Saturday, July 01, 2006

Jim Williams: Former United coach Ray Hudson weighs in on World Cup
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Jim Williams, The Examiner
Jul 1, 2006 5:00 AM

WASHINGTON - Former D.C. United coach Ray Hudson has taken his expansive knowledge of soccer and quick wit to Gol TV.
For the past two years, Ray Hudson has done color commentary for European league matches and is co-host of “American Soccer.”
Hudson is now in Germany covering the 2006 FIFA World Cup; he is the co-host for the English-language segment of the nightly “Gol TV in Germany” wrap-up show. The show can be seen nightly at 8 with plenty of replays during the evening and early morning if you miss the early show.
Hudson spoke on the World Cup from the International Broadcast Center in Munich.
Jim Williams: What has impressed you most at World Cup 2006?
Ray Hudson: I have been impressed with the passion that has been shown here in Germany. The people have been great and everywhere you go they are talking soccer. The games have been well staged, well attended and seeing fans from all over the world get together and celebrate soccer has been a wonderful thing.
JW: Has the officiating been as bad as it has been made out to be?
RH: In a way I feel bad for the officials. They were told by FIFA to call the games close and not to allow any diving, hard tackles or shirt pulling. FIFA wanted the rules to be upheld to the letter of the law and then when the officials did that, FIFA executives threw them under the train. The officials have made some bad calls but certainly not as many as has been reported.
JW: United States Coach Bruce Arena is taking the heat for the team’s early exit from the World Cup. Is it fair to blame Bruce?
RH: Bruce certainly has to get some of the blame but so does the team. I mean they simply did not show up here in Germany. Players like Landon Donovan and DaMarcus Beasley let the team down by hiding from the action. So, yes, you can blame Bruce but you can’t forget the players in this World Cup. They were on the largest stage in sports and showed up like deer looking in the headlights.
Ray is always informative and entertaining to be sure. Check him out on Gol TV.
Jim Williams is a seven-time Emmy Award-winning TV producer, director and writer.

Ray Hudson PLUS +

Ray was very excited about the fans in the US and their following of WC. He felt that they really wanted to know and understand the sport.

"These are the people at Publix, they stop and talk about the games and who is good and bad. They care about what is next for the US team and that is a very good sign for the growth of soccer in this country."

Ray said the be patient with the US team "It is a big learning curve that the US has to battle. They have come a long way but to become a member of the top teams in Europe or South America will take time. Kids in Europe and South Amnerica pick the game up and play it in the streets and they play from morning to night without coaches around, it becomes fun and they learn most of all to be creative. Until that begins to happen here in this country we will have to be content to a good but not great soccer country."

He also said that "Gol TV has been a very good place for him and that he thinks that once the WC is over that they ahave a place to follow the top players. Gol TV has the best players in the best leagues around the world and after WC we hope to showcase them on a weekly basis. It is a good thing for soccer fans to have the outlet and Gol TV provides it..."

Your weekend TV Day Planner..

OLN - Tour de France Saturday and Sunday Morning's - 8:30am

ESPN2 and SIRIUS Radio - Wimbledon - 8am

ABC, Univision and XM Radio - World Cup - ENGLAND vs.PORTUGAL- 11am

NBC and SIRIUS Radio - Wimbledon - Noon

FOX and XM Radio - Mets - Yankeees - 1pm

ESPN, Univision and XM Radio - World Cup - Brazil vs. France - 2:55pm

ABC and XM Radio - PGA Buick Open - 3pm

NBC - Women's US Open - 3pm

ESPN2 and SIRIUS Radio - Wimbledon - 3pm

ESPN2 - MLS New York @ New England - 6pm

Speed and XM Radio - Daytona Pepsi 400 Pre Race Show - 6:30pm

MASN and WTWP - Tampa Bay vs. The Nationals - 7pm

Ch. 50/TBS and WTEM Baltimore vs. Atlanta - 7pm

CSN - CFL Football - Edmonton @ Winnipeg - 7pm

FOX and XM Radio - The Pepsi 400 - 7:30pm

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