Category Archives: US Soccer

Summer Olympics: USWNT v. FRANCE Reaction

By Shannon Hovan

1.CAN’T COUNT US OUT

The U. S. Women’s National Team’s start to its opening match of their 2012 Olympic campaign against France was shaky.

The major question mark that has been lingering since Ali Krieger, the best right back in the world, tore her MCL and ACL in her right knee against the Dominican Republic in January during the Olympic qualifying tournament, has been what can be expected from the USWNT back line? The first 15 minutes of the match shook the the team to its core.

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The U.S. Women’s National Team: Numbers Game

By Shannon Hovan

 

0: Before Japan’s remarkable win over the United States in the Women’s World Cup final last July, it beat the US 0 times in over 20 matches, dating back to the 1980’s.

Since that win [a heartbreaking loss for USWNT fans] Japan is 2-0-1 against the US. The July 2011 game has given birth to a US/Japan rivalry, and a turning of the tables it seems. The US has had two opportunities to heal the wound and gain some retribution since, but have fallen short in attaining a decisive victory.

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USWNT Right Now: Four Thoughts

By Shannon Hovan

1. ALEX MORGAN

Who said Alex Morgan wasn’t a 90-minute player? Head Coach Pia Sundhage did, as recently as the friendly against Sweden back in November.

During the post-game press conference, Sundhage said the reason why Morgan was so good was because she came off of the bench. She continued by saying, “she has a small role and she plays it well. She understands it and respects it.” This quote of course accounts not just for the game against Sweden, where Morgan came in late in the second half and whose laser of a shot deflected, setting up teammate Tobin Heath with an opportunity to tap in the game-tying goal in the 81st minute. Sundhage is also referring to the number of game-changing performances Alex Morgan has had off of the bench from late 2010 through 2011, most notably the two goals and one assist she posted in five appearances at this summer’s Women’s World Cup in Germany, and the game-winning goal that qualified the US for a spot in the World Cup initially back in the Fall of 2010. Her ability to perform and perform well against the world’s best and in the most high-pressure situations is not debatable.

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Bill Littlefield: An Interview with the host of Only a Game

Bill Littlefield is the host of WBUR's Only A Game, a weekly sports radio show. (Courtesy WBUR.org)

 By Kevin Koczwara

Bill LiIttlefield has been talking sports on his weekly radio show Only a Game on WBUR and NPR since 1993. Since Only a Game’s inception, Littlefield and his team of producers/reporters have brought a special perspective to sports and sports news and commentary.

Only a Game doesn’t take the easy way out. It doesn’t report on the easy or hot-button stories every week. Instead, Littlefield and company work at finding different angles to over reported and over hyped stories, to finding gems hidden beneath the footprints other journalists leave while forgetting the value of digging deeper and seeing stories in another light. Only a Gamei’s a radio program dedicated to exploring and discovering.

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Phil Schoen Interview [Part 1]

One of America's most authorative voices on soccer, Phil Schoen was the original play-by-play voice of Major League Soccer. (Courtesy NASR)

 By Kevin Koczwara

Part of why I love the game of soccer, besides waking at sunrise to watch European matches, is the announcers. You can hear it in their voices, they love this game. They breathe and live this game. Even though they’re in the booth, at times it feels as though they are on the field, connecting with the game, breathing in the smell of the damp grass and living on every touch of the ball, every break. They aren’t fans of teams or clubs when they’re in the booth. They’re fans of the game. And the best announcers are believers in the game.

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magicJack has closed shop: WPS needs to get back on track

Despite having the likes of Abby Wambach, Hope Solo and Megan Rapinoe on the magicJack roster, Dan Borislow, the team's owner, found a way to alienate hiomself and the team from WPS, which resulted in the team's recent breakdown. (Courtesy Ji Young Kim Flickr.)

 By Kevin Koczwara

Life for Women’s Professional Soccer hasn’t been easy since its inception in 2007. The league continues to teeter on the brink of extinction. Attendance and national media coverage are slim. And most troubling of all has been the league’s inability to keep teams in the league for one reason or another.

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Where Bradley went wrong and how Klinsmann can fix it

 By Kevin Koczwara

Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t getting the best of press in his home country of Germany right now thanks to Philipp Lahm’s autobiography “The Subtle Difference.” The Germany captain called his former national team and Bayern Munich manager tactically inept and calls out Klinsmann’s approach to training, which according to Lahm, consisted of only fitness training and no tactical scheming whatsoever. Klinsmann shrugged off the diggers from Lahm and continued on his merry way, which looks likes like a good idea because Lahm apparently doesn’t have anything positive to say about just about any of his past coaches.

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The Dutch Job: Jozy Altidore’s Resurgence with AZ

By Kevin Koczwara

Jozy Altidore’s move from Major League Soccer to Europe looked like a bust a few months ago. The former New York Red Bulls forward moved to La Liga side Villareal on June 4, 2008 for $10 million, making him the most expensive American player ever bought from Major League Soccer, surpassing the $4 million Fulham paid for Clint Dempsey. He was just 18 years old then. The world looked like it was at his feet.

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