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Knock Knock It’s FIFA: Week in Review May 23-27, 2011

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Photo by FIFA Habbo

It was an incredibly busy week in American soccer.  Between the US national team, MLS midweek matches, and all sorts of FIFA controversies, there was a wealth of story lines for fans of the beautiful game.  Below are some of the ones we were following this week that we did not have time to post on the site:

  • In midweek MLS action, New York and Colorado played to a 2-2 draw, Dallas got three points on the road with a 1-0 win over Seattle, and the Galaxy grabbed an early goal to edge Houston 1-0.
  • The Canadian Championship was rescheduled for July 2 after it was abandoned in the 63rd minute due to horrendous rainstorms.
  • The FIFA mess is an important thing to know for American soccer fans.  FIFA presidential candidate Mohamed bin Hamman and CONCACAF rep Jack Warner were summoned before an investigatory committee this week on charges of bribery during a Caribbean campaign visit.  The charges were made by the U.S. rep Chuck Blazer.  Now Sepp Blatter, the current FIFA president and candidate for reelection, has had an ethics charge filed against him by bin Hamman for not reporting possible corruption violations.  The election between these two, in polite terms, undesirable candidates was supposed to be Wednesday but now with ethics charges hanging over both of them, that timeline is in doubt.  What does this mean for U.S. soccer?  Stay tuned.
  • MLS commissioner Don Garber did an interview with the Sports Business Journal where he discussed Sporting Kansas City’s stadium, the Cosmos’ price tag, and MLS ratings, among other things.
  • Real Salt Lake’s depth is hurting with injuries and Gold Cup call-ups, but Randy Davis sees an opportunity for one player.
  • Congratulations to American Clint Dempsey, whose Fulham team won England’s “Fair Play” spot in the Europa League.  Like Maurice Edu this season, Dempsey will again have a chance to show off his skills on the European stage.
  • Finally, the UEFA Champions League Final is Saturday and will be shown on Fox.  Last year’s final between Inter Milan and Bayern Munich had a 1.1 share; with two more “popular” teams playing keep an eye out for the rating.  It will be a good indicator or support for the sport of soccer in the U.S.

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  1. WSW

    May 29, 2011 at 2:32 pm

    Well it just proves that nobody cares about soccer in U.S. The CL Final pulled more viewers than the Super Bowl and on ESPN the Barca-ManU game was the the third story after: MLB highlights, Lebron James interview.

    • Alan

      May 29, 2011 at 2:37 pm

      ESPN hates soccer from any league (MLS, EPL, etc). They air it surprisingly enough, but every time they talk about it, they criticize it. My favorite ESPN tweet was about Ronaldo breaking the La Liga scoring record and then using the hash tag #nobigdeal. I would not use ESPN as a litmus test because they hate everything soccer. I’m convinced they’d feel the same way if it rivaled football in this country in terms of an audience. They’d still hate it.

  2. Alan

    May 29, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    You can like MLS and other leagues. I doubt the CL final will bring in more fans though. Heck, not even many of the soccer fans that I know (not MLS fans like me) really cared about it. Probably because it was predictable, which is going to be a huge problem for European soccer. Yes, I know Man U and Barca are not in every final together, but they have the last 2 out of 3 years (both made the semis last year) and are solid favorites for next year as well. Money is way out of control in European soccer and a lot of people are getting sick of it. The Champions League had some unpredictability but now that is going away. The skill level is great, but the predictability is making me care less about Champions League. Soccer in Europe is about money.

    FIFA corrupt? No way!

    RSL has definitely not been their old self. They are definitely slumping right now.

    Some traditional fans can be brought over like Garber said, but some will hate MLS even if we copy everything EPL does. They will always find an excuse to hate it instead of a reason to like it. FSC is just a horrible place to have MLS to gain casual fans. Having one game a week for MLS on FSC doesn’t help the league either. There are less local markets for MLS than NHL, so for someone like me here in Michigan, I need to rely on Matchday LIVE to be a fan of one club.


    May 28, 2011 at 9:48 pm

    Today’s CLF will bring new fans to Soccer in the U.S. I was at the Sportsclips barbershop and someone (not me) asked to change the channel to the match instead of staying with women’s college softball. There was a lot of excitement in the waiting area. The skill level from Barcelona especially was incredible. CLF did not have much to compete against today and is cementing itself with fans to be a much bigger deal in future years for even U.S. sports fans.

    • Charles

      May 30, 2011 at 2:27 pm

      Is that your website ?

      I like it. US Soccer needs it own identity.

  4. Alex

    May 27, 2011 at 11:12 am

    oh and i actually found the section of the article where garbage garber talked about Cosmos on and i was more or less right about what he said about cosmos. nothing new. im pretty sure however that Cosmos will be announced at the ASG half time. garber said more or less that they havent fully tapped the New York market which means MLS is losing money they could potentially be making with the Cosmos club identity. so yea it all comes down to money, which ever market can be a potential cash cow for MLS is the one they are going with and out of all the markets rumored to host a mls club, new york takes the cake. and with what better vehicle than the Cosmos brand

  5. Alex

    May 27, 2011 at 10:59 am

    damn sports business journal! i wanted to read what garbage garber had to say about Cosmos and MLS ratings. im sure however its all the same. “we are still working with cosmos estimated time about a year and we are still continuing to work on ratings and covert casual fans to MLS”. hes very predictable. anyways Ill be looking forward to the UEFA champion league game. for me im split on the whole whether its a good indication for soccer here or not. most if not all of the soccer population in the USA will be tuned to watch this game im sure which is good but im slightly agreeing with charles (never thought i would) but theres alot of hype riding on this game mainly cuz its Man U vs Barca, two of the biggest clubs in the world. so of course you are going to have the casual fans thrown in. but still overall i think it would be a good indicator of how popular the sport is here in the USA. Euro games are good measurements because thats where most of the attention of the american public goes to when it comes to soccer. MLS on the other hand only a small percentage of the soccer population here pays attention to MLS let alone watches it. but all in all im not going to worry about that during the game. its going to be a great game im sure

    as for the whole FIFA thing going on if Blatter wants to get re elected again hes going to have to clean the house. no doubt he going to cover his trails if he has anything to do with all this but idk i just hope this all ends positively for US Soccer soon. im tired of hearing corrupt names. and despite me rooting for Grant Wahl lets be realistic, i dont think he would have made a good FIFA president. im sure he would have stuck to his agenda to clean FIFA but beyond that i dont think he would have been very popular. but wutev. politics are politics.

    • Charles

      May 27, 2011 at 1:52 pm

      >>>MLS on the other hand only a small percentage of the soccer population here pays attention to MLS let alone watches it.

      Give me a break. Yeah, unlike that massive Euro watching audience.
      I live in the biggest soccer city in the US, no question.

      Here no one in the office could quit talking about Man U-Chelsea a few weeks ago. Today, we can hardly work with all the people talking about tomorrows game. That was sarcasm, NOONE cares….as close to NONE as you can get.
      At least with the Sounder’s games they know they are taking place.

      • Alex

        May 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm

        Get off your high horse Charles. Seattle does not represent the soccer demographic of this country. The USA wc bid committee estimated the size of the soccer demographic to be about 100 million. MLS couldn’t get a fraction of a fraction of that to watch the MLS cup. It got beaten out by a women’s college volleyball game. If no one cared about euro leagues then I guess espns report that they had the highest average viewersfor epl is a lie then. I’m not here to say euro soccer is better than MLS. You need to get your head out of your ass and realize that MLS is probably grheleastv viewed league within the soccer community. And while Seattle’s crowd is impressive 36k is not representative’sof us soccer fans. Please just go away.

        • Charles

          May 28, 2011 at 12:39 pm

          They drew 500,000 fans for the Man U Chelsea game…the championship. What the heck are you talking about LA-Seattle in the first game of the season drew around that ( I think more actually ).

          >>I’m not here to say euro soccer is better than MLS.

          Yeah you are…what do you think you are here for ? To talk US soccer…Geez you are dumb.

          • Alex

            May 28, 2011 at 3:10 pm

            Do you have any proof? Or are you pulling these numbers from your thick scull? Go google espn report about average viewer for epl. And if you had eyes you would read my first comment that I wasn’t trolling about euro leagues being better than mls I was saying that a majority of the soccer demographic does not pay attention to mls but that’s slowly changing to mls favor. If you want a good estimation of soccer popularity in USA look at epl because that’s the league most popular with the demographic I’m not debating that epl is better than mls. You assume that anyone who says even one thing negative about mls is a troll. You have mental issues. I’m ending the conversation here you can go screw yourself idiot.

          • SSReporters

            May 29, 2011 at 5:46 pm

            Tell me you didn’t compare 500k ratings on Fox Soccer Channel for an 11 AM ET game on Sunday to a primetime game on ESPN mid-week and say it’s the same thing.

        • Charles

          May 29, 2011 at 9:06 am

          What a TROLL….

          Alex May 16, 2011 at 9:33 pm
          if people in europe and south america thought the exact same thing as you guys do about how its boring over there cuz its the same champions over and over wouldnt you think the fans would have given up and soccer would be in crisis mode over there by now? uhh no. fans still support their clubs in numbers, and quality is still better over there. ”

          Alex May 27, 2011 at 11:32 pm
          “I’m not here to say euro soccer is better than MLS.”

      • Alex

        May 27, 2011 at 11:44 pm

        We have to keep supporting MLS and the sport at large if we ever want MLS to become a big league. I’m a supporter but I’m also a realist. My issue with you is that you don’t seem to have contact with reality. You seem to be a conformist for the state of which MLS is in and shoot down anyone that doesn’t agree with you. I hope for the sake of humanity that Seattle fans are not like you and hopefully the league can grow pass people like you. We don’t need people like you Charles who only seem to care about ticket prices and attendance figures. We have people in HQ for that.

        • Charles

          May 28, 2011 at 1:27 pm

          >>>who only seem to care about ticket prices and attendance figures. We have people in HQ for that.

          We agree ! Now anyone that hasn’t posted about soccer on this site ever, please go away. That would be you. Bye bye troll.

          btw, you are a supporter ? Name 3 things you love about MLS and your the team you support ?

          • Alex

            May 28, 2011 at 2:06 pm

            I like the stadiums we are building I like the fact clubs are now building academies and I like the fact that mls clubs are now taking the iniciative of becoming grass roots. I live 500 miles from the nearest mls club so I don’t really have a team to support. If I had to choose a team to support I like Vancouver because of their club structure and when cosmos comes to mls that’s the team I’m going to support cuz it’s my home town. You think you’re so smart and a know it all. Please stfu and go away I think I hear you’re mom calling you

  6. Charles

    May 27, 2011 at 10:05 am

    The UEFA game….I don’t think it is a good indication of support of soccer in this country. It is more like the SuperBowl or World Cup ( on a VERY small scale ). People watch because it is the labeled the biggest game of the year.

    A normal club game will still only draw 200,000 fans for TV. US Gold Cup games ( if they are on ESPN ) now that would be a good indication.

  7. Charles

    May 27, 2011 at 9:58 am

    To recap, no one there at the meeting knows anything about the payments, but Blatter knew of them in advance.

    Blatter is going to clean up corruption, that developed on his watch, like the time he was bribed 10 years ago, but is just getting around to telling us about….but he will not disclose who bribed him.

    Grant Wahl ? Please.

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