Mexican soccer federation president Justino Compeán (above, with U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati) is up for one of the most coveted positions in the soccer world: a place on the FIFA Executive Committee.
Apparently, his candidacy didn't get in the way of his true feelings about Honduras' fans as they "welcomed" him and the Mexican delegation to Honduras for the two teams' World Cup qualifying clash on Friday, which ended 2-2. (Thanks to Dirty Tackle for the catch.)
Though his gesture towards Honduran fans looked an awful lot like one I might make to someone who has made an unsavory comment about a family member, Compeán claimed the gesture was the result of an injured finger and misinterpreted. After looking at the video above, though, that doesn't really seem to hold much water.
Will this have an effect on his candidacy? That remains to be seen. But it could open the doors to the Executive Committee for U.S. Soccer's own Sunil Gulati, who I somehow can't picture flipping off even the most ardent of fans on his trips to Central America.
The Seattle Sounders will try to accomplish the improbable over the course of the next week, going up against what is arguably the best team in North America in the form of Tigres UANL in the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Champions League.
However, their task may now get just a little bit easier. Reports out of Mexico Monday indicate that Tigres' leading scorer, prolific Argentine striker Emanuel Villa (above) will miss four to five weeks with an injury to his left calf, meaning he is guaranteed to miss both Tigres games vs. Seattle and would be a doubt for the semifinals (set for April 2-4 and 9-11), should Tigres advance.
Villa, a proven poacher who joined Tigres from Cruz Azul in the winter transfer window, is the Liga MX's top scorer in the Clausura 2013 tournament with eight goals in eight games (the injury kept him out of the ninth round of games this weekend). That total accounts for 42.1 percent of the 19 goals Tigres have scored in the tournament.
The Sounders will still have to find a way to shut down Argentine schemer Lucas Lobos, the string-puller for Tigres' attack, while Spanish veteran Luis García and promising youngster Alan Pulido can fill in ably for Villa, but the news should still be a boost to a still-coalescing Sounders backline.
For more CONCACAF Champions League information, be sure to check out our up-to-date CCL homepage, read our primer on the CCL quarterfinals and, of course catch Seattle's game at Tigres on Wednesday at 10 pm ET on Fox Soccer.
There's been a bit of a hullabaloo about Landon Donovan's Wednesday night talk with a USC sports journalism class, which based on the transcripts from some intrepid student journalists, sound like some of his most candid public comments since, well, The Beckham Experiment.
Now, there is some video to go along with some of the quotes floating around, recently posted by Donovan's agent, Richard Motzkin, on his Twitter account. Take a look for yourself:
Yes, he actually said it. But if/when Jurgen Klinsmann will call him in is another matter entirely, but we know Donovan, when on form, should be a shoo-in for the USMNT.
When do you think Klinsmann will call the USA's all-time leading scorer back in? Will Donovan make the difference in World Cup qualifying? Have any other burning Landon-related thoughts? Chime in below!
We've seen plenty of German-Americans come into the US national team fold since Jurgen Klinsmann took the reins in 2011. But could Klinsmann and Co. could be turning their eyes south to Argentina to unearth two more dual-nationality players for the Stars and Stripes?
Affirmative, according to ESPN's Jorge Ramos:
— Jorge Ramos & Banda (@ESPN_JorgeRamos) February 19, 2013
In English, that's: "Jurgen Klinsmann has called Rogelio Funes Mori and Michael Hoyos and asked them if they would accept a call-up from the United States."
Both players spent a significant portion of their developmental years in the United States – Funes Mori (above, left), a forward, moved to Texas at the age of 10, where he attended high school and won the Sueño MLS contest, earning him a spot with FC Dallas' academy side. However, he returned to Argentina shortly thereafter and signed with River Plate, where he remains along with twin brother Ramiro.
Hoyos (above, right), a midfielder, was born and raised in Southern California, attending high school there before moving back to Argentina at age 15 and signing with Estudiantes de La Plata shortly thereafter, where he also remains. He was reportedly approached by the US U-20 side for a camp a few years ago, but opted to remain with his club team.
Both players have represented Argentina at the U-20 level and Funes Mori made a recent appearance in a friendly for the Albiceleste's senior team, but both could file a one-time nationality switch with FIFA to play for the US.
Do you think either player would make the switch? Would they be good additions to Klinsmann's US national team? Chime in with your thoughts below!
How can the LA Galaxy persuade Frank Lampard to make the leap across the pond? Let him head back to Europe for an offseason loan, according to The Mirror.
The British tabloid claims the Galaxy are willing to let Lampard join a European club for up to three months next winter (sound familiar, LA fans?). The goal is for him to enter 2014 with the best chances of making England's squad for the summer trip to the World Cup in Brazil.
And that's not the only perk Lampard would get from this rumored offer, said to be for $4.5 million annually over two-and-a-half years. According to the report, Lampard would get benefits such as a free house and free flights to the UK.
The 34-year-old midfielder is rumored to want to stay at Chelsea, but his contract with the reigning European champions expires in June and the Blues have yet to make a new offer, leading to plenty of questions around his future.
A Galaxy spokesperson declined to comment on the report.
And bear in mind... it's The Mirror.
From awards, to songs, to books, the achievements of soccer players have been commemorated in many ways. But how many players can say they have a beer named after them?
Real Salt Lake goalkeeper Nick Rimando, for starters.
According to this piece from The Salt Lake Tribune, new Utah-based brewery Unsacred is releasing a line of beers, one of which will be named "Rimando's Wit."
Unlike Rimando, though, it won't pack a whole lot of punch, with Utah's strict alcohol laws stipulating that only beers with 4 percent alcohol by volume or less can be sold in grocery stores or on draft in restaurants and bars, a fact which the owners of the brewery cheekily acknowledged.
Still, it's a pretty fun and unique way to honor a player that has been integral to RSL's success for the vast majority of franchise history. The next step? As RSL's Twitter feed suggests, get it in the stadium, and before you know it the Real Nation could be swilling suds honoring their star 'keeper and watch him weave his magic at the same time.
Have you found any other drinks named after your favorite soccer player? Got any good suggestions? Chime in below in the comments section!
As befitting a centenary year, the US Soccer Federation has released a special crest commemorating the landmark occasion for American soccer.
It's not a radical departure from the norm – a sash reading "1913 ~ CENTENNIAL ~ 2013" has been placed under the normal crest – but it catches the eye without much change to a recognizable logo.
Of course, a commemorative crest isn't the only thing the USSF has planned to honor the federation's centenary. Though the USSF has yet to confirm them, there are strong rumors floating around that the US men's national team will face off against Germany in May, a match that would pit US manager Jurgen Klinsmann against his former team and former assistant Joachim Löw.
And while that is all well and good, there is still one overarching present that would make the USSF's centenary a truly celebratory occasion: qualification for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil, which would be the USMNT's seventh consecutive appearance.
What do you think of the crest? Too much? Not flashy enough? Feel free to share your thoughts and any others about US Soccer's centenary in the comments section below.
Here's a rumor that may have some legs. Though it hasn't always been the most reliable of sources, Honduran publication Diez claims that Houston Dynamo midfielder Oscar Boniek García has spoken to 20-year-old compatriot Alex López about a move to MLS, and López certainly isn't shying away from the possiblity.
"I have many friends who play in MLS, it would be a great goal, life is made for that," López is quoted as saying. "If the opportunity is given to me, I will go and work my hardest"
Given the success Honduran players have had in MLS and López's succcess with club team Olimpia in the CONCACAF Champions League and at the various levels of the Honduras national team, this one makes a good deal sense, not to mention the comments attributed to him the report.
"I have asked God for the opportunity to play abroad," López is quoted as saying. "It is something all players desire, and if the opportunity is given – and only God knows – we'll see how things turn out."
And let's not forget, López looks to be an excellent player in the making. He made his debut for Olimpia at the age of 18, and has registered 22 goals and 37 assists in 58 games in all competitions for the Honduran powerhouse.
He yet to score in three appearances for Honduras' senior national team, but made one start and two appearances off the bench during the team's impressive run at the Olympic Games, and has put in a series of strong performances at the youth international level.
García's involvement in the story naturally makes the Houston Dynamo a rumored destination, but López denied the certainty of a move, saying, "The truth is, I've had talks with Boniek García, but I'm not the one who makes the decisions here, [team] president Rafael Ferrari is the one who has command of the team, and he knows my future."
Could Aston Villa and Ireland defender Richard Dune be the latest man to reinforce the New York Red Bulls backline? The Daily Mail seems to think so.
Given the source, NY's trade for MLS veteran Jamison Olave, and the fact that the report states there is a £50,000-per-week salary on offer (that's $4.2 million annually for those who don't want to do the math) for a player who's struggled with injury, it seems very dubious.
The 33-year-old does bring a strong pedigree, however, with 408 Premier League (and 43 second-flight) appearances to his name in a long career with Everton, Manchester City and now Aston Villa. He's also scored eight goals in 76 appearances for the Irish national team and played in both the 2002 World Cup and Euro 2012.
Brazilian set-piece maestro Juninho Pernambucano has been linked to the New York Red Bulls for a couple weeks now, and the latest tidbit out of Brazil seems to indicate that the Red Bulls are stepping up their interest in the veteran midfielder.
This report from Globo Esporte [PORTUGUESE] quotes the player's agent, José Fuentes, as saying that New York have "pre-registered" Juninho. The language used by Fuentes, who explains the move gives the Red Bulls exclusive rights to negotiate with the player, seems to indicate that the Red Bulls have placed a Discovery Tag on Juninho.
The article also states that Juninho has not reached a decision on his future yet, but could announce his decision as early as next week. It should also be noted that the Discovery Tag applies only within MLS, so Juninho is still free to negotiate and sign with other Brazilian and foreign clubs.
Though he will turn 38 at the end of January, Juninho still seems to have some life left in his legs, having scored 13 goals in 49 apperances across all competitions in 2012. And who could say no to having a free-kick taker of this caliber (at least as good as David Beckham, I would argue) bending them home in MLS?
This should be an interesting one to follow, especially since Red Bull director of global soccer Gérard Houllier is familiar with Juninho from their time together at Lyon, so check back at MLSsoccer.com throughout the weekend and next week for more updates.