ProSoccerTalk’s daily soccer re-set

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Soccer birthdays:

Spurs manager Andre Villas-Boas, whose employment was looking a tad rickety there for a while, turns 35.

Anybody remember Collins John? Dude had a fairly solid resumed when he took in a cup of Chicago coffee with the Fire a year or so back. he sure didn’t do much, so don’t feel too badly if the name does not ring any bells. Anyway, as he turns 27 today, he’s playing in England’s fourth tier. So, yeah, that one was never going to work out so well for the Fire.

Big Important Stories of the Day:

It started with a scare, but the United States is through to final round World Cup qualifying. Nothing in the domestic world of soccer is more big and important than that.

RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Mike Windischmann

*Ahead on the blog today:

Rummaging through the ample leftovers of World Cup qualifying in this region and beyond. I mean, who doesn’t like the heck out of some leftovers?

We’ll have a word or two about the big match in Seattle tonight – and they will not be kind words. MLS, you are on alert.

Twitter daps:

source:

What you should watch on TV today:

That Seattle-Real Salt Lake match I just mentioned above.

Your CONCACAF final round qualifiers are:

The top two teams from each semifinal round group advance into final round qualifying. With one round of matches remaining (Tuesday), here are the teams currently “in.”

  • United States
  • Jamaica
  • Mexico
  • Costa Rica
  • Panama
  • Honduras

PST background noise while blogging today:  Planes, trains and automobiles, man. On the move, back from Kansas City. So, when I say “background noise,” that’s mostly just announcement inside the airports, rental car shuttles, airplane, etc.

We’ll leave you with this: The United States is through, and credit for that. But it’s got to be better in the final round. I think the U.S. players and coaches know so, too.

*Always subject to change; you know how it is

Cameron’s Instagram shot from the Tweet above:

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source:

 

Ronaldo explains his new chin hair at World Cup

AP Photo/Hassan Ammar
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Now that Cristiano Ronaldo has taken to sporting a reasonable hairstyle atop his head, people are talking about the foliage on his face.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

Ronaldo, 33, drew speculation when he stroked his chin following a goal in his hat trick performance against Spain in the World Cup opener. Some said he was demonstrating defiance against Lionel Messi posing with a goat (Greatest Of All Time) in a recent photograph.

Ronaldo scored again on Wednesday, and there was seemingly little doubt his goatee was a wink to the speculators. But what did it mean, CR7? From ESPN:

“This goatee? It’s a joke I had with [Ricardo] Quaresma. “We were in the sauna [before Friday’s match against Spain] and I started to shave and I left the goatee. I said if I score tomorrow, I would leave it for the rest of the tournament. And it gave me luck.

“I scored in that game, I scored in this one, so it stays.”

Personally, I like to imagine Ronaldo starting to get as wild with his facial hair as he did his head hair.

Perhaps a beatnik style, or something like Serj Tankian from System of a Down. Get nuts, C-Ron.

Report: Southampton could sell Tadic to Ajax for $20m

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Could Southampton be selling one of its most creative forces?

Dusan Tadic, 29, is in the middle of a World Cup run with dark horse Serbia, but the Saints star is also being talked about as a purchase item for Ajax.

[ MORE: Serbia tops Costa Rica ]

The celebrated Eredivisie has traditionally been a selling club for the Premier League, but could be a $20 million buy for Ajax.

The report says director of players Marc Overmars and financial director Jeroen Slop have flown to Southampton to work out a deal.

Tadic starred for Dutch sides Groningen and Twente between 2010-14 before moving to St. Mary’s for a reported $12 million.

He’s scored 24 goals with 35 assists in 162 appearances for Saints, 21 and 30 of which came in the Premier League.

Toronto locks down USMNT backstop Bono with extension

Photo by Graig Abel/Getty Images
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Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono is going to stay Toronto FC goalkeeper Alex Bono.

[ RECAP: Morocco 0-1 Portugal ]

The newly-capped USMNT backstop, 24, has been attracting interest from abroad since breaking past Clint Irwin to win the TFC job and guiding the club to multiple MLS Cup Finals.

Now general manager Tim Bezbatchenko has locked down his young goalkeeper to an undisclosed contract extension. From TorontoFC.com:

“Alex was a big part of our success last season. He set club records for wins and clean sheets and was a critical piece of our championship team,” said Toronto FC Sr. Vice-President, Soccer Operations & General Manager Tim Bezbatchenko. “Since joining the club as a first round pick in 2015, Alex’s ability to make key saves in big moments has been critical to our success.”

The Syracuse-born product of Syracuse University has made 64 appearances for the Reds.

WATCH: World Cup, Day 8 — Argentina on the edge; France aims for berth

Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images
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France, Denmark, and Croatia can clinch knockout round berths on Thursday in Russia, the last nation also holding the opportunity to help deprive the World Cup of an extended Lionel Messi run.

[ MORE: Latest 2018 World Cup news ] 

Messi’s Argentina drew Iceland in its opener, the megastar infamously missing a penalty, and will look to beat a Croatian side that looked quite good in dispatching Nigeria.

That’s the final match of the day, which begins with Denmark facing Australia and continues with a tasty match-up between France and Peru.

Below is Thursday’s schedule in full.

Click here for live and on demand coverage of the World Cup online and via the NBC Sports App.


2018 World Cup schedule – Wednesday, June 20

Group C
Denmark vs. Australia: Samara, 8 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE
France vs. Peru: Yekaterinburg, 11 a.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE

Group D
Argentina vs. Croatia: Nizhny Novgorod, 2 p.m. ET – LIVE COVERAGE