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NASL reaching out to CONCACAF nations for support with USSF

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Earlier this week, New York Cosmos owner Rocco Commisso made waves when he offered to invest $250 million of his money and to raise another $250 million in outside investment in order to fund a new or revived American soccer league, provided the United States Soccer Federation agrees to significant changes in several arenas, including how it operates with Major League Soccer, Soccer United Marketing, and promotion and relegation.

[ MORE: Mourinho rips forwards ]

The Cosmos are the flagship club of the North American Soccer League, who remains on the offensive as it seeks to return to the playing field by 2019. ProSoccerTalk has obtained a letter from the NASL to a Caribbean Football Association, asking the CONCACAF nation to contact U.S. Soccer president Carlos Cordeiro and encourage him to meet with the North American Soccer League and discuss Commisso’s offer.

A source confirmed to PST that similar letters were sent to all of the CONCACAF member nations by NASL commissioner Rishi Sehgal, detailing the accomplishments of their players in the NASL and contributions to the growth of the national team program. CC’d on the letters are CONCACAF president Victor Montagliani, CONCACAF secretary general Philippe Moggio, and Commisso.

CONCACAF declined to comment on the story.

The second-tier outfit is locked in legal proceedings with the United States Soccer Federation and MLS over the NASL’s loss of Division 2 sanctioning. It would be interesting to see how U.S. Soccer playing ball with Commisso’s 10-year, $500 million plan would affect the businessman and his league’s lawsuits.

No Mexico, USMNT at next Copa America; Japan, Qatar invited

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The USMNT and its next full-time coach will only have to worry about the Gold Cup in the summer of 2019.

That’s because CONMEBOL decided against inviting CONCACAF teams for next summer’s tournament in Brazil, opting to include Qatar and Japan.

[ MORE: Mourinho rips forwards ]

The USMNT hosted and reached the semifinal round of the 2016 Copa America Centenario, but will not get the chance to repeat its strong showing.

Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela will complete the field.

The United States won the 2016 Gold Cup and will clinch a berth in the 2021 Confederations Cup if it wins the 2019 edition. Should the USMNT lose, it would face the 2019 Gold Cup winner in the second CONCACAF Cup for the right to go to Qatar one summer before the 2022 World Cup.

FIFA bans coach for 2 years in World Cup match-fixing case

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ZURICH (AP) FIFA has banned a former El Salvador coach for two years for his role in offering players money to perform well in a World Cup qualifying game, and thereby help his native Honduras.

FIFA ethics committee judges found Ramon Maradiaga guilty of “bribery and corruption” and failing to report the plot, soccer’s world governing body said Wednesday.

El Salvador’s players were offered cash by a third party if they managed to win – or at least avoid losing by two goals or more – in a qualifier against Canada in September 2016. A big defeat risked helping Canada progress ahead of Honduras. It’s against FIFA rules for third parties to offer cash incentives to teams.

FIFA said Maradiaga let the meeting happen “in which financial compensation was promised to the players in exchange for their altering the result of the game between El Salvador and Canada.”

However, El Salvador players revealed the cash offer at a news conference before the game in Vancouver.

Maradiaga captained Honduras at the 1982 World Cup, the first time the Central American qualified for the tournament.

He was also fined 20,000 Swiss francs ($20,000), FIFA said.

Honduras progressed from the regional qualifying group by drawing 0-0 with Mexico in its final game, meaning Canada could not advance despite a 3-1 win over El Salvador.

Honduras ultimately did not qualify for the World Cup in Russia, losing an intercontinental playoff against Australia last November.

A previous match-fixing scandal forced El Salvador to rebuild its national team for the 2018 qualifying program.

FIFA imposed a range of lifetime bans and other suspensions on players who were involved in fixing games, including a 5-0 loss to Mexico at the 2011 CONCACAF Gold Cup.

CONCACAF cancels women’s U-17 tournament due to violence

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MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (AP) CONCACAF has canceled the rest of its 2018 Women’s Under-17 Championship following violence in Managua, Nicaragua, where the tournament began Thursday.

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football made the announcement Sunday. The tournament was to have determined the region’s qualifiers for the Under-17 World Cup in Uruguay, which starts Nov. 13.

More than two dozen people have been killed since Wednesday according to the independent Nicaraguan Human Rights Center, though the government had acknowledged only nine dead. Dozens of shops in Managua were looted during protests and disturbances sparked by government social security reforms.

The U.S. opened Friday with a 4-0 win over Costa Rica and had been scheduled to play Bermuda on Sunday and Canada on Tuesday.

Morocco gets two CONCACAF endorsements in 2026 World Cup hosting race

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Everything is going to be fine, even if the 2026 World Cup does not arrive on the shores of the United States. Just remind yourself that.

Morocco will feel it has landed some shots — pun very much intended — against the tri-bid of Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. with the endorsement of CONCACAF nations Dominica and Saint Lucia.

 MORE: De Bruyne on UCL comeback bid ]

“Dominica, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria, has a lot to learn from Morocco, which could help us become the first climate resilient country in the world,” said Dominica foreign minister Francine Baron in a release.

“Morocco has never ceased to provide assistance and expertise to farmers in my country,” said Saint Lucien minister of development and sports Edmund Estephane.

A failure to land the 2026 World Cup would be another shot at the legacy of former U.S. Soccer president Sunil Gulati, who has overseen much growth in the country but did not seek reelection following Bruce Arena’s failure to lead the USMNT into the 2018 World Cup.