U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan ‘shocked’ that Sepp Blatter didn’t know who she was

Sepp Blatter once said "the future of football is feminine." Apparently soccer's top boss has been too busy fighting off scandals within his organization to actually pay attention to the players on the field. RELATED: LUIS FIGO QUITS FIFA RACE, BLASTS SOCCER'S GOVERNING BODY U.S. soccer star Alex Morgan told Time magazine that the powerful FIFA president didn't even recognize her at a 2012 event to honor the world's best players. When asked directly about dealing with sexism and misogyny, the American star told the news magazine: "I have experienced sexism multiple times, and I'm sure I will a lot more," Morgan said in the interview. "I feel like I'm fighting for female athletes. At the FIFA World Player of the Year event (in 2012), FIFA executives and FIFA president Sepp Blatter didn't know who I was. And I was being honored as top three in the world. That was pretty shocking." Blatter, who despite the scandals involving the bid process that led to future World Cups being awarded to Russia and Qatar, is expected to be re-elected to a fifth term as head of soccer's governing body next week. Blatter made his "the future of football is feminine" comments back in 2011 at Berlin's Olympic Stadium. FIFA is also under fire after rejecting appeals from Morgan, and many of the top female soccer players in the world, to play the upcoming Women's World Cup on natural grass - like every previous World Cup (men's and women's). The World Cup in Canada, which starts on June 6, will be played on artifical turf. Players filed suit against FIFA and the Canadian Soccer Association over the turf issue, before ultimately giving up the fight against Blatter's organization. RELATED: BLATTER SAYS HE'S 'TRIED TO TAME SOCCER'S MONSTROUS SUCCESS' Morgan, who emerged as a star for the U.S. women's national team during the 2011 World Cup in Germany, is one of the top scoring threats for an American team looking to win a World Cup for the first time since 1999. Continue Reading

Bobby Wood scores late goal to lead U.S. men’s soccer to first road win over Germany, 2-1

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Substitute Bobby Wood scored in the 87th minute to give the United States a 2-1 victory over World Cup champion Germany in a friendly on Wednesday. Wood drilled a low shot inside the post to cap a good second half performance in which the Americans missed several clear chances. Wood has also scored a 90th-minute winner in the United States' 4-3 victory over the Netherlands in another friendly on Friday. RELATED: U.S. SOCCER TEAM'S CHRISTEN PRESS COULD BE BREAKOUT STAR OF WOMEN'S WORLD CUP The Americans equalized through Mix Diskerud late in the first half to cancel out Mario Goetze's goal for the hosts in the 12th minute. Wood's strike gave U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann a winning return to his homeland and the United States its first win on German soil. Klinsmann, who sang both national anthems before kickoff, led Germany to the 1990 World Cup title as a player and coached it to third place in 2006. "Bobby is a work in progress," Klinsmann said of the striker whose German club team Erzgebirge Auehas has been relegated to the third division. "An entertaining game with a happy ending with us," Klinsmann said. "To win against the world champion in Germany is something special, but we deserved it. It's an important step toward the Gold Cup." Klinsmann said his players "had a lot of respect" for Germany but "the team realized after 20, 25 minutes that there was a whole game to play." Germany, which rested several of its first-choice players, lost some of its pace after the break as a series of substitutions disrupted its rhythm. Klinsmann praised the work of substitute Kyle Beckerman, who started the second half. "Beckerman calmed down things defensively. He is doing the dirty work and makes us look better," Klinsmann said. "In the second half we closed down the passing lanes and we turned the momentum." Klinsmann also praised captain Michael Bradley "as the best man on the Continue Reading

Soccer executive Aaron Davidson, arrested in FIFA corruption probe, looking to cut deal

Sports marketing executive Aaron Davidson, who pleaded not guilty last week in Brooklyn federal court to racketeering, wire fraud, money laundering and other charges related to the burgeoning FIFA scandal, is trying to cut a deal with prosecutors, according to court documents. Davidson, like any other defendant, is entitled to a speedy trial, but prosecutors and Davidson’s attorney, Michael Hantman, asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Cheryl Pollak to stop the clock from May 29 to July 17, a request that was granted. RELATED: SEPP BLATTER'S RIGHT-HAND MAN LINKED TO $10M BRIBE: REPORT “The parties seek the exclusion of the foregoing period because they are engaged in plea negotiations, which they believe are likely to result in a disposition of this case without trial, and they require an exclusion of time in order to focus efforts on plea negotiations without the risk that they would not, despite their due diligence, have reasonable time for effective preparation for trial,” the application for the excludable delay said. Hantman declined to comment Monday. There were indications Davidson might be seeking a deal when they saw his parents, accompanied by an FBI agent, avoid the media scrum waiting outside the Brooklyn courthouse Friday by exiting through a garage, a practice normally reserved for witnesses and cooperating defendants. Davidson, the president of a sports marketing company called Traffic Sports USA, was among 14 people named in the indictment that claims soccer officials took more than $150 million in bribes by marketing firms seeking broadcast rights and other contracts as well as by countries hoping to host the World Cup. RELATED: FIFA VP JACK WARNER'S TICKET-SCALPING SON SANG TO FEDS Davidson, who was also the chairman of the board of the North American Soccer League before NASL severed ties with him, is the first defendant charged in what Justice Department officials have described as a decades-long Continue Reading

Disgraced ex-soccer bigwig Chuck Blazer has FIFA president Sepp Blatter in fear of U.S. prosecution

The man who strikes fear in the hearts of Sepp Blatter and other FIFA executives lies seriously ill in a New York area hospital, breathing with the aid of a respirator, his body ravaged by cancer and the resulting treatments. Chuck Blazer’s health problems leave him unable to actively cooperate with the U.S. federal agents and prosecutors who continue their investigation into corruption at the highest levels of international soccer, where the sport’s power brokers are currently jockeying for influence in advance of FIFA’s presidential election, in which Blatter faces several challengers. However, Blazer, the once larger-than-life FIFA executive committee member, has provided the feds with enough information into the shadowy financing of international soccer to keep Blatter, the FIFA boss, from coming to the United States, presumably aware that he could be pulled into the ongoing federal criminal probe Blazer has aided based out of the Eastern District of New York. RELATED: SOCCER RAT! HOW EX-U.S. SOCCER EXEC CHUCK BLAZER BECAME AN FBI INFORMANT According to ESPN reporter Jeremy Schaap, Blatter seems not to have entered the U.S. since 2011 (ostensibly for fear of possible arrest by U.S. authorities investigating the case). FIFA did not answer multiple queries on the subject, according to Schaap. Schaap’s reporting is part of a E:60 documentary that first aired Tuesday night about Blatter, who has maintained a grip on world soccer despite accusations that he oversees a system riddled by corruption and backroom dealing. Blatter’s avoidance of U.S. soil coincides with the time period when Blazer, who also was the secretary general of the powerful North American and Caribbean soccer federation known as CONCACAF, became a cooperating witness for the investigation. As the Daily News first reported in November, Blazer opted to inform on his FIFA friends after federal agents confronted him outside his Trump Tower apartment in Continue Reading

Nigerian soccer player dies after having heart attack on field during game

A Nigerian soccer player has died after collapsing on the field. David Oniya collapsed just three minutes into a friendly match between his Malaysian side T-Team and a club called Kelantan, reports the Mirror. The 30-year-old Oniya had a heart attack. T-Team boss Syahrizan Mohd Zain said he did not receive medical attention fast enough. "He suffered a heart attack but it could have been a different story had the ambulance driver was alert," he told the New Straits Times. "The driver was at the stands watching the game when Oniya suddenly collapsed and our defender was deprived of oxygen for several minutes." The teams played on for almost an hour after Oniya collapsed but the game was canceled after news of his death filtered through from the hospital where he had been taken. The Nigerian had only joined the Malaysian club this season. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

University of Bridgeport soccer player head-butts teammate, was upset she wasn’t given award

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. (AP) — A University of Bridgeport women’s soccer player has been charged with assaulting a teammate over what police say was a perceived snub at an awards ceremony. The Connecticut Post reports that Danielle Puddefoot, a 22-year-old senior from Slough, England, is accused of head-butting teammate Hailey Marquis in a dorm room on April 30 following the team’s annual sports awards banquet. Police say Puddefoot was upset after not receiving an award. Police say she left the banquet early, then confronted teammates at a post-banquet party. Marquis was treated at a local hospital for swelling on the right side of her face and two black eyes, cops said. Telephone and email messages seeking comment from Puddefoot and the soccer team were left Wednesday with the school’s sports information director. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

VIDEO: Soccer team gets scored on during over-the-top goal celebration

Karma came quick for this showboating soccer team that went way overboard with its goal celebration. Players from Zambian club K-Stars thought they'd scored the game-winner against Clube Ferroviario of Mozambique with a late free kick, so they milked the moment for all it was worth. There were acrobatic flips, lots of group hugs and a march toward the sidelines - with the team's goalie included - to continue the festivities with their fans. While this was going on, Ferroviario's players quickly re-started the game and, with their distracted opponents taking way too much time getting back into position, kicked the ball from 55 yards out and into the wide open net. The ref allowed the goal to stand, and the game ended in a 1-1 draw. Final score notwithstanding, K-Stars were definitely the losers that day. MOBILE USERS: WATCH THE VIDEO HERE Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Alabama brother and sister killed in car wreck on way home from soccer practice

Peyton Spain, 17, and his 15-year-old sister, Erin, were killed on their way home from soccer practice in a car crash on a rural Alabama highway, authorities said. The high school students lost their lives after Peyton appeared to lose control of the car carrying him and his sister. Their Nissan Altima swerved off the road, then veered across the route's double-yellow line and was broadsided by an oncoming truck, AL.com reported. Erin, who was in the passenger seat, died at the scene on Monday. Peyton was taken to a nearby hospital, where he died at 5:05 a.m. Tuesday "They were very, very sweet , popular kids," said Gayle Gober, principal of Hueytown High School outside Birmingham, where both teenagers attended. It's a tragic time for us. The students understandably are very upset." A Gofundme account has been started to help with medical and burial costs. The accident is under investigation. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Soccer star Alexis Sanchez calls rumors he allowed friends to secretly film him having sex with former Olympic gymnast ‘FALSE’

A leading international soccer player has released an official statement to deny he allowed friends to secretly film him having sex with a former lover. Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez said the story was false after rumors circulated about the sex tape, reports the Independent. Sanchez plays for one of the top teams in the English Premier League, Arsenal. Valentina Roth, a former Olympic gymnast, said the soccer star had "completely disrespected" her by filming one of their "eight or nine" sexual encounters. The 23-year-old said she broke up with Sanchez after she caught his friends filming from a bedroom wardrobe. The incident is thought to have happened back in 2011. But Sanchez denies the allegation. He took to Twitter to say the story was "FALSE." "Lately a lot has been said about something that is supposed to have happened at my house in Santiago. That story is FALSE. Never in my life have I disrespected that person nor any other woman," he wrote. Sanchez, 26, who has played at two World Cups, added that this would be the only time he would mention the subject in public. Continue Reading

PHOTOS: Bloody soccer riot erupts at Red Star-Partizan derby in Serbia

BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) — Authorities say at least 50 people have been injured and 40 arrested after fierce clashes between Red Star and Partizan fans. The riots erupted before the match between the two biggest Belgrade rival clubs at the Red Star stadium in the capital on Saturday. RELATED: RUSSIAN SOCCER TEAM TORPEDO MOSCOW PUNISHED AFTER FANS DISPLAY NAZI SYMBOL The start of the match had to be postponed for 40 minutes when hooligans hurled stones at each other and battled with sticks. The play was also stopped for seven minutes because of flares hurled on to the pitch. Several fans were seen bloodied. Police say 20 officers were injured when they tried to separate the fighting groups. The match ended in a goalless draw, giving Partizan a five-point lead over Red Star in the standings. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading