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Archive for the ‘World Cup’

A look back at the 2002 World Cup: Summer of Upsets 2

Posted on January 17, 2014 by Dan Newman


The FIFA World Cup is one of the world’s most exciting sporting events. Every country in the world has the opportunity to send their team to this elite competition, making it every professional player’s dream to represent their nation on the world stage.

This equal opportunity gives perennial favorites and little known squads an equal chance at glory and produces some of the most memorable moments in sporting history. The 2002 World Cup is only one example of an exciting moment in sports history. Let’s take a look at some of the unlikely upsets that took place during the 2002 World Cup.

Republic of Korea

Perhaps the most admirable performance of the competition was that of South Korea. The South Koreans found themselves pitted against Portugal, the United States and Poland in a group that led many people to immediately write them off. Despite their poor odds of advancing to the knockout stage, the South Korean team went undefeated and won their group in stunning fashion. This included an upset victory over Portugal that knocked the Portuguese out of the competition and sealed Korea’s place in the final 16.

The momentum continued for South Korea as they shocked Italy in the round of 16 and advanced to a quarterfinal match up with the Spanish giants. Their victory over Italy came in exciting fashion as the host nation won the game with a golden goal in extra time. Both the manner of the victory and the pedigree of the Italian team make this win one of the biggest upsets in World Cup history, as cited by Bleacher Report.

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The World Cup Returns to its Roots 44

Posted on October 12, 2013 by Dennis Phoenix
The first World Cup was hosted by Uruguay, who also managed to win the 13 team tournament.

The first World Cup was hosted by Uruguay, who also managed to win the 13 team tournament.

Already the qualifying matches for the 2014 World Cup are underway. Around the world avid fans are cheering on their team hoping that by the end of next July their team will hoist into the air the most coveted trophy in all of sports. This competition marks the 20th World Cup with an estimated 3.3 million tickets available.

The 2014 World Cup will take place in Brazil next June and July. It will be the first time the Cup has been held in South America since Argentina hosted the competition back in 1978. Since the World Cup originated in South America, it is only fitting to discuss its humble beginnings which started with the original tournament in Uruguay in 1930.

During the 1920’s the Olympic Football Tournament met with success and became quite popular. As a result, FIFA became determined to organize a championship tournament of its own. Since Uruguay had won two Olympic Gold medals in 1924 and 1928, it was chosen as the site for the competition. Also in Uruguay’s favor was the fact that it was celebrating its 100th anniversary of independence in 1930. Read the rest of this entry →

The Story Behind Sports Most Iconic Trophies 49

Posted on August 24, 2013 by Anna McCarthy
The Stanley Cup

The Stanley Cup

Every year athletes across the globe compete for iconic championships and the trophies that come with them. Here is a look at some of the best known trophies in sports.

Stanley Cup
This coveted trophy is awarded each year to the National Hockey League’s winner of the Stanley Cup Finals. It is so iconic that the men presenting the trophy wear white gloves. Unlike many trophies that are made specifically for a championship team each year, this trophy is passed onto the next winner from year to year. Named after Lord Stanley of Preston, then Governor General of Canada in 1893, the Stanley Cup has been held high above the heads of hockey champions for many generations.

The five bands forming the trophy’s base have special significance. Each player’s name for the winning team is inscribed on the lowest band. Once the band becomes full, the oldest band, located at the top of the base, is removed and placed on display in the Hockey Hall of Fame.

NBA Championship Trophy
Many may not know that the NBA Trophy is actually called the Larry O”Brien NBA Championship Trophy. Don’t recognize the name? Many don’t. A number of years ago, professional basketball was struggling to make a name for itself. If it weren’t for the efforts of then commissioner of basketball Larry O’Brien, the NBA may not ever have become the widely known professional sport it is today. During the mid 1970’s and into the 80’s, Larry O’Brien made a number of gutsy decisions that have ultimately led to the NBA we cherish today.

The trophy stands two feet tall and weighs in at nearly 15 pounds. It is designed to look like a basketball about to enter the net. It is made of sterling silver and overlaid with 24 carat gold. Each year the winning team receives its own trophy to permanently display. Read the rest of this entry →

Even in Defeat, U.S. Women’s Soccer Players Serve as Important Role Models 5

Posted on July 17, 2011 by Dean Hybl

The Women's Soccer World Cup final was an exciting game that made fans forget about gender, at least for the day.

Had the United States Women’s Soccer Team held on to their second half and extra period leads in the 2011 Women’s World Cup there would probably have been dozens of articles written today about how the victory would change the culture for women’s sports and soccer in the United States. Because America is a country where most people generally give their loyalty to winners, most of those same writers are likely now writing about how women’s sports in general and specifically soccer can go back to their place on the back shelf of American sports interest.

I have been a fan of soccer since watching Pele and the New York Cosmos and then playing the sport as a youngster on some of the first youth soccer teams in my area in the late 1970s. However, even if the American women had won, one tournament wasn’t going to change the fact that soccer is a sport that Americans care about much like they do the primary Olympic sports. When national pride is on the line we care, but the rest of the time we don’t really care and never will.

I’m willing to bet if you walked the streets of just about any city or town in America and asked 50 people to name even one team from the MLS, most would look at you funny and ask “what is an MLS?” If you dared ask them about the WPS they would probably report you to the cops.

But while the result of the Women’s World Cup final may not have changed that fact, just the interest given to the game by the mainstream media does have an impact in another important way.

My seven-year-old daughter likes art, music and reading. There is absolutely no chance that she will be a professional athlete and though sports are on the television at our house almost continuously, she rarely has even the slightest interest.

However, twice in the last few months I have seen a spark in her eye about commercials for sporting events. The first was in early April when the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Final Four was being promoted. The second was this week in preparation for the Women’s World Cup final.

She sat and watched much of the women’s basketball Final Four with me and today though we were out and about during most of the game she navigated to the television when possible to see how the game was going and was genuinely interested when I would give reports while following the game on my phone.

I asked her this afternoon why she was interested in those games and she said it was because it isn’t that often that women’s sports are on television and she likes watching them.

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USA Women’s Soccer Team Pulls Off a Miracle 8

Posted on July 10, 2011 by Dean Hybl

Abby Wambach's improbable goal in the final seconds set up the USA for victory over Brazil.

On the 12th anniversary of the biggest victory in United States women’s soccer history, the USA women’s squad pulled off a miracle that may eventually prove to be just as significant as their 1999 World Cup win over China.

For most of their quarterfinal matchup against Brazil it looked like another nail was being put in the coffin of soccer in the United States.

After the U.S. men’s team was the victim of awful officiating during the 2010 World Cup and FIFA by-passed the U.S. for hosting a future World Cup, the way it appeared the U.S. women were going to lose to Brazil would serve as another blow against keeping the casual fan interested in soccer.

The U.S. scored early following a defensive miscue by Brazil and maintained that lead midway through the second half.

Then as Brazil superstar Marta and American Rachel Buehler raced with their arms seemingly connected into the box, Marta fell to the ground and earned a penalty kick. While it wasn’t shocking that a penalty was called, it was a bit surprising that Buehler was given a red card considering that both players were going for the ball and there didn’t appear to be any malicious intent.

But if that wasn’t bad enough, what transpired next was even more frustrating for fans of the USA. Read the rest of this entry →

Women’s World Cup Ready To Kick Off 2

Posted on June 22, 2011 by Pete South

The 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup gets underway in Berlin on June 26th and it looks like a three-way battle for glory.

Sixteen teams in total are battling for the biggest prize in women’s football (soccer) and Brazil, who can boast Marta – the biggest star in the women’s game with five consecutive FIFA World Player of the Year awards – will take some beating.

Brazil are a creative side who have struggled to win big tournaments and will be looking to change that in Germany. The hosts could be one side likely to challenge the Brazilians for glory in the World Cup as they look to defend their title and the football predictions (soccer) reflect this.

As usual, Germany are a solid unit and they have a great goalscoring threat of their own in Birgit Prinz. With a passionate home support behind them Germany could fancy a third consecutive World Cup title.

The third big team in the tournament is the United States, who won the World Cups of 1991 and 1999. Never have the US finished outside the top three in any World Cup and, despite under-performing in qualifying, they should be there or thereabouts in the competition.
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  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Bob Cousy: The Houdini of the Hardwood
      January 31, 2020 | 4:05 pm
      Bob Cousy

      As we reach the halfway point of the NBA season, we recognize as the Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month the first in a long line of superstars to play for the Boston Celtics.

      Before there was Bill Russell and Larry Bird, the Boston Celtics were powered by a 6-foot-1 inch guard from Holy Cross. Bob Cousy was the on-the-court leader for the Celtics in the era during which they emerged as a basketball power.

      Read more »

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