Fans celebrate Team USA victory

The scenes in this video from Hermosa Beach are pretty amazing and were replicated in other parts of the country like Grant Park in Chicago. Team USA’s victory over Ghana may not have been pretty but fans rejoiced nevertheless.

Now things will get tougher with Portugal, a team coming off an embarrassing loss against Germany. Team USA has shown it can score, and that’s critical, but the passing and possession needs to improve dramatically. Let’s see what they can do.

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Jon Hamm Directs “Clint Dempsey: On The Move” For Degree Men


Since Clint Dempsey and the U.S. Men’s National Soccer team were knocked out early in the World Cup four years ago in South Africa, he’s been on a mission to DO:MORE so he could ultimately IMPROVE and lead the team farther during this summer’s matches in Brazil.

To help tell his personal IMPROVE story, Degree Men enlisted the help of ‘Mad Men’ star and soccer fan, Jon Hamm, to direct the short film, “On The Move.”

Here’s a behind the scenes look featuring Hamm and Dempsey:

We spoke with Clint recently and asked the US Soccer captain 10 questions, here are a few choice cuts:

1. Talk about your partnership with Degree: DO MORE and how one lucky soccer fan can win a trip to Brazil in June to support you and the U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team.

Degree is working with soccer and promoting the game. And also they’ve got the new deodorant now out with Degree Motion Sense technology where the more you move the more protection you get. The cool thing about it the campaign is, if you go to, a fan can win a trip to Brazil to join us at the World Cup this summer, so that will be exciting.

2. Is scoring a goal the hardest thing to do in sports?

At times, it feels like that, but other times, it feels like luck is on your side. It is a great feeling. For me growing up, whether I scored a touchdown or hit a home run, or scored a goal, scoring a goal is the greatest feeling to me. It gave me such a rush you want to keep doing it over and over again. That’s the reason I love the game. I love that it’s continuous, there aren’t that many stoppages, and scoring a goal is why I fell in love with it.

3. What does it feel like to be the captain of the American team?

One, it puts more pressure on me to try to will the team on. At the same time, there are a lot of players on the team that have played in World Cups, and will be ready for that challenge. We have a lot of leaders on this team; not just myself. Michael Bradley, Tim Howard and plenty of others that have that experience and really helped the team out in tough times. We’re a team that’s in good hands and we’re looking forward to the challenge, and I’m excited about that opportunity.

Read the full interview with Clint here.

Can Team USA go far in 2014 World Cup?

It’s been quite a run for the US national soccer team. The gang defeated Mexico in Columbus in September behind goals by Eddie Johnson and Landon Donovan, giving them their seventh consecutive World Cup berth. Then the drama got even more interesting when the US team came from behind to defeat Panama, which then kept arch-rival Mexico’s World Cup chances alive. The result was a huge wave of gratitude in the Mexican press, while Mexico did their part with a dramatic bicycle kick for the winning goal against Costa Rica.

We’ll see if Mexico ends up joining the World Cup field as they’ll play in World Cup playoff round against New Zealand. But now we can start thinking about whether the United States can make a real run in the 2014 FIFA World Cup. We all know there will be a ton of live World Cup betting both leading up to and during the World Cup as this is still the most popular sport in the world. But when it comes to national teams, you have to acknowledge that a ton of the betting will be emotional. People bet with their hearts. That’s just the nature of things and it’s even more pronounced in this tournament.

Also, in the early rounds things can be very unpredictable. Even if the finals often see the traditional powers matching up, there are plenty of shocking results along the way.

Many US fans are pleasantly surprised with the recent developments, as the Jurgen Klinsmann era didn’t get off to a smooth start. But once the team got in a groove with Klinsmann’s approach, they proceeded to dominate their region. The question remains however as to how this team can respond to facing the world powers in the World Cup. Klinsmann has noted that the Brazil tournament will be packed with quality teams but that much will hing on the upcoming World Cup draw on December 6th. Will the US end up in a tough “Group of Death” or will they slide into one of the easier groups? Once that happens, real analysis can begin as to how this particular US can match up against the round one opponents.

The final moments of Turkey/Serbia

If you’re wondering if the FIBA World Championship means anything to the host nation of Turkey, check out the final minute or two of Turkey’s semifinal win over Serbia.

Team USA faces Turkey at 2:30 PM ET today (on ESPN) in the title game and will no doubt face their toughest test yet. The crowd will be as hostile as the Cameron Crazies.

Was Coach K out of line?

Adrian Wojnarowski thinks Mike Krzyzewski’s response to Russian coach Mike Blatt’s comments about the ’72 gold medal game was out of line.

Long story short, Blatt (who holds dual citizenship in Israel and the United States) said that he thought the Russians deserved to win that controversial gold medal game 38 years ago. Coach K said that Blatt was a “Russian” (for coaching the Russian team) and that Blatt’s opinion was something of a “fairy tale.”

Enter Wojnarowski and his soap box…

To get past the dogged, undermanned Russians, Krzyzewski riled up that old Russian hate for his players and the public. It sniffed of desperation, but Duke’s coach isn’t taking the chance of becoming the first national coach in history to fail in winning consecutive world championships. Never mind the myth of sportsmanship in international basketball, Krzyzewski used up and spit out a most disposable Blatt.

Krzyzewski played the patriotism card to his advantage with Team USA, and yet later didn’t want the accountability of its ownership.

[Kryzewski] would get [the win], but not before sacrificing the good name of Blatt. When it was over, Krzyzewski gushed about Blatt’s genius, but that was easy at the game’s end. He had tagged him as a non-American for coaching those Russians, and labels are hard to shake when they come out of the mouth of a Hall of Fame coach. Yes, we’re friends, Coach K said. Friends, indeed. What a desperate, low-rent stunt.

Count me among those that find it very odd when national teams are helmed by coaches not from the same country. I just don’t get it. So Blatt’s coaching the Russian team seems strange to me, and when I first heard Coach K’s comments, I didn’t have a problem with them. Of course Blatt is going to say that the Russians deserved to win that gold medal. He knows where his bread is buttered.

Blatt, of course, says he came to this conclusion independently, after watching a documentary about the game. Fine. But he’s the one that brought the subject up and Krzyzewski responded. It’s still painful subject for USA Basketball and Blatt was the one who started the conversation.

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