Friday Kickoff: Non-U.S. Gold Cup sites explored, torch not for Beckham & more

Friday Kickoff: Non-U.S. Gold Cup sites explored, torch not for Beckham & more

European Soccer

Friday Kickoff: Non-U.S. Gold Cup sites explored, torch not for Beckham & more

BocaDosSantos (ISIphotos)

American soccer fans have grown to expect that the CONCACAF Gold Cup will be held on U.S. soil, but that might not be a given going forward.

In an interview with Reuters, new CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb said that the organization is going to explore options outside of the United States to host the regional tournament. Next summer's Gold Cup will be in the United States, but the 2015 edition is up for debate.

"We have to look at other options and opportunities. We have to look at Canada … we must look at Mexico and some of the other countries as well," Webb told Reuters. "We have to. We are not going to approach it saying that it has to, it must, continue in the United States. I think we have a responsibility to all 40 countries to look at what is best for CONCACAF."

The United States has hosted the Gold Cup for all 11 tournaments, splitting hosting duties with Mexico in 1993 and 2003.

Here are a few more stories to get your Friday going:

TORCH LIGHTING NOT FOR BECKHAM

David Beckham is still expected to play some role for England during the Olympic festivities, but don't expect him to be the one to light the torch during the opening ceremonies.

Beckham told reporters that the honor should be reserved for a famous English Olympian and that, despite his disappointment of not making the Team Great Britain squad, would be happy to be there just as a supporter. 

"Lighting the torch in the stadium is something that should be done by an Olympian," Beckham said. "An Olympian who has done incredible things for our country and won gold medals."

STABAEK CRASHES OUT OF EUROPA LEAGUE

Stabaek's foray into the Europa League was as brief as can be.  

The Norwegian club that currently employs Ricardo Clark (on loan from Eintracht Frankfurt until the end of the month) and Sean Cunningham defeated Finnish side JJK 3-2 in the second leg of their first qualifying round tie but fell on a 4-3 aggregate to crash out of the tournament. 

Cunningham played all 90 minutes at left back, while Clark started but left in the 42nd minute with an unspecified injury, according to game reports. Stabaek, which qualified for the tournament via the FIFA Fair Play table, is sitting in last place in Norway's top flight.

LIVERPOOL AGREE TO FEE FOR BORINI

Liverpool is on the verge of adding a striker, and no, it's not Clint Dempsey.

The Reds reportedly agreed to a fee with Roma for Fabio Borini, who will be reunited with manager Brendan Rodgers upon joining the club. Borini was with Chelsea to start his career when Rodgers was an assistant, and he was on loan at Swansea City in 2010-2011 when Rodgers was head coach.

The Italian international scored nine goals in Serie A last season.

SWEDISH SIDE CANCELS MILAN FRIENDLY

With Zlatan Ibrahimovic appearing to be headed to Paris-St. Germain, Swedish said AIK has cancelled a summer friendly against AC Milan. Ibrahimovic, the Swedish national team star striker, was the centerpiece of the friendly, and without him the game lost its appeal. 

“"If we cannot guarantee Zlatan's participation there is a risk that many would be disappointed," match organizers said in a statement.

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What are your thoughts on a Gold Cup held outside of the USA? Do you agree with Beckham or do you think he should light the flame? Disappointed Stabaek is out of the Europa League? Think Borini will find success at Liverpool?

Share your thoughts below.

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