Most-watched soccer games on US TV for March 14-18, 2018

Univision’s Major League Soccer coverage saw a steep drop in viewership last weekend when compared to the first two broadcasts of the 2018 season. Saturday afternoon’s match between New York City FC and Orlando City SC was watched by only 239,000 viewers, down from 456,000 and 429,000 for Univision’s previous two broadcasts. English Soccer also experienced a large drop in viewership as Manchester United, Spurs and Chelsea all had their weekend matches played on FOX Sports’ networks where Manchester United and Chelsea’s FA Cup Quarter-Final matches each drew 170,000 viewers on FOX Sports 2. Chivas de Guadalajara’s 3-0 home victory ... Read more

Memories of starting a soccer league that brought a US community together

With the World Cup in Russia rapidly approaching, my mind wanders back to the summer of 2002 when the original Ronaldo and Brazil became kings of the world. At the same time, a small island in the Florida Keys was also gripped in World Cup fever. I was a professional soccer player for twelve years in the United States and it seems like a lifetime ago. After retiring in 1996 and bouncing around doing various coaching and officiating soccer duties, I decided to move in 2002 from my hometown of Milwaukee, Wisconsin to sunny Key West, Florida. I worked several ... Read more

Seeking writers and interns to gain valuable soccer journalism experience

World Soccer Talk has opened up several intern and writing positions to soccer fans who are passionate about the sport and interested in learning valuable skills. All positions are unpaid but will offer valuable experience. Many writers who started at World Soccer Talk have gone on to gain employment at companies such as ESPN, Yahoo, New York City FC, Sirius XM FC, LA Galaxy, Portland Timbers, SportBusiness, Four Four Two, Howler Magazine and other reputable companies. To apply for a writing position, please complete the writer application form. We also have four internships available — one for a Social Media Specialist, ... Read more

Schedule of soccer friendlies during international break on US TV and streaming

With the top soccer leagues from around the world taking a break until the end of the month, it’s time for the national teams to start preparing for this summer’s World Cup with a string of friendlies that will be played in all corners of the globe. In total, there are over 20 matches will be aired live on US television and/or streaming. On paper, some of the most highly-anticipated games include Russia-Brazil, Italy-Argentina, Germany-Spain, France-Colombia, Germany-Brazil, England-Italy, Spain-Argentina and Mexico-Croatia. Plus the USA will field a very young side against Paraguay in a match that should give several debuts ... Read more

World Cup Viewer’s Guide now available for download

The 2018 FIFA World Cup kicks off on June 14. And there are so many options for viewers in the United States to watch the world’s most exciting sports tournament. In our research to uncover all of the details for the guide, we spoke to several executives in the soccer industry over the last few months. We then compiled the information into the World Cup Viewer’s Guide, which is available as a free download to World Soccer Talk readers. The questions we answer include everything from commentators to TV schedules to how many games will be shown on each network ... Read more

FIFA World Cup dropped from FOX Soccer Match Pass

In a massive U-turn, FOX Sports has decided not to stream the 2018 FIFA World Cup on the FOX Soccer Match Pass streaming service after all. The news comes just one week after FOX Sports announced in a press release that its live coverage of the 2018 FIFA World Cup schedule would be streamed across the FOX Soccer Match Pass streaming service and apps. No explanation for the U-turn has been given, and we were unable to reach FOX Sports for comment. No cable or satellite subscription is required to stream games on FOX Soccer Match Pass, so it’s quite ... Read more

Olympiakos and Notts Forest owner charged with drug smuggling

Athens (AFP) – The owner of reigning Greek champions Olympiakos and English Championship club Nottingham Forest has been charged with drug trafficking. Evangelos Marinakis is being prosecuted for “possession and trafficking of drugs” and for “associating with criminals”, a source in the judiciary said on Friday. Prosecutors in Piraeus, where Olympiakos are based, have also banned Marinakis from leaving the country because of a probe into the financing of a company that chartered the Noor1, a petrol tanker that was seized off the Greek coast in June 2014 with two tonnes of heroin on board. The heroin was to be ... Read more

Supersub Smyth stars as Northern Ireland stun South Korea

Belfast (AFP) – Paul Smyth was Northern Ireland’s hero after coming off the bench to mark his international debut with the winning goal against World Cup-bound South Korea in Belfast on Saturday. There were just six minutes left until the end of the friendly match when the 20-year-old Queens Park Rangers forward was sent on by Northern Ireland manager Michael O’Neill and it took him just two minutes to score. Conor Washington overpowered a defender and Smyth got on the ball before cutting inside and then producing a composed finish that gave South Korea goalkeeper Kim Seung-Gyu no chance, to ... Read more

Brazil are ‘two grades’ better than 2014 – Kroos

Düsseldorf (Germany) (AFP) – Toni Kroos rates Brazil “two grades” higher than when Germany hammered the ‘Selecao’ 7-1 at the 2014 World Cup. Kroos scored twice in the Belo Horizonte semi-final at Brazil 2014 when Germany blitzed the hosts, who were missing superstar forward Neymar, with five goals in a dramatic opening 30 minutes of what became the heaviest home defeat in Brazil’s history. Ahead of the teams’ meeting on Tuesday, Germany midfielder Kroos is not expecting a repeat: “When I look at the current team in comparison to 2014, they are two grades better. “They have really good people, ... Read more

Iniesta’s display against Germany shows what Spain would miss

Madrid (AFP) – Andres Iniesta may be considering international retirement and winding down his club career in China but Spain’s creator-in-chief demonstrated on Friday why he might be leaving too soon. Iniesta’s threaded pass in the sixth minute, disguised by a contradictory glance and weighted so precisely that Rodrigo Moreno did not meed to bother with a controlling touch, was not one of a player struggling to keep up.  This was Germany and the defence of the world champions, whom Spain could face again in the semi-finals at the World Cup, where Iniesta’s craft, eye and experience could prove similarly ... Read more

Shedding weight, scoring goals in Mexico’s obese football league

Monterrey (Mexico) (AFP) – Dripping with sweat, the burly footballers sprint across the pitch seeking to score in Mexico’s Heavyweight Football league, where points are awarded not just for goals but for shedding weight. Mexico is the second-most obese country in the world, after its neighbor the United States. But in the northern city of Monterrey, the amateur Heavyweight league is using Mexicans’ passion for football to fight the problem. Co-founder Raul Pequeno says he got the idea while watching a professional football match on TV with his daughters a little over a year ago. “We were watching the (Monterrey) ... Read more

Spain draw shows Loew areas for Germany improvement

Düsseldorf (Germany) (AFP) – Germany head coach Joachim Loew says he knows the areas where the defending champions must improve before the World Cup after drawing 1-1 with Spain on Friday. Rodrigo Moreno put Spain ahead after just six minutes in Duesseldorf, but hosts Germany levelled when Thomas Mueller hit a superb equaliser in his 90th international.   “There was a good intensity to the game, it was a test in which we were able to learn a lot,” said Loew. “Both teams have room to improve and you do not always want to show everything so soon before a ... Read more

Almost 100 England fans arrested after Amsterdam trouble

Amsterdam (AFP) – Amsterdam police said on Friday they had arrested almost 100 England football supporters ahead of a friendly international against the Netherlands, with videos posted online showing crowds packing the narrow streets and bridges in the canal city, singing and cheering. “The number of arrests of England supporters has now climbed to close to 90,” the Amsterdam police said in a tweet. The men were mainly accused of disrupting public order, the police said. One video on the Dutch public broadcaster NOS showed police wielding truncheons, and backed by horseback officers, wading into the crowds to restore order in ... Read more

McLeish’s second spell as Scotland boss starts with Costa Rica defeat

Glasgow (AFP) – Alex McLeish saw his second spell as Scotland manager start with a defeat as Costa Rica won 1-0 in a friendly international at Glasgow’s Hampden Park on Friday. A Scotland side showing four debutants was undone by Marco Urena’s 14th-minute goal in a repeat result of Costa Rica’s victory over the Scots at Italia 90 — the Central Americans’ first match at a World Cup finals. Both Costa Rica manager Oscar Ramirez and former Aberdeen defender McLeish played in that match, with Scotland’s defeat something of a surprise. Times have changed, however, and with Costa Rica set ... Read more