Captain Cuckold

The inevitable happened today as Chelsea and England centerback John Terry was terrystripped of the England captaincy following revelations that he nutmegged former Blues teammate Wayne Bridge’s ex-girlfriend, Vanessa Perroncel.

Rio Ferdinand takes the armband from the disgraced Terry, with Steven Gerrard named vice-captain.

Interestingly, the news mirrors a long-rumored situation involving the US Men’s team in 1998. Former Nats striker Eric Wynalda confirmed on Fox Football Fone-In that ex-teammate John Harkes had an affair with Wynalda’s wife prior to the World Cup in France. This revelation contributed to Harkes being dropped from the World Cup team by Coach Steve Sampson, who cited nebulous, “leadership issues.”

Harkes Wynalda Soccer

And Sampson this week saw an opening to blame the US’s poor performance in France on something other than his awful coaching.

“Hey! We had one of those affair thinghees too and that’s why we sucked at the World Cup in 1998, not because of my absurd 3-6-1 formation or the fact that I changed a handful of starters after the opening loss to the Germans or that I’m as tactically astute as a ball-peen hammer!”

Sorry Steve. Not buying it.

What effect this will all have on the England side remains to be seen–what are the odds we can convince Fabio Capello to consult with Sampson over how to deal with the fallout?–and it does not appear Terry is any danger of getting the Harkes treatment. But we’re sure to hear plenty more about it as the June 12 opener vs. the US draws closer. The British press isn’t exactly known for its restraint in these matters.