Good morning folks. While many of you will immerse yourselves in college basketball action today, this Thursday is actually a pretty busy day in the soccer world even though there aren’t exactly a ton of games being played.
Today we found out if David Beckham will be called in to the England national team for its friendly against France next week and tonight is the decisive Olympic Qualifying match between the United States and Canada.
Here are some news tidbits to get your day started:
Capello calls up Beckham
David Beckham will have his chance for his 100th cap when England faces France in a friendly on Wednesday after being named to England’s provisional squad for the match. Both Beckham and Theo Walcott were called in for the match.
What does this mean for Beckham’s participation in the Los Angeles Galaxy’s season opener in Colorado on Saturday, March 29? Barring injury, it shouldn’t mean much considering Beckham pulled up double duty last year with almost no time between games. In this case, the matches are three days apart.
USA-Spain venue set
The U.S. national team will face Spain in Santander at Racing de Santander’s stadium, El Sardinero, US Soccer announced late Wednesday. Santander is a nice coastal city which should offer up some beautiful beach weather for those of you considering making the trek. It isn’t Barcelona or Madrid, but it has its own appeal. The stadium itself holds fewer than 23,000 fans, which should make for a loud, if cozy, environment.
Pachuca downs Motagua
On the same night that the Houston Dynamo defeated CDS Municipal to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Champions Cup, Pachuca also punched its ticket for the semis with a 1-0 victory against Amado Guevara’s CD Motagua. Pachuca will now face D.C. United in the Champions Cup semifinals.
Wondering who Houston will face? The Dynamo will meet the winner of the Saprissa-Atlante quarterfinal, which will be decided tonight in Saprissa, Costa Rica. Atlante won the first leg, 2-1.
ManU extends lead atop EPL
In case you missed it while filling out your NCAA brackets yesterday, Manchester United extended its lead to three points atop the EPL standings with a 2-0 win against Bolton. Superman, otherwise known as Cristiano Ronaldo, netted two goals in the first 19 minutes of the match, including this beautiful free kick:
Lazio downs Roma in Rome Derby
Lazio put a major dent in the title hopes of arch-rival Roma on Wednesday with a 3-2 victory in the Rome Derby. Velon Behrami scored the following goal in the 90th minute to give Lazio all three points and keep Roma from closing in on Serie A leaders Inter Milan:
San Jose wins Carolina Challenge Cup
The reborn San Jose Earthquakes won their first trophy by beating the Charleston Battery, 2-1, to clinch the Carolina Challenge Cup on Wednesday. With the Red Bulls tying Toronto in the early match, the Quakes clinched on the strength of a goal and assist performance from Ramiro Corrales.
FIFA continues Taylor witchhunt
Birmingham defender Martin Taylor received a three-match ban for his ugly tackle that broke the leg of Arsenal’s Eduardo DaSilva. FIFA doesn’t believe the ban was long enough and is lobbying the English FA for a longer suspension.