Wednesday Catchup Kicks: AYSO unveils soccer website aimed at kids & more

Back from a week-long vacation and not much has changed in the world of soccer.

The Galaxy were turfed from the U.S. Cup (again), likely much to the relief of coach Bruce Arena, who has much bigger issues to deal with considering the team still has holes in the middle of its defense and now Edson Buddle, who wasn’t scoring anyway, is sidelined with injury.

Chivas USA, meanwhile, continue on their winning way raising the possibility that the U.S. Open Cup trophy could find its way to Southern California.

And Euro 2008 looms Friday on one side of the pond while the U.S. begins World Cup qualifying Friday (let’s hope that’s more gripping than a scoreless tie with Canada).

So what did I miss?

Not much.

Check out:

*The Galaxy have been drawn into Group 5 of the 2012-13 CONCACAF Champions League. They will be joined by Isidro Metapan of El Salvador, the Salvadorian 2011 Apertura Champion, and the third place team from the upcoming Caribbean Football Union Club Championship.

That’s either the the Puerto Rico Islanders, Antigua Barracuda FC, Caledonia AIA of Trinidad & Tobago or W Connection of Trinidad & Tobago. Three of those four teams will qualify for the Group Stage, with the Galaxy taking on the club that finishes in third place.

The group stage begins July 31. More here.

*A new soccer website unveiled this week by the Harbor Gateway-based AYSO aimed at kids. Click here.

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Friday Kicks: Major youth soccer announcement on tap for Tuesday in Torrance & more


David Beckham leads his Galaxy teammates in a training session today at Montreal’s Olympic Stadium (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz).

*You already knew this if you follow my Twitter account, but the Galaxy announced they will visit the White House Tuesday to celebrate their MLS Cup triumph in the wake of this weekend’s likely record setting game in Montreal (1 p.m. live on KDOC and KWHY).

*A major youth soccer-related announcement will be made Tuesday in Torrance.

*The U.S. Women’s National Team opened camp Thursday ahead of the Olympics with a roster that includes Torrance’s Shannon Boxx and Rolling Hills Estates’ Whitney Engen.

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Tuesday Kicks: Galaxy’s Saunders reportedly in substance abuse program & more

*Los Angeles Times reporter Kevin Baxter broke the story here today.

The Galaxy’s starting goalkeeper missed last weekend’s game against Dallas for “personal” reasons and it’s unclear when he will return to the team.

Josh Saunders joins several other high-profile MLS players to battle substance abuse including former Galaxy midfielder Santino Quaranta, who became addicted to pain killers while with the club, and New England Revolution’s Shalrie Joseph.

*Big ratings for EPL and UEFA Champions Leagues games, according to AP:

NEW YORK (AP) — Both Champions League semifinals and the Manchester derby for first place in the Premier League averaged more 1 million television viewers in the U.S. despite weekday afternoon starting times.

The four Champions League semifinal legs averaged 1,033,000 viewers on Fox’s English- and Spanish-language networks, up 29 percent from last year, Fox said Tuesday.

The second leg between Chelsea and Barcelona on Fox Soccer drew 438,000 viewers on April 24, up 71 percent from last year’s second leg between Real Madrid and Barcelona. Viewership on Fox Soccer and Fox Deportes combined for 983,000, up 20 percent.

A day later, Bayern Munich’s penalty-kicks win over Real drew 627,000 on FX, nearly double the 308,000 for last year’s semifinal between Manchester United and Schalke. The combined English and Spanish viewers was 1,236,000 — the largest U.S. Champions League audience other than for a final.

Manchester City’s 1-0 win over Manchester United on Monday drew 1,033,000 viewers on ESPN, the largest U.S. audience for a Premier League match on cable. The previous high was 610,000 for Arsenal’s win over Chelsea on ESPN2 on Dec. 27, 2010.

The game drew an additional 273,000 viewers on ESPN Deportes. The game averaged 87,200 viewers a minute on ESPN3 and WatchESPN for people seeing the game on computers, smart phones, tablets and Xbox.

*The Galaxy is the 219th best paying club in the world (just ahead of Scottish team Hearts), while Chivas USA is at No. 251, according to ESPN. No. 5 is the Lakers, although no U.S. pro team makes the top four (which doesn’t mean much except to explain why European soccer clubs are so heavily in debt). Full list here.

*While I was waiting for my coffee to kick in this morning, I was wondering why my Facebook friends were posting these damn ugly Galaxy kits on their profiles. Now I know, in what is a thinly advertised ad for the official Galaxy jersey sponsors (because, y’know they need the pub and the $80 or whatever it costs for you to buy a third Galaxy jersey this season).

*Late Torrance resident Ron Littlefair and West Hills resident Michael Michalski will be inducted into the American Youth Soccer Organization’s National Hall of Fame May 24-28 at the organization’s National Annual General Meeting in Seattle.

Littlefair was a part of the small group of soccer enthusiast parents that founded AYSO in 1964 in Torrance. Two years later he became the third league organizer copying rosters, newsletters and registration forms in his garage, as well as storing about 500 sets of uniforms there. He traveled the nation for AYSO before retiring from the group in 1976.

Michalski is probably best known as the founder of the AYSO National Games, which began in 1988.

Also to be inducted into the Hall of Fame is John Ouellette, who was the face of the AYSO National Coaching Program for 22 years as the AYSO National Coach until his 2010 retirement.

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Bad Timing of the Year Award goes to … Barcelona for making this LA-oriented announcement the day after crashing out of the UEFA Champions League


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.

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Galaxy to host Hermosa Beach sand soccer tournament


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.

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Wednesday Galaxy Gameday Kicks: FSC adds Wambach WPS game to schedule Wednesday & more

*Staff Writer Phil Collin has the Galaxy-Columbus Crew game preview. The game is live at 7:30 p.m. on Prime from Home Depot Center.


Click here for $10 tickets to the game.

*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.

*The Camarillo Eagles won a record fourth U-23 national championship.

*The Loyola Marymount University women’s program has added a Dutch international to the squad.

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Ronaldo scores unreal highlight reel goal as Real rolls over Galaxy

i-6a53bc07106e176fc06be476c563539e-beckskaka.jpgFun and games: Kaka and David Beckham share a moment Saturday at the Coliseum (AP Photo).

While I was in Carson watching former Barcelona striker Thierry Henry and the Red Bulls play Chivas USA, Staff Writer Phil Collin watched Real Madrid toy with the Galaxy.

The Cristiano Ronaldo goal was the highlight.


Senior moments?

There’s hope for the future.

The Galaxy U-16 team won the youth program’s first national title today.

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Pateadores/South Bay Force U-17/U-18 team wins national U.S. Soccer Development Academy championship

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.

Read the game story.

Jose Villareal, who had the two goals, attends Leuzinger High and Yorke said he was a late replacement on the U-18 National Team today for a prestigious tournament in Northern Ireland. It’s unclear whether Villareal even knew he made the national team, since Coach Todd Saldaa only learned of his inclusion early today and may not have informed the player ahead of the game.

Teammate Javan Torre also made the national team squad.

Saldaa must be out celebrating with his team; he hasn’t yet returned a couple of calls I made seeking comment.

I’ll update the blog post if I hear from him.

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Thursday Kicks: Fight night in Carson & more

*Some Mexican soccer fans made the wrong sort of impression at the Club America-Atlas game Wednesday night in Carson.

Operations Sgt. Josh Stahl of the Carson station said this morning that the incident involved about 200 people outside the stadium watching fights involving “several” people.

“You had Club America fans and you had Atlas fans,” Stahl said. “It was the end of the game – Club America won (2-1).”

A reported crowd of 16,241 watched Club America’s come from behind victory.

*Club America’s next opponent on its U.S. summer tour, Manchester City, is blogging all about their training sessions at Home Depot Center.

City faces the Mexican club Saturday in the Bay Area and will play the Galaxy July 24 in Carson.

*The large contingent of Turkish fans planning to attend Saturday’s Galaxy-Real Madrid game at the Coliseum won’t see newly-signed midfielder Nuri Sahin, who was injured while the club trained at UCLA.

The 22-year-old German-born Turkish international signed from Borussia Dortmund for $14 million this summer.

*Local soccer club Doxa Italian of Manhattan Beach is emerging as one of the nation’s top amateur teams.

The women’s soccer program at Loyola Marymount University has announced the team’s schedule in the new look West Coast Conference.

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