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Major Link Soccer: The myth of El Clásico

What's the real story behind the world's biggest rivalry? Robbie Keane's carefree cartwheels are curtailed for at least a month. Mark Geiger strikes again.

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

La Liga

Today, lots of soccer games will be played around the world, but most people will be watching and talking about FC Barçelona vs. Real Madrid CF, El Clásico, kicking off at 11:30 AM at Camp Nou.

Reigning NBA MVP Stephen Curry is certainly excited, he even sees some similarities in the playing style of Barçelona and his own Golden State Warriors.

The mythos of the Madrid/Barça rivalry goes beyond the pitch, of course, and includes political, cultural and historical conflict that fuels the passion of the opposing fans. But the characterization of these two clubs as opposing armies in some cultural conflict is a bit overblown and simplified, as most sports rivalries are. This writer dives into the history of the clubs and Spanish politics to help you forget what you know about the rivalry behind El Clásico.

Major League Soccer

The New England Revolution defeated the New York Red Bulls last night 1-0. Three things happened: Juan Agudelo almost chipped Luis Robles from 40 yards or so; Mark Geiger showed a controversial straight red card (weird we know), and the Revs played on while a NYRB CB was down injured, going on to score a goal.

Jesse Marsch called that last part "shameful."

Defender Kofi Sarkodie is headed to the San Jose Earthquakes after a trade with Houston Dynamo for some of that sweet, sweet Targeted Allocation Money.

Meanwhile, Tally Hall has found a club. D.C. United has picked up Hall to shore up their very thin ranks at keeper.

Robbie Keane's knee required some arthroscopic surgery, and he will be out 4-6 weeks. Lets hope he's back to rolling and cartwheeling and pointing and shouting soon.

US Soccer

Jonathan Tannenwald managed to get some answers out of Nike about their decisions regarding neckline-gate and other apparel choices including the availability of different men's and women's styles. The answers may not be very satisfying to you, but they are there.

Abby Wambach and Megan Rapinoe have joined a growing group of athletes who have pledged to donate their brains to sports concussion-related research.

Here's a very detailed and informative explainer piece about the wage discrimination complaint that is rocking US Soccer, and how things might play out.

Seattle

Nothing happened yesterday, except for this exciting Chilean kid who the Sounders are totally going to sign and he is going to score the MLS-Cup-winning goal(s). Or the world is playing a cruel April fool's joke on us.

Also, SB Nation's Reading FC site, the Tilehurst End, takes a look at the legend behind the man known as Marcus Hahnemann.

World Soccer

In the wake of the Brussels attacks, Euro 2016 will go on as planned, but with 3,000 extra security personnel being brought on board.

It's about time Leicester City had an SB Nation site, right? Welcome to the Fosse Posse.

Wayne Rooney's son asked him for a Jamie Vardy shirt. Ouch, but to be fair, the kid probably has enough Rooney shirts to fill a few closets.

New FIFA president Gianni Infantino said some very positive things about the USA's ability to host a World Cup in 2026.

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