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.
Prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York, who brought the charges, are set to unseal an indictment against 10 FIFA officials, though the report adds that not all of them are currently in Zurich.
The Times reports that among the 10 officials set to be indicted are current CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb of the Cayman Islands, former CONCACAF president and FIFA Executive Committee member Jack Warner, and Uruguayan executive Eugenio Figueredo, a current member of the FIFA ExCo and the former head of CONMEBOL. Costa Rican Football Federation president Eduardo Li Sanchez was also seen being led away by Swiss police.
The New York Times is reporting that Sepp Blatter is not among the FIFA officials being charged at the moment.
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
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:
photo by Kelley L Cox/USA Today Sports
By FRANCO PANIZO
Major League Soccer’s latest gem of a stadium will serve as the venue for next year’s All-Star Game.
Multiple sources have confirmed to SBI that Avaya Stadium, the brand-new home of the San Jose Earthquakes, will host the 2016 MLS All-Star Game. An official announcement is set to be made Thursday, and MLS commissioner Don Garber, Earthquakes president Dave Kaval and San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo are expected to be in attendance.
Avaya Stadium, which has a seating capacity of 18,000, opened earlier this year. Sources said the Earthquakes were hoping to host the All-Star Game this season, but lost out on hosting rights to the Colorado Rapids.
The Rapids will host this summer’s All-Star festivities in July, with the marquee event being the MLS All-Star Game vs. Tottenham on July 29 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
What do you think of Avaya Stadium hosting the 2016 MLS All-Star Game? Wishing the game would have returned to the East Coast?
Share your thoughts below.
By RYAN TOLMICH
The reigning world champions are bringing some of their heavy hitters to face the U.S. Men’s National Team in an upcoming friendly.
Mario Götze, Mesut Özil, and Bastian Schweinsteiger headline a 20-man roster to face the USMNT on June 10 in Cologne, Germany. In total, 13 players called in also featured in Germany’s 2014 World Cup-winning squad.
The matchup reunites USMNT head coach Jurgen Klinsmann with former colleague Joachim Low, now head coach of Germany.
“We are not playing for the first time against each other, but of course these duels have Jürgen as US coach always a nice touch,” Low said. “I am looking forward to the reunion with him.
“Everyone knows how ambitious Jürgen is, he will set his team well on us and wants to make a good showing in his home. For us, it is a welcome opportunity to prepare ourselves for the qualifier against Gibraltar. And of course we want to end the season and give our fans in Cologne an enjoyable evening. ” Continue reading
By COLE KELLOGG
The third round of the 2015 US Open Cup will take place Wednesday evening all around the country. The 15 matches are mostly populated by NASL and USL sides, but major underdogs still remain from non-league sides.
One team from NPSL, one from PDL, and two from USASA remain in the competition at this point.
Here are short previews for each of the 15 matchups: Continue reading
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.
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.