Tuesday Kickoff: Platini champions Financial Fair Play; Chilean official makes WC proposal; and more

UEFA president Michel Platini has claimed that Financial Fair Play is a success so far in a speech made to sports ministers from European Union nations.

Jermaine Jones by Robert Mayer USA TODAY

Sources: USMNT friendly with Croatia falls through, another opponent to be scheduled

A proposed friendly match between Croatia and the U.S. Men’s National Team has been cancelled, with U.S. Soccer now looking to schedule a new opponent in November.

Carli Lloyd USWNT by Jerry Lal USA TODAY

USWNT routs Haiti to top CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group

The U.S. Women’s National Team rolled past Haiti with some super strikes to win their World Cup qualifying group Monday night.

Tuesday Kickoff: Platini champions Financial Fair Play; Chilean official makes WC proposal; and more

MichelPlatiniUEFA-Euro2020Announcement (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

UEFA’s Financial Fair Play initiative has made plenty of opponents, but UEFA president Michel Platini is still championing the cause.

In a speech made in Rome on Tuesday to sports ministers in European Union nations, Platini touched on a number of topics including ending third-party ownership, the enhanced cooperation between UEFA and the EU, and statistics of Financial Fair Play since it went into effect at the start of the 2011-2012 season.

“We have started to put football on the right track,” Platini said. “Each of us must measure how far we have come. Aggregate losses among European clubs, which had reached €1.7bn in 2011, fell to €800m in 2013, a drop of more than 50% in less than two years. Thanks to financial fair play, we are therefore heading in the right direction.”

Platini also appealed to the audience to support UEFA, confirming that some legal challenges against Financial Fair Play could be coming in the near future.

“Previously unthinkable reforms have been adopted and implemented and they have proved successful,” Platini said. “The basis for [financial fair play] comes down to two sayings: ‘you should live within your means’ and ‘there’s a line that must not be crossed’.”

Ahead of this season, both Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester City were given strong sanctions for spending beyond FFP regulations, including squad deductions in the UEFA Champions League and a conditional €60 million fine.

Here are some more stories to kick off your Tuesday:

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Sources: USMNT friendly with Croatia falls through, another opponent to be scheduled

Jermaine Jones by Robert Mayer USA TODAY

Photo by Robert Mayer/USA TODAY Sports

By DAN KARELL

The U.S. Men’s National Team has one more friendly date to fill after a reported match with Croatia fell through.

Sources confirmed to SBI that Croatia is out as a potential friendly international match opponent to face the USMNT in London’s Craven Cottage on Nov. 12. According to other reports, U.S. Soccer is looking into scheduling another opponent to face the U.S. in the same location on the same night.

Nine days ago, the Croatian Football Federation announced that they had scheduled a friendly match against the USA, but U.S. Soccer never confirmed the friendly on their end. This is the second time this fall that a reported friendly has fallen through at the last moment. In August, the USMNT had a potential match against Colombia in September at the Alamodome in San Antonio fall through.

Croatia meanwhile announced on Tuesday morning that they’ve scheduled a friendly match against Argentina on the same day in London.

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What do you think of this news? Disappointed to see the U.S. not face Croatia? Who would you like to see them face in November?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Featured, International Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team, U.S. Soccer | 7 Comments

USWNT routs Haiti to top CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group

Carli Lloyd USWNT by Jerry Lal USA TODAY
Photo by Jerry Lal/USA TODAY Sports

By CAITLIN MURRAY

It appears the days of double-digit wins over CONCACAF opponents are a thing of the past for the U.S. Women’s National team.

But given the quality of goals in the USWNT’s 6-0 rout over Haiti on Monday, coach Jill Ellis may not mind too much.

Sensational volleys from Carli Lloyd, Morgan Brian and, for the first time, Meghan Klingenberg, were the exclamation points on a mostly dominate win for the USWNT to finish their CONCACAF World Cup qualifying group undefeated in Washington D.C. Monday night.

With the win, the Americans advance to the tournament’s semifinal and look like a lock to qualify for the 2015 World Cup in Canada. The top three teams of the tournament qualify for the World Cup automatically and fourth place will play a run-off against Ecuador.

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Posted in Featured, U.S. Women's National Team, Women's Soccer | 2 Comments

Johannsson scores for AZ Alkmaar reserves in return from injury

Johannsson-USAToday

Photo by Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports

 

By RYAN TOLMICH

Aron Johannsson made his long-awaited return Monday by finding the back of the net.

In the U.S. Men’s National Team’s forward first action since the World Cup, Johannsson scored a penalty kick for the AZ Alkmaar reserve team, who fell to FC Utrecht, 2-1. The 23-year-old forward, who was substituted at halftime for fitness reasons, converted from the penalty spot after AZ striker Raymond Gyasi was taken down in the box.

Monday’s return represented Johannsson’s first game action since undergoing surgery on an injured groin in August. In addition, Johannsson had been previously suffering from an ankle injury as well as an injury-affected World Cup.

The American forward has missed the club’s first nine games, after which AZ sits ninth in the Eredivisie.

Johannsson has scored 20 goals in 37 games since joining the club from Denmark’s AGF in 2010.

What are you expecting from Johannsson this season? Where exactly do you see Johannsson fitting amongst the USMNT’s current batch of forwards?

Share your thoughts below.

Posted in Americans Abroad | 14 Comments

Soccer Monday: Your Running Commentary

ManchesterUnited-Getty

By RYAN TOLMICH

After winning two straight games heading into the international break, Manchester United are looking to continue their recent upswing Monday with a visit to West Brom.

Louis van Gaal’s side bounced back from a  Sept. 21 loss to Leicester City with back-to-back 2-1 wins over West Ham and Everton. However, Man United haven’t picked up a victory in any of their previous five trips away from Old Trafford, their worst mark in 13 years.

Meanwhile back stateside, the U.S. Women’s National Team is back in action with a World Cup qualifier against Haiti. Despite losing forward Alex Morgan for the remainder of qualifying due to injury, the U.S. could clinch the top spot in the group with a victory.

If you will be watching today’s action, please feel free to share your thoughts, opinions and some play-by-play in the comments section below.

Enjoy the action (Today’s TV schedule is after the jump):

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Posted in European Soccer, International Soccer, U.S. Women's National Team | 4 Comments

U.S. U-17 coach Williams pleased with Panama U-17 Tournament title

RichieWilliamsUSSoccer4 (Mexsport)

By DAN KARELL

The nation of Panama is different than that of Honduras on paper, but the opportunity to expose the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team to the Central American environment ahead of 2015 U-17 World Cup qualifying made it an easy decision to travel there for an international tournament.

“For as well as the group has done over the last year to 14 months or so, we haven’t had the opportunity to play in Central America,” U.S. U-17s head coach Richie Williams said. “Even though we weren’t able to go to Honduras (the site of U-17 World Cup qualifying), we were able to go to Panama and just get them into a Central American country, playing CONCACAF teams, and showing them that it’s not always easy playing there, in terms of the climate, field, competition, (other nations) always ready to play the United States, the referee, and the crowds.”

With relative ease, the U.S. Under-17 Men’s National Team powered their way to their fourth international title in the last 12 months as they swept the field, winning the Panama International U-17 Tournament. The U.S. opened the tournament with a 5-2 drubbing of Costa Rica before beating Canada, 2-0 two days later and finishing off host nation Panama, 1-0 two days after that.

Williams had one of his strongest squads at his disposal, with the likes of midfielder Christian Pulisic, forward Haji Wright, and goalkeeper Kevin Silva all putting in top performances. Pulisic scored one goal, a fantastic solo effort to beat Panama, and added two assists while Wright finished with four goals and two assists in the tournament.

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Posted in U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth National Teams | 7 Comments