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Jan 202014

JeffreyWebb EFE Webb Receives United Nations Recognition for Social Work through Sport

Acknowledgement takes place in the context of the Fourth Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit

Dakar, Senegal, January 15, 2014 – CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb has been honored with a special recognition by the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS). Webb received the 2013 Protect the Goal Special Award for the Diaspora at the 4th Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit for his exceptional work in utilizing sport to advocate for social development. The theme of the summit concerns youth unemployment in the post-2015 development agenda of the United Nations.

UNAIDS presented this recognition to individuals from the African Diaspora whose contribution to promoting social good through sport has been exemplary. According to Senior Adviser to UNAIDS, Dr. Djibril Diallo, Webb’s efforts “have demonstrated the highest commitment to this vision of creating a better world through sport.”

“CONCACAF feels privileged to partner with the United Nations in the framework of our social responsibility initiatives, to reach out to millions of young people with prevention messages towards a healthier society,” said Webb during his acceptance speech during the Gala Dinner held at the Grand National Theater.   You can also find great presentation by having a look at the NFL Superbowl XLVIII betting rules.

On April 19, 2013, CONCACAF and UNAIDS signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to work together in the AIDS response, particularly among young people. This is an unprecedented commitment to carry out joint advocacy and communication activities in all of CONCACAF’s regional competitions in support of the UNAIDS Protect the Goal campaign.

The Confederation embarked on the dissemination of the Protect the Goal message to thousands of football aficionados. This entailed the presentation of the campaign banners and a pledge read by the captain of each of the participating teams before the games throughout all its tournaments.

“This beautiful sport is filled with passion, and passion is the starting point of all achievement. It’s the energy that fuels our dreams. The dream that we can be something bigger than ourselves. That the currents of change can build a bigger wave with the power to act in support of a healthier and more conscious society,” added Webb during his address.

Throughout this past year, football has provided a platform to increase the global visibility of UNAIDS and its work in the AIDS response. Given the size of the CONCACAF tournaments, both in attendance and viewership, these events provided an opportunity for UNAIDS to send its message across colossal audiences and identify potential new sponsors and partners.

Globally, an estimated 4.6 million young people 15 to 24 years of age are living with HIV. About 2,300 young people are infected with HIV each day. This means that 100 people get infected each day. One person per minute.

“We felt we could use the power of our sport to reach out to youth with a message of awareness. Gold Cup 2013, our biggest tournament, conveyed UNAIDS’ message to 500,000 fans and more than 60 million viewers,” said Webb.

The 4th Pan-African Youth Leadership Summit, which is attended by five hundred youth leaders from 54 countries of Africa, the Diaspora in the Americas, the Caribbean and Europe, is held at the King Fahd Palace hotel up to 17 of January. Youth leaders are expected to adopt the Dakar Declaration in which they will reiterate their plan to play an active role in international consultations under way in the framework of the post-2015 development agenda of the UN.

The main objective of the youth summit, organized by the Pan-African Youth Leaders Network of the United Nations for the Achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (ROJALNU/MDGs) in collaboration with UNAIDS and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), is to provide a platform for youth leaders from Africa and the Diaspora to discuss and share innovative ideas on key issues of sustainable human development. Other themes pertaining to the demographic dividend, gender violence, youth and adolescents’ reproductive health issues, HIV/AIDS and information and communication technologies are also being discussed during the week-long summit.

The summit has been held under the patronage of His Excellence Mr. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, and His Excellency Mr. Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali. High-ranking personalities attending include Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, Under- Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Director of UNFPA, Cheikh Hadjibou Soumare, President of the Commission of West Africa Economic and Monetary Union (WAEMU), Benoît Sambou, Minister of youth, professional training and employment of Senegal, and other high-ranking officials of inter-governmental organizations such as the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie, civil society and the private sector.

Oct 252013

Huddle for Web Sporting KC advances to quarterfinals of CONCACAF Champions League
(October 23, 2013) — Sporting Kansas City advanced to the quarterfinals of the 2013-14 CONCACAF Champions League following their 0-0 draw against CD Olimpia on Wednesday night at Sporting Park. Sporting KC will await the results from Thursday night’s CCL matches to see which team they play in the next round of the tournament.

Sporting KC finished first in their group with a 2-0-2 record (8 points). The eight group winners advance to the quarterfinals, which will be played in March 2014.

Sporting KC can finish no higher than sixth place in the overall standings. The top four teams have home-field advantage which means Sporting KC would host their opponent in the first leg of the quarterfinals at Sporting Park and head on the road for the second leg.

Wednesday night, Sporting KC controlled 68% of the possession but were unable to beat Olimpia goalkeeper Noel Valladares. The Honduran national team goalkeeper recorded five saves on the night, including two on Jacob Peterson in the first half.

In the second minute, Peterson cut to the middle and laced a left-footed shot on target. Valladares reacted well and tipped it over the crossbar for a corner kick. In the 29th minute, Seth Sinovic curled in a ball from the left flank. Peterson darted to the penalty spot and headed the ball cleanly to the near post, but Valladares knocked the attempt away with his fingertips.

Sporting KC goalkeeper Eric Kronberg made one save on the night for his third shutout of the tournament. The veteran goalkeeper finished the group stage with only one goal allowed in four games played and has allowed only two goals in six games played this year in all competitions.

Wednesday’s match was a physical affair, as the two squads combined for 35 fouls. Sporting KC center back Aurelien Collin picked up a yellow card in the first half and will be suspended for the first match of the quarterfinals due to yellow card accumulation.

Sporting KC will return to League action on Saturday with their regular season finale against the Philadelphia Union at PPL Park. Sporting KC is currently one point back of the New York Red Bulls and Real Salt Lake in the MLS Supporters’ Shield race. Saturday’s match will kick off at 2 p.m. CT on the NBC Sports Network.

Jul 222013

Landon Donovan led the U.S. to a 5-1 historic win over El Salvador on Sunday with a strong performance that included 1 goal and 3 assists, bringing his U.S. career total to 54 goals and 55 assists.  Donovan once again proved why he is a vital asset to the team.

“Landon proved today how well he plays and how he can make a difference,” Jurgen Klinsmann said.

Screen Shot 2013 07 22 at 5.42.58 PM 300x300 U.S. defeat El Salvador, Advance to Semis

With the win over El Salvador, the stars and stripes are now in the Gold Cup semis for the 11th time, the most of any other country. The victory extends the teams winning streak to nine wins and 31 goals, the longest in U.S. team history.

“We strive to be the best team. It doesn’t matter if it’s a world cup qualifier or not. You always want to be one step ahead of them,” DaMarcus Beasley said.

“This is a process. We are trying to catch-up with the big teams in the world and raise the bar,” said Klinsmann. “It’s all about speed. I’m talking about mental speed and passing speed. You’ll see players trying to keep the tempo high and create changes”.

1000499 10153076851680164 1515833740 n 300x300 U.S. defeat El Salvador, Advance to Semis

It was this newfound speed that Landon Donovan credited as being the key to the win for the U.S. “El Salvador played well and defended well, but the key was to continue with a fast pace, “ said Donovan.

Veteran players like Rimando, Clarence Goodson, and Donovan laid the groundwork for younger players like Joe Corona to come in and finish plays.

Screen Shot 2013 07 22 at 5.41.32 PM 300x298 U.S. defeat El Salvador, Advance to Semis

“The younger players are getting better with each game. They’re showing they belong on the national team, Donovan said.”

The players and coaches also credited their collectiveness on the field as a key factor in the team’s victory.

“We have been together for three weeks, but it feels like we have been together for years. You can see that on the field,” said Jose Torres.

Screen Shot 2013 07 22 at 5.47.58 PM 300x298 U.S. defeat El Salvador, Advance to Semis

USMNT fans at M&T Stadium in Baltimore where overshadowed by a sea of El Salvador fans decked in blue, but that didn’t stop Klinsmann’s team from finding the back of the net.

“For every opportunity we made, the U.S. made two or three”, El Salvador’s coach said. “The U.S. was very consistent, we haven’t seen this type of level of play in this tournament”.

Coach Agustín Castillo said the U.S. team’s collectiveness challenged the team. “The U.S. almost play by memory. They can find their spaces and make the ball appear,” Castillo said. “Players like Beckerman in the midfield made it challenging for us.

Screen Shot 2013 07 22 at 5.49.39 PM 300x266 U.S. defeat El Salvador, Advance to Semis

The U.S.’s tempo changed in the second half. The second half brought in goals from both Eddie Johnson and Mix Diskerud. In the 60th minute, Eddie Johnson scored off a header just 14 seconds after being subbed into the game.

“We knew that with Eddie Johnson’s goal the game was over,” said Klinsmann.

The team is one step closer to capturing the title. The last time the team won was in 2007. The U.S. will try to extend their nine game winning streak to ten when they take on Honduras in Dallas on Wednesday in the Gold Cup semifinals.

“They are the best team I’ve seen in this tournament and strong candidates to win the Gold Cup,” El Salvador’s coach said.

Screen Shot 2013 07 22 at 5.51.25 PM 300x242 U.S. defeat El Salvador, Advance to Semis


CONCACAF Unveils New Gold Cup Trophy

 Posted by on May 15, 2013 at 8:18 pm  International
May 152013

Logo GoldCup2 CONCACAF Unveils New Gold Cup Trophy

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football today presented for the first time the new CONCACAF Gold Cup trophy, at a press conference in Mexico City organized by Banco Santander, official sponsor of the event. This new Gold Cup will be awarded to the winner of the tournament at the Championship game on July 28th at Soldier Field in Chicago.

The new Gold Cup uses the original design of the trophy, which debuted in 1991, transforming its basic elements to lend a rejuvenated, modern imagery through a more brilliant finish that evokes the values of transparency and renewal of the new CONCACAF.

GoldCupTrophy Image12 CONCACAF Unveils New Gold Cup Trophy“We are extremely proud of the manner in which these subtle design changes to the Gold Cup have helped us to highlight important characteristics of the competition as well as the region as a whole,” said Enrique Sanz, General Secretary of CONCACAF. “On one hand, the history of the Gold Cup is referenced through the inscribing of the names of past champions on the base, while on the other hand we are reminded of the spirit of transformation and development of all the member associations of our Confederation, which every two years strive to raise this trophy.”

The new Gold Cup has been sculpted in metal with golden plating, and features larger handles than the previous version, formed at a more extreme angle to represent the accelerated growth and dynamism of competition which today characterizes soccer in CONCACAF.

“Through sponsorship of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, Banco Santander consolidates its position as a promoter and the official bank of this continent’s most important tournaments for both clubs and national teams. In addition to Gold Cup, we sponsor Copa Libertadores, Copa Sudamericana, Recopa and Copa America,” said Marcos Martinez Gavica, Executive President of Santander Financial Group Mexico. “Our services make us a leading bank in Latin America and today, with our sponsorships, we’re the “Bank of Football.”

Santander is now the brand second-most affiliated with football in Latin America, which fills us with pride.”

One of the newer elements of the trophy is the curved base, designed with a series of “steps” where the names of tournament winners have been engraved, paying tribute to past champions of this national team tournament.

“It is a real pleasure to be able to participate as host of the unveiling of the new Gold Cup, as defending champions of the tournament,” said Justino Compeán, President of Mexican Football Federation. “The importance that this cup has for Mexico goes well beyond the commitment to defend the title, since, beginning this July, we’ll be looking for a ticket to the 2017 FIFA Confederations Cup as well.”

“The responsibility that we have as the coaching staff of the Mexican National Team is to administer our players in the coming months to achieve the goals we’ve proposed for this year, which include qualifying for the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a good showing at the Confederations Cup, and of course to claim once again the Gold Cup trophy,” said José Manuel de la Torre, Coach of the Mexican National Team. “I want to reiterate that our priority is to be the best team in CONCACAF, and confirm as much in each tournament in which we participate. That commitment brings with it the responsibility to represent Mexico and all of CONCACAF in the same way at the international level, always.”

The new trophy continues the process of positioning of the Gold Cup on the spectrum of international football, where it is becoming one of the more recognizable icons of our sport. As Gold Cup continues to prosper and increase in popularity, the trophy will continue to exemplify the excellence, history and future of the Confederation.

The new Gold Cup is 26 inches high and weighs 20 pounds. The name of the tournament is written in English and Spanish on the upper rim, and repeated all the way around the circumference. Inscribed in the interior of the trophy is the phrase “Forty Countries. One Confederation. One Goal.” This mantra represents the unity among member associations of the Confederation, and serves as a formal greeting to each country within the borders of CONCACAF, united by the same values, goals and passion for the game.

May 072013

 3b70zzl7d Santos Laguna Awarded Special Recognition from CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb

The Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) today announced the decision of President Jeffrey Webb to recognize Club Santos Laguna for its gesture of Fair Play and camaraderie, demonstrated following the Champions League Final match played last Wednesday in Monterrey.

Led by club President Alejandro Irarragorri Gutiérrez and captain Oswaldo Sanchez, the team’s entire roster formed a line of honor for the players of Club de Futbol Monterrey, and proceeded to applaud each of their rivals as they made their way to the stage to accept the winners’ medals.

“Acts like the one carried out by Santos Laguna demonstrate the best qualities of our sport; the respect for rivals even in the most difficult moments, as after a defeat in an important finals match,” said CONCACAF’s President, Jeffrey Webb. “For that reason, I’ve decided to recognize Club Santos Laguna, its players, coaches, administrators and executives for elevating the ideal of Fair Play and promoting this message of unity and respect to our region — a clear example to follow.”

The recognition will be presented to Santos Laguna at the 2013/14 CONCACAF Champions League draw to be held in Miami at a date to be announced.

May 062013

JeffreyWebb EFE Webb chairs first FIFA Anti Discrimination Task Force meeting

Members discuss stronger and consistent sanctions against acts of discrimination and racism

The newly created FIFA Task Force Against Racism and Discrimination held its first meeting today at the Home of FIFA in Zürich. The session focused the debate on the application of sanctions in cases of racist and discriminative acts. The proposal studied to uniformly implement the sanctions that already exist in the FIFA regulations in a stronger and more consistent manner.

The group, chaired by FIFA Vice President and CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb, included representatives from the football committee and a panel of experts on the fight against racism and discrimination. During the session, members highlighted the need to send a strong message of zero tolerance towards any such acts within football, making sure social justice and racial integration is implemented at all levels of the football community.

“We have a special responsibility in the way we can impact football and society,” said Webb during his opening remarks. “One of the opportunities this task force has is its vast reach throughout FIFA’s 209 member associations where we can implement the resolutions in every region and every country where football is played, bringing universality to the mechanisms that combat racism and discrimination.”

The task force came up with the following proposals, which will be included in a draft resolution to be presented at the FIFA Congress in Mauritius at the end of May:

- Firstly, having an official at the stadium who would identify potential acts of discrimination with the aim of easing the pressure on referees and facilitating the availability of evidence, which is not always easy to obtain, for the disciplinary committees to take decisions;
- Secondly, applying sanctions in two stages, with a list of applicable sanctions for a first or a minor offence, such as a warning, a fine, or the playing of a match behind closed doors, and a list of stronger sanctions for reoffenders or for serious incidents, such as point deductions, expulsion from a competition, or relegation;
- Thirdly, emphasis on the responsibility of member associations and clubs for the actions of their players, officials and supporters, and on the need to implement the existing sanctions in a harmonised way across all confederations, member associations and leagues, with a proposal to request that clubs and member associations provide a concrete action plan showing their intention to fight any forms of racism and discrimination among their supporters.

Reflecting the discussions that took place today, the Task Force will present a resolution on the issue of sanctions at the upcoming FIFA Congress in Mauritius at the end of May. Similarly, at its next meeting the Task Force will focus on education and prevention, which is the second objective that was set when the group was created.

The following personalities took part in today’s meeting:

  • Darren Bailey (Director of Football Governance & Regulation of The Football Association), who was replacing for this session David Bernstein, President of the FA;
  • Yury Boychenko (Chief of Anti-Discrimination Section at United Nations Human Rights Office of the High Commissioner), who was replacing the High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethemi Pillay;
  • Serey Die (Ivory Coast player at FC Basel);
  • Giovanni Merlo (Italian Journalist representing AIPS Media);
  • Marcel Mathier (Outgoing chairman the FIFA Disciplinary Committee);
  • Osasu Obayiuwan (Associate Editor NewAfrican Magazine);
  • Piara Powar (CEO of FARE);
  • Theo Van Seggelen (FIFpro Secretary General);
  • Claudio Sulser (Incoming chairman FIFA Disciplinary Committee);
  • Howard Webb (FIFA Referee);
  • Véron Moseng-Omba (UEFA);
  • Dr. Thomas Partl (UEFA).

Excused for this first session were players Jozy Altidore and Kevin-Prince Boateng, who had obligations with their respective clubs.

It should be noted that this is still an open list and additional members may be included in the task force in the future.

Nov 082012

From Miami the draw was made and the stage is set for the fourth and final round of World Cup Qualifying for CONCACAF as the six remaining nations found out who plays who when.

For the United States a tough start to qualifying as three of their first four matches are on the road.  What is of note is that the dates against Mexico on the road and at home are different than in the last few qualifying cycles. Instead of a visit to Estadio Azteca in the summer months a more manageable trip during March than in the heat of summer.

The United States begins their qualification journey with a trip to San Pedro Sula, Honduras on February 22. In late March, the 22, the first home match is against Costa Rica followed by the all important trip to Mexico City on the 26. Into June and three matches which can make the journey to Brazil easy or otherwise; the 7th in Kingston at Jamaica, the 11th home to Panama, the 18th home to Honduras. Into September, the 6th, a visit to San Jose, Costa Rica and the new Chinese built and financed Estadio National de Costa Rica before the crucial home match against Mexico on the 10th. In October as qualifying concludes hosting Jamaica occurs on the 11th before the finale at Panama on the 15th.

Other matches of note, aside from the always highlighted USA-Mexico matches, the Clasico Centroamericano, between Costa Rica and Honduras, is first in Costa Rica on June 7th then the reverse fixture in Honduras on October 11th.

Oct 172012

usacelebrate 300x235 Deuce For Deuce Beats Guatemala

What started out as a shock turned into a domination that American fans should be proud of as the United States came away from the final third round World Cup Qualifier with a 3-1 in over Guatemala at Livestrong Sporting Park.

Carlos Ruiz, who announced his retirement from international play in the media zone after the game, played the offside line perfectly as he was able to slip past the back line of the US to put the ball past Tim Howard and give the Guatemalan fan presence hope that they could get through to the hexagonal round of qualifying.

The response of the American side was excellent. They showed a spine that will be needed when the fixtures for the fourth stage, ‘The Hex’, gets underway.

The equalizer came from USMNT captain Carlos Bocanegra’s header off a corner shortly after the Ruiz goal. The zone defense by Guatemala was easy prey, but it was a lovely goal from Bocanegra with an assist from Clint Dempsey.

Dempsey proceeded to make the first half his own. He scored the go-ahead goal from short range off an Eddie Johnson cross.

Before the first half ended Michael Bradley chipped the ball over a Guatemalan defender and the goalkeeper for Dempsey to knock home to make it 3-1 and give Clint his second of the night.

Into the second half the United States was happy with the score line as it was and kept the ball to themselves. They did not allow any clear-cut chances for their opposition as they were able to coast through the second half to victory and a top spot in their group. Now they wait for CONCACAF to make the fixture decision for the fourth round matches.

While there is the question of when and where they will play all 10 remaining World Cup Qualifiers, American fans can take pride in the fact that their team dominated and that they are in an excellent position to progress even more with a friendly against Russia looming in the November FIFA date window.

Sep 102012

A few hours ago I engaged a couple friends in a healthy debate about Crew Stadium’s place in history and whether or not it would be a suitable home for the US Men’s National Team.

Now, I am an ardent Crew supporter but I need to be honest (aka objective) with all of you for a moment. Crew Stadium was the first soccer specific stadium for an MLS franchise. Many people will try to tell you that Crew Stadium is an important part of American soccer folklore/history. They will tell you that without Crew Stadium, there would be no Home Depot Center/PPL Park/BBVA Compass Stadium.

This is simply not true.

Am I supposed to believe that without Crew Stadium, the New York Red Bulls NEVER would’ve wound up with their own facility. Does Toyota Park in Bridgeview, Illinois REALLY exist because of what happened in Columbus? No. Crew Stadium itself is quite simple. It’s four sides of mostly cheap, metal bleachers on a former county fairground parking lot. Only recently did the organization pull enough teeth to remove the central stands at the north end of the stadium and insert a concert stage to help bring in more events to generate more revenue. Outside of that, the stadium has remained largely untouched since it originally opened in 1999. The front office continues to search for a sponsor to sign a long term naming rights deal, but they haven’t really come close in the stadium’s 13 year existence. Meanwhile, pretty much every soccer specific stadium that has come along since then has a lucrative (some more than others) naming rights deal that was completed fairly close to each one’s debut. Some even had naming rights done BEFORE the inaugural game.

So yes, Crew Stadium was the first of its kind and represents a significant footnote in American soccer history. But it’s nothing more than that: a footnote. The facility continues to wither away under the harsh sands of time.

Enter the US Men’s National Team.

The USMNT has never lost a World Cup qualifier inside the confines of Crew Stadium. In fact, the qualifying campaigns for Italy 2006 and South Africa 2010 both featured significant victories by the US over hated CONCACAF rivals Mexico inside Columbus Ohio’s favorite soccer stadium. I was in attendance for the original “Dos a Cero” match when the US clinched its spot in the 2006 World Cup with a resounding 2-0 victory over Mexico in September of 2005.

It was by far the most festive atmosphere I’ve ever experienced at a sporting event. And this was in 2005! The American Outlaws were still in their infant stages. US soccer supporters hadn’t even remotely begun to mobilize at that point in time. The US also won its home qualifying fixture over Mexico in Columbus in 2009 leading up to the 2010 World Cup. Columbus has become a fortress for the Stars And Stripes, especially when it matters most during qualifying. Not only that, but Columbus is ideally located in the heart of America’s Midwest; the home of the middle class. Tuesday night’s sellout crowd will feature fans from Chicago, Indianapolis, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, as well as the rest of the state of Ohio. You could not ask for a more central focal point from to draw fans from surrounding cities/states. It is truly a melting pot when the USMNT comes to the capital of Ohio.

Are there bigger cities than Columbus who feel they deserve a shot? Absolutely. But I seem to recall a match at Chicago’s Soldier Field several years ago in which the US played Honduras and the crowd was overwhelmingly Blue And White. The immigrants put the natives to shame. The same thing happened the last time the US hosted Argentina at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. The 2011 Gold Cup Final showed us the true colors of Southern California. Places like Portland, Seattle, Kansas City, and Washington DC will also cry out for their voice to be heard. But with the exception of DC, all of those places have solid stadiums already in place. They are no longer in need of a modern home.

If the US Soccer Federation declared Crew Stadium the official home of the USMNT for World Cup qualifying it would create a true sense of urgency to upgrade the archaic facility. The grounds crew regularly receives national awards for its pristine upkeep of the natural grass playing surface itself, but beyond that the stadium is in desperate need of renovations. It must become a modern stadium like so many of its MLS counterparts. A little nudge from the USSF would make all the difference in the world. It would allow things to come full circle and let Crew Stadium leave behind the days of being old and outdated while sleek new stadiums spring up around the country. A wide open parking lot around the stadium leaves plenty of room for tailgating and pregame festivities, but it will take more than that to make Columbus the official home of America’s Team.

When you’re watching the match against Jamaica on Tuesday night, pay close attention to the crowd. See just how skilled Columbus is at hosting  American soccer supporters. Listen to the sounds of AO Columbus and the rest of the Midwestern chapters of America’s best supporters group who traveled to this “cathedral of American soccer”. Then close your eyes and imagine if the stadium had actual chairs and legitimate VIP suites courtesy of a lucrative naming rights deal. Imagine the country’s first soccer specific stadium as the official home of the US Men’s National Team.

Now that would be truly MASSIVE…