Maradona-Arg

ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

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Soccer birthdays:

What is your all-time lasting Diego Maradona memory? The Hand of God goal, maybe from the 1986 World Cup? Or is it that goal, where he spins out of double trouble in midfield and races into history against England in that tournament?

Is it something darker, maybe the 1991 failed test for cocaine in Italy, or the infamous sending home from the 1994 World Cup after testing positive for ephedrine?

That man was an amazing soccer player; that can never be in question from any reasonable source. But he certainly was a mess, wasn’t he? Still is. Insiders say that his performances behind the scenes as Argentina’s manager at the 2010 World Cup were as ridiculous as his public performance as head coach.

But never mind all that. Not today, at least, on the date that Diego Armando Maradona, one of the truly great greats of the game, turns 52 today.

Big Important Stories of the Day:

Cup competitions are playing out today in some spots across Europe and South America.

On our shores, we are a day away from Major League Soccer kicking off its playoffs with the first to two single-date “elimination” matches.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day:  Richie Williams

*Ahead on the blog today:

We started our ProSoccerTalk conversations Monday evening on MLS awards. Richard Farley, Noah Davis and I go over the MLS Awards, providing our thoughts on the Coach of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Defender of the Year, Goalkeeper of the Year and Most Valuable Player. Coach of the Year is already out. The rest will drop today.

And we’ll have some thoughts on the teams that kick off Major League Soccer’s 17th “tournament,” Chicago and Houston. They meet Wednesday at Toyota Park.

Twitter daps:

source:

What you should watch on TV today:

If you’re into the Capital One Cup, which is the old Carling Cup, which was of course the old Football League Cup,  then you can catch Reading hosting Arsenal from the Madejski Stadium. It’s on beIN Sport at 2:45 p.m. ET.

Also on beIN Sport, Deportivo Alavés meets Barcelona in Copa del Rey tournament play, kicking off at 4 p.m. ET

PST background noise while blogging today:  Just watching the Weather Channel like the rest of the country. And hoping for the best for our friends along the East Coast, like the rest of the country.

We’ll leave you with this: Ugly racism in the game? And now possibly from a referee, of all things, in the world’s most high-profile league? What a mess! People really need to grow up. On the other hand, I suppose every time we get one of these silly, ridiculous, unsavory happenings, it raises awareness and reduces the chances that something similar happens down the road. At least there is that.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is

Injury reveals kidney cancer for Richmond Kickers striker

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A Richmond Kickers striker will hopefully be able to credit a back injury with saving his life.

Matthew Delicâte has been with the USL side for 10 years, and picked up a knock in training that required an MRI.

[ EURO 2016: England squad released | Germany, too ]

That scan revealed a mass on his kidney, and Delicâte is now set for 8-12 weeks on the sidelines and major surgery.

From RichmondKickers.com:

“I was frustrated after hurting my back and not being able to train and feature for the team, but in hindsight, I am very fortunate to have caught this at an early stage,” commented Delicâte. “I hope the team continues to work hard in my absence and I am aiming for a full recovery as quickly as possible.”

“Events such as this immediately put the importance of winning soccer matches into perspective,” added Leigh Cowlishaw, Richmond Kickers Director of Soccer.  “We wish Deli a successful surgery, speedy recovery and look forward to having him score more goals for the Kickers in the months to come.”

The 34-year-old English forward played at Virginia Commonwealth University before embarking on a pro career with Richmond and the Rochester Rhinos, briefly heading home to England for a spell with National League side Ebbsfleet United.

All our best to Delicate, his family, and the Kickers.

Pele to conduct $5-plus million auction of unique items

ST ALBANS, ENGLAND - MAY 29: Pele looks on during the England Footballers Foundation charity event at Sopwell House on May 29, 2016 in St Albans, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images for 10Ten Talent)
Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images for 10Ten Talent
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No surprise here: the most famous footballer of all-time has acquired a wide variety of extraordinary items, many of them as unique as Pele himself.

The 75-year-old Brazilian is going to auction a lot of those items come June in England, with at least part of the money going to a pediatric hospital in his come country.

[ MORE: Marcelo giving away UCL medal via Facebook ]

Some of these items are going to get crazy money. Consider: He’s selling a one of a kind Jules Rimet Trophy given to him after the 1970 World Cup, and the boots he wore in “Victory”.

Here’s what Pele says of the sale, expected to fetch at least $5 million, according to a BBC Business story:

“It was a difficult decision to make but it takes a lot to properly care for these artefacts, and I felt I could do much more good by sharing these items with the world, as well as helping my causes that are important to me.”

Less expensive items, like a match-worn New York Cosmos jersey, are still expected to have purchase prices as high as $8-10,000. So, yeah, a lot of us are going to be left out of the process.

Then again, they’re just Earthly possessions, no? If Pele doesn’t need them, I can be content in also being shut out.

Sturridge, Rashford in England’s Euro squad; Drinkwater, Townsend out

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - MARCH 10:  Daniel Sturridge of Liverpool takes on Guillermo Varela (30) and Marcus Rashford of Manchester United (39) during the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 first leg match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield on March 10, 2016 in Liverpool, United Kingdom.  (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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Andros Townsend and Danny Drinkwater are not going to France as part of the England national team for Euro 2016.

That means both Daniel Sturridge and Marcus Rashford have been included in Roy Hodgson’s squad, putting five strikers in the mix.

[ MORE: Reus left out of Germany squad ]

Rashford, 18, is the youngest player on the roster, with Tottenham’s Dele Alli second (20).

Jack Wilshere and Jordan Henderson have overcome fitness concerns to get into the squad.

Full roster

Goalkeepers: Joe Hart (Manchester City), Fraser Forster (Southampton), Tom Heaton (Burnley).

Defenders: Gary Cahill (Chelsea), Chris Smalling (Manchester United), John Stones (Everton), Kyle Walker (Tottenham Hotspur), Ryan Bertrand (Southampton), Danny Rose (Tottenham Hotspur), Nathaniel Clyne (Liverpool).

Midfielders: Dele Alli (Tottenham Hotspur), Ross Barkley (Everton), Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur), Jordan Henderson (Liverpool), Adam Lallana (Liverpool), James Milner (Liverpool), Raheem Sterling (Manchester City), Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).

Strikers: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United), Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur), Jamie Vardy (Leicester City), Daniel Sturridge (Liverpool), Marcus Rashford (Manchester United).

Klinsmann, USMNT will “go for it” in Copa America opener vs Colombia

LONDON, ENGLAND - NOVEMBER 14:  Jermaine Jones of the USA avoids Carlos Bacca of Colombia during the International Friendly between the USA and Colombia at Craven Cottage on November 14, 2014 in London, England.  (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images
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Comparing it to the 2014 World Cup opener against Ghana, USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann called Friday’s Copa America Centenario opener against Colombia “starting a tournament with a final”.

While Costa Rica and Paraguay are far from slouches, Colombia is the best team in the United States’ group.

[ COPA AMERICA PREVIEWS: Group A | BC | D ]

A win would set the tone for the group stage and, historically speaking, winning the first game gives teams a tremendous chance to advance to the knockout rounds.

In a Facebook live chat on Sunday, Klinsmann implied that his Yanks wouldn’t play for a draw against Colombia.

From MLSSoccer.com:

“We are going to go for it. We are going to do that and we are going to try and make it happen on Friday night because it would give us a big, big boost towards the game against Costa Rica and then finishing off the group with Paraguay. Similar to the World Cup, we need a good result in the first game.”

There’s no denying a win would be massive, putting Colombia up against the wall for both of its remaining games. Los Cafeteros have not kept a clean sheet in three matches, but all of those were wins. Their only losses since mid-June 2015 came against Uruguay and Argentina.

Game on.