Multi-media sports dude Bill Simmons, friend to soccer, friend in sports to Every Fan, turns 43 today. He once went through a prolonged process of picking a team in England to support. If you never saw it, do so now.
Longtime Bayern Munich and Germany star Karl-Heinz Rummenigge turns 57.
Big Important Stories of the Day:
In England, third round play begins today in the Capital One Cup. That’s the tournament formerly known as the Carling Cup. Which, of course, was the competition formerly known as the League Cup.
But no matter how many times they change the name, the money clubs in England are not going to care anymore than they do now. It is what it is.
In the bigger matches today, Wolves are at Chelsea, Coventry City is at Arsenal, Everton is at Leeds and Spurs are at Carlisle United.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Jan Van Beveren (r.i.p.)
*Ahead on the blog today: Major League Soccer rankings will drop around noon-ish. We’ll have that look at Federico Higuain’s decreasing output with the Columbus Crew (promised yesterday but undelivered).
And we’ve got some thoughts on Rafa Marquez and whether the Red Bulls are better with or without him.
(Friends around the media edition)
What you should watch on TV today:
Bayern Munich-Wolfsburg (2 p.m. ET) and Frankfurt-Borussia Dortmund (4 p.m. ET) if you have GolTV.
You get Leeds-Everton in the Capital One Cup (2:40 p.m.) if you happen to get beIN Sport.
If the MLS playoffs started today (following 28 rounds):
- Houston vs. D.C. United
- Sporting Kansas City vs. Wildcard winner
- Chicago vs. New York Red Bulls
- Seattle vs. Vancouver Whitecaps
- San Jose vs. Wildcard winner
- Real Salt Lake vs. L.A. Galaxy
PST background noise while blogging today: I’ve been banging on YouTube lately, finding old concert footage of bands from another day. I’m too embarrassed to tell you which ones (although I will say this: yesterday I found some kick-ass footage from Farm Aid, if you remember that precious bit from way back.)
We’ll leave you with this: See what we’ve done? This is what happens when we lack officials who are up to standard, when we have a bunch who are ill prepared to properly handle the job before them. I’m talking about NFL, of course, and the hideous, ongoing unraveling of game-day credibility. … Or am I?
*Always subject to change; you know how it is…