Birthdays of Note: We really should honor Manchester United enigma Bébé (because he’s provided us with so much), but when a legend like Christian Vieri has a birthday, the world stops. The now 39-year-old former Italian international posted over 100 goals for Internazionale (103, total), was one of Pele’s 125 greatest living players when the list was named in 2004, and also had spells with Inter rivals Milan and Juventus. The man posted 23 goals for the Italian national team, led Spain in goals in 1997-98, had high-profile relationships with the likes of Elisabetta Canalis and Melissa Satta, and (perhaps most importantly) has a plaque in the Dean Windass Hall of Fame.
Big Important Story of the Day: Twenty-four hours from now, we’ll know who’s in the U.S. Open Cup finals. For now, we wait for tonight’s semifinals, with the Philadelphia Union hosting Sporting Kansas City ahead of the nightcap: three-time defending champion Seattle Sounders welcoming Chivas USA.
Ahead on the blog today*: We’ve got a man in Tukwila for the Sounders’ game, but we know what you’re really waiting for: MLS Panic Quotient. We’ll see what Steve has to say about Portland hitting the big red button.
What we should all be watching on TV: Screw TV! That’s so 1990s. MLS teams have been proactive about getting their U.S. Open Cup matches on UStream. Be on the lookout, because although we won’t have a national television broadcast until the final, the clubs are doing their best to bridge the gap.
RASNoD (Random American Soccer Name of the Day): Juergen Sommer
In case you missed it: Remember that Clint Dempsey rumor? Deuce to Liverpool? It’s still very much a rumor, and as time goes by the speculation that reached a boiling point on Sunday starts to look like your regular, run of the mill, silly season flotsam. One point to remember when evaluating this Dempsey rumor: If you were a father, had a child a settled family, where would you rather play? The place you lived (London), or a place all the way across the country (Liverpool)? Money might settle the issue, but Liverpool better be offering a lot of money.
PST background noise while blogging today: You may have noticed that I was pretty Euro 2012-centric in June. Well, now I get to catch up. MLS Live is helping me get through all the league action I missed during my June sabbatical. If you go on Twitter, you hear a lot of people dog the service, and true - MLS Live has a number of things it could improve. But when you compare it to other live streaming products? It holds up really well.
We’ll leave you with: Hey, I got a bit sarcastic with our Tuesday Fredy Montero post, but there was an underlying question about expectations. At what point do we stop expecting increased performance from a young player and start examining what we’re demanding? Not all players age the same, and although we may have expected Fredy Montero to trend upward for a couple more years, is it really fair to hold it against him if he’s leveled off? I can’t decide. Your thoughts appreciated, below.
*Always subject to change; you know how it is