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International Round-Up

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Some actual(!) news today coming out of a few friendlies.

Relative silence here on the blog in the past few days---I think this is probably the longest I've gone without posting since I joined back up in November. Part of it is the lack of actual news---there's been literally nothing confirmed in the world of Liverpool since the season ended.

And while I'm not trying to pride myself on becoming some sort of hard-hitting news source, I'm not exactly enamored with reporting that Yossi Benayoun is going to Russia, and then he's going to Spain, and now he's going to Chelsea. Or that Rafa's going to coach in Italy, no wait, Spain, nevermind, it's the Uzbekistan national team.

When there's something to report, I'll make sure that I'm here. If not, continue to visit the Daily Mail for your continued stream of bullshit.

But today we see the return of actual football, and Liverpool had five different men in action.

England:

Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson started for the Three Lions, who got past Mexico relatively easily in a friendly at Wembley. Ledley King and Peter Crouch got the hosts off to a 2-0 lead, but it was Johnson's capper that was clearly the goal of the night:

Jamie Carragher came on in the second half for Rio Ferdinand, but after Johnson's goal in the opening minutes there was little left to play for. I still think that Carra's got to make the 23-man squad---it's telling that Glen Johnson played the full 90 despite only recently returning to full fitness. Without a clear-cut understudy for Johnson, you'd have to expect Carra to fill that void.

Argentina:

Last Wednesday Diego Maradona announced his 23-man squad, and both Javier Mascherano and Maxi Rodriguez were in. The former was a no-doubter, but Maxi's spot wasn't so obvious. And while it was already settled today, he put in a performance against Canada that left few questions as to his potential impact:

Both men came off early(ish) in the second half, and after today I wouldn't be surprised if both had a place in the starting eleven come June 12.

There's more to come tomorrow---for those strictly interested in Liverpool, Greece and Sotirios Kyrgiakos take on North Korea. But there's a full slate of matches otherwise, including the United States and the Czech Republic in the evening. And, personal plug, I'm contributing to the United States World Cup Blog for the run-in and tournament, so you'll likely find yourself underwhelmed by my contributions in more than one spot!