Birthdays of note: Longtime Liverpool marksman Robbie Fowler, who kicked around at some other addresses around his two stints at Anfield, turns 37. And Devin Barclay, the rare Major League Soccer player to go backward on the college athletic track, following his MLS career by kicking successfully for the Ohio State Buckeyes, turns 29.
Ahead on the blog today*: Where Roberto Mancini lost the bid to unseat Manchester United; More talk on Clint Dempsey and his future address; Which teams are in line for Champions League in 2012-13, and: MLS Team of the Week and Player of the Week.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Ezra Hendrickson
What we should all be watching on TV: Chelsea vs. Fulham from Craven Cottage is Clint Dempsey’s next chance to ring the goal bell once again on his landmark season (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
Big Important Story of the Day: Not that it matters anymore, but the English FA will rule soon on whether Mario “Why Always Me” Balotelli will be suspended for Sunday’s terrible tackle on Alex Song. The upshot here is this: Depending upon the length of a suspension (if one comes to pass) and whether manager Roberto Mancini is just done with it all, Balotelli could already have played his last minutes at Manchester City.
Twitter dap: Sporting Kansas City striker C.J. Sapong (@BigAfrika88), responding to followers who love the team’s creative goal celebrations: “We try”
PST background noise while blogging today: A little sports radio, to hear what everyone is saying about Bubba Watson’s emotional Masters win.
We’ll leave you with this: Maybe it’s just me, but this practice (that so many professional teams have adopted) of shooting off little rockets on the “rockets red glare” line of the national anthem – it’s kind of cheesy, and it just never feels right. Personally, I wish everyone would cut it out.
*Always subject to change; you know how it is –