The soccer world's focus is shifting away from domestic leagues as the singularity known as the World Cup approaches - but here in the USA, our league is still chugging along for a couple more weeks before a three-week break. For Fire fans, in fact, the tempo is going to kick up a notch - Chicago will play its first midweek fixture of the season next week, and has games against Columbus, Los Angeles, Colorado and Seattle before they shut it down after June 7.
If you're playing MLS Fantasy Manager, the weeks ahead are tricky. Several teams have double-game weeks, and while there's a free-transfer week coming up, this isn't one of them. Plus there's games tonight - DC hosting Houston, Dallas visiting the Galaxy - so the time to make your transfers is approximately right now.
Lupe Fiasco wants you to care right now about the USMNT
Sounds like everyone's having a bravura time at the USA's World Cup prep camp in San Francisco. Lupe Fiasco signed on as the official hype man - a first for the squad - so we got that goin' for us, which is nice. Lando shrugs his shoulders and says, "Sure, I guess Julian Green is pretty good," in a series of statements so carefully parsed, they sound like the work of a committee of PR flacks.
Tim Howard, meanwhile, is assertively taking a leadership role on the team in his third World Cup. He's heard the criticism of the roster - that it's too young and too domestic - and thinks those may actually be good things. "This team is younger, but I think we're slightly better than 2010, only because of that youth, and that inexperience almost helps you," Howard said. "Guys don't actually know what to expect, they're just hungry and ready to go for it."
This World Cup will be a bit different for US fans, as they'll have MLS players sprinkled throughout. The league's strategy of buying affordable Central American talent is on display in the rosters of Honduras and Costa Rica, as each has four players earning a living in MLS.
Also: Sartorial splendor, soccer-style. Don't click that link unless you're ready to encounter the vest that would've made Freddy Mercury a USA supporter. You've been warned.