June 29th, 2011
04:11 PM ET

Who will star at the women's World Cup?

Birgit Prinz's goals could fire host-nation Germany to World Cup glory.
Birgit Prinz's goals could fire host-nation Germany to World Cup glory.
Some of you will scoff when I suggest you watch the FIFA Women’s World Cup. Of course, the women’s game is slower than the men’s, and less physical overall, but it isn’t any less attacking or for that matter entertaining and there will be plenty of goals (check out Monica Ocampo’s long-range strike against England).

Plus, as an added bonus, there won’t be nearly so much feigning of injury and time wasting - and if all that doesn’t get you to watch, I don’t know what will! I promise you the showpiece in Germany will surprise you, if you just give it a chance. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
June 28th, 2011
12:07 PM ET

River Plate's fate a warning to Latin American giants

River's players stand dejected after their relegation was confirmed.
River's players stand dejected after their relegation was confirmed.

Back in 1978, when he was a star at River Plate, Daniel Passarella lifted the World Cup trophy for Argentina at the Estadio Monumental. It was at the same venue on Sunday, as club president, that he experienced the humiliation of watching Los Milionarios being relegated for the first time in their previously illustrious history.

Many of River's irate supporters have blamed their former captain and coach for the club's demise, but the reasons are rooted so much deeper. This has been brewing for a long time.

Don't get me wrong, Passarella is one of the culprits, but it would be narrow minded to point the finger at a man who has just been there for a couple of years, when for at least a decade, presidents and sporting directors have been destroying the club by selling their most prized assets and replacing them with mediocre talent, while hiring and firing coaches at an alarming rate. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
June 22nd, 2011
10:40 AM ET

Can the Williams sisters triumph after a troubled year?

Serena (left) and Venus (right) have won the Wimbledon ladies' singles title nine times between them.
Serena (left) and Venus (right) have won the Wimbledon ladies' singles title nine times between them.
The questions about Serena Williams’ continuing desire to play tennis after her near-death experience earlier this year were clearly answered with her performance and subsequent emotional outburst in Tuesday’s first round match with Aravane Rezai.

I can’t remember ever seeing Serena cry, but she was blubbing away both into her towel and afterwards in her post-match press conference with former CNN presenter Phil Jones, remember him?

Even when Serena loses she doesn’t shed a tear (in public at least) and though I’m not one for too much emotion, it was really heartwarming to see. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Tennis
June 21st, 2011
04:28 PM ET

Can Andre Villas-Boas succeed at Stamford Bridge?

After guiding Porto to both domestic and continental success, Andre Villas-Boas looks set to move to Chelsea.
After guiding Porto to both domestic and continental success, Andre Villas-Boas looks set to move to Chelsea.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve lost count of the times people have asked me how to pronounce the name of the man who is close to becoming the new Chelsea manager.

Andre Villas-Boas (and-REH Vil-ASH Boh-ASH) will soon become one of the highest profile managers on the planet. If his deal goes through, this man will soon take charge at one of the biggest clubs in the world of football, and walk into the eye of an English media storm in the process.

Let’s get one thing straight. Villas-Boas is an incredibly gifted coach. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
June 20th, 2011
02:10 AM ET

McIlroy triumph signals new golfing dynasty

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the U.S. Open trophy Sunday in Bethesda, Maryland.
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the U.S. Open trophy Sunday in Bethesda, Maryland.

"Let's go Rory! Let's go Rory!"  The chants here at the Congressional Country Club over the weekend said it all.

There was a sense the 2011 U.S. Open would prove historic after Rory McIlroy posted a blistering score on the first day, but his play over the following days was sumptuous in quality and magnetic in attraction for golf fans. A fervently patriotic American crowd were charmed, amazed and captivated by the feats of the Northern Irish youngster. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Golf
June 17th, 2011
01:24 PM ET

McIlroy shows bounce-back-ability, but can he win?

Can Rory McIlroy continue his good form at the U.S. Open enough to win?
Can Rory McIlroy continue his good form at the U.S. Open enough to win?

It’s a grand slam of sorts already for Rory McIlroy and the 111th U.S. Open has only just begun. With his imperious opening effort of 65 at Congressional Country Club, he has now contended in all four Majors, and all in the space of the last 11 months. Despite his notorious capitulation at this year's Masters, here is a player moving to new level in his career.

The U.S. Open is designed to find you out, to level the playing field and offer a grueling slog, where level par is the desired winning number. We only have to recall Graeme McDowell’s winning performance of three over par last year at Pebble Beach and his grinding closing effort of 74 (three over par) to win the title, leaving Gregory Havret, Tiger, Ernie and Phil in his wake. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Golf
June 16th, 2011
05:22 PM ET

Shouldn't the United States be better at soccer?

Freddy Adu was touted as the next big thing in United States soccer but has so far failed to break through.
Freddy Adu was touted as the next big thing in United States soccer but has so far failed to break through.

Is it just me or should the United States be better at soccer?

With a population of over 300 million and with a large percentage of immigrants from countries where football is king, it is my belief there should be more talent in America.

When Team USA lost to Panama and then had to battle long and hard to beat Guadeloupe in the Gold Cup, I thought it was time for a reality check. To be defeated by a team ranked 67 in the world and then barely beat another not even officially affiliated with CONCACAF, the regional football body that covers North and Central America and the Caribbean, is surely not good enough. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Football
June 15th, 2011
11:51 AM ET

Murray unlikely to win Wimbledon despite recent success

Andy Murray is unlikely to win Wimbledon this year, despite his recent success at Queen's Club.
Andy Murray is unlikely to win Wimbledon this year, despite his recent success at Queen's Club.

I wonder if Andy Murray ever curses the fact that he’s playing in an era with two of the greatest tennis players of all time? I suspect he does.

The Scot has all the attributes to be a major winner; he can play every shot in the book, is incredibly fit, loves a challenge and has great court-craft and intuition, but so far this total package hasn’t been quite good enough. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Tennis
June 14th, 2011
10:52 AM ET

The quest of King James remains captivating ...

LeBron James of the Miami Heat drives in vain against the Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki.
LeBron James of the Miami Heat drives in vain against the Dallas Mavericks' Dirk Nowitzki.

Dirk Nowitzki can’t catch a break. After taking the bulk of the blame for the Mavericks’ Finals loss to the Heat in 2006, the big German produced a brilliant performance as Dallas won their first NBA championship in 2011.

Nowitzki won the Finals "Most Valuable Player" award despite battling injury problems and illness midway through the series. But despite such efforts much of the U.S. media outside of Dallas, decided the biggest story remained LeBron James’ latest failure on the big stage. FULL POST

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Filed under:  U.S. Sport
June 8th, 2011
11:13 AM ET

Will Serena's comeback fail?

Serena Williams proudly shows off her fourth Wimbledon crown but can she win a fifth?
Serena Williams proudly shows off her fourth Wimbledon crown but can she win a fifth?

The news that Serena Williams is to return to action for the first time in nearly a year certainly gives added spice to the build-up to the third grand slam of the year at Wimbledon.

Williams has been sidelined since winning her fourth title at the All England Club since July, not hitting a ball in anger unless you count a money-spinning exhibition match against Kim Clijsters in Belgium in front of a record crowd for a tennis match.

But days before she had stepped on a shard of glass in a restaurant in Germany to set in course a train of events which she will want to banish to the back of her memory bank. FULL POST

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Filed under:  Tennis
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