CONCACAF Gold Cup quarterfinal, semifinal sites announced

The sites for the knockout rounds of the CONCACAF Gold Cup were announced Tuesday.

The quarterfinals will take place July 19 at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia and July 20 at University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.

The Rose Bowl will host one of the semifinals, July 23, with the other taking place, July 22 at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

The final will take place July 26 at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara.

The assigned groups and full schedule will be announced March 7

The group stage venues include: Red Bull Arena (New Jersey), Nissan Stadium (Nashville), Qualcomm Stadium (San Diego), BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston), Raymond James Stadium (Tampa), Sports Authority Field (Denver), Toyota Stadium (Frisco, Texas), FirstEnergy Stadium (Cleveland) and the Alamodome (San Antonio).

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Bruce Arena has options at goalkeeper for World Cup qualifiers

One of the key positions that the U.S. will need to iron out ahead of the March World Cup qualifiers is in goal.

Tim Howard is recovering from an injury. Brad Guzan is now with Middlesbrough, but not receiving consistent playing time. Nick Rimando had a great showing in the January training camp and friendlies.

“Brad Guzan is a very experienced goalkeeper, and as we saw in the case of Nick Rimando in January camp that experience means a lot,” Arena said on a conference call last week. “Because they’re not getting games on a consistent basis doesn’t mean you can rule him out. I think Brad has shown enough that he’s still a strong candidate to be our number one goalkeeper.

“In the case of Tim Howard, he’s moving along pretty well. I believe he’s 12 weeks out of surgery and the expectation for him was that his full recovery would be between 12 and 16 weeks, so he’s on schedule to hopefully start the first week of the M.L.S. season. Having said that, it could be off a couple weeks and perhaps he won’t be a candidate for March. Right now, he’s still in the picture and that’s a positive as well.”

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UEFA Champions League play returns Tuesday

The round of 16 begins Tuesday in UEFA Champions League play. Here are the match-ups:

Tuesday, Feb. 14

Barcelona at PSG

Borussia Dortmund at Benfica

(Second leg, March 8)

Wednesday, Feb. 15

Napoli at Real Madrid

Arsenal at Bayern Munich

(Second leg, March 7)

Tuesday, Feb. 21

Atletico Madrid at Bayer Leverkusen

AS Monaco at Manchester City

(Second leg, March 15)

Wednesday, Feb. 22

Leicester City at Sevilla FC

Juventus at FC Porto

(Second leg, March 14)

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Galaxy preseason report: San Jose scores late goal to down Galaxy

Olmes Garcia scored in the 89th minute to lead the San Jose Earthquakes to a 1-0 victory over the Galaxy at Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

Joao Pedro made his preseason debut for the Galaxy. Giovani dos Santos returned to the Galaxy and the starting lineup after playing with Mexico in a midweek friendly.

Here is how the Galaxy starting XI looked:

 

 

 

 

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Galaxy takes preseason trip to Las Vegas

The California Clasico hits Las Vegas this weekend as the Galaxy and San Jose meet in a preseason contest Saturday from Cashman Field in Las Vegas.

Last year, the Galaxy defeated the Earthquakes, 1-0 in front of a sold-out crowd of 7,500.

Tickets start at $20, but there will be a $5 increase on the day of the game. Visit www.californiaclasico.com for more information

The starting 11 went 45 minutes for the Galaxy in Tuesday’s 1-1 against Club Tijuana. Coach Curt Onalfo plans to increase that time tonight.

“We’re two weeks in so 45 minutes is perfect,” he said. “The goal by the end of this week is to push to 60 and then keep moving it up to 90.”

 

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Former Galaxy defender lands at Orange County SC

Oscar Sorto has signed with the Orange County SC, the club announced Thursday.

Orange County Soccer Club

Sorto, 22, is a former Galaxy Homegrown Player. He made five appearances for the first team, spending the majority of his with Galaxy II.

He was signed as a Homegrown Player in 2012 by the Galaxy. Sorto was the first defender to be signed directly from the Galaxy Academy.

Sorto was out of contract with the Galaxy following the 2016 season.

“We are excited for Oscar to join our organization,” Orange County SC coach Logan Pause said. “He is a talented young full back, who immediately strengthens our team and we are keen to continue his development.”

OCSC is the official affiliate of Los Angeles Football Club.

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Bruce Arena turns his attention toward important March qualifiers

After the January camp and a pair of friendlies, U.S. Men’s National Team Bruce Arena and his coaching staff have their sights set on March and the highly critical World Cup qualifiers against Honduras and Panama.

The U.S. will host Honduras, March 24 at Avaya Stadium in San Jose. The U.S. lost both of their opening qualifiers  during the final round of CONCACAF qualifying.

“Now the goal is to merge our players abroad with our domestic players and come up with the best roster for those games against Honduras and Panama,” Arena said during a conference call Thursday. “We’re working right now with a pool of approximately 40 players, give or take a few numbers either way, and we need to break it down to somewhat near 25 for when we report to San Jose.

“We understand how we’re going to play, we have a depth chart and we’re going to sit down and have some conversations to make sure the players understand what they’re going to do before they even get here, make sure they’re bought into that and then finalize the roster.”

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Galaxy forward Ariel Lassiter looking to grow from Tuesday’s preseason opener

With forwards Giovani dos Santos (international call-up) and Gyasi Zardes (knee) not available for Tuesday’s preseason friendly against Club Tijuana, the Galaxy turned to the “kids” at the starting forward positions.

Temecula’s Ariel Lassiter, 22, and Newport Beach’s Jack McBean,22, both started at forward and went the first 45 minutes.

It was fitting that both Lassiter and McBean opened the preseason in the starting lineup. They’re both in seemingly the same position as the season approaches. The Galaxy will be looking for someone to pick up the slack from the departure of Alan Gordon, Robbie Keane and Mike Magee.

Forwards Giovani dos Santos and Gyasi Zardes will carry the brunt of the offense, but if both are taken away for national team duty, then opportunities will be there for Lassiter and McBean to pick up the slack.

“It was OK,” Lassiter said of his performance Tuesday. “I would have liked to get more chances on the ball, but I think that’s all part of preseason and all a part of us being on the pitch for the first together and getting chemistry together and just being able to find each other in the right spots. I’m sure we will and I think toward the end of the first half, the first group, we started get a little bit of a rhythm. I think against San Jose it will be better.

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Galaxy II coaching staff finalized

The coaching staff for LA Galaxy II was finalized Wednesday.

Mike Munoz was hired recently as coach to replace Curt Onalfo. Laurent Courtois and Claine Plummer were added to the staff. Plummer will take role of Goalkeeper coach.

Courtois, 38, was a player/coach for the team’s first season in 2014. His professional career dates back to 1998, with stops at AC Ajaccio, Toulouse, Istres, Grenoble and Lyon. He also played in the Premier League with West Ham United and Spain with Levante.

Plummer has had coaching stops with Chivas USA, Cal State LA, UCLA, Chicago Fire Academy, Jamaican National Team and Real Salt Lake Academy. As a player, he was a member of A.D. Limonese in the Costa Rican First Division after four years as a starting goalkeeper for Cal State LA.

“Laurent is a great addition to our staff, not only because of his extensive experience in soccer, but also his experience with soccer in Los Angeles,” Muñoz said. “With our goalkeeping position, Claine’s wide range of experience and success coaching soccer at the youth and collegiate level is going to make him a very effective piece of this staff.”

Los Dos will kick off the 2017 campaign at StubHub Center Track & Field Stadium on Saturday, March 25 when they host Vancouver Whitecaps FC 2.

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