Weekend Update

Bryan and I were both out of town for Fourth of July weekend and weren’t on the internet at all. There were some pretty big things that happened in the world of sports that we feel should be mentioned but didn’t have the opportunity to write full posts on. I’ll just give a quick one or two sentences about each one.

– Steve McNair was shot to death in his downtown Nashville apartment. It currently looks as though it was a murder suicide by the girl whose body was found next to his.

– Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick for his 15th Grand Slam at Wimbledon, passing Pete Sampras previous record of 14 career Grand Slam victories.

– Tiger Woods won the AT&T National this weekend. This gives Tiger 68 career PGA Tour wins, five short of Jack Nicklaus and 14 short of Sam Snead’s record 82 career wins.

– Manny Ramirez returned from suspension and hit a home run in his second game back.

– USA beat Grenada in soccer to win their first round match of the 2009 Gold Cup and will face Honduras in their second game.

– Serena Williams beat sister Venus Williams to win Wimbledon on the women’s side and then the two teamed up to win doubles.

– Three stages into the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong is currently in third. He is seven seconds behind Tony Martin and 40 seconds behind Fabian Cancellara.

– Some big name NBA free agents have agreed to terms with different teams from the ones they played with this past year. The most notable are: Ben Gordon to the Pistons, Hedo Turkaglu to the Raptors, Trevor Ariza to the Rockets, Charlie Villanueva to the Pistons, Rasheed Wallace to the Celtics, Marcin Gortat to the Mavericks, and Ron Artest to the Lakers.

– And most importantly Bryan and I got the oportunity to play two games of Schleuderball over the weekend and we won both games.

USA Beats Top-Ranked Spain

Clint Dempsey scores for the US

Clint Dempsey scores for the US

What’s up with this team?  First they make a mockery of the game with their play in the losses to Costa Rica, Italy, and Brazil.  Then they dominate Egypt and qualify for the semifinals of the Confederations Cup.  Today, they took on the best team in the world, Spain, and came out victorious.  I think Bob Bradley has found his lineup for the rest of the qualification process.

This win is the second for the Americans against the world’s number one team.  The last came in the 1998 Gold Cup against Brazil.  In my opinion, this win ranks right up with the Portugal game in the 2002 World Cup, the 1989 World Cup Qualifier that sent the team to the 1990 World Cup, and the 1950 upset of England.  This win couldn’t have come at a better time for American team and fans after the previously mentioned games.

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USA Advances At Confederations Cup

Charlie Davies scores the first goal for the USA against Egypt

Charlie Davies scores the first goal for the USA against Egypt

Going into yesterday’s matches at the Confederations Cup, I definitely did not expect to be writing this as a headline.  USA, who had been lackluster at best, needed to beat Egypt by three goals and have Brazil beat the reigning World Cup Champions by at least three to have a chance.  This was the same United States team who had been easily beaten by Brazil and Italy by a combined score of 6-1. My confidence going into this game may have been at an all-time low.

So what did the US do?  They went out and dominated.  Their reward?  Top ranked Spain.  More on that in a bit.

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Italy Downs USA

Ricardo Clark being ushered off the field

Ricardo Clark being ushered off the field

USA opened their 2009 Confederations Cup schedule against the current World Cup holders, Italy.  Unfortunately, they were only given a fair shot for 33 minutes.  That’s when the referee sent US midfielder Ricardo Clark to the dressing room for a silly tackle on Genarro Gattuso.  No one would argue that it wasn’t a foul or a yellow card, but a red card was way too stiff of a penalty.  In my opinion, Clark was one of the best players on the field for the Americans in their last game against Honduras and through the first 30 minutes of today’s game. His sending off changed the entire complexion of the match.  Italy would go on to win 3-1.

I’m not going to try and argue that the USA should have won, but Italy didn’t need the help and it was unfortunate that they got it like that.

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USA Defeats Honduras

Carlos Bocanegra celebrates his goal

Carlos Bocanegra celebrates his goal

USA defeated Honduras 2-1.  Thank. Goodness.

Landon Donovan scored a penalty and Carlos Bocanegra put home a deflected header to get the Americans the victory.  It seemed that there was more relief than excitement from the American side after the game.  the feeling was mutual from my living room where I was watching the game.

The US featured several changes from Wednesday’s lineup after they were massacred at Costa Rica.  I think those changes worked out well.

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Embarrassment in Costa Rica

I was pretty excited about the US Men’s National Soccer Team’s trip down to Costa Rica for the latest World Cup Qualifier.  What a waste of time that proved to be.  This was the single worst performance I have seen in a long, long time.  And that includes the family who was playing during a picnic in the park yesterday.  Yeah, it was that bad.

For those of you who had the fortune of missing this game, I’ll bring you up to speed.  Costa Rica womped the US 3-1.  Surely there was at least one bright spot?  One player who actually looked like he wanted to be there, right?  No.  No one looked good.  Not one single player.

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USA 2, Mexico 0

Last night in Columbus, The United States opened their final round of World Cup Qualifying with a 2-0 victory over bitter rival, Mexico.

The US ran their record to 9-0-2 against the Mexicans on US soil this decade.  Michael Bradley netted both goals, one in each half.

Mexican captain, Raphael Marquez, was sent off in the second half for a vicious challenge on American keeper, Tim Howard. Continue reading

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