A very reliable source confirms that David Beckham is in Miami today, having dinner tonight with Marcelo Claure and Mayor Carlos Gimenez, and they will be scouting potential MLS stadium sites tomorrow. The Brazil national team is also in town, training for Saturday's game vs. Honduras at Sun Life Stadium.
Beckham AND Neymar in Miami tonight. Epicenter of the soccer universe!!
It's Friday Oct. 11, which means it's World Cup qualifying day! Lots of big matches going on all over the world. The US has already clinched, but lots of teams haven't. So, grab some snacks and plop on your sofa. Or, set your DVR. Here are some of the bigger matches of the day...
England vs. Montenegro, 2:45 p.m., Fox Sports 1
Colombia vs. Chile, 5 p.m. (This should be a fun one!)
Honduras vs. Costa Rica, 5 p.m., BeIN Sport USA
Ecuador vs. Uruguay, 5 p.m.
Venezuela vs. Paraguay, 5 p.m.
USA vs. Jamaica, 6:30 p.m., ESPN (US already in, but "A'' squad playing)
Argentina vs. Peru, 7 p.m., BeIN Sport USA
Mexico vs. Panama, 9:30 p.m., Univision (Mexico on the ropes..can they pull it out?)
BIG NEWS came out over the weekend, news every South Florida soccer fan will want to know. In case you missed it, the Brazilian national team -- with stars Neymar, etc... -- is coming to Miami to play Honduras Nov. 16 at Sun Life Stadium. Read all the details here...
Wow! That was exciting!
If any dinosaur out there still thinks Americans don't care about soccer, they were not watching ESPN last night. Columbus Crew stadium was rocking with 27,000 sellout for the thrilling US 2-0 ("Dos a Cero!'') World Cup qualifying win over Mexico. Every single fan appeared to be decked in red, white, and blue and the crowd chanted and jumped up and down for nearly the entire match. The US win, combined with Honduras' 2-2 tie with Panama, clinched a World Cup berth for Jurgen Klinsmann's team.
The US is headed to Brazil, its seventh World Cup in a row. I'll be there covering it, and it makes it so much more fun to have our home country competing.
ESPN gave us a 90-minute pre-game show and has been showing highlights and commentary all morning, more proof that the Beautiful Game is finally appreciated and taken seriously by American sports fans. If ESPN says it's important, it's important.
Speaking of ESPN, the overnight numbers are in...and outside of Columbus, the market with the top TV ratings for last night's game was...MIAMI! Of course. Was there any doubt? Miami-Ft. Lauderdale has consistently been the top-rated soccer TV market for the past 10 years. I have no doubt Miami will top TV ratings for the Brazil World Cup next summer, too.
Here's the ESPN release from this morning...
Best Overnight Rating Ever for a FIFA World Cup Qualifying Match
Last night’s ESPN presentation of the U.S. Men’s National Team’s 2-0 victory over archrival Mexico in Columbus, Ohio, earned a 1.9 overnight rating according to Nielsen, based on the metered markets. This is the highest overnight rating for a U.S. Men’s National Team match in a non-FIFA World Cup or FIFA Confederations Cup tournament.
The previous high was a 1.6 overnight rating for Mexico vs. USA on March 26, 2013, in Mexico City’s Estadio Azteca. Final ratings numbers will be available this afternoon.
Top markets: Columbus (5.1), Miami-Ft Lauderdale (3.3), Buffalo (3.2), Dayton and Washington DC (2.8), San Diego, NYC, Seattle, San Antonio, West Palm Beach (2.5).
What are your thoughts on the US team with 9 months to go til World Cup? Do you like the lineup he used last night? (remembering Michael Bradley, Jozy Altidore and 2 defenders were missing). Share your views with other soccer crazies here!
US coach Jurgen Klinsmann released his 23-man roster for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers at Costa Rica Sept. 6 and vs. Mexico in Columbus, Ohio Sept. 10. The team is headed to Miami on Sunday for a two-day camp before heading to Costa Rica.
Local ties on the roster include Alejandro Bedoya (Weston), Jozy Altidore (Boca Raton), Kyle Beckerman and Nick Rimando (Miami Fusion alumni.)
Here's what Klinsmann had to say about Bedoya:
“Alejandro Bedoya made a huge jump over the last 7-8 months
just during my time now. He came pretty late into my picture, he was with Bob
already, and compared to where he was in the January camp to where he is now is
really wonderful to see. He became a lot more confident. He became a lot more
mature. He proved that during the Gold Cup and he proved that in Bosnia. He
proved it is his first game with Nantes vs. Paris Saint Germain. It was very
impressive how he played there for a very good club in the French First
Division. I think he deserves absolutely to be a part of that roster going into
Costa Rica and that gives us another option. With him and Graham on the right
flank, I think we’re looking really good.”
Landon Donovan is back on the roster, his first World Cup qualifier in 14 months. Huge for US to get him back. Wondolowski did not make the squad, but is right on the bubble, Klinsmann said.
Here's the full roster:
Forwards: Altidore, Dempsey, Donovan, Johannsson, E. Johnson
Midfielders: Beckerman, Bedoya, Bradley, Diskerud, F. Johnson, Jones, Zusi.
Defenders: Beasley, Besler, Brooks, Cameron, Castillo, Evans, Gonzalez, Orozco
GK: Guzan, Howard, Rimando
What are your thoughts on the roster? You feeling good about this lineup?
The 2013-14 Champions League draw is done...Here are the Groups...Which is the Group of Death? Please vote below and share your thoughts. Who has the easiest road? Who has the hardest?
Group A: Manchester United, Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayer Leverkusen, Real Sociedad. Group B: Real Madrid, Juventus, Galatasaray, FC Copenhagen. Group C: PSG, Benfica, Olympiakos, Anderlecht. Group D: Bayern Munich, CSKA Moscow, Manchester City, FC Viktoria Plzen. Group E: Chelsea, Schalke, FC Basel, Steaua Bucharest. Group F: Arsenal, Marseille, Borussia Dortmund, Napoli. Group G: Porto, Atlético Madrid, Zenit St Petersburg, Austria Vienna. Group H: Barcelona, Milan, Ajax, Celtic.
Did you see what I just saw? Jozy Altidore of Boca Raton with a second-half hat trick to lead US to a 4-3 comeback win over No. 13 Bosnia...on European soil..without Landon Donovan or Clint Dempsey. THAT is impressive. Michael Bradley was huge, too. Eddie Johnson scored the other goal, on assist from Jozy. US has now won 12 matches in a row, longest streak in the world at the moment. This team looks like it's for real, ladies and gentlemen. Could be exciting Summer 2014!
What do you think? Is this the team that can make a deep run? Post your views.
Update: US losing to Bosnia 2-0 at halftime in Sarajevo. 11-match win streak in danger. Bosnia has dominated, goals by Dzeko and Ibisevic, who starred at Saint Louis University, holds a US green card, and whose parents still live in St. Louis. Bet Klinsmann wishes Ibisevic was wearing a US jersey right now...
You watching the match? What do you think? They miss Landon Donovan, eh?
Earlier: US plays Bosnia today at 2:30 p.m. in Sarajevo. ESPN2
Here's the US starting lineup: Howard, Evans, Cameron, Brooks, F.Johnson, Bradley, Jones, Bedoya (a native of Weston!), Diskerud, E.Johnson, Altidore.
You like that lineup? I think it will be fun to see Eddie Johnson and Jozy Altidore together up top, and Bedoya and Diskerud impressed in Gold Cup. Bradley always a rock in middle. His dad, Bob, by the way, coaching Egyptian national team in a friendly today in Egypt despite unrest there. Share your thoughts.