To find the Americans’ match against Nicaragua in the Group B finale, starting at 7 p.m. from Cleveland’s FirstEnergy Stadium, you’ll have to locate FXX, which is part of the family of Fox channels in cable or satellite packages. (FXX does have a soccer history; until September 2013, it was Fox Soccer.)
What appears to be a broadcast snub — Fox is kicking the U.S. match into channel oblivion? Outrageous! — is actually a better setup than appearing on FS2 and almost as good as FS1. FXX is available in about 80 million homes, FS1 around 85 million and FS2 approximately 50 million.
The challenge for Fox is making viewers aware of a soccer game on a nontraditional soccer — and sports — channel. And the challenge for U.S. supporters is finding FXX.
This will help:
Verizon 191, 691
AT&T 128, 1128
These, of course, are the English language platforms. Spanish coverage is available on standard outlets: Univision and Univision Deportes.
Live streams: Fox Sports Go, Fox Soccer Match Pass (formerly foxsoccer2go.com), Univision Now, Univision Deportes en Vivo, fuboTV and univisiondeportes.com.
>> The Americans are atop the four-team table, besting Panama on the second tiebreaker (goals scored, 4-3). By the time Bruce Arena’s squad takes the field, it will know what is needed to clinch first place. That’s because Panama faces Martinique in the first match in Cleveland, starting at 4:30 p.m. (FS2, Univision).
Regardless of whether the Americans finish first or second, they’ll play a quarterfinal Wednesday in Philadelphia. The first-place team will match up with a third-place finisher from Group A or C, while the second-place side will face the Group A winner (Canada, Costa Rica or Honduras).
On the second match day in Group C, Mexico and Jamaica played to a 0-0 draw before 49,121 in Denver, leaving the sides tied for first with four points apiece. (Mexico leads on total goals and will face last-place Curacao on Sunday.) El Salvador enhanced its chances of advancing by defeating Curacao, 2-0, on first-half goals three minutes apart by Gerson Mayen and Rodolfo Zelaya.
>> CONCACAF awarded a 3-0 forfeit victory to Honduras over French Guiana, which fielded an ineligible player (Florent Malouda) in the match between the teams Tuesday. The disciplinary committee also fined the French Guiana Football League an undisclosed amount and suspended Malouda, a former French international, for two official matches.
>> NBC Sports has set the Premier League schedule for opening weekend:
Aug. 11: Arsenal vs. Leicester City NBCSN
Aug. 12: Watford vs. Liverpool NBCSN
Aug. 12: Chelsea vs. Burnley NBCSN
Aug. 12: Everton vs. Stoke City CNBC
Aug. 12: Brighton vs. Manchester City NBC
Aug. 13: Newcastle vs. Tottenham Hotspur NBCSN
Aug. 13: Manchester United vs. West Ham NBCSN
The other three matches are available exclusively on a new pay platform, NBC Sports Gold. For $49.99, viewers gain access to 130 non-TV matches during the season. This replaces NBC Sports Extra Time, a bonus service.
>> Bradley Wright-Phillips scored in the 87th minute as the New York Red Bulls defeated the 10-man New England Revolution, 1-0, in the U.S. Open Cup quarterfinals at Harvard University. The Red Bulls will face the NASL’s Miami FC or USL’s FC Cincinnati Aug. 8 or 9. The other semifinal will pit the San Jose Earthquakes and Sporting Kansas City.
The U.S. Soccer Federation will conduct the semifinal and final draw Friday at 11 a.m. ET to determine pairings and venues. A live stream of the draw is available on ussoccer.com and the USSF’s Facebook page.
>> Ticket sales for the Barcelona-Manchester United match at Landover’s FedEx Field on July 26 are nearing 70,000, a spokesman for the International Champions Cup told the Insider. Capacity is around 82,000. Remaining tickets range between $65 and $360.
>> In the National Women’s Soccer League, the Washington Spirit has lost leading scorer Francisca Ordega for at least six weeks with a right knee injury that will require surgery. The Nigerian international has recorded four goals and three assists for the Spirit (3-6-3), which will visit the Houston Dash (4-7-2) on Saturday night. Meantime, forward Cali Farquharson has been cleared to return to match action after missing more than 10 months with an ACL tear.
>> In his first match since rejoining Everton, Wayne Rooney scored this sensational goal against Gor Mahia in Tanzania: