*Athletes give many reasons for retirement: injuries, age, illness, ineffectiveness, family. Here is how Washington Spirit defender Marisa Abegg, a 26-year-old Stanford grad, explained her decision:
“I volunteer five days a week in two different free medical clinics in Pensacola for the uninsured, unemployed, and homeless members of the community. It is exhausting but incredibly rewarding. I also spent the last 5 months in an EMT training program and am going to be working on the local ambulance in the next month or so, with the hopes of going to school next year. … I am beyond grateful for the doors my soccer career has opened up for me, one of which was being able to utilize these experiences as a means to promote health and wellness through various volunteering and coaching experiences. Now I think it’s time to put my education and passion for science and medicine to use and continue helping people in need through healthcare. It’s a long road ahead, so I have to start somewhere!”
*Organizers of this summer’s International Champions Cup plan to announce the specific match venues, pairings and dates this Thursday.
The clubs (subject to change): Manchester United, Manchester City, Inter Milan, AC Milan, Real Madrid, Roma, Liverpool and Olympiakos.
The cities: Phoenix, Denver, Washington, Charlotte, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Chicago, New York/New Jersey, Miami and two additional sites.
Barring a late switch, FedEx Field seems set to host Manchester United vs. Inter Milan in late July. The Redskins will host a news conference at team headquarters at 1 p.m. Thursday to announce the FedEx match.
FedEx is also the candidate for a doubleheader in early June: Spain vs. El Salvador and D.C. United vs. Columbus Crew. Negotiations continue.
*UEFA Champions League on TV today:
Round of 16, first leg
Manchester City vs. Barcelona, 2:45 ET, Fox Sports 1, Fox Deportes, www.foxsoccer2go.com
Bayer Leverkusen vs. Paris Saint-Germain, 2:45, Fox Sports 2, Fox Soccer Plus, www.foxsoccer2go.com
*D.C. United and Comcast SportsNet are working toward finalizing the local TV schedule for the 2014 season. CSN will show about 16 matches. United is also scheduled to appear on NBC Sports Network (six times), ESPN2 (once), UniMas (once) and Univision Deportes (three). The March 8 opener is unlikely to be televised: CSN has both the Capitals and Wizards playing that evening.
*Happy 47th birthday to the Divine Ponytail, Roberto Baggio.
*With spring approaching, are you ready for some FootGolf?