The Galaxy’s Landon Donovan reacts to my question today in the Tout video above about what he thinks of the U.S. progress in World Cup qualifying given his absence (and yeah, what do you expect him to say?).
Those of you who read my column this week know that I was musing about the ESPN World Cup qualifying doubleheader from a ratings perspective, especially with the U.S. game receiving a strong lead-in from the preceding Mexico game.
Well, the Mexico-Costa Rica contest earned an average rating of 0.3 meaning it was seen by 540,000 viewers. Plenty of them likely stuck around to watch the U.S. beat Panama, which was the second-most viewed international game ever on ESPN, beaten only by the Mexico-U.S. showdown in March (1.4 rating).
U.S.-Panama came in with a 0.8 rating and was watched by an estimated audience of 1,436,000. The San Diego market was tops in the U.S., pulling in a 2.5 rating.
The Spanish language coverage of the two games on UniMas delivered 2.8 million viewers for Mexico-Costa Rica and 1.2 million for U.S-Panama/
Next for the U.S. in World Cup qualifying: Tuesday in Salt Lake City verses Honduras (live on ESPN and UniMas)
It was a feel-good night all around for the U.S. with Sounder Eddie Johnson sealing his return to national team glory before what is now his home crowd, Jozy Altidore still clicking with yet another goal and a midfield that controlled the game from start to finish.
And if Seattle ever gets a grass field, it should immediately become the favored U.S. home field don’t you think? Who wouldn’t like to turn the daunting Azteca tables on El Tri?
BTW, Tuesday’s games are back on ESPN, which has a doubleheader beginning at 5 p.m. with Mexico-Costa Rica followed by U.S.-Panama.
Meanwhile, ESPN has announced it will show all 52 games from the Under-20 World Cup that kicks off June 21 with all three U.S. group games on either ESPN2 or ESPNU. As expected, the U.S. squad has a large Southern California contingent.
*Could you see this one coming? I guess it’s the obvious end game of Chivas USA’s renewed philosophy on its Mexican heritage in a sense: respected former Anglo U.S. internationals and club youth coaches claim racial discrimination by the club and file a lawsuit.
*The U.S. and the Galaxy’s Omar Gonzalez got stomped by Belgium tonight, but coach Jurgen Klinsmann sounded positively upbeat: “I would rather play Belgium 10 more times than El Salvador 100 times because that is when you learn,” he said. School is in here.
*The LA Galaxy reserves lost tonight, too, in the U.S. Open Cup to the same minor league team that have ousted them before although I’m guessing the absent Bruce Arena doesn’t really care now that he won’t have to worry about midweek distractions and the annoyance of playing Chivas USA in the next round. Come to think of it, that applies to me, too. Game story here.
*Much rumored, but unseen Galaxy midfielder Frank Lampard scored for England to draw 1-1 with actual and oft-seen Ireland-led Galaxy striker Robbie Keane subbed out disappointingly relatively early on. Game story.
*The Galaxy announced today that the first-ever soccer games played at 51-year-old Dodger Stadium are set for Aug. 3 when Real Madrid plays either Everton or Juventus in a doubleheader with the Galaxy, which will take on one of those two latter teams in the second game of the night. The four teams are part of the west region of the previously announced Guinness International Champions Cup.
From the press release: Dodger Stadium has seen many legendary baseball moments through the years, while hosting more than 147 million fans since it opened its doors. Dodger Stadium has also played host to events such as the 1984 Olympic Games baseball competition, the 2009 World Baseball Classic Final, a Mass conducted by Pope John Paul II, concerts by the biggest names in the business like The Beatles, Michael Jackson and U2 as well as a basketball game and championship boxing match. These will be the first professional soccer games played and come January, 2014, the stadium will host its first National Hockey League game between the Kings and Ducks.