Tag Archives: Brazil

Soccer Roundup (9/16/2012): The Weekly Boot

Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. Graham Zusi (pictured above) was one of the key contributors in the victory over Jamaica this past Tuesday.

By Ben Liebing

When ESPN’s British commentator Ian Darke hailed the U.S. Men’s team by saying their first half play “was verging on brilliant,” I knew that I wasn’t just a blindly elated fan.

This week, on September 11th itself, the men’s soccer team took the field in Columbus, Ohio to play their second World Cup qualifying match in as many weeks. Having lost to Jamaica in Kingston (for the first time ever), just the week before, there was a lot of that “must win” talk circling the TV waves during the usual pre-game formalities.

I was skeptical. Every fan that pays much attention to U.S. soccer learns to live with a certain level of anxiety. It doesn’t matter if we’re playing Brazil in a final or the island dot called Barbados in a qualifier – for every match in recent memory, you’re just never sure what kind of American team is going to show up. Sometimes they’re great, other times they look like a junior high team trying to keep up with the varsity boys in practice. Continue reading

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Olympic Men’s Basketball: Medal Round Preview

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will LeBron James (pictured above) lead Team USA to gold? Our very own Nick Craddock weighs in.

By Nick Craddock

The preliminary round of the London 2012 edition of the men’s basketball competition concluded Monday and we’ve learned (or merely confirmed) that the United States, which is escaping the group stage unscathed, is still the team to beat for the gold medal.

After the United States, the question of which team poses the biggest threat to the heavy favorites remains unclear. While the aforementioned question does not yield a definitive answer, what is clear heading into the medal round, which begins Wednesday, is that a handful of teams from the chasing pack can challenge LeBron James and Co. on a great day for American opponents or a bad day for the Americans when it comes to their own execution.

In a single-elimination format, anything could happen for these teams still vying for Olympic success: Continue reading

United States break Canadian hearts in women’s soccer thriller

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Alex Morgan (pictured above) saved the day sending the United States to the gold medal game and breaking the hearts of Canada.

By Nick Craddock

The United States women’s national team can’t help but thrive on late-game heroics, apparently.

Continuing in the same form as the string of heart-stopping games from last summer’s women’s World Cup, the U.S. defeated Canada 4-3 in extra time in an instant classic at Old Trafford to advance to face Japan in the gold medal game.

Perhaps this was the only fitting conclusion to a game where in order for the top-ranked U.S. to avenge a heartbreaking loss on penalty kicks to Japan in last summer’s World Cup final, the Americans had to deliver a heartbreaking loss to Canada, ahead three times in this game, only to squander the lead three times in this game before finally succumbing to an Alex Morgan header in the 123rd minute, seconds removed from penalty kicks. Continue reading

Olympic potpourri: Half way to the London 2012 finish line

Image courtesy of olympic.org. Over a week of London 2012 is in the books.

By Nick Craddock

The London 2012 Olympics are already in their second weekend and with the Games at their midpoint, here are some pressing questions you might be asking yourself.

1. Is Michael Phelps the greatest Olympian ever?

Of all the questions posited here, this one is clearly a rhetorical question with absolutely no debate whatsoever. Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympian ever. Period. With 22 medals, 18 of them gold, Phelps has dominated the pool across a variety of stroke disciplines and distances.

Frankly, to think that Phelps winning four gold medals and two silver medals at a single Olympics can be considered a relatively so-so performance given his previous accomplishments, speaks volumes as to how accustomed we’ve become to his near perfection in the water.

A week ago, Phelps seemed out of sorts after a disappointing 400-meter individual medley race, but ever since he set the record for the most medals won by an Olympian midweek, his grin has seemed to grow larger each day and, more importantly, enjoying himself and his races.

Enjoy the well-deserved rest, Mr. Phelps. Your career will certainly be remembered as the best the Olympics has seen to date. Continue reading

Deschamps the natural choice to lead France

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Will Didier Deschamps (pictured above) be able to restore order with French soccer?

By Nick Craddock

The French football team has found itself in what is becoming a familiar predicament: In shambles following a major tournament.

Enter former national team hero, Didier Deschamps, introduced as the manager of France over the weekend to salvage the national side from the guillotine of the soccer world’s critics and naysayers. The only man capable of doing so.

Deschamps, captain of France’s 1998 World Cup and Euro 2000 championship-winning teams, was the natural choice — the only choice — to lead France back to respectability following another disappointing major tournament, this time at Euro 2012. As a result, Deschamps’ former national teammate Laurent Blanc took the fall for the team’s poor performance and stepped down as the France manager. Continue reading

Hope provides a glimmer of hope

Photo courtesy of pauloccamacho.wordpress.com.

By Josh Kramer

I never thought that I would see the day where a quarterfinal women’s soccer game got the entire country excited.  A finals match sure.  But a quarterfinal?  Well believe it, because today’s match was arguably the greatest soccer match I have ever had the pleasure to witness.  The majority of Americans would agree.

The American women were down and out.  They were down to 10 players.  They were going up against Marta, the best women’s soccer player in the world, and an extremely talented Brazilian team that had knocked them out 4 years ago.  It was stoppage time.  And somehow, the American women, led by Abby Wambach and Hope Solo never lost “hope.”  Ever heard the expression “Only in America.”  Well today, though the match was all the way over in Germany, it seemed to be one of those “Only in America” type of moments. Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 7-4-2011

Photo courtesy of loop48.com. Joey Chestnut (pictured above) looks to win his 5th consecutive Nathan's Famous International Hot Dog Eating Contest today.

By Josh Kramer

Happy 4th of July to all of you. It is time for another big week in the sporting world.  What should you be watching for?  What should you be in the known about?  Have no fear, because the “Weekly Nickel” is here.

The following are the top five sporting events for the week ahead.

5.  At least the NHL is having some positive action.  Despite the current lockouts in two of the four major professional sports leagues in the United States, at least the NHL is still doing its normal thing.  Lots of action in the past couple of days.  And do not expect that action to stop.  Brad Richards signed with the Rangers for 9 years and 60 million dollars.  Goalkeeper, Tomas Vokoun is now a Washington Capital.  And of course one of the greats of all time, Jaromir Jagr is returning to the NHL for one last go around. Continue reading