European leaders tell Blatter not to run? Don’t take too much from this development

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A UEFA revolt against Sepp Blatter is the first step in reforming FIFA. At least, that’s the theory some espouse. With much power concentrated in Europe, FIFA would have to bend if the soccer world’s most important region rose up against our corrupt overlords.

It’s a nice thought — a dream, even — but it doesn’t reflect the reality on the ground. Like FIFA itself, UEFA is a diverse organization made up of may different views and motives. Assuming the collection of federations form one big, cohesive voice won’t lead to anything but empty rallying cries. Given situations like the lives at risk in Qatar, people need real, more practical solutions.

Consider today’s report from the Associated Press, which multiple outlets have posted with the tantalizing headline “European football leaders call on Sepp Blatter to stand down as Fifa head.” For many fans opposed to FIFA, it’s a dream story, though there are two caveats:

  • “European football leaders” only means Dutch and English, within the story. Other executives have voice varying levels is dissent, but UEFA has 54 full members.
  • The term “stand down” doesn’t mean resign. It means pull out of the upcoming FIFA presidential election, to take place next year.

There is another important note from the report – information that keeps this from being a needle-moving development. According to the AP, “Blatter met Uefa delegates on Tuesday after getting support from Fifa’s five other confederations.”

Blatter’s power base has always rested outside of UEFA. That he maintains that support makes any dissent from a Dutch official a small ripple in an ocean of voices.

There’s very little about this update that reflects a change in the soccer landscape, which is unfortunate. Blatter is still likely to run for reelection, and he may retain the support needed to secure his post.

Unless there’s more opposition in UEFA’s huge body, there won’t be a significant deterrent to Blatter running for another term.

LINEUPS: Tim Howard starts for USMNT against Costa Rica

SALVADOR, BRAZIL - JULY 01:  Tim Howard of the United States gestures during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Round of 16 match between Belgium and the United States at Arena Fonte Nova on July 1, 2014 in Salvador, Brazil.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
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The United States takes on Costa Rica in a friendly tonight at Red Bull Arena, as the USMNT must put the Mexico match behind them and focus on the upcoming World Cup qualifiers.

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s USMNT coverage ]

The biggest inclusion in tonight’s starting XI is that of Tim Howard in goal, marking his return to the national side after taking a self-imposed sabbatical. It will be Howard’s first appearance for the USMNT since his legendary performance against Belgium in the 2014 World Cup.

Klinsmann has chosen to go with a 4-4-2 tonight, and Geoff Cameron remains the only starter in the back-line from the Mexico match. He’ll partner with Michael Orozco in the center of defense, with Brad Evans and Tim Ream on the outsides.

[ MORE: Fabian Johnson sent home from USMNT after fall-out with Klinsmann ]

In the midfield, Klinsmann has put some speed on the wings through the likes of DeAndre Yedlin and recent call-up Brek Shea. Danny Williams joins Jermaine Jones as the central midfielders.

Up top, Jozy Altidore will play alongside Gyasi Zardes, who returns to his more comfortable position as forward.

Cristiano Ronaldo wins record fourth European Golden Boot

MADRID, SPAIN - OCTOBER 13:  Real Madrid football player Cristiano Ronaldo poses with his four Golden Boot Awards as maximun goal scorer of European leagues at The Westin Palace Hotel on October 13, 2015 in Madrid, Spain.  (Photo by Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images)
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Cristiano Ronaldo has added another trophy to the collection, winning his fourth Golden Boot as Europe’s top scorer for the 2014-15 season.

The award accounts for goals in league play only, which means the Champions League and domestic tournaments are not included. In La Liga, Ronaldo scored 48 goals in 35 appearances.

[ MORE: 2015 MLS playoff scenarios ]

Ronaldo first won the award after the 2007-08 season with Manchester United, and has now added three more with Real Madrid in 2010-11, 2013-14, and 2014-15.

With his fourth win, Ronaldo moves ahead of Lionel Messi as the only player to win the award four times. Messi has won three, while eight players have won two.

Below is a post from Ronaldo’s Facebook page reflecting on the award:

What a special moment in my professional life!

Winning four Golden Boots is a privilege for me and I’ll keep challenging myself because I want to do better every time and I want to keep chasing for more records.

I have to thank everyone in Real Madrid that made this possible and we want to keep winning more titles and more trophies. Thank you everyone.

Ronaldo alone scored more goals in La Liga play last season than 14 clubs did, which shows how prolific his season was. The only player to score more than 48 league goals in a European season was Messi, who scored 50 in 2011-12.

[ EURO 2016: A look at the 20 teams that have qualified for France ]

While it was a successful year for Ronaldo personally, it was a very disappointing campaign for Real Madrid, who fired manager Carlo Ancelotti after finishing the season without a trophy.