Sad… Bloody… Violence filled day at Soccer Match in Egypt

Soccer fans rushed the field after the home team won an unexpected victory over Egypt’s top squad Wednesday, setting off clashes and a stampede that left at least 73 people dead and 1,000 injured in a Mediterranean port city, officials said.

It was the worst incident of soccer violence in Egypt and the deadliest worldwide since 1996.

The melee broke out after fans of Al-Masry, the home team in Port Said, stormed the field after a rare 3-1 win against Al-Ahly, Egypt’s top team. Al-Masry supporters hurled sticks and stones as they chased players and fans from the rival team, who ran toward the exits to escape, according to witnesses.

State TV showed footage in which the Al-Ahly players were seen rushing for their locker room as fist fights broke out among the hundreds of fans swarming on to the field. Some men had to rescue a manager from the losing team as he was being beaten. Black-clothed police officers stood by, appearing overwhelmed.

Egypt’s state prosecutor ordered an immediate investigation into the violence, and the Egypt Football Association ordered an indefinite suspension of the annual championship. The parliament said it would convene an emergency session.

State TV reported the casualty toll, citing a health ministry official. A medic in the Port Said morgue, speaking on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to release the information, gave the same figures and said some of the dead in the clashes were security officers.

It was the deadliest incident of soccer violence since Oct. 16, 1996, when at least 78 people died and 180 others were injured in a stampede at a stadium in Guatemala City before a World Cup qualifying match between Guatemala and Costa Rica.

One witness said people threw stones, sticks and bottles at their rivals and injured some players.

Advertisements

US Women let one slip Away

 

The storybook ending was there to be written, but in the end the US women’s national team saw another team write its own fantastic World Cup finish, with plenty of help from the United States….When Abby Wambach headed home an Alex Morgan cross in the 104th minute to give the United States a 2-1 lead in extra time, it seemed like the perfect ending to a dream World Cup for an American team that had endured so many ups and downs on its path to this World Cup final.

The US women weren’t the only ones trying to write the perfect ending to this World Cup though. Playing for a nation still recovering from the tragic tsunami that killed thousands and shattered so many lives, Japan had played some of the best soccer in this World Cup, beating mighty Germany and destroying Sweden. All it needed was its own dream finish.

That finish came on Sunday, when after being saved by a 117th-minute Homare Sawa equalizer, Japan beat the mighty USA in penalty kicks. The Americans, a week removed from going a perfect 5 for 5 from the penalty spot to knock off Brazil, missed 3 of 4. Even Hope Solo couldn’t bail the USA out of such a disastrous set of penalties. Japan made 3 of 4 to clinch the 2011 World Cup, the first in Japan’s history.

U.S.A in World Cup Final vs. Japan…Sunday 11am PST

MOENCHENGLADBACH, Germany (AP)

 

The U.S. kept its fans breathless again. And just like last time, Abby Wambach – who else – came up big.

Wambach broke a tense tie with a thunderous header in the 79th minute, and the U.S. earned its first trip to the World Cup final since winning it in 1999 with a 3-1 victory over France on Wednesday.

”We’ve achieved part of our goal. We’re in the final,” Wambach said. ”We want to complete it. We want to be world champs.”

Lauren Cheney and Alex Morgan also scored for the Americans, who will play Japan – 3-1 winners over Sweden – on Sunday in Frankfurt. If the U.S. wins, it would be the first team to claim three World Cup titles.

When the final whistle sounded, the Americans rushed onto the field. Wambach found U.S. coach Pia Sundhage and gave her a bearhug as the pro-American crowd of 25,676 serenaded the team with chants of ”U-S-A! U-S-A!” and the party quickly spread across the Atlantic. A thrilling win over Brazil in the quarterfinals captivated fans back home, and a little thing called the workday wasn’t enough to deter them.

Dozens of fans crowded around TVs in the Phoenix airport to watch the game, and less than an hour after it ended, ”World Cup Finals” was trending on Twitter. ”My heroes. Wambach. Boxx. Rapinoe. Solo. That TEAM! Our team!” actor Tom Hanks tweeted. Super Bowl MVP Aaron Rodgers said, ”Awesome job US Women, finish it off Sunday now.”

Wambach and company were glad to share the moment.

”These wins, we can’t do it alone. We know a whole nation is cheering us on,” Wambach said. ”We believe in ourselves and we’re in the final. I couldn’t be happier.

U.S.A stuns Brazil …Sounders cut down Timbers

Running low on hope and almost out of time, the Americans were surely beat, about to make their earliest exit from the Women’s World Cup.

And then, with one of the most thrilling goals in U.S. history, they weren’t.

Showing a dramatic burst sure to captivate the folks back home, the Americans packed an entire World Cup’s worth of theatrics into a 15-minute span by beating Brazil 5-3 on penalty kicks after a 2-2 tie Sunday night.

Abby Wambach tied it with a magnificent, leaping header in the 122nd minute, and Hope Solo denied the Brazilians – again – in one of the most riveting games in the history of the World Cup, men’s or women’s.

”There is something special about this group. That energy, that vibe,” Solo said. ”Even in overtime, you felt something was going to happen.”

The United States advanced to Wednesday’s semifinals against France, which eliminated England on penalty kicks Saturday. And while the Americans will have to win twice more to win the final, they are the only one of the favorites left after two-time defending champ Germany was stunned by Japan on Saturday night.

The U.S. victory came 12 years to the day the Americans’ last caught their country’s attention in a big way with their penalty-kick shootout victory over China at the Rose Bowl that gave them their second World Cup title. This one created enough of a buzz that highlights were shown on the Jumbotron at Yankee Stadium, drawing big cheers.

 

 

Click here for Sounders win over Portland

Big Soccer Weekend

History of Sounders-Timbers

City or region Pacific Northwest

First contested May 2, 1975 (POR 0–1 SEA)

Teams involved Seattle Sounders / Seattle Storm vs. Portland Timbers

Number of meetings 74

Most wins Seattle (40 wins)

Most recent meeting May 14, 2011 (SEA 1–1 POR)

Next meeting July 10, 2011 (POR – SEA)

All-time series 40–26–8 (Seattle)

Regular season series League: 34–23–8 (Seattle)

Open Cup: 3–1–0 (Seattle)

Postseason results 3–2–0 (Seattle)

Largest victory POR 1–6 SEA (July 3, 1985)

 

The Seattle–Portland rivalry is a soccer rivalry between the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers soccer teams. The rivalry dates back to the North American Soccer League days and has since grown into one of the largest and most bitter rivalries in American soccer…. The rivalry  has spanned across several leagues including the USL First Division, A-League, NASL, and Major League Soccer… According to many players, the Seattle–Portland rivalry is one of the only true derbies that is present in American soccer…. Alan Hinton, a former English international and ex-Sounders coach, has compared the rivalry to those seen in the English Premier League… It is largely considered by a majority of fans across the American soccer community to be the most intense rivalry in the United States….Seattle and Portland have had rivalries based on various sports teams. A heated rivalry surrounded the Portland Buckaroos and Seattle Totems of the minor-league Western Hockey League in the 1960s…Later, some fans supported the Thunderbirds or Winterhawks hockey teams. This rivalry “naturally translated into soccer” according to one fan.[10] The two cities also had a rivalry between the SuperSonics and Trail Blazers of the NBA, until the SuperSonics relocated to Oklahoma City in 2008.

CLICK FOR MLS STANDINGS

PORTLAND’S DIS-RESPECT OF THE SPACE NEEDLE!!

 

FRANKFURT, Germany

Marta, Marta. Most of the talk at the Women’s World Cup is about the biggest star on Brazil’s high-scoring team….However, its biggest achievement may be the zero goals conceded.

Third-ranked Brazil is the only team of 16 with a clean sheet at the tournament after group games. The top-ranked U.S. team will need to improve its firepower in the quarterfinal matchup Sunday in Dresden.

”We didn’t have to concede a single goal. We are focused and ready to face any opponent,” Brazil coach Kleiton Lima said. ”I’m particularly happy about our defense. We had some very strong opponents and it worked 100 percent.”

What is even more surprising is that Lima doesn’t work with a traditional four-player defense. Three will do.

”It allows us to play a compact and aggressive game,” said left back Erika. ”Our 3-5-2, opens (up) lots of opportunities.”

Opportunities for midfielders to fall back and cover, while defenders like Erika roam upfield to score spectacular goals, as she did with the opener in a 3-0 victory over Equatorial Guinea on Wednesday to give Brazil three wins to top Group D.

The lineup, based around defenders Erika, captain Aline and Daiane, gives the team composure to build on.

GET TO KNOW…..MARTA

 

Those Crazy North Koreans

 

North Korea’s sporting exploits have made plenty of headlines in recent years, but the country’s athletes are perhaps better known for their elaborate excuses and tall stories than their prowess on the field of play….Even so, it still raised eyebrows Tuesday when the coach of the country’s women’s World Cup soccer team came up with an unexpected and electrifying explanation for his players’ inability to keep up with their opponents during their 2-0 defeat to the US.

According to The Guardian, Kim Kwang Min told bemused reporters in the German city of Dresden that several players, including the goalkeeper, were still suffering the ill-effects of being struck by lightning.

The incident apparently happened during a practice session in North Korea on June 8, leaving more than five players hospitalized, Kim said.

“When we stayed in Pyongyang during training there was an unexpected accident so our team was not capable of playing,” he told Tuesday’s post-match press conference. “Our players were hit by lightning during a training match.”

The coach said a few players arrived late to Germany after opting to play despite doctors urging them to sit the tournament out…..Tuesday’s excuse was the latest in a series of unlikely sports-related claims made by North Korea. Government officials triumphantly declared in 2004 that North Korean leader Kim Jong Il had shot a 38 with five hole-in-ones in his first attempt at golf.

In 2009, the country’s soccer federation claimed South Korea had poisoned its male players after losing a World Cup qualifier.

And last year before the World Cup in South Africa, manager Kim Jong Hun said he was getting coaching advice from the country’s leader through a cell phone not visible to the naked eye, a technological feat that he said was masterminded by Kim Jong Il himself

July 2 – North Korea vs. Sweden
July 2 – United States vs. Colombia
July 5 – Sweden vs. United States
July 5 – North Korea vs. Colombia

We’re Number 1….???!!!

Seattle is America’s most miserable sports city, according to Forbes.

The list, released Monday, is not a direct reflection of futility but rather a “sports heartbreak index” that identifies the city in which fans had teams good enough to give them hope, only to ultimately let them down.

Seattle was justified as being the most miserable because the Sonics made the NBA playoffs 22 times, the Seahawks reached the NFL postseason 11 times and the Super Bowl in 2006 and the Mariners featured in baseball’s American League Championship Series three times between 1995 and 2001.

Through all of that — and a cumulative 111 seasons and 37 playoff appearances — the 1979 Sonics remain the city’s only champion.

Seattle only narrowly beat Atlanta for the top spot because it earned a bonus point for the relocation of the Sonics to Oklahoma City in 2008.

Atlanta’s misery includes 14 playoff appearances for the Braves between 1991 and 2005 with just one World Series title, in 1995.

Finishing second on the list led the Atlanta Journal-Constitution to lament that the city was “so lousy we can’t even top the misery index.”

Phoenix came in third, given the 2001 Diamondbacks hold the city’s only championship in 92 cumulative seasons; Buffalo was fourth on the back of four straight Super Bowl losses in the 1990s; and San Diego rounded out the top five as its teams had lost six of seven championship-round matchups, its only success coming in 1963 for the then-AFL Chargers.

Houston, Kansas City, Cleveland, Denver and Cincinnati made up the top 10.

 

Ain’t this something….LOL!!

 

 

ESPN TV personality and sports columnist Jay Mariotti has been arrested on a felony charge in Los Angeles….Officer Norma Eisenman says the 51-year-old Mariotti was arrested early Saturday in the police department’s Pacific Division following a “domestic incident.” Eisenman declined to provide further details.

The Sheriff’s Department website confirms Mariotti was booked on an undisclosed felony charge at 5:45 a.m. and is being held on $50,000 bail.

Mariotti lives in Los Angeles. He is a panelist on the ESPN show “Around the Horn” and writes a regular column for the sports website Fanhouse.com.

He was a longtime columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times.

ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz declined comment. Calls to AOL were not immediately returned.