Happy St. Patrick's Day. If you're reading this right now and you're not plastered, then I'm going to have to assume you are not Irish or you're working (like me). Anyway, if I owned an Ireland Roy Keane jersey, I'd have worn it today. My colleague at The Star Pete Grathoff did that... I'm almost green with envy. Got my shimmy-shimmy shamrock shake, so it's all good.And we start, as we always will, with some Wizards news....The friendly against AC St. Louis* has been moved from Saturday to Friday due to the threat of severe weather (cue ominous THERE'S GOING TO BE SNOW! music). The Supporter's Game has been called off (from what I've heard is from a lack of support from St. Louis). The game is still at the Swope Park Training facility and starts at 5 p.m. The reserves will take on UMKC at 3 p.m. Both games are free. [Hillcrest Road
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...The Wizards added Senegalese midfielder Birahim Diop to the squad today. This leaves Sunil Chhetri as the only speculated-but-as-of-yet-unsigned player coming into the squad. By the way, if you're counting at home, the Wizards have 13 players that can play the midfield (five are holding mids). Perhaps this is where they trim the roster from 27 to 24. (It's possible that Santiago Hirsig -- who was linked to a bunch of teams this offseason -- and Jack Jewsbury -- though I doubt it -- might be shown the door.) [The Full 90
]...WVHooligan runs through his list of X-Factors for this MLS season. Jimmy Nielsen makes the list. Here's what he says:
8. Jimmy Neilsen [sic] (Kansas City Wizards): The Wizards are going to be very interesting to watch early on this year. For one we'll all need name tags on the players for a few weeks until we know who all these new guys are. Nielsen is one of those new guys, one that definitely got plenty of talk when he signed a while back. Neilsen [sic] takes over for the departed Kevin Hartman, who's now in Dallas.Neilsen [sic] is being brought in to smooth out a defense that was not so smooth in 2009. He's known as a guy that controls his box very tightly and can organize any defense. If he gets this bunch organized and collected right in 2010 the Wizard's could have a nice turn around.
Despite his spelling issues with Jimmy
it's a pretty OK analysis. [WV Hooligan
]...Pretty sweet retro shirt from the Wizards and Time Warner. The first 5,000 fans to the CAB for the home opener next Saturday (if there actually is, you know, a home opener) will get one. [Hillcrest Road
Around the MLS
...Has ESPN Soccernet given up on the MLS? According to former scribe Steve Davis (now at SI.com) you need a "CSI techie" to find its MLS coverage these days. [Daily Soccer Fix
]...Peter Wilt at Pitch Invasion gives his proposed solutions to the ongoing labor strife. [Pitch Invasion
]...If the league does strike, you can bet a signed copy of Tiger Beat with Corey Haim on the cover (too soon?) that Landon Donovan will go back to England. And, if he goes, he says the only team he'll play for is Everton. [Goal.com
]...Yeah, what's the deal with the 2010 Green Soccer Bowl ... in Detroit? What does "green" mean? Why is called "Soccer Bowl?" [The Offside Rules
]...No more rug in Toronto. A-Men. [The Offside Rules
The Champions League
The quarterfinals are set with Leo Messi and Barcelonadismantling Stuttgart 4-0 (5-1 aggregate)
and Bordeaux]beat Olympiacos 2-1 (3-1 on aggregate)
.So the final 8 are:Arsenal
And just for fun...
Some Flogging Molly. You know, in honor of St. Patrick's Day.