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.
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)
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.