Real Salt Lake up-and-comer Luis Gil turns 19. Yes, just 19.
Former MLS man, Honduran international and current Leeds United midfielder Ramon Nunez turns 27.
Belgian international and Arsenal center back Thomas Vermaelen also turns 27. The Ajax-trained defender is among the reasons why this current Belgian crop may actually get to the World Cup and ruffle some Brazilian feathers over there.
Longtime England international goalkeeper Chris Woods turns 53. His long career included a stop at Colorado for Major League Soccer’s inaugural season.
Big Important Stories of the Day:
United States national team finishes its 2012 season with a friendly against Russia, now directed by former England manager Fabio Capello, in Krasnodar, Russia (pictured).
It’s an early match (10 a.m. ET kickoff on ESPN2), so we’ll have plenty of time for discussion afterward.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day: Cindy Parlow
*Ahead on the blog today:
It’s mostly an international day, which includes (but certainly is not limited to) …
Talk about the U.S-Russia result; talk about any other interesting result on the big menu of international matches from around the world, and; talk about any U.S. women’s national team player who may be in the news lately.
What you should watch on TV today:
There are lots of choices, but it’s got to start with the United States and Russia at 10 a.m. ET.
Background noise while blogging today: What, are you kidding? Have you seen the peachy schedule of international matches on today. In fact, here’s the precise plan of action on this end.
We’ll leave you with this: Remember the golden rule of friendlies when it comes to personnel: It’s difficult to completely play your way into the manager’s good graces through performance in a friendly. The lack of any real, meaningful pressure prevents it. On the other hand, the selections can certainly play their way out of future considerations. That’s the real value of these friendlies, for the winnowing effect.