Friday Round-Up

  • Greg Lalas featured KC in his April wrap-up piece earlier this week.  His “Five Reasons to Watch KC” has some solid points and this particularly poignant line: “Claudio Lopez is the most exciting thing to hit KC since barbecue sauce.”  He also credits Chance Myers, CommunityAmerica Ballpark, Bruce Arena, and the attacking mentality as deserving attention.
  • Reports out of Columbus say the Crew’s Argentine defender Gino Padula will not play tomorrow because of a knee ligament strain; he will likely be replaced by veteran Ezra Hendrickson.  Also, goalkeeper and former Wizard Will Hesmer (2004-06) will be a gameday decision after suffering a dislocated shoulder last week against Houston.  His backup is local boy Andy Gruenebaum (Overland Park, Blue Valley North HS).  
  • Adding some spice to the Sunday reserves game, the Crew were interested in new developmental signing Kevin Souter but were under the impression he was ineligible.  The Wizards waited until the new waiver order was set following week 4 and, due to Columbus’ hot start, had priority over the Crew.
  • Hillcrest Road links to a write-up on Ryan Pore in his hometown paper.  Mansfield, Ohio is 65 miles from Columbus and the article says Ryan will have 600 supporters in attendance for the match — which could be his 50th MLS appearance.  Ryan is returning from a broken nose.  
  • The game is also a homecoming of sorts for rookie Roger Espinoza.  The Ohio State product spent his junior year in Columbus, reaching the national championship before signing with Generation Adidas and entering the draft.  
  • On a related note, Kevin Hartman was born in Athens, Ohio, approximately 75 miles from Columbus.
  • The matchup also features a reunion with former player and assistant/interim coach Brian Bliss, now in his first season as the Crew’s technical director.  
  • And last but not least, let us all wish David Beckham a happy 33rd birthday today.  MLS’ poster child gets to celebrate in, of all places, Salt Lake City.  

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