The Wizards are 2-0. They haven't been scored upon yet. Many pundits have thrust them almost directly to the top of their power ratings. So... why does it feel like many in the soccer media are dishing out a side of back-handed compliments with all this praise? Are they looking down their noses at us rubes in the Midwest? Am I being too sensitive? Have I bought into the idea of a collective Midwestern inferiority complex?Read more of the nightly news round-up (with, I promise, less "the media are out to get us" vibes) after the jump.
Wrapping up a days worth of news, links, rumors and rampant speculation.
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• Hey, we've got soccer AND culture in Kansas City! We also just got talking picture shows! (Actually, I kid. I see where Greg Lalas is going with this piece -- i.e. the team's culture has changed for the better -- it's just that the headline is kinda insulting. [
]• A very nice photo gallery of the game by Brian Stevens. [
]• The Sunday After Stats ... which I'm linking to on Monday. [Down the Byline
]• Hey, ESPN, just because you don't know any of their names doesn't mean the Wizards are filled with "no name" players. Don't get me wrong, I like that you have the team rightfully ranked second, but isn't Jimmy Conrad a "name" player. For crissakes, he writes a column for you! What about Kei Kamara? Davy Arnaud? Josh Wolff was a national team striker. And Ryan Smith might not be on the tip of the national soccer media's lips, but he's gonna be soon. In fact, if anyone can prove to me that Ryan Smith isn't one of the Top 5 most exciting on the ball players in the MLS right now,* I will eat my lunch this afternoon. [ESPN
]* I was trying really hard to think of who would be on this list. I came up with two players that are as entertaining on the ball: Guillermo Barros Schelotto and Fredy Montero. Those are the only two players I've seen that made me suck in my breath in anticipation. Smith is the third.
• Ives has the Wizards in the second spot too. [
]• Jimmy Nielsen and Richard Espinoza make Steve Davis' Starting XI. This is odd though: He praises the team (3rd in his rankings) without one single solitary back-handed compliment. Must've missed that memo, huh? [Sports Illustrated
The Next Opponent
• Word on the Colorado boards on BigSoccer is that Claudio Lopez will likely get some time (maybe 30 minutes) Tuesday. He's definitely back in town. [Rapids Undercurrent
• D.C. United will have a chance to get obliterated by the AC Milan reserve team next month. [Soccer Insider
]• The Soccer Don talks about a second MLS franchise in New York... [MLS Insider
]• ... and a few thoughts on the MLSsoccer.com disaster: "I'm terribly frustrated, embarrassed, angry, and can say only to our fans: I apologize for where we are today. Stick with us, because we're going to get it right, and it'll ultimately deliver more value than anything we've been able to deliver in the past." That was just part of a massive Q&A with Sports Illustrated's Grant Wahl. [Sports Illustrated
]• Speaking of MLS's web site fail... [MLS
]• Toronto fans are starting to get a little restless with Mo Johnston. [24th Minute
]• Hat-trick hero Sebastien Le Toux is the MLS player of the week. [MLS
]MLS schedule Thursday, April 15
· Philadelphia at Toronto FC, 6 p.m. -- ESPN2Saturday, April 17
· Kansas City at Seattle FC, 2 p.m. -- KCWE (Ch. 29)
· Chivas USA at Houston, 3 p.m. -- TeleFutura
· Chicago at D.C. United, 6:30 p.m.
· FC Dallas at New York, 6:30 p.m.
· New England at San Jose, 9 p.m.
· Real Salt Lake at Los Angeles, 9:30 p.m. -- Fox Soccer Channel
Sunday, April 18
· Toronto FC at Colorado, 1 p.m.
Around the Midwest
• A.C. St. Louis officially began their USSF Division II season with a 2-0 loss to Carolina. [ACSTL Fanatic
]• Kansas City native Michael Thomas did not feature in Halmstads BK's loss to Mjällby AIF in Sweden. [Yanks-Abroad
Just for Fun
• It's Bayern Munich-Manchester United ... WITH LEGOS!