July 13, 2013 |
Jose Manuel "Chepo" de la Torre is, by all accounts, a personable and intelligent fellow. So when he was named coach of Mexico's national soccer team three years ago he had to have known the next career move would be his firing. In the last four decades, only one Mexican coach - Ricardo La Volpe, in 2002-06 - has lasted an entire four-year World Cup qualifying cycle. It now seems obvious Chepo won't be the second. Thursday's 2-0 win over Canada in Gold Cup play - only the third victory in 14 matches for Mexico this year - may have delayed De la Torre's dismissal, but it won't save his job. Mexico, which plays Martinique on Sunday in its final match of group play, will probably have to win the tournament if De la Torre is to survive through the resumption of World Cup qualifying in September.
July 5, 2013 |
SAN DIEGO -- When the U.S. takes the field Friday for an international friendly with Guatemala, it will mark Landon Donovan's first appearance with the team in nearly 11 months. And Juergen Klinsmann says it's up to the 31-year-old to show he has the form necessary to merit consideration for next summer's World Cup squad, should the U.S. qualify. But Donovan, who lost his spot on the national team when he took a three-month winter break from the sport, says he's not thinking that far ahead.
July 4, 2013 |
SAN DIEGO - If Landon Donovan had it to do over again, he would. He would give up his place on the U.S. national soccer team 18 months before what would be his fourth World Cup. He would surrender the captain's armband and part of his $2.5-million salary with the Galaxy. And those are just some of the things Donovan lost when, exhausted by a dozen years of nonstop competition, he walked away from soccer for three months last winter. On Friday he'll take what he hopes will be the first steps on the road toward regaining his berth on the World Cup team when the U.S. plays Guatemala at Qualcomm Stadium in a tuneup for next week's Gold Cup tournament.
July 1, 2013 |
First-class soccer action will arrive in Las Vegas on July 3 as two of Mexico's top teams compete in “El Super Clasico” at Sam Boyd Stadium. The match will pit Chivas de Guadalajara , often considered Mexico's best team, against Club America of Mexico City . The game is the first of several during a U.S. tour by the Chivas team. Chivas, founded in 1906, is the only club in the country to field exclusively Mexican players. One of the Chivas stars, Jose Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre, is serving as head coach of the Mexican National Team. Club America has the distinction of winning 33 titles during its 96-year history.
June 29, 2013 |
The last time the U.S. made it past the group stage in the U-20 World Cup, it had a roster sprinkled with players - guys such as Jozy Altidore, Michael Bradley, Robbie Rogers and Freddy Adu - who would go on to make a name for themselves on the senior national team. Which is kind of the point of having a U-20 national team, said Tab Ramos, who coached the U.S. in last week's age-group World Cup in Turkey. "This is why it's so important for these players," he said. "Their next step from here is possibly, if not the Olympic team, the senior national team.
June 27, 2013 |
The U.S. national soccer team will hold a rare public training session at San Diego's Qualcomm Stadium on July 4, a day ahead of its friendly with Guatemala. The practice will begin at 5 p.m. There is no admission charge and fans are asked to enter the stadium at Gate H. The entrance will open to the public at 4:30 p.m. The July 5 match with Guatemala, the U.S. team's only tuneup ahead of the Gold Cup, is the only national team match scheduled to played in California this season.
June 17, 2013 |
SANDY, Utah - For Juergen Klinsmann, managing a soccer team is a little like building a puzzle. It's about "how to fit all the elements together," says Klinsmann, who is in charge of piecing together the U.S. national team. And when the puzzle doesn't come together properly? Well, that's when a coach mashes the pieces into place. Take the U.S. team. In their World Cup qualifier last week against Panama, the Americans started two natural defenders and a forward in the midfield and two regular midfielders on defense.
June 17, 2013 |
Soccer matches in Tahiti rarely draw crowds larger than a few hundred. And even then most of those fans are players waiting for the next match. So the South Pacific island nation took a huge step up in class when it played Nigeria on Monday in the Confederations Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, before a live crowd of more than 20,000 -- and a worldwide television audience in the millions. And the Tahitians, ranked 138th in the world by FIFA, the global governing body for soccer, acquitted themselves well against No. 31 Nigeria despite losing, 6-1. "We've shown the world there's some real quality in Tahiti," Marama Vahirua, the only professional on the team, told reporters.
June 16, 2013 |
Landon Donovan and Juergen Klinsmann are not the best of friends. Which can be a problem given that Donovan is arguably the best soccer player in the history of the U.S. national team, the team Klinsmann now coaches. Part of what separates the two is approach. Donovan believes there is life outside soccer, while Klinsmann believes life is soccer. And that helps explain why Donovan hasn't played for Klinsmann in more than 10 months. But here's why Donovan, 31, may not start for Klinsmann's national team going forward: The U.S. is getting along just fine without him. Yes, Donovan, the national team's all-time leader in goals and assists, was named to the U.S. provisional B team roster for next month's Gold Cup tournament.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 13, 2013 |
On a soundstage in Van Nuys, Behrooz Afrakhan was calling play-by-play for Iran's latest World Cup qualifying match against Qatar. "Ball in the net! Ball in the net!" he shouted in Farsi after Reza Ghoochannejad tapped the ball in for the game's only score. Across Southern California, people cheered with Afrakhan, even at 10 a.m. on a weekday. For soccer-mad Iranian expatriates, the question of whether to watch the national team is a no-brainer. The question of how has become more complicated.