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World Cup expands, Hamid out of USMNT camp, & more: Freedom Kicks for 11 January 2017

A crazy day in the world of soccer means a wide-ranging set of reading material

Happy Wednesday folks. Yesterday was, shall we say, busy in the news world. Both soccer news and news elsewhere probably kept your phone buzzing with notifications. I know mine needed a charger real early on. Well, it’s 7:00am, so open your eyes to these news stories:

Unanimous decision expands FIFA World Cup™ to 48 teams from 2026 | FIFA

Want me to say it? I’ll say it: FIFA done lost their minds. 48 teams?! You’ve got to be kidding me.

World Cup allocation talks for extra 16 slots due to start next month | ESPNFC

Now that FIFA lost their minds and expanded to 48 teams, the fight is already on to see where those extra World Cup slots will go. Prediction: 2022 will be the last CONCACAF Hexagonal round.

Injury forces Bill Hamid to withdraw from January camp | U.S. Soccer

D.C. United star goalkeeper Bill Hamid just can’t catch a break. Gutted that another knee issue has forced him to withdraw from the USMNT January camp. More here.

U.S., Canada, Mexico begin talks for 2026 World Cup joint bid | ESPNFC

Could the first Royal Rumble World Cup be in North America? The United States, Canada and Mexico are reportedly exploring a joint bid to host the 2026 FIFA World Cup.

St. Louis soccer stadium funding bill is dead | St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The deal to bring MLS to St. Louis, for now, is dead. The bill that would have secured public financing for a new downtown soccer stadium will not move forward for approval, leaving St. Louis’s MLS hopes in extreme doubt.

MLS player injured on road trying assist car accident victim | NBC Sports

FC Dallas defender Ryan Hollingshead, who was on his way to help a friend during an ice storm, stopped to help out a driver who was stuck on the side of the road and ended up getting hit by a vehicle, cracking three vertebra in his back. Incredibly poor luck for a guy who was doing the right thing in helping out another person. Best wishes from all of us to Ryan for a speedy recovery.

Sebastian Giovinco doesn’t want a move back to Serie A, says he’s happy in MLS | Fox Soccer

Even though his residence in Major League Soccer has not helped him get called up to play for Italy, Toronto FC star Sebastian Giovinco wouldn’t have it any other way. He said he loves MLS and doesn’t want to go back to Serie A anytime soon.

Former Hammerheads land on their feet, Justin Moose launches local training program | Port City Daily

The Wilmington Hammerheads have gone on hiatus, but several of the players have moved onto new ventures. This article dives into where some of the former players have gone.

And there you have it. We know you’re not done talking about the World Cup expansion, so why don’t you grab some coffee and hit the comments? Let Pitbull and Jennifer Lopez carry you into the day. Have a great day, folks!