Daily news roundups

Blatter suspended, Blake called up by Jamaica and more Union bits, USNT news, more

Breaking News

The FIFA ethics committee has provisionally suspended FIFA president Sepp Blatter, UEFA president, FIFA president  and FIFA presidential candidate Michel Platini, and FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke (already put on leave by FIFA) for 90 days pending the result of an internal investigation over ethics violations. The bans can be extended by a further 45 days, which would mean the suspensions would end on February 20, six days before the extraordinary congress to elect a new FIFA president on February 26.

Blatter’s lawyers issued a statement that read,

President Blatter was disappointed that the Ethics Committee did not follow the Code of Ethics and Disciplinary Code, both of which provide for an opportunity to be heard.

Further, the Ethics Committee based its decision on a misunderstanding of the actions of the Attorney General in Switzerland, which has opened an investigation but brought no charge against the president. In fact, the prosecutors will be obliged by law to dismiss the case if their investigation, barely two weeks old, does not establish sufficient evidence.

President Blatter looks forward to the opportunity to present evidence that will demonstrate that he did not engage in any misconduct, criminal or otherwise.

ESPN notes FIFA’s ethics rules state, “The chairman of the adjudicatory chamber may make his decision on the basis of the case files available to him, without hearing the parties, in which case the parties shall be summoned to a hearing or invited to submit written statements after the decision has been issued. After hearing the parties, the chairman of the adjudicatory chamber shall confirm, revoke or amend his decision.”

African confederation president Issa Hayatou of Cameroon will become acting president of FIFA while Blatter is suspended. He said in a statement, “I will serve only on an interim basis. A new president will be chosen by the extraordinary congress on 26 February 2016. I myself will not be a candidate for that position.” Soccer America notes Hayatou “was reprimanded by the IOC in 2011 for taking a payment of $106,000 from FIFA’s former marketing agency, ISL. The scandal also implicated former FIFA president Joao Havelange, his former son-in-law Ricardo Teixeira, the former Brazilian soccer chief, and former Conmebol president Nicolas Leoz, who was also indicted by Federal authorities in May.” More on Hayatou at The Independent.

Michel Platini, who must step down as UEFA president during the suspension, issued a statement before the ethics committee’s announcement characterizing reports on Wednesday that a suspension was imminent as “a deliberate leak,” and emphasized he had filed the papers necessary to run for the FIFA presidency this morning.

IOC president Thomas Bach said in a statement following the suspensions announcement, “Enough is enough,” adding,

[Fifa] must do two things immediately: they must accelerate and deepen the reform process in order to comply with accountability, transparency and all the principles of good governance, as expressed in our reform programme, Olympic Agenda 2020.

They should also be open for a credible external presidential candidate of high integrity, to accomplish the necessary reforms and bring back stability and credibility to FIFA.

The ethics committee also banned former FIFA vice president and current FIFA presidential candidate Chung Mong-joon for six years. “The proceedings against the South Korean football official Chung Mong-joon were opened in January 2015 based on findings in the report on the investigation into the bidding process for the 2018/2022 FIFA World Cups™. He has been found guilty of infringing article 13 (General rules of conduct), article 16 (Confidentiality), article 18 (Duty of disclosure, cooperation and reporting), article 41 (Obligation of the parties to collaborate) and article 42 (General obligation to collaborate) of the FIFA Code of Ethics.”

More on this breaking story at the BBC, Sky SportsESPN, and Reuters, which also has some immediate background leading up to today’s announcement, as does Chicago Tribune.

Philadelphia Union

Andre Blake has been called up by Jamaica for a match against South Korea in Seoul on Tuesday, Oct. 13. He’ll be back with the Union on Thursday, Oct. 15.

Union observers have wondered about the Generation adidas status of Andre Blake going into next season, an important salary cap space issue. Jim Curtin spoke to reporters after Wednesday’s practice in lieu of a weekly press conference. The Delco Times reports Curtin said of Blake, “He is a guy who has shown that he can be the guy, the No. 1 man. Our hope is that in these last two games, he can continue to show that and go into an offseason where you have a Generation Adidas goalkeeper and … it’s just a great problem that has naturally solved itself.”

Also at the Delco Times, Curtin on Fernando Aristeguieta and Steven Vitoria:

Both of them have had difficult times with injuries. Both of them have shown their quality in certain moments and certain games. So they’ve shown flashes. … You’ll see them in those games, and again, both guys have shown that they can play and have success in this league, but it wasn’t on a consistent basis. In a lot of ways, some of it is on them to do better. Some of it is unlucky with injures. Some of it is just a difficult season on a team that didn’t have a good year.

Curtin said of the US Open Cup final loss, “The Open Cup is the hardest loss of my career, personally. People have asked me, ‘Have you gotten over the game yet?’ I’ll never get over that game for the rest of my life.”

Curtin praised the players’ resolve in training following the Open Cup final loss:

To their credit they’ve been excellent. The guys still come out and train hard for me. The players all fight and give me everything they have. And at the same time, I love each and every one of them too. That part, we’re fine with.

But it’s tough to get over not bringing that trophy that we think could have at least changed the outlook of the season and pushed things forward in a positive way.

A piece at SI from Brian Strauss on Alejandro Bedoya has this passage:

Nantes likes him so much, in fact, that chairman Waldemar Kita stepped in when it appeared Bedoya’s permanent return to the U.S. was imminent. Bedoya had just finished his senior season at Boston College when he left for Sweden (his good friend Charlie Davies had recommended the Allsvenskan) back in January 2009. Nearly seven years later, following an ill-fated stint in Scotland, a return to Sweden and then his transfer to Nantes, Bedoya is a father feeling the pull of home and extended family. This summer, he was deep into negotiations with the Philadelphia Union and presumed to have an understanding with Nantes that when the offer was right, Bedoya would be allowed to leave.

Then Kita changed his mind.

“He said there was no way he was going to let me go because I’m too important to the club right now. He chose to not put me up for sale even though we had agreed on that possibility,” Bedoya said.

He then emphasized the point for good measure. The chairman wouldn’t let him leave. It’s not the sort of thing one hears often about an American player in Europe.

“It feels good in a way. You always want to play somewhere you’re wanted,” Bedoya said…

Bedoya said he didn’t know exactly where things stand with the Union following CEO Nick Sakiewicz’s ouster last week, and he’s now playing under the assumption that he’ll be at Nantes at least through the end of the 2015–16 season. His love for playing in Europe hasn’t wavered. It’s just that the allure of home has increased, as evidenced by his regular engagement with American fans, media and issues. Bedoya has been gone, but he hasn’t entirely left.

The NASL’s Jacksonville Armada has announced it will again play the Union in preseason exhibition match in early 2016.

Union Academy

Two former Union academy players now in college, Sean Wilson (North Carolina; West Chester, Penn.) and Sebastian Elney (Maryland; Boca Raton, Fla.), have been called up by the US U-20 team for the Four Nations tournament in Germany. The team faced Germany on Oct. 6, suffering a humiliating 8-1 loss, (Wilson and Elney both started that game but were subbed out in the second half) and will play Scotland on Oct. 9, followed by Mexico on Oct. 12.

Local

http://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2015/oct/07/next-generation-2015-50-of-the-best-young-talents-in-world-football?CMP=share_btn_tw

You will recall earlier this year reports linked Harrisburg City Islanders to a possible move to Nashville where they would presumably play in that city’s Greer Stadium. The Tennessean reports Nashville’s parks department has recommended the stadium, opened in 1978, be demolished. “[Metro Parks & Recreation Director Tommy Lynch ] said his department determined the demolition of Greer Stadium to be the optimal approach shortly after a professional soccer organization — the United Soccer Leagues’ Harrisburg City Islanders out of Pennsylvania — inquired with Metro earlier this year about relocating to Nashville and making Greer their home. He said the idea of a rehab wouldn’t work because of the facility’s current physical state.”

MLS

In midweek play, first in the Eastern Conference NYRB (54 points) defeated sixth place Montreal (42 points) 2-1 at home. Didier Drogba scored from the penalty spot when Montreal, down to ten men after 15 minutes, was already down two goals to bring his goal total to eight goals in eight games. Third in the West Vancouver (50 points) clinched a playoff spot after a 0-0 home draw with first place Dallas (51 points).

US

The US U-23s will face Honduras on Saturday at 3 pm for a spot at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio. On Wednesday night, Mexico defeated Honduras 2-1 to win their group.

Grantland has a profile on US U-23 and senior team forward Jordan Morris and why he has decided to remain in college rather than turn pro.

Matt Besler and Brad Guzan talk to Fox Soccer about Saturday’s Saturday’s Confederation Cup playoff game. The New York Times reports Mexico’s Javier “Chicharito” Hernández is brimming with confidence ahead of the game.

At Goal.com, three keys for the US to Saturday’s game, and three keys for Mexico.

SI and The Guardian on the “complex” rivalry between Mexico and the US.

At US Soccer, Claudio Reyna recalls “the greatest ‘Dos a Cero’ of all,” the Round of 16 win over Mexico at the 2002 World Cup.

Juan Carlos Osorio, formerly head coach at Chicago Fire and New York Red Bulls, has confirmed he will be leaving Brazilian club Sao Paulo to take over as head coach of the Mexican national team after Saturday’s game. Noting he will become the sixth head coach of Mexico since Jurgen Klinsmann took over the US team, Soccer America says the US is fortunate to not have to deal with such drama.

Is Bob Bradley a candidate for the now open manager position at Sunderland? HITC on why the move just might work.

Elsewhere

Reuters reports, “Investors in Adidas are increasingly worried that the FIFA corruption scandal risks tarnishing the German sportswear brand after the company declined to join other major sponsors and demand the immediate departure of President Sepp Blatter.”

21 Comments

  1. I sure as hell haven’t gotten over the loss yet either. Me and Jim Curtin. You and Jim Curtin. We and Jim Curtin. Smarting. Still. Ouch.
    .

  2. “Soccer America notes Hayatou “was reprimanded by the IOC in 2011 for taking a payment of $106,000 from FIFA’s former marketing agency, ISL.”
    .
    So is there literally no one in FIFA who has not pocketed money illegally or immorally?

    • Also, I love the IOC guy talking about how FIFA needs to reform itself thoroughly. That’s like Kim Jung Il telling Bashar al-Assad that he needs to stop oppressing his people.

      • I made the Mussolini-and-Hitler comparison, but yeah, I think we’re all on the same page here!

      • The IOC has made some progress, though. Ironically it was a scandal in the US involving the SLC Committee that got the ball rolling on that, but at least they’re better than they were. Lipstick on a pig one may say.

    • F.I.F.A., where the corrupt go to learn corruption.

    • OneManWolfpack says:

      There’s an article on Deadspin titled, “Corrupt FIFA execs, to be replaced by other corrupt FIFA execs”… I think that pretty much sums it up. HA!

  3. It is interesting to learn the extent to which Bedoya wanted to be here

    • I wouldn’t confuse the U.S. with “here”. There is a difference. Where Bedoya falls, wasn’t made clear.

      • OneManWolfpack says:

        He seemed willing to come here, in order to be home. In fairness, the guys the Union have brought over (Maidana, Nogs, Nando, and to an extent Barnetta), didn’t go running for the hills once they saw the Union’s operation. They seem to like it here. If Bedoya wanted to use the Union for a year or two, I think I’d take that.

      • Dan C (formerly of 103) says:

        He grew up in North Jersey. So, if the NY teams can’t afford/want him, Philly is the place for him I’m sure. Playing in Houston or Colombus wouldn’t exactly be “coming home”.

      • All good points. I honestly didn’t know where he grew up. But it does make sense he would want to be here. I was just saying he never really mentions wanting to play for the Union. Just about wanting to be in the U.S..

      • Plus his on loan teammate is here and I remember them talking over social media when we first got Fernando. So if the situation was bad here I would think Fernando would let Bedoya know.

  4. So the FIFA ethics committee can suspend people without a hearing and then let them speak on their own behalf AFTER the decision is made? Is it any wonder the organization is having ethical issues?

  5. The Grantland piece on Jordan Morris was really interesting…

    • Grantland is my default online O4hundred reading material when the buzz of incandescent lights and my mind starts playing tricks on me.
      .
      close second and I mean the closest only because I don’t always have a ragged-ear copy is…Rolling Stone.

  6. Watching the Brazil – Chili WC Qualifier and what a game. Valdivia and Alexis are so dynamic. Brazil trapped in defensive corner but seem to always be with the numerical advantage and methodically play the ball to safety then switch the field… It makes me envious. A twinge of jealousy is a good thing now and again…envy however…envy is unhealthy always.
    .
    Anybody know what ever happened to Ganso? Seems Oscar, Neymar and Ganso were the future for Brazilians and I haven’t seen him play with the national team in quite awhile. Out of favor maybe. injury issues. Stumps me ’cause he was fun to watch.
    .
    Anyway… as usual I make a comment like today’s about Landon Donovan being right about JK and the boys at 3four3 refute my logic with a stellar argument… as in why Landon is actually incorrect.
    .
    When you read… it is almost disheartening to see in how many ways and by how many facets we are light years away from really competing at the international professional and local level. Much like our Union… it is all wrong…at least our club seems to be in a contrition mode…now if we could just wrest away the power from the old boys network as coined by 215… we might actually be on to something. I am certain someday it will happen I just wonder if it will be while I am still upright.
    .
    The URL is below…hope the regulars here give it a read. Good article.
    .
    http://blog.3four3.com/2015/10/08/jurgen-klinsmann-and-leadership-lets-get-raw-real/

    • Jim Presti says:

      If Gary Kleiban wasn’t so “anti-MLS,” the Union would be smart to pick him up for their academy or USL side. His brother is with LA right now, I believe

      • He isn’t anti-MLS. He wants the MLS to succeed — just not as it is. The Kleiben brothers are invested in US soccer otherwise…Brian Kleiben would be overseas or in Argentina.
        .
        Yes he is with the Galaxy. LAFC chose not to matriculate his Chivas Academy teams which is insane to me (this guy is at the leading edge of understanding how to play the game)… a golden opportunity missed by LAFC because they felt they wanted a fresh break from everything Chivas USA. So now LA Galaxy will be the model going forward.
        .
        from my POV the best news is 3four3 education is beginning to host U9-U13 camps (in san diego) and teacher training in various places which will increase the IQ of our younger players and coaches…then they will someday be in power and the necessary change will ultimately come.
        .
        my concern is with MLS…we simply have to have another viable first tier league built around pro/rel.
        .

    • Great article and I agree with everything except for the statement about the US player pool and youth pipeline. No doubt it is not in the top tier of the world, but I believe it is the best we have ever had. So JKs winning % doesn’t mean crap to me because it’s not really that different from Bradley’s. I’m also not sure the pro/rel is the cure all it is sometimes made to be.
      .
      That said, lets implement basically that whole article now. Especially the pay-to-play garbage we have in this country.

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