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World Cup Vote

On Thursday, FIFA will vote for who will host the 2018 and 2022 World Cups. (FSC will cover the event live 9:30am ET. ESPN, ESPN Deportes, Univision and CNN International will also provide live coverage of the announcement, which is expected to take place around 10am. Tir Na Nog is hosting a viewing party that will include Union players, Mayor Nutter and representatives of the city’s Bid Committee.)

This Q and A piece explains how the vote will work.

On the off-chance that you’ve just removed your head from the crack between your legs, here’s a look at why it is so critical for the continued growth of soccer in this country for US to host the 2022 World Cup. More reasons can be found here.

You can watch the US make its final presentation today from 11am on the FIFA website. Here’s a closer look at what the US bid has to offer.

No, I am not Nelson Mandela, but I have played him on the screen...U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

A confidential report prepared for FIFA says that the US bid is by far the most profitable of those for the 2022 World Cup.

US Attorney General Eric Holder will join the delegation that will make the US Bid Committee’s final presentation today that includes USSF president Sunil Gulati, former US president Bill Clinton, Landon Donovan and Morgan Freeman. Holder’s presence should assure FIFA voters that the US government backs the bid.

The US can expect the support of CONCACAF’s three votes.

The lead up to the vote has been clouded in controversy. A report by the Sunday Times that alleged bribery resulted in the suspension of two voting members of FIFA’s Executive Committee. The controversy only grew after the BBC aired a documentary on Monday that alleged further corruption. FIFA, being the untouchable, self-satisfied, omnipotent and bloated monolith of an organization that it is, has reacted to these allegations by dismissing them as the result of unfair media practices or old news rather than taking this as an opportunity to reform its institutional culture (as was the case with the International Olympic Committee following the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.) Perhaps FIFA is thinking that, since no one trusts them anyway, what’s the point in working to build that which they don’t have? Here’s a review of what has been alleged.

One of the men suspended was the representative from Oceania, Reynald Temarii. Because Temarii is appealing the suspension, the Oceania Federation cannot replace his vote on the Executive Committee. This is a boost for the US 2022 bid since it was widely believed that Temarii would vote for Australia’s 2022 bid.

Union

Train in Spain.

Jack McInerney, Danny Mwanga and Amobi Okugo are among 19 Generation Adidas players who are now training in Spain. Their ten day trip will include matches against reserve squads from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid. Mwanga expects to learn a lot: “European soccer—it’s a different style from MLS.”

The Union has partnered with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Soccer Hall of Fame for the “Coats for Chester Program.” Coats will be collected for people in need through December 31. Check out the SEPA HoF website for a list of drop-off locations.

If you think you’ve got the stuff, the Union is hiring a Corporate Sponsorship Fulfillment Coordinator.

The last home game at PPL not only featured a win over the Energy Drinks, it apparently marked the debut of Chinese sausages at the pre-game tailgate. Me and my crew go the traditional route and grill smoked kielbasa we get from a hole-in-the-wall butcher just off of Girard. Most delicious, grasshopper.

Local

The Penn men’s soccer team had a great season and enjoyed a level of support never before experienced  in the thirteen seasons Rudy Fuller has been coach. “The story of the college soccer season was the excitement and the increased attendance across the board,” Fuller says. “With the increase of MLS, coming off a World Cup summer, the level of college soccer continuing to get better … all of that came together for a perfect storm…The fact that Philadelphia is an MLS city combined with everything Penn has to offer makes it a really unique and attractive combination.”

Temple women’s team’s second highest scorer, junior forward Allicia Yurkovic, has left the team to pursue a nursing degree. “I don’t want to be in school for seven years. I’d rather just get in and get out,” Yurkovic said. “Soccer is very important to me, but one more year of soccer isn’t more important than a couple more years of school.”

MLS

The Vancouver Whitecaps, who just announced a partnership with video game giant EA Sports, are playing down the rumors connecting a move by Robbie Keane to the club.

Another Tottenham player, William Gallas, is being linked with a move to MLS.

David Beckham says he won’t be going on loan to Everton: “I am a Manchester United fan— it’s too close to home.” I thought he lived in LA?

Landon Donovan says there’s a 50-50 chance he’ll return to Everton: “I have to be responsible to my body.”

WPS

The new WPS expansion team from Western New York was officially unveiled on Tuesday as the Western New York Flash. (They played in the W League as the Buffalo Flash. although it appears they will play most of their home games in the WPS in Rochester.) For a look at some of the moves they have been making to build their WPS squad, this piece from All White Kit has the skinny.

US

The USWNT, having bested Italy in the home-and-away playoff to qualify for the 2011 Women’s World Cup, was seeded at the top of Group C. The rest of the draw took place on Monday and the US will face North Korea, Colombia and Sweden. Group C looks to be the Group of Death, featuring three of the top six teams in the world. (The US (1), Sweden (4) and North Korea (6).) Coach Pia Sundhage said, “This is the best thing that could have happened. It’s a tough group and that’s exactly what we need.”

I am resurrected...for now.

From flop to savior: Jonathon Spector scored the first two goals in West Ham’s 4–0 win over his old team Manchester United in the Carling Cup on Tuesday. Whether he will still be transferred to Köln in January is another question.

Marcus Hahneman has lost his starting position at Wolverhampton. We’ve got one for you in Philly, Marcus.

Following Schalke’s 5–0 loss to Kaiserslautern, Jermaine Jones has been demoted to the team’s reserve side, which competes in the Bundesliga’s Fourth Division. Said Schalke coach Felix Magath, “I did not like the attitude of Jermaine Jones in matches.”

Elsewhere

The Italian FA is confident it can avoid a strike by Seria A players. The players have voted to strike the weekend of December 11–12.

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