ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set


Soccer birthdays: Remember when we said “Ronaldo” and everyone assumed we meant the striker from Brazil?

The one-time scoring ace from South America, Ronaldo, turns 36 today. The guy once looked like he was destined to challenge Pele has one of the greatest of the greats. And in the end, he had a fine career – but you always felt he left something on the table, somehow.

And you just can’t help but wonder if we ever got the 100 percent, full version of the curious events leading up to the 1998 World Cup final?

Also in birthdays: When I was a wee lad, I thought I wanted to be a goalkeeper, so I really loved watching a couple of the greats whenever that was possible.

Peter Shilton was one of those “greats.” Dude was a rock, wherever he went: Leicester, Nottingham Forest, Southhampton, Derby County (a real parade of 70s and 80s stalwarts that began fading roughly around the day of new wave music.)  He had 125 caps for England by the time his long career was over.

Most of that is beside the point, which is this: Shilton turns 63 today.

Big Important Stories of the Day:  

What a joyous Tuesday this is

UEFA Champions League group stage matches begin today

This stellar day has landed with such a force around ProSoccerTalk headquarters that I find myself forgetting to punctuate

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Brian Quinn

Twitter daps:


*Ahead on the blog today: By the time Manchester City kicks off at the historic Estadio Santiago Bernabéu against Real Madrid (the feature match among eight in UCL group play … or did we already mention that?), we will have dropped the MLS weekly rankings, some thoughts on newly signed Seattle Sounders goalkeeper Marcus Hahnemann, information on a new women’s professional league and much more.

What you should watch on TV today:

Real Madrid Manchester City is on Fox Soccer Channel at 2 p.m. ET

Montpellier-Arsenal starts on FSC (on delay) at 5 p.m. ET

And then Tauro-Real Salt Lake kicks off (live) on FSC at 8 p.m. ET

Galavision has the other CONCACAF Champions League match, Real Estili-Tigres, which kicks off live at 10 p.m. ET

If the MLS playoffs started today (following 28 rounds):

Eastern Conference

(Wildcard round)

  • Houston vs. D.C. United

(Second round)

  • Sporting Kansas City vs. Wildcard winner
  • Chicago vs. New York Red Bulls

Western Conference:

(Wildcard round)

  • Real Salt Lake vs. Vancouver Whitecaps

(Second Round)

  • San Jose vs. Wildcard winner
  • Seattle vs. L.A. Galaxy

PST background noise while blogging today: Loop of the iconic Champions League anthem. (Extended dance mix, of course.)

We’ll leave you with this: I’m just as excited as everyone else to see Man City at Real Madrid – but Borussia Dortmund vs. Ajax from the BVB Stadion in Dortmund? Yeah, that one is gonna rock, too. Group D really is a monster, isn’t it?

*Always subject to change; you know how it is…

Sunderland confirm resignation of manager Dick Advocaat

SUNDERLAND, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 03:  Dick Advocaat manager of Sunderland looks on prior to the Barclays Premier League match between Sunderland and West Ham United at the Stadium of Light in Sunderland, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Steve Welsh/Getty Images)
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With rumors swirling of his resignation, Sunderland have confirmed this morning that Dick Advocaat has left his post as Sunderland manager with zero financial compensation despite the protests of the chairman.

Advocaat came on in March as an emergency signing, successfully saving Sunderland from relegation with a solid run of form to finish the season. The 68-year-old Dutchman pondered at length this summer if he wished to continue on, with his wife reportedly urging him to step down, but he chose to continue on with the new season after successful persuasion from the front office.

Unfortunately, things have not gone as planned, with Sunderland sitting 19th in the table, only above Newcastle on goal differential and without a single win on the season. They’ve conceded a whopping 18 goals so far this season through eight league matches.

“I have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was important to give everyone time turn things around – like we did last year,” Advocaat said upon his departure. “I am thankful to the chairman for understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at the club.

“I wish Ellis [Short], Lee [Congerton], all of the staff, players and of course the supporters, who made me feel so welcome here, the very best of luck for the rest of the season. I have some wonderful memories to take with me and I hope I will return to see everybody again in the future.”

“I am truly saddened by Dick’s decision,” chairman Ellis Short said, “but I respect him for his honesty and for doing what he feels is right for the club. He is a man of integrity and a true football person. He was hugely respectful of the club in taking this decision and he acted 100% in our best interests. It is also testament to his character that he has forgone any kind of a financial settlement, something which is very unusual in football.”

Meanwhile, the Black Cats have dipped into what is becoming a perennial cycle, making a managerial change for the fourth time in the last four seasons.

Rumors are swirling that a host of experienced Premier League managers could be up for the job, including the currently unemployed Sam Allardyce and Harry Redknapp. Other linked names include former Leicester manager Nigel Pearson and current Burnley boss Sean Dyche.

Sepp Blatter’s daughter slams media for ruining her father’s reputation

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Sepp Blatter’s daughter blames the media, not her father, for Sepp’s downfall as the head of FIFA and believes he will not step down until the February congress as he initially announced.

“The media has ruined his reputation,” Corinne Blatter told Swiss newspaper Blick. “Why are they picking on him? What did he do to them? … It’s not just envy. It’s hatred.”

A host of major sponsors, including Coca-Cola, McDonalds and Visa called for Blatter’s immediate resignation as president of FIFA, to which the 79-year-old swiftly rejected. This all came after Blatter was called in by Swiss authorities for questioning after the opening of an investigation surrounding corporate mismanagement charges.

“I was afraid that they now take him away in handcuffs,” Corinne said. “He told me, ‘I must be dreaming.’ A federal policeman assured me that he could after hearing home.”

Blick pressed Corinne on many issues, all of which she defender her father. She refused to comment on many that had to do with the investigation, but did give us this gem when asked how Sepp likes to spend his money.

“He buys shoes and travel bags. He has worked 40 years. His life is modest, without any extravagance. He doesn’t play golf or go sailing.”

Shoes and handbags. What an image.