- Katie Chapman, who made her debut for England’s senior women’s team at age 17 and now has been capped 82 times for her country, turns 30 today.
- Longtime Ghanaian international John Paintsil, formerly of West Ham, Fulham and Leicester City (but now looking for a club) turns 31. So, if you hear of anything, be a good fellow, would you? Give the man and shout and let him know about it.
- Wilfred Bouma has 37 caps for the Netherlands but is probably, secretly happy he wasn’t picked for the latest Dutch assembly. He turns 34 today.
- And finally, longtime U.S. third man in goal, Marcus Hahnemann (whose professional career started back in 1994!) turns 40. C’mon, man, you’ve got one more season in ya, right?
Big Important Story of the Day: It’s Group D day in Poland and Ukraine. England, Sweden, Ukraine and France, you are on the clock. Don’t make us write bad things about you.
Ahead on the blog today*: So long as Richard “Fingers of Fury” Farley hasn’t worn the letters off that keyboard of his, we’ll get all the Group D goods. And we’ll ease back into MLS matters, too; a full slate of games is up this weekend.
What we should all be watching on TV:
Ukraine-France, noon ET, ESPN2
England-Sweden, 2:45 p.m. ET, ESPN2
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Angie Woznuk Kerr
Twitter daps: Philadelphia Union midfielder Freddy Adu (@FreddyAdu): big game against DC on saturday. Hope everybody is out in full force to support us. #ADUit
We’ll leave you with this: First round games in major tournaments are like that proverbial Forest Gump box of chocolates; you never know what you’ll get. But teams are beginning to separate themselves now. Strange things can and do happen, of course, but this thing looks like it’s heading to a repeat of the Euro 2008 final, which means Germany-Spain. Both of them seem to be finding the groove.
*Always subject to change; you know how it is