Category : Sports

U.S. Men’s National Team Advances To Knockout Round Of 2022 FIFA World Cup With 1-0 Shutout Victory Over Iran

The U.S. Men’s National Team advanced to the knockout stage of the 2022 FIFA World Cup with a 1-0 victory against IR Iran on an historic night for U.S. Soccer. Needing a victory to advance, forward Christian Pulisic scored the game-winner in the 38th minute off an assist from defender Sergiño Dest.

With the result, the USA finishes second in Group B with five points and will face Group A winner Netherlands in the Round of 16 on Saturday, Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. ET (FOX, Telemundo). England defeated Wales 3-0 in the other Group B match tonight to finish atop the group with seven points. The victory also ensured the USA’s advancement to the knockout round at five of the last seven World Cups in which the USMNT has participated.

It was fitting that Pulisic, the USMNT’s talisman for much of this four-year cycle, provided the difference maker in a crucial win-or-go-home match. Goalkeeper Matt Turner and the U.S. defense held strong against a spirited second half push by Iran to record a second clean sheet of the tournament, marking the first time that the USA has recorded multiple shutouts at the World Cup since 1930.

After putting plenty of pressure on the Iran defense for the majority of the first half, the USA’s breakthrough finally came in the 38th minute. Left back Antonee Robinson ran a ball down on the left wing deep in Iran territory. He played a bass back and centrally to Adams, who then played Weston McKennie and the U.S. midfielder spotted Dest making a run behind the defense into the right side of the penalty area. Dest ran under the perfectly chipped pass and sent a header bouncing through the middle to Pulisic who put his body on the line to smash home a half-volley from four yards out a second before enduring a heavy collision with the Iran goalkeeper, an incident that would cause Pulisic to be replaced at halftime due to an abdominal injury. The goal was the 22nd of his international career for Pulisic, who was replaced at halftime by Brenden Aaronson, and the young midfielder played a stellar second half.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Qatar, Sports

(WSJ) For the U.S. vs. Iran, It’s Win or Go Home. That’s Pressure Enough.

“We used to be excited when one of our young players took the field against Chelsea, or Juventus or Milan,” said [Roger] Bennett. “Now we have talents that play for all of those teams and more. They have gained both the self-respect that comes with that, as well as the commercial opportunities.”

Stereotypes linger, especially overseas—the U.S. as plucky, undertalented overachievers from a country that doesn’t say football and can’t hang with the highest contenders. You could sense a little of this from the disappointed England fans who booed their homeland squad off the pitch following the draw with the U.S.

But that’s an old mindset. The U.S. team is in Qatar not to represent, but to win, the surest signal that the sport has evolved past any kind of existential debate about its future or perception around the world.

What does Tuesday’s game versus Iran mean for the United States? It means survival at the World Cup. That’s meaningful enough.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Qatar, Sports

(ESPN) United States make a valiant effort in a draw with England at the 2022 World Cup

The United States was dominant in attack but could not find a way past England as it was held to a 0-0 draw in their second 2022 World Cup game on Friday.

The U.S. was the better side in a game lacking in clear cut chances. The closest threat came when Christian Pulisic rattled the crossbar with a ferocious effort midway through the first half, but neither side was able to break the deadlock.

The result leaves head coach Gregg Berhalter’s team third in Group B with two points from two games, needing a victory in their final group match against Iran on Tuesday to advance to the knockout stages. Meanwhile, England will qualify as long as it avoids a three-goal defeat in their match to Wales.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., England / UK, Sports

538 ranks teams chances of winning the World Cup

It’s hard to believe — mostly because it’s currently November and not June 1 — but the 2022 World Cup kicks off at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor, Qatar, on Nov. 20. The host nation will square off against Ecuador in the first World Cup match ever played in the Arab world. And the start of the tournament comes with plenty of questions about who might lift soccer’s most prestigious trophy.

Will it be Brazil, the betting favorite? Or could France become the first nation to repeat since 1962? Is Spain’s new golden generation — piloted by teenagers like Barcelona midfielders Gavi and Pedri — as good as its previous golden generation? 2 Does Lionel Messi have enough left in the tank to lead Argentina to glory and further cement himself as the G.O.A.T.? Is football finally coming home?3 Which squads could shock the world? Is there any shine left on Belgium’s underachieving golden generation?

Last week, we used Elo ratings to measure historical Groups of Death at the World Cup, and also to see where this year’s groups rank — or if a Group of Death even exists this time around. (TL;DR: We’re not sure/it’s complicated.) Today, we’re back with our full-fledged World Cup forecast model to take a broader look at the field and try to answer who’ll be the last team standing on Dec. 18.

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Posted in Globalization, Qatar, Sports

[Former Auburn Football Player] Philip Lutzenkirchen and his legacy

Watch it all–used in the sermon yesterday morning by yours truly–KSH.

Posted in Alcohol/Drinking, Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Religion & Culture, Sports, Young Adults

(ESPN) New York Yankees star Aaron Judge launches 62nd home run, sets AL single-season record

The American League has a new single-season home run king.

New York Yankees star Aaron Judge launched his 62nd home run of the season Tuesday night on the road against the Texas Rangers, breaking the AL record he shared with Roger Maris.

After depositing a Tim Mayza sinker into the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen to tie Maris’ mark last Wednesday, Judge went without a home run during the Yankees’ final regular-season homestand — a three-game series against the Baltimore Orioles. Back on the road, Judge, who had gone 2-for-9 with two singles in two games against the Rangers through Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader, took Texas pitcher Jesus Tinoco deep in the first inning of the nightcap to reach No. 62.

“It’s a big relief. I think that everyone can sit back down in their seats and watch the ballgame, you know? No, but it’s been a fun ride so far,” Judge said. “Getting a chance to do this, with the team we’ve got, the guys surrounding me, the constant support from my family whose been with me through this whole thing … it’s been a great honor.”

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Posted in America/U.S.A., History, Sports

Must not Miss 9/11 Video: Welles Crowther, The Man Behind the Red Bandana

The Man Behind the Red Bandana from Drew Gallagher on Vimeo.

Posted in Children, Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Marriage & Family, Sports, Terrorism

Great story–Basketball player saves referee’s life after heart attack

Posted in * General Interest, Sports

An absolute must not Miss Piece on Vin Scully

Posted in Death / Burial / Funerals, Sports

(NYT) Vin Scully, Voice of the Dodgers for 67 Years, Dies at 94

Vin Scully, who was celebrated for his mastery of the graceful phrase and his gift for storytelling during the 67 summers he served as the announcer for Dodgers baseball games, first in Brooklyn and then in Los Angeles, died Tuesday at his home in Los Angeles. He was 94.

His death was announced by the Los Angeles Dodgers.

For all the Dodgers’ marquee players since World War II, Mr. Scully was the enduring face of the franchise. He was a national sports treasure as well, broadcasting for CBS and NBC. He called baseball’s Game of the Week, All-Star Games, the playoffs and more than two dozen World Series. In 2009, the American Sportscasters Association voted him No. 1 on its list of the “Top 50 Sportscasters of All Time.”

He began broadcasting at Ebbets Field in 1950, when he was a slender, red-haired 22-year-old graduate of Fordham University and a protégé of Red Barber. When the Dodgers moved to Los Angeles in 1958, fans at the cavernous Coliseum brought along hand-held transistor radios, recently popularized in America, so Mr. Scully could guide them through the pioneering days of major league baseball on the West Coast.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Media, Sports

(NYT front page) An Obituary on Bill Russell, Icon of Sports and Society, With Fistfuls of Rings

Even before the opening tipoff at Boston Celtics games, Bill Russell evoked domination. Other players ran onto the court for their introductions, but he walked on, slightly stooped.

“I’d look at everybody disdainfully, like a sleepy dragon who can’t be bothered to scare off another would-be hero,” he recalled. “I wanted my look to say, ‘Hey, the king’s here tonight.’ ”

Russell’s awesome rebounding triggered a Celtic fast break that overwhelmed the rest of the N.B.A. His quickness and his uncanny ability to block shots transformed the center position, once a spot for slow and hulking types, and changed the face of pro basketball.

Russell, who propelled the Celtics to 11 N.B.A. championships, the final two when he became the first Black head coach in a major American sports league, died on Sunday. He was 88….

When Russell was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1975, Red Auerbach, who orchestrated his arrival as a Celtic and coached him on nine championship teams, called him “the single most devastating force in the history of the game.”

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Posted in * Culture-Watch, America/U.S.A., Death / Burial / Funerals, History, Race/Race Relations, Sports

Many Congratulations to England’s Women’s Football Team for winning the 2022 Euro Championship

Posted in England / UK, Sports, Women

Congratulation to Elena Rybakina Women’s Wimbledon winner for 2022

Posted in Kazakhstan, Sports, Women

Congratulation to Wales who Qualify for the World Cup for the first time since 1958

Posted in --Wales, Men, Sports

Rafael Nadal defeats Casper Ruud for his 14th French Open title

His 22nd Grand Slam title. Astounding.

Posted in France, Norway, Spain, Sports

Maryland Wins the National Lacrosse Championship

Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports, Young Adults

Congratulations to Nottingham Forest, Promoted to the premiere League today by virtue of winning the EFL Playoff Game

Posted in England / UK, Sports

Congratulations to Real Madrid, 2022 Champions League Winners

Posted in England / UK, France, Spain, Sports

(Irish Times) Real Madrid stun Manchester City late to book final date with Liverpool in the Champions League Final

It was not just that Manchester City had led by two goals with 90 minutes on the clock, a place in the Champions League final against Liverpool basically theirs – although that was plainly the greatest, deepest agony.

It was not even that this semi-final should have long since have been over. After the first leg, which City had dominated. Or before Real’s stoppage-time magic, in which the substitute, Rodrygo, cast the spells, scoring two scarcely believable goals to force extra time.

The City substitute, Jack Grealish, had seen a shot miraculously hacked off the line by Ferland Mendy in the 87th minute and then watched Thibaut Courtois stick out a toe to divert a shot from him just past the far post.

It was the way that the footballing gods, with whom Real Madrid appear to have a deal with options, tormented them. Rodrygo had almost completed a stoppage-time hat-trick at the end of normal time, stealing in to extend Ederson, when Phil Foden received a quick free-kick and saw glory beckon. His shot flew high.

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Posted in England / UK, Men, Spain, Sports

(NBC) Baseball’s Mr. Nice Guy: Suzuki’s unique unwritten rule

Thirteen times in 12 games as a Cub, the right-handed slugger with the uncommon eye at the plate has walked — and then stepped back from the plate and taken the long way to first, circling behind the catcher and umpire before relocating the base line.

“It’s kind of disrespectful to walk in front of someone,” the former Japanese batting champ said through his team interpreter, Toy Matsushita. “Especially if it’s someone older than you. It’s Japanese culture. It’s not a good thing to do.”

Not every player from Japan has done that in the majors; in fact, we can’t think of any from recent memory (Kosuke Fukudome, for instance, is left-handed, so it doesn’t apply; same with Yankee slugger Hideki Matsui before him).

And not every player in NPB in Japan does it, say veteran Japanese baseball writers.

“Depends on the person,” Suzuki said, “but that’s what I was taught as a kid, to be respectful.”

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Japan, Sports

A Weekend Mental Health Break–(CBS) Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips credits home run to fan battling cancer

Chloe Grimes, an 8-year-old battling cancer, gifted her favorite player, Tampa Bay Rays’ Brett Phillips, a bracelet. He hit a home run while wearing it and has been wearing it for good luck ever since. Steve Hartman shares more in “On the Road.”

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Posted in Children, Health & Medicine, Marriage & Family, Sports

(ESPN) Inside the Kansas Jayhawks’ second-half comeback that stunned UNC for a basketball national championship

As he sat just a few rows behind the Kansas bench at the Caesars Superdome on Monday night, Mario Chalmers tried not to squirm.

The program he had led to the 2008 basketball national championship had entered halftime with a 15-point deficit. Chalmers, the hero of that team who hit a 3-pointer to send the game to overtime in a win against Memphis, hoped the Jayhawks would remember what was still possible.

“I just thought, ‘Keep believing,'” Chalmers said after Kansas’ 72-69 come-from-behind win over North Carolina. “The same thing Coach [Bill] Self told us [in 2008] was to keep believing. And I knew they’d be able to pull it out in the end.”

The line between the joy of a hard-fought victory and the agony of almost is thin. Self, who won his second national title on Monday, knows too well after a 2012 loss to Kentucky in the championship game and a lopsided defeat against Villanova in the 2018 Final Four. But his first national title team with Chalmers also had been down in the second half, albeit in a more dire and urgent scenario, so he challenged his 2022 players in the locker room.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports, Young Adults

(The State) Champs! South Carolina captures 2022 national title with win over UConn

South Carolina set sights on its ultimate goal — winning the national championship — before the season’s first tip.

The Gamecocks turned their goal into reality Sunday night, winning the 2022 NCAA tournament championship with a win over the UConn Huskies. Dawn Staley’s Gamecocks (35-2) defeated Geno Auriemma’s Huskies 64-49 in front of a sellout crowd at Minneapolis’ Target Center in the matchup’s second meeting of the 2021-22 season. South Carolina’s win solidified the program’s second national title and first since 2017.

Both of the Gamecocks’ championships have come under Staley.

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Posted in * South Carolina, Sports, Women

(ESPN) USMNT underwhelms vs. Costa Rica, but all eyes on World Cup now qualification assured

A raucous, celebratory atmosphere inside the Costa Rica National Stadium dictated the mood. Los Ticos had just finished off a 2-0 win to remain undefeated all time against the United States men’s national soccer team in San Jose. There were even fireworks, despite the fact the home side failed to claim an automatic place at Qatar 2022, setting up a playoff versus New Zealand instead.

For an exhausted U.S. squad that had been looking to make history, the whole thing was disorienting. With 35,000 opposing fans so happy, it was instinctual to mirror their level of emotion in the opposite direction. But a slow walk back to the locker room and a few words from coach Gregg Berhalter returned the team to reality: It had qualified for the World Cup.

“Obviously, as competitors, we hate losing. But coming into the locker room, I think everyone just decided, ‘You know what, we realized our goal,’ which was to qualify,” said center back Walker Zimmerman, who captained the team Wednesday night. “So, everyone forgot about tonight. We put ourselves in a position where we could afford to do that.”

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

(ESPN) Major League Baseball, union reach tentative agreement on new CBA, salvage 162-game season

Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association reached a tentative agreement on a new collective-bargaining agreement Thursday, ending the league’s 99-day lockout of the players and salvaging a 162-game season, sources familiar with the situation told ESPN.

With the end of the second-longest work stoppage in the game’s history, spring training camps will open Sunday, free-agent signings can begin Thursday night, and baseball will attempt to return to some semblance of normalcy after months of fraught negotiations.

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Posted in America/U.S.A., Men, Sports

Meir Soloveichik for Eric Liddell’s Feast Day–Finding God in the Olympic Footrace

While Americans rightly exult in the achievements of U.S. medalists, “Chariots of Fire” also serves as a reminder that athletics and even patriotism only mean so much. When Liddell is informed that a qualifying heat takes place on Sunday, his Sabbath, he chooses not to compete in that race. The camera cuts from athletes at the Olympics to Liddell reading a passage in Isaiah: “Behold the nations are as a drop in the bucket . . . but they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings, as eagles. They shall run, and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint.” David Puttnam, a “Chariots of Fire” producer, wrote me that the verses were “specifically selected by the actor, the late Ian Charleson, who gave himself the task of reading the entire Bible whilst preparing for the film.”

The Isaiah passage is liturgically important for Jews: Parts of it are declaimed in synagogue on the Sabbath when we read God’s command to Abraham to leave the center of civilization and found a family, and a faith, in a new land. Isaiah reminds Jews that Abraham’s children have encountered much worse than what Harold Abrahams experienced. While most nations now rest on the ash heap of history, the biblical Abraham’s odyssey continues. The countries competing in today’s Olympics come and go, while those who “wait upon the Lord” endure.

“Chariots of Fire” also offers a message for people of faith who have grown troubled by the secularization of society and the realization that they are often scorned by elites. Like Liddell, we may be forced to choose religious principle over social success. Hopefully, however, we will be able to use our gifts to sanctify this world. As Liddell’s father told his son in the film: “Run in God’s name, and let the world stand back in wonder.”

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Posted in --Scotland, China, Church History, History, Missions, Religion & Culture, Sports

A Prayer for the Feast Day of Eric Liddell

God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering thy athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom thou didst bestow courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race that is set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with thee and the Holy Spirit livest and reignest, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Posted in --Scotland, China, Church History, Missions, Spirituality/Prayer, Sports

(NYT front page) With Indoor Ski Resorts and Curling Schools, China Lifts Xi’s Sports Dream

In the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, which has sweltering temperatures for much of the year, children are ditching their flip flops for skis and hitting the indoor slopes.

Out west, high up on the Tibetan Plateau, Qinghai Province has become an unlikely center for curling, the traditional Scottish sport known as “ice kettle” in Chinese.

Over in the northeastern province of Liaoning, a group of retired men gather every day in the winter to strap on helmets and hockey pads and face off on an outdoor ice rink.

Such scenes, once rare, are growing more common as the ruling Communist Party charges ahead with an ambitious campaign to transform China — large parts of which have never seen a single flake of natural snow — into a global winter sporting power.

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Posted in China, Foreign Relations, Globalization, Politics in General, Sports

(CT) Super Bowl Betting Is a $7.6 Billion Problem Fewer Evangelicals Care About

A study in Spain showed a significant increase in “young pathological gamblers” after the country legalized online gambling, adding that the immediacy and accessibility of online gambling made it “more addictive than any other type of game.”

Despite their gloom about the immediate impact, the Christians who worked on the issue for decades are a bit more optimistic about the future. “This is the third historical wave of gambling in America,” said Grey. “It has a boom-bust cycle to it. Why? Because it doesn’t work.”

Sports betting has surged recently without any curbs. That makes the problems with gambling more visible to Americans, he thinks, and will spur bipartisan interest in regulating the industry.

He remembered in 1999 arranging a meeting between Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader and Focus on the Family president James Dobson to discuss gambling, and the two wrote a joint letter calling gambling “the bane of millions of Americans.” Nader targeted Republicans who supported casino interests, and Dobson targeted Democrats.

“It’s that’s kind of movement that’s needed today … the same right-left combination, this is something we agree on,” said Grey. “Let’s call for more regulation and get advertising under control. Those are doable things.”

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Posted in Gambling, Sports

(GR) Cooper Kupp’s spiritual vision: Well, it’s hard not to pay attention to the Super Bowl MVP

It’s hard not to pay attention to what the winner of the Most Valuable Player award has to say after the Super Bowl.

Thus, a few mainstream media features after the Los Angeles Rams’ victory focused on a bit of very personal testimony by superstar wide receiver Cooper Kupp. In a way, what he said resembled the kind of stereotypical Godtalk that filters into the news when believers are asked to express their first reactions after a major event — glorious or tragic — in their lives.

Long ago (pre-Internet), I interviewed the late, great Dallas Cowboys coach Tom Landry about all of this. People tend to think that believers pray to win football Games and either God hears them or not, he said. The reality is more complex than that and, most of the time, players and coaches are trying to make sense of these events — wins and loses — in the context of how God is working in their lives.

In the case of Kupp, this win in The Big Game linked into what he claimed was a vision after a Super Bowl loss. Here is the top of a story from The Athletic: “How the Rams’ Cooper Kupp’s quiet vision became reality in front of the whole world.”

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Posted in Marriage & Family, Media, Religion & Culture, Sports