Mid-Day Musings (Another ESPN power play, Howard’s hoops career and more)

Tim Howard 4 (ISIphotos.com)

                                      Photo by ISIphotos.com

Plenty to discuss in the soccer world, some big news, some not so big, so let's get to some of the nuggets that have emerged today:

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On the same day it struck a deal to secure La Liga rights, ESPN also lands the UK rights to broadcast EPL matches. Sorry American soccer fans, but this does not mean EPL games are coming to ESPN (yet). What it might mean is better coverage of the EPL on programs like Sportscenter, and improved soccer coverage on ESPN as it handles covering the EPL in England.

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You know how Tim Howard is a good basketball player, right? Well, apparently the Harlem Globetrotters got wind of this and selected Howard in its recent "player draft", which means Howard now has an open invitation to try out for the Globetrotters this fall. Publicity stunt? Perhaps, but something I know Howard will get a kick out of when he hears about it.

This story reminds me of a trip I took to Manchester during Tim Howard's first season with Manchester United. One of the local tabloids heard about Howard's basketball skills so they superimposed Howard's face onto LeBron James' body for a pretty funny picture.

Don't fret U.S. national team fans, I doubt he'll actually take the Globetrotters up on it, considering he will be busy with his day job as goalkeeper for Everton FC and all. Now, if that offer's still around in 2014 it could be another story.

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While Oguchi Onyewu appears to be ready to take the money and run to Turkey, one American whose transfer window future we sort of have forgotten about is Charlie Davies, he of the looming five-game suspension and the very public desire for a transfer move out of Sweden. If he can have another good showing against Spain like he had against Egypt it would be tough to imagine Hammarby being able to hold on to him.

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You've heard about Jose Mourinho wanting to reunite with some of his former Chelsea (and Porto) players, such as Deco and Ricardo Carvalho. Well, it appears that there could be room on the Inter roster since the Serie A champions have admitted they are open to the possibility of selling both Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Maicon. Sounds crazy, right? Well, it could be Mourinho wanting to bring in more of his own players and getting rid of the old guard. It also means trying to build a warchest to go after talented young standouts such as Edin Dzeko and Felipe Melo.

Going along with the Maicon sale talk, why do we never hear Maicon linked with Manchester United? Right back has been a bit shaky for a while and while young prospect Rafael has a bright future, Maicon is the best right back in the world (or at least one of the top two). Will Sir Alex ever sign another non-teenage Brazilian after the Kleberson fiasco?

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If you have been following the struggles of the Argentine national team you might enjoy this bit of Tabloid-ish fun from the always entertaining Kickette about the Aguero-Maradona-Riquelme love triangle. We don't vouch for the authenticity of the story, but do vouch for the comedy value.

Kickette also gets props for telling us about these photos of Rio Ferdinand on vacation. If you haven't seen them yet, you will want to (unless you're a Man United).

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Congratulations to Houston Dynamo head coach Dom Kinnear for qualifying to coach the MLS All-Star team when it takes on Everton on July 29th. Kinnear's appointment will likely mean that deserving players such as Geoff Cameron and Brad Davis will get All-Star starts (the MLS head coach picks the starters for the AAll-Star Game, not the fan voting. Sorry Seattle fans).

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That's all for now. What do you think? Still recovering from seeing those Rio Ferdinand photos? Imagining Tim Howard as a Globetrotter? Hoping Charlie Davies goes to somewhere like France or Spain? Excited to see ESPN investing so much into soccer?

Share your thoughts below.

This entry was posted in European Soccer, Major League Soccer, U.S. Men's National Team. Bookmark the permalink.

41 Responses to Mid-Day Musings (Another ESPN power play, Howard’s hoops career and more)

  1. TJPierce says:

    Still punch drunk off of a shock US and A victory? Check

    Any word on potential suitors for Davies? The guy needs some polishing up, eh?

  2. baloosh13 says:

    hey ives, what big four league is a good compliment for sweden?

  3. T says:

    Wasn’t there a French club already after Charlie? I can’t think of the name at the moment.

  4. NateinSF says:

    Sochaux

  5. Danny says:

    So does this mean EPL matches on ESPN360, or does it not really affect us Stateside?

  6. inkedAG says:

    Ives, you HAVE to do a You Write the Caption for the Rio Ferdinand picture!!

  7. coffee says:

    Congrats Dom Kinnear!!!! You deserve it!

  8. OmarVizquel says:

    I don’t understand this ESPN deal. Call me an idiot, but there’s no ESPN channel here in the UK. Where will the games be broadcasted?

  9. John Glosson says:

    I feel sorry for people who follow other sports…they have “off seasons.” I love this game.

  10. Chase says:

    Danny,

    Setanta USA and FSC still retain the American broadcast rights of the Premier League. ESPN has only purchased the available UK rights (so far).

    At this point nothing changes, however, that could change if Setanta USA goes bust along with its parent company.

  11. shawn says:

    thats the first picture i’ve seen of maradonnas daughter. These players must be with her b/c of who her father is b/c she is not in any way attractive.

  12. Brandon says:

    Danny,

    I can’t imagine Setanta USA lasting too much longer either. I think ESPN putting together a pay-per-view package is not out of the quesion in the near future.

  13. milkshake of despair says:

    Ives, any quotes from USSoccer on why Guzan started in place of Howard? Was it to get experience or did Howard get knicked up at some point?

  14. Angel says:

    I was hoping Gooch would go to a bigger club but Fenerbache is still a step up from Liege.
    Davies i would definitely love to see him in a bigger club…and wow…i think you must be metorsexual to be in Manchester United…it had to be my EPL club didnt it? lol

    i still wish that ESPN deal could be stateside…oh well..

  15. Chase says:

    Brandon,

    Setanta USA is a relatively low cost operation. They have no original programming (all of that was produced by Setanta UK or Setanta Ireland) and basically just air the international, English language feed of the PL games. Apparently, it made a healthy profit for the parent company (as the broadcast rights are relatively cheap and they were not forced to produce a whole lot of original content).

    According to EPL Talk and other sites it was more likely that the American and Canadian broadcast rights to change hands if Setanta had retained their UK rights, as they were actively trying to sell the North American rights when they were frantically looking for funds to make their payment to the Premier League over the past couple of weeks.

    Frankly, I hope things stay the way they are (as we get a ton of games), unless ESPN went all out and created an entire channel devoted to soccer (though I could see it being a world sport channel).

  16. Brandon says:

    Chase,

    I appreciate the clarification. It may have been simply wishful thinking on my part that Setanta USA would fold as well. Comcast does not offer it and my apartment complex does not allow dishes, so my options are limited.

    I do get Fox Soccer and Gol TV, so I would not be opposed to some sort of Pay Per View arrangement as that would cover most matches each week. Alas, the pains of being an American soccer fan.

  17. Leonardo says:

    ALL-STAR team needs more fan influence! I want to see the total votes and then the envious looks on the other clubs’ owners’ faces

    Dom better start Hurtado!

  18. thedoc says:

    noticed something funny. we all complained about dempsey walking/jogging alot in his games, but looking at the distance covered stats he is near the top in high activity and medium activity stats. interesting. maybe we dont see everything he does of the ball.

  19. Randomhero says:

    Maicon was signed by Manchester United, but the deal fell through because he was unable to get a work permit. This has actually happened with a few big name players(now big name) and Manchester United.

  20. Randomhero says:

    Just to clarify that he was almost signed in 2003 or 2004

  21. chupacabra says:

    Setanta USA will continue to survive as long as there remains a US audience for rugby and Australian rules football. When he dies, then they’ll go belly up.

  22. chupacabra says:

    Looks like Man U players are spending the off season working as extras in Sacha Baron Cohen’s new Bruno movie.

  23. mike says:

    Why does anyone want EPL on ESPN? FSC will be broadcasting in HD with native commentators beginning January 2010. Unless you actually like losing about 20% of screen space with ESPN graphics and like having no guarantee of HD broadcasts this shouldn’t bother you.

  24. RK says:

    Why does anyone want EPL on ESPN? FSC will be broadcasting in HD with native commentators beginning January 2010. Unless you actually like losing about 20% of screen space with ESPN graphics and like having no guarantee of HD broadcasts this shouldn’t bother you.

    Posted by: mike

    Because a lot more people get ESPN.

  25. SonicDeathMonkey says:

    @Leonardo

    As the Special one would say……”Shut up, Sounders fans”. ;)

  26. Barry U says:

    That picture is great. Ronaldo (Brazil Striker) was close by wondering “Hey look at that girl. Do i know her?” but a few seconds later he realized his mistake “Oh wait that is just Rio Ferdinand. I always liked Rio. Nice”.

    Davies to France has been around for a bit. I would like Holland or Germany in addition to France but Hammarby needs to cash in since he is their talisman. Hammarby has only invested salary in him since no transfer was paid so the # should not be to crazy.

    I do not like Gago or Auguero or Maradona so anything that makes those jackA$$e$ look stupid is awesome.

    Are we playing Spain on Wednesday. LOL. I saw something on SI that Jozy was texting some trash talk to Joan Capdevila _ Jozy said that they should be careful. Joan told the press that the text must be a mistake since Jozy does not speak spanish all that great. I love the trash talking but maybe a little restraint is in order. We will see.

  27. wally says:

    @thedoc. Where u getting your stats?

  28. jmadsen says:

    NOOOOOO!!!

    MY EYES!!! IT BURNS!!!

  29. Giantandre says:

    Could somebody explain to me like I’m a third grader how much EPL is going to be on American TV next year and what stations are going to televise it? It looks like nothing is going to change in the US, but that may or may not be true…. Is there a way to get more games other then through grainy “rouge” web sites and streams ????

  30. kebzach says:

    link to bit.ly

    Timmy Howard on the Globetrotters! Awesome!

  31. freddie footballer says:

    I heard from Goff that Santino Quaranta added to Gold Cup roster??

  32. EDB says:

    Didn’t Setenta USA buy their package from FSC? I thought FSC got all the packages for the US broadcast and then sold the package to setenta us. If that is true then FSC would get the package back and have all the Prem league games or maybe they would sell some to goltv or espn. But i doubt they would sell to espn..

  33. JK says:

    freddie footballer-I just read the same thing too, and that the real roster would be released by Thursday, with training beginning on Sunday. I am looking for answers too ’cause I am confused!

  34. NYRB fan says:

    Espn better get some epl or la liga games going because I’m in college and at the apartments we only get Espn and Espn2 and since Champions League is gone it is a big plus!!!!!!!

  35. Tom says:

    I kinda thought ESPN would evolve ESPNClassic into a ESPNSoccer channel to go head to head with FSC while letting ESPNU show some of the Classic programming out of season or during off hours.

  36. Brant says:

    re: Gooch to Fenerbache

    Have we had any American play in Turkey lately?
    Yanks Abroad doesn’t list any.

  37. Xander Crews says:

    Last I recall an American in Turkey was Friedel when he played there, but that was probably close to a decade ago.

  38. Adam says:

    Ives, here’s a question for you . . . Did ESPN send a crew to the conferderations cup? It seems as if they are just watching the same live feed I am on a computer and announcing it from back in the US. Is that so? Can’t they afford to send the crew over?

  39. Station says:

    @thedoc. (2nd wally) Where did you find Dempsey’s distance covered stats? And, what is the best statistical resource anyone here uses on the net? I have had a hard time finding stats beyond shots, goals, and assists. Thanks in advance.

  40. Oranjebleeder says:

    ESPN did not send a crew to SA. That was clear when we lost visual feed in one of the games.

  41. Bayern in Orlando says:

    Whatever happened to the supposed alliance between the Bundesliga and MLS? The news report came right after other somewhat similar news, so that Bundesliga/MLS report actually contained details, such as broadcasting agreements, even down to the level of how to position camera sightlines and produce gameday broadcasts. Although it sounded like a decent idea, it still struck me as slightly odd, given the fact that here in the US we have a fifty-year running history of pretty much shoving a TV camera in front of anything that moves, adding a bit of commentary, and declaring it a TV show. There’s even a series on ESPNClassic of the early episodes of (US)ABC’s Wide World of Sports that stretches back 48 years. So the idea of our getting anything useful from our German friends seemed like something of a longshot, but I still dug the idea in the hopes that it might somehow help to get more Bundesliga coverage in the US. My local cable provider does not carry GolTV, even though Gol is HQ’d five hours south of here in Miami. Anyone have any thoughts?

    Maybe ESPN will include some Germany coverage if/when they morph one of their channels into an ESPNSoccer.