Thursday Kicks: Mandela, Gauchos, Xolos & more

i-ec6396b17551cf0a3d062ff49c0b9a8c-mandelaus.jpgThe USMNT posed for a picture today with former South African President Nelson Mandela in the wake of their 1-0 victory over South Africa Wednesday and the caption to the picture helpfully tells us that one of the world’s most recognizable people is in the “second row fourth from right.” Wouldn’t want to get Mandela confused with the likes of Rolling Hills Estates’ Robbie Rogers (the young white guy fourth from top left) now would we? (AP Photo).

*UCSB plays their NCAA Tournament opener at 7 o’clock tonight at Harder Stadium.

*Galaxy and Chivas USA fans won’t see their teams play the Kansas City Wizards anymore. Brushing aside the last vestige of MLS tradition associated with the not quite legendary Urology Bowl – back when the old (Dallas) Burn used to play the (Kansas City) Wiz – the Wizards have rebranded themselves as Sporting Kansas City ahead of their move into their new stadium next season. Their new colors: Indigo and light blue.

*The Galaxy’s Tristan Bowen did a Q&A with U.S. Soccer ahead of his return to the U.S. Under-20 National Team this weekend.

*There was fallout from FIFA’s World Cup bidding scandal today:

ZURICH (AP) — FIFA suspended two executive committee members from voting for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup hosts on Thursday after completing a corruption investigation.

Soccer’s governing body also cleared Qatar and Spain-Portugal of vote-trading.

FIFA’s ethics panel banned Nigeria’s Amos Adamu from all soccer activity for three years for agreeing to take bribes from undercover reporters from the British Sunday Times who posed as lobbyists trying to buy votes.

Reynald Temarii of Tahiti, the president of Oceania’s confederation, was suspended for one year for breaching FIFA’s loyalty and confidentiality rules when he was secretly filmed in the undercover sting.

Four former FIFA executive committee members also were suspended based on allegations published by the newspaper.

“It is sad,” FIFA secretary general Jerome Valcke said. “It was not necessary what has
happened. The way FIFA and the ethics committee has reacted shows how important it is to show things are under control.”

The paper had video showing Adamu requesting $800,000 to build four artificial soccer fields in Nigeria, and for the money to be paid to him directly.

Temarii was filmed appearing to ask for $2.3 million to fund a soccer academy in Auckland, New Zealand.

With Adamu and Temarii suspended, 22 FIFA ruling committee members — instead of 24 — will vote in the World Cup secret ballots on Dec. 2 in Zurich.

The 2018 bid involves England, Russia and the joint bids of Belgium-Holland and
Spain-Portugal. The 2022 contest involves the United States, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Qatar.

The four former FIFA executive members were suspended for a total of 12 years. They reportedly told reporters how to bribe FIFA officials and how much to pay.

*LMU junior Roger Downes (San Clemente) was named the West Coast Conference Defender of the Year. Downes, who started all of LMU’s 20 games and was the team leader in minutes was the anchor of a defense that finished the regular season with the second-lowest goals-against-average in the WCC and the third-lowest season GAA in program history at 1.07.

*Finally, missing going to the HDC for games already now the MLS season is all but over? How about a little road trip to see the second division Mexican futbol playoffs in TJ?

i-f97c9edc1da3891af8d0ec90441879f0-xoload.jpg

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About Nick Green

South Bay-based Los Angeles News Group soccer columnist and blogger Nick Green writes at the 100 Percent Soccer blog at www.insidesocal.com/soccer and craft beer at the Beer Goggles blog at www.insidesocal.com/beer. Cheers!
  • Studs Up

    Somebody tell Bradley he is not one of the boys and to dress properly. He even goes to see Nelson Mandela in shorts!