Wednesday Kickoff: Beckham yet to sign, USA unmoved in FIFA rankings & more

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Photo by Howard C. Smith/ISIphotos.com

Depending on whom you believe, David Beckham is either set to make a dent on the Paris-St. Germain payroll or is still very much a free agent.

Despite front-page reports in France that Beckham has signed an 18-month deal with PSG, people in his camp have strongly denied that a deal has been completed.

"No agreement with any football club has been reached," a Beckham spokesperson said. "Any talk of a deal is premature. David is presently considering his options."

It's not the first time this week that French media have jumped the gun on a PSG signing, which could still very well end up happening. French Football magazine reported that Beckham was attending PSG's match with Lille prior to signing his new deal, but Beckham ended up not even being in Paris at all. 

Here are a few more items to kick off your Wednesday:

USA FINISHES YEAR 34TH IN RANKINGS

The U.S. men's national team will finish 2011 as the 34th-ranked team in the world after not making any moves in the FIFA rankings in the last month.

Granted, there were not a whole lot of international matches since the previous rankings came out, so few teams made moves in the rankings. One mover was Thomas Rongen's American Samoa, which improved 18 places to 168 after its first win ever during World Cup qualifying.

World-champion Spain finished the year as the No. 1 team in the world, while Mexico ends 2011 as the highest-ranked team in CONCACAF, coming in at No. 21.

The highest-ranking teams from the other confederations are fourth-ranked Uruguay (South America), 16th-ranked Ivory Coast (Africa), 19th-ranked Japan (Asia) and 119th-ranked New Zealand (Oceania). 

CHILE BANS FIVE PLAYERS

Chile's 2014 World Cup qualifying campaign got a bit tougher after five of its players were banned 10 games each.

Arturo Vidal, Jean Beausejour, Jorge Valdivia, Carlos Carmona and Gonzalo Jara — all of whom played big roles in the club's 2010 World Cup run — were suspended after reportedly coming back from time off last month both tardy and under the influence of alcohol. They were all left out of Chile's qualifier against Uruguay on Nov. 7, a match that Chile lost, 4-0.

Chile currently sits in fifth place in CONMEBOL qualifying. The top four teams in the region advance to the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, while the fifth-place team plays an Asian side in a playoff for another spot.

SOUTH KOREA NAMES NEW COACH

Despite rampant speculation in UK media that former Sunderland manager Steve Bruce would be named South Korea's new national team coach, the country opted to avoid a foreign hiring by choosing Choi Kang-hee as its new boss.

Choi, this past season's K-League Coach of the Year, takes over for the recently fired Cho Kwang-rae.

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Still holding out hope that Beckham returns to MLS, or have you already accepted that he's gone? What do you make of the year-end FIFA rankings? Think Chile ends up making it to Brazil 2014? Where do you see Bruce ending up?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, FIFA, International Soccer, MLS- LA Galaxy. Bookmark the permalink.

26 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Beckham yet to sign, USA unmoved in FIFA rankings & more

  1. manufan1999 says:

    I see donovan in Everton permanently. Just speculating. I have no proof.

  2. pd says:

    Manuf- if the beckham deal is actually done and with juninho already heading out, it would be very difficult for Landon to want to stay. That said, I have a hard time seeing Everton shelling out MLS’s asking price for a permanent move and I can’t believe the Galaxy would let go of LD after already losing two lynchpins in their championship lineup.

    That is, if Beckham is gone.

    I will say this, if LD were to stay and the others go and the Galaxy enjoy a strong season it would do wonders for LD’s “stock”. We’ll see soon enough!

  3. Matt S says:

    Maybe another loan deal for Becks to play at PSG for half the year then come back to play for LAG? With his eyes seemingly only set on playing in the Olympics I could see it happening. He’s a good player but I really don’t think he can cut it at the same level and expect to get in the starting 11 for PSG on any regular basis.

  4. Matt S says:

    And by “Loan Deal” I mean he re-signs for LAG and then goes out on loan immediately.

  5. biff says:

    Just want to note that 2. Bundesliga team St. Pauli in Hamburg might be looking for a goalkeeper in the January transfer window. Pauli’s goalkeeper, Philipp Tschauner, was injured Monday evening in a big win against Eintracht Frankfurt, which put St. Pauli in three-way tie for third place and gives St. Pauli a good shot to move next season back to the Bundesliga. Tschauner is expected to be out at least until February and St. Pauli’s back-up keeper, Benedikt Pliquett, is weak. St. Pauli management might feel the need to dig in their pockets to bring in someone new. St. Pauli has a new coach this year who is doing a great job, some talented young players and fervent fans to cheer them on. Could be a golden opportunity for a young keeper in the USMNT pool. Klinsmann should check it out.

  6. Jah says:

    What is Beckham staying in MLS worth it to SBI?

  7. Predicto says:

    PSG offering Beckham 800k euro per month – I can’t believe LA can match that. Plus Capello is right next door.

  8. Paul says:

    “Granted, there wasn’t a whole lot of international matches . . .”

    Or there *weren’t* a lot of matches.

  9. RK says:

    I think PSG dropping out of European competition has really made Becks think twice.

  10. NE Matt says:

    great insight biff. thanks for sharing!

  11. ACS says:

    10 games that is a long ban especially with all the qualifying games they have.

  12. 10 says:

    Insane how they’re offering Beckham nearly a million bucks a month. that’s easily a quarter million every match.

    Are they still after Dempsey

  13. Gnarls says:

    Jeeeeeebus, $1.06 million a month?! Becks would be crazy not to sign.

  14. Vic says:

    Its a free transfer, so the monthly wages will be made up in shirt sales alone. If I were Beckham I would go to a team thats still involved in the Champion’s League.

  15. tim says:

    Becks make a move to FCD, since we gave away Chavez for allocation money, this is the only move that makes sense /sarcasm.

    34th is acceptable to me, we’ve not been great and have been in a transition phase, I’d expect to be closer to 20th end of next year providing things progress the way we expect.

    Chile is out. The way the schedule lines up these guys miss 4 qualifiers I think. I wouldn’t be surprised is a challenge is made against the ruling and they serve their suspension after qualifications are done though.

    Bruce heads to Blackburn after being relegated to Championship for next year.

  16. MidWest Ref says:

    The FIFA rankings, while not scientific, do intrigue me.

    Does any one really think that there is a big difference between Mex (21), Ivory Coast (16) and Japan (19)? Or for that matter, is the US legitimately behind those 3 at 34?

    And yes, I am aware of the last Gold Cup final. Mexico is just on a tear right now.

  17. Eric B says:

    Actually, since they are based on a objective numerical formula, they are scientific. They’re not just voted on like college football rankings…

  18. MidWet Ref says:

    Eric – what about the phrase, “lies, damned lies and statistics.”

    I recall that the formula takes into account an imaginary strength of schedule based on confederation. For instance, does anyone believe that Slovenia is a better team than the US, yet they are rated at 26.

  19. josh says:

    You know, the headline for this article could be translated as “nothing happened, and nothing happened.” ;)

  20. Nothing happened says:

    +1

  21. hogatroge says:

    While I hate the BCS just as much as the next guy, the FIFA rankings are a complete joke.

  22. Oliver says:

    eurodouche

  23. Psycho says:

    PSG blows

  24. Juan says:

    I see Everton out of the BPL Top 5 permanently…I have proof

  25. Paul says:

    Is “lot” singular or plural?
    Think about it.

  26. Creige says:

    Totally agree. The rankings are weighted higher for European and South American countries regardless of performance. That is not objective but a built in bias.