Netherlands vs USA: Time for ‘soccer’ to take centrestage
U.S. coach Gregg Berhalter with Christian Pulisic as Weston McKennie applauds fans. (REUTERS/Paul Childs)
During their goalless group-stage draw against England, a chant constantly emerged from the USA faithful: “It’s called soccer! It’s called soccer!”
The USMNT have been quietly promising this tournament. They are yet to concede a non-penalty goal, look well-drilled in midfield, have controlled major chunks of games, and have shown bright sparks going forward.
Captain Tyler Adams has been brilliantly assured on the pitch just as he has been off it, and the likes of Weston McKennie and Timothy Weah have shown promise. Even Christian Pulisic, on the fringes at Chelsea, has looked sharp – his bravery came to the fore in getting the winner against Iran that guaranteed US progress to the knockouts. (READ MORE)
FIFA World Cup: As Australia face Argentina in last 16, Socceroos hope Maradona’s prophecy comes true
Socceroos fans celebrate a goal scored by Australia as they watch Australia play Denmark in the FIFA World Cup, at Federation Square in Melbourne, Australia. (AP)
“Your tears of sadness today will be tears of joy sometime soon.”
Those were the words of former Argentina captain Diego Maradona in November 1993, on an Argentinean TV show, speaking to his Australian counterpart, Paul Wade a day after their game. Argentina had managed to win the two-legged World Cup qualifier tie 2-1 courtesy of an own goal from Alex Tobin in Buenos Aires after a 1-1 tie in Sydney. The defeat denied Australia a ticket to their second World Cup and just hours later captain Wade and assistant coach Raul Blanco were invited on a local TV show, as he recalled with the Sydney Morning Herald recently.
Everyone in the studio, who were used to watching their best football stars lead lavish lifestyles, had been taken aback when the Socceroos captain would share that earned only $5000 a season. Which is when the call came from the biggest footballer of that era, and arguably of all time. (READ MORE)