Thursday, July 30, 2009

Breese Stevens Field: Site of the NPSL Final Four

One of the reasons I'm excited to go up to Madison, WI for the NPSL Final Four is that I get to check out the cool old stadium hosting the event. I'm a bit of a history buff and Breese Stevens Field is an old time sports stadium originally built for Madison city athletics in 1926, and has been registered as a historic site.

The field has seen a wide variety of athletic events including serving as home to several minor league baseball teams, high school football games, midget car racing, ice skating, track and field, boxing and even wrestling matches. It's even hosted concerts and a circus.

In 1982, public outcry saved the stadium from demolition and repurposed the stadium into one of the first "soccer specific stadiums" in the country. Since then Breese has been used at times as the home field of several teams including the University of Wisconsin, Edgerwood College, and is currently the home of the NPSL's Madison 56ers.

It has some very interesting architectural features including a covered grandstand on the west end and seats just under 4900 spectators. It featured an ivy covered wall until recent necessary structural improvements forced the removal of the plants. Local referee, coach, and chairman of the committee in charge of recent restorations of the stadium, Eric Bertun, told a reporter at the time, "Breese Stevens Field is sort of the Lambeau Field or Wrigley Field of soccer in Wisconsin."

Breese also hosted the NPSL Championship in 2006. I'm really looking forward to checking this place out.

Listen Live to the NPSL Final Four

If you can't make the trip to Madison, WI for the NPSL Final Four, you can still catch all the action online. The NPSL will broadcast an audio feed of all three matches featuring Huntsville's own John Moran calling the play by play and I will be providing color commentary. Here's the game schedule:

NPSL Final Four Schedule
Rocket City United vs. Erie Admirals - Friday at 6pm
Sonoma County Sol vs. St. Paul Twin Stars - Friday at 8pm
NPSL Final - Winners of Friday's games - Saturday at 7pm

The NPSL has partnered with Teamline to stream the game audio online. To listen just click the link below:

and then click on the "Click here to listen" link to catch all of the action. For more information on keeping up with the games including live blogs and tweets, check out the NPSL Insider Blog.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Closer Look at the Final Four

Rocket City United flies to Madison, WI tomorrow for their first appearance in the NPSL Final Four. Coach Greg Petersen doesn't know much about the RCU opponents, but expects success if RCU play their brand of soccer.

RCU coach discusses the semifinal opponent and the mentality of the team

RCU's opponent in the semifinal of the NPSL Final Four, Erie Admirals SC, was established in 1995 and has an extensive youth system. In their first season in the NPSL, Ireland native John Melody has coached the team to an undefeated regular season record of 9-0-1 in the Keystone Conference of the Northeast Region. The Admirals beat the Atlantic Conference's Boston Aztec 2:0 for the birth in the Final Four.

RCU's semifinal opponent Erie Admirals FC

The other semifinal features the West Region's Sonoma County Sol versus the Midwest Region's St Paul Twinstars.

Sonoma County Sol celebrates on of thier 42 goals

The Sonoma County Sol are the favorites to win the NPSL Final Four after qualifying for thier third consective appearence (fourth overall) after an undefeated season of 9-0-3. The attack first mentality of the Sol led them to the highest goals scored with 42 (3.5 per game) in the NPSL. RCU coach Greg Petersen is well aware of the style with which the Sol plays since the Sol's coach, Ben Ziemer, was a colleague of Petersen's at the Ajax School for Excellence. The Sol have also enjoyed tournament success this year by making it to the second round of the US Open Cup and the semifinals of the USASA Open Cup.

St Paul Twin Stars coach Youssef Darbaki holds the Midwest Region Championship Trophy

The St Paul Twin Stars battled their way to the NPSL Semifinals with a 5-2-1 record and hold the stingiest defense in the Midwest Region with 7 goals allowed. Coaching the team is Liberian Youssef Darbaki who may soon be doing double duty as coach of St Paul and the National Team coach of the troubled African nation.

I'll be making the trip up to Madison, WI to perform my broadcasting duties. So, I'll try to post anything interesting I may encounter.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Rocket City Invitational Recap

Jacob and friends over at the Southern Soccer blog played host to another wildly successful tournament this weekend.

Tournament Director, Jacob Noffke, breaks down the tournament

The Columbus Fire took the Open division crown 6:3 over the Liberty National Finishers while the Rec division trophy was hoisted by Dick's Sporting Goods who was victorious 6:5 in PKs over Bro-Kin-Toe. The Old Guys (Over-30) division championship was claimed by Law Dogs 12:1 over Lee's Precision Machine, and finally, the Co-ed division title went to Shurke who defeated the Blue Devils 6:5. Also, the Crossbar Challenge was won by Mario Sandoval who hit 2 out of 5 to beat Ryan Mills in the final.

Over-30 Champions Law Dogs pose with their trophy

The Golden Boot awards and other results from the RCI can be found here.

RCU and Final Four Notes

RCU Ends Season Unbeaten At Home

Second half goals from Rafa Barbosa, Jason Sabio, Derek Pirtle, Sutton Shults, and Paul Willoughby insured that Rocket City United ended the season undefeated at John Hunt Soccer Stadium. The 5:0 victory over the USL-PDL's Nashville Metros was a warm-up match for this weekend's NPSL Final Four.

RCU defender Kirk Childers on the Nashville Metros game

A full game report can be found here.

RCU defender Brian Hadley discusses RCU's night against the Nashville Metros

NPSL Final Four Teams and Draw Now Complete

The last of the four NPSL Regional participants was determined this weekend. The St Paul Twinstars will represent the Midwest Region. The semifinal games will be played Friday night with RCU (5 wins, 2 losses, 1 draw) taking on the Northeast Region's Erie Admirals (9-0-1) in Semifinal 1 at 6PM. Semifinal 2 will feature the West Region's Sonoma Sol (9-0-2) against the Twinstars (5-2-1) at 8PM. The NPSL Championship Final will be played the next night at 7PM.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We've All Been There

Here's a pretty funny take on the famous Nike ad from a few years back.

Look familiar? :)

RCU To Face Erie Admirals SC in NPSL Semis

Rocket City United has drawn the Erie Admirals SC as their opponents in the NPSL Final Four opener on July 31 at 6PM in Madison, WI.

RCU will have their hands full as the Admirals qualified for the Final Four by winning the Keystone Conference of the NPSL Northeast Region posting 9 wins, 1 draw, and no losses in the process. They then defeated the Atlantic Conference's Boston Aztec 2:0 for the honor of representing the Northeast Region in the Final Four.

I'll have more details on the match-up next week.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

RCU Faces PDL's Nashville Metros

Rocket City United will welcome the Nashville Metros to John Hunt Park for a non-league match on Saturday night. Nashville sits in sixth place in the eight team PDL Southeast Division with a 2-7-7 record.

RCU Head Coach Greg Petersen has a successful history with the club from Nashville. In 1997, Petersen led the Metros to the fully professional A-League which was considered the second tier in the US Soccer pyramid. After a guiding them to a 17-11 record, they qualified for the playoffs and made it to the semifinals. In 1998, Petersen and the Metros won the Central Division title with a 20-8 record and also knocked off the Kansas City Wizards of MLS in thier successful US Open Cup run. Petersen moved on when the club ran into financial troubles in 1999.

RCU Coach Greg Petersen discusses his time with the Metros, this week's game, and the opponents in the upcoming NPSL Final Four

This week's match will be used as a dress rehearsal for the NPSL Final Four matches the following weekend. Petersen indicated that he will use a first choice selection for much of the match to help keep the sharpness of the players at a high level.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

RCU Randoms

RCU Host HASL Night

The final RCU home match of the 2009 season is also going to be "HASL Night". All Huntsville Adult Soccer League players will get $5 off their tickets for the match against the Nashville Metros this Saturday, July 25 at 7:30 at the John Hunt Soccer stadium.

RCU To Hold Silent Auction To Benefit Rocket City Soccer Foundation

In a silent auction, RCU will auction off the RCU player posters that bedeck John Hunt Soccer Stadium during the home matches. All proceeds will go to the Rocket City Soccer Foundation to provide free coaching and playing clinics for area soccer organizations in need. Bidding will begin at 6 PM on Friday night at the World Soccer Challenge viewing at Parkway Place Mall and winners will be announced at half time of the RCU v Nashville Metros match on Saturday night.

RCU Player Autograph Session At World Soccer Challenge Viewing

RCU players will be available for autographs at the World Soccer Challenge viewing at the Parkway Place Mall food court. Players will begin signing at 6:30 PM near the Rocket Realty kiosk next to the food court prior to the showing of the AC Milan v Chelsea match.

Rocket City Invitational Details

I'm so bummed that I have to go out of town this weekend for a wedding. That means I'll miss the highly anticipated Rocket City Invitational at John Hunt Soccer Park. The guys at Southern Soccer put on a nice tournament. Here's the post from the Weekend Warrior's tournament this past February.

This one should be even more fun, as they have plenty of extra curricular activities planned in conjunction with the games themselves. Here's a breakdown of the tournament festivities.

  • 12 teams in the Open Divsion (including an RCU team), 4 in the Rec Division, 4 in the Over-30 Division and 4 in the Co-ed Division.
  • Each participant will receive a "sweet" official Rocket City Tournament beverage koozie.
  • Each team will play multiple games on the Stadium fields.
  • World Football Challenge viewing at Parkway Place Mall on Friday night and Sunday afternoon
  • Mist tent provided by Cool Temp
  • Music will be pumped through the stadium PA throughout the tournament.
  • Rocket City United tent with various promotional goodies
  • RCU Kid's Zone will be going for the kiddies
  • Forevergreen Golden Boot award for top goal scorer in each division
  • Crossbar challenge contest with the Finals to be held at half time of the RCU match. 50% of the proceeds will go to Kitty's Miracle Fund.
  • Discounted tickets to RCU game that night against Nashville Metros PDL team
  • Tournament party at Leeann's down town. Drink specials for all participants!
  • 10% of tournament proceeds to Kitty's Miracle Fund
Should be a great time. I'll may have to get a special correspondent to cover the goings-on.

NPSL Final Four Draw Details

I found this nugget on the NPSL Bigsoccer board. The draw for the NPSL will apparently not be a blind draw. It will be seeded based on Points Per Game Average during league matches. Details below:

"As for the seeding for the National Finals:
It will go by average points earned during the season as each region plays a different amount of matches. Erie has a 2.8 ave, Sonoma has a 2.6 (these are off the top of my head), and Rocket City and the Midwest team (no matter who makes it) are tied with a 2.0 points per game earned.

The 3rd and 4th seeds would be settled by Goal Differential I believe, and we won't have that until this weekend."

Monday, July 20, 2009

USA vs Mexico To Be Shown On Mun2. What's a Mun2?

If you're like me, before last week you didn't even know there was a station called Mun2. And now, we find out that the English language broadcast of the USA v Mexico World Cup Qualifier will be shown only on this obscure channel.

Apparently, Mun2 is a sister station to the Spanish language network Telemundo. NBC, which owns Telemundo and Mun2, holds the English and Spanish language broadcast rights to all Mexico National Team games played outside the USA. So, instead of showing the English match on NBC or even selling the rights to ESPN, NBC has decided to use this match as an advertisment for thier new youth oriented station, Mun2. Mun2 has shows both in English and Spanish and will broadcast the English version of the match while the Spanish broadcast will appear on Telemundo.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

3:0 Victory Crowns RCU as Southeast Champion

Goals from Kempess Villafana, Freddy Okello and Derek Pirtle gave Rocket City United the victory over Saturn FC and the NPSL Southeast Region Championship and has them playing in the NPSL Final Four in Madision, WI. RCU finished the season 3 points ahead of the nearest competitor with 5 wins, 1 draw, and 2 losses. RCU had the most potent offense with 18 goals scored and the stingiest defense with only 9 goals given up.

Goal scorer Kempess Villafana celebrates the victory

The team is focused now on preparing for the test ahead as they will face the Sonoma County Sol from the West Region, the Erie Admirals from the Northeast Region, and the yet to be determined Midwest Region champion.

Freddy Okello on and his goal and the job ahead

Full game report can be found here.

Friday, July 17, 2009

MLS Commish Talks Expansion; Doesn't Mention B'ham

Since the Birmingham MLS expansion rumors are hot right now, I guess I'll keep a closer eye on what the MLS powers are saying regarding expansion. So...

Just days after B'ham rumors were ignited by Mayor Larry Langford's announcements regarding the new domed stadium, MLS Commissioner Don Garber talked to Brian Lewis of the New York Post about the league's priorities when choosing the next few markets for expansion.

"We're not south of Washington, D.C. Markets like Atlanta, Carolina, Florida, we have to figure out how we capture another 50 million people in this country,'' said Garber, who felt the Southwest wasn't a priority and recent expansion has helped cover the West Coast.

"But you get east into the Midwest, we're feeling a little weak there. We need a team in St. Louis, and we're trying to figure out how to make that work.''

Notably missing was a mention of B'ham. That's not good.

Just as an aside, a few years ago my buddy, who is a big MLS fan but will remain nameless, saw Don Garber at a US National Team game and asked him about the chances of a team landing in B'ham. Garber's reply... "No chance."

I know, it's one of those I-know-a-guy-who-knows-a-guy stories, but I just thought I'd toss it out there. This is a blog after all!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Massive Match This Weekend For RCU

Rocket City United controls its own destiny this weekend. A win or draw would see them crowned the NPSL Southeast Region Champion and would punch a ticket to the NPSL Final Four where they would meet the champions of the Northeast, Midwest and West Regions. However, in Saturn FC, RCU is facing one of the few teams that have beaten them in the 2009 campaign. On May 9th in the first game of season in Atlanta, Spencer Davidson's 57th minute free kick was the dagger in SFC's 2:1 victory.

RCU forward Rafa Barbosa scored the lone RCU goal in the early season loss to Saturn FC

SFC followed the win over RCU with an impressive 3:2 victory over Atlanta FC. Since then though, the SFC run of form has been less than impressive with Saturn FC losing the next 5 league matches in a row to slide a the bottom of the table (2-0-5). Couple the abysmal SFC record on the road (0-0-3) with the RCU's perfect home record of (3-0-0) and the predicted outcome would seem to be clear, but the USA v Spain predictions were similarly clear, and we all know how that one ended.

Coach Greg Petersen is not taking Saturn FC lightly

John Hunt Stadium is the site of this weekend's massive match. RCU will have the support of several hundred military personnel from Redstone Arsenal as RCU hosts "Military Night". So, the stands may be packed for this one. It should be fun to watch.

It All Comes Down To This

As I stated earlier this week, Rocket City United's season hinges on this Saturday's match against Saturn FC of Atlanta at John Hunt Soccer Stadium. A win or a draw would see them through to the NPSL Final Four.

However, a loss would lead to RCU, Atlanta FC, and Chattanooga FC sitting at 13 points at the end of NPSL Southeast Region league play, and this is where things get interesting. In case of a tie in the final League standings, here are the tiebreakers:

1. Head to head results between the tied teams.

2. Goal difference in the head to head results.

3. Most wins in conference competition.

4. Goal difference in conference competition.

5. Fewest losses in conference competition.

6. Coin toss.

Head to head results between CFC and RCU give RCU the edge, with a win at home and a tie on the road. Head to head results between AFC and CFC don't resolve that tie with both teams winning one match. AFC would receive the nod over CFC in head to head goal differential (+1), due to a 3:1 win at CFC and a 1:0 loss. So, CFC would be eliminated from contention.

Head to head results between RCU and AFC doesn't resolve the tie as both teams won their home match. However, Atlanta won it's match 2:0, while RCU won 2:1 leaving AFC with a +1 goal differential and RCU a -1 goal differential. As a result of having having better goal differential in head to head results, Atlanta FC would win its second consecutive Southeast Region title and punch a ticket to Madison, WI for the NPSL Final Four.

So, it boils down to RCU getting more points than AFC, and to do so, they need at least a point against SFC.

I'll have more about the game itself later.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Parkway Place Mall Hosting Comcast World Soccer Challenge Veiwing

Large screen TVs will broadcast two World Soccer Challenge matches in the food court of the Parkway Place Mall. The broadcast will be free to the public and will be held in conjunction with the Rocket City Invitational Soccer Tournament. The first game will feature AC Milan (Italy) vs Chelsea FC (England) on Friday night, July 24 at 7 PM. The second game will have AC Milan take on Club America (Mexico) and will be shown on Sunday afternoon at 4 PM. More info can be found here.

Major League Soccer Coming to Birmingham???

The recent ground breaking announcement on a new domed stadium in Birmingham has rumors flying about a Major League Soccer expansion team coming to Alabama. Birmingham mayor Larry Langford seemed high on the MLS in B'ham idea. "We already have a company that wants to pay a million dollars a year for the naming rights, and bring a major league soccer franchise to Birmingham. That’s what this is going to generate in this community." How likely is this to happen? I have no idea.

MLS commissioner Don Garber has stated in the past that for a municipality to be taken serious for an expansion team, it must have two things; a stadium and a strong ownership group. So, with the announcement of the building of the dome, we have one of the two.

Another thing going for B'ham is that MLS has not had a team south of DC since the contraction of the two Florida teams in 2002. I'm sure that MLS would love to have a larger presence in the South and with the success of the Columbus and Salt Lake franchises, it has been demonstrated that a small market can support an MLS club.

So, one of my first question is who is the ownership group to whom Mr. Langford refers? Look, if you are reading this you probably realize that professional soccer is here to stay in the USA, but MLS has a slow growth business plan and that requires very deep pockets to cover any losses that may occur over the lean times in the economy (like the one we are in now). That's one of the reasons they dropped the Florida teams. The ownership of those two squads either weren't dedicated to the product (Tampa) or didn't have enough cash to do so (Miami). If this ownership group is not fully committed to the long term outlook and have the dollars to do so, then MLS will not take a Birmingham bid seriously.

Mock-up of the domed stadium that Birmingham may have built soon

So, right now there are just too many questions that will need to be answered before I get excited about a B'ham team in MLS. BTW, I'll leave the whole discussion about whether soccer should be played in a domed stadium for later. :)


RCU Plays For Region Championship

RCU will host Saturn FC this Saturday, July 18 at 7:30 at John Hunt Soccer Stadium with a birth in the NPSL Final Four on the line. A win or a draw will see RCU take the NPSL Southeast Region title. Each regional champion will be drawn into a mini single elimination tournament in Madison, WI played on the last weekend in July. I'll have more on Saturday's match later in the week.

North Downs South in State High School All-star Game

The best players from the 2010 graduating class met in the Alabama State High School All-star game last night at John Hunt Soccer Stadium. Goals by Oxford's Ian Martin and Grissom's Bobby Copeland led the North to a 2:0 victory over the South.

RCU Hosts "Military Night" This Saturday

RCU will salute the military by hosting a meal and providing tickets for 180 soldiers from Redstone Arsenal to Saturday night's crucial match versus Saturn FC.

Monday, July 13, 2009

RCU Held To A Draw By Lynch's FC

Rocket City United remained unbeaten at home with a 2:2 draw against Lynch's FC of Jacksonville, Fl on Saturday night. LFC got out to a quick start when a third minute corner kick was nodded past RCU Goalkeeper Tyler Early by Jacobi Goodfellow.

RCU responded well and in the 12th minute, Paul Turner, who was making his first start for RCU, beat several defenders prior to slotting a nice pass into Freddy Okello who made no mistake for an equalizing goal. Six minutes later, Turner again took the role of provider with a nice ball into Rafa Barbosa who beat the keeper but had his shot turned off the line by a trailing defender. That clearance only went as far as Barbosa, however. After regaining possession, Barbosa cut the ball back to gain a more advantageous angle at goal and made no mistake with his second bite of the cherry giving RCU the 2:1 lead. RCU debutante Michal Mravec, who made his first appearance of the year for RCU after a serious knee injury, showed well in the central midfield with a calming presence on the ball and good vision. Brimming with confidence, RCU carried most of the play remaining in the first half, but could not add to their tally.

A full scale change in RCU personnel after the break and a concerted change in tactics from LFC led to more disjointed play in the second half. LFC head coach and Alabama A&M alum, Moses Williams, used liberal substitutions to break up RCUs rythm and led to poor RCU ball possesion through the midfield. In the 83rd minute, with RCU looking to close out the game, an RCU giveaway led to a LFC goal. Akil Veferitas's nicely slotted shot to the far post gave no chance to second half addition Jeffrey Preston in the RCU goal. The remaining 7 minutes saw both teams striving for the winner, but the match ended even at 2 goals a piece.

RCU will play their NPSL Southeast Division finale on Saturday night at John Hunt Park at 7:30PM against Saturn FC of Atlanta.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Willoughby's Army

There is no doubt that Rocket City United's speedy winger, Paul Willoughby, has become a fan favorite this season. His lightning quick runs and inch perfect crosses have put him at the top of the team's assist column. However, it's the ease at which he cuts with the ball while at full speed, wrong-footing hapless defenders that has drawn special attention from the RCU home stands.

Willoughby makes defenders look silly

It doesn't hurt that Paul exhibits what could be described as "teen idol" good looks and is generally considered a very nice young man. This has made him especially interesting to a certain demographic that RCU may want to consider marketing to more heavily. :)

The unofficial Paul Willoughby Fan Club

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

New Nike Ball

I love the show "How It's Made" and shows like that. So, it's only natural that I think this vid is cool. It's a behind-the-scenes look at some of the features and technologies that go into the production of the newest Nike ball.

RCU Hosts Lynch's FC

On Saturday night at 7:30PM at John Hunt Soccer Stadium, Rocket City United will host the US Open Cup Region III Champion, Lynch's Irish Pub FC. Check out the cool radio ad for the game here.

This is not what one would term a typical Pub team. Lynchs FC was one of only two teams to qualify from the USASA Region III to the US Open Cup where they lead Miami FC before falling 2:1 to the professional USL squad.

LFC also have some top talent. Former LFC forward Nurdin Hrustic recently signed for Vfl Bochum of the German Bundesliga.

RCU tidbits

I took the long holiday weekend to unplug from the matrix. Here's what I missed.

RCU win return leg with Brilla

After giving up an early second half goal to Missisippi Brilla FC's Ruben Diaz, Rocket City United got two goals from Fernando Sanchez and Freddy Okello to remain undefeated at home. Full match report can be found here.

"Madison Night" at Next RCU Home Match

In conjunction with the Madison City Chamber of Commerce, RCU is hosting it's first Madison Night. All Madison City residents will recieve $3 off the next Rocket City United home match. So, it's time to represent 35757 y'all. (and 35758, I think).

RCU wants your blood

This Saturday from 10AM to 5PM, RCU will partner with LifeSouth to hold a blood drive in front of Moe's Southwest Grill on Airport Road.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

RCU v Atlanta FC Highlight Videos

Here's the Rocket City United goals and saves from the 2:1 victory over Atlanta FC.

I spoke with Man of the Match Derek Pirtle at halftime about the goal he scored and the one he help set up.

John Moran speaks with RCU newcomer Kyle Timm

More ESPN World Cup Details

It's a year away and I'm already getting pumped up about watching the World Cup. I told you the other day about ESPN's expanded coverage of the 2010's biggest sporting event, but in an interview with Sports Illustrated, ESPN's Executive Vice President for Content John Skipper revealed some of the details behind what the type of coverage will be offered. Here are some of the highlights:
  • Documentary style interviews with every living player who has scored in a World Cup Final;
  • A long form feature on at least one player from each of the 32 teams participating in 2010 edition;
  • A full time reporter assigned to the US team (provided they qualify);
  • Three roving reporters assigned to all other teams;
  • Two "on-site" sets for SportsCenter broadcasts;
And don't worry folks, all of the game announcers will be "a longtime soccer announcer". So, you won't have to suffer through a converted baseball announcer trying to fill up dead air with inane facts and useless stats.

Patriotic RCU Host Mississippi Brilla

Rocket City United play host to Mississippi Brilla (pronounced BREE-ya) Football Club tonight at 7:30PM at John Hunt Soccer stadium. This will be RCU's first non-league home match of the year. RCU will look to avenge last Tuesday's 7:2 drubbing at the hands of MBFC in the away leg of this home and home series.

MBFC compete in the Premier Development League of the United Soccer Leagues and are based in Clinton, MS. They currently sit in second in the Southeast Division of the Southern Conference behind the Bradenton (FL) Academics.

To keep with the Independence Day theme, RCU is handing out free RCU-LifeSouth "United We Stand" t-shirts to the first 100 fans through the gate, and offering half-off admission to anyone bringing in an American Flag.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

TV Updates And Other Tidbits

ESPN Announces Unprecedented Coverage of World Cup 2010
"The Network" has announced that it will provide over 65 hours of on-site coverage of the World Cup. Here are the highlights.
  • SportsCenter at the FIFA World Cup;
  • World Cup Live – the daily, 30-minute news, highlights and analysis program (30 episodes) aired each night of the tournament on ESPN or ESPN2;
  • Live 30-minute pre-match, halftime (15 min.) and post-match shows on ABC, ESPN and ESPN2;
  • World Cup segments on ESPNEWS, First Take on ESPN2, and Outside the Lines.

How We Follow Up That Performance
A decidedly different looking US Men's National Team will follow up the incredible Confederations Cup run with a run out in the Gold Cup tournament that they won in '07 to qualify for the Confed Cup. Coach Bob Bradley will use a squad made up of mostly untested players who did not participate in the Confed Cup. Jacob over at Southern soccer has all the info on how you can catch the games on TV.

Huntsville Times Caught Up In Soccer Fever
The Huntsville Times ran a recent story about where the interest the USA v Brazil final has garnered, and where in the Valley you could go to watch the game.

Beckham Book Provides Juicy Gossip
Grant Wahl is a terrific soccer scribe and his soon to be released tell-all book about the machinations of the Beckham move to the LA Galaxy is sure to raise some eyebrows. Check out an exerpt of the book here.

Jacob Chimes In
Our buddy Jacob drops some knowledge about the recent Confed Cup performance and some other tidbits on his blog.