Friday Links- After the Miss: Wondolowski Looks Back, FIFA’s Very Specific Logo Guidelines + More

FIFA’s Very Specific Logo Guidelines

http://screamer.deadspin.com/you-do-not-fuck-around-with-fifas-logos-1671233558

Q&A With 2014 U.S. Soccer Disabled Athlete Of The Year Gavin Sibayan

http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2014/12/03/19/41/141204-pnt-gavin-sibayan-aoty-qa

Facebook Year In Review: 2014 World Cup

http://yearinreview.fb.com/world-cup/

After the Miss- Chris Wondolowski Looks Back On The World Cup

http://grantland.com/features/chris-wondolowski-2014-world-cup-usa-versus-belgium-mls/

This Story Proves That Argentine Striker Diego Milito Is The Best

http://screamer.deadspin.com/this-story-proves-that-argentinian-striker-diego-milito-1671441784/+billyhaisley

Kick TV- Thierry Henry | One King

KICKTV recruited Rugz D. Bewler to create an original track to pay homage to Thierry Henry who, for the past four seasons, has brought not just New York fans but Major League Soccer fans some truly unforgettable moments. A legend in England and France, Henry spent the final years of his career in the city that always had his heart – New York City. At the forefront of New York City’s musical resurrection is Harlem rapper Rugz D. Bewler. A Red Bulls and Henry fan himself, he paid close attention to Thierry’s craft on the field, which helped inspire him while writing the lyrics that accompany the KICKTV video. Thierry Henry ended his 20-year career with the New York Red Bulls scoring 51 goals and assisting on 42. He goes down as one of, if not the best, to ever wear a Red Bulls jersey.

It is a pity Thierry Henry’s time with the New York Red Bulls didn’t end with an MLS Cup. That year him and the Red Bulls won the Supporter’s Shield was his best year to win the cup and the Red Bulls just couldn’t get it done in the playoffs. He was the player that put the New York Red Bulls “on the map” but it seems that the old Red Bulls strategy of centering the team around big name Designated Players is going out the door. If the Red Bulls win the MLS cup going with a more balanced approach then Thierry Henry’s time at the Red Bulls will look like an expensive and decadent failure. However his time in New York is remembered, the highlight reel of goals and skills he gave MLS during his four years will always be the stuff of legend. Bon voyage Thierry Henry!

D.C. United’s New Stadium Has Been Approved

From D.C. United:

The D.C. Council has approved the District of Columbia Soccer Stadium Act of 2014 in its second and final vote, approving the development of the new 20,000-25,000-seat stadium for D.C. United in the Buzzard Point neighborhood of Southwest Washington. The legislation’s passage targets the opening of the stadium in 2017 and ensures that D.C. United will make the District of Columbia its home for generations to come.

D.C. United is one of MLS’s most storied franchises so it has always been seen as a detriment to the league and the team itself that they didn’t have their own stadium. Playing in cavernous stadiums designed for football teams is not a fond memory for MLS so the sooner all of its teams are out of those situations the better (Next up the New England Revolution). Therefore, it is great to see D.C. United getting their own stadium and it will be very exciting for the league to have one of its best teams in a soccer-specific stadium. Nonetheless, there are some concerns about the way the team was able to convince the public to build the stadium but those are concerns better left to Deadspin.

2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Schedule & Stadiums Released

2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Host Cities & Venues
HOST CITY – VENUE (Venue Location)

Seeded Nations
Group A – United States
Group B – Costa Rica
Group C – Mexico

Group Round
July 7 (Group A) – Dallas – Toyota Stadium (Frisco, TX)
July 8 (Group B) – Los Angeles – StubHub Center (Carson, CA)
July 9 (Group C) – Chicago – Soldier Field (Chicago, IL)
July 10 (Group A) – Boston – Gillette Stadium (Foxborough, MA)
July 11 (Group B) – Houston – BBVA Compass Stadium (Houston, TX)
July 12 (Group C) – Phoenix – University of Phoenix Stadium (Phoenix, AZ)
July 13 (Group A) – Kansas City – Sporting Park (Kansas City, KS)
July 14 (Group B) – Toronto – BMO Field (Toronto, ON)
July 15 (Group C) – Charlotte – Bank of America Stadium (Charlotte, NC)

Knockout Round Venues (alphabetical order by city)
Georgia Dome (Atlanta, GA)
M&T Bank Stadium (Baltimore, MD)
MetLife Stadium (East Rutherford, NJ)
Lincoln Financial Field (Philadelphia, PA)

2015 CONCACAF Gold Cup Qualified Teams

  1. Canada (Automatic Qualifier)
  2. Mexico (Automatic Qualifier)
  3. United States (Automatic Qualifier)
  4. Costa Rica (Winner – 2014 Copa Centroamericana UNCAF)
  5. Guatemala (Runner-up – 2014 Copa Centroamericana UNCAF)
  6. Panama (Third Place – 2014 Copa Centroamericana UNCAF)
  7. El Salvador (Fourth Place – 2014 Copa Centroamericana UNCAF)
  8. Jamaica (Winner – 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup)
  9. Trinidad & Tobago (Runner-Up – 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup)
  10. Haiti (Third Place – 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup)
  11. Cuba (Fourth Place – 2014 CFU Caribbean Cup)
  12. French Guyana or Honduras (CFU/UNCAF Play-in Winner)

USL PRO To Apply For Division 2 Status With USSF

From Reckless Challenge:

United Soccer Leagues (USL) just concluded their Annual General Meetings in Clearwater Beach, FL this week. Usually, the biggest news to come out of the AGM is the general format of the schedules. Well, Reckless Challenge has learned those details, but that news will be delayed in favor of news that could change the landscape of soccer in America. Multiple sources have confirmed that USL PRO plans to submit an application to USSF for Division 2 status in 2017.

It’s long been speculated that USL PRO would try to achieve D2 status in the future. The nascent partnership with MLS made it seem inevitable. Reports coming out the USL AGM now make it a certainty.

What is less certain is whether or not the league will meet the requirements to make the leap from D3 to D2. The current rules governing division recognition were rewritten this year. A presentation at the USL AGM demonstrated that the league could satisfy about 85% of the current requirements with the clubs, ownership groups, and facilities in place today. One of the shortfalls that USL PRO would have to overcome is the net-worth of a few ownership groups.

Reckless Challenge, however, has also learned that the criteria for being sanctioned are likely to change by 2017. It remains to be seen whether the changes will enhance or diminish the chances of USL PRO to be officially recognized as a D2 professional league.

This would be huge news for American soccer if USL Pro achieved second tier status. Currently the NASL is the second tier so if USL PRO achieves second tier status then it would be interesting to see what happens to the NASL. There’s still a long way to go before the becomes a possible reality but if it does then the American soccer landscape could enter some turmoil. If USL PRO gets granted second tier status then there’s no doubt that the NASL will challenge that ruling and the lengthy legal battle that would follow could greatly hurt American soccer. The fact that MLS and USL PRO have such a strong partnership will also raise some eyebrows since NASL is technically a competitor to MLS while MLS and USL PRO have a symbiotic relationship. This is something to keep an eye on in the next few years because the possible repercussions are enormous.