15
Oct

Pennsylvania high school soccer team under fire for Ebola chants at opposing player

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A Pennsylvania high school boys soccer team is facing repercussions after allegedly taunting an opposing player of West African descent with chants about Ebola.

The Northampton High School’s soccer coaches resigned on Tuesday and the involved students will face disciplinary action.

According to The Morning Call, the school district finished their investigation into the incident on Tuesday and, according to Northampton Area School District Superintendent Joseph Kovalchik, “appropriate discipline will be dispensed to any students who violated the code of conduct.”

The taunting occurred in a match against Nazareth High School last week when a 16-year-old player for Nazareth was reportedly the target of racial slurs as well as Ebola comments.

According to the targeted teen’s guardian, he came to the United States about three years ago from a small town in Guinea, where his parents still live.

"I think some of it was trash talk. He had scored the first goal," said Edward Bachert, a local police chief whose family took in the boy three years ago. "Getting him out of the game was certainly an advantage. I don’t know if that was the strategy."

During last week’s game, the teen was reportedly distressed by the alleged Ebola remarks and charged a Northampton player for which he was ejected from the game.

However, Nazareth students have rallied around him. Some have worn bracelets and posted tweets with the message, “EndRacism.”

"When there’s a teachable moment, we’re going to take advantage of that," Kovalchik said of his meeting with the Northampton players. "Education is life-long. It’s ongoing."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

Image provided by Getty

7
Aug

USA, MLS legend Landon Donovan confirms he will retire at end of season

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Landon Donovan confirmed on his Facebook page that he will retire at the end of this Major League Soccer season:

After careful deliberation and after many conversations with those closest to me, I have decided that this will be my last season as a professional soccer player…

I feel incredibly blessed and lucky to have played a role in the remarkable growth of MLS and US Soccer during my playing career. And while my career as a player will soon be over, rest assured I will stay connected on many levels to the beautiful game.

As we enter a transformative time for the sport, I will do everything I can to help the continued growth of soccer in the United States. I look forward to making a difference, pursuing my passions and meeting all of you along the way in this next phase of my life.

Donovan, 32, will go down as the greatest American soccer player ever. He owns the United States men’s national team all-time records for goals (57), assists (58), and starts (140), and is only second to Cobi Jones with 156 caps:

Donovan also holds the all-time goalscoring record in MLS (138 goals), which he broke earlier this summer, and is second place all time in assists (124) and game-winning goals (38):

For more on Donovan’s pending retirement, go here!

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.

18
Jul

Nike Soccer launches new app, route into the professional arena

As the football world directs its attention to the domestic season after a successful 2014 World Cup, fans of all walks of life can now chat with friends, create matches and access exclusive Nike products all through the power of Nike Football’s new app.

Nike Football’s app allows users to create micro-communities with the “Crew” option, giving them the chance to play pick-up games with friends and teammates to improve their skills. In turn, users can also set up a time and location for their rendezvous with the “Play” section thanks to its geo-tracking technology that allows members to set up matches around the world.

Per Nike’s official press release:

“A player’s community will increase in size as they connect with players in their area. This enables them to find more games, more often, against new opponents. It’s the ultimate way to play more and play better,” said Davide Grasso, Chief Marketing Officer for Nike said in a statement. “The Nike Football app puts players behind-the-scenes with Nike and their heroes. The app will deliver premium content, access to limited product and events before any of our other channels.”

And the fun doesn’t stop there.

The new app will also be the only way to earn a place at the Nike Academy — the U.K. based academy for young players, based at St. George’s Park National Football Center — like previous academy players such as Tom Rogic (Australia), Abdul Waris and David Accam (both Ghana).

The Nike Football app is available now on iOS and Android.

(H/T Nike)

23
Jun

CR7’s new haircut reportedly matches scar of a young fan who’d just undergone surgery

You may recall that Portuguese superstar Cristiano Ronaldo quietly donated over $85K to pay for 10-month old Erik Ortiz Cruz to undergo brain surgery in March.

Sunday, Ronaldo was seen sporting a fresh zig-zag cut in his hair during the USA and Portugal game — reportedly cut in to match the scar young Erik has been left with after his surgery.

Unfortunately, the official World Cup account on Instagram described the haircut instead as showing the number seven — which of course is the number Ronaldo wears:

The tagline for the Instagram picture was: “7: a shirt number, but also the number of games @cristiano wants to play at this #WorldCup. Barbers will be asked for this around the world tomorrow! #Portugal #Copa2014″.

Maybe. But after hearing about CR7’s kind act, we’d rather believe it’s a show of solidarity with brave young Erik.

(H/T: 101GG)

16
Jun

Check out who’s showing their Team USA pride

Team USA makes their World Cup debut against Ghana and they’ve got fans far and wide.

Take a look at who’s rooting for the USA.

7
Jun

Jozy Altidore finally breaks his scoring drought, right in time for World Cup

It’s been a long, frustrating six months for Jozy Altidore. The USA and Sunderland striker hadn’t scored since December 4th, 2013.

With the World Cup just around the corner, Altidore was in desperate need of a goal to get the weight off of his shoulders. Finally, in the USA’s final tune-up match before leaving for Brazil, he broke through:

Sure, it wasn’t anything particularly special from Altidore — the build-up from his teammates was far more impressive — but at this point, even the simple tap-in will do the American striker.

Now Altidore can head to the World Cup without the scoring drought hanging over his head — but the pressure to score in Brazil will certainly still be there.

UPDATE: Jozy scored again. It was much, much prettier this time.

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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