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France is the champion of the 2018 FIFA World Cup Final, besting Croatia by 4 goals to 2.

France entered the tournament as a favorite, powered by stars such as Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann, while Croatia was seen as a longshot for victory.

"We are world champions and France are going to be on top of the world for next four years," French coach Didier Deschamps said after the game. He called the tournament a "beautiful celebration of football."

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The new United Soccer League team that will play home games in a re-constructed Dillon Stadium will be called Hartford Athletic.

Believe it or not, Lorena and John Wayne Bobbitt (and their kitchen knife) entered the public consciousness 25 years ago last week.

And this week, former UConn athlete Sue Bird and her girlfriend, Megan Rapinoe, became the first same-sex couple to appear on the cover of ESPN The Magazine's The Body Issue.

nplove / Flickr

From the first Olympic games in 776 B.C. to the 2018 World Cup currently underway, referees have always played an integral part in competitive sports. But as technology advances and the means to make more accurate on-field calls improves, these men and women find themselves under increasing pressure to keep up.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The World Cup begins Thursday. But the United States men’s national soccer team didn’t even qualify, so fans will have to wait another four years to see their team play for international glory.

popo.uw23 / flickr creative commons

Mike Pesca is one of our very favorite guests -- on any number of topics. And he's got a new book out: Upon Further Review: The Greatest What-Ifs in Sports History.

Rendering of Hartford Sports Group's proposed renovations to Dillon Stadium.
Hartford Sports Group

Hartford City Council approved a state-bonded $10 million renovation of the historic Dillon Stadium Monday night.

Gov. Dannel Malloy characterized the stadium as being in a "great state of disrepair" during Friday's State Bonding Commission hearing in Hartford and presented two options prior to the vote -- pay to rebuild it or pay to take it down.
Frankie Graziano / WNPR

On Friday, the State Bonding Commission approved $10 million in funding to redevelop Dillon Stadium -- an 80-year-old facility located in Hartford’s Colt Park.

Carlos Cordeiro is the new president of the U.S. Soccer Federation, succeeding his boss, Sunil Gulati, in a final vote over the weekend that concluded a contentious race.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

The Hartford Sports Group is the preliminary pick to revamp Dillon Stadium, an 80 year-old facility in Hartford’s Colt Park.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

The three bidders vying to win the Dillon Stadium project spoke at a hearing Wednesday night at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford. Members of the public got a chance to speak as well.

Global Jet / Flickr

The long-awaited renovation of Dillon Stadium may happen soon. Three bidders have submitted proposals to the city of Hartford and the Capital Region Development Authority for a shot at revamping the 80-year-old facility located in Colt Park. 

A win or a tie would have done it. Or even one loss or tie by the underdogs in Tuesday night's other two qualifying games.

Or beating Honduras a month ago, or beating Panama in March, or not losing both games to Costa Rica.

A 2-1 loss Tuesday night to Trinidad and Tobago — the only team below the U.S. soccer team in the standings — and wins by Honduras and Panama over the qualifying tourney's best two teams mean the Americans will miss the 2018 World Cup in Russia. They'd played in seven World Cups in a row dating back to 1990.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

Out of 96 teams in the National Premier Soccer League, New Haven’s Elm City Express is the last one standing. The Express beat Midland-Odessa of Texas 5-0 Saturday night at Yale’s Reese Stadium to become national champion in its inaugural season.

Frankie Graziano / WNPR

New Haven’s professional soccer team, the Elm City Express, has made it to its league’s championship game in its inaugural year, after beating a team from Oakland on Saturday.

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