ESPN reporter Monica Gonzalez (pictured), an All-American at Notre Dame and Mexican international, turns 34.
U.S. women’s goalkeeping backup Nicole Barnhart, who has two Olympic gold medals, turns 31.
And Mexican international Ramon Morales, who was practically an institution at Chivas de Guadalajara and retired only a year ago (after a year at Tecos), turns 37. His 64 caps for Mexico were all earned between 2001 and 2007 – a.k.a. the time of major discontent in Mexican soccer when it came to the border battles with the United States.
Big Important Stories of the Day:
Let’s hope there are no more big important stories coming out of Miami, where the United States has one more training day before traveling down to Antigua. No more injury drama (like yesterday’s) is needed, thank you very much.
FYI, the weather forecast for Antigua on Friday calls for scattered showers (60 percent chance) and a high of 86. Sounds sticky.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Chris Gbandi
*Ahead on the blog today:
We’ll look at whether Jurgen Klinsmann has any options to add some width to his current roster, which is currently looking about as narrow as a cover model waist.
While we’re speeding down those U.S. national team tracks, Richard Farley will roll out more depth charts, looking at the current positional condition of the player pool.
Plus, we’ll start looking at news emerging from other national team camps ahead of two big days of World Cup qualifying.
What you should watch on TV today:
Slim pickin’s during this international FIFA window. If you haven’t seen the Kop-centric “Being Liverpool,” it really is worth checking out.
Otherwise, maybe you have that DVD of The Damned United, Once in a Lifetime (the story of the Cosmos) or The Two Escobars. Those are easily three of the top soccer movies / documentaries you’ll ever see.
If the MLS playoffs started today (following 31 rounds):
- Houston at New York
- Sporting Kansas City vs. Wildcard winner
- Chicago vs. D.C. United
- Vancouver Whitecaps at L.A. Galaxy
- San Jose vs. Wildcard winner
- Real Salt Lake vs. Seattle
PST background noise while blogging today: It’s soccer podcast day … except that I always hear something that makes me take notes for later reporting / blogging. So, then it’s not really “background” noise, is it? Or maybe I’m over-thinking that one.
*Always subject to change; you know how it is