USSoccerPlayers - Feb 9th, 2012

Thursday's TV: Copas

GolTV has Siena and Napoli in the Coppa Italia at 2:45pm.  This is the opening leg of the semifinal stage.  Milan and Juventus are in the other half of the bracket.  Copa Libertadores on Fox Deportes: Internacional - Juan Aurich at 5pm, Catolica - Bolivar at 7pm, and Emelec - Olimpia at 9:30pm.  All Times Eastern

Their Words

“The Premier League is always the main priority, I think every club will tell you that. We’re out of the cup competitions now, so it is obvious where our focus now is and we’re determined to finish the season as strong as possible." Fulham's Stephen Kelly.

USA - Brazil On May 30th

The United States will host Brazil on May 30th at FedEx Field in suburban Washington DC, the US Soccer Federation announced on Thursday.  The game will be shown on ESPN2 and Univision starting at 8pm ET.  Click here for ticket information.

"When you talk about Brazil, you are speaking of one of the most gifted football playing nations in the world," USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann said in a press statement. "It is our goal to be able to match up against teams like Brazil on a consistent basis, so this is an amazing opportunity. FedEx Field is an awesome facility for soccer as we have seen from the games they have hosted, so we are excited to play our first game in the stadium."

National Teamers Abroad: Goals For Altidore

AZ dominated ADO Den Haag on Wednesday, winning 6-0 in a rescheduled Eredivisie game.  Charlison Benshop had a hat-trick and Maarten Martens scored before Jozy Altidore subbed on in place of Benshop in the 76th minute.  Altidore added two more, with goals in the 85th and 88th minutes at the Kyocera Stadion.  AZ trail PSV Eindhoven at the top of the table by a +6 goal difference.  ADO Den Haag are 14th. 

Danny Williams and Fabian Johnson started for Hoffenheim in a 1-0 loss to SpVgg Furth.  the result knocks Hoffenheim out of the DFB Pokal at the quarterfinal stage.  Marvin Compper was red carded for Hoffenheim in the 35th minute, with Furth scoring the game's only goal in the 44th.  Johnson subbed off in the 79th for US Under-23 player Joe Gyau.

Did Not Play: Dominic Kinnear (Celtic 4 - Hearts 0)

The Super Bowl And Marketing The Champions League Final

By Jason Davis - WASHINGTON, DC (Feb 9, 2011) US Soccer Players -- The Super Bowl Experience™ (possibly trademarked, I can’t be sure, so better safe then sorry), is not an undertaking of small expense. It costs money to fly to the predetermined Super Bowl city, spend a few nights, and, most importantly, purchase a ticket for the game. A lot of money.  The price of a ticket alone is upwards of thousands of dollars, strengthening the level of commitment for those that want to see a championship in person. 

After 46 editions, the Super Bowl, as the crown jewel of the American football season, has become the preeminent destination event for American sports fans. A lucky few can afford to make the trip multiple times, perhaps specifically following their team. Most who go will do so just the once because the experience of being there, regardless of the participants, represents an ends that justifies the means.

The median ticket price for last week's Super Bowl was $2500. As always, there was a strong initial and secondary market, buyers willing to turn Indianapolis into an unlikely destination for early February travel.  Americans like their football, and they’re willing to pay for it.  It doesn't hurt that through the halftime show and commercials, the Super Bowl has become entertainment programming for a massive audience. 

With that in mind, one wonders what it would take to turn arguably the only single game soccer equivalent into its own entertainment destination.  That's UEFA's Champions League final, a game that the organizers are beginning to realize could do much more than crown Europe's annual club champion.  The move to Saturday for the final is a start, but it's just that.  Setting aside the appeals from traditionalists from a tournament that's only a decade older than the Super Bowl, it's the game most placed to copy the event feel of the NFL finale. 

What the Champions League final lacks is the “I don’t care who’s playing, I just want to be there” event that the Super Bowl has become.  Again, some would argue that's for the best.  Leave it for the fans of the teams involved, keep it about the game on the field.  Maybe in theory, but it's hard to downplay the potential impact of any sports event that can become part of the culture.  It's why the Olympics have grandiose opening ceremonies, the World Cup has an official song every four years and normally a concert, and there's the push to make any final game as big as possible. 

For UEFA, they have the one soccer game on the calendar with the most in common with the Super Bowl. Unlike the World Cup, the other obvious choice for the discerning soccer fan’s travel dollar, the Champions League Final is an annual event. The site is known in advance, making long-term planning (and saving) possible, and the product on display is sure to be some of the best the sport has to offer. If you have the cash and plan it out, you can witness the crowning of Europe’s best team live and in person.

It's not out of the question to see the Champions League as a destination event for American fans willing to travel.  Continue reading "The Super Bowl And Marketing The Champions League Final" »

Remembering Harry Keough - from Soccer America's Ridge Mahoney: But Harry’s spirit, forged by decades playing and coaching and working and raising three children, captivated and inspired you.

There’s no fear here at Everton FC says Landon Donovan ahead of Chelsea clash - from The Liverpool Echo's Greg O'Keefe: but we feel at Goodison we have a chance and we are going to go for it.

American Exports: Spector, Brums inch toward promotion - from MLSsoccer.com's Greg Seltzer: The Brums have now allowed just one goal in Spector's last seven starts.

The enigmatic Gale Agbossoumonde talks about his soccer odyssey and why he joined the Carolina RailHawks - from The Independent Weekly's Neil Morris: "So I always had the option, and coming here was my decision."

Ferguson fears that racism is returning - from The Independent's Ian Herbert: Ferguson said that the re-emergence of the prejudice which beset the game 20 years ago has mystified him.

How Eric Cantona changed English football forever 20 years ago today - from The Telegraph's Mark Ogden: English football was, well, English.

Spain aren't winners because of their captain . . . what matters more is team unity - from The London Evening Standard's James Olley: The measure of a captain is his influence and authority in a match and not an ability to toss a coin before kick-off.

Friday's TV: Clausura

Morelia - Santos Laguna
9pm - Fox Deportes

Herculez Gomez and Santos Laguna are top of the Clausura table after five games, with Morelia in 9th.  Gomez has been coming off the bench for Santos, subbing on in the 76th last week in a win over UNAM Pumas, not playing in the 3-1 win over Tijuana the week before that, and subbing on in the 73rd in a 1-0 win over Jaguares on January 21st.  Santos are unbeaten this season and on a four game win streak since drawing their Clausura opener 0-0 with Pachuca on January 7th.  

A league down in Mexico, GolTV has Leones Negros - Leon at 9:45pm.  All Times Eastern

 




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