For years, American soccer fans discussed whether soccer would ever “make it” in the United States. While that was hard to define, having games broadcast on TV was a pretty good yardstick — and for a few years, soccer-loving viewers in the United States had it good. The proliferation of online streaming services, though, is ending that golden era.
As an example, let’s say that you want to follow an English team. NBC Sports shows plenty of Premier League games on TV but is increasingly dumping several games every week to Peacock, NBC’s streaming service.
If your chosen team happens to be in the Champions League, you’ll also want a streaming subscription to CBS All Access to guarantee you can see those games. And for games in the FA Cup or League Cup, you’d need an ESPN+ subscription — which you’d also need to watch most German or Italian soccer, as well as almost any American soccer that’s not being shown on basic cable.
For a number of years, nontelevised games were often thrown in with a cable plan, available online from broadcasters. In the era of cord-cutting, though, you’ll pay twice to see it all — once for cable, and again for the extras. Maybe this is what “making it” really looks like; there are now enough soccer fans in America that charging them extra is worth it.
• The USWNT announced this week that it will hold a training camp in late October, albeit without players who are playing in Europe. With no end to the pandemic in sight, and no games on the schedule of any kind, the team has to be worried about its preparation for the planned 2021 Olympics in Tokyo.
• We’re in the middle of a FIFA-mandated break for men’s international games, a break that seems positively ludicrous given that it requires players to travel all over the globe while COVID-19 infections are on the rise seemingly everywhere. For once, Major League Soccer’s unwillingness to recognize the break seems like the levelheaded approach — though numerous MLS teams will lose players for weeks anyway because of quarantines.
FA Women’s Super League: Manchester City at Chelsea, 8:30 a.m. Sunday, NBCSN. Odds are, the English title is going to come down to these two clubs. American stars Sam Mewis and Rose Lavelle were on the field together for Man City for the first time last week, albeit for just nine minutes; they know Chelsea standout Sam Kerr well from when all three were starring in the NWSL.
Jon Marthaler gives you a recap of recent events and previews the week ahead. E-mail: email@example.com