The soccer news starts with a problem for how the sport is covered on both sides of the Atlantic. The daily churn of what passes for news can downplay major issues for the sport. Right now, that issue is the countdown not for the decision on who will host the 2026 World Cup or even the start of this summer's World Cup itself. Instead, it's FIFA trying to push through plans to revamp the Club World Cup, start a Global Nations League, and sell stakes to both to a third-party.
Should that happen, it creates a new normal for how FIFA conducts its business and its tournaments, changing international soccer for clubs and countries. ESPN's Matt Scott explains UEFA's perspective, with their stakeholders not sold on the concept or the timeline. AP's Graham Dunbar also has UEFA stakeholders pushing back against a concept they believe would add to fixture congestion.
FIFA's position is a "show you the money" move focusing on what's reportedly a $25b as in billion guarantee. That's tough to downplay in a profit-driven sport, but it carries with it that fundamental shift in scope. It's also not lost on anybody that FIFA is attempting to turn their tournaments into the biggest in the world.
UEFA already has the biggest club tournament in soccer with the Champions League, the real world championship for anybody paying attention. Their new Nations League has yet to play a game before being copied by Concacaf and now apparently FIFA itself. That's probably not a flattering approach from UEFA's perspective. Given that this primarily seems to be about money, it's also not lost on anybody that UEFA's perspective matters as the most economically valuable confederation in world soccer.
FIFA made it clear during the recent scandals that confederations operate separately. That might end up being the big point here if this turns into a disconnect between Europe and international soccer's governing body.
Moving on, MLS week 12 started with Vancouver drawing 2-2 with San Jose at BC Place. Cristian Techera put the Whitecaps up in the 19th minute with Danny Hoesen equalizing in first-half stoppage time. San Jose took the lead through a Nick Lima goal in the 53rd. Yordy Reyna equalized for Vancouver in the 64th minute.
"I think there were moments where we were really strong. We put them on their back foot. We did what we planned and broke their high-pressing lines and we were able to go on some good rushes and get forward. I think there were a few times where we lacked a little creativity in the final third, myself included. I think overall we put out a good performance. We're not out of it by any means. It was a good effort and I'm proud of this group."
USSoccer.com has the results from the Second Round of the 2018 US Open Cup. The Toronto Sun's Kurtis Larson talks to Toronto FC coach Greg Vanney about the Eastern Conference table. FC Yahoo's Doug McIntyre talks to former USMNT coaches Jurgen Klinsmann and Bruce Arena. SI.com's Chris Ballard has a profile of Klinsmann.
The Daily Mail's Nick Harris has a chart of the Premier League prize money and TV revenue distribution. The National's Andy Mitten previews Saturday's FA Cup final. beIN Sport talks to former Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger.
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