By Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer Published Feb 15, 2007 at 1:44 PM

I've talked about it before, but watching TV last night reminded of how great it is to see soccer on free TV in Milwaukee. Maybe because I like soccer, don't have cable and live in Milwaukee.

I've been watching weekend games on Saturday and Sunday afternoons on Telemundo (63) for a long time now and I like that you never really know what you'll get. Usually it's a Mexican league game, but sometimes it's an international friendly, usually with at least one Latin American team. But occasionally I see Scandanavian matches, Bundesliga matches and when I see a Serie A match I feel like I scratched off a winning lottery ticket.

Lately, I've managed to catch two programs on the America One network (7): Global Football, which is a weekly wrap of international soccer, and the more baffling Charlton Athletic show on Wednesday evenings.

The latter follows the ups and downs of one team in England's Premier League (for now; the Addicks are second from the bottom and doomed to The Football League Championship if they don't win six more).

Despite not being a Charlton fan (although the friend of a friend is a rabid one), it's interesting to watch the games -- sometimes in their entirety, it seems, but most often not -- as well as the quirky behind the scenes programming, like the manager Alan Pardew offering a behind the scenes tour, including a look into the showers.

Now I've stumbled upon channel 38 Azteca America, owned by Mexico's TV Azteca. Of course, it's in Spanish and a little lower budget than Telemundo, which means the telenovelas are even more astonishing (women in blue wigs and puffy dresses in farm fields the other day, for example). Last night I watched Veracruz get walloped 5-0 by Monarcas, between inexplicable and painfully long stretches of dead air.

But the down time was handy as it allowed me to check up on what's going on in the training room at Charlton.

Maybe Univision will get back onto the airwaves here and give me more free futbol, too!

Perhaps this is all just further proof that soccer fans in Milwaukee need a damned team already.

Bobby Tanzilo Senior Editor/Writer

Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., where he lived until he was 17, Bobby received his BA-Mass Communications from UWM in 1989 and has lived in Walker's Point, Bay View, Enderis Park, South Milwaukee and on the East Side.

He has published three non-fiction books in Italy – including one about an event in Milwaukee history, which was published in the U.S. in autumn 2010. Four more books, all about Milwaukee, have been published by The History Press.

With his most recent band, The Yell Leaders, Bobby released four LPs and had a songs featured in episodes of TV's "Party of Five" and "Dawson's Creek," and films in Japan, South America and the U.S. The Yell Leaders were named the best unsigned band in their region by VH-1 as part of its Rock Across America 1998 Tour. Most recently, the band contributed tracks to a UK vinyl/CD tribute to the Redskins and collaborated on a track with Italian novelist Enrico Remmert.

He's produced three installments of the "OMCD" series of local music compilations for and in 2007 produced a CD of Italian music and poetry.

In 2005, he was awarded the City of Asti's (Italy) Journalism Prize for his work focusing on that area. He has also won awards from the Milwaukee Press Club.

He can be heard weekly on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee talking about his "Urban Spelunking" series of stories.