Chelsea win Champions League title behind goal by Kai Havertz

By Erin Walsh  |  Last updated 5/29/21

Chelsea have been crowned Champions League champions for the first time since their 2012 miracle victory over Bayern Munich after beating Manchester City 1-0 in the 2020-21 final on Saturday. 

Kai Havertz‘s first-half goal was enough to stun Pep Guardiola’s side at Porto’s Estadio Dragao in Portugal. The 21-year-old snagged a great through ball from Mason Mount that split the defense and passed it into a wide-open net just moments before halftime. 

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The best uniforms from defunct sports teams

Posted 2 days ago  |  By Jeff Mezydlo

Sports fans tend to live for nostalgia. Bringing up the past and telling stories of their favorites players and teams. When it comes to uniforms and jerseys, the conversation can go on for days. So, here’s a conversation starter. Looking at some of the best uniforms/jerseys from defuncted sports teams. We’re not including the old-school Astros, Padres, or Pirates uniforms that those teams, and others, still wear on occasion.

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Atlanta Flames

Atlanta Flames
Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images

Atlanta has seen two NHL teams fail to stay in town. Between those two, the Flames had the better uniforms. The “A” with the flame in the middle was a solid look, while the red and yellow fit in with the Atlanta Hawks basketball franchise. When the franchise moved to Calgary, the flaming “C” was incorporated, but the old-school look from Atlanta is still worth celebrating.

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Brooklyn Dodgers

Brooklyn Dodgers
Sports Studio Photos/Getty Images

The Dodgers wear essentially the same uniforms that they donned right before moving to Los Angeles from Brooklyn in the late 1950s. However, during the 1920s, the team sported an old-timey “B” on its jersey top to go along with the famed “B” ballcap. It’s a classic uniform from a classic team that is still beloved, not just in Brooklyn, but throughout the world. 

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California Golden Seals

California Golden Seals
Denis Brodeur/NHLI via Getty Image

Before there were the San Jose Sharks, the Bay Area rooted for the Golden Seals. In their green and gold sweaters, the Seals, based in Oakland, were members of the NHL from 1967-’76. Obviously, it was not a long run and the club made just two playoff appearances in nine seasons. However, when talking vintage NHL jerseys, the Golden Seals tend to be one of the favorites for collectors and fans alike.

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Significant Black firsts in sports history

Posted 1 day ago  |  By Matt Whitener

The impact of Black athletes across the history of sports is an undeniable one, but also one that has not always been accomplished on equal footing. Of the many highs that have been accomplished, there have been just as many –if not more— that have also had to overcome the rules of the times they were accomplished in. This is a look back at many significant firsts, highlights, and noteworthy moments accomplished by Black athletes across the sporting spectrum, as well as the conditions that secured their significance.

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1884: First African-American MLB player (all-time): Moses Fleetwood Walker

1884: First African-American MLB player (all-time): Moses Fleetwood Walker

Photo by Mark Rucker/Transcendental Graphics, Getty Images

Technically, William Edward White was the first Black man to play professional baseball in 1879, but he did so while passing as white. However, it was Walker who did so outright as an African-American, playing catcher for the Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884. He faced the intense racial scrutiny of the time and lasted only one season, becoming the last African-American to appear in the MLB for 63 years.

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1889: First Black Professional Soccer Player: Arthur Wharton

1889: First Black Professional Soccer Player: Arthur Wharton

Born in Jamestown of the Gold Coast (in modern-day Ghana), Wharton became the first Black professional soccer player in the English Professional League. Wharton was a goalie and occasional winger, who made 54 overall appearances across four professional seasons. In 2003, he was elected to the English Football Hall of Fame as a pioneer.

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1908: First Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion: Jack Johnson

1908: First Black Heavyweight Boxing Champion: Jack Johnson
Photo by Philipp Kester/ullstein bild via Getty Images

At the peak of the Jim Crow era in America, Johnson emerged as one of the nation’s biggest stars. In 1908, the Galveston, Texas, native beat Tommy Burns to claim the lineal world heavyweight title, via a stoppage in the 14 th round, to become the first African-American world heavyweight boxing champion, a title he would carry for the next eight years.

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1908: First Black Olympic Gold Medalist: John Taylor

1908: First Black Olympic Gold Medalist: John Taylor
Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images

Although George Poage was the first African-American Olympian, when he captured two bronze medals in St. Louis four years prior, it was Taylor in 1908 who first reached the top of the podium. Hailing from Washington D.C. and the son of two former slaves, Taylor captured the gold running the third leg of the medley relays, covering 400 meters. In the same year, he would complete his degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania.

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Nani: Cristiano Ronaldo ‘will probably end up’ going to MLS in future

Juventus star Cristiano Ronaldo playing in Major League Soccer seems unrealistic, right? Well, it may not be such a crazy thought after all.

Ronaldo reportedly told Orlando City captain Nani that he will “probably” end up playing in MLS before he retires, according to ESPN. 

“A couple of years ago, he told me that he will probably end up in America,” Nani told ESPN. “It’s not 100 percent, but probably. There is a chance.”

Nani has been teammates with Ronaldo at both the club and international level, having shared the flanks while playing for Premier League side Manchester United and international side Portugal. So, it’s fair to say that the two know each other very well.

If Ronaldo decides to play in MLS, it’ll likely be towards the end of his career. The forward would be following in the footsteps of players like David Beckham, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Thierry Henry and David Villa in winding down his career in America. At age 35, that time may be coming very soon.

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By Erin Walsh | Last updated 6/17/20

D.C. United Forward Wayne Rooney to Depart Following 2019 MLS Season

D.C. United have announced that following the conclusion of the 2019 MLS season, star forward Wayne Rooney will be departing the club to continue his career in England in order to be closer to family. It was announced today that, with the consent of D.C. United, Rooney completed negotiations to become a player-coach for Derby County in the English Championship in 2020.   “I remain fully focused on giving my all for the team for the rest of this season and repaying the support shown by the Black-and-Red faithful by hopefully delivering an MLS Cup to Audi Field,” Wayne Rooney, said. “My time in Major League Soccer is something I will always be proud of. The supporters in the Screaming Eagles, Barra Brava and District Ultras have made my time in America so enjoyable. While the decision to move home was a tough one, family is everything to us and we make this change to be closer to the ones we love back in England. The opportunity to go back home and start the next step of my career in coaching was the factor that made my mind up. I would like to thank everyone at D.C. United for the incredible support my family and I have received over my two seasons at the club.”   “After speaking to Wayne and understanding his difficult situation of being so far away from his family, we have accepted that this is the best decision for all parties,” Steve Kaplan and Jason Levien, D.C. United Co-Chairmen, said. “Our main focus now is the 2019 MLS Season and ensuring we make a push towards the playoffs with the ultimate goal of bringing an MLS Cup back to the District. Wayne is an exceptional leader and one of the most iconic players to play the game so we look forward to his continued contributions to the team this season.”   Terms of the deal with Derby County are undisclosed. Rooney will become a club ambassador for D.C. United.    Rooney and D.C. United are currently in fourth place in the Eastern Conference Standings, just six points out of the top spot, and will face the LA Galaxy at home on August 11 (7:30 PM ET, FS1/FOX Deportes).

https://www.dcunited.com/post/2019/08/06/dc-united-forward-wayne-rooney-depart-following-2019-mls-season

FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals takeaways and power rankings

Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA

Media and fans: “The United States vs. France is the real Final of the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.” England: “Nah, football’s coming home.” Off the right foot of American icon and “President ” Megan Rapinoe, the U.S. got through its toughest test, tournament hosts France, with relative ease considering a third goal was controversially removed from the scoreboard. The Three Lionesses will want to show they’re more than a mere stepping stone standing in the way of the Americans’ union with destiny.

Sweden scoring two goals in a single game while facing actual competition was a bet worth avoiding following the Round of 16. The fact the Blue and Yellow achieved such a feat against Germany, the tournament’s best team at the start of the quarterfinals, is downright astonishing, but that victory came with what could be a massive loss. That surprising match outcome only bolsters an opinion held by American optimists back on June 1:

This World Cup is the United States’ to lose.

Australia got jobbed

Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA

There’s a sad irony in Norway surrendering three goals to England on June 27 considering a trio of decisions aided The Grasshoppers past Australia in the Round of 16. No disrespect meant to the side missing protesting Ballon d’Or winner Ada Hegerberg, but Norway was nearly run off the pitch before halftime of its quarterfinal showdown with England, and neutrals were left wishing Sam Kerr and the Matildas were, instead, serving as the opposition. England likely would’ve toppled Australia and maybe scored four or five facing that lackluster back line. Unless you’re a Norway supporter, you’re lying to yourself if you believe the right team advanced to the Round of Eight to lose to the Three Lionesses.

Best in the world?

Martin Richard/Presse Sports via USA TODAY Sports

“Lucy Bronze is the best player in the world, without a shadow of a doubt,” England boss Phil Neville said in the post-match interview following his side’s victory over Norway, as noted by the BBC. Neville isn’t alone in sharing that opinion. The 27-year-old, two-time PFA Women’s Player of the Year winner produced a masterclass performance in the quarterfinals, delivering one of the tournament’s top hammer-strikes and ensuring she will receive an opportunity to shut down Megan Rapinoe on the biggest stage of them all. Bronze vs. Rapinoe could be worth the price of admission on its own.

Clean

Photo by PA Images/Sipa USA

One’s immediate reaction to the Netherlands pitching a shutout in its 2-0 win over Italy on Saturday may be to point out the Azzurre aren’t necessarily known for their attacking flair and also that oppressive heat which caused multiple stoppages for hydration breaks limited both sides. That’s fair, but Holland’s first clean sheet of the World Cup came against a side that put two past Australia, scored five times against Jamaica and turned a knockout game vs. China into a makeshift exhibition for the final half-hour of that contest. Italy had no answer for forward Lineth Beerensteyn once she came on 11 minutes after the break. She won multiple free kicks and reminded the remaining three teams she may be the best substitute option left in the tournament.

Still waiting

Photo by Xinhua/Sipa USA

Perhaps we’re all being harsh on the Dutch in criticizing the fact they’ve hardly played like European champions since June 11. Each of the remaining three nations have, however, enjoyed standout games. The United States beat Thailand 13-0 and bested France at the Parc des Princes. England made light work of Norway. The Swedes are the new upset darlings of the tournament. Italy hardly troubled the Oranje, but a Holland attack advertised as one of the world’s elite continues to underwhelm. A pair of set piece goals against Italy doesn’t inspire too much confidence. Then again, if it’s true Holland’s best is to come, that team is probably winning this World Cup.

Full Article

By: Zac Wassink

 

Biggest upsets in Women’s World Cup history

It took a while for the talent pool in women’s soccer to grow around the world. That means that early Women’s World Cups didn’t have a ton of upsets. However, that also means that the upsets that took place really packed a punch. There have been only a lucky seven Women’s World Cups, but here are an unlucky 13 of the greatest upsets in the history of the tournament.

2011: Nigeria beats Canada

Nigeria has arguably the best track record of any women’s team in Africa. However, the continent has lagged behind others in the development of the sport. Back in 2011, Nigeria wasn’t quite as lauded and had been dropped in a tough group with Germany, France and Canada. It was expected Nigeria would go winless, but instead the team stole a 1-0 win over Canada.

1995: Brazil beats Sweden

Back in 1995, Marta hadn’t helped carry Brazil to relevance. Additionally, Sweden was the host nation. The tournament got off to a terrible start for the Swedes though, as they lost 1-0 in the opening game against the Brazilians. It was Sweden’s only loss in regulation in the tournament.

2003: Canada beats China

China was an early Women’s World Cup powerhouse. You may remember this was the team America beat in the famed 1999 Finals — the match made famous by Brandi Chastain. The Chinese also did well in 2003, making it to the quarterfinals, where they faced off with Canada. Canada scored an early goal, China never solved its defense, and Canada scored the 1-0 upset.

2015: Australia beats Brazil

Brazil cruised through the group stage, winning all three games. Australia, meanwhile, had gone 1-1-1 in a group with the U.S. and Sweden. Then the script flipped when these two teams met in the knockout round. Australia’s Kyah Pam Simon scored a goal in the 80th minute, and once again Marta was kept from World Cup glory.

1995: China beats Sweden

So yeah, about Sweden’s hosting of the 1995 Women’s World Cup. That Brazil upset was rough, but it seemed like it had righted the ship. In truth China was a better team than Brazil, but the impact of this upset gets it pushed up the list a bit. These two teams went into penalties, which China won 4-3.  The fact Sweden needed a last-minute goal to even get to extra time made the loss that much more deflating.

1999: Ghana ties Australia

This was Ghana’s first Women’s World Cup, and it didn’t go great. Ghana was beat by China, 7-0, in its second game. However, the first game of the group stage went a bit better. The African nation was able to earn a 1-1 tie with Australia, which had a disappointing tournament.

Full List

By: Chris Morgan

Women’s World Cup 2019: Here are the top 10 players to watch in France

There’s no question the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup will bring a talented field as 24 nations are set to compete for one title.

But with 552 players making the trip to France, it begs the question – who are the players to watch when the tournament gets underway Friday?

Let’s take a look at 10 players who are sure to make an impact:

Christine Sinclair – Canada, forward

After spending more than 19 years on Canada’s national team, Sinclair brings an enormous amount of experience to this year’s World Cup. She’s Canada’s all-time leading scorer and she sits second on the women’s all-time scoring list with 181. She trails only American Abby Wambach (184), but that could change after France. Her impressive resume doesn’t stop there, though, as she is third all-time with 281 caps and she’s the only non-U.S. player with more than 225, according to Opta.

The forward has helped Canada fight for a spot on the world stage in each of the last four World Cups. This year’s tournament may be the 35-year-old Sinclair’s last chance to win the most coveted trophy in the sport.

https://twitter.com/ThornsFC/status/1114255624056057858

Other notable accomplishments:

  • Two-time CONCACF Women’s Best XI (2018, 2016)
  • 14-time Canadian Female Player of the Year (2000, 2004-14, 2016, 2018)
  • Two-time Olympic bronze medalist (London 2012, Rio 2016)
  • Golden Boot FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (2004)
  • Golden Ball FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup (2002)
  • FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup All-Star Team (2002)

Alex Morgan – United States, forward

Morgan’s unique combination of athleticism, anticipation and technical ability has elevated her to the top of the game. Since joining the USWNT in 2010, she has scored 101 international goals (the sixth-most in U.S. history) in 163 caps. When she scored her 100th career USWNT goal earlier this year, she became the third-youngest player and fourth-fastest player to reach that feat.

Morgan played a major role in helping the U.S. make it to the World Cup in 2011 – where she was the youngest player on the national team – and then she led her nation to a championship in 2015. It’s hard to believe Morgan’s just 29 years old with all that she’s already accomplished. She’ll certainly be one to keep a close eye on in France as she continues to build her international resume.

https://twitter.com/FOXSoccer/status/1113982830676250624

Other notable accomplishments:

  • Olympic Gold Medal (2012)
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion (2015), Runner-up (2011)
  • FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup Champion (2008)
  • Four Nations Tournament Champion (2011)
  • SheBelieves Cup (2016, 2018)
  • CONCACAF Women’s Champion (2014, 2018)

Marta – Brazil, forward

Marta Vieira da Silva has established herself as one of the greatest players the tournament has ever seen. She holds the record for most goals scored at Women’s World Cup tournaments with 15, sitting just ahead of Germany’s Birgit Prinz and the USA’s Abby Wambach, who both have 14. Marta has earned 110 international goals to make her Brazil’s leading scorer and she’s tied for seventh on the all-time scoring list. With high soccer intelligence, strength and speed, Marta is expected to carry Brazil through the 2019 tournament.

https://twitter.com/Weber514/status/608429484845449216

Other notable accomplishments:

  • Two Pan American Games titles (2003, 2007)
  • Three-time Sudamericano Femenino Champion (2003, 2010, 2018)
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Runner-up (2007)
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Ball (2007)
  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Golden Shoe (2007)
  • Two-time Olympic silver medalist (Athens 2004, Beijing 2008)
  • Five-time winner of FIFA World Player of the Year (2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010)
  • Four-time Runner-up of FIFA World Player of the Year (2005, 2011, 2012, 2014)
  • Copa Libertadores de Futbol Femenino Golden Ball (2009)
  • U-20 World Cup Golden Ball (2004)

Megan Rapinoe – United States, forward

Veteran Rapinoe is another key player the Americans will rely on to be a strong playmaker. After joining the U.S. national team in 2006, she quickly became known for her crafty style of play on the international level. She has been a consistent scorer with 44 goals in 153 caps, and she’s known for coming up with big assists as she ranks fifth in USWNT history with 57.

One of her most memorable plays came when she delivered a 45-yard cross to Abby Wambach in the 122nd minute of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup quarterfinals in Brazil. Wambach then scored off a header, which eventually led to a win for the Americans.

Other notable accomplishments:

  • FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion (2015), Runner-up (2011)
  • Olympic gold medalist (London 2012)
  • Four Nations Tournament Champion (2011)
  • SheBelieves Cup Champion (2018)
  • CONCACAF Women’s Champion (2014, 2018)

Sam Kerr – Australia, forward

Kerr has emerged as Australia’s first marquee player and she’s only going to bring more attention to the sport in her nation. She was only 15 years old when she made her international debut in a match against Italy in February 2009. From there, she continued to flourish, scoring 31 goals in 77 appearances. While playing in the National Women’s Soccer League – where she currently represents the Chicago Red Stars – Kerr has been the league’s leading scorer in each of the last two seasons.

Kerr, 25, may be young, but she will be powerful in France.

Other notable accomplishments:

  • Tournament of Nations Champion (2017)
  • Cup of Nations Champion (2019)
  • AFC Women’s Asian Cup Champion (2010)
  • AFF U-16 Women’s Champion (2009)

Full List

By: Chelsea Howard

Meet the 2019 U.S. Women’s World Cup Team

The women of the United States soccer team are looking to repeat as World Cup champions. If they pull off the double, becoming the second women’s team to do so after Germany did it in 2003 and 2007, some of these ladies will become household names — well, several of them already are. Let’s meet the 2019 U.S. women’s World Cup team in order of jersey number.

1. Alyssa Naeher

At the last World Cup, Hope Solo was the star in net. No longer on the team, somebody had to step into her cleats, and that job has fallen to Naeher. The Penn State alum and former NWSL Goalkeeper of the Year, Naeher has been the No. 1 goalie for the U.S. since Solo left the squad, and she’s been up to the task so far.

2. Mallory Pugh

Meet the next star of U.S. women’s soccer. Pugh is only 21, but the striker already has 16 goals for the national team in 53 caps. Granted, they’ve almost all come in friendlies, but she got in three games during the 2016 Olympics. She’s not ready to be the top striker yet, but don’t be surprised if she makes an impact.

3. Sam Mewis

Mewis, a midfielder, and her sister, Kristie, played together in the 2008 U-17 World Cup, the first sisters to do that for the United States. Alas, Kristie isn’t on this year’s World Cup team, but Sam is. This will be her first major tournament, unless you are a Tournament of Nations fan. She’s won two titles with her NWSL team. Will she taste World Cup victory as well?

4. Becky Sauerbrunn

Sauerbrunn is one of the old heads of this team. The 34-year-old has 158 caps, and this will be her third Women’s World Cup. She started every game at the 2015 World Cup, but will she be able to handle that kind of workload at this point? Her former teammate Christie Pearce played in the finals of 2015 at 40. Sauerbrunn is basically a spring chicken in comparison.

5. Kelly O’Hara

O’Hara and Sauerbrunn are teammates with the Utah Royals as well as with the national team. The 30-year-old is versatile, playing at wing and midfielder for the United States and forward and defense for her club squad. O’Hara has scored only two goals for the U.S., but one of them came in the semifinals of the 2015 Women’s World Cup against Germany.

Brian was a beast in college, winning the Hermann Trophy, college soccer’s equivalent of the Heisman, in 2013 and 2014. That led to her being the top pick in the 2015 NWSL Draft. The midfielder dealt with a head injury in 2018, but she’s healthy now and should be primed to contribute at this year’s World Cup.

7. Abby Dahlkemper

Dahlkemper hasn’t had a chance to compete in a World Cup or Olympics yet, as she didn’t get her first cap until October of 2016. However, she’s only 26, so there’s plenty of time for her. The year 2018 was big for her, as she appeared in a few tournaments with the U.S. and also made the Best XI of the NWSL and was the league’s Defender of the Year in 2017. She’s the kind of player who could help ease the strain for the veterans on the team’s defense.

8. Julie Ertz

Ertz is about to make things tough for attacking players on opposing teams. Since being moved into a defensive midfielder role, her tenacity has made things miserable for opponents. Her play has also earned her the honor of being named the U.S. Women’s Soccer Player of the Year. If her last name sounds familiar, it’s because she’s married to Zach Ertz of the Philadelphia Eagles.

9. Lindsey Horan

Full List 

By: Chris Morgan

Sir Kenny Dalglish named as manager for Seán Cox legends game

Sir Kenny Dalglish will take charge of Liverpool FC Legends when they face The Republic of Ireland’s XI at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on Friday April 12.

The Reds icon will take to the helm for a very special legends game in aid of ‘SupportSeán’, the Seán Cox appeal.

King Kenny’s glittering career with Celtic and the Reds spanned more than 20 years and included a host of major honours. During his time as a player, he helped LFC win three European Cups in seven years, before he then went on to successfully manage the club and Blackburn Rovers.

As Liverpool boss, he secured three league titles, including a league and Cup double in 1986 – the first person to ever achieve this feat as a player/manager.

The special encounter will see a host of greats face off to raise money to fund vital rehabilitation care for Seán, the Reds fan who suffered life-changing injuries from an unprovoked attack before the Champions League tie with AS Roma at Anfield last year.

Dalglish will manage former LFC stars including Sander Westerveld, Jerzy Dudek, Glen Johnson, Patrik Berger, Steve McManaman, Vladimir Smicer, Salif Diao, Robbie Fowler, Ian Rush and Djibril Cisse.

It further demonstrates the club’s commitment to support the appeal wherever possible. For the Premier League fixture against Cardiff City, volunteers came together with Spirit of Shankly to stage a bucket collection at Anfield which was then match-funded by the LFC Foundation.

Watch: Sir Kenny on Sean Cox charity match

On taking the reins, Sir Kenny said: “Liverpool Football Club has a fantastic philosophy and outlook on life that if there is one of our own that’s struggling, we try our best to help them. The lads want to support by putting on a game – its what they know best.

“It’s important that we come together and do ourselves and Seán justice. It’s a difficult time for his family and we want to help in the best way we know how.

“It will be a great occasion and the team will be looking to put on a good performance. I’m really looking forward to being back in the dugout amongst the team. I’d like to thank the club, the players, the staff and all those involved who are supporting this game.”

“We would like to encourage as many people as possible to show their support for this fantastic cause.”

Full Article

 

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