No English Premier League this weekend? No problem as European Qualifying action takes center stage

Recommended viewing:

6 p.m. Friday Brazil-Colombia on BeIn Sports
10 a.m. Saturday Ivory Coast-Sierra Leone on BeIn Sports (featuring former MLS player Kei Kamara of Lawndale)
6 p.m. Saturday Mexico-Chile on UniMas
11:30 a.m. Sunday Portugal-Albania on ESPN2
11:30 a.m. Sunday Germany-Scotland on Fox Sports 1
11:30 a.m. Monday Switzerland-England on Fox Sports 1
11:30 a.m. Tuesday Norway-Italy on Fox Sports 1

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Major League Soccer Preview: LA Galaxy face Colorado Rapids tonight in Carson with heavy hearts after death of defender A.J. DeLaGarza’s newborn son

Phil Collin has the capsule game preview, while here’s the match-up by the numbers. I presume A.J. DeLaGarza, who was not in training Thursday, will also miss tonight’s game. More on his family’s saga is here. Major League Soccer remains a fairly small family and members of the community are using Twitter to express their thoughts. I will retweet them throughout the day so check the rolling feed to the right.

Updated

  • The Galaxy will wear black arm bands with the name LUCA inscribed on them for the match, the club has announced.
  • Before the match there will be a moment of silence for Luca DeLaGarza.
  • Fans in attendance are urged to stand at the 20th minute and celebrate the fight and heart Luca showed.
  • Individuals interested in donating to Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome research may donate on AJ and Megan DeLaGarza’s page here.

 

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Former U.S. National Team Captain Carlos Bocanegra to retire at end of Major League Soccer season

Veteran defender Carlos Bocanegra, 35, an Upland native who has made 30 appearances for Chivas USA over the last two seasons, has announced his retirement effective at the end of the MLS season.

Bocanegra has missed the half dozen MLS games because of concussion.

“I’m still hungry for the game and I want to play, but unfortunately you can’t play forever,” he said in a statement released by the club. “I was thinking about this in the offseason, and it took me about six months to come to a final decision.

“The timing is right for me,”added the UCLA product. “I’ve known for a little while now in my mind and in my heart. I’m happy with it, and I’m looking forward to the new challenges.”

Bocanegra did not say what those plans are, but will talk to reporters Friday morning.

A former MLS Rookie of the Year with Chicago in 2000, Bocanegra spent the bulk of his career in Europe playing for Fulham in the EPL before moving to France for four years and then onto Glasgow Rangers.

He played in two World Cups for the U.S., making a total of 110 international appearances, before he was discarded midway through the last World Cup qualifying campaign.

Read more about his career in the link embedded in the Tweet above, read what Bocanegra has to say about it in his own words here or just watch this:

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SuperClasico Labor Day Weekend Rewind: Game over for rivalry as LA Galaxy beat Chivas USA (yet again)


Since losing to Sporting Kansas City July 19, the Galaxy have reeled off six wins, dropping just five points in the eight games and ending with a 13-goal spree over four games in 11 days. Impressive.

No wonder coach Bruce Arena lost track of how many games they have played where. Next up: Colorado Friday in Carson.

Mercifully, this rivalry series is finished.

And no column from me today because of the holiday weekend.

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SuperClasico Shootout: LA Galaxy’s Gyasi Zardes V. Chivas USA’s Cubo Torres

It’s a match made for MLS: the prolific American starring for his local MLS club that plays in Carson a short South Bay skip from his Hawthorne hometown verses the all-time top Mexican scorer in MLS facing off in one of the biggest soccer markets in the country.

The face-off isn’t perfect.

Both players have cooled off of late.

And Torres, who should be pulling in capacity crowds, plays for a uniquely unpopular club fumbling toward oblivion and is virtually unknown compared to revered Mexican stars he has surpassed such as Carlos Hermosillo, Luis Hernandez and Cuauhtémoc Blanco.

Yet players like these represent the future of MLS.

Beat writer Phil Collin sat down with both of them ahead of Sunday’s last-ever SuperClasico.

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Week 3: Barclays Premier League Preview

The NBC TV schedule of games is here. (Sadly though, no Labor Day game).

Can United beat newly-promoted Burnley and get back on track? Set that DVR!

A comprehensive, interactive, stats-laden preview is here.

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