The soccer news starts with the ratings for the 2016 MLS Cup. The league released a statement calling it "the most watched championship game in league history", letting us know that "more than 3.5 million soccer fans watched". Success all around then? Well....
Here's how MLS gets to that over 3.5m number. They include the Spanish language broadcast on UniMas and the Canadian coverage on TSN and RDS. Isolate the Fox number, and it drew an American network TV audience of a little over 1.4m. That viewer total is slightly lower than that TSN got in Canada, a nation of a little over 35m people compared to the 319m in the US.
Let's put this into network TV perspective. If this was a TV show drawing that number over the entire prime-time block, it would be in serious trouble. It's different for sports, but it's not that different. A random comparison. One of baseball's divisional series games drew a little less than 7m on Fox Sports 1 on a Tuesday night in October. That game also got 189k on Fox Deportes.
Maybe cross-sports comparisons aren't fair to MLS. Then again, that's the kind of thing that tends to happen when a game is in prime time on network TV.
Also in the soccer news, the USMNT U-17s know who they'll play at the 2017 CONCACAF Championship that begins in Panama on April 21. The USMNT is in Group C, opening against Jamaica on April 23. They play Mexico on April 26 and close out the group schedule against El Salvador on the 29. Mexico is the seeded team. The top two teams advance to another group stage with two groups of three teams. The top two finishers advance to the U-17 World Cup in India in October.
"It's a tough draw, but I think our team is determined to be able to represent our country in a World Cup," USMNT U-17 coach John Hackworth said in a press statement. "We are going to plan accordingly for three very tough opponents to start the tournament. We will get ready to make sure that we are prepared for everything anyone can throw at us."
The LA Galaxy now has the MLS rights to out of contract USMNT player Jermaine Jones. FiftyFiveOne's Brian Quarstad reports on the groundbreaking for Minnesota United's stadium. Goal.com's Jon Arnold reports on the CONCACAF congress held over the weekend in Miami.
AFP's report on CONMEBOL champions Atletico Nacional losing to Kashima Antlers in the semifinals of the Club World Cup. World Soccer's Brian Glanville isn't impressed by the people calling for reforming the Football Association, even if it's needed.
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