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Monday, July 27, 2009

US loses all momentum from Confederations Cup

The US Men’s National Team was riding high after playing two of the best games in the Nation’s history then followed it up by laying an egg in Mexico, allowing five second half goals en route to an embarrassing 5-0 loss. The US had actually owned Mexico on US soil going 9-0-2 since a March 1999 loss at San Diego. The youth of the US club was more than evident when the pressure was on before an overwhelmingly pro-Mexico crowd of 79,156 at Giants Stadium, after an offensive onslaught in the second half. Captain Gerardo Torrado scored on a penalty kick in the 56th minute, on a bogus call, but then the inexperienced U.S. squad came unglued. Even though the United States was fielding a raw squad after the top team finished second in the Confederations Cup last month, one would hope they could put a club on the pitch that could at least represent, as any respect the US might have earned after beating the world’s best team last month was returned with interest in the Gold Cup Final. Was the Confederations Cup performance an aberration? Is the US ready for the 2010 World Cup? Let us know here and in the World Sports and World Soccer chat rooms.

Match Stats
United States Mexico
Shots...........3(1) 12(10)
Fouls...........7 9
Corner Kicks....4 2
Offsides........3 3
Time of Poss....0% 0%
Yellow Cards....3 2
Red Cards.......1 0
Saves...........5 1

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Contador ushers Tour de France into a new age

It was set up to be the classic incumbent veteran Lance Armsrong coming back for one last title defense against the up and coming challenger Albertro Contado, the only question was would be Ali v. Liston, or Holmes v. Ali? The six-time champion called his shot stating that he would not make his move until stage 15 when they move to hills, his domain. However it was well appearent after stage 15 that the 37-year could not quite put the kids to bed the way he used to. In the end it was the Holmes jab that dominated the entire fight and although he was not laying on the canvas Armstrong was dominated and a convincing unanimous decision went to Contador. Not only did LA not predict the round, he didn’t dominate in the hills, in fact he did not even win a single stage the entire race, and never tasted the mustard jersey once. This was not about what LA didn’t do but what Contador did do. It was clear after stage 1 that Contador had no intention of walking in the shadow of LA and figured his time had come. He then went on to smoke the field by 4:39 leaving no doubt who the new king was. Even Armstrong had to give him his props as in defeat he stated that “His performance this year would have beaten my performances in 01, 04, and 05”. Is this the end for the greatest TDF champion of all time? Should LA come back next year and give us a “token run” or simply ride off into the sunset? Let us know here and in the World Sports chat rooms.
View the complete final team and individual leaderboard here.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Armstrong making huge effort but 37-year old may not have enough in the tank

Lance Armstrong may be in his strongest element of the Tour de France however instead of making up ground LA has lost a step after once again not finishing in the top three of a mountain stage Armstrong finds himself in 4th place overall 3:55 back. Frank Schleck won the 17th stage of the Tour de France in the ski resort of Le Grand Bornand as Alberto Contador cemented his grip on the yellow jersey. With five mountain passes during the 169.5km Alpine stage it was seen as a pivotal day of the race and 2007 champion Contador responded with a commanding performance, coming home sandwiched between Frank and Andy Schleck, the two brothers from Luxembourg. Frank was allowed the victory by Contador for his hard work and he moved up to third on general classification in the process with his younger brother and Saxo Bank team-mate Andy climbing to second overall, two minutes and 26 seconds behind Astana's Contador. It was thought this may be the final curtain call for the 37-year old Armstrong but it was announced yesterday that he has a new sponsor starting next year and plans to race on on the tour in 2010. However for this year's TDF it appears nature has finally gotten the upper hand. Not just the mountains but father time as well. Is the amazing run of Lance Armstrong over and is he just looking to pick up a check? Let us know here and in the World Sport chat rooms and blogs. Also see all of the action from each stage here as well as the overall standings.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Watson’s heroics help British Open get out of the Woods

Tom Watston was on the cusp of making history, again. His “duel in the sun” with Jack Nicklaus was replayed so many times over the weekend that I could have sworn I saw a ‘Lite Beer from Miller’ commercial (as it was called in the day) with Rodney Dangerfield at one of the brakes. However, he almost topped it in 2009 as he was caught from behind on the 1-yard line as he going in for the winning score, and then lost in a four hole playoff. Ironically, he did everything right. His approach at 18, when a par would have won him the tournament, landed on the green but “missed by an inch” according to playing partner Mathew Goggin, and ended up in between two cuts of fringe for a bogey 5, a playoff, and a heartbreaking loss. For Watson. The big winner was ABC who thought their ratings were headed south to Ibiza for the weekend until what turned out to be the golf story year with the highest TV ratings other than the Master’s, even with the time difference. Oh yea, did we mention that Steward Cink won the tournament and his first Major? No worries neither did Sports Center or most newspapers until page 2, but with Tiger at home in Florida that’s kinda’ what you would have expected. With Lefty’s attention focused on more important matters, Tiger’s game less than proficient, and no real consistent contenders to the grown, is it going to take a “feel good” story every tournament to save golf? Who should we be looking to take the reigns if Tiger suddenly becomes human again? Let us know here and in the golf chat rooms.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Tiger misses cut at British Open, as Watson now takes center stage...agian

As one of the first to report how this year’s British Open at Turnberry was suited to the game of Tiger Woods and how he was a prohibited 2/1 favorite, and all but gave him the “Jug”, we have to post our first ever reprint as Tiger Woods has missed the cut for only the second time as a professional, with the first coming in 2006 U.S. Open following the death of his father. TW had a pair of double bogeys on 10 and 13 that all but sealed his fate. While Tiger was using his machete to battle out of the ‘triple rough’ granddad Tom Watson (59) is still right in thick of things, and I don’t mean the rough, as he shot an even par 70 and is tied for the lead at -5. What Watson has done has been simply amazing as he has battled his nerves and a bad day of weather to lead going into the round that separates contenders from pretenders. Fear not ABC another there’s another great story looming other than Watson, the comeback of John Daily, who is five shots back at even and with his power with the steel, could be a factor down the stretch if he can keep his mental game in tact, but that’s a big IF. Unfortunately, although great fodder, historically based on when TW was out with his knee injury TV ratings plummeted without him in the mix so ABC will be scrambling through the garbage for old footage of when Daily was good and archives when Watson battled Nicklaus, so if you’re going to watch get ready for a steady dose of it, but it’s only two days. View the complete leader board here.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Tiger’s power makes him the favorite, but Turnberry may have other ideas

In addition to being the world’s number one player, the main reason why Tiger Woods is a 2/1 favorite to win the British Open is how the course is suited to his game. Although it is his first time playing Turnberry, the course should fit Tiger like a driving glove. In practice rounds TW only needed to bust out the Big Dogs on three holes, meaning he’ll be playing irons off the tee, and as you know if Tiger stays out of the tall stuff he’s impossible to beat. For all of his dominance, he ranks 11th in driving and that’s how he gets into trouble, if you take that out of the equation it could make for long days for rest of the field. Now the great equalizer for this tournament is always the weather which can bring the snowmen out in July, also the craters they’ve created that they call bunkers are worse than hazards because they’re so steep and deep. If you’re gonna’ miss then miss by a lot because if you just short you’ll find yourself on an embankment that is almost vertical, (not in a good way) and by the time you get out you wished you would have hit a hazard. So despite the 50/50 shot the odds makers are giving TW don’t hand him the jug just yet as the course may have something to say about it. View the complete British Open Leaderboard here, also see the odds for each player to win the tournament here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Armstrong calls his shot, says not making move til’ stage 15

Either Lance Armstrong recent statement will exponentially add to is legacy by ‘calling his shot’ ala Babe Ruth or he’s just given the cyclers from around the world, who already don’t like him a whole lot, more motivation to rise up and take him out. Armstrong was recently quoted as saying that he was going to wait until stage 15 to “make his move” is pretty much saying that he can win this thang any time he decides to step his game up. After stage 10 LA finds himself 8 seconds behind the leader and his team Astana has four of the top five racers. Now, under normal circumstances you would wrap this one up for the ‘pole sitter’ for a team that is running that top heavy as the other team members would be setting him up, letting him ride their draft, and then sprint to a championship, but needless to say there hasn’t been a lot of brotherly love shown on team Astana lately. Moreover, what does that say about the sport if a 37-year old can call out the youngsters, then punk them in a seemingly effortless way? If LA can pull this off AGAIN for his eighth win what does that say about the future of this sport? It would be like Michael Jordan coming back and dunkin’ on Kobe or LeBron (well that’s already been done but you get the point). Check the stage leaders and overall leaders here. Also chat about the Tour de France and other world sports in the World Sports chat rooms.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Inner-team turmoil headlining a close Tour de France

Stage 7 was the first stage in the mountains, and the longest stage of the Tour de France, but when the riders had crossed the finish line seven time American champion Lance Armstrong was in third place just behind Alberto Contador and Italian rider Rinaldo Nocentini (team AG2R La Mondiale). Nocentini was part of an early breakaway and managed to stay in front long enough to win the yellow jersey. Rockie Frenchman Brice Feillu (team Agritubel) won the stage on the power of his last 5K breakaway from the summit making him the star of the day and perhaps a new rising star in professional cycling. However the talk of the day was not who prevailed on arguably the toughest day of the cycling event but what was the conversation between teammates Armstrong and Contador in the “party van” after the race as they were both requested to submit to random drug test. Although many don’t consider cycling to be a team sport, the US Mail team that Armstrong used to ride for has been given a large share of the credit for his seven victories. This team may be a different story as there continues to be a disagreement on who is the General and who is the Lieutenant. The cold war continues as Contador doesn’t seem to be yielding or providing much in the way of interference for LA leaving many to believe he has no intentions of stepping aside while Lance gets fitted for a new mustard jacket. The TDF doesn’t really begin until they get to the Alps, LA usually shines, if/when he gets the commanding lead it’ll be interesting to see what Lance has to say as it may be a bigger story than winning his 8th. Do you think Lance Armstrong is a good team mate? Let us know here and in the Cycling chat room. Also view the current up to date TDF standings here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Tiger follows his friend’s lead and takes care of business

Some of the Sports radio talk over the past week was bout the unique the friendship between Tiger Woods and Roger Federer. Both compete in individually and sit atop their respective sports. As birds of a feather flock together Federer opened the day early with a victory at Wimbledon to take his place as the winner of the most Grand Slam events in tennis history, and Tiger followed up in the afternoon with a win at the AT & T National. Although not a major it’s quickly becoming a prestigious tourney and with the exception of lefty several of the top in the world competed. Tiger overcame major issues with the 11th hole where he tallied a monster +5 for the four rounds. Omit that hole and Tiger wins going away, but it was there and so was Hunter Mahan, who was the clubhouse co-leader at -12 as Tiger had 7 holes to play. After laying up on his first par-5 to conservatively go for the birdie a bad third shot prevented him from getting his shot at a bird. However the 16th was good to him again as he sunk a 20footer (he would have over 100ft of made puts for the day) to provide the margin of victory. See the complete final leader board here. Ok, it’s his third win of year and all of them have come two weeks before a major but he hasn’t won one this year. Are we finally seeing chinks in the armor? Is Tiger 3.0 going to dominate as he has done in years past? Let us know here and in the PGA chat rooms.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

You gotta’ LOVE 15 as Federer sets grand slam record

Last year’s Gentlemen’s Final was arguably the best ever played with Roger Federer on the losing end, tennis fans knew it would be hard to follow such an amazing opening act buy Andy Roddick and Roger Federer came pretty close. In the longest Wimbledon Men’s match in history Federer out lasted Roddick 16-14 in the fifth set tie-breaker. Federer saved his best for last as he had not broken Roddick once all match until the game that gave him the cup some 4hours and 17 minutes later. Because of the ferocity of A-Rod’s serve Federer was playing catch up most of the games helping to keep him at bay. However, surprisingly it was Federer’s who held a decisive edge in aces with 50, to A-Rod’s 27. View all of the match statistics here. Fed clutched up when the chips were in the center of the table taking 7-6 sets in the second and third where the match was up for grabs. Both players showing incredible endurance as neither looked tired in the final set. So where does this put Roger among the all-time greats? Top, top 5, top 10? Let us know here and in the World Tennis chat rooms.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

A-Rod tries to keep Federer from getting #15, Serena dethrones the Champion

The Wimbledon Men’s Final will have two opponents that are all to familiar with each other similar to the ladies side. Although not family Andy Roddick and Roger Federer are not strangers and will square off again on Centre Court to decide the 09 Wimbledon champion. Federer tries to make history and tie Pete Sampras with his 15th grand slam title. Rest assured rocket Rod and his record breaking serve will try to throw the defending champ off his game but it won’t be easy as Federer has owned manicured grass of the All-England Club for quite some time. The sentimental favorite was Andy Murray who represented England’s deepest penetration into the tournament in over two decades still looked overmatched and frustrated by the seasoned Roddick and never seemed to recover from losing the third set tie-breaker. Meanwhile Federer disposed of Tommy Haas with relative ease in straight sets and looks like the clear cut favorite coming into the final match on Sunday. Is RFed due to get his 15th or does A-Rod have game enough other than his serve to rain on his parade? Let us know here and in the Tennis chat rooms.

This time the Williams family battle, so often conducted on the lawns of the All England Club, went the way of Serena as she removed the ladies' singles championship from the custody of her older sister Venus. In straight sets, too, 7-6 (7-3), 6-2 in 87 minutes. Serena had been saying from the start of these Championships that it was her turn to win Wimbledon. And since the Williams' have turned this event into a private affair, the only one she really needed to defeat was Venus. The job was accomplished in typical powerful style, with Venus so worn down that her own game collapsed spectacularly from 2-2 in the second set. This was Serena’s third Wimbledon title and 11th Grand Slam and was ample amends for her loss to her big sister 12 months ago. The best thing about this match is that they both competed as if they were facing someone other than a sibling on the other side of the net. When that happens you really can appreciate the greatness each possesses how astonishing it is for two family members to consistently compete at this level. No, mystical hamstring pulls or fatherly interference just the best grass tennis in the world. Do you appreciate the level of tennis the Willams’ sisters compete or would you like to see someone else rise up and take centre court? Let us know here and in the Tennis chat rooms. View the complete Ladies Singles Results here.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Williams sisters make reservations to spend holiday at ‘The Club’

Although the favorite Serena found herself in a war after losing the first set tie-breaker (7-4) but then rallied and took two consecutive sets including a breathtaking 8-6 win in the final set to advance to the finals where she will face a familiar opponent, big sis. Venus, also the favorite but not expected to dominate swept through the top seed Dinara Safina with surprising ease as she dominated not only straight sets, but only losing one game in a 6-1, 6-0 victory. Venus needed only 27 minutes to take the first set, and the defending champion, playing the world number one, Russia v the US, in a perfect setting on a perfect day, had all the makings of an “headline match” that might even top the opening act which was one of folklore, however it seemed nobody except Venus seemed very concerned. So with a day to catch up Serena should have plenty left in the tank to give the incumbent a run for her money. Despite being here before this movie doesn’t get old, with the caveat that they both go at each other the way they competed in the semis. As long as ‘Dad’ stays out of the mix it should be a great final.
View the complete Ladies Singles Results here.

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