Sermanni makes good impression in first U.S. call

New U.S. women’s soccer coach Tom Sermanni didn’t break out into song. Nor did he start calling out rival soccer coaches. Instead, Sermanni came across as a level-headed guy who seems to appreciate the complexities of his new job without rushing to judgment on how he wants to proceed. He wants to play a positive, attacking style, continuing the efforts Pia Sundhage made to eliminate “kickball” (in the words of Mark Ziegler). “The game’s changing at a rapid pace,” he said in response to Brian Straus’s question about whether he needed to overhaul the team or just keep a steady … Continue reading Sermanni makes good impression in first U.S. call

U.S. Soccer chooses Sermanni, not symbol, as women’s coach

Tom Sermanni is, on paper, the most impressive candidate the U.S. women’s soccer team has ever had as head coach. The U.S. women have never had an experienced international coach on the bench. After Anson Dorrance stepped down, the USA has had a steady succession of assistant coaches moving up — Tony DiCicco, April Heinrichs and Greg Ryan. That line of succession ended with Pia Sundhage, a head coach at youth national level in Sweden and a club coach with the Boston Breakers (WUSA version) and KIF Orebro in Sweden. (And, like Sundhage, Sermanni was a WUSA head coach.) Sermanni … Continue reading U.S. Soccer chooses Sermanni, not symbol, as women’s coach

Monday Myriad: Ligety Ligety Ligety

Let’s rush out this wrapup before the power runs out: Alpine skiing: The time it takes you to read this sentence is Ted Ligety’s margin of victory (2.75 seconds) in the season-opening World Cup giant slalom on the big glacier in Solden, Austria, the traditional opener of the World Cup season in which fans celebrate the first snows of the Alps, putting away for a moment their concerns about the state of the climate and the European economy, which continues to be plagued by crippling debt in a few countries while Germany, a traditional power in winter sports, ponders the fate … Continue reading Monday Myriad: Ligety Ligety Ligety

The Ultimate Fighter, Episode 7: The worst fight in TUF history?

We’ve seen a bunch of decisions so far this season, two of them questionable. And we’re promised more controversy tonight. It’ll be hard to top tonight’s Bellator card on that front. Yeesh. Roy Nelson’s team has control again. And again, he does it randomly, this time using the “Pick a number between 1 and 20” philosophy. The winner is Nelson’s top pick, Dom waters. But Waters wants Nelson to pick his opponent. Nelson doesn’t wanna. So Waters passes, and Michael Hill gets it. And that’s how Michael Hill won the “Please Let Someone Beat The Crap Out of Matt Secor” … Continue reading The Ultimate Fighter, Episode 7: The worst fight in TUF history?

Bobsled: The case for Lolo Jones

Updated with Hyleas Fountain news Perhaps I’m being paranoid in thinking people are going to gripe about the news that Lolo Jones has made the U.S. team for the upcoming World Cup bobsled season. Let’s check Twitter and collect all the insane reaction, shall we? @lolojones congrats on making the US Bobsled Team! Just remember to jump in the sled not over it!! — SeanD (@upgradeurgame) October 25, 2012 OK, that’s funny. Herschel Walker ….Willie Gault and Edwin Moses @ @LoloJones bobsled foray… Not too far Fetched. — Bobby Axelrod (@carolinaware) October 25, 2012 Yes, that’s true. http://twitter.com/TheDon_D/status/261453438603378688 And most … Continue reading Bobsled: The case for Lolo Jones

Tuesday’s links: Pot in MMA, skeleton comeback, soccer launch, Armstrong albatross

The day got away from me, but I did some interesting reading in between trips tending to sick cars and family members who need oil changes. Wait, I’ve got that backwards. Anyway … MMA: Matt Riddle, “Chipper” from his TUF days, says he’s not a stoner but smokes pot because he needs to chill out. Having never walked in that world (apart from attending indoor Pink Floyd and Rush concerts), I can’t tell whether that’s a meaningful distinction. Speaking of odd behavior in MMA, remind me to get to this hourlong Jason “Mayhem” Miller interview when I have a spare hour. … Continue reading Tuesday’s links: Pot in MMA, skeleton comeback, soccer launch, Armstrong albatross