Manchester United will face Real Madrid in Michigan

Leave a comment

Two of the world’s biggest soccer clubs will do battle in the USA’s biggest stadium, as Manchester United and Real Madrid will play in Michigan this August.

As part of the International Champions Cup, United and Real will square off at Michigan Stadium on August 2 in front of an expected crowd of over 100,000. The news initially leaked out many months ago, but only today has the game been confirmed.

‘The Big House’ will be rocking.

The last time these European giants met was in the last 16 of the 2012-13 Champions League, as Madrid won 3-2 on aggregate. Over the years these illustrious clubs have squared off many times, as Ann Arbor is in for a real treat when the English and Spanish heavyweights clash on the outskirts of Detroit.

Manchester United group managing director Richard Arnold is looking forward to seeing United take to the pitch against Real.

“United’s match against Real Madrid, presented by Chevrolet, promises to be an exciting event for players and fans alike. Playing such strong opposition will be great preparation for David Moyes and his team as we look forward to the 2014-15 season,” Arnold said. “This will be the team’s first ever match in Michigan and playing at the iconic Big House will be a memorable experience for all involved. United has over eight million followers in the US, and I look forward to welcoming many of these fans to Tour 2014.”

(MORE: Manchester United and Real Madrid to play at Michigan Stadium?)

Storylines to watch out for include Cristiano Ronaldo squaring off against the club where he made his name, plus Gareth Bale going up against the team who were said to have chased his signature when he left Tottenham last season. Plus in the dugout David Moyes and Carlo Ancelotti will lock horns, in an intriguing ‘friendly’ that is sure to capture the imagination of sports fans across the globe.

This star-studded match is part of United’s tour and will be presented by Chevrolet, who also happen to be United’s new shirt sponsor from next season. The American car manufacture will adorn the front of the Red Devils jerseys for seven-years from this summer onwards and the match will be play close to General Motors’ HQ to usher in their new partnership with United. It is all starting to add up now, right?

United are set to announce more details on their U.S. tour in due course, as the visit the States for this first time since 2011.

Blatter, Platini both officially appeal FIFA suspension

SAINT PETERSBURG, RUSSIA - JULY 25:  FIFA President Joseph S. Blatter and UEFA President Michel Platini look on during the Team Seminar ahead of the Preliminary Draw of the 2018 FIFA World Cup at the Corinthia Hotel on July 25, 2015 in Saint Petersburg, Russia.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Suspended FIFA executives Sepp Blatter and Michel Platini have both officially appealed their 90-day bans through various means in attempts to clear their names.

The pair have been forced to temporarily vacate their office due to an investigation by Swiss authorities into corruption charges based on a “disloyal payment” of around $2 million from Blatter to Platini in 2011.

Blatter’s appeal was lodged within FIFA on Friday, with the president’s lawyer confirming he has “requested additional proceedings before the Adjudicatory Chamber of the Ethics Committee and filed an appeal with the Appeal Committee.”

Blatter’s American lawyer Richard Cullen said he is “very hopeful” the suspension will be lifted on appeal, while his lawyer team back on Thursday argued in a statement that the FIFA Ethics Committee “based its decision [to suspend Blatter] on a misunderstanding of the actions of the attorney general in Switzerland, which has opened an investigation but brought no charge against the president.”

The New York Times obtained a copy of the appeal, in which Blatter’s lawyers demand to see the case file which the Ethics Committee reviewed upon its decision to suspend the 79-year-old. It also asks that he receive a full opportunity to argue his innocence in front of the committee; previously, he was only afforded a short interview with Swiss investigators.

Meanwhile, Platini’s appeal came through Saturday morning and is filed with the Court of Arbitration for Sport. His case has received official, legal backing from the French FA as his home nominating association for the upcoming presidential election. Using the French FA’s support, Platini can bypass the FIFA appeals system which he individually must exhaust before moving to the Court of Arbitration for Sport.

CONMEBOL has also publicly supported Platini, issuing a statement that says it “does not agree” with the decision to suspend him, calling it “untimely and disproportionate” while stating, “The presumption of innocence is a fundamental right that has to be considered. Mr. Platini has not been found guilty of any charge, therefore the provisional ban jeopardizes the integrity of the electoral process to the FIFA presidency, of which Mr. Platini is a candidate.”

The FIFA Executive Committee has announced it will hold an emergency meeting on October 20 to discuss the situation. Among the topics that will be considered will be a decision on whether to postpone the February 26 presidential election.

Emerson Hyndman says he wishes to leave Fulham amid contract standoff

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 28: Emerson Hyndman of Fulham celebrates after scoring the team's second goal during the FA Youth Cup Final: First Leg match between Fulham and Chelsea at Craven Cottage on April 28, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Leave a comment

Emerson Hyndman is stuck in an endless circle at his home club Fulham, and the only way out he sees would be to leave.

With his contract set to expire in the upcoming summer, Fulham has been pushing hard for the 19-year-old to lock down a long-term deal as many of his teammates have done in the recent months. Unfortunately, due to reported interest from abroad from teams like Borussia Dortmund, plus others in La Liga and the Dutch Eredivisie, Hyndman has been unwilling to do so thus far.

As a result, the USMNT prospect has seen little playing time, with manager Kit Symons understandably unwilling to let him see the field while he refuses to commit his future to the club. Hyndman has just eight minutes of League Cup play to his name so far this campaign.

Hyndman blames the lack of action as the main reason why he wants to depart, telling American Soccer Now’s Brian Sciaretta that he would like to move on.

“It’s a little difficult right now,” he said. “I’ve told them in the past that I think it’s time for me to move on. There are clubs out there that are interested and that I am excited about, so it’s difficult for me right now, and I can’t see myself getting too many first-team minutes. I feel that I had a good preseason, and I thought I might get a chance, but I am really looking forward to the future more than anything.

Unfortunately, that seems a bit unfair to his club. Why would a Championship club looking to build from within give significant minutes to a player who refuses to sign a long-term deal and looks set to leave in the summer? Then he tags the lack of playing time as the reason he wants to leave. It all seems to be a never-ending cycle.

Hyndman joined the Fulham youth setup at age 15 and flourished last season, making both his club first-team debut and earning a cap with the senior national team. He is currently with the U-23 Olympic team leading the charge for Rio 2016 qualification.

There is no doubting Hyndman’s abilities on the field, but for his sake, he needs to sort out his club situation as quickly as possible to further his growth as a midfielder.