Blatter Supports Goal Line Technology, Winter World Cup, and Qatari Non-Issues

For some time now global soccer fans and federations have been calling for FIFA to institute goal line technology particularly so things like this, this and this can’t happen anymore (the last one probably doesn’t get taken care of, but its a step in the right direction). Sepp Blatter has finally shown some sign that he is willing to actually allow some kind of replay or goal-line technology in International competition in a CNN interview.

“If one of these systems is accurate and immediate and not too complicated, then I think goal-line technology has a good chance to be accepted,” added Blatter.

Blatter also notes that some of the biggest problems many people saw with Qatar’s World Cup bid are actually not problems at all. First Qatar is unbearably hot during the June and July when every World Cup has been played in the history of the event. Blatter has decided that having the World Cup during summer is unimportant even though it is set like that as one peg in a very complex international scheduling mess that naturally comes out of trying to have a World Cup in the first place. Blatter says “if you ask me the percentage to play in their winter, it is definitely over 50%. It means this is more than just a probability to play in winter time.” So no problem there.

Second Blatter states that “if the principles of human rights will not be respected, then this could be a problem,” but also insists that “we will push Qatar to make sure the World Cup will be played in such conditions that other World Cups have been played and that human rights are respected.” To simply sum up the opposition to that thought I’ll use John Amaechi’s words on the subject, which are definitely worth reading in their‎ entirety. “What kind of crazy hubris gives that man (Blatter) the idea that, in 12 years, he can drive change in the Middle East, a region that has been resistant to change in this matter under pressure from far bigger and better men?” Apparently Sepp believes he has that power and I hope he does because as much as I’d like to have seen a World Cup in the U.S. I’d love to see a good one in Qatar which Blatter seems to think shouldn’t be any problem at all.

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/SPORT/football/01/13/football.blatter.interview.technology/

USMNT To Face Paraguay, Argentina

The USSF confirmed that the men’s national team will face Argentina on March 26th(7 p.m. ET, ESPN2/Univision)in Jersey at the New Meadowlands Stadium and Paraguay on March 29(8 p.m. ET,ESPN Networks/TeleFutura) in Nashville at LP Field.

Summary from USSF below

“The U.S. holds a 2-1-2 lifetime record against Paraguay, posting three shutouts. In addition to a 3-0 victory in the 1930 World Cup (July 17 in Montevideo, Uruguay), the USA collected a 2-0 win on July 6, 2003 in Columbus, Ohio. The teams last met at the 2007 Copa America in Venezuela, where a young U.S. team fell 3-1 to the Paraguayans in Barinas after entering halftime with an even scoreline.

Paraguay is coming off its fourth-consecutive appearance in a FIFA World Cup, falling to eventual champion Spain in the quarterfinals after finishing in first place of Group F. They arrived in South Africa after completing their best ever performance in World Cup qualifying, finishing in third place in CONMEBOL with 33 points and 10 victories while suffering only three defeats on the road.

The U.S. will be making their third appearance in Nashville. LP Field hosted a final round World Cup qualifier on April 1, 2009, when Jozy Altidore became the youngest player in U.S. history to record a hat trick, pacing the U.S. to a 3-0 victoryagainst Trinidad &Tobago.”

Phillies at Braves in Civil Rights Game (Read: New Alternate Jerseys!)

The Phillies will play the Braves at Turner Field in the 5th Annual Civil Right’s Game on May 15th and “For the first time in its five years of existence, the Civil Rights Game — previously played in Memphis, Tenn., and Cincinnati — will be aired on national television.” Of course this is a great celebration of Civil Rights and the advancement of minorities in America. That’s great and I’m all for it, but the most interesting part of this story to me is that it means we will get to see both teams in Negro League Throwbacks

Assuming that the Phillies will wear Philadelphia Stars and not something more obscure here is a collection of what those jersey’s might resemble.

I believe this Philadelphia Stars logo is probably the most recognizable although it was created long after the Negro Leagues had ended and was established by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for marketing purposes so we probably won’t be seeing this uniform as it’s not at all historically accurate, but I’m sure we will see the logo somewhere when game-time comes.

My favorite is the Philadelphia Clowns although this is the closest thing to verification that its an actual Negro-Leagues Jersey. This Sleeve patch is what makes it great though.

Overall I can’t say I’m particularly excited to see any of these looks (as I am 100 percent sure the clowns uni’s won’t be used) but hopefully they go all out and include the hats and helmets in the uniforms because these Philadelphia Stars hats would look spectacular.

Browns Name Shurmur Head Coach, Not Mornhinweg

Eagles Offensive Coordinator Marty Mornhinweg had recently been rumored to be a Head-Coaching candidate for Mike Holmgren and the Cleveland Browns but it seems that they have come to their decision. Former Eagles QB coach and more-recently-former Rams Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur has been hired which means Mornhinweg was not. More importantly this means stability for Vick or Kolb, whoever the QB happens to be next season. It also means that the man who organized the highest scoring Eagles attack in history gets another shot to beat his own record.

#1 pick GK Zac Mac To Join Jack Mac in Union Blue

The Philadelphia Union have selected Maryland GK Zac MacMath in the first round of the MLS Superdraft.  The 6’2  175lb MacMath is a solid keeper who was named MVP of the ACC Tournament after blanking Virginia in the semifinals and following that up with another shut-out of top-seeded North Carolina in the title match.  He held an average of  .65 goals against through his three years at Maryland and MacMath is also the top keeper on the US-U-20 team and is considered by far the best keeper available this year. Also, in case you forgot, Peter Nowak happens to have recently been the coach for the U-20 team where he apparently had enough positive interaction to decide the kid was worthy of the fifth pick this year.

This means that they have filled the hole in net left by Chris Seitz with a substantially more talented player, who in July was rumored to be joining America’s team Everton as a back-up for USMNT keeper Tim Howard, who was instrumental in trying to get MacMath there. It also likely means that FC Cologne goalkeeper Faryd Mondragon rumored to be signing with the club will probably not be joining the team, or at least not doing so long term. Hopefully Nowak makes this a good draft.

Today’s picks will be listed below as  they come in.

5. Zac MacMath, GK Maryland.

23. Michael Farfan, MF North Carolina

42. Levi Houapeu, F, UMBC

Here’s a nice get-to-know-you from the Maryland Athletic Department along with a solid story from SI on his experience with the U-20 team and a little interaction with my personal favorite bald American Tim Howard

The music’s a bit cheesy, the videos rather grainy, and the lines on the field are very un-football-y, but here is our second pick Michael Farfan’s Youtube highlight video.

Here’s video of Levi Houapeu’s preparation a training for the MLS Draft.

Interview with Herculez Gomez

Herculez Gomez was a breakout star of the latter parts of World Cup Qualifying for the U.S. He’s currently starring for Pachuca in Mexico and did an interview with theshinguardian.com where he talks U.S. Soccer, what it’s like to be a U.S. international playing successfully in Mexico, and a few other points. It’s a good read on the whole but here’s a few key points from the conversation

On the USMNT under Bob Bradley.

Herc: You know, we’re a different team than most. We’re a very hard-working team.

People here in Mexico ask me what it’s like [to be part of the USMNT].

We were a machine. There’s no one bigger than the team. Everybody does their part. Everybody pulls for another.

You know, we were down there [in South Africa] for a month and when you’re seeing each other everyday, getting to know each other, it builds a bond.

And now you’re fighting for your country at the biggest sporting event in the world….it’s not just one person scoring a goal, it’s the whole team gaining something.

That’s the way we saw it.

 

On being named Herculez.

TSG: Do you get that whole Nutty Professor Eddie Murphy scene over and over, right?

Herc: I’ve never heard it.

TSG: You’re kidding.

Herc: Never heard it. How’s it go?

TSG: You never heard it. The little fat kid, farting at the dinner table.

Herc: …of course I heard it.

 

On Jozy Altidore’s potential; a statement which I believe applies to quite a large portion of the team over the next four years.

Herc: Jozy’s a beast. Jozy is one of those guys when he figures out how good he is, he’s going to explode. The sky’s the limit.

But it’s just one of those things, that you’re going to have to give him time. It’s just like a lot of players. He’s 20-..21-years-old…with time he’s going to learn, he’s going to gain confidence.

 

This teams got a lot of upside and nobody really knows what they can do, but with kids like Gomez and Lichaj already establishing themselves around the world I’d say we’ve got a solid chance for a better showing in Brazil than we had in South Africa.

Duce Staley coaching Lesean McCoy

Apparently Duce Staley has joined the list of former Eagles working for the team in coaching their former positions. If Duce can teach Lesean to cover the blitz the way he did that’ll do a lot for this team. The link also includes QB Doug Pederson, S Mike Zordich and LB Mike Caldwell all of who could do a lot at positions that could use a little teaching.

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