Friday, August 25, 2006

Weekend Sports Update and Preview

Today we'll try to give a broad update on the latest and greatest in the various spheres of interest c/s usually covers.

In sports...
The 2006-07 Champions League draw took place yesterday. Chelsea, who missed out on a seeding due to faulty seeding system, were drawn into Group A with Barcelona. The teams will meet yet again, after offering hotly contested knockout round matchups each of the past two years. Ronaldinho professed Barca lucky to meet the English champs so early in the tourney. Other good looking matchups include Manchester United and Glasgow Celtic, Inter Milan and Bayern Munich, and Real Madrid and Lyon.

Swedish international and former Celtic and Barca star Henrik Larsson has been suspended two games for punching an opponent.

The UEFA Cup, Europe's second tier club competition, had its first round draw today as well. Holders Sevilla face Greek club Atromitos in the first round. Games kick off September 14.

After dropping five of five at home to the Yankees this weekend, the Red Sox look to miss out on the playoffs this season. The Twins and White Sox are essentially tied for the AL wild card lead, after each team enjoyed a blowout last night. Unfortunately, it looks like the Yanks have done enough to get in, despite A-Rod's attempts at sabotage.

In the NL, the Reds continue to hang around in the Central, now only 1/2 a game behind St. Louis. They're currently on a ten game road swing and finish the season with six road games, but with the third best road record in the NL, they may just sneak into the postseason. A clutch win last night in San Fran certainly helped their chances.

Also in the NL, there's still hope for our local boys, the Nationals. No, not for the playoffs, not this year at least, but for Alfonso Soriano. Currently sitting on 41 homers and 30 stolen bases, he's got a real chance at becoming only the fourth 40/40 man in MLB history. He's been to 30/30 three times, matched only by Bobby and Barry Bonds' (when he used to be fast enough to sprint between bases) four times each. If you needed another excuse, you can now get into a Nats game for 3 dollars. That would buy you 3 adult movie tickets pretty much everywhere in town. They're next home against Philly Tuesday-Thursday (29-31).

Finally, DC United advanced to the semifinals of the US Open Cup this week with a 3-1 home win against Red Bull New York. They're back to league play at home on Saturday against defending MLS champions LA Galaxy. 7:30 pm, RFK Stadium, cheap seats $16.

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