Soccer birthdays: Slim pickin’s today on birthdays. You saw where U.S. striker Alex Morgan turned 23 yesterday, right?
Ahead on the blog today*: Major League Soccer rankings ahead of Round 18 games, any transfer news from here or abroad and some set-up ahead of two MLS contests tonight.
Big Important Stories of the Day: Transfer news? Yes there will be transfer news. (Or at the very least, transfer speculation, rumor and whispers.)
What we should all watch on TV: Two MLS games begin Round 18 tonight, if you have MLS Live or the Direct Kick package:
Houston – Chicago (8:30 pm)
Portland – San Jose (10:30 pm)
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Mark Dodd
U.S. women’s striker Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13): Thank you for all the birthday wishes!!
Soccer writer Daniel Robertson (@Bigdsoccer): Under Reported: Kevin Hartman will join the MLS 400 games played club on Wednesday. He will be the only member.
MLSSoccer.com writer Matthew Doyle (@MLS_Analyst), having a little fun with the ways of the British press: Frank Lampard to the toilet. You read it here first.
San Jose Earthquakes striker and MLS leading scorer Chris Wondolowski (pictured) (@ChrisWondo), answering fan questions yesterday via Twitter: @CallinBaykur: @ChrisWondo what do you like to do on your free time away from the game?” playin golf and playin with my dogs
NBC News is reporting that at least 19 people have been killed and another 50 are injured following a possible suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.
Multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials who are monitoring British authorities told NBC News that preliminary reports indicate that a single explosion took place outside the arena on the southwest side opposite the train station. The explosion occurred as the concert ended, catching people as they exited.
Soccer personalities around the world are reacting to the horrible event.
If you didn’t realize Juan Cuadrado still belonged to Chelsea, you’re forgiven.
The Colombian attacker will complete his second season at Juventus after the UEFA Champions League Final against Real Madrid, and won’t be headed back to Chelsea afterwards.
Juve has purchased Cuadrado, and the fee is $22 million, and Juve will pay it over three seasons. Cuadrado, 28, is now signed through 2020 with The Old Lady.
Cuadrado first went on loan to Juve in Aug. 2015, and has eight goals and 18 assists in 83 career appearances with the club.
Chelsea bought Cuadrado from Fiorentina for around $32 million in the January 2015 transfer window, but made just 14 appearances with the club.
Sky Sports is reporting that Jermain Defoe may head back to the south of England following Sunderland’s relegation.
Defoe, 34, spent two seasons with Portsmouth between 2008-09, scoring 15 goals in 31 appearances.
[ MORE: ‘The Moment’ of each PL club’s season ]
The 56-times capped England striker had a clause in his Sunderland contract allowing him to leave the Stadium of Light were the Black Cats to be relegated, as they were this season. He’d have little interest in dropping into the Championship given his desire to stay a part of the England squad ahead of the 2018 World Cup.
Bournemouth’s strike corps includes Joshua King, who scored the most goals of any player not on a Top Seven side this season. King’s 16 goals were one more than Defoe’s 15, though the latter scored just one goal following a brace against Crystal Palace on Feb. 4.
Antonio Conte took league and national honors from the League Managers Association on Monday night.
The Chelsea boss was named Premier League Manager of the Year and Manager of the Year after leading the Blues to the PL title and an FA Cup Final in his first year on the job.
Brighton and Hove Albion boss Chris Hughton nabbed another Championship boss of the year award after leading the Gulls to the Premier League. He also won the honor with Newcastle United in 2010.
The League One winner is Chris Wilder of Sheffield United. Wilder won the honor with Northampton Town last season.
In League Two, Paul Cook of Portsmouth was named the winner.