Above we have manager Karen Hills, and next we have a continuation of the stadiums with nice views conversation from Monday: Rio Tinto Stadium, located at the base of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah.
Welcome to our— Utah Royals FC (@UtahRoyalsFC) July 22, 2020
Best of luck to the final 4 pic.twitter.com/s0Hra9nuMW
Ramble of the Day
I’ve decided to make the Hoddle a place for quick opinions today (though I suppose you can have a long opinion, I won’t limit you) by picking out a news item from yesterday. As you may have heard, Birmingham City retired the number 22 after 17 year old midfielder Jude Bellingham played his last game for the club before joining Borussia Dortmund.
It’s not a particularly common practice in the U.K., or in football generally, so I’m wondering how an audience with different levels of experience with the tradition feel about this. I imagine the focus will be more on how inexperienced Bellingham is, which was certainly the case for me. It is extremely uncommon to honor a 17 year old in such a way! It might not even be the right way, considering he hasn’t just yet proved himself, which isn’t any fault of his own. He’s just young and hasn’t gotten to that point in his career yet.
I read the writeup Birmingham shared with the announcement, and while I don’t think it illustrates the point perfectly, even as someone who doesn’t have a deep knowledge of Bellingham or the club, I think I get it. Bellingham is clearly a remarkably special player to Birmingham; they’re basically claiming him as one of their best ever players, which his transfer very clearly indicates. Retiring the number isn’t about the global perception of Bellingham, but their own. It’s still unusual, but as long as it doesn’t apply unnecessary pressure on Bellingham, I’ll rule it’s fine. I suppose I’m in a good mood, but I can’t help but see the really deep connection it symbolizes between him and the club and I’m ultimately cool with that.
tl;dr: I still think it’s weird that Birmingham retired Jude Bellingham’s number, but I think I get the point and am fine with it.
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Links of the Day
Jude Bellingham was racially abused on social media after his transfer to Dortmund was announced.
Aston Villa signed Lisa Weiss from Lyon.
Villarreal hired Unai Emery as the team’s manager.
Jordi Cruyff resigned as the Ecuador men’s manager six months after taking the job and without coaching a single match.
A longer read: Chris Marshall on creating memories and bridging generational gaps when he attended football matches with his grandfather for Nutmeg magazine, featured by The Guardian