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April 27, 2012 at 9:07 AM

Away to Chicago (Friday links)

In a few hours, I’ll be off to the Windy City for the first time.

I’m hoping to take in some sights and enjoy some food before covering the Sounders FC-Chicago Fire at 5:30 p.m., so recommendations are welcome — especially when it comes to a Chicago-style hot dog, deep-dish pizza or Italian beef sandwich.

So far I’ve heard Portillo’s, Gino’s East, Giordano’s and Lou Malnati’s, but any guidance is appreciated.

I’ll check in again upon arrival. Until then, here are some links:

* * *

— Here’s another close look at the U.S. Open Cup bidding process with new details on what’s required from host clubs.

— Philadelphia coach Peter Nowak has been suspended for next week’s game in Seattle.

— Sporting Kansas City defender Matt Besler went to prom again at the request of a Missouri teen who’s battling cancer.

Pep Guardiola will be leaving FC Barcelona at the end of the season and will be replaced by assistant Tito Vilanova.

Jimmy Conrad chatted with the top pick in the NFL Draft, Andrew Luck, in the latest from Kick TV, and soccer is discussed quite a bit more than I expected.

— Lastly, Osvaldo Alonso was named the league’s No. 1 field general by the crew at MLSsoccer.com. Check out what national voices think of the terrier in midfielder.

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