A few items to get you through this morning. Starting with the two top stories:
• This is why it's great the World Cup doesn't have a mascot this year. Friend of the blog Matt Schofielddiscusses the new Olympic, um, whatever these things are
• Former Arsenal great Robert Pires has turned down an offer to join the Philadelphia Union. He doesn't cite the obnoxiousness of their fans, instead choosing to attack the quality of the city itself. FromL'Equipe
"It does not please me. I do not want to be difficult, but left to take my family away, I'd rather do it in a beautiful city. Otherwise, I will put an end to my career."
• The Backpost spenta little time with Graham Zusi
-- who, let the record show played very well Saturday as a non-dreadlocked Stephane Auvray.
• Down The Byline has the weeklyFormer Wizards Updates
. Lots of ex-Wizards in action.
• Pretend you're still 22 and go out and grab a copy of Maxim magazine. Michael Harrington is"actually"
The U.S. Men's Team
• Landon Donovan talked to every soccer journalist in America (with the exception of us) yesterday. Here's but one of the 37 stories I read about him yesterday.It's from Sports Illustrated and focuses on Donovan's club choices in Europe
•Nice feature on Clint Dempsey
• Steven Goff onthe tough decisions Bob Bradley will have to make
•Sad story out of Afghanistan
. A family friend of Bob Bradley was killed in a roadside bomb.
• If it's not already a daily stop,check out Wayne Dreh's ESPN blog on the U.S. camp
. Good stuff always.
Around the MLS
•New England lost 4-0 to Benfica
in a friendly. Benfica is now undefeated (3-0-0) all time against the Revs.
• Toronto FC and the soon-to-be-in-the-MLS Vancouver Whitecapsbattled to a 0-0 draw in the Nutrilite Canadian Championship
. Vancouver could clinch their first ever NCC title with two wins in their last two games.
• TFC and Vancouver are vying to earn a spot in the CONCACAF Champions League.The preliminary round and group stage matchups were set yesterday
• Red Star Belgrade and Paris Saint-Germainwill play in the finals of the Chicago Sister Cities Cup
after each team earned 1-0 victories over Legia Warsaw and Chicago Fire (respectively).
• The Battle of Who Can Have Less:New York is missing EIGHT players due to injury
and Columbus is missing two players (Robbie Rogers, Chad Marshall) out for U.S. duty andtheir best player (Guillermo Barros Schelotto) due to suspension
. They play tonight on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
• There will be another game tonight, asLos Angeles and FC Dallas will battle on Direct Kick
. LA will be without Edson Buddle and Landon Donovan.
Around the world
• You've probably heard by now, but Barcelonasnapped up Spanish striker David Villa yesterday
. That's, um, a pretty stacked attack. Messi, Villa, Zlatan, Xavi, Iniesta... Wow.
Today's "Are You Ready for the World Cup Yet" YouTube Video
The Top 50 Goals in World Cup history. Enjoy.