Monday, April 27, 2009
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 24, 2009
A surprise party was the way we ended the day on Friday...
With 3 cakes....
The Board Room was decorated to look like a 70s disco...
These were some of Charlie's Angels who decorated the room...
Clearly Mary Lynn and I were happy with the party.
My grandson got right into the swing of it...
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Our new Miami Beach office space is fully under construction. While it doesn't look like much at the moment; just a bunch of framed out spaces, it is a big step having moved from paper drawings and city approvals to the work having finally started after months of planning. These offices will not only house our Marketing and Events operations center but also a conference center for CONCACAF committee meetings.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
It is with great humility and thanks that I acknowledge the support of the many colleagues in my region for their efforts in returning me to FIFA for another four year term.
I believe that I bring a special set of experiences to FIFA which has served our region well while still managing to have a real impact on the operations and work of the world's greatest sporting organization.
I particularly want to thank Jack Warner for giving me the latitude to be an expressive and forceful figure within the halls of FIFA. Also there are special thanks for my staff who support the work I do and my family who do without me so much of the time while I pursue the objectives of the world's sport.
It has been an honor to represent you there and I look forward to maintaining the same high level of performance in my various roles at FIFA and CONCACAF in the future.
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
California native Giuseppe Guastella unseated pre-event favourite 'White' Mike LaBelle in the North American final of the FIFA Interactive World Cup 2009 on 4 April. Held in the futuristic confines of the Sony Wonder Lab, amid the hustle and bustle of Manhattan's iconic Madison Avenue, 23-year-old Guiseppe - from sun-splashed San Pedro some 3000 miles away - proved himself the best of the best, eventually edging out last year's winner in a marathon penalty shootout in the final.
One fan visibly impressed by all eight contestants' ability on the virtual pitch was Chuck Blazer, General Secretary of CONCACAF and FIFA Executive Committee member. "I must say that I am simply in awe of the skill these young men possess," he said. "It's a pleasure to watch."
Guastella, who qualified for the eight-player elite event in New York City via an online qualifying competition, bounced back from a slim loss in the first round, finishing on top of Group B via a superior goal difference. His opponent in the final, 19-year-old Mike LaBelle from Houston, Texas, was undefeated heading into the final and every inch the favourite with a seven-point haul in the first round and a commanding 4-2 win in his semi-final. The teenager's confident swagger was in sharp contrast to Giuseppe's straight-faced, all-business demeanour.
Carlos Valderama, Colombian National Team star and great MLS player, was caught up in the intensity of the action and was also very impressed with the skill and tactics of the competitors.
Undaunted by being the underdog, Guastella, who won his semi-final 5-1 (with all six goals coming in the second half), hit out in the final with an eye to neutralising the over-the-top ball to Cristiano Ronaldo that Labelle had used to great effect in his previous games. It was a surreal swirl of Red Devils, too, as both players chose Sir Alex Ferguson's Manchester United to play with, Guastella in red and LaBelle in white. Labelle opened the scoring through the dominant Ronaldo with a full volley after a cautious opening period, one that drew a huge smile and a round of applause from guest of honour Carlos ‘El Pibe' Valderrama of Colombia and Major League Soccer fame.
But Giuseppe, on his first trip to New York City, stormed back, scoring the equaliser in the 61st minute to a roar of delight from the crowd. The game ended 1-1 after 90 minutes and, after 30 additional minutes of goalless extra time, the two competitors could not be separated. 20-plus penalties were needed before the Edwin van der Sar at Giuseppe's command dove to his left to block Carlos Tevez's poorly taken penalty. LaBelle banged his fist against the console kiosk in disappointment as the winner threw his hands in the air in celebration. "This is such a great moment for me," Giuseppe said, overwhelmed by the moment. "All the hard work paid off and I really would like to thank my girlfriend for putting up with all the practice I had to put in!"
Guastella now moves on to the Grand Final in Spain, where he will meet up with the 32 best FIFA09 gamers on the planet. And far from being overawed by the stiff competition, the Californian is expecting to sweep his second straight event and be crowned FIFA Interactive World Player of the Year for 2009. "I don't think I'm going to win in Barcelona," he said with a smirk, "I know I am going to win. I have a lot of confidence in myself and I am playing at my peak ability right now. Bring on Barcelona!"
Blazer will be there to present the Champion his prize.
(story mostly from FIFA.com)