Woly Award: Katie Ledecky, swimming

It’s World Championship season. Everything that involves swimming, diving and water polo-ing is happening in Barcelona, while track and field athletes had their last Diamond League meet before their World Championships next month. That gave us a lot of Woly Award nominees. Would Duke bias on your blogger’s part steer the award to Shannon Rowbury, who ran the fastest 3,000 meters of the year? What about any of the other five U.S. winners at the London Grand Prix? Or Megan Romano, with an anchor leg for the ages in Barcelona? But we’re going with a world champion in an event … Continue reading Woly Award: Katie Ledecky, swimming

Washington Spirit vs. Boston: Defenders down

Hard to imagine a game more emblematic of the Spirit’s season: – A defender was injured. – The officials were atrocious, though they probably didn’t affect the outcome too terribly. – The result was worse than the Spirit deserved. – The fans stuck with the team. Take away the storms that magically cleared just before game time but killed their walk-up crowd, and the team would’ve drawn a respectable 3,000 or 3,500. The Spirit has one more midweek game, then two weekend games with a lot of drawing power — Seattle (Solo, Rapinoe) and Sky Blue (season finale). With decent … Continue reading Washington Spirit vs. Boston: Defenders down

Notes from a beautiful Spirit practice

The MVP of the Washington Spirit’s open practice was clearly the weather. That’s not a knock on any player or coach. The weather was that nice. After weeks of oppressive heat and humidity, we were suddenly enjoying the outdoors. Mother Nature was no longer assaulting us as soon as we walked out the door. I think people were so stunned by the breathable air and lack of dripping sweat that they forgot what they were watching. On the hillside overlooking Field 12, it was more of a social hour than a viewing audience for an open practice. And yet, the … Continue reading Notes from a beautiful Spirit practice

American Professional Soccer: New league, new goals

Matt Driver is a Glaswegian, but he has seen all there is to see in American soccer. He played in the old APSL and has coached or operated teams in virtually every U.S. league — USL, NPSL, WPSL, WPS (original GM/coach for the Philadelphia Independence) and MLS (assistant coach for the New England Revolution). And he believes there’s room — in fact, a need — for another professional league in the USA. The league is American Professional Soccer, due to launch next spring. What is APS? Let’s start with what it’s not. It’s not some hare-brained scheme to compete with MLS or the … Continue reading American Professional Soccer: New league, new goals

Woly Award: Haley Anderson, swimming

The summer sports calendar is crowded these days — British Open, Tour de France, tons of soccer events, track and field meets/awkward press conferences — but the aquatic World Championships deserve some attention, too. The swimmers hit the pool next week, but water polo, synchronized swimming and open-water swimming are underway. Universal Sports has a ton of artistic videos. And the USA has a world champion already — Haley Anderson, who added the 5-kilometer open-water world title to her Olympic 10k silver medal, winning by 0.02 seconds. Anderson also has the coveted Woly Award, given to the top U.S. performer … Continue reading Woly Award: Haley Anderson, swimming

Washington Spirit vs. Chicago: No recap for now

I’m not doing a recap of the Spirit-Red Stars game for the following reasons: 1. I had family things this weekend. 2. Though the Red Stars have just posted the archived video, I’d really like to keep an eye on the Euros right now. 3. The facts of the game are well-established. Three starting defenders were injured. Tiffany McCarty was forced into service at the back. Ashlyn Harris made a terrific series of saves, just as she did in the early part of the season before the defense improved. Then, because soccer karma still hates McCarty for some odd reason, … Continue reading Washington Spirit vs. Chicago: No recap for now

How not to hold a press conference, C. Jeter edition

Before the actual soccer started, the most entertaining thing I saw at a 2011 Women’s World Cup venue was a press conference that included one Sepp Blatter and a couple of other dignitaries of varying connections to women’s soccer. They had Steffi Jones, the beloved former German player and president of the organizing committee. They had Tatjana Haenni, head of FIFA women’s competition. And for some reason, they had FIFA executive committee member Worawi Makudi of Thailand. Blatter artfully deflected questions about his old comments on women’s soccer and revealing clothes, and he declined to tackle the issue of Nigeria’s … Continue reading How not to hold a press conference, C. Jeter edition