Please forgive me as I continue to rediscover international tournaments out loud, and in the Hoddle specifically.
Ramble of the Day
International tournaments are a bit like football’s answer to a work conference — people get together to do work, either collectively or separately, but unquestionably at the same place and time. The collection of people isn’t weird, but because it’s infrequent, there are a lot of people you forgot about in between the last time you saw them and now. The player that reminded me of this is Thomas Vermaelen.
I can say, with absolute certainty, that I had not thought of this man in at least a couple of years. That isn’t necessarily a negative reflection on anyone — he plays in a league I don’t watch regularly, and actually hasn’t since he left Arsenal in 2014. I, though, did the thing where I guessed his age and unnecessarily added a few years.
It’s a decent excuse to visit someone’s Wikipedia page, and make sure you have the basic details of age and club right. Not that I need the invitation, but it’s an excuse to go down a Wikipedia hole and discover that Vermaelen’s wife was engaged to an actor on EastEnders. That then served as a reminder that I should do something about those 13 year old EastEnders episodes sitting in my DVR, unwatched but still randomly available on a local channel once a week.
tl;dr: I totally forgot about Thomas Vermaelen, and yesterday’s Belgium game reminded me of him. (Also, a mini free write on EastEnders.)
Stay informed, watch and read this: Las Vegas Raiders’ Carl Nassib came out as gay on Instagram, becoming the first active NFL player to do so
Links of the Day
The number of COVID-19 cases at the Copa América rose to 140, while Scotland’s Billy Gilmour tested positive for COVID-19.
France’s Ousmane Dembélé will miss the rest of the Euros through injury.
The US Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA’s choice not to pay college athletes violated antitrust law.
Qatar will require supporters visiting for the 2022 World Cup to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
MLS will launch a development league in 2022.
Transfers: Lyon signed Christiane Endler and Signe Bruun from PSG and Daniëlle Van de Donk on a free; Watford signed Emmanuel Dennis from Club Brugge
A longer read: Patrice Worthy on Black Players for Change, the MLS players group that marked a year of promoting inclusion in the league for the Guardian