Soccer birthdays: German international and soon-to-be-Arsenal man Lukas Podolski turns 27. Celebrate by raising a class of German pils. We like Prima – but use your own best judgment. And you’re going to need plenty; Euro 2012 starts Friday!
And speaking of Arsenal, former Gunner Emmanuel Eboué, an Ivorian who is now with Galatasaray, turns 29 today.
Big Important Story of the Day: Checking in on Jurgen Klinsmann’s national team as it moves toward Tampa for this week’s World Cup qualifier. Yes, World Cup qualifier. The 2014 World Cup cycle is about to officially begin. Oh, joy!
Other Big Important stories of the Day: Anything significant coming out of the 16 camps in final days of prep for the European Championship, which begins Friday.
Ahead on the blog today*: We’ll have a little discussion about Sigi Schmid’s caustic comments regarding U.S. Open methodology and lacking transparency.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Brian Maisonneuve
Twitter daps: Baseball writer and longtime soccer watcher Jeff Bradley (@JerseyJBradley), who thought the same thing as a lot of people about Sunday’s 0-0 U.S. draw: “Cannot get that game off my DVR fast enough. Movin’ right along.”
PST background noise while blogging today: Replaying Sunday’s Mexico-Brazil match, if only for the festive, roiling crowd noise.
*Always subject to change; you know how it is