sports

Has Video Refereeing Ruined The World Cup?

Jul 13, 2018

Tensions were high at a crowded bar in New York City, packed with sweating Belgian and French fans. A lot was at stake: Whoever won Tuesday's game would go on to play in the World Cup final. Anxious fans booed, chanted and yelled at the screen.

As raucous as soccer can get, it's also a game of charades. Players communicate with the referee, who often speaks a different language, by using sign language. A striker will hold up an invisible infraction card to ask that an opponent be penalized; the ref might point at his eyes to acknowledge a misbehaving player.

Croatia has advanced to its first-ever World Cup final in men's soccer. The Croatian National team came from behind and upset favored England 2-to-1 in a semifinal match decided in extra time on Wednesday in Moscow.

Croatia was supposed to be a tired team coming into the match.

Its previous two games went to extra time and then emotionally draining penalty shootouts. But if anything, the grueling lead-up to the clash against England solidified Croatia's mental toughness, which served the Croats well on Wednesday.

Updated at 8:26 a.m. ET

The men's World Cup soccer tournament is down to the final two games that matter.

A day after France advanced to Sunday's final in Moscow with a 1-0 victory over Belgium, the focus of the tournament is now turning to the other semi-final game, England against Croatia in Moscow.

A win for England would help erase World Cup futility. The English claim to have invented the game, or at least the modern version of it. But England has not been in the final since 1966, when it won its only World Cup title.

Claire Thornton

Across from Trump Palace tower, hundreds of Russia soccer fans congregated at the RK Village Plaza shopping center in Sunny Isles on Saturday. They were focused on celebrating the Russian team's accomplishments to date, instead of pinning hopes on future prospects in the FIFA tournament.

Wander into any bar in Rio de Janeiro at present, and you are sure to meet one of the world's greatest soccer talents.

He or she might be young or old, short or tall, a beer drinker or a fan of the head-spinning cachaça spirit made from sugar cane.

Yet they'll have one thing in common.

He or she will be wearing the bright yellow No. 10 shirt identified with Neymar — the man long seen as the Brazilian national team's finest performer, who's now also its funniest.

In a shocking upset, South Korea has beaten Germany in the World Cup, denying the defending champions a chance to advance beyond the first round.

It's the first time in at least 80 years that Germany has failed to advance out of the World Cup's group stage. It was a stunning result, both for the team that had come to Russia as the world's No. 1 and for South Korea, which wasn't listed in the top 50 when this tournament began.

The United States is among the notable no-shows for the month-long World Cup tournament. It's the first time since 1986 the U.S. men haven't qualified for their sport's biggest event.

Soccer officials say they are moving on from criticism and controversy to get the men's national team back on track. But some wonder whether they're focusing on what really needs to be fixed — from improving coaching to broadening the appeal of the sport at the youth level — to put the American team back on the world stage.

Still stings

The campus of Moscow State University is located in Sparrow Hills, a leafy haven overlooking Luzhniki Stadium, the main arena for this year's soccer World Cup.

Updated at 5:21 p.m. ET

There was God Bless America, but no Swoop the Eagle. The U.S. Marine Band was there, but neither quarterback Nick Foles, nor head coach Doug Pederson, nor any member of the 2018 Super Bowl winning team was at the White House Tuesday for what was to be a celebration of the Philadelphia Eagles victory.

David Beckham's Miami MLS Team Might Finally Have A Name

May 24, 2018
Carl Juste / Miami Herald

Could David Beckham’s Major League Soccer team finally have a name?

Nobody is saying yet, but according to an online search of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, a company calling itself Miami Freedom LLC applied on May 17, 2018 to trademark the following four names: Miami Freedom Football Club, Miami Freedom United, Miami Freedom FC and Miami Freedom.

Unveiling a new policy after months of controversy and debate over players taking a knee or otherwise making statements during the national anthem, the NFL says all of its athletes and staff "shall stand and show respect for the flag and the Anthem" if they're on the field.

On Sunday night, the Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Boston Bruins to head to the NHL's Eastern Conference Finals.

And nobody licked anybody.

That was not a guarantee. Bruins left wing Brad Marchand licked opposing players twice this postseason.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Every spring in Key West is the same in some ways. After Easter, traffic gets a little lighter. The weather gets a little warmer.

But some years, a lot of the city’s attention turns away from Duval Street, away from the waterfront. It turns to Rex Weech Field, home of the Key West Conchs baseball team.

An NCAA commission is calling on the NBA to reopen its draft to athletes who are 18 and have not attended college, citing problems with the "one-and-done" system that sees elite players jump to the pros after their freshman year.

Created last fall after a federal investigation put an exclamation point on a growing list of crises and conflicting priorities in the sport, the Commission on College Basketball issued its recommendations on Wednesday.

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