And although the result of the poll asking readers to pick the year’s most influential soccer figure in Southern California seems a foregone conclusion, I’m extending the voting period through New Year’s Day to give those preoccupied with the holidays an opportunity to vote.
Hope your little angels didn’t let Santa get away from them and everyone has a ball. BTW, this is a shot from a charity match for the Uwe Seeler Foundation between an aptly-clad fifth division men’s team and a girl’s youth team last year in Germany. The score was 10-10. (AP Photo)
*Don’t forget, the second MLS playoff game between the Columbus Crew and Real Salt Lake is scheduled for 5 o’clock today on ESPN2.
*The Cal State Northridge men closed in on a post-season berth Wednesday with a 1-0 victory over Cal State Fullerton with the goal coming in the sixth minute of OT and now hold the tiebreaker over the Titans going into the final game of the regular season Saturday against UC Irvine.
*Riverside’s Chad Marshall was named MLS Defender of the Year today (for the second straight year), while referee Alex Prus took the award for MLS officials. The Crew defender is a worthy choice, but I can’t help wondering if MLS would benefit from officials like this one:
Juventus’ Paolo De Ceglie, left, and Giorgio Chiellini, right, not only gave their shirts to fans in the wake of the Italian club’s 1-0 victory over Maccabi Haifa in Israel Tuesday, but their shorts, too. (AP Photo).
I offer this picture not so much so we can ogle Italian bums (although my wife, ahem, begs to differ), but as a vivid reminder that the UEFA Champions League is on again today.
The Arsenal-AZ Alkmaar is behind Sentanta’s pay wall, but everything else can be seen on free TV (if you have El Segundo-based DirecTV).
The full schedule is here. Barcelona gets things off to an early start with a game at 9:30 a.m. today on Fox Soccer Channel.
One other note: the U.S. is out of the Under-17 World Cup in Nigeria having lost 2-1 today to the Italians.
And I’m guessing those Italian lads kept their shorts on at game’s end.
Notable: There is no mention of today’s crucial Honduras-USA WCQ in the print edition of today’s newspaper – but we do have the above story.
And in other women’s college, um, action Friday it was Cal State Northridge 0 Pacific 1
and USC 1 Arizona 0.
Also, UCLA beat Arizona 2-0 Friday with Bruin Lauren Cheney scoring the second; the goal gave her 59 in her college career, good for second place on the all-time UCLA women’s scoring list behind Traci Arkenberg.