Joe Lago

  • Neymar scores the fastest goal in Olympics history in Rio Games semifinal

    Joe Lago at Fourth-Place Medal 2 mths ago

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    Medal count | Olympic schedule | Olympic news

    RIO DE JANEIRO — It was the dream start of dream starts for Brazil. And fittingly, its biggest star was in the middle of the moment.

    Neymar scored the opening goal of Brazil’s semifinal against Honduras at fabled Maracana Stadium just 14 seconds after kickoff on Wednesday. It the fastest goal in Olympic history.

    The Hondurans played the ball backward on the kickoff only to have Neymar intercept the lazy pass. The Barcelona star found himself one-on-one with goalkeeper Luis Lopez and deftly got a touch on the ball before Lopez crashed into him in mid-air.

    Lopez stopped Neymar but he didn’t stop the ball, as it bounded slowly into the goal for a 1-0 Brazil lead.

    Neymar got the worst of the collision and stayed on the ground. He even had to be stretchered off the field but immediately got up as soon as he was brought across the touchline. Maracana cheered when Neymar ran to the center line and re-entered the game.

  • U.S. women's soccer team beats New Zealand in Rio Olympics opener

    Joe Lago at Fourth-Place Medal 2 mths ago

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    RIO DE JANEIRO — The United States women’s national team may have started the transition to its next generation of stars, incorporating the likes of energetic 18-year-old Mallory Pugh into the squad. But on the first day of competition at the 2016 Summer Games, it was the same experienced veterans leading the USA to another Olympic victory.

    The defending champion Americans began their pursuit of a fourth-straight gold medal on Wednesday with a 2-0 win over New Zealand at Mineirão Stadium in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Carli Lloyd gave the U.S. an early lead, Alex Morgan padded it with a goal right after the break and Hope Solo earned the shutout — the 101st of her career.

    It was no surprise that Lloyd scored the opening goal.

    The reigning World Player of the Year recorded her 89th international goal in the ninth minute to give the Americans a 1-0 lead. Tobin Heath took advantage of the space given by two very generous New Zealand defenders to perfectly place a cross to the far post, where Lloyd easily out-jumped her marker to head the ball back across goal.

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  • Akpom's late goal gives Arsenal 2-1 win over MLS All-Stars

    Joe Lago at FC Yahoo 2 mths ago

    In the 11-year history of Major League Soccer’s current All-Star Game format of Best XI against top European top club, the league had managed to win more than it lost. Going into Thursday’s friendly against Premier League power Arsenal in the Bay Area, the MLS All-Stars had won seven of the 11 games including the last two midsummer exhibitions, 2-1 triumphs over Bayern Munich and Tottenham Hotspur in 2014 and 2015, respectively.

    MLS will have to wait until next year to start a new winning streak. Its 2016 All-Star showcase at Avaya Stadium, home of the San Jose Earthquakes, was headed for a penalty shootout, but the Gunners got an 87th-minute goal from Chuba Akpom to continue their preseason preparation with a 2-1 victory.

    Joel Campbell: "Hello, Simone Zaza…"

    — M Irfan Sudrajat (@mztxr) July 29, 2016

    The Gunners appeared headed to a 1-0 halftime lead, but an old nemesis struck just before the break.

  • An American track star who isn't going to Rio sets world record in London

    Joe Lago at Fourth-Place Medal 3 mths ago

    Keni Harrison isn’t going to Rio de Janeiro as a member of the United States Olympic team. But she does have her place in track and field history.

    The American record holder in the women’s 100 hurdles finished sixth in the U.S. Olympic trials earlier this month in Eugene, Ore. Disappointed but still determined, she turned her attention to a new goal — breaking the event’s 28-year-old world record.

    At the Prefontaine Classic in May, Harrison came close to tying Yordana Donkova’s world mark of 12.21 with a time of 12.24. On Friday, Donkova’s 1988 world record finally fell as the 23-year-old Harrison clocked a blistering 12.20 at the London Muller Anniversary Games.

    Going into the Diamond League meet, Harrison felt confident about her chances of setting a new world mark, saying “every time I get on the line I know I still have a chance to break the world record.” After her career-defining moment, she was overcome with emotion taking about what she had just accomplished.

    Those who beat Harrison at the U.S. track trials were quick to congratulate her.

  • The biggest winners and losers of the Copa America Centenario

    Joe Lago at FC Yahoo 3 mths ago

    You read the headline. So let's not make you wait any longer.

    Yes, Lionel Messi is a Copa America Centenario loser.

    The Argentina captain could not produce the goal that would have ended his country's 23-year major title drought during 90 scoreless minutes of regulation and 30 more minutes of goal-less extra time. He missed a chance at putting the Argentines up early in the decisive penalty shootout by badly missing his spot kick. And then after watching Chile win yet another Copa crown on penalties, he hastily announced he was quitting the national team.

    [ COPA AMERICA | Predictions | Scores/Schedule | Standings | Teams ]

    That's right, still the greatest.

    WINNER: Alexis Sanchez

    LOSER: Mexico

  • Euro 2016: Portugal, Wales saved by late winners; Poland survives shootout

    Joe Lago at FC Yahoo 3 mths ago

    The results of the first day of the European Championships knockout stage will show that Poland, Wales and Portugal won their Round of 16 matches to earn quarterfinal berths. Those facts cannot be denied.

    But what the score lines won't tell you is that their passage through to the next round arguably was undeserved.

    Perhaps that's too harsh. Maybe we should say that the opponents were unlucky not to win instead. Because Switzerland, Northern Ireland and Croatia all deserved a better fate on Saturday in France.

    Here's how they were undone by the soccer gods.


    Despite the disappearance of star striker Robert Lewandowski (he was shown in uniform on the pitch in Saint-Etienne so there's video proof the Bayern Munich man was there), the Polish looked prime to capture another 1-0 win on Jakub Blaszczykowski's 39th-minute goal behind another stellar defensive performance.

    But then Poland surrendered its first goal of the tournament. But it took a level of world-class skill to finally end the Polish shutout streak.


    And not surprisingly, Gareth Bale was involved.



  • Xherdan Shaqiri scored on a bicycle kick that has to be seen to be believed (Video)

    Joe Lago at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    The talent of Xherdan Shaqiri is so immense that it can be frustrating for his team when he goes missing in action. But that skill can also be the genesis of some breathtaking artistry.

    The latter was the case in the 82nd minute of Switzerland's Round of 16 game against Poland in the European Championships.

    [ EURO 2016 | Predictions | Scores/Schedule | Standings | Teams ]

    With the Swiss desperately in search of a tying goal, Shaqiri came through by producing the goal of the tournament.

    And watch Shaqiri's golazo with the theme from "Titanic" in the background.

    Shaqiri's overhead-kick just gets even better with the titanic music...



  • Messi, Argentina puts on a show in 4-0 rout of USMNT

    Joe Lago at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    HOUSTON – The FIFA world rankings sometimes don't accurately measure the ability and potential of a national team. But no one will make the mistake of questioning Argentina's No. 1 status. Not after the display of magnificence a sold-out NRG Stadium crowd witnessed on Tuesday.

    [ What lopsided loss means for USMNT | USA-Argentina Live | Match stats ]

    The Argentines played like the best team in the world in their Copa America Centenario semifinal against the United States, and much of that had to do with the best soccer player on the planet doing whatever he wanted.

    Messi's goal moved him to the top of Argentina's all-time scoring list, surpassing the 54 scored by the great Gabriel Batistuta. The victory earned La Albiceleste its third straight final in a major tournament after finishing runner-up at the 2014 World Cup and 2015 Copa America.


  • The three biggest questions for the USMNT against Argentina

    Joe Lago at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    HOUSTON – Do you believe in Miracles on Grass?

    It may take such a level of divine intervention for the United States men's national team to accomplish its most impossible mission: beat Lionel Messi and top-ranked Argentina in the Copa America Centenario semifinals on Tuesday night.

    [ USA-Argentina Live | Match stats | USMNT's biggest game ever | U.S.'s ultimate goal ]

    Argentina coach Gerardo Martino has slowly worked Messi into the team, increasing his playing time by a third in each of the team's last three games. The limited minutes hasn't stopped Messi from scoring four goals and recording two assists as he has put on a show for his adoring fans in Chicago, Seattle and Foxborough.

    Let's get to these pressing questions.

  • Meet Gyasi Zardes, the USMNT's most criticized and underappreciated player

    Joe Lago at FC Yahoo 4 mths ago

    HOUSTON – Go ahead. Do a search for "Zardes first touch."

    The results aren't kind. They're even more scathing on Twitter (unsurprisingly).

    [ USA-Argentina Live | Match stats | USMNT's biggest game ever | U.S.'s ultimate goal ]

    Either way, Zardes will be a key figure in its bid to achieve what would be a monumental upset and historic result for the U.S.

    "This is a dream," a proud Zardes said then. "This is what you dream about."