Seventy-five years ago today, the best English soccer player in history was born. At least, that’s how most people would introduce Sir Bobby Charlton, and I don’t use that “Sir” lightly. I usually refrain from including the title, since I’m not subject to the crowd, but for Sir Bobby, I make an exception on sure soccer grounds.
Charlton made 106 appearances for the English national team, scoring 46 goals from midfield, winning a World Cup in 1966 (he was awarded the Ballon d’Or the same year). In 606 appearances over a 17-year career with Manchester United, Charlton scored 199 goals, leading the Red Devils to a European Cup in 1968.
Big Important Stories of the Day:
It’s all about the U.S. Men’s National Team, particularly given their injury troubles. With Landon Donovan, Brek Shea, Fabian Johnson, and Edgar Castillo ruled out over the last two days, the U.S.’s injury problems are starting to feel like an epidemic.
Where’s that stupid Outbreak monkey (oh, he’s pictured)? That’s the only explanation for this type of crisis.
If nobody else is ruled out, the news will be that the national team survived a day without losing another player. And if another player has to be scratched? U.S. Men’s National Team fans will just be hoping it’s not Clint Dempsey or Michael Bradley.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Mike Burns
*Ahead on the blog today: If it’s Thursday, it’s time for the estimable Noah Davis to drop by to add his perspective to what’s become a hyperactive buildup to the U.S.’s Antigua excursion. Plus, we’ve still got three depth charts to go.
What you should watch on TV today: It’s not often I say something like this, but given how much soccer’s going to be happening on Friday, take a break on Thursday. Get out of the house, walk the dog – enjoy the fundamentals. On Friday, there’ll be no excuses. Then, your life will be soccer.
If CONCACAF’s final qualifying round started today:
- United States
- El Salvador
Outside looking in: Jamaica, Costa Rica, Canada
Background noise while we’re blogging: Beth Orton, who’s song Concrete Sky is one of the more underrated pure-pop songs of the last 15 years.
We’ll leave you with this: How much different would the perception of the national team be if the Jamaica matches were the second and sixth of the round rather than the third and fourth?
*Always subject to change; you know how it is