Every World Cup, we ask the same question in our editorial meeting - has soccer finally turned the corner and become mainstream here in the U.S.? Well, if you go by the television ratings, the answer this year is a definite maybe. And for more on this, we turn to Brian Steinberg. He's the senior TV editor at Variety and he's been tracking the ratings. Welcome to the program once again.
BRIAN STEINBERG: Thank you very much.
SIEGEL: What numbers jump out at you in the first few days of the World Cup?
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Let's check in, now, on one of the biggest sporting events in the world, the FIFA World Cup soccer tournament. After Monday's USA-Ghana match, the U.S. has reason to celebrate because 21-year-old defender John Brooks Jr. scored the goal that put the Americans up 2-to-1 in their victory over Ghana. Here he is after the game.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'd like to start the program today by going back to a story that millions of people around the world watched with equal parts fascination and, I think, disgust. Twenty years ago today, television viewers around the world were focused on the image of a phalanx of police cars chasing a white Ford Bronco through south Los Angeles. Los Angeles police commander at the time, David Gascon, announced that former star football player, O.J. Simpson, was a fugitive.
Hall of Fame baseballer Tony Gwynn has died. Gwynn, nicknamed "Mr. Padre," played for the San Diego Padre for 20 years and was considered by some to be the league's greatest hitter since Ted Williams. Richard Justice of MLB.com comments on Gwynn's legacy.
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It's day five of the World Cup in Brazil. But it's the most important day for the U.S. men's soccer team — it's game day.
Tonight at 6 p.m. ET, the U.S. opens World Cup play squaring off against Ghana in the seaside city of Natal. The tiny African country is not particularly a soccer powerhouse. But Ghana has vexed the U.S. — eliminating the team from the past two World Cups.