Monday Night Kicks: Press Release of the Week & More

A few items to pass along this evening include:

*MLS delaying today’s roster compliance date, absent a new labor agreement. It has to, of course, because without a new labor agreement the old squad size of 20 senior and four developmental players essentially doesn’t exist. The new roster compliance date will be set “in the next few weeks.” That gives a breather to clubs who don’t have to make decisions over players now.

*Tony Sanneh wasn’t invited to Galaxy training camp, but he hasn’t cut ties with the club; he’s off to Haiti Tuesday with the Los Angeles Galaxy Foundation to deliver soccer equipment and supplies to the L’Athletique d’Haiti sports program.

The program gives poor children an opportunity to get off the streets, play a sport and receive a daily meal. The foundation will also provide food, soap, coolers and other items (such as 3,000 sticks of Degree Men deodorant, I kid you not).

From the Galaxy press release:

Following January’s devastating earthquake, the children did not return to L’Athletique d’Haiti for almost ten days at which time 150 of the program’s participants showed up at the field with their families. Currently, L’Athletique d’Haiti has approximately 500 displaced families living on their two fields that are being provided food, water and tents and more than 700 children returning for the soccer program each day.

“My heart goes out to the children of Haiti ,” Sanneh said, who has also founded a nonprofit group, The Sanneh Foundation. “As soon as I heard of the disaster, I knew I had to help. I am pleased the Galaxy and Galaxy Foundation invited me to be a part of their outreach efforts.

More information on L’Athletique d’Haiti is here and The Sanneh Foundation is here.

*Enhanced soccer offerings from Foxsoccer.tv include England National Team games beginning with England-Egypt at noon Wednesday, EPL, UEFA Champions League et al. A monthly pass is $14.95; a 24-hour pass (available for limited time) $4.95.

*Finally, chew on this – Extra, “El Chicle Oficial de la Seleccin Mexicana” (that’s the Official Chewing Gum of the Mexican National Soccer Team, gringos) has invited us media types in a press release to an “African-themed night” Tuesday that will feature African dancers, mariachis (y’know, African mariachis) along with retired El Tri goalkeeper Jorge Campos as master of ceremonies and a “Countdown to South Africa Clock” at L.A. Live on the eve of the team’s friendly against New Zealand at the Rose Bowl.

Luckily, “Jorge, along with representatives from Wrigley, makers of Extra gum will be available for interviews to discuss Mexico’s chances and strategies for a successful bid at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.”

I have no idea what wisdom and insight Extra reps will provide on Mexico’s World Cup chances. Nor do I know what flavors of gum (if any) they will serve.

Nor will I be going.

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Friday Football: USWNT win & More

Busy today so I’ll keep this brief:

*The USWNT beat Norway 2-1 today at the Algarve Cup and plays Sweden Sunday Monday with a berth in the championship game on the line. More details here.

*Chivas USA single game tickets for the upcoming MLS season went on sale today starting at $15. Galaxy single game tickets go on sale 10 a.m. Monday; their cheapest seat is $20.

*Here’s one for Fantasy Island. David Beckham could have played for the world’s oldest club, England’s Notts County, now languishing in the lower divisions and almost penniless. Apparently Beckham is available in October. Read more here.

*Mexico has announced its roster for Wednesday’s game against New Zealand at the Rose Bowl:

goalkeepers – Luis Ernesto Michel (CD Guadalajara), Jonathan Orozco (Monterrey)

defenders – Efran Juarez (UNAM), Carlos Salcido (PSV Eindhoven), Francisco Javier Rodriguez (PSV Eindhoven), Ricardo Osorio (Stuttgart), Hector Moreno (Az Alkmaar), Rafael Mrquez (FC Barcelona)

midfielders – Gerardo Torrado (Cruz Azul), Israel Castro (UNAM), Andres Guardado (La Corua), Jonathan Dos Santos (FC Barcelona), Luis Miguel Noriega (Puebla) Braulio Luna (San Luis)

forwards – Aldo Jesus De Nigris (Monterrey), Carlos Vela (Arsenal), Javier Hernandez (CD Guadalajara), Giovanni Dos Santos (Galatasaray), Cuauhtmoc Blanco (Veracruz)

*Click to the right for complete TV listings; sadly no Landon Donovan on TV this weekend, but if you like drama don’t miss Chelsea-Manchester City at 4:30 a.m. Saturday on ESPN2 where we’ll see if Wayne Bridge and John Terry go in studs up if the two tackle each other.

*Fox Soccer Plus replaces Sentanta Monday. The channel announced Friday it has reached carriage agreements with DIRECTV, DISH Network, Time Warner Cable, and Verizon FiOS.

*Finally, wanna see even more EPL on U.S. TV? It could happen: LONDON (AP) -English Premier League channels are set to start broadcasting across the world next season when a new 24-hour service is launched, a league executive with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press on Friday.

The league will provide a continuous international feed of programing for broadcast rights holders outside Britain to form their own Premier League channels, the executive said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because a public announcement is yet to be made.

International broadcasters are set to pay around $1.6 billion to show live Premier League matches for the three seasons starting in August 2010 – an 80 percent increase on the current TV deal.

Local networks will be able to pick and choose content from the league’s official feed, which will include news and feature shows along with classic matches. The networks will be able to include local advertising and live matches.

While it is a de facto Premier League TV channel, the continuous feed officially is being called a “content service” so that it doesn’t impede the ability of clubs, including Manchester United and MUTV, to sell their own channels around the world.

It will be run by Premier League Productions, a joint venture between the league and TWI, the sports production part of International Management Group. The Premier League is searching for a recognizable anchor to be the face of the content

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Thursday Kicks: The “Adorable” Chris Klein & More

More on the Galaxy’s Mr. Klein later in this post, but you should know:

*The Galaxy had their first general media availability Wednesday (although loyal 100 Percent Soccer readers got the inside scoop here a couple of days ago). And while the waived Tony Sanneh and Leonard Griffin weren’t around to answer questions, plenty of other players were to reflect on the coming season.

*That Chivas USA will host a benefit event for Haiti tonight at Grunions in Manhattan Beach.

*What the English papers are saying about Landon Donovan’s stellar performance Wednesday for Everton courtesy of the Soccer Insider blog.

*One game stands between the U.S. U-20 Women and a World Cup berth, an 11:30 a.m. clash against Costa Rica live on Fox Soccer Channel.

*About that promised Klein item. Here is an exchange between Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena and an apparently hard of hearing reporter at Wednesday’s training session regarding veteran Klein via colleague Phil Collin:

Arena: It still demonstrates a guy who’s been a good player, a durable player, a fit player and a good player.

Reporter: Adorable player? I’ve never heard that adjective used.

Arena: Durable.

Reporter: Oh, durable! I thought you said adorable, I apologize.

Arena: Adorable, wow. Well, he is that as well, I might add.

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Stupid Beckham Tricks

i-b2746aecaf63485d942813cae71a76ee-Beckhammoreshorts.jpgSorry, couldn’t resist the story below. And if Beckham insists on doing this sort of thing as he did in a game earlier this month against Juventus, who can blame excitable Italian women for, um, indiscriminately grabbing things. (AP Photo).

MILAN (AP) — An Italian television channel has apologized for a prank in which a female presenter attempted to grab David Beckham between the legs.

The AC Milan midfielder was visibly angered when Elena Di Cioccio, who fronts the popular show “Le Iene (The Hyenas)” on Italia Uno, made her move while the soccer player was being interviewed by another person Wednesday.

Security immediately hustled the 34-year-old Beckham into a nearby hotel.

Beckham has started all three league matches for AC Milan in 2010 while on loan from the Galaxy and is expected to play in Sunday’s derby against Inter Milan.

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No column Tuesday.

I took Monday off.

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.

Cast your vote here.

To make up for the lack of a column check out this YouTube video of some of soccer’s silliest moments of 2009 (viewer discretion advised due to the nature of some songs on the soundtrack, BTW):

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Thursday Kicks

Briefly:

*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:

Well, OK, maybe not.

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Lets Hope This Trend Doesn’t Catch on in MLS

Ooh la la!

Leave it to those Italians.

i-e0194df2b05591d44331dd9fa958f4da-dresseddown0002.jpg 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.

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Too Bad the MLS Deadline to Make Roster Changes Has Passed

Otherwise, Chivas USA or the Galaxy could hook up with this guy who e-mailed me last month in the wake of a recent column about the two teams’ lack of scoring prowess:

Hi Nick,

I read the article today.

If Chivas USA or even the Galaxy need an effective playmaker to win the league, you should hook me up.

I’m more skilled and faster than Landon Donovan, but much taller. (6’2″)

Give me a chance and try me out seriously, thank you.

(Name deleted to protect the innocent).

If either Preki or Bruce Arena is reading this, I still have the guy’s e-mail address.

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