Which city would you rather visit on an MLS road trip? Sacramento or Las Vegas?
Costa Rica, the seeded team in Group B, plays its opening game of the Gold Cup tournament at StubHub Center. The complete groups and schedule will be announced next year.
Tickets go on sale in the spring.
— The Madridistas (@RMadridNation) December 16, 2014
— Real Madrid C.F. (@realmadriden) December 16, 2014
It was only a couple of years ago that this soccer columnist and plenty of others around the world were raving about Lionel Messi and Barcelona. Incredibly, it seems rivals Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid could even eclipse those achievements. For more, read this week’s 100 Percent Soccer column.
Striker Chandler Hoffman, who played for USL Pro team LA Galaxy II last season, was one of four Galaxy players available in Friday’s Re-Entry Draft for out of contract players.
Other notables in the draft: former Galaxy striker Edson Buddle and MLS veteran Dwayne DeRosario.
Here’s more from MLS on the eligible players:
The Re-Entry process will consist of players at least 23 years of age with a minimum of three years of MLS experience whose options were not exercised. In addition, players out of contract who have not received a Bona Fide Offer and who are at least 25 years of age with a minimum of four years of MLS experience, and/or players at least 30-years-old with a minimum of eight years of MLS experience are included.
The Canadian made 10 appearances for the Galaxy after signing with the club last January.
Rob Friend played the bulk of his career in Europe.
From the Galaxy press release:
Friend, 33, was originally drafted by the Chicago Fire in 2003 MLS SuperDraft but instead signed with Moss FK in the Norwegian professional division. Friend scored 16 goals for Moss FK before transferring to Molde FK in Norway, where he went on to score 14 more goals from 2004-2006.
After a year in the Netherlands playing for SC Heerenveen, Friend signed with Borussia Monchengladbach for 2007 season, where he led the team in goals with 18 as his side finished first in Bundesliga 2 and was promoted to the first division. The forward spent two more years with Borussia, scoring 28 total goals during his time with the club. Friend remained in Germany until 2014, where he had stints with Hertha BSC, Eintracht Frankfurt and TSV 1860 Munchen.
Friend signed with the Galaxy this January ahead of the 2014 MLS Regular Season. He recorded the game-tying assist in the Galaxy’s 2-2 draw on the road in Vancouver on a goal from Robbie Keane in the 77th minute.
— For The Win (@ForTheWin) December 7, 2014
Hey, maybe it’s a ploy for an improved contract. Keane makes $4.5 million a year.
- U.S. Soccer announced a schedule of seven USMNT games in the first half of 2015 including the Feb. 8 contest in Southern California and a home game against Mexico April 15 at a venue to be determined. Tickets for USA-Panama go on sale at 10 a.m. Monday. More details are here.
- The Univision Deportes telecast of MLS Cup Sunday was watched by 678,000 viewers making it the channel’s top-rated finale to an MLS season ever. The Galaxy-New England game beat six live EPL games on NBCSN last week. When combined with the audience watching on UniMas, a combined 923,000 Spanish-language soccer fans watched the game. Another 964,000 viewers watched on ESPN, making it the third most watched MLS Cup final on the channel.
- The Chicago Fire today signed Illinois native and former Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens, who had played for the last year in Norway.
MLS beat writer Phil Collin looks at how the Galaxy will fill the void left by Landon Donovan’s retirement. But before the addition, comes a possible subtraction in the shape of Wednesday’s Expansion Draft. Watch it live here.
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) December 9, 2014
— LA Galaxy (@LAGalaxy) December 8, 2014
Event includes speeches by Galaxy President Chris Klein, coach Bruce Arena, captain and MLS MVP Robbie Keane, defender Omar Gonzalez and Landon Donovan, who will say a final goodbye to fans before retiring.
“I’ve said it before, this is my best year on the field, and my worst year off the field personally,” said defender A.J. DeLaGarza. “At the end of the game, you guys saw I just kind of laid there and sobbed a little bit. Obviously, I wish my son was here, so that was all I thought about.”