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19 April 11:47 de la mañana

When a big-name sings the national anthem at a sporting event, there’s usually not much of a connection between the singer and the team they're singing for.

That will be far from the case with Brad Corrigan, the lead singer from famed indie-rock band Dispatch, who will be singing the national anthem Saturday when the Rapids battle the LA Galaxy at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park (9 pm EST, MLS LIVE). Corrigan has developed a friendship with several Rapids players after being a regular at Rapids games for years. And now, the Denver native will get the chance to sing in front of his friends and fellow fans Saturday night.

“I’ve always wanted to do this,” Corrigan told MLSsoccer.com this week. “I’ve been nervously excited all week. It will really be one of the highlights of my life.”

Corrigan’s passion for the Rapids began in earnest last year, when a mutual friend first introduced Rapids winger Wells Thompson to the singer. Over a cup of coffee, the two discussed Thompson’s honeymoon (Thompson got married last December), and Corrigan helped set Thompson up with a one-week vacation working with a non-profit group in Nicaragua.

“We just hit it off,” said Corrigan, who plans to attend several Rapids games this summer. “It’s just been fun. I couldn’t be more passionate about the Rapids and the guys.”

Corrigan’s friendships quickly extended beyond Thompson. Captain Pablo Mastroeni, a big Dispatch fan himself, got in touch with Corrigan as well, and now the two have also become good friends. Right back Kosuke Kimura is also a new friend of Corrigan’s. And who knows, by the end of the season, the whole team could be doing dinner at Corrigan’s house.

“They’re an awesome bunch of guys,” said Corrigan, who regularly speaks with Thompson, Mastroeni and Kimura.

While Corrigan has become a big Rapids fan -- he plans on attended 10 to 12 Rapids home games this summer -- Saturday’s national anthem rendition will be a warm up of sorts. On May 30th, Corrigan will take his talents to Landover, Md., to sing before the US men’s national team battles Brazil at FedEx Field.

But in the meantime, Corrigan will have to settle for singing in front of David Beckham, Landon Donovan and his new-found friends clad in burgundy. And he couldn’t be more excited.

“It’s an indescribable honor,” Corrigan said.

Chris Bianchi covers the Colorado Rapids for MLSsoccer.com.

DISPATCH: ZIMBABWE - "GENERAL" - LIVE AT MADISON SQUAR

DISPATCH | Myspace Music Videos

19 April 11:20 de la mañana

The city of El Paso, Texas, is looking to spur economic development and an MLS stadium may be part of the plan.

Yesterday the El Paso city council was presented with a list of potential projects that could be included in a future bond issue, according to this report in the El Paso Times.

Part of that proposal is a $100 to $120 million soccer stadium, which the article states would be contingent on securing an MLS team.

The idea is for the bond issue to be approved in July and then go to vote in November.

Would you like to see an MLS expansion team in El Paso? Comment below.

19 April 11:18 de la mañana

Hier soir, mon cœur a balancé. J’ai finalement choisi de regarder Vancouver – Kansas City plutôt que la finale aller de la Ligue des champions, remportée 2-0 par Monterrey contre Santos Laguna. Il n’empêche, regardez le résumé de la rencontre, vous verrez que Monterrey s’est créé les meilleures occasions et le superbe deuxième but de Suazo.

Pendant ce temps, en Colombie-Britannique, Kansas City s'imposait 1-3 pour remporter son septième succès d’affilée. Cette équipe me fait penser à l’Allemagne du tournant des années 1980/90. Pour paraphraser Gary Lineker, cette saison, un match de MLS, ce sont 22 types qui courent derrière un ballon, et à la fin, c’est Kansas City qui gagne…

Plus tôt dans la soirée, Montréal repartait de DC United avec son premier point en déplacement (1-1), un résultat qui frustre les uns et déçoit les autres.

Pour terminer, deux questions. Raúl a annoncé qu’il ne jouerait plus en Europe dès cet été : le voyez-vous en Asie ou en MLS ? Et que pensez-vous de la suspension de trois rencontres infligées à Rafa Marquez qui, en tentant de jouer au rugby (voir vidéo ci-dessous), a fracturé la clavicule de Shea Salinas ?

18 April 7:17 de la tarde

Like most of you, I've spent my fair share of time roaming around the intertubes posting on various message boards, commenting on stories, looking for an insight or a laugh.

As the game in North America has grown over the past five years and media coverage has gotten better, I've spent less and less time doing so. But I'd still find myself occasionally making a pit stop on BigSoccer - sometime the on-topic boards, sometimes off-topic - and one of the commenters I'd always go out of my way to look for was CHICO13.

I didn't know him personally - didn't even know his name - but I liked that he was an original '96 fan. I liked what he had to say about the game (and a lot of other things), I liked that he treated other posters with respect but not deference, I liked that he liked Frank Zappa. And most of all I liked that he was intellectually honest about his beliefs and biases, and was happy to discuss them as a human being. That's all too rare anywhere, but especially on the internet.

It turns out that I won't be reading anymore posts by CHICO13 in the future. His non-internet name was Chico Solares, and he passed suddenly and - from what I gather - somewhat unexpectedly on Tuesday evening.

D.C. United, both the club and the fans, will be holding a 12th-minute tribute to him tonight.

I'll be holding my own tribute as well, listening to "Hot Rats," watching the team he loved and enjoying the game that he - and so many like him who've put their heart and soul into MLS - helped make so special.

Rest in peace.

WATCH: D.C. fans pay tribute to Solares

18 April 6:58 de la tarde

New York Red Bulls midfielder Rafael Marquez has come under intense scrutiny for the play that resulted in a broken clavicle for San Jose's Shea Salinas last weekend (watch it here).

But while there has been widespread criticism of the Mexican international, here's a take that hasn't proven as common and it comes from ESPN Deportes Radio Formula in Mexico.

On-air reporter Mauricio Pedroso analyzes the video this way (translation follows):

"No way. Rafa is marking as is typical on a corner kick with the bad luck that Salinas is falling and even worst luck that at the moment of falling his shoulder makes impact with all the weight of both Salinas and Marquez … The most clear example is in the NFL. In the NFL defenders know when they capture the quarterback they know exactly how to make him fall so that the weight falls directly onto the shoulder … But this is not the case here."

If a sanction comes down from the MLS Disciplinary Committee, Pedroso says it would be "unjust."

18 April 12:45 de la tarde

Club teams are rarely compared against national teams for obvious reasons.

But the 6-0-0 start by Sporting Kansas City has us thinking: Would the US national team coached by Jurgen Klinsmann even have a chance against today's Sporting KC starting XI if they played head-to-head?

Klinsmann has often spoken of his desire for a proactive, aggressive style that he wants to see the US impose on other countries. He has talked about wanting to raise the level of fitness of the US player.

Well, Sporting's Peter Vermes has beaten him to the punch on both those fronts and implemented the most successful 4-3-3 in the land. And it's only a matter of time before Vermes enters the discussion that often includes Jason Kreis and Dominic Kinnear as future USMNT head coaching prospects.

It's only fantasy talk -- unless Sporting KC and the USMNT met in a scrimmage of some sort -- but who would you take in that battle? Vote here.

 

18 April 12:28 de la tarde

Is he human?

We're referring to FC Dallas and USMNT right back Zach Loyd, who destroyed the Yo-Yo Level 2 Endurance Test. Here's what Schellas Hyndman told FCDallas.com about Loyd's score of 31.

“We did the Yo-Yo 2 test the other day, and Zach Loyd finished incredibly high with a 31. I think the league’s average is 22 and the Premier League’s is 23,” Hyndman said. “[To score] 31 is unbelievable.”

18 April 12:07 de la tarde

Ce mercredi offrira une nouvelle grande soirée de soccer avec deux matchs de Major League Soccer mais aussi la finale aller de la Ligue des champions.

Le duel 100% mexicain opposera Monterrey, tenant du titre, à un club que plusieurs supporters de clubs de MLS connaissent bien, Santos Laguna. Respectivement quatrième et deuxième du championnat du Mexique, où ils ont perdu leur dernier match, ils s’y sont neutralisés (1-1) le 18 février dernier à Torréon.

Monterrey voudra rejoindre Cruz Azul et Pachuca en devenant le troisième club de l’histoire à conserver son titre de champion de la Concacaf. Santos Laguna tentera de remporter la couronne continentale pour la première fois, et de soulever un trophée, chose qu’il tente sans succès depuis 2008. Et vous, qui supporterez vous lors de cette finale ?

En prélude à ce duel de prestige, vous pourrez assister à un intéressant DC United – Montréal : les Québécois veulent prendre à tout prix au moins un point à Washington où les menaces se nomment De Rosario, De Leon mais aussi Pontius.

Plus tard dans la soirée, Kansas City visera une septième victoire consécutive, à Vancouver où Sébastien Le Toux ne s’inquiète pas de la baisse de rendement offensif constatée ces dernières semaines. Un déplacement difficile pour le leader qui compte sur les leçons apprises l’an dernier pour éviter toute mauvaise surprise.

LIGUE DES CHAMPIONS
22h00 : Monterrey (Mex) - Santos Laguna (Nex)

MLS
19h30 : DC United - Montréal
22h00 : Vancouver - Kansas City

Toutes les heures HE (heure de New York et Montréal)
Horaire télé des matchs de Ligue des champions et de  MLS

18 April 9:54 de la mañana

David Beckham has gone one step closer to making his dream of appearing for Team GB at the London 2012 Olympics a reality.

On Wednesday head coach Stuart Pearce and the Football Association announced that an initial squad list of 191 players has been whittled down to 80, with Beckham making the cut. Wales’ Gareth Bale and Craig Bellamy and Englishman Joe Cole also made the list, however any player playing for England at Euro 2012 will not be selected.

The LA Galaxy man reminded fans in the US and worldwide what he is still capable of, with a wonder goal against the Portland Timbers during his side’s 3-1 win on Saturday.

Beckham — who grew up in East London where the games will be held — is keen to be part of Great Britain’s Olympic soccer squad, after helping the team’s successful bidding process way back in 2005.

The draw for the tournament will take place next Tuesday, April 24, as Beckham and the United Kingdom hope for a kind draw on home soil.

Teams Qualified for Olympic Soccer Tournament: Great Britain, Brazil, Belarus, Spain, Switzerland, Mexico, Uruguay, New Zealand, Honduras, South Korea, Japan, United Arab Emirates, Gabon, Morocco, Egypt, Oman or Senegal (AFC-CAF Playoff taking place on 23rd April)

17 April 11:49 de la mañana

Contrairement à il y a deux semaines où, hormis les trois sur penalty, aucun but n’avait été inscrit sur phase arrêtée, lors de la dernière journée, les filets ont tremblé pas moins de 10 fois suite à de telles actions, et ont complètement décidé du sort de cinq rencontres, dont quatre se sont terminées sur le score de 1-0.

Philadelphie, qui ne marque que comme ça depuis le début de la saison (ses deux seuls buts venaient d’un coup franc et d’un corner) a remporté sa première victoire de l’année grâce à un penalty.

Mais ce sont surtout les coups de coin qui ont pesé lourd ce samedi : celui tiré par Graham Zusi sur la tête d’Aurélien Collin a permis à Kansas City de remporter le sommet contre Salt Lake. Zach Scott a repris de la tête un corner d’Alex Caskey pour Seattle contre Colorado. Et celui déposé sur la tête d’Oswaldo Minda par Miller Bolaños a enfoncé le clou pour Toronto face à Chivas USA.

À Dallas, ce fut carton plein avec trois buts sur phase arrêtée : Montréal avait ouvert la marque sur penalty, mais les Texans ont remporté la victoire suite à un coup franc prolongé par Perez au fond des filets puis une rentrée de touche victorieusement exploitée par Brek Shea.