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



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.


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.

  • Judging Amy

    Don’t have anything new to add, just want to pile on. Blatter sucks.

    I feel bad for the Qatari people, its not their fault their FIFA reps are corrupt. I’ve been among those essentially dumping on their country, but I really believe it is an unsuitable location for a WC.


  • K. Bowen

    It’s good to see that the Qatar World Cup was so well thought-out that they’re already looking at a major change of plans two weeks after it was awarded. That speaks so well of the process.


  • Andy

    Lumps of coal for Sepp Blatter and FIFA this year. Either that or Santa bypasses FIFA headquarters completely and lets the Krampus visit them.


  • MSnats

    I was thinking the same thing when i first read this. I remember seeing it. Beckenbaur suggested it, but sepp(tic) shot it down publicly.


  • Glaing

    I remember Grant Wahl brought up a key problem with a winter WC. Money from TV rights. As crazy as it may seem, TV broadcast rights money from the US is a huge cash cow. A winter WC would affect this because of the NFL playoffs. It will be interesting to see how much this costs FIFA. Of couse they will sell the rights to Al Jezeera for more oil money.


  • Knowles

    Maybe this ridiculous f***head should have considered the summer heat before giving the world cup to a country situated in the middle of the desert


  • Big Smoke

    Actually, lie is correct in this situation… but I like where your head is. I find it funny also…


  • Neruda

    As has been said the Winter WC would work great with MLS. But hey at this point 2022 seems like a world away. Things could be drastically different by then. At the very least I hope Sepp Blatter will have disappeared.


  • matt

    Here is another problem I have with FIFA. They’re siding with this country in all aspects, being Qatar’s little b*tches so they can reunite. Winter huh? Students won’t be able to watch the world cup as often, TV ratings will definitley be down. Students have school, and there are many other sports going on in the USA at the time that would rather be watched like the super bowl. Fifa is screwing up too much


  • Doom Boy

    Question re. Freeman:

    Didn’t the Red Bulls trade Freeman’s rights to Toronto? I distinctly remember him playing for them – or did his rights get traded back to NYRB sometime between then and now?


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