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The Weekly Rekrap: Mortal Kombat

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A day late and - well - nobody’s paying for this anyway so...

Real Madrid v Liverpool - UEFA Champions League Final Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

You thought you had avoided it. You thought you made it to the weekend safe and sound with no Rekrap to trouble your mind. Well you were wrong. It was a busy week in the world of soccer last week with some big matches and more news than Jeff Daniels could report if Aaron Sorkin was telling him what to say. So without further word count padding to mask that I am too lazy to write a real lede, onto the Rekrap...

The fallout continues...

from the arm-bar seen round the world. Sergio Ramos may have gotten away with trying to maim, well... every superstar player he’s faced, but the judo union is NOT having it according to Goal.com.

Nate Abaurrea who does some freelance writing work here or there and has one of my favorite goal calls ever pinned on his Twitter timeline also had a reflection about the Champions League result. Put the game aside, on a cosmic level, the match was a true expression of evil triumphing over good and through a haze of mimosas, Abaurrea gives it the context and personal meaning that it probably deserves.

Well nerds, you did it....

You made everyone who has an excel spreadsheet an expert about soccer. Happy? You may not have guessed, but I am not a maths person, Radiohead scared me away from algebra and it just never interested me. Educate. That said, analytics are super interesting and Stats Bomb is doing some new and exciting things to discuss them in different ways. David Rudin has a look at how analytics is more like artistic criticism than it is an attempt to remove the beauty from the beautiful game.

Just post through it MLS...

For some reason, MLS decided to take the horrible, game ruining calls from last weekend and make content about it. If the league just posts through it, no doubt it will ensure that MLS will be as good as Serie A or whatever by 2022.

Speaking of MLS, FC Cincinnati officially joined this week. They have a terrific story and the fans of the team deserve a lot of credit for supporting the club and getting it positioned to join the league. MLS loves to showcase fans and the support that soccer has in the US... well when it’s convenient at least. Only a touch more than 100 miles away the league is enabling an investor, apparently MLS - not Anthony Precourt - owns the Columbus Crew, to move a team to a city that seems less than accommodating while a fan-base that has helped build MLS to what it is today and created the atmosphere that the league and US Soccer Federation capitalizes on will be left without a team to support. Enjoy the spotlight Cinci, but know that what you, and any MLS supporter, have built can be taken and moved seemingly on the whims of one person.

You can’t beat gravity...

Let’s check in on the stadiums being renovated for the tournament that starts in - checks calendar - two weeks:

FIFA Technical Tour Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images

That thing reaching out gloriously toward the sky from outside of Ekaterinburg Arena is a temporary stand that was constructed to accommodate larger crowds at the World Cup. It appears that the construction is complete and won’t cause anyone to have vertigo or otherwise feel like they’ve fallen out of an airplane without a parachute while watching the games there.

While everyone is getting ready for the World Cup...

The World Cup will get underway next year in France. In the three years since the USWNT won the tournament, Jill Ellis has been experimenting with different players whenever the national team meets. Jeff Kassouf of Four Four Two has a look at what goes into the process and how Ellis and her assistants use to scout players and how the coaches use analytics to go about their business.

Hope you got in line...

For the new Nigeria kit the team will wear in the World Cup. Donald already told you that it’s very, very good, but it may be a perfect garment. Seriously, there’s not a workplace in the world that this thing violates the dress code for, I’ll probably wear it to the next wedding I’m invited to.

If there’s one thing we can count on...

it’s that once every few months a player, former player, manager, former manager, or pundit will embrace the ‘One Nation, One Team’ mantra and blame the diversity of the players on the USMNT for something. It is almost as if the US Soccer Federation has a systemic problem with not incorporating diversity into their organization effectively. Since the World Cup is here and the USMNT isn’t going to Russia, this is apparently the right time for that conversation to pop up again. At this point, it’s exhausting to have this discussion again but at least usually we know who to criticize when these kinds of comments are made. This time, a player hid behind the anonymity of being an unidentified player and Jeff Carlisle obliged by plastering the comments all over ESPN’s website.

Finally...

Zinedine Zidane left Real Madrid this week after winning the third straight Champions League title with the club. He explained that he just knew it was time to stop as Managing Madrid reported. Perhaps (he’s not) he could (he isn’t going to) decide that (WHY EVEN DO THIS) the next step (HOW COME YOU’RE STILL TYPING) in his career (DON’T YOU DO IT) would be to manage (PUT. THE. BUNNY. BACK. IN. THE. BOX.) the USMNT.

Goals

What would a long rambling post about news for the week be without goals from the week. I wonder what I’m going to include...

That was a moment of transcendental beauty.

Kelia Ohai is back from her injury and doing this like this once again...

You should listen to...

American Fiasco. It’s a podcast series that is 12 episodes TWELVE about the USMNT performance at the 1998 World Cup by Roger Bennett of Men in Blazers. It comes out on June 4th so look out for it on Monday, but that should be a fun time. No word yet on American Fiasco 2 about the 2006 World Cup, American Fiasco 3 about the 2007 Copa America, American Fiasco 4 about the 2015 Gold Cup, or... well, you know.