*FIFA has appointed a panel that will recommend “ways to improve soccer” before the 2014 World Cup. I’m guessing the “pet project” of FIFA president Sepp Blatter won’t recommend getting rid of the corrupt fogey.
Among the members of the 22-member Task Force Football 2014: Pele, Bobby Charlton, Cafu and Christian Karembeu.
“This vastly experienced team will address every facet of the game, tackling any challenges related to the game and coming up with appropriate solutions,” Blatter said Thursday in a statement.
*Now this is potentially scary: the USWNT plays Mexico just before leaving for the World Cup; let’s hope they don’t lose again:
CHICAGO (AP) — The U.S. women’s soccer team will play Mexico in a June 5 exhibition at Red Bull Arena, its final game before the team leaves for the Women’s World Cup in Germany.
The game will be the first against Mexico since El Tri upset the Americans in World Cup
qualifying last November, forcing the two-time World Cup champions into a playoff against Italy for a spot in this summer’s tournament. The U.S. has a 49-game unbeaten streak at home, its last loss coming Nov. 6, 2004, against Denmark in Philadelphia.
“There’s nothing better than having a World Cup send-off game at an amazing venue against a very good opponent in front of a great crowd,” U.S. captain Christie Rampone said. “It will be an emotional game and a great test for us before we head over to Europe to begin our final preparations.”
Kristine Lilly, whose 352 appearances is an international record, will be honored before the game. Lilly, who retired in January, is the only player to play in all five Women’s World Cups. She also played on three Olympic teams, winning gold medals in 1996 and 2004.
The United States will leave for training camp in Austria after the game. The Americans begin group play June 28 against North Korea in Dresden, followed by a July 2 game against Colombia in Sinsheim. The Americans close out Group C against Sweden on July 6.