- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports1 day ago
Manchester United is big enough and tough enough to take it on the chin for one disastrous season, one period of being soccer's laughing stock and, ultimately, one horrendous managerial tenure.
Any more than that? We will see.
The David Moyes era ended on Tuesday with the sacking of the United boss, a move that came as the sun was just coming up in the northwest of England yet metaphorically setting on the bleakest eight months that this club can conjure from its recent memory bank.
Moyes was given the task of replacing Sir Alex Ferguson following the great Scot's retirement last summer after 26 years of service. The new man was touted as the "Chosen One," having been personally earmarked for the job by Ferguson.
In reality he was the "Frozen One," having been ultimately star-struck by the demands of one of the game's biggest jobs and unable to pull the trigger on the action needed to reverse a malaise that quickly set in.
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports4 days ago
Life as Lionel Messi must be a little weird right now, and not just because of the inevitable sleep deprivation that comes with new fatherhood.
There is the odd trifecta of painful realities that his club Barcelona has not only been dumped out of the Champions League and is apparently doomed in the Spanish league title race, but also that reinforcements will not be arriving due to a transfer ban handed down for breaking international transfer rules.
Stranger still is the possibility the Argentine maestro might even leave the team that nurtured him since age 12. Catalan sports channel Esport3 claims that key figures within Barcelona's administration are open to cashing in on Messi by selling him to uber-rich Paris Saint-Germain or Manchester City in the summer, a move that would bag the club as much as $250 million.
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports6 days ago
Marcos Maidana believes he can settle the increasingly hostile dispute between boxing's leading factions.
The Argentinean power puncher will face Floyd Mayweather at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 3 and has been the unwitting fall guy in an acrimonious battle involving the sport's two biggest promoters, its most important networks and its highest-profile fighters.
Top Rank chief Bob Arum blasted the Mayweather camp and its broadcast ally Showtime last week in a vitriolic rant in which he accused the pound-for-pound king of cherry-picking weak opposition instead of squaring off with Manny Pacquiao.
While Arum's method of delivery came under scrutiny – he repeatedly used the term "thug" to refer to the Mayweather crew and urged fans to boycott the broadcast – Maidana was caught along in the crossfire of the 82-year-old's rant, which attempted to minimize his credentials as a legitimate opponent.
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports10 days ago
LAS VEGAS – Bob Arum has a plan, or at least he thinks he does, that can finally get Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao in the same ring instead of continuing boxing's most infuriating standoff.
In between highly lamentable comments with borderline racist undertones, Arum laid it all out in the clearest of terms.
"The only people that can make Floyd Mayweather fight Manny is the public, if they boycott the nonsense on May 3," yelled Arum at the press conference following Pacquiao's unanimous decision victory in his rematch against Timothy Bradley. He was referring directly to Mayweather's next fight, against Marcos Maidana in three weeks' time, for which Maidana is a heavy +750 underdog.
"That's what the public should do. [If the media] want that fight, tell the public not to buy pay-per-view and not to buy tickets. There is no other [strategy]. We are prepared tomorrow to sit down at a table with his people … to work out the conditions for the fight."
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports11 days ago
LAS VEGAS – Timothy Bradley believes the secret to beating Manny Pacquiao on Saturday is intimidation. It's an approach he's pursuing with vigor, words, actions and even his choice of walk-in music.
Ahead of the much-anticipated rematch for the WBO welterweight championship, Bradley has tried to turn up the heat on Pacquiao at every opportunity, with the normally reserved Californian launching verbal barbs and slights and questioning his rival's heart.
And Bradley will ratchet things up another notch on fight night, having appointed rap star Fashawn to lead him into the ring with a gritty and aggressive track titled "Champion" that he insists will tip the psychological edge further in his favor.
Fashawn, a rising celebrity in the hip-hop world who has performed around the world and is best known for his debut album "Boy Meets World," understands his role at the MGM Grand is about more than just entertainment, and wants to play his own part in getting inside Pacquaio's head.
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports12 days ago
The magnitude of Sunday's blockbuster English Premier League clash between Liverpool and Manchester City isn't measured by the fact that tickets are selling for 50 times face value on the black market, or that every British media outlet is consumed by little else, or even that it could be the 90 minutes that determines the outcome of the championship.
That answer can only be found in the record books. It is there where the significance of the matchup between the two favorites to lift the trophy is spelled out in black and white.
It shows Liverpool's long and agonizing wait for glory: The former heavyweight champion of English soccer has not won its biggest prize since 1990, two years before the start of the Premier League era. Among the statistics you can also see the timelessly painful plight of Manchester City: The "blue half" of Manchester owns just one Premier League crown to hated cross-town rival Manchester United's 13.
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports13 days ago
LAS VEGAS – Boxing, from the bone-crunching tussles inside the ring to the political and occasionally devious maneuvers that surround it, has never been a business for the faint-hearted. Thankfully for Monica Bradley and her WBO welterweight champion husband, Timothy, she is anything but that.
Monica took over as manager for Timothy, who fights Manny Pacquiao at the MGM Grand Garden on Saturday, following the end of his long association with veteran manager Cameron Dunkin, a move that raised many an eyebrow in boxing circles.
As the fighters have dealt with the whirlwind of attention accompanying this weekend's pugilistic hostilities, so too has she been a hive of activity, arranging his schedule down to a fine detail between drug tests and news conferences and keeping his weight in check before the scales are tipped.
And it was she who conducted the financial negotiations for this fight, as Bradley seeks to build on the momentum of 2013, when he outlasted Ruslan Provodnikov in the consensus fight of the year and then outdueled Juan Manuel Marquez, who knocked Pacquiao cold in December 2012.
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports14 days ago
Nearly 10 years have passed since the iconic moment that thrust Jose Mourinho into world soccer's celebrity circle, but there he was again on Tuesday sprinting down the sideline once more to rejoice in a dramatic late triumph.
The Chelsea head coach charged out of his dugout and bounded towards the corner flag within a second of the 87th-minute goal from Demba Ba that gave his side a thrilling Champions League quarterfinal victory over Paris Saint-Germain.
For a moment it looked like he might recreate the image from 2012 when Mourinho slid on his knees – in an uber-expensive designer suit, no less – to celebrate Real Madrid's victory over Manchester City. But instead, he replicated his classic run from 2004 after his underdog Porto team knocked out Manchester United from the Champions League.
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports20 days ago
GLENDALE, Ariz. – Hopefully for Omar Gonzalez, he didn't pay too much attention to social media on Wednesday night because the United States central defender wouldn't have liked the story it told.
Gonzalez was singled out for some acerbic abuse following his performance in the U.S.' 2-2 friendly draw with Mexico at the University of Phoenix Stadium on an evening that was one of his most disappointing in a national team uniform.
And with just two-and-a-half months remaining before the U.S. kicks off its World Cup campaign, the 25-year-old's display raised the age-old soccer question of how much form, especially in friendlies, matters leading into a major championship.
Fans – and often head coaches too – tend to fall into two categories on the issue. You could define them as the "Tried and Trusted" camp and the "What Have You Done For Me Lately" brigade.
For some of the Twitterati, Gonzalez's struggles in Arizona were an ominous portent of future struggles. After all, a Mexican attack that scored just seven times in 10 games over CONCACAF's final qualifying round was able to expose him twice during its second half comeback.
- Martin Rogers at Yahoo Sports20 days ago
GLENDALE, Ariz. – A bogus offside call robbed the United States of a morale-boosting victory over its fiercest rival Mexico on Wednesday night, leaving head coach Jurgen Klinsmann fuming over the contentious disallowed goal in a 2-2 draw.
Eddie Johnson appeared to have clinched the win for the Americans at the University of Phoenix Stadium with a late strike. It should have put the finishing touch on an entertaining battle between the CONCACAF region's most high profile teams. Klinsmann could scarcely believe his eyes at the controversial call and screamed at Panamanian referee Roberto Moreno from the sidelines while gesticulating wildly in disgust.
"It looked good to me," American midfielder Michael Bradley said of Johnson's goal.
Take a look:
Instead, an officiating blunder – television replays showed Johnson was level with the defender marking him and not in an offside position when the ball was passed – left a rather unsatisfying conclusion to the U.S.' final international game before its World Cup preparations start in earnest next month.