Mexico, Jamaica finish Rose Bowl’s Copa America Centenario slate

Mexico, seen celebrating a goal during its 3-1 victory over Uruguay on Sunday, has won 20 consecutive international matches. (Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press)

Mexico, seen celebrating a goal during its 3-1 victory over Uruguay on Sunday, has won 20 consecutive international matches. (Ross D. Franklin/The Associated Press)

The Mexican national team will feel right at home in Pasadena on Thursday night in front of what is expected to be a large, overwhelmingly pro-Mexico crowd at the Rose Bowl.

After a 3-1 victory over Uruguay, Mexico will play CONCACAF foe Jamaica at 7 p.m. with a chance to clinch a Copa America Centenario quarterfinal berth. If El Tri wins, they secure a top-two finish in Group C.

The game is a rematch of the 2015 Gold Cup final when Mexico won 3-1 in front of yet another boisterous green, red and white-clad crowd in Philadelphia.

“Every time we play here in the United States, we are very privileged,” Mexico defender Hector Moreno said in Spanish. “We are very blessed to have the support of the people here. Whether it’s in Los Angeles or any major (U.S.) city, they come to support us. We take that as extra motivation rather than that being a disadvantage (for other teams).”

The stakes for Jamaica are high as the island nation would be eliminated from quarterfinal contention with a loss. However, Jamaica forward Giles Barnes, who plays for the Houston Dynamo, said the potential for elimination is not on the team’s radar.

“We’ve got the fire in our belly from the Gold Cup final,” he said. “We’re thinking that we’re going to be here for the long run.”

Mexico has a 20-game unbeaten streak, the longest active streak in the world. The Reggae Boyz have only four wins against Mexico in their history, with the most recent coming in 2008 in World Cup Qualifying. Playing in its second straight Copa America, Jamaica has yet to earn a single point in a Copa match. The team lost 1-0 to Venezuela in its opening game this year and lost all three of its group games in 2015 by the same score.

There is a difficult task ahead, but Jamaica coach Winfried Schaefer said his team is not afraid of the challenge. He remembers how his team was able to sway some of the Mexican supporters at last year’s Gold Cup and earn their applause by the end of the match. He hopes the game in the Rose Bowl will end with similar praise, but a different result.

“I hope after one hour, the Mexico people come to us,” Schaefer said. “It’s possible.”

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How the United States can advance to quarterfinal at Copa America Centenario

United States' Clint Dempsey (8) celebrates after a goal during a Copa America Centenario group A soccer match against Costa Rica at Soldier Field in Chicago, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

United States’ Clint Dempsey (8) celebrates after a goal during a Copa America Centenario group A soccer match against Costa Rica at Soldier Field in Chicago, Tuesday, June 7, 2016. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

The United States got a much-needed win against Costa Rica on Tuesday to stay in contention to advance out of Group A at Copa America Centenario. The 4-0 win puts the United States in the best position to take the second quarterfinal spot out of Group A after Colombia became the first team to sew up its quarterfinal berth with a win over Paraguay on Tuesday.

With one group game left, the United States can advance to the quarterfinals with:

  • a win over Paraguay
  • a draw against Paraguay AND a win from Colombia over Costa Rica OR a Costa Rica win with a margin of victory equal or less than six

With one group game left, the United States can advance as the top seed out of Group A:

  • A win over Paraguay with a margin of victory more than two AND a Colombia loss to Costa Rica

Group A and Group B are paired together in the quarterfinals.

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Copa America Tuesday TV Preview: USMNT-Costa Rica starts at 5 p.m. on Fox Sports 1

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Copa America Preview (and the hottest games on the secondary ticket market)

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Read the Copa America preview from staff writer Thuc Nhi Nguyen here.

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The above chart, compiled by secondary ticket seller rukkus.com, shows that U.S. isn’t the biggest draw in the tournament it is hosting.

The get in price, BTW, is essentially the cheapest ticket on the secondary market, said Jake Sharpless, rukkus.com data and content manager.

“In some cases these tickets are selling for less than face value, which truly indicates the demand of the event,” he said. “Average prices to see Argentina or Mexico games are higher than those of the U.S. For Mexico we know there is a strong contingent of Mexican American fans that attend games whenever they play in the US, but the Argentina draw is coming from Americans who want to see Messi in person.”

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Galaxy offense a no-show in scoreless draw at home

L.A. Galaxy's Sebastian Lletget battles for possession against Sporting Kansas City's Benny Feilhaber. (USA TODAY Images)

L.A. Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget battles for possession against Sporting Kansas City’s Benny Feilhaber. (USA TODAY Images)

The L.A. Galaxy mustered just one lowly shot and no goals in a scoreless draw at home against Sporting Kansas City on Thursday.

It was the second straight home game in which the offense struggled to score as the team previously needed an own goal against San Jose to salvage a draw last month. The Galaxy back into the Copa America break on a four-game winless streak, which prompted a classic Bruce Arena postgame moment.

When asked if the recent results are cause for concern, Arena said sarcastically: “Yes, we’re probably going to fold the franchise.”

Arena’s quote was probably the most interesting part of the night. The Galaxy took only one shot total during the game and it didn’t fall on goal. Sporting took 15, but most came from long range.

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Galaxy Game Day: Brian Rowe, L.A. trying to rebound stoppage-time loss

After giving up the game-winning goal against Montreal last week, goalkeeper Brian Rowe, pictured in a game against the New England Revolution, is focused on moving past his mistake. (Thomas R. Cordova-Southern California News Group)

After giving up the game-winning goal against Montreal last week, goalkeeper Brian Rowe, pictured in a game against the New England Revolution, is focused on moving past his mistake. (Thomas R. Cordova-Southern California News Group)

On a long free kick from Montreal’s Didier Drogba in the 94th minute on Saturday, Brian Rowe could either punch the ball out or catch it to preserve the 2-2 tie. He ended up doing neither.

The 27-year-old keeper “got caught between minds” at the worst possible moment when Drogba’s 28-yard free kick bounced off Rowe’s hands and into the back of the net. It snapped the Galaxy’s nine-game unbeaten streak.

Now Rowe and the Galaxy (5-2-5) are left to pick up the pieces for a 7:30 p.m. home game Thursday against Sporting Kansas City (5-8-2) after another late goal proved extremely costly.

The Galaxy have given up five goals after the 75th minute and stoppage time this year and both of their losses have been on goals scored in stoppage time. The team has given up late goals in two straight games, both of which changed the outcome of the game (turning a win against San Jose into a draw and a draw against Montreal into a win).

Read more here.

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Drogba’s free kick snaps Galaxy’s nine-game unbeaten streak

Montreal's Didier Drogba celebrates his game-winning goal against the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday. Photo courtesy @MLS Twitter

Montreal’s Didier Drogba celebrates his game-winning goal against the L.A. Galaxy on Saturday. Photo courtesy @MLS Twitter

Brian Rowe hasn’t made many mistakes in goal this year for the L.A. Galaxy, but the 27-year-old goalkeeper made a costly one at the most inopportune time on Saturday.

A long free kick from Montreal’s Didier Drogba in the fourth minute of stoppage time squirted through Rowe’s hands and into the goal for the game-winner in the Impact’s 3-2 victory over L.A. It snapped the Galaxy’s nine-game unbeaten streak and was just the team’s second loss of the season. Both of the losses have come via stoppage-time game-winners as Colorado’s Marco Pappa handed the Galaxy their first loss of the season.

“It’s definitely a frustrating one,” Rowe told LAGalaxy.com. “As a goalie, you don’t want to have that type of influence on a game one way or the other. You just want to do your job and not get any of the credit, either bad or good. It’s definitely a difficult one to swallow.”

Throughout their nine-game unbeaten streak, the Galaxy readily admitted they didn’t always play their best. Some games were ugly, but they somehow grabbed at least a point. But on Saturday, head coach Bruce Arena said the team “deserved what happened in the end. We weren’t good enough on the night.”

Said midfielder Steven Gerrard: “We got ourselves to blame for the result over the 90 minutes. We turned over possession too many times, and we made this a very difficult game. We should have won this game comfortably, so we’re disappointed in the performance as a whole.”

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Galaxy game day: L.A. tries to sustain unbeaten streak without Keane, Zardes

Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press

Mark J. Terrill/The Associated Press

The L.A. Galaxy have only one loss on their record and own a league-leading nine-game unbeaten streak heading into Saturday’s game in Montreal at 5 p.m. The team hasn’t lost since the second game of the season, and even then, came within seconds of escaping with a draw. But when it comes to the recent undefeated results, the Galaxy aren’t completely pleased.

“To me, it’s just statistics,” defender Jelle Van Damme said.

The Galaxy have tied five of their past nine games, including a disappointing 1-1 draw against San Jose last week at home.

To continue the unbeaten streak, the team will have to do without forwards Gyasi Zardes and Robbie Keane, who have joined their respective national teams for international competition.

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Weekend TV Preview: UEFACL Final, USMNT, MLS and more

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