Broadcast of U.S. v. Panama was second highest audience for World Cup Qualifier

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More news that the sport of soccer is positively thriving in the United States – Tuesday night’s World Cup Qualifier between the U.S. and Panama was the second most-watched and second highest-rated FIFA World Cup qualifying or international friendly match telecast.

The 2-0 U.S. triumph at CenturyLink Field in Seattle recorded an average audience of 1.436 million viewers and was seen in 888,000 households, based on a 0.8 household U.S. rating according to Nielsen Media.

The Southern California soccer hot-bed of San Diego was once again the top market for the match telecast with a rating of 2.5, while Seattle-Takoma (2.5), Baltimore (2.1), Hartford-New Haven (1.9), and Nashville (1.9) rounded out the Top 5.

Tuesday’s viewership was bested only by the March 26th World Cup Qualifier between the U.S. and Mexico, which ended in a 0-0 draw at the famed Azteca Stadium. That telecast delivered the record average audience with 2.385 million viewers and was seen in 1.644 million households, based on a 1.4 household U.S. rating.

The next date for American soccer to make itself heard is on Tuesday, June 18th when the U.S. takes on Honduras in the final World Cup Qualifying match before the summer. That match can be viewed live from Rio Tinto Stadium on ESPN or the WatchESPN app.

Here are some other broadcast numbers in recent U.S. history that show just how big the game has become stateside –

  • The 2010 World Cup Final between Spain and the Netherlands drew a record 24.3 million U.S. viewers (U.S. v. Ghana drew 19.4m)
  •  The 2011 Women’s World Cup Final between Japan and the U.S. drew a record 13.458 million U.S. viewers
  • The 2011 Champions League Final between Manchester United and Barcelona drew a record 4.2 million U.S. viewers
  • The 2012 MLS match between Seattle and Portland drew 880,000 U.S. viewers (3rd largest audience)
  • The May 2012 Manchester United v. Manchester City match drew a record 1.033 million U.S. viewers
  • The 2012 European Championship Final between Italy and Spain drew drew 2.968 million U.S. viewers (2nd largest)

Report: Manchester United, Inter Milan keen on Perisic deal

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Manchester United wants Ivan Perisic, and both the player and his current club are all about it.

Perisic, 28, is ready to leave Inter Milan, and the Serie A mainstays are happy to accept $46 million for his services according to Sky Sports.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Primarily a left winger, Perisic moved to Inter from Wolfsburg at the start of the 2015-16 season. He scored 10 goals and added nine assists in Serie A play this season, and has kept up his production pace since moving from the Bundesliga to Italy.

United needs stars and depth for its Champions League campaign, and Perisic would buttress an attack with Marcus Rashford, Henrikh Mkhitaryan amongst others. He was a difference maker for Croatia at EURO 2016, and can do the same at Old Trafford.

Celtic secures trophy treble, ends Scottish season unbeaten

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) Celtic completed a trophy treble in Scottish soccer and finished the domestic season undefeated after beating Aberdeen 2-1 in the Scottish Cup final thanks to an injury-time goal on Saturday.

Midfielder Tom Rogic scored from an acute angle in the second minute of stoppage time at Hampden Park to ensure Celtic added the cup to the Scottish Premiership and the Scottish League Cup.

[ MORE: No China for Costa ]

Brendan Rodgers became the third manager, after Jock Stein (1967, 1969) and Martin O’Neill (2001), to lead Celtic to a treble of domestic titles.

Celtic hasn’t lost any of its 47 games across in the league and both cups, and is the first team to go through the whole of a Scottish domestic season unbeaten.

No China for Costa: It’ll be Chelsea or Atletico Madrid

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Blues striker Diego Costa offered some insight into his future following Chelsea’s FA Cup Final loss to Arsenal on Saturday.

The combustible striker was subject to a head-turning bid from the Chinese Super League this winter, but is only looking at two European locations for his future.

Those are his current club, Chelsea, as well as former home at Atletico Madrid.

[ JPW: Poignant FA Cup Final reflects English mood ]

The 28-year-old Costa has kept his scoring pace level since arriving in the Premier League. He scored 64 goals in 134 matches for Atleti, and has notched 58 goals for Chelsea in 120 appearances.

Costa reportedly said, “No, no, no” when asked about China, as well as the following:

More Messi wizardry leads Barca to Copa del Rey title (video)

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Sometimes, a match recap needs just a couple keywords instead of paragraphs.

For example: Messi, Barcelona, Cup Final, the best.

The greatest player on Earth was at it again on Saturday, scoring a deft goal before assisting a Paco Alcacer offering as Barcelona won another Copa del Rey with a 3-1 win over Alaves on Saturday.

[ MORE: Pulisic, BVB win German Cup ]

It’s a third-straight Copa del Rey for the Blaugranas, their 29th crown in the tournament’s history. Barca has also lost 10 Copa finals, the last in 2014 against Real Madrid.

Here’s the goal:

And the pass: