USA Shocks Spain

us celebratesThe United States Men’s National Team needed an improbable 3-0 victory over Egypt and for Brazil to beat Italy 3-0 last Sunday afternoon. It happened. This time, all the US had to do was knock off #1 ranked Spain, who had not given up a goal all tournament, had won 15 games in a row, and had a 35 game unbeaten streak. They did that as well, beating the Spaniards 2-0 and advancing to the finals of the Confederations Cup.

In no way did the US outplay Spain. Spain had almost three times as many shots as the US (11-4) and had exactly three times as many corner kicks (9-3), but the US played the exact style necessary to win. Spain would have had 20 shots on goal, but the backline of Jay Demerit, Carlos Bocanegra, Oguchi Onyewu, and Jonathan Spector blocked chance after chance to prevent Spain from scoring. Every cross into the box the US had marked perfectly. Spain never had an open header or wide open shot. Everything was covered. The midfield came back extremely well, with the US always seeming to have 7 or 8 guys behind the ball. Continue reading “USA Shocks Spain”

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The Greatest Olympian

Photo: SI

Michael Phelps completed the unthinkable last night, winning eight gold medals in a single Olympics to surpass Mark Spitz’s 36-year-old record of seven gold medals in one games. Phelps swam 17 races, won 8 gold medals, and set seven world records. He won one of the closest races of all-time, when he snuck in front of Milorad Cavic at the last moment to beat Cavic by .01 seconds. He watched Jason Lezak complete on the greatest comebacks in swimming history to keep Phelps’s hopes of eight gold medals alive. He has secured the title of Greatest Olympian of all-time. Some are even asking if he is the greatest athlete ever. Phelps’s accomplishments at this Olympics go past the unreal, past dreamland, and into the absolutely unimaginable.

Only Mark Spitz knows what Michael Phelps is going through. When you swimming 17 races at full speed in 10 days, conduct countless interviews, and get mobbed by fans everywhere you go, life must very tiring. Phelps pushed through though. He carried a smile at all times, except before races when he walked out headphones in his ears and a stern, concentrated look on his face. He may need a couple weeks off before getting in the pool again, but I don’t think so. With someone like Michael Phelps, he lives for he water and no amount of pain is going to keep him away from that liquid bliss. Will he back in 2012? Yes. Now I can’t say that for certain, but I cannot imagine a situation other than injury that would keep Phelps away from the 2012 games. Continue reading “The Greatest Olympian”

The Olympics Begin

Photo: Boston.com

With an unprecidented, magnificent opening ceremonies, China has officially opened its doors and let the world enter into Beijing for the Summer Olympics. The show that the China put on will forever live as the greatest opening ceremonies in the history of the Olympics. I just don’t see how any city, any country, anyone could possibly top last night’s performance. It was truly magical. And I would expect nothing less from the Chinese, who are determined to prove that they are not a corrupted, evil empire, but a just, skillful country. Though everyone who saw the lighting of the Olympic Torch was no doubt left in awe, it won’t be as easy to convince the world that China is just. My question is: Are the Olympics the place to share political opinions and uproot years of planning with protesting?

The Olympics are designed to bring the world together for two-plus weeks of incredible events to showcase the greatest athletes in the world and the incredible sportsmanship and respect that exists between those athletes. It is for the four athletes from Malawi to show that their country has pride and passion. It is for Michael Phelps to win nine gold medals and the United States Basketball team to reclaim gold. But most of all, it is for the Chinese to take the world by storm. China has spent four years and millions of dollars developing a strategy and training athletes so that when all is said and done at this year’s Summer Olympics, they will be left holding the most medals. Continue reading “The Olympics Begin”