Open Mike Monday: John Terry, Claus Lundekvam, PSG, Michael Bradley, Olympics
Summers don't have to be a long, lonely wasteland for footie fans.
As the current offseason has demonstrated, summertime news sometimes flows as free as a Lynyrd Skynyrd cover-band gig.
John Terry can't wriggle himself free of saturated media coverage. Claus Lundekvam, meanwhile, doesn't seem to mind the problem.
Across the Channel from England, a new empire arises in France, and many should find reason to fear. Meanwhile, big news awaits for American fans and lovers of all things Olympics.
All the details from a busy summer week await inside.
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Defending John Terry is a grubby, filthy business, but for once it's time to unite with the Chelsea man's defense counsel and heavily blinkered fans and offer support. Or something like it.
The rest? Yeah, Terry still deserves whatever you got for all of that.
Really, though, what are fans and the Football Association to do? Are we to punish Terry for being found not guilty?
I don't have the answer to that.
Terry was found not guilty of racial abuse. He is, however, still John Terry, and football does still have issues.
For now, though, it's time to turn our attention elsewhere—perhaps to Rio Ferdinand and his latest act of inserting his foot into his mouth.
Most Potentially Ominous Allegations
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Not to be outdone by John Terry, the dark, seedy world of unscrupulous sports betting wormed its way into the headlines this week as well.
Former professional footballer Claus Lundekvam last week rocked the sport by claiming that he and others at Southampton engaged in "spot fixing," or influencing matches in minor ways to win small bets they had placed on their own matches (The Sun).
Lundekvam also said he will speak to FIFA about his allegations.
Former Southampton teammates Matt Le Tissier and Francis Benali denied Lundekvam's claims (The Guardian).
So, who do we believe? For now we believe no one—and hope this was an isolated incident.
If it wasn't, it might make the John Terry racism trial look like a midweek lower-league stalemate.
Most Potentially Ominous Club
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Mega-money ownership arrived at Paris Saint-Germain last summer (ESPNSoccernet) and quickly started spending money to reinvigorate the squad.
This summer, however, is now something else entirely. As of this summer, it's well and truly on.
Last week, AC Milan accepted PSG's offer, thought to be around €60 million, for Brazilian defender Thiago Silva and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic (from Goal.com).
Fresh rumors have PSG showing interest in Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Luka Modric (The Guardian), who shined for Croatia at this summer's Euro 2012.
With Silva already signed, Ibrahimovic on the way and a move for Modric possibly in the pipeline, the club from the French capital is starting to look scary.
European giants are already taking note.
Highest-Profile Americans Abroad
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It's a good time to be an American footballer in Europe.
American midfielder Michael Bradley, long suspected by some (OK, me) of being the beneficiary of nepotism in the national team, completed a high-profile transfer to AS Roma from Chievo Verona on Sunday.
It was a high-profile move that Bradley (pictured) richly deserved—just like, as it turns out, he deserved his spot on the United States national team under his father and coach, Bob Bradley.
Bradley the Younger might not be the only American making a high-profile move this summer. Fellow midfielder Clint Dempsey has been heavily linked with a move from Fulham to Liverpool for weeks now.
The latest rumor says Liverpool will bid £5 million for Dempsey, who has declined to sign a new contract with Fulham (Goal.com).
Whatever happens, this summer has already become a summer to remember for American fans. Let's hope it's the first of many.
Most Imminent Tournament
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Ten days and counting until the men's tournament at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
Spain and Japan will contest the tournament's first match July 26 at Glasgow's Hampden Park. The event will conclude a little over two weeks later with the gold-medal match at London's new Wembley Stadium on Aug. 11.
Find that hard to believe? Consider this, then.
The English Premier League season starts the following weekend.
Who said summers have to be long, slow and boring?