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Archive for the ‘soccer’

Examples in Excellence: Most Inspiring Coaches of the Last Decade 1

Posted on July 24, 2015 by Brooke Chaplan
Jill Ellis has been successful building the U.S. Women's Soccer Team into a team of stars.

Jill Ellis has been successful building the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team into a team where everyone plays their role.

The greatest sports coaches have the power to inspire their athletes to be better than they’ve ever been and change the whole dynamic of a team. We’ve all seen what an amazing leader can do for an otherwise scrappy team, and here are just a few of the most remarkable examples of the last decade.

Build Teams with Great Players, Not One Great Player
Jill Ellis experienced incredible training as a young coach at UCLA when she was mentored by John Wooden. Now she is the manager of the U.S. Women’s Soccer team.

Ellis creates a clear team concept and teaches each player their role within it. At her father’s suggestion, she learned communication outside her sport. For a while, she was a technical writer. Now she can explain her team vision and help her players to be their best within it. Her background was able to prepare her for seeing a big picture and what each part needs to do to organize a working machine.

Leadership by Listening
Steve Kerr was the first rookie head coach in the NBA to win the championship since 1982. The Golden State Warriors were a team of current and future all-stars, but they needed someone who could pull all the pieces together.

Kerr created a system based on the strengths of his players to maximize the team’s performance. He also empowered his coaching staff to share their ideas and listened to everyone. Most significantly, in the NBA Finals, an assistant coach wanted to change the starting line-up to help them deal with the previously unstoppable LeBron James. Kerr accepted and implemented the idea. Not only did it work, Kerr publicly identified his assistant as the source of the idea. This is one example out of dozens of Kerr giving credit to others for the team’s success.
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Introducing the EPL’s Newly Promoted Clubs 0

Posted on July 20, 2015 by Amelia Rose

A new Premier League season is nearly upon us, as three new clubs look to take their place among the elite of the national game. Many will be looking to follow the example of Leicester City, who combined shrewd investment with an attacking philosophy to survive their first season in the EPL. This was despite the club being rooted to the bottom of the Premier League for most of the season, and there is no doubt that the newly promoted clubs will be in for a roller-coaster experience.

So who are these newly promoted teams, and what should we expect from them in the next nine months.



Bournemouth recently announced a sponsorship deal with Mansion casino, and the club has been engulfed in a genuine sense of optimism since its promotion. This is despite persistent rumours that Aston Villa have targeted the club’s star striker Callum Wilson as a replacement for the departing Christian Benteke and a significant lack of spending to date. Manager Eddie Howe is a positive and charismatic leader, however, while his teams attacking style may just be enough to ensure the Cherries survival this term. Read the rest of this entry →

The Best and Most Exciting Sporting Events Held in the UK 5

Posted on April 08, 2015 by John Harris
The British Grand Prix is always one of the sporting highlights of the year in the UK.

The British Grand Prix is always one of the sporting highlights of the year in the UK.

Even if you are a casual observer, you will likely have noticed the passion and fervor associated with sporting events held annually in the UK, and how they keep drawing in the crowds year after year. Here are some of the highest profile sporting events.

The FA Cup Final

Held in May of each year, the FA Cup Final marks the end of the football season and the culmination of one of the most famous knockout competitions in world football. The Cup Final, held at Wembley Stadium, is a glamorous affair and receives extensive media coverage both at home and internationally, but the competition starts in August of each year and goes through six qualifying rounds before the League clubs enter the draw. The FA Cup has become famous for its so-called giant killings, with unfancied teams beating their more high-profile opponents. If you are a football fan, you will likely remember some of these matches, including Cup Finals such as 1973, when Sunderland beat Leeds United, and 1988, when Wimbledon shocked Liverpool, the then-giant of English football.

The British Grand Prix

The UK has a long association with motor car racing, and Formula One comes to the country annually with a Grand Prix, currently held at the Silverstone Circuit. Grand Prix motor racing in the UK can be traced back to the 1920s, and the history of the British Grand Prix shows some thrilling races down through the years. Such homegrown talents as Stirling Moss, Nigel Mansell and, more recently, Lewis Hamilton have enjoyed wins in the race. Hamilton won the 2014 race on his way to that year’s World Championship and will hope for a repeat in July. Read the rest of this entry →

Where Are the Big Premier League Transfers of Summer 2015 Going to Land? 0

Posted on March 31, 2015 by John Harris

soccerSpring is here, and summer is just around the corner. And that means one thing for sports fans, the summer transfer window. Who needs to watch football when you can become engrossed in the endlessly fascinating merry go round that is the transfer window?

And, as you’d expect, the rumors are flying around already. The title isn’t yet won (although Chelsea look set to clinch it anytime now) but that won’t stop us talking about who’s heading where this summer.

The biggest and most exciting rumor doing the rounds at the moment concerns Chelsea and a bid for Gareth Bale. A lot of people have been scratching their heads wondering how this Chelsea team could be improved, but Bale would certainly do that.

It’s said that the club are ready to make a £75 million bid to Real Madrid for the Welsh winger. It hasn’t been a happy time at Real Madrid this season for him. His time at the club started well, but he’s recently been criticized by fans. Read the rest of this entry →

US Still Fair Weather Football (Soccer) Fans 2

Posted on July 31, 2014 by Jeremy Biberdorf
American fans were locked in during the 2014 World Cup, but will they stay excited about soccer over the next four years?

American fans were locked in during the 2014 World Cup, but will they stay excited about soccer over the next four years?

To see the images that flooded American news and social media, one would think that the US lives and breathes football (well…”soccer”). It’s true, United States patriotic spirit was in full bloom during the Americans’ solid run in the most recent World Cup. So what does this mean for lasting nationwide interest in the beautiful game?

It would seem that sentiment is at an all-time high for the red, white, and blue. Never before have so many identified themselves as football fans. But when the rubber meets the road, most US football analytics have not increased within the past decade. The nation has spent more on football merchandise since the 2010 world cup, this much is true. But rabid fandom seems truly dilute nationwide. While some Americans know the names of their nation’s top players, and some could even tell you the latest UK football odds, only 1.2  tickets to this year’s Cup were sold for every 2000 residents. Read the rest of this entry →

25th Anniversary of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster 4

Posted on April 18, 2014 by Scott Huntington

Earlier this week marked the 25th anniversary of the worst stadium-related disaster in English sports. On April 15, 1989, the Hillsborough Stadium disaster occurred during an FA Cup semi-final match between Nottingham Forest and Liverpool at Sheffield Wednesday’s Hillsborough Stadium. The disaster resulted in the deaths of 96 people, who were honored at a ceremony at Anfield Stadium, the home of Liverpool Football Club. While Liverpool currently sits atop the English Premier League, this week serves as a period to remember the 96 people lost at Hillsborough Stadium 25 years ago.


The Tragedy

25 years ago, the FA committee selected Hillsborough Stadium as the neutral site for the FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest. At that time, most English stadiums included high, steel fencing around the pitch in order to prohibit any rushing of the pitch, either friendly or hostile. Standing room for supporters was provided just beyond the fence. On the day of the disaster, only one terminal was opened for Liverpool fans to enter through, as a precaution to keep them separated from the Nottingham Forest fans. Massive overcrowding made the open terminal dangerous to both those who were attempting to get into the match and those who were being turned back for not having a ticket. In order to avoid injuries in the original entryway, police decided to open an exit gate that was designed to service departing fans.

The exit gate led to a narrow pathway to which fans flocked when it opened. Unfortunately for many fans, the narrow pathway led to the steel fence. As thousands of fans entered, many of them were pressed up against one another and a human crush formed. The police that were supposed to be stationed at the entrance of the gate should have cut off the flow of fans and direct them to another way in, but there were no policemen stationed outside the gate for unknown reasons.

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