Greetings and salutations. I had a late night but it's my Freedom Kicks debut and I couldn't be more excited to wake up early and get our day started right. The Europa League Final is on this afternoon (2:45pm kickoff, FS1), so start this morning by looking at how Sevilla is focused on their quest for a three-peat, while Liverpool relishes its chance to win its 4th UEFA Cup trophy. Got your coffee or tea ready? Good, get those last yawns in...here's the news:
Chelsea reportedly sign $87 million-a-year kit deal with Nike | FOX Soccer: Chelsea is getting that paper. Their reported deal with Nike would be the 2nd-largest kit deal in history and if you're going to terminate a deal with Adidas six years early, this is a good reason why.
Neymar could lose Brazil captaincy as Dunga hints at change | ESPNFC: Neymar will not be at the 2016 Copa America Centenario due to his participation in the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio at the urging of the Confederação Brasileira de Futebol. So, how will they thank him for accepting the pressure of an entire nation to go for gold in August? His coach may strip him of his captaincy. Sounds fair.
Heartbroken Manchester United fan from Sierra Leone given FA Cup final tickets after Old Trafford Fiasco | The Telegraph: Lost in a situation that started out scary and ended up as an embarrassment for Manchester United was the story of a fan from Sierra Leone who traveled to his first match at Old Trafford on Sunday only for it to be canceled due to the fake bomb scare. Trip ruined? Well, Man United fans wouldn't let the fan leave without his experience and they paid to have his flights rearranged and acquired lodging so he could attend the FA Cup final this weekend in London against Crystal Palace. Bravo, Man United faithful...that's what the game is all about.
2016 Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round 2 Schedule | TheCup.us: Big time matchups: Detroit City FC traveling to take on Louisville City FC and FC Cincinnati appearing in their first ever U.S. Open Cup match, hosting Indy Eleven NPSL. The Richmond Kickers square off against Aromas Café FC.
Leicester City arrive in Bangkok to heroes' welcome | BBC: Jamie Vardy's party has hit the road to Asia, where Leicester City's celebration is going to continue until they're good and finished. And you know what? They deserve to party until the world runs out of beer.
ESPN announce streaming and digital coverage details for Euro 2016 | WorldSoccerTalk: Euro 2016 is almost here and while you're cheering on the USMNT in the 2016 Copa America, ESPN has a whole host of streaming and digital options for you to watch arguably the 2nd-biggest tournament in all of soccer.
Premier League fans are pouring haterade all over the new kit badge | FOX Soccer: Fans really are showing their displeasure with the new Premier League badge that will be worn on kits starting next season. I don't think it's that bad. It could be worse...your team could be wearing this badge next season.
Giovani Dos Santos declines Copa America invite: 'I can't participate this time' | Goal: The LA Galaxy striker will not play for El Tri next month at the Copa America Centenario, joining his brother Jona and Real Sociedad forward Carlos Vela on the outside looking in.
When will Bob Bradley get the respect he deserves? | Pro Soccer Talk: Bob Bradley may be our most successful American soccer export. Still, he doesn't get the love he's due. I was gutted that his Le Havre team just missed out on being promoted to Ligue 1, but like Birdman would say, you better put some respeck on Bob Bradley's name.
And that's that. It's 7:30am, and I'm at work instead of still in bed. Let's carpe this diem, y'all. Good morning!