SeppBlatterFIFA1-2015 (Getty)

Wednesday Kickoff: FIFA election to go on as scheduled; Kane commits to Tottenham; and more

FIFA insists that Friday’s presidential election will go on as scheduled, while Harry Kane has restated his commitment to Tottenham.

FIFA headquarters

Switzerland opens criminal proceedings against FIFA

The Swiss Office of the Attorney General announced they’ve opened criminal proceedings against FIFA against unknown individuals related to the 2018/2022 World Cup selection process.

SeppBlatterFIFA5 (Marca)

FIFA officials arrested on corruptions charges filed by U.S. federal court

FIFA officials were arrested by Swiss authorities with a plan to extradite them to the U.S. to be tried on corruption charges. CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb is among those charged, though Sepp Blatter is not.

Wednesday Kickoff: FIFA election to go on as scheduled; Kane commits to Tottenham; and more

SeppBlatterFIFA1-2015 (Getty)

 

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Despite the string of arrests that has threatened the federation’s leadership, FIFA’s presidential elections are set to remain unaffected.

FIFA confirmed that Friday’s presidential election will go on as scheduled despite the recent controversies. FIFA’s head of communications and public affairs Walter De Gregorio says that FIFA will welcome the process of the investigations, while also stating that FIFA is “the damaged party” in the recent events.

“FIFA initiated this process on Nov. 18 last year,” De Gregorio said at a press conference. “FIFA lodged a legal complaint with the federal attorney that had to do with the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. While the timing may not obviously be the best, FIFA welcomes this process and FIFA cooperates fully with the attorney general of Switzerland and Federal Office of Justice and it corresponds to all requests for information.

“I wish to repeat in this case FIFA is the damaged party, this leads to the fact that there were no searches within the offices of FIFA. The general secretary and the president [Blatter] are not involved. There was never such an idea to postpone either the congress or the election. One thing has nothing to do with the other so we go on with the agenda and the election will take place as planned.”

Current FIFA president Sepp Blatter is facing challenger Prince Ali of Jordan in Friday’s FIFA presidential election.

Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Wednesday morning: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA, International Soccer, Mexican Soccer | Leave a comment

Switzerland opens criminal proceedings against FIFA

FIFA headquarters

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Department of Justice isn’t the only governmental body currently investigating FIFA for alleged criminal behavior.

After the U.S. DOJ unsealed a 47-count indictment on early Wednesday morning, the Office of the Attorney General in Switzerland announced that they’ve opened criminal proceedings against FIFA, in connection to the 2018 and 2022 World Cup selection, and that electronic data and other documents were seized from FIFA’s headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.

“The files seized today and the collected bank documents will serve criminal proceedings both in Switzerland and abroad,” the Swiss OAG wrote in a statement. “In the Swiss criminal proceedings, opened by the OAG on March 10, 2015, it is suspected that irregularities occurred in the allocation of the FIFA World Cups of 2018 and 2022.

“The corresponding unjust enrichment is suspected to have taken place at least partly in Switzerland. Furthermore, the head office of the damaged party, FIFA, is in Switzerland. For these reasons, investigations are being carried out on the suspicion of criminal mismanagement.

“There are also suspicions of money laundering through Swiss bank accounts. Subsequently to today’s seizure of files, the OAG and the Swiss Federal Criminal Police will be questioning 10 persons who took part in voting on the allocation of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups as members of the Executive Committee in 2010. These persons should be questioned as persons providing information.”

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Posted in Featured, FIFA | 13 Comments

Free agent centerback Oguchi Onyewu training with NYCFC

Oguchi Onyewu NYCFC Training

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Oguchi Onyewu may have been spotted at Red Bull Arena this past weekend, but it is not the New York Red Bulls that he is currently spending time with.

New York City FC revealed via its Twitter on Tuesday that Onyewu is training with the club. NYCFC did not make it known if it has intentions to sign the veteran centerback, but could given his status as a free agent and the fact that he isn’t subject to MLS’s allocation order. NYCFC would, however, need to have the top discovery claim on Onyewu in order to sign him.

Onyewu, who turned 33 earlier this month, most recently played for Charlton Athletic. He signed with the English club last fall, but Charlton decided not to bring him back after using him just three times during his seven months there.

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Posted in MLS- New York City FC | 55 Comments

Southampton parts ways with Cody Cropper

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Cody Cropper is set to represent the U.S. internationally at the upcoming Toulon Tournament, but the goalkeeper is in need of a new setting on the club level.

Southampton announced Tuesday that the 22-year-old goalkeeper is one of six professional players who will not see their contracts with the club renewed.

Cropper, who signed initially signed with the club in 2012, had signed a one-year extension last summer. Primarily featuring for the club’s youth side, Cropper’s release will allow the goalkeeper to pursue first-team opportunities, a luxury not afforded to him during his time at Southampton.

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Posted in Americans Abroad, U.S. Men's Olympic Team, U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth National Teams | 22 Comments

Herzog adds Orlando City’s Turner to U.S. U-23 roster for Toulon

Tyler Turner Orlando City 23

Photo by Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

By FRANCO PANIZO.

Tyler Turner may have missed out on the U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team’s World Cup roster, but that will not stop him from being involved in an international tournament this summer.

U.S. Under-23 head coach Andi Herzog added Turner to the roster for the Toulon Tournament on Tuesday, rounding out the 20-man squad that will compete in France later this month. The 19-year-old fullback, who has four appearances for Orlando City this season, is expected to meet up with his American teammates on Wednesday.

Turner was constantly called up to the U.S. U-20s this cycle and was involved in World Cup qualifying earlier this year, but was not included in Tab Ramos’ final 21-man roster for the World Cup in New Zealand.

The U.S. U-23s, who are preparing for Olympic qualifying, open the Toulon Tournament against France on May 27.

 

What do you think of Turner being added to the U-23 roster? Expecting him to earn minutes? Think he should’ve made the U-20 World Cup squad?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Orlando City, U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 17 Comments

FIFA officials arrested on corruptions charges filed by U.S. federal court

SeppBlatterFIFA5 (Marca)

By DAN KARELL

After years of accusations of corrupt practices that have put a stain on the global game of soccer, Sepp Blatter’s FIFA appears ready to pay the price for playing dirty.

Officials in Switzerland exercised arrests warrants on Wednesday morning after at least 10 FIFA officials were hit with federal corruption charges from the U.S. government.

According to a report from the New York Times, Swiss law enforcement officers arrived unannounced at the five-star Baur au Lac hotel in Zurich, Switzerland and arrested an undisclosed amount of FIFA officials, with a plan to extradite them to the U.S. Later in the morning, the Swiss Federal Office of Justice confirmed that six officials were arrested on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice, on the suspicion that the officials had received “bribes and kick-backs” from the early 1990s until now, totaling more than $100 million.

A press release put out early Wednesday morning by the U.S. DOJ states that seven officials were arrested in Zurich.

“The indictment alleges corruption that is rampant, systemic, and deep-rooted both abroad and here in the United States,” Attorney General Lynch said in a statement. “It spans at least two generations of soccer officials who, as alleged, have abused their positions of trust to acquire millions of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.

“Today’s action makes clear that this Department of Justice intends to end any such corrupt practices, to root out misconduct, and to bring wrongdoers to justice – and we look forward to continuing to work with other countries in this effort.”

It is believed that as many as 15 arrests have been made around the world in connection with this investigation. Prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York, who brought the charges, unsealed a 47-count indictment early Wednesday morning against 14 individuals, nine of them FIFA officials, including the current and former president of CONCACAF.

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Posted in Featured, FIFA | 29 Comments

MLS Ticker: Martins returns to training; Finlay expected to play with broken toe; and more

Obafemi Martins Seattle Sounders 93

By AARON CRANFORD

Obafemi Martins had to sit and watch as the Seattle Sounders were atypically held scoreless at home against Sporting Kansas City on Saturday.

However, the dynamic speedster was back in training Tuesday after recovering from a leg injury, and he is likely to suit up against the Colorado Rapids in the team’s midweek affair.

“I think [Martins] should be back for Wednesday,” Sounders head coach Schmid said. “He’s over it, and we’ll just move forward.”

Martins was forced to sit out of Week 12 action, but with a quick turnaround and the Rapids having only conceded nine goals in 2015, Seattle is hoping the return of its star forward means the return of goals galore.

Here are some more MLS news and notes: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Columbus Crew, MLS- Seattle Sounders | Leave a comment

SBI MLS Power Rankings: Week 12

Rapids Beat Whitecaps (USA TODAY Sports)

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

MLS Week 12 proved to be a big week for the underdogs.

The Philadelphia Union headlined the proceedings, knocking off the New York Red Bulls for the team’s second straight win over an Eastern Conference contender. Meanwhile out west, the Colorado Rapids’ defense held strong once again to lead the way in an upset over the normally-energetic Vancouver Whitecaps.

Things did not look up for NYCFC, however, as the expansion side’s struggles continued in a 2-0 loss to Real Salt Lake, keeping Jason Kreis and co. at the bottom of the rankings.

Here are the SBI MLS Power Rankings after Week 12:

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Posted in Featured, SBI MLS Power Rankings, Uncategorized | 10 Comments