Archive for the ‘Futbol’ Category

USA Bid Process Continues For 2018 or 2022 World Cup

April 11, 2009

Courtesy of U.S. Soccer…my own commentary to follow:

More Than 50 Metropolitan Markets in Consideration to be Host Cities;
Conference Call With U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and USA Bid Committee
Executive Director David Downs to be Held on Thursday, April 9, at 12:30 p.m. ET
NEW YORK (April 8, 2009) – The USA Bid Committee mailed letters last week to public officials and stadium operators in metropolitan markets across the United States in an initial and important step toward preparing a formal bid to play host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

In all, 70 stadiums in more than 50 metropolitan markets are in consideration, ranging in market size from New York City, where the new Meadowlands Stadium will open in 2010 in nearby East Rutherford, N.J., to college town markets such as Lincoln, Neb., and Fayetteville, Ark. The outreach by U.S. Soccer and the USA Bid Committee truly represents a national campaign to welcome the return of the world’s most popular sporting event to the United States, with the comprehensive mix of metro markets and world class venues representing a chief asset of the U.S. bid.

U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati and USA Bid Committee Executive Director David Downs will discuss the selection of the 70 venues under consideration on a conference call on Thursday, April 9, at 12:30 p.m. ET. Members of the media wishing to participate in the call should dial 800 335-2500 a few minutes before 12:30 p.m. ET.

“The United States is uniquely qualified to stage the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 as demonstrated by the dozens of metropolitan markets with venues capable of staging World Cup matches in every respect, from the quality of their stadiums to their overall ability to accommodate thousands of fans, news media and visitors from around the world,” said Gulati. “We will soon begin discussions with officials from throughout the U.S. in the name of presenting a world class proposal to FIFA and the global soccer community.”

The letters mailed last week from the USA Bid Committee to public officials and stadium operators throughout the United States outline the bid process and criteria for venue selection. FIFA calls for each bidding nation to propose a minimum of 12 stadiums, each capable of seating 40,000 or more spectators. Stadiums with a minimum capacity of 80,000 are required by FIFA for consideration to play host to the Opening Match and Final Match. Out of the 70 stadiums under consideration, more than 65 have a capacity above 60,000, and more than 20 have a capacity above 80,000.

In 1994, nine U.S. stadiums were used when the United States played host to FIFA World Cup, which then featured a 24-team and 52-match format compared to today’s field of 32 nations competing in 64 matches. Despite the smaller field and schedule of matches in 1994, the United States set an overall attendance mark of 3,587,538, a record that broke the previous tournament mark by more than one million fans and still stands today.

The 70 stadiums identified by the USA Bid Committee as candidates to play host to World Cup matches in 2018 or 2022 include National Football League stadiums, college football stadiums, and domed and retractable roof stadiums. The 70 stadiums represent 31 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.

Among the list of stadiums that are under consideration for the bid are historic venues such as:

Soldier Field in Chicago, site of the Opening Match of the FIFA World Cup in 1994.
The Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., site of the Final Match FIFA World Cup in 1994.
The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, site of the Olympic Summer Games in 1932 and 1984.
Lambeau Field, the legendary home to the NFL’s Green Bay Packers.
Numerous time-honored college football stadiums, including Notre Dame Stadium, Michigan Stadium and the Yale Bowl.
Stadiums still under construction, including the new Meadowlands Stadium, the new Dallas Cowboys Stadium and the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.
The deadline for the USA Bid Committee to hear from officials representing candidate markets and venues is Friday, April 17.
The United States is one of nine candidate nations that have formally declared their desire to host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. The others are Australia, England, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico and Russia, with joint bids from Netherlands-Belgium and Portugal-Spain. Qatar and South Korea have applied only as candidates to play host to the tournament in 2022.

FIFA has set May 2010 as the deadline for countries to submit their final paperwork to play host to the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022. FIFA’s 24 member Executive Committee will then study the bids, conduct site visits and name the two hosts for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments in December 2010, completing a 21-month bid and review process.

U.S. Soccer and the USA Bid Committee last week announced that former U.S. Secretary of State Henry A. Kissinger accepted an invitation to join the USA Bid Committee and play a leadership role in the nation’s candidacy to play host to FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022.

“The support and commitment of Dr. Kissinger is extremely significant and representative of the spirit that will drive our U.S. bid from this day forward,” said Gulati. “We will continue introduce new leadership to the USA Bid Committee in the weeks ahead to show the nation, and the world, how serious and determined we are to bring the World Cup here in 2018 or 2022.”

ABOUT U.S. SOCCER:

Founded in 1913, U.S. Soccer has helped chart the course for soccer in the USA for more than 95 years as the governing body of the sport. In this time, the Federation’s mission statement has been simple and clear: to make soccer, in all its forms, a preeminent sport in the United States and to continue the development of soccer at all recreational and competitive levels. To that end, the sports growth in the past two decades has been nothing short of remarkable as U.S. Soccer’s National Teams have continually succeeded on the world stage while also growing the game here in the United States with the support of its members. For more information, visit ussoccer.com.

ABOUT THE USA BID COMMITTEE:

The USA Bid Committee is a non-profit organization created to prepare a successful application to host the FIFA World Cup in 2018 or 2022 on behalf of the United States Soccer Federation. The Bid Committee will submit its comprehensive bid to FIFA by May 2010, with FIFA’s 24-member Executive Committee making a decision in December 2010. Members of the USA Bid Committee include Executive Director David Downs, U.S. Soccer President and USA Bid Committee Chairman Sunil Gulati, U.S. Soccer CEO and General Secretary Dan Flynn, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, former U.S. Secretary of State Dr. Henry Kissinger, former Democratic National Committee National Finance Chair Philip Murphy, and former Goldman Sachs Vice Chairman (Asia) Carlos Cordeiro.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Neil Buethe, U.S. Soccer, 312/528-1270, nbuethe@ussoccer.org
Jurgen Mainka, USA Bid Committee, 212/450-1403, jmainka@usabidcommittee.org
Jim Woodcock, Fleishman-Hillard, 314/982-7778, jim.woodcock@fleishman.com

Metro Market Stadium Location
Atlanta, Ga. Georgia Dome Atlanta, Ga.
Atlanta, Ga. Sanford Stadium Athens, Ga.
Austin, Texas Royal Texas Memorial Stadium Austin, Texas
Baltimore, Md. M&T Bank Stadium Baltimore, Md.
Baton Rouge, La. Tiger Stadium Baton Rouge, La.
Birmingham, Ala. Legion Field Birmingham, Ala.
Birmingham, Ala. Bryant-Denny Stadium Tuscaloosa, Ala.
Boston, Mass. Gillette Stadium Foxborough, Mass.
Buffalo, N.Y. Ralph Wilson Stadium Orchard Park, N.Y.
Cedar Rapids, Iowa Kinnick Stadium Iowa City, Iowa
Champaign, Ill. Memorial Stadium Champaign, Ill.
Charlotte, N.C. Bank of America Stadium Charlotte, N.C.
Chicago, Ill. Soldier Field Chicago, Ill.
Cincinnati, Ohio Paul Brown Stadium Cincinnati, Ohio
Cleveland, Ohio Cleveland Browns Stadium Cleveland, Ohio
Columbia, Mo. Faurot Field Columbia, Mo.
Columbia, S.C. Williams-Brice Stadium Columbia, S.C.
Columbus, Ga. Jordan-Hare Stadium Auburn, Ala.
Columbus, Ohio Ohio Stadium Columbus, Ohio
Dallas, Texas Cotton Bowl Dallas, Texas
Dallas, Texas Dallas Cowboys New Stadium Arlington, Texas
Denver, Colo. Invesco Field Denver, Colo.
Detroit, Mich. University of Michigan Stadium Ann Arbor, Mich.
Detroit, Mich. Ford Field Detroit, Mich.
Detroit, Mich. Spartan Stadium East Lansing, Mich.
Fayetteville, Ark. Reynolds Razorback Stadium Fayetteville, Ark.
Green Bay, Wis. Lambeau Field Green Bay, Wis.
Greenville, S.C. Memorial Stadium Clemson, S.C.
Harrisburg, Pa. Beaver Stadium University Park, Pa.
Houston, Texas Reliant Stadium Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas Rice Stadium Houston, Texas
Houston, Texas Kyle Field College Station, Texas
Indianapolis, Ind. Lucas Oil Stadium Indianapolis, Ind.
Jacksonville, Fla. Jacksonville Municipal Stadium Jacksonville, Fla.
Jacksonville, Fla. Ben Hill Griffin Stadium Gainesville, Fla.
Kansas City, Mo. Arrowhead Stadium Kansas City, Mo.
Knoxville, Tenn. Neyland Stadium Knoxville, Tenn.
Lexington, Ky. Commonwealth Stadium Lexington, Ky.
Los Angeles, Calif. Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum Los Angeles, Calif.
Los Angeles, Calif. Rose Bowl Pasadena, Calif.
Madison, Wis. Camp Randall Stadium Madison, Wis.
Miami, Fla. Dolphin Stadium Miami Gardens, Fla.
Minneapolis, Minn. TCF Bank Stadium Minneapolis, Minn.
Minneapolis, Minn. Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome Minneapolis, Minn.
Nashville, Tenn. LP Field Nashville, Tenn.
New Haven, Conn. Yale Bowl New Haven, Conn.
New Orleans, La. Superdome New Orleans, La.
New York, N.Y. Meadowlands Stadium East Rutherford, N.J.
Oklahoma City, Okla. Oklahoma Memorial Stadium Norman, Okla.
Omaha, Neb. Memorial Stadium Lincoln, Neb.
Orlando, Fla. Florida Citrus Bowl Orlando, Fla.
Philadelphia, Pa. Lincoln Financial Field Philadelphia, Pa.
Phoenix, Ariz. University of Phoenix Stadium Glendale, Ariz.
Phoenix, Ariz. Sun Devil Stadium Tempe, Ariz.
Pittsburgh, Pa. Heinz Field Pittsburgh, Pa.
Roanoke, Va. Lane Stadium Blacksburg, Va.
Salt Lake City, Utah LaVell Edwards Stadium Provo, Utah
San Antonio, Texas Alamodome San Antonio, Texas
San Diego, Calif. Qualcomm Stadium San Diego, Calif.
San Fran/Oakland, Calif. Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum Oakland, Calif.
San Fran/Oakland, Calif. Stanford Stadium Stanford, Calif.
San Fran/Oakland, Calif. California Memorial Stadium Berkeley, Calif.
Seattle, Wash. Qwest Field Seattle, Wash.
Seattle, Wash. Husky Stadium Seattle, Wash.
South Bend, Ind. Notre Dame Stadium Notre Dame, Ind.
St. Louis, Mo. Edward Jones Dome St. Louis, Mo.
Tallahassee, Fla. Doak Campbell Stadium Tallahassee, Fla.
Tampa, Fla. Raymond James Stadium Tampa, Fla.
Washington, D.C. RFK Memorial Stadium Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C. FedEx Field Landover, Md.

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Atletico Madrid Comes From Behind To Top Barcelona 4-3

March 1, 2009

What a difference a year makes!

Almost a year ago, seven goals were scored in the springtime Barcelona -Atletico Madrid match, six by Barca, one by Atletico. Tonight, seven goals were scored in the match except this time, four were by Atletico and three by Barcelona. Atletico’s come from behind win against the mighty Barca will go down as one of the top matches in the Primera this year.

This year:

Last year:

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Thuram Retires Due To Heart Condition

August 2, 2008

France’s all time most-capped player, Lillian Thuram, called an end to a distinguished career Friday afternoon at a press conference in Paris. The central defender was in the process of transferring from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain when a medical exam uncovered a heart defect which led to Thuram’s decision to end a highly successful career.

He had considered trying to fulfill at least part of the two-year deal at PSG but the 36 year-old was talked out of it by his mother who had already lost one son to a heart condition. Reflecting on the decision, Thuram remarked that “There are family reasons which have also been taken into account,” he said. “I wanted to be the Paolo Maldini of PSG but that has not been possible. It’s sad to end a career like this.”
Thuram was capped 142 times and was a key member of the French teams which won the 1998 World Cup and 2000 European championship. He most recently played for France in the Euro 2008 tourney. His 17-year playing career started at Monaco in 1990 before he moved to Serie A in 1996 where he played for Parma who he helped to win the UEFA Cup in 1999, and then to Juventus where he played on two scudetto winning sides. In 2006, he joined Barcelona where he stayed for two years before attempting to transfer back to France this summer.
Rumors out of Paris indicate Thuram will likely be offered a high profile position within the French Football Federation sometime before the summer ends.

Altidore Sees First Action For Villarreal

July 22, 2008


Villarreal got a good look at its four new signings, including American Jozy Altidore in a Sunday friendly against third division side Navata. The match turned out to be a 12-0 romp for the primera side and the club’s faithful got its first look at Altidore before he departs to participate in the Olympics for the USA.

Yellow Submarine coach Manuel Pellegrini has indicated that Altidore will remain with the first team until at least January due to an injury to veteran forward Nihat Kahveci. Kahveci suffered a thigh injury during the Euro 2008 tourney while playing for Turkey and eventually required surgery, keeping him out of action for the first half of the Spanish season.

So, Altidore will have a chance to prove his worth as Villarreal faces a tough run of Spanish league and Champions’s League matches during the fall. Regardless of how well he does at the Olympics, he’ll need to work extra hard to integrate into his new club team after missing so many weeks of preseason training. Opportunity is knocking – will he be ready to answer?

Totti Hints At Azzurri Return

July 20, 2008

AS Roma captain Francesco Totto has hinted he may come out of retirement to help the Italian national team in World Cup qualifying. The 31-year old who was a member of the 2006 World Cup winning team had retired from international play due to the effects of grueling league, European, Coppa Italia, and international schedules. Now, according to La Gazzetta dello Sport:

“If I’m well and I don’t have problems, it will be possible to address this issue in six months or a year.” The main reason Totti appears ready to return is due to the return of Marcello Lippi, with whom he got along well in 2006.

At the same time Totti has ambitions for Roma, second place finishers in Serie A the past two years, to make a more concerted run at the Scudetto this season. To do so, he figured they need to make two more key signings. Roma had been hoping to bring Julio Baptista to Stadio Olimpico on a loan but Real Madrid did not agree to terms. Roma is in desperate need of a quality winger following the departure of Amantino Mancini for Inter. Without a dangerous winger, their 4-2-3-1 system is not potent enough to stay near the top of the Italian game, let alone win it all. The Giallorossi have their eye on several options at winger. One is Fiorientina’s Mario Alberto Santana but the Viola appear to be counting on him to fulfill their own Champion’s League aspirations this year.

Another is Chelsea’s Florent Malouda who was a star for France and Lyon but has had trouble carving out his own role at Stamford Bridge. The English side may be willing to loan or sell him but there is a catch, another big club is also interested; Barcelona. If it comes to a bidding war, the deep-pocketed Catalans will have the edge over the Romans.

Finally, some Roman newspapers and radio commentators indicate that the most realistic option may be Atletico Madrid’s Jose Antonio Reyes. The vagabond Reyes, after bouncing to a new club almost every year looking for more playing time, seems to be the odd man out at Atletico. Thus, a move into a starting role at Roma may be just what he, and the Giallorossi, needs.

American on Trial At FC Union Berlin

July 17, 2008

I’ve always wanted to see an American playing for FC Union Berlin again (since Ryan Coiner left in 2005) and soon it may be possible. Union is one of the über-cool rock and roll teams that may not always be successful, but has a pretty hip band of supporters (not unlike FC St Pauli).

This week, according to the Sächsiche Zeitung, former Cal Bears standout Steven Purdy is on trial for a position in central defense with the third division side. The 23-year-old Purdy played this past season with the 1860 Munich reserves and has competition for the position during the trial. German-Iranian Sasan Gouhari, a 22-year old defender from the Hamburger SV reserves is also on trial with Eisen Union.

A decision between Purdy and Gouhari was supposed to be announced after testing them both in a preseason match against SC Borea Dresden on Tuesday. While the game ended 1-1, Purdy was given partial blame for Borea’s goal by Robert Koch while Gouhari reportedly did not fare much better during his appearance in the second half. So far, no announcement has been made on which player has been selected.

Monaco: Ready To Punt On Bradley?

July 17, 2008


As I suspected in an earlier report this morning, Michael Bradley is looking ever less likely for a move to AS Monaco. The club is now indicating that their main target for an attacking midfielder is Alejandro Alonso of Bordeaux. This means they won’t need to up the ante for Heerenveen’s Michael Bradley unless they can’t snare Alonso.

According to Ouest France, ASM is now interested in negotiating for the 26-year old Argentine who is under contract with his current club until 2009. A few Spanish clubs are also interested in Alonso so Monaco may be keeping the Bradley deal on the back burner. With four goals in 80 appearances, Alsonso is not quite the goal scoring threat that Bradley is but he does come with a good understanding of the French game, UEFA Cup experience, and (most likely) a lower price tag.

Of course, this could just be a negotiating tactic by Monaco to make Heerenveen drop their price for Bradley but its hard to tell at this point. The club does however think it can strike a loan deal for Benfica’s American midfielder Freddy Adu within the next week or two.

So, while all this speculation on Bradley has everyone looking to the south of France or England, I have a feeling he’ll end up at either Hamburg or Bayer Leverkusen – either would be a good fit given his style of play and level of development.

Summer Transfer Season: Far From Over

July 13, 2008

This summer we’ve already seen some major trades at a number of big clubs but some of the biggest deals have yet to be made. Where will Arsenal’s now discount priced Emmanuel Adebayor end up? Will Zenith St Petersburg’s Russian phenom Andrei Arshavin be sold or is he about to be priced out of the market? Will Cristiano Ronaldo go to Real Madrid or stay at Manchester United? What about Chelseas’s bid for AC Milan’s Kaka? First, let’s take a look at the top five spenders so far this year:

1. FC Barcelona €77.5 million
2. Fiorentina €50.3 million
3. Olympique Lyon €45.200.000
4. Tottenham Hotspur €39 million
5. Liverpool €32.1 million

When you consider the huge sums which have been discussed for Kaka (€94 million), Ronaldo (€100 million), and Liverpool’s Fernando Torres (€65 million) – you’ll know immediately that the transfer season is just getting started. You’ll also note that you don’t see Juventus, AC Milan, Chelsea, Real Madrid, or Inter Milan on this list (to name a few). My experience tells me that Fiorentina, Lyon, and Tottenham are pretty much set while Barcelona and Liverpool may still pick up a player or two. The truly big spenders this year have yet to draw from their war chest so you can expect this list to change. There are still quite a few top players up for grabs and plenty of deep pocketed teams available to bid for them.

Another point to consider is that not all transfer deadlines are created equal. The French League, which does not have the financial bidding power of some others, ends its transfer period on August 17th. So, if Americans Freddy Adu, Michael Bradley, Oguchi Onyewu, or any other players are headed for Ligue 1, we’ll know it by then.

The clash of the titans will occur in the coming weeks as the deadline approaches on August 31st for Italy’s Serie A, the Spanish Primera, and the English Premier League (and others). For each big player sold to another club, they’ll need to replace them so the domino effect can also tip which way a club is moving. For example, Britain’s Sunday Express reports that Chelsea manager Luiz Felipe Scolari is looking hard at Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Moutinho as a replacement for Frank Lampard (who is a likely transfer to Inter Milan). So, when you see Stamford Bridge making a strong move for Moutinho, you can expect that Lamps will be packing his bags for Inter.

In the meantime, with so much cash flying around, we won’t get a true sense of where the big teams stand until the dust settles on September 1st – which also happens to be the Champion’s League roster deadline.

Transfer Facts and Rumors on Americans Abroad:

– According to Corriere Dello Sport, Gabriel Enzo Ferrari of Sampdoria reserves has been loaned o Perugia of Serie C1 (3rd division).

– Vincenzo Bernardo of SSC Napoli is still waiting to see if he will be loaned to a Serie B team or if he’ll stay onboard in the reserve (primavera) side.

– In an article for Tutto Mercato, Francesco Letizia recommended that Bologna pursue American defender Oguchi Onyewu, figuring he was just the type of physical presence they’ll need in central defense. Bologna has yet to express interest in Onyewu but has looked into acquiring Freddy Adu.

Ronaldinho: Getting His Mojo Back

July 13, 2008


Over a year ago in a column for Soccer Times, I recall noting that the great players like Ronaldinho were starting to burn out due to a non-stop season of club, European, and international matches – not to mention the promotional tours that reduce any off time to recharge. In Ronnie’s case, we watched him degrade over time until it reached a point where some said he had “fallen out of love with football.”

This summer, he apprears to be getting his mojo (and fitness) back under the supervision of Brazilian national team fitness coach Paulo Paixao. This week, Paixao spoke about the superstar who is currently working to get ready to play in the Olympics – something his club (Barcelona) is not happy about.

“He is very happy and motivated.” “He has rediscovered his joy, and is once again the Ronaldinho we all knew.”

“He has been very cooperative in the work we are doing to improve his physical form, and take him back to his best.”

Ronaldinho is aiming to represent Brazil in the Olympics (as an overage player), motivated it seems to prove something to both Barcelona and Brazil boss Dunga who has left him off the national team roster. If Ronnie plays in the Olympics, it means he’ll miss club’s Champions League qualifiers at a time when Lionel Messi will also be unavailable to the Catalan side.

All the while, speculation continues about whether Ronaldihno will transfer to AC Milan, Manchester City, or remain at Barcelona. Regarless, a Brazil side led by a healthy and motivated Ronaldihno will be sure to make the Olympic soccer tournament more enjoyable for fans, but less so for opposing teams.

Altidore’s Loan to Huelva Looking Less Likely

July 11, 2008


Villarreal’s new signing from the New York Red Bulls, Jozy Altidore, is looking less likely to be loaned out to Recreativo de Huelva for a six-month period. While the Yellow Submaine have offered the loan to Huelva, there is less interest in borrowing the 18-year-old American now that they have signed striker Adrián Colunga from Las Palmas of the Spanish Segunda (second division).

Now its a waiting game to see if Huelva will consider bringing on Altidore as well or if Villarreal can find another team wanting a shirt term loan deal. Otherwise, he’ll stay with his new team but will have a tough time working himself into the lineup. The fact that Villarreal was looking to arrange a loan means that there was no place for him in the scheme this fall. Of course, he has a chance to change all that if he can prove himself during pre-season training which starts on July 15th. Opportunity may be knocking but the question is – will Jozy Altidore be ready to answer?