Los Angeles Soccer: Soccer

PREPS: Aliso Niguel girls win title

March, 11, 2012

Aliso Niguel soccerBlair Angulo/For ESPNLA.comThe Aliso Niguel girls' soccer team celebrates its dramatic 3-2 win over Los Osos on Saturday.

DOWNEY -- The battle to determine the nation’s top girls’ soccer team lived up to its billing and, in the end, it was Aliso Niguel beating Los Osos of Rancho Cucamonga, 3-2, Saturday afternoon in the Southern California Regionals Girls Division I championship at Justice Stadium on the campus of Warren High School.

Freshman Lauren Miller had the game-winner in the 66th minute, capping a furious rally that stunned the nation’s top-ranked squad, according to ESPNHS.

“I didn’t bat an eye,” Aliso Niguel co-head coach Randy Dodge said of his team’s three-goal flurry early in the second half. “Without a doubt now, we’re the national champions for the Winter season.”

Aliso Niguel (22-1-5), which avenged its only loss in the CIF-Southern Section final, initially struggled to build rhythm, getting flagged for offsides four times in the first 10 minutes. And despite falling behind 2-0, the Wolverines never really lost control of the match.

Lindsay Doyle cut the deficit in half in the 56th minute before netting the equalizer four minutes later.

“That first goal just got us back in it,” Doyle said.

Los Osos forward Ifeoma Onumonu reached the 30-goal plateau. She struck in the 24th minute thanks to a fortunate bounce, taking advantage of failed clearance. The ball deflected off teammate Sydney Johnson, and Oregon State-bound keeper Sammy Jo Prudhomme tried leaving the box but Onumonu wasted no time, depositing a bullet shot into the lower right corner from 20 yards out.

Onumonu scored again six minutes into the second half, cleaning up a giveaway inside the box. Los Osos (25-1-3) nearly made it 3-0 a few minutes later but Prudhomme was heroic with a diving save in a one-on-one situation.

Then the tide shifted.

“Our team has a tendency to come back,” Prudhomme said. “We created chances to win it. I think my save got us a little excited.”

Galaxy: Anything less than the MLS Cup won't do

March, 14, 2011

Juan Pablo Angel
Victor Decolongon/Getty ImagesNew Galaxy striker Juan Pablo Angel netted 61 goals in four seasons with the Red Bulls.

CARSON, Calif. -- Anything less than the MLS Cup championship isn’t going to be enough for the Los Angeles Galaxy this season, and that’s a sentiment they embrace.

After reaching Major League Soccer’s title game in 2009 and falling one game short last year after winning the regular-season championship, the Galaxy have retooled their attack and upgraded their overall talent and depth.

If that isn’t enough, they might just put their faith in fate. Consider:

  • It’s the final year of David Beckham’s contract in L.A., and what better way to cap his controversial but lucrative five-year tenure than with the trophy that most matters.
  • L.A. already had the league’s biggest star (Beckham) and best player (Landon Donovan). Now it has the deadliest striker (Juan Pablo Angel), too.
  • The championship game, it appears, will be played at Home Depot Center. Nothing like a home game (and a home crowd) for the biggest bash of the year.

We won’t know until November whether all that can prod them past fellow title contenders Real Salt Lake and New York Red Bulls or hold off some unexpected run, like those RSL and the Colorado Rapids took to titles the last two seasons. But the Galaxy, who open MLS’s 16th season Tuesday night at Seattle, like their chances.

“[We have] the best balance that I’ve ever seen, certainly on this team and maybe in any team I've seen in MLS, from [players] 1 to 25,” said Donovan, L.A.’s captain. “We're going to have a lot of players who aren’t playing every week that would start on most teams. We’re going to have a lot of guys who won’t make the 18[-player game roster] that might start on certain teams. … That makes us very good.”

Added newcomer Frankie Hejduk: “Our team’s just awesome, to be honest. I can’t wait.”

Head coach/general manager Bruce Arena and his staff transformed the roster during the offseason, getting younger, quicker, deeper and, up top, much more multifaceted.

The big acquisition, required when top scorer Edson Buddle (18 goals, second in MVP balloting) bolted for German second-division side FC Ingolstadt, is Angel. The Colombian striker netted 61 goals in four seasons with the Red Bulls after scoring regularly at home (with Atletico Nacional), in Argentina (with River Plate) and in England (with Aston Villa), and he’ll be expected to find the net consistently in L.A.

Arena also traded for former UCLA star Chad Barrett, who scored seven goals in an injury-slowed campaign last year with Toronto FC, and Adam Cristman, a big forward who also has endured injuries.

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CHIVAS USA: Hopeless in Seattle

October, 15, 2010

Friday night’s 2-1 loss at Seattle was a lot like other Chivas USA defeats this year, only more emphatic.

The atmosphere -- more than 36,000 standing, singing, chanting fans, all with Sounders scarves; it’s just like England -- had something to do with that, but the contrast between the clubs and their fortunes couldn’t be more pronounced.

The Goats, even when fully healthy, don’t have anybody who can stand next to Fredy Montero, Steve Zakuani, Blaise Nkufo, Osvaldo Alonso … we could go on. The Sounders possess one of the most talented sides in the league, and when they’re playing with as much confidence and flair as they did Friday night -- and have been most of the past three months -- you’ve got to feel for the club that draws Seattle for the first round of the playoffs.

Good chance that’s the Galaxy. Nice reward for posting the best record in Major League Soccer.

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WPS WEEK 3: A-Rod scores as Philly gets first win

April, 25, 2010

Former USC All-American Amy Rodriguez netted her first goal of the Women's Professional Soccer season as the expansion Philadelphia Independence topped visiting Washington, 3-1, for their first victory.

Rodriguez, a Santa Margarita Catholic High School alum from Lake Forest, tallied in the 55th minute, the first of three Philly goals in 14 minutes. A-Rod scored just once last season for Boston after she was taken with the No. 1 selection in the inaugural college draft.

Former Capistrano Valley High School standout Kasey Moore scored her first WPS goal in Boston's 1-1 draw at Saint Louis, and Harvard-Westlake grad Ali Riley assisted Carrie Dew's 89th-minute winner in Bay Area-based FC Gold Pride's 2-1 victory over visiting Atlanta.

BAD NEWS FOR U.S.: Boston midfielder Carli Lloyd, the top attacking midfielder for the U.S. Women's national team, suffered a broken fibula in the first half of defending champion Sky Blue FC's 1-0 triumph at Chicago, the New Jersey-based club's second win three weeks over the Red Stars.

U.S. midfielder Tobin Heath, the top pick in this year's college draft, departed 20 minutes into Atlanta's loss with an ankle injury. It was initially feared she'd broken the ankle, but a deep sprain is suspected, and the extent will be known after an MRI on Monday.

SOL REPORT: Allison Falk, who was traded to Philadelphia from the Sol before the L.A. Team's demise, scored for the second successive week. French midfielder Camille Abily, also dealt while the Sol was still a club, assisted Tiffeny Milbrett's opener in FC Gold Pride's win. Former UCLA star Val Henderson got the start for Philly with Karina LeBlanc away on Canadian national team duty. Henderson was LeBlanc's backup with the Sol last year. Marta was ineffective for Gold Pride, limping on an injured ankle sustained a week earlier.

A FEW NUMBERS: Abby Wambach picked up her league-best fourth assist in Washington's defeat. Her eight career assists also lead WPS. & Chicago has been shut out in 13 of its past 21 matches. The Red Stars are 0-5-1 against Sky Blue with no goals in the six games.

This week's scores (home teams listed first):


FC Gold Pride 2 (Milbrett 11, Dew 89), Atlanta 1 (Ocampo 25)


Saint Louis 1 (Blank 28), Boston 1 (Moore 22) Chicago 0, Sky Blue FC 1 (Kai 52) Philadelphia 3 (Rodriguez 55, Falk 58, Sanderson 68), Washington 1 (De Vanna 52)

Standings: FC Gold Pride 6 points, Sky Blue FC 6, Philadelphia 5, Saint Louis 5, Boston 5, Washington 3, Chicago 1, Atlanta 1.

Next week


Chicago at Boston

Atlanta at Philadelphia

FC Gold Pride at Sky Blue FC

Saint Louis at Washington

MEXICO: America advances, Herculez shares scoring title

April, 25, 2010

Club America struck early and held on at the end to beat Santos on Sunday and claim the final available berth in the Mexican Primera Division's "Bicentenario" playoffs.

Morelia and Pachuca also clinched playoff berths on the final weekend of the spring Clausura season, and American forward Herculez Gomez shared the scoring title.

Angel Eduardo Reyna's team-best sixth goal of the spring Clausura season, an eighth-minute strike, and a huge save by goalkeeper Armando Navarrete in the 86th minute sent America to a 1-0 triumph Sunday over Santos at Estadio Azteca, knocking their Mexico City rival Cruz Azul out of contention.

The quarterfinals will begin with first-leg matches next weekend.

The playoff qualifier

1. Monterrey (10-1-6, 36 points)

2. Guadalajara (10-5-2, 32)

3. Toluca (8-3-6, 30)

4. Pumas UNAM (7-3-7, 28)

5. Santos (8-4-5, 28)

6. America (7-6-4, 25)

7. Morelia (7-6-4, 25)

8. Pachuca (7-6-4, 25)

A quick look at the past weekend in Mexico:

AMERICA QUALIFIES: The Aguilas needed some help to be in position to qualify, and they got it Saturday when hated rival Guadalajara rallied to tie Cruz Azul, 1-1, Atlas was held to a 1-1 draw by Jaguares, and Morelia managed only a 1-1 draw at home against Monterrey.

America, which claimed the No. 6 seed and will meet third-seeded Toluca in the quarterfinals, would have been eliminated had Cruz Azul, Atlas and Morelia won.

Morelia nonetheless qualified, and Pachuca got through as Edgar Benitez converted two penalty kicks in a 2-1 triumph at UANL Tigres.

Cruz Azul's downfall was an Edcarlos Conceicao own goal in the 78th minute, the first tally for Chivas in four games and only its second since March 27. Guadalajara took the biggest hit, losing five top players, when Mexico's national team opened its pre-World Cup camp earlier this month.

'LIGUILLA' OPENERS: Apertura champion Monterrey secured the top seed for the Clausura playoffs a week ago, and the Rayados, who meet Pachuca in the quarterfinals, head into the postseason with a 15-game unbeaten streak. Three of their last four, four of last six and five of their last eight outings have been 1-1 draws; their only loss this season was a 3-0 decision to Atlas on Jan. 23.

No. 2 seed Guadalajara, which will face Morelia, is reeling as the playoffs begin. Chivas is 2-5-2 since an 8-0-0 start, and it's winless in its past four games.

Fourth-seeded Pumas UNAM, which has the Primera Division's stingiest defense, allowing just 10 goals in 17 games, will meet Santos. First legs will be played next weekend, with second legs scheduled for May 8 and 9.

TOP SCORER: Puebla's Herculez Gomez, who was born in L.A. and raised in Las Vegas, shared the Bicentenario scoring title with Guadalajara's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez and Atlante's Johan Fano.

Gomez, who left the Kansas City Wizards to sign with Puebla just after New Year's, was missed Los Camoteros' 2-1 loss to Toluca on Sunday, suspended for yellow-card accumulation. Hernandez, who scored his 10 goals in 11 games, hasn't played for Chivas since Mexico's pre-World Cup camp opened.

Gomez scored 24 goals in 129 Major League Soccer games with the Galaxy, Colorado and Kansas City. He scored 12 goals (18 in all competitions) and was team MVP when L.A. won the MLS Cup title in 2005.

This week's results (home teams listed first) Friday Estudiantes Tecos 3 (Medina 43, og Fano 54, R. Ruiz 67), Atlante 2 (Medina 43, Amione 90)


Cruz Azul 1 (Villa 5), Guadalajara 1 (og Edcarlos Conceicao 78) Morelia 1 (Borgetti pen. 45), Monterrey 1 (Cardozo 23) UANL Tigres 1 (Molina 83), Pachuca 2 (Benitez pen. 9, pen. 79) San Luis 3 (B. Perez 15, og Beltran 42, A. Moreno 58), Gallos Blancos 0 Atlas 1 (Ibanez 92), Jaguares 1 (J. Martinez 24)


Toluca 2 (A. Gonzalez 9, Mancilla 17), Puebla 1 (Zinha 6) Indios de Ciudad Juarez 2 (Gimenez 17, 27), Pumas UNAM 0 America 1 (Reyna 8), Santos 0

Final Standings

Group 1: Guadalajara 32 points, Toluca 30, Atlas 25, Gallos Blancos 21, Indios 15, San Luis 14.

Group 2: Monterrey 36, Morelia 25, Pachuca 25, America 22, Puebla 19, Jaguares 18.

Group 3: Pumas UNAM 28, Santos 28, Cruz Azul 25, Estudiantes Tecos 19, UANL Tigres 19, Atlante 16.

This week's games

Quarterfinals, First Legs


Monterrey at Pachuca, 3 p.m.

Guadalajara at Morelia, 5 p.m.


Toluca at America, 3 p.m.

Pumas UNAM at Santos, 5 p.m.

Second Legs: May 8 and 9

Leading scorers

1. Herculez Gomez (Puebla) 10

Johan Fano (Atlante) 10

Javier Hernandez (Guadalajara) 10

4. Jackson Martinez (Jaguares) 9

5. Raul Mancilla (Toluca) 8

6. Fredy Bareiro (Estudiantes Tecos) 7

Dario Carre

SO CAL ROUNDUP: HUFC opens PDL campaign with shutout

April, 25, 2010

Hollywood United FC's Premier Development League side opened its season Saturday night with a 3-0 romp Saturday night over the Fresno Fuego at Fresno's Chukchansi Park.

Australian midfielder Shay Spitz, who played at Cal State Fullerton, gave the Hitmen a 27th-minute lead, and Jaime Armando Chavez added goals in the 60th and 63rd minutes, soon after Fresno forward Fabricio Codeceira was sent off with a second yellow card.

Former Galaxy midfielder Jose Botello is coaching the Hitmen, which won the Western Conference's Southwest Division title in the semipro PDL, the fourth tier of American men's soccer. Chavez led the club with 10 goals last year.

HUFC, which also fields celebrity and "Sunday league" teams, features former New England Revolution forward and Cal State Northridge All-American Willie Sims and his brother, Oscar.

The Hitmen are among six Southern California clubs in the nine-team Southwest Division; the other five L.A. Legends, Lancaster Rattlers, Orange County Blue Star, Southern California Seahorses and Ventura County Fusion begin their seasons next weekend.

This week's result (home team listed first) Saturday Fresno Fuego 0, Hollywood United Hitmen 3 (Spitz 27, Chavez 60, 63)

Next week's games (home teams listed first) Saturday Lancaster Rattlers vs. Ventura County Fusion at Antelope Valley High School (Lancaster), 5 p.m.

Hollywood United Hitmen vs. Southern California Seahorses at Palisades High School (Pacific Palisades), 7 p.m.


L.A. Legends vs. Orange County Blue Star at Salesian High School (Los Angeles), 3 p.m.

In quotes: Chivas players, Vasquez discuss win

April, 25, 2010

Here's what Chivas USA coach Martin Vasquez and his players had to say about Saturday night's 3-2 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes at Home Depot Center:

On the victory

Vasquez: "I feel finally we put 90 minutes of the way we want to play. I think this is going to help our team, that if we continue to believe in what we're doing, we're going to have a good chance to be successful."

Kljestan, who scored the first goal: "We went out and pressured them a lot from the beginning and made them kind of cough up a bunch of balls down the field. And we looked like we were pretty happy when we had the ball. We played with 'joy,' like Martin likes to say. We moved the ball around the field a lot, and it felt good."

San Jose coach Frank Yallop: "I thought they played really well, to be honest. Sometimes you have to say, 'We were outplayed today.' We didn't play great, and we thought they played well."

Vasquez: "I felt that against New York [two weeks ago, a 2-0 win], we showed character. We knew that there was an urgency to win the game, and the team responded. Against Houston last week [in a 3-0 loss], I didn't think we had the right attitude, at least in the first half. Today we were tested again, and our guys responded. Yes, the win was very important -- maybe at times it wasn't about playing pretty, but overall I feel we played well and earned the win."

Forward Justin Braun, who scored the second Chivas goal: "Tonight everything finally clicked. And I think this is the style of soccer people are going to see from us. It's what we've been working on all preseason. When we do play like that, we're going to be a very tough team to beat."

On the 4-5-1 alignment and possession-oriented system Chivas employs

Kljestan: "I think the mentality was great tonight. You could say from top top bottom guys had good nights tonight. Justin [Braun] in front of me was all over the place, and our two wide guys were getting behind [San Jose's defense] all night. It caused problems for them and opened up space for me. And then behind me, Ben and Blair were awesome tonight. And the backline was good as well."

Yallop: "I think the system they play gets a lot of people around the ball. They're not isolated. Sacha was [moving] a lot in midfield and picking balls up and doing his thing. It's all angles."

Kljestan: "I think we took a good step forward tonight. I think with the formation we played and the way we played it, it may be something that sticks."

On the play of ...

... Playmaking midfielder Sacha Kljestan, Chivas USA's captain

Vasquez: "He's started to respond to the responsibility that he has as the captain, as our leader, as out playmaker, and the guy who's going to make things happen for us. He was able to dictate the performance, connect and find runners, and also help us defensively by being in good positions. He's the leader we're looking for, that we want, and that's going to help us to be successful."

... Right back Mariano Trujillo

Vasquez: "I think he's been one of the two or three most consistent players from our preseason until now. If you go to how many he touches he got today, I will say he got the most touches our of everybody, and he was our playmaker from the right side."

... Rookie midfielders (and roommates) Blair Gavin and Ben Zemanski

Kljestan: "They were kind of the key to holding the team together."

Left back Jonathan Bornstein: "They both had really good games. They were able to get the ball, move it, spread it from side to side. & They just read together so well. If you didn't know they'd [previously] played together, you'd be like: 'Man, these guys play well together.'"

Vasquez: "I was convinced when I saw them play in the final four [with NCAA runner-up Akron in December] how those two worked together and ran their college team. We gave the the opportunity, we show confidence [in them], and they responded. They;ve been playing together for three years, so there's a good chemistry, a good understanding."

On Chivas' defensive pressure

Kljestan: "Before the game, Jonny [Bornstein] and I said let's go out and pressure them for the first 10 minutes and see what happens. Let's get in their end a bit. It worked. I could tell they were frustrated. They couldn't string three passes in the first half, and they were lumping it forward, and our center backs were winning a lot of balls. We were very disciplined and very determined."

Bornstein: "Rookie year [in 2006], we'd all get together: 'Listen, first 10 minutes, just high pressure.' We thought give that another shot. I think when you do that, it sends a message to the other team: This is going to be a tough game."

Trujillo: "The first four games we didn't play well with the ball, and today I thought was perfect. We lost the ball a couple times, but our reaction was great. The energy we showed today was perfect. If the team plays like that, getting the ball back as fast as you can and then keeping the ball, we're going to be dangerous in this league."

On Jonathan Bornstein's penalty that led to San Jose's first goal

Vasquez:"We saw it at halftime [on video] because we felt it was harsh. Jonny is trying to clear the ball, [San Jose's Chris Wondolowski] gets in his way, and he feels the contact from Jonny and goes down. From where we were, we thought Jonny had gotten the foul, and that's why we were complaining. But then watching the replay & it could have gone either way."

Bornstein: "I feel like I'm in front facing the ball, and I felt he stuck his leg in between my legs, and I was in the motion of swinging to get the ball already. It's like putting a broomstick in between [the spokes on bicycle] tires. It felt like I got fouled on the play, but they called it on me. What can you do?"

On whether Chivas has found its path

Trujillo: "We're thinking big. From the beginning [of preseason], we're thinking: Get the next step [in the club's evolution]. And I think the next step is winning the championship. & This team is young, but it has a lot of desire to get things."

Kljestan:"We can't get too high again like we did against New York, after the New York game. We can't feel like we're on top of the world again. We've got to continue to play well, continue to play hard."

Bornstein:"I don't think we can let this lift us so much. We had a bad performance last week, a good performance this week. We need to get a little more consistent before we can really say, 'Hey, guys, this is how we play.' If we come out next week and do bad again, it's, like, 'Where's that team from last week?'"

Beckham making television rounds

April, 23, 2010

David Beckham may be in no shape to take the field, but the Galaxy's superstar midfielder isn't hidden away during his rehab on a ruptured Achilles' tendon.

He'll be in New York next week to make appearances next week on ABC's "Good Morning America" and "The View" and CBS's "Late Show With David Letterman":

Monday, April 26

Good Morning America (KABC/Channel 7), 8:30 a.m.

The View (KABC/Channel 7), 11 a.m.

Friday, April 30

Late Show With David Letterman (KCBS/Channel 2), 11:35 p.m.

Guadalajara, San Luis learn Libertadores foes

April, 23, 2010

Mexico's final two entrants in Copa Libertadores face stiff opposition when the tournament's knockout phase begins next week.

Guadalajara and San Luis, who received byes into the third phase of South America's club championship, learned their paths toward this summer's final when group play concluded Thursday night.

Chivas, as Guadalajara is popularly known, will meet Argentina's Velez Sarsfield, seeded fourth in the bracket, in a home-and-home, total-goals series. San Luis, from San Luis Potosi, will face Argentina's Estudiantes de La Plata, the third seed and defending champion. Chivas is seeded 13th and San Luis 14th.

CONMEBOL, South America's soccer confederation, has scheduled round-of-16 first-leg games next Wednesday and second legs on May 5, but it's expected some games will be played on Tuesday and Thursday of both weeks. The Mexican clubs, as lower seeds, would be home for the first leg.

Chivas and San Luis were awarded round-of-16 berths after pulling out of last year's tournament because of concerns about the swine-flu epidemic. Both clubs had reached the same stage, but their opponents refused to travel to Mexico and agreements on alternative venues could not be reached. Both teams retained their 2009 seeds.

Mexico's other three entrants failed to reach the knockout stage. Estudiantes Tecos was eliminated in the first stage, falling in a two-leg series against Peru's Juan Aurich, and Monterrey and Morelia finished third in their groups during the second stage. Group winners and six of eight second-place teams advanced to the knockout phase.

Brazil's Corinthians and Sao Paulo were seeded first and second. Five Brazilian clubs remain alive.

Quarterfinals are scheduled for May 12 and 20, semifinals for July 28 and Aug. 4 and the final series for Aug. 11 and 18.

The bracket:

Corinthians (Brazil) vs. Flamengo (Brazil)

Universidad de Chile (Chile) vs. Alianza Lima (Peru)

Libertad (Paraguay) vs. Once Caldas (Colombia)

Velez Sarsfield (Argentina) vs. Guadalajara (Mexico)

Estudiantes de La Plata (Argentina) vs. San Luis (Mexico)

Internacional (Brazil) vs. Banfield (Argentina)

Nacional (Uruguay) vs. Cruzeiro (Brazil)

Sao Paulo (Brazil) vs. Universitario (Peru)

Beckham tops Forbes list; Galaxy owner in top 10

April, 23, 2010



Forbes has issued its annual report on soccer, and the Galaxy plays a prominent role, sort of, in its findings.

Midfielder David Beckham, who might miss all of this season with a ruptured Achilles' tendon, is the sport's "highest earner," and club owner Philip F. Anschutz is the ninth-richest owner in the game.

Beckham, Forbes reports, has made $138 million since signing with the Galaxy in January 2007, $102 million of that from endorsements. His 2009 earnings are estimated at $40 million, with almost $33 million of it from endorsements.

Beckham's major sponsors include adidas, Giorgio Armani, Motorola and Sharpie.

Whether Beckham can continue to hold down the top spot is open to speculation. He will miss the World Cup, which provides the sort of attention that can make a player rich beyond his dreams, and Simon Fuller's resignation last week as director of Brand Beckham Ltd., which manages the soccer star's financial affairs, has been seen in some quarters as a sign of fading popularity.

No. 2 on the players list is Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo ($30 million), followed his Real Madrid teammate Kaka ($25 million), AC Milan's Ronaldinho ($25 million) and Barcelona's Thierry Henry ($24 million).

Barcelona's Lionel Messi ($20 million), universally acclaimed as the world's top player at 22, is sixth among players.

Four players each from Real Madrid and Barcelona and three from Chelsea are among the top 20.

Anschutz, whose Anschutz Entertainment Group's holdings include the NHL's L.A. Kings, stakes in the NBA's L.A. Lakers and Sacramento Kings, Staples Center and Home Depot Center, and the East Coast Hockey League's franchise in Ontario, is worth $6 billion, according to Forbes. That's less than half the worth of MLS's richest owner, the Seattle Sounders' Paul Allen ($13.5 billion), and far behind the top man on the list, Indian-born steel magnate Lakshmi Mittal ($28.7 billion), who owns about 20 percent of London's Queens Park Rangers.

Anschutz also owns 50 percent of MLS's Houston Dynamo and 49 percent of Swedish soccer club Hammarby.

Allen, co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the NFL's Seattle Seahawks and NBA's Portland Trail Blazers, is No. 3 on the list of richest owners; Spanish fashion magnate Amancio Ortega ($25 billion), owner of Deportivo La Coru

The United States will begin its World Cup preparations in earnest on May 15, but they won't do so in Southern California.

Wednesday's announcement that Bob Bradley's domestic pre-World Cup camp will be held in Princeton, N.J., came as no surprise. The Americans play their final two domestic preps on the East Coast, and it's an easier jaunt to South Africa.

Home Depot Center in Carson is the home base of the national team, but the U.S. Soccer Federation is headquartered in Chicago and sites in Chula Vista and Bradenton, Fla., also have been used extensively for U.S. national teams.

Since the run-up to the 1994 World Cup, the national team has most often trained in California. Its 18-month camp before the '94 Cup was in Mission Viejo; the coach at that time, Mexico-based Serb Bora Milutinovic, called Laguna Niguel home. Steve Sampson, who succeeded Milutinovic, is an Agoura Hills resident.

When current Galaxy coach Bruce Arena was national team coach, there were more East Coast camps. Arena was born in New York and lived in Virginia while in charge of the U.S. team.

Bradley has East Coast roots, but he has lived in Manhattan Beach since taking charge of Chivas USA in 2006. Princeton will be a homecoming: He is an alum of and former head coach at Princeton University. Assistant coach Jesse Marsch, who retired from Chivas USA after last season to join Bradley's staff, also attended Princeton.

Players and coaches will arrive May 15 for the camp, and the first training session will be held May 17. The U.S. will play the Czech Republic on May 25 in East Hartford, Conn., and Turkey on May 29 in Philadelphia. The Americans' final pre-Cup friendly is June 5 against Australia in Roodepoort, South Africa.

The U.S. face England (June 12 at Rustenberg), Slovenia (June 18 at Johannesburg) and Algeria (June 23 at Tshwane/Pretoria) in the World Cup.

Bradley must submit to FIFA a preliminary list of 30 players by May 11, and his final 23-man roster is due June 1, with all 23 coming from the preliminary list. Injury substitutions to the roster can be made until 24 hours before a team's opener, and all players are eligible whether or not they're on the preliminary list.

Galaxy captain Landon Donovan, barring injury, will be brought into the camp, and Chivas USA defender Jonathan Bornstein also appears a certain call-up. Galaxy forward Edson Buddle and Chivas USA midfielder Sacha Kljestan also could receive invitations.

The Galaxy play host to Toronto FC and Chivas USA plays at Columbus on May 15. No word yet on whether Bradley will allow national team players to play for their MLS clubs on that date.

Galaxy players on the World Cup roster could miss from four to seven MLS games, and Chivas players could miss from three to seven.

Cruz Azul scored twice in a five-minute span of the first half en route to a 2-1 victory Wednesday night over Pachuca in the first leg of an all-Mexican CONCACAF Champions League final.

Hector Gutierrez

aime Lopez/LatinContent/Getty Images

Hector Gutierrez, left, of Cruz Azul fights for the ball with Damian Alvarez of Pachuca during Wednesday's game.

Emmanuel Villa scored in the 20th minute and Carlos Rodriguez turned a Maximiliano Biancucchi cross into his own net for a 24th-minute own goal at Estadio Azul in Mexico City.

The Cementeros lost to Mexican rival Atlante in last year's Champions League final.

Cruz Azul will be without defender Julio Cesar Dominguez next Wednesday at Pachuca in the second leg of the two-game, total-goals series. He was red-carded in the 79th minute for a violent foul on American midfielder Jose Torres.

Both clubs head into the final weekend of the Mexican Primera Division's "Bicentenario" regular season in the hunt for the three remaining playoff berths.

Cruz Azul (7-6-3, 24 points), which in advance of the CONCACAF first leg rested several starters in last weekend's 4-1 league loss to Puebla (and is without midfielder Gerardo Torrado, who is in Mexico's pre-World Cup camp), is in seventh place and plays Guadalajara on Saturday.

Pachuca (6-6-4, 22 points) is in 10th and plays at UANL Tigres. Eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

Six locals among 10 Galaxy 'Sue

April, 20, 2010

Seven of the 10 players who survived the Galaxy's "Sue

American forward Herculez Gomez's electric form in his first season in Mexico's top flight has him atop the scoring charts after he netted two more goals in a Puebla victory Sunday.

Guadalajara is stumbling toward the Primera Division's "Bicentenario" playoffs after ruling the league the first two months of the Clausura, or spring, season. Chivas suffered its third successive shutout defeat Saturday and could drop from second in the overall standings to fourth with another loss as the regular season concludes this weekend.

Three more clubs Pumas UNAM, Santos and Toluca -- clinched postseason berths, leaving three open slots and six teams in contention. Overall leader Monterrey and Guadalajara also are playoff-bound.

A quick look at the past weekend in Mexico:

HERCULEZ'S GOALS: Gomez, born in Los Angeles and raised in Las Vegas, scored his ninth and 10th goals of the season as Puebla routed Cruz Azul, 4-1. He and Atlante's Johan Fano share the goalscoring lead with Guadalajara's Javier "Chicharito" Hernandez, who has joined Mexico's pre-World Cup camp and won't return to Chivas.

CHIVAS' SKID: Guadalajara followed shutout losses to Morelia and lowly Indios de Ciudad Juarez with a 2-0 defeat to crosstown rival Atlas as Hebert Efrain Alferez scored in the 14th and 67th minutes. Chivas, which contributed five players to Mexico coach Javier Aguirre's camp goalkeeper Luis Ernesto Michel, defender Jonny Magallon, and forwards Hernandez, Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista and Alberto Medina lost defender Ricardo Jimenez to a first-half red card, and coach Carlos Ischia was dismissed in the 80th minute.

The club is 2-5-1 since the end of February after starting the season 8-0-0, but it clinched the top spot in Group 1 when Toluca posted a 1-1 draw Saturday at Pachuca.

PLAYOFF BERTHS: The draw was enough for Toluca to claim its playoff berth, although it fell from third to fifth overall, leapfrogged by Group 3 leader Pumas and Santos, which qualified for the postseason with victories. Pumas beat Morelia, 2-0, Sunday with second-half goals by Oscar Rojas and Martin Bravo; Santos overcame last-place San Luis, 2-1, Monday on Jorge Estrada's goal in second-half stoppage.

Morelia (24 points), Cruz Azul (24), Atlas (23), America (22), Pachuca (21) and Gallos Blancos (21) are in the running for the last three playoff spots.

Atlas climbed from 10th to eighth overall with its win over Guadalajara, and a victory Saturday over Jaguares (4-6-6) would secure its berth. Morelia has the toughest opponent Monterrey, which will be the top seed for the playoffs but is playing at home Saturday and will advance with a draw no matter the other results. Cruz Azul is home against Guadalajara, a nice matchup given Chivas' troubles.

AMERICA'S STRUGGLE: Mexico City's biggest club dropped out of the top eight with a 2-1 defeat Saturday at Monterrey, and a victory Sunday over Santos at Estadio Azteca will be required to advance. America plays the final match of the season and will know before kickoff whether it has a chance and what it must accomplish.

The Aguilas will be without defender Aquivaldo Mosquera, who was ejected after picking up his second yellow card late in the loss to Monterrey.

Weekend results (home teams listed first)


Gallos Blancos 1 (Romo 77), Estudiantes Tecos 0

Jaguares 1 (Salazar 65), Indios de Ciudad Juarez 0

Monterrey 2 (Santana 26, Carre

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE SEMIS: UEFA's Champions League is the biggest, bestest club event in soccer, bigger and better even than the world championship the winner qualifies for. The popular notion is that the semifinal showdown between defending champ Barcelona (with the marvelous Lionel Messi) and Jose Mourinho's Inter Milan is the (ital)real(end ital) final, but don't believe it. French power Lyon can beat anybody here, and Bayern Munich, its foe on Wednesday, has been getting special stuff lately from Arjen Robben. These are first legs; next week we'll know who will play in the May 22 final in Madrid.


Barcelona at Inter Milan, 11:30 a.m. TV: Fox Sports en Espa