Most-watched soccer games on US TV for August 1-11, 2019

NBC’s coverage of the opening round of Premier League fixtures set records as NBCSN registered a Total Audience Delivery of 1.01 million viewers for Manchester United’s 4-0 victory over Chelsea on Sunday, making it the most-watched opening weekend Premier League cable match ever in the United States. It was also the most-watched Premier League cable broadcast in over 4 years. Total Audience Delivery measures linear and digital viewing. Atlanta United’s 3-0 victory over LA Galaxy averaged 500,000 viewers on FOX earlier this month, up 26% from FOX’s Atlanta United broadcast back in May. Over on cable, however, MLS has suffered ... Read more

LaLiga extends US TV rights with beIN SPORTS through 2024

beIN SPORTS has renewed US media TV rights to LaLiga through 2024, according to several sources who confirmed the details to World Soccer Talk. It means that the home of LaLiga in the United States will continue to be on beIN SPORTS (in English) and beIN SPORTS en Español (in Spanish) through May 2024 for what is arguably the best soccer league in the world. beIN SPORTS originally acquired the rights to LaLiga in 2012, and then renewed the rights in 2015 through 2020. With LaLiga in the final year of its current rights deal with beIN SPORTS that was ... Read more

International Champions Cup crowds drop 34% from last year

Another round of the annual summer friendlies in the United States has come and gone. These types of games are usually a smashing success, both in terms of attendance and TV ratings. However, crowds this year were rather disappointing especially for games at the International Champions Cup (which has seen a third straight year of decline). Usually, the International Champions Cup (ICC) features the biggest clubs and most famous players in the world. We’ve seen Messi, Ronaldo and Neymar play stateside as well as clubs including Manchester United, Liverpool, and Bayern Munich. But as it was pointed out on a ... Read more

Manchester United ‘disgusted’ by racist abuse of Pogba

London (AFP) – Manchester United said they “utterly condemn” the racist abuse their World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba received after he missed a penalty in the 1-1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday. The 26-year-old Frenchman has missed four penalties since the start of last season — the most by a Premier League player — while team-mate and fellow penalty-taker Marcus Rashford has converted all four of his attempts in that time. Pogba was assailed on social media, becoming the third player in England to have received racist abuse in the past week due to missing a penalty. United said ... Read more

Suarez who? Carroll admits low football IQ

London (AFP) – Andy Carroll has admitted his football IQ was so low he had to use Google to find out who Luis Suarez was when he joined Liverpool in 2011. Carroll moved to Merseyside for a record fee for a British player of £35 million ($42 million) and teamed up with the Uruguyan superstar in attack. The 30-year-old former England international striker excused his ignorance by saying he meant no disrespect to Liverpool or Suarez.  He said he was just much more interested in going out with his friends than following football off the pitch when he was making ... Read more

Juventus gamble on Sarri delivering another style of Serie A title

Milan (AFP) – Juventus begin their Serie A campaign this weekend under new coach Maurizio Sarri as the multiple Italian champions gamble on the veteran delivering another style of Serie A title. The Turin giants start their quest for a ninth consecutive title in Parma on Saturday but could be without Sarri on the bench after the 60-year-old was diagnosed with pneumonia on Monday. Sarri returns to Italy after one turbulent season in the Premier League with Chelsea, having previously coached his hometown team Napoli for three seasons. Chain-smoking Sarri’s appointment, in place of the clean cut Massimiliano Allegri who ... Read more

‘It’s up to them’: Solskjaer refuses to blame Pogba after penalty miss

Wolverhampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Ole Gunnar Solskjaer refused to blame Paul Pogba after the Manchester United star missed a penalty in Monday’s 1-1 draw at Wolves after taking spot-kick duties from Marcus Rashford. Pogba wasted a chance to give United their second successive Premier League win when his penalty was saved by Wolves keeper Rui Patricio. It was the fourth missed penalty by Pogba since the start of last season. The France midfielder appeared to tell Rashford that he wanted to take it, even though his United team-mate had scored from the spot against Chelsea last weekend. United manager ... Read more

Dembele adds to Barcelona’s injury woes

Barcelona (AFP) – Ousmane Dembele, Barcelona’s French international striker, will miss five weeks after suffering a hamstring injury, the club said on Monday. The club said in a statement that tests showed a “fibrillary lesion in the left thigh femoral biceps.” If Dembele is out for that long, he could miss five matches in La Liga as well as France’s Euro 2020 qualifiers against Albania on September 7 and Andorra on September 20. He suffered a similar problem in May at the end of an injury-ravaged first season in Barcelona.  He is the latest casualty in a depleted Barcelona strike ... Read more

Man Utd held by Wolves after Pogba’s penalty woe

Wolverhampton (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester United were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw against Wolves after Paul Pogba’s penalty was saved by Rui Patricio at Molineux on Monday. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side took the lead through Anthony Martial’s second Premier League goal of the season in the first half. Ruben Neves hit a brilliant equaliser for Wolves after the interval before France star Pogba was denied by Patricio. It was a curious decision for Pogba to take the spot-kick as Marcus Rashford had scored a penalty in last weekend’s 4-0 victory over Chelsea and also memorably netted the ... Read more

US football team to kick off Nations League against Cuba

Washington (AFP) – The United States will entertain political rival Cuba at Washington on October 11, US Soccer said Monday.  The Americans will face the squad from the Communist island nation at Audi Field, home of Major League Soccer’s DC United, in the opening game of Group A play in the new CONCACAF (North American) Nations League. Rankings for the final 2022 World Cup qualifying round will be decided after the event, so Nations League matches will help boost teams ahead of that competition. The United States are currently ranked 24th in the world, and second in CONCACAF, behind Mexico.  ... Read more

‘Shocked’ Nigeria FA want to help baned coach Siasia clear his name

Abuja (AFP) – The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) said on Monday  that they were “shocked” by a life ban on former national coach Samson Siasia by FIFA for bribery, vowing to overturn it. On Friday, the governing body of world football banned Siasia, 52, from football, following a long-running investigation into convicted match-fixer, Wilson Raj Perumal.  After his arrest, Perumal collaborated with investigators. FIFA’s Ethics Committee found Siasia “guilty of having accepted that he would receive bribes in relation to the manipulation of matches in violation of the FIFA Code of Ethics.” Siasia, a striker, played 51 times for Nigeria ... Read more