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

Thursday, May 08, 2014

David Beckham videos, stories

David Beckham visited the Miami Herald newsroom for two hours on Thursday. He, manager Simon Fuller, and their group met with the editorial board, outlined their plans for a Miami MLS team/stadium and fielded all our questions.

Here are video links and story links of their visit...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7PyMsqs-L0

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/08/4106067/david-beckham-on-miami-mls-team.html

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LDBY9-A9IMU

http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/05/08/4105240/david-beckham-to-sit-down-with.html

Wednesday, May 07, 2014

Beckham video at Miami-Dade County Hall

For those of you who can't get enough of the David Beckham-Miami-MLS story...

Here he is, in spiffy suit, arriving at Miami-Dade County Hall Wednesday morning to talk to commissioners about his MLS stadium project. He later expressed interest in Mayor Carlos Gimenez' proposal to consider the boat slip adjacent to AmericanAirlines Arena as a possible waterfront stadium site.

 

Miami leads the US in Panini sticker sales

World Cup Countown: 36 Days to Go!

If you are a TRUE soccer fan, you don't think toasted sandwich when you hear the word Panini. You think World Cup sticker albums!! Turns out Miami leads the nation in sticker sales so far this summer...Here is my story on the Panini sticker craze that has been huge in Europe and Latin America for five decades, and is catching fire here, too.

 

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Strikers/Heat promotion

Ft. Lauderdale Strikers fans will be rooting extra hard for the Miami Heat in the playoffs this week becuase if the Heat wins, fans can take their Heat ticket stub to Lockhart Stadium and get into the Strikers game against Atlanta on Saturday for $5.

"It’s important that we all stick together as local teams and support each other,” said Tom Mulroy, President of the Strikers. “This is just a small way of showing our support to the Heat during their playoff run. Our team also has playoff aspirations, and a win on Saturday night will bring the Strikers a step closer to our League playoffs!”

Fans must simply bring a ticket stub from either Tuesday or Thursday night’s winning game to Lockhart Stadium on Saturday, May 10th to receive a general admission ticket for only $5. Lockhart Stadium's gates open at 5:30 p.m., with the Strikers and Silverbacks set to kickoff at 7:30 p.m.

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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

World Cup Countdown! 49 Days!

49 Days (gulp!) to the World Cup! Opening game between Brazil and Croatia is exactly seven weeks from today!

If you happen to be one of those fans who is obsessed with your Panini World Cup sticker album, Soccer Max in Sunrise is hosting a Trade Party on Friday from 5-7 p.m. Bring your stickers and trade. Address: 12140 W. Sunrise Blvd. Word is there will also be a pre-game Trade Party at the Strikers game Saturday night at Lockhart Stadium.

In other news....

To help World Cup tourists get the most out of their stay, Brazil’s Ministry of Sport has prepared the Host Cities Guide available online at: http://www.copa2014.gov.br/en/servicos.

The Guide, available in Portuguese, English and Spanish, features helpful information on transportation, including subway maps, average cab fares between airports and stadiums and information on special bus lines that will operate during the World Cup. It also includes tips on tourist attractions, culture and cuisine, weather information, places to exchange currency, contact information for embassies and consulates and a list of mobile apps that may be useful to travellers.

On the sports side, supporters can check out a full profile of the teams playing in each of the host cities, run simulations in an interactive match schedule and get detailed pictures, videos and infographics of the World Cup’s twelve arenas.