- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports32 mins ago
CORTLAND, N.Y. – Safety Calvin Pryor was asked about violence against women after his first training camp practice in his first season in the NFL. He could have avoided the question. He didn't.
"No one should put his hands on a woman," said the New York Jets' first-round pick. "That's the way I was raised. If you put your hands on a woman, it means you're scared to hit a guy."
If only Roger Goodell, Ozzie Newsome or John Harbaugh could make a statement like that.
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports13 days ago
He walked into the room at the site of this year's World Cup final, and there was a palpable sense of disappointment.
Oh. It's Sergio Romero.
This was weeks ago, at Argentina's first press conference before its tournament opener at Maracana Stadium against Bosnia-Herzegovina. The team was supposed to bring one player out to the podium to talk about the next day's match, and reporters lined up 40 minutes beforehand to get a seat for the player they wanted to see: Lionel Messi.
Instead, the packed house got Romero, who wasn't even the starter for his Monaco team.
You could feel the air go out of the room.
Now, Romero is giving wind to an entire nation. He is Argentina's Tim Howard, and he is the man trusted with slaying the German dragon when the sport's greatest prize is up for grabs on Sunday.
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports20 days ago
RIO DE JANEIRO – James Thomas came to Brazil on a budget. He’s staying with friends he met through a study abroad program in Denmark, and he’s sleeping on the floor in one rented apartment. But he’s from Santa Monica and, like so many Southern California natives, he wants to stay in shape in between meals of churrasco and rice and beans. So he asked for a place to “sweat out the caipirinhas” without blowing a fortune on a monthly membership.
That’s when he heard about the “Flintstones Gym.”
[More coverage: Brazil brings in psychologist to alleviate players' stress]
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports23 days ago
Is there anything this man cannot do?
Once again on the brink of cataclysm, Lionel Messi came up with another batch of late-game wizardry to save his nation.
Switzerland pushed the Argentinian superstar and his team through full time and most of extra time on Tuesday, threatening a do-or-die penalty kick situation much like what Brazil faced over the weekend against Chile. Then, in the 119th minute, Messi got free and set up Angel Di Maria with a heavenly pass that resulted in another heart-stopping game-winner.
Argentina's 1-0 win pushes it to the quarterfinal round, where it awaits the winner of the Belgium-USA match.
[More World Cup: Chilean player gets odd tattoo]
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports25 days ago
BRASILIA – You don’t need to speak Portuguese to understand the language of worry.
Brazil’s national team escaped witha riveting round-of-16 win on Saturday over Chile, thanks to Julio Cesar’s saves and Neymar’s cold-blooded shootout goal, but do not let the photos of 40,000 fans celebrating on Copacabana beach fool you:
This was as close as it gets to a-soccer-lypse.
The concern was etched on the faces of Brazil fans all day in this capital city: darting glances, tight fists, outstretched arms, palms on foreheads, and of course, shrieks every time a Chile player neared Brazil's net.
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports27 days ago
BRASILIA – "People are jealous of me," he said. "Because I am young, handsome, and rich."
That quote from 2011 will forever define Cristiano Ronaldo in the minds of many soccer fans: he's arrogant, elitist, too pretty.
There should be another adjective used to describe him, even for the detractors: resilient.
The Portugal star did not have to play in the group stage of this World Cup. He had a severe right knee injury that one doctor reportedly said could endanger his career. A player who is young, handsome and rich might want to protect his greatest investment, considering so many people are heavily invested in him.
- Eric Adelson at Yahoo Sports27 days ago
BRASILIA – A disturbing and cacophonous World Cup for Ghana found a fittingly bizarre end here on Thursday:
The team was booed by a journalist.
The scene took place in the mixed zone, where players proceed through a maze toward the team bus and reporters wait to interview them after a match. After losing 2-1 to Portugal and getting eliminated from the tournament, Ghana's players walked single-file without uttering a word to anyone. It was perhaps a sign of solidarity and protest after two of their teammates, Sulley Muntari and Kevin-Prince Boateng, were suspended by coach James Kwesi Appiah for wild misbehavior.
BRASILIA – Cristiano Ronaldo: man of the match here, man of the hour in the United States.
The Portugal superstar's clutch goal late in his nation's game against Ghana helped the Americans avoid elimination and helped a lot of U.S. fans breathe easier during a tense final day for the Group of Death.
The U.S. lost 1-0 against Germany in Recife, but Portugal's 2-1 win pushed Team USA through to the knockout stage. Ronaldo broke a tie that had put the U.S. in a dicey position: Just one more Ghanaian goal would've sent the African nation through to the round of 16 instead. The dueling matches made for a nervy final 45 minutes for the U.S.
BRASILIA, Brazil – FIFA got one right.
The world's governing soccer authority has suspended Uruguay superstar Luis Suarez for nine matches and four months from any soccer-related activity. It will extend into his season with Liverpool in the English Premier League and block his participation from next year's Copa America. The ban is a harsh and appropriate punishment for an appalling act – biting Italy defender Giorgio Chiellini in a match on Tuesday.
RIO DE JANEIRO – Their expressions changed, and their smiles crumbled. It was clear none of them knew.
While Nigerian fans watched their national soccer team play against Argentina on the big screen here at Copacabana beach, their nation was dealing with another tragedy: a bomb went off at a shopping mall in the capital city of Abuja, killing at least 21 and injuring more. Horrific photos circled the globe, depicting body parts littered on streets and sidewalks, and fans here were cocooned in a temporary escape from an awful reality.
Then the game ended, Nigeria losing 3-2 in a hard-fought match, and the awareness began.
"Again?" said Emeka Ogeonna, 29, who was born in Enugu (250 miles south of Abuja) and lives in New York City now. Told the bombing happened just before the match against Argentina began, Ogeonna took a deep breath.
"Cowardly," he said. "It's awful. Terrible. There's no reason for it. It's a shame that we're seeing this at all, but World Cup is supposed to bring countries together."