Photo by Orange County Blues FC/NASL
By COLE KELLOGG
This week in USL gives us a a number of games with one team in each half of the table.
Overall last place team FC Montreal will face off against against their first place counterpart the Rochester Rhinos.
In a similar battle in the Western Conference, the last place Real Monarchs with fight Sacramento Republic FC, who are just a point out of first place.
Portland and Tulsa will play to try and work their way into a playoff spot in the West, while Colorado will try to leapfrog LA II with a victory on the road.
Here is a closer look at this weekend’s USL action:
By RYAN TOLMICH
If Sepp Blatter is reelected as FIFA’s president in Friday’s election, the head of the English FA hopes Europe are among those to take a stand.
English FA chairman Greg Dyke says that the countries that make up UEFA should boycott the 2018 World Cup in Russia if Blatter is reconfirmed as FIFA’s leader on Friday. Stating that a singular boycott by just England would be ineffective, Dyke hopes to see all of UEFA’s countries unite should the event come to pass.
“There would be no point pulling England out if everyone else stays in. It would have no impact,” Dyke said. “It would just be forgotten. But if you could pull UEFA out, that might have an impact. If Blatter gets re-elected, then that should be discussed.
“I thought the evidence the Americans produced was devastating and I don’t think Blatter can survive that. He might survive this weekend but I don’t think he can survive in the long-term. During his period in charge, the level of corruption has been unacceptable. It’s just frightening.”
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Friday morning:
By IVES GALARCEP
A very busy stretch for U.S. national teams kicks off this weekend, with a plethora of matches taking place involving teams of all ages and genders.
Episode 209 of The SBI Show will look ahead to a stacked schedule that will be featuring U.S. Men’s National Team friendlies, a U.S. Women’s National Team friendly on Saturday, the kickoff of the Under-20 World Cup as well as the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team’s participation in the Toulon Tournament.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also take a closer look at MLS Week 14, and catch up on the latest details of the FIFA scandal.
Give Episode 209 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump:
By RYAN TOLMICH
Having featured current stars Paul Pogba and Harry Kane in the 2013 tournament,the Under-20 World Cup has long served as a springboard for the game’s superstars,
The U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team is one of 24 teams that will travel to New Zealand to compete for the U-20 crown. Featuring some of the game’s brightest young stars, plenty of talent will be on display in a showcase of the world’s youth.
Set to kickoff on May 30, the U-20 World Cup features plenty of contenders and potential dark horses.
Here is a closer look at each group for the upcoming World Cup, as well as some teams, matches and players to keep an eye on: Continue reading
By FRANCO PANIZO
Tab Ramos has touted the current U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team as the most experienced and talented one that he has ever coached, but now the Americans will have to live up to the hype and deliver in order to prove they are deserving of such superlatives.
The U.S. Under-20s will begin their much-anticipated World Cup campaign on Saturday morning (12:01 am ET, Fox Sports 1) with a match against relatively unknown Myanmar. The Americans enter the showdown at Northland Events Center as the favorites, but that’s a role they are expected to carry throughout the opening rounds of the competition after also being paired with New Zealand and Ukraine in a favorable Group A.
Apart from having landed a kinder draw, this group of U.S. U-20s is also much more seasoned than the one that went three and out in Turkey two years ago. Players like captain Emerson Hyndman (Fulham), Rubio Rubin (FC Utrecht) and Kellyn Acosta (FC Dallas) have begun to break through at the club level, making for increased expectations and pressure in this World Cup.
The Americans are aware of that, and of the fact that failing to get out of the group will be deemed as a huge failure. Still, the U.S. is not thinking that far ahead. The sole focus right now is on starting the tournament with a win.
“Our goal right now is to beat Myanmar the first game, so if we can get the three points the first game then the next challenge will come along,” Ramos said earlier this month. “One of the things that the team knows – and it’s no secret because I think every team in the world will tell you – that the team that we have can beat any team in any one given day.
By RYAN TOLMICH
Sunil Gulati is adamant that change is required in FIFA, and the U.S. Soccer president believes Prince Ali bin Al-Hussein is just the man to lead the charge.
With FIFA in a state of turmoil due to the recent scandal and the ensuing arrests, Gulati told reporters Wednesday that U.S. Soccer will be voting for the challenger Prince Ali in Friday’s FIFA election in an effort to help lead the reform an organization trapped in so much recent controversy.
“The United States, and I on behalf of U.S. Soccer, nominated Prince Ali in January, and we will be voting for him tomorrow,” Gulati said on a conference call. “I’ve gotten to know Prince Ali well over the last couple of years and he is a very active member of the executive committee and an active component of reform at FIFA. His success as the president of the Jordanian FA support a number of initiatives that he’s led, whether it’s been women’s rights, youth work, development work, but it really starts with his views on government and reform.
“If you have good governance and good leadership, you make good decisions, and with good decisions, you get good outcomes, whether it’s where World Cups are played or how many teams are in World Cups. For us, this is a vote for good governance.”
By RYAN TOLMICH
In the wake of the federation’s latest scandal, FIFA president Sepp Blatter is looking for the organization to better police itself, with Blatter personally leading the charge.
In his first public comments since Wednesday morning’s arrest of numerous FIFA officials, Blatter told FIFA’s annual congress that the organization must repair its reputation.
“I know a lot of people hold me responsible for the actions and reputations of the global football community,” Blatter said, “whether it is the decision of hosting a World Cup or a corruption scandal.”
“We, or I, cannot monitor everyone all of the time. If people want to do wrong, they will also try to hide it. But it must also fall to me to be responsible for the reputation of our entire organization, and to find a way to fix things.
“I will not allow the actions of a few to damage the reputation of FIFA.” Continue reading
By IVES GALARCEP
The game of soccer has made major headlines for the wrong reasons this week, with federal corruption charges snagging FIFA officials and threatening to lead to a long-awaited cleaning house in the sport’s governing body.
Episode 208 of The SBI Show takes a look at the FIFA scandal, and what it could mean going forward. We talk about the impact on CONCACAF, and whether Sepp Blatter is really ready to face justice.
Co-host Garrett Cleverly and I also discuss the U.S. Open Cup, which saw USL teams sweep NASL teams in all seven match-ups on Wednesday night.
Give Episode 208 of The SBI Show a listen after the jump: