Los Angeles Soccer: Colleges

PREPS: Cate midfielder is nation's best

May, 17, 2012
5/17/12
7:54
PM PT
Ghanaian forward Ema Boateng, a boarding student at Cate School in Carpinteria, was announced Thursday as the Gatorade National Boys Soccer Player of the Year.

Boateng, 18, scored 32 goals with 19 assists to lead Cate to a 20-2-1 mark and the CIF-Southern Section Division 7 championship and win a second straight divisional Player of the Year honor.

“I’m very overwhelmed,” Boateng told ESPNHS. “I did not see this coming. I’m looking at the list of names of athletes who’ve won this before, and I can’t believe I’m anywhere near this list. I can’t believe I’m on it.”

National Soccer Hall of Famer Alexi Lalas, who won the Gatorade Michigan Player of the Year award in 1988, presented the award to Boateng. Previous winners include another Hall of Famer, Claudio Reyna, plus former U.S. national-teamer Chris Henderson, former MLS stars Matt McKeon, Nick Garcia, Kyle Martino and Alecko Eskandarian, and current MLS players Ned Grabavoy (Real Salt Lake), Jordan Harvey (Vancouver Whitecaps), Lee Nguyen (New England Revolution), Eric Alexander (Portland Timbers) and Soony Saad (Sporting Kansas City).

Harvey, who played at Capistrano Valley High School in Mission Viejo and then at UCLA, won in 2002

Boateng, who carries a 3.75 grade-point average, is a junior but has enough credits to qualify for the NCAA and will play at UC Santa Barbara in the fall.

How good is he?

“In the 14 years I’ve been coaching in Southern California, I haven’t seen anybody close to as good as Ema,” Vishtasp Farhadi, the Development Academy co-director for Irvine Strikers, said in Gatorade's news release. “In terms of maturity and soccer IQ, he’s a very special player. He’s uniquely creative and has amazing vision.

"At the international Milk Cup in Ireland last summer, he became the only American to earn MVP honors in the 30-year history of that tournament. That puts him in the company of people like Wayne Rooney, David Beckham and Giovani dos Santos at the same age. Pretty good company.”

Read the full ESPNHS story here.

LOCALS: Whitfield is king of ties

May, 9, 2012
5/09/12
5:35
PM PT
The Premier Development League season kicked off around these parts with a bunch of ties -- and one very intriguing storyline.

It involves star attacker Brent Whitfield, a former Chivas USA outside back from Long Beach (Poly HS/Cal State Fullerton) who has played for several top local clubs and was set to serve as a player-coach for L.A. Misioneros, a PDL team that's brought in some big talent in a bid to compete for a trophy.

Misioneros cut ties with Whitfield just before the season began -- it also cost them former Galaxy defender Mike Randolph, whom Whitfield had brought to the club -- and he has turned up with the Ventura County Fusion, a club he bolted two years ago to play for pay with Hollywood United.

The Fusion opened their season Saturday night at Ventura College against, wouldn't you know, the Misioneros, who took a lead midway through the first half through Edwin Miranda (Reseda/Reseda HS and Cal State Northridge), who played last year for the L.A. Blues.

Whitfield gave Ventura a share of the points, scoring just before halftime.

The other two games involving local teams also finished 1-1. Cal State Northridge's Christian Gonzalez Diaz (Mission Viejo/Mission Viejo HS) scored in stoppage Friday to lift Orange County Blue Star against visiting Pali Blues, which got a goal from UCLA's Evan Raynr (Calabasas/Viewpoint HS). Blue Star rallied against Misioneros in L.A. two nights later, with Loyola Marymount's David Ponce (Foothill Ranch/Trabuco Hills HS and UC Santa Barbara) scoring the equalizer.

Elsewhere in minor-league soccer:

USL PRO: The L.A. Blues got a home win last week, and, true to form, it came away from Cal State Fullerton's Titan Stadium. The 2-1 triumph over Wilmington at Fullerton College was their first victory of the season and just their fourth in what now is 16 league home games.

The record at CSUF is far worse: no wins in nine games (0-6-3), including a “road” loss to the Galaxy in last year's U.S. Open Cup. That includes Sunday's 2-2 draw with Wilmington in the second meeting of the weekend.

The Blues (1-2-1) climbed out of the third-division league's cellar, from 11th to 10th, two points ahead of the Dayton Dutch Lions (0-2-2), the only USL Pro team without a victory, and that after winning just two of 24 league games last year. Midfielder Allan Russell, who converted a penalty kick and assisted Matt Fondy's opener in Friday's win, was selected to the USL Pro Team of the Week.

(Read full post)

'Development' the game in PDL

May, 4, 2012
5/04/12
2:06
PM PT

The local clubs in the USL's Premier Development League take the league's name to heart. The objective is developing talent, far more so than winning trophies, although those are nice, too.

There are five L.A.-area teams in the PDL's Southwest Division, including 2009 national champion Ventura County Fusion, which figures to battle defending division titlist Fresno Fuego for the top spot this season, which kicks off in earnest this weekend after Fresno-L.A. Misioneros games the past two weekends.

Most of the clubs are loaded with college players, a few amateurs looking to showcase their talents for the next level and, in some circumstances, pros hoping to step up into one of the country's three fully professional leagues or to a club to the south or overseas. The Southwest Division, along with its conference partner in the Northwest, is a standard-bearer for the PDL, in terms of competition and development.

“First and foremost, [the priority] is to prepare players for the next level,” said Fusion coach Ole Mikkelsen, a 1978 UCLA All-American who played in the old North American Soccer League. “We select players primarily on whether or not we think they have the tools to play at the MLS level. We prepare the players first, and win second. It's hard to disconnect the two -- winning gives visibility to get you exposed.”

The Fusion and fellow PDL power Orange County Blue Star have sent scores of players on to Major League Soccer and other pro leagues. So has the La Mirada-based Southern California Seahorses, a Christian club that expects to battle the Fusion, Blue Star and Fuego for the division title and two postseason berths.

“All the guys who come to our team are interested in that development part of the league and the team,” Seahorses coach Todd Elkins said. “They know they get better. The level is consistently good. Just making the team -- making a team in our region -- you're going to be challenged. We take that very seriously. We want to maximize their time during the summer, making sure [a player] gets everything he can from us.

“We look at it as being a bit of a testing ground. If progressing the ranks is a goal for you, this is a good test to see if that's realistic or not.”

(Read full post)

THURSDAY, APRIL 5
  • TELEVISION
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE
Atletico Madrid (Spain) at Hannover 96 (Germany)
GolTV, noon

Eduardo Salvio's end-of-game goal gave Atletico a 2-1 win in the home leg of their quarterfinal in Europe's No. 2 club competition. Hannover, with American Steve Cherundolo, needs only a 1-0 win to advance. Replay: midnight.
Also
Schalke 04 (Germany) at Athletic Bilbao (Spain), GolTV, 2 p.m.

COPA LIBERTADORES
Nacional (Uruguay) at Libertad (Paraguay)
Fox Deportes, 4 p.m.
Group 5 is the tightest in South America's club championship, with one point separating Libertad and Brazil's Vasco da Gama from Nacional with two games to play.
Also
Universidad Catolica (Chile) at Junior (Colombia), Fox Deportes, 4 a.m.
Universidad de Chile (Chile) at Godoy Cruz (Argentina), Fox Deportes, 8 a.m.
The Strongest (Bolivia) at Juan Aurich (Peru), Fox Deportes, 11 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
New England Revolution at FC Dallas
MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.
The Revs, especially rookie Kelyn Rowe from UCLA, looked very good last weekend against the Galaxy, but some of that might have been L.A.'s ineptitude. Dallas is struggling -- injuries have something to do with it -- after conceding a lead against Sporting Kansas City and getting dominated by D.C. United.
  • ON LOCAL FIELDS
WOMEN'S FRIENDLY
UCLA vs. China U-20
Home Depot Center Field 3 (Carson), 6 p.m.

The Bruins take on the Chinese under-20 team on one of the fields west of the main stadium along Avalon Boulevard.

(Read full post)

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4
  • TELEVISION
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Benfica (Portugal) at Chelsea (England)
Fox Soccer Channel, 11:30 a.m.

Salomon Kalou's second-half goal delivered a 1-0 victory to Chelsea in the first leg. If the Blues hold on at Stamford Bridge, they're in the final four. Replays: Fox Soccer Plus, 2 and 5:30 p.m.; Fox Deportes, 2 p.m.
Also
APOEL (Cyprus) at Real Madrid (Spain), Fox Sports West, Fox Soccer Plus and Fox Deportes, 11:30 a.m.; Fox Soccer Channel, 2 p.m.

CONCACAF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE
Toronto FC (Canada) at Santos Laguna (Mexico)
Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 5 p.m.
The Galaxy's killer played Mexico's top club to a 1-1 draw in the first leg, but Santos scored six at home against Seattle -- and last week's red cards and postgame melee will amp up the intensity. Replay: FSC, midnight.
Also
Monterrey (Mexico) at Pumas UNAM (Mexico), Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 7 p.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Montreal Impact at Real Salt Lake
MLS Direct Kick, 6 p.m.
Quebec's expansionists are still looking for their initial victory, and Rio Tinto is a tough place to get it, regardless of what Chivas USA pulled off a week and a half ago.

COPA LIBERTADORES
Santos (Brazil) at Internacional (Brazil)
Fox Deportes, 6 p.m.
Group A leader Santos and second-place Internacional tangle with at least one round-of-16 spot on the line. Santos won the first meeting in South America's club championship on Neymar's hat trick.
Also
Olimpia (Paraguay) at Lanus (Argentina), Fox Deportes, 4 a.m.
Flamengo (Brazil) at Emelec (Ecuador), Fox Deportes, 11 p.m.

(Read full post)

MLS: Singh adds to local flavor

March, 19, 2012
3/19/12
10:53
PM PT

Sporting Kansas City on Monday signed supplemental draft pick Shawn Singh, boosting UCLA's presence in Major League Soccer and adding to the 53 local players already on rosters.

Singh, a left back from Bakersfield, is the fourth Bruin rookie in MLS this season, joining Philadelphia's Chandler Hoffman, Seattle's Andy Rose and New England's Kelyn Rowe.

Other local rookies: Cal State Northridge midfielder Rafael Garcia with the Galaxy, UC Riverside forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro with San Jose, UC Santa Barbara midfielders Luis Silva with Toronto FC and Sam Garza with San Jose.

Two new local signings -- Galaxy midfielder Jose Villarreal and Chivas USA midfielder Marvin Iraheta -- started the season sidelined by injury.

Here is a list of local players in MLS (with hometown/local high school in parentheses, with local college following):

(Read full post)

CHIVAS USA: Two hat tricks lead Goats

March, 18, 2012
3/18/12
7:44
PM PT

CARSON -- Chivas USA's struggles in front of the net were forgotten -- for the time being, at least -- during Sunday afternoon's reserve friendly against UC Riverside. The Goats scored three times in three minutes and four in eight to pull away in a 7-1 romp.

Cesar Romero and trialist John Owoeri scored hat tricks for the Goats, whose lack of attack has been costly in successive Major League Soccer defeats, both by 1-0 scorelines, to Houston and Vancouver.

Owoeri, a former Nigerian youth international who has demonstrated great energy but subpar finishing skills since joining camp two weeks ago, tallied in the 60th, 62nd and 67th minutes as Chivas turned a two-goal advantage into a 6-0 game. He assisted Romero's finale, in the 85th.

Romero has seven goals since joining Chivas at the end of January. He had four during preseason.

Head coach Robin Fraser used the match to give six trialists -- three of them newcomers -- a look in advance of this week's expected roster decision. Left back Kevin Huezo (Santa Ana/Segerstrom HS) and former Goats midfielder Rodrigo Lopez, who was with the Portland Timbers last year, were most impressive, until Owoeri took charge after narrowly missing three times.

Lopez, 24, who was born in Mexico but grew up in Santa Barbara, played eight games in 2005-07 with Chivas but made no league appearances last year with the Timbers. He just joined camp, along with 24-year-old Congolese defender Patrick Kanyuka and 21-year-old, San Fernando Valley-bred midfielder Cameron Artigliere (Winnetka/El Camino Real HS).

(Read full post)

SATURDAY, MARCH 17
  • TELEVISION
SCOTTISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Rangers FC at Dundee United
Fox Soccer Plus, 5:40 a.m.

Glasgow's mighty Rangers have never been in so much trouble: The Blues are on the verge of economic meltdown, have been penalized 10 points (giving the title to archrival Celtic) and face possible bankruptcy, with top players -- including local boys Carlos Bocanegra and Maurice Edu -- likely to be jettisoned soon. They're still in second place, Dundee is fourth, so not a bad start to Fox Soccer Plus's Scottish coverage. Replay: 6 p.m.
German Bundesliga
Werder Bremen at Borussia Dortmund, GolTV, 7:30 a.m. and 6:15 p.m.
Bayern Munich at Hertha Berlin, ESPN Deportes, 3 p.m.
Italian Serie A
AC Milan at Parma, Fox Soccer Plus, 9:55 a.m. and 1 a.m.; Fox Deportes, 10 a.m.
Juventus at Fiorentina, Fox Soccer Channel and Fox Deportes, 12:30 p.m.
Spanish La Liga
Real Sociedad at Getafe, ESPN Deportes, 9:55 a.m.
Osasuna at Real Zaragoza, GolTV, 10 a.m. and 8:15 p.m.
Barcelona at Sevilla, ESPN Deportes, 11:55 a.m. and 5 p.m.
French Ligue 1
Lyon at Saint-Etienne, Fox Soccer Plus, 1 p.m.
Australian A-League
Perth Glory at Gold Coast United, Fox Soccer Channel, 12:30 p.m.

ENGLISH F.A. CUP
Bolton at Tottenham
Fox Soccer Channel, 10:30 a.m.
Spurs is going through a slump, with three straight league losses (and nine goals conceded), but they'll reach the final four in England's top knockout competition with a win over the Wanderers. Replays: Fox Deportes, 3 p.m.; FSC, 8 p.m.
Also
Sunderland at Everton, Fox Soccer Channel, 5:30 a.m. and 5 p.m.; Fox Deportes, 5:30 a.m.
Premier League
Swansea City at Fulham, ESPN Deportes, 7:55 a.m.
West Bromwich Albion at Wigan Athletic, Fox Soccer Channel, 8 a.m. and 3 p.m.; Fox Deportes, 8 a.m.
Championship
West Ham United at Leeds United, Fox Soccer Plus, 7:55 a.m.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Chicago Fire at Montreal Impact
MLS Direct Kick, 11 a.m.
The Impact make their home MLS debut, and they're expecting 55,000-plus at Olympic Stadium. The Fire disappointed last year but might have the team to contend in 2012.
Also
Houston Dynamo at San Jose Earthquakes, MLS Direct Kick, 2 p.m.
Portland Timbers at FC Dallas, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.
New England Revolution at Sporting Kansas City, MLS Direct Kick, 5:30 p.m.
New York Red Bulls at Real Salt Lake, MLS Direct Kick, 7 p.m.
Toronto FC at Seattle Sounders, MLS Direct Kick, 7 p.m.
Vancouver Whitecaps at Chivas USA, KDOC/Channel 56 and KWHY/Channel 22, 7:30 p.m.

MEXICAN PRIMERA DIVISION
Club Tijuana at UANL Tigres
Galavision, 5:55 p.m.
Another big showdown in the best Mexican league race in years, with two one-loss teams -- the sixth-place Xolos three points off the lead, fourth-place Tigres just one point back -- carrying plenty of California flavor. Tijuana is accumulating young talent north of the border; Tigres has been farming through SoCal for several years.
Also
Guadalajara at Gallos Blancos, Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 3:55 p.m.
Santos Laguna at Cruz Azul, Azteca America (KAZA/Channel 54), 4 p.m.
Atlante at Pachuca, Telefutura (KFTR/Channel 46), 6 p.m.
Jaguares at Atlas, Galavision, 8 p.m.
Argentine Primera B Nacional
Deportivo Merlo at River Plate, GolTV, 2:15 p.m. and midnight
Brazilian Campeonato Paulista
Ponte Preta at Palmeiras, GolTV, 4:15 p.m.
  • ON LOCAL FIELDS
HIGH SCHOOL SOCCER
Southern California All-Star Showcase
La Mirada High School, 9 a.m.

Six games over 12 hours featuring some of the best high school players in Southern California are on tap in the Southern California High School Soccer Coaches Association's annual event.

MAJOR LEAGUE SOCCER
Vancouver Whitecaps at Chivas USA
Home Depot Center (Carson), 7:30 p.m.
The Goats look to bounce back following a last-minute loss to Houston in their league opener last weekend, but the 'Caps, with an attack as dynamic as any in MLS, won't be a simple foe.
TV: KDOC/Channel 56 (English) and KWHY/Channel 22 (Spanish).

(Read full post)

Power Rankings: Bruins everywhere

March, 14, 2012
3/14/12
1:20
PM PT

UCLA's presence in Major League Soccer is somewhat staggering. There are 20 Bruins on opening-day rosters, at least one for 11 different clubs. Several others were in camps during preseason and could crop up again.

Westwood has long produced top players -- at least three in every U.S. World Cup team back to 1990, usually in important roles; on the last seven men's Olympic rosters; and 61 Bruins have played in MLS since the league's 1996 debut.

The 20 this year includes Galaxy forward Chad Barrett, midfielders Kyle Nakazawa and Michael Stephens, and goalkeeper Brian Perk, and Chivas USA midfielder Peter Vagenas.

The others, by club:

Colorado Rapids: Defender Marvell Wynne.
FC Dallas: Goalkeeper Kevin Hartman.
New England Revolution: Midfielders Benny Feilhaber and Kelyn Rowe, and goalkeeper Matt Reis.
Philadelphia Union: Forward Chandler Hoffman and midfielder Amobi Okugo.
Portland Timbers: Midfielder Sal Zizzo.
Real Salt Lake: Defender Tony Beltran and goalkeeper Matt Reis.
Seattle Sounders: Forward David Estrada, midfielder Andy Rose and defender Patrick Ianni.
Sporting Kansas City: Defender Chance Myers.
Vancouver Whitecaps: Defender Jordan Harvey.

That's not all. Sounders head coach Sigi Schmid played at UCLA, then guided the Bruins to three NCAA titles before winning MLS Cup titles with the Galaxy and Columbus Crew. Chivas USA assistant coach Greg Vanney played at Westwood. Sounders technical director Chris Henderson, part of the 1990 World Cup side, is a member of the fraternity.

Former Chivas USA captain Jonathan Bornstein, now in Mexico, is a Bruin. So are Jimmy Conrad, who moved into Chivas USA technical department after retiring last year; Frankie Hejduk and Sean Alvarado, who were with the Galaxy last year, and Maxwell Griffin, a second-division forward who spent time last season with San Jose.

UCLA's former MLS standouts also include National Soccer Hall of Famers Cobi Jones and Paul Caligiuri, slam-dunk future inductee Brad Friedel (with Tottenham in England) and U.S. national team captain Carlos Bocanegra, a two-time MLS Defender of the Year toiling for Rangers FC in Scotland.

Here's this week's power rankings:

1. SEATTLE SOUNDERS (0-0-0, 0 points), Last Week: 2
Last week:
Idle after David Estrada and Brad Evans fueled 2-1 win over Santos Laguna in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals.
We say: UC Irvine-produced national-team pool midfielder Brad Evans says Santos is “the best team we're going to face all year.” He's probably right.
So Cal hero: Lots to choose from. We're rooting for Riverside's Sammy Ochoa, who landed in Seattle after playing in Mexico.
Next: Wednesday in a Champions League quarterfinal second leg at Santos Laguna (Mexico), 5 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura); Saturday vs. Toronto FC, 7 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick).

2. REAL SALT LAKE (1-0-0, 3 points), LW: 3
Last week:
Javier Morales and Fabian Espindola add to an own goal as RSL scores three in the last 18 minutes to beat the Galaxy, 3-1.
We say: Kyle Beckerman huffs after beating Galaxy: “When have they been the better team? … They never possess the ball. They sit in. It's a matter of if we score or not. We're always going to have the possession.”
So Cal hero: Montclair's Nick Rimando might be MLS's best netminder.
Next: Saturday vs. New York, 7 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick).

3. GALAXY (0-1-0, 0 points), LW: 1
Last week:
The Galaxy rally for a 2-2 Champions League draw at Toronto FC, then concede a late lead in a 3-1 loss to Real Salt Lake, ending a 25-game HDC unbeaten streak.
We say: Goals-against average after two games: 2.5. In preseason: 1.89. Last year: 0.79.
So Cal hero: Bell Gardens' Hector Jimenez is a winger ready to contribute.
Next: Wednesday in a Champions League quarterfinal second leg vs. Toronto FC at Home Depot Center, 7 p.m. (Fox Soccer Channel and Telefutura); Sunday vs. D.C. United at Home Depot Center, 4 p.m. (KDOC/Channel 56 and Galavision).

(Read full post)

MLS: UCR star signs with Quakes

March, 3, 2012
3/03/12
3:40
PM PT
The San Jose Earthquakes have signed forward Cesar Diaz Pizarro, who starred at UC Riverside and was selected in the second round of Major League Soccer's supplemental draft in January.

Diaz Pizarro (Chino Hills/Ayala HS) was the Big West Conference's Co-Offensive Player of the Year last fall after scoring nine goals for the Highlanders, who went 9-6-4 with two victories over national powerhouse UC Santa Barbara and another over conference titlist UC Irvine, a top 10 team.

Diaz Pizarro, 21, was considered one of the top forwards on the West Coast, but he was not invited to MLS's pre-draft combine in Florida. The Quakes have had success with under-valued players from Southern California, last year signing Loyola Marymount star Rafael Baca (Lawndale/Animo Leadership HS).

“We liked what we saw from Cesar in our [club] combine and during the preseason,” Earthquakes coach Frank Yallop told his team's website. “He was a quality goalscorer in college from a competitive conference, and we would like to see him develop into the same thing in our league. He’s tall, good on the ball and a hard worker, and we’re happy to have him in San Jose.”

In other MLS news:

(Read full post)

COLLEGE: Kenny Arena to FIU

March, 2, 2012
3/02/12
2:02
PM PT

UCLA lost an assistant coach Friday when Kenny Arena, the son of Galaxy coach Bruce Arena, was hired as Florida International University's men's soccer head coach.


Arena, 31, also was coaching in the Galaxy's youth academy and guided its under-16 team to the U.S. Soccer Development Academy U-15/16 national championship last summer.

The former defender starred at the University of Virginia and played in Major League Soccer for the MetroStars (now the New York Red Bulls) and D.C. United. He was part of former Galaxy midfielder Jorge Salcedo's staff at UCLA the past four years, helping the Bruins to three conference titles and a NCAA College Cup final four berth last fall. He previously was on staffs at Virginia and George Mason.

Arena replaces Munga Eketebi, who was 27-51-9 in five seasons as Miami-based FIU's head coach. The Golden Panthers were 5-8-2 last year.

Salcedo, a former UCLA standout, and assistant coach Eddie Soto, a former MLS forward who starred at Cal State Fullerton, were childhood friends and teammates from Cerritos. Soto is head coach of the Galaxy Academy's U-18 team.

Historic day for U.S. national teams

February, 29, 2012
2/29/12
11:07
PM PT

Rarely, if ever, has there been a day quite so golden for U.S. Soccer -- involving multiple teams -- as was Wednesday.


Consider:
  • The full men's national team beat Italy for the first time -- and in Italy, in Genoa -- as Clint Dempsey finished from Jozy Altidore's finish up top. Also splendid: midfielder Michael Bradley and German-born left back Fabian Johnson.
  • The U.S. women's national team won its Algarve Cup opener in Portugal, dominating Denmark, 5-0, as Diamond Bar's Alex Morgan scored two more goals -- her 17th and 18th in 34 international games -- and assisted another by Hermosa Beach's Abby Wambach. UCLA products Sydney Leroux (goal) and Lauren Cheney (assist) also contributed in the scoring.
  • The U.S. under-23 national team, preparing for the Olympic qualifiers in March, outclassed Mexico's U-23s, 2-0, in Frisco, Texas, on goals two minutes apart by Juan Agudelo and Freddy Adu.

One more international event to report, from Tuesday night. UCLA looked good in holding Mexico's under-20 national team to a scoreless draw at Birmingham High School in Van Nuys.

TUESDAY, FEB. 28

  • TELEVISION

INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
Brazil vs. Bosnia & Herzegovina
GolTV, 11 a.m.

FIFA's first fixture date of 2012 begins with some jogo bonito, from St. Gallen, Switzerland.




  • ON LOCAL FIELDS

HIGH SCHOOL BOYS PLAYOFFS
Millikan at Loyola
Loyola High School (Los Angeles), 3 p.m.

Two long-time CIF Southern Section powers -- the second-seeded Rams of Long Beach and L.A.'s premier Catholic school -- tangle for a spot in the Division 1 final.
Also
Fremont (Los Angeles) at Bell, 3 p.m.
Narbonne (Gardena) at San Fernando, 3 p.m.
East Valley (North Hollywood) at Annenberg (Los Angeles), 3 p.m.
Fulton College Prep (Van Nuys) at Sun Valley, 3 p.m.
Marina (Huntington Beach) at Ventura, 3 p.m.
Capistrano Valley (Mission Viejo) at La Sierra (Riverside), 3 p.m.
Valley View (Moreno Valley) at Coachella Valley (Thermal), 3 p.m.
Palmdale at Channel Islands (Oxnard), 3 p.m.
Santa Ana Valley at Paramount, 3 p.m.
Crescenta Valley (La Crescenta) at Oak Hills, 3 p.m.
Granite Hills (Apple Valley) at Cajon (San Bernardino), 3 p.m.
Lakeside (Lake Elsinore) at Colton, 3 p.m.
Crossroads (Santa Monica) at Desert Hot Springs, 3 p.m.
Citrus Hill (Perris) at Desert Mirage (Thermal), 3 p.m.
Cate (Carpinteria) at Paraclete (Lancaster), 3 p.m.
El Rancho (Pico Rivera) at Cathedral (Los Angeles), 3:30 p.m.
Mary Star of the Sea (San Pedro) at University Prep (Victorville), 3:30 p.m.

HIGH SCHOOL GIRLS PLAYOFFS
St. Lucy's Priory at Claremont
Claremont High School, 3 p.m.

St. Lucy's, from Glendora, is the only team to beat Sierra League rival Claremont this year. Another win means a trip to the CIF Southern Section's Division 3 final.
Also
Granada Hills at El Camino Real (Woodland Hills), 3 p.m.
Cleveland (Reseda) at Palisades (Pacific Palisades), 3 p.m.
Locke (Los Angeles) at Arleta, 3 p.m.
Manual Arts (Los Angeles) at South East (South Gate), 3 p.m.
Fulton College Prep (Van Nuys) at Port of L.A. (San Pedro), 3 p.m.
Los Angeles Center for Enriched Studies at Northridge Academy, 3 p.m.
Santa Margarita Catholic (Rancho Santa Margarita) at Aliso Niguel (Aliso Viejo), 3 p.m.
Dana Hills (Dana Point) at San Clemente, 3 p.m.
Great Oak (Temecula) at Sunny Hills (Fullerton), 3 p.m.
Chino Hills at Bishop Amat (La Puente), 3 p.m.
St. Lucy's Priory (Glendora) at Claremont, 3 p.m.
Oaks Christian (Westlake Village) vs. Canyon Springs (Moreno Valley) at Community Park (Moreno Valley), 3 p.m.
South Torrance at Marymount (Bel-Air), 3 p.m.
La Serna (Whittier) at Cabrillo (Lompoc), 3 p.m.
South Pasadena at Hemet, 3 p.m.
Citrus Valley (Redlands) at Viewpoint (Calabasas), 3 p.m.
Sierra Canyon (Chatsworth) at Firebaugh (Lynwood), 3 p.m.
Upland at Los Osos (Rancho Cucamonga), 5 p.m.
St. Margaret's (San Juan Capistrano) vs. San Dimas at Bonita High School (La Verne), 5 p.m.
Downey at Cajon (San Bernardino), 6 p.m.

COLLEGE/INTERNATIONAL FRIENDLY
UCLA vs. Mexico U-20 national team
Birmingham High School (Van Nuys), 7 p.m.

Some of Mexico's finest young pros take on the NCAA semifinalists in the second of three games on their SoCal trek.



(Read full post)

CHIVAS USA: Swedes win in Portland

February, 27, 2012
2/27/12
10:54
PM PT

Chivas USA continues to find itself this preseason, a process that likely will extend into the Major League Soccer regular season, which is less than two weeks away. Monday night's 2-0 loss to Swedish club AIK in Portland, Ore., was another step along the path.

There was good and bad, head coach Robin Fraser acknowledged, but star forward Juan Pablo Angel expressed disappointment after the Goats were shut out for the fourth time in nine preseason matches.

“We’re disappointed with the result,” Angel, who hasn't scored from the run of play in six preseason starts, told the league's website. “There were times where we thought we played well, and there were times when we weren’t as good as we should have been. We need to try to get the next 10, 12 days in order to get ready for league, which is coming very rapidly.”

Miscues, the first when the backline failed to react quickly enough and the second farther up the field, led to both AIK goals, but Chivas' attack began clicking in the second half, and newcomer Cesar Romero twice came close to scoring.

“It was a learning experience for us again,” Fraser told ESPN Los Angeles. “We're still figuring out personalities and combinations of players. And the end of the day, it's a relatively new group, so all the games are important as we go forward. ...

“I just think as we go forward, we have to really embrace the philosophy that we have to work every minute of every game. That's how this league works. Teams that work are teams that ultimately are successful. As a group, we continue to learn that nobody can take any plays off. We're at our best when everyone works extremely hard.”

Fraser played a first-choice lineup -- the only real question, it seems, is whether Nick LaBrocca or Alejandro Moreno will accompany Oswaldo Minda at the bottom of the midfield triangle -- in the opener of the Portland Timbers' four-team tournament at Jeld-Wen Field. Moreno got the call this time, then exited after an hour after an inadvertent elbow to the face, which might have broken his nose.

(Read full post)

MONDAY, FEB. 27

  • TELEVISION

BRAZILIAN CAMPEONATO PAULISTA
São Paulo at Palmeiras
ESPN Deportes, 10 a.m.

Unbeaten Palmeiras and São Paulo, which has lost just once in nine São Paulo state games, tangle in a battle of Paulista powers. Marcos Assunçao makes fourth-place Palmeiras go; Sao Paulo's biggest name: Luis Fabiano.
Dutch Eredivisie
Feyenoord at PSV, ESPN Deportes, 7 a.m.


(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES