WAS THAT A 'GOAL'?

To a Univision viewer, it sounded like the most exciting 22 seconds of the year.

Unheralded Costa Rica is playing Scotland in a World Cup match in Genoa, Italy. Juan Cayasso receives a pass inside the penalty box.

Seventy miles south of Los Angeles, Univision announcer Andres Cantor makes the call:

"Cayasso, Cayasso, Cayasso, Gol! (pause) Goooooooooooooollllllllll! De Costa Rica Juan Cayasso! Gooooolllll! De Costa Rica el primero en el mundial de Italia para historia . . . Cayasso! Costa Rica uno, Escocia cero!"

The length of that first goal call (4.15 seconds) last week was a world record. The second ties the American record. Welcome to the World Cup on Spanish television.

With so many games, Cantor and analyst Norberto Longo are not at the stadiums, or even in Italy. They're sitting in a studio in Laguna Niguel, Calif., watching on a monitor.

For the first time since it started televising the Cup in 1970, Univision is not showing every game, which prompted hundreds of calls from many of the six million U.S. Hispanic households. Nonetheless, the first of its 33 scheduled broadcasts, between Argentina and Cameroon on a Friday afternoon, received a 35 rating (2.3 million viewers).

"People who never have seen us always seem to find us for the World Cup," said Univision's Cup coordinator, Mal Karwoski.

ADIOS, JT?

No one wants John Thompson out of the Big East more than a rabid Syracuse fan. Now, thanks to a New York radio station, Orange boosters can help with Thompson's departure.

WKFM-FM-104.7 in Fulton started the "John Thompson Fund" to pay for Thompson's possible moving expenses to Denver. In exchange for a pledge of $10.47, fans receive two tickets to a Syracuse game. If Thompson stays, the money will be donated to the Kidney Foundation.