Matt Drudge And The Future Of Soccer

After watchingng all the hype leading up to this year's tournament and the breadth of coverage the tournament has received, I think we're seeing a turning point for the sport in the USA. Hopefully MLS and the domestic game can really capitalize on the interest it generates, but from here on out the World Cup will be a big deal.

But the surest sign that soccer has hit the big time in the States?  Matt Drudge thinks so.

Matt Drudge and the Future of Soccer

World Cup Fever sends Internet usage to record levels

I wish they'd compared it to traffic during the Olympics.

Today’s Web traffic has been classified as “Heavy” for the better part of the day, according to measurements by Akamai. At its peak, traffic for News sites globally started a steady climb about 6 am ET and peaked six hours later, at Noon ET, reaching nearly 12.1 million visitors per minute.

World Cup Fever sends Internet usage to record levels

When will soccer fans get MLS games without a cable provider?

I'm looking forward to when MLS is available on one or both of these online video services(?).  Will they do it anytime soon – maybe in time for next season?  Superfans would love this much access to video of games.  I think it'd be particularly cool to go back and watch the 1996 MLS Cup, for example. But how do broadcasting partners feel about it?

Boxee and the NHL have launched a port of the GameCenter Live computer-based video streaming service. Like MLB.TV, a subscription ($20/mo or $80/yr) is required and grants you access to all of the (out of market) hockey – games, live or archived. Of course, this will be significantly more meaningful when the actual Boxee Box launches, allowing us to leave the PC entirely out of the equation

NBA lands on Roku, NHL on Boxee

MLS Playoff Widget

Now that the MLS season is close to an end, the playoff picture will start to come into clearer view. Using the Embed Widget module for Drupal, I was able to take a block containing the standings as a single table and make it available as a widget that anyone can put on their own website. The hardest part was theming it to look halfway decent, because the module wants to use the Color API module to generate a color scheme automatically based on one color. I overrode that with a single theme preprocess function to get the exact colors I wanted.

You can get the code for the widget over at Behind the Badge.

Sounder at Heart has questions about how ties are broken, so I’ll have to give that another look to make sure its on the up-and-up.

Packed schedule of World Cup Qualifiers

With the World Cup barely a year away, there’s a packed slate of results I’ll be watching this week.  Will the US continue its relatively straightforward qualification to another appearance?  Can Bolivia maintain the slimmest hopes of qualifying alive?

  1. Costa Rica vs USA – Wednesday, June 3rd.  The Americans have never won, a tie would be more than acceptable.
  2. Bolivia vs Venezuela – Saturday, June 6th.  Bolivia needs all 3 points from this home match in La Paz, but Venezuela has long ceased being guaranteed easy points.
  3. USA vs Honduras – Saturday, June 10th.  The US should continue winning at home, this time in Chicago.
  4. Chile vs Bolivia – Tuesday, June 10th.  A point on the road would be ideal, but I don’t honestly expect anything out of this match.

Other qualifying threads to follow – Can Mexico right its qualification campaign? How does Argentina bounce from its 6-1 defeat in La Paz?