Today’s momentous anniversary in U.S. national team history; do you know the occasion?

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I just love asking the good, sweet, clean U.S. Soccer fans this question: Where were you in the wee smalls of June 5, 2002?

Did you even have your first cup of Get up and Go Juice before John O’Brien roofed that re-directed corner kick spectacularly against Portugal? (If you’re on the West Coast, I suppose it wasn’t so much the wee small hours … just more of an early, early rise.)

That was in the opening minutes of the stunning U.S. win over Portugal, a match that kicked off in Asia during the pre-dawn hours in our country. And it was O’Brien’s historic strike that set the wheels in motion for so, so much more.

I have noted before how ironic it was that such a momentous occasion in U.S. Soccer history would happen when so many drowsy American fans (and probably more than a few who couldn’t quite answer the alarm bell) didn’t quite have their senses about them.

The world was certainly alert as a 1-goal lead became a 2-goal lead. And then a 3-goal margin before the break, an absolute stunning turn against the vaunted Portuguese Golden Generation. Portugal was among the favorites at World Cup 2002; the United States was in a remarkable different place, coming off that crummy showing at France ’98, where Steve Sampson’s team had placed 32nd out of 32 teams.

In this piece, I called O’Brien’s goal the single most significant moment of the last decade for U.S. Soccer.

There would be other huge moments in Asia that June: every goal against Portugal would eventually be needed; So would Clint Mathis’ precision strike against South Korea, and both of the epochal strikes in one of the original “Dos a Cero” matches, the sweet Round-of-16 triumph over a wonderfully flustered Mexico that helped arrange a decade of U.S. dominance in the border series.

But that win on June 5, 2002, over Portugal put it all in motion, setting the table for the United States to arrive so tantalizingly close to a semifinal appearance.

And in the bigger, bigger picture, we could argue that June of 2002 did more to push soccer in the United States into greater cultural prominence than any other window. Ever.

Here is O’Brien’s landmark goal:

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WATCH: Spain’s Saul smashes a shot past Italy’s Donnarumma

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Since returning from a loan at Rayo Vallecano, Saul Niguez has been a somewhat under the radar star at Atletico Madrid.

Coming off his best season with Atleti, the 22-year-old Saul is making an even bigger name for himself at the U-21 EURO this summer.

Spain’s Saul scored a hat trick past Gianluigi Donnarumma and Italy on Tuesday, and the second goal was laced with venom.

Getting onto the ball from 30-plus yards out, Saul smashed his shot with enough power that the ball barely had occasion to rotate.

Saul is under contract at the Vicente Calderon through 2022, and has three caps for Spain’s senior team, too. He was rated Atleti’s third-best performer by WhoScored this season.

Men in Blazers podcast: Transfer window, USMNT at Gold Cup, RBNY-NYCFC

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Men In Blazers are back with their latest podcast, and the boys are hitting club soccer here and abroad as well as Bruce Arena’s men in the red, white, and blue.

Rog and Davo break down transfer window activity, rumored and real; get a heat check on the USMNT heading into the Gold Cup; and recap the (Ray) Hudson River Derby.

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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Agent Jorge Mendes appears before judge in Falcao tax probe

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MADRID (AP) Football agent Jorge Mendes has told a Spanish judge that he had no involvement in the financial planning of client Radamel Falcao, who has been accused by a state prosecutor of tax fraud.

Mendes, who is not accused of any wrongdoing, appeared before a judge in a Madrid court for 45 minutes on Tuesday as part of the probe into whether there are grounds for the case against Falcao to go to trial.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Mendes’ agency, Gestifute, released a statement saying that “neither he nor his employees have ever intervened in the creation of corporate structures for his clients and much less provided any tax advice to them.”

Last month, a state prosecutor accused Falcao of defrauding Spain’s Tax Office of around $6 million from 2012-13. The alleged unpaid taxes were from money the Colombian player made from endorsement deals through image rights, not from the salary he was then being paid from club Atletico Madrid. Falcao now plays for Monaco.

Arfield, Adekugbe on Canada’s Gold Cup roster

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Burnley midfielder Scott Arfield and on-loan Brighton defender Samuel Adekugbe are among the players who will represent Canada in this summer’s Gold Cup.

Arfield, 28, was born in Scotland and earned the first of seven Canada caps in 2016, and Adekugbe returns to Vancouver from a year-long loan to Brighton and Hove Albion on June 30.

The pair join nine MLS players, two NASL player, and a USL player, with the rest of the group based outside North America.

[ MORE: Lampard linked with manager opening ]

Notably, Orlando City players Will Johnson and Cyle Larin were not called up by coach Octavio Zambrano.

Goalkeepers: Maxime Crepeau (Montreal), Milan Borjan (MKS Korona Kielce), Jayson Leutwiler (Shrewsbury Town)

Defenders: Samuel Adekugbe (Brighton and Hove Albion), Fraser Aird, Manjrekar James (Vasas Budapest), Dejan Jakovic (New York Cosmos), Adam Straith (FC Edmonton), Steven Vitoria (Lechia Gdansk), Marcel de Jong (Vancouver Whitecaps)

Midfielders: Scott Arfield (Burnley), Patrice Bernier (Montreal), Alphonso Davies (Vancouver), Raheem Edwards (Toronto FC), Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City), Mark-Anthony Kaye (Louisville City FC), Anthony Jackson-Hamel (Montreal), Jonathan Osorio (Toronto), Michael Petrasso (QPR), Samuel Piette (CD Izarra), Russell Teibert (Vancouver)

Forwards: Lucas Cavallini (CA Penarol), Tosaint Ricketts (Toronto)