Eric Adelson

  • Carli Lloyd's goal for the ages defined USWNT's championship belief

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

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    VANCOUVER, British Columbia – She knew.

    Carli Lloyd laid a cleat into a ball at midfield only 16 minutes into Sunday's World Cup final, and she knew where it would end up when she saw the shot in flight.

    "I kinda did, yeah," the United States star midfielder said.

    [Eric Adelson: Carli Lloyd leads U.S. to first World Cup title in 16 years]

    The laser from 54 yards out arced high into the smoky air here in B.C. Place, glanced off the outstretched glove of Japan goalkeeper  Ayumi Kaihori and bounced off the post and into the net behind her. Lloyd had just authored one of the most memorable goals in American soccer history. It was the third goal of the first hat trick ever scored in a World Cup final, delivered in less time than it took most fans to walk from FanHQ to the stadium earlier in the day.

    [FC Yahoo: Women's World Cup's winners and losers]

     

    Now the world knows, too.

  • Carli Lloyd leads U.S. to Women's World Cup title in 5-2 win over Japan

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 1 day ago

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia – The history of soccer in America will not be written without this name: Carli Lloyd.

    [FC Yahoo: A perfectly unpredictable ending to U.S.'s confounding World Cup]

    The United States star midfielder scored three times in the first half to vault the Americans to their third Women's World Cup title on Sunday with a 5-2 victory over Japan at B.C. Place. Lloyd scored from close, she scored from far and she scored a place in U.S. sports lore for a team that came together beautifully to vanquish all comers and now will stand aside the 1999 team as most cherished ever by a still-growing soccer nation.

    [FC Yahoo: Women's World Cup's winners and losers]

    The theme of the team has been "She believes" and Lloyd made everyone believe within the first five minutes of the match, redirecting a shot from Megan Rapinoe at three minutes and then knocking in a second goal two minutes later.

  • The one World Cup question left about the U.S. women's national team

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 2 days ago

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia – This time is different.

    That's the vow from the United States women's national team, four years after World Cup heartbreak in Germany.

    "This team is different," Abby Wambach said on Friday. "There's an air of confidence."

    [FC Yahoo: These U.S. players should want World Cup revenge the most against Japan]

    There is an air of confidence, yes. It's palpable. The team is beaming, having to rein itself in from the anticipation of potentially overshadowing the 2011 World Cup loss and standing beside the "99ers" who won it all 16 years ago. This American side knows it is good enough to win, good enough to be a champion.

    [Women's World Cup: Latest news | Scores and Schedule | Group standings]

    "What's important," she said, "is to score first."

  • Reduced role doesn't stop Wambach from being USA's inspirational leader

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 3 days ago

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Kelley O'Hara has gone through what could be called The Abby Wambach Bench Experience.

    The two sit at the end of the bench together during matches – the joke is they are cordoned off down there because they're both so vociferous – and it got so tense during the United States' semifinal victory over Germany that Wambach grabbed O'Hara's arm. Very tightly.

    "Abby," O'Hara said, "do not injure me."

    It hasn't been the easiest of Women's World Cups for Wambach, who arrived as the biggest name on the team (save perhaps Alex Morgan) and was relegated to the bench as the offense found its rhythm. She doesn't mind the lack of playing time so much as having to watch the fate of her biggest soccer dream playing out right in front of her. On Friday, she called her spectator role "nerve-wracking" and "brutal."

    "It has taken years off my life," Wambach said to chuckles from the press.

    It has been a lesson to her – to her teammates and to young soccer players – on how to step back with grace and leadership.

    In a way, she has responded to those moments more off the field than on it.

  • Security at Women's World Cup not like it was for the men's tournament

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    MONTREAL – For American fans, the Women's World Cup has been a fabulous tournament: hospitable cities, drivable distances from the U.S., mild summer weather, and a string of wins for the U.S. It's easy to notice how comfortable the entire event has been.

    But is it too comfortable? Security at the venues has been less stringent than anything fans will encounter at an NFL stadium, and certainly more relaxed than at the men's World Cup or at the Olympics.

    "Pretty easy," said John Weaver of West Lafayette, Indiana, who was in Ottawa for the U.S. quarterfinal match against China. "Slipped right through. We didn't have anything checked."

    There was a bag check at the Ottawa venue, but fans weren't ushered through metal detectors, and the use of the electronic wand has been intermittent.

    "This would be a bad situation for terrorism," Weaver said.

    Gerstenecker said if this was a men's World Cup, the protocol would be "full mag, full bag," meaning every single fan would be wanded and every single bag would be checked, whereas in the women's event, the wand use is based on an undisclosed random system of choosing who to flag.

  • Jill Ellis deserves credit for U.S. run to World Cup final, but how much?

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 5 days ago

    VANCOUVER, British Columbia – Becky Sauerbrunn got off the cross-country flight on Wednesday, tired but energized by the United States' semifinal upset of Germany on Tuesday. She smiled into a gaggle of cameras and was asked about the pregame speeches of head coach Jill Ellis.

    [Yahoo Sports Radio: Carli Lloyd on growing support for U.S. women's soccer]

    "They're really inspirational," she said. "She's really pumped up before every game."

    That is quite the departure from the Ellis we have come to know over the last few weeks at the Women's World Cup. Her press conferences are reserved, with just a trace of sardonic humor. Maybe she'll offer a wink and a smirk if sharing a joke. Mostly she returns barbs with shrugs. Last Friday, when asked by a German reporter about a "terrible" call that benefited her U.S. side, Ellis stared out into the crowd and said flatly, "Between the 18s, we're a very good team."

    It turns out that Ellis had more in her arsenal than a few bland quotes. She had speeches, she had wisdom and she had an 11th-hour surprise that may have put her team over the top.

  • Julie Johnston's wonderful World Cup nearly ruined by defensive mistake

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

    MONTREAL – Long after it happened, it looked like Julie Johnston wanted to cry all over again.

    She walked into the media area after the United States' 2-0 semifinal win against Germany and faced the reporters' questions she knew she would get – about the mistake that could have led to her team's ouster from the Women's World Cup.

    [FC Yahoo: Questionable calls go USA's way in semifinal win over Germany]

    "Definitely emotional," she said, offering a smile. "Definitely screwed up. Definitely apologetic."

    [Women's World Cup: Latest news | Scores and Schedule | Group standings]

    Johnston said she was so upset that she was "trying to breathe."

  • U.S. advances to Women's World Cup final with 2-0 win over Germany

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 6 days ago

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    MONTREAL – Captain Carli, Captain America.

    Carli Lloyd did it again, burying a penalty kick, hurling a Jersey-branded cussword into the bedlam and then setting up Kelley O'Hara for the clinching goal as the United States beat favored Germany 2-0 to advance to the Women's World Cup final on Sunday in Vancouver.

    [FC Yahoo: Questionable calls go USA's way in semifinal win over Germany]

    Lloyd's first highlight came only a few moments after Germany's lowlight, as Celia Sasic completely missed the net on her own penalty kick. That was the difference in the match, as the American defense locked it down for yet another shutout. Hope Solo and Co. have still only allowed one goal in the entire tournament.

    "It's a spectacular stat, to be honest," head coach Jill Ellis said of the shutout streak, now at a remarkable 513 minutes.

    "We did a good job getting behind their back line," Morgan said. "We could have exploited them a lot more."

  • Why Hope Solo should break her media silence at Women's World Cup

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    MONTREAL – Hope Solo has done one exclusive interview since the start of the Women's World Cup. It took place in Winnipeg and it was conducted by Julianna Raposo.

    Raposo is an eighth grader. She is 13.

    The interview came about because Raposo's physical education teacher at Henry G. Izatt Middle School in Manitoba sent a tweet to Solo months ago to inform her that one of his students could use some confidence and inspiration. "She was a little bit lost," said the teacher, Blue Jay Bridge. "She was in an emotional place." Solo, the United States' star goalkeeper, is Raposo's favorite athlete, so much so that she had written H-O-P-E S-O-L-O across her fingers. ("I thought it was Han Solo," Bridge said.)

    [Women's World Cup: Latest news | Scores and Schedule | Group standings]

    So she decided to send an email to her teammates and open up even more.

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  • Michael Sam back on CFL journey after dealing with 'personal matters'

    Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 7 days ago

    MONTREAL – The coaches left the locker room, closed the door, and allowed Michael Sam to have a few moments in front of his teammates.

    Sam addressed the Montreal Alouettes on Sunday night, telling them he was sorry for leaving the group, he needed some time to take care of his personal life, and now he is back and fully committed.

    When he finished speaking, he got a rousing ovation.

    Sam dreamed of Dallas or St. Louis or some other NFL city, but Montreal is likely a detour worth taking. In fact, becoming the first openly gay player in the CFL is probably his only way to get a real shot at becoming the first openly gay player to get a roster spot in the NFL. The NFL veterans combine in Arizona last spring showed some of Sam's combine issues – a little slow, a little small – and here on this field with two 50-yard lines and a premium on end rushing, he can prove himself as a player who can close space using his instincts as well as his feet. Game tape has always been Sam's best ally, and he can create plenty of it here on a professional level.

    This may be Michael Sam's last chance, but it is still a pretty good chance.