Friday, June 30, 2006

Italy Wakes Up..Faces Germany in the Final Four

Italy 3 Ukraine 0

ESPN’s JP Dellacamera and John Harkes summed things up as the game was coming to an end when they said that Italian fans were getting used to this from their team. Starting off slow and then giving a flash of brilliance.

They also gave credit to Ukraine for having a real chance in the game but every time they made a mistake Italy made them pay.

In the post game great line from Eric Wynalda talking to Rece Davis “Only Italy can score on Italy in this World Cup.”


ESPN Captures The High Drama of the German Win..

High drama as the Germany - Argentina game lived up to the hype going all the down to penalty kicks. Hope you had a chance to watch the telecast as Dave O'Brien and Marcelo Balboa brought their “A game.”

O’Brien was able to build the drama without over selling the game. Meanwhile, Balboa spotted Argentina’s tired play, stating that if the Argentines did not tighten things up their 1-0 lead would disappear. Within 90 seconds of Balboa’s comments, Miroslav Klose tied the game in the 80th minute and the game went all the way to PK’s.

Balboa did a great job of explaining how tough PK’s are and O’Brien kept the drama high and when Germany won the PK’s 4-2, he stayed quiet for a few seconds allowing the home crowd to tell the story.

Good stuff by the ESPN team...


DC Weekend Examiner

Saturday checkout the WC story with former D.C. United coach and Gol TV host Ray Hudson...

This Just In...

This from the AP wire and goes well with yesterday's Tour story...

Now it is wide open tour...

Favorites Jan Ullrich, Ivan Basso and dozens of other cyclists were barred Friday from the Tour de France in a doping scandal, causing a massive upheaval on the eve of cycling's premier race.

Tour director Christian Prudhomme said team managers had agreed that riders implicated in a Spanish drug scandal would not be allowed in the race that starts Saturday.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Jim Williams: No Lance could mean less attention for Tour

Jim Williams: No Lance could mean less attention for Tour
PDF | Email
Jim Williams, The Examiner
June 29, 2006 7:00 AM (11 mins ago)

BALTIMORE - For the first time since OLN began total live coverage of the Tour de France back in 2002, they will not have the draw of Lance Armstrong.

Will ratings suffer? Will the competition be as strong?

When talking to Phil Liggett and Paul Sherwen, the talented OLN Tour de France anchor broadcasters, they could not be more upbeat about the 2006 race.

Jim Williams: Who is the likely American successor to Lance Armstrong?

Phil Liggett: Well, in fact, there are three talented men and anyone of them could be the new American superstar. LetÂ’s start with Floyd Landis. He has exploded with wins in both the Paris-to-Niece race and the Tour of Georgia. Next would be Levi Leipheimer, who has been improving each time he goes out. Then there is George Hincapie. Many think that George could have finished in the top five the past three years, but he has dedicated himself to getting Lance a win.

JW: Who is the favorite to win the Tour?

PS: Lance has had two key rivals. Jan Ullrich and Ivan Basso both feel that they have assembled teams worthy of winning a Tour title. But this is the most open competition that we have had in at least five years.

OLN starts their live coverage of the Tour on Saturday at 8:30 a.m.

Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer. You can email Jim at


OLN also will feature plenty of pre taped segments with Lance Armstrong that they will use in their primetime shows.

If you have not tuned in the Tour on OLN you should!

It is part sporting event is a beautiful travelogue giving you the drama of a great sports contest and the living post views of France.

OLN has a high production standard and if you watched the NHL on OLN then you know that this fast growing network is setting a high standard for sports coverage.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


ESPN who has set draft coverage standard with their NFL show and now they have done the same with the NBA. Here is a sample of what you will hear from their gang tonight...

Dan Steir, ESPN coordinating producer – "Our primary objective is to make sure we are servicing the fan and providing the most updated information as it relates to trade news, trade rumors and assessments, and I think the combination of our talent and resources will do that."

NBA Draft overview:

Jay Bilas, ESPN basketball analyst – “It's got good depth of talent. There are a lot of bargains at the end of the first round into the second…you could see some surprises early on with some players that have been talked about going lower than expected because, frankly, I think some teams have been throwing up some smoke screens. Who knows, maybe (Andrea) Bargnani is one of those. I've seen a lot of tape on him. I think he's an intriguing prospect, but I'm not sold on him. I think he is an outstanding shooter, and his shot quickness sets up the drive for him, but he doesn’t post up and people compare him to (Dirk) Nowitzki…Nowitzki got to the free throw line and this guy does not do that…he's not a physical player. Is he a top 10 talent? No question about it, and there's no question he's got a chance to be a solid NBA player for a long time.”

Comparing international prospects to domestic prospects:

Fran Fraschilla, ESPN analyst and international expert – “They’re not as athletic as our kids. I had just gotten a chance to see the top 100 high school players in the country last week, right after I got back from Italy. The stark differences – we still have much more athletic, young players in that 18-22 range…and, for the most part, they are less jaded and a little bit more hungry. Some of our top players, even some of the kids that will go in this Draft, have been coddled since they were 14.

“(There are) two different systems – one system (international) is about skill development…remember, those kids, for the most part, don't go to school. Our college kids must go to class and college coaches don't have as much time to develop the skill level that international coaches have with those guys. It's two different ways of doing things and you see some (international players) that are very good NBA players, you see some guys who aren't, and that’s more of a function of the evaluation of each individual team and not necessarily whether those guys are better or worse than our college kids.”

On potential #1 pick Andrea Bargnani:

Fraschilla – "This year, (Andrea Bargnani has played) 75 games of a level of competition that I would say is higher than any college level in our country. In those 75 games, he has played in the Italian League, the Euro League (which is a compilation of all of the best teams in Europe), and then the Italian Cup (which is like a month-long ACC-type tournament with much pressure). In averaging about 12 points and six rebounds a game in 23 minutes, and also playing very, very well at the end of the year, he's got more of a track record then some of these young big men you've seen come over and not yet set the world on fire.

“He is 7’0”, he's not a post-up player, but there are teams in the league that value a guy his size that can stretch the defense. He’s also deceptively athletic and he can guard smaller players. You wouldn't want him guarding a two or a three most nights, but he can do it effectively for parts of a game because he moves his feet very well.”

Here is Jay's Ten Best Players:

1. Tyrus Thomas, LSU – “Of all of the prospects in this Draft, Tyrus Thomas has the most potential. He’s a spectacular athlete with a competitive fire inside of him. Thomas is active, bouncy, and has the wingspan of a seven-footer. He has good skills, but they are raw and unpolished. He’s a smaller Amare Stoudemire with the same crazy athleticism.”

2. Adam Morrison, Gonzaga – “Adam Morrison is the best scorer in the Draft, and he will find a way to be an effective scorer in the NBA. He has every shot in the book and knows how to free himself. Morrison can keep a defender on a string, and the only thing he lacks is athleticism. He is not a defender or rebounder, but his scoring makes up for any deficiencies in those areas.”

3. Brandon Roy, Washington – “Brandon Roy is the most complete player in the Draft. He has size, strength and skill, and has great passing instincts. Roy is a far better athlete than he gets credit for, a terrific defender, and could wind up being the Rookie of the Year because he knows how to play on both ends.”

4. Rudy Gay, UConn – “Rudy Gay may be better overall than Morrison because he can impact the game in more ways. He has great length and athletic ability, and he has all of the tools to be an outstanding pro. Gay is not a great shooter, but relies on his jump shot. He needs to put the ball on the deck and attack the rim better, but he is a great prospect.”

5. Shelden Williams, Duke – “Shelden Williams is efficient, productive and really strong. He blocks shots and rebounds out of his area at a high rate, and can hit a face up jumper to 18 feet. He is really long-armed and can bang with anyone. He may have trouble getting shots off in traffic, but he will be a more offensive-minded version of Dale Davis. Teams know what they are getting with Williams, and that is an NBA-ready big that will perform for a dozen years.”

6. Andrea Bargnani, Italy – “Andrea Bargnani will take some time to really develop into a big-time NBA player, but he is a legit seven-footer and can really shoot it. His quick trigger sets up his drives, but the Dirk Nowitzki comparisons may be a bit much. Remember, Nowitzki gets to the free throw line at a high rate, while Bargnani does not. Projected as a small forward, I think he would be better served as a face-up power forward.”

7. LaMarcus Aldridge, Texas – “Many believe that LaMarcus Aldridge should be the top overall selection, but he has some questions. Aldridge is a long, lanky athlete, but he lacks strength and the ability to hold the low block with a wide base. That aside, he is very skilled and has a marvelous touch to 19 feet. If he can satisfy a team that he will be able to gain strength and be a more physical power forward, Aldridge will be a really good player.”

8. Marcus Williams, UConn – “Marcus Williams is the best pure passer in this year's Draft, and has the best understanding of how to play the game. He is outstanding in the open court, and can really find people for easy scores. Williams still needs to get in better condition, and he has some issues staying in front of quick guards on the defensive end, but he is the best point guard prospect in the Draft.”

9. Randy Foye, Villanova – “Randy Foye is the strongest combo guard in the Draft, and he is a terrific athlete. He can get his own shot, and he just bounces off of people off the dribble. Foye can do something the NBA covets – he can make challenged shots at the end of a shot clock. He handles it well enough to run some offense for you, and will be a very good guard in the NBA for a long time.”

10. J.J. Redick, Duke – “J.J. Redick may not be a great athlete or defender, but he is a great shooter with a quick release and the will to find shots against superior athletes. Redick can shoot it and hit from anywhere, and he will be a very good pro with teammates that can draw double teams.”

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

You have to watch WC on ESPN 360

Today I watched both WC games on
ESPN 360 and the quality was super!

Video stream was steady and the picture
was clear and crisp. So give it a try!

Sirius has some fun stuff with
their Wimbledon coverage.

If you can listen, it is fun and entertaining.

Bonnie B has moved from CBS to
ABC\ESPN. She will be working
football and baseball.

OLN is excited about the
Tour de France that starts
this weekend.

They feel rating in the post
Lance era will still be there
in this years race.

Wed we will look at Wimbledon
coverage on ESPN and NBC

Plus the NBA Draft
From Jim Williams sent via T-Mobile Blackberry

Monday, June 26, 2006

The Best Day of Soccer will come Tuesday...

Brazil vs. Ghana

11a.m ESPN, Univision and XM Radio

This is a great game waiting to happen.

For Ghana it is a chance to put themselves in the record books as one of the biggest giant killers in World Cup history.

In the case of Brazil this also is a game about history but great success of a team of historic proportions.

The defending champion could break several records in its second-round match Tuesday against the Africans in Dortmund.

Ronaldo could become the tournament's career leading scorer. Cafu could become the Brazilian player with most World Cup appearances. And Brazil has a chance to score its 200th goal, as well as increasing its winning streak to 11.

In addition, Carlos Alberto Parreira is set to move up on the list of most matches coached at the World Cup.

Ronaldo enters the game tied with Gerd Mueller of Germany with 14 goals. Another goal against Ghana and he becomes the sole record holder, surpassing Pele as Brazil's leading scorer in the competition.

One way or another history will happen.

Will it be Ghana making history or will it be Brazil adding to the thick record books.

Likely, it will be Brazil…

Spain vs. France

3p.m. ESPN, Univision and XM Radio

Spain enters the game riding a 20 game streak without a loss. Spain won their three matches in group play and were impressive in the attack with Fernando Torres, David Villa and Luis Garcia playing some great soccer. They face a France side that finally broke through in their final group match against Togo to score a pair of goals. Spain and France have never met in the World Cup. The last time the two teams met was Euro 2000 when France defeated Spain 2-1 in the quarter-finals. With his retirement at the end of this competition, every game could be Zinedine Zidane’s last.

Bottom line is that Spain has been talking lots of smack and saying that it is their time and they will retire the old France team.

Meanwhile, the Blue wants just one more great game to shut up Spain.

Will they get it?

Unlikely… This should be a good game for a very deep Spanish team…

All in all this is the best day of soccer in all of World Cup 2006…

Best headline of the day….


The Aussies are not over this one and it will take a long time to calm them down!

Italy dives through to the next round....

12 Seconds, a bad call and Italy move on…

For over 9o plus minutes the Aussies battled soccer powerhouse Italy to a scoreless draw. It looked like the pesky Socceroos would be headed to overtime but with just 12 seconds left in extra time; Lucas Neill was called for fouling Fabio Grosso - a judgment that first had the Australian’s howling in protest, then shaking their heads in bitter defeat.

Grosso already had shaken one Aussie defender as he dribbled a few strides from the goal when Neill slid in front of him. The Italian cut in Neill's direction and tried to leap clear, but tripped over the defender's back.

It was a dive not a penalty and another case of how the officials have had their hands all over the 2006 World Cup.

Moments later, second-half substitute Francesco Totti sent his penalty kick right into the back of the net and Italy had won 1-0.

ESPN crew said very little about the call and talked more about how Italy was able to play poorly and yet advance.

Some great shots of the Italian soccer fans in Sydney dancing in the streets, but very little about the clearly blown call that gave and I do mean gave Italy the win.

Over on XM it was a different story the fans were calling in and talking about how once again a game had been totally ruined by an officials call.

I know that Italy has a huge legion of fans world wide and they may have won the game in overtime or via penalty kicks. But the Aussies deserved a better way to exit the World Cup; they deserved a chance for it to end on the field and not on a dive followed by a PK goal with just 12 seconds left before overtime.

ESPN’s studio gang also should have been more vocal of what happened to the Aussies and perhaps of they had heard XM’s callers they might have.

Dig Day Down Under...

The game of the day Italy vs. Australia (ESPN, UNIVISION and XM Radio)
We know that Italy is a one of the most passionate soccer countries on the planet.

Their fans are legendary and their following is large all over the world.

But today when the Italians face the Australians in what should be a an easy win for Italy for some reason fans around the world know that the Soccerroos are no pushovers.

There is plenty of fan support down under and they have proven every time some one takes them for granted they make them pay..

So what is it like back in the land down under?

Well according to my good friend Max Cordon who is a Sydney based writer things are wild down under.

He sent me a sample of what was going on with the fans of the Soccerroos.

"I've never seen anything like it, in all my 57 years living in Sydney," said Cordon.

"You'll never see anything like this in cricket or rugby or anything else because this is the world sport," said Jake Rathman a long time Sydney sports radio talk show host.

In Melbourne's Federation Square, 19,000 fans are expected to watch the match on a large screen TV.

More than 7,000 people will gather at nearby Birrarung Marr, while more than 21,000 people will watch the live broadcast on one of three big screens at Telstra Dome.

"I feel awesome, mate," said James Smythe who has been covering soccer for Sky TV.

"Harry Kewell is a legend. We can’t wait for the game." Said Smythe.

So it is Italy with passion and tradition facing the Aussies with newly found confidence and a love for the sport.

Game two today is:

Switzerland vs. Ukraine (ESPN, Univision and XM Radio)

My most recent columns..

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Bangers, Mash And Beckham..


The pub was loud and the crowd was rowdy but a win is a win and England is headed to quarter finals of World Cup 20006.

As I had my bangers, mash and a pint or two of Guinness at my favorite English pub about a half mile from the British Embassy in Northwest, Washington.

The big question of the day was how England was going to win?

There had been questions all week about was going to lead this talented but at time clueless team.

But at the English pub in NW, D.C. the answer seemed simple...

This was Wayne Rooney's team he was the star and it was in this World Cup that he was going to make his mark in the history of English football lore.

How about David Beckham?

After all he was the darling of the English soccer world for over a decade but recently there were questions about his usefulness on the team. Had the man who was one of the worldÂ’s most recognizable soccer players been reduced to a bit player?

Well as we began our brunch and the kickoff was near many friends of mine from the BBC were very vocal that Beckham was a man of the past and that Rooney was the man.

Then after a tense 0-0 first half British fans do what most American fans do they blamed the other players for not getting the ball to Rooney and predicted that the longer they let Ecuador in the match the bigger the chance there was for doom.

It was a tightly played match but as the clock on the field hit the hour mark things changedÂ…

In a match that needed a spark it came in the shape of a Beckham special. A free-kick was awarded some ten yards up from the right-hand edge of the Ecuador penalty area and Beckham produced a superb delivery which had Cristian Mora scrambling across his goal just to get a fingertip to the ball on its way into the net.

It was a trademark "Bend it like Beckham," goal that sent the pub into a about a two minute frenzy.

Hey, how about Becks?

The patrons suddenly sang the praises of their tarnished and sometimes forgotten hero.…

Becks's was back and the English fans were with him and as the final moments of the match ticked off and the crowd full of bangers, mash and an awful lot of Guinness sang "God save the Queen," it was another day to savor the true talent that is David Beckham.

Big Day For England

The Soap Opera that is English Football…
June 25, 2006 12:52 AM Posted By: Jim Williams
Want to have some fun?
Go to the TalkSport website and begin listening to the hard core English soccer fan.
You will hear how real fans question their coaches and scream about the lack of effort of their stars.
Is David Beckham really mad at his team mates?
TalkSport and their callers have been fuelling the rumors of a dispute between Beckham and Steven Gerrard have been so vehemently denied by the Football Association that Eriksson was not called upon to comment. But increasingly he is reacting with anger to suggestions that his captain is not worth his place.
Is Wayne Rooney ready to play full force?
Peter Crouch is set to fill 'big void' left by Owen departure.
That is all the real drama, but if your up some great soap opera soccer stuff then checkout the U.K's top drama Footballers Wive$ on BBC America tonight at 10p.m. ET
Fifa have refused to rush any decisions on Graham Poll's World Cup future after his error-strewn performance in last night's match between Australia and Croatia.
10:30 a.m. England vs. Ecuador, from Stuttgart (ABC, Univision and XM Radio)
2:55 p.m. Portugal vs. Netherlands, from Nuremberg (ESPN, Univision and XM Radio)

Saturday, June 24, 2006

What a game!!!

ARG 2 MEX 1 (Overtime)

Watching the game from the American Diner in NW Washington their were fans who supported
both Argentina and Mexico.

They had all the range of emotions as the two teams were tied at 1-1 you
could feel the crowd hang on every pass of the ball.

When Maxi Rodriguez put the ball in the back of the net in the 98th min
of the game the Argentine fans went crazy!

But fans of Green did not give up.

But as time rolled on Agentina was clearly in control moving past Mexico
in a hard fought 2-1 win.

Next up will be a killer game between Argentina and the home boys from

Sunday brunch at a popular English Pub - that will be awesome!

If you get a chance watch the game at a local put you will thank me!

From Jim Williams sent via T-Mobile Blackberry


Knock OUT!
June 24, 2006 12:48 AM Posted By: Jim Williams
Well we are now on to the all important knockout round and there will be no ties from here on out each game will have a winner no matter how long it takes.
This the round where the good teams will distance themselves from the Cinderella’s of World Cup 2006.
The host country Germany looks very good with more creativity than normal. If we are to believe the soccer pundits and the London bookies then Germany should roll by Sweden.
Germany over Sweden
The best team in World Cup 2006 thus far has been Argentina. They have scored at will and looked good doing it. Meanwhile, Mexico has looked very, very average, they need to pick up the pace or this could be a blow out. Argentina over Mexico as the favorites roll on to a possible date in the final!
Argentina over Mexico
Best rumors…
Bruce Arena to take a job with a Premiership team or accept the Team Canada coaching spot...
New US coach will be a former European star…
TV and Radio for today:
10:30 a.m. Germany vs. Sweden, from Munich (ABC, Univision and XM Radio)
2:55 p.m. Argentina vs. Mexico, from Leipzig (ESPN, Univision and XM Radio)
Arena, Donovan, and Beasley taking most of the blame as "Soccer Nation," want answers
June 23, 2006 12:06 AM Posted By: Jim Williams
Bruce Arena, Landon Donovan, DaMarcus Beasley and others are being blamed for the US team’s early exit from the World Cup 2006.
The calls started coming in at around 1p.m as the match ended and continued till midnight as the XM Radio gang did their best to sort out the loss to Ghana and explain what happened to team USA.
Caller’s put the blame on Coach Bruce Arena for his conservative style of play, while others singled out the lack quality effort put forth by star players Landon Donavan and DaMarcus Beasley.
The ESPN gang was doing their best to explain things.
Julie Foudy, Eric Wynalda had a solid debate after the match when Wynalda put the failure squarely on USA coach Bruce Arena.
“Players play matches, coaches manage matches and referees officiate games. In this World Cup Bruce Arena did a poor job of managing this team from the start. I will be the first to say it, Bruce cost the US a chance to advance.”
Foudy said “Bruce deserves some of the blame but where were his players? Donovan and Beasley were no shows. The team played uninspired soccer and they need to look at their effort or lack of it as the reason they are coming home early.”
As the loss sunk in and the most of the “experts,” began the post mortem on the USA quick and painful exit from the World Cup some things were there for hope.
Bruce Arena was before the WC and still is the best soccer coach that America has ever produced. The team that went to the WC 2006 from the US was technically a very good side and knew their roles well.
But what the team lacked was a creative force, someone who could score and be resourceful once he got the ball.
The good news was that Clint Dempsey who scored America’s only goal and Eddie Johnson show great potential.
This not an American team that lacks talent, if they were almost any other group in this World Cup they would be going through to the next round. They did however end up in a group where their lack of creativity on offense was exposed big time and for that they are headed home.
But soccer in the US has never been better and the fact that people know enough to blame people and more to the point care enough about the sport that the final result was unacceptable to them is a big plus.
Also with soccer only stadiums in the works for almost every MLS team this league and the future is secure.
Friday is the last day of the first round and the knockout stage starts Saturday…
Here is the TV and Radio line up:
9:55 a.m Saudi Arabia vs. Spain, from Kaiserslautern (ESPN and Univision)
9:55 a.m. Ukraine vs. Tunisia, from Berlin (ESPN2 and Univision will have cut ins,)
2:55 p.m. Togo vs. France, from Cologne (ESPN and Univision)
2:55 p.m Switzerland vs. South Korea, from Hanover (. ESPN2 and Univision will have cut ins.)
The XM Radio schedule:
9:55a.m. Spain v. Saudi Arabia
2:55am France v. Togo
Wynalda USA's Loss on Arena...Foudy puts it on the
June 22, 2006 12:15 PM Posted By: Jim Williams
Eric Wynalda “Bruce Arena lost this World Cup for the United States. Any chance they had at moving on in this tournament was blown by Bruce’s managing of this team.”
Meanwhile, Julie Foudy put it on the players for not stepping up and not playing for well on the biggest stage of the world.
So the chatter has begun on the future of USA Soccer…
Ghana moves on the US moves out…
June 22, 2006 12:00 PM Posted By: Jim Williams
ESPN did a good job of capturing all the drama of the Ghana victory over the USA 2-1.
Dave O'Brien and Marcelo Balboa continued to not over hype the match and also kept people updated on the Italy vs. Czech Republic game.
A game the Italian’s won 2-0 and gave the United States all the help they would have needed to move on.
Balboa was on point as he could not understand why the US was accesed a penalty that put Ghana up by their winning 2-1 margin. He also brought out the point of that Eddie Johnson should be in the game to inject energy at the start of second half, but Johnson did not get in till the 60 minute mark.
In the end Balboa gave credit to a well trained and much more talented Ghana team.
Ghana and Italy will move on.
The US will go home and there will be plenty of explaining to do. You can bet that XM’s World Cup Tonight with Dave Ungrady will be fielding plenty of calls.
ESPN News, Gol TV and Fox Soccer Channel will have all kinds of analysis tonight.
But the story today was Ghana they outplayed the USA and deserved to move on.
In the end the USA was un able to score and that was the story of the World Cup 2006 for the American’s.
Here we go again….
June 22, 2006 12:29 AM Posted By: Jim Williams
Nothing comes easy with team USA in World Cup 2006 as they face Ghana in a truly a “must win situation.”
If you need some warming up dial in Bill McDermott and Judah Cooks on XM Radio starting at 6a.m. World Cup This Morning.
Don’t have satellite radio?
Checkout your pre game listening to BBC 5 Live or
TalkSport at Both are great UK based soccer talk outlets and you will get tons of pre game news from them for free via their streaming audio. However, they can’t provide the games since XM has the US and Canada rights.
At 10a.m ET ESPN has the game with Dave O'Brien and Marcelo Balboa handling all the action and for the Spanish TV fans you will get the game on Univision.
XM Radio 148 has the game with Dave Johnson, Manny Lagos and Jeff Agoos handling the action.
XM Radio 147 has the Spanish broadcast with the legendary Andres Cantor doing the call of the match.
ESPN2 will have the all important Italy game against the Czech Republic and prepare to use your return button on your remote.
OK, you have to be at work and can’t get to a TV?
Your best bet is of course is ESPN 360 where you can watch a very clear feed of the games on your computer. If for some reason your firewall won’t let you in then the game tracker service provided at either the official FIFA site or the ESPN Soccer site both are great sites to follow the games at work.
So you root for USA and Italy. By the way a good reason for Italy to play well and try to beat the Czech’s is that whoever finishes’s second in the group will end up playing Brazil. That is a great reason to try for a win.
9:55 a.m. Ghana vs. USA, from Nuremberg (ESPN and Univision)
9:55 a.m. Czech Republic vs. Italy, from Hamburg (ESPN2 and Univision will have cut ins)
2:55 p.m Japan vs. Brazil, from Dortmund ( ESPN and Univision)
2:55 p.m. Croatia vs. Australia, from Stuttgart (ESPN2 and Univision will provide cut ins)
The XM Schedule for today’s:
9:55a.m.US v. Ghana:
2:55p.m Japan v. Brazil
Mexico makes it interesting...
June 21, 2006 4:59 PM Posted By: Jim Williams
Mexico gave their fans a heart stopping morning of soccer while they were losing to Portugal 2-1, Angola was battling Iran tooth and nail till the very last second but simply could not pull clear of a 1-1 draw.
So Mexico moves on and the media medal of the day goes to Univision where they cut back and forth between the game and crowds back in Mexico. It was wild as fans could not contain themselves as for a while it looked like Mexico might not make it through.
In the end Mexico moves through to the next round and their fans will get good nights sleep.
If you have not seen a game on Univision yet you really should because the energy level is awesome.
Time to get ready for the big USA vs Ghana game so watch ESPN News, Gol TV and FOX Soccer Network and on radio the gang at XM will be talking soccer all night long. So you will you can get ready!!
TV for Thursday:
9:55 a.m. Ghana vs. USA , from Nuremberg, (ESPN and Univision)
9:55 a.m. Czech Republic vs. Italy, from Hamburg (ESPN2 and Univision cut ins)
2:55 p.m Japan vs. Brazil, from Dortmund (ESPN and Univision)
2:55 p.m. Croatia vs. Australia, from Stuttgart (ESPN2 and Univision cut ins)
The ESPN 360 has all the games on broadband
XM Radio
9:55a.m. US v. Ghana
9:55a.m. Japan v. Brazil
The Net is busy with World Cup News…
June 21, 2006 12:06 AM Posted By: Jim Williams
There are record numbers of fans watching the World Cup on the web or simply catching up on what they missed during the day.
According to reports on BBC, FIFA and ESPN all major sites are logging in record numbers of streaming video both live action and video clips.
Soccer fans from all over the world are turning to the internet to watch clips of the action at the official Fifa World Cup site has supplied more than 31 million streams of video highlights in the first week of the tournament.
The World Cup 2006 in Germany is the first time video clips have been available free on the web.
The record traffic shows that soccer fans are much more web savvy than most other sports fans with so many streaming video offerings.
Fifa says that the official site of the Cup is pulling in an average of well over five million unique users a day.
Monday 12 June, when 6.2 million fans visited the website was the most popular day and also that was also the day that attracted the most clicks, with 226 million page views.
The first week of the WC alone, the Fifa reported more than 1.2 billion page impressions.
This compares to a total of two billion page views for the entire 2002 World Cup.
BBC, ESPN and other sites are logging record numbers with BBC Sports took in over 1.6 million page views, while ESPN topped the million viewer mark.
The BBC is streaming more than 50 hours of World Cup football to UK internet users.
On the TV side here in the USA…
ABC's telecast on Saturday of the United States’ 1-1 tie with Italy averaged a 4.3 rating (4,784,000 households and 6,665,000 viewers – People2+) in the “fast national” rating provided by Nielsen Media Research. This would make it the highest-rated and most-viewed men’s FIFA World Cup broadcast on the network since the 1998 final in which France beat Brazil (5.7 and 5,604,000 households).
At a 4.3, the broadcast would be the highest-rated and most-watched first-round game on ABC since the U.S. played Romania in 1994 (June 26, 6.8 rating and 6,406,000 households).
For the three games ABC aired last weekend (June 10-11), the network averaged a 2.2 rating (2,459,000 homes), up 69% and 75%, respectively, compared to the opening weekend’s three games in 2002. The three matches averaged 3,243,000 viewers (People 2+), up 32% from 2002 (2,448,000).
In its first 18 World Cup telecasts (thru Friday, June 16), ESPN2 is averaging a 1.3 rating (1,156,000 homes), up 117% and 116%, respectively, compared to the first 16 games of 2002 (0.6 and 534,000). The network has averaged 1,474,000 viewers (P2+), up 114% from 688,000.
ESPN2’s highest rating was a 2.4 for the United States vs. Czech Republic. It was highest-rated soccer telecast ever on ESPN2, and the network’s highest-rated telecast of the year to date.
Wednesday’s XM lineup:
10am: Mexico v Portugal
3pm: Argentina v Netherlands
• Remember that games no done by XM will have live constant in game up dates, so you won’t miss anything.
9:55 a.m. Portugal vs. Mexico, from Gelsenkirchen (ESPN, and Univision)
9:55 a.m. Iran vs. Angola, from Leipzig (ESPN2, Univision will have updates)
2:55 p.m. Netherlands vs. Argentina, from Frankfurt (ESPN, Univision)
2:55 p.m Ivory Coast vs. Serbia-Montenegro, from Munich (. ESPN2, Univision will have updates)
ESPN 360 broadband will broadcast all the games on computer.
Owen injured as England moves on...
June 20, 2006 5:43 PM Posted By: Jim Williams
The sight of England star Michael Owen crawling off the pitch as his team played Sweden to a 2-2 draw was sobering but great TV. ESPN had the key shots of all the action of the match of the day and Dave O'Brien and Marcelo Balboa did a super job of capturing all the drama of Owen’s injury.
Meanwhile, Dave Johnson of XM proved why he is the best play by play man on radio keeping up a high energy level in an entertaining match that had England blowing a 2-1 lead late in the game.
Balboa was spot on as he clearly blasted England for their poor play allowing Sweden to score the tying goal. He took no prisoners and continues to become the best ever American color analyst.
A tie for the media men of the match – Johnson XM play by play and Balboa on the color side...
Wednesday has plenty of good storylines…
Portugal and Mexico are playing for first place in Group D but there is more to the story. Mexico could move on with a tie but if they lose and Angola gets a win over Iran then Mexico goes home and trust me their fans would never let them hear the end of it.
The Netherlands and Argentina are headed to the next round but this is a game for seeding in the knockout round and more than a little bit of country pride. Argentina has been the class of the World Cup 2006 thus far but a Holland win could slowdown the Argentine freight train.
TV and Radio for Wednesday’s games:
9:55 a.m. Portugal vs. Mexico, from Gelsenkirchen (ESPN and Univision)
9:55 a.m. Iran vs. Angola, from Leipzig (ESPN2 with updates from Univision)
2:55 p.m Netherlands vs. Argentina, from Frankfurt (ESPN and Univision)
2:55 p.m. Ivory Coast vs. Serbia-Monte, from Munich (ESPN2 and updates on Univision)
All games will be on ESPN 360 and all games listed are in Eastern Times
XM Radio will have:
9:55a.m. Mexico v. Portugal
2:55p.m. Argentina v. Holland
XM will have in game reports from the other games with English on Channel 148 and Spanish on Channel 147.
Plenty of talk before and after the matches on both channels.
This Just in an XM radio change..
June 20, 2006 1:11 PM Posted By: Jim Williams
XM will air the England v. Sweden game set to start at 3pm today. This is a change in the line up. XM fans keep checking here and on Channel 147 (Spanish) 148 (English for the latest details...
Super Tuesday
June 20, 2006 7:41 AM Posted By: Jim Williams
The fun part of round one has begun. It is the part of the World Cup when teams have a last chance to advance or go home. It is also when teams sure of making it to the next round rest their players and really look at the game as a high level practice session.
A few years ago FIFA decided to play the final group games at the same starting times so that teams would play hard and not just boot the ball around.
Here are today's games that have some importance:
Ecuador - Germany, Berlin, Group A Both teams are going to the next round however Group A is still up for grabs. The Ecuadorians’ superior goal difference (+5 compared with +3) means that only a win will give the host nation first place over their South American counter part.
Sweden - England, Cologne, Group B A draw would suit both sides nicely, as England would take the top spot in the group and Sweden’s place in the second round would be secure. If they lose, they could be overtaken by the Soca Warriors of Trinidad and Tobago.
Paraguay - Trinidad and Tobago, Kaiserslautern, Group B Trinidad and Tobago, the darlings of WC 2006 still have an outside chance to make the second round. T’and T need to win and hope for a Sweden loss. The trick is to win they will have to score, something they have not done so far in their two games..
Here is the XM Radio schedule for today:
10am Ecuador v Germany
3pm: Paraguay v Trinidad & Tobago
The XM crew will keep you up dated on all the games being played with frequent reports.
TV - all games will be on the ESPN family of networks and on broadband at ESPN 360.
9:55 a.m. Ecuador vs. Germany, from Berlin (ESPN, Univision and XM Radio)
9:55 a.m. Costa Rica vs. Poland, from Hanover (ESPN2, both Univision and XM Radio will provide in game updates)
2:55 p.m. Sweden vs. England, from Cologne (ESPN, both Univision and XM Radio will provide in game updates)
2:55 p.m Paraguay vs. Trinidad/Tobago, from Kaiserslautern (ESPN2, Univision and XM Radio)
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