June 19, 2015 |
WHEN MANDATORY minicamp - the last Eagles team activity before training camp next month - concludes today, lots of players will take off for exotic vacation destinations. Tight end Zach Ertz is heading for Edmonton. The one in Alberta. Former home of Wayne Gretzky. Gateway to the North. Home of the West Edmonton Mall. Edmonton also is the site of Monday's next World Cup match for the U.S. women's team, which features Ertz' girlfriend, Julie Johnston. Johnston is a 23-year-old defender who captained the U.S. Under-20 team to the 2012 World Cup title.
June 12, 2015 |
IF YOU WANT to be a cynic, you can look back at what the United States men's soccer team has done in Europe over the past week and diminish things by saying, "Oh, they were just friendlies. " True, a friendly is not the same as a World Cup match, but teams do not schedule friendlies just for the fun of it. They always have a purpose and teams always want to win. Keeping things in their proper context, the United States' 4-3 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam last Friday and a 2-1 win over world champion Germany in Cologne on Wednesday are remarkable achievements, especially as the team prepares for the CONCACAF Gold Cup Tournament this summer, with the championship game at Lincoln Financial Field on July 26. Team USA beat the Dutch for the first time ever and beat Germany in Germany for the first time.
October 29, 2014 |
THIS IS THE GAME that really matters. While the United States undoubtedly wants to win the CONCACAF women's championship tournament that concludes this weekend at PPL Park, its primary goal in this competition is to earn a berth into the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup next summer in Canada. To guarantee that, all Team USA must do is beat archrival Mexico in tonight's semifinal and advance to Sunday's championship match. Trinidad & Tobago will attempt to make history as the first Caribbean nation to qualify for a Women's World Cup when it plays Costa Rica today.
September 12, 2014 |
ANNAPOLIS, Md. - The irony of Dawn Staley being, as Connecticut and U.S. women's basketball coach Geno Auriemma said, "one of the best young coaches in the world," is that had the Philadelphia hoops icon followed her original post-playing career plans, she would not be an assistant on the 2014 U.S. Women's World Championship team or the head coach at South Carolina. In 2000, as her WNBA career was winding down, Staley contemplated a move into broadcasting or a front-office position with a team as the next phase of her basketball journey.
August 6, 2014 |
CONSIDERING the millions of guaranteed dollars they invest in players, I can certainly understand why the Dallas Mavericks' Mark Cuban and other NBA owners might want more say in their players' involvement in international competitions like the upcoming FIBA World Cup of Basketball. After Indiana Pacers All-Star Paul George broke his right leg while practicing with Team USA this weekend, how could an owner not cringe at the thought of a franchise player going down for a tournament that many feel does little to help the NBA?
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 |
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 |
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 |
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.