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WORLD CUP NOTES: TEAM USA READY TO AIR DIRTY LAUNDRY?
Published June 24, 1998
In Boston, Frank Dell'Apa reports that U.S. Soccer coach Steve Sampson "will soon be gone," and whoever takes his place "must move the team in a different direction." Dell'Apa: "The lesson driven home in this World Cup is that soccer is not a nice sport. ... There is no place for amateurs and volunteers" (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/24). In DC, Amy Shipley reports that "dissatisfaction with the strategy and decision-making" employed by Sampson "surfaced today" in the U.S. camp, and that the "discontent may erupt" following Thursday's game versus Yugoslavia when some players "plan to voice their displeasures about a variety of Sampson's decisions." Alexi Lalas: "Everybody's ready to explode. You can get ready for it" (WASHINGTON POST, 6/24). NOTES: In Toronto, William Houston reports that despite a decline in U.S. ratings, World Cup TV ratings in Canada are up about 30% from '94. TSN has averaged 340,000 viewers for the first eight matches, an increase of almost 100,000 a match from the first round of '94 (GLOBE & MAIL, 6/24). ...In L.A., Scott Moe reviewed the official World Cup Web site, www.france98.com, saying that it "is loaded with everything a soccer World Cup fan would ever need to know." Moe: "This site is headers and shoulders above any other offering World Cup coverage" (L.A. TIMES, 6/23). LAUGH TRACK: NBC's Jay Leno: "Do you folks know the three different stages of sleep? First there's R.E.M., I guess that's when you dream. ... Alpha sleep is where you sleep really deep. And then the final stage -- World Cup soccer sleep" ("Tonight Show," 6/23). David Letterman: "Boy, I want to tell you something, ladies and gentlemen, we're all very excited, all very proud here at CBS. We now have the exclusive broadcast rights for Iranian soccer." More Letterman: "I'm very excited. And talk about luck -- I own Kodadad Azizi's rookie card. I knew that wouldn't do anything, I just like saying Kodadad Azizi" (CBS, 6/23).