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2018 World Cup Off to a Hot Start 0

Posted on June 21, 2018 by Dean Hybl
Cristiano Ronaldo scored three goals in his first action in the 2018 World Cup.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored three goals in his first action in the 2018 World Cup.

The 2018 FIFA World Cup is off to a great start as close decisions are proving to be the norm. Of the first 20 games played, 13 have been decided by one goal and there have been three games finishing in a draw. Included among the decisions have been a number of upsets that could lead to some surprising teams advancing to the next round.

As the most watched global sporting event outside of the Olympics and a favorite for sports betting, the close games and upsets have made it an interesting week for betting sites and world cup predictions.

The hosts from Russia have been statistically the most dominant team so far in the tournament as they have scored eight goals and allowed only one in two wins. However, their two opponents (Saudi Arabia and Egypt) are not considered to be contenders. The fourth team in that bracket, Uruguay is also 2-0, though both wins were 1-0 shutouts. Russia and Uruguay will play on Monday and that game could provide some insight as to whether Russia can be a contender moving forward.

Perhaps the most surprising result of the tournament so far has been the 1-0 victory by Mexico over defending champion Germany. It will be crucial for Germany to bounce back in their next two games against Sweden and South Korea.

One thing that hasn’t been too much of a surprise so far has been the play of Portugal’s Cristiano Ronaldo. Arguably the best player in the world, Renaldo scored three goals in a 3-3 draw between Portugal and Spain. He then scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory over Morocco. He will need to continue his magic in the next game against Iran to ensure that Portugal will advance to the next round. Read the rest of this entry →

Even Without USA, Soccer World Cup Is a Global Event 3

Posted on May 28, 2018 by Dean Hybl

2018 FIFA World Cup As has been the case for every FIFA Men’s Soccer World Cup since the tournament was first held in 1930, the United States will not win the 2018 championship. Of course, the reason we can definitively say that more than two weeks before the start of the tournament is because for the first time since 1986 the USA did not qualify.

Known across the rest of the world as football, even without the United States as a competitor, the 2018 World Cup will captivate audiences across the globe. One of the most popular betting events in the world, millions will be paying attention to football betting options as they look to identify the winner of the 2018 World Cup.

Being held in Russia for the first time ever, the FIFA World’s Cup will surely be the center of interest in the sports world from the first match on June 14th through the championship on July 15th.

For many years, the World Cup was dominated by South American countries, with a total of nine titles between 1930 and 2002 (five by Brazil and two each by Uruguay and Argentina). However, the last three titles have been claimed by European countries to push the total number for Europe to 11 (four by Germany and Italy with one each by England, France and Spain).

After claiming the 2014 title, their first since 1990, Germany will look to match Brazil for the most World Cup championships in 2018. They are considered one of the tournament favorites, but given that no country has repeated as World Cup champions since Brazil in 1958 and 1962, it will certainly be a tough task. Read the rest of this entry →

Examples in Excellence: Most Inspiring Coaches of the Last Decade 5

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.
Read the rest of this entry →

US Still Fair Weather Football (Soccer) Fans 9

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 →

Hosts Tipped for World Cup Success 20

Posted on April 02, 2014 by Pete South
Called by some the next Pele, Neymar will try to make Brazil the first host to win the World Cup since 1998.

Called by some the next Pele, Neymar will try to make Brazil the first host to win the World Cup since 1998.

With just three months before the start of the tournament, many soccer fans will have one eye on this summer’s World Cup in Brazil. While there is still plenty of twists and turns before the start of the tournament in June, the betting odds are beginning to give punters an idea on who could go on to lift the famous Jules Rimet trophy in Brazil. With the world’s gaze descending on the colorful South American country, the excitement is building ahead of a World Cup that looks set to be one of the most keenly-fought tournaments in recent memory.

While Spain will head into this World Cup as the defending champions and winner of the past two European Championships, the betting odds are tipping host nation Brazil to win the tournament for a sixth time. The hosts are considered to have the best chance to win the World Cup despite not winning the tournament since 2002. With the help of the home fans and a talented squad, Brazil have been given odds as short as 3/1 with some bookmakers.

Not since 2002 have Brazil boasted a squad packed with the same sort of talent that saw them win their fifth World Cup title, led by Ronaldo’s incredible goal scoring exploits in Japan and South Korea 12 years ago. While Ronaldo now spends much of his time as a Team PokerStars SportsStar -representing the brand who also took over Full Tilt Poker to make them the biggest online poker provider- the former striker will be hoping to watch on from the sidelines as the new Brazil side look to repeat the success achieved by himself and the rest of that 2002 side. Read the rest of this entry →

Summer 2014: 5 Reasons to Be Psyched About Sports 13

Posted on March 29, 2014 by Dixie Somers

The 2014 Soccer World Cup highlights a busy sports summer.

As if a cold and snowy winter isn’t enough reason to look forward to the summer, the months of June, July and August 2014 promise something for just about all sports fans.

There is never a bad time to be a sports fan because there are great events spread throughout the year, but this summer should be especially great for fans across the board. Some think that the world of sports slows down in the summer and there isn’t anything worth watching—how wrong they are! If you can’t get enough sports, prepare yourself for an awesome lineup and get psyched for sports this summer. Read ahead for the best events to keep an eye out for:

2014 Golf Men’s U.S Open
The U.S Open is one of the toughest and most prestigious golf tournaments played on the PGA Tour every year. This year’s edition of the tournament will take place June 12-15 in Pinehurst, North Carolina. It will be the third time the U.S Open was held at the No. 2 Course at Pinehurst.

2014 FIFA World Cup
The World Cup is the most watched sporting event in the world, and the 20th tournament will begin on June 12. The entire tournament will last just over a month, and it will be played at 12 different arenas throughout Brazil. There is nothing quite like watching the national soccer teams of 32 country battle it out for one of the most prestigious prizes in professional sports. Read the rest of this entry →

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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Paul Warfield: The Perfect Receiver
      December 10, 2018 | 3:36 pm

      Warfield-DolphinsThe Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was perfection personified as a wide receiver during his NFL career.

      Known for his fluid movement, grace and jumping ability during his 13 year NFL career, Paul Warfield was an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and key performer for the Miami Dolphins during their 17-0 campaign in 1972.

      Because the role of the wide receiver has changed so much and today’s star receivers get the ball thrown to them so many more times than in the pre-1978 era, Warfield is often overlooked when discussing all-time greats.

      But, think about this. Warfield averaged 20.1 yards per catch for his career (427 receptions, 8,565 yards) and 19.9% of his receptions went for touchdowns (85). By comparison, Julio Jones has averaged 15.5 yards per catch for his career and a touchdown in 6.9% of his receptions (46 TDs in 669 catches). Antonio Brown averages 13.4 ypc and a TD in 8.7% (70 of 804) of his receptions. Terrell Owens averaged 14.8 ypc and a TD in 14.2% of his receptions. Even Jerry Rice, considered the greatest receiver of all-time, averaged only 14.8 ypc and a TD in 12.7% of his catches.

      Read more »

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