Veep vists USMNT After Ghana… and it is EVERYTHING you hoped It Would Be

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US Soccer Brings A Game to Dodging and Weaving About Qatar 2022 – Gives Story Way More Validity

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This is in response to well respected-veteran journalist Jorge Ramos’s radio show’s tweets Thursday that very roughly translated from Spanish that FIFA told USSF to have the 2022 proposal ready to present plan and have an organizing committee ready by Sept or Oct.   Qatar losing the Cup (or might lose the Cup depending on translation). [Note Ramos tweets have been since been removed]

First of all Neil, BRAVO on a BRILLIANTLY stated non-denial denial statement. That is some solid political maneuvering here and  I respect this level of quality professionalism.

That said, why the hell are you all responding at all?

In the middle of the Brazilian World Cup’s First Day, three days before the team you represent plays its opener, you go OUT OF YOUR WAY to respond IN WRITING to an unverified, highly speculative tweets in Spanish.  IT WASN’T EVEN A STORY, just two tweets.

Yes it had fan traction on twitter but nothing especially big.   This would have been a 2 day story at most, especially with no follow-up.  I get that is what you are hoping the released statement does, but to me it gives the initial reports A LOT more credibility.  Let it die in the cycle, no one would remember/care by the end of the Cup.

The only possible rational I can come up with responding is hoping to turn more journalists off the story before they do their jobs and investigate it. In retrospect, that plans seems to actually work so well done I guess.

Sunil Gulati, your boss, was asked about it of course and handled it in a similarly impressive fashion.  You both left an impressive amount of wiggle room in the statements, like enough to drive the entire infantry tank division through them sideways, while appearing to deny it outright.  Let’s be honest, we both know neither of you denied the overall story outright.

Now your word choices are impressive and I can imagine the amount of time you and your team spent parsing exactly the right phrasing.

Well played, I especially like the choice of, “[t]he report is not accurate[,]” not even using, “inaccurate,” just, “not accurate,” as opposed to say, “the story is untrue.”   Those do no mean the same thing at all but most people will not understand the difference.  

The story being untrue is to say, the story in its entirety is false which fundamentally different than stating it is inaccurate meaning facts presented are incorrect but not touching on the overarching validity of the story. You went with the softest possible word choice in your denial. 

According to a report in Foxsoccer.com states the NY Times Sunil as quoted as saying, “‘[s]imply not true,’ … ‘They haven’t asked us and I cannot imagine it happening anytime soon.'” Now, I agree that would have been a strong, “flat-out,” as it was called denial were it not for the qualifier where he is denying the part where of the story where USSF was “asked.”  [It is not clear who at the NYT interviewed Gulati, best guess is Sam Borden who quoted Gulati in his twitter feed with a couple of disjointed tweets.]

The over theme of these responses is this:  spin it to the media as the formal request was not made in a vague enough manner that it allows the reader to infer the entire essence of the story is false without saying that.

That is the part that I find funniest and the reason that I find these responses so suspect.  I have zero problems believing this is true; there has been no FORMAL contact between FIFA and USSF.  Also there does not need to be.

The timing of all of this given them tons of wiggle room:  The Ramos Show tweets come out two days ago, June 12, 2014 and the responses are either Thursday (from Sunil) whenever Neil Buethe, posted sent his statement.

It is what happened a few days before the report and response, the  FIFA’S Executive Committee (ExCo) meeting June 7th and 8th.   Here is their meeting agenda, pay close attention to parts 8,13.4 and 14.3.

Now, I have no idea what those meeting points entailed in the meeting but what I do know who sits on ExCo, drumroll… Sunil Gulati.   It is disturbing how many journalists/media people either forget this fact or do not intellectually grasp its significance.

There are a couple of reasons this is exceptionally important, first of all.  Sepp Blatter put his boy on ExCo err Sunil was duly elected to ExCo.  Remember all those Blatter’s cronies are corrupt comments may or may not apply to Blatter crony and the President of US Soccer Federation.  I am in no way attempting to cast aspersions on Sunil’s character or morality but just reminding people that he used USSF’S vote to keep Sepp in power AFTER the QATAR VOTE [to be fair, Sepp did vote for the US bid and is not accused nor has any evidenced released shown he was involved in any bribes on the 2018/2022 bids].

The more important reality is Sunil Gulati is not simply the lovable, nerdy, econ prof who gracious leads US Soccer out of the kindness of his noble heart as the media LOVES to present him. REALITY CHECK:  He’s got game and more than willing to use it.  

The ExCo thing is IMPORTANT because FIFA is building a case to move the Cup.  They absolutely are and for one simple reason: cold hard cash money. There is a secondary reason of revenge but that is only Sepp based.

I was accused Thursday of, “thinking like a normal person, not a FIFA exec,” and, “conjuring logic that FIFA doesn’t have.”  Granted those should be taken as compliments.  Look, I am under no delusions about the motivation of FIFA and especially ExCo members.  I do not think they do anything not in their own financial and/or egocentric interest.  They like money.. and they like power.  This Qatar bid nonsense is costing them both and that cannot be tolerated.

Starting last October 3-4, 2013, the first of Sunil’s membership incidentally or not, changes are made to the structure of ExCo meet agendas to what we have now.  The agenda is much more organized and clearer and now we have and agenda area entitled, “Sports-political matters.”  It covered what looks to be a briefing on, “Israel-Palestine situation: discussions in Zurich on 3 and 23 September 2013,” and, “FIFA World Cup Qatar™: period of the competition.”  You know that moving it to winter financial/logistical fiasco.  Two months later in December 2013,  the agenda just went with “2022 FIFA World Cup Qatar™.”

In March 2014, it gets super interesting.   There is both an, “Update from the FIFA Secretary General [Jérôme Valcke] on the preparations for the tournaments [WC 2018 and WC 2022],” as well as under the, Sports-political matters banner, “Update from the FIFA President on the Israel-Palestine situation, the Kosovo situation, the Cyprus situation, and the working conditions in Qatar.”   YES, that FIFA President, oh Sepp.

These same sports-political topics topics, all of them, came up at ExCo meeting 5 days ago in São Paulo. Yet 2 days after that at the 64th FIFA Congress,  São Paulo 2014, the agenda covers, “Updates on Israel-Palestine, Kosovo, Cyprus,” but curiously Qatar did not quite make the cut to discuss at Congress.   The Congress is the annual meeting of all the FIFA members, basically the ONLY time in 2014 all the members will be there.   The next Congress is May 2015, at home in Zurich.

Pulling all of this back to the response of USSF gave to the Ramos tweets and why it is so clear that USSF is not really denying them, just denying they were formally asked.

ExCo makes decisions about the location of the World Cup of what which Sunil is a member of course.  Those decisions come from research of the, “Organising [sic.] Committee for the FIFA World Cup (TM),” who them report to ExCo on their findings.. Guess who sits on that organizing committee?   That is right girls and boys, Sunil Gulati.   Yes, the guy FIFA would call to say prepare a plan is the guy at FIFA who request it and then voting on it.

This is why the nuancing of the denial is so key.  USSF does not need formal contact from FIFA if their President is part of the decision making team.

For the record, Sunil is also Chair of the Media Relations Committee, tasked with organizing the, “working conditions for the media at FIFA events and maintain relations with international media organisations.”  Basically, he is FIFA’s faceman.

He is also Vice-Chair of Players’ Status Committee, required to “set up and monitor compliance with the Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players and determine the status of Players for various FIFA competitions.” It is unclear is if they have any responsibility for player safety at say a summer World Cup in Qatar or if that is strictly the responsibility for the medical committee.  The Players’ Status Committee made seemingly major changes to player/agent relationships and third party ownership at ExCo last week.

Additionally, he sits on the Associations Committee, which is responsible for maintaining, “relations between FIFA and its Members and draw up proposals for optimum cooperation. The committee shall also monitor the evolution of the Statutes and regulations of FIFA, the Confederations and Members.”

So we clear Sunil Gulati sits on the committee that recommends and overseeing the Organization of the World Cup and on the committed that keeps members happy, is Vice-Chair of the committee that controls player contracts, chairs the committee responsible for playing nice with the media and then sits on the committee that vote for the changes to the 2022 World Cup venue.  Yet, we are supposed to believe this story is false because USSF has not been contact about it and does not expect to be anytime soon?  Sunil when are those committees getting on deciding so FIFA can ask USSF?  [If you are interested this is a list of all Americans on FIFA committees including FIFA Ethics Chief Investigator Michael Garcia]

Now then why would FIFA move the Cup?  It is not out of some altruistic sense of righteousness.   This is politics pure and simple.  Sepp wanted the Cup in America and for two very good if basic reasons: a  World Cup in the US is basically a license for FIFA to print money and it takes out enemies.

According to FIFA, they have spent over $2 Billion USD [$1 Billion spent in Brazil] of their own money on operational costs for World Cup 2014.  They will leave the real costs of hosting into the locations: stadium constructions/renovations, construction of roads, transportation systems, hotels, etc to the host nation.  Brazil estimated to pay approximately $13 Billion for the infrastructure development and upgrades paid for by a loan from Brazilian Development Bank.  This s what is causing the rioting in the streets.

By contrast, the US combined 2018/2022 USA Bid Committee economic impact report conducted by ERA/AECOM  the US hosting would cost approximately $10 million per stadium in infrastructure changes including installing grass and perimeter fencing as well as installing or upgrading the media center to accommodate international media.  [for the max 12 WC stadiums that is a $120 mil total].  Additionally,  Atlanta would be the headquarters of the International Broadcast Center (IBC) since it already has a significant amount of media infrastructure in place.  There was not an additional amount of outlays required but a 5% sale tax was assumed.

[I do not remember the economic impact statement ever being publicly released and I read several things that it had not been released but I found it.  It is very interesting, especially using Washington DC metro area’s FedEx Field as hosts of the Final Match at USSF request]

The 2010, 2014, potentially 2018 and 2022 all have a couple of things in common:  serious infrastructure concerns and almost all of the required World Cup level infrastructure being built from scratch.  FIFA could really use a easy one that does not require a $2 billion dollar investment on $4.2 Billion in revenue, which takes almost half their money.  The US Bid would not require nearly that investment and therefore on they would be able to keep a significantly higher portion of the revenue generated.  AND THEY LIKE MONEY.

There is the added pressure of bedrock FIFA sponsors publicly questioning it 7 years out. That has a huge effect and puts significant pressure on FIFA to act to resolve it.  These are massive companies that spend billions on public relations and the one thing that do not want is to be public associated with human rights abuses and deaths.  FIFA does not care what human rights workers or social justice campaigners complain about but the loss of sponsor money and it is a new ballgame.

Secondarily but not insignificant, is the war between Sepp/Platini using FIFA/UEFA as weapons.  The hate each other, Platini has just announced he would not support Sepp’s assumed next run and has threatened in the past to run against him.

Why this massive ego-off matters is Platini was major supporter of Qatar 2022 and still supports it to the point he is supportive of moving it to winter.  A mindboggling decision as it would have a highly detrimental effect on almost the entirety of European club soccer including the Champions League schedule which as President of UEFA is his bread and butter.

Soon it will be open warfare and the FIFA’S Ethics Committee will be primary in that effort.  I believe American Michael Garcia who is heading up the investigation, a former US Attorney and current partner at Kirkland & Ellis, will do a comprehensive and honest investigation leading to a report that accurately reflects what happened and who is at fault.

I think that is why he was chosen but not for the public-spirited ideal of fighting corruption.   Sepp seems to be in no way connected to any ethical violations for the Qatar 2022 bid but his enemies including Paltini are.   This reeks of a White Bulger mob move..   White turned FBI informant on rival mobsters so the US government would take care of them for him.  Sepp got the guy who would investigate and force the removal of his enemies for him and to make it all above reproach.   That is major game. 

It has already started.  Franz Beckenbauer is banned from the game for 90-days conveniently covering the World Cup span.    He is Bayern Munich honorary president, former member of ExCo who voted for the Russia/Qatar block an then stepped down shortly thereafter.  Oh and he is close, very close, to Platini to the point of supporting a Platini FIFA presidency back in 2011.  Enemies are falling..  it will continue.

I think my favorite FIFA move is subtle, simple but brilliantly ruthless renaming of the Stadium and Security Committee to the “Security and Integrity Committee.”  That is a linguistic stiletto between the 4-5 ribs.

Garica’s report is due sometime this summer after this World Cup with its potential recommendations.  The Organising [sic.] Committee for the FIFA World Cup (TM) meets July 11, two days before this final.  ExCo meets again September 25-26, which is exactly the time frame laid out in Ramos’s tweets

Again, I absolutely believe US Soccer when they all say, it is, “not accurate,” that FIFA has not contacted them.  I do not believe that means the overarching story is not true, necessarily. I do not know if the story is true, no idea how good Ramos’s source is but the independent facts and USSF response do not in any way discredit it.

If you doubt that Sunil is capable of some dodging and weaving I will remind you of this moment just a few weeks ago.  Phil Schoen reports finally the Copa American 2016 in America is a done deal down to the date of the announcement.  Sunil responds saying, ” Copa America 2016 in U.S.? Interesting idea but nothing agreed to by @ussoccer yet.”

As I responded then and still do now, non-denial denials FTW.

Klinnsman’s Latin Flavor… The Rise of Latino-American Generation

NOTE: this developed from a question in response to the E Pluribus Unum post.  I answered there and decided to develop it more here. 

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While it is true we are all focused on the duel passport-holders because of their prominence in the World Cup Squad, the true development of our nationals’ teams future lies in two areas: getting more urban youth involvement in the game and more young Latino/a players who are willing to commit t to playing for the US National Teams.

For the moment, I am going to focus on the rise of Latino generation.  This is always less of an issue for the women’s team offers unique opportunities for female players, so it is primarily the focus of the USMNT.

Klinnsman’s World Cup squad features at least three players of Hispanic ancestry: Omar Gonzales, Ale Bedoya, and Nick Rimando; additionally Joe Corona went to camp; and Liga MX based defender DMB will most likely start.   He has regularly called up Herc Gomez in Qualifying but since he did not play regularly for the Xolo and was actually just loaned out to Tigres, he was not a viable option for the Cup squad.

Where the real push to bring in Hispanic-America players is at the U-21 (and younger)  team level.  USSF/Klinnys seem heavily invested in developing young talent born in America, who could be/are duel passport holders with Mexico especially.

The first ever Under-21 Camp was held last April 20-24 at the National Training Session at Carson, CA.  Of the 21 players called-up, according to MLSsoccer.net’s Scott French, nearly half the member called up were  Hispanic-Americans (10 of 21).  Because it did not fall on a FIFA calendar date, the camp only had MLS and Liga MX players.  What is the U-21 version of Camp Cupcake?  Camp Mini-Cupcake?  Camp Cupcake Bite?

The Hispanic-American players include Benji Joya, Juan Pablo Ocegueda, Oscar Sorto, Alejandro Guido, Stevie Rodriguez, Daniel Cuevas, Danny Garcia, Victor Pineda, Jose Villarreal, and Luis Gil who had to pull out with an injury.  Players like Juan Agudelo Julian Green, John Brooks, Josh Gatt, etc were not called in as they are in Europe and clubs were not required to release them.

The team is lead by Tab Ramos, but as tech director Klinnsman would oversee/dictate style and player targeting.   At the time of the camp announcement, Ramos gave an interview to US Soccer.com discussing the plans for the camp and the U-21 team.  “One of the things that is important for us that we wanted to do is get the Olympic-aged players, which is the ’93s this year – and it happens to be an Under-21 – we wanted to get them involved as close as possible with the first-team staff.”

The Mexican-American players in the USSF pool are for the most part very young.  The option of actively choosing to play for the US over Mexico is very much a new thing with this young generation. Often it was players before who were not considered good enough to play for Mexico, who ended up playing for the US as fallback position.

It is clear that USSF and Klinnsman as technical director has a longterm vision that is being implemented in a methodical way.  While it is true the draw, changed everything and sped up certain aspects of the planning.  The long term, structural plan remains in place and continues to be built, brick, by brick and yes those Hispanic-American players are a huge part of that development.

Clermont Foot 63 Becomes My French Team.. Helena Costa Becomes Manager

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Helena Costa will cause the Clermont Foot 63 next season.

Clermont Foot 63 chose his new coach in the person of Helena Costa, Portuguese 36 years.

 Helena Costa went through training Benfica, as well as the command of women’s teams Odivelas and selections Qatar and Iran, in addition to its collaboration with the Celtic Football Club as a recruiter.
This appointment must allow the Clermont Foot 63 to go into a new era, relying on a group of 17 players currently under contract, which will be added young players from the club.
Olivier Chavanon, enjoying a great experience and a deep knowledge of the club will have to be more present in the sport.
A presentation to the media and partners of the Club will be held in Clermont-Ferrand at the end of the season 2013/2014.

French Second Division French Team Clermont-Foot 63, named a 36 year-old women as their Manager next season, with that simple announcement,.   The 39 year-old Portugese manager has an impressive resume working with both male and female teams at all ages.  She is competent and deserves the opportunity to show what she can do.

According to L’Equipe:  Clermont Striker, Remy Dugimont said upon learning of her appointment,It ‘s good, it creates buzz. It will be a unique experience…I’m not macho! She has worked in the professional world with boys so she knows how it works . Nobody knew it , yes, but if it worked elsewhere , why it would not work here? At first, it is certain it will be a little weird but it only last a few days.”

Dugimont’s sentiments are echoed but  defender Anthony Lippini, who recalls,  “I was talking with my physiotherapist and we talked about the time when the first woman entered the army, a very macho environment … at first, it had to make an impact. But now, women in the army is spent in customs. This may be the same in football. I can not wait to return next season to discover it . I ‘m really curious. It will be a unique experience to be the first pro football to be directed by a woman France. C is good, it creates a buzz ! ”

It is awesome that these players are open to playing for a women and are excited to be the first players to do so.   It also proves Pia Sundhage  correct, when asked if she could coach men, responded, “Angela Merkel runs a whole fucking country.”

GOOD LUCK HELENA AND CLERMONT FOOT63!  

Also media and viewers, please keep comments to her management and professional skills…  LAY OFF THE, “SHE’S HOT,”BS.,  THANKS

UPDATED:  Sepp is again trying to get me to not hate him…  Congratulates Helena and Clermont 

 

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MLS Season Opener… STILL CONFLICTED and STILL UNHAPPY..

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One of the Reasons I LOVE MLS and DC UNITED..  FIX THE REF LOCK-OUT

I ended-up renewing my Galaxy season tickets, because spending the summer without my people is honestly unimaginable.  I love them all too much to not be with them this season.  It does not easy my conflict with supporting LA Galaxy or MLS, especially with the referee situation.

It should be noted that LA Galaxy staff spent over an hour one evening discussing my concerns for the club’s supporters groups and the front office’s reaction to them.  It was a interesting and informative discussion, but still waiting for the proposed changes offered.  No idea if they will make the changes or if it is was BS to get me re-up since many are not.    Only time will tell…

Actually I am considering getting a partial season ticket package to non-Chivas USA.  I can get like 7.5 matches for $60 or something ridiculous like that.  Now that there is some interest in developing the team, it might be fun to be a part of it.. unless it does become LA Gunners then hell no.

The LA Galaxy season opener starts in about 4 hours and I have no desire to go.. My grandparents each worked 40+ years as union members in a factory’s line.  It was a hard work but it allowed them to have 11 children between them and a happy retirement with good pension and the ability to live life at a level they earned.  My grandfather died several years but my grandmother’s pension is still supporting her.  I adore them more than anyone in the world and the idea of breaking the lockout line is breaking my heart.

It feel like a boldly disrespectful slap in the face to them and all that union membership has give to them and by extension my whole family.  We are simply a UNION FAMILY regardless of the fact that the vast majority of the grandkids including me are well educated and white-collar without union membership.

If the refs were on strike, it would be no question of me not going. I would be an automatic, “HELL NO,”  and right now it is leaning that way.  However, the ProRef organization has provided the scab refs while simultaneously having their members locked out.  THIS CONFUSES ME.

I am not certain of the proper response to a lock-out in this situation is. I have asked family members and social media as well researching the Union response to the NFL ref lock-out.  I learned NFL players are members of the AFL-CIO, but cannot find out about the refs. If the refs organization is still providing the referees does that mean that I my attendance would not be the equivalent of breaking a picket line?  I need an ask-a-union-member hotline and STAT.

I honestly do not know what to do.. but I know what MLS needs to do.. GET THEIR FLIPPING ASSES TGETHER AND GET THE DEAL DONE WITH THE REFS..

International Women’s Day – Sexism in Sports and Life

International Women’s Day – Sexism in Sports and Life

We are going to ignore out confusion/outrage and instead embrace the diversity that the author of this article linked in the title is a man.

READ IT… it is a powerful indictment of sexism in sports journalism.. It is also a reminder of why I refuse to watch BeInSport’s The Lockeroom.  Andy Gray should not be anywhere need an American television or one anywhere else.  He is a creepy, sexist, perv and will never be anything better.

Look, I am not a radical feminist, well actually I proudly am a radical feminist..  However, I don’t however think that a cookie-cutter approach to office sexual politics works.  I am well aware that male and female colleagues can have sexual and what would often be deemed, “inappropriate” discussions/jokes at the office and it mean nothing more than jovial banter.  That is ONLY true if everyone understands and agrees AND IF IT DOES NOT MAKE anyone feel belittled or coerced into a sexual requirements they are uncomfortable or where their consent is treated as irrelevant.

I honestly do not know any women or girl for that matter who has never been sexually harassed.  We live with it and work around it all the time, every single day.  Our professional lives should not be landmines fields where we dodge sexual advances, discrimination, harassment and disparaged for our gender or our sexuality.

My first real job out of college was working as an office assistant for a sporting goods trade association.  At the office wide picnic in the park, my then direct boss, a real guy’s guy and ladies’ man as he portrayed himself, took the shell left over from sticky labels are printed on the computer, stuck it on my bum as said the another person in the office, “look this year’s new bikini,” and then they proceeded to joke about it, my body and me.  I was horrified but he was my boss, and I was still in my probationary period after temping for 8 month, so I did not say anything at the time.

Later that week at an office required happy hour, he asked me what I wanted him to be to me, “[my] daddy, man, or boyfriend.”   No, he never once included anything in the range of, “boss,” “colleague,” or “mentor.”

Also that same week I had a letter put in my file from the chairman of the board of the association, declaring what, “an asset,” “profession young woman,” I was and the company was lucky to have me since I had worked hard and productively representing the group at the most recent board meeting and other events.  The head of the office congratulated me on my hardwork and organization as well.

Being fresh out of college and believing the sexual harassment training we all went through just two weeks before, I filed a complaint within the chain of command as the the training taught me.  Ten days later I was fired after the company’s fervent attempts to trash my reputation.  They pulled up initial rough draft of documents and stated it was my final work product turned in, invented times that I was not at the office when I could document that I was, barred anyone in the office from speaking with me.

They proceeded to TRASH me to prospective employers checking references as well.  I know this because I interviewed for a position and ended up explaining everything that happened.  They checked my references there and were told horrendous things about me, things that no one else even hinted at being true.  It was a horrible experience all the way around.

I filed with the EEOC and that was a whole mess of a process.  Last I heard, he was fired and never heard from again at least in my world.  I moved on and found much better (and amazingly worse) places  to work over the years. I have no regrets about standing up for myself even with all the ensuing drama and hardships I suffered.  Being unemployed sucks..  But being a woman means doing the right thing, even when it is not the easy thing.

But make no mistake, the whole thing leaves some scars.  All because some douchbag on a power-trip wanted to put a girl in her place.  I was too young and inexperienced to know that at that first moment it happens, you scream bloody murder and I would take a swing at him now, but my advice, at least make sure EVERYONE knows what happened..

Witnesses are good but.. hell EVERYONE witnesses Andy Gray’s sexual misconduct and he still gets to be on American TV every week.  Of course, he works for a network that dresses/make-ups up its female on-air talent like poll dancers.  The first El Classico they covered on their new network, their big debut:  Terry Leigh was wearing a shirt black top and a black lace bra.. because Professionalism, much?  Seriously, shear [read: see through] black button down blouse and a black lace bra. Why? Yeah..  no idea either…

She should not have to tart herself up just to get screen time.  After all she is a competent and interesting professional journalist, whose brain and ability to articulate sporting news and match analysis should be shown without placating to stereotypical male sexual fantasies.    Also I am, in no way, saying that a competent, professional journalist cannot be feminine or display her sexuality.  She can absolutely, but when she is forced to do it as part of the job. It demeans her, the company she works for and the audience.

Women’s sexuality and sports are and should not be devoid of each other.  As female fans, most of the women I know judge the sexual attractiveness of players both male and female.  I have no problem with males judging sexual attractiveness of players either nor either of judging sexual attractiveness of sports reporters when it is part of the entire judging system.  It cannot be the ONLY thing athletes and journalists are judged on.  The actual professional aspects must be front and center, first and foremost.

God knows Syd Leroux is all sexy and she owns it.  She is proud of her body and her spirit and her talent.  Anyone who thinks she is on the team for any reason other than her brilliant ability to put the ball in the net is officially an idiot.

Speaking of female athletes and sexism..  At the Poverty Match this week, Marta [featured in the Google Doodle above] SHINED brightest in a team with Zidane, Maldini, (real) Ronaldo, Cannavaro, and the ledges of the male game.  SHE OWNED THE PITCH, assisting on Zidane’s first goal and having multiple great chances.

My favorite part was she did that while being a teammate of  AC Milan/Italy hero Gennaro Gattuso who only a couple of months ago said, “I can’t really see women in football, I don’t like to say it but that’s how it is.”  Oh Rino, she was better than you on the day.. Let’s broaden our POV, K babe… Thanks.

When when stop being viewed solely for their sexuality, we will have made real progress in society.  Women can do ANYTHING they like even play and cover soccer and other sports without either diminishing or being solely reduced to her sexuality.  Welcome to 2014.. it’ll be ok.

PS – Awesome video of 10 players in the World

We cannot hold …

We cannot hold the national championship so what kind of football can we talk of at all? If we do not have an opportunity to play on home soil, why shall we go to Cyprus in those troubled times for your country? We play for our people and country. Our team do not fly to Cyprus and stay at home

Ukrainian Football Federation President Anatoliy Konkov..  quote from Reuters via Yahoo Sports

I cannot blame him or his players… there is a time when soccer makes things better, but this is not one of those times.  When a team unites a nation at a core level, it is magic but when it cannot, it should be placed in a secondary role.

The people of the Ukraine like all other people deserve the freedom and peace at allows for play games and be engulfed in the glory of sports.

The USMNT just got an extra few days of camp bonding..  100 days to the Kick-off!