Bullets: On FIFA’s Presidency, Run DMB & The Food Network

• Honestly, what’s left? Sunil Gulati out Monday saying that CONCACAF won’t influence how the US votes in the upcoming FIFA presidential election.

Gulati played the game all wrong. (Photo credit: The Villager newspaper)

Our sentiments? Big deal. Why not just vote with CONCACAF? What is gained now?

Without getting flowery and nationalistic, the United States and it’s soccer foundation as is this country’s heritage and what it stands for should have stood up and questioned the voting process that awarded both Russia and Qatar the forthcoming World Cups. They should have stood up when FIFA awarded the World Cup to a country that does not treat females or those of diverse sexual orientation equally.

That’s not sour grapes for the US. That’s a legitimate beef. What would have been lost?

Not being influenced by CONCACAF now? Hollow, just hollow.

• MLS: Juan Pablo Angel gets his 2nd goal of the season on what you might call a frenetic play and MLS Soccer poses the question Tuesday: “Are the floodgates open?”

Class, everyone together now: TSG Axiom: “You can’t look at observations in isolation, you have to look at the whole body of work.”

What does that mean here? JPA has hardly looked liked the lethal striker that once threatened teams by his lonesome up top. Two goals, 12 games, and assuming a pick-up in familiarity with his teammates. That makes, what, 7, 8 goals on the season. That’s not DP worthy unless you are creating chances. Sorry.

•  In the other dressing room: Three goals and a Player of the Week award weren’t expected of Justin Braun when he entered the line-up Sunday, but the Salt Lake City native certainly had the ability to produce. Last year, starved of service, Braun still went 9 and 3, goals and assists respectively with little around him for Chivas.

Braun’s late arrival in the starting line-up is just about the only place that new Coach Robin Fraser has erred this season.

That said, it also a reminders that in the domestic league tough defense and grit still win over attacking football…if you don’t have the pieces. (Exceptions: Real Salt Lake and New York Red Bulls, maybe)

• Hell of an ending in Findleyville between Swansea and Nottingham Forrest Monday. I’m looking for the video. It’s worth it.



• Media: A caution to Fox Soccer and ESPN from….the Food Network. The Food Network has done a decent job over the past decade realizing the following: That if you build your brand around stars, they have the leverage and can command beaucoup dollars in contract negotiations for the very fame that exposure on the network gave them. The Food Network saw this with Emeril Lagasse among others.

With ESPN and Fox consistently pushing their audiences to follow Taylor Twellman, Alexi Lalas and Kyle Martino respectively on Twitter, they’re sort of making the same mistake.

Fox Soccer, however, is worse off for this strategy. While ESPN still brings a fair amount of production value (maybe not promotion) to their broadcast, Fox brings neither and they run the risk of letting institutional network walk out the door when another network (Versus, an MLS Soccer Network?) eventually comes calling.

SportsCenter is a format. Soccer In America is lipstick on the proverbial….and I’m not buying it Fox.

• An injured Charlie Davies will be out for a few weeks and insights into Bob Bradley’s psyche are again rainchecked in 2011.

First Stu Holden gets banged up and US fans don’t get to see line-up selections at full force against Argentina and Paraguay. Now Davies is out and the question of whether he would have been chosen likely moves to the back burner.

Very interesting questions on the Gold Cup roster and according to US Soccer, you’ll get your answers by May 23rd.

• Jermaine Jones’ occupation location is up for grabs this weekend. Blackburn plays against Wolverhampton in a battle to stay in the Premiership. A win guarantees EPL revenues next year for the victor, a lose and some help will be needed to avoid the Championship.

A loss and Jermaine Jones unequivocably heads back to Schalke (which he may be anyway).

More coming…

24 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by SamT on 2011/05/16 at 11:43 PM



    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/17 at 3:03 AM

      DaMarcus Beasley.


      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/05/17 at 7:54 AM

        Was there supposed to be something about Beasley in the post?


        • Posted by SamT on 2011/05/17 at 9:46 AM

          Sorry, Matt. This was my question. Is there Beasley news?


          • Posted by John on 2011/05/17 at 9:50 AM

            Necklaces are half off?


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/17 at 1:43 PM

            Oh my, I accidentally deleted the Beasley commentary.

            TSG, needs vacation.


            • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/17 at 1:47 PM

              • A report yesterday saying that Run DMB, DaMarcus Beasley, may be earmarked back to North America, either MLS or Mexico next campaign. Chivas, of course, has first rights to Beasley and may they knew that Beasley was on track already.

              That said, after MLS seemingly negotiated against itself in the Benny Feilhaber sweepstakes, they would be wise to take a pause here and hardline approach to Beasley’s salary demands. It’s not that Beasley doesn’t have game changing skill. It’s that Beasley is often not on the field to display it.

              Big money for an oft-injured star whose career has set in Europe. Not necessarily, buyer beware, but buyer be aware.

  2. Posted by Jared on 2011/05/17 at 5:58 AM

    Gulati is a fool. Saying we’re not going along with Concacaf now is a waste. Why not nominate someone for FIFA president that wasn’t an insider? He needs to go.

    In other news, Japan has pulled out of Copa America according to Football365. I’ve read that Mexico is sending a B/U-23 team to that tournament. Any chance we could beg our way in and bring the same level of players?


    • If Mexico sends their U-23 squad, the US doesn’t get invited on short notice, and CONMEBOL doesn’t make the same stink they did about the US in 2007, we’ll know that the South American federation doesn’t have the same standards for Mexico as us.

      Oh well, I guess we’ll have to rise to a world power without playing in the Copa America…


      • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/05/17 at 12:47 PM

        I think we’d actually have to see how the Mexico U-23s* perform in South America before making that assessment.

        *Who will be supplemented with five overage players if I remember correctly.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/05/17 at 12:57 PM

          Yeah, it’s Mexico u-23 plus five over-age players. They’re going to get rocked, of course, as would any u-23 team entered into Copa. Those five over-age players aren’t going to be the cream of the crop either–the reserves from the Gold Cup.

          That might set up an interesting dilemma for CONMEBOL in the future. They only have 10 members so they have to invite extra teams to set up a decent tournament. If you’re going to invite extra teams, they’d better be interesting or else what’s the point? Well, those interesting teams usually have good players, and clubs will be reticent to release them unnecessarily. So CONMEBOL will probably need to figure out a way to either expand or get additional teams into the tournament. So I wouldn’t be surprised to see a full senior US side in 2015.


          • Posted by Ufficio on 2011/05/17 at 2:02 PM

            How would we manage sending a full squad to Gold Cup and Copa America in the same summer?


            • Posted by dth on 2011/05/17 at 5:46 PM

              We wouldn’t. I’m predicting a Copa America(s), if you will. I’ll guess the off-year Gold Cup serves as a qualifier for the combined tournament (or I suppose you could send the hex teams to Copa America, but would Jack Warner pass up an opportunity to hold a money-spinner? No.). All ten CONMEBOL teams make it plus 6 CONCACAF teams.

              The obvious question is, does this make more or less money for Jack Warner, and my guess is, for many reasons, more. At the very worst he can pull the same trick he does with the World Cup and personally sell the TV rights in the Caribbean.

    • Posted by dth on 2011/05/17 at 11:13 AM

      Yeah, Gulati is a fool for not taking on a suicide mission on the entire federation’s behalf. Wait, what?


      • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/17 at 12:57 PM

        More specifically, the USSF is not true to it’s roots for not speaking out on behalf of something that is corrupt.

        Amazing that England actually made some rumblings before USSF. What is there to lose really? What?

        Gulati’s star is already dimmed by the Gold Cup bid. If and when he leaves USSF, they can say these were Gulati’s statements which insulates USSF.

        Unless he’s worried about his legacy which is already dimmed…oh no I went in a circle.

        But you see what I mean.


        • Posted by dth on 2011/05/17 at 1:24 PM

          What’s there to lose? Well, simple: CONCACAF going from a “we’ll usually try to screw you” to a “we’ll always try and screw you” position. Is this the most courageous position in the world? No. But it’s a perfectly sensible one: Jack Warner has all of the Caribbean votes, for as long as he wants them. Neither the U.S. nor Mexico can get anything it wants without those votes. Can’t even change confederations without those votes.


          • Posted by John on 2011/05/17 at 1:26 PM

            “You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is “never get involved in a voting war in the Carribean” – but only slightly less well-known is this: “Never go against a Jack Warner when death is on the line”


          • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/17 at 1:41 PM

            So what are you saying as Sunil Gulati went against CONCACAF now. So he didn’t go against “FIFA” and for the moral good in 2010.

            That would have been more ambiguous as to a personal target and would have insulated the USSF.

            And remember this is an organization that already pandered to CONCACAF and FIFA before the election and it did no go good. (Being “fine” with the CONCACAF format and suggesting MLS would change it’s schedule.)

            Honestly, how else can CONCACAF screw the US. The US is the biggest money draw in the region; so games need to continue there. They are the biggest money draw most times on the road.


            • Posted by dth on 2011/05/17 at 2:10 PM

              Let’s take one example. Remember that oh-so-friendly draw RSL and Columbus got this time around in the Champions League? The one that happened behind closed doors with no invited journalists?

              Well, let’s just say if Warner gets annoyed not only will such cushy draws end, but he might be persuaded to drop the number of US entries into the Champions League. You think random Eurosnob will care/be affected about all this when he can still attend his Man U/Barca meaningless friendly? The money makes the USSF just as dependent as CONCACAF.

  3. Posted by John on 2011/05/17 at 7:17 AM

    BTW: The Food network parallel is funny BECAUSE the Emeril saga ended with him moving to a new network, that network paying him a bunch of money, him getting blackballed from the Food Network and then the Food Network BOUGHT the channel he was working on, re-named it Cooking Channel and now Emeril is essentially cooking on the Food Network again without really his own choice in the manner.


    • Posted by matthewsf on 2011/05/17 at 1:42 PM

      Thanks for adding that. Didn’t want to weave that in above.

      Amazing how the contracts are now structured for oh chefs and reality stars.

      And rappers.


  4. Justin Braun, not Jason.


  5. Posted by GeorgeCross on 2011/05/20 at 10:22 AM

    Everybody has their opinion about FIFA. I, personally, would love for UEFA to withdraw their membership from FIFA whilst Blatter remains in charge. Let’s face it, FIFA needs UEFA more than we need them. We could just increase the frequency of the European Championships, but what would a World Cup mean without the European heavyweights?

    What do you think of that, Sepp? Nice abuse of power, eh? Doesn’t feel nice, when you’re on the receiving end, does it mate?


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