It was a busier Tuesday than it might have seemed. Aside from Bayern Munich sublimely booking their place in the Champions League finals, ESPN continued to stoke the great hype machine ahead of the World Cup and the great and mighty MLS power ranking elites have spoken. Plus, Sunil Chhetri got the Q&A treatment, the U.S. Open Cup qualifying creaks along at a pace that makes World Cup qualifying seem almost cheetah-like and much more.
Wrapping up a days worth of news, links, rumors and rampant speculation.
Today's Must Read
• If you only read one story today, make it this one. It's by former Star writer Wright Thompson (now with ESPN) and it's... sort of beyond description. It's about the earthquake in Haiti and two men in the Haiti Football Association. One lived. One died. Seriously, if you skip the rest of this article and just go read that story, I'll understand. I almost demand it. [ESPN
] • ESPN's E:60 tonight featured a story from the Haitian women's U-17 team* playing in March.
The WizardsWizard's Injury Report
OUT: MF Zoltan Hercegfalvi (R knee sprain/torn ACL); QUESTIONABLE: DF Jimmy Conrad (L calf strain); PROBABLE: FW Teal Bunbury (R toe strain); MF Ryan Smith (L footneuroma
); MF Graham Zusi (L hamstring strain)• A nice and surprisingly extensive Q&A with our favorite Indian striker, Sunil Chhetri. [MLS
Next OpponentHouston's injury report
OUT: FW Brian Ching (L hamstring strain); MF Geoff Cameron (R knee); DOUBTFUL: MF Richard Mulrooney (R knee inflammation); FW Cam Weaver (R knee strain)
The MLSPower Ranking Rodeo!
Every week, in lieu of my own power rankings (which I won't do out of a mixture of protest and laziness) I'll corral five power rankings from the five sources that I sorta trust. This week's average ratings for the Wizards? 3.8. •WWV Hooligan:
3rd. Verdict: "I like what they do a little more than the club [Columbus] above them in the standings."•Soccer by Ives:
4th. Verdict: "A road game against a vulnerable Houston side should show us just how seriously we can take the Wizards as a powerhouse this season." •Steve Davis:
4th. Verdict: "A draw at home may be a little souring for the new Wizards, but shutting out Los Angeles with your best defender (Jimmy Conrad) out injured is nothing to dismiss."•ESPN:
4th. Verdict: "Poor finishing aside, the Wizards can take comfort in a disciplined defensive performance minus usual starter Jimmy Conrad." •Goal:
4th. Verdict: "The Wizards probably couldn't have picked a better time to plan a visit to Houston."Around the league
• MLS Goal of the Week voting is up. (Not to sway you, but I went with Sasha Kljestan over Fredy Montero. Namely, because I dislike Montero. But also because Kljestan's touch to open a shooting lane for himself was pretty slick.) [MLS Insider
] • The 24th Minute has a very reasonable (and very impossible for reasons he details) plan for relegation/promotion for MLS. I'd settle for a single-table system before rel/prom. [The 24th Minute
] • Columbus and Real Salt Lake still have some bad blood. [Salt Lake Tribune
] • The New York Mets still want to bring a second team to New York. (Um, hope thatdown attendance at Red Bull Stadium this weekend
doesn't affect that.) [WV Hooligan
] • A look at the MLS rookies. Teal Bunbury falls under the "jury is still out" category. [Goal
] • MLS expansion talk, breaking down the prime candidates for the 20th MLS team. [WV Hooligan
] • "LA happy to put KC behind them, move on to expansion Philly." [MLS
] • How some MLS teams are employing their wing men. Ryan Smith makes a cameo near the end. [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.
U.S. Open Cup
• Conor Chinn bags a brace (if people insist on using the British word, at least maintain the alluring alliteration!) to propel the New York Red Bulls past the Philadelphia Union in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup play-in game. How long does this tournament take, anyway? Feels like a month since KC-Colorado played. [MLS
] • Is it time to overhaul the Cup?[MLS
The Champions League
• Bayern Munich marches into the Champions League final, thrashing Olympic Lyon 4-0 on aggregate. A hat-trick by Croatian forward Ivica Olic sealed the deal for Munich. [The Guardian
] • Today's game between Inter Milan and Barcelona will provide the finals other participant. Inter leads 3-1 with Barca netting that ever dangerous (and ridiculous) away goal!Champions League on TV Wednesday
Barcelona vs. Inter Milan 1:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel
USA! USA! USA!
• Nothing wrong with some speculation about which 30 players Bob Bradley will call up on May 11.Goal
both take turns fishing in the player pool. • ESPN:60's feature last week on U.S. midfielder Clint Dempsey.
The World Cup
• FIFA says the stadiums in South Africa will be full! [Sports Illustrated
] • The New York Times with a fantastic feature on 44 years of English failure. [New York Times
Just for Fun
• The gentle art of diving... perfected on the Faroe Islands. (via 101 Great Goals)