*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:
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
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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