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Featured Advisor

Ed Meek
CEO/Investment Advisor

Edge Portfolio Management


State: IL

At Edge, a low client to advisor ratio allows for personal and customized service for each individual.  Our goal is to work as a team for each client to provide not only portfolio management but wealth coordination and financial planning.  We make every effort to have frequent communication with our clients and to provide timely response to calls and emails.  I also enjoy spending time with my wife and three kids, playing and following basketball, playing golf, and participating as an advisory board member for Breakthrough Urban Ministries.

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Kent's Sports Blog: Soccer News from the U.S. and the World

| BY Kent McDill

Having an interest in soccer for only 15 years, I still have much to learn. This week, I learned that FIFA pays soccer clubs for every player it supplies to World Cup national teams.

I learned this when FIFA announced it was increasing its payment to clubs to a pool of $209 million per tournament, an increase of almost three times from the $70 million offered for the 2014 World Cup.

This is important because European clubs are leading the complaint charge against the 2022 World Cup that is going to be held in the Middle Eastern country of Qatar and is going to be conducted in the dead of winter, because it is too hot in Qatar during summer months to play soccer, or to skip rope. It’s really warm there in June, July and August.

The entire soccer world is displeased with the decision, borne of unproven but almost certain bribes, to allow Qatar to host the tournament. Qatar’s soccer community is extremely young, but the officials there are trying to prove something and this tournament will prove it, whatever it is.

The result for the soccer world outside of the United States is that all regularly scheduled competitions, including the European club leagues, will have to adjust their schedules accordingly. The uproar has been so dramatic, some officials have suggested countries skip out on the World Cup and instead hold an unofficial world tournament in the summer of 2022 like God intended it to happen.

FIFA also announced it is increasing by 4100 million the prize money to be doled out for the 2018 World Cup, to be held in Russia. That means there will be $582 million for the 32 qualifying countries. Germany won $35 million for winning the 2014 World Cup.

The increase in prize money is just an indication of how much FIFA makes off the World Cup. The worldwide committee earned $2 billion in 2014 alone from its collection of competitions, led by the World Cup in Brazil. Of course, by hosting the World cup, Brazil threw itself into a mud pile of debt for building stadiums that will never, ever get used again.

But wait, at least one stadium will get used. Brazil is being considered as host for this year’s Pro Bowl, the National Football League’s disingenuous all-star game. So that’s one game. That certainly helps pay off the billions the beleaguered country spent for what is being called The World’s Largest Bird Toilets.

In other soccer news, Major League Soccer, the top pro league in the United States, announced plans to expand into its 23rd and 24th franchises with a second team in Los Angeles and a team in Minneapolis by 2017 and 2018. This is the league’s 20th season, and the league is now getting franchise fees in the $100 million area. There is talk about the league eventually splitting into two leagues and bringing promotion and relegation to the United States, which would be historical in terms of the sport in America.

MLS, which notably plays its season from March to October, is not going to be affected by the Qatar World Cup scheduling conflict. So score one for the United States soccer program.

If soccer conquers its final frontier, which is the United States, it will be even bigger than it is today, which might be hard to believe. The hope of having the U.S. host the World Cup again in 2026 (it should be hosting it in 2022 instead of Qatar) gives me reason to stay alive for another 11 years.

Soccer has become important to me, apparently.