By RYAN TOLMICH
Things are far from a foregone conclusion, but the Fort Lauderdale Strikers have registered some interest in a former World Cup winner.
The Strikers have recently been linked with a move for Brazilian centerback Lucio, and sources have told SBI that there have been “exploratory” talks between the two parties. While there has been contact between two sides, sources say that “nothing is imminent” at this point.
Lucio, who most recently has featured for Brazil’s Palmeiras, is most famous for his time with the Brazilian national team. The centerback was a part of Brazil’s 2002 World Cup winning squad and played all 620 minutes in the tournament.
In addition, the 36-year-old has captured four league titles during his time with Bayern Munich, Inter Milan and Juventus, while also leading Inter in the club’s 2010 Champions League triumph.
Here are some more of Wednesday’s NASL news and notes: Continue reading
By MICHAEL PENG
A slew of Premier League matches are on tap for Wednesday and several European powerhouses are also in cup action for some exciting matchups to watch.
League leader Chelsea are visiting West Ham United at Boleyn Ground, while Manchester City and Manchester United will take on Leicester City and Newcastle United, respectively.
Other Premier League sides competing today include Arsenal, Liverpool, Tottenham and Everton.
Elsewhere, PSG will host Monaco in the Coupe de France, Villarreal will take on Barcelona in the Copa del Rey and Lazio will square off against Napoli in the Coppa Italia. Bayern Munich will also face Eintracht Braunschweig in the DFB Pokal.
The CONCACAF Champions League should not be lost in the shuffle either, as DC United look to make up a 5-2 deficit against Alajuelense.
If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.
Enjoy the action (Today’s soccer TV schedule is after the jump): Continue reading
By CAITLIN MURRAY
A week after yanking their first proposal for a USL-specific stadium, Real Salt Lake’s owner Dell Loy Hansen has found a new solution.
Hansen and the Real Monarchs, RSL’s reserve team that will play in USL, have signed a letter of intent to build a new 8,000-seat stadium in West Valley City, a suburb just outside Salt Lake City.
The new venue would cost upwards of $20 million and an exact stadium site has not been selected yet. Hansen is seeking to lease land from West Valley City on a 40-year term with potential extensions, according to the Salt Lake Tribune.
When the Monarchs were announced in September, RSL immediately unveiled a plan for an $18-million venue at the Utah state fair grounds. But last week Hansen rescinded the proposal, saying “the timing and process involved with this project no longer make the venue a viable option.”
By CAITLIN MURRAY
Ever since March of last year, if anyone mentioned the Algarve Cup and the U.S. Women’s National Team together, it was probably wasn’t much to do with the tournament itself. It was probably about the trajectory the team has taken since then: a coach fired, the first drop in FIFA rankings in six years and swirling doubts about whether the dominant U.S. team can live up to its high expectations.
As the Americans return to the site of a historically bad performance that set off alarm bells in 2014, all eyes will be on whether the USWNT can look like a team ready to compete in a Women’s World Cup, which is less than 100 days away.
The USWNT looked sorely out of sync at the last Algarve Cup and some in the USWNT circle blamed then-coach Tom Sermanni’s constant lineup changes. But replacement Jill Ellis has taken a different approach since taking the helm, and now, with the World Cup around the corner, a core group will lead the Americans through the Algarve Cup.
“We’re pretty close to a starting lineup,” Ellis told SBI from Portugal. “But I’ve said from day one that we need to have players that are comfortable starting so we have depth heading into a World Cup, where it takes seven games to win it. The Algarve Cup is a physically taxing tournament with four games in eight days, so there will be some slightly different lineups. But we’re really focusing on the partnership piece between the positions on the field.”
By RYAN TOLMICH
Incumbent FIFA president Sepp Blatter has already secured the support of one of the world’s major confederations.
Reuters reported Wednesday that the South American confederation (CONMEBOL) will support Sepp Blatter’s re-election as FIFA president in May. Blatter flew in to Paraguay on Tuesday and recently had lunch with Paraguayan president Horacio Cartes as well as several members of CONMEBOL’s member nations.
CONMEBOL is currently holding the confederation’s congress, which will see its president, Paraguayan Juan Angel Napout, handed another four-year term.
South America has historically been a friendly region for Blatter, and the confederation is expected to back proposals for a winter World Cup. Blatter is currently running against Michael van Praag of the Netherlands, former Portugal star Luis Figo and FIFA Vice President Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan.
Here are some more news and notes to kick off your Wednesday morning: Continue reading