Friday kickoff: FIFA eyes winter World Cup, Houston signs Freeman and more

Friday kickoff: FIFA eyes winter World Cup, Houston signs Freeman and more

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Friday kickoff: FIFA eyes winter World Cup, Houston signs Freeman and more

  Blatter

By JOHN BOSCHINI

In a move that threatens to drastically alter the international soccer calendar, FIFA President Sepp Blatter and General Secretary Jerome Valcke expressed interest in moving the 2022 World Cup to winter in order to avoid the sweltering summer months of Qatar.

Blatter said in a press conference that he "definitely" supported a move from summer to winter because "it is important to play when the climate is appropriate and I'm thinking about the footballers, not only the fans," the embattled president said.

The average temperature for Qatar during June and July hovers around 122 degrees and concerns have been raised about the safety of players and fans. Valcke said that a move away from the summer would be dificult because it would require a change in the international calendar and would require support from the most of the world's domestic leagues. Valcke also said the move would probably require executive committee approval.

Here are some more stories to get your Friday going.

Dynamo signs Freeman

The Houston Dynamo has acquired the rights to New York Red Bulls right back Hunter Freeman in an attempt to shore up a defense that was among the worst in the MLS last season.

Freeman, 25, is a former member of the U.S. U-17, U-20 and U-23 teams and has spent the last two seasons in Norway playing for IK Start. The transfer is expected to be announced at a press conference today.

Sounders sign Swedish midfielder Friberg

Months after the Seattle Sounders cut ties with tempremental Swede Freddie Ljunberg, the Sounders have added Erik Friberg from Swedish first-division side BK Hacken.

The 24-year-old should help shore up a midfield that lost Sanna Nyassi and Nathan Sturgis in the expansion draft. Friberg has scored five times in 94 appearances playing in the left side of midfield.

Scholes out, Lampard in for Manchester United vs. Chelsea clash

Machester United and Chelsea might be headed in opposite directions on the Premier League table but the return of Frank Lampard for the Blues and the absence of Paul Scholes for the Red Devils has evened the playing field.

Reports out of England say that Lampard is scheduled to make his first start in nearly four months after struggling to return from a hernia problem. Scholes, 36, is expected to be out until at least January with a groin injury, according to the club. The two teams square off Sunday at 11 a.m.

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What do you think of today's news? Should the World Cup be moved to winter? Will Freeman and Friberg make a difference? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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