Weekly Soccer Column: Galaxy and Gold Cup

MLS parity is forgiving.

While the inconsistent Galaxy currently occupy the fifth and final Western Conference playoff spot, they are also only three points out of second spot.

Still, given their current form, explored in today’s column, who knows what their chances are of seeing those heights again.

Read more in today’s column, which also includes a brief preview of today’s U.S. Gold Cup game.

Our sister newspaper The Denver Post has more on Mexico’s Gold Cup campaign.

Also: will this former Chivas USA import catch on with the Galaxy?

One clarification to the column about who the U.S. will face in the quarterfinals, according to U.S. Soccer:

The United States needs only a draw to secure a first-place finish in the group, which would mean a match against the third-place team from either Group A or Group B in the quarterfinal.
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Weekly Soccer Column: StuporClasico, U-20 World Cup & more

0624_SPO_LDN-L-CHIVAS-GALAXY-MBBowled over? Only hapless Chivas USA  in the latest installment Sunday of the SuperClasico it seems (Photo by Staff Photographer Michael Owen Baker).

Read the column here.

Rumor central update: A Spanish sports daily claims relegated La Liga team Mallorca has publicly acknowledged and rejected a Galaxy offer for a certain Mexican star.

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Weekly Soccer Column: ESPN scores with tonight’s World Cup Qualifying Doubleheader

seattleposterWhich, along with a short piece on the Galaxy’s goalkeeping issues, is the subject of my column today.

Incidentally, the cool poster above, produced for tonight’s game in Seattle, is available for purchase. More details here.

A game preview is here.

Is Seattle the best soccer town in the country? This story would suggest it is.

Incidentally, guess who the top performing U.S. player is, according to this measurement (hint, it’s not Clint Dempsey)? Answer here.

Meanwhile, Rancho Cucamonga’s Carlos Bocanegra is not in the U.S. squad for the game, but will be inducted into the UCLA Hall of Fame later this year.

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Weekly Soccer Column: LA Galaxy Designated Player Rumors & More

A slightly different column format debuts today intended to touch on a few more local soccer-related items each week rather than featuring a longer essay on a single topic.

Read it here and let me know what you think.

By the way, is it just me or aside from the Galaxy’s two entertaining CONCACAF Champions League games have we seen some poor games so far this year at Home Depot Center (and I blame the two local clubs’ quality of MLS opponents rather than them for the most part)?

In other Galaxy news, it appears a new international tournament will debut this summer that reportedly will include MLS’ flagship franchise, although whether this is any different from the usual procession of summer friendlies featuring out of shape stars and young prospects remains to be seen.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Champions League Primer*

For both sides of the Atlantic.

Read the column here.

More on the task ahead for Lionel Messi and Barcelona is here.

Going to Wednesday’s Galaxy game? Essential gameday info is here.

*Updated

Two historic comebacks in Champions League action Tuesday, one in Barcelona, the other in Seattle.

Count the Galaxy impressed.

I plan to Tweet this evening from the Galaxy CONCACAF Champions League game @lasoccerblog, while MLS beat writer Phil Collin will have a full game wrap here tonight.

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Weekly Soccer Column: Pray for Chivas USA

Hello, anyone home? Home Depot Center Saturday a little over 10 minutes before the kickoff of Chivas USA’s MLS season opener.

It’s hard to believe just how big a debacle Chivas USA has become for this market, this league and this sport.

Nevertheless, things appear to be coming to a head if we are to believe what MLS Commissioner Don Garber had to say this weekend.

Chivas USA is down to its last few loyal troops in the stands — the long-suffering likes of the Black Army and Union Ultras are still commendably hanging in there, even if few others are.

Fans who bought club seats at the HDC and get tickets to every event are unwilling to sit through Chivas USA games. You can get the best seats in the house for the game Sunday on Stubhub for as little as just over $10 apiece, so why anyone would want to buy a game ticket that starts at $17 this year directly from the club is beyond me.

And that’s not going to help the club’s sagging attendance at all.

For more read this week’s column here.

For possible solutions, read this column (sent to me by the folks at the Black Army) in the wake of the column’s publication. Worth trying or smacking of desperation?

Sound off in the column section below.

 

 

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Weekly Column: Soccer Spotlight Shines Uncomfortably on Donovan and Rogers

The Galaxy face Club Tijuana tonight under chilly, wet skies in Carson (tickets are just $10, while parking is free) without star Landon Donovan, who could miss up to a third of the Galaxy’s season before he rejoins the team as he struggles with burnout and motivation issues.

That’s a subject I explore in today’s column after this weekend saw two high profile local soccer stars — the other was the South Bay’s Robbie Rogers –  deal with personal issues while in the public spotlight.

Two Brazilian trialists remain with the Galaxy and presumably could see action in a game that’s all about moving toward match fitness with players likely to see about 45 minutes of action apiece, Galaxy coach Bruce Arena said Monday.

Another player missing is Inglewood’s Jose Villarreal, who along with UCLA’s Javan Torre, got the start for the U.S. Monday in the CONCACAF U-20 championships in Mexico.

It could be worse — the Mexican champions will be missing all their starters, who are playing a Copa Libatadores game on the same evening.

*Updated: Time Warner Cable Deportes announced this morning they would carry the 7:30 p.m. game live with a one-hour pregame show.

Meanwhile, the Frank Lampard to the Galaxy saga — or not — winds on, but despite tabloid claims to the contrary it’s looking increasingly unlikely to me that the Chelsea star will be playing in LA anytime soon. Ah well, at least Frank will be happy goal line technology is finally here.

Finally, while we’re talking about missing players, MLSSoccer.com takes an early (premature?) stab at assessing Chivas USA’s chances this year despite a depth chart as thin as their win column last year.

 

 

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