We start the soccer news with FIFA not bringing their proposed World Cup expansion for 2022 to a vote. Amid several questions about how expansion would work with the limited number of stadiums in Qatar and their relationship with other Gulf countries, FIFA had expansion on the agenda for the June 5 Congress in Paris. That is now off, with FIFA opting against trying to start expansion a cycle early.
FIFA released a statement reading in part, “Following a thorough and comprehensive consultation process with the involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, it was concluded that under the current circumstances such a proposal could not be made now…. The FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 will therefore remain as originally planned with 32 teams and no proposal will be submitted at the next FIFA Congress on 5 June.”
The immediate result of this is certainty for the 2022 World Cup qualifying cycle. Confederations can now produce their formats and schedules. What this will mean for Concacaf is uncertain, but the expectation is a similar format to determine its 3.5 places. That likely means one more World Cup qualifying cycle with the Hexagonal round in place.
In the bigger picture, why FIFA took the concept of expanding the 2022 World Cup so far is worth considering. Qatar’s issues with building enough venues for the 32-team version are well known. So was the unlikeliness of a co-host or two elsewhere in the region. Instead of acknowledging that and moving on, FIFA tried to get expansion to a vote. Presumably, that would’ve only happened if they had broad support, meaning the votes.
In MLS, New York and Vancouver drew 2-2 at Red Bull Arena. The Whitecaps took the lead on the road with a 29th minute goal from Scott Sutter. Brian White equalized in the 37th with an own-goal putting the Red Bulls up in the 55th. A Fredy Montero penalty leveled the score in the 61st minute.
“It’s an important one,” Vancouver coach Marc Dos Santos said of the point on the road. “If we just look at the game it’s one thing, but… in the last ten days Portland home, Atlanta home, in Sporting Kansas City, and now in New York it’s difficult. It’s four very good teams that demanded a lot from us physically. So considering everything we’re happy with the point.”
The Athletic’s Paul Tenorio and Sam Stejskal report that USMNT assistant Josh Wolff was considered for the Rapids coaching job. Goal’s Ives Galarcep talks to USMNT U-20 coach Tab Ramos about the World Cup. The Guardian’s James Nalton’s interview with Barcelona academy and USMNT U-20 player Konrad De La Fuente.
FourFourTwo’s Daniel Storey explains the latest changes to soccer’s rules. The Guardian’s David Conn looks at Premier League club money. The Independent’s Miguel Delaney looks at the existential issues facing clubs in England’s lower divisions.
One of the greatest defenders in MLS history, Chad Marshall. 🐐#ThankYouChad
— Seattle Sounders FC (@SoundersFC) May 22, 2019
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