Appointments at CFU and CONCACAF

In the aftermath of the cash-for-votes scandals that rocked the CFU (Caribbean Football Union), changes are afoot. The association has been without a president since Trinidadian Jack Warner was forced to resign last summer as a result of his involvement in the scandal, and by the end of the year, the CFU presidents appointed a nine-man Normalization Committee to steer the association through the first quarter of the 2012 until elections, to be scheduled before May 15, to appoint a new executive.

In light of all this, the new committee has wasted no time in executing its new powers. The Normalization Committee recently appointed Damien Hughes, general secretary of the Anguilla Football (Soccer) Association the past 10 years, as acting general secretary of the CFU. Hughes, 34, has a bachelor’s degree from Morehouse College in Atlanta and a master’s degree from York University in Toronto.

Jeffrey Webb, president of the Cayman Islands Football Association and chairman of the normalization committee, announced the appointment of Hughes, whose duties will not past 30 days after the congress in May. Hughes will “serve as the chief administrator of the Union during the normalization (sic) period, maintain the communication lines between the CFU and its members, and to prepare the Union for its Ordinary Congress slated for May 2012,” Webb wrote to the CFU members in a letter.

Webb continued, “As you will imagine, the success of Mr. Hughes’ tenure will be dependent upon our ability to partner with him as he seeks to assist us in return the Union to some level of administrative normality.”

The vacancy resulted in when Angenie Kanhai resigned the position effective Dec. 20 to take a new post with FIFA.

At CONCACAF (Confederation of North and Central America and the Caribbean) where longtime general secretary Chuck Blazer’s resignation became effective last Sunday, his longtime deputy secretary general Ted Howard has been appointed acting general secretary for the confederation.

Howard, 66, was deputy secretary for CONCACAF since 1998 and was executive director of the old North American Soccer League from 1971 until it folded in 1984; he also was director and group manager of NBA Marketing from 1988 until he joined CONCACAF. Howard also serves on the FIFA referees committee and also the FIFA stadium and security committee.

Galaxy’s Gonzalez Injured

U.S. national team and Los Angeles Galaxy defender Omar Gonzalez tore the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) in his left knee in a collision with, ironically, U.S. national team defender Tim Chandler at the FC Nuremberg training ground in Germany, where the player recently was signed in loan until February, just before the start of MLS in March.

ACL injuries usually takes six months to a year to complete heal, which means that it’s a good bet that Gonzalez will most of next season. The defender was voted 2011 MLS defender of the year and was selected for national team training for upcoming U.S. friendlies in January.

U.S. national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann had called in Seattle midfielder Brad Evans and defender Jeff Parke to replace Gonzalez and Dallas defender George John, who were allowed to withdraw because of the loan deals made by their respective clubs. The U.S. will play Venezuela on Jan. 21 at Glendale (Ariz.) and in Panama four days later.

Changes In U.S. Youth Coaching

Since former U. S. national team midfielder Claudio Reyna became the U. S. youth technical director last April there have been wholesale changes: Tab Ramos, former U.S. national team forward was recently assigned to coach the under-20 boys team, which is readying for CONCACAF tournament in May, and he will be assisted by another former U.S. national player, Brian Bliss; University of Akron head coach Kaleb Porter, who won the national NCAA Div. I college title two years ago, was named head coach of the men’s under-23 team and charged with qualifying the team for the 2012 Olympics in London in July, and now word came last weekend that national under-17 boys coach Wilmer Cabrera is out at the end of January after four years with the team.

“After several discussions with Wilmer, we agreed that parting ways at this time was the best way forward,” USSF President Sunil Gulati said in a release. Cabrera will coach the side on an upcoming tour of Turkey, the federation said.

Rapids New Coach

The Colorado Rapids announced Thursday that Colombian Oscar Pareja of FC Dallas to be their new head coach in 2012. He replaced Gary Smith, who led the Rapids to their first MLS Cup. Pareja played for FC Dallas from 1998 to 2005 before joining the team as an assistant coach after his last year.

More from Around NYC