Rumored LAFC target Keisuke Honda opts for Mexico and Club Pachuca

Japanese midfielder Keisuke Honda was rumored to be a potential signing by LAFC. The former AC Milan man spent a couple of days training with the Orange County Soccer Club in the USL. OCSC is LAFC’s affiliate.

Honda signed with Club Pachuca in Mexico on a free transfer. Honda has been one of the European-based players that had been rumored to join MLS for years. He’s been linked with Seattle, the Galaxy and LAFC, just to name a few.

 

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ICYMI: Pele signs with LA Galaxy, will Zlatan Ibrahimovic be next?

No, not THAT Pele — it’s Pele van Anholt, a 26-year-old Dutch defender.

As for the persistent Zlatan rumors, the latest is that he could stay with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho said today at a press conference in LA ahead of Saturday’s friendly against the Galaxy since he will be out until at least December.

But the LA Times was most insistent earlier that the Galaxy could be his destination. And yet the always reliable tabloid The Sun (cough, cough) says otherwise.

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100 Percent Soccer column: Manchester United on Saturday’s LA Galaxy game in Carson — meh

Would you spend $250 to watch a Real Madrid training session? And there’s no guarantee of even on autograph at that price.

Ticket prices for actual games are similarly eye-popping considering they are little more than glorified training sessions. And to top it off, Manchester United’s attitude toward Saturday’s Galaxy exhibition game is more than a little underwhelming if not insulting.

Read more in this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.

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Bradford Jamieson IV selected to MLS Homegrown Game

Bradford Jamieson IV was selected to his third MLS Homegrown Game, the league announced Wednesday.

Jamieson, 20, was previously named to the 2014 and 2015 roster. He has played in a

Portland Timbers forward Lucas Melano (26) and Los Angeles Galaxy forward Bradford Jamieson IV (38) in actions during an MLS soccer game in Carson, Calif., Sunday April 10, 2016. The game ended in a 1-1 draw. (AP Photo/Ringo H.W. Chiu)

career-high nine games so far this season, with one goal and one assist.

The MLS Homegrown team will be coached by Brian McBride and Mike Magee to face the U-20 team of Chivas de Guadalajara in the fourth annual MLS Homegrown Game, Aug. 1 at Toyota Park.

Here is the complete roster:

Goalkeepers: Jesse Gonzalez (FC Dallas), Evan Louro (New York Red Bulls)

Defenders: Marco Farfan (Portland Timbers), Kortne Ford (Colorado Rapids), Justen Glad (Real Salt Lake), Auston Trusty (Philadelphia Union)

Midfielders: Tyler Adams (New York Red Bulls), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver Whitecaps FC), Derrick Etienne Jr. (New York Red Bulls), Derrick Jones (Philadelphia Union), Brooks Lennon (Real Salt Lake), Djordje Mihailovic (Chicago Fire), Paxton Pomykal (FC Dallas), Ballou Tabla (Montreal)

Forwards: Andrew Carleton (Atlanta United), Jesus Ferreira (FC Dallas), Jordan Hamilton (Toronto FC), Bradford Jamieson IV (LA Galaxy)

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Manchester United announces roster for the U.S. Tour

Manchester United is headed to Los Angeles to kick off their preseason tour. The Red Devils will begin play Saturday against the Galaxy at StubHub Center. From there, they will turn their attention toward the International Champions Cup.

Here is the roster for the tour. Players will likely be added as the tour progresses:

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FOX soccer analysts preview CONCACAF Gold Cup

FOX Soccer analysts Landon Donovan, Alexi Lalas, Stu Holden and Cobi Jones offered their thoughts on the upcoming CONCACAF Gold Cup:

Landon Donovan is most excited to watch the tournament’s younger players:

“I’m looking forward to seeing all of the young and inexperienced players from the various countries, particularly Panama, Mexico and the United States. We know a majority of the veteran players will not be participating in the tournament, so this presents an opportunity for young talent to perform for their coaches and respective countries.”

Alexi Lalas says Mexico has the most pressure to succeed:

“Mexico is under the most pressure. Juan Carlos Osorio just received a six-game suspension for his sideline behavior during the FIFA Confederations Cup that ended poorly for him with two losses. Any perceived slip-up will be used to justify a change. Maybe that slip-up is in the form of an experimental Mexico team that succeeds and entertains without ‘El Professor’ at the helm? It’s a hungry, deep and balanced Mexico team with motivated players that will see the Gold Cup as an opportunity to impress and secure a spot in the team next summer. The fan support for Mexico will also create a home-field advantage for the team.”

Stu Holden predicts a USA vs. Mexico final:

“I think it will be the USA facing Mexico in the final. Both countries are bringing their B teams to the tournament, but these teams have the most depth. The U.S. MNT is young and hungry, and they are looking to cement their place on the roster. I know how it feels, having experienced that in the 2009 Gold Cup and then making the World Cup roster in 2010.”

Cobi Jones says the U.S. MNT has what it takes to succeed:

“The USA has new motivation and energy under Bruce Arena. The young players are eager to showcase their talents and prove they should be considered for next summer.”

Lalas says the Gold Cup is an excellent chance for players to earn a spot on the World Cup roster:

“We will see 1-2 players emerge, securing their spot for next summer. I love seeing a player presented with an opportunity and grabbing it with both hands. For most on this team, it will be their last chance to turn Bruce Arena’s head and plant that seed that they should be part of the World Cup roster. This is also the first and only time we will see Arena 2.0 in a tournament setting before next summer. He is very good at orchestrating the proper pace and burn at tournaments.”

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MLS All-Star Fan XI announced for upcoming All-Star Game

Major League Soccer announced the MLS All-Star Fan XI, Friday for the upcoming All-Star Game against Real Madrid, Aug. 2 at 5:30 p.m. at Soldier Field. 

The roster will consist of 24 players. The remaining players, consisting of two Commissioner picks and 11 players selected by coach Veljko Paunovic will be announced later this month.

Goalkeeper:Tim Howard (Colorado Rapids)

Defenders:Greg Garza (Atlanta United), Graham Zusi (Sporting Kansas City),DaMarcus Beasley (Houston Dynamo)

Midfielders:Bastian Schweinsteiger (Chicago Fire), Miguel Almirón (Atlanta United), Kaká (Orlando City SC), Michael Bradley(Toronto FC)

Forwards: David Villa (New York City FC), Nemanja Nikolić (Chicago Fire), Sebastian Giovinco (Toronto FC)

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Rumored LAFC target Andres Guardado heads to La Liga

Mexican international Andres Guardado was announced Friday as a new member of Real Betis after spending the last three seasons with PSV of the Eredivisie.

Guardado, 30, signed a three-year contract.

It was reported a few weeks ago that Guardado was nearing a deal with Los Angeles Football Club for the 2018 season. At the time, Guardado pushed back against the report while Mexico was playing in the Confederations Cup, saying that there have been offers from MLS clubs, but denied that any agreement had been set.

Guardado has already spent seven seasons in Spain, with Deportivo La Coruna and Valencia

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Two Orange County Soccer Clubs players facing lengthy suspensions

Orange County Soccer Club will be without Ami Pineda and Jerry van Ewijk for a long stretch due to suspensions following Saturday’s late-game scuffle with Portland Timbers 2. The game ended in a 3-3 draw.

Pineda was hit with a six-game suspension, while van Ewijk received a five-game suspension. Both of their suspensions will begin with Saturday’s game against Phoenix Rising FC.

The incident occurred late in the July 1 game when van Ewijk become tangled up with a Portland player, leading to both players following the ground. Pineda came in afterward.

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