Monday, May 12, 2014

Historic US domestic TV deal announced...

31 Days to the World Cup, and domestic soccer in this country is about to get a lot more high-profile...

MLS and US Soccer announced a new 8-year TV deal with ESPN, Fox and Univision that is reportedly worth $90 million her year, which is triple what they were getting before.

MLS commissioner Don Garber said today at a press conference that the expansion plans for a second NY team and "downtown teams in Miami and Atlanta'' are key because they are major markets and will help the growth of the sport and national TV ratings in the US. Now, if David Beckham could just work out that little waterfront stadium issue...

Here's the TV deal press release...

NEW YORK (May 12, 2014) – Major League Soccer and U.S. Soccer have signed new television and media rights partnerships with ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes, reaching eight-year agreements with the networks to televise MLS and U.S. Soccer matches in the United States through the end of 2022.  The announcement was made today by MLS Commissioner Don Garber, U.S. Soccer CEO/General Secretary Dan Flynn, ESPN, Inc. President and Disney Media Networks Co-Chairman John Skipper,  FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2 General Manager and Chief Operating Officer David Nathanson and Univision Deportes President Juan Carlos Rodriguez.

 For the first time in Major League Soccer’s history, all three television partners will feature an exclusive MLS Match of the Week, providing soccer fans throughout the country with a destination day and time for each network.  The Univision family of networks will televise a game of the week on Friday evenings -- primarily on UniMás -- and a wrap-up show on Sundays.  The Friday night match on the Univision family of networks will be the first time a Spanish-language television network will have its own exclusive night with a major professional sports league based in the United States.

 Soccer fans will be able to enjoy a doubleheader of MLS action every Sunday, as ESPN and FOX Sports 1 will televise back-to-back MLS matches on Sundays at 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. ET, respectively.  More than 125 MLS matches will be televised annually on the three networks.

 The new agreements also will include extensive marketing and promotional support from all network partners, including dedicated campaign support and cross-promotion across all three networks for upcoming MLS and U.S. Soccer matches. In addition, ESPN, FOX Sports and Univision Deportes will develop multi-platform initiatives to build the profile of MLS and U.S. Soccer players

Ghana 30-man roster

31 Days to the World Cup! Here's Ghana's 30-man provision roster. 23 of these players will face the US in the first round...

GHANA'S 26-MAN PROVISIONAL ROSTER

Goalkeepers (3):

Adam Kwarasey (Stromsgodset - Norway / 26yrs)
Fatua Dauda (Orlando Pirates - South Africa / 29yrs)
Stephen Adams (Aduana Stars - Ghana / 24yrs)

Defenders (8):

Samuel Inkoom (FC Dnipro - Ukraine / 24yrs)
Daniel Opare (Standard Liege - Belgium / 23yrs)
Jonathan Mensah (Evian TG - France / 23yrs)
Harrison Afful (Esperance - Tunisia / 27yrs)
Jeff Schlupp (Leicester City - England / 21yrs)
John Boye (Stade Rennes - France / 27yrs)
Jerry Akaminko (Eskisehirspor - Turkey / 26yrs)
Rashid Sumaila (Mamelodi Sundowns - South Africa / 21yrs)

Midfielders (11):

Sulley Muntari (AC Milan - Italy / 29yrs)
Wakaso Mubarak (Rubin Kazan - Russia / 23yrs)
Rabiu Mohammed (Kuban Krasnodar - Russia / 24yrs)
Michael Essien (AC Milan - Italy / 31yrs)
Emmanuel Agyemang Badu (Udinese - Italy / 23yrs)
Afriyie Acquah (Parma - Italy / 22yrs)
Andre Ayew (Olympique Marseille - France / 24yrs)
Kwadwo Asamoah (Juventus - Italy / 25yrs)
Christian Atsu (Vitesse Arnhem - Netherlands / 22yrs)
Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough - England / 26yrs)
David Titi Accam (Helsingborg - Sweden / 23yrs)

Forwards (4):

Jordan Ayew (Sochaux - France / 22yrs)
Abdul Majeed Waris (Valenciennes - France / 22yrs)
Asamoah Gyan (Al Ain - UAE / 28yrs)
Kevin Prince Boateng (Schalke 04 - Germany / 27yrs)

Russia 30-man roster

31 Days to the World Cup!! Russia is latest team to reveal its provisional 30-man roster...

GOALKEEPERS (3):

Igor Akinfeev (CSKA Moscow - Russia / 28yrs)
Yuri Lodygin (Zenit St Petersburg - Russia / 23yrs)
Sergey Ryzhikov (FK Rubin Kazan - Russia / 33yrs)

DEFENDERS (10):

Alexandr Anyukov (Zenit St Petersburg - Russia / 31yrs)
Aleksei Berezutski (CSKA Moscow - Russia / 31yrs)
Vasili Berezutski (CSKA Moscow - Russia / 31yrs)
Vladimir Granat (Dynamo Moscow - Russia / 26yrs)
Andrey Yeshchenko (Anzhi Makhachkala - Russia / 30yrs)
Sergei Ignashevich (CSKA Moscow - Russia / 34yrs)
Aleksei Kozlov (Dynamo Moscow - Russia / 27yrs)
Dmitri Kombarov (Spartak Moscow - Russia / 27yrs)
Andrei Semenov (Terek Grozny - Russia / 25yrs) 
Georgi Schennikov (CSKA Moscow - Russia / 23yrs)

MIDFIELDERS (12):

Vladimir Bystrov (Anzhi Makhachkala - Russia / 30yrs)
Yuri Zhirkov (Dynamo Moscow - Russia / 30yrs)
Roman Shirokov (Krasnodar - Russia / 32yrs)
Igor Denisov (Dynamo Moscow - Russia / 29yrs)
Alan Dzagoev (CSKA Moscow - Russia / 23yrs)
Viktor Fayzulin (Zenit St Petersburg - Russia / 28yrs)
Alexander Samedov (Lokomotiv Moscow - Russia / 29yrs)
Oleg Shatov (Zenit St Petersburg - Russia / 23yrs)
Aleksei Ionov (Dynamo Moscow - Russia / 25yrs)
Yuri Gazinsky (Krasnodar - Russia / 24yrs)
Pavel Mogilevets (Rubin Kazan - Russia / 21yrs)
Denis Glushakov (Spartak Moscow - Russia / 27yrs)

FORWARDS (5):

Artem Dzyuba (Rostov - Russia / 25yrs)
Maxim Kanunnikov (Amkar Perm - Russia / 22yrs)
Aleksandr Kerzhakov (Zenit St Petersburg - Russia / 31yrs)
Aleksandr Kokorin (Dynamo Moscow - Russia / 23yrs)
Pavel Pogrebnyak (Reading - England / 30yrs)

Thursday, May 08, 2014

World Cup provisional rosters released

World Cup Countdown: 35 Days to Go!

Several coaches revealed their provisional 30-man World Cup rosters this week. The deadline is May 13, and then teams must be pared down to 23-man rosters by June 2. Here are the rosters released so far....

Bosnia-Herzegovina - Provisional: Asmir Begovic (Stoke City), Jasmin Fejzic (Aalen), Asmir Avdukic (Borac Banja Luka), Emir Spahic (Bayer Leverkusen), Sead Kolasinac (Schalke), Ermin Bicakcic (Eintracht Braunschweig), Ognjen Vranjes (Elazigspor), Toni Sunjic (Zorya Lugansk), Avdija Vrsajevic (Hajduk Split), Mensur Mujdza (Freiburg), Ervin Zukanovic (Gent), Zvjezdan Misimovic (Guizhou Renhe), Haris Medunjanin (Gaziantepspor), Miralem Pjanic (Roma), Sejad Salihovic (Hoffenheim), Senad Lulic (Lazio), Izet Hajrovic (Galatasaray), Senijad Ibricic (Erciyesspor), Edin Visca (Istanbul BB), Tino Susic (Hajduk Split), Muhamed Besic (Ferencvaros), Anel Hadzic (Sturm Graz), Edin Dzeko (Manchester City), Vedad Ibisevic (Stuttgart).

 Brazil - Final: Julio Cesar (Toronto FC), Jefferson (Botafogo), Victor (Atletico Mineiro); David Luiz (Chelsea), Dante (Bayern Munich), Thiago Silva (Paris Saint-Germain), Henrique (Napoli), Maicon (Roma), Dani Alves (Barcelona), Marcelo (Real Madrid), Maxwell (Paris Saint-Germain); Luiz Gustavo (Wolfsburg), Paulinho (Tottenham), Fernandinho (Manchester City), Ramires (Chelsea), Oscar (Chelsea), Willian (Chelsea), Hernanes (Inter Milan); Hulk (Zenit St. Petersburg), Bernard (Shakhtar Donetsk), Neymar (Barcelona), Jo (Atletico Mineiro), Fred (Fluminense)

Ecuador - Provisional: Maximo Banguera (Barcelona, Ecuador), Adrian Bone (El Nacional), Alexander Dominguez (Liga de Quito), Gabriel Achilier (Emelec), Walter Ayovi (Pachuca, Mexico), Oscar Bagui (Emelec), Frickson Erazo (Flamengo, Brazil), Jorge Guagua (Emelec), Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona, Ecuador), Cristian Ramirez (Fortuna Duesseldorf, Germany), Segundo Castillo (Al Hilal, Saudi Arabia), Carlos Gruezo (Stuttgart, Germany), Renato Ibarra (Vitesse Arnhem, Netherlands), Fidel Martinez (Tijuana, Mexico), Cristian Noboa (Dynamo Moscow, Russia), Pedro Quinonez (Emelec), Luis Saritama (Barcelona, Ecuador), Antonio Valencia (Manchester United, England), Jaime Ayovi (Tijuana, Mexico), Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira, United Arab Emirates), Jefferson Montero (Morelia, Mexico), Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul, Mexico), Enner Valencia (Pachuca, Mexico), Armando Wila (Universidad Catolica, Chile)

Germany - Provisional: Manuel Neuer (Bayern Munich), Roman Weidenfeller (Borussia Dortmund), Ron-Robert Zieler (Hannover). Jerome Boateng (Bayern Munich), Erik Durm, Kevin Grosskreutz (both Borussia Dortmund), Benedikt Howedes (Schalke), Mats Hummels (Borussia Dortmund), Marcell Jansen (Hamburg), Philipp Lahm (Bayern Munich), Per Mertesacker (Arsenal), Shkodran Mustafi (Sampdoria), Marcel Schmelzer (Borussia Dortmund). Lars Bender (Bayer Leverkusen), Julian Draxler (Schalke), Mario Gotze (Bayern Munich), Leon Goretzka (Schalke), Andre Hahn (Augsburg), Sami Khedira (Real Madrid), Toni Kroos (Bayern Munich), Max Meyer (Schalke), Thomas Muller (Bayern Munich), Mesut Ozil (Arsenal), Marco Reus (Borussia Dortmund), Andre Schurrle (Chelsea), Bastian Schweinsteiger (Bayern Munich), Kevin Volland (Hoffenheim), Matthias Ginter (Freiburg), Lukas Podolski (Arsenal), Miroslav Klose (Lazio).

Honduras - Final: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana); Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan), Maynor Figueroa (Hull), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua); Arnold Peralta (Rangers), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Colorado Rapids); Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad).

Iran - Provisional: Daniel Davari (Eintracht Braunschweig), Alireza Haghighi (Sporting Covilha, on loan from Rubin Kazan), Rahman Ahmadi (Sepahan), Sousha Makani (Foolad Khuzestan). Khosro Heidari (Esteghlal), Hossein Mahini (Persepolis), Steven Beitashour (Vancouver Whitecaps), Pejman Montazeri (Umm Salal), Jalal Hosseini (Persepolis), Amir Sadeghi (Esteghlal), Mohammad Reza Khanzadeh (Zob Ahan), Ahmad Alenemeh (Naft), Hashem Beikzadeh (Esteghlal), Ehsan Hajsafi (Sepahan), Mehrdad Pooladi (Persepolis), Javad Nekounam (Al Kuwait), Andranik Teymourian (Esteghlal), Reza Haghighi (Persepolis), Ghasem Hadadifar (Zob Ahan), Bakhtiyar Rahmani (Foolad), Alireza Jahanbakhsh (NEC Nijmegen), Ashkan Dejagah (Fulham), Masoud Shojaei (Las Palmas), Mohammad Reza Khalatbari (Persepolis), Mehdi Sharifi (Sepahan), Reza Ghoochannejhad (Charlton), Karim Ansarifard (Persepolis, on loan at Tractor Sazi), Sardar Azmoun (Rubin Kazan).

Nigeria - Provisional: Vincent Enyeama (Lille); Austin Ejide (Hapoel Be'er Sheva), Daniel Akpeyi (Warri Wolves), Chigozie Agbim (Gombe United), Elderson Echiejile (AS Monaco); Efe Ambrose (Celtic); Godfrey Oboabona (Rizespor); Azubuike Egwuekwe (Warri Wolves); Kenneth Omeruo (Middlesbrough); Juwon Oshaniwa (Ashdod FC); Joseph Yobo (Norwich City); Kunle Odunlami (Sunshine Stars), John Mikel Obi (Chelsea); Ramon Azeez (Almeria FC); Ogenyi Onazi (SS Lazio); Joel Obi (Parma); Nnamdi Oduamadi (Varese); Ejike Uzoenyi (Enugu Rangers), Nosa Igiebor (Real Betis), Sunday Mba (CA Bastia), Reuben Gabriel (Waasland-Beveren), Michael Babatunde (Volyn Lutsk), Ahmed Musa (CSKA Moscow); Shola Ameobi (Newcastle United); Emmanuel Emenike (Fenerbahce); Obinna Nsofor (Chievo Verona); Peter Odemwingie (Stoke City), Michael Uchebo (Cercle Brugge); Victor Moses (Liverpool), Uche Nwofor (Heerenveen).

South Korea - Final: Jung Sung-ryeong (Suwon Bluewings), Kim Seung-gyu (Ulsan Horang-i), Lee Bom-young (Busan I'Park); Kim Jin-soo (Albirex Niigata), Yun Suk-young (QPR), Kim Young-kwon (Guangzhou Evergrande), Hwang Seok-ho (Sanfrecce Hiroshima), Hong Jeong-ho (Augsburg), Kwak Tae-hwi (Al Hilal), Lee Yong (Ulsan Horang-i), Kim Chang-soo (Kashiwa Reysol); Ki Seung-yeung (Sunderland), Ha Dae-sung (Beijing Guoan), Han Kook-young (Kashiwa Reysol), Park Jung-woo (Guangzhou R&F), Son Heung-min (Bayer Leverkusen), Kim Bo-kyoung (Cardiff City), Lee Chung-yong (Bolton Wanderers), Ji Dong-won (Augusburg); Koo Ja-cheol (Mainz), Lee Keun-ho (Sangju Sangmu), Park Chu-young (Arsenal), Kim Shin-wook (Ulsan Horang-i).

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Here is Honduras' 23-man World Cup team

World Cup Countdown: 37 days to go!

Honduras coach Luis Fernandez Suarez named his 23-man World Cup squad on Tuesday. Six of the the players are based in England/Scotland: Hull defender Maynor Figueroa, Stoke midfielder Wilson Palacios, Wigan duo Roger Espinoza and Juan Carlos Garcia, Celtic defender Emilio Izaguirre and Rangers midfielder Arnold Peralta.

The youngest player taken was 20-year-old goalkeeper Luis Lopez, who will battle two other keepers for the job.

The Honduran team will arrive in Miami May 12 and train in Sunrise for nearly a month before heading to Brazil.

They will play 3 warmup matches: Turkey in Washington on May 29, Israel in Houston on June 1, and England in Miami at Sun Life Stadium on June 7. Once they get to Brazil, they face France, Ecuador and Switzerland in Group E.

Honduras' World Cup squad: Noel Valladares, Donis Escober (both Olimpia), Luis Lopez (Real Espana); Brayan Beckeles (Olimpia), Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic), Juan Carlos Garcia (Wigan), Maynor Figueroa (Hull), Victor Bernardez (San Jose Earthquakes), Osman Chavez (Qingdao Janoon), Juan Pablo Montes (Motagua); Arnold Peralta (Rangers), Luis Garrido (Olimpia), Roger Espinoza (Wigan), Jorge Claros (Motagua), Wilson Palacios (Stoke), Oscar Garcia (Houston Dynamo), Andy Najar (Anderlecht), Mario Martinez (Real Espana), Marvin Chavez (Colorado Rapids); Jerry Bengtson (New England Revolution), Jerry Palacios (Alajuelense), Carlo Costly (Real Espana), Rony Martinez (Real Sociedad).

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

2016 Copa America in USA

World Cup Countdown: 43 days to go!

The big news here in Miami, other than Beckham's people and their critics facing off, is that on  Thursday CONCACAF and CONMEBOL officials will hold a press conference in Miami Beach to announce the worst-kept secret in the Western Hemisphere....A special 100-year Anniversary Edition of the Copa America, The Centenario'', will be held in the United States in 2016.

Here are the details...

Monday, April 28, 2014

Poll: Who will win EPL?

45 Days to go til the World Cup opener!

The big weekend news was Chelsea's 2-0 win over Liverpool, which will make it a bit tougher for Liverpool to win its first title in 24 years. Demba Ba and Willian scored for Chelsea, which sat back, frustrated Liverpool much of the match, and is now just two points back of Liverpool with 2 matches left. Manchester City is 3 pts back with a game in hand.

Who do you think will win the EPL title? Vote here...