CONCACAF Boss Backs Both Ex-Co Candidates
President Jeffrey Webb says CONCACAF is “in a great situation” with Mexico’s Justino Compeán and USA’s Sunil Gulati going head-to-head for FIFA’s vacant Executive Committee seat from the Americas.
“Of course, Justino has a lot of experience very much focused in business, good experience from the media standpoint from football development programs,” Webb told MLSsoccer.com on Wednesday.
“Sunil, of course, has a great mind from an economic standpoint. He’ll be able, of course, to assist with FIFA as far as growing the bottom line and also for helping with governance and really overall growing FIFA.”
USA’s Chuck Blazer held the Ex-Co position for 16 years but decided last month not to run for a fifth term, saying that fresh blood was needed on the ruling board of world football’s governing body.
CONCACAF’s 40 member associations will cast their votes for Blazer’s replacement at an April 19 congress in Panama City. The four-year term starts in May and ends in 2017.
“The game is evolving and we need individuals who are going to be strong from a business standpoint to help the game,” Webb said Wednesday.
California Plans Another MLS-Capacity Stadium
Elk Grove, California appears to be jockeying for a Major League Soccer franchise.
According to KXTV, city council in the Sacramento suburb voted unanimously Wednesday to buy the land for a new 18,000-seat stadium, the centerpiece of a proposed 120-acre, $100 million sports complex adjacent to Elk Grove Promenade.
“I can’t imagine how it wouldn’t be sold out for every game. I think soccer in this NorCal area is phenomenal,” soccer coach Stephen Cosenza told the local ABC affiliate. “I think we’ll pack the place.”
Advocates of the stadium are projecting an MLS team could generate $15 million a year for the area.
“For Elk Grove, this is a really really good opportunity to put the city on the map, not just at a national level, but on an international level,” Fabien Nunez, a member of the ownership group Northern California Soccer, told KXTV.
Financing would be through bonds as well as ticket sales, parking, naming rights and lease payments to the ownership group.
Big Saturday for MLS, NBC
NBC and NBC Sports Network will air an unprecedented 10 straight hours of Major League Soccer on Saturday.
After broadcasts of DC United vs New York Red Bulls at 12:30 p.m. ET on NBC and Sporting KC vs Chicago Fire at 3 on NBCSN, the marathon climaxes at 5:30 with the aptly titled “MLS Breakaway” studio show.
Believed to be styled after the popular NFL RedZone, anchors Arlo White and Kyle Martino will call the shots from NBCSN’s new Stamford, Connecticut studio as the network bounces among four matches: Montreal Impact vs Toronto FC, Philadelphia Union vs New England Revolution, Columbus Crew vs San Jose Earthquakes, and Real Salt Lake vs Colorado Rapids.
Coverage of Seattle Sounders vs Portland Timbers at 8 p.m. on NBCSN caps off the “Rivalry Week” special.
By INSIDER’s Matthew Grayson
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