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.
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