It's the Champions League Final. Inter Milan. Bayern Munich. There will be diving! Defensive football! Red cards galore! Can't you just taste the excitement in the air! Oh, wait, that's not excitement. That's just the bitter taste of impending boredom in a bowl of sadness.
It's the Champions League Final. Inter Milan. Bayern Munich. Can't you just taste the excitement in the air! Oh, wait, that's not excitement. That's just the bitter taste of impending boredom in a bowl of sadness. That and more in tonight's nightly news report. Plus, I'm going to link to a story that might completely harsh whatever World Cup mellow you've got. Sorry, it's just my job. Wrapping up a days worth of news, links, rumors and rampant speculation.
Today's Must Read
• This is just... withering.
"This is Tin Can Town, or Blikkiesdorp, described by the mayor of Cape Town as a 'temporary relocation area' (TRA), but by its residents as a concentration camp. Many say they were forcibly evicted from their former homes and moved here against their will. And for this they blame one thing: the football World Cup."
There were bound to be stories like this as we grow closer to the World Cup. With every triumph comes tragedy. But this kind of stuff is very, very avoidable. [The Guardian]
• The Wizards dispatched Baker University today in a scrimmage, 7-1. Goals scored by Kamara (2), Wolff, Arnaud, Chhetri (my hits just doubled typing that name!), Kostrov and Hirsig. [Hillcrest Road]
• Lots of goals from lots of former Wizards this week. [Down the Byline] • A Spanish interview with Roger Espinoza. [MLS]
• The banged-up Dynamo are turning to Brad Davis to help rescue them as an attacking midfielder. [Houston Chronicle]
The Champions League
• If Inter Milan were a snake, it would be a massive python. They just squeeze the life out of their opponents once they have the upper hand. They're also as fascinating. (In this metaphor, Barcelona are a King Cobra. Without venom, they're not as scary.) [The Independent] • The Special One was ... happy, I think. Victor Valdes wasn't.
• Ha! Barca turned on the sprinklers while Inter was celebrating. [Dirty Tackle] • The final is Saturday, May 22. Oh, Bayern's Franck Ribery has been banned. [Yahoo!]
Around the league
• Some things just go without comment and you wish all the parties involved the best of luck: Sharlie Joseph to enter drug rehab. [Boston Herald] • Nope. It might be this simple: If Edson Buddle doesn't score, the Galaxy can't win. [MLS] • NAPA Save of the Week. I voted for Ricketts. I like him. Jimmy was robbed. [MLS Insider] • Booooooo! [MLS] • Will the Galaxy bring in a big name? Or perhaps a short name like, um, Raul? [Los Angeles Times] • SuperLiga. Yawn. [MLS] • Nyassi should talk to Ryan Smith sometime about brutal coverage. The MLS is rough, but it ain't the English bar league Championship. [MLS] Bored with losing to MLS sides, D.C. United will now try its hand at losing to foreign powerhouses. Take that Seattle! [MLS Insider] • Today's new greatest blog today: Dan Loney's on Big Soccer. (Hat Tip to Sam for this one.) [Big Soccer] • Schelotto may skip the turf at Seattle. [Sounder at Heart] • More trouble in Toronto. [Soccer by Ives] MLS scheduleSaturday, May 1
· New York at D.C. United, 3 p.m.
· FC Dallas at New England, 6:30 p.m.
· Kansas City at Houston, 7:30 p.m.
· Chivas USA at Chicago, 7:30 p.m.
· Toronto FC at Real Salt Lake, 8 p.m.
· Colorado at San Jose, 9 p.m.
· Philadelphia at Los Angeles, 9:30 p.m.
· Columbus at Seattle FC, 9:30 p.m.
Onward Social Media!
• As you probably already know, The Full 90 is on the Twitter. And we love the Twitter. Well, in the next few weeks, we're going to expand. First? Tumblr. Which is Twitter with more features and more room. You can check it out at thefull90.tumbler.com. The content will consist of stuff from this blog plus random things that are too long for Twitter and too short for here. Second? Facebook. For some reason, I've completely neglected Facebook. This will be fixed in the very near future. Is there another social media outlet I'm missing? Which ones do you guys use the most?
U.S. Open Cup
• D.C. tastes victory for the first time this year. Former Wizard Adam Cristman scored twice. [MLS]
The Canadian Equivalent Cup
• Toronto beat Montreal 2-0 in the opening game of the Nutrilite Canadian Championship. Good to see that Americans not only tried to ruin hockey but also sullied Canadians by forcing them to adhere to the same ridiculous sponsorship stuff too. [Mistake by the Lake]
The Bigger Than Both Those Tournaments That Featured All Mexican Team Equivalent
• The winners of the U.S. Open Cup and the Nutrilite Canadian Championship will qualify for the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. The winner of that will qualify for the World Club Cup Tournament. And, as if it were a touch of serendipitous destiny...
• Pachuca (and American Jose Francisco Torres) beat Cruz Azul 1-0 in stoppage time of the CONCACAF Champions League tournament. [MLS]
Of Interest to Soccer Fans
• How do countries that aren't traditional powerhouses go about finding their own "Next Messi"? [New York Times] • You know you want to read Ray Hudson's thoughts on just about anything... why not Herculez Gomez and parrots? [Pitch Invasion]
Around the World
• Warning! There's been an Eddie Johnson sighting in Greece. He scored two goals to help his club, Aris, beat Olympiakos in a play-off that gets them one step closer to a Champions League berth. Warning! Freddy Adu also played well, snagging an assist. [Soccer by Ives]
The World Cup
• U.S. captain Carlos Bocanegra urges the United States to think big. Like qualifying for the second round, picking the winning Powerball numbers and getting a complimentary monte cristo sandwich? That kind of big? Cause that's what I'm thinking and if I need to think bigger, I can. [Sports Illustrated] • The U.S. moves up to #14 in the FIFA World Rankings. Brazil is #1 and Spain fell to #2. Fellow Group C rankings: England (8), Slovenia (23) and Algeria (31). [FIFA]
Just for Fun
As first discovered by Full 90 reader Szazzy, here's New York Red Bull Conor Chinn (he of the "double" on Tuesday night in the U.S. Open Cup) as a "naturally ranked" commercial star.
Due to an impending surgery (read: Friday) to repair ligament damage to my foot (and possibly, I'm still working with the doctor on this, to give me some radical upgrades like rocket boosters), the blog will be down for a few days. There will still be a preview on Saturday and a post-game wrap on Sunday, but not much else. The crack legal team for The Star felt I shouldn't blog on Vicodin.
So, since we won't be making predictions, here's a pre-Vicodin prediction for this weekend: Kansas City 1, Houston 0. (Kamara atones.)
Vive le Wizards!