The skill of Abby Wambach

Abby Wambach has an indomitable will. She has the ability to raise her game when the stakes are higher. She works hard and inspires others to do the same. But let’s remember one thing: She’s also a danged good soccer player. Seems obvious, doesn’t it? But it’s too easy to forget. Too easy to think of her accomplishments as a simple function of a single-minded willingness to stick her head wherever it must be to meet the ball. Just as Brian McBride was called “McHead” — sometimes affectionately, sometimes not — in deference to his ability to score goals with his … Continue reading The skill of Abby Wambach

A day in the life of the WPSL’s best: Charge vs. Torino

The WPSL is a hit-or-miss league. Some clubs have noble goals of growing the game. Some clubs sign notable players who aren’t in the NWSL for whatever reason — family ties, good jobs, etc. And some clubs put together an organization that can follow through on those ambitions. Some clubs, not so much. The standings include something called “St. Louis (Forfeits)” and a club with a -34 goal difference through six games. It’s tough to rank teams until they play each other in the playoffs, but two of the teams that fall comfortably in the “noble goals” and “notable players” … Continue reading A day in the life of the WPSL’s best: Charge vs. Torino

Woly Award: Marti Malloy, judo

We’re not just invoking Ronda Rousey’s name for search traffic. Marti Malloy has a couple of similarities to the brash UFC champion — an Olympic judo medal among them. Now Malloy also has a gold medal from the first Grand Prix held on U.S. soil (Miami). She clinched the title with Rousey’s favorite technique, an armbar: (Her fight starts around the 2:49 mark. If you’re really impatient, skip from there to the last 30 seconds of the bout.) Malloy is this week’s winner of the Woly Award, which SportsMyriad gives to the top U.S. Olympic sports athlete of the week. … Continue reading Woly Award: Marti Malloy, judo

Washington Spirit vs. Western New York: Is it luck?

“My socks and shoes always match. Is it luck?” – Primus Let’s start by giving credit where it’s due. Saturday night at the Plex, the Western New York Flash dominated the first half and defended well in the second half. Outstanding young goalkeeper Adrianna Franch was alert when she needed to be, particularly in poking the ball away from Stephanie Ochs outside the box on a breakaway. And if we’re going to talk about luck and injuries, the Flash could certainly say, “Did you see Sarah Huffman out there? Oh, that’s right — she was home watching her team and … Continue reading Washington Spirit vs. Western New York: Is it luck?

When the sports police lose the plot …

ESPN and Sports Illustrated surely didn’t coordinate their stories on the NCAA and other investigations in sports. But taken together, the pieces show troubling issues for those who try to keep sports fair. The main Sports Illustrated piece isn’t available online as far as I know, at least not yet. It’s an investigation about an investigation, in which Pete Thamel and Alexander Wolff show how the NCAA’s probe into the University of Miami went horribly awry. Thamel followed up online with a look at turnover on the enforcement staff and general NCAA dysfunction. Wolff goes a different direction and reports on Nevin Shapiro, the … Continue reading When the sports police lose the plot …

Woly Award: Double-distance hurdler rules NCAAs

Stanford’s Kori Carter set an NCAA record in the women’s 400-meter hurdles (video) with a time of 53.21, also the fastest in the world this year. By a large margin. The second-best time of the year was set six days earlier on the same track in Eugene, Ore., by the Czech Republic’s Zuzana Hejnova — 53.70. That alone would put Carter in consideration for the Woly Award, given to the top U.S. Olympic sports athlete of the week. But Carter had competition from Clemson’s Brianna Rollins, who also set a meet record and world leader in the 100 hurdles at … Continue reading Woly Award: Double-distance hurdler rules NCAAs

Drawing a line in the stands: Leroux, Day 2

Yesterday’s Sydney Leroux saga had a few predictable outcomes. Late in the day, we heard Leroux wasn’t specifically talking about the game in Toronto on Sunday — in fact, she says the atmosphere there was great! “A positive step forward for women’s soccer,” even. Of course, by then, it was too late for the Toronto crowd. Many of the mainstream media stories on the web have been updated with Leroux’s clarification — she was talking about an older game in Vancouver, plus Twitter — but a lot of headlines still reflect what her tweet implied: The crowd in Toronto was … Continue reading Drawing a line in the stands: Leroux, Day 2