1974 ball

ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set


Soccer birthdays:

Chelsea center back Gary Cahill, last seen walking off the field in Japan, having been ejected from the FIFA Club World Cup final, turns 27.

Dutch international Ryan Babel turns 26.

Real Madrid and French international striker Karim Benzema turns 25.

Big Important Stories of the Day:

The last FIFA world rankings for 2012 are out – if you are into those things. (Spoiler alert: Spain is on top. Again.)

And U.S. international Michael Parkhurst is apparently on the move, out of Denmark and into the German Bundesliga. If so, that’s a nice move up the European hierarchy.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day:  Erin O’Grady

*Ahead on the blog today:

We’ll talk Parkhurst and, hopefully, U.S. World Cup venues.

Twitter daps:


What you should watch on TV today:

If you have Univision Deportes, set that DVR for 2:30 p.m. ET, because any chance to catch Borussia Dortmund right now should be exploited. The third-place team in the German table meets Hannover (with U.S. international Steve Cherundolo) in German Cup play.

For anyone with beIN Sports, there’s a nice Capital One Cup contest out of Leeds, whose fans can recall some better days in top flight soccer during today’s meeting with Chelsea. Coverage starts at 2:40 p.m. ET.

Background noise while blogging today:

Way behind on soccer podcasts. But also feeling behind on college football bowl season knowledge. May be some competing interests there.

We’ll leave you with this:

Everybody noticed that the FIFA Club World Cup came and went with no goal line technology needed, right? (This was the first official event with the modern methods for goal detection in place.) I suppose it’s like insurance. Most of the time, you don’t need it. But when you need it, you really need it.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is

Klopp to the Kop: Multiple reports say deal agreed at Liverpool

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 24:  Borussia Dortmund coach Jurgen Klopp shouts to his players during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between Juventus and Borussia Dortmund at Juventus Arena on February 24, 2015 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Jurgen Klopp is on his way to Liverpool to sign a contract naming him the next coach of the Reds.

The celebrated manager, 48, has been on “hiatus” from football since leaving Borussia Dortmund last season.

[ MORE: Messi to stand trial in Spain ]

Reports starting emerging earlier today that an agreement was imminent, and now the BBC is among those reporting that Klopp will be rolled out Friday morning.

From the BBC:

No contract has yet been signed but that is viewed as a formality when Klopp arrives in Liverpool later on Thursday. He will be officially unveiled by Liverpool on Friday morning at 10:00 BST.

There’s not much to say besides this: Klopp’s addition to the Premier League will give more color and brilliance to the country’s footballing scene. Only a certain class of manager can be instantly expected to find a better system for an inherited group of players.

This could and should be a game changer on Merseyside.

Appeal rejected! Lionel Messi will face court trial in Spain

VIGO, SPAIN - SEPTEMBER 23:  Lionel Messi looks dejected after the La Liga match between Celta Vigo and FC Barcelona at Estadio Balaidos on September 23, 2015 in Vigo, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images
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It was a mere 48 hours ago that Lionel Messi looked close to in the clear when it came to tax evasion charges.

Now the question is whether a Spanish court will lock away the greatest active footballer, as a judge rejected the prosecutors’ (!!!) request to drop the charges.

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

Messi and his father have already made a $5.5 million corrective payment, but there’s principle in play here. And the judge wants to know how Messi can claim he had no idea what was being done with his money.

From the BBC:

Lawyers acting on behalf of the tax authorities demanded 22-month jail sentences for both defendants.

“There are rational signs that the criminality was committed by both accused parties,” wrote the judge in a court filing, according to the AFP news agency.

Can you imagine one of the world’s richer men ending up in a Spanish prison? It’s very difficult to consider. In some ways it’s more plausible that he would buy his own island and start the “Messi Isle Premiership”.

Still, we won’t laugh off the idea, especially with FIFA apparently going down. Messi in prison. That’s something. Sepp in Switzerland. Lionel in Spain.