soccer

Soccer
1:44 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

FIFA Files Criminal Complaint Over 2018, 2022 Soccer World Cup Bidding

FIFA President Joseph Blatter (second right) is flanked in Zurich, Switzerland, on Dec. 2, 2010, by Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov (right) and Qatar's Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani after the announcement that Russia will host the soccer World Cup in 2018 and Qatar in 2022.
Michael Probst AP

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 2:41 pm

Soccer's governing body says it has lodged a criminal complaint against individuals in connection with the awarding of the 2018 and 2022 World Cups, days after clearing the winning bids of corruption.

"In particular there seem to be grounds for suspicion that, in isolated cases, international transfers of assets with connections to Switzerland took place, which merit examination by the criminal prosecution authorities," FIFA said in a statement.

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Soccer
5:59 am
Sat October 11, 2014

Landon Donovan Makes An Emotional, If Slightly Awkward Farewell

Donovan celebrates with fans after the match. He and teammates led a cheer of "I believe that we can win!"
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Sat October 11, 2014 9:14 am

He didn't want to play Friday, but in the end, U.S. soccer legend Landon Donovan was glad he did.

The setting was a farewell game to honor the retiring 32-year-old forward, a friendly game between the U.S. team and Ecuador. Donovan played only 40 minutes and didn't score — although he came close, when he bounced the ball off the goal post in the 25th minute — and the game ended in a 1-1 tie.

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Soccer
8:08 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Landon Donovan's Career With U.S. Men's National Team Ends in Connecticut

Landon Donovan speaks to reporters before his final match with the U.S. Men's National Team.
Tucker Ives WNPR

Update at 8:10pm.

As Landon Donovan admitted during a halftime interview, he did everything but score tonight. He had several chances but couldn't find the back of the net. He was taken out in the 41st minute, which was 11 minutes longer than he planned to play.

As expected, Donovan received a rowdy ovation from the mostly packed crowd. The second-half is now underway but there are still fans trickling through the gates.

The USA still leads 1-0 and now that the Landon era is over, they can start the march to the 2018 World Cup in earnest.

Update at 7:12pm.

A lot of fans missed the first goal of the match. Cars are still streaming into the Rentschler Field parking lot and Mix Diskerud already scored. 1-0, U.S. leads.

Update at 6:45pm.

Landon Donovan is one of two starting forwards in his last match with the U.S. Men's National Team. He only plans to play in the first 30 minutes to be rested enough to play with his professional team, the L.A. Galaxy on Sunday.

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:03pm and is broadcast live on ESPN. Officials said fans can expect numerous tributes to Donovan before, during and after the match.

Original post below:

After being cut from the United States World Cup roster this summer, soccer star Landon Donovan will play one last match with the national team Friday night in East Hartford, Connecticut. He played for Team U.S.A. in three World Cups and is the program's all-time leading scorer with 57 goals and 58 assists in his career.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Germany: Who Are You Now?

Credit MomentCaptured1 / Creative Commons

Two snapshots: The first from the publication American Bazaar, right after the German World Cup win. "In the city of Leipzig, a solitary car scuttled along, with the flag attached to the roof. Waving the flag has yet to catch on. Jan Hoffman, who works in Frankfurt, was in New York when 9/11 happened.  'I had never seen so many flags in my life. Here, there are hardly any, although we won football's greatest tournament.

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The Two-Way
2:43 pm
Sun July 13, 2014

Germany Wins World Cup Over Argentina With Late-Game Goal

Germany's players celebrate after winning 1-0 on extra time at the World Cup final soccer match between Germany and Argentina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Sunday.
Hassan Ammar AP

Originally published on Sun July 13, 2014 9:09 pm

In a tense match that saw a lot of action but no score for more than 90 minutes of play, Germany was finally victorious over Argentina to take home the 2014 World Cup title on Sunday with a 1-0 win.

In a game that at times seemed more like a rugby match or WWE bout — with head injuries, flying knees and even an eye rake — both teams displayed hardy defenses and a hungry offense.

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Soccer
10:45 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Liverpool Unloads 'The Biter,' Sending Suarez To Barca For $128 Million

Luis Suarez will wear the number 9 for Barcelona.
FC Barcelona

Originally published on Fri July 11, 2014 11:45 am

Luis Suarez, the Uruguayan striker who became headline news in the U.S. after biting an Italian player during the World Cup, is moving to a new club. He'll play for Barcelona, after the team reached terms with Liverpool in a transfer widely reported at 75 million pounds, or more than $128 million.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Israeli/Palestinian Conflict Escalates; LIRR Strike Looms; World Cup Preview

A missile from the Israeli Iron Dome.
Credit Israeli Defense Forces / Creative Commons

Once again, violence has escalated in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine. Rockets are now reaching northern Israel and that government is responding with barrages of its own rocket attacks on Palestinian targets. We talk with a local professor who recently returned from the region and studies this on-going conflict.

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World Cup
5:06 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Argentina Ditches Dutch On The Way To World Cup Final

Players go for the ball during the World Cup semifinal soccer match between the Netherlands and Argentina at the Itaquerao Stadium in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Wednesday.
Fabrizio Bensch AP

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 2:46 pm

Updated at 6:56 p.m. ET

Argentina defeated the Netherlands 4-2 in penalty kicks to reach the final of the World Cup, where they will play Germany on Sunday.

The two teams were tied 0-0 at the end of extra time.

Goalkeeper Sergio Romero saved penalties by Ron Vlaar and Wesley Sneijder. Maxi Rodriguez put away the winning kick.

The last time a World Cup semifinal was decided by penalty kicks was 1998 when Netherlands played Brazil. Brazil won that encounter.

The Associated Press reports:

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Everyday Football Fouls
1:44 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Flop Life: What If We All Acted Like We Were In The World Cup?

In a new video, people casually bump into one another in cafes and groceries, sparking histrionics like those seen in the World Cup.
YouTube

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 8:13 am

The flailing about, the protests, the sheer agony — what if everyone behaved like international soccer stars who can evidently be slammed to the ground by a fingertip?

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World Cup
10:19 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Brazil Reels From Thrashing That Bounced It From World Cup

A fan screams as she watches Brazil lose to Germany, in a live telecast Tuesday in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. The host nation is reeling from its loss in the World Cup semifinal.
Bruno Magalhaes AP

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 12:45 pm

"The worst game I saw in my life" is how one Brazilian fan describes it. Another says it's simply a tragedy. Some angry fans burned Brazil's flag in the street.

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World Cup
12:30 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

World Cup Fever Grips Brazilians Living in Danbury

A view of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Jorge in Brazil Creative Commons

On Tuesday, Brazil faces Germany in a World Cup semifinal match. For thousands of Brazilians living in Danbury, the game is a chance to gather, eat barbeque, and cheer on their native team. 

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World Cup
7:58 am
Tue July 8, 2014

The One American On The Field At Today's World Cup Semifinal

Referee Mark Geiger will be the U.S. presence at the World Cup semifinal on Tuesday.
Clive Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:35 am

The United States will have a presence at today's semifinal World Cup match between Brazil and Germany. It won't be the U.S. National Team on the field, but American referee Mark Geiger. FIFA selected Geiger to be on the officiating crew of the high-stakes match. It's the first time a U.S. referee has been used this late in a World Cup.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:46 am
Mon June 30, 2014

The Scramble: Court Contradictions and Conservative Consternation

The Roberts' Supreme Court
Credit Donkey Hotey / Creative Commons

It's that time of year when nine people who were never elected decide all manner of questions about how we live. Monday marked the last round of Supreme Court decisions. By now, you probably know that in a five-four decision, they sided with Hobby Lobby in affirming the rights of employers to invoke their religious principles to opt out of the requirement to provide certain contraceptives otherwise mandated by Obamacare. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri June 27, 2014

The Nose Bit First

Carolyn Paine is an actor, dancer, and choreographer
Chion Wolf WNPR

This week on The Nose, our culture roundtable, we'll tackle "Columbusing," the act of believing that something never existed before you discovered it. Also, this week's biting episode in the World Cup makes us wonder if vampires are setting a bad example.

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Code Switch
12:16 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Latinos Pledge Allegiance To More Than One Soccer Team

Team USA goalie Tim Howard reacts as Portugal scores its second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup match.
Warren Little Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 7:18 am

I would never have imagined that my immigrant mom, a Spanish teacher, a proud mexicana, would be cheering for Team USA in the World Cup. A few days ago I overheard her talking to my tía on the phone. She told her sister, "Isn't it great that the American team is playing so well? Now we have two teams to root for!"

Until then, I didn't realize cheering for two teams was an option. As a Latina living in the U.S., deciding whom to root for was like answering the question "where are you really from?"

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Rise of Soccer
12:11 pm
Tue June 24, 2014

World Cup Ratings Spike: How Popular Is Soccer In The U.S.?

Fans gather in Chicago's Grant Park to watch the U.S. play Portugal Sunday — a game that set a new ratings record for soccer on ESPN.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 24, 2014 1:42 pm

Sunday's thrilling and frustrating World Cup match between the U.S. and Portugal drew an average of 24.7 million viewers, according to the Nielsen ratings company, a result that puts the game above the recent NBA finals.

The game's total U.S. viewership of 24.7 million includes ratings from both ESPN (18.2 million viewers) and the Spanish-language Univision (6.5 million); it doesn't include the 1.37 million people ESPN says streamed the game online.

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World Cup
5:45 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Doing The Math: How The U.S. Can Advance In The World Cup

U.S. forward Clint Dempsey (8) celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during a match against Portugal at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus on Sunday.
Francisco Leong AFP/Getty Images

The "Group of Death" is living up to its name.

Going into the third and final match of group stage, all four teams — the U.S., Germany, Ghana and Portugal — still have a mathematical chance of moving on to the round of 16.

Of course, the U.S. had a prime chance at sealing the deal last night against Portugal. But, as we told you, a last-gasp goal by Portugal scuttled those plans.

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Soccer
2:59 pm
Mon June 23, 2014

Win, Lose or Draw, U.S. Can Still Advance In World Cup

U.S. forward Clint Dempsey scores during a Group G football match between USA and Portugal at the Amazonia Arena in Manaus during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 22, 2014. (Odd Andersen/AFP/Getty Images)

There were 30 seconds left to play and the United States team was beating Portugal 2 to 1. The majority pro-American crowd of more than 40,000 at last night’s World Cup game in Brazil were ready to party, but it wasn’t to be.

Portugal scored with less than half a minute to go, and now the U.S. looks ahead to Thursday evening’s game against Germany to determine its World Cup future.

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World Cup
1:53 pm
Sun June 22, 2014

In A Stunning Finish, Portugal Ties U.S.

Clint Dempsey of the United States is challenged by Portugal's Bruno Alves (left) and Ricardo Costa during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Group G match Sunday in Brazil.
Warren Little Getty Images

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:03 am

It was heartbreaking. It was stunning. It was the reason they call Group G the "Group of Death."

With 30 seconds left and despite astronomical odds, the United States men's national soccer team was about to qualify for the second round of the World Cup.

But just like that, Portugal's superstar Cristiano Ronaldo crossed to Silvestre Varela, who headed it into the net, tying it, 2-2, marking the final play of the game.

This means everyone in the group of death has a mathematical chance at advancing.

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Soccer Science
3:38 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Scientists Keep A Careful Eye On The World Cup Ball

A close up of the Brazuca ball in NASA's Ames Fluid Mechanics Laboratory. Smoke highlighted by lasers visualizes air flow around the ball.
NASA's Ames Research Center

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 8:45 am

While many millions are enjoying the drama of the World Cup, a handful of scientists are keeping their eyes very closely on the ball.

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Sweetness And Light
3:26 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Deford: How To Host A Sports Extravaganza That Won't Break The Bank

Remodeling the National Stadium Mane Garrincha in Brasilia, Brazil, for the FIFA World Cup cost the Brazilian government $900 million.
Eraldo Peres AP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 10:22 am

You know, it is the 21st century, and it is possible to acknowledge that and make both the World Cup and the Olympics more affordable. The current waste and opulence simply aren't defensible anymore.

For the soccer pooh-bahs to demand that Brazil build new stadiums, costing billions of dollars, is unconscionable. How much more logical to utilize existing stadiums in neighboring countries, in large cities like Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Santiago.

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Nigeria
7:12 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Explosion In Nigeria Hits Gathering Of World Cup Fans

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 8:13 pm

An explosion has rocked a northeastern Nigeria town where people had gathered to watch World Cup soccer on television, security officials say.

There were reports of casualties, but it was not immediately clear how many or whether anyone had been killed. Reuters quotes witnesses to the blast at the town of Damaturu, the capital of Yobe state, as saying they saw several trucks carry bodies to a local hospital.

The BBC says:

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World Cup
9:56 am
Tue June 17, 2014

After His Game-Winning Goal, We Ask, Who Is John Brooks?

John Brooks of the United States celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group G match against Ghana.
Laurence Griffiths Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 12:15 pm

The name John Anthony Brooks likely didn't ring a bell for many Americans before Monday.

But by minute 87 of the U.S. vs. Ghana game, John Brooks had become America's newest national hero.

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World Cup
9:45 pm
Mon June 16, 2014

Sweet Revenge: U.S. Bests Ghana, 2-1, In Its World Cup Opener

Clint Dempsey scored Team USA's first goal during the FIFA World Cup 2014 Group G preliminary round match against Ghana at Estadio Arena das Dunas in Natal, Brazil, on Monday.
Kamil Kraczynski EPA/Landov

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 11:02 am

The U.S. Men's National Team beat Ghana in the group stage of the World Cup, payback for losing to the Black Stars in the previous two World Cups.

Team USA captain Clint Dempsey surged past Ghana's John Boye to score 29 seconds after the start of the game, marking one of the fastest goals in World Cup history.

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World Cup
6:30 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Brazil Wins World Cup Opener Against Croatia, 3-1

Marcelo (left) of Brazil and Ivan Perisic of Croatia in action during the FIFA World Cup 2014 group A preliminary round match between Brazil and Croatia at the Arena Corinthians in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Thursday.
Sebastio Moreira EPA/Landov

Brazil stumbled early on, but came back to overpower rival Croatia in the group A preliminary round match in Sao Paulo at the opening of the FIFA World Cup 2014.

CBSSports.com says:

"The Brazilians surrendered an early own goal before Neymar answered with a first-half equalizer, and a dive in the box from striker Fred led to the go-ahead goal in the second half on a Neymar penalty kick.

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World Cup
12:34 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Want Time Off To Watch The World Cup? China Has Just What The Doctor Ordered

A fake doctor's note we bought for $33 from an online store on Taobao, the eBay of China.
Frank Langfitt NPR

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 6:57 pm

Need time off from work to watch the World Cup? If you're in China, no problem. Online stores there are providing fake doctor's notes — even extensive falsified medical records — to get you days of sick leave so you can enjoy your favorite teams.

The service may be particularly appealing, given the time difference with World Cup host Brazil. China is 11 hours ahead of Rio. So if you want to catch opening matches, you have to start watching at midnight, Shanghai time.

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World Cup
11:25 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Time For Kickoff: World's Attention Focused On World Cup

They are feeling it: Children kick around a soccer ball outside the Independencia Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, on Wednesday.
Victor R. Caivano AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 4:41 pm

Update at 4:31 p.m. ET

And Brazil does recover, with a goal from star Neymar a few minutes later.

Update at 4:28 p.m. ET

The beautiful game is not so beautiful for Brazil in the early moments of the game: Croatia is ahead 1-0 after an own goal by the home team. It's early, though. Plenty of time for Brazil to recover.

[A tweet from NPR's Russell Lewis in Sao Paulo.]

Update at 10:25 a.m. ET

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Sweetness and Light
10:35 am
Thu June 12, 2014

Go Ahead, Host A Giant Sports Spectacular. But It Will Cost You

In a recent Pew Reseach Center poll, 61 percent of Brazilians said hosting the World Cup, which begins Wednesday in Sao Paulo, is bad for the country, because it has diverted money from public services.
Nelson Almeida AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 11, 2014 1:27 pm

Wednesday welcomes the year's second global sports extravaganza, as the World Cup begins. Just a few months ago, we worried that terrorists would invade the Russian Olympics. Now we wait to see if riots will tarnish the Brazilian World Cup.

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Sports
6:34 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

The World Cup Reminds Us That All The World's A Soccer Field

Children play soccer in the village of Limon in the Peten region of northern Guatemala.
Jason Beaubien NPR

The global reach of soccer never ceases to amaze me. I travel all over the world, sometimes to incredibly remote areas. More often than not, when I get there, somebody is kicking around a soccer ball.

It doesn't matter if it's Asia or Africa or Central America. Kids make a goal out of a couple of backpacks, throw out a ball and the game is on. The "ball" could be a knotted towel or a tennis ball or a tattered leather shell that's barely holding air.

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2014 World Cup
6:44 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

U.S. Soccer Star Landon Donovan Fails To Make World Cup Cut

Landon Donovan practices with the U.S. Men's National Team in Stanford, Calif., last week. U.S. Soccer announced Thursday he had not made the roster for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
Josh Edelson AFP/Getty Images

Landon Donovan, the all-time leader in scoring and assists for the U.S. Men's National Soccer Team, will not be part of the 2014 FIFA World Cup roster in Brazil, U.S. Soccer says.

ESPN writes: "Donovan, 32, has played for the U.S. in the past three World Cups dating back to 2002. He has been the face of the national team for most of the past decade, but spoke in recent months about how his body is no longer what it had once been."

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