ORLANDO, Fla. – The first major sporting event here since the worst mass shooting in United States history will take place on Saturday with a first-of-its-kind tribute.
Orlando City SC announced Tuesday that its Major League Soccer match against the San Jose Earthquakes will be stopped in the 49th minute to honor each of the 49 people who lost their lives at the Pulse nightclub over the weekend. The club is calling it "a first for MLS."
"The teams, coaches and fans will be prepped in advance to essentially freeze the stadium as a whole," an Orlando City spokesperson told Yahoo Sports.
The spokersperson also said that the time of the tribute will change if any other lives are lost before Saturday.
Orlando City, in only its second MLS season, will match that donation, and it will also dedicate a section of Camping World Stadium to the victims on Saturday. And a memorial in the club's new stadium will include rainbow-colored seats in Section 12 for each victim.
ORLANDO, Fla. – By mid-afternoon, a light rain began to fall, and the blood center parking lot was so crowded that it was hard to tell who was taking supplies and who was giving them. Former Magic player Bo Outlaw was there, coated in a third-quarter sweat, unloading water bottles from cars like everyone else. One woman in a T-shirt from a nearby community outreach center was asked how long she had been working there.
"Today," she said. "I just started. They just gave me the shirt, and I put it on."
A minivan pulled up. The driver jumped out and opened the tailgate. Water bottles tumbled onto the pavement. Someone yelled that it was time to load up trucks to give the water to other blood centers in Central Florida because there was simply too much at this one.
At a nearby sub shop, a police officer who had been working since 5:30 a.m. wandered in at lunchtime to get some food for his boss. Other customers lined up to pay for him, and the cashier stuffed coupons into his hand to give to his colleagues.
His eyes were bloodshot. He said there were so many casualties that every person in the town will be somehow connected to someone lost.
Orlando City. Orlando Pride.
Both were arguably the best in their sport's history. They had nicknames that suggested arrogance – "Mr. Hockey" and "The Greatest" – and yet, when affixed to them, drew only respect and approval. They each wore these identities with honor, and lifted their sports by doing so.
Ali also understood his responsibility to his sport and all sports. He too posed for photos and put up his dukes even when his mind and body continued to fail him in old age. There are many people in America and elsewhere who have a photo with Ali or Howe, still uplifted by a brief encounter. Both boxing and hockey have faced various existential challenges since they retired, but Howe and Ali made the glory days feel as permanent as their championships.
They were winners and fighters, icons and heroes. Ultimately, though, they were more than that. They were gentlemen.
ORLANDO, Fla. – It was just one goal.
The match was already out of reach. Philippe Courtinho was on his way to a hat trick, Brazil was on its way to a Copa America Centenario win and television viewers' attention was on its way to the NBA Finals.
Then came the goal, just one goal.
In the 70th minute, Haiti midfielder James Marcelin snuck in on the weak side of the Brazil net, found a rebound at his feet and booted it home to cut the lead to 5-1.
"Will this be printed?"
RIO DE JANEIRO — On a recent morning on the shore of Guanabara Bay, 37-year-old Jose Carlos Daniel stood with his fishing pole and discussed his night job as a doorman.
"I'm concerned about violence," he said through a translator. "I've seen robberies, fights. I'm not very optimistic about security during the [Olympic] Games."
In the run-up to the Summer Olympic Games, which officially begin Aug. 5, much international attention has been paid to the Zika virus' presence in Brazil, the political unrest in the wake of the impeachment of President Dilma Rousseff and the omnipresent fear of terrorism.
But the growing concern, security experts told Yahoo Sports, is local crime.
Every year, an estimated 40,000 Brazilians die from gun-related incidents. The number of murders in Rio is up 15.4 percent from last year, according to one recent study, and street robberies have risen by nearly 25 percent.
Fears of terrorism in Brazil, however, are more muted.
That's somewhat reassuring, and it comes from months of planning.
ORLANDO, Fla. – The United States men's national team got its first positive result in the Copa America Centenario on Saturday: a scoreless draw between two upcoming Group A opponents.
Costa Rica and Paraguay played to a listless tie under the searing sun here at the Citrus Bowl in a game that featured far more diving than run-of-play creativity. Fans of the American side who were troubled by Colombia's 2-0 dismantling of Jurgen Klinsmann's men on Friday might sleep a bit easier knowing the next U.S. match is Tuesday in Chicago against a Ticos team that showed relatively nothing in its opener.
Saturday's match should have gone far better for both teams, but it couldn't have gone better for the U.S.
The most iconic image of the late Muhammad Ali, who died Friday at 74, is likely that of him standing triumphantly over the fallen Sonny Liston in 1965.
The most important image might be something else entirely.
It was taken on this day – June 4 – in 1967, at a news conference in Cleveland. Ali is speaking into a microphone. On his right, listening intently, sits Bill Russell. On his left sits Jim Brown and Lew Alcindor (now Kareem Abdul-Jabbar). Assembled there, in one photo, are four of the greatest athletes in history. They are flanked by other athletes, including future NFL Hall of Famer Willie Davis, and community leaders such as Carl Stokes, who would become the first black mayor of a major U.S. city. They are not at the news conference to speak about sports.
On his Facebook page Saturday morning, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar wrote about Ali's power:
Sometimes it was crass or callous, but that's part of the genius of it: Words were never near as ugly as the truth Ali illuminated.
That was the truest image of a champion.
SANFORD, Fla. – Kaka glides through difficult topics as easily as he glides past defenders.
When asked earlier this month at the Orlando City SC training complex about his country's impeachment process, he called the situation "very important for us," saying "we need to change the corruption." But he stopped short of taking a firm stance on the push to remove President Dilma Rousseff from office.
When asked what he'd change about Major League Soccer, he said, "a lot of things need to change" but quickly provided context: "I don't have enough information. How you trade players, the salary cap, it's something that needs to be better. Today, it's working good, but in the future it needs to be better. The last CBA was good, but could be better. Probably the next CBA will be better and better until it's something really good for everybody."
On one difficult subject, though, there was no nuance: Brazil's soccer reputation.
"We deserved to lose," he added.
So Brazil, a record five-time World Cup champion, hasn't even been the best team on its own continent for quite some time.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 mths ago
TAMPA – Roberto Aguayo says he has never been nervous before a kick.
"No, that's what practice is for," he offers plainly in a hallway outside his new locker room.
He was, though, a little freaked out by cell phone service.
Aguayo watched last month's NFL draft on Ana Maria Island, located on the south side of Tampa Bay, with his family and his girlfriend. He didn't realize until he got to the beach house that cell phone coverage was lacking. So he left his phone out on the balcony, hoping to get an extra bar or two in case the call came earlier than he expected.
"I would re-call it every 10 minutes," he says.
On the second night, he heard a ring and looked around: was that anyone else's phone?
Nope. It was his phone. The Bucs were calling.
The debate hasn't affected Aguayo. In fact, it seems nothing affects him. He said he was happy when the NFL made PATs longer, and he'd welcome the change if the league narrowed the goal posts. "As long as it's a level playing field," he shrugs.
What they can't control is whether some other team used a later pick on the next Russell Wilson.
Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports 4 mths ago
RIO DE JANEIRO — The police showed up at 6:30 a.m. on March 8, and by lunchtime her house had been demolished.
Maria da Penha Macena had no choice: she got a notice from the city that her home was in the way of a planned access road for the Olympics. She could only grab her belongings, move them to a church, and make sure to turn away when her home was razed.
"The police arrived and put it down," she says through a translator. "In one day."
It was the same day she was set to receive an award from the state legislature for the way she defended her right to keep her home.
Penha Macena lives in the Vila Autodromo, an impoverished community (or favela ) where some 600 families called home. It's only a short walk from where many of the Summer Olympic venues are being constructed in Barra. In order to make way for the arrival of the Games, homes were targeted for demolition and families were offered money to leave.
Some did not leave.
"That will be embarrassing for the mayor," she says.