Wednesday Evening Ticker: Gulati running for Blazer’s ExCo seat; USWNT open Algarve Cup with win; and more

Sunil Gulati

By JUSTIN FERGUSON

On Wednesday, CONCACAF confirmed that USSF president Sunil Gulati will run for the FIFA Executive Committee seat currently held by Chuck Blazer.

Gulati, who is in his second term as the president of US Soccer, will be running against Mexican federation president Justino Compeán for the position. All 40 member associations of CONCACAF will vote at the confederation’s congress on April 19.

Blazer announced less than three weeks ago the he would not seek re-election for a fifth term on the sport’s highest governing body. He was a key figure in the recent controversy surrounding the host selection for the 2022 World Cup, which was awarded to Qatar instead of the United States.

Gulati could still serve as USSF president if he wins the April election.

Here are some more stories to wrap up your Wednesday:

USWNT DEFEAT ICELAND 3-0 IN ALGARVE CUP OPENER

Rachel Buehler scored in her 100th international match on Wednesday, captaining her side to a 3-0 win over Iceland in the Algarve Cup.

After a mediocre first half, the U.S. got opened the scoring with Buehler’s 48th minute goal. The defender, wearing the captain’s armband in honor of her milestone match, headed in a Lauren Cheney corner for her fourth international goal.

The U.S. doubled its lead less than 15 minutes later off of another Cheney corner. Iceland goalkeeper Thora Helgadottir got a hand to Cheney’s kick, but the ball landed right in the path of Shannon Boxx. The midfielder’s first header was cleared off the line by Iceland. Christie Rampone was able to head the ball back to Boxx, and the second header found its way past Helgadottir.

Abby Wambach would wrap up the scoring in the 74th minute with an easy goal off of a forced turnover from Alex Morgan. The strike was Wambach’s 154th international goal, moving her closer to Mia Hamm’s all-time scoring record of 158.

The USWNT, which is looking to capture its third Algarve Cup in four years, continues group play Sunday with a match against China PR.

VALDES HIT WITH FOUR-MATCH LA LIGA SUSPENSION

Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes was handed down a four-match La Liga suspension Wednesday for his verbal abuse of a referee during Saturday’s loss to Real Madrid.

Valdes was shown a red card shortly after the final whistle of Saturday’s match. The goalkeeper told the referee that he “had no shame”, which is similar to what Madrid defender Sergio Ramos called a referee during a Copa del Rey match earlier this year. Ramos received a five-game ban for his actions.

Valdes’s abuse came after the referee denied Barcelona of a penalty late in the match. Barcelona, who would go on to lose the match 2-1, was close to an equalizer several times in the final moments.

Barcelona has announced that it will appeal Valdes’s suspension.

MESSI CALLS FOR MORE EFFORT FROM BARCELONA

Lionel Messi said that he and his Barcelona teammates need to “give a bit more” if they want to end their current slump.

The superstar forward talked about what the Catalans needed to do to resurrect its Champions League hopes and maintain its La Liga lead while at a promotional event in Barcelona.

“We know what the problems were in the defeats, it’s something we have talked about in the dressing room and it has to stay there,” Messi said. “A key match is coming when we can react and make that change.”

Messi also addressed questions about any effects Tito Vilanova’s medical leave has had on the club.

“It has affected us a great deal and I think it has taken its toll when we have been out on the pitch,” Messi said. “But this is a strong dressing room and we cannot lay the blame there.”

Barcelona, which dropped back-to-back matches to rival Real Madrid last week, will play last-place Deportivo La Coruna this weekend. The club hosts AC Milan in Champions League action next Tuesday, down 2-0 from last month’s loss at San Siro.

QUICK KICKS

Denmark and Juventus striker Nicklas Bendtner was fined $147,000 and had his drivers licensed revoked for three years after receiving a drunken driving charge. Bendtner received a six-month ban from his national team on Monday. (REPORT)

Leyton Orient chairman Barry Hearn said that he will mount a legal challenge over the future of London’s Olympic Stadium, which was earlier reported to be the imminent home of West Ham United. (REPORT)

An 18-year-old Manchester United reportedly called police in Nottingham, England on Tuesday to report a crime– the red card that was given to Nani. (REPORT)

Wish you had Lionel Messi’s golden left foot? A Japanese jeweler unveiled a pure golden replica of the foot, valued at $5.25 million, on Wednesday. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? What are your thoughts on Gulati running for the Executive Committee seat? How do you think the USWNT will do in this year’s Algarve Cup? How do you think Barcelona will do in its upcoming matches?

Share your comments below.

This entry was posted in CONCACAF, European Soccer, Featured, FIFA, International Soccer, Women's Soccer. Bookmark the permalink.

88 Responses to Wednesday Evening Ticker: Gulati running for Blazer’s ExCo seat; USWNT open Algarve Cup with win; and more

  1. Tony in Quakeland says:

    Say what you want about Gulati, but he would be a refreshing blast of honesty in FIFA. I know nothing about his Mexican rival, but I hope he wins

    • beto says:

      +1 can’t say anything about the other guy but the FIFA position seems like a better fit for him. He is much more of a regional politician/economist than a soccer federation president.

    • alf says:

      If anyone is watching this farce between Tigres v Seattle, you see the famous CONCACAF refereeing at work. Is Gulati going to fix this as well. This is repulsive.

    • Old School says:

      When I first read the headline, my immediate thought was: Finally, we can say goodbye to Gulati.

      Then I read: “Gulati could still serve as USSF president if he wins the April election.”….bleh.

      There are a number of reasons I’m not a fan of his. Various statements he’s made during his tenure have just made me feel disenfranchised by him and scream “I’m an economics guy, not a soccer guy.”

      I think I officially wrote him off when he voted to re-elect Sepp Blatter.

      For this reason, I find it laughable anyone can say he’d bring anything refreshing or honest to FIFA. He may (or may not) represent the US but he certainly doesn’t represent anything different than the corruption that we associate FIFA with. He’s a soldier in that army of corruption, too.

      • Grant says:

        Old School,

        I have to go back and look for the reference, but if I’m not mistaken, he voted to re-elect Blatter because Blatter promised to vote for the USA in ’22. Definite politicking I’m sure but in my opinion Gulati would be a good fit at the Confederation level especially being head of USSF for so long, and the best interests of the US in the back of his mind.

        • Old School says:

          I don’t believe that timeline is accurate but I’m definitely open to being corrected.

          If I recall correctly, this took place AFTER he sold the World Cup rights.

          • Felix says:

            Not to defend Blatter – but Sepp did vote for the US in the final vote. The final and deciding vote for Qatar was Michel Platini.

      • Jacknut says:

        I cannot belive I’m about to type this.

        Calling Gulati “not a soccer guy” is about as far from the truth as is humanly possible to get. I will grant you that he is a walking conflict of interest, but his dedication to American soccer is pretty much unmatched. The man was on the original bid committee for the 1994 World Cup, back in 1986. He pretty much ran the 1994 World Cup and was a key force in MLS getting off the ground and beating back League One America and the American Soccer League (?) challenge to MLS.

        Aside: If people think the early years of MLS were awful, check out the plans for League One America.

        Anyway, I’m no fan of Gulati’s decisions especially hiring Klinsmann, but to say that he is just an economist and not a soccer guy is breathtakingly shortsighted.

        • Old School says:

          Fair points from where you’re coming from but I still see him as an economics guy and not a soccer guy.

          Furthermore, for the reason I’ve stated above, I don’t have the faith his allegiances are more than self-serving.

  2. Corp Exec. says:

    is Gulati gonna run on -and push his behind closed doors coin-flip idea?

  3. A says:

    I appreciate Messi calling for more effort… but how much effort can some of these guys realistically give?

    If you’re a Spanish player for Barcelona you’ve literally been playing nonstop for several years.

    ’07-’08 La Liga + Copa Del Rey + Champions League + Super Cup + ECQ
    ’08 summer – All of Euro Cup + WCQ
    ’08-’09 La Liga + Copa Del Rey + Champions League + Super Cup
    ’09 summer – Semi of Confed Cup in South Africa + WCQ
    ’09-’10 La Liga + Copa Del Rey + Champions League + Super Cup
    ’10 summer – All of World Cup
    ’10-’11 La Liga + Copa Del Rey + Champions League + Super Cup + Club World Cup
    ’11 summer – Euro qual
    ’11-’12 La Liga + Copa Del Rey + Champions League + Super Cup
    ’12 summer – All of Euro Cup

    Etc. I’m sure I missed some. But that is utter insanity.

    Off the top of my head these guys are probably upward of 300 matches played in the last 4-5 years.

    • GW says:

      A

      From the 2008 – 2009 up till today, in terms of appearances for both their national teams and the club teams:

      Pique, 178
      Puyol, 223
      Xavi, 299
      Iniesta, 271

      Obviously as their teams are so successful they go farther in tournaments. In comparison:

      Rooney 242
      CRonaldo 277
      Zlatan 249
      CDempsey 262

      The conclusion is if you are a regular starter for a first division Euro club and a regular for your national team you will play a lot of games.

      If Dempsey can hold up to a roughly equivalent number of games, there is no reason to feel bad for the Spaniards.

      • Old School says:

        “If Dempsey can hold up to a roughly equivalent number of games, there is no reason to feel bad for the Spaniards.”

        How many years at the top flight do these players have in comparison? Our Euro-counterparts generally start sooner and have more tread on the tires.

        This is something even Clint Dempsey referenced when people wondered if he was too old to make a move up to a CL club.

        • A says:

          Good point.

          Xavi (33) went pro at 17. Youth career started at 11.
          Messi (25) went pro at age 16. Youth career started at 8.
          Iniesta (28) went pro at 17. Youth career started at 10.

          Deuce (29) went pro at 21. Youth career started at 15.

          Messi had as many years as a pro as Deuce does currently at 29 when he was 24.

          Xavi at 33 has been playing professionally for 16 years. Dempsey at 29 has been playing 8.

      • A says:

        Puyol and Pique and Iniesta all suffered major or longer injury spells–Pique and Puyol missing as much as half a season or more at a time–so that needs to be taken into account. Each of those guys underwent trauma. Puyol has broken his leg, torn his ACL, broken his arm and something else in this time. Dude’s a machine.

        But my point still stands. Rooney is a star player who sees a lot of time with United and he still has 30 less appearances than a guy who missed half a season and 50 less — that’s 1.5 seasons worth–than another Barcelona/Spain guy who is 34.

        Messi has an astounding 310 appearances since 08-09 and has already equaled Dempsey’s career appearances for club and country despite being almost 5 years younger.

        And those three guys (Iniesta Xavi and Messi) are the most important no question. Without them Barca isn’t Barca. And Xavi and Iniesta and Messi rarely if ever come off the bench. Players like Rooney and Zlatan and Ronaldo have a lot more.

        • GW says:

          Old School had a good point about Dempsey. Clint’s point was he had a lot tread left on his tires because he started later than Landon.

          They are nearly the same age but LD has played many more senior games than him, having started earlier (17-18). Currently Donovan is on a combined total (club and international) of about 512 games
          .
          It’s the same point Drogba, who can still perform quite well, sometimes makes. Through a combination of injury and homesickness he did not start his pro career in France until he was 21 in the 98-99 season. He is now on 626 combined appearances.

          Two other notables:

          Beckham (started 92-92) 823
          Giggs (started 90-91) 1,000

          What all these guys have in common, apart from Dempsey, who has no medals other than perhaps the Gold Cup winners medals, is that they are all highly motivated, multiple winners and have played in situations where they have something to win, something to prove.

          Assuming their bodies and skills hold up ( and the Barca guys do not appear to be breaking down physically) and they are in situations where what they have to offer is of value to their teams, then the question of how long they can continue to perform at a high level comes down to the individual’s mental makeup.

          It seems likely that the uncertainty over Vilanova’s health and general staleness have contributed to Barca’s recent slump. Xavi, Iniesta and Messi are obviously irreplaceable so one would think the Barca braintrust will spare no effort or expense to try to get these guys through the slump.

          I don’t agree with A’s alarmist attitude about the Barca boys but who really knows? Tiki-taka has always had quickness as an vital element and that can be lost to aging or to burnout, all you Donovan skeptics notwithstanding.

          The other thing is you can’t expect to always beat a team as good as Real Madrid.

          Whether this is just a bump in the road or the end of an era we should see soon enough.

  4. A says:

    Sounders are getting F’in HOSED by the referee. Tigres player just went studs up, leg in the air into a 50/50 and missed the ball entirely, but made full contact, leg extnded with the manregion of a Sounders player and wasn’t even carded.

    • beachbum says:

      it was Gringo Torres with the challenge, deserved a yellow imo, but both teams getting away with the physical stuff. Torres got body checked hard to the ground, no call.

      • A says:

        That was Torres? Ha.

      • Old School says:

        Why do you perpetuate that term, Gringo, when referring to Jose Torres?

        • Darthspud says:

          That’s his nickname.

          • Old School says:

            …given by whom? Do you believe this is an endearing nickname…?

            Following yet?

            • Riggity says:

              When i say it I mean it in an endearing way so I don’t see the problem… could be worse, he could have Muscle Hamspter as his nickname

            • bryan says:

              Torres actually provides an answer to this on USSF’s website in one of their videos. he is not offended by the name and actually explains why it shouldn’t be thought of as offensive.

            • GW says:

              The announcers on Univision or Galavision call him that; allegedly his teamates at Pachucha gave him that nickname.

        • Edwin in LA says:

          Because that’s his nickname in Mexico and among his teammates from both Pachuca and Tigres and probably in the USMNT as well….

          Please tell me you’re not actually among the people who think it’s some misguided version of a slur or insult…I’ve tried tremendously to teach people about it and let me tell you it’s very hard…. even when Mexicans who don’t like the USMNT or the US for that matter lol yell and you are there and can tell they meant to get under someone’s skin by yelling “Pinches Gringos” even then the word is not a slur the phrase somewhat is but it’s about equal as “Damn Yanks”

          Gringo is what US nationals are referred to, like Chapines for Guatemalans, Wanacos or Cuscatlecos for Salvadorians, Catrachos for Hondurans, Ticos for Costa Ricans, Canaleros for Panamanians (reference to the Canal) and so on and so on….Cafeteros for Colombian….Guarani for Paraguay get over it if you are in the side that takes offense at it

          • Andrewfroboy says:

            The difference is all those other nicknames were created in country not by others. They are not the same thing. That would be more like Nats, Yanks or something like that.

          • V-8 says:

            Never battle a Politically Correct Puritan with logic and reason.

          • WG says:

            Pinche is a much ruder word than damn. Much more likely to get a spanking or a soap mouthwash.

          • Old School says:

            “Please tell me you’re not actually among the people who think it’s some misguided version of a slur or insult”

            I absolutely am.

            The context in which it’s used is made in a condescending manner to differentiate his Mexican heritage from a native born Mexican.

            I understand the usage towards general Americans but his usage, confirmed by the ol’ girlfriends family who are all natives of Mexico, is anything but endearing.

            • bryan says:

              the point is, Torres is not offended by it. and he makes it very clear in one of his interviews with USSF. the video is from this year i believe.

              i don’t think the term “gringo” is supposed to be an insult until “pinche” is thrown into the mix. “pinche gringo” is the same as saying “F’ing Americans”.

            • GW says:

              If JFT is okay with it then it boils down to being none of your business.

              • Old School says:

                I’ve addressed that 30 minutes prior to your statement.

                As for “none of my business”, that sentiment is nonsense.

                This is a forum to discuss, debate and dissect.

                Painting something with such a broad stroke would render 99% of the topics within this website and sport “none of your business”.

              • GW says:

                Really?

  5. AH says:

    Big win for Club Tijuana taking out Corinthians 1-0 in Copa Libertadores! Congrats to Joe Corona and the Xolos!

  6. A says:

    Okay this is OUT OF CONTROL.

    Do something now. Seriously. Someone in American soccer do something NOW. Sounders player just running across the middle and the Tigres player kicks him FOUR times trying to get at the ball and finally kicks the leg out from under him and takes the ball and nothing.

    This is utterly pathetic and crooked. That is the only logical conclusion at this point.

    • Bostitch says:

      Settle down ladies. Seattle is giving as good as they’re getting. Please learn the rules of the game

    • Tony in Quakeland says:

      I think the ref improved as the half went on. He gave Tigres soft calls and nothing for the Sounders. But as it went on, they stopped getting the soft calls. It’s brutal, but at least it evened out.

      And Seattle has no complaints about the ARs, by the way

      • A says:

        ARs have been good. Dude in the center is just bad and onesided bad.

        That cleat to the Sounders player’s nether areas not getting at least a yellow was nuts.

  7. el paso tx says:

    Sounders have no game and what is Sigi doing by not attacking in the first half and by the Tigres plays better on the road. Another thing, sounders look like kids by being afraid to push and even asking the ref where to put the ball. Another fact, how can a MLS team win concocaf champions, open cup and MLS cup with a low salary cap, while Tigres and Monterrey rayados have everything to squash MLS teams.

    • A says:

      Idk if it’s even that.

      They can barely complete a pass sometimes. I refuse to believe these guys are that bad and that they process the game this slow.

  8. beachbum says:

    Alonso was great in that first half, Rosales and Johnson invisible. Tigres defending in numbers and Sounders unable to break the midfiled clamps. Maybe long diagonals to EJ into space?

    • A says:

      Rosales has lost the ball pretty much every time he’s touched it.

      Their movement is really poor off the ball. Tigres get the ball off their feet so quickly that the defense doesn’t have the time to swarm–something I wish MLS squads would try and do.

      • beachbum says:

        Sounders are trying thru the midfiled, especially on the counter, but even then can’t connect to either forward, and when they do they lose the ball right away, like you said. zero shots on goal in the first half, yuck

      • beachbum says:

        and Sounders seem to think they can get by them along the flanks, have tried often to squeeze along the sideline but nothing yet

  9. A says:

    Pathetic refereeing. Pathetic.

    You’re going to stand there and let a Mexican player yank Johnson up when he’s got a hurt ankle? What the heck is that nonsense.

  10. Corp Exec. says:

    If SSFC comes away with a result I’m gonna gift one of my offshore accounts to SBI

  11. A says:

    Take Rosales out. He is actually hurting the team significantly.

  12. el paso tx says:

    Wow sounders are playing just like they did agaisnt galaxy and rsl in the playoffs. It should be tigres 4 to 0, but tigres are playing with too much confidence and basically tigres are letting sounders live. Very sad game from sounders. No matter what Monterrey rayados are going to win again this year the champions, even if a MLS team reaches the final

  13. A says:

    GET THE F”ING MEXICO PLAYERS AWAY FROM THE INJURED SOUNDERS PLAYERS

    WHAT THE HECK?!!?!

  14. A says:

    HOW IN THE F*UNG H^%LLL WAS THAT NOT OFFSIDE?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?

    • AH says:

      watch the replay. it wasn’t offside.

      • A says:

        He was several yards offside. The guy offside made a play at the ball. It’s textbook offside.

        A grade 1 referee knows to call that everytime.

        • AH says:

          The one Tigres player who was offsides was passive and didn’t affect the play. Didn’t draw a defender to him or anything. It’s a good goal. Sorry to say it too. Was hoping Seattle could hold on. Maybe they can find an equalizer but it’s not looking promising.

          • A says:

            I think he affected the play by changing course and running toward the cross coming in as if he was going for it.

            • fischy says:

              Actually, he ran away from where the ball was headed, because he knew he was offside.

  15. JoeSchmoe says:

    Have to speak out about that. The Tigres player is yards offside and runs at the ball. That is fixed.

  16. A says:

    Univision announcers keep replaying it saying “how did the referee allow that?”

  17. AH says:

    Seattle just subbed out Martinez for Burch in the 89th minute down 1-0. Martinez walks across the field on his way off, shaking hands with people. What kind of *&^%*((* doesn’t jog off the field when subbed out in the 89th minute with his team down a goal?

  18. beachbum says:

    Sounders showing signs led by Alonso and EJ. Won their first corner, they have a shot on goal

    tough call on the offsides but I’ve seen it called just that way before, and seems to me teams are more sneaky with the passive guy as that rule change has evolved.

    anyway, Gspurning has been good. it’s not like Tigres has been so amazing

  19. RB says:

    Oh, look: Seattle again not living up to their hype..

    • Travis says:

      how so? anyone who expected them to run away with it down there is a fool. 1-0 is great

      • RB says:

        Agreed regarding that result. However I referred not to the nature of that result but to the distance between that result (and other recent results of theirs) and the hype.

        • Corp Exec. says:

          The hype that your teams isn’t getting?

        • Travis says:

          other recent results? they went undefeated in preseason and this is only the second game of the season. takes time to round into form.

        • RB says:

          LOL x 2

          Whatever hype my teams do or don’t get is irrelevant to the neverending stream of hype all of us hear about Seattle. And anyway, it wouldn’t make much sense to be jealous of hype that, as I’m pointing out, the team continuously fails to live up to.

          As for it being early, well it’s hardly early in terms of CONCACAF CL play, which was of course the example in question in this case. But there always seems to be an excuse for that failure to come through in opponent-crushing form, when it comes to this team…

          • Travis says:

            your illogical hatred of seattle is hilarious. they have advanced out of group stages in the CL two years in a row, made the playoffs every year, won 3 open cups. have they choked at times? sure but your bashing is ridiculous and petty.

            • RB says:

              Right. It’s “illogical hatred”, “bashing” and “petty” simply to comment that Seattle did not live up to their hype here, and that that seems to happen to them, especially given the degree of that hype about them.

              Thanks for your assistance in helping me make my point on that.

              • Travis says:

                what hype was there in this matchup? nobody expects them to advance. tigres are top of the table and in midseason form. you skew the facts like a champ. even seattle fans were very aware our CL run was more than likely going to end with this matchup

  20. Travis says:

    Gspurning needs to have a chat with his D, play until the whistle is blown fellas. He made the initial save and if they had actually tracked back they could have cleared that easily. Instead they are all standing with their hand up. Not a great performance by Seattle but a good result.

    PS no more Zach Scott, he was horrendous tonight

  21. Steve says:

    Did Yedlin play? If so, how was he?

  22. baropbop says:

    My biggest problem with Gulati is that he never even considered anyone besides Klinsmann for the USMNT spot.