.

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Friday Football: Galaxy, Chivas USA Previews & More

Goals aplenty are expected Sunday when the Galaxy plays D.C. United on the road in a rare nationally televised MLS game on ABC that precedes the Euro 2008 final.

The official Galaxy blog has a video preview.

Speaking of Euro 2008, sports media columnist Tom Hoffarth had more today on the broadcast snafu that frankly ruined the first semifinal Wednesday between Germany and Turkey. The problem wasn’t ESPN’s fault and the network is due some props for hiring the likes of former Scottish pro Andy Gray to provide expertise, but it still has some serious credibility problems.

(Climbs on soap box)

For one thing, if ESPN weren’t so cheap they would have somebody at the game – so they don’t have to solely rely on commentators in a U.S. studio in the event of an outage – who could provide an audio feed as the BBC apparently did.

Second, with the network crowing about its Euro 2008 ratings then their coverage must go to the next level and actually have their broadcast teams at the stadium. The crowd noise is noticeably lower because ESPN is not there live and that doesn’t help the atmosphere of a game that’s being aired.

(Climbs down).

Chivas USA continue their lengthy home stand Saturday with a game against the Red Bulls that features a special Disneyland half time show. Good time to point out that with every adult ticket purchased a munchkin 12 or under gets in free. Tickets start at $14.

The club has a video preview here.

An interesting article about Chivas USA forward Maykel Galindo rekindling a childhood friendship with a fellow defector who now plays for the Seattle Mariners is here. (Thanks to Bruce over at DuNord for unearthing that story).

Apparently John Thorrington, who grew up on the Palos Verdes Peninsula, was such a late choice for last weekend’s World Cup qualifier he had not brought along a certain important document needed to travel and had to return home to Chicago to get it.

Finally, other local games set for this weekend include:
PDL
7:30 p.m. Friday San Jose Frogs at Los Angeles Legends at A.P.U. – Cougar Stadium.
7:30 p.m. Saturday Fresno Fuego at Los Angeles Legends at A.P.U. – Cougar Stadium.
7:30 pm Saturday Lancaster Rattlers at Ventura County Fusion at Buena High School.

W-League
8 p.m. Friday Fort Collins Force at Ventura County Fusion at Newberry Park High School.
5:00 p.m. Saturday Fort Collins Force at Los Angeles Legends at Azusa Pacific.

Enjoy your weekend and rejoin me Saturday for the Chivas USA game at Home Depot Center.

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Friday Football: Euro 2008 & More

Televised soccer. Live soccer. European soccer. Domestic soccer. Club soccer. International soccer.

There’s something for everyone this weekend and the biggest challenge will be finding time to take it all in. Let’s take the plunge.

Euro 2008 begins Saturday with two games: co-hosts Switzerland play the Czech Republic with coverage beginning at 8:30 a.m. on ESPN Classic (and repeated at 1:30 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2); at 11:30 a.m. it’s Portugal (with Manchester United’s sublime Cristiano Ronaldo) and Turkey on the same channel (repeated at 11:30 p.m.).

No time to watch the games? There’s a highlight show at 4 p.m. on ESPN Classic. Game times (if not channels) will remain consistent throughout the tournament, by the way.

I’ll be back later today with Chivas USA’s Swiss defender Raphael Wicky on his nation’s chances in the game and the tournament.

The game with the biggest local interest? The 8:30 a.m. Sunday Austria-Croatia match.

The pick of the weekend’s games? The 11:30 a.m. Sunday Germany-Poland encounter, a rematch from the 2006 World Cup you’ll recall and what amounts to a derby game between the neighboring nations.

I asked German native Sigi Schmid about Germany’s chances when the Crew were in town the other weekend and I’ll post that conversation sometime Saturday.

In MLS action, the Galaxy are at home at 7:30 p.m. Saturday against Colorado at Home Depot Center. Your faithful blogger will be there.

The U.S. Men’s National Team takes on No. 1-ranked Argentina at 4:30 p.m. Sunday on ESPN Classic in the final tune-up before World Cup qualifying begins.

Tonight in the PDL, the San Fernando Quakes host the Lancaster Rattlers at Calabasas High. Kick off is at 7:05 p.m.

The Quakes need a win; they lost Wednesday to Orange County Blue Star.

In other local PDL games, the Fresno Fuego visit the Lancaster Rattlers at 7 p.m. Saturday at Pete Knight High and the Los Angeles Legends go up against the Ventura County Fusion at 7:30 p.m. at Buena High.

That latter game in Ventura in actually a doubleheader, as the two teams’ W-League outfits take to the field at 5 p.m.

Finally, Jorge Flores didn’t score Thursday for Chivas USA, but he’s still getting noticed.

And in case you missed it earlier this week, here’s the Euro 2008 bracket:
i-14979a3c6863ccbc5ffd59cdd97c9fcf-EUROBRACKET.jpg

Enjoy the weekend.

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Monday Catchup

A day after leading England to a 3-0 win over Trinidad & Tobago, David Beckham insisted (again) that playing in MLS is no impediment to his international career. Judging by this assessment, he’s right.

Meanwhile, former England Coach Sven Goran-Ericksson was fired as Manchester City Monday as expected and looks likely to be confirmed Tuesday as Mexico’s new coach.

The Galaxy’s Ante Jazic apparently did not see action in Canada’s 3-2 loss to Brazil in Seattle on the weekend.

In PDL action, the Ventura County Fusion Sunday beat the San Francisco Seals.

In the W-League, the Pali Blues won their third consecutive game.

Better go write my weekly column for Tuesday’s newspapers. The subject: Euro 2008.

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Saturday Soccer: Galaxy, Chivas USA Gameday

The Galaxy plays Toronto at 12:30 p.m. on FSN without possible England captain David Beckham and Field Turf shy Abel Xavier, but apparently motivated by AEG head honcho Tim Leiweke who told the team to get their butts in gear – or else.

And, as usual, Beckhamania has ensued in Trinidad & Tobago.

Closer to home, Chivas USA plays the Columbus Crew at 7:30 p.m. at Home Depot Center with a touchy Brad Guzan.

I’ll be back later from the HDC updating the game as usual.

Today’s swag: a free ChivaGirls poster. Oh, and midfielder Jesse Marsch will hang out from 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday at the Hawthorne Best Buy, 5000 W. 147th St.

In the PDL, the Ventura County Fusion won its first game of the season Friday, while the San Francisco Seals beat Orange County Blue Star 3-2.

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Tuesday Galaxy Gameday & More

No column today after the long weekend, but the Galaxy are back in action tonight in Carson against the Colorado Rapids in a U.S. Open Cup qualifier at Home Depot Center.

Valentin played in and started two of the three U.S. matches in France, by the way, while Gavin and Jordan each started one. The U.S. lost all three games at the tournament. Long-term injury victim Pete Vagenas could also play tonight.

The Galaxy lost 4-0 to the Rapids in the season-opener and the two teams last met in the U.S. Open Cup two years ago with the Galaxy winning 3-1 to clinch a semifinal spot.

The Rapids took an early lead through Clint Mathis before Quavas Kirk equalized just before half time. Landon Donovan scored twice in extra time to give the Galaxy the victory.

There’s no TV, but I’ll blog from the game as usual.

Meanwhile, the hype is building for the U.S.-England game Wednesday with Fabio Capello naming Chelsea’s John Terry captain in a bid to cheer him up after his penalty kick miss in last week’s Champions League final.

David Beckham apparently has a good chance of playing, while Columbus Crew midfielder Frankie Hejduk has been called into the U.S. squad.

In other national team news, U.S. Women’s midfielder Leslie Osborne tore the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee during training at Home Depot Center last week and is out of the Olympics.

Osborne, 25, has played 60 times for the U.S., but faces up to 10 months out with the injury.

In local games this past weekend, David Estrada scored three times and Camillo Rojas added a goal and an assist as the Galaxy Rios U-20s defeated the Poway Vaqueros 6-0 at Home Depot Center Saturday. Palos Verdes Estates’ Kyle Nakazawa (UCLA) also scored as the Rios improved to 2-0-0 on the season and are alone in first place in the USL Super-20 League Pacific Southern California League.

In PDL action it was:
Bakersfield Brigade 1 Southern California Seahorses 0
Ventura County Fusion 0 San Francisco Seals 1
San Fernando Valley Quakes 0 Los Angeles Legends 5
Orange County Blue Star 3 Fresno Fuego 4

In the W-League:
Los Angeles Legends 1 Vancouver Whitecaps 2
Los Angeles Legends 0 Seattle Sounders 0

Finally, those psyching themselves up for Euro 2008 can relive the last nine finals in a condensed one-hour version of each game showing on ESPN Classic at 4 p.m. through June 5.

Tonight it’s the 1976 final between two nations that don’t exist anymore: West Germany and the Crech Republic.

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Weekend Wrap: Galaxy Blitz Dallas & More

Just when it was least expected, the Galaxy put on one of the most devastating offensive performances in recent club history, demolishing FC Dallas by a four goal margin in a 5-1 victory Sunday that included an Edson Buddle hat trick.

It was the sort of game that sent you rushing to the record book:
*This was the Galaxy’s biggest MLS victory since a a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay in August 2001.

*This was the first road Galaxy 5-1 MLS victory since a Aug. 5, 2000 win over the Wizards.

*Chris Klein made the 93rd consecutive start of his MLS career, tying him with ex-Galaxy goalkeeper Kevin Hartman (Peninsula High) for the most consecutive starts in MLS history.

*Buddle’s hat trick was the 14th in Galaxy history and the second this season.

*This was the first time Dallas surrendered five goals in a regular season game since a 5-2 loss at Los Angeles in the last game of the 2006 season. The five goals were the most Dallas has ever surrendered at Pizza Hut Park in a regular season game.

*Today’s attendance of 22,331, was the largest regular season crowd for a Dallas game at Pizza Hut Park.

The win propelled the Galaxy up the standings.

Meanwhile, the W-League Pali Blues won their first home game decisively Saturday.

The W-League Ventura County Fusion won, but the PDL men lost.

The W-League standings.

Also In the PDL this weekend:
Lancaster Rattlers 0 Los Angeles Legends 5
Southern California Seahorses 1 Lancaster Rattlers 0
Orange County Blue Star 1 San Francisco Seals 1

The league table.

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Friday Football: Waiting for the Weekend

With a gorgeous weekend for watching if not playing soccer forecast, here’s a preview of the options on tap locally this weekend.

Chivas USA plays D.C. United at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Home Depot Center and live on Fox Soccer Channel, while the Galaxy is on the road in Dallas for a game that airs at noon Sunday on Telefutura.

It’s a big day in England Saturday with the annual finale to the season, the F.A. Cup final. The game begins at 7 a.m. local time on pay-per-view and at your favorite English pub.

In live action, W-League expansion team Pali Blues plays its first-ever game in Pacific Palisades Saturday against the Los Angeles Legends.

In the Pacific Development League, the Lancaster Rattlers plays the Los Angeles Legends at 7:30 tonight at Cougar Stadium in Glendora.

Other PDL games this weekend include:
Ventura County Fusion at San Jose Frogs
Southern California Seahorses at Lancaster Rattlers at 7 p.m. at Pete Knight High.
Orange County Blue Star at San Francisco Seals

Have a great weekend. I’ll blog from Carson as usual Saturday and be back later with a game preview.

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