The Digital Crawl: Sporting KC Wins Preseason Opener, A Little More Le Toux, and Bob Dylan

I imagine it may be a cold day in hell before we see this happen again. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)

Seems like it's been a slow news week in regards to Sporting Kansas City, however, the team did play their first preseason match of 2012, a 2-1 win over the San Jose Earthquakes. San Jose forward Chris Wondolowski scored in the third minute of action to put the 'Quakes up 1-0 early. Kei Kamara (4'), and Konrad Warzycha (81') scored for Sporting.

Great way to start the season, even if it's a meaningless preseason match. Without being able to watch the match, all we are left with are these nifty highlights.

Speaking of Sporting, ESPN's Leander Schaerlaeckens (can someone pronounce that for me?) has a great piece on Kansas City forward CJ Sapong.

Anyone that knows me is well aware that CJ is my favorite Sporting player, and Schaerlaeckens highlights one of the very reasons Sapong is near and dear to my heart; the guy's been playing the role of the underdog his entire life. From Schaerlaeckens article:

It's kind of been the story of my life," Sapong said. "In northern Virginia there were a lot of top-class players, and I grew up trying out for [the Olympic Development Program] every year and never made it, never made the state team. I never got that look. It's funny, because as I got older, it kind of became something I expected and didn't pay too much attention to it and figured it was the way it was going to be."

How can you not root for the guy?

Looks like the dust is starting to settle a bit on the Sebastien Le Toux trade. For his part, it appears Le Toux is embracing his new team in Vancouver , and is softening his stance somewhat since he gave a blistering interview to The Times Herald last week. Philadelphia Union head coach Peter Nowak hasn't had much to say in regards to the trade that sent the team's MVP up north for allocation money.

I'm still not grasping what Nowak is trying to accomplish by trading his best player (ESPN's Jeff Carlisle appears equally dumbfounded) but at the end of the day, I'll have to agree with the fellas over at SI.com; Nowak has turned the Union into one of the best teams in the Eastern Conference in only two years; the guy probably deserves the benefit of the doubt.

Speaking of SI, Grant Wahl wrote an interesting piece about Seattle Sounder's forward Steve Zakuani, and his recovery from a horrific leg injury last April after a wreckless sliding tackle from Colorado Rapids midfielder, Brian Mullan.

The great news is that it appears the soon-to-be 24 year old is on the path to a full recovery, although at this point in time, Zakuani says he's not 100% just yet.

"The sprinting and some of the movements still aren't there, but the basic touches and awareness on the pitch are coming back. The hardest thing is going to be getting back to not just playing, but playing at a good level."

Zakuani, who Seattle selected with the first overall pick of the 2009 MLS SuperDraft, was well on his way to becoming one of Major League Soccer's brightest young stars before his injury.

Here's to hoping Steve can finish his come back, and continue the form he had in 2010 when he scored 10 goals and added six assists.

Over at No Short Corners, Greg Seltzer takes a look at all of the new MLS team jerseys that will be debuting in 2012, and gives his thoughts on each one. For the record, I tend to agree with Greg's assessments.. Real Salt Lake, and LA definitely get passing grades. Seattle, and Columbus... eh..... back to the drawing board. Have to wonder what they were thinking.

So Edson Buddle is back with the LA Galaxy. The 30 year old striker scored 42 goals for LA from 2007-2010 before leaving to play abroad with German side, FC Ingolstadt. While in Germany, Buddle never found the form that put him in the middle of the 2010 MLS MVP race.

I've always been a Buddle fan, and I have to say I'm pretty excited that he's back in MLS. Hopefully his return proves that sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the other side.

Over at MLSsoccer.com we have the first edition of "Power Rankings." I can't really say that I have too much beef with their top four, although I am wondering where did the Chicago Fire come from?

My personal Top Five Power Rankings at the moment?

1. LA Galaxy 2. Seattle Sounders 3. Sporting Kansas City 4. Real Salt Lake 5. I suppose begrudgingly, I'll put the Houston Dynamo here, even though they lost hero Brian Ching to Montreal in the expansion draft.

By the way, can you tell I'm still just a little bitter?

Clip of the Day

Last night I was surfing the tube with the girlfriend when we stumbled upon "The Best of Late Night With Jimmy Fallon." Basically, they were showing a bunch of skits where Jimmy would do parodies of famous singers, like Neil Young, David Bowie, or in this case, Bob Dylan.

I spent my younger years ( I say that like I'm a 60 year old man or something) playing in various bands, and one of the biggest inspirations I ever had musically was Dylan. Actually, there was a point in time where I would venture to guess that I was borderline obsessed with the guy.

I didn't care that he wasn't the best singer. Lyrically the guy was on another level, and I think that's what really drew me to his work. I'd put his three albums "Bringing It All Back Home," "Highway 61 Revisited," and "Blonde on Blonde" against almost any other bands top three records, save for probably The Beatles.

Anyway, I've scoured YouTube previously for Dylan impressions, and honestly, most of them are horrible, and over the top. Dylan has a "unique" singing voice, but almost all of the impressions I've ever seen or heard over emphasize his quirks.

I hate to say it, but Jimmy Fallon (who I've never really thought of as funny.. I used to think the funniest thing he ever did on SNL was that he couldn't stay in character) nails this impression.

It's strange. Fallon is dressed like Dylan circa 1964/65, but he's singing like Dylan many years later. For those who don't know, Dylan has transformed his voice about a billion or so times during the course of his career. The Bob Dylan of today sounds a little bit like what I imagine a 100 year old snake would sound like.

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