ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

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Soccer birthdays: Well isn’t this precious: two days before his team gets back on the field, facing co-host Ukraine in a Euro 2012 contest, French international Florent Malouda turns 32.

Big Important Story of the Day (North American version): How about that result last night from Guatemala City? You know, we should probably talk about that.

Big Important Story of the Day (Global version): A pre-tourney favorite at Euro 2012 (and a longtime favorite of fans who favor soccer that’s easy on the eyes) may be done by the time you pack up at the office today. We’re looking at you, Netherlands.

Ahead on the blog today*: Plenty of reflection on the U.S.-Guatemala match, plus a crazy-massive match from Euro 2012, where one of the tournament favorites, the Dutch, will go crashing out ingloriously if they lose today to the Germans. And since the Germans are another of the tourney favs, don’t be shocked it if happens. Richard Farley, our point man on all things EUFA European Championship (pictured, you know, fans and all), will be your guide on this one.

Meanwhile, I’m sure we’ll be talking about this, sorry upheaval in Warsaw.

Plus, our man on the crazy Ukrainian streets of Kiev, Noah Davis, will check in with his latest dispatch – assuming he and his buddies have remained in the good graces of the Ukrainian authorities, that is. Ahem. I’m sure everything is fine.

What we should all be watching on TV:

Denmark-Portugal, noon ET, ESPN

Germany-Netherlands, 2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Joe-Max Moore

Twitter daps: ESPN analyst Alexi Lalas (@AlexiLalas): Good morning. I sense a disturbance in the force. Must be the return of the Group of Death. #Euro2012

Houston Dynamo and U.S. international center back Geoff Cameron (@GeoffCameron), who returned early this morning to the States, along with the rest of his national teammates: Headed back to H-Town! Looking forward to sleeping in my own bed but not so much the Houston heat! #HOUSTON

We’ll leave you with this: You forget how long ESPN analyst Kasey Keller was around the game as a player until you hear him at one of the Euro 2012 matches – and listen to the man talk about how many of these guys are former teammates. Well done, sir.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is

PODCAST: Bob Bradley talks MLS past, USMNT

Jonathan Daniel /Allsport
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Scott Nicholls and Otis Earle welcomed Bob Bradley to their “Beyond The Pitch” podcast to discuss his time coaching the Chicago Fire, the Fire’s current squad, how MLS has evolved, the new generation of players coming into the USMNT and more.

Perhaps most interesting is Bradley talking about previous losses with stinging emotion that sounds like they happened yesterday, including the 2000 MLS Cup.

[ MORE: Latest Men In Blazers pod ]

Since being fired from Swansea City after less than 100 days, Bradley has been linked with the Norway national team gig as well as a return to Los Angeles. Keep up with the U.S. coach here, and check it out:

U.S. Open Cup preview: Which underdog has best odds?

Photo by Joe Petro/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Every dog has its day, and the three lower-tier clubs remaining in the 2017 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup are hoping for a second.

Miami FC, Sacramento Republic, and FC Cincinnati enjoyed wins over Major League Soccer sides in the fourth round, and now get further MLS tests in this week’s fifth round.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Once FC Dallas and Colorado Rapids tangle on Tuesday, attention turns to the underdogs on Wednesday. Who has the best chance to advance?

  1. Miami FC vs. Atlanta United — Playing an MLS expansion side at Riccardo Silva Stadium will give Miami a bit of confidence, and this is also a side with some good experience in pressure spots. Whether it’s manager Alessandro Nesta or MLS vets Michel, Gabriel Farfan, and Michael Lahoud, MFC won’t shy away. Upset chance: Solid.
  2. FC Cincinnati vs. Chicago Fire — The visitors are having a heck of a season in MLS and don’t have a group which will be worried by a huge crowd, but there’s no debating that 25,000-plus in Southern Ohio give FCC more than a puncher’s chance. Upset chance: Improbable, but possible
  3. LA Galaxy vs. Sacramento Republic — If LA puts something close to its best side out there, Sacramento will struggle to stop its attack.  Upset chance: Long shot.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, New England hosts DC United, Philadelphia visits the Red Bulls, Seattle is off to San Jose, and Houston hosts Sporting KC.

WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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