Los Angeles Soccer: Oxnard College
The Colorado Rapids opened the Southern California portion of its preseason camp Sunday in Oxnard with a 0-0 draw against the Ventura County Fusion.Quincy Amarikwa came closest to scoring, putting a 27th-minute header over the crossbar, in a sloppy first encounter under new coach Oscar Pareja at Oxnard College. The Rapids have three more games in California, Tuesday against Chivas USA at Home Depot Center and Friday night and Saturday afternoon against San Jose at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo.
Pareja used a largely reserve lineup in both halves. Veterans Tyrone Marshall, Hunter Freeman and Wells Thompson were in the starting XI, and Drew Moor and Marvell Wynne saw time in the second half.
The Fusion hasn't surrendered a goal in 2½ hours against Major League Soccer opposition. The Premier Development League powerhouse beat Chivas USA, 1-0, on Jan. 27 at Oxnard College.
Mt. San Antonio College will again have a chance to defend its state championship, but getting there took longer than expected.
The Mounties (20-0-3), winners of the past two state community college men's soccer champions, needed 5½ hours Saturday to pull out a 2-0 triumph over visiting Oxnard (15-2-6) in a Southern California Regional final and claim a spot in their fifth straight California final four.
The game, which began at 2 p.m., was delayed for nearly four hours after a nearby gas leak forced an evacuation on the Mt. SAC campus in Walnut.
Javier Castro (Pomona/International Poly HS) scored early for Mt. SAC, the nation's No. 1-ranked non-scholarship JC team, and Luis Fuentes (Baldwin Park/Sierra Vista HS) netted his 19th of the season after the break.
The game was halted in the 38th minute, with Mt. SAC ahead, 1-0, when a Mt. SAC equipment manager accidentally drove a campus cart into an “old gas tank” adjacent to the soccer field, Mounties coach Juan Sanchez said. The area was cleared, the gas company summoned, the torn line repaired, and play started anew at about 6:15. The game ended a little before 7:30.
“It was one of those weird games,” Sanchez said. “They were all over us just before it happened -- they had just hit the post and were attacking us. ... We wanted to finish it [Saturday], because if we had to play later, we'd have to start over, and we would have lost our advantage.”
Mt. SAC will face City College of San Francisco (19-4-2), a 3-0 winner at Los Altos Hills-based Foothill, in a state semifinal Friday afternoon at Cosumnes River College in Sacramento.
In other men's action:
- Duran Stanley and Rodrigo Perez scored overtime goals to lift Santa Barbara City College (18-1-4) to a 2-0 victory over visiting Golden West (13-6-4), from Huntington Beach. The Vaqueros will face Hartnell (18-2-3), from Salinas, in Friday's semifinals.
CYPRESS -- Michelle Mendez came off the bench at the end of overtime and made two saves in the penalty-kick shootout to lead Cypress College back to the state final four after a four-year absence.
No. 1 Cerritos College and No. 2 Santa Barbara City College were upset in the first round of the state community college women's soccer playoffs.
On Tuesday, it was No. 3 Ventura's turn.
Another series of upsets has the Nos. 11 (Cypress), 15 (San Bernardino Valley) and 16 (Orange Coast) seeds playing Saturday for berths in the Dec. 2-4 state finals in Sacramento.
Jacqueline Lara (Buena Park/Valley Christian HS) scored a hat trick to lead Cypress (14-4-4) in a 4-0 rout of Ventura (18-4-0).
“This year's a weird year,” Ventura coach Steve Hoffman told the Ventura County Star. “I think you have to say Cypress is way better than their record says. I think they'll go to the state title game.”
The Chargers, who have won three state championships, the last seven years ago, will be home in one regional final against defending state champion San Bernardino Valley (14-5-4). The Wolverines won, 2-1, at College of the Canyons (14-4-3) as Mariela Ortega (Desert Hot Springs/Desert Hot Springs HS) and Milan Galloway (Rialto/Carter HS) scored in the first six minutes of the second half.
The other semifinal will match Cypress' Orange Empire Conference rivals Santiago Canyon (20-1-1), from Orange, and Orange Coast (14-4-4), from Costa Mesa. Santiago Canyon won the first meeting, 3-1; the second was a 1-1 tie.
The Ventura County Fusion, preparing for the USL Premier Development League playoffs, have added another friendly against foreign opposition, this one on very short notice.
The Fusion will take on New Zealand's under-20 national team Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. at Oxnard College. Admission is free. The game will be officially announced Tuesday.
The Kiwis -- or Junior All Whites, as they're officially known -- are training for the next week in Oxnard to prepare for the upcoming FIFA U-20 World Cup in Colombia. New Zealand, which opens July 30 against Cameroon, includes two players from last year's unbeaten World Cup side in South Africa: midfielder Marco Rojas and striker Chris Wood.
Wood plays for English Premier League club West Bromwich Albion, which beat the Fusion, 4-2, in a friendly Sunday. V.C. also has a game Friday at 6 p.m. against Argentina's Independiente at Oxnard College.
The Ventura County Fusion are adding another friendly with a foreign club to their summer slate: Argentina's Club Atletico Independiente.
The Premier Development League club will take on the 106-year-old giant from south of Buenos Aires on July 22 at Oxnard College. A team official says the 6 p.m. game will be officially announced Tuesday.
The Fusion are taking on English Premier League side West Bromwich Albion on July 17 at Oxnard.
Independiente has won 14 Argentine top-tier championships and a record seven Copa Libertadores titles and captured last year's Copa Sudamericana, South America's No. 2 club competition. They finished sixth in the just-finished Primera Division Clausura after a last-place showing in the fall Clausura.
The Diablos Rojos will train at Oxnard College from July 17 to 24, then play July 27 at the Portland Timbers.
Independiente's top players include forward Facundo Parra, goalkeeper Hilario Navarro, burgeoning Argentine national team defender Julian Velazquez and Colombian defender Ivan Velez.
The Ventura County Fusion, who have made games against English opposition a summer tradition, will face West Bromwich Albion on July 17 at Oxnard College, a team source said. A mid-afternoon kickoff is expected.
The Fusion, which is home Tuesday against the L.A. Blues in a U.S. Open Cup second-round clash, have staged friendlies in 2007 against Everton (4-0 loss), 2009 vs. Burnley (5-0 loss) and Portsmouth last year (2-1 loss).
West Brom has not yet announced the game, but their West Coast tour already includes stops July 12 against the San Jose Earthquakes and July 20 against the Portland Timbers.
The Baggies finished 11th in the Premier League last season with a 12-11-15 record. They'll open the next EPL season Aug. 13 at home against reigning champion Manchester United, then play at second-place Chelsea in week two.
West Brom's most prominent players are Russian-Nigerian winger Peter Odemwingie, Northern Irish midfielder Chris Brunt and English goalkeeper Scott Carson.
Man City plays the Galaxy on July 24 at Home Depot Center.
The Fusion, playing its third Major League Soccer opponent this month, and D.C. will meet Sunday at 10:30 a.m. at Oxnard College. The game initially was to be played Saturday afternoon.
U.S. national team forward Charlie Davies, who has joined D.C. on loan in an effort to restore his career following a deadly car accident 16 months ago, is expected to play, and so is Pat Onstad, D.C.'s goalkeeper coach, who last week ended a four-month retirement after likely starter Steve Cronin suffered a broken wrist that could sideline him up to 10 weeks.
D.C. on Friday reacquired Brazilian midfielder Fred from New England for a second-round selection in the 2013 draft. The winger, who played for D.C. in 2007-09 and with Philadelphia last year, joins his brother, trialist Junior Carreiro, in the club's camp.
D.C. takes on the Fusion on Saturday afternoon (3:30) at Oxnard College, meets UC Santa Barbara in the Gauchos' Harder Stadium on Thursday night (7), and scrimmages Chivas USA at an undetermined Home Depot Center field on Feb. 25.
Here's a quick look at D.C. United:
WHO ARE THEY?
MLS's most decorated club, with four MLS Cup titles (1996, 1997, 1999, 2004) and one of the league's two CONCACAF Champions' Cup titles (1998; the Galaxy captured the other, in 2000), provided the league its first dynasty, reaching the first four title games (the first three under Bruce Arena) with three championships in that span. The club's heroes: Bolivians Jaime Moreno and Marco Etcheverry, Eddie Pope and, of course, Ben Olsen, who followed a revered career in D.C. by taking charge of the club late in last year's horrendous campaign. United went 6-20-4, the league's worst mark, after winning only three of its first 20 games. Injuries were an issue, but so was a roster light on talent and depth, and Olsen stepped in after Curt Onalfo's ouster in August. (Onalfo has since joined Arena's Galaxy staff.)
THE MAN IN CHARGE
Olsen is one of the most respected and beloved figures in American soccer, bright and funny, a real leader, with World Cup (in 2006) ability. The midfielder, who spent nearly his entire post-collegiate career with D.C. (there was a brief loan to England's Nottingham Forest) won MLS's Rookie of the Year in 1998 as a speedy winger with a sure attacking sense, but ankle injuries slowed his pace, and he transitioned into a tough, savvy central midfielder and was an MLS Best XI selection in 2007. His ankle problems forced his retirement after the 2009 season.
The former University of Virginia star -- Arena recruited him to Charlottesville -- made a positive impact for D.C. after taking charge as interim coach on Aug. 4, and the club played its best soccer down the stretch. After club president/CEO Kevin Payne (brother of Galaxy president of business operations Tom Payne) declared late in the season that Olsen would not be considered for the full-time post, he accepted the job in late November.
“Benny’s installed this no-nonsense mentality. Things are going to get done his way, and if anyone has a problem with that, they’re not going to be around,” forward Chris Pontius told MLS's website. “Everyone’s bought into it.”
THE STAR PLAYER
Charlie Davies changes things, but we still like Andy Najar, the reigning MLS Rookie of the Year and one of the most electric players in the league. The Honduran-born winger, who moved to Virginia and joined D.C. United's academy when he was 13, is still a teen -- he's 17 for another month -- and he's got two nation's soccer fans on edge as he mulls his international future.
The Fusion, who play in the fourth-tier USL Premier Development League, will face the Portland Timbers on Feb. 4 (7 p.m.) at Ventura College and D.C. United on Feb. 19 (3:30 p.m.) at Oxnard College.
Advance tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for youth and available at the Fusion's website. Tickets at the gate will be $12 and $6.
The Timbers, one of two expansion clubs joining MLS this season, will hold a weeklong camp beginning Feb. 1 and D.C. United will train Feb. 16 to 25 at Oxnard College.
The JC state women's championship has gone to Santiago Canyon or Cerritos the past three years, so it's not so far-fetched to consider the winner of Tuesday's showdown the favorite for this crown.
The rankings say otherwise -- L.A. Pierce, the top seed, could await the winner -- but we're going with history.
Fifth-seeded Santiago Canyon (19-1-1) opened defense of its state title over the weekend with a 2-0 victory over Chaffey as Dyanne Anderson (San Clemente/Dana Hills HS) scored on goal and set up another. The Hawks were ranked No. 1 nationally from preseason until a Nov. 9 loss to Cypress (18-1-3).
Sixth seed Cypress' only loss this season was, yes, to Santiago Canyon.
Fourth-seeded Cerritos (19-1-2), which routed East L.A., 6-0, in its Southern California Regional opener as Tiffany Schultz (Santa Ana/Mater Dei HS) scored twice and assisted a third goal, will be home for Tuesday's regional semifinal. The Falcons won the state titles in 2007 and 2008, but they lost last year to Santiago Canyon at this stage.
Other first-round heroes:
- Fredy Razo (Lake Forest/El Toro HS) scored his 26th goal of the season, an overtime strike, to carry Irvine Valley's men past East L.A., 2-0.
- Jesus Landeros (Oxnard/Channel Islands HS) converted a penalty kick in overtime to lead Oxnard's men to a 3-2 win at L.A. Harbor.
- Taylor Steele (Camarillo/St. Bonaventure HS) scored on a penalty in stoppage to give Ventura a 2-1 triumph over San Diego Mesa.
- Chadd Johnson (Brea/Brea Olinda HS) tallied in the 90th minute as Cerritos' men edged Chaffey, 1-0.
- Andres Bueno (Santa Clarita/Golden Valley HS) had a goal and assist in College of the Canyons' 3-0 men's romp over Palomar.
- SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA REGIONALS
Saturday's results (home teams listed first)
L.A. Harbor (Harbor City) 2, Oxnard (Oxnard) 3, OT
Santa Barbara City (Santa Barbara) 3, Allan Hancock (Santa Maria) 2
San Diego City (San Diego) 2, Rio Hondo (Whittier) 1
Cerritos (Norwalk) 1, Chaffey (Rancho Cucamonga) 0
College of the Canyons (Santa Clarita) 3, Palomar (San Marcos) 0
Irvine Valley (Irvine) 2, East L.A. (Monterey Park) 1, OT
L.A. Pierce (Woodland Hills) 1, Long Beach City (Long Beach) 0
Santa Monica (Santa Monica) 0, El Camino (Torrance) 1
Santiago Canyon (Orange) 2, Chaffey (Rancho Cucamonga) 0
Cerritos (Norwalk) 6, East L.A. (Monterey Park) 0
San Bernardino Valley (San Bernardino) 3, Bakersfield (Bakersfield) 1
Cypress (Cypress) 4, Miramar (San Diego) 2
Santa Barbara City (Santa Barbara) 7, Moorpark (Moorpark) 1
Ventura (Ventura) 2, San Diego Mesa (San Diego) 1
Oxnard (13-4-5) at Mt. San Antonio (Walnut, 15-1-4), 4 p.m.
Santa Barbara City (16-2-3) at San Diego City (17-2-3), 2 p.m.
College of the Canyons (14-5-2) at Cerritos (11-2-9), 11 a.m.
Irvine Valley (15-4-2) at Santa Ana (Santa Ana, 14-3-4), 2 p.m.
El Camino (13-6-3) at L.A. Pierce (20-0-2), 2 p.m.
Santiago Canyon (19-1-1) at Cerritos (19-1-2), 2 p.m.
Cypress (18-1-3) at San Bernardino Valley (17-1-3), 2 p.m.
Santa Barbara (16-3-2) at Ventura (16-3-2), 5:30 p.m.
The state junior college brackets are out, and here's a group of death for you: L.A. Pierce (19-0-2), Cerritos (18-1-2) and Santiago Canyon (18-1-1). They're competing for one slot at the Dec. 3-5 final four at College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita.
Pierce, from Woodland Hills, is the top women's seed in the Southern California. Cerritos, the No. 4 seed from Norwalk, won state titles in 2007 and 2008.
Defending state champ Santiago Canyon, from Orange, has been No. 1 in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America Division III (non-scholarship) poll since preseason, but a loss Nov. 9 to sixth-seeded Cypress (17-1-3) knocked it down to a fifth seed.
Second-seeded Ventura (15-3-2) and third-seeded San Bernardino Valley (16-1-3) join Cypress in the other So Cal bracket. Two teams from the South and two from NorCal advance to the final four. First round games are Saturday.
In the So Cal men's brackets, top-seeded Mt. San Antonio (15-1-4), from Walnut, and second-seeded Santa Ana (14-3-4) have first-round byes.