The Full 90

Monday soccer update

Full 90 godfather Charles Gooch is out of the office this week, so I have graciously agreed to help monitor things for him. By graciously agreed, I mean he told me I was doing it and threatened to make me watch his compilation of the greatest moments in Manchester United history. There are seven three-hour DVDs in this collection, and it’s worth noting that Charles has been a Man U fan since the early 1990s when Man U just starting winning trophies.

But I digress.

Here’s a look at what’s happening in the world of soccer today.

•What better place to start things that with Manchester United. The Red Devils topped Arsenal 1-0 in a showdown for first place in the English Premier League. Park Ji-Sung’s header in the 41st minute was the difference. Wayne Rooney missed a penalty kick that would have iced the game, but it didn’t matter in the end as the fans at Old Trafford went home happy.

Can’t say the same for the one-time trapped Chilean miners who were guests at the game. They got to see another sensational 1-0 English soccer game. Couldn’t someone have invited them to see a Bundesliga or LaLiga game? You know, where you can count on goals being scored? Just asking.

•The U.S. under-18 team, which includes goalkeeper Jon Kempin of Sporting Kansas City, will open play against France tomorrow in Tel Aviv, Israel, in a four-nation round-robin. It’s three friendlies for the U.S., who were to have played Germany today. Instead travel problems bumped that game back until Friday. The United States also will face off against Israel on Thursday.

•The U.S. senior men’s team announced today it will play Egypt in Cairo on Feb. 9 in a friendly. Egypt is the defending African Cup of Nations champion. The two sides played in last year’s Confederations Cup in South Africa. The U.S. won 3-0 and, with the help of an epic Italian collapse, advanced to the semifinals of that tournament, where it beat Spain before falling to Brazil in the championship game.

Said U.S. coach Bob Bradley: “Egypt is an extremely talented and competitive team. Their performances in the Confederations Cup and the Africa Cup of Nations have demonstrated their ability to challenge the top teams in the world. To play against the champions of Africa in what will be a fantastic environment in Cairo is a great opportunity as we get ready for the CONCACAF Gold Cup.”

Egypt is 10th in the most recent FIFA rankings.