Soccer birthdays: On another day, Carsten Jancker might not make the big birthday list. But the former Bayern Munich man was a big whoop in the late 1990s and into the next decade. And he did have 33 caps for Germany. So, yeah, happy 38th birthday, Herr Jancker.
Longtime Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Paul Allen (pictured) turns 50. That man is darn near a legend around White Hart Lane.
Big Important Story of the Day: Toronto FC got off to a good start in CONCACAF Champions League play with a resounding 5-1 win over travel-weary Aguila from El Salvador. But tonight’s contest against Mexican power Santos Laguna? Yes, that will be a different story.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Ted Eck
If the MLS playoffs started today:
- Sporting Kansas City vs. Wildcard winner
- New York Red Bulls vs. Houston
- Vancouver Whitecaps at L.A. Galaxy
- San Jose vs. Wildcard winner
- Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle
What you should watch on TV today: Sacha Kljestan and his Belgian club Anderlecht try to stay alive in UEFA Champions League play, hosting AEL Limassol FC from Cyprus. Kljestan’s team is down by a goal, but this one is in Brussels, so it’s “game on!” That one kicks off at 5 p.m. on Fox Soccer Channel. (But stay off of Twitter; it is a delay broadcast.) Later on FSC the aforementioned Toronto-Santos Laguna contest kicks off at 8 p.m. ET.
*Ahead on the blog today: In addition to the usual Tuesday staple, our ProSoccerTalk MLS weekly rankings, we’ll have some thoughts on Monday’s terrible news out of Kansas City, where striker Teal Bunbury is done for the year after suffering a severe knee injury in Sunday’s draw with New York.
PST background noise while blogging today: We’ll see what SoundCloud has to say about it; I’m thinking downtempo.
*Always subject to change; you know how it is…
The Internet exploded at around 12:50 p.m. ET on Saturday after Jamie Vardy — yes, Jamie Vardy — broke Ruud van Nistelrooy’s Premier League record for most consecutive games with a goal.
[ WATCH: The goal | The game — Leicester City vs. Manchester United ]
Yes, an Englishman is back atop the charts. An Englishman who was playing for Stocksbridge Park Steels, Halifax Town and Fleetwood Town before heading to Leicester.
He’s perhaps the reminder, as Rio Ferdinand Tweeted below, that the most unlikely of scenarios is still not impossible.
He did it. He actually did it.
Jamie Vardy made Premier League history on Saturday, scoring for the 11th consecutive game to become the first player in history to achieve that magnificent feat.
[ MORE: Twitter reacts to Vardy ]
Tied with Manchester United legend Ruud van Nistelrooy heading into Leicester’s clash against United on Saturday, it took Vardy just 24 minutes to set the new record as Christian Fuchs played a delicate ball in-behind United’s defense and Vardy did the rest.
[ MORE: Can Vardy, Leicester achieve unthinkable? ]
Watch the video below to see the King Power Stadium erupt as a truly memorable moment arrived.
Now, the next record for Vardy to break is from the 1931-32 English top-flight season, before the PL was formed. Sheffield United’s Jimmy Dunne scored in 12-straight games way back then.
Anyway, congratulations Mr. Vardy for making PL history.
This was an all-timer.
Bournemouth came back from a 2-0 halftime deficit only to watch Ross Barkley hand Everton a one-goal lead with a score in the final minute of stoppage time.
[ MATCH RECAP: Bournemouth 3-3 Everton ]
But after fans were cleared from the field, Junior Stanislas provided the dramatic answer for Bournemouth to force a 3-3 draw at Dean Court.
Crystal Palace boss Alan Pardew tried hard not to throw shade on his former side, or at least put in a post-match press conference that choked down his passive aggression.
The Eagles thumped Newcastle United 5-1 on Saturday at Selhurst Park behind braces from Yannick Bolasie and James McArthur, as well as a tally from Wilfried Zaha.
[ MATCH RECAP: Crystal Palace 5-1 Newcastle United ]
And the former Newcastle boss held back, mostly, from further embarrassing his old side, instead heralding the starring role of former Sunderland forward Connor Wickham, who put in a Team of the Week performance despite not scoring himself.
“We caused problems everywhere,” Pardew said. “Connor Wickham gave a centre forward’s performance we always hoped he would. We were irresistible today.”
“We are sixth in the division because we are a good team, it was not about the opposition today. I have a lot of friends and family at Newcastle but I don’t want to say a lot about them because I get criticised whatever I say.”
Newcastle, for its part, was mostly useless after scoring early on a classy chip pass from Daryl Janmaat to Papiss Cisse. Could Steve McClaren be fired after just 14 games in charge? Newcastle’s 19th place status says it wouldn’t be unfair.
And after losing to Sunderland last week, Pardew doubled-down on his status as a Newcastle plague in the Northeast.