Thursday's soccer news starts with the Confederations Cup. FIFA's World Cup warmup starts on Saturday in Russia, and it's not a safe assumption that even the participating countries really care. Germany, for instance.
The defending World Cup champions are having issues filling stadiums for friendlies at home, partly because their results seem like a foregone conclusion. If they lose, there's an obvious reason. If they win, of course they did. The obvious reason for not doing well at the Confederations Cup will be strength of squad.
Germany coach Joachim Low made his opinion of the Confederations Cup clear last month. He was widely quoted as saying he would "not be sad" if this is the last time FIFA holds the tournament. Given the timing of the 2022 World Cup, it's an easy out for world soccer's governing body. This time, Low selected a squad that isn't exactly representative of Germany at full strength. The local organizing committee responded as expected. As well they should, considering they have to promote this tournament to the people most likely to buy tickets.
Also in the soccer news, Inside World Football's Paul Nicholson reports on the new FIFA guidelines on discriminatory behavior by fans in play for the Confederations Cup.
SI.com's Grant Wahl has USMNT coach Bruce Arena talking about his Gold Cup roster and the need to rest players. World Soccer's Brian Glanville on the importance of England's U-20 World Cup win. inews.com's Joel Sked takes a look at fanzine culture in Britain. ESPN FC's Tim Vickery previews the Copa Libertadores.
USA-MEX drew 2,052,000 on FS1 -- most-watched WC qualifier in the channel's history. Peaked in 2nd half at 2.8m. Univision totaled 4.5m.— Steven Goff (@SoccerInsider) June 14, 2017
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