Photo by ISIphotos.com
Plenty to discuss in the soccer world, some big news, some not so big, so let's get to some of the nuggets that have emerged today:
On the same day it struck a deal to secure La Liga rights, ESPN also lands the UK rights to broadcast EPL matches. Sorry American soccer fans, but this does not mean EPL games are coming to ESPN (yet). What it might mean is better coverage of the EPL on programs like Sportscenter, and improved soccer coverage on ESPN as it handles covering the EPL in England.
You know how Tim Howard is a good basketball player, right? Well, apparently the Harlem Globetrotters got wind of this and selected Howard in its recent "player draft", which means Howard now has an open invitation to try out for the Globetrotters this fall. Publicity stunt? Perhaps, but something I know Howard will get a kick out of when he hears about it.
This story reminds me of a trip I took to Manchester during Tim Howard's first season with Manchester United. One of the local tabloids heard about Howard's basketball skills so they superimposed Howard's face onto LeBron James' body for a pretty funny picture.
Don't fret U.S. national team fans, I doubt he'll actually take the Globetrotters up on it, considering he will be busy with his day job as goalkeeper for Everton FC and all. Now, if that offer's still around in 2014 it could be another story.
While Oguchi Onyewu appears to be ready to take the money and run to Turkey, one American whose transfer window future we sort of have forgotten about is Charlie Davies, he of the looming five-game suspension and the very public desire for a transfer move out of Sweden. If he can have another good showing against Spain like he had against Egypt it would be tough to imagine Hammarby being able to hold on to him.
You've heard about Jose Mourinho wanting to reunite with some of his former Chelsea (and Porto) players, such as Deco and Ricardo Carvalho. Well, it appears that there could be room on the Inter roster since the Serie A champions have admitted they are open to the possibility of selling both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Maicon. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it could be Mourinho wanting to bring in more of his own players and getting rid of the old guard. It also means trying to build a warchest to go after talented young standouts such as Edin Dzeko and Felipe Melo.
Going along with the Maicon sale talk, why do we never hear Maicon linked with Manchester United? Right back has been a bit shaky for a while and while young prospect Rafael has a bright future, Maicon is the best right back in the world (or at least one of the top two). Will Sir Alex ever sign another non-teenage Brazilian after the Kleberson fiasco?
If you have been following the struggles of the Argentine national team you might enjoy this bit of Tabloid-ish fun from the always entertaining Kickette about the Aguero-Maradona-Riquelme love triangle. We don't vouch for the authenticity of the story, but do vouch for the comedy value.
Kickette also gets props for telling us about these photos of Rio Ferdinand on vacation. If you haven't seen them yet, you will want to (unless you're a Man United).
Congratulations to Houston Dynamo head coach Dom Kinnear for qualifying to coach the MLS All-Star team when it takes on Everton on July 29th. Kinnear's appointment will likely mean that deserving players such as Geoff Cameron and Brad Davis will get All-Star starts (the MLS head coach picks the starters for the AAll-Star Game, not the fan voting. Sorry Seattle fans).
That's all for now. What do you think? Still recovering from seeing those Rio Ferdinand photos? Imagining Tim Howard as a Globetrotter? Hoping Charlie Davies goes to somewhere like France or Spain? Excited to see ESPN investing so much into soccer?
Share your thoughts below.