Having Euro ’12 withdrawals?
The big tournament is taking a break today upon conclusion of the group stage. England and France earned the final two quarterfinal berths Tuesday to set up the following round of eight:
Czech Republic (1A) vs. Portugal (2B), Thursday, 11:45 a.m.
Germany (1B) vs. Greece (2A), Friday, 11:45 a.m.
Spain (1C) vs. France (2D), Saturday, 11:45 a.m.
England (1D) vs. Italy (2C), Sunday, 11:45 a.m.
Be sure to make your picks in our European Soccer Challenge. I’ll have a post tomorrow with my quarterfinal predictions (which have been a kiss of death for the Dutch, Russia, Poland and Croatia).
In some tournament news: FIFA president Sepp Blatter is getting on board with goal-line technology after the controversial non-goal in the England game, Ukraine legend Andriy Shevchenko is going to retire from international soccer, and Grant Wahl has his all-group-stage team up at SI.com.
To the rest of the links…
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— Here’s a statute from FIFA that would appear to give Osvaldo Alonso hope for someday playing with the U.S. men’s national team.
— MLS All-Star voting is still open and currently Fredy Montero (third) and Jeff Parke (sixth) are the only Sounders among the leaders at their position group.
— The Sounders Women have a big W-League game tonight against the Pali Blues, the Western Conference leaders at 7-0-0. The Olympic stars will be back for Seattle (5-0-1) but it’s unsure as to whether they’ll be available to play due to the travel and training regimen. Kickoff is 7 p.m. at Starfire Stadium. Tickets are available.
— Here’s a story on the Sounders FC U-23s from Top Drawer Soccer with thoughts from coach Darren Sawatzky and a list of players to watch.
— Around MLS, is Orlando in the pole position for the next expansion franchise instead of New York? Also, David Ferreira showed improvement recently as he battles back from injury and D.C. United is negotiating with DP Branko Boskovic to keep him around.
— Did Chelsea break the UEFA Champions League trophy already?
— Lastly, KING-5’s Evening Magazine gives us a sneak peek of Sounders FC’s latest ad campaign…