USA goalkeeper Tim Howard has been ruled OK for Friday's suddenly crucial match with group-leader Slovenia.
Meanwhile, Sounders FC has passed along this note on World Cup viewership:
U.S.-England: Most-Watched FIFA World Cup First-Round Match and Most-Viewed United States Match Since 19947.3 Rating for Two-Hour Match Window; 108% Increase in Viewers Through Five World Cup Matches on ESPN/ABC Saturday’s highly anticipated United States-England match on ABC -- which ended in a 1-1 tie – is the most-watched FIFA World Cup first-round match among households and viewers, and the most-viewed United States Men’s National Team game since 1994. The two-hour match window (2:30-4:30 p.m. ET) averaged a 7.3 household rating, 8,391,000 households, and 12,956,000 viewers, based on fast nationals. The three-hour telecast (1:30-4:30 p.m.) -- including one-hour of pre-match coverage – delivered a 6.1 household rating, 7,034,000 households, and 10,763,000 viewers. The overall three-hour telecast ranks fifth all-time behind three World Cup finals (including the 1999 Women’s World Cup Final) and a round of 16 game (U.S.-Brazil) in 1994, all televised on ABC. Through five matches, ESPN and ABC are averaging 3,427,000 households and 4,937,000 viewers -- up 95% and 108%, respectively, versus the first five games of the 2006 World Cup (1,754,000 households and 2,379,000 viewers in '06). ESPN's most-watched game so far is Saturday's Argentina-Nigeria matchup – a 2.8 household coverage rating, 2,820,000 households, and 3,725,000 viewers. (Note: Ratings and viewership numbers are based on the specific-two hour match windows, not including pre-match studio coverage.) “The 2010 FIFA World Cup is off to a tremendous start for ESPN,” said John Skipper, ESPN executive vice president, content. “Strong viewership on television and other platforms – including the best first round rating in 16 years – and the overwhelmingly positive reaction we are receiving from fans demonstrate the enormous popularity of this global sports event and how ESPN is uniquely positioned to cover it.” ESPN Digital: 34.5 million page views on ESPN.com; more than one million hours consumed on ESPN3.comWorld Cup content on ESPN.com -- including ESPNSoccernet.com and ESPNDeportes.com – delivered 9.5 million visits and 34.5 million page views over the first two days of the tournament (Fri./Sat.). Users have spent an average of 10 minutes per visit engaging with World Cup content. Also, ESPN.com's front page, which prominently featured World Cup news, video and scores, saw 19.0 million visits and 41.3 million page views on Friday and Saturday. More than 729,000 video views came from World Cup highlights, news and analysis content on ESPN.com. ESPN's mobile offerings (ESPN Mobile Web, ESPN 2010 FIFA World Cup App, ESPN ScoreCenter App) generated 8.2 million visits and 50.4 million page views to World Cup content over the first 2 days of the event. Mobile platforms also generated 555,000 video views in those two days. Since Thursday, fans have consumed more than one million hours of World Cup content on ESPN3.com, ESPN’s signature broadband network, which is available in 50 million homes. ESPN3.com viewers are also averaging 51 minutes per match on ESPN3.com, generating 61.2 million minutes of viewing. Top 5 Most-Viewed FIFA World Cup Telecasts (1994-present):U.S.-China, Women’s WC Final (ABC, 7/10/99) – 18.0 million viewers (11.4 rating) Brazil-Italy, WC Final (ABC, 7/17/94) – 14.5 (9.5 rating) Brazil-U.S., Rd of 16 (ABC, 7/4/94) – 13.7 (9.3 rating) Italy-France, WC Final (ABC, 7/9/06) – 12.0 (7.0 rating) U.S.-England, First Rd (ABC, 6/12/10) – 10.8 (6.1 rating) *