Year: 2018

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX and FS1 Logo

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Monday, June 18

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):

Today’s Top Stories


Fernando Fiore makes friends with a new fan base

Today’s Top Quotes:

 FOX Sports studio analyst Ian Wright on the performance of Harry Kane and England’s persistence against Tunisia:

 “What you need in a competition is somebody who doesn’t need many chances, but when he gets a chance, he capitalizes on the chances. In the first goal, [Kane] was the only one moving while the ball’s in the air, and on the second goal, he anticipates it and drops on the far post and finishes it. I’m delighted that the [team] kept going. That’s what I wanted to see – would they keep going when Tunisia put them under pressure. You feel for the Tunisian guys because they played well today.

 “There’s so much confidence in the team. Their coach has given them belief. He wants them to continue to play all the way to the end, and they did it, even against a very robust and aggressive Tunisian defense. They kept going. [Kane is] the difference. He had two chances, and he’s taken them. That’s what it takes in the World Cup.”

 Former England women’s international Kelly Smith on England’s play and Kane’s performance:

 “They didn’t play as well in the second half as they did in the first half, but they created a lot of chances in the first half. And Harry Kane, what a leader he is. He’s signed his Tottenham contract. He’s comfortable, he’s fresh coming into the tournament and he’s leading by example. It’s really pleasing to see that performance.”

 FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas on England’s new attitude:

“Ultimately, the positive is the resolve. And that’s where the identity of this team is coming from. And if there is a change, and if this is a new England, and in that moment when you need it most, to find a way to get three points – albeit on the shoulders of a world-class player – that’s something special, and that’s something to build upon.”

 Smith is looking forward to watching Russia tomorrow against Egypt:

 “The way they started the tournament and scored five fantastic goals, with the home pressure. Can they do it again? It’s going to be a harder game tomorrow than Saudi Arabia.”

 Wright on Egypt vs. Russia tomorrow:

 “I’m looking forward to Egypt and Mo Salah. I think the way [Egypt] played the other day, you could see it was just Mo Salah that was missing on the team. They looked like they had a lot. He is the last bit of the team that’s going to cause problems. I’m looking forward to seeing him.”

 Smith on Ronaldo standing out among the big three stars of the tournament:

 “Ronaldo certainly set the mark on that 3-3 draw. To step up on the world stage in the first game – he’s a talisman. He takes penalties, free kicks – everything goes through him. He lives and breathes this game. This is what I love about him. His whole life is dedicated to football. He’s unreal. He’s a monster. Look at the free kick in 90-plus minutes – to have the concentration, will and energy to do that is just phenomenal. I used to always be Messi, Messi, Messi, but now Ronaldo has just set down that mark in this tournament.”

 Wright on being disappointed with Messi:

 “For me, I am a Messi man. I’m now a disappointed Messi man because the way he started the World Cup. I’ve seen the 33-year-old Ronaldo on fire. For Messi, it was a poor penalty. He was playing half-cocked. He was on the periphery of the game. He needs to get further up the field where there will be further consequences if they get fouled up there.”

 Lalas on Neymar’s performance yesterday being a result of Switzerland’s aggressive tactics:

 “I seemed to have riled up the country of Switzerland yesterday because I had the audacity to point out the fact that the Swiss team just completely tried to kill Neymar last night, on a consistent basis, foul after foul after foul. Is that why Brazil didn’t win that game? No. Brazil did not look great. They looked like they were in second or third gear. But it has to be said, when all the attention and emphasis is on Neymar, time and time again, what did they do? They hacked him down. That’s not a good look for Switzerland or for the sport.”

 FOX Sports game analyst Aly Wagner on England defeating Tunisia in the last minutes of the match:

 “Tunisia had done all the hard work. Then they just switched off at the last moment. Think of the story lines and how they’re going to change with that goal by Kane.”

 Prior to Tunisia vs. England, Smith predicted Kane would be a key for the Three Lions:

“The thing with Harry Kane is, he doesn’t need a lot of chances – left foot, right foot, head, back post – he’s a fox in the box, and he’s a really confident player coming in to this.”

 Lalas on what Sweden’s win means for Group F:

 “Mexico’s licking their chops. They’ve got an opportunity to go through with that next game. That game yesterday, Mexico beating Germany, threw this all into disarray – in a wonderful way. It’s going to have people racing – and this musical chairs type of thing – when that music stops, you’d better have a place. Mexico’s sitting pretty right now. This was huge for Sweden. Both of these teams needed that three-point win. South Korea – this is devastating for them.”

 Game analyst Warren Barton, who called Belgium vs. Panama, reacts to the Dries Mertens goal that put Belgium up 1-0:

“Just what the doctor ordered. You can defend, you can be organized, but you can’t do anything about quality.

“He just hits that with quality, confidence and accuracy.

“As soon as he hit that, he knows it’s going in.”

Ian Wright on Panama making its World Cup debut:

“It’s amazing just to see the Panamanian players standing there against Belgium with a chance. And a chance to inspire a whole nation of kids who grew up on boxing, who grew up on baseball. Now they’re on the world’s stage playing against great players that they’ve watched every week, maybe in the Premier League, and they’ve got a chance to beat them. I just think that that the World Cup is magnificent in that respect.”

Barton’s halftime assessment of Belgium:

“They just need to re-group, re-focus and maybe get a little bit angry with each other.”

Barton says Panama played well in its World Cup debut:

“They never deviate on their work ethic and concentration. They’re warriors.”

Wright says Belgium has enough talent to go far in the World Cup:

“When you look at the team and what they’re capable of putting out there, the spine is very strong … They’ve got everything that you need to win a World Cup or go into the last stages of a World Cup.

“If this team play their way in and get themselves going, they’re going to be dangerous – they will be dangerous.”

Play-by-play announcer Glenn Davis and analyst Cobi Jones, who called Sweden vs. Korea Republic, on the pace of play:

Davis: “It has been an incredibly choppy match here. They’re going to call this a foul fest when this is over.”

Jones: “It’s been difficult for either side to truly establish a rhythm.”

Jones says today’s match was typical of Sweden:

This is what we’ve seen from Sweden throughout qualifiers – just a steady, solid side.

Lalas on if Zlatan Ibrahimović not appearing on the Sweden roster is addition by subtraction:

“This is a bigger-than-life type of personality. This is a guy that sucks the air out of the room – and that’s not necessarily bad. But when you have a player like that, you defer to him on and off the field, and you do things that maybe you wouldn’t. The problem right now for Sweden is if it doesn’t go well, it’s going to be because of Zlatan. Whether it is or isn’t, we are talking about a player that’s not even with this team.

“They believe they are better and they are more united without him. There’s probably a sense of relief from this team, and they have moved on.”

Lalas says despite the big win over Germany, Mexico can’t get complacent:

“They cannot rest on their laurels, because you rest on your laurels in a World Cup, and you’ve got problems.”

Hiddink says he isn’t concerned about Germany coming out of the group:

“Of course, inside it hurts and it shocks, but they will regroup and they will come back as never before in this group.”

Today’s Top Videos:

Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 8:00 AM – Colombia vs. Japan (FS1 / Jorge Perez-Navarro and Mariano Trujillo)
  • 11:00 AM – Poland vs. Senegal (FOX / JP Dellacamera and Tony Meola)
  • 2:00 PM – Russia vs. Egypt (FOX / John Strong and Stu Holden)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)

Sunday’s Germany-Mexico and Brazil-Switzerland FIFA World Cup Matches Make FS1 History

2018 FIFA World Cup™ Group Stage Matches are FS1’s Two Most-Watched Men’s Soccer Matches Ever
Overall World Cup Viewership on FOX and FS1 Continues to Grow
FOX Sports Streaming Platforms Enjoy Biggest Weekend Since Super Bowl LI with 332 Million Minutes Viewed Across Multiple Sports

MOSCOW & NEW YORK – Historic results and nail-biting conclusions led FS1 to record numbers on Sunday with a pair of FIFA World Cup™ Group Stage matches accounting for the channel’s two most-watched men’s soccer matches ever. Mexico’s 1-0 win over defending World Cup champion Germany drew 4,002,000 viewers, only to be eclipsed later in the day by Brazil’s exciting 1-1 draw with Switzerland, which attracted viewership of 4,086,000.

Through the first four days of the tournament, World Cup matches on FOX and FS1 are averaging 2,241,000 viewers, which is up +32% over the complete Group Stage average of the last four World Cups combined, excluding U.S. matches.

Led by international superstar Neymar, Brazil and Switzerland played to a 1-1 tie on Sunday in a match that began at 2:00 PM ET and delivered a combined viewership of 4,301,000 on FS1 and FOX Sports streaming sources. The television-only audience makes the match the most-watched English-language soccer telecast in the U.S. since the Euro 2016 final and is up +119% over the 2010 World Cup Group Stage average, excluding U.S. matches, and up +58% over the 2014 Group Stage average, excluding U.S. matches.

In a match that kicked off at 11:00 AM ET, Mexico captured its first ever World Cup win over Germany in thrilling fashion, delivering a combined audience of 4,254,000 on FS1 and FOX Sports streaming sources. The television-only audience is up +114% over the 2010 and up +54% over the 2014 World Cup Group Stage averages, excluding U.S. matches. With an average minute audience of 252,000 and 717,000 live streamers, the match ranks among the top 10 best-performing events all time on FOX Sports streaming services.

Through Sunday, World Cup matches on FOX and FS1 are attracting large audiences across the country. Washington D.C. leads the metered markets with an average 3.39 rating through Match Day 4, followed by Providence (2.77), Austin (2.66), New York (2.5) and Miami (2.47).

Additional digital and social highlights include:

  • With a lineup featuring the World Cup, U.S. Open Championship, Major League Baseball and NASCAR, FOX Sports streaming platforms enjoyed their biggest weekend since Super Bowl LI with 332 million minutes viewed from Friday through Sunday.
  • Over the first four days of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, viewers have consumed 288 million minutes on FOX Sports streaming services.
  • Led by FOX Sports social accounts, which delivered 18.1 million video views on Sunday, Match Day 4 was FOX Sports’ best performing day of the tournament across digital platforms with 19 million total views, a +30 percent increase over the previous day.
  • According to Nielsen Social, FOX and FS1 generated the most social conversations over the weekend, led by the Germany vs. Mexico telecast on FS1, which was the most talked-about telecast of the weekend with 1.4 million social interactions.
  • @FOXSoccer set another daily record on Sunday with 5.4 million views on Twitter, including WORLD CUP NOW hosted by Rachel Bonnetta, beating its previous record, set on Match Day 3 by +21%.

Sources: Adobe Analytics for Live streaming and FOX Sports O&O digital audience metrics; for Highlights Machine; Social Media: Twitter Insights, YouTube Analytics, Nielsen Social, Snap Data Analytics; App download data: Itunes Connect, Google Play, Windows, Amazon, Roku


FOX Sports Adds Soccer Legend Clarence Seedorf to 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Roster

MOSCOW – As the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ intensifies, Dutch soccer legend, World Cup veteran, four-time UEFA Champions League champion and coach Clarence Seedorf joins FOX Sports’ star-studded team of studio analysts for WORLD CUP LIVE, WORLD CUP TODAY and WORLD CUP TONIGHT. Today’s announcement was made by David Neal, Executive Producer of FIFA World Cup™ on FOX and Vice President of Production, FOX Sports.

“We are thrilled to add Clarence, one of the most impressive midfielders of all time, to our World Cup roster,” said Neal. “He brings deep technical and tactical knowledge to our coverage, adding a perspective that is sure to resonate with viewers.”

“Having the opportunity to join the FOX family as a soccer analyst in their Moscow studio for what will be my third World Cup is amazing,” Seedorf said. “I can’t wait to start another exciting journey together with this winning team!”

Seedorf’s illustrious playing career spanned two decades, during which he played for clubs in the Netherlands, Spain, Italy and Brazil. He won more than 20 club titles, including four UEFA Champions League titles with three different teams – Ajax (1995), Real Madrid (1998) and AC Milan (2003 and 2007). He is the only player to accomplish such a feat and was named to the FIFA 100 list of greatest living players by Pele and Best Midfielder by UEFA in 2007. Seedorf was part of the Dutch team at the UEFA European Championships in 1996 and represented the Netherlands at Euro 2000 and 2004 and the 1998 FIFA World Cup™, reaching the semifinals in all three of these tournaments. In 2013, Seedorf began his coaching career, training Boavista’s U17 team in Brazil, AC Milan in Italy, Shenzhen FC in China and RC Deportivo de la Coruna in Spain.

Back-to-Back U.S. Open Champions Brooks Koepka and Curtis Strange

Curtis Strange on Brooks Koepka’s Back-to-Back U.S. Open Championship Victories

Southampton, NY – For the past 29 years, FOX Sports golf analyst Curtis Strange has been the last man to win back-to-back U.S. Open Championships, claiming the trophy in 1988 and 1989. On Sunday, Brooks Koepka became the seventh man in history to do the same – winning the 2018 U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills, one year after his victory at the 2017 U.S. Open at Erin Hills.

Strange had a front row seat to all the action as an on-course reporter for FOX Sports, following Koepka and 2016 U.S. Open champion Dustin Johnson on Sunday afternoon. Just like in 2017, Strange was on-hand to present the trophy to Koepka and get his first reaction to the historic accomplishment.

Following the trophy ceremony, Strange reflected on the experience and welcomed Koepka to the exclusive club of back-to-back U.S. Open champions.

Strange on his experience as an on-course reporter during the final round:
“I was lucky to be out there and to be a part of it. It was fun for me to watch somebody play so well and do something so special, because so many of the greats haven’t done that. I had a front row seat and I thought it was fantastic.”

On Koepka’s achievement:
“I know what it means to me and I know what it means to him… They haven’t taken anything away from me. He just joined the six of us. Now there’s seven of us… I take my hat off to him. Now get three in a row!”

On comparisons between himself and Koepka:
“He’s got more talent in his little finger than a lot of us ever had. He’s just talented… He’s going to be around for a long time. He’s young. He’s a jock. He’s your linebacker. I want him on my team.”

On what it takes to win back-to-back U.S. Opens today:
“The golf game has changed. This is no longer about point A to point B. He’s a big strong hitter, not as long as Dustin Johnson and some of the others, but he’s strong out of the rough…. He hit a couple shots out of the rough and it was nothing but strength… Strength shows its face in so many different ways on the golf course. It’s not just about length, it’s about the rough, playing in tough conditions, playing in the wind, playing in the rain.”

Stu Holden and John Strong

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Sunday Afternoon, June 17

Today’s Results and Schedule (all times ET):

Today’s Top Story

This Afternoon’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas explains how questionable refereeing and aggressive play by Switzerland caused Neymar to be ineffective:

“The reason why he didn’t show up is because [the Swiss] tried to kill him tonight. That was a disgraceful performance by the referee and by Switzerland. This is one of the great players of the world. That’s not a reason to give him calls, but time and time again, every single time he gets the ball, he’s better than everybody on the field. He can take players on. He’s got the skill. He’s got the speed. The only way to stop him is to foul him.”

FOX Sports studio analyst Guus Hiddink thinks Brazil didn’t position Neymar properly during the game:

“I’m not blaming Neymar. I’d like to see [Brazil] position Neymar a little closer to the box. He doesn’t have to be the leader. He doesn’t have to be overcommitted. I thought he was a little overcommitted after being away for so long. The few times he’s near the box, going one-on-one, he was dangerous. But he has to fight from the midfield through three or four defenders. And I agree, the referee was too weak on this performance.”

Lalas on the referee not protecting Neymar today: 

“In the modern day, we have all this talk about protecting players, encouraging attacking players. Guus wants to see beauty. Guus wants to see dancing. I’m speaking as a defender. I get it. But even as a defender, I want to see The Beautiful Game. I want to see beautiful players. I want to protect them. He was not protected today. And he shouldn’t be protected because he has crazy hair or because he plays for Brazil. He should be protected because each and every time he took players on, he beat players, and the only way Switzerland could stop him was to foul him.”

Hiddink on what Brazil could have done differently during the game:

“You go for the players with the yellow [card] and go for another one. You have to be more streetwise and say hey, when someone has a yellow, then go for another one and attack him.”

FOX Sports lead game analyst Stu Holden assesses Brazil’s performance at the end of the game:

“It’s been sloppy from Brazil. At times we’ve seen them, that Brazilian flair, the passing, the one-two touches around the corner, but sloppy in possession at times. They switched off on the corner that they got punished for. They haven’t really gotten going in this second half. They’ve had good stretches, but they’ve haven’t carved out a real chance where you say they’re the better team.”

Holden on Switzerland’s success against Brazil:

“As much as we want to discount this performance from Brazil, we have to give the credit to Switzerland. This is a good team. The way that they work – they have a clear identity. They went down a goal. They fought back. They managed the second half very well with their possession, the movement, and the way they picked off Neymar.”

FOX Sports studio analyst and former Mexican National Team goalkeeper Moises Munoz was not impressed by the Swiss team:

“You say the Swiss are well organized, but it’s boring soccer. It’s not the soccer you want to see in the World Cup. It just gave them one point.”

FOX Sports lead play-by-play announcer John Strong on Coutinho’s goal for Brazil:

“It looked like the Swiss had at least momentarily stopped the danger. An absolute missile from Coutinho. His first career World Cup goal puts Brazil on the board.”

Holden on Coutinho’s first goal for Brazil:

“This is a beauty from Coutinho. We’ve seen him do this time after time for both Liverpool and then Barcelona, showing why they paid all that money for him earlier this year. Look at the bend on this. It starts out five yards outside the right post and just nestles into the far corner. Sommer with the courtesy dive, because he was never getting to that. What an absolute strike from Coutinho.”

Holden on Switzerland in the first half:

“They’ve responded well. The should have their manager very happy going into the half. Yes, they’re down a goal, but the way especially in the middle of the field, they’ve taken control not allowing Brazil to get out in transition. They’ve possessed the ball well. They’ve been moving it around. It might not create a clear-cut chance, but if they clean it up a little more in that final third. They’ve played their way back into this game very well.”

Hiddink was disappointed with Brazil’s performance in the first half:

“I’m disappointed by the approach to this game. They made this goal by a bad clear by the defense. But they didn’t create hardly any chances. Sometimes I have the impression they like to play just to enjoy themselves and they don’t know where to go. Switzerland doesn’t have any power, they won’t hurt them.”

Munoz on Switzerland’s appearance in the first half:

“Switzerland seems to be comfortable with this score. They seem to know a corner kick or a free kick can put them back with the equalizer.”

Holden on Steven Zuber scoring Switzerland’s first goal:

“It’s incredible how he finds this space in the box, because there are six Brazilian defenders and nobody attacks the ball. It’s almost as if everyone was waiting for the other man. You see it – Zuber just goes off the back here. He has the slightest of touches off the back of Miranda and he’s free six yards out, and heads it home with authority. It’s not a foul, it’s just the slightest of touches there. Miranda has to be stronger.”

Holden on if the contact by Zuber to get the goal was illegal:

“It was not enough of a push, especially in corners, you see it all the time – shirt pulling and pushing. There was clearly hands on the back. You see that from center backs all the time, on goal kicks, on the backs of attackers. And attackers don’t get that call. I’m completely ok with the ref keeping that one.”

Today’s Top Video:

Neymar is back, fit, and has a new haircut

Alexi Lalas has some thoughts on the refereeing in the Brazil vs. Switzerland match

Philippe Coutinho scores a beautiful curler to put Brazil up 1-0 on Switzerland

Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 8:00 AM – Sweden vs. Korea Republic (FS1 / Glenn Davis and Cobi Jones)
  • 11:00 AM – Belgium vs. Panama (FS1 / Mark Followill and Warren Barton)
  • 2:00 PM – Tunisia vs. England (FS1 / Derek Rae and Aly Wagner)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)

Argentina-Iceland FIFA World Cup™ Group Stage Match Sets Another Record for FOX

MOSCOW & NEW YORK – FOX Sports scored its most-watched match of the FIFA World Cup™ tournament, as Lionel Messi’s Argentina settled for a 1-1 Group Stage draw with Cinderella Iceland. The match delivered an average of 2,973,000 viewers on the FOX broadcast network according to Nielsen Media Research, making it the most-watched game of the tournament for FOX and FS1, and the most-watched English-language soccer telecast in the U.S. since 2016.

The match totaled 3,127,000 viewers across FOX and FOX Sports streaming services. Additional highlights from the David vs. Goliath match-up include:

  • The FOX telecast peaked at 4,061,000 viewers
  • The viewership average for Argentina-Iceland is up +59% from the 2010 Group Stage average, excluding U.S. matches
  • The viewership average for Argentina-Iceland is up +15% from the 2014 Group Stage average in preferable time slots and excluding U.S. matches
  • Through Match Day 3, 2018 FIFA World Cup™ games on FOX and FS1 are averaging 1,859,000 viewers, a +9% increase of the complete Group Stage average of the last four World Cups combined, excluding U.S. matches
  • FOX Sports social media platforms delivered their best day of the tournament, with 13.5 million total video views; FOX Sports on Twitter set a daily record for the third consecutive day

Argentina Iceland Viewership

Alexi Lalas

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Sunday Morning, June 17

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):

  •  Serbia def. Costa Rica, 1-0 (WATCH: 90 in 90 Costa Rica vs. Serbia)
  • Mexico def. Germany, 1-0 (WATCH: 90 in 90 Germany vs. Mexico)
  • 2:00 PM – Brazil vs. Switzerland
  • 4:00 PM – WORLD CUP TODAY (FS1)
  • 11:30 PM – PHENOMS: Ghana/Nigeria/Senegal (FS1)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)


Fernando Fiore, Kelly Smith, Moises Munoz and Grant Wahl discuss Messi’s missed penalty kick and his post-game reaction

“He just looks so frustrated,” Smith says. “He pulls the armband off – for me, this is not a captain; this is not a leader. He’s angry that they’ve draw the game, but he needs to carry his shoulders a little bit better.”

This Morning’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports lead studio host Rob Stone reacts to Mexico’s historic win:

“Maybe the biggest win in the proud, long history of this Mexican National Team.”

FOX Sports studio analyst and former Mexican National Team goalkeeper Moises Munoz adds:

“It just gives me goosebumps. You were expecting something from this game, but maybe a win was a little too far to go. After watching these guys play their hearts out on the field, it’s just rewarding. It’s something that lives with us, and I believe every Mexican who’s watching this game is so proud of these guys and what they just did on the field.”

FOX Sports lead studio analyst Alexi Lalas adds:

“Whether you support the Mexican National Team or not, you’ve got to respect what they did today.”

FOX Sports studio analyst and former international manager Guus Hiddink says Mexico set the tone early:

“It’s highly deserved by the Mexicans, because they didn’t draw back. From the first minute, they showed their intentions.”

Lalas says Mexico took advantage of Germany giving up space:

“Germany gave them all sorts of time and space. They saw it, they capitalized on it, and ultimately it was the goal that got them the win, but they were doing this time and time again. It could have been two- or three-nothing.”

Munoz said Mexico’s aggressive attitude led them to the win:

“They did exactly what Alexi said they had to do. They came out strong and just punched them right in the nose, right in the beginning. Very aggressive lineup – I’m really happy for Juan Carlos Osorio, and I’m really happy for the guys, because they took a lot of heat before the game.”

Hiddink says Germany looked complacent:

“I saw them playing, even in the last 15-20 minutes – where they normally make the equalizer or even win – I saw them rather complacent. They were playing at a low pace and at the end, they panicked.”

Lalas breaks down Mexico’s hot start and Hirving Lozano’s goal to put Mexico up, 1-0:

“Juan Carlos Osorio and this Mexico side came out, they punched them on the nose, and Germany had no idea what to do.

“They exploit the space, and Carlos Vela – all over the place. I know Chucky Lozano scored that goal, but Carlos Vela getting into space, Chicharito getting the ball – able to turn, look up, have a smoke, have a coffee and go.”

FOX Sports game analyst Tony Meola, who called Germany vs. Mexico, was pleasantly surprised by the Mexico team he saw today:

“I think it’s fair to say that they’re a different team today than we’ve seen over the last couple months.

“You would have never expected, from the last three or four games, that this is the product you would have seen on the field.”

Meola was impressed with Mexico’s first half:

“They don’t look rushed. They don’t look nervous. They’ve come out with an attitude that we have not seen over the last couple of months for this side.

“They’ve got a lot of work to do, but they’ve been impressive so far.”

Lalas says Mexico still has work to do:

“They still have games to play. I don’t fear Mexico playing better opposition – they play up to the opposition. If they think they are world conquerors just because they beat Germany in one game, that can be detrimental. Now they have to regroup and recognize they’ve still got a lot of work to do against two good teams.”

Lalas on why it is so hard for teams to repeat as World Cup champions:

“The reason why it’s so difficult to repeat is, especially in the modern game, teams will adjust. The world will adjust. The game will adjust.”

Meola thinks Juan Carlos Osorio’s lineup changes could be beneficial to Mexico as the team goes deeper into the World Cup:

“With all the injuries that they’ve had, maybe all that tinkering and the minutes that players have gotten over the last six months will come into play, because he’s going to have to use these players throughout this tournament if they’re going to make a run.”

Dellacamera on the raucous atmosphere inside Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium:

“You cannot hear the whistle here, high up in Luzhniki, the way the crowd has responded to these two teams today.”

Munoz says he doesn’t care what Mexico’s Carlos Vela does off the pitch, as long as he brings his best game on it:

“He’s a guy that only likes to play soccer. He doesn’t want to talk about soccer when he’s not on the pitch. He doesn’t like to watch soccer games. But I don’t really care. As long as he comes into the pitch and brings his game at his full potential, he’s going to be great for Mexico.”

Lalas discusses Mexico’s continually rotating lineup:

“Everybody has a different idea of what that best 11 is, including Juan Carlos Osorio. The last two years, he’s taken a lot of heat, as any Mexican National Team coach takes, because of his constant squad rotation.

“From that first minute, I want to see that Mexico is showing to the world and showing to us that they feel – more importantly that they deserve – to be there.”

Meola on Germany as a perpetual contender:

“The one thing you won’t get from Germany is any panic at all. They just continue to go about their way. They just continue re-tool and add another piece the puzzle and continue to develop players, continue to stay at the stop of the rankings.”

Lalas is cautious about the age of Costa Rica and CONCACAF overall:

“While they are wiser – it’s fine and well to see what you should be doing – it’s another thing to actually have your body react. This is something that is not just specific to Costa Rica, it’s specific to CONCACAF. CONCACAF has brought old teams.

“Any time you do that, the question is, is it the right balance? Do you have that experience, but do you also have the physical abilities to capitalize on that experience, or are you a bunch of old guys that are getting run past by the youth of this tournament?”

Play-by-play announcer Derek Rae and analyst Aly Wagner, who called Costa Rica vs. Serbia, react to Aleksander Lolarov’s goal off a free kick:

Rae: “That is beautiful! Breathtaking strike by Aleksandar Kolarov to give Serbia the sizzle in their first match of the World Cup in 2018.”

Wagner: “What a beauty that is. Up and over that near post; tucks it in. Keylor Navas – full stretch, can’t get anything on it. Could it be any more beautiful than that? What say you, Ronaldo?”

Wagner on why Serbia could make it out of Group E

“They’ve got the defensive solidarity, they’ve got the offensive attacking personalities.”

FOX Sports analyst Ian Wright says Lionel Messi needs to play like he wants to be the best:

“Ability is not enough. You have to have the work and the drive and determination to want to continue to prove you’re the best.

“This is a World Cup when you have to come to the table right off the bat.”

Today’s Top Videos:

Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 8:00 AM – Sweden vs. Korea Republic (FS1 / Glenn Davis and Cobi Jones)
  • 11:00 AM – Belgium vs. Panama (FS1 / Mark Followill and Warren Barton)
  • 2:00 PM – Tunisia vs. England (FS1 / Derek Rae and Aly Wagner)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)
Jorge Perez-Navarro and Mariano Trujillo

FIFA World Cup™ on FOX Programming Highlights: Saturday Evening, June 16

Today’s Schedule & Results (all times ET):

Today’s Top Story:

This Afternoon’s Top Quotes:

FOX Sports World Cup studio analyst and former Argentine striker Hernan Crespo on Hannes Halldórsson’s PK save for Iceland against Messi:

“He was focused. He felt where Messi was going to kick the ball. Both feet on the ground and he gets the impulse he needs. Both hands on the ball. Deflects it. Great save by Halldórsson.”

FOX Sports World Cup studio analyst Moises Munoz on what’s next for Messi after the disappointing performance today:

“There are more games to come. Messi is going to have a chance to vindicate himself. He’s a star. It’s going to go positive. He was frustrated after the game. I saw footage of Messi going back to the hotel after the game, and he was the only player who took pictures with the fans. So that’s talking about a star who knows where he is. He’s going to have to step up. He can do it. He’s the No. 2 player in the world. He’s going to do better.”

FOX Sports World Cup game analyst Cobi Jones on Croatia’s first goal vs. Nigeria:

“I know my former teammate Alexi Lalas likes to say it all the time: ‘Set pieces, set pieces.’ Well, this is a perfect acknowledgement of that. Set pieces for Croatia. The service is brilliant. It’s hard. It’s low. It’s at pace. It’s a double combination. It’s actually off Etebo’s back leg. Just a little bit of a touch, and no chance whatsoever for Uzoho.”

Jones on Croatia’s lead going into the first half:

“Overall, I look at these two sides and who’s played their game plan better: I’d say Croatia, because they’ve negated the speed and pace that Nigeria has.”

Rules Analyst Dr. Joe Machnik on the yellow card and the referee’s decision to award Croatia a penalty kick in the 71st minute:

“This is one of the problems that’s been in soccer for a long time. The holding, pulling and pushing in the penalty area, especially on corner kicks. It’s about time we see a referee make a call. Usually, the call goes against the attacking team, and the free kick comes out, and that’s the easy way. Lots of times the correct call is a penalty kick, and this referee has the guts to make it.”

Jones on the referee awarding the penalty kick against Nigeria:

“I have to agree with Dr. Joe. That’s an obvious penalty. You have both arms wrapped around the striker. You just can’t do that anymore.”

Jones on Modric’s PK, putting Croatia up, 2-0:

“When you’re the captain of your team, the expectations are there for you to step up at times when you’re needed, and here it is for Luka Modric. Calmly and collected, he steps up and eyes are down. He just slides that into the far post.”

Jones sums up how Croatia beat Nigeria:

“For Croatia, not the prettiest game. As you [play-by-play announcer Glenn Davis] said, ‘They’re not going to say they played a fabulous match’, but tactically, yes. They denied Nigeria from playing their counter-attacking game and using their speed and pace. They [Croatia] slowed the game down. They passed Nigeria into submission and took advantage of the set pieces and put themselves in pole position.”

Jones evaluates Nigeria’s game today:

“For Nigeria, there will be questions. With that youth on the team, why did they seem so subtle, so passive in their attack? Why were they giving off that energy and not being aggressive in their game?”

Munoz on Nigeria’s expectations after losing 2-0 to Croatia:

“We expected more from them. More speed. More agility. But they didn’t have enough. It’s a young team. Lack of experience. You can see that with the penalty. We’re expecting more from them.”


 Munoz on the Croatian team’s stars working together and how far they can go in the tournament:

“It’s going to be up the players, but definitely the head coach, Zlatko Dalic. He is going to need to make the four stars, four players – Modric, Rakitic, Perisic and Mandzukic – work together. It’s probably going to be their last World Cup together, so they have to work with the other teammates to go far. I think they can go to the quarterfinals.”

FOX Sports World Cup game analyst Mariano Trujillo on Denmark’s goal vs. Peru:

“What a counter attack. Finally, Denmark was able to stretch Peru in the middle of the field. They found space. Through-ball for Poulsen and nice control. Then, with the inside of the left foot, puts the ball on the inside of Gallese – he can’t stop the ball. This is painful, heartbreaking for the Peruvians because they were dominating the game. This is how you win games – d being effective inside the goal.”

FOX Sports lead World Cup studio analyst Alexi Lalas on Peru’s performance against Denmark today:

“This was a wonderful performance by Peru. The soccer gods didn’t smile on them, but they have absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they were a better team today. This is a team you want to watch going forward. At times, they spread themselves too thin going forward. Overall this was a wonderful performance.”

Watch (and Listen): Jorge Perez-Navarro’s call of Denmark’s goal vs. Peru

Munoz, a former Mexican National Team goalkeeper, on what Mexico needs to do vs. Germany tomorrow:

“Just like the coach said, they’re going to go no holds barred on Germany. I hope he plays Vela with Lozano on the right, and I don’t care who’s in front – if it’s Chicharito or Raul Jimenez, but I want to see Tecatito, also. With those guys, he’ll have a lot of guys going deep into Germany’s back. I would really love a present for Father’s Day – a Mexico win. I believe he has a lot of good players to rely on. Don’t forget about Guillermo Ochoa. Osorio is going to start Ochoa. He had a very good competition in the last World Cup, denying Brazil all the way. He’s a great team leader.”

Crespo on Mexico not worrying about Germany and focusing on the other two teams in the group:

“I think tomorrow’s not the game to win against Germany. I think it’ll be against South Korea and Sweden. Get points, it’s ok. But tomorrow’s not the game, it’s the next games.”

Lalas on Mexico playing up or down to its opponent’s skill:

“I think Mexico plays up to the opponent, so I’m not worried about Germany. Yes, it’s Germany, and they can beat anybody. The problem for Mexico is when they play other teams in this group that they think are perceived as inferior. That’s going to be a problem going forward for Mexico.”

This Afternoon’s Top Videos:

 Tomorrow’s Schedule (all times ET):

  • 8:00 AM – Costa Rica vs. Serbia (FOX)
  • 11:00 AM – Germany vs. Mexico (FS1)
  • 2:00 PM – Brazil vs. Switzerland (FS1)
  • 7:00 PM – FIFA WORLD CUP NOW (Twitter)
  • 12:00 AM – FIFA WORLD CUP TONIGHT (FOX / airs at midnight in all U.S. time zones)

FOX Sports Scores More than 3.2 Million Viewers for Spain-Portugal 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Group Stage Match

Thrilling Match is Most-Watched English Language Soccer Telecast in U.S. Since Euro 2016 Final
DIGITAL HIGHLIGHTS: FOX Sports Snap Publisher Stories Two-Day Total Hits 20 Million Views; @FOXSoccer on Twitter Sets Daily Record: 4 Million Views

MOSCOW & NEW YORK – The dramatic FIFA World Cup™ Group Stage battle between neighbors Spain and Portugal, powered by superstar Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat trick, delivered more than 3.2 million viewers across FOX Sports platforms on Friday.

According to Nielsen Media Research, the linear telecast on the FOX broadcast network delivered 2,924,000 viewers, peaking at 3,660,000 viewers from 3:30 to 3:45 PM ET. The average viewership number was up 13% from the 2014 Group Stage average, excluding U.S. matches, and up 57% from the 2010 average with the same exclusion.

The thrilling match, simulcast live in New York’s Times Square, is the most-watched English language soccer telecast in the United States since the Euro 2016 final between Portugal and France.

Through Match Day 2, the 2018 FIFA World Cup™ Russia is averaging 1,754,000 viewers across FOX and FS1, up 3% from the complete Group Stage average of the last four World Cups, excluding U.S. matches (1,704,000).

Portugal-Spain is the most-streamed match of the tournament to date, and a top-10 all-time performer across FOX Sports streaming platforms. The match scored an average-minute audience of 287,000, with 819,000 live unique streamers. Including VOD, the match reached 819,000 total unique viewers.

Uruguay-Egypt delivered 903,000 viewers across FOX TV and streaming sources with an early morning Eastern time zone start, followed by Iran-Morocco, which scored 1,695,000 average viewers.

FOX Sports’ diverse approach to the first truly digital FIFA World Cup™ delivered a strong return across multiple platforms and projects on Day 2 from Russia.

  • Social platforms drove nearly 20 million total video views and an additional 20 million Snap Publisher Story views across Days 1 and 2, setting a daily record on Twitter (@FOXSoccer) on Day 2.
  • 4.2 million unique visitors accessed FOX Sports digital platforms (inclusive of, FOX Sports GO, FOX Sports Mobile and FOX Now) on the second day of the FIFA World Cup™, up 77% compared to opening day.
  • On FOX Sports social media platforms:
    • FIFA World Cup™ content garnered 12.3 million views on: Facebook, Twitter, Snap, Instagram and YouTube (this includes preliminary YouTube views which are estimated at 4 million and expected to grow)
    • @FOXSoccer on Twitter set a daily record of 4 million views, more than doubling its previous best day (1.8 million; 2016 COPA Centenario tournament)
    • Snap delivered another 886K unique users to their Publisher Stories, garnering 9.3 million total views on Day 2

Sources: Adobe Analytics for Live streaming and FOX Sports O&O digital audience metrics; for Highlights Machine; Social Media: Twitter Insights, YouTube Analytics, Nielsen Social, Snap Data Analytics; App download data: Itunes Connect, Google Play, Windows, Amazon, Roku

Shane Bacon and Brad Faxon at the 118th U.S. Open at Shinnecock Hills Golf Club

2018 U.S. Open on FOX Outpaces 2017 Championship through First Two Rounds of Coverage

SOUTHAMPTON, NY – Second round coverage of the 2018 U.S. Open Championship outperformed 2017’s contest, averaging 1,573,072 viewers on FOX, FS1 and FOX Sports Digital Platforms combined. Yesterday’s combined number is +7% greater than 2017’s Friday showing (vs. 1,473,111 viewers).

The FOX broadcast network posted a 1.5/4 household rating/share with 2,090,000 viewers according to fast national figures by Nielsen Media Research, +9% better than last year’s average audience figure (1,920,000 viewers; 1.3 HH RTG). Friday’s second round coverage on the FOX broadcast network is the most-watched non-primetime second round coverage of the U.S. Open since 2013.

Earlier in the day, FS1’s coverage of the U.S. Open which began at 9:30 AM ET, earned a 1.33 (coverage rating) with 1,303,000 viewers, a figure that is +5% better than last year’s average audience of 1,244,000 viewers. Friday’s coverage on FS1 is the network’s best performance for the second round of the U.S. Open since 2015.

FOX Sports Digital Platforms delivered an average minute audience of 34,072 on FOX Sports live streaming, up +30% from last year’s second round (vs. 26,111).

Through two rounds of coverage, the 2018 U.S. Open is averaging 1,506,381 viewers on FOX, FS1 and FOX Sports Digital Platforms, a +13% gain over last year’s average audience delivery (vs. 1,328,238 viewers).