It was, simply put, a failure. After initially being pinned back by the Reggae Boyz, whose speed far exceeded their skill, the Americans found room to play higher upfield. But they had little use for that freedom. The defense wasnt entirely coherent and failed to feed the midfield much. The lines were set up too far apart and lacked cohesion or connection with one another. Sloppy on the ball, the attack lacked punch. The Americans mostly looked insipid and uninspired, leaving no real positive imprint on anybodys memory. A game that was slow and static and stale, that was the impression that will linger in the mind. From the looks of it, the intensity Klinsmann had hoped to retain has long since faded. The urgency simply wasnt there. As it turns out, there is no replicating the pressure to qualify for the World Cup artificially, once its been secured. HEAR US OUT! FOX Soccer’s Blog offers unique coverage of the world game. Join us. Little was learned with an eye towards next summer.
But while most of the contestants are only fighting for the crown, one Scottsdale woman is also fighting for her life. In July, 25-year-old Kristina Anderson was diagnosed with a rare, aggressive form of ovarian cancer and began chemotherapy treatments just three days later. As she continues to battle the disease, Anderson said preparing for the pageant has been an escape for her. Miss Arizona USA pageant is a little different than the county fair pageants Im used to, Anderson said. With her family living in Illinois, Anderson has found her support system in an unexpected place the doctors office. One of Andersons nurses, Sandy LeDuke, has been helping her focus on pageant details. Im just kind of along for the ride, LeDuke said. I went with her to pick out some dresses and things. If both cancer and the upcoming pageant werent enough to think about, Anderson is also struggling to pay for her treatments. Her insurance has denied her the specific coverage she has needed for the last six months. Fortunately, fundraisers have been set up in Scottsdale to help Anderson pay some of her medical bills. Though Anderson still has a long way to go, she hopes her journey to Miss Arizona will help inspire others to keep fighting too. Just be positive and be grateful for what you have, Anderson said.
USA-Iran football friendly under discussion
Los Angeles (AFP) – The United States and Iran, political foes whose football teams have qualified for the 2014 World Cup, could play a friendly prior to the finals in Brazil, according to Fox Sports. The US news outlet cited reports circulating in the Iranian media, although US Soccer spokesman Neil Beuthe declined to confirm that the US federation had been in contact with its Iranian counterpart. “We have been actively talking to numerous federations that have qualified for the World Cup about playing in the US in late May and early June,” Beuthe said. “All of these discussions are preliminary and we do not have any matches set at this point.” Dan Gaspar, a US citizen who serves as goalkeeper coach for Iran, said in an e-mail to Fox that there was “genuine interest” on both sides for a US-Iran friendly, but that such a fixture likely wouldn’t be set until after the World Cup draw on December 6. Wednesday’s report comes a fortnight after a landmark telephone call between US President Barack Obama and Iranian President Hasan Rouhani, the first contact between leaders of the two countries since the rupture of diplomatic relations in the aftermath of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Despite the strained relations between the two nations, their sports officials have been able to work together at times, including in recent efforts to keep the ancient sport of wrestling in the Olympic Games. On the football pitch, the United States and Iran have met twice. Iran upset the United States 2-1 in the 1998 World Cup in France and played the Americans to a 1-1 draw in a football friendly in January of 2000 at Pasadena, California. Soccer TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) It was a perfect homecoming for Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin in Taiwan. Associated Press12 mins ago
USA Gymnastics ‘Disappointed’ in Racist Remark
After fellow Italian Vanessa Ferrari and Ferlito finished fourth and fifth on balance beam just behind Biles Ferlito said with a laugh, “I told Vane that next time we’ll have our skin black also so we can win, too.” Biles won the all-around title earlier in the week, the first black gymnast to become world champion. At last year’s London Games, Gabby Douglas became the first black woman to win the Olympic all-around title. On Tuesday, Ferlito tweeted, “I want to apologize with the Americans girls. I didn’t want to sound rude or racist. I love Simone and I’m a huge fan of USA gymnastics.” She then added, “I’ve made a mistake, I’m not perfect … I didn’t think about what I was saying. I’m just a human. I’m so so sorry.” In trying to explain Ferlito’s remarks, a federation spokesman may have further inflamed the issue. A post on Facebook by “Federazione Ginnastica d’Italia,” which links to the federation’s page on the social networking site, attributes different athletes’ abilities to race. David Ciaralli, the federation spokesman, acknowledged to the Chicago Tribune that he wrote the post. “Possibly in saying this, I made a mistake, and I am sorry,” Ciaralli told the Tribune. “What I said was my thoughts, not the official thoughts of the federation.” USA Gymnastics president Steve Penny still called for an explanation.