Sepp Blatter held a press conference yesterday, and it was beautiful. Before he could begin speaking, a British comedian ran in and sprinkled Sepp's delicate Swiss frame with a stack of fake $1 bills. When Blatter finally did get around to talking, he reassured the audience that he would indeed be stepping down from his position as FIFA's president, and that his replacement would be elected on February 26th of 2016. Blatter left the stage shortly before ruminating on what he believes to be the next step in his career, radio, or as he calls it, "the most popular item of information."
In other satisfying FIFA news, Jeffrey Webb just posted his bail in the form of 11 watches, 10 properties, and three cars. The Cayman Islands native was one of the first officials arrested by the Department of Justice as a part of the recent FIFA scandal.
Andres Iniesta is a dirty, dirty, thief. According to a different, non-footballing, Andres Iniesta, the Spanish footballer began posting from his Instagram account, ainiesta, shortly after he unexpectedly lost access to it.
In times of political strife, soccer often serves as an engrossing mental escape for the masses. This was true shortly before World War II began, when a few English teams, namely Aston Villa and the English national team, traveled to Germany to play a series of friendlies. While in Germany, Aston Villa stood up to German pressure in a big way, while the English national team did not.
Brazilian striker Hulk plays in Russia for Zenit St Petersburg, where he has experienced so much racism that he's learned to "blow kisses to those who try to offend me." After a recent racially-charged incident causing Hulk to be sent off in the 30th minute, the 28-year-old is convinced that racism in Russia will have a serious effect on the 2018 World Cup.
In case you were curious, here is the website for Russia 2018, which was just recently published. The site contains a neat history of the beautiful game in the world's largest country (by land mass).
Apparently the new trend in soccer is biting. Nadir Ciftci, a Turkish striker currently playing for Celtic FC, just received a six-game ban for doing his best Luis Suarez impersonation in a recent match.
Everyone knows that referees are the worst, but beyond that it seems like there isn't too much knowledge out there on soccer's antagonists. An Irish website followed MLS referee Alan Kelly around for a day to find out what goes on in the daily life of a ref, and surprisingly it's a lot of work.
The U.S. Open Cup is beginning to draw larger and larger crowds, as evidenced by the 500 fans who will be busing down with the Sons of Ben to the Union's upcoming quarterfinal game against the New York Red Bulls.
The U.S. Development Academy just released its year-end awards, handing out awards for best players, best overall academies, best training facilities, and so on. Victor Mansaray was named to the Development Academy's Western Conference Starting XI.
Giovani Dos Santos is a fantastic signing for MLS, a quality player still in his prime. But is he the tipping point for the league? As MLS enters its early twenties, it still appears to be split between spending money and keeping some of the cheaper owners happy.
We hear a lot about Starfire Sports in reference to the Sounders, but the sports complex does much more than accommodate the rave green. Not only does Starfire employ 53 people, but it is also plays host to about a million visitors per year.
Well the deadline for NHL expansion proposals came and went, and no Seattle-area groups submitted any paperwork.