Saturday, June 24, 2006


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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