ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

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Soccer birthdays:

Danish international center back Daniel Agger, a Liverpool man since 2006, turns 28 on Wednesday.

San Jose midfielder Sam Cronin, who really should get down on his knees every single day and thank his maker that he escaped the silliness of Toronto and found his way to better things at Buck Shaw Stadium, turns 27 on Wednesday.

Longtime Blackburn and Aston Villas left back Stephen Warnock, now on loan at Bolton, turns 31.

Big Important Stories of the Day:

Regional champion Monterrey (tops in CONCACAF) meet European champion Chelsea in the wee smalls, a semifinal in the FIFA Club World Cup. The match is technically Thursday morning; kickoff on Fox Soccer Channel is 4:30 a.m. ET.

And the U.S. women’s team meets China in Houston in that team’s latest friendly.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day:

Brian Maisonneuve

*Ahead on the blog today:

The next in a series of conversations based on a long conversation with U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann. Today, we talk about Carlos Bocanegra’s evolving role.

And you just know there will be MLS news to talk about, as team’s attempt to get on top of things in this, the shortest MLS off-season to day. First Kick in 2013 is just under 90 days away!

About the picture:

Several fans Tweeted out pictures of the colorful skies over Houston’s BBVA Compass Stadium as the U.S. women’s team went through final rehearsal prior to Wednedsay’s friendly.

What you should watch on TV today:

The U.S. women’s national team will go for a fourth consecutive shutout win over China on Wednesday at BBVA Compass Stadium. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. CT, live on Fox Soccer Channel.

Twitter daps:

Fans are clearly excited about the chance to see Alex Morgan, Hope Solo, Abby Wambach and the other U.S. Olympic gold medalists …

source:

STREAM LIVE: The Manchester Derby

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The third Manchester Derby of the season is the first away from Old Trafford, as Manchester United visits Manchester City (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com) at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

There’s much on the line, as the sides sit just two points apart in the race for the Top Four. Man City would leapfrog third-place Liverpool with a win, while United could join the Reds on 66 points with a match-in-hand.

WATCH LIVE ONLINE, HERE

Sergio Aguero starts for Man City, with Gabriel Jesus on the bench.

On the other side, it’ll be a physical middle-third guarded by Ander Herrera, Michael Carrick, and Marouane Fellaini. Wayne Rooney and Jesse Lingard start on the bench.

LINEUPS

Manchester City: Bravo, Zabaleta, Kompany (C), Otamendi, Kolarov, Fernandinho, Yaya Toure, Sterling, De Bruyne, Sane, Aguero. Subs: Caballero, Sagna, Fernando, Navas, Clichy, Gabriel Jesus, A. Garcia

Manchester United: De Gea; Valencia, Bailly, Blind, Darmian; Herrera, Carrick, Fellaini, Mkhitaryan; Rashford, Martial. Subs: Romero, Shaw, Fosu-Mensah, Tuanzebe, Young, Lingard, Rooney.

Ex-Liverpool CEO shares biting story of Suarez transfer

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Ian Ayre’s got jokes.

The former Liverpool CEO lifted the lid on some transfer stories during a Merseyside lecture this week.

Of note, Ayre admitted that the club thought Dele Alli demanded too much given what he had produced when the Reds has the chance to sign him as a 16-year-old, and said that Liverpool could’ve landed Alexis Sanchez but the player wanted to live in London (“We couldn’t move the football club to London, unfortunately,” he quipped).

The best part relayed by Sky Sports had to do with Luis Suarez, and shows the relentless nature of the transfer market. Clearly Barcelona had interest in Suarez before the fiery striker bit Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup, because, well…

“I remember the sporting director of Barcelona calling me during that game, immediately as Suarez bit the player, and he said to me ‘my friend, he’s bitten somebody, how can this be the price?’ I said ‘he’d already bitten somebody when you first bid!'”

We’re sure there’s a certain amount of storytelling in there, but undoubtedly some truth.

Given Barca paid a reported $84 million for the striker, the asking price couldn’t have started that much higher.

Men in Blazers podcast: Chelsea tops Spurs, Top Four predictions

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Rog and Davo return to discuss Chelsea’s FA Cup semifinal victory over Spurs, update their Top Four predictions (again), and dive into the depths of the relegation zone. Plus, the very important movement to change “Hudson Street” to “Ray Hudson Street.”

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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De Rossi admits desire to beat young teammates with bat

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Daniele De Rossi doesn’t like the modern world.

Okay, okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the Roma legend dropped a funny quote when discussing the differences between young players these days and those when he began his career.

A one-club man, the 33-year-old De Rossi has played in 556 matches for i Lupi and admits that he probably flummoxed veterans when he began his career because that’s the cyclical nature of adulthood.

From Italia Football:

“When we started out, it was all different, that was 20 years ago. Now a 20-year-old will get into the first team and have more Instagram followers than Messi. When I was young, the older players would say ‘it wasn’t like in my day’ – that’s life and it always will be.

“Mind you, some of them irritate me too. When I see them do live Instagram videos from inside the locker room before a game, I’d like to take a baseball bat to their teeth… But they’re 18 years old and in 20 years’ time they will find themselves complaining about the youth of today.”

Mmmm, tastes like ash and hickory.

It’s a safe bet that De Rossi isn’t wild about Stephan El Shaarawy’s hair, we imagine, but living legends generally get a little leeway with their comments in the media.

Plus, it sounds like he has the wisdom to understand the “why” and at least channel his angry into tackles.