LA Galaxy to introduce former Liverpool star Steven Gerrard to fans on Independence Day at StubHub Center

stevieGWonder Stevie: Galaxy designated player Steven Gerrard will be introduced to Southern California soccer fans next month (Associated Press Photo).

A soccer player who needs no introduction will be introduced to LA Galaxy fans at halftime of the Toronto FC MLS game July 4 in Carson: Steven Gerrard.

However, fans with deep pockets can see Gerrard train with the Galaxy the day before — for $500:

Event admission allows one person to have the exclusive opportunity to watch the LA Galaxy train- have a professional photo taken with Steven Gerrard in Champions Lounge- AND receive an autographed Gerrard jersey.

Details here.

Gerrard’s first official Galaxy training session is the following Tuesday, with a press conference to follow ahead of his expected July 11 debut against Club America at StubHub Center.

The Galaxy announced Thursday that the Aug. 23 Galaxy game against Frank Lampard and NYCFC will move from ESPN2 to ESPN with the kickoff time being moved forward two hours to noon.

From the Galaxy press release:

The match will mark the first time in history that the LA Galaxy will face 2015 expansion side New York City FC, who joined Major League Soccer this season. In addition to 2014 MLS MVP Robbie Keane, USMNT’s Gyasi Zardes, Omar Gonzalez & Mix Diskerud and Spain’s all-time leading scorer David Villa, the match is set to see English legends Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard square off against each other following their summer arrivals.

Tickets for the game are still available starting at $28.

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MLS Video highlights: LA Galaxy cuts Portland Timbers down to size with second five-goal outburst in two games

timbers

Galaxy

Calendar check: is it 1998 all over again?

For the first time since that memorable goal-laden season, the Galaxy scored five goals in back to back games and in doing so routed another MLS team in convincing fashion after an underwhelming start to the season.

Former West Ham United flop Sebastian Lletget confirmed his MLS credentials with an impressive fourth goal in four games, providing the sort of attacking spark in midfield the team has lacked since the departure of midfielder Marcelo Sarvas.

Defender Robbie Rogers joined the goalfest with his first MLS goal in four years.

And just like that, the Galaxy are now just one point out of first place in the Western Conference.

Game story

Quotable:

“I didn’t think I was going to be so emotional and I didn’t think it was going to have the impact that it did have on me, so it was a great way to cap off tonight,” said Rogers on scoring. “Tonight’s obviously Pride Night so it’s special and I think that’s why it was more emotional because I know there were a lot of people that had never been to the stadium before. My family, my boyfriend, his friends and a lot of people from West Hollywood.

“When I’m playing, obviously I’m playing for the Galaxy, these guys, my family and most importantly, myself, but I also feel like I’m playing for those in the LGBT community,” Rogers added. S”ometimes it has been tough for me and I’ve felt the pressure and from the moments like this and the [2014 MLS Cup] Championship, I never expected for me to find that pride or to be proud of coming from a community that doesn’t really have a huge footprint in sports. But to be a part of it… It’s a special moment.”

Notable:
The Galaxy notched an obscure first last night seeing five different players score goals in a game for the second game in a row.

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Next for the Galaxy: At San Jose Earthquakes Saturday

now-departed

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Weekly Soccer Column: Bad boys Neymar, Clint Dempsey and Arturo Vidal bid to upstage Hope Solo in worst way

NemarcopaWho Me: Neymar protests his innocence at this year’s Copa America (Associated Press Photo).

Like it or not, athletes are role models. It’s why they get the big bucks on the field and often big bucks off it, as sponsors seek famous pitchmen to hawk their products.

But when sports stars go off the rails — the substance abuse issues of George Best and Paul Gascoigne come to mind — the results can be tragic if no one is willing to tell prodigiously talented stars with egos to match to straighten up fast for the good of their careers and lives.

This week one notable sports site suggested that the recent actions of Neymar, for example, at Copa America were merely about boys being boys.

That’s a dumb, small-minded attitude that portends trouble ahead.

Accountability has sadly been missing of late in the corrupt world of soccer off and on the field.

For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

Updated

By coincidence, U.S. Soccer issued a ruling on the Dempsey red card this morning:

The U.S. Open Cup Adjudication and Discipline Panel has suspended Seattle Sounders FC forward Clint Dempsey a total of six U.S. Open Cup matches or the next two years of U.S. Open Cup competition, whichever is greater. The suspension is due to his actions during the U.S. Open Cup match between Seattle Sounders FC and Portland Timbers on June 16, 2015.

In addition, Dempsey has been fined an undisclosed amount.

The panel convened Tuesday, June 23, 2015 to review the evidence gathered in regards to the incident. Mr. Dempsey waived his right to an appeal.

Due to the suspension, Dempsey cannot play in any U.S. Open Cup matches in 2016 or 2017, and possibly longer depending on the number of tournament games in which Dempsey’s team participates in those years.

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MLS Video Preview: LA Galaxy (6-5-7) host Portland Timbers (7-5-4) at 7:30 p.m. live on ESPN2

mlsrivalry

Portland is seeking its fifth straight MLS win against the best team in the league (Caleb Porter’s words, not mine).

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LA Galaxy duo Gyasi Zardes and Omar Gonzalez named to U.S. Gold Cup squad

GoldCup2015

Galaxy Striker Gyasi Zardes, just named MLS Player of the Week, and defender Omar Gonzalez will report next Monday to the U.S. camp in Nashville ahead of the Gold Cup that begins July 3 with a game against Guatemala in Tennessee before a crowd opf more than 25,000. The pair will leave after Sunday’s game in San Jose against the Earthquakes.

Said coach Jurgen Klinsmann:

“Our approach for putting together the roster for this summer’s Gold Cup, which is very, very important to us, is obviously to do everything possible to win this competition,” he said. “Winning it would qualify us for the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia, so putting the pieces together is very crucial. That’s why we came out with a roster full of quality, but also a lot of experience; players that are used to playing in the CONCACAF region and also younger players that came through the ranks over the last year that made a stamp on the senior National Team program.”

The roster includes 17 players from last year’s World Cup squad.

The complete roster:

Goalkeepers — Brad Guzan (Aston Villa), Nick Rimando (Real Salt Lake), William Yarbrough (Club Leon)

Defenders — Ventura Alvarado (Club America), John Brooks (Hertha Berlin), Timmy Chandler (Eintracht Frankfurt), Brad Evans (Seattle Sounders FC/), Omar Gonzalez (LA Galaxy), Fabian Johnson (Borussia Mönchengladbach), Tim Ream (Bolton Wanderers)

Midfielders — Kyle Beckerman (Real Salt Lake), Alejandro Bedoya (Nantes), Michael Bradley (Toronto FC), Brad Davis (Houston Dynamo), Mix Diskerud (New York City FC), Alfredo Morales (Ingolstadt), DeAndre Yedlin (Tottenham Hotspur), Gyasi Zardes (LA Galaxy), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City)

Forwards — Jozy Altidore (Toronto FC), Clint Dempsey (Seattle Sounders FC), Aron Johannsson (AZ Alkmaar), Chris Wondolowski (San Jose Earthquakes).

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Video: Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel tonight on HBO explores the perils of heading the ball and concussion in youth soccer

headingHeading to a concussion? Real Sports correspondent Mary Carillo spotlights the increasing concern among parents, coaches and players about the health dangers of heading the ball in youth soccer (Photo courtesy HBO).

Former USWNT star Cindy Parlow-Cone, once considered one of the best headers of the ball in the women’s game, talks about memory issues and other health problems she attributes to repeatedly heading the ball in HBO’s “Real Sports.” The show airs at 10 o’clock tonight. Check out the clip below.

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MLS Video Preview: Galaxy (5-5-7) host Philadelphia Union (4-9-3) at 7:30 p.m. live on Time Warner Cable SportsNet

LAposter

The Pulitzer Prize-winning team at a certain South Bay newspaper will conduct the coin toss ahead of the game between the two mediocre outfits.

Just as Galaxy starters begin to come back from injuries that have contributed to the club’s slow start to the season, the Union is short-handed for just that reason so expect the team to pack it in against LA tonight in search of a road point.

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