Friday Football: Death & the Galaxy

I’ll post an interview with new Galaxy signing Dema Kovalenko Saturday morning.

But first:
*Mexico Coach Sven-Gran Eriksson today announced his squad to face Sweden Wednesday in Oakland:

goalkeepers: Guillermo Ochoa (Amrica), Oswaldo Snchez (Santos Laguna), Jos de Jess Corona (Tecos UAG)

defenders: Juan Carlos Valenzuela (Amrica), Julio Csar Domnguez (Cruz Azul), Edgar Dueas (Toluca), Leobardo Lpez (Pachuca), Fausto Pinto (Cruz Azul), Diego Martnez (Monterrey), Israel Castro (UNAM), Edgar Castillo (Amrica)

midfielders: Pvel Pardo (Amrica), Leandro Augusto (UNAM), Luis Prez (Monterrey), Israel Martnez (San Luis), Lucas Ayala (Atlas), Antonio Naelson (Toluca), Marco Fabin (CD Guadalajara)

forwards: Alberto Medina (CD Guadalajara), Vicente Matias Vuoso (Santos Laguna), Carlos Ochoa (CD Guadalajara), Nestor Caldern (Toluca), Csar Villaluz (Cruz Azul)

*Galaxy goalkeeper Charles Alamo has retired before his professional career really began after suffering two serious MCL injuries within a year. He played one reserve game for the team and will return to graduate school.

*Former Galaxy midfielder Quavas Kirk, not retained by D.C. United, will reportedly begin a trial with the Seattle Sounders.

*The club has also finalized a Feb. 12 preseason friendly against the Houston Dynamo in Texas.

*Finally, here’s a contender for soccer story of the week from the Associated Press:

LONDON – An English amateur soccer team mourning the death of one of its greatest players discovered an important error in the tributes by the club and local press to the 86-year-old man — he’s still alive.

Tommy Farrer had the rare distinction of reading his own obituary as a former “legend”
with northern amateur side Bishop Auckland FC.

The mistake came to light when an official of the club, which held a solemn minute of
silence before a match last week, called Farrer’s wife to offer condolences.

A surprised Gladys Farrer said her husband had indeed departed — but only for a few
minutes to buy a newspaper and would be back soon if the official wanted to talk to
him.

Farrer, a former England amateur who played in three Wembley finals, said in Friday
editions of the Northern Echo: “We are not upset, but we did think it was a bit of a joke
at first.”

Farrer said he wants to play down the mistake, saying it was time to “let it
die.”

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Beckham Loan to AC Milan Confirmed & More

i-e8f2c9f50029f7a36bd271bef4985045-TS22-Galaxy_Soccer.SV-261.jpgCNN confirmed with David Beckham’s agent today that the Galaxy midfielder will head to Italy’s AC Milan on a two-month loan in the wake of the club’s tour Down Under after the MLS season concludes so he can retain his fitness for England.

It does not sound like he’s going to miss much, if any, of the MLS preseason, according to this quote in England’s Daily Mail from Beckham agent Simon Oliveira:

“Nothing is confirmed yet, but the intention is to go to AC Milan on loan for January and February. He would be going there with the view to keeping fit and being available for selection for England.

“The idea is he then goes back to the Galaxy to join up with their pre-season in March. He will not be joining AC Milan permanently. He had a five-year contract with the Galaxy
and has three years left and every intention of fulfilling that.”

AC Milan are currently sitting fifth in the league.

Updated 10:28 a.m. Got off the phone a few minutes ago with the Galaxy PR folks who tell me his Beckhamness will not be addressing the media on the issue after training today (he usually only deigns to speak to reporters once a week). We’ll see. But that would be par for the course: a global news story, Beckham in our back yard and he’s not talking.

In other Beckham-related news, he’s agreed to do his bit for England’s 2018 World Cup bid.

Speaking of the World Cup, there’s much gnashing of teeth south of the border over Mexico’s World Cup qualifying status – or lack thereof.

Finally, this just in from the “I live in a glass house” department – North Korean nutjob Kim Jong Il is not at all pleased with the nation’s hairy soccer players.

Because, of course, that rich, famine-free and non-authoritarian nation doesn’t have more pressing issues than a “follicular clampdown”.

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Tuesday Night Football: Soccer Collies & More

Things I should have noted earlier, but didn’t:
* It’s so hard to find good help these days – even if you’re David Beckham.

*Landon Donovan has 19 goals and nine assists on the season with two games to go; no MLS player has ever recorded 20 goals and 10 assists in a single season.

*Further explanation on why Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers is not with the U.S. team Wednesday because of injury – he leads MLS in fouls suffered with 72. Ouch.

*The answer to the Galaxy trivia question, which team is worse than their senior squad? How about their reserve team? The Galaxy reserves lost to their Colorado counterparts Sunday 1-0 to go to 1-6-2 on the season. Steve Cronin was in goal. Chivas USA reserves, meanwhile, beat San Jose Earthquakes reserves Sunday, 3-1. Roberto Nurse scored two goals. Go figure.

*Player of the Week honors went to former (Torrance) West High star Jessica Murphy who was named Brine California Collegiate Athletic Association Women’s Soccer Player of the Week after the freshman scored three goals in two games this past weekend – 60 percent of the team’s output, mind you – in two CSUDH wins. Also: UCLA junior midfielder Michael Stephens was named the Pac-10 Men’s Soccer Player of the Week after scoring the game-winning goal in overtime as UCLA upset sixth-ranked California, 3-2, on the road.

*Southern Californians named to the U.S. Women’s Under-17 national team that will participate in the 2008 FIFA Under-17 Women’s World Cup Oct. 28-Nov. 16 in New Zealand are: forward Samantha Johnson (Palmdale) and midfielder Elizabeth Eddy (Costa Mesa).

*Finally, no late night soccer report would be complete without the Soccer Collies (I think). They will perform Sunday at half time of the noon Chivas USA-Colorado Rapids game. From the Chivas USA press release:

The two collies, Ms. Z and BEK, each have unique soccer skills; Ms. Z can catch the ball between her paws, and BEK charges up the field while dribbling the ball with his nose. The dogs will also be available before the game in ChivaTown for photos and to play with fans.

Well, OK. To me they look like two mutts you see in any park playing with a ball. My wife thinks otherwise. Invest a minute of your life and you decide:

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Sunday Football Funnies: Barack Obama 10,000-1 to Coach West Ham United & More

My vacation is ending. I’m not laughing

Maybe these will help.

This one is weird, – but true.

The main character of the Get Fuzzy comic strip is a rugby fan – it shows.

And the following were e-mailed to me a couple of months back and I’ve been looking for an excuse to blog them ever since:

After a visit to the doctor, the local team’s striker dropped in to his local pub for a quick one. “What’s up mate?” asked his friend Brian, “you look worried.”
“I am,” Alan replied. “I’ve just been to the doctor and he told me I can’t play football.”
“Oh, really?” said Brian. “He’s seen you play too then, has he?”

An American visitor to England watched his very first football match in the middle of winter and was struck by the differences between English and American football.
After the match he struck up a conversation with one of the English players and said, “You know, over in the States, our players wear thick protective clothing. You guys must be frozen stiff in those light clothes.”
“It’s not so bad,” said the Englishman. “Sometimes the ground is covered in snow.”
“Wow!’ exclaimed the American. “What do you do about the balls? Paint them red?”
“Oh, no,” said the player. “We just wear an extra pair of underwear.”

The top scorer of a Premier League team was tragically killed in a car accident. Seeing an opportunity for glory, the reserve striker went to see the manager.
“How about me taking his place?” he asked.
“Well, I’m not sure about that,” said the manager, “we’ll have to speak to the undertaker first.”

The Devil was constantly challenging St. Peter to a game of soccer, but St. Peter refused, until one day while walking around heaven he discovered that quite a number of international footballers had entered the “pearly gates”.
“I think I’ll arrange to play that soccer game,” said St. Peter to the Devil. “We have a great number of international soccer stars in heaven at the moment from which to select a winning team.”
“You’ll lose, you’ll lose!” taunted the Devil.
“What makes you so sure we’ll lose?” enquired St Peter.
“Because,” laughed the Devil, we have all the referees down here.”

A woman in Van Nuys was reading the Daily News one morning and said to her husband – “Look at this, dear. There’s an article here about a man who traded his wife for a Galaxy season ticket. You wouldn’t do a thing like that, – would you?”
“Of course I wouldn’t!’ replied her husband. “The season’s almost over!”

Quotable:

“Soccer is a game in which a handful of fit people run around for one and a half hours watched by millions of others who could really use the exercise.” – Anonymous.

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Naked Revolution

Sounds like the New England Revolution had a strange flight to Southern California today for Sunday’s SuperLiga game against Chivas USA:

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An American Airlines flight from Boston to Los Angeles was diverted to Oklahoma City on Friday after a passenger stripped, put his clothes back on and then tried to open an emergency exit door before being subdued by members of a pro soccer team and others, the FBI said.

American Flight 725, a Boeing 757 with 151 passengers and seven crew on board, arrived in Oklahoma City at 1:35 p.m. CDT and was back in the air an hour later on the way to Los Angeles, said Tim Smith, a spokesman for American Airlines.

The passenger was removed from the plane in Oklahoma City and was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation, FBI spokesman Gary Johnson said.

Members of the New England Revolution of Major League Soccer were among those who grabbed the passenger near an exit door, Johnson said.

Tie wraps were placed on the man, whose name was not immediately released, he said.

Stacey James, a spokesman for the New England Patriots, which shares a common owner with the Revolution, said three Revolution staff members helped restrain the unruly passenger: former U.S. international Mike Burns, vice president of player personnel; assistant coach Gwynne Williams; and general manager Craig Tornberg.

According to Johnson, the passenger emerged from a bathroom without his clothes on.

“He was asked to go back to the bathroom to put his clothes on and he did and went back to his seat and then allegedly attempted to open an aircraft emergency exit door,” Johnson said.

“Members of the Major League Soccer team, the New England Revolution, were on the flight. They were able to subdue him,” he said.

The New England Revolution plays Chivas USA at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday.

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Chinese Soccer Job Ad & More

More on the unusual classified ad at the bottom of the post.

But first, a couple of other odds and ends.

Columbus Crew Coach Sigi Schmid, one of the South Bay’s favorite soccer sons, talks about the long-distance relationship he has with his wife while he labors in Ohio.

The influence of Cal State Long Beach women’s soccer Coach Mauricio Ingrassia, a native of Argentina, on the program is recounted here.

Finally, here’s an ad you don’t see everyday, culled from Craigslist and reprinted here exactly as it appears there:

Reply to: pris1224@hotmail.com
Date: 2008-06-26, 5:09PM PDT

Our company are currently looking for Mandarin orCantonese speaking candidate to broadcast live soccergame at the following location:

CARSON, CALIFORNIA

If you know any friend that are located in thefollowing location, please have them contact me ASAP.It is a part-time position and flexible time. If youare looking for some extra income in a flexibleschedule, this is a very good opportunity. Pleasecontact me ASAP. $150 per game for 2 hours.

Almost worth learning Mandarin at that price.

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Beckham on Stewed Eels & More

Thought that headline would get your attention.

But before we get to that revelation, a second female U.S. soccer player has gone down with a serious injury and will miss the Olympics. Find out who here.

OK, onwards with the trivial journalism of the day including this “report” from Forbes Magazine, (whose major contributions to journalism these days seems to consist of pumping out lists) which names David Beckham as the world’s fifth most powerful celebrity.

The only other soccer player on the list is Ronaldinho at No. 38, for those who can’t be bothered to sift through the entire list.

And here, as promised, is Beckham’s take on English cuisine from The Jimmy Kimmel Show earlier this week. (Warning: complete time waster). And thanks Becks, for perpetuating the myths about weird English cuisine.

Finally, this is trivial too, but at least it’s for a good cause: if you’re in Carson or close by this afternoon a team of Galaxy players will take on a team of Avengers (that’s an arena football team for the pigskin impaired) players in a race around a local supermarket grabbing food for a local food bank.

More here from the (edited) Galaxy press release:

“Dash for the Hungry” – a race where players from the LA Galaxy and the Los Angeles Avengers “dash” around Albertsons pushing grocery carts and collecting food to feed the hungry will be held at 3 p.m. today at a store at 200 E. Sepulveda Blvd. (at the intersection of Main Street) in Carson. With only five minutes on the clock, the goal is to collect as much product as possible and raise plenty of money to benefit families and residents who rely on the Los Angeles Regional Foodbank for assistance.

Galaxy players set to race: forward Edson Buddle, goalkeeper Steve Cronin, forward Alan Gordon and defender Julian Valentin.

The big question: Will Gordon display more speed next to the frozen peas than he does in the opponents’ penalty area?

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Friday Football: Waiting for the Weekend

Virtually no local reporters bothered to show up for Thursday’s presser advancing Saturday’s Chivas USA-Galaxy derby, so we leave it to this scribe to do the job for us.

Meanwhile, the legacy of David Beckham’s visit to Hawaii continues with this pathetic little tale.

On a happier note, former Galaxy coach and longtime South bay resident Sigi Schmid, currently in exile in Ohio, is nearing a milestone.

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