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Soccer for Success comes to the Weingart YMCA in East LA
Christen Press chats with several girls in the middle of drills
Soccer for Success comes to the Weingart YMCA in East LA

The Mia Hamm Foundation, US Soccer and the US Soccer Foundation, Wednesday afternoon officially brought the Soccer for Success program to East Los Angeles. The Mia Hamm Foundation along with Nike is providing a grant that will send 250 girls from the East Los Angeles area into the Soccer for Success program at the Weingart YMCA.


The Soccer for Success program has made a positive impact in over 55,000 girls' lives since its creation in 2009. The after-school program is free and helps use soccer as tool to teach a healthier, active lifestyle to the girls of the community.  The event at the YMCA Wednesday was also part of the “She Believes in Her Community" campaign.


The “She Believes in Her Community” campaign is a weeklong celebration where the US Women’s National Team players will be giving back to their local communities. The celebration will focus on special events for young kids in their local communities. The #SheBelieves campaign was conceived and developed by the players. The campaign is a message to young girls that they can accomplish all their goals and dreams.



The event on Wednesday at the Weingart YMCA had featured two current members of the US Women’s National Team, Amy Rodriguez and Christen Press. The legendary Mia Hamm was also in attendance with her foundation to answer questions from the young girls and members of the media. The 100 girls who participated in the actual event on Wednesday got an opportunity to meet Amy, Christen, and Mia and ask them questions about their own personal experiences and advice in the game today. 


The host of the event, Monica Gonzalez, actually asked one Amy Rodriguez one of the most fascinating questions of the Q&A. “How hard was it to return to playing after taking a year off playing and training to have a baby?” Amy Rodriguez’s response was truthful and optimistic for those that want to be involved in the women’s game today.

The moment when Monica asks the question in the video is at 21st minute.


Posted by Gio Franco on 05/21/2015 at 2:44 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Can Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa beat Arsenal to win the FA Cup?
Hopeful Villa Look to Twarts the Gunners
Can Tim Sherwood's Aston Villa beat Arsenal to win the FA Cup?

Since Tim Sherwood was appointed as manager after the dismissal of Paul Lambert, Aston Villa have regained some form and have played some excellent football. The former Tottenham boss has led the club to their first FA Cup final since 2000 and has helped Villa climb out of the relegation battle. We take a look at the upcoming final, which will be played on May 30th, and give our thoughts on who may come out on top. For more FA Cup news and odds, or just more general football news, click here.

Villa have been sensational under Sherwood


Aston Villa Beat Chelsea FCThe Villains have improved significantly during Sherwood’s brief tenure at the club and their stronger players are beginning to regain confidence in front of goal. Belgium international Christian Benteke has scored 11 goals in his last 12 matches under Sherwood’s guidance, while the likes of Tom Cleverley and Gabriel Agbonlahor have also been in great form. If they continue to perform at a high standard, Villa will certainly be able to compete with Arsenal and with a bit of luck, will be lifting the famous trophy for the first time since 1957. 

The pressure is all on the Gunners


Arsenal are the current holders of the FA Cup and all of the pressure is on them to deliver back-to-back domestic cup successes. Arsene Wenger’s side have been formidable throughout the second half of the campaign but were recently beaten by Garry Monk’s Swansea City, despite dominating the match. The likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Ozil and Olivier Giroud have all been in sparkling form and caused numerous problems for some of the league’s best defences. Villa are likely to defend and try to hit Arsenal on the counter-attack, so the Gunners must remain patient if they are to achieve their second FA Cup success in as many years.

 Arsenal's Last FA Cup Success

Wenger’s job may be on the line if they lose


Arsene in Trouble

The Frenchman’s position as manager may come under scrutiny if Arsenal do not go on to lift the trophy at the end of May. Apart from an away fixture at Manchester United, the Gunners have had a relatively straightforward route to the final and the 65-year-old will have no excuses if Villa pull off a shock victory. Arsenal supporters have been split on the Frenchman for quite some time now, but back-to-back FA Cup successes would certainly help to keep the critics off his back. However, a defeat could mark the end of his 20 year career at the club.



Posted by Rafa Gonzales on 05/15/2015 at 12:01 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Barcelona's Dominance makes the Catalans the
Barcelona's Dominance makes the Catalans the "Elephant in the Room"

Ian and Martin this week discuss the elephant in the room, Barcelona FC. The Soccer Comics go into depth about managers and who will be available and where they will go. Will Guardiola leave Bayern Munich? Will he leave to go to Manchester City? The guys discuss Jurgen Klopp and if he is perfect for Munich if Pep were to leave the Bavarian club. 

Martin and Ian also debate the relegation battle, who will avoid the drop? Will it be Hull City, Leicester City, Sunderland, Newcastle United, Aston Villa, or Burnley? The hosts also discuss Manchester United's win and Louis van Gaal's reputation to change systems "on the fly."

Ian and Martin take some time to discuss the coming of Steven Gerrard to the Los Angeles Galaxy and Major League Soccer.  

Also among the topics of discussion in episode 109 of the Soccer Comic Rant, La Liga and Champions League

Tune in for upcoming interviews with quality guests, giveaways and some quality football discussion. Be sure to follow the hosts and the shows twitter accounts too, @IanEdwardsComic @Martinwharris @SoccerComicRant 

If you want to add a topic into the discussion for the weekly show email WFD producer Gio Franco at or tweet him at @FrancotheG 

Posted by Gio Franco on 05/13/2015 at 11:58 AM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
"Soccer is very much alive" Alive and Thriving

This week's edition of the Soccer Comic Rant Ian and Martin discuss the new champions of England, Chelsea FC. The guys also take time to talk about the most influential players in this season's transfers and the worst transfers in England. The Soccer Comics also go over the massive relegation battle occurring in the English Premier League. The argument of "who is the best coach in the BPL this season" appears. 

It is also a bitter sweet week as both Martin and Ian's teams (Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United) suffered a 1-0 loss at the weekend, so the woes come out along with the comedic jabs. The hosts also briefly discuss Major League Soccer along with the teams who will be promoted to the English Premier League for the next campaign. 

Also among the topics of discussion in episode 108 of the Soccer Comic Rant, Serie A, La Liga and Champions League

Tune in for upcoming interviews with quality guests, giveaways and some quality football discussion. Be sure to follow the hosts and the shows twitter accounts too, @IanEdwardsComic @Martinwharris @SoccerComicRant 

If you want to add a topic into the discussion for the weekly show email WFD producer Gio Franco at or tweet him at @FrancotheG 

Posted by Gio Franco on 05/07/2015 at 12:07 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
Portland Timbers 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps from Providence Park
Nagbe's penalty strikes the post in the first half.
Portland Timbers 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps from Providence Park

Major League Soccer - Providence Park

05/2/2015: Clear, 18C/65F

Attendance: 21,314

Pre-game records: Portland Timbers (W2-D3-L3) vs. Vancouver Whitecaps (W5-D1-L3)

Starting Line-ups:

Portland Timbers – GLK Adam Larsen Kwarasey, DEF Alvas Powell, DEF Liam Ridgewell, DEF Nat Borchers, DEF Jorge Villafana, MID Rodney Wallace, MID Diego Chara, MID Jack Jewsbury, MID Darlington Nagbe, MID Ishmael Yartey, FWD Maximiliano Urruti. Formation: 4-2-3-1.

Vancouver Whitecaps: GLK David Ousted, DEF Jordan Harvey, DEF Pah Madou Kah, DEF Kendall Waston, DEF Ethen Sampson, MID Pedro Morales, MID Gershon Koffie, MID Russell Teibert, MID Mauro Rosales, MID Darren Mattocks, FWD Octavio Rivero. Formation: 4-2-3-1.

Game 9 of the MLS season:

On a beautiful day in the Rose City, the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps squared off in what would be another game in the Cascadia Cup series and with the Portland Timbers having unluckily lost to the Seattle Sounders one week prior, they were looking to revive their season with a potential victory over a team flying high early in the season in the shape of the Vancouver Whitecaps. Caleb Porter decided to stick with the same side that lost their previous game except for the returning Rodney Wallace, showing faith in those that showed good possession play away to the Sounders.

The news that Diego Valeri was on the bench delighted not only Coach Porter but also the faithful home fans after a lengthy lay off through injury. Will Johnson was not quite ready to gain a position on the bench but his comeback from an ACL injury is also complete and he is expected to feature in the next game. Vancouver had started the season in excellent form and with 5 wins from 9 games, they began the game 7 points clear of the home side with Octavia Morales netting 5 goals in the process. The noise in the stadium before kick off was almost deafening as both the Timbers Army and the away fans were in full voice looking forward to a potentially cracking game.

Match Report:

1st Half

First 20 mins: After a fairly even first 10 minutes former Timber Pah Madou Kah decided to ratchet up the intensity with what looked like an elbow into the face of Max Urruti but the referee decided against any malicious intent much to the dismay of the home crowd and did not book the Vancouver center back. To be fair, Urruti certainly made the most of it clutching his face. Rodney Wallace’ pace was exploiting the Vancouver right hand side and on 19 minutes, Vancouver right back Ethen Sampson was booked for a late challenge on Villafana putting him on the back foot. The Timbers were beginning to enjoy a good period of possession heading toward the 20 minute mark.

29 mins: PENALTY! The Portland Timbers were given a penalty after Kah handled the ball inside the area by raising his arm in an unnatural position from a Yartey cross. The referees’ assistant appeared to signal that it was indeed handball as the referee did not see the incident. Darlington Nagbe stepped up, sent the keeper the wrong way and hit the post to the disbelief of the home fans.

32 mins: Rodney Wallace once again wriggles free down the left hand side in a pacey attack and delivered a decent cross. Urruti managed to get free of his defender and was onside but headed the ball over the crossbar. Fernendo Adi on the bench must have wished he had that opportunity with that extra height. Still 0-0 and Portland dominated but just could not find the net.

Half Time Score: Portland Timbers 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

Shots: Portland Timbers 6-3 Vancouver Whitecaps

Possession: Portland Timbers 64%-36% Vancouver Whitecaps

2nd Half:

52 mins: Coach Porter decided that it was time to bring on the crowd favorite and on comes one Diego Valeri for Ishmael Yartey to an ecstatic home crowd. The Timbers were once again dominating the game and pressing Vancouver back who showed very little in attacking prowess, mostly due to Portland’s excellent retention of the ball in this game.

66 mins: After a lull in the game with neither team creating much, Caleb Porter decided to introduce Fernendo Adi into the attack removing Max Urruti from the action. Within 2 minutes Adi broke deep inside the Vancouver half but dallied on the ball and lost out to Kah. Adi looked for a free kick but the referee wasn’t buying it.

72 mins: The Timbers pushing forward again and this time it falls to Darlington Nagbe whose shot is blocked by a defender and Jack Jewsbury finds himself at the edge of the box with a shot on goal which he fires low but there is not enough pace on it to trouble the keeper. A minute later Rodney Wallace is found on the left hand side by Nagbe and his low cross looks perfect for Diego Valeri but he scuffs his shot completely from a golden opportunity.

87 mins: Constant pressure from the Timbers and they came forward in waves at the Vancouver defense who stood resolute. Diego Valeri was throwing in numerous set piece crosses but the away side continued to block and clear away. This was a true game of defense versus attack and with the clean sheet, it was the Vancouver Whitecaps who came out on top as Portland just could not create clear cut chances.


This was a game that the Portland Timbers pretty much dominated from start to finish except for a cagey first 10 minute spell and Caleb Porter will feel that his team did more than enough to take the 3 points at home tonight. Chances came for Urruti, Jewsbury, and returning hero Diego Valeri but somehow the home team were unable to find the back of the net. Nagbe’s penalty miss proved crucial in the end as the match ended in stalemate with Vancouver much the happier team with the result. The Timbers are certainly looking more like the side of 2 season ago though when they won the Western Conference and supporters shield and with Diego Valeri back and looking sharp and Will Johnson to return soon, the future looks brighter for Caleb Porters team.

Full Time Score: Portland Timbers 0-0 Vancouver Whitecaps

Shots: Portland Timbers 13 – 7 Vancouver Whitecaps

Possession: Portland Timbers 65% – 35% Vancouver Whitecaps


Posted by Mark Henty on 05/02/2015 at 7:37 PM - PERMALINK | EMAIL | DISCUSS | PRINT | RSS  Subscribe
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