Can’t you just see the slogan for this youth camp: Yes, kids, you too can learn how to miss a penalty like Lionel Messi.
Hey, at least the former David Beckham Academy field at Home Depot Center is still available:
LOS ANGELES >(AP) — Soccer power Barcelona has licensed its name to the company All American Sports Enterprises Inc. to open youth camps in the United States.
The company said Wednesday that camps will be held in July and August in Los Angeles; New York; Portland, Ore.; San Antonio; San Jose, Calif.; and Seattle. A technical team from the Escola youth program will travel from Spain “to oversee preparation and execution.”
Escola is a feeder to Barcelona’s La Masia residential youth academy, which has produced a large percentage of the current first team.
Barcelona has licensed its name to youth programs in Argentina, Brazil, El Salvador, England, India, Singapore, Slovenia and South Korea.
The club will host the inaugural LA Galaxy Sand Soccer Showcase from June 29 to July 1 in what it says is the first beach soccer tournament of its kind to be held in the South Bay city.
All the five-a-side games will be played in accordance with official FIFA Beach Soccer rules on a field that is 25 yards wide and 35 yards long. Games consist of three, 11-minute periods.
“Being a professional soccer team in Southern California, there is no better way to celebrate the culture of soccer in this region than by hosting this tournament,” said Galaxy Vice President Chris Klein.
Teams are guaranteed a minimum of three games.
Divisions include: adult co-ed, men’s open, women’s Open and boys and girls under-14, U-16 and U-18 brackets.
Winning teams receive berths in the Beach Soccer National Championships, set for December in Florida.
“We are very much looking forward to what the inaugural Sand Soccer Showcase will add to our community during the holiday weekend this summer, ” said Councilman Kit Bobko.
Registration is $445 per team, which includes “a commemorative gift for each player” and eight tickets to the Galaxy-Chivas USA derby July 21 at Home Depot Center.
*In the wake of the ratings success of the World Cup final, Los Angeles-based Fox Soccer Channel has added to its schedule tonight’s WPS game between Abby Wambach’s magicJack and the Western New York Flash, which is based in the Hermosa Beach resident’s home town of Rochester.
The game kicks off at 4:30 p.m.
And the game could break the WPS attendance record held by the now defunct LA Sol:
ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — Abby Wambach is coming home to an anticipated full house in Rochester in the U.S. women’s soccer star’s first game since a World Cup final loss to Japan last weekend.
The Sahlen’s Stadium ticket office reported Tuesday morning that there are about 100 tickets left for the Women’s Professional Soccer league game Wednesday night between Wambach’s magicJack and the Western New York Flash. The downtown Rochester stadium’s capacity is 13,500, though temporary bleachers have been added that would boost the total to about 15,000.
The draw has the potential to be record-setting in the WPS’ three-year history. The league’s attendance record stands at 14,832, set in the WPS’ first game in 2009 at Los Angeles. Second on the list is a crowd of 8,076 that turned out in Rochester in May to watch Wambach make her first trip home this season in a 3-0 loss to the expansion Flash, who are led by Brazilian star Marta.
The 31-year-old Wambach is from suburban Pittsford. The first 1,000 fans will receive Wambach bobbleheads.
It’s quite an accomplishment for the club, which is based in Orange County, but joined forces with the South Bay Force last summer so that all but a couple of players on the team are from the South Bay.
The team was seeded 31st out of 32 teams who made the playoffs after having a 16 point deduction for fielding two ineligible players earlier in the season. The club also needed to score two goals in the final three minutes of regulation in their previous game to qualify for the final on goal difference.
“It was reminiscent of the Women’s World Cup game Sunday except they needed two goals, not just one,” said Greg Yorke, president of the Force. “They went from being out of it to going to the final in that short a time.
“It’s certainly an exciting season for them, an exciting run,” he added, in something of an understatement.
Notable: The Chivas USA team featured seven Chivas USA Youth Academy products.
Galaxy officials will also undoubtedly be happy to see veteran central defender Gregg Berhalter, yet to play a game for the senior squad this season, get some valuable minutes, especially with the recent injury to Leonardo.
The relevant date to circle on the calendar: May 21 when the Galaxy “visit” Chivas USA.
*Tottenham Hotspur fans will be especially happy to hear FIFA is still committed to goal-line technology before the next World Cup (even if Chelsea’s Frank Lampard won’t be):
ZURICH (AP) — FIFA has set a target date of July 2012 to approve goal-line technology systems that could be introduced before the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Soccer’s governing organization said Tuesday that candidates must pass two more rounds of tests at a stadium of their choice. FIFA said the results will be presented to its
rules-making body in July 2012.
The goal-line debate reignited days earlier with another major error by match officials.
Chelsea’s Frank Lampard scored against Tottenham on Saturday, with replays showing the ball had not completely crossed the line. Chelsea won 2-1 to keep alive its Premier League title hopes.
It was Lampard’s “ghost goal” against Germany at the 2010 World Cup — his shot not counting for England despite bouncing down off the cross bar beyond the goal line — that persuaded FIFA President Sepp Blatter to end his long-standing opposition to technology. Blatter apologized to English officials after watching Germany’s 4-1 win in South Africa.
Seattle fans aren’t the only ones tired of David Beckham (AP Photo).
*Press box colleague Joseph D’Hippolito talks to members of Galaxy supporters groups about the Galaxy midfielder in this piece for The New York Times here. Not much of a surprise. What would more casual fans of the Galaxy say, I wonder?
*Among the items up for bid as MLS seeks to raise money for Japanese earthquake relief is a ball autographed by the 2010 Chivas USA squad. Bid here.
*Good riddance FIFA President Sepp Blatter?
PARIS (AP) — FIFA President Sepp Blatter says his next term will be his last if he is re-elected in June.
The 75-year-old Blatter is seeking a fourth term, running against Qatar’s Mohamed bin Hammam. Blatter has led soccer’s governing body since 1998 and faces his first challenge since 2002 by Issa Hayatou.
“Those will be the last four years I aspire to,” Blatter said Tuesday at the UEFA Congress at the Grand Palais.
Of course, that depends on whether Sports Illustrated soccer writer Grant Wahl doesn’t oust Blatter in his previously announced tongue in cheek campaign for the FIFA presidency.
*The Cal State Northridge men’s soccer program will host a free youth clinic at 1:30 p.m. Sunday at Matador Soccer Field following a free 11 a.m. exhibition game with Loyola Marymount University. Full details here.
*Lastly, President Obama wisely engaged in a little soccer diplomacy while in Brazil. He needs to work on that first touch, though:
Related: The U.S. Export-Import Bank, the U.S. government’s lending agency, has announced it will establish a $1 billion line of credit for infrastructure work in Brazil for the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics.