Mark it down boys and girls, Monday is 45 days until the World Cup kicks off in South Africa. While you wait with baited breath (and we cram for our upcoming 32 teams in 32 days feature for the blog) there's a lot going on. The races in England, France, Italy and Germany are all tight. The second leg of the Champions Leg semi-finals are upon us. And the MLS is just starting to get really, really interesting. Sit back and get ready to click some links.
Wrapping up a days worth of news, links, rumors and rampant speculation.
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• While Kei Kamara's miss is drawing a lot of press (both in the states and abroad) it's easy to forget (or overlook) the importance of a few things Saturday night. First, the Wizards absolutely took that game to the Galaxy, whom many consider the league's best team. If it weren't for Kamara's miss or Donovan Rickett's excellent-ness, that was an easy victory. Second, Edson Buddle can be stopped! • Down the Byline's take on Saturday. [
] • Also, Mike has his player of the month for March/April: Jimmy Nielsen. Couldn't agree more. [
] • Steve Davis (who finally acknowledges the Wizards made moves this offseason
), leads his Week 5 roundup with praise of Roger Espinoza (which The Full 90 did in heaps already). The Wizards dropped to fourth in his power rankings this week. [Sports Illustrated
]• Some 'keeper videos for you: An interview with Jimmy Nielsen and a feature on KCW Juniors goalie Jon Kempin, who was justcalled up to the U-18 U.S. national team
The Next Opponent
• Recapping Houston's lackluster effort against Chicago. [Houston Dynamo
The MLSRound-up wrangling
• Jeff Carlise leads with the young midfielders driving Chicago and Chivas. [ESPN
]• Match Fit USA with their "one thing" review. [Match Fit USA
]• The MLS hangover by Greg Lalas leads with New England's struggle. [MLS
]• Kyle McCarthy talks Conor Casey and his World Cup chances. [Goal
• Goal tabs Pablo Mastroeni as the player of the week. [Goal
]• MLS goes with Dwayne De Rosario. [MLS
]• New England's Sharlie Joseph has been granted an indefinite leave of absence from the team. The Revs say it is "not soccer-related." [Boston Globe
]• Houston's Geoff Cameron's 2010 season is over. [Sports Illustrated
]• David Beckham's recovery has suffered a setback and he won't play in the MLS this year. [Sports Illustrated
]Around the league
• A look at the new left for the recharged Red Bulls. [New York Times
]• If you like puns ("Preki-nizable"? really?) then you'll love this column about how Preki's system finally worked. There's another item called "Large Frei." It's truly a terrible exercise in lazy pun writing. [SportsNet
]• Of course, then I saw this item about Toronto FC: General Manager Mo Johnston will take legal action against former coach Chris Cummins after Cummins spoke negatively about Johnston's work this season. [The 24th Minute
]• Real Salt Lake and Columbus have a nice feud going on. [MLS
]• Sounder fans... not pleased. [Sounder At Heart
]• Panic buttons being mashed in DC.* [World Soccer Reader
]*Looking for a reason why the Wizards couldn't score on Saturday night? Curt Onalfo was in the house in one of the suites!
• Chivas are in talks to bringMexican First Division scoring champion
(and former Wizard and The Full 90's favorite player) Herculez Gomez on board. [MLS
]MLS schedule Saturday, 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.
The Champions League
The final legs of the Champions League semi-finals are Tuesday and Wednesday. • Lyon will try to overturn a 1-0 deficit against Bayern Munich. [UEFA
]• Barcelona will search for 3 goals to make-up a 3-1 hole against Inter Milan. [Fox Soccer
]Champions League on TV Tuesday
Lyon vs. Bayern Munich 1:30 p.m. Fox Sports Net (tape at 5 and 8 on Fox Soccer Channel)Wednesday
Barcelona vs. Inter Milan 1:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel
USA! USA! USA!
• Charlie "The Terminator or Wolverine Depending on Your Personal Preference" Davies returned to full training with his club, Sochaux. [Soccer by Ives
]• The New York Times has a Q&A up with Davies. [New York Times
]• Behold... the home kit for the USA that hopefully Davies will wear this year.
• Is Grant Wahl on permanent Freddy Adu watch? [Sports Illustrated
]• Stuart Holden vows to be healthy for the World Cup. [MLS
]• Jozy Altidore apologies for his head-butt this weekend. On Twitter. [Goal
The World Cup
• The greatest world cup rivalries. [ESPN
]• Get World Cup ready with the ultimate World Cup playlist. New mission in life: Tracking down a vinyl copy of Rod Stewart and Scotland singing "Ole Ola" in 1978. [ESPN
Around the World
• Former Wizard Yura Movsisyan had two goals in a shocking Randers victory. (How's your Danish?) [Tipsbladet
]• Wayne Rooney: PFA player of the year. [Daily Mail
]• Local boy Michael Thomas was in the 18, but didn't play in Halmstads BK 3-0 loss to Orebro in the Swedish league. [Soccer Way
]• After losing 5-1 over the weekend to Hoffenheim, Hamburg sacked their manager. Oh, they play Fulham in the second-leg of the Europa League semi-finals this week. Great timing. [Times Online
]• Is the underage prostitution scandal putting Franck Ribbery and Karim Benzema in danger of being left off the French World Cup roster? [Fox Soccer
Just for Fun
• Best. Goal. Celebration. Ever. (Via With Leather