world cup


V.23 No.32 | 8/7/2014
L to R: Sol FC GM Larry Espinoza, Carlos Bracamontes, Carlos Valderrama and Sol FC president Ron Patel
Michael Sanchez

sports

International Legends Cup Is Coming to Albuquerque

… If they can find somewhere to play

Sol FC’s all set to bring World Cup players to Albuquerque in the International Legends Cup—just as soon as they nail down a venue.
V.23 No.28 | 7/10/2014

news

The Daily Word in celebrity deaths, Germanic sport victories and amazing saucepans.

The Daily Word

Germany won the World Cup.

Rest in peace, Tommy Ramone.

Rest in peace, Charlie Haden.

Rest in peace, David Legeno.

Bowe Bergdahl returns to duty.

An inflatable pool could save your life in a scooter accident.

In restaurants, your phone slows down service.

Why do we refrigerate eggs?

The world’s tallest girl … “walked into a ceiling fan.”

Brace yourself for some scary photos.

Making a better saucepan actually is rocket science.

Terrorists: they’re out to get us.

American Idol auditions in Old Town.

Albuquerque could lose Amtrak.

APD filmed Ken Ellis on accident.

What’s happening in Albuquerque today?

I saw you, weirdo.

Happy birthday, Gerald Ford.

Sports

Why the US Can, Should and Someday Will Be a Soccer Powerhouse (Maybe)

Hosho McCreesh and M. Scott Meier daydream about a day when US Soccer comes into its own. And also about Muhammad Ali.
V.22 No.37 | 9/12/2013

sports

Team USA Qualifies for 2014 World Cup

On Tuesday night, Team America beat Mexico in Columbus, Ohio 2-0 and, later in the evening, when Honduras refused to hold on and beat Panama, tying 2-2 on a goal in stoppage time, ensuring that Team USA secured a qualifying spot in the World Cup.

The Americans had lost their last game, against Costa Rica, on Friday night. They were whooped, 1-3, and they lost the mental edge of having the longest win streak in the world, at 12. Moreover, they lost Jozy Altidore, Geoff Cameron and Matt Besler for the Mexico match due to those players picking up their second yellow cards of the qualification process. Michael Bradley also sat out against Mexico, having suffered a freak injury during warmups when he sprained his left ankle.

Due to those absences—particularly Altidore, whose performance for the team has been impressive, to say the least—and the long-standing disadvantage America has maintained while facing Mexico, there were some who doubted the team's chances despite the home field advantage. However, the Mexican team seems to be in complete disarray, suffering from the endless tailspin that inevitably follows a sudden departure from previously winning ways.

However, when it came time to get things done, the team stepped up as a whole with their depth tested, and the team answered the call. The previous stars were particularly adept, with Eddie Johnson scoring in the 49th minute, once again off a header. He was spelled by Mikkel Diskerud in the 76th minute. Reviled when his plan didn't seem to be taking right away, coach Jurgen Klinsmann now looks like a genius, particularly when it comes to substitutions. Diskerud played a smart ball of a throw in with a deft first touch, putting the ball right in front of the Mexico goal. Clint Dempsey had a brilliant look at the clincher but whiffed his attempt. Luckily, Landon Donovan was there, as he's been for Team USA ever since making his comeback. Donovan put his goal in at the 78th minute.

When Honduras tied Panama nearly an hour after the USA/Mexico game finished, the work of the night was complete. Team USA is now officially qualified for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. It's worth noting that, of the 207 nations in the world who compete in the qualification process, only 32 make it. Eight nations have won the World Cup; the United States is not amongst that number. With this qualification, though, the United States becomes only the 13th nation to qualify for the ultimate tournament 10 times.

V.22 No.24 |

news

The Daily Word in a "Lone Ranger" press junket, world cup protests in Brazil and bringing squirrels across a body of water

The Daily Word

Is Farmington really the 59th most dangerous U.S. city?

Some folks are really excited about a special screening of and party for "The Lone Ranger" in Santa Fe. Other folks are not so excited.

Old Santa Fe store Packard's is closing.

Letter from Yahoo!

The G-8 look "like men who forgot their ties because they overslept."

Angelina Jolie's stunt double brings the first American lawsuit against News Corporation, accusing them of hacking her phone.

Brazil is pissed.

Squirrel lore.

Fox News is being sued by the mother of three kids who unwittingly watched their father eat the pipe on You Tube.

When hijacking a plane and flying to Cuba was commonplace.

Here is some handy info regarding light sabers and airline luggage restrictions.

Anti-pervert stockings.

On this day in 1873 Susan B. Anthony was fined $100.00 for voting the previous year. She didn't pay.

V.20 No.28 |

sports

Pressure Breaks U.S.

Japan wins World Cup

Team U.S.A. prided itself on succeeding with its back against the wall. It wanted the pressure. In the final match of the 2011 Women's World Cup, that pressure might have proven to be too much.

The U.S. played a better game at every single point of the game that mattered, until the part that mattered the most. Up by one in regulation and then again up by one in overtime, the Women's team twice let its lead evaporate and eventually headed to penalty kicks. The only other Women's World Cup that had gone to penalty kicks was the famous 1999 Brandi Chastain-imprinted win. When it came time to shoot down those echoes of the past, however, this team simply could no do it.

When the game started, it looked as though it was going to be a US-dominated affair. Lauren Cheney got things off on the right foot with a quick run up the left side within the first minute. Megan Rapinoe continued the US pressure with a killer cross to Cheney in the 8th minute and Carli Lloyd almost had a neat clean-up at the 11th minute. Cheney passed to Rapinoe for a fantastic straight-on shot only 20 seconds later. 

After an advantage call in the 28th minute, Abby Wambach had a shot bounce off the top of the crossbar, in a dramatic instance that would be repeated time and time again. Despite numerous chances, the United States did not seem as though they'd be able to capitalize. 

Things started to pick up for Japan when Shinobu Ohno got a good shot in the 30th  minute, but U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo cut off that effort easily. In the 2011 Women's World Cup, three of Japan's 10 goals had previously come on set pieces. And at the 37th minute, despite being outplayed for virtually the entire first half, they got a corner kick where they might have had another one of those set piece goals. One minute later, Japan got a great service for Kozue Ando, but Solo came off her line quickly and successfully.

As the first half ended, the momentum appeared to have shifted, albeit slightly. The United States had more chances—all missed—but they couldn't capitalize at any point. They played so well for almost the entire half, but they could not come out ahead. It was at this point that the question of pressure had to be rising in many people's minds. 

To counter that doubt, coach Pia Sundhage started the second half by removing Cheney and putting in Alex Morgan, who almost put in a cross to the short corner a mere four minutes into the second half. After the referee incorrectly called an offside offense against Japan, Heather O'Reilly hit Wambach with a lift in the 64th minute that Wambach nearly headed just above the Japan keeper.

In the 68th minute, super-sub Morgan got an excellent feed from Rapinoe. Morgan took one touch on the ball and blasted a left-footed shot into the lower right hand corner to take the lid off the goal for the Americans.

In the 80th minute, though, Japan got an equalizer from Aya Miyama and put on non-stop pressure. With two more chances in the next minute for Japan, it seemed as though the U.S. was on its heels. Making it through the last ten minutes of the regulation game was its own blessing, though, and the World Cup Final went to overtime.

Team U.S.A. got overtime started in a similar fashion, with an on-target header from Wambach that was halted by Ayumi Kaihori. However, as the first half of the overtime period moved toward its conclusion, in the 103rd minute, Morgan sent a small cross sailing past the Japanese goal which Wambach redirected masterfully into the back of the net off a header. 

In the 111th minute, Team U.S.A. survived a scare, as Solo came off her line, missed the ball and then two defenders collided while attempting to clear the ball. But Japan could not convert. Shortly after, Rapinoe got subbed out in favor of Tobin Heath finishing the game with fresh legs. The threats were not over, however, for the United States, as Yukari Kinga broke toward the goal off a feed from Homare Sawa. Solo was hurt and remained on the ground, but captain Christine Rampone was there to clear the goal. Unfortunately, on the resulting corner kick in the 116th minute, Sawa put in the cross to knot things up 2-2. 

There would be no more points scored in the overtime period. And while Japan converted three of its first four penalty kicks, Team U.S.A. was only able to put in one of five, total. 

As the pressure finally cracked, nothing good came of it. There was no tremendous release, no dismissal of the specters of the past. There was a better finish for Team U.S.A. than in the previous two World Cups. That's the silver lining. But for the game they played, the way they executed, the near-perfect—minus goal-scoring—team effort, it's hard to focus on that silver lining. For a team that was aiming for a championship or bust, second place cannot be anything other than first loser.

V.20 No.27 |

sports

U.S. advances to World Cup final

They did it again.

After a mesmerizing win Sunday against Brazil in penalty kicks, the U.S. women's team pulled out a 3-1 win against France that had the U.S. side looking in peril in the second half of the game.

The match started with a U.S. goal by Lauren Cheney in the ninth minute off a beautiful cross from Heather O'Reilly. That was the first half's only goal.

The French came out the agressors to begin second half play, with Sonia Bompastor scoring from 30 yards out in the 55th minute.

It was at this point the the U.S. team began to falter. While they never trailed, they were constantly on their heels for the first 25 minutes or so of the second half.

But everything changed in the 79th minute. Abby Wambach, who scored the equalizer against Brazil that eventually sent the game into PK's, had another brilliant header to put the U.S. up 2-1.

A breakaway goal with ten minutes left by Alex Morgan only sealed the deal.

The U.S. will face the winner of Japan vs. Sweden on Sunday at noon, Mountain time. At the time of this post, that semifinal game was scoreless in the early stages.

V.20 No.25 |

sports

Hangover Sports Roundup

Mexico surprises U.S., Kongo beats Berry in amazing UFC comeback

2011 Gold Cup
Soccer has gained more mainstream coverage within American sports the last couple of years—Team U.S.A. had relative success in the 2010 World Cup and there's been a growing interest in Major League Soccer. So when the United States faced Mexico in the finals of the Gold Cup, the U.S. was poised to give American soccer some much needed creditability. 93,420 fans filled the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., to witness the U.S gain a quick two goal lead. But Mexico turned up the pressure and overwhelmed the U.S with four unanswered goals to capture the title, 4-2. Along with the loss, many of the fans were rooting for Mexico, jeering the Americans with insults throughout the match. While Mexico earned a birth in the 2013 Confederations Cup, the U.S will look for answers to improve in time for the 2012 Olympic Games.

UFC on Versus
There was little excitement surrounding the original main event of Nate Marquardt versus Rick Story. And on Saturday afternoon the main event fell apart after Maquardt failed his medical tests. Then UFC President Dana White fired him and named Charlie Brenneman as the last second replacement. Despite all the troubles with this card, the fights delivered some awesome finishes. Former NFL standout Matt Mitrione KO'd Christian Morecraft and Brenneman pulled off the upset by earning the decision against Story. Pat Berry and Cheick Kongo moved into the main event and delivered one of the best comebacks in the history of MMA. Berry caught Kongo with a series of punches and almost finished him, but the referee didn't stop the fight. Eventually Kongo gained his composure just enough to nail Berry and win the fight. The comeback victory could give Kongo some momentum to make one more run at the heavyweight title.

V.19 No.48 |

news

The Daily Word 12.02.10: The exclamation point edition!

The Daily Word

Lobo Lucy was groped, according to APD.

No condoms for APS students, say emotional parents.

New major at UNM.

Interpol issues an arrest warrant for Dick Cheney. Ex-VP will be charged in a Nigerian bribery case.

Holy matrimony! Same-sex couples can't divorce in Iowa.

2018 World Cup heading to Mother Russia. U.S. loses 2022 to Qatar.

Shark attacks at Egyptian hotel. Sharktopus!

Sports training for babies. 400 babies!

Ant-covered Jesus smote.

Usher Molests Inanimate Objects: A Guide

Eminem hoards Grammy nods for his tired b.s.

300 sextillion real stars!

V.19 No.28 | 7/15/2010
Odds and Ends

Odds & Ends

Dateline: Taiwan—Dentists are urging fast-food chains to put health warnings on their burgers—not because the burgers contain harmful ingredients, but because they are so dangerously large. According to a report in the China Post, dentists in Taiwan say many burger eaters have been treated for jaw-related injuries after trying to eat the plus-sized sandwiches offered by many national chains. Hsu Ming-Iung, associate professor of the School of Dentistry at National Yang-Ming University, said the human jaw is designed to open for objects up to 1 1/2 half inches. Many fast-food restaurants now offer burgers towering up to 3 inches in height. The big burgers are causing some diners to suffer symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction—including sore jaws and difficulty opening the mouth—and should be banned, say the dentists.

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Sports

Hangover Sports Roundup: Spain and LeBron

World Cup 2010

Who would have thought when this thing began, America would care even after the United States was eliminated. Apparently, soccer took hold here, and the World Cup concluded on Sunday with Spain versus the Netherlands.

Most of match was a parade of yellow cards and physical play, and Spain had most of the clean score chances. But 90 minutes was not enough; the fate of both squads was determined in extra time. In the 116th minute, Andres Iniesta kicked in the deciding goal giving Spain its first World Cup Final victory.

The Cup slowly converted this causal styptic to a soccer believer. Don't get me wrong. Touchdowns, dunks, and knockouts will always be first on my list, but there's always room for something new. Only time will tell if Major League Soccer can use the popularity of the World Cup down the road in the U.S.

NBA

Finally, the Chosen One made a decision during a live television special on ESPN. Picking Miami over Cleveland turned LeBron James from King to villain in a matter of seconds.

Through this entire process, James put his ego on full display. He’s ignored the Cavaliers and promised multiple titles for the Heat. Its unknown whether the self-proclaimed greatest trio in NBA history will produce a dynasty or even a profit for the organization.

One thing is for certain: The Heat took all the pressure off the defending champion L.A Lakers and painted a big bullseye on their own back instead.

Sports

World Cup Final: Netherlands vs. Spain

A month of soccer has now boiled down to two teams: The Dutch will play the Spanish for the World Cup in South Africa.

The Netherlands didn't seem like a powerhouse coming into the tournament, but one of the telecasters described them during their semifinal game against Uruguay as the best team in the world to have never won a World Cup. Also interesting is that, while many teams can advance from the first round with a tie (or even a loss, rarely) under their belts, the Dutch have won every match outright. The scariest thing about this team, in fact, other than the players’ bright orange uniforms, is the fact that they seem to be peaking at exactly the right time, scoring more points and dominating more thoroughly.

The Spanish team, on the other hand, has never been to a World Cup final. (Netherlands went twice, failing to capture that prize both times.) Spain played Germany in the semifinals, a perennial power in the world of soccer. Germany has been to the semifinals every World Cup since 1954, a remarkable feat that puts American college (and pro!) records to shame. When it came time to play Spain, though, it was clear almost from the opening whistle that the Spaniards were in charge. They played with an energy that overwhelmed the Germans at most times, and sustained when it seemed likely that Germany would counterattack.

Netherlands vs. Spain, then, will produce a World Cup champion that has never before won the crown. The odds have got to favor Spain, but Netherlands arrived at this position by being the underdog, by taking down worldwide favorite Brazil and by playing like champions over Uruguay.

The last game of the World Cup season will be played on Sunday, July 11, at 12:30 p.m. local time on ABC. The match for runner-up will happen 24 hours before on Saturday, July 10.

V.19 No.27 | 7/8/2010

Commentary

World Cup Junkie

It's no easy trick to write about the World Cup soccer tournament while it's happening. When you're not watching one of the 64 games, you're busy bantering about missed calls and poor coaching decisions, or you're emotionally spent from two hours of shouting at tiny men bopping a ball around your television screen.

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Sports

FIFA Needs to Catch Up to the Rest of the Sporting World

As the 2010 World Cup builds toward its finale, one fact has stood head and shoulders above the rest: Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) must institute some kind of goal-line technology (if not instant replay) and/or referee accountability. This obviously means different things to different sports in America—challenges from a coach in football, reviewing whether a ball is fair or foul in baseball, the aforementioned goal-line technology in hockey, and out-of-bounds calls in basketball —and it’s hard to predict how it would ultimately occur in soccer. The need, however, is not difficult to see.

This is far from a homer issue, as Team USA, viciously robbed of two separate goals in two separate games, ultimately won their group in the first stage of World Cup play. Those goals, amazingly, turned out to be superfluous. However, in the Round of 16, Team USA was one of the teams that wasn’t a victim of poor officiating changing the course of those games and, perhaps, the rest of the Tournament. (Brazil dominated Chile and Paraguay defeated Japan on penalty kicks, in the only real snoozers of the Round of 16.) England lost its match 4-1, but lost a goal that would have made the game 2-2 and could have affected momentum. On the other hand, Argentina’s first goal over Mexico was scored by Carlos Tevez, who clearly appeared to be offside. With these mistakes being made in crystal-clear HD and being analyzed over and over on ESPN, it might seem as though FIFA has no choice but to revisit these issues. But Sepp Blatter, president of FIFA, made it clear that the only thing that would be discussed in the aftermath of the World Cup would be goal-line technology. This is a good start, but it’s not good enough.

The bottom line is that, as long as the world is watching, as long as soccer is the most popular sport in the world, there will be a need for change. FIFA can start with the promised look at goal-line tech, but there needs to be more transparency in the officiating process, and some kind of checks-and-balances in place for blatant rule-breaking that isn’t seen in the first place.

V.19 No.26 | 7/1/2010

Sports

Hangover Sports Roundup: The U.S. is out. Plus, a major MMA upset.

World Cup 2010

World Cup action featured the United States’ pursuit of a dream against Ghana. Many critics thought the United States had a solid path to the semifinals by avoiding the favorites early in the tournament. But Ghana proved to be more than the U.S could handle. Just as in other matches, the U.S fell behind early, and eager fans awaited the tying goal. Luckily, American standout Landon Donovan evened the score with a penalty kick. If you were like me, you were at home or at a sports bar watching Ghana show more hustle and better defense than the Yanks. Other soccer fans more knowledgeable than myself questioned the lineup at the start of the match, which may have led to uneven play by the Americans.

Ninety minutes wasn't enough, and the game got pushed into extra time when Ghana scored early, thrusting a first dagger into the World Cup hopes of the U.S. From there, the Yanks ran out time, and the dream run of the Americans was finished. Despite the U.S elimination, the future of soccer in the States won't likely be determined until after a champion is crowned. But for now, soccer has gained new fans willing to give the sport a try. Let’s hope the networks capitalize on the momentum.

MMA

When Fedor Emelianenko fought Fabricio Werdum on Saturday, no one put odds on Werdum defeating the Russian. Emelianenko knocked down his opponent with glancing shots but then got careless on the ground, and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Werdum pulled off the submission. When Emelianenko tapped out, it marked one of the greatest upsets in the history of MMA.

His first loss in over nine years is a huge blow for promoters M-1 Global and Strikeforce; they’ve lost their most important bargaining chip. Strikeforce Heavyweight champion Alistair Overeem looked like someone stole his lunch money while he watched Emelianenko lose. Now instead of Overeem receiving a massive pay-per-view fight with Emelianenko, he’ll face Werdum sometime later this year.

The Strikeforce card also saw the rebirth of Cung Le, who destroyed Scott Smith. Hopefully, he'll leave Hollywood behind and pursue his potential as a fighter.