Archive for the ‘FIFA’ Category

FIFA Suspends Bradley For 3 Matches

July 7, 2009

American midfielder Michael Bradley has been suspended three matches by FIFA for a post-match confrontation of referee Jorge Larrionda after being shown a red card in the 87th minute of the USA’s recent 2-0 win over Spain.

Read more about it here.

Brazil #1, USA #12 In New FIFA Rankings

July 7, 2009

Courtesy of FIFA:

Victory on all fronts for Brazil: after winning the FIFA Confederations Cup in South Africa, the Seleção have regained the top spot in the FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking, thus relegating European champions Spain (2nd, down 1) to second place. The South Americans last topped the ranking in August 2007, a position to which they have climbed six times in the history of the ranking.

The Netherlands (3rd, down 1), Italy (4th, unchanged) and Germany (5th, down 2), occupy the next three places, but are some distance behind the leading duo. Russia (6th, up 3) have overtaken England (7th, down 1) and Argentina (8th, down 1), achieving their best position since August 1997 in the process.

Of the other countries that took part in the FIFA Confederations Cup South Africa 2009, finalists the USA (12th, up 2), Egypt (38th, up 2) and hosts South Africa (70th, up 2) have also progressed up the ranking. Egypt’s improved position despite their early exit from the tournament is due to their 1-0 victory over world champions Italy, which scored very highly in terms of ranking points. Meanwhile, disappointing performances by Iraq (94th, down 17) and New Zealand (100th, down 18) caused them to lose ground.

In other news, Algeria (47th, up 19) and Tunisia (49th, up 2) have climbed into the top 50 at the expense of Burkina Faso (51st, down 1) and Finland (52nd, down 3). Furthermore, the following teams have achieved their best position since the ranking was introduced in 1993: Australia (16th, up 13), Gabon (30th, up 18), Grenada (88th, up 14), Montenegro (98th, up 12) and Antigua and Barbuda (105th, up 9).

In the last four weeks, a total of 119 senior international matches were played: 16 FIFA Confederations Cup matches, 67 FIFA World Cup™ qualifying matches and 36 friendlies. This brings the total matches played this year to 406. The many matches played and the devaluation of matches at UEFA EURO 2008 are the main reasons for the many changes in position in this edition of the ranking.

The next FIFA/Coca-Cola World Ranking will be published on 5 August 2009.

USA To Play Sweden In January Friendly

November 22, 2008
U.S. To Kick Off Busy 2009 with Friendly in Southern California;Final Round World Cup Qualifying, Gold Cup, Confederations Cup on Tap

I’ve got to say I like the selection of teams the U.S. Soccer Federation is picking for friendlies these days and Sweden is a good example. Strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrik Larssson (pictured to the right) will be a stiff test for the US defense, not to mention winger “Kongo” Kim Källström (Olympique Lyon) , who serves up beautiful crosses to the forwards and can take powerful and accurate shots from distance (he earned his nickname for knocking a teammate out cold with a shot during a practice at the 2006 World Cup).

The well-organized Swedes, always tough to score against, will test the US midfield and attack to the hilt. Their central defense including Carlos Bocanegra’s partner at Rennes, Peter Hansson and Juventus’ Olof Mellberg have proven tough to crack behind a strong spine of Anders Svensonn and holding midfielder Daniel Andersson. When you lose possession against this crew, its a real dogfight to get it back. All in all, a good test for a US National Team which has been a juggernaut in CONCACAF this year but with remaining questions about how well they’ll compete against teams from Europe.

This match will give Bob Bradley a much clearer picture of where his team stands going into the next round of World Cup qualifying and next summer’s Confederation’s Cup.

The U.S. Men’s National Team will kick off a busy 2009 schedule when they face Sweden on Saturday, Jan. 24, at The Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., at 5:30 p.m. PT. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Soccer Channel and Galavision. Fans can also follow the game live via ussoccer.com’s MatchTracker.The game follows a training camp that begins the first week of January as the U.S. team prepares for CONCACAF Final Round qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the 2009 CONCACAF Gold Cup, and the 2009

FIFA Confederations Cup.

Tickets ranging in price levels from $18 to $60, plus special edition U.S. Soccer on-field seats for $150, go on sale to the public Monday, Nov. 24, at 10 a.m. PT through ussoccer.com, by phone (213-480-3232 in L.A.; 714-740-2000 in Orange County; 619-220-8497 in San Diego), and at all Ticketmaster ticket centers throughout Southern California (including Macy’s, FYE and Ritmo Latino). Fans can also buy tickets at The Home Depot Center Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Groups of 20 or more can obtain an order form at ussoccer.com or call 312-528-1290.

As a sponsor of U.S. Soccer, Visa® is pleased to offer all Visa cardholders access to an advance ticket sale for this match before the sale to the general public. This advance sale will take place from Sunday, Nov. 23, at 8 a.m. PT until Monday, Nov. 24, at 8 a.m. at ussoccer.com. Visa will be the only payment method accepted through the Visa presale and is the preferred card of U.S. Soccer. Terms and conditions apply.

The U.S. will begin CONCACAF Final Round World Cup qualifying on Feb. 11, and along with Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Mexico and Trinidad & Tobago will be vying for three automatic spots in the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa. The fourth-place finisher will enter a home-and-away series with the fifth-place team from South America.

Sweden is also in the midst of FIFA World Cup qualifying, and after three matches is in fifth place in Group 1 despite an undefeated record that includes a win and two ties. Their campaign resumes on March 28, 2009, with a trip to Portugal. The Scandinavians have competed in 11 World Cup finals, highlighted by a second-place finish in the 1958 tournament and a third-place finish in USA ’94. In 2006, they advanced out of Group B along with England before falling in the Round of 16 to hosts Germany.

The USA and Sweden have met six times previously. The U.S. evened the series at 3-3-0 with a 2-0 victory last January in a game that saw Landon Donovan set the all-time U.S. scoring record. The U.S. is making its sixth visit to The Home Depot Center for a match, carrying a 4-0-1 record. Last year, in addition to the victory against Sweden, the U.S. trounced Barbados 8-0 on June 15 in their opening game of qualifying for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The remainder of the U.S. schedule for 2009 will be determined this Saturday, Nov. 22, when the draw to determine the placement of teams in the CONCACAF Final Round hexagonal for 2010 FIFA World Cup qualifying will take place at 1 p.m. local time (6 a.m. ET) in Johannesburg, South Africa. Teams will learn their opponents as well as home and away dates for all 10 Final Round qualifiers that will determine the three automatic berths for CONCACAF in 2010 in South Africa. The Final Round will kick off on Feb. 11. The U.S. will also have games on March 28, April 1, June 3, June 6, August 12, Sept. 5, Sept. 9, Oct. 10 and Oct. 14.

Following the announcement of the CONCACAF Final Round draw, FIFA will conduct the draw for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup that will be held from June 14-28 in South Africa. The United States will participate along with hosts South Africa, Brazil, Egypt, Iraq, Italy, New Zealand and Spain.

Blatter: Plan B for 2010 World Cup?

June 30, 2008

As many suspected, FIFA president Sepp Blatter, admitted yesterday that while he still believed in South Africa as the 2010 World Cup host, he does have a “Plan B.”

Blatter told Austrian state broadcaster ORF that there were some concerns about infrastructure and security and stated that the 2009 Confederations Cup in South Africa will be the test run. If it is not satisfactory, it would be time to look at alternatives.

“But at the moment an earthquake would have to occur to prevent the World Cup from being held in South Africa. However, I would be a negligent Fifa boss if there was no plan B in the cupboard,” Blatter said.

Moving the World Cup from South Africa (which would be the first ever held on the continent) could be politically impossible unless it was to another African nation(s). But where? Egypt (not enought stadia), Nigeria (similar security concerns), or a combination of two countries? If FIFA must hold the 2010 World Cup outside of Africa, a few options do exist:

1) See if Brazil (the 2014 host) is ready to go early, perhaps swapping dates with South Africa.

2) Look elsewhere.

Could this perhaps be an option for England to throw their hat in the ring instead of facing a strong US bid for 2018. For that matter, could the US be sniffing around to be the backup plan for 2018?