July 20, 2014 |
LAS VEGAS - Nerlens Noel is learning that life in the NBA will involve bumps and bruises in the early going. That's why the 76ers center's goal is to get stronger before his inaugural season. The next step "is being right in the weight room and eating a lot of food," said Noel, who sat out Friday night's 91-87 overtime loss to the NBA Development League Squad at Cox Pavilion. "I'm getting ready for the league. " The Sixers finished with a 2-4 record after losing the NBA Summer League consolation game.
July 3, 2014 |
Going into the U.S.- Belgium soccer game Tuesday, social-media spies sorting tens of millions of Facebook, Twitter, and other posts for SAP AG found that the American team, led by goaltender Tim Howard , was viewed more positively than negatively. Several of the Belgians attracted more social haters than lovers, especially midfielder Marouane Fellaini , even though he scored a goal for Belgium against Algeria. Are American fans less critical? No. U.S. players got negative ratings last week, when Portugal tied the team in the last minutes, says SAP's Evan Welsh . But the American starters won back fans just by surviving the "Group of Death" to advance and face Belgium, said Welsh.
July 3, 2014 |
CHRIS WONDOLOWSKI will undoubtedly have a recurring nightmare. Ever since he started kicking a soccer ball, he probably dreamed of a moment like this - every kid does. It's the closing moments of a World Cup elimination game and a game-winning opportunity is gifted to your foot. In your dream, you are perfect. You do everything right and slam the ball into the back of the net. Reality wasn't as kind. Wondolowski was far from perfect on his attempt in the closing moments of the United States Round of 16 loss to Belgium yesterday in Salvador, Brazil.
July 3, 2014 |
The commentator called it "another World Cup match absolutely dripping in drama. " And at Commerce Square in Philadelphia, the drama was flowing as fans came together to cheer on Team USA. The stone courtyard at 20th and Market Streets transformed into a stadium Tuesday, filled with fans whose chants echoed off the two buildings nearby. People in suits having outdoor meetings conveniently during the match, college students, and families packed themselves in for the United States-Belgium showdown, which ended in a heartbreaking 2-1 loss for Team USA. Keith Barry, 26, of Philadelphia, was shaking from nerves.
June 27, 2014 |
THE EXTREME CYNICS out there will say the United States sneaked in through the back door into the round of 16 of the 2014 World Cup. Those new to the sport might have been a bit confused by the celebrations that the USA's 1-0 loss to Germany yesterday generated among the American faithful - thousands who traveled to Brazil and millions who watched on television. Group play in a World Cup isn't about any single game. It is about a collective effort over the course of three matches.
June 24, 2014 |
THERE ARE two realities to contemplate after the United States' tension-packed, 2-2 draw with Portugal yesterday in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. The first is that Team USA was seconds away from an historic World Cup victory when one of the best players in the world made a play that only best players in the world can make. The service that Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo delivered on the last-gasp header by Silvestre Varela was a masterful moment of brilliance. The glass-half-empty view is that the Americans blew the opportunity to clinch a spot in the round of 16 and now must get some kind of positive result in their final Group G match against Germany on Thursday or risk not advancing at all. But then there is the other reality - the one that has the glass half-full and acknowledges that the U.S. team is in exactly the position it had hoped it would be going into that final match with Germany.
June 18, 2014 |
When John Brooks headed in the winning goal in the 86th minute of the U.S. team's 2-1 win over Ghana at the World Cup, Fadó Irish Pub on the corner of 15th and Locust Streets became a blur of red, white, and blue. The bar was packed to its fire-code limit, yet people still found room to leap into the air, high-fiving and hugging. Three years ago, Greg Hutelmyer, Julian Brown, and Sean Figgins wouldn't have believed the scene at the bar. Then, the Philadelphia chapter of the American Outlaws - the support group for United States soccer - was dormant.
June 18, 2014
IN THE DAYS leading up to the 2014 World Cup, United States midfielder Michael Bradley had talked about his team needing to suffer to get the positive results the players desired. Advancing out of Group G, one designated as a so-called Group of Death because of the presence of Germany, Portugal and Ghana, was always going to require an extraordinary effort for Team USA - an effort that would demand a push to the limits and then beyond. The United States national team suffered last night in the Brazil city of Natal in its World Cup opener.
May 14, 2014 |
THIS IS NOT the final passenger list. It's more like the 30 guys who got called to the gate to see whether their names will be selected off the standby list. Some guys have no doubts they will be in first class, others are pretty sure they are booked for coach, and about five to seven will be sweating bullets for a little bit longer, while USA national team coach Jurgen Klinsmann determines who will make the final 23-man World Cup roster that must be submitted to FIFA by June 2. For now, however, being among the 30 players invited to the pre-World Cup Camp that begins tomorrow at Stanford University means you still have a shot at making the roster for the trip to Brazil and the 2014 World Cup. That will make for an interesting stay in Palo Alto, Calif., as there is time for players to perform their way onto and off the USA final roster.
March 23, 2014 |
Ken Hitchcock coaches the NHL's best team, the St. Louis Blues, but he is leery of his surging opponent in Saturday's matinee at the Wells Fargo Center. To Hitchcock, the Flyers are going to be an ultra-dangerous team when the playoffs roll around. "If I was in the East, I'd be really nervous to play them," Hitchcock, who coached the Flyers for three-plus seasons before being fired early in 2006-07, said in a phone interview from St. Louis on Friday. "They look like a team right now that not only has a lot of resolve, but they are fully committed to checking - and that's the coach who has gotten that out of them.