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.
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