Posts Tagged ‘Honduras’

Getting the Ball Rolling on Honduras

We are less than 20 days away to the next US qualifier in Honduras. Thought it would a good time for TSG to take a few minutes to re-watch the June 6th USA-Honduras match on June 6th in Chitown and re-ignite the fervor and dialogue among the USMNT fanbase.

Did I mention I love What a great product.

It’s always fun to go back and watch USMNT tape months later to see the player changes and play progressions.

First Bob Bradley came out with an even more defensive on his home turf starting Ricardo Clark and Pablo Mastroeni in the midfield with Connor Casey pairing Altidore upfront.

Wow, seems a tad warmer and less friendly this time around

Wow, seems a tad warmer and less friendly this time around

The backline is probably what you should see on 10/10: Bornstein, Boca, Gooch and Spector. However, Cherundolo’s name, with his experience and continued playing time overseas might see him back in the line-up at the expense of Spector.

Some observations in retrospect:

- I loved the aggression the US came out with at the whistle. The Yanks really looked to link and score. Actually come to think of it, they may just have been only mildy aggressive however holding that June 6 match up against the light with the T&T one, the aggression is magnified that much more.

- That aggression was helped by Honduras playing defense to the U.S.’s strengths. Honduras played an extremely narrow midfield with their wing defenders collapsing inward. This allowed Pablo Mastroeni, of all players, to just keep milking the easy pass to the wing for the US to migrate (with Landon and Clint) nearly unchallenged up the pitch. Will Honduras stay as narrow in the rematch? Mastroeni literally looked like a qb hitting the running back out of the backfield for dump-and-swing passes all day long.

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I Want My US MNT-TV!

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We might need another one of these to actually see the US qualify for the WC.

We might need another one of these to actually see the US qualify for the WC.

Another round of qualifying, another struggle to watch our beloved USMNT from the comfy confines of our own home.

August brought us US-MEX on a channel (mun2) that was beamed into approximately 16 households until a groundswell of outrage led to a free preview of said channel (along with some awful commercials).

Now, according to Steve Goff of The Washington Post, October will likely find American homes shutout completely from watching a game where they US could clinch a World Cup berth.  To make a long story short, the rights to the broadcast are owned by a closed circuit television distributor (which I had no idea still exist) and they claim that the networks had no interest in broadcasting the game even for less than $1mm.

So what can we do? As Jason Davis over at Match Fit USA points out, this isn’t the same situation as mun2-gate. as there is no “target” for our outrage; if a broadcaster doesn’t want to buy, they don’t want to buy it.

Yesterday, I had an email exchange with the Roger Huguet, CEO of Imagina US, who represents the closed circuit rights holder and was mentioned in Steven Goff’s article. Huguet told me that his clients may be open to the possibility of a live English broadcast if ESPN (or one of the other networks) were willing to negotiate. In other words, any fan campaign to try and get the game broadcast live into our homes should be directed at the networks. (In the event we are stymied, Roger offered to send me the list of all the bars throughout the country showing the game live to publish on TSG.)

I think the issue (at least for ESPN) is that the game is on a Saturday. While a Saturday game day is generally preferred to a mid-week tilt by US soccer fans, it runs up against the money-making machine of college football on ESPN / ESPN2. It wouldn’t surprise me to learn that even if ESPN got the game for free, they still couldn’t broadcast it on ESPN / ESPN2 due to contractual obligations with college football games.

What about ESPN Classic? My guess there is that becomes a financial decision. A (“less than”) $1mm price tag may seem like a pittance to the World Wide Leader, but the numbers would still have to pencil out as a stand-alone broadcast on ESPN Classic. (I don’t think American Gladiator re-runs from the 1990s carry the same cost to broadcast.)

Seems like a perfect situation for Fox Sports Channel, no?

Given the run soccer has had in America the last 4-plus months, it would be an absolute step back for the sport if a game of this magnitude can’t be seen on broadcast television. Here’s where I think US Soccer or a major sponsor (the Swoosh, perhaps?) should step-up and do whatever it takes. Consider this a loss leader (USSF) or a marketing expense (Nike) and give the game away to whatever widely distributed channel will have it. In the end, no one cares if it is on ESPN, Versus, The Food Network or Oxygen.

We just want our US MNT-TV!


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