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Thursday kickaround

*What they are saying about the incomparable Lionel Messi, who had two goals Wednesday against Stuttgart after scoring three Sunday vs. Valencia.....

Barcelona Manager Pep Guardiola: "The best players are always in the thick of the action. [Michael] Jordan did it with the Bulls, [Kobe] Bryant does it with the Lakers and Leo does it here."
Stuttgart Manager Christian Gross: "It's fair to compare him to Maradona."
El Pais columnist Ramon Besa: "Messi plays as if he were a seasoned jazz musician, always recognizable but different every night. He improvises with the same old score, the band follows him and he plays with a religious faith, and the fans demand that the music never stops."

*The quarterfinal field is set: Barcelona, Bordeaux, Arsenal, Bayern Munich, Inter Milan, Manchester United, Lyon and CSKA Moscow. Two French clubs but only one apiece from Spain, Germany and Italy? The open draw -- no seeds, no restrictions -- will take place Friday for the March 30-31 and April 6-7 matches. We will also learn the potential semifinal pairings. (I will post a poll later.)

*North Korea's pre-World Cup tour of the Americas continued in Mexico with a 2-1 loss to El Tri. Remember when the North Koreans came to RFK Stadium in 1991 -- and beat Bora and the United States, 2-1?

*I'm getting word that Houston has signed Lovel Palmer, a trialist from Harbour View in Jamaica, who would contend to fill the defensive midfield slot vacated by Ricardo Clark. Awaiting confirmation.

*Americans abroad and TV listings on the continuation of this thread, but first, video from Columbus's 3-2 loss at Toluca in the second leg of the CONCACAF Champions League quarterfinals. The Mexican club advanced on a 5-4 aggregate:

*Americans abroad:
MF Clint Dempsey and Fulham vs. Juventus in Europa League
(Juventus won the first leg at home, 3-1)

*Soccer on TV:
Europa League, Fulham-Juventus 2 p.m. ET, GolTV
Europa League, Sporting Lisbon-Atletico Madrid 4 p.m. GolTV
Libertadores, Cerro-Internacional 6 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol
Europa League, Liverpool-Lille 8 p.m. GolTV
U-17 girls semifinals, USA-Canada 8 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel
Libertadores, Sao Paulo-Nacional 8:30 p.m. FSE
CONCACAF, Pumas-Marathon 10 p.m. Galavision
Libertadores, Independiente Medellin-Racing 10:30 p.m. FSE
U-17 girls semifinals, Mexico-Costa Rica 11 p.m. FSC

By Steve Goff  |  March 18, 2010; 9:15 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Americans Abroad , Argentina , CONCACAF Champions League , Euro Champions League , MLS , Mexico , Spain , TV  
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Next: Poll: Champions League winner is .....

Comments

EJ got some PT with Aris yesterday. Saved shot led to a goal.

Posted by: Reignking | March 18, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Basketball references from Guardiola? That's interesting. Can't wait to hear some soccer references from...who is coaching the Wizards these days?

Posted by: troy6 | March 18, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Did the Mexicans have to provide jerseys to the North Koreans? Did they start on time or was it too hot?

Posted by: troy6 | March 18, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised when I didn't see DCU's Chris Pontius in the line-up last Saturday. I was worried when I didn't see CP in the line-up last night. What's going on?

Posted by: hoyanick1 | March 18, 2010 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Guardiola has March Madness.

Posted by: Reignking | March 18, 2010 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I heard a rumor there might be some college basketball games on TV this afternoon.

Troy, according to Telemundo's crew, the North Koreans DID have to borrow their red jerseys from someone in Mexico. They lost their luggage somewhere in their travels and they had to borrow gear in Venezuela, too. They were going to Chile originally but had to change plans due to the earthquake.

Posted by: Joel_M_Lane | March 18, 2010 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Basketball references from Guardiola? That's interesting. Can't wait to hear some soccer references from...who is coaching the Wizards these days?

Posted by: troy6 | March 18, 2010 9:53 AM

The difference is that Catalans are generally into basketball. Flip Saunders probably is not.

Posted by: Kev29 | March 18, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

By the way, according to his Wikipedia page, the proper Catalan pronunciation of Josep Guardiola is [ʑuˈzɛp ɡwəɾˈðjɔɫə].

Ahh, that clears it up!

Posted by: Kev29 | March 18, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Timberwolves draft pick Ricky Rubio plays for FCB too.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricky_Rubio

Posted by: EssEff | March 18, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget the Gasols, too.

Posted by: Reignking | March 18, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

hoyanick1 -- reports from friends who went down to Charleston for the games indicate that Pontius picked up a slight muscle strain in training. Nothing serious -- should be ready for opening day, assuming there *is* an opening day -- but we probably won't see him this weekend against Charleston, either. That's what I've heard, anyway.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | March 18, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Keep in mind if you have DirecTV you can watch all the Europa games live on special free channels, 461-465.

Posted by: StewartDC8 | March 18, 2010 2:59 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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