Oct 15, 2012, 7:30 AM EDT
Soccer birthdays:Ah, to have it all in front of you! Let’s talk quickly about Mesut Özil (pictured). Dude plays for globally big-shot Real Madrid. He’s a valued member of the German national team, one of the better sides in the world right now. And he’s just 24! And barely that. Ozil turns 24 on Monday.
Longtime French international David Trezeguet, who recently took his fine career to Argentina, turns 35.
And for Manchester United man Andy Cole – he had a lot of career stops, but truly made his bones in big-boy soccer at Old Trafford – turns 41.
Big Important Stories of the Day:
Jurgen Klinsmann and Co. need a draw Tuesday. If they stumble, they could well be out of the World Cup hunt for Brazil 2014. Out! What could possibly be more big and important than that?
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Desmond Armstrong
*Ahead on the blog today:
What will U.S. manager Jurgen Klinsmann have to say on the day ahead of his team’s meeting with Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park? We’ll be there, and we’ll be at Livestrong to check out the scene at the park as the team prepares to face Guatemala on Tuesday.
So, plenty of U.S. national team material ahead, plus some thoughts around the marketing of the park where Tuesday’s contest will happen.
What you should watch on TV today:
Just keep the darn thing off today and load up on the viewing hours tomorrow, when there will be some juicy choices from abroad during the day, followed by the CONCACAF qualifiers in the evening. (Tuesday’s U.S. match kicks off at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and Telefutura.)
PST background noise while blogging today: Travel day, which means I’ll be listening to airport announcements and watching for rental car signs.
We’ll leave you with this: Tuesday’s matches will be kicked off simultaneously in each group. Pretty good idea, eh? Fair and all? … You are watching, aren’t you, MLS?
*Always subject to change; you know how it is
CONCACAF qualifying: If the final round started today
The top two teams from each semifinal round group advance into final round qualifying. With one round of matches remaining (Tuesday), here are the teams currently “in.”
- United States
- Costa Rica
- Angel Di Maria gets love from Ronaldo, Sergio Ramos and Diego Simeone 0
- Jozy Altidore is the happiest he’s ever been, says Gus Poyet 2
- Malky Mackay and Iain Moody investigated by FA for ‘sexist, racist and homophobic’ text messages while at Cardiff City 4
- Liverpool and AC Milan in talks over deal for Mario Balotelli 5
- Atlanta’s new MLS franchise has already sold 14,000 season tickets 9
- No signings in 2015: Barcelona’s transfer ban upheld, FIFA rejects appeal 3