Los Angeles Soccer: England national team
June, 20, 2012
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
Jonathan Daniel/Getty ImagesThe Red Bull's Wilman Conde clearing of the Fire's Dominic Oduro's shot was the biggest play of the week in MLS.
In just a matter of days, the argument over goal-line technology has been settled. They'll still argue, but after Ukraine was denied a legitimate goal in Tuesday's 1-0 loss to England at Euro 2012, the discussion is moot.
“After last night's match,” FIFA President Sepp Blatter tweeted Wednesday, “GLT is no longer an alternative but a necessity.”
MLS Commissioner Don Garber has been vocal in his support of goal-line technology, and the week's better argument in favor of implementation occurred in Chicago's 3-1 victory Saturday over visiting New York.
A shot by Fire forward Dominic Oduro, slowed by a deflection off Red Bulls goalkeeper Ryan Meara, was cleared as it entered the net by Wilman Conde. The linesman was a little behind the play and screened by a sliding Conde and could not see that the ball had, indeed, crossed fully into the goal. Referee Baldomero Toledo waved play on and cautioned Oduro for protesting.
The incident incensed the Fire, who replied with another goal four minutes later and another 13 minutes after that to pull away.
Marko Devic's goal for Ukraine was just as clear, and John Terry's clearance after it had crossed the line should have been easier to spot. UEFA, led by legendary French midfielder (and anti-technology crusader) Michel Platini, is experimenting with goal judges in this European Championship. Their sole job is to decide if the ball has crossed the line. The goal judge in Donetsk was next to the net staring at the play, and he didn't get it right.
As Michael Ballack noted on ESPN's coverage of the Euros, it's not his fault. Everything's happening so fast, the eyes can't discern exactly where what is at any given moment. ESPN used stop-action video to prove Devic's goal should have counted.
FIFA on July 5 will decide if Platini's alternative or either of two systems, both using technology, at use in England and Denmark should be approved for widespread use. The past week calls for at least one of them to get the nod, and the UEFA boss' chances aren't good.
Here are this week's power rankings:
1. REAL SALT LAKE (10-3-2, 32 points), Last Week: 1
Week 15: Fabian Espindola strikes twice in impressive 3-0 triumph at Chivas USA.
Latest: Javier Morales ready to return to the starting lineup.
Should-be All-Star: Espindola has been unstoppable.
Next: Wednesday vs. Galaxy, 6 p.m. (KDOC/Channel 56 and KWHY/Channel 22); Saturday vs. San Jose, 6 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick).
2. SPORTING KANSAS CITY (9-3-1, 28 points), LW: 3
Week 15: C.J. Sapong, Julio Cesar hit the net in 2-0 win over Toronto FC.
Latest: Peter Vermes reveals K.C. has tried to acquire Giovani Dos Santos “a couple times, but there's always been little problems here or there,” mostly money talk with Tottenham. The Mexico star says he wants to stay in Europe.
Should-be All-Star: Aurelien Collin has been splendid at the back.
Next: Wednesday at Seattle, 7 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Saturday at Philadelphia, 4 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Tuesday in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal vs. Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro), 5:30 p.m.
3. SAN JOSE EARTHQUAKES (8-3-3, 27 points), LW: 4
Week 15: Idle.
Latest: When will the Quakes' new stadium open? Could be 2013 or 2014 -- still lots of uncertainty.
Should-be All-Star: Chris Wondolowski, of course.
Next: Wednesday at Colorado, 6:30 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Saturday at Real Salt Lake, 6 p.m. (MLS Direct Kick); Tuesday in a U.S. Open Cup quarterfinal vs. Seattle, 7:30 p.m.
May, 25, 2012
By Scott French | ESPNLosAngeles.com
David Beckham knows where he'll be spending part of the Galaxy's two-week break for FIFA's fixture dates: back at home, collecting a major honor.
Beckham will be at Wembley Stadium a week from Saturday for England's Euro 2012 tuneup against Belgium, and he'll be one of five players fêted for making 100 senior appearances for the English national team, the Football Association announced Friday.
Beckham has won 115 caps for England, most among field players and second all-time to goalkeeper Peter Shilton (125), who also will be on hand. Beckham remains available for the English, but, at 37, it is unlikely he will make another appearance. He is hoping for an over-age spot on the unified Great Britain Olympic team this summer.
Legend Bobby Charlton (106) also will be on hand, as well as the widow of 1966 World Cup-winning captain Bobby Moore and the daughter of Billy Wright (105), who played from the 1940s into the 1960s.
All five will receive a medal and commemorative cap during a halftime ceremony.
The Galaxy plays Saturday at Houston, then has the next two weekends off from Major League Soccer duty during FIFA's first international window after the close of the European season. L.A. has a U.S. Open Cup match Tuesday at Carolina RailHawks and, if they advance, a week later at Home Depot Center against Chivas USA or the Ventura County Fusion. The club also plays an MLS Reserve League game June 2 at Portland.