Daily news roundups

FIFA says no to CR protest, Adu savings, USA v Mexico anticipation, snake invasion, more

Photo: Courtesy of Divulgação

BREAKING: Moments before this post was published, FIFA issued an announcement regarding Costa Rica’s protest of Friday’s World Cup qualification loss to the US: “FIFA has examined the content of the letter and, taking into consideration article 14, paragraph 4 of the 2014 FIFA World Cup regulations, has confirmed that the conditions established in the regulations for an official protest have not been met by the Costa Rica FA. Therefore, the result of the match played on 22 March stands and is considered as valid.”

For listings of today’s World Cup qualifiers on TV and online, check out the latest installment of Footy on the Telly.

Philadelphia Union

 Jonathan Tannenwald writes that the termination of Adu’s contract with the Union that is part of swap for Kleberson “frees the Union from having to pay the two remaining guaranteed years on Adu’s salary. That total cost would have run to approximately $1.3 million.”

Reports on the Adu departure, and Kleberson arrival, from PSP, MLSsoccer.com, Philly.com, Delco Times, South Jersey Times, Soccer America, Philly Soccer News, Union Tally, WV Hooligan, The AP.

Recall that reports from Brazil continue to say that the club is working to secure the necessary paperwork for Adu to sign with the club before the close of the transfer window on April 5. Bahiatododia.com reports that if Bahia cannot sign Adu by then, he will be signed for the team ahead of the state championship registration deadline of April 24. (Crappy Google translation here).

At MLSsoccer.com, Dave Zeitlin says the chippiness of the Union vs. Pumas match may have been a prelude to tonight’s World Cup qualifier.

Zeitlin writes in the latest Inside Doop that one key takeaway from Saturday’s game was how comfortable Sheanon Williams looked at center back. If a Soumare transfer goes through, and anything happens to Jeff Parke or Amobi Okugo, Williams at center back could become a necessity.

At the Union website, Andy Jasner writes that Michael Farfan “appears to be on track for a breakout season.”

Funny and cute video on the Union Facebook page of Brian Carroll juggling a ball while holding his child, who finds the whole thing absolutely hilarious.


Cristhian Hernandez, Greg Jordan, and Jimmy McLaughlin are expected to begin training with Harrisburg City Islanders today.

Reading United alumni Brian Ownby, who was drafted by Houston Dynamo in 2012, has gone on loan to his hometown side, the Richmond Kickers of USL PRO.


Landon Donovan has returned to LA Galaxy.

The average paid attendance for the eight games played in Week Four dropped to its lowest mark in several years at 14,696. Soccer America explains some of the factors affecting this include teams playing at home a week after heavily promoted “Rivalry Week” home games, MLS stars away on international duty, the NCAA tournament, and crap weather.

Cosmos ambassador Shep Messing says, “I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; part of the challenge and the opportunity for pro soccer in the United States is building upon its history.” While he made the comment in the context of saying it would be ridiculous for MLS not to include the Cosmos in its plans, his words are true in terms of the continuing development of the game in the US.


A magnitude 5.5 earthquake shook buildings in Mexico City today shortly after 9am ET. There are no immediate reports of damage or injury.

Former Union fave Michael Orozco Fiscal was called into the US squad on Monday ahead of tonight’s World Cup qualifier against Mexico (10:30pm: ESPN, Univision, Watch ESPN).

Jurgen Klinsmann’s expectations from tonight’s game are clear: “We are here not only to get a result. We want a win here. That is our goal.”

Michael Bradley said, “Look, let’s be honest, the pressure’s on them. The pressure for them, at home, at Azteca, to come out and not only play a good game, but to win, is huge.”

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle wonders if “Mexico’s Azteca edge” is beginning to wane, a theme also used by SI’s Grant Wahl in his match preview.

At ASN, John Godfrey wonders if the furor caused by last week’s Sporting News article may have provided Klinsmann with the perfect opportunity to display his renowned motivational skills. Or maybe, as Avi Creditor explains at Goal.com, Friday’s snow game simply refocused attention on winning.

In a press conference on Monday, Klinsmann named Maurice Edu, Kyle Beckerman, Sacha Kljestan or Joe Corona as possible replacements for the injured Jermaine Jones. Expect Edu to get the nod.

Defense. This Opta Spotlight looks at DaMarcus Beasley’s strong performance against Costa Rica while Simon Borg says the US should play five defenders to thwart Mexico’s outside threats.

There are some great quotes from John Hackworth in this profile of Michael Bradley as a youth player.

More previews from US Soccer, Sporting News, ProSoccerTalk, LA Times, and Union Dues.

Mexico head coach José Manuel “Chepo” de la Torre has asked fans not to boo the US national anthem.

De la Torre also announced that goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa will wear the captain’s armband for Mexico tonight.

Mexico winger Andrés Guardado warned the local press, “Don’t think that because the players aren’t well-known that they are bad. The United States is a great national team and we respect them a lot.” Guardado believes the biggest threat from the US is set pieces.

At ESPN, Jeff Carlisle recounts the historic 0-0 draw between the US and Mexico at the Azteca in November of 1997 on the way to qualifying for the 1998 World Cup. At US Soccer.com, Michael Lewis does the same. In another article on the US Soccer website, Lewis talks to former national team members about playing at Azteca, as does Roger Bennett at ESPN.

US Soccer says that it is waiting on FIFA’s response to Costa Rica’s protest of Friday’s snow-covered qualifier. FIFA regulations state that a team captain must “immediately lodge a protest with the referee in the presence of the captain of the opposing team,” something which US captain Clint Dempsey says did not happen.

NESN says that whatever happens with Costa Rica’s protest, nothing can erase the meaning of the US win to the USMNT and its fans.

At ESPN Front Row, Bob Ley has an entertaining account of broadcasting Friday night’s game.

Someone at the Wall Street Journal thinks it might be a good thing if the US fails to qualify for the 2014 World Cup.

The draw for the 2013 U-20 World Cup in Turkey took place on Monday and the US has been drawn into—yikes—Group A along with Spain, France, and a yet to be determined team from Africa.

US U-20 coach Tab Ramos said, “I’m really excited for our players, to play against some of the best teams in the world. This is the reason why you go to the World Cup—to play against the best. We get Spain and France right off the bat and we’re going to start working toward our preparation for that.”


NBC has hired Rebecca Lowe from ESPN UK to be the lead presenter of its coverage of the Premier League, which will begin with the 2013-14 season.

At the Wall Street Journal, Jean-Lois Dupont argues that UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, set to take effect in the 2013-14 season, “likely constitutes collusion and [is] hence a violation of EU competition law.” Dupont says the rules “may also infringe other EU freedoms such as the free movement of workers and services.”

A rumor floated around on Monday that Russian billionaire and Chelsea owner Roman Abramovic had been arrested by the FBI in New York. The news sent steel prices tumbling. Abramovic’s spokesperson and the FBI denied the rumor.

Dozens of poisonous snakes invaded the pitch at Kalyani Stadium in the I-League in India on Sunday. Thankfully, it was after the conclusion of the match between Mohun Bagan and Arrows.

Fancy a comic in which football legends gather to criticize the actions of everyday people as they go about their work? Read on. (My favorite line is Wayne Rooney exclaiming “Enable macros, you muppet.”)



  1. OneManWolfpack says:

    Glad the protest by CR was denied. I was waiting for Seth and the boys to screw the US again. Can’t wait to watch tonight!!

  2. Thanks for the timely update, Ed. Do you have access to the paragraph that was cited for denying the argument? Most of the time, I think that league and/or competition rules will say that any complaints about field conditions need to be raised either before the match/game or when the conditions arise. (To use another of your stories today as an example, if the venomous snakes decided not to wait for the end of the game in India, the teams should raise the issue then. Duh.) I am curious as to whether that is why FIFA is denying the appeal. Strange to note that Grant Wahl said in his article yesterday that the final procedures for addressing weather complaints aren’t included yet in the materials circulated to the teams. http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/soccer/news/20130325/us-mexico-estadio-azteca-world-cup-qualifier/index.html.

    • Ed Farnsworth says:

      The relevant sections of Article 14 of FIFA’s World Cup Brazil 2014 Regulations (available for download from the FIFA site) say:

      “4. Protests regarding the state of the pitch, its surroundings, markings, or accessory items (e.g. goals, flagposts, or footballs) shall be made in writing to the referee before the start of the match by the head of the delegation of the team lodging the protest. If the pitch’s playing surface becomes unplayable during, the captain of the protesting team shall immediately lodge a protest with the referee in the presence of the captain of the opposing team. The protest shall be confirmed in writing to the FIFA general secretariat during the preliminary competition and during the final competition by the head of the team delegation no later than two hours after the match

      “5. Protests against any incidents that occur during the course of a match shall be made to the referee by the team captain immediately after the disputed incident and before play has resumed, in the presence of the captain of the opposing team. The protest shall be confirmed in writing to the FIFA match commissioner or FIFA general coordinator by the head of the team delegation no later than two hours after the match.”

      Paragraph 4 would deal with field conditions while Paragraph 5 would, to my reading, deal with Costa Rica protesting after the match ended that groundsmen were on the field of play during the match shoveling the lines (I haven’t seen any reports that they protested this during the match).

      On Tuesday evening, La Nacion reported that Costa Rica would appeal FIFA’s decision (crappy translation here).

      • Thanks again. I agree with your reading of the rules, and would add that the referee called both teams to the side to try to stop the match, only to have the Costa Ricans object to stopping play. I saw nothing in the way of any complaints about the shoveling of the field either, but that likely would have been off camera to the fourth official. I think that it would be better for the rule to specifically include weather as a valid reason for a pitch becoming unplayable, but it seems that weather would be a prime reason.

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