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Author Archive for Tom Dart

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A year since Bruce Arena quit, the US still have an interim coach. Why?

As the US men enter year two of the rebuilding process following World Cup qualifying failure, the team resemble a construction site without an architectWith a degree of spin not seen since Roberto Carlos in 1997, US Soccer addressed the first annivers…

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MLS’s turf problem: can a league be world-class on artificial grass?

According to a poll, most of the league’s players are put off by a surface that can put strain on joints. But there are good reasons for its place in MLSReliably unconventional, Zlatan Ibrahimovic spurned a $100m offer from China in order to take a $1….

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Mark Cuban: NBA’s populist billionaire hit hard as scandal envelops Mavericks

As allegations of sexual harassment and violence at the franchise, the Mavs owner appears to be either complicit or incompetentThis was how Mark Cuban fared last week: fined a colossal sum for being too honest, the day after a report of grotesque behav…

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USA’s new era starts with draw against European champions Portugal

Weston McKennie scores on senior debut as USA draw 1-1 in PortugalPortugal 1-1 USA: international friendly – as it happenedSometimes that hoped-for breath of fresh air is just halitosis, but try telling Weston McKennie this was a meaningless and pointl…

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USA’s new era starts with draw against European champions Portugal

Weston McKennie scores on senior debut as USA draw 1-1 in PortugalPortugal 1-1 USA: international friendly – as it happenedSometimes that hoped-for breath of fresh air is just halitosis, but try telling Weston McKennie this was a meaningless and pointl…

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World Series of ‘juiced balls’ and young heroes sets up epic Game 7 decider

Wednesday’s Game 7 between the Astros and Dodgers has the potential to exceed even 2016’s beguiling combination of rich storylines and see-saw scoringGame 7 (* if necessary).Of course it’s necessary. The greatest sporting events do not come with caveat…

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Will missing out on the World Cup kill US soccer … or save it?

The US will remain an influential country regardless of how its men perform, but how can the Americans graduate from hosting elites to joining them?

Could the US ultimately emerge from the wreckage of its failed attempt to reach the 2018 World Cup finals as a bigger power?

“Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” striker Jozy Altidore wrote on Twitter on Wednesday night.

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Woeful USA fail to make 2018 World Cup after loss to Trinidad & Tobago

After one of the most devastating nights in the history of American soccer, the US will not be going to Russia next summer after a shock 2-1 defeat to lowly Trinidad & Tobago saw them finish fifth in Concacaf World Cup qualifying.

It was going to take an unlikely combination of results for the US to miss out on the World Cup finals for the first time since 1986, and that is exactly what happened, though the Americans only have themselves to blame for squandering a strong position with this catastrophic performance.

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Gold Cup: USA beat Jamaica in final thanks to Jordan Morris’s late winner

A tournament that began with the surreal subversions of Florent Malouda
ended in much more predictable fashion as the favourites and hosts won their sixth Concacaf Gold Cup in California on Wednesday night.

The US needed a late winner from Jordan Morris to beat Jamaica – an outcome that was merited on the balance of play but still felt cruel on the underdogs, who defended with courage and conviction and played most of the match without their captain and best player.

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World Cup qualifier: USA draw with Mexico after Michael Bradley wonder goal

  • Midfielder scores from 40 yards out to open scoring for USMNT
  • Vela rescues point for El Tri at Estadio Azteca after 1-1 draw
  • Bruce Arena’s team now level with Costa Rica in World Cup qualifying

A superb strike from Michael Bradley gave the US a bonus point in the quest to reach next year’s World Cup, and a big psychological boost.

A squad still finding their feet under Bruce Arena shrugged off a dismal history at the Estadio Azteca to claim a draw on Sunday night, looking liberated by the lack of pressure that comes with limited expectations.

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Pulisic offers USA rare hope ahead of latest Estadio Azteca mission impossible

The excitement around the emerging American star gives the team an atypical hope as they enter the Mexican fortress where they’ve won only once in 26 tries

A school of thought insists that it is unhealthy to crank up the hype train’s lever so it approaches speeds worthy of a Shinkansen. But … but. Christian Pulisic. Christian Pulisic! CHRISTIAN PULISIC. Christian Pulisic.

If there is hope when the US face Mexico at Estadio Azteca on Sunday night, it lies on the 18-year-old’s small but sturdy shoulders. Hard to conclude otherwise after the 2-0 World Cup qualifying win over Trinidad & Tobago on Thursday in Colorado.

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USA fail to hit the heights but pick up useful point against Panama

  • Clint Dempsey’s opener cancelled out by Gabriel Gomez before the break
  • Bruce Arena’s side fail to dominate but secure 1-1 draw in Panama City

After the rout, the reality check.

Bruce Arena’s side followed up Friday’s 6-0 win over Honduras with a fitful display at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez for a result that might come to be seen as a useful point in their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign.

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Support for relegation in MLS remains high but don’t hold your breath

A report this week says 88% of US fans back ‘pro-rel’ but a lack of any clear plan – or willingness on behalf of owners – remains an obstacle

In a more conventional soccer universe, Indy Eleven might be preparing for a 2017 season against the likes of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders. In only their third campaign, the team from Indianapolis finished second in the second-tier North American Soccer League: runners-up in the standings to the New York Cosmos, who also beat them on penalties in the championship playoff.

With average attendances of about 8,500, the club is hoping to get approval for an 18,500-seat stadium. In a couple of years it is not hard to imagine Indy boasting a major-league quality team in a major league-quality stadium, with only one thing missing: Major League Soccer. In American sport, improvement does not mean that the only way is up.

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Support for relegation in MLS remains high but don’t hold your breath

A report this week says 88% of US fans back ‘pro-rel’ but a lack of any clear plan – or willingness on behalf of owners – remains an obstacle

In a more conventional soccer universe, Indy Eleven might be preparing for a 2017 season against the likes of the Los Angeles Galaxy and Seattle Sounders. In only their third campaign, the team from Indianapolis finished second in the second-tier North American Soccer League: runners-up in the standings to the New York Cosmos, who also beat them on penalties in the championship playoff.

With average attendances of about 8,500, the club is hoping to get approval for an 18,500-seat stadium. In a couple of years it is not hard to imagine Indy boasting a major-league quality team in a major league-quality stadium, with only one thing missing: Major League Soccer. In American sport, improvement does not mean that the only way is up.

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Taxpayers may help pay for the Rangers’ $1bn ballpark – but at least they’ll get aircon | Tom Dart

The public are still footing the bill for stadiums across the US but many see it as a way of helping out the local economy

At a cost of $1bn to put a chill in the air during Texas Rangers games, it would surely go down as the sports world’s most expensive air-conditioning bill.

Voters in the city that is home to the Rangers go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to finance a new Major League Baseball stadium that would replace a popular facility that is barely two decades old.

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Taxpayers may help pay for the Rangers’ $1bn ballpark – but at least they’ll get aircon | Tom Dart

The public are still footing the bill for stadiums across the US but many see it as a way of helping out the local economy

At a cost of $1bn to put a chill in the air during Texas Rangers games, it would surely go down as the sports world’s most expensive air-conditioning bill.

Voters in the city that is home to the Rangers go to the polls on Tuesday to decide whether to finance a new Major League Baseball stadium that would replace a popular facility that is barely two decades old.

Continue reading…

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Mediocrity on turf: the NFL is stumbling, but will it recover?

Television ratings are down in America’s most popular league. And poor play, cable cutters and player protests have all been blamed

As the owner of the New Jersey Generals in the short-lived United States Football League, Donald Trump took on the NFL and lost. More than 30 years later, the mogul may have extracted an accidental revenge on the world’s most lucrative sports league via his presidential election campaign.

Through week four, the NFL’s television ratings were down by 11%. In an internal memo dated 6 October and obtained by several media outlets, two league executives floated an explanation.

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The Dallas Cowboys don’t win – but that doesn’t stop them getting rich

Jerry Jones has built the Cowboys into the world’s most profitable sports club, and the team’s protracted mediocrity hasn’t upset the balance sheet

According to a Forbes estimate, the Dallas Cowboys are worth $4bn, making them the most valuable sports club in the world, ahead of Real Madrid.

Related: Kaepernick’s anthem protest is perfect way to highlight America’s race problem

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Christian Pulisic scores two as USA edge closer to Hex with emphatic victory

  • St Vincent & the Grenadines 0-6 USA
  • Dortmund youngster Pulisic comes off the bench to score twice
  • Americans’ passage to the Hex assured if Guatemala lose against T&T

Last seen battling two of the world’s best teams and coming up short, this was a stress-free return to action for the United States, as they moved smoothly to the brink of the last round of the Concacaf qualifying tournament for the 2018 World Cup.

Related: St Vincent & the Grenadines v USA: World Cup 2018 qualifying – as it happened

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Hope Solo ignores Zika chants to star in USA Olympic soccer win over France

  • Carli Lloyd tap-in gives USA 1-0 victory over French
  • Defending champions now have two wins from two games

The fans in Belo Horizonte who taunted Hope Solo during this game could only admire the US goalkeeper by the end as she made several fine saves to ensure the Americans won their second match of the tournament.

After coasting to a 2-0 win over New Zealand in their opening fixture on Wednesday, this was a tougher challenge for last year’s World Cup winners as they seek a fourth successive Olympic gold. France had the bulk of the chances – but, as usual, the Americans found a way to win.

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