SeppBlatterFIFAMarch2014 (AFP)

Defiant Blatter remains in denial regarding FIFA corruption charges

Sepp Blatter released a statement Wednesday stating that he hopes to see FIFA regain the trust of the public following the recent controversy that saw multiple soccer officials arrested around the world.

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Toulon Tournament: USA vs. France (SBI Live Commentary)

Led by Julian Green and Jordan Morris, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team takes on France in their Toulon Tournament opener. Join SBI for all the action.

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Europa League Final Preview: Sevilla, Dnipro set to square off in Warsaw

Though the Europe League is often sneered upon as a trap for ambitious clubs on the rise, it also provides the chance at a trophy, prize money and a coveted Champions League place.

NASL suspends business activities with Traffic Sports following FIFA indictments

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By RYAN TOLMICH

In the wake of the recent FIFA indictments, the NASL has taken action against those involved.

The NASL announced Wednesday that the league’s Board of Governors has suspended Chairperson Aaron Davidson, while also suspending business activities with Traffic Sports, owners of the Carolina RailHawks.

“In light of the ongoing investigation announced by the U.S. Department of Justice on Wednesday, the North American Soccer League’s Board of Governors has suspended Chairperson Aaron Davidson, along with all business activities between the league and Traffic Sports, effective immediately,” the league said in a statement. “Commissioner Bill Peterson will serve as acting Chairperson.

“The Carolina RailHawks, the sole NASL club owned by Traffic Sports, will continue to operate in the ordinary course of business. The club’s management team will continue to manage the day-to-day operations.” Continue reading »

Posted in NASL | 2 Comments

Defiant Blatter remains in denial regarding FIFA corruption charges

SeppBlatterFIFAMarch2014 (AFP)

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

As criticism and investigations continue to mount against FIFA, the organization’s president says he will welcome up the cleansing of the federation.

Sepp Blatter released a statement Wednesday after several of FIFA’s top officials were arrested on corruption charges. Blatter insists that Wednesday’s events were kickstarted by FIFA’s submission of a dossier to authorities last year and that the organization will continue to welcome investigations going forward.

“This is a difficult time for football, the fans and for FIFA as an organization,” Blatter said. “We understand the disappointment that many have expressed and I know that the events of today will impact the way in which many people view us.

“As unfortunate as these events are, it should be clear that we welcome the actions and the investigations by the US and Swiss authorities and believe that it will help to reinforce measures that FIFA has already taken to root out any wrongdoing in football.” Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, FIFA | 13 Comments

Toulon Tournament: USA vs. France (SBI Live Commentary)

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By IVES GALARCEP

With Olympic qualifying set for October, the U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team will push preparations into full swing as it takes part in the Toulon Tournament.

The U.S. kicks things off today in France against the French Under-23 team (1pm, BeIN Sports).

SBI will be providing live commentary on today’s match so please feel free to follow the action here. As always, you are welcome to share your own thoughts and opinions in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s live commentary is after the jump):

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Men's Olympic Team | 16 Comments

Europa League Final Preview: Sevilla, Dnipro set to square off in Warsaw

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By MATT STYPULKOSKI

Though the Europe League is often sneered upon as a trap for ambitious clubs on the rise, it also provides the chance at a trophy, prize money and a coveted Champions League place.

All of that will be on the line when Sevilla and Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk square off in the competition’s final on Wednesday in Warsaw (Fox Sports 1, 2:45 p.m.).

In addition, Sevilla has a chance to make a bit of history. After winning the Europa League in penalties against Benfica last year, the Spanish side could lift the trophy for the fourth time with a victory this afternoon. A win would make Sevilla, which also won the UEFA Cup in 2006 and 2007, the first club to ever win the competition – in any of its iterations – back-to-back on two separate occasions.

Of course, Dnipro still stands in the way of those accolades.  Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured | 1 Comment

Marin, Sporting KC mutually agree to terminate contract

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Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/ USA Today Sports

By RYAN TOLMICH

Luis Marin’s time with Sporting KC has come to an end.

Sporting KC announced Wednesday that the two parties mutually agreed to terminate Marin’s contract. The 32-year-old goalkeeper will now return to his native Chile for personal reasons.In addition, the club has recalled goalkeeper Jon Kempin from his loan with the San Antonio Scorpions

Marin, who signed with the club back in December, started the first eight games for SKC, posting three clean sheets while amassing a record of 2-2-4. Marin, who was a part of Chile’s 2010 World Cup roster, has made eight career international appearances.

In recent weeks, Sporting KC has opted to start Tim Melia in Marin’s stead. The former Chivas USA goalkeeper has started four games while posting a 2-0-2 record.

As a result of Marin’s departure, Sporting KC frees up an international roster spot ahead of the summer transfer window, which takes place from July 8 to August 6

 

What do you think of Marin’s departure? Should Sporting KC have any concerns at the goalkeeping position?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in MLS- Sporting Kansas City | 4 Comments

MLS Week 13: Midweek Preview

Clint Dempsey Seattle Sounders 22
photo by Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports

By MATT STYPULKOSKI

Week 13 of the MLS season kicks off tonight with a handful of Western Conference heavyweights and the East’s current top dog partaking in three midweek matchups.

The Seattle Sounders and Colorado Rapids will get things started at 10 p.m. ET, followed by LA Galaxy-Real Salt Lake and Portland Timbers-D.C. United at 10:30.

The fixtures provide an interesting dilemma for the head coaches involved, as they’ll be forced to balance squad rotation – all six squads play again on the weekend – with the need to pick up points in the here and now.

Here is a look at each of tonight’s three contests: Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids, MLS- D.C. United, MLS- LA Galaxy, MLS- Portland Timbers, MLS- Real Salt Lake, MLS- Seattle Sounders | Leave a comment

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

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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.

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, FIFA | 53 Comments

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.”

Continue reading »

Posted in Featured, FIFA | 36 Comments