David Beckham is briefly lost in his thoughts as he gazes across the gleaming indoor track at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre. He has arrived two hours early for the training session he will oversee with 170 children and, ahead of the hysteria that will inevitably follow, it is a rare moment of calm.
”I was brought up five minutes down the road,” he says, gesturing in the direction of the reservoir that separates this new facility and Chingford Foundation School. ”Kids love stuff like this but, for me, it’s also personally exciting. To see this here now is inspiring. It’s like the feeling when you first get taken to a football match and you walk out and see the pitch.”
Dominic Oduro has been on a tear as the Crew are riding his goal scoring antics back into playoff position.
Oduro was named the MLS Player of the Month, following being named the MLS player of the week after his fine performance in Dallas. Oduro’s September numbers speak for themselves, three goals and two assists helped lead the Crew to a 4-1-0 record during the month.
Oduro now has 12 goals and 3 assists on the year. His goal total leads the team and is the most since Andres Mendoza’s in 2011. The goal tally also matches his career high, set with the Chicago Fire in 2011.
FIFA’s damaging affair with Qatar strips bare the organisation’s fixation with petro-dollars and broadcast dollars: show me the money. It reveals FIFA’s self-image as a mighty sovereign nation, with Sepp Blatter a self-appointed global statesman sharing ideas and canapes with presidents, chancellors and prime ministers: show me the power.
That is what this Qatar controversy is all about: money and power. The sadness is that FIFA could be a force for good, spreading hope from Zurich. At the very least, the power brokers of the world’s most popular sport could have called the Qataris to proper account over labour conditions on their 2022 construction sites.
Spanish invasion: Adelaide United talent with managers Jon-Michail and Manuel Seisdedos of FIA Sports Management.
He might have missed the first five weeks of pre-season, but new coach Josep Gombau has hit the ground running as he aims to bring the beautiful game to Adelaide United.
The Spaniard’s pedigree – he’s held multiple positions with Barcelona’s youth teams – means he’ll imprint on the Reds the kind of style Ange Postecoglou has brought to the A-League with Brisbane Roar and now Melbourne Victory.
A-League chiefs are forecasting a bigger, better-attended and more widely broadcast season than ever before. But their focus is well beyond the confines of the 2013-14 campaign, when Central Coast Mariners will seek to defend the title it richly deserved after becoming champion for the first time in last season’s grand final, with its win over debut sensation Western Sydney Wanderers.
A-League boss Damien De Bohun has a blue-sky vision of expansion well beyond Australian shores when the next television deal is negotiated, with matches regularly taking place in Asian cities.
Longer term, Asian clubs might become part of a multi-country expansion program for Australia’s premier competition.