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ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

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Soccer birthdays:

Vancouver Whitecaps center back Jay DeMerit, one of the really outstanding dudes of MLS, turns 33. Celebrate by making a movie about your life. (Wait a minute … Don’t do that. Most of us just do not have as a great a story to tell as DeMerit.)

Fine Irish center back Paul McGrath, long of Manchester United, longer of Aston Villa, turns 53. McGrath played 83 times for the Republic of Ireland.

Big Important Stories of the Day:

If Monday was any indication, there will be more player movement and news about options declined and such in Major League Soccer. By the way, we are just over 90 days away from the start of Major League Soccer’s 18th season. This is easily the shortest off-season in major U.S. pro sports.

It’s UEFA Champions League day, as well.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day):  Mario Machado

*Ahead on the blog today:

The first in a series of conversations based on Friday’s conversation withU.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann. (Yes, you read the same thing yesterday in this space. Today … promise. No take backs. No re-application of that asterisk.)

Twitter daps:


What you should watch on TV today:

Featured Fox Soccer Channel matches in UEFA Champions League: Dortmund-Manchester City at 2:30 p.m. ET and Real Madrid-Ajax (5 p.m. ET on delay).

We’ll leave you with this: If the Mayan calendar is right, you only have a couple weeks left to re-watch Victory and all the other great soccer movies. So, ya know … get going.

* Always subject to change; you know how it is

Ferguson still being asked about Moyes: “We chose a good football man”

David Moyes Alex Ferguson
AP Photo/Martin Rickett/PA
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In some ways absence makes the heart grow fonder, but it seems Sir Alex Ferguson‘s life after Manchester United has been filled with second guessing.

Whether the sales of Paul Pogba and Gerard Pique or the appointment of David Moyes, “Fergie” apparently can’t rest on his title-winning laurels.

[ MORE: Tax evasion charges dropped against Messi, but not his father ]

One thing that seems to bug him more than anything, though, is the idea that he hand-picked David Moyes to be his successor, and should be responsible for his failings.

In a new documentary, Ferguson both defends the appointment of Moyes and explains the process behind his choice.

From the BBC:

“I don’t think we made a mistake at all. I think we chose a good football man,” Ferguson says. “Unfortunately it didn’t work for David.

“Jose Mourinho was going back to Chelsea, Carlo Ancelotti was going to Real Madrid, Jurgen Klopp had signed a contract with Dortmund, Louis Van Gaal was staying with Holland for the World Cup.”

The article also makes another key point, according to Ferguson: the manager claims he only gave United a few months notice that he’d be stepping down. That certainly didn’t provide a lot of lead time to secure a big boss.

What do you make it of it? If your answer is, “When can we stop talking about Moyes and United?” I tend to be with you, but it’s a talking point.

Tax evasion charges against Messi dropped; Case vs father continues

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2013 file photo, Barcelona F.C. star Lionel Messi, left, arrives at a court to answer questions in a tax fraud case in Gava, near Barcelona, Spain. Barcelona prosecutors are calling for the arrest of Messi's father in a tax fraud case. Prosecutors have cleared Messi of wrongdoing but are seeking an 18-month prison sentence for his father, Jorge Horacio Messi, for allegedly defrauding Spain's tax office of 4 million euros ($4.5 million) in unpaid taxes from 2007-09. (AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti, File)
AP Photo/Emilio Morenatti
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Lionel Messi will not face charges that he and his father defrauded the government in millions of unpaid taxes, though his father is not so lucky.

Messi’s father, Jorge, could face 18 months in jail and an approximate $2.25 million fine despite a voluntary payment of $5.5 million in 2013 to “correct” the missed taxes.

[ WATCH: Hilarious spoof pegs Messi, Ronaldo as “Friends” ]

The Barcleona star had plead ignorance to the charges, something that failed to impress prosecutors. But, it apparently worked out in his favor on Tuesday.

From the BBC:

Prosecutors allege that Jorge avoiding paying tax on his son’s earnings by using offshore companies in Belize and Uruguay between 2007 and 2009.

Messi’s lawyers argued that the player had “never devoted a minute of his life to reading, studying or analysing” the contracts, El Pais newspaper reported.