In about 30 minutes last evening, the Xolos from Tijuana demonstrated that 'the gap' - to use a term from Jeremiah Oshan's CONCACAF Champions League preview piece - was a thing to be minded, indeed. Three goals in the opening half-hour overturned the Galaxy's hard-won one-goal advantage, and Tijuana coasted home 4-2 winnerson the night and 4-3 on aggregate.
San Jose travels to La Bombonera to play Toluca this evening at 7 p.m. CDT, hoping to Goonie their way to the semifinals after tying, 1-1, in the home leg.
Kansas City leads Cruz Azul 1-0 going into tonight's final leg in Mexico City (9 p.m. CDT). Their task is the most daunting, as they must stifle the LigaMX leaders in the smoggy, oxygen-deficient atmosphere at Estadio Azul.
Klinsi MIND CONTROL
Julian Green picks the USA! I ... c'mon, none of us have seen him play. It's a sign of the state of the modern game that immediate analysis from the US soccersphere includes the thought that this is a good move by Bayern to 'extend their brand into the US market.' Jesus wept.
Red Stars announce preseason roster
Coach Rory Dames and the Chicago Red Stars announced the team's 25-woman preseason roster yesterday. The club begins preparations for the 2014 season with a friendly against FC Kansas City on Saturday in Fenton, Missouri.
Pub To Pitch update
The Fire have expanded and updated the popular 'Pub to Pitch' program. $10 gets your drunk self from a watering hole, to Toyota Park, then back to that watering hole. No ticket? No problem. For $30, your drunk self gets two-way transport, plus a seat in Section 8. NICE.
Crain's features Fire marketing
Hey, who doesn't love marketing about marketing? I sure do. Simply by playing this video, one will be able to use the phrase "best-in-class" unironically - share it with your friends, marketing students! This is valuable career-type stuff here.
We're No. 16! Or, uh, 17.
The groupthink of internet soccer scribes says the Chicago Fire are one of the five worst teams in the league, with remarkable consistency: two have us at 17th, while four others list the Fire in 16th.
My power rankings go like this: 1.) Chicago Fire ... 19.) (18-way tie) All those other teams. My data is proprietary, and per site and personal guidelines, is not released.
Traditional FIFA thugonomics
Longtime Bigsoccer front-page writer Bill Archer - an invaluable resource to anyone trying to stay abreast of the ethical singularity that is CONCACAF's leadership - wrote yesterday about the slow unwinding of the Jack Warner regime. Two decades of graft, bribery, racketeering and thuggery under Warner's direction are slowly floating to the surface, aided apparently by a cooperating witness also named Warner - Daryan Warner, Smilin' Jack's son.
I did a bit of research, and found something fascinating - did you know that UEFA, the governing body of European football, has a top-level club competition called Champions League, too? Crazy. It's just like ours, except they're in the round of 16 two-legged matches, playing into the quarterfinals right now.
Apparently, Manchester United is playing Olympiakos today in that other Champs League. Dortmund is at Zenit, where Andre Villas-Boas will again break the spine of a formerly lovely countering team over his dainty, arrogant knee.