Soccer birthdays: Alright, Mr. World Cup Smarty-Pants, how about this one: Who is the only player to appear in three World Cup finals. Careful now … Yes, he’s Brazilian, but perhaps it’s not the one you were thinking, not the famous name with all those glorious goals. It’s not even a forward! It’s Cafu, who appeared in the tournament closers in 1994, 1998 and 2002. He turns 42 today.
Big Important Story of the Day: Ongoing concerns of race issues and hot-button issues of players who aren’t even playing in Poland and Ukraine (yes, people are still talking about Rio Ferdinand) … Well, let’s just get this European Championship going already, can we?
Ahead on the blog today*: More from Tampa, where the United States will go through its final practice before World Cup qualifying begins on Friday. And we’ll keep pouring the knowledge regarding Euro 2012. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock … games begin in just one day!
What we should all be watching on TV: GolTV is showing Corinthians-Figueirense from Brazil (7:30 ET). And if you have a dog in that fight, good luck! But it’s hard to get excited about something like that with the games from Euro 2012 on deck, less than 24 hours later. We mentioned that tournament already, right?
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Mark Chung
Twitter daps: Harrisburg City Islanders defender Bilal Duckett (@bilalduckett) on his team’s huge upset over the New York Red Bulls in U.S. Open Cup action: Big thanks to all the @city_islanders fans that came out tonight. Couldnt have done it without you guys! Huge win! on to Wilmington Sat.
U.S. striker Jozy Altidore (@JozyAltidore), on his ongoing efforts to help rebuild Haiti: Already two donations. Thanks so much guys. Lets bring Clean water to Haiti keep donating here
U.S. midfielder Maurice Edu (@MauriceEdu), training with the U.S. men’s national team in Florida ahead of Friday’s World Cup qualifier: Good double day of training today. Felt good to get back running around after a relaxing day off yesterday!
PST background noise while blogging today: Weather channel in Tampa. Lots of rain here, which could douse the U.S. practice Friday evening.
*Always subject to change; you know how it is