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April 24, 2013 at 12:47 PM

CCL finals set to kick off (Wednesday links)

ccl logoThe All-Mexican finals of the CONCACAF Champions League kicks off at 7 p.m. tonight, as Santos Laguna hosts Monterrey in the first leg of the two-game, aggregate-goals series.

Santos, of course, knocked out Sounders FC in the semifinals and features U.S. international Herculez Gomez (who played in Seattle for the lower-league Sounders a ways back).

Coach Sigi Schmid was asked for his thoughts on the CCL finals after Tuesday’s practice.

“Obviously we lost to Santos, so sometimes you’d rather see the team you lose to win it all, because at least you can say you lost to the champion,” he said. “I think Santos is obviously a dangerous team. Monterrey has done a better job of probably resting their players – they’re less successful in the league right now. I really didn’t look at their lineups this weekend, so I don’t know how many players each of them rested, so that makes it a little harder to say. But it will be good games for sure. Close.”

Let’s get to some links:

*     *     *

— Here is a USA Today story on Cuban defectors who come over to play soccer, which of course features material from Sounders FC’s Osvaldo Alonso.

— MLS commissioner Don Garber held an impromptu Twitter Q&A with fans Tuesday. His back-and-forth with Gomez was most entertaining.

— Speaking of Twitter, did you see Sepp Blatter‘s account was hacked the other day?

— Around MLS, the BBC came over to do a feature on New York’s Jonny Steele, the Galaxy are reportedly set to sign another touted homegrown player, and Bolton’s Kevin Davies apparently pulled out of a move to Toronto FC.

— Elsewhere, Goal.com says the league should beware of Copa Libertadores involvement, and might Chivas/Chivas USA be for sale?

— Not sure what Sporting Intelligence is, but it has ranked MLS as the seventh-best league in the world.

— The U.S. men’s national team has invited some reporters out to Washington for a media day of sorts. So be on the look out for material from that in the next few days.

— Bayern Munich blew out Barcelona in the first leg of a UEFA Champions League semifinal, 4-0 at home. Also, Luis Suarez got a 10-game ban for his biting incident against Chelsea.

— Lastly, here is Simon Borg‘s always interesting look at the controversial plays from the weekend in MLS…

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