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Evening Ticker: Italy holds off New Zealand, Setanta’s struggles and CONCACAF Champions League draw set for Thursday

Fielding a team of reserves, the Italian national team went into halftime trailing New Zealand 2-1 in their international friendly on Wednesday. A few second-half subs later and Italy had rattled off three goals to score a 4-3 victory against the Kiwis in a friendly in South Africa.

Vincenzo Iaquinta's pair of second-half strikes proved to be the difference as Italy overcame some first-half goalkeeping blunders from back-up Marco Amelia.

Alberto Gilardino scored Italy's first two goals while New Zealand's Christopher Killen netted a pair after Shane Smeltz opened the scoring.

New York Red Bulls defender Andrew Boyens started and played 90 minutes for New Zealand while American-born striker Giuseppe Rossi started and played 45 minutes for Italy.

Italy opens Confederations Cup play on Monday against the United States, while New Zealand faces Spain on Sunday.

Here are some other notes from the soccer world:

CONCACAF Champions League draw set for Thursday

The four MLS teams set to take part in the CONCACAF Champions League will learn the identities of their opponents on Thursday, when the draw for the competition takes place in New York.

The Columbus Crew, Houston Dynamo, New York Red Bulls and D.C. United will represent MLS, while Toronto FC is still alive for the lone Canadian berth into the tournament. Columbus and Houston have byes into the group stage of the tournament while New York and D.C. will play home-and-home series in late July and early August. Group play for the tournament will begin on Sept. 18th.

Here is how the team's are broken up for the draw:

Preliminary Round Seedings

Pot A

Cruz Azul (MEX), Pachuca (MEX), New York Red Bulls (USA), D.C. United (USA), Vancouver Whitecaps or Toronto (CAN), Olimpia (HON), Liberia (CRC), Arabe Unido or Apertura champion (PAN)

Pot B

Arabe Unido or Apertura champion (PAN), Comunicaciones or Jalapa (GUA), Chalatenango (SLV), Real Espana (HON), Herediano (CRC), W Connection (TRI), Puerto Rico Islanders (PUR), San Juan Jabloteh (TRI)

Group Stage Seedings

Toluca (MEX), Pumas UNAM (MEX) Columbus Crew (USA), Houston Dynamo (USA), Saprissa (CRC), Marathon (HON), Comunicaciones or Municipal (GUA), Metapan (SLV)

The match-ups for the play-in round will be determined first, then the groups will be drawn. MLS teams cannot face each other in the play-in round and Columbus and Houston cannot be drawn into the same group.

The draw will be revealed on Thursday afternoon.

Setanta's future uncertain amid economic troubles

You might be looking elsewhere to watch Special1TV in the fall (assuming you don't already catch the series here on SBI). Setanta Sports, the UK-based premium sports network, is in major financial trouble and on the verge of bankruptcy.

Along with potentially meaning the sale of some of its broadcast packages, as well as the potential sale of the rights to Special1TV, Setanta's potential bankruptcy could spell doom for Scottish Premier League teams that rely on revenue from Setanta's rights to the SPL to function.


What do you think of Italy's reserves struggling vs. New Zealand? Disappointed that Italy didn't field its starting lineup? Optimistic about the U.S. team's chances on Monday? Excited about the CONCACAF Champions League draw? Worried about Setanta, or is it a channel you never had anyway?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Hey – don’t recall an english-league version. From what I recall “Soccer Made in Germany” would show non-league matches at times – Keegan was at Hamberg then, right? You could see champions league or friendly’s – I distinctly recall a NY Cosmos match vs Bayern (or Moerenchengladbach?)

    Anyway, although it was the only soccer on, I didn’t emphasize how GREAT that 1 hour was.

    I’d watch it and record it (when we got a VCR – haha!)..and watch the recordings over and over. I’d have that hour memorized by the following week.

    And, now, regretably I’d record over the prior week’s show.

    I recall when Rudi Voeller was this ‘new kid’ and (for you MetroStar fans) when Lothar Mattheaus was amazing/dominating. So many players – My idol, KH Rumminigge, his younger brother played – had hopes for him.

    Sometimes watching more games don’t equal that 1 hour. But, life is good.

  2. The name of the show hosted by Mario Machado was “All Star Soccer”. I can still remember watching the 1978 League Cup Final (and replay) between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. Excellent memories!

  3. Well…

    ESPN cares enough to put Ronaldo on the front page of

    Still doesn’t necessarily mean anything but it still makes you think!

  4. @Tommy: Yes, I remember the show but I can’t pull the name of it. That is where I first saw English football. Like Soccer Made in Germany, they edited the games to fit an hour format (if I recall correctly).

    There was another PBS show that ran in the DC area for a little while that I recall but I can’t pull the name. It was Uruguayan football and it had Montivideo in the title, I think.

    Anybody remember that one?

  5. Bill and yanki,

    Do you remember a pbs show that featured the English First Div.? Mid to late 70’s. I recall watching Keegan play for Liverpoole and other greats of the time(Andy Grey, Kenny Dagliesh). It was hosted by a guy named Mario Machado (ironic huh).

  6. @Bill- Way to rep us ole folk. Props to you Bro. These “yungins” just don’t know. They better ask somebody. I used to fight with my folks on Sunday mornings. We had to leave for Sunday school started before “Soccer Made in Germany” was over.

    Especially after the NASL was DONE.

    Toby Charles was my man.

    Way to reality check it.

    There has NEVER been a better time to follow soccer here in the States. More access than ever.


  7. Sunday nights on PBS! It was so long ago and I was so young, that I didn’t ever know what league it was. I had forgotten about that- thanks for the memory!

  8. sox – hard to be a soccer fan in the US!?

    I guess I’m showing my age, but when I was young and living in NC..the ONLY way to watch soccer was going to college games(wow, bad now worse then) or on PBS on sunday nights a 1 hour recap of bundesliga highlights (and about a 30 min of ‘the best game’). “Soccer Made in Germany” – it was excellent!

    That was it – good luck getting World Cup qualifiers or even World Cup MATCHES! 1 hour on PBS – german bundesliga PERIOD.


    FSC, GolTV, Telefutura, Telemundo, Fox Sports en Espanol and hell – internet, you get that in the south, right? (joking – but seriously, you’re living in the stone ages without I stream portuguese and dutch league matches at times let alone the euro qualifiers – name’s there, screw sentanta and the scottish league..they over charged for service.

    Now is the best times ever to be a soccer fan – you want to watch a game, it’s online or on-tv.

  9. The clues have been there for a while. The links on the top of the ESPN home page go: NFL MLB NBA Soccer. The bottom ticker on the ESPN channels has been showing Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, etc. scores recently.

    No, it doesn’t for sure mean ESPN will do something about it, but it sure makes you think, doesn’t it?

  10. Wait so no teams from Belize this year? The Red Bulls hopes of making it to the group stages are practically zero without the chance of drawing the Hankook Verdes.

  11. GolTv and Setanta was the best part about having the dish…..

    Unfortunately I now live in the trees and can’t use satellite- so it’s back to cable.

    I’d love ESPN or another american network to buy setanta and rework it with SPL, EPL….even more MLS really.

    I feel like there should be more than 2/3 MLS games a week on regular TV here in North Carolina.

    Does anyone with cable have setanta? If it were offered as a premium channel on Time Warner I’d buy it for sure.

    It can be hard to be a soccer fan in the US!

  12. I cancelled Setanta this season due to the cost of $14.00 a month. In turn, I just watched more LaLiga on GolTv. I missed seeing Arsenal every week, but I just can’t justify the cost. Lower it to $5 and I would add it in a heart beat.

  13. I don’t particularly care much about Setanta. I don’t have it, and I understand it’s rather expensive to have (what, $15 a month?). I might have paid them more attention if they were not premium and on a lower tier with more direct competition with FSC and ESPN in the U.S.

    However, I do hope that the Special 1 gets to live on somewhere (and with the rights-holder not sticking their nose into things).

  14. even if ESPN bought Setanta, they still wouldn’t broadcast games to the United States would they? Rather our international pals will get more games.

  15. So who is going to step-up and by Setanta’s Prem and CL rights in North America? Is it too obvious to suggest ESPN, especially with talks that ESPN might just buy Setanta and incorporate it into its family of networks?


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