WORLD CUP NOTES: TEAM USA READY TO AIR DIRTY LAUNDRY?
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).