19
Jul

Clint Dempsey earns spot on FIFA 15 Cover

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Seattle forward Clint Dempsey returned from the World Cup to find out he had landed another honor: a place on the cover of FIFA 2015.

Dempsey is the first American player to land on the cover of the game since Landon Donovan in 2011. He will share the duties with Lionel Messi when the game hits the shelves in September.

"It’s crazy," Dempsey said in a phone interview on Friday. "It’s really cool. I was a fan of the game growing up, playing with my friends. Going from playing the game with my friends to being able to play with my own player in the game and now being on the cover, it’s something that’s pretty special. It’s an honor."

It is also a sign of Dempsey’s cultural relevance in a World Cup year and the increasing influence of MLS on the whole. The popularity of the game — and the presence of the U.S. captain on the cover of it — offers yet another entry point for emerging fans. If Dempsey’s presence prompts more players to opt for MLS sides instead of Barcelona or Real Madrid, then it is exactly the sort of development that can help the league moving forward.

Those broader concerns matter in the long term for a league still seeking to expand its foothold among the general population, but the cachet afforded by Dempsey’s place on the cover reaps immediate benefits, too.  

"I’m super excited that Clint’s on the cover," Seattle defender DeAndre Yedlin said. "I think the fans not only in Seattle, but throughout America will really like it and appreciate because Clint is such a familiar face in soccer, especially in America. I think everybody’s really going to like it. I’m excited to see the response."

Dempsey dons his Sounders FC alternate jersey on the XBox version of the cover (Seattle has the Xbox logo on the front of its kits) and wears his international jersey on the PS4 cover.

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Photos courtesy of EA Sports

18
Jul

Terrence Boyd has sweet debut with RB Leipzig, impresses Zlatan Ibrahimovic

Sure, it was just a friendly in pre-season. But we’re pretty sure USA striker Terrence Boyd won’t forget this match for a while.

First of all, he scored his first goal for RB Leipzig in his debut with the club. Oh, and it was against Zlatan Ibrahimovic and PSG:

Not only did Boyd get his name on the scoresheet in his first match for his new club, he got one of the most coveted possessions in the world: Zlatan’s game-worn jersey.

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Special moment: PSG’s Zlatan Ibrahimovic gives Terrence Boyd his kit at halftime. (Photo: Getty Images).

Just look at his teammate’s face, he can’t hide his jealousy. Terrence, make sure you keep that magical piece of cloth under lock and key.

4
Jul

Tim Howard shows epic defense again as he blocks a hug from a fan

Tim Howard has become something of a national hero after his unbelievable string of saves ensured the USA came out of the World Cup with their heads held high.
Memes, a petition to the White House and phone calls from Barack Obama - just some of the hullabaloo surrounding Howard’s heroics.
The Everton and US keeper returned to Los Angeles to an excited mob of fans at LAX. He seemed happy to pose for photos and sign autographs, but one male fan decided to go too far and dive in for the hug. Just as at the World Cup, Howard denied the man access.
(H/T: NESN)
3
Jul

Wait, what? USA ‘fans’ rave about Landon Donovan’s World Cup performance

(Image: Getty)

Landon Donovan is probably the most recognizable name in US soccer.

(OK, that was before Tim Howard became America’s hero, but still.)

So, the news that Donovan didn’t make the cut for coach Jurgen Kilnsmann’s squad for Brazil was a big deal.

Everyone who is a US soccer fan knew about it, right?

Or not.

The Jimmy Kimmel show hit the streets of Los Angeles to ask USA ‘fans’ about their favorite moments of Donovan’s stellar ‘performance’ in the World Cup.

Tricycle kicks against Saskatchewan? We were obviously watching the wrong World Cup.

(h/t nesn)
2
Jul

Tim Howard gets call from Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel

United States men’s national team goalkeeper Tim Howard became America’s favorite bailout plan on Tuesday night, and with good reason.

The USA netminder made 16 heart-stopping saves in USA’s 2-1 defeat Belgium — the most by any goalkeeper in a World Cup match since 1966. His exploits set the internet ablaze and got fans calling for the renaming of the Ronald Reagan Airport in his honor.

Now, the Pentagon joined in on the praise with Secratary of Defense Chuch Hagel calling the USA soccer hero after Hagel’s “Secretary of Defense of the United States of America” Wikipedia page was replaced with an image of Howard in action.

Per an official release from the United States Department of Defense:

“Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called United States men’s national team goalkeeper Tim Howard to thank him for defending the United States of America at the World Cup. Secretary Hagel congratulated Howard on his record-breaking game and a great run in Brazil. He invited Howard and the entire team to come to the Pentagon later this year. He told Howard that with some training, he could someday become the real secretary of defense.”

And that’s not all! 

Later, President Barack Obama also dialed up Tim Howard, as well as captain Clint Dempsey to commend the team for their valiant performance.

1
Jul

Belgium vs. Team USA: As it happened on Twitter

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Football is a cruel game.

Just when you start to believe, when you think the impossible just might be possible, your soul gets ripped right out of your body, and you remember you have to walk home in a full Captain America costume. The worst.

The United States men’s national team loss to Belgium in extra-time on Tuesday was the most painful kind of torture. For 90 minutes, we watched Tim Howard save the USA time and time again, putting forth arguably the greatest goalkeeping performance ever at a World Cup, only for it to all fall apart in extra-time. Just like four years ago.

But after the heartbreak, there was pride and hope; pride that the team wouldn’t ever, ever quit, and hope that in 2018, this team will be even stronger, and encourage even more belief. One team, one nation:

If you still have the mental and emotional capacity to do so, take a look at how America followed the USA’s thrilling 2-1 loss in the Round of 16:

THE GAME BEFORE THE GAME

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The United States hadn’t even taken the field for warmups yet, when our blood pressure was already over 160. The heart-stopping finish between Argentina and Switzerland — Angel di Maria’s winner deep into extra time sent the Albiceleste through — should probably have told us that this was going to be a long, long day:

THE FIRST HALF

Oh NO! The first sign that the United States were in trouble:

Anyone still wondering if soccer has “made it” in America?

A pitch invader makes an appearance:

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More bad news, Fabian Johnson is hurt:

HALFTIME

Madeleine Albright with some wise words for the USA:

And England legend Gary Lineker perfectly summarizes the play thus far:

THE SECOND HALF

All Belgium, all of the time:

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TWO WORDS!

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Read More

1
Jul

Pregame messages for USA vs Belgium