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NEWS
July 3, 1994 | STEVEN AMBRUS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Angry at Colombia's elimination from the World Cup soccer tournament, gunmen Saturday shot and killed Andres Escobar, the player who accidentally scored a goal against his own side in a match with the United States and helped seal the team's fate, police said. Escobar, 27, was shot to death outside a restaurant in Medellin barely 48 hours after returning home from Los Angeles, where Colombia fell 2-1 to the United States on June 22. The unidentified gunmen confronted Escobar around 3 a.m.
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SPORTS
April 1, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Italian soccer player Antonio Floro Flores already has three children. So, he figured, what's one more? Floro Flores, who plays for Serie A club Sassuolo, was so touched by the story of a baby left on a train near Naples that he contacted authorities and offered to adopt the boy after efforts to find the parents failed. Authorities say the boy was only three or four days old when he was found hidden in a bag placed under the seats of a train traveling from Naples to Avellino.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 28, 2000
Agustin Gurza's April 25 column characterizes the two Santa Ana soccer players as fallen stars. He admits they entered the country illegally but wonders why they can't just be left to make a contribution to society. Due to their illegal status, the L.A. Galaxy won't sign them and they have returned "home" to Tustin and Santa Ana College. Many of us would have different questions than Gurza. The big question is, now that these lawbreakers have been exposed, why haven't they been deported to their own country and their real home, Mexico?
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 14, 2014 | Sandy Banks
He's a hefty, baby-faced teenager, a head taller than his teammates, and the anchor of a high school soccer team that won a city championship this month. Watching him on the field this week, I found it hard to believe that this time last year Canoga Park High goalie Mauricio Garcia was battling leukemia. The cancer sidelined him in the fall of 2012 as Mauricio was preparing for soccer tryouts. He was front-runner for the goalie spot, but he'd been struggling during tough workouts.
SPORTS
July 30, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
LONDON -- What is it with soccer players and Twitter? Two days after Hope Solo, goalkeeper for the U.S. women's team, raised a row with a series of tweets lambasting TV analyst Brandi Chastain, Switzerland sent defender Michel Morganella home after he used social media to post a racist insult following his team's loss to South Korea on Sunday. "Michel Morganella gravely insulted and discriminated against the South Korean people and their football team with his highly offensive comments on Twitter," said Gian Gilli of the Swiss Olympic delegation.
SCIENCE
June 11, 2013 | By Brad Balukjian
Heading the ball is a key soccer skill, but a new study finds that players who headed the ball frequently were more likely to suffer brain injury and damage their memory than their fellow players who were a little less headstrong, so to speak.   While sports like football (the American variety) and ice hockey garner most of the attention when it comes to concussions and other forms of traumatic brain injury (TBI), soccer is an intense physical sport for which the head can be as important as the foot.
NEWS
February 8, 2012 | By Jeannine Stein, Los Angeles Times / For the Booster Shots blog
Female soccer players are prone to anterior cruciate ligament injuries of the knee, but a study has found that a specific 15-minute warm-up significantly reduced the risk of ACL injuries. The study, presented this week at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in San Francisco, focused on a group of 4,564 female Swedish players ages 12 to 17. Of those players, 2,479 were randomly assigned to do a 15-minute warm-up and 2,085 were part of a control group.
SCIENCE
November 14, 2012 | By Monte Morin, Los Angeles Times
Soccer players who repeatedly strike the ball with their heads may be causing measurable damage to their brains, even if they never suffer a concussion, according to a study published Tuesday by the Journal of the American Medical Assn. By examining brain scans of a dozen professional soccer players from Germany, researchers found a pattern of damage that strongly resembled that of patients with mild traumatic brain injury, said Dr. Inga Katharina Koerte, a neuroradiologist at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, who led the study.
SPORTS
September 1, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
Sitting recently in a busy cafe on the outskirts of Birmingham, Britain's second-largest city, Jonathan Spector appears as English as the queen's corgis. He even has the touch of an accent, making him sound vaguely British. But when he orders espresso instead of tea, his cover is blown. "I'm still very much viewed as an American," Spector says with a shrug. Luckily for him, that's not quite the pejorative it used to be - at least not in English soccer circles, which is where Spector spends most of his time Once viewed as hardworking, if not particularly talented, players from a soccer backwater, Americans are now making a major impact in the English Premier League, considered by many to be the best league in the world.
SPORTS
October 10, 1989 | From Times Wire Services
The International Soccer Federation (FIFA) today announced sanctions against Czechoslovakia's Stanislav Griga and Portugal's Paolo Futre for unsportsmanlike behavior during the Oct. 6 World Cup qualifying game in Prague. Griga was barred from three games for resorting to "physical violence" after being sent off the field, said a FIFA statement. Futre was banned for two games for making "obscene gestures toward referee Aaron Schmidhuber," it said.
SPORTS
January 13, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Cristiano Ronaldo recently opened a soccer museum is his Portuguese home of Madeira. And Monday he received something special to put in it when he was named winner of the Ballon d'Or, which goes annually to the player voted best in the world. It was an honor the Real Madrid star clearly earned, scoring 66 goals in 56 games for club and country. And many of those goals came on soccer's biggest stages with Ronaldo scoring a record 14 times in Champions League play to help Madrid reach the tournament semifinals.
SPORTS
December 30, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
A year ago Alex Morgan was preparing to fly to Zurich, Switzerland, where she was to be feted at a star-studded gala and recognized by FIFA as one of the three best women's soccer players in the world. This coming weekend Morgan will be driving to Veterans Park in Pomona, where she'll be playing host to a couple of hundred grade-school players at her first youth soccer camp on Saturday and Sunday. And the U.S. national team star couldn't be happier with the change. “I love the fact that I'm able to share my love for soccer with all these young [players]
SPORTS
November 19, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
As Soccer America Daily noted when they posted this video, soccer defenders don't usually pass the ball back to their goalkeeper from midfield. So you can't blame keeper Tom Woodhead for being a bit surprised when teammate Steven Gardner launched a ball toward his own net from 40 yards away early in the second half of a Northern Premier League match in Manchester, England. Gardner, who plays for Frickley Athletic, was battling for possession just inside the midfield stripe, when he elected to clear the ball from danger.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 1, 2013 | By Jill Cowan
A man convicted of gunning down a well-liked 17-year-old soccer player in a jealous rage was sentenced to 50 years to life in prison Tuesday morning. Jason Alejandro Schumann, 26, was upset because he apparently had seen text messages and other communications between Francisco Rodriguez Jr. and Elizabeth Ibarra, the mother of one of Schumann's children, authorities said. Schumann and Ibarra, who both used meth and had spent time in jail, shared a volatile, dysfunctional relationship, prosecutors said.
SPORTS
September 23, 2013 | By Dave Verso
Dave Verso is the father of two former high school soccer players. Although my boys are now both playing soccer at Stanford University and the academy-high school issue no longer impacts them, I still follow it because the disregard of the majority of players' interests is disturbing. I find the typical arguments that it is simply a trade off between soccer development and social development to be misleading and shallow. The reality is that the promises of improved development by the academy system are often grossly overstated and many players on Southern California academy teams would become better soccer players playing a combination of high school and club soccer.
SPORTS
September 21, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Two days after qualifying for the World Cup this month U.S. soccer got more good news when FIFA, the sport's global governing body, released its monthly rankings. The Americans had jumped six spots to No. 13 in the world, their best showing in more than three years. All of which means … well, absolutely nothing. Since the rankings debuted 21 years ago, no team listed No. 1 heading into a World Cup has gone on to win the tournament. In both 1998 and 2002, nine of the top 10 teams didn't even reach the semifinals.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 26, 1997 | CATHY WERBLIN
Members of the Los Angeles Galaxy soccer team will be the grand marshals of this year's Strawberry Festival parade, scheduled for May 24 at 10 a.m. The 39th annual festival from May 23 through 26 will feature carnival games and rides, talent contests, food booths and the cutting of the world's largest strawberry shortcake. Actor Billy Barty will return for his 12th year as master of ceremonies of the "Tiny Tot King and Queen" contest scheduled to kick off the festival May 23.
SPORTS
June 11, 1998 | ERIC SONDHEIMER and GARY KLEIN
Michael Blazevic of San Pedro, Jorge Sanchez of University, Art Torres of Banning, Mark Jimenez of Venice, Luis Orellana of Belmont and Henri Rivas of Locke will travel to France later this month to play in a soccer tournament in conjunction with World Cup '98. John Ortega of Van Nuys Birmingham, Greg Avila of Granada Hills Kennedy and Abdullah Safdari of Chatsworth also are on the team.
SPORTS
August 28, 2013 | Kevin Baxter
The Galaxy has scheduled a news conference Wednesday to announce that it has reached agreement with forward Landon Donovan on a multiyear contract that will probably keep him in Major League Soccer for the rest of his career. The deal is the club's most significant since the 2007 signing of former English national team captain David Beckham, whose decision to play in the U.S. transformed the league and the Galaxy. The signing of the 31-year-old Donovan, meanwhile, keeps the most decorated player in MLS history at home despite reports he received numerous offers from clubs in Europe and Latin America.
SPORTS
August 12, 2013 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Three girls' soccer players from Woodland Hills El Camino Real who will be seeking their fourth City Section championship have made college commitments. Peyton Cline is headed to Fresno State, Leslie Ramirez has chosen Georgia State and Madison Lipton will attend Rider College. Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
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