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Friday Kickoff: Fox pays 10 percent more for 2026 WC; Osvaldo leads Boca in Libertadores; and more

Fox reportedly paid 10 percent more for rights to the 2026 World Cup than they did for the 2018 and 2022 tournaments.

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Alajuelense routs D.C. United in CCL quarterfinal opener

D.C. United were doomed by a series of mistakes in a 5-2 loss to Costa Rica’s Alajuelense in CONCACAF Champions League play.

Greg Garza (USA Today)

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Greg Garza and Tijuana try to remain in first place, Tim Ream hopes to make his return for Bolton, and more in this upcoming weekend’s Americans Abroad action.

Friday Kickoff: Fox pays 10 percent more for 2026 WC; Osvaldo leads Boca in Libertadores; and more

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By RYAN TOLMICH

After winning the bidding war to the rights for the 2018 and 2022 World Cup, Fox was given an inside track to acquiring the 2026 rights.

The company took full advantage.

FIFA was reportedly not intent in getting into a legal war with regards to the 2022 World Cup after it was suggested earlier this week that the tournament in Qatar be moved to the winer. As a result, Fox was awarded the rights to the 2026 tournament for about ten percent more than in the current deals for 2018 and 2022, which are worth $425 million, according to the New York Times.

ESPN president John Skipper told the New York Times that FIFA was likely,”forced to do it in order to avoid legal consequences”. Meanwhile, Univision president Juan Carlos Rodriguez, whose company was not given the chance to bid in favor of 2022 and 2026 rights holder Telemundo, stated that FIFA failed to maximize revenue in the U.S.

Rodriguez also believes that the agreement jeopardizes the chances of the 2026 World Cup coming to the United States, because it is not usual for FIFA to sell TV rights before the host nation of a tournament is chosen.

“If the rights are already fixed, there’s little incentive to FIFA to award 2026 to the U.S.,” Rodriguez said. “If we had been asked to bid, we would have taken it very seriously.”

Here are some more news and notes to kickoff your Friday morning: Continue reading »

Posted in European Soccer, Featured, FIFA World Cup, South American Soccer | 9 Comments

Alajuelense routs D.C. United in CCL quarterfinal opener

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By RYAN TOLMICH

Entering Thursday’s action in preseason form, D.C. United were always going to be a bit behind the eight ball heading into the team’s CONCACAF Champions League matchup with Alajuelense. However, Ben Olsen and co. could not have imagined things would have gone as poorly as they did.

D.C. United were undone by a myriad of mistakes, as the reigning Eastern Conference regular season champions fell, 5-2, in Costa Rica at the hands of Alajuelense.

The disaster started virtually from the get-go, as the Costa Rican side put D.C. United on the back foot from the opening whistle. The pressure finally pushed D.C. United to crack in the 15th minute when goalkeeper Andrew Dykstra conceded a penalty and picked up a yellow card for a foul in the box, allowing Alajuelense’s Ariel Rodríguez to finish from the spot.

The hosts scored again just seven minutes later through Jose Ortiz, before Fabian Espindola gave D.C. United hope with a headed finish just two minutes later. Continue reading »

Posted in CONCACAF Champions League, Featured, MLS- D.C. United | 33 Comments

Americans Abroad: Weekend Preview

Greg Garza (USA Today)

 

By FRANCO PANIZO

Club Tijuana has gone 11 straight games across all competitions without tasting defeat, and will likely need to extend that streak to 12 if it wishes to keep its stranglehold on the top spot in Liga MX.

With Club America and Cruz Azul hot on their tails, the Xolos will be aiming to pick up maximum points at home when they host Pachuca on Friday night. Greg Garza should fill in at his regular starting spot for a Tijuana side that has not lost since the Clausura season opener, and will try to help his defense post a third straight league cleansheet against a Pachuca attack that has scored five goals in its last two games. The Xolos lead America and Cruz Azul by just two points in the standings, so anything less than a win could see them end up tied on points for the league lead after the weekend.

While Garza and Corona are hoping to earn another victory this weekend, Tim Ream will look to get back on the field. Ream sustained a back injury in Bolton Wanderers’ game last Saturday, and missed the club’s midweek clash with Middlesborough as a result. If Ream returns to the fold this Saturday, he will attempt to help Bolton snap a three-game losing streak against a Brighton & Hove Albion team that is just above it in the Championship standings.

Another player in one of Europe’s second divisions that could use a win is Alfredo Morales. The 24-year-old Morales and 2. Bundesliga leaders Ingolstadt have hit a minor bump in their season after failing to win either of their past two matches, but will try and get back on track in Monday’s home game against 1860 Munich on Monday. Ingolstadt is six points clear of second place, but will still want to come out victorious as it attempts to move one step closer to gaining automatic promotion.

Here is who the Americans Abroad tango with this weekend:

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Featured | 1 Comment

Sources: Benji Joya on trial with Rapids, has interest from other MLS teams, clubs abroad

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Photo by Mike Dinovo/USA Today Sports

By DAN KARELL

Coming off a frustrating stint with the Chicago Fire in 2014, Benji Joya has found himself in soccer limbo.

With his contract out at Santos Laguna, the former U.S. Under-20 Men’s National Team midfielder has been on the trial circuit, trying to earn an MLS contract for the upcoming season. Following a brief stint with the Seattle Sounders, Joya has joined up with the Colorado Rapids in the hopes of securing a roster spot.

Sources told SBI though that if the Rapids don’t offer the 21-year-old a contract, he has options else where. The sources said that there was interest from both the New England Revolution and D.C. United, as well as possible options in Colombia or Switzerland.

In the mean time, Joya is playing games for the Rapids. He featured in their 1-0 victory in the Desert Diamond Cup against FC Tucson, coming off the bench in the 64th minute.

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Posted in Americans Abroad, Major League Soccer, MLS- Colorado Rapids | 11 Comments

Europa League Rewind: Besiktas eliminates Liverpool; Everton wins big against Young Boys; and more

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By ADAM TROXTELL

Only league position will keep Liverpool in Europe now.

The Reds were knocked out by Besiktas on penalties, 5-4, after the Turkish side tied up the round of 32 match 1-1 on aggregate in Thursday’s second leg. Dejan Lovren missed the final penalty for Liverpool when he sent his shot over the bar.

Entering the second leg with a 1-0 lead, Liverpool was aware of the need to take quick advantage away from home. All nine of the Reds’ shots on goal were sent away by Cenk Gonen in goal as Besiktas worked toward a lead.

Tolgay Arslan gave it to them in the 73rd minute. Demba Ba picked up a loose ball in the Liverpool box before setting up Arslan to finish inside the left post.

Ba hit the bar with under 10 minutes to go, and extra time became imminent. When 120 minutes wasn’t enough, the former Chelsea man, along with Gokhan Tore, Veli Kavlak, Atiba Hutchinson and Tolgay Arslan put away their penalties.

Rickie Lambert, Adam Lallana, Emre Can and Joe Allen kept pace for Liverpool, but Lovren skied his shot. Now the Reds have to fight for fourth place in the English Premier League to qualify for the UEFA Champions League once again.

Here is a full recap of Thursday’s Europa League action:

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Posted in European Soccer | 2 Comments

Americans Abroad: Midweek Rewind

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By FRANCO PANIZO

Only one American remains in the UEFA Europa League, and he is the same player who was receiving his share of criticism earlier this week.

Tim Howard helped Everton move into the tournament’s Round of 16 on Thursday, as the Toffees picked up a 3-1 victory in the second leg of their series against Swiss side Young Boys. Howard started in goal for Everton on Wednesday despite struggling over the weekend, and the veteran goalkeeper came up with one save in the match at Goodison Park. The Premiership club received offensive contributions from Belgian duo Romelu Lukaku and Kevin Mirallas on the day, and advanced via an impressive 7-2 aggregate score.

Fabian Johnson and Borussia Moenchengladbach were not as fortunate. Johnson and Moenchengladbach entered the day needing to overturn a 1-0 deficit after falling in the first leg of their series with Sevilla, but the Spanish club once again got the better of the Bundesliga outfit with a 3-1 win. Johnson, who continues to struggle to earn a consistent workload at Moenchengladbach, contributed off the bench by playing the final 12 minutes.

Herculez Gomez was also involved in a cup competition in recent days, and he delivered by scoring two goals for Puebla in a narrow defeat to Toluca. Gomez bagged his third and fourth goals of the Copa MX on Tuesday, but his notable showing was for naught as the Camoteros suffered their first defeat in the tournament. Puebla lost the Group 5 match, 4-3.

Here is how the Americans Abroad performed during the midweek action:

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