Nov 7, 2012, 7:30 AM EST
Huge, huge day in birthdays ….
Manchester United goalkeeper David de Gea turns 22.
United States international Jonathan Bornstein, who took his spins on the revolving wheel of U.S. left backs, turns 28.
England international and Manchester United defensive staple Rio Ferdinand turns 34.
Dutch international Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink (whose name is actually even longer than that, because his proper name is Johannes Vennegoor of Hesselink) also turns 34
Scottish international and Vancouver Whitecaps chatty midfielder Barry Robson turns 34. (Come to think of it, perhaps the fact that one of their central midfielders is 34 helps explain the Whitecaps demise over the second half of the season, which is when Robson joined up.)
Former England international and Liverpool legend left winger John Barnes turns 49.
Finally, while guys like Pele and Giorgio Chinaglia absorbed most of the headlines, guys like the fabulously talented Vladislav Bogicevic were just as important to those illustrious Cosmos teams of the late 1970s and early 1980s. The former Yugoslavian international, who is a member of the American National Soccer Hall of Fame, turns 62
Big Important Stories of the Day:
The United States learns its World Cup final round qualifying schedule today as FIFA and CONCACAF conduct the draw for six teams that have made it to the remaining stage, the so-called “Hexagonal.” The draw from Miami takes place tonight at 8 p.m. ET
It’s MLS playoff day – three of the four conference semifinal series will be settled today. By late into the evening, five Major League Soccer clubs will remain in contention for the 17th MLS Cup.
Plus, it’s another Champions League Day, with the other half of group play rolling out today from Europe.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day: Jennifer Grubb
*Ahead on the blog today:
More on the three MLS matches today, including the one in San Jose, where Major League Soccer’s reigning champs, the star-packed L.A. Galaxy, have some heavy lifting ahead just to remain in contention.
Later, we’ll have analysis and highlights from the trio of eliminators.
We’ll also tell you what happened in the UEFA Champions League, where the big matches include Scottish giant Celtic against inimitable Barcelona and title holder Chelsea against Shaktar Donetsk.
What you should watch on TV today:
- Braga host Manchester United live from Portugal at 2:35 p.m. ET on Fox Soccer Channel. (The photo above is from Braga’s beautiful grounds.)
- Celtic hosts Barcelona on delay at 5 p.m. ET on FSC.
- In MLS, the New York Red Bulls host D.C. United at 8 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Network.
- And San Jose hosts Los Angeles at 11 p.m. ET on ESPN2.
Background noise while blogging today: All the fallout from another historic night in American will be fascinating. And if that gets tiresome, last night’s speech from the President of the United States is worth replaying a time or two. That was powerful stuff.
We’ll leave you with this: As someone who appreciates what Dutch soccer offered the game back in the day, it’s nice to see Ajax become a bigger player in European competition once again.
Jan 25, 2015, 9:22 PM EST
Maloney turned 32 on Saturday and will be unveiled by Chicago on Monday.
Jan 25, 2015, 8:31 PM EST
Sepp Blatter: Kind of like “The Godfather”. But let’s be clear, we’re talking “The Godfather: Part III”.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:40 PM EST
What else is cooking? Glad you asked.
Jan 25, 2015, 6:30 PM EST
There’s a new top-four team in Spain, while little has changed in Italy, both for good and bad.
Jan 25, 2015, 4:28 PM EST
Two of eight quarterfinals places were clinched on Sunday as the late drama continues at AFCON 2015.
Jan 25, 2015, 2:59 PM EST
A work permit still must be obtained, but Arsenal is on the cusp of securing some defensive depth.
Jan 25, 2015, 2:07 PM EST
With 10 goals in his last six games, all of that is coming to a screeching halt.
Jan 25, 2015, 12:54 PM EST
After yesterday’s FA Cup craziness, things were restored to normal today as all three Premier League sides went through, despite some nervy moments.
Jan 25, 2015, 11:43 AM EST
Anderlecht fans responded to their former player – now with their arch rivals – in a very mean way. Defour reacted accordingly.
Jan 25, 2015, 10:46 AM EST
Four goals in his last four games has Paul Pogba on top of the world.
Jan 25, 2015, 10:16 AM EST
Aston Villa secured the services of midfielder Fabian Delph, and while that should have been an exciting announcement, the club blew it up a little too much and it fell flat on its face.
Jan 25, 2015, 9:23 AM EST
Mohamed Salah just needed signatures to make him a Roma player, but now the Italian club could be headed in a different direction.
Jan 25, 2015, 7:52 AM EST
Which is Balotelli and which is the practice dummy? It sounds like it’s harder for Brendan Rodgers to tell every day.
Jan 24, 2015, 11:00 PM EST
The bitterness is flowing freely from Falcao’s agent as he plots the Colombian striker’s next move to a “world’s best-seven team.”
Jan 24, 2015, 8:45 PM EST
If MLS is good enough for Italian national teamers, why isn’t it good enough for U.S. national teamers?
Jan 24, 2015, 7:45 PM EST
Barcelona were stunning as they put a half-dozen past Elche, while Real stumbled to victory. Elsewhere, AC Milan are very bad.
Jan 24, 2015, 7:04 PM EST
The Baby Yanks are headed back to the Big Dance this summer.
Jan 24, 2015, 5:45 PM EST
A number of PL giants fell on Saturday, leaving Arsenal, West Ham and Aston Villa shaking in their boots.
Jan 24, 2015, 4:54 PM EST
The squad is set for the first games of 2015, following a late addition and a number of cuts.
Jan 24, 2015, 4:20 PM EST
After four games played, absolutely nothing separates any of the four teams in Group D. Nothing.
- Sepp Blatter keeps talking trash at UEFA regarding FIFA election 1
- Sunday’s transfer rumor roundup: Konoplyanka to Everton, Clyne to Trafford 0
- Africa Cup of Nations roundup: Congo, Equatorial Guinea victorious in group finales, advance 0
- FA Cup Roundup: Upsets halted with West Ham, Villa, Arsenal wins 1
- Rodgers says Balotelli needs to vastly improve before playing for Liverpool 1
- Italy head coach Antonio Conte supports Sebastian Giovinco’s move to MLS 9