Frequent contributor Jon Marthaler has written about virtually every sport in the Twin Cities, and fills in on Saturdays for the RandBall blog on StarTribune.com. He'll cover the professional soccer scene in the Twin Cities, whether at the Metrodome or at the National Sports Center.
Email Jon to talk about soccer.
The North American Soccer League finally announced the details of their video subscription package for 2014. It'll cost you $5 for a 30-day pass or $30 for the full season, and you will be allowed to sign up for a 10-day free trial in April.
As I said when this news first came out, this seems remarkably steep. The corresponding package for MLS is $65 for the season, for more than twice as many games, and the MLS broadcasts are professionally done; a few of the NASL broadcasts have been an insult to the word "amateurish" in the past. Here's hoping the league will make an effort to improve the broadcast quality this year, especially given this new revenue stream.
That said, if you live in the local area, all of United's home games will be on TV this year - and between the 10-day free trial and the 30-day subscription, it is possible to see every road game for less than the full $30 cost.
Overall, though, I'm sticking with what I originally said when this plan came out. Following a second-division soccer team is hard enough already; being able to watch league games online for free was the only thing that made it easier. The league is taking that ability away, and I don't quite understand it.
Two Minnesotans continue run with U-18 squad
Local standouts Mukwelle Akale and Jackson Yueill are once again part of the United States under-18 setup, with both part of the squad for a training camp in California that includes friendlies against Canada and Mexico.
Akale and Yueill, both midfielders, were also part of the team for February's Copa Atlantico in the Canary Islands. Akale was named the standout player of that tournament, despite the USA losing all three matches by a single goal. The midfielder played all 90 minutes in all three matches; Yueill started one match, and came on as a substitute for the final half-hour in the other two.
Both Akale and Yueill just had their 17th birthdays, and they're among the next crop of rising American players. US Soccer posted short video interviews with both on YouTube; here is Akale's, and here is Yueill's.
Also in the squad is young Jonathan Klinsmann, son of national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann. While his father was once one of the best strikers in the world, young Jonathan - no doubt rebelling against his father - is a goalkeeper.
NOTE: The first version of this post included information about a Sunday event. That event has been canceled. Apologies.
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