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What A Way To Win & Qualify For South Africa!

This was absolutely a nerve racking second half for the USA and all of us supporters. Who would’ve thought going down a goal in the 46th minute that the USA would gather their thoughts very quickly and go out on a three goal rampage and especially from Conor Casey by not scoring a goal, but two in a row. A long rainbow pass that was headed down in the 54th minute then all of a sudden during the run of play in the 65th, Casey must’ve been watching dancing with the stars because he looked like twinkle toes against Noel Valladares and out of the blue smacks it in.

Then Landon Donovan got a free kick just outside the area in the 71st minute. I’m assuming he saw Clint Mathis free kick back in 2001 from the same spot, because Donovan served one Honduran Special into the net. Yes Julio De Leon pulled one back to make it three to two in the 77th and Carlos Pavon missed his penalty to equalize, but still this was a fantastic match to see our National Team perform and get those necessary three points to keep the top spot in the hex, officially clinch and join Mexico for the chance to play in the World Cup in South Africa next year.

But I have a confession to make. While typing up this report I never saw the match live. I never went to Nevada Smith’s or at the Play-by-Play Restaurant in Madison Square Garden. In fact I wasn’t home watching it on an internet feed. Outside of writing for MLS Talk my real job is working for a Sports News Service which feeds out highlights to all NBC Affiliates. So while I was busy with watching the NHL my co-workers were nice enough to give me updates on the match and yes I got up and checked out the FIFA site for the score.

While this is a happy time to celebrate qualification to the World Cup next summer, I’m sorry to say that it’s still terrible when something so important and late in the qualification schedule you can’t have this match seen on any ESPN channels, Fox Soccer Channel or when Gol TV has the rights to show it on their own channel. That’s right, Media Pro owns Gol TV and while they showed Costa Rica hosting Trinidad & Tobago live at 10PM, they couldn’t show a delayed broadcast of USA-Honduras afterwards.

I still felt that US Soccer could have intervened and paid Media Pro whatever money was asked and then re-distribute the English language rights to either ESPN or FSC and show the match live, but instead people had to scramble to find a bar near them or at least one that was showing the match. I knew many wouldn’t pay a cover charge and decided to stay home to view it on their computers or find a way to get the signal.

When I was watching some of the earlier World Cup qualifiers on FSC, I quickly looked at Gol TV to see if they had a match live & I saw a commercial in Spanish advertising USA at Honduras and then I saw the dreaded words “NO PAY PER VIEW!” If this match was on PPV I would’ve told my supervisor that I would gladly pay for it so we could bring the live signal in. But unfortunately we as supporters of the game here in the States are screwed when it comes to greed.

I understand that the Honduran Football Federation has the right to make money on the event when the match is being seen by Americans, but you wish that this closed circuit option was thrown out the window. US Soccer should’ve had some form of talks with them and asked for the rights and pay whatever money they were asking for. I read on Ives Galarceps blog that the Ukraine-England match was also being shown on closed circuit as well, but that argument is meaningless when England already qualified for South Africa. If England really needed this road match the FA would’ve pulled all the stops to make sure closed circuit would never be an option.

I am very happy that the USA has qualified for their 6th consecutive World Cup and I can’t wait to see them try to win the hexagonal on Wednesday night at RFK Stadium. But at the same time I wish that these bumps in the road watching the match never happens again no matter who we play on the road in CONCACAF World Cup Qualifying, because to be honest it’s a real pain in the end. But I did see the highlights on Sky Sports thru FSC.

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  1. Daniel Feuerstein

    October 11, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    To Laughing: So Media Pro intentionally screwed us. Then I will boycott Gol TV for this. I know that it won’t matter, but this is absolutly disgusting.

    To 8 Bolacuadrada: I was asking my friends who are in the computer business if there was a program to record the signal off the internet like Omni Sports. tv. Install a recording program from that site and watch it on my computer when I got back home. Sadly nothing exists. So like I said to Laughing. Media Pro Intentionally screwed us.

  2. Bolacuadrada

    October 11, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    If any of you did not see the game, it was because you did not try to. I told people where to watch it online. You just have to be patient. I saw the game and at home and I enjoyed it. As I said in other posts, I refuse to pay those people who make it hard for families to enjoy the game.

  3. Laughing

    October 11, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    SUM did ask. They tried to work out a deal. Mediapro said No because they never wanted to let anyone buy it.

  4. Jimbo

    October 11, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    Congratulations to the USA on World Cup Qualification. I saw the game on a internet feed. The first one was excellent on Justin TV but it was pulled with about 10 minutes left to go in the first half. I eventually found another site with 5 minutes left to go before halftime. Both were in Spanish. I searched during halftime and got a excellent feed from TV Ants and it was a British broadcaster doing the game. Luckily the feed did not go down and the second half was great. In fact the English guy said it was one of the best second half’s he saw.Let’s go USA. Thinking about going down to RFK Wednesday . I live north of Philly so it is like a two and half hour drive.

  5. Brian Zygo

    October 11, 2009 at 11:39 am

    Initially the Richmond Arms in Houston was going to charge $20, then dropped it to $10, and ultimately waived it all together because the feed was so bad. One friend indicated that it was like watching a YouTube video on dial-up. That being said, I suspect the Richmond Arms managed to recoup the fee by selling large amounts of adult beverages.

  6. Daniel Feuerstein

    October 11, 2009 at 11:25 am

    The Big Money: It’s not so much that the cover charge is less money in other places, it’s the fact that there was a cover charge. I still believe that it wasn’t right this happened. But still good for you that you went to Nevada Smith’s to see it and good for you that you saw it. But I’m still angry that I couldn’t see it, not just for myself but because I couldn’t view it for my job.

    Kevin_Arnold: I can understand how you felt, I can definetly say I felt the same thing and I was lucky at least to get some updates. I honestly thought this match would be a draw and the boys would clinch on Wednesday, but that never happened. In a certain way I’m glad they did & mad I couldn’t see it. But sadly this is how the viewing rights issue is done.

  7. Kevin_Amold

    October 11, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Somehow, I convinced myself before the game that I didn’t want to subsidize this outrage (as I deemed it), so I made other plans. This was patently stupid because I spent the whole time on my phone getting text updates from friends watching an online signal. I’m, frankly, embarrassed that I didn’t have the heart to do what I had to do to watch the game, broadcast outrage or no.

    The fact that we won in such a (supposedly) legendary fashion makes it worse. Had we lost, I might not have regretted the decision as much, but I still concluded that regardless of outcome, I had failed to do what a fanatic would have done. Never again.

  8. eplnfl

    October 11, 2009 at 8:29 am

    The fact that it did not appear on any home tv screens may only increase the legend of this game in the future. The most important US game in years and no one sees it, featuring a come back by the US team for the ages, then a late rally by Honduras, and an incredible missed PK. Priceless stuff and I am sure we will hear about how many people actually saw it in the future who did not. The stuff of legend. Thanks to all the people who kept on giving links to internet feeds.

    I will say good for ESPN who did have a reporter at the stadium and showed a Landon Donovan interview during an extended wrap up with Tommy Smyth shortly after the match on ESPN News. Highlights of the game came out quickly on ESPN itself and on the website. The over the air ABC games featured the scores from the game and the other soccer matches that day.

    So it’s off to South Africa and from what ESPN would lead one to believe we can expect wall to wall coverage next summer from the World Wide Leader in Sports. THE YANKS ARE COMING!

  9. the big money

    October 11, 2009 at 7:16 am

    I was at Nevada Smith’s. I came all the way down to NYC to watch it there, and it was totally worth the $20 bucks. I almost didn’t get in too. There was a line at 9:55 and the bouncers started telling people it was full and to go to Madison Square Garden. But I stayed cuz I figured they weren’t gonna leave 20 bucks standing on the sidewalk if they could help it, and they didn’t. I was in by the sixth minute. There’s a statement on Nevada Smith’s website that 100% of the cover money is going for the license fee–Yeah, and I was born yesterday. I know the cover was less in other cities while the broadcast fee is the same, i.e. someone just made their boat payment, cuz that place was wall to wall. But who cares?–One of the best soccer games I’ve ever seen. Hell, one of the best things I’ve ever seen on TV full stop. USA! USA!

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