3/16/18  Champ League Elite 8 Set, Indy 11 1st Game Ticket Discount, 2 MLS Teams Advance to CCL Semis, Christian Nicht named Carmel FC GK Coach, MLS Free TV Weekend, Indy 11 Free Preseason game vs Jax Sat 11 am @ the Jake

Good Heaven’s watching Barca and Chelsea and Messi scores a wonder goal 2 minutes in – man he is flipping good !!  Wow England started with a record 6 teams in the Eufa Champions League Sweet 16 and now there are at 2 on to the Quarterfinals – Man City and Liverpool.  Anyway the Quarterfinal Draw was made this AM and I have to say I am sad – I  know it’s a random draw but 2 English sides meeting each other in the Elite 8 sucks as Liverpool will match up against Man City.  Also in a Re-match of Last season’s Final – Defending Champs Real Madrid will face my squad Juventus.  Sad to see 2 such powerfull games that honestly could easily Finals taking place in the round of 8.  Other games feature Barcelona vs AS Roma from Italy and Sevilla faces Bayern Munich in the Round that a Spanish team has knocked the German Champions out the last 2 years.  Champions League Games resume Apr 3 & 4  and 10/11.   In Europa League action (think NIT) Arsenal will face CSKA Moscow, Atletico Madrid faces Sporting CP, RB Leipzip faces French Champ Marseille and Lazio faces Red Bull Salzburg on April 5/11.

So Dortmund pulled out the miracle again this past weekend in league play as Batshuayi scored his 2nd in the 93rd minute after blowing a 2-0 lead.  American Christian Pulisic had basically  2 assist as his first cross went off a defender deep for an own goal, then in the 2nd half he pulled a fancy 1 2 with Batshuayi to set up the forward for his first goal. Pulisic basically obliterated fellow American defender Timothy Chandler of Frankfort as he blew by him time and time again to feed dangerous balls in. It was a fantastic start and full game for Pulisic on the day. Sad that Pulisic was sick and missed the Europa League loss to RB Salzburg – sounds like Dortmund could have used his creativity. Hopefully he’s back for the Sun 8 :30 am game vs Hanover on FS2.

Congrats to MLS squads Toronto and NY Red Bulls as they advance to the Semi-finals of Concacaf Champions League on Univision.  Only four teams are left in the 2018 Concacaf Champions League.

Two entrants from MLS, Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls, and two Liga MX sides, Club América and Chivas de Guadalajara, are the final four in this edition of the CCL. Toronto FC will face Club America, with the Canadian club hosting the first leg on Tuesday, April 3 at 8 pm ET. Club América will host the second leg one week later, at 10 pm ET on April 10.  Chivas will host the first leg against the Red Bulls on Wednesday, April 4 at 10 pm ET, with Jesse Marsch’s side hosting the return leg April 10 at 8 pm ET.

Its a Free MLS Weekend this weekend so all the games will be FREE if you sign-up on MLSsoccer.com Sat 3 games – NYCFC vs Orlando, Montreal vs Toronto both at 3 pm, and Atlanta United vs Vancouver at 7:30 pm fresh off breaking the record last weekend for the largest ever MLS home crowd.  Then Sunday Carmel’s Matt Hedges and Dallas host Toronto at 5 pm.

Just 2 More Weeks until the Indy 11 open their 1st USL season home season vs FC Cincinnati on Saturday night, March 31st at 7 pm at their new home – Lucas Oil Stadium and we have a Special Ticket Offer from the 11 as we look to fill the stadium and welcome the over 2000 Cincy fans expected to make the trek.  Help fill the Luke – Sat, March 31st with discounted tickets to the Opening Game!  {Promo code 2018indy}.

11 am  this Sat 3/17 Indy 11 play Jacksonville Armada in last Preseason Game- FREE Admission @ the Jake


Big News for Carmel FC Goalkeepers as former Indy 11 starting Goalkeeper Christian Nicht (AKA – Das Boot) has been announced as the New Goalie Coach.  More Details to come next week as Goalkeeper training will move to Wednesday’s.  The Ole Ballcoach – Shane will still be around to assist of course.

Champions League

Quarter Finals – Are Set

Tues Results Man U lose and Roma Go Thru Jon Wilson SI

Mane Convinced Liverpool Can Win Champions League

Mourino proves he’s out of Touch with home Flameout vs Sevilla

Man Us Lukaku says some United players were hiding in 2-0 loss to Sevilla

Former Players Lash out at Man U’s home exit

Not So Special Anymore OUT –Missery of Modern Mourinho  SI

Dzeko Strikes again as Roma Defeat Shakhtar to Advacne

Bayern Cruise into Quarters over Besiktas


Europa League Draw Set

Europa League Winners Arsenal, Athletico, RB Salzburb, Marseille – Dortmund out

Arsenal advance to Last 8 of Europa

Atletico Cruises into Quarters

Dortmund shut down at Salzburg


Dope Saves by GK 2017/18

MLS Week 2 Best Saves

Tops Saves of Last Week EPL


How Fox Plans to Cover the World Cup

US List of Cities for WC 2026 Cut to 23 Cities

Who the US Should Call Up for March 27th Friendly vs Paraguay – S&S

US D Mid – Danny Williams – Out for Rest of Season for Huddersfield Town

Yanks Abroad – Green Scores, Pulisic 2 assists

US Falls to 25th In World Rankings

Change in the Gold Cup by Concacaff

US Ladies – SheBelieves Players Stock Up or Down


FREE MLS Weekend on MLSSoccer.com   Sat games —

3 pm Univision             NYCFC vs Orlando City (MLS FREE WEEKEND)

3 pm MLSsoccer.com MTR vs Tor (MLS FREE WEEKEND)

7:30 pm MLSsoccer.com Atlanta United vs Vancouver (MLS FREE WEEKEND)

MLS teams beat Mexican teams in CCL

Seattle Crashes out of CCL 3-0 loss on road

Red Bulls and Toronto Advance to Semis in CCL

Final 4 are Set in Concacaf Champions League with 2 MLS Teams in

Mexican Champ to Play MLS Champ in Campeones Cup  – in September

Derailing and MLS Season as Seattle and Minn have huge injuries – Jason Davis

Power Rankings MLS


Power Rankings Bayern, Barca, Man City Top 3

Harry Kane of the Spurs Set for April Return after Right Ankle Ligament Damage

Around the World in Soccer – Grant Wahl SUI– Christian Press Mess, Conte to PSG?

Klopp Pissed that Mersyside Derby flipped from Sun eve to Sat Noon during Champ League week


Help fill the Luke – Sat, March 31st with discounted tickets to the Opening Game!  {Promo code 2018indy}.

11 am  this Sat 3/17 Indy 11 play Jacksonville Armada in last Preseason Game- FREE Admission @ the Jake

Indy 11 Beat Chicago Fire 2-0

Season: IndySoccerTix.com (save on ticket fees!)
Flex Packs: http://ie6.glitnirticketing.com/ieticket/store/index.php?s_category_id=34
Single Game: htp://ie6.glitnirticketing.com/ieticket/mobile/evlistm.php?refresh=1520098544t

Soccer Saturday – Radio Show 9-10 am on 1070 the Fan

Indy 11_HomeOpener_ISA

Help fill the Luke – Sat, March 31st with discounted tickets to the Opening Game!  {Promo code 2018indy}.

Earn your Degree While You Watch Your Kids Soccer Practice – ½ the time and cost of Traditional Schools

Great 2,000 SF place in La Porte, IN just 20 min from both Notre Dame and the lakeshore. 3 Br/2 Ba Place 4 beds on Stone Lake – check it out: https://abnb.me/EVmg/KjWULabehK


Sat, Mar 17 

8:15 am FS1                   Swansea vs Tottenham (FA Cup)

11 am    Indy 11 play Jacksonville Armada in last Preseason Game- FREE Admission @ the Jake

11 am CNBC?                Stoke City (Cameron) vs Everton

11 am NBCSN                Huddersfield Town vs Crystal Palace

12:30 pm Fox soccer                       Wolfsburg vs Schalke

1:30 pm  NBCSN          Liverpool vs Watford

3 pm mlssoccer.com  NYCFC vs Orlando City (MLS FREE WEEKEND)

3 pm MLSsoccer.com MTR vs Tor (MLS FREE WEEKEND)

7:30 pm MLSsoccer.com Atlanta United vs Vancouver (MLS FREE WEEKEND)

3:45 pm FS2?                Man United vs Brighton  FA CUP

Sun, Mar 18

8 am BeIN Sport          Nice vs PSG

8:30 AM Fox sport1 Dortmund (Pulisic) vs Hanover

9:30 am FS2                    Wigan vs Southampton (FA Cup)

12:30 pm FS2                Leicester City vs Chelsea (FA Cup)

1 pm Fox soccer          RB Leipzig vs Bayern Munich

3/23-3/27 International Break

Fri Mar 23

12 noon BeIN Sport                          Russia vs Brazil

1 pm FS2                           Norway vs Australia

3:45 pm beIN Sport                          Argentina vs Italy

4 pm ESPN3                    France vs Columbia

10:30 pm Fox Sport 1                      Mexico vs Iceland

Sat, Mar 24 

1 pm be IN Sport        Sweden vs Chile

3:30 pm Univision     Dallas vs Portland (MLS)

5 pm Youtube  Indy 11 @ Richmond Kickers  (BYB Watch Party @ Union Jack Broad Ripple)

Tues, Mar 27 

12:50 pm ESPN Desp   Russia vs France

3 pm Fox Sports 1      England vs Italy

3:45 pm  ESPN3           Germany vs Brazil

4 pm ESPN Desp          Spain vs Argentina

8 pm Fox Sport 1      USA vs Paraguay

11 pm Fox Sports 1   Mexico vs Croatia

EPL 2018 Schedule  

MLS 2018 Schedule

Liverpool face Manchester City in UCL quarterfinals, Juventus play Real Madrid

7:14 AM ET  SPN staff

Liverpool face Manchester City in an all-English Champions League quarterfinal after the draw in Switzerland on Friday.Juventus take on defending champions Real Madrid while Barcelona — the first team to emerge from the draw — play Serie A side Roma. Sevilla, who knocked out Manchester United to reach the quarterfinals of the competition for the first time, face Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich for a place in the last four.The draw means Liverpool, who eased past Porto to reach this stage of the competition, play a domestic rival for the seventh time in European competition.They were thrashed 5-0 at the Etihad Stadium in September but inflicted City’s only Premier League defeat of the season so far in a 4-3 thriller at Anfield — where City have won just once in their last 30 visits. Juventus have the chance to gain revenge on Real, who beat them 4-1 in last season’s Champions League final in Cardiff.Bayern, meanwhile, have been knocked out of the Champions League by a team from Spain in the last four seasons.The first legs between Sevilla and Barcelona and Juventus and Real Madrid take place on Tuesday April 3, with Barcelona vs. Roma and Liverpool vs. Manchester City the following night.The second legs see Manchester City and Roma play their home games on April 10, with Bayern and Real in action the evening after.The Champions League final takes place in Kiev on May 26.

Sevilla Ousts Sloppy, Sluggish Man United; Dzeko Leads Roma Through in UCL Last 16

By JONATHAN WILSON March 13, 2018

Manchester United crashed out of the Champions League on Tuesday, losing 2-1 at home to Sevilla after a goalless first leg.Wissam Ben Yedder struck twice in six minutes after coming on as a 72nd-minute substitute to down Jose Mourinho’s side, which had been mystifyingly lackluster throughout the round. For Sevilla, this will be its first Champions League/European Cup quarterfinal in 60 years; Man United, meanwhile, still hasn’t been into the last eight since David Moyes was in charge.In the day’s other last-16 game, Edin Dzeko got the only goal as Roma beat Shakhtar Donetsk 1-0 to go through on the away goals rule after a 2-2 aggregate draw, sending the Italian side to just its fourth quarterfinal ever.Here are three thoughts on the day in the Champions League:


Sevilla had never won in England in six previous attempts. It had not been beyond the last 16 of Europe’s top competition in six decades. Manchester United had only lost two of 51 home games under Jose Mourinho–both against Manchester City. Sevilla had conceded 20 times in 11 games under Vincenzo Montella, including letting in five on three occasions. Every statistic said United should win with ease, and perhaps that was part of the problem. United was dreadful; Sevilla was good enough, improving as the game went on as though unable quite to believe its luck.United had been warned, with Eric Bailly making a last-gasp challenge to deny Joaquin Correa in his shooting stride early in the second half, but nothing improved. After the introduction of Ben Yedder came the reckoning. Ever Banega, making the play from deep, had found space all night, and it was his through ball that set the substitute in to put Sevilla ahead with a low shot. That was bad from a defensive point of view, but the second goal four minutes later was even worse, as Correa was left unmarked at the near post to flick on a corner for Ben Yedder to bang in his second. Only Cristiano Ronaldo has scored more than the French forward in the Champions League this season.Only then did United wake up, Romelu Lukaku pulling one back from a corner. By then, though, it was too late. This was dreadful, but there will be questions, too, about why United made itself so vulnerable with such a negative performance in the goalless first leg. United still has the FA Cup to play for, but even if it wins that, this season will go down as an enormous disappointment.


Alexis Sanchez is becoming a real issue for Mourinho. This was his 10th appearance since his signing from Arsenal in a swap deal with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and he has yet to settle in. It’s by no means the only measure of effectiveness, but it’s telling that his only goal so far was knocking in the rebound after his penalty had been saved in a 2-0 league win over Huddersfield. He didn’t play badly here: there was one superb pass to Marcus Rashford early in the second half, but when Rashford created a chance for him after 57 minutes, he got the ball caught under his feet and prodded it tamely into the body of defender Clement Lenglet.The inclusion of Marouane Fellaini for Scott McTominay and Jesse Lingard for Juan Mata were the only changes from Saturday’s victory over Liverpool in terms of personnel, but there was a change of role. On Saturday, Rashford scored twice coming in off the left, with Sanchez used behind Lukaku and Mata on the right. Here, Sanchez was switched to the left, with Rashford moving right and Lingard central. Whether that was solely responsible for a bafflingly lethargic display is impossible to say, but it certainly didn’t help.After the excellent home wins over Chelsea and Liverpool, this was a return to the flatness of the game at Crystal Palace when United went 2-0 down before coming back to win 3-2. Mourinho regularly insists that defending well is not a crime, and he is right in that, but this drabness was less the result of a cautious set up than a lack of energy and a sloppiness on the ball.It would be wrong to blame Sanchez for that, but equally it’s fair to ask exactly what he has brought and what he was supposed to bring. That he is a talented forward is not in doubt; how exactly he fits into this oddly shapeless Man United very much is.


For Shakhtar this was a Champions League exit replete with regret. What if the competition didn’t burden itself with the absurd away goals rule? What if it had taken a couple more of the many chances it created in the first half? What if it had a better goalkeeper than Andriy Pyatov?The Ukraine goalkeeper has his moments, but he is also prone to a high-profile gaffe. This perhaps wasn’t an overt mistake but equally there a sense he made things easy for Dzeko’s winner. Kevin Strootman’s pass was good, but if Pyatov hadn’t come flying off his line, what would Dzeko have done from the corner of the box? Perhaps he would have applied the perfect touch to set up a shooting chance, but that would have been a much harder skill than simply jabbing the ball past the onrushing keeper. The finish showed great awareness, but Pyatov turned a half-chance into a much more dangerous one, and it’s Shakhtar that is headed out of the competition despite a golden chance to go through.

Arsenal, Atletico Madrid Avoid Each Other in Europa League Quarterfinal Draw


By 90MIN March 16, 2018

The eight remaining clubs fighting to win the Europa League and a guaranteed place in next season’s Champions League group stage learned their fate as the draw for the quarterfinals was made at UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on Friday.Arsenal, who comfortably eliminated AC Milan in the Last 16, really need to go all the way after a poor domestic season and will now face 2005 winners CSKA Moscow for a place in the semis.Only strong teams now remain in this incredibly competitive season of Europa League action, with Atletico Madrid facing Sporting CP and RB Leipzig drawn against Marseille.

2017/18 UEFA Europa League Quarterfinal Draw:

RB Leipzig vs Marseille

Arsenal vs CSKA Moscow

Atletico Madrid vs Sporting CP

Lazio vs Red Bull Salzburg

First leg ties will be played on Thursday 5th April, followed by the return legs one week later on Thursday 12th April.

Toronto FC to face Club America, Red Bulls take on Chivas in CCL semifinals

March 15, 20184:03PM EDTAlicia RodriguezContributor

Only four teams are left in the 2018 Concacaf Champions League.  Two entrants from MLS, Toronto FC and the New York Red Bulls, and two Liga MX sides, Club América and Chivas de Guadalajara, are the final four in this edition of the CCL. Toronto FC will face Club America, with the Canadian club hosting the first leg on Tuesday, April 3 at 8 pm ET. Club América will host the second leg one week later, at 10 pm ET on April 10.Chivas will host the first leg against the Red Bulls on Wednesday, April 4 at 10 pm ET, with Jesse Marsch’s side hosting the return leg April 10 at 8 pm ET.Hosting order in both series was determined by accumulation of points through the Round of 16 and quarterfinal rounds, with América and New York picking up more points in their respective series and as a result hosting the second leg.Club América have won the tournament twice in the Champions League era (2015, 2016), while the other three semifinalists are looking for their first CCL title.

MLS Power Rankings: NYCFC remain atop the pack in Week 2

March 13, 201811:46AM EDTAlicia RodriguezContributorOnly MLS league games will be reflected in the rankings. Rankings are voted on by MLSsoccer.com editorial staff; words by Alicia Rodriguez.




HIGH: 1 | LOW: 2

NYCFC remain at the head of the pack after starting the season 2-0-0. Their win over the Galaxy on Sunday was rather nervy at the end, but they held on to start the Yankee Stadium slate in a satisfactory way.

Previous: Won 2-1 vs. LA | Next: vs. ORL on 3/17



HIGH: 1 | LOW: 2

Toronto FC didn’t play in MLS, instead getting the weekend to focus on their Concacaf Champions League series against Tigres UANL. If they advance on Tuesday, they’ll be flying high. If not? TFC may look to take it out on their rivals in Montreal.

Previous: Idle | Next: at MTL on 3/17



HIGH: 3 | LOW: 7

Cross-country road trips are always difficult, but looking at the lineups on Saturday, it appeared the Timbers would have a big edge on the Red Bulls, who rotated their lineup with CCL considerations in mind. It didn’t matter, as a youth-heavy Red Bulls side crushed Portland and gave a glimpse that the next phase in the project at Red Bull Arena is here.

Previous: Won 4-0 vs. POR | Next: at RSL on 3/17



HIGH: 3 | LOW: 11

It was a tale of two halves for Crew SC in their win over Montreal, as a sparkling first half gave way to the Impact imposing themselves in the second 45. But the Gyasi Zardes rejuvenation project picked up more momentum with a last-minute PK winner.

Previous: Won 3-2 vs. MTL | Next: vs. PHI on 3/17



HIGH: 5 | LOW: 17

The expansion side picked up the biggest surprise of the weekend, with a road blowout against an RSL team that had been moderately hyped as contenders. Two games into their history, LAFC do not look like an expansion team.

Previous: Won 5-1 at RSL | Next: at LA on 3/31



HIGH: 4 | LOW: 6

The Sounders were off this week to concentrate on CCL, but a road game next weekend against an also-idle FC Dallas team could offer a glimpse as to the state of the Sounders in the first month of the season.

Previous: Idle | Next: at DAL on 3/18



HIGH: 3 | LOW: 7

Atlanta finally got the bogeyman off their backs by vanquishing D.C. United for the first time. Tata changed up hist tactics and allowed Jeff Larentowicz to play the position he’s most comfortable in, which could account for the loss of Carlos Carmona.

Previous: Won 3-1 vs. DC | Next: vs. VAN on 3/17



HIGH: 8 | LOW: 14

Kei Kamara is legit: As Matt Doyle noted, the Whitecaps were basically built for him, and a goal (his 100th in MLS) and assist in a smash-and-grab road win over Houston gives Carl Robinson’s side an edge they haven’t had before.

Previous: Won 2-1 at HOU | Next: at ATL on 3/17



HIGH: 9 | LOW: 15

The voting panel kept Houston in the same spot this week, and probably for good reason. They outplayed the Whitecaps in a home loss, but just didn’t get the bounces to go their way for a result. They’ll head out for their first road game of the season next weekend against a D.C. United team that is eager for points. Should be a good test.

Previous: Lost 2-1 vs. VAN | Next: at DC on 3/17



HIGH: 8 | LOW: 12

Losing Giovani dos Santos and Michael Ciani in the course of their loss at NYCFC appeared to offer some addition by subtraction, as the Galaxy played much better in the final minutes. The concern, of course, is if Gio will ever get to the level that would make him one of the best players in MLS.

Previous: Lost 2-1 at NYC | Next: at VAN on 3/24

FOX Sports to bring MLS experience and global focus to U.S.-less World Cup

March 12, 201812:54PM EDTPhil WestContributor

AUSTIN — Rob Stone is looking forward to this summer’s World Cup with good reason. As FOX Sports’ lead studio host, he’ll have a prominent role in bringing the world’s biggest soccer tournament to American audiences. But the FOX team also can’t help looking back even as they prepare: Namely, to last October, when the United States men’s national team failed to qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1986.“It was a gut punch on every level,” said Stone, referring to both the personal as a fan and the professional who wondered how his network’s coverage would be affected by the U.S.’s absence. “To take that element away hurts, and I think it makes it that much more challenging.”But he also notes that FOX Sports — in part thanks to the American soccer audience they’ve cultivated with its MLS coverage — is up to the challenge of engaging both established and new fans with this summer’s tournament.“I’ve mourned, and I’ve moved on, and I’ve accepted what this summer’s going to be and how we’re going to present it,” Stone said, noting that “our country has evolved into a soccer nation.”“There are people out there who have lowered the expectation bar for this summer’s World Cup,” Stone said, pausing before adding, pointedly. “We’re going to crush it.”Stone — along with Stuart Holden, Alexi Lalas and Rachel Bonnetta — were in Austin for SXSW this past weekend to promote FOX Sports’ upcoming World Cup coverage via panels and online broadcasts.Stone contrasts the American soccer audience now with the one for his first broadcast involvement — the 1998 edition in France — in which “there was a great fear among our executives that once the U.S. was out, people were going to turn off the television,” adding, “We are at a point now where that is not the case.”That owes in part to the soccer audience FOX Sports has attracted and cultivated toward its MLS coverage, and the network’s coverage will certainly incorporate the MLS players representing their home countries.“There are going to be a bunch of MLS players over there who will be our focus,” Lalas promises. “Rather than be U.S.-centric, we’ll spread our view around, telling all the different stories.” Lalas also recognizes that some viewers won’t have familiarity with MLS, providing FOX an opportunity to act as ambassadors. “There are people who don’t follow soccer a whole lot coming into the tent here. When you give them that touchstone, that connection that says, ‘This guy plays in your community; you can watch him play every week in Major League Soccer,’ that’s important. We have to make sure we make those connections, and be proud of the fact that MLS is producing players who are playing in the World Cup.”Stone added, “I think [MLS] succeeding helps the national team and helps US soccer as a whole. I want to see those players in MLS do well in the World Cup,” noting that some young international players, who now see MLS as a “bigger stage to play on,” could have performances at this World Cup that will propel them to MLS.Holden — whose panel last Saturday explored the “24/7” coverage propelled in part by what Twitter and YouTube TV had planned—observed that the network’s MLS coverage this year is incorporating World Cup stories in their lead-in to the tournament. “MLS may have their largest-ever representation in a World Cup, which to me is a really great achievement considering there’s no United States, which normally accounts for a lot of the MLS players.”Stone hints that the coverage will have “a slight Olympic feel, in that we’re going to sell the stars,” noting that Argentina, Portugal and Brazil — featuring Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar respectively — have group stage games that don’t overlap. Stone also notes that “Germany is a star,” with Die Mannschaft a favorite to be the first World Cup champions to repeat since Brazil completed the rare feat in 1962. The FOX Sports team expects Germany’s June 17 date with Mexico — another squad the network will give ample attention to — as one of their most-watched group stage matches.While the U.S. won’t physically be at the World Cup, FOX Sports will still include American storylines in their coverage — starting with the FIFA vote the day before the tournament starts which may bring the 2026 edition to North America.“You recognize the biggest party in the world is happening this summer, and we have the responsibility and privilege to televise it,” Lalas said. “And the United States, with its incredible diversity, is maybe better equipped than any other country in the world to deal with a World Cup that doesn’t have the home nation in it.”

United States-led World Cup bid cuts list of potential host cities to 23

3:12 PM ETJeff CarlisleSoccer

The United Bid Committee, which is aiming to bring the 2026 World Cup to Canada, Mexico, and the U.S., announced ahead of Friday’s formal bid submission to FIFA that it has reduced the field of potential bid cities to 23 candidates.United Bid executive director John Kristick told ESPN FC in an exclusive interview that the bid would besubmitted at FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Friday ahead of a 5 p.m. deadline local timeMorocco is the only other contender. The joint bid will contain both digital and physical elements. The digital submission is comprised of over 500 pages, and including supplemental elements will reach nearly 1,000 pages. Adding the hosting documents on top of that and Kristick says the number of pages climbs into the tens of thousands.”We’re in a great situation,” said Kristick. “It has to be the most comprehensive sports bid ever put forward.”The field of candidate cities was reduced from a list of 32 named last October. The list of U.S. cities includes Los Angeles, New York/New Jersey, Washington, D.C., and the San Francisco Bay Area. The list of Canadian cities includes Toronto, Montreal, and Edmonton, while Mexico’s candidates are comprised of Mexico City, Guadalajara, and Monterrey.The average capacity of the stadiums that could potentially be used is over 68,000.FIFA president Gianni Infantino outlines the tasks facing newly-elected president of U.S. soccer Carlos Cordeiro.

“We’ve got new cities, we’ve got a combination of cities with brand new facilities and facilities that have been recently upgraded or will be renovated,” he said. “To me, it’s the perfect mix. The fact that we’re going forward with an oversupply [of cities] just shows you he intense interest across the three countries to take part. That’s important to us.”

There are some notable omissions, however. Chicago not only is the home of the U.S. Soccer Federation, but it also hosted the opening game of the 1994 World Cup. Vancouver, which was the site for the 2015 Women’s World Cup final is also absent from the list. The other cities eliminated include Charlotte, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis (which pulled out citing unacceptable FIFA demands), Phoenix, Salt Lake City and Tampa.

statement from Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel’s office given to the Chicago Sun-Times said: “FIFA could not provide a basic level of certainty on some major unknowns that put our city and taxpayers at risk. The uncertainty for taxpayers, coupled with FIFA’s inflexibility and unwillingness to negotiate, were clear indications that further pursuit of the bid wasn’t in Chicago’s best interests.”

Vancouver’s provincial government had similar concerns, according to The Province.Kristick is untroubled by the push-back. A total of 150 training facilities are specified in the bid, along with 72 team base camps. When these factors are included, the number of municipalities reaches 30.”Every city has the same requirements,” he said. “These are competitive bids and that’s just the natural process that you go through. I think every city, including if you speak to talk to Chicago or Vancouver, if they were given more time, they would have told you they absolutely felt they would have gotten things done, but unfortunately we hit certain points where we have to make decisions.”We have an oversupply of great cities, so to me it’s something we expected when we started with the 41 cities. We knew the number was going to come down, but we stand here today knowing that if the number is going to come down to 16, and we’ve got 23, we’re in an exceptional place.”Once the bid is formally submitted, the campaign phase will accelerate.”It’s not a sprint. We have a very, very experienced board with our co-chairs,” said Kristick. “We’re traveling, we will not be taking any votes for granted anywhere. We believe our bid is going to very much stand on its merits, and we’re very confident as we move into the campaign phase that we have a great story to tell and we believe that the members are going to be very discerning.”As they look at the bids on their merit, they’re going to look at the staging requirements for the largest World Cup in history, and the certainty that the United Bid brings — the opportunity that it brings across the commercial revenues that it will generate — and we hope that is the formula that will prove that the United Bid is where the World Cup should be staged in 2026.”FIFA has been accused of applying a double standard to the process in terms of when bid representatives can talk to prospective voters — an approach that appeared to favor the United Bid. It later softened its guidelines to allow voters to endorse one of the bids, provided both bids are given the same opportunities to state their case.”We are very confident with the processes that FIFA put forward,” said Kristick. “With the scrutiny that this bid is under, there is an intense level of compliance, and we are happy to subscribe to that. Whatever FIFA informs us we are able to do is the way we are making the approach. It’s not been a problem for us at all.”Last month, ESPN reported that support for the United States-led bid to host the 2026 event is more divided than most predicted, with some estimates of voting totals having Morocco not just threatening the North American bid but beating it, according to multiple high-ranking football executives within FIFA and the continental confederations.

The 2026 hosts are expected to be announced on June 13.

Canada: Edmonton, Montreal, Toronto

Mexico: Guadalajara, Mexico City, Monterrey

United States: Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York/New Jersey, Orlando, Philadelphia, San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle, Washington DC   ( YES NO INDY, NO CHICAGO – Cincy would be great – I can’t believe no Chicago however?? )


By IndyEleven.com, 03/12/18, 9:00AM EDTGoals from Saad, Starikov see Indy undefeated in last four preseason friendlies

Indy Eleven find winning ways once again in preseason after a 2-0 victory on the road against MLS’ Chicago Fire early Sunday morning. First half goals from “Boys in Blue” forwards Soony Saad and Eugene Starikov, as well as massive saves from goaltenders Owain Fon Williams and an unnamed trialist, ses Indy remain undefeated in the last four preseason friendlies.
While pleased with the result, Indy Eleven head coach Martin Rennie continues to stress the purpose of today’s match wasn’t necessarily to win, but to build fitness. “It was another good training game for us,” Rennie said. “Most of our players played 90 minutes. I think towards the end of the game, we [the players] were getting a little bit tired. But for most of the game I thought we played really well. We had good possession, scored good goals, created good chances and defended well throughout the game. I’m very pleased with where we’re at in this stage of our preseason.”

The scales tipped in Indy Eleven’s favor early on in the match. Eleven forward Jack McInerney ran in along the top right of the Fire’s 18-yard box. Coming in one-on-one with one of Chicago’s defenders, McInerney pivoted to the left around the Redman to fire off a shot. McInerney’s attempt as deflected by Fire goalkeeper Stefan Cleveland to the left of the goal when “Boys in Blue” striking partner Saad capitalized on the opening, sending the ball into the goal shortly after the clock ticked into the 11th minute.It wasn’t but seven minutes later when McInerney found himself in a similar position. McInerney came running in the top right of Fire’s box once again, but this time he attracted the attention of two Fire defenders instead of the previous one-on-one play. Unable to make the shot as he approached the center of the goal, McInerney sent a short pass to the left where it met the feet of XI forward Starikov. Without hesitation, Starikov hammered his shot out of Cleveland’s reach and into the top right corner of Chicago’s goal posts, widening Indy’s leading gap 2-0 in the 18th minute.
lthough the Fire’s attack pressed hard the entirely of the first half the first major attempt at goal didn’t come until the 44th minute. Chicago sent a lofty cross directly towards the center of Indy’s 6-yard box from the far left corner of the “Boys in Blue’s” half. Another Fire attacked leapt up and met the incoming ball with his forehead square in front of Indy’s goal. As luck would have it, Fon Williams was able to tip the header up over the crossbar and out of play, keeping Indy in a distant lead.
ire entered the second half determined to close the gap Indy created in the first. In the 50th minute, several Fire players crowded Indy’s 18-yard box while fighting for possession. In the middle of the scuffle, Chicago sent a scrambled shot towards the bottom right of Indy’s goal, but Fon Williams was quick on his feet with a diving save to force the ball out of dangerous territory. Fon Williams continued to collect as more attempts came his way for another 26 minutes before being substituted for an unnamed trialist for the remainder of the match.The first test for the trialing goalkeeper and arguably Chicago’s best chance at a goal came just moments after Fon Williams came off. In the 77th minute, Chicago was awarded a free kick at the top-right of Indy’s box, feet away from penalty territory. The Fire sent the free kick up and over the wall of XI players towards the center of the box and landing at the feet of one their teammates. After a quick touch, the home side players launched the ball towards goal, but the ball struck the outstretched arm of Indy’s fresh-legged keeper as he dove to successfully neutralize the attempt in the 78th minute.

The final whistle blew after a short spell of added time with both sides failing to find any goals in the second half. The “Boys in Blue” registered their second clean sheet of the weekend after a 0-0 draw against developmental side Bridges FC the day prior. So far, Indy holds a 3W-2D-1L preseason record, tallying a total of 8 goals over the last 5 matches. Starikov tops the preseason scoring list for the “Boys in Blue” with a total of 3 goal; he netted his first two in a brace against Swope Park Rangers in the second match of the preseason. Saad trails close behind Starikov with two goals under his belt. In third, Jack McInerney and an unnamed trialist are each tied with one goal. The last goal for the Eleven came from an own goal during their clash with Notre Dame last weekend.
Next Saturday, March 17, marks the Opening Weekend for the USL 2018 Season. Although your “Boys in Blue” won’t see any official action until March 24, they will continue their preseason with back-to-back home matches next Saturday against Indiana Wesleyan University and former foes Jacksonville Armada. Details on these matches will come later this week.

Looking for plans on March 31? Look no further. Click here to get your tickets to Indy Eleven’s 2018 Home Opener against regional rivals FC Cincinnati.

USL Preseason   Chicago Fire 0:2 Indy Eleven
Sunday, March 11, 2018    Toyota Park—Bridgeview, IL

Scoring Summary:
IND – Soony Saad 11’
IND – Eugene Starikov (Jack McInerney) 18’

Indy Eleven lineup (4-3-3, L–>R):  Owain Fon Williams (GK) (Trialist 76’); Ayoze (Trialist 45’), Reiner Ferreira, Carlyle Mitchell, Kevin Venegas (Trialist 36’); Watson, Trialist, Steinberger; Starikov, Saad (Trialist 90’+), McInerney
Chicago Fire lineup (L->R): Cleveland (GK) (McLain 45’); Castro, Conner, Ellis; Campos, Adams, Bronico, Johnson; Gordon, Collier, Bakero


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