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Wednesday Kickaround

*The Insider tipped you off to it last week, and now there appears to be some substance to Eintracht Frankfurt veteran goalkeeper Oka Nikolov considering a move to the New York Red Bulls.

*Soccer America reports that MLS management and the players' union met for eight hours Tuesday in New York and will resume negotiations today concerning the collective bargaining agreement, which expires Sunday.

*After weeks of negotiation, the Chicago Fire will announce this morning the acquisition of Polish defender Krzysztof Krol.

*Former D.C. United goalkeeper Louis Crayton has turned up at Kansas City training camp.

*Farewell to Setanta Sports in the USA, effective Feb. 28.

*The Associated Press is reporting a possible Mexico-Ecuador friendly at the new Meadowlands stadium in New Jersey on May 7.

*The United States is second behind South Africa in applying for World Cup tickets, but one-third of the seats for the 64-game tournament are still available.

Citing security concerns and lackluster ticket sales, Bayern Munich President Uli Hoeness said: "You have to make the best out of it [but] I am convinced that deep down Blatter has realized that giving the World Cup to South Africa was one of the biggest wrong decisions he ever made."

Meantime, FIFA is firing back against negative comments about South Africa hosting the tournament.

For today's TV listings.....

*Soccer on TV:
Spain, Sevilla-Coruna 2 p.m. GolTV
England, Chelsea-Birmingham 2:30 p.m. Fox Soccer Channel
English Carling Cup, Manchester United-Manchester City 2:55 p.m. Setanta
Italy, AC Milan-Udinese 4 p.m. GolTV
Copa Libertadores, Newell's Old Boys-Emelec 4:30 p.m. Fox Sports Espanol
England, Blackburn-Wigan 5 p.m. FSC
Copa Libertadores, Potosi-Cruzeiro 6:30 p.m. FSE
Copa Libertadores, Aurich-Tecos 9 p.m. FSE

By Steve Goff  |  January 27, 2010; 10:15 AM ET
Categories:  2010 World Cup , Africa , D.C. United , MLS , Mexico , South Africa , TV  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Americans Abroad, Mid-Week Edition
Next: Video: Argentina 3, Costa Rica 2


"... one of the biggest wrong decisions he ever made."

Quote of the year.

Posted by: I-270Exit1 | January 27, 2010 10:41 AM | Report abuse

gotta be a tranlastion issue there.

aren't we supposed to be expecting similar issues come 2014 in Brazil?

Posted by: VTUnited | January 27, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

Louis Crayton, great gk and passion!

Posted by: redskinsux | January 27, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

"Hoeness" -- now there's an apt name for some of today's female hip hop "artists" --

That said, Herr Hoeness did sprach some truth there, as impolitic as it may be . . .

Posted by: OWNTF | January 27, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

The Setanta news saves me $12.95 per month. Now I must start a lobbying campaign so Cox Fairfax picks up FSC+. Which will cost, roughly, $12.95 per month no doubt.

Posted by: BlackandRedRedDevil | January 27, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Setanta may be leaving, but Fox is set to launch Fox Soccer Plus in HD on March 1. (Fox Soccer Channel also is slated to go HD.) Fox Soccer Plus is where much of Setanta's soccer appears headed.

That's the good news. The bad news is that neither Dish nor DirecTV has committed to carry Fox Soccer Plus. This leaves satellite customers who bought Setanta with the prospect of far fewer matches on March 1.

Dish and DirecTV customers need to contact their provider to demand Fox Soccer Plus. Cable customers: check your provider on the status of Fox Soccer Plus. You too might need to agitate.

Disclosure: I am not an employee or agent of Fox. I'm a Dish customer who mourns Setanta's passing and wants Fox Soccer Plus.

Posted by: runningcloud | January 27, 2010 10:55 AM | Report abuse

Still with the old media bias, eh? The Manchester Derby is on ESPN360.

Posted by: fischy | January 27, 2010 10:58 AM | Report abuse

The biggest problems with South Africa are the exorbitant cost of getting there, and the price gouging going on for the far too limited number of hotel rooms. If I thought I could afford it, I would go. I do hope that Brazil is better prepared and more sensible on pricing. Given that they're preparing t host the World Cup and the Olympics, I'm guessing there will be more development -- with more competitive pricing on flights and hotels.

Posted by: fischy | January 27, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I'm going to agree about South Africa, if for no other reason than those stupid plastic horns. While watching FSC this weekend, a commercial comes on with those stupid horns blaring. Words on the screen say something like: "Don't know what this sound is? You will. World Cup coming June...." I just cringed. It may be the only World Cup that I will have to watch entirely on mute.

Posted by: nairbsod | January 27, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

If I could afford it, I probably still wouldn't go. It is going to be a CF. Sure, there is the concern about crime, but I think that the transportation infrastructure is going to be a giant fail.

As for's a huge country. It can't possibly be well-linked by rail, right? Luckily, I'm assuming many games will be played in major tourist destinations, like Rio. And Rio is, as fischy mentioned, ramping up for the Olympics as well.

Posted by: Reignking | January 27, 2010 11:11 AM | Report abuse

Boo Hoo, my condo won't even allow Dish Tv... That being said if Comcast or Fios will pick up FSP and improve the soccer package, I just might go get a paper route to fund a box cable and dvr upgrade for the ol' Ryan household..

@fischy, thanks for the heads up on the ESPN360 sched today! Hoping to find a decent feed for the Everton match, but it's nice to know there will be something of quality to tune into if the seas of pirated feeds aren't as smooth as I'd like.

So is Europe(England) a lock for the 2018 World Cup or not? In the span of two days you go from the figure head blurting out unethical bs that undermines the "transparency" of the application process, to the federation blaming the negative perception of this summers World Cup on England/Germany?
What a joke.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 27, 2010 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Ah, the eternal saga of football fans everywhere - blowing up phone lines of cable companies, satellite providers, and local affiliates to demand coverage of the world's game.

It brings me back to the summer of 1998 when I, then only a young buck, lead the storming of WSET-TV's (Lynchburg, VA) phone lines, email, and front door with protests over the lack of coverage of USA vs Iran in favor of more bigotted brain washing from Mr. Jerry Falwell - may his soul...not something nice.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 27, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

dadryan: there's actually a law that condos cannot disallow having a satellite dish. No doubt, lobbyists at work, but it is law.

Posted by: Reignking | January 27, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

The USA -- also a huge country not linked by rail...but, wait, what's that I hear? It's Super-Obama, coming to the rescue with a high-speed rail package to be announced tomorrow...just in time to bolster the World Cup bid, boost the economy and save the climate!!!

Posted by: fischy | January 27, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Running Cloud, have the Sat providers indicated they WON'T provide carriage, or have they not YET said they WILL?

Wondering if we're at the sharply worded email stage, or the pitchforks and torches stage...

Posted by: JkR- | January 27, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Do we know anything about how DirecTV might price FSC+? I'm not lobbying DirecTV to carry FSC+ if the pricing structure is going to be such that I'd never pay for it anyway, like it was for Setanta. Setanta was a ripoff on DirecTV. Setanta cost $13/month; meanwhile, for $12/month, I got FSC, GolTV, FSE, all the regional FoxSportsNets and ComcastSportsNets, ESPN Classic, the NFL Network and a zillion other smaller sports channels. That was a value; Setanta was proprortionally way overpriced. If FSC+ is going to be priced similarly, forget it.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | January 27, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

But I thought it was Joe Biden on the cover of Amtrak's magazine?

Posted by: Reignking | January 27, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse


I assume that FSC+/FSC+HD would be a cable sports net like so many other cable sports nets. I'm sure it's News Corp.'s goal to have that network on a sports tier for Satellite/Cable/FiOS with the subscription price rolled up into a bundle. Setanta made most of their money off subscriptions, while cable nets seem to prefer to get some subscription money (charged to provider and passed on to customer in monthly rate) and the rest off of advertising. Now that FSC is a Neilsen rated product, it, as well as its sister networks, can only benefit from being available in more homes - which would be be better for the long term growth of the game, product, and channels.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 27, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse

christopher_a_metzler you must have had a coupon. I'm paying DirecTV 14.99 for Setanta...

Posted by: JkR- | January 27, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

@Reignking, do you have a link to said law? Our condo bylaws are a little bit outdated on certain points, and many rules like "no charcoal grills" are broken all the time, even though that itself is apparently Arlington County fire code... I've always assumed I just couldn't get a dish because it say we cant in the house rules...

Posted by: DadRyan | January 27, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

So long Setanta. Be Champions!!!

Posted by: IamAM | January 27, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: Reignking | January 27, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

Check out the link on the bottom of this page to see if your cable provider will have FSC+ :

Doesn't look like FIOS in my area will have it, but it does give you an option to request it (I will probably still send an email though)

Posted by: soccerfan80 | January 27, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I've finally found the blog name I've been searching for!

Posted by: Kev29 | January 27, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Unless you have a private balcony or patio, associations can clearly ban dishes. Be aware I once had a dish on a balcony and the covenant required $5m in liability insurance (my balcony was seven floors above a parking lot) so unless you have a balcony or patio and southern exposure, you may be SOL.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | January 27, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Comcast in MoCo has not agreed to carry Fox Soccer + yet. Shocker!!

Posted by: Kev29 | January 27, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Yep joshua, good call. I mean how many condo owners out there actually own the outside of their unit? Probably very few. We even have a ground level back patio that is technically not owned by us even though it is fenced in and used exclusively by us.
When we bought it the gal who was selling ended up having to knock off a chunk of cost when an inspection brought to light that part of what she was "selling" wasn't hers. You have to tread lightly as these grandfathered spaces are not actually our property.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 27, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

One more question, do you need southern exposure to get a dish to work? Our "garden" is North facing.

Posted by: DadRyan | January 27, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

So the United-City game is on a channel that is going away? Too bad it is not on FSC.

Posted by: Dougmacintyre | January 27, 2010 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Ooh, never thought the day would come when I agreed with Uli Hoeness.

Posted by: Phil_McCracken | January 27, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

The article on the SA criticism states that most of the negativity is coming from UK and Germany. Perhaps they are trying to save their citizens the trip because they fear their teams won't make it out of the group stages. Group D doesn't look easy and Group C has the intimidating USA and Algeria!

Does that sound too sarcastic? There should be some sincerity in there.

Posted by: spata1 | January 27, 2010 1:25 PM | Report abuse

Sevilla-Depor looks like it'll be fun.

When is DCU going to announce a preseason friendly schedule? I'm looking forward to spending way too much time thinking about a February game against some Danish club.

Posted by: Chest_Rockwell | January 27, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I'm with those that hate the Vuvuzela. Please, whomever is broadcasting the World Cup to the USA, mute out the stadium noise to a dull drone. The freaking horns drove me crazy at the Confederation Cup. I thought I would get used to it after awhile, but I didn't. Maybe pipe in a prerecorded crowd noise tape from some EPL game. Press a button to switch to a more rowdy recording if the situation on the field warrants.

Posted by: SomeSoccerFan | January 27, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I'd go to WC in South Africa in a heartbeat if airfare wasn't $3500!!

Posted by: delantero | January 27, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Check that, I can go for $2200 via New York, Amsterdam and Cairo (where there's a 22 hour layover) but I'd miss the US England match . . ugh

Posted by: delantero | January 27, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Well it's typical snobbery that the World Cup shouldn't go to any place that's not similar to the US or Western Europe. If I had the money, I'd go in a heart beat.

That's how you knew WC '18 would go to Europe even before Blatter's recent comments. The Europeans are pissed enough that they'll be TWO consecutive World Cups that they have to really travel to... the idea that it could be three in a row is inconceivable to those who feel it their God-given right to host it.

Posted by: saabrian | January 27, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

And just remember the same snobs predicted gloom and doom ticket sales for WC '94... and it was the most well-attended WC ever.

Posted by: saabrian | January 27, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

security is going to be hell in south africa and as always americans are the biggest targets because we are considered the wealthiest, I wouldnt be surprised if the security debacle was a bigger story then the soccer.

Posted by: peteywheatstraw | January 27, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Well it's typical snobbery that the World Cup shouldn't go to any place that's not similar to the US or Western Europe.

Posted by: saabrian

Who is saying that?

I think people are saying that it should be hosted in places that are safe and have the infrastructure to support it.

Posted by: Reignking | January 27, 2010 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Some folks do like their safety, security and personal freedoms, I guess.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 27, 2010 2:27 PM | Report abuse

"security is going to be hell in south africa"

Yeah, the Confed Cup was terrible. They hated us.

Also, a friend regularly travels to SA, to shanty towns, etc for public health work. He says SA is just like every other big city/less developed place he's been.

So perhaps we should take our first world impressions and rethink before posts of fear and inexperience.

Posted by: delantero | January 27, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Dad: sounds like it's not worth attracting attention to your situation, eh?

Security is going to be hell anywhere a world cup is held these days. Be it New York, JoBurg, London or Rio. Anyone see the security in Beijing, one of the statistically safest cities in the world? (you're not likely to be a victim of violent crime unless the government does it, after all) heck, what kind of security is freaking Vancouver putting on for the Winter Olympics? Vancouver? The most laid back city in the nicest country on the planet.

Posted by: joshuaostevens | January 27, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Is Hoeness wrong... If you can't sell tickets to the worlds biggest event, that says SOMETHING doesn't it?

Check out my interview with notorious soccer-hater, Jim Rome ABOUT soccer.

Posted by: dwreck1971 | January 27, 2010 2:53 PM | Report abuse

So South Africa is as safe as Germany or England? I don't think so. I don't think that is a matter of impressions or anecdotes, either. Or snobbery or bias. I think it is a matter of statistics.

Posted by: OWNTF | January 27, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Donovan opens his BPL account.

Posted by: VirginiaBlueBlood | January 27, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

I've got a feeling Donovan's going to get a goal tomorrow. At least, I think that's what I'm feeling. It might be something I ate.

Posted by: fischy | January 26, 2010 5:12 PM

well done, sir.

Posted by: dimesmakedollars | January 27, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

"Goal! Everton 2, Sunderland 0. Landon Donovan (Everton) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Tim Cahill with a headed pass."

Posted by: OWNTF | January 27, 2010 3:30 PM | Report abuse

anyone got a feed!? All my usual resources aren't working...

Posted by: DadRyan | January 27, 2010 3:34 PM | Report abuse

No, I'm saying the hysteria about safety in South Africa is likely unwarranted and a bit over the top.

They've held events without incident in the past.

Posted by: delantero | January 27, 2010 3:58 PM | Report abuse

After Gol TV was taken off of Dish, I searched the internet for free soccer games, the sites I use outside of ESPN360 are Justin TV and
Veetle TV. While the quality isn't quite as good as ESPN360, they are still watchable and free. They virtually have every thing the Gol,
Setanta, and FSC broadcasts. There are several other sites I use occasionally, but Justin and Veetle are the most user friendly.
Haven't missed a Barca game in 2 years, also the FCBarcelona home site offers radio broadcasts of Barca games in English.
Don't give up search the net, you may find better sites than the ones I provided.

Posted by: alfa1989 | January 27, 2010 4:14 PM | Report abuse

delantero: which events did you have in mind?

At the Confederations Cup, Reuters' chief soccer editor was robbed at gunpoint by uniformed policemen.

Posted by: christopher_a_metzler | January 27, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

sais said John Skipper, ESPN’s executive vice president of content, who thinks people will be safe as long as they don’t go off the beaten track. “FIFA, the South African government, the South African police, international security, they can only control so much if guys get themselves drunk and wander down the street with 1,000-rand bills ($132) hanging out of their pockets.”

Posted by: delantero | January 27, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

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