2. Speaking of England, on Wednesday the Three Lions host the Republic of Ireland in an international friendly at Wembley. Will Robbie Keane be able to get two hat-tricks on two different continents in a matter of four days? Irish eyes would be smiling.
3. Last week Major League Soccer announced its 20th franchise, New York City Football Club, which is owned by Manchester City and the New York Yankees. I'm always confused when soccer clubs are called football clubs in America. Didn't the United States declare independence from England in 1776?
4. Is the Finnish League really a professional soccer league? Before answering yes, watch the video and then decide.
6. It's finally official, Neymar is leaving Santos to join Barcelona on July 1st. Looking forward to watching Iniesta, Xavi, and Messi, glaring at the young Brazilian each time he overdoes it with his dribbling down the flank.
7. Sky Blue FC and Portland Thorns continue to roll in NWSL. Let's hope Sky Blue FC can get even a 1/4 of the support that the Thorns enjoy in Portland at their home game on Saturday against the Breakers.
8. In the middle of the biggest girls soccer tournament in the country, the PDA College Showcase, one of the top international sides was training. Wonder if any of the girls sent a snapchat of Vertonghen, Fellaini, Dembele, or Lukaku walking around Rutgers.
10. Maybe youth soccer clubs in America should start hiring German coaches instead of English ones.
11. Back to the topic of New York City FC. Seriously, they are owned by the Yankees and City, will there be a more hated American franchise in all of sports??
12. I understand the social implications of Robbie Rogers returning to soccer last night with the LA Galaxy, but I'm also just happy to see a good American attacking player return to MLS in the prime of his career.
13. The focus this week turns towards international soccer and I'm excited for Ireland/England and United States/Belgium on Wednesday. Next week's "Off the Ball" will most likely be filled with criticism of Trapattoni and Klinsmann.
14. Crystal Palace, welcome back to the Premier League, may your visit be longer than the last time.