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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:


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'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 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.


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.


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.


  1. Australia left the Oceania Football Confederation (OFC) and joined the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). So it is possible to leave your confederation with FIFA approval. But where would the US go? CONEMBOL?

  2. The infrastructure in the USA is eons ahead of virtually every CONCACAF country, save for a couple of stadiums in Mexico and Canada. Add to that the most/every Central American country loves coming here and most CONCACAF teams have as much/more of a following in this country than their own. I’m guessing it’s more of a money maker for all countries involved in addition to CONCACAF to hold most of the GC matches here. Simple reality.

  3. It should absolutely be an Olympian lighting the torch. I’m sure Sebastian Coe will have his good friend Steve Ovett light the torch…

  4. Not being sarcastic but when you say get out of the CONCACAF, what are the other options? Can a country’s federation simply elect to leave and join in another region?

  5. No USA fan should be happy about alternating the Gold Cup. USSF annual budget for Men and Women is about 35 million each year. They need the funds for the Gold Cup to fund Klinnsmann’s salary(2.5million) U-17 residency program(2million), scholarship for academies for kids that can’t afford them. Grants for communities for new fields. Many away games cost USSF in the neighborhood of 500k. Someone needs to pay for all this.

  6. What anti-US tone are you picking up on?
    As a US fan living in Chicago, having the Gold Cup here every two years is great, there’s always matches held here in Chicago with the large Latino population here.
    That being said, it cheapens the tournament that its held in the US all the time. Also, the fact that its held every two years as well with one being the “throwaway” Gold Cup and the other being the “qualifier” to the Confed Cup cheapens our regional championship even further.
    Having it held in other parts of the confederation only enhances the legitimacy of this Cup. Hopefully, in a few years they re-consider the every two years cycle as well.
    But I understand the financial considerations.

  7. if the G.Cup is played in a different country. i dont think it would be that attractive plus how safe would it be USMNT fan in E.S,MX & HON with all the gangs and cartels.. G.Cup should be played in US, CANADA maybe Jamaica, Costa Rica or Panama.

  8. I’m not debating you, but I am curious. What is the pro-US thing you mentioned? I’m not saying it doesn’t exist, but outside of the obvious money grabs of having games here, I haven’t noticed it. Certainly not in the reffing of games. Like one of the players said after one of the qualifying games in May “we are the only nation that gets homered at home” or something to that effect.

  9. I prefer Webb’s desire to raise the standard of the game in our confederation (even if it seems to be tinged with some anti-US bias) over Warner who only cared about those “extra piles of money” you speak of, which is why everything in CONCACAF was so pro-US before.

    Get over yourself man…we may potentially be the most important federation in CONCACAF due to population and money, but CONCACAF has a mission to treat each federation as evenly as possible…not cater to our needs. And move out of CONCACAF?! DO you not want to make the World Cup every time?!

  10. Gold Cup games in the US are like away games for us anyway. They can explore all they want but CONCACAF won’t walk away from the extra piles of money to be made here. I’m more annoyed with Webb’s anti-US tone here. It’s past time for the USA to get out of CONCACAF.

  11. There’s usually 3 groups right? Maybe have each group hosted in the country of the highest rated club in the FIFA rankings at the time? Then have the semifinals in one spot and the finals in another? I’d think that would help alleviate traveling all over North America.

    If so the last tournament would have been in Honduras, Mexico, and the US for the group stage. Then say Chicago for the semis (large Mexican population and US population) and maybe LA for the finals as it was?

  12. CONCACAF needs the Gold Cup to make money for the federation.

    I assume the finals for he Gold Cup have been held in the US for so many years because more money will be made by bringing other teams (and their fans) to the US, rather than the other way around.

    Co-hosting with Mexico would seem to be a good bet for the future, with the final in Texas – either Houston or Dallas

  13. +1

    I love going to see Gold Cup matches, but it does diminish the importance of the tournament by having the US host every time. I would love to travel to Canada, Mexico or even Central America to watch the USMNT play in a tournament.

  14. While I love the fact that I could almost always drive to Gold Cup match sinse the US has always hosted…I’m glad that CONCACAF are looking to host the tournament in other countries. It will only improve the understanding of the players for the environments they’ll likely be exposed to during WC Qualifications. Maybe help take the Mystique out of playing in Guatamala, Costa Rica, and Mexico.

  15. Everyonce in a while Beckham (or his handlers) really impress me. When he first came over to the MLS I thought his “I am here to work and develop the game” speech was great. Yes, he didn’t really pan out that well with his repeated trips away, but he created some good feelings and good buzz for the league.

    This comment letting an olympian light the torch is class. It may be tinged with disappointment, but it is class. NIce to see it.

  16. Having the gold cup always in the US diminishes the competition, there should be 4 rotating hosts in the future: US, Canada, Mexico, and “central america”, there are enough good stadiums in Honduras, CR, Guatemala, etc for the combined countries to host the tournament.


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