ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

1 Comment

Soccer birthdays:

There are few more polarizing figures in the United States national team pool than Jose Torres. He’s either “the answer,” one of the few men in a U.S. shirt with a little creative flair in his feet (and everyone who can’t see that is a damn fool!). Or he’s overrated and overly content to playing ineffective little passes with precious little end product. Depends on who you ask.

Torres turns 25 on Monday.

Longtime England international Kelly Smith, her country’s all-time leading scorer, turns 35.

According to Wiki, Robert Pires is a “free agent” today. Technically, I suppose, so am I. Anyway, Pires, the fine French international and former Arsenal man, turns 39 today.

Longtime Dutch international Phillip Cocu, now an assistant with the Netherlands’ national team, turns 41.

And finally, speaking of Dutch marquee men, longtime Holland and Manchester United backstopper Edwin van der Sar turns 42.

Big Important Stories of the Day:

Nothing that happens today is likely to outweigh the big talker that became official Sunday night: that NBC has scooped up the U.S. viewing rights for English Premier League soccer:

By the way, this is fairly big news for MLS, too. Having an EPL lead-in to MLS matches on Saturday and Sunday? Not a bad thing at all.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day:  Kerry Zavagnin

*Ahead on the blog today:

We will start taking a look at the four MLS playoff sides that face midweek matches, taking the temperature on how we feel about the playoff chances for each one.

We’ll have more on Sunday’s announcement that will reshape domestic soccer’s TV landscape.

And since it’s Monday, we’ll have the Monday “Meh” list of the weekend’s slightly overrated.

Twitter daps:

source:

What you should watch on TV today:

There’s just one tiny island of “live” in a sea of weekend replays: Real Valladolid vs Real Sociedad on beIN Sport.

PST background noise while blogging today: YouTubing old All-Star Soccer broadcasts with Mario Machado; I’m sure I am not the only American who got my start in watching English soccer on that old PBS show.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is

LAFC selects Urena, 4 others in MLS Expansion Draft

Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Los Angeles FC selected five players in the MLS Expansion Draft, including Costa Rican national team star Marco Urena.

Whether they’ll make their way to the City of Angels is another story.

The first pick from general manager John Thorrington was goalkeeper Tyler Miller from Seattle Sounders.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Going next was Latif Blessing from Sporting KC, an electric attacker who netted thrice with an assist last season.

Next was Urena from San Jose and the Costa Rican national team, a huge addition, and then Columbus left back Jukka Raitala before closing up the draft with Raheem Edwards from Toronto FC.

LAFC has already announced the signings or acquisitions of Carlos Vela, Walker Zimmerman, Carlos Alvarez, Monday Etim, and Guillermo Vizcarra.

The club will also loan Omar Gaber from Basel and Rodrigo Pacheco from Lanus.

WATCH LIVE: Three Premier League matches

AP Photo/Matt Dunham
Leave a comment

Chelsea visits the John Smith’s Stadium to face Huddersfield Town in one of three Premier League fixtures this chilly Tuesday in December (Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

The Blues are now 14 points back of Manchester City, and three points clear of fifth place.

Meanwhile there are a pair of matches on NBC Sports Gold: Burnley looks to keep pace with its Top Four ambitions when it hosts struggling Stoke City, while in-form Crystal Palace seeks a home win that would move it out of the drop zone. In its way? Dangerous, attack-minded Watford.

Burnley vs. Stoke City — 2:45 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Huddersfield Town vs. Chelsea — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

Crystal Palace vs. Watford — 3 p.m. ET [ STREAM ]

FIFA bans Colombia midfielder Cardona 5 games for gesture

Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images
Leave a comment

ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned Colombia midfielder Edwin Cardona for five matches for making a discriminatory gesture with his eyes toward a South Korean opponent.

FIFA will allow Cardona to serve the ban in friendly games, so he should be available for Colombia’s World Cup opener against Japan on June 19.

[ MORE: Pep on post-derby celebrations ]

Cardona has also been fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,150) because of the incident last month in a friendly in Seoul.

Cardona apologized at the time, saying he “didn’t mean to disrespect anyone, a country or a race, but if anyone felt offended, or interpreted it in that way, I am sorry.”

Spurs’ Alderweireld won’t return until February

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images
Leave a comment

Spurs finally got a bit of good news this weekend with a blowout of Stoke City.

That was a followed by a tough draw against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League, and bad news on an old injury.

[ MORE: Benitez on NUFC struggles ]

Center back Toby Alderweireld is going to be gone into February, extending his time on the sidelines with a hamstring injury suffered Nov. 1 against Real Madrid.

Spurs were 6-2-2 in league when Alderweireld went down, and are just 2-2-2 since the injury. The Belgian has missed losses at Arsenal and Leicester, draws against Watford and West Brom, and wins over Crystal Palace and Stoke.

Tottenham did win both of its UCL matches since the injury.