10
Apr

In the family: Best of the best soccer siblings for National Siblings Day

In honor of National Siblings Day, we’re bringing you some of the best sibling action you’ll see on the soccer pitch:

Kristie and Samantha Mewis (USA)

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These sisters have dreamed of playing soccer together for the US women’s national team since they were little girls. During the 2014 Algarve Cup, that dream became a reality:

Gonzalo and Federico Higuain (Argentina)

Gonzalo is clearly the more well-known Higuain, but older brother Federico has also had a decent career in soccer. He currently plays for the Columbus Crew, and scores really pretty goals, like this one:

Eden and Thorgan Hazard (Belgium)

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The Hazard brothers in training for Belgium. (Image: Twitter)

Big brother Eden may be stealing the headlines now, but 21-year-old Thorgan isn’t far behind. While on-loan from Chelsea in the Jupiler League, the striker has been tearing it up — he even won the Golden Shoe for the 2013 season. It won’t be long until we see both brothers on the pitch for the Blues.

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6
Apr

Poor Aron Johannsson gets ‘inappropriately touched’ by opponent

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AZ and US national team striker Aron Johannsson was the victim of on-field bullying in the Eredivisie this weekend, getting his privates pulled by Roda defender Guy Ramos.

Ramos appeared to squeeze the Icelandic-American’s genitals in response to something Johannsson had to say, and the referee let him off scot-free. However, Ramos did get sent off in the second half of the game, while Johannsson scored to secure AZ a draw, so at least justice was somewhat served.

If you have a Y chromosome, chances are you are solemnly nodding to yourself right now, having been hit in that area probably more than once.  Ladies, admit it: this is worse than getting your hair yanked by an opponent, albeit similar. Completely uncalled for and painful.

Here’s “The Grab:”

H/T Dirty Tackle

1
Apr

USMNT’s World Cup away jerseys actually have color!

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Remember how we all moaned and groaned over the United States’ lackluster, plain white World Cup home jerseys?

Well, for all you color enthusiasts out there, perhaps the away kits are more to your liking. Nike released the alternate World Cup uniforms for the US on Tuesday, and yes, they kind of look like a bizarro version of the Dutch flag. Or one of those sweet popsicles we all had as kids:

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According to Nike Soccer, each kit features a unique name and number font, directly influenced by American sport teams. In addition, each number on the back of the jersey will have a small US Soccer crest at the bottom that offers a unique touch unlike any other previous away kit.

“I like the patriotic design and color scheme and I think it will look great on the pitch,” United States men’s national team captain Clint Dempsey told Nike Soccer. “Hopefully they will serve us well as we head into a competitive group.”

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Dempsey wasn’t alone in his assessment.

“The new kits fit really well, look great and most importantly, are really comfortable, especially when we are running all over the field for 90 minutes in all sorts of different weather,” added United States women’s nation team striker Sydney Leroux. “All of us on the team are environmentally conscious so the fact that it is sustainably designed using recycled Dri-FIT  polyester is also a big plus.”

Undoubtedly the most patriotic jerseys since these back in 1994.

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Images provided by Nike Soccer and Reuters.

24
Mar

Abby Wambach talks Alex Morgan, Julian Green, and more

Abby Wambach made an appearance on Crowd Goes Wild today, and had a lot to say. She talked about the upcoming documentary series Rise As One, teammate Alex Morgan, and new USMNT addition Julian Green.

Then, Wambach answered questions asked from fans on Twitter, including who her athletic hero was, who she would least like to be trapped in an elevator with and more. Don’t miss it:

20
Mar

FOX Soccer Exclusive: Julian Green opens up about decision to play for Team USA

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Editor’s note: Julian Green spoke to Ole Pongratz on Tuesday in Munich. This interview has been translated from German to English by FOX Soccer’s Thomas Hautmann.

Ole Pongratz: Reports in the United States said you were to be included in the US training camp ahead of the friendly against Mexico but you have said that this isn’t the case — yet. Can you explain?

Julian Green: Yes, Klinsmann wanted to invite me to the game against Mexico but because it is not an official international match, Bayern had to give me the clearance first. That [only] happened on Tuesday.

OP: Jurgen Klinmann has announced that you have chosen the United States and that you have handed in your request for the one-time association switch with FIFA. What can you tell us about that?

JG: Yes, that’s right: I have decided on the USA and I will play for them from here on out.

OP: And why did you choose the USA?

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5
Mar

USA fail to impress in 2-0 exhibition loss to Ukraine

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The United States men’s national team slumped to the occasion in their 2-0 loss to Ukraine in a friendly marred by circumstances on Wednesday. Goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Marko Devic dealt Jurgen Klinsmann’s squad a harsh blow in a wholly deserved loss. It was the final game in which Klinsmann had his European-based players at his disposal before convening his World Cup camp in mid-May, and he cannot have been pleased with what he saw.

"This game helped us a lot to see where individual players are, collectively where we stand with this group of players," Klinsmann said on ESPN after the match. "Obviously we had to form a couple of new things there, starting from the back line — and you could see that, that they never played together that much."

His motley USA side, comprised of a few regulars and a slew of players on the bubble, were outsmarted by a cunning Ukrainian side. Knowing full-well where the Americans were weak, Yarmolenko and Yevhen Konoplyanka tore their flanks to shreds while the high defensive line was pelted with through balls.

The tentative American defense let the Ukrainians stroll through its line several times early on. In the 12th minute, a simple ball over the top caught the central defensive pairing of Oguchi Onyewu and John Brooks well out of position. That put Denys Harmash through on Tim Howard’s goal by himself. The American goalkeeper made a fine stop on his attempt, but Harmash coolly collected the rebound and laid it wide for Yarmolenko for him to pass the ball into the net.

Just a few minutes later, the Americans were caught out again on a clever play off a Ukrainian corner, but they were saved by a possibly erroneous offside call that time – Alejandro Bedoya actually appeared to keep the play onside. Sloppy and unimaginative in possession, the Yanks produced just two attacks of note in the entire first half. On the first, goalkeeper Andriy Pyatov alertly picked off the cross; on the second, Edgar Castillo’s cross wasn’t quite right and cleared. And they would give away several more fat chances, which a more incisive opponent might have punished, before the halftime whistle brought a respite.

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27
Feb

Sydney Leroux attempts ‘Happy Gilmore’ golf swing, fails miserably

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Anybody who ventures out to the driving range must attempt at least one “Happy Gilmore” swing. That’s just common knowledge. But while Adam Sandler makes it look all too easy in the cult classic, some of us know the struggle is real. Take United States women’s national team star Sydney Leroux for example:

It’s a good thing Leroux is wearing Richard Sherman’s “Don’t you ever talk about me” shirt, or else we might be tempted to give her some abuse for this.

She did get the hang of it, though (on her 29th try):

(H/T Deadspin)