Japan Playing for more than Pride

Article

 

To say the US has dominated recent games with Japan would be an understatement. Here are the last five meetings between the nations.

DATE

RESULT

May 18, 2011 USA 2, Japan 0
May 14, 2011 USA 2, Japan 0
March 2, 2011 USA 2, Japan 1
August 18, 2008 USA 4, Japan 2
August 9, 2008 USA 1, Japan 0

 

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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.

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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

The Reign of Spain

 

 

Spain: Iker Casillas, Sergio Ramos, Carles Puyol, Gerard Pique, Joan Capdevila, Sergio Busquets, Xabi Alonso (Cesc Fabregas, 87), Xavi Hernandez, Andres Iniesta, Pedro Rodriguez (Jesus Navas, 60), David Villa (Fernando Torres, 106).

 

The goal clinched Spain’s fourth straight 1-0 victory in South Africa and made the team only the third to be world and European champion at the same time!

 

 

Soc- it to me??

  

 

The Unites States fought hard but in the end failed and lost (2-1) to the country of Ghana…for the second time (2006) in World Cup action…”Soccer can be a cruel game,” Landon Donovan said. “Sometimes you’re at the top and sometimes you are at the bottom of the mountain.”…..With Donovan, Dempsey and Howard in the primes of their careers, the U.S. had high expectations coming off a first-round exit four years ago. Because a growing fan base watched on television in record numbers, the loss was even more stinging for a team still struggling for recognition both in the soccer world and among sports fans in America…after watching the World Cup from an American point of view, I have come to this decesion, if you want to see an American winning soccer team then get behind the U.S.A. Women’s team, they deserve more publicity than the men’s team…the women’s team has actually won the World Cup twice 1991, & 1999…but yet as usual in America the big advertising bucks and the big publicity goes to the Men’s team….but do they really deserve it…that last minute win against Algeria was nice…but let’s be real. We should have spanked Algeria, soccer experts will tell you that Algeria was lucky to even be in the World Cup, they upset a strong Egypt team to qualify for the tournament, the Slovenia game, yea we were a better team and we should have won that game….but you know the story ….so for us to move into the elimination round was a good step in the right direction….but for us to compete with the Ghana’s of the world…we still have a long way to go…to even think about winning a World Cup against the likes of Brazil, Spain, & Argentina….we still have a long long way to go 

 

Women’s World Cup will be held in Germany in 2011