Big rule changes were voted on and adopted by FIFA before voting began for a new President of FIFA this morning. Highlights: presidential term limits, replacing the executive committee, transparent salaries, at least one female representative from each confederation. Check it all out over here!
Sepp Blatter, as always, sighs and shakes his head at a world that finds him unfit to hold absolute power at soccer's governing body. In this New York Times interview he muses: ‘I Will Always Be a President’
In case you need a primer, here are the candidates' platforms and the mechanics of today's vote(s).
Whoever wins will need to address the fact that 2015 saw a $108 million deficit for FIFA.
By the time you read this, the vote may have been cast, but in case there was any doubt where the US ballot would go:
Zach Scott doesn't really know how to quit. But he has at least acknowledged the idea that there's a universe in which he no longer plays soccer for the Seattle Sounders.
Hope Solo works with goalkeeping coach and former Sounder Ben Dragavon to keep up her fitness, and his specialty in Muscle Activation Technique leads to some pretty precise tweaking of Solo's technique.
Major League Soccer
MLS fantasy is fun (especially if you remember to actually make transfers and update your squad, unlike some, uh, people). You should join in the fun. More info about the Sounder at Heart league coming soon, but you should also join the Never Manage Alone league!
The World Leagues Forum is an upstart little group of soccer leagues trying to get a bit more leverage in the soccer landscape compared to the national confederations at FIFA. Commissioner Don Garber represents MLS at the forum, which represents 23 professional leagues from four continents.
Columbus Crew SC's previous TV contract was not good for many Crew fans, who had been forced to beg, borrow or steal the broadcast because they couldn't get it on their TVs. That is all fixed now, and anyone who wants to get a good look at those new kits should now be able to.
Who doesn't love an MLS Cup rematch to start the season? Well, the Crew may not be super pleased that they will have to watch Portland hang a brand new championship banner right before they kick off their 2016 campaign, but that's the way it goes!
In absolutely shocking news, Montreal will be managing soon-to-be-38-year-old Didier Drogba's minutes this year as they seek to squeeze every last goal from his imposing frame. Go ahead and put your feet up, Didier, no need to make a trip all the way out here just to play on turf-covered concrete.
USL bonus link! Another team naming convention conquered! Reno 1868 is officially introduced as the latest member of the United Soccer League. It was almost Reno United and almost Reno FC of course, but no, we have reached new ground in the naming wars. Clearly they wanted to cash in on the successful "the word Reno followed by a number" formula.
Jamaica coach Winfried Schafer is excited to make some noise in this year's Copa América Centenario after turning heads last year in Chile.
Sports are the last type of programming that viewers and listeners prefer to take in live, and they have come to dominate live TV viewership.
James Montague traveled extensively in the Middle East to write a book about soccer and much more, and his chapter (published on Sporting Intelligence) about Bahrain, their national team and Sheik Salman is a great read.