Ives Galarcep: World Cup Ticket May Be Punched, But Strong Usa Squad Still Makes Sense

Robbie Keane scores in Galaxy’s 5-0 win over Chivas USA. By Jim Peltz October 6, 2013, 6:13 p.m. The Galaxy couldn’t have scripted Sunday’s game much better. Needing a victory to stay firmly in Major League Soccer ‘s playoff race, the reigning MLS champion prevailed in game it was expected to win by beating last-place Chivas USA , 5-0, at StubHub Center. The Galaxy’s goals came early and often despite the 92-degree temperature at game time. The Galaxy’s star forwards, Landon Donovan and Robbie Keane , each scored twice and Gyasi Zardes also scored. Also Galaxy Coach Bruce Arena suspended for game against Chivas USA Donovan tied Jeff Cunningham for the MLS all-time scoring record of 134 regular-season goals. Donovan, speaking about holding the record outright with his next goal, said “it would be nice to get it and get it out of the way so that there’s no attention on it.” He added: I would trade, maybe not all of them, but most of them for another championship ring.” When the game ended, the Galaxy was tied with the Colorado Rapids for fourth place with 48 points in the Western Conference. The two teams were only four points behind first-place Real Salt Lake , three points behind second-place Seattle and one point behind third-place Portland, which was playing Vancouver on Sunday night. The top five teams at the end of the regular season qualify for the playoffs. The Galaxy, seeking its third consecutive MLS championship, has three games left in the regular season. This was the third and final game of the regular season between the Galaxy and Chivas USA, which share StubHub Center as their home venue, in what’s known as the “SuperClasico” series. The Galaxy overwhelmed Chivas USA despite the absence of Coach Bruce Arena, who was suspended for the game for leaving the coach’s area during an argument at the previous weekend’s game against Portland. With Dave Sarachan, the team’s associate coach, at the helm, the Galaxy scored in the sixth minute when Keane, standing just inside the six-yard box, took a pass from Donovan and rolled the ball past goalkeeper Dan Kennedy.

Cuban defector hopes to play soccer for U.S. national team but faces big obstacle

Lubin is a two-time Junior Olympic national champion and won the 152-pound division at the National Golden Gloves this year. In his USA Boxing bio, he said his goals were to win a gold medal at the Olympics, turn pro and win every title possible. “We want to be competitive and we want to increase our overall performance in the Olympic Games,” said USA Boxing executive director Anthony Bartkowski. “This is a new strategy of trying to make sure our Olympic-aged athletes are not poached by promoters. In the past, USA Boxing was passive and just accepted it.” Tyson isn’t the only promoter trying to lure amateurs to the pros. Last month, DiBella Entertainment said it signed highly touted 17-year-old Junior “Sugar Boy” Younan of New York to a contract and said he would make his pro debut in late October or early November, after he turned 18. Boxing promoters have long trolled the amateur ranks looking for talent, especially in recent years as the lure of Olympic gold has faded for many fighters. Winning in the Olympics was once a guaranteed way to make millions, but as U.S. Olympic boxing teams have faded so have the prospects for Olympic fighters. The last American man to win an Olympic gold in boxing was Andre Ward in 2004, and last year’s team in London didn’t even medal. USA Boxing, meanwhile, has undergone a series of shake-ups and its funding has been cut by the U.S.

USA Boxing swings at Mike Tyson

He started six players in the Hex trip to Costa Rica that would eventually start in the opening match of the 2006 World Cup (including European-based players like Tim Howard, Oguchi Onyewu and DaMarcus Beasley). Four days later, Arena trotted out a far less experienced group in a home qualifier against Panama, a starting lineup featuring 10 players who didnt play a single minute in the 2006 World Cup (the 11th player was Clint Dempsey). In 2009, Bob Bradleys situation was different in that he had called in his best available group into the final set of Hex qualifiers still needing a win to qualify, so after the U.S. beat Honduras in San Pedro Sula to book its trip to South Africa, Bradley passed on starting a squad full of reserves in the Hex finale against Costa Rica. He instead started eight of the 11 players that started in the Honduras win (one of the three who didnt start was Charlie Davies, who was involved in a car accident before the Costa Rica match). The way former coaches handled these matches should give us a good blueprint for what we can expect from Klinsmann in the remaining games. The upcoming match versus Jamaica in Kansas City feels a bit like the 2009 Hex finale against Costa Rica at RFK Stadium. It is essentially a farewell home match for the qualifying group, and a chance to put on a show for what should be a raucous home crowd. The Hex finale in Panama feels a lot like the 2005 road qualifier at Costa Rica, a trip to a hostile Central American environment against a team still looking to qualify for the World Cup. That Costa Rica team was much closer to having qualified, but Arena knew better than to put a squad full of inexperienced players into a game at Estadio Saprissa, where the USA has never won. The upcoming Panama match should be a similarly difficult challenge, with Panama likely to need a win to have any chance of grabbing at least fourth place and the World Cup qualifying playoff berth that goes with it. These upcoming World Cup qualifiers may not matter anymore for the USAs qualifying purposes, but they are far from meaningless.