The World Cup is now only 29 days away and countries announced their preliminary rosters like crazy Tuesday.
I can't lie, I was not able to keep up with it all. From what I gathered though, the biggest shock of the day was Samir Nasri missing out on France's World Cup squad. Apparently Didier Deschamps believes he is a selfish player. I would say that's probably an astute observation.
Fernando Torres was included in Spain's lineup, which was not a given for me at least. We'll see if he makes the final 23. Carlos Tevez being left off of Argentina's preliminary roster is a bit of a head-scratcher too.
To see all of the preliminary squads, check out this helpful link.
The second leg of the Canadian Championship is set to be played Tuesday with FC Edmonton holding a 2-1 lead on the Montreal Impact and Toronto FC holding a 2-1 lead on the Vancouver Whitecaps. If Montreal and Vancouver score a goal and hold their opponents scoreless Wednesday, they will both advance despite losing their respective first legs.
I love that the NASL side is holding a lead on Klopas' men. I said I would tune in to this tournament if Edmonton showed well and so far they have. Both games will be available as a live stream on www.mlssoccer.com.
The winner of the tournament punches a ticket to the CONCACAF Champions League so it is a pretty big deal. But with Toronto FC being way out of whack at this point and Montreal being Montreal, I fully expect Vancouver to walk away with the championship in a previously unlikely scenario.
MLS midweek action
After last week's buffet of Wednesday games, the MLS will feature only a single match with Sporting Kansas City hosting the hapless Philadelphia Union.
Sporting Kansas City has the option to field a fully equipped team with Graham Zusi and Matt Besler not expected to head for World Cup duties until later in the week. Either way, Philadelphia is in over its head. What I believed to be a playoff contender at the very least, has turned into one of the weakest sides in the league.
Unlike Chivas USA or Montreal, Philadelphia has the talent on paper that would make a person pause and think about postseason success as a real possibility. But John Hackworth has pulled very little out of the team and a curb stomping on Wednesday could mean the end of his run in the City of Brotherly Love.
U.S. Open Cup continues
There are U.S. Open Cup games happening over all across the country Wednesday including two matches that feature Chicago-area teams.
After a shootout victory over Detroit FC, RWB Adria will face PDL side Michigan Bucks in Pontiac, Mich., while Schwaben AC will play its first game of the tournament when it hosts USL Pro side Dayton Dutch Lions in Buffalo Grove, Ill. Adria should be riding high heading into Wednesday's clash with not only a win in the first round of the tournament, but a major award received with Vlad Baciu winning Player of the Round for his brace.
Schwaben will have a difficult time with their opponent, which features five players on loan from the Columbus Crew and a wealth of experience. The Dayton Dutch Lions made it to the quarterfinals of this tournament in 2012 where it eventually lost to Sporting Kansas City 3-0.
While most second round games occur Wednesday, the featured game went down on Tuesday with Arizona United staging a furious comeback to topple Portland Timbers U-23s 3-2. The Portland side squandered a 2-0 lead with only six minutes plus stoppage time left, giving Arizona United the right to play either Tulsa Athletics or (likely) Oklahoma City Energy in round 3.
ESPN starts Road to Brazil documentary
If you all haven't heard about the March to Brazil six-part series ESPN is airing leading up to the World Cup you need to get on that. Tuesday was the debut episode and it was extremely well done. It gives insight and access that previous squads were unwilling to provide. Jurgen Klinsmann seems very open and honest about everything. Apparently Jozy Altidore does not hate the media as much as he used to.
Overall, it was a very effective hype piece for the big tournament in June. I know I am really looking forward to the next episode. Hopefully it maintains the quality throughout.
The Portland Timbers need to score goals and they may have started to find a solution Tuesday when they announced the signing of Nigerian forward Fanendo Adi.
I don't know much about Adi but he is 23 years old and has UEFA Champions League experience with FC Copenhagen of the Danish Superliga. At 6' 4", he seems to be the sort of target man we all wish Juan Luis Anangono could be. Either way, it is a more than suitable replacement for the 35-year-old Frederic Piquionne who was released by the Timbers Tuesday after he failed to get it going this season.
Chivas USA also cut the worst hair in the history of the league by handing Adolfo "Bofo" Bautista his walking papers. The team realized they did not need Bautista's ineffectiveness after its newly acquired asset in Marvin Chavez scored two goals in his debut for the team.
Smart move. Now if only they can find a way to chop the mullet of Thomas McNamara while he is asleep or something.