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Showing posts from March, 2018

The world of LA soccer

It is an exciting time for soccer in Los Angeles with the spectacular start of LAFC and the arrival of Zlatan, hashtag #zLAtan. His signing with trumpeted with a simple yet over-the-top one page ad in the LA Times.

The marketing minions of the LA Galaxy have trotted out this promo video!



Have been a follower of the LA Galaxy on and off and mostly on since 2010. The club definitely goes for the off-the-field sizzle and has produced a lot of on-the-field steak (5 MLS cups). We shall see how this pans out.

I was excited about the Steven Gerrard move to LAG but it soon became apparent that he had reached a point in his career that he was too injury prone and so the on-the-field performance didn't live up to the hype.

Below is a video of some highlights from his career and so if he can stay healthy and do 1/2 of what he did in his prime, he will have an impact!



In financial terms, it was a pretty reasonable move considering it is only for $3 million over 2 years.

In practical terms, wh…

QPR - looking safely out of the relegation zone?

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Have been wearing my R's baseball cap periodically and I've said that I'll go find some Fish and Chips if someone recognizes the cap as a QPR cap. People do ask what team the hat is from occasionally and I explain it is an English soccer club in the Championship.

When I was in London asking directions in the Underground to go to Loftus Road to see the Queens Park Rangers, people didn't seem to know what I was talking about! So I guess it isn't surprising that no one so far has recognized the cap in and around Los Angeles.

Perhaps, I should change the Fish and Chips to the next time QPR wins a match?

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QPR has picked up 7 points on 3 matches!

3 points against relegation bound Sunderland is what you expect.



Getting 3 points from an Aston Villa that is looking at promotion via playoffs was an unexpected surprise!


Getting a draw from Fulham that is aiming for promotion via playoffs was an unexpected surprise after going down two goal.



It has been lots of fun follow…

Liverpool FC: what is next for them?

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If you had said LFC would be in the Champion's League quarterfinals before the season started, fans would take that.

If you had said LFC would lose Coutinho and still be competing for a top four finish in the Premier League, fans would take that.

But of course, now that expectations have been raised, fans want more!

The Champions League showdown against Manchester City will be interesting as the two teams split their meetings in the Premier League with Man City winning the first time 5-0 but LFC taking the second meeting 4-3. Am figuring the odds makers have Man City as favored in the two-legs of the quarters. If I had to guess, I would say 60/40 in favor of Man City. A check on the stat heads at 538 says 57/43 (as of 6:12pm March 18, 2018) for Man City.

The remainder of the Premier League schedule looks favorable to LFC. The difficult matches: Everton (away) and Chelsea (away). Liverpool should beat relegation zone Crystal Palace (away), West Brom (away), and Stoke (home). They s…

Homelessness and Hunger in Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Times recently ran a series of editorials on the issue of homelessness in Los Angeles.

Excerpts:
Homelessness burst its traditional borders several years ago, spreading first to gloomy underpasses and dim side streets, and then to public parks and library reading rooms and subway platforms. No matter where you live in L.A. County, from Long Beach to Beverly Hills to Lancaster, you cannot credibly claim today to be unaware of the squalid tent cities, the sprawling encampments, or the despair and misery on display there.
[.....]
Today, we are paying the price: The economically homeless are now estimated to make up more than half of L.A.’s unhoused — and it is their rising numbers that are fueling the unprecedented growth in that population. More than half of the people surveyed by the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority last year said they were homeless because of an eviction, foreclosure, unemployment or “financial reasons.”
[.....]
Until the mayor and the members of…

NYCFC v LA Galaxy line-up guesses

Alessandrini is definitely out. Pontius is day-to-day.

What is the starting XI?
Defense picks itself: Bingham/Cole/Skelvik/Ciani/Feltscher
Simply want the unit to get used to playing together. Might see some rotation during fixture congestion and when the training staff identify players who need a break. However, barring any injury issues, we should be seeing this line-up most of the time.
Forward: Kamara
Don't have any idea who they will rely upon if Kamara gets injured or needs a break during the season!
Midfield: Defensive: Kitchen/Carrasco Offensive: JDS/GDS/Boateng
Will assume Pontius is going to be rested. Lletget isn't ready to start. He will probably get subbed in around the 60 minute mark to continue stretching out his minutes and testing out his surgically repaired foot.
Bench: vom Steeg Steres/Romney/Hillard-Arce Husidic/Lletget/Alvarez
Lletget should be first off the bench around the 60 minute mark. Husidic could get in around 70-75 minute mark. Alvarez may get his…

Cardiac kids of Queens Park Rangers: QPR 1 Derby County 1

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QPR dominated possession, got the shots but as is often the case, were down by a goal and almost out.

On this day, Luongo got the header across the line on a set-piece at the 87th minute!

QPR sit fairly safely in the lower part of the mid-table 10 points above the relegation zone.

The front office has serious financial constraints but they do have some solid players and hopefully in the next transfer window they can spot some overlooked talent and up-and-coming players to bring in.

Am not enough of a fan to know the contract situation of the existing players and who could be let go for cost reasons. As for selling players on at a profit, I don't know if any members of the current roster has had such a dramatically good season such that QPR could do a Southampton.

Historic day for LA Soccer!

There are, once again, two soccer teams in Los Angeles!

Seattle 0 LAFC 1

Click here for the video highlights.

LAFC's first match as a club and they got the win. Diego Rossi the 20 year old young phenom from Uruguay got the pass from Carlos Vela, the DP from Mexico, and fired the shot into the goal!

Meanwhile, LA Galaxy aim to put behind the dreadful 2017 season.

LA Galaxy 2 Portland Timbers 1

Click here for the video highlights.

Ola Kamara was signed to get goals from the striker spot and he delivered at 32 minutes. Allesandrini got the second in short order at 34 minutes. LA defense held on just giving up one goal.

When I started following LA Galaxy routinely (2010), the stadium was shared with Chivas USA. However, at that time Chivas USA was already in bad shape and eventually went under after the 2014 season. Will be interesting to see if the front office at LAFC will do a better job. So far, they have made a lot of good moves: new stadium, top notch manager in Bob Bradley, …