Los Angeles Soccer: Kelyn Rowe
FC Dallas, Columbus Crew and Chicago Fire also were beaten, and the New England Revolution were beaten on penalties.
Cal State Fullerton alum Kevin Venegas (Lakewood/Los Alamitos HS) scored for the NASL's Minnesota Stars in a 3-1 victory at RSL, which got its goal from Luis Gil (Garden Grove/Santiago HS). Fellow rookie Sam Garza, from UC Santa Barbara, tallied twice in the second half as the San Jose Earthquakes avoided defeat, rallying for a 2-1 win over the NASL's Fort Lauderdale Strikers. Former Chivas USA defender Heath Pearce tallied in New York's win, and UCLA products Kelyn Rowe and Benny Feilhaber (Irvine/Northwood HS) tallied for New England, which let a three-goal lead slip away in overtime.
Two games remain Wednesday, including Thousand Oaks-based amateurs Cal FC's showdown against the Timbers in Portland.
Here's a full scorelist and next week's schedule:
Tuesday's results (home teams listed first)
Ventura County Fusion (PDL) 0, Chivas USA (MLS) 1
Carolina RailHawks (NASL) 2, Galaxy (MLS) 1
San Jose Earthquakes (MLS) 2, Fort Lauderdale Strikers (NASL) 0
Real Salt Lake (MLS) 1, Minnesota Stars (NASL) 3
San Antonio Scorpions (NASL) 1, Houston Dynamo (MLS) 0
FC Dallas (MLS) 0, Charlotte Eagles (USL Pro) 2
Charleston Battery (USL Pro) 0, New York Red Bulls (MLS) 3
Harrisburg City Islanders (USL Pro) 3, New England Revolution (MLS) 3, OT (Harrisburg advances on penalties, 4-3)
Philadelphia Union (MLS) 3, Rochester Rhinos (USL Pro) 0
Richmond Kickers (USL Pro) 1, D.C. United (MLS) 2, OT
Columbus Crew (MLS) 1, Dayton Dutch Lions (USL Pro) 2
Michigan Bucks (PDL) 3, Chicago Fire (MLS) 2, OT
Tampa Bay Rowdies (NASL) 1, Colorado Rapids (MLS) 3
Sporting Kansas City (MLS) 3, Orlando City SC (USL Pro) 2
CARSON -- The best news the Galaxy could hope for cropped up Sunday afternoon on Twitter.
“Great news!!!” defender Omar Gonzalez tweeted. “Rehab has been going so well that they moved up my return date: May 1st! #omarscomin' #ballin'”
Remember what day it is.
The Galaxy wishes Gonzalez could come back, good as new, a month from now, but it will likely be late summer at the soonest that the big center back, rehabilitating a torn anterior cruciate ligament, again steps onto the field.
Until then, who knows what happens. Gonzalez's tweet was a cruel joke: L.A. is in crisis without Major League Soccer's reigning Defender of the Year, as Saturday night's 3-1 loss to the New England Revolution so graphically illustrated.
The Galaxy won the Supporters' Shield and MLS Cup titles last year for several reasons, but the biggest was how well they defended all over the field. They've shown little ability to do so without Gonzalez, bleeding goals during preseason and conceding 11 already in five competitive matches. L.A. needed 11 games to surrender 11 last year, and four of those came in the debacle at Real Salt Lake.
“What's different is that we're not scoring and we're not keeping the ball out of our nets,” said center back A.J. DeLaGarza, whose failure to deal with Kelyn Rowe on New England's 10th-minute opener started the Galaxy toward their third loss in four Home Depot Center matches this year. “On both sides of the ball, we’re not clicking. They had three crosses and they had three goals, so that’s unacceptable and is something that we’ve been working on in practice over the last two weeks, 'cause we know we haven’t done well in the first 3-4 games. But today, it didn’t pay off.”
The Galaxy was utterly, curiously listless against the Revs, showing none of the spirit and little of the advertised advances they've made in their game in the two weeks since their lone victory in five games, over D.C. United. The interim was supposed to correct the problems exploited by Toronto FC in the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinal and by Real Salt Lake in the MLS opener.
“Two weeks off, 10 days off, six weeks -- it doesn't really matter,” said forward Robbie Keane, the Galaxy's captain in Landon Donovan's absence (because of a quadriceps strain). “Regardless of two weeks. If you have two weeks off or three days off or two days off, we shouldn't be conceding goals the way we've been conceding them. We have to rectify that, and we have to rectify that very, very quickly, because the goals we've been conceding are very, very similar to previous games.”
CARSON -- The Galaxy's second shot at a decent start was far worse than the first one, some 3½ weeks ago. After a two-week break in which, the storyline goes, they worked out the kinks that capsized them against Toronto FC and Real Salt Lake, L.A. came out with a real stinker of a show.
New England scored two goals in the first 13 minutes and added a third midway through the second half, easily dismissing the Galaxy, 3-1, on a rainy night at Home Depot Center.
The defensive problems that have plagued L.A. (1-2-0) since the start of preseason have not improved -- both early goals were product of horrendous marking -- and the lack of spark in the Galaxy's game, at least until the second half, set standards the team does not want to repeat.
“I think you always have to be careful about not labeling things that clearly off of one game,” head coach Bruce Arena said. “I think our second half [had] a lot more spirit and determination than there was in the first half. The first half was poor. Some bad communication in the early going, and it cost us a couple of goals. We were never sharp on any play in the first half. Sloppy in every aspect of the game on both sides of the ball.”
The Galaxy was overrun in midfield and at the back, and goals three minutes apart by rookie Kelyn Rowe, a former UCLA All-American, and Chris Tierney more or less settled things by the 13th minute.
New England got behind L.A.'s defense three times in the first nine minutes, then struck in the 10th, when Rowe drifted behind A.J. DeLaGarza and Todd Dunivant to volley a cross from Shalrie Joseph, then volley the rebound after goalkeeper Josh Saunders parried the first strike.
Tierney made it 2-0 in the 13th, beating Paolo Cardozo to a ball from Kevin Alston, who played a give-and-go with Joseph to penetrate from the right channel.
“We did the exact same thing we've been doing the first three games, conceding sloppy goals,” complained striker Robbie Keane, who wore the captain's armband in Landon Donovan's absence because of a quadriceps strain. “Every goal we've conceded so far has been very, very similar. It's stuff you do when you're a kid defending. We didn't do it properly tonight. We have only ourselves to blame. We can't point the finger at anyone else but ourselves. [We need] everyone to pick their heads up and be a man and get on with it.”
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):
Red cards, seven minutes apart, decided this one, with Beckham's service tearing apart a Real Salt Lake side that was down a man in the 69th, down two in the 76th and didn't surrender a goal until the 80th.
Paolo Cardozo scored on an 80th-minute chip, one of the more embarrassing moments of RSL goalkeeper Nick Rimando's career, and Mike Magee exquisitely volleyed home a Beckham delivery six minutes later in a 2-0 triumph in Tucson.
Rookie Kelyn Rowe, from UCLA, scored twice to lift New England past New York, 2-0, in the second game of the doubleheader. Rowe has four goals and four assists in five preseason games. The Galaxy faces New York on Wednesday, and a victory -- and perhaps a draw -- will send them to the tournament final next Saturday.
Beckham came on in the 66th minute, and a Galaxy attack that had sputtered much of the night suddenly found a rhythm, with Beckham's long balls opening space in front of the Utahns' goal.
Beckham's importance to the Galaxy can't be minimized, but RSL isn't the same team with just nine men. Ned Grabavoy, whose pro career started with the Galaxy, was sent off in the 69th minute -- a harsh decision -- after spilling Marcelo Sarvas with a tackle. Yordany Alvarez was gone after his second yellow card in the 76th.
Cardozo struck four minutes later, chipping over a crowded box with a shot that should have been a simple catch for Rimando, a U.S. national-teamer from Montclair (and UCLA). Instead, it slipped through his hands and into the net.
Magee's goal, his second in as many Desert Diamond Cup matches, was of far greater quality.
That was the most noteworthy accomplishment for L.A. in their first game in Tucson, a 3-2 loss to New England in which that big hole at the back was exposed twice -- and mightily so.
The Revolution scored twice in the air in the middle of the Galaxy box, watched the Galaxy rally from deficits both times, then snatched victory when Jeremiah White caught the backline on its back foot with 16 minutes to go.
The Galaxy had some fine moments, most, it seemed, courtesy of Beckham's glorious right foot. His distribution ranged from just off to, more often than not, letter-perfect, and it led to one goal by Edson Buddle -- his first since returning from Germany -- and should have produced another.
Mike Magee also scored for L.A., and Juninho looked right at home after coming on at halftime, his first appearance this preseason.
The primary problem was at the back, where Omar Gonzalez's absence has left the Galaxy without their defensive leader and chief warrior in the air. A.J. DeLaGarza is a fine companion, but he's 5 feet 9 and isn't about to dominate in an aerial game.
The New England Revolution thought so much of Kelyn Rowe, they thought they'd won the SuperDraft when they snagged him with the No. 3 overall selection earlier this month.
Maybe they did.
Rowe, who signed a Generation adidas contract with MLS after his sophomore season at UCLA, enjoyed a sensational debut in the Revs' preseason opener Saturday night in Casa Grande, Ariz. His cross set up Sainey Nyassi's 38th-minute goal to start a 2-1 victory over Premier Development League side FC Tucson.
Rowe's service from the flank was outstanding all game, and the opportunity to play -- in two 35-minute periods that opened the 115-minute game -- provided a real introduction to the MLS game.
“It was definitely hard,” Rowe, who started the match, told the league's website. “We’re playing with a bunch of new guys, we haven’t played together that much, this is the first time the starting lineup played together. So the first 35, we just kind of got used to each other, found spacing in between, and you saw it work together in the second half. I’ve been working on my crossing, and definitely it’s been something I’ve showed that I can do well here.”
CARSON -- Chandler Hoffman had heard the buzz, how his superb performance at Major League Soccer's pre-draft combine in Florida -- on top of his 18-goal, All-America showing for NCAA semifinalist UCLA -- had vaulted him into the top five, maybe the top three in the MLS SuperDraft.
So when Commissioner Don Garber began announcing the New England Revolution's selection with the third pick Thursday morning at the Kansas City Convention Center -- first noting the player was a Generation adidas signing from UCLA -- Hoffman got excited.
For a second or two.
It was Bruins teammate Kelyn Rowe the Revolution grabbed at No. 3, and Chandler sat down to wait. And wait. And wait.
By the time the striker from Birmingham, Ala., finally heard his name, he first round was two-thirds through and the Philadelphia Union, choosing 13th, was giddy.
“Pretty surprising. But good for us, right?” Union assistant coach John Hackworth told the league's website. “We get one of the best young attacking players in he country, someone that's proven to put the ball into the back of the net. There's nothing more valuable in all of soccer.”
Hoffman's slide down he draft table was one of the big stories out of the headlining festivities at the National Soccer Coaches Association of America's annual convention, but not the only one involving local players.
There was Rowe, an attacking midfielder from Federal Way, Wash., whom New England coach Jay Heaps described during ESPN2's draft coverage as “a really critical player to our team.”
And there were UC Santa Barbara standouts Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS), who went to Toronto FC with the fourth overall selection, and Texan Sam Garza, taken by San Jose at No. 6.
Plus UC Irvine's Miguel Ibarra, a quartet of UCLA players, English midfielder Andy Rose most prominent among them, and several other hopefuls from local schools who now turn their attention to Tuesday's four-round supplemental draft.
The New England Revolution took UCLA midfielder Kelyn Rowe with their first pick (third overall) in the MLS SuperDraft.
Chivas USA got its man, the Galaxy bolstered its ailing backline, and UCLA's Kelyn Rowe was the No. 3 overall selection in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft.
Chandler Hoffman surprisingly slipped into the teens and two UC Santa Barbara products were taken with the first six picks and Major League Soccer's most visible -- but not necessarily most productive -- player-acquisition mechanism unfolded in Kansas City.
The Goats took Maryland's Casey Townsend, the best senior forward in the draft, with the No. 5 selection, and the Galaxy, reeling from Omar Gonzalez's knee injury, used its pick at the end first round pick on big Indiana central defender Tommy Meyer, who has U-17 World Cup experience.
Rowe went early to New England, but teammate Hoffman fell to 13th, where Philadelphia added to its collection of UCLA alums.
Two UC Santa Barbara products were taken in the top six, with midfielder Luis Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS) going to Toronto FC with the fourth pick and forward/midfielder Sam Garza taken by San Jose at No. 6.
Townsend, a first-team All-American who scored 17 goals as a senior and 43 in four seasons at Maryland, said he was hoping to join Chivas after talking to head coach Robin Fraser at the MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
“It was very exciting, very nerve-racking,” Townsend, MVP of the combine, told ESPN Los Angeles. “I was really hoping to go to Chivas. I had a great sit-down meeting with them. They were my gut feeling, and I was really excited to hear them call my name.”
The Galaxy's plan was to take the best player available, and it turned out to be a center back, a position of need following MLS Defender of the Year Gonzalez's torn ACL last week on the first day of a loan to FC Nuremberg.
Meyer started 79 games in four seasons at Indiana, which, like Maryland, is a longtime national powerhouse. He credited Hoosiers head coach Todd Yeagley and assistant Brian Maisonneuve -- former IU stars who played in MLS; Maisonneuve was on the 1998 U.S. World Cup team -- with furthering his development.
“They really pushed me, especially this year, to take the next step and, hopefully, be ready for MLS,” Meyer said.
The Galaxy selected Louisville defensive midfielder Kenney Walker, a technically gifted player who impressed at the combine, with the 38th pick to end the SuperDraft.
CARSON -- The best attacking midfielder available in Thursday's MLS SuperDraft might be Kelyn Rowe, a UCLA sophomore expected to go early in the first round.
He's deadly with the ball at his feet, the kind of player who can destroy opposing defenses on the dribble, with the pass or with spectacular goals.
Rowe, 20, from Federal Way, Wash., would have been one of the best players available a year ago, and he might have been -- turning pro certainly was in his thoughts following an All-America campaign his freshman year in Westwood. Instead he stuck around for another term, one that wasn't quite so glorious, and grew in ways that will enhance his game at the next level.
“It was a tough decision for me [to return for my sophomore year], but I think I'd make the same decision,” Rowe said Wednesday at Home Depot Center, where he's training with the U.S. under-23 national team. “You know, I could learn more [from one more year] in college. And I promised my parents I'd go back for a full year of school. ... I had some stuff to learn before I went pro.”
The lessons came fast and hard, as Rowe started the season slowly, struggling to acclimate to UCLA coach Jorge Salcedo's revamped system and with tendonitis in his right knee, then lost his starting job. It dawned on him things weren't quite as he thought.
“It was a tough year,” Rowe he concedes, “but I was able to play a different role. Instead of always going forward, I was able to keep the ball a little more. I learned that aspect. I also learned to come off the bench, which is something that I might have to do come pro time.
“It was definitely a good year for maturing. I saw a lot of stuff I hadn't seen before. I saw a lot of adversity that I had to overcome, and I think it was good for me.”
Rowe, who trained last May with his hometown Seattle Sounders, found his game during the season and was pivotal in the Bruins unbeaten run through their Pacific 12 Conference schedule and into the NCAA final four. He hit double digits in assists for the second straight year, won the Pac-12 player-of-the-year award and was a second-team All-West Region selection.
They're the big names, but hardly the only ones, among local players aiming for an opportunity with a Major League Soccer team. There are nearly two dozen players who grew up or went to school in Greater Los Angeles hoping to hear their names called in Kansas City.
Some of them, let's be honest, don't have a shot, not with just two rounds of picks -- 38 in all. Next week's supplemental draft will provide possibilities, and players will be looking to participate in team combines and in trials during preseason training.
Some might look abroad -- there are leagues everywhere on the planet -- and there are two professional minor leagues (NASL, USL Pro) and several pro clubs in the Premier Development League and its rival NPSL.
Here's a quick rundown of 22 players who might find a job in MLS, if the right situation develops:
Who goes third? Might be UCLA striker Chandler Hoffman, a Generation adidas player (like Mattocks and Wenger) whose rising stock grew with superb performances in his first two games at the MLS Player Combine, which wrapped up Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Hoffman, who scored 18 goals to lead the Bruins to the NCAA semifinals, scored an 80th-minute winner to lift adiPower to a 3-2 victory in Friday's combine opener -- moments after forcing a huge save on a breakaway -- and added the first goal in a 2-1 win Sunday.
AdiPower won the tournament with a 3-0-0 record, scoring nine goals behind Hoffman, Maryland forward Casey Townsend, Dartmouth forward Lucky Mkosana and attacking midfielders Kelyn Rowe of UCLA and Luis Silva of UC Santa Barbara.
“It's always good when the roster came out to see I had Kelyn and Luis and then Casey up top with me ...,” Hoffman said in a video posted on the Soccer By Ives blog. “It's made my job easy, just combining with them, playing simple and moving the ball.”
Hoffman, of course, has played the past two seasons with Rowe, a sophomore also expected to go early in the first round. And Silva (Los Angeles/Salesian HS), another first-round certainty, was Hoffman's summer teammate with USL Premier Development League side Orange County Blue Star.
The Alabaman and Townsend, who is considered the best senior forward (and, with Silva, the best senior) available in the draft, could have been teammates at Maryland -- and their connection at the combines suggests the Terrapins might have won a couple more NCAA titles had he not chosen UCLA.
“Sasho [Cirovski, Maryland's coach], when he was recruiting me, always talked about me and Casey playing together one day,” Hoffman told Major League Soccer's website. “Who knew it would be today?”
Galaxy midfielder Michael Stephens, Chivas USA defender Jorge Villafaña and departing UCLA star Kelyn Rowe are headed to Home Depot Center for a U.S. under-23 national team camp that begins Sunday.
The U-23s, preparing for Olympic qualifying in March, will train at HDC until Jan. 25, then head to Costa Rica for two matches against club teams. While in Carson, they will scrimmage twice against the full national team, which will be training Jan. 13-20 at HDC.
Stephens, an attacking midfielder who has played primarily on the flank for the Galaxy, is one of three UCLA products on U.S. coach Caleb Porter's 22-man roster, joining Rowe and Philadelphia Union midfielder Amobi Okugo.
Villafaña (Anaheim/Anaheim HS), formerly Jorge Flores, is a fifth-year midfielder/defender, primarily on the left wing, for Chivas.
Rowe, the Pacific 12 Conference Player of the Year in 2011, is readying for Thursday's Major League Soccer draft. He signed a Generation adidas contract following his sophomore season with the Bruins and is expected to go early in the first round. He is at the MLS Player Combine in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., but is scheduled to fly to California on Monday.
Others with local ties in camp are defender Zarek Valentin, who went from Chivas to Montreal in November's MLS expansion draft, Los Angeles-born midfielder Joe Corona from Club Tijuana and Calexico's Isaac Acuña, a Club America midfielder on loan to second-tier Merida.
UCLA has lost a second underclassmen to Major League Soccer, but it wasn't like it was unexpected. Kelyn Rowe, who looked seriously at turning pro following his freshman season a year ago, is the league's fifth Generation adidas signing.
Rowe, the Pacific 12 Conference's Player of the Year, joins All-American forward Chandler Hoffman in MLS's developmental program and could be a top-three selection in the Jan. 12 MLS SuperDraft.
Rowe, 20, an attacking midfielder from Federal Way, Wash., has extensive youth national team experience and is in the U.S. under-23 group preparing for Olympic qualifiers early next spring. He was a third-team All-American as a freshman and amassed 13 goals and 20 assists in two seasons in Westwood. He was the first attacker off the bench as the Bruins marched into the NCAA College Cup final four earlier this month.
“It’s every kid’s dream to be a professional soccer player, and I’m definitely in that boat,” Rowe told MLS's website. “It’s a dream come true, so it’s a little surreal right now, hasn’t quite hit me. I think it will once preseason starts.”
He said the opportunity to play against the Galaxy and Chivas USA during his time at UCLA offered a glimpse of what could be.
“We got a little taste what it’s like to play at the next level,” Rowe said. “But it’s going to be hard. It’s never easy. The pace of the game is that much faster, the physicality is there, you’re playing against guys who have been playing for years at that level.”
Rowe and Hoffman had been expected to sign GA pacts, which include funds to complete their degrees and opportunities, because of the program's roster rules, that aren't available to college seniors. GA players do not count against their clubs' roster sizes nor salary caps.