World Cup 2022 – Watch out, the MLS is expected to be among the world’s best soccer leagues as it gears up for the next World Cup. The next World Cup will be played a decade from now (2022) in Qatar. Commissioner Don Garber said, the goal is to make the MLS one of the world’s best leagues and that’s a realistic goal.
“Unfortunately, they thought it would be better to have it in Qatar and play those games at 120 degrees in the middle of the summer,” Garber said Tuesday on a visit to Denver for an MLS board of governors meeting. “I’m not convinced that those games will end up being played in the summer, but at the end of the day, they made a decision that did not derail us from our goal. The plan is to still try to create a league that can compete with the other soccer leagues around the world in four or five different ways.”
Passionate soccer fans support and cheer on the MLS. The average attendance per game ranks seventh in the world, passing France and Holland. In fact, soccer is the second-most popular sport for age groups 12-24.
In cities such as, Seattle, Portland, Toronto, Salt Lake City and Kansas City, MLS is largely popular.
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The referee at the center of the controversial 2009 Champions League semi-final between Chelsea and Barcelona, Tom Henning Ovrebo, has admitted that he made mistakes in the game, which ruined Chelsea’s chance to appear in the Final that year.
“Everyone who knows the laws of the game knows I should have done things differently, but that’s the life of a referee,” he said recently. “On the pitch I did my best. I shouldn’t have to apologize as mistakes are part of the game. Some players got emotional and behaved badly, but no one got killed. It’s important to put it into perspective.”
During the game three years ago, the Norwegian official turned down penalty claims during the second-leg tie at Chelsea’s home field, Stamford Bridge. Chelsea lost the game on a goal made by Andres Iniesta during injury time. According to the Chelsea manager at the time, Guus Hiddink, there were four missed penalties during the match: a shirt pull on Drogba by Eric Abidal, handballs by Gerard Pique and Samuel Eto’o, and a grab on Florent Malouda by Dani Alves.
Ovrebo has since retired from the international game, but said that he still occasionally receives death threats.
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A controversial goal made during Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final has players blaming referees and calling for better goal detection technology. During the match at Wembley, Chelsea player Juan Mata kicked what was counted as a goal, putting Chelsea up two goals over the Tottenham Hotspurs.
“To be honest, we have to blame the referee,” said Emmanuel Adebayor, a striker for the Spurs. “I think we have done well and he has made a lot of mistakes and made a lot of wrong decisions.”
The referee Adebayor was referencing was Martin Atkinson. The Tottenham team lost to Chelsea 5-1.
“We were all disappointed,” Adebayor is also credited with saying. “How many goals scored this season were disallowed that were onside? To be honest, I’m just tired of it and everyone is talking about goal-line technology.”
The International Football Association Board, soccer’s rule-making body, will enter the final phase of testing for goal-line technology later this month. In March, IFAB narrowed the number of approved systems to two. The plan is to have one system approved and ready for use following a July 2 meeting.
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This summer, Adidas will partner with U.S. Major League Soccer to showcase some of the latest technology aimed at helping soccer players perform at their best. Adidas will unveil their new program, called “miCoach” at the MLS All-Star game held July 25. It’s rumored that the opponents for this ‘smart’ match will be Chelsea.
What exactly is miCoach? Similar to Nike’s Nike+, the program aggregates information taken from the players’ shoes and displays it on a tablet. Coaches will be able to access player stats in real-time including speed, acceleration and power output. Some opponents of similar software worry that access to such data could turn soccer from an instinct-based game into a numbers game and could push players beyond their capabilities.
The relationship between sports and technology has gotten stronger over the past several years. In February, Nike announced Nike+ Basketball, a service that includes a new line of sneakers with built-in smart chips that can relay how hard or fast a player is playing and how high a player is jumping. The data can be transmitted directly from the player to an iPhone application for tracking and recording.
On a broader level, the NFL utilized social media more than ever for this year’s Super Bowl XLVI. In Indianapolis, the site of the game, the NFL created a social media command center that could advise fans on everything from available parking spots to best sports bars.
Even though the MLS All-Star game isn’t for a couple more months, use the free SoccerInferno to keep track of what MLS players may be playing in the match and more fun stats and details. Download the Soccer Inferno toolbar today!