Weekly Soccer Column: Reeling from criticism after string of poor results, U.S. seeks to rebound Sunday in Carson against Panama

clintstubhub Striker Clint Dempsey, above, and his USMNT teammates, training Monday in Carson, are seeking a new start to the new year Sunday at StubHub Center after a string of poor results culminated in a road loss last weekend to Chile to begin a pivotal 2015 (Photos by Staff Photographer Robert Casillas).

USMNT Jurgen Klinsmann, despite being taken to task by MLS Commissioner Don Garber for his criticism of the league and how it dovetails with the aspirations of U.S. Soccer, continued Monday to point out the shortcomings of American soccer culture ahead of Sunday’s clash with Panama in Carson.

“The (foreign) teams that have peer pressure in their environment allow themselves to drop 10 or 20 percent not 30 or 40 percent; that is the difference with what we deal with in the aftermath of the World Cup,” he said. “Their club environment puts them back on their toes. … Our players are not there yet educationally or mentally to understand the dynamic so they lose their spots on their European teams or they drop 30 or 40 percent in MLS.”

For more on Sunday’s U.S.-Chile game Sunday in Carson, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

BradleyStubHub USMNT midfielder Michael Bradley wasn’t interested in talking to all of three reporters Monday at the USMNT training camp in Carson. Will he do his talking on the field?

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LA Galaxy finally allow gameday tailgating at StubHub Center

stubhubpanorama(Photo courtesy StubHub Center)

Since StubHub Center opened in 2003, fans have been forced to surreptitiously drink a pre-game beer or two, while barbecues were banned entirely in stadium parking lots.

But today the Galaxy finally announced those staples of American fandom will finally be permitted beginning three hours before kickoff in certain parking lots.

Fans are pretty happy:

Still, there are a lot more don’t than do’s involved in all this.

For all the tailgating rules click here, while it appears striker Alan Gordon is ready to grill.

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LA Galaxy sanctions fan group Angel City Brigade for their conduct

ACBstreamers

acbmeetThe heavy-handed LA Galaxy have come down hard on fan group Angel City Brigade for scenes like the picture at top the club believes is disruptive.

That has translated into an ACB ban for the first eight games of the season — four at home and four on the road — on flags, drums and banners and other tifo displays. Streamers are banned for the entire 2015 season.

Here’s how ACB put it in an email today to its members and others on their mailing list:

“It is our unfortunate responsibility to inform you that yesterday the Galaxy FO officially sanctioned us for throwing streamers during the game at last year’s MLS Cup final and what they deemed as a year filled with incidents.

 

We want to make it clear, that disrupting the field of play by throwing objects on the field is never ok. However we strongly feel that extending the punishment beyond the scope of streamers is truly unjust.

 

In addition to the streamer issue, much of their rational for these restrictions are from the past; actions that we believed were already sorted and settled (smoke throughout the season for example). Changing the rules midway through the season without notification is simply unethical.

 

We were already penalized for the smoke incidents last season, and now this “encompassing” punishment is penalizing us again. We are truly shocked and disappointed by the severity of the FO’s actions!

 

We will be discussing this at our board meeting on Saturday and ask that all supporters come to help us take the best possible course of action.

 

If you are unable to make it or are not an ACB supporter, but have an opinion, please write to angelcitybrigade121@gmail.com and we will read your thoughts and opinions at the meeting.

 

If you would like to express your displeasure to the Galaxy/MLS please feel free to reach out to Sid Patel, the manager of business development at spatel@lagalaxy.com.”

A couple of questions immediately spring to mind:

  • Why is the club coming down so hard on some of its most loyal and ardent supporters?
  • Won’t this actually hurt the club on the field by neutralizing this kind of fanatical support?
  • How would the fan-oriented Seattle Sounders have handled this?
  • Finally, the above picture of fans throwing streamers was actually taken from the club’s own website. So the club appears to be at once celebrating and drawing attention to this kind of support and then handing out punishment for it. Isn’t that a tad hypocritical? I have emailed this post to Sid Patel. We’ll see if he responds.
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For second time in three years, LA Kings and LA Galaxy will be honored by President Barack Obama at White House

Remember this?

They’re going to do it all over again 11 a.m. Monday to honor the Kings and Galaxy on their NHL and MLS titles respectively.

This time, let’s see how the President can handle a puck.

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Twitter reaction to 3-2 USMNT loss against Chile as LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes wins first cap (and watch the goals on video)

Here are the U.S. goals:

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Video: Bruce Arena after Galaxy exhibition win plus Ramon Martin Del Campo update

The Galaxy opened their exhibition season with a 2-0 victory over Ventura County Fusion on Wednesday at StubHub Center. Reigning MLS MVP Robbie Keane scored in the first half and Edson Buddle scored in the second half for the Galaxy.
Buddle is still not under contract, but pairing with Keane for a goal won’t hurt his cause.
Coach Bruce Arena used a number of younger players mixed in with the regulars. Forward Charlie Rugg, who played all of last year with the Galaxy II, played a midfield wing position.
The Galaxy are also taking a long look at undrafted free agent Ramon Martin Del Campo, a central defender who shined at UC Davis, took part in the MLS combine but was not selected.

“It was motivating,” Del Campo said of not being drafted. “Approaching it I had my hopes up, obviously it didn’t work out. It’s fine. That’s life and you’ve got to face adversity. A successful career is impossible without minor setbacks so I just saw it was motivation to get back out there to get back training harder and we’ll see what the future takes.”

Del Campo said he was sick right before the combine but took the risk of going through the tryouts anyway.

“I had strep throat going in,” he said. “I didn’t want to tell anybody because I wanted to prove to coaches that I was stronger than it, that tiny things won’t hold me back. Obviously it was a very difficult thing.
“I don’t regret anything. I just see it as a learning lesson. There’s no point in regretting, it doesn’t make me a better player, doesn’t help my status.”

Del Campo was born in Mexico but grew up in Chula Vista (Bonita Vista High) and is a U.S. citizen.

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Video Preview with Jurgen Klinsmann and Clint Dempsey of the Chile-U.S. friendly live at 3 p.m. today on Fox Sports 1 and UniMas

Notable: Eight players on the rosater are seeking their first U.S. cap: Steve Birnbaum, Matt Hedges, Jon Kempin, Perry Kitchen, Shane O’Neill, Dillon Serna, Wil Trapp and LA Galaxy striker Gyasi Zardes.

At the other end of the spectrum, nine players on the roster were on the USMNT World cup squad last year: Jozy Altidore, Matt Besler, Michael Bradley, Clint Dempsey, Mix Diskerud, Jermaine Jones, Nick Rimando, Chris Wondolowski and DeAndre Yedlin

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Weekly Soccer Column: Gold Cup, Olympic qualifying, Women’s World Cup cram 2015 international calendar

Need a cheat sheet to keep up? Check out this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column

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LA Galaxy Re-Sign Cal State Northridge product Rafael Garcia of Granada Hills

Rafael Garcia, 25, has made just 11 first-team appearances since being drafted in the second round in 2012, but the midfielder served as captain of USL Pro team Galaxy II last season.

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