By Paul Kennedy
In what should be one of the last program additions before it goes off the air, FOX Soccer will air nine games in the new National Women’s Soccer League -- six regular-season matches and all three playoff matches, the two semifinal games on Aug. 24 and 25 and championship game on Aug. 31.
Beginning July 8, FOX Soccer will televise one game per week over the final six weeks of the season, leading up to the NWSL playoffs. No formal announcement has been made, but the new FXX -- a non-sports network -- is expected to replace FOX Soccer in September, and those soccer competitions for which FOX holds rights will move to the new FOX Sports 1.
“The opportunity to highlight the race for the playoffs and the three biggest games of the season that will decide the first league champion on national television is important for the growth of the league," said NWSL Executive Director Cheryl Bailey. "Our fans will get the chance to see the high caliber of women’s soccer, and we also hope to create many new fans who will appreciate the amazing athletes and personalities in the league.”
The four NWSL games on its opening weekend were streamed -- not without difficulty -- and home teams will continue to stream games throughout the season.
WPS, the previous pro women's league, appeared on FOX Soccer for all three years of its existence. Seventeen games aired in 2011, its final season.
MEXICO'S TOP EARNERS. The top earners in Mexico's Liga MX make less than MLS's top earners do by a not insignificant amount.
Chilean Humberto Suazo, star of two-time defending Concacaf Champions League champion Monterrey, is the highest-paid player in Mexico with a $3 million salary. Six foreign-born players -- including naturalized Mexican international Antonio Naelson -- made the top 10 list published by Forbes and Mexican daily El Universal.
Santos goalie Oswaldo Sanchez is the league's highest-paid Mexican player with a $2 million salary.
In 2012, the Red Bulls'
Thierry Henry ($5.6 millon), Rafael Marquez ($4.6 million) and Tim Cahill ($3.6 million) and the LA Galaxy's David Beckham ($4
million) all made more than Suazo did. The top 10 MLS earners all made $1.6 million or more.
Liga MX Highest-Paid Players:
SALARY PLAYER (COUNTRY) CLUB
$3.0 million Humberto Suazo (Chile) Monterrey
$2.7 million Christian Benitez (Ecuador) Club America
$2.2 million Lucas Lobos (Argentina) Tigres
$2.0 million Oswaldo Sanchez (Mexico) Santos
$1.8 million Christian Gimenez (Argentina) Cruz Azul
$1.7 million Antonio Naelson (Brazil/Mexico) Toluca
$1.6 million Jesus Corona (Mexico) Cruz Azul
$1.5 million Aldo de Nigris (Mexico) Monterrey
$1.5 million Aquivaldo Mosquera (Colombia) Club America
$1.5 million Marco Fabian (Mexico) Guadalajara
MLS FUTBOLITO RETURNS. MLS Futbolito, a national 4-v-4 tournament, returns to eight U.S. cities this summer.
The national tour kicks off June 1 at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in an event hosted by the Colorado Rapids. The New England Revolution (July 6) and FC Dallas (July 13) will also hold events on game days and invite all participants to attend their regular-season match later that evening.
Other events will take place June 8 in Bell Gardens, Calif. (hosted by Chivas USA), June 23 in Houston (Houston Dynamo), July 20 in Flushing N.Y. (New York Red Bulls), July 27 in Boyd, Md. (D.C. United) and Aug. 3 in Chicago (Chicago Fire).
MLS Futbolito will have its own web site, MLSFutbolito.com. Gatorade and Castrol join associate level partners adidas, Allstate, The Home Depot, Makita, Pepsi, Volkswagen, Xbox and Quaker as sponsors of the 2013 edition of MLS Futbolito.
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