Tales of soccer survival: MISL’s Milwaukee Wave

For a few years, indoor soccer was the dominant form of the game in the United States, with more than 10,000 watching the hybrid of hockey and outdoor soccer. Serbian-born Preki carved out a nice career in the indoor game before going outside with MLS and proving that his skills translated to a bigger field without those pesky walls.

These days, the outdoor game is alive and well, and indoor continues on its own path. The MISL went away for a while, leaving two competing leagues that eventually came together and became the MISL again, except last year, when the league was the NISL. The PASL, which operates a pro league and amateur divisions, opted to affiliate with FIFRA. No, not FIFA, the custodians of the World Cup. The PASL actually has its own U.S. Open Cup, with the reborn San Diego Sockers (first version immortalized in this not-quite-Super-Bowl-Shuffle video) traveling to take on the Louisville Lightning this weekend.

Anyway: The Milwaukee Wave led Sunday’s MISL final 6-0 in the third quarter. Then came a three-point goal by Monterrey’s Chile Farias, quickly followed by a two-pointer to make it 6-5. La Raza took the lead late in the third, made it 9-6 in the fourth and tacked on an empty-net three-pointer for a 12-6 win. (Video highlights)

Not the way any player, coach or fan wants to end a season, but after what Milwaukee went through last year, the city’s soccer community still has plenty to celebrate.

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Tuesday tribalism (and news, not all about Duke)

We’re Americans, with a capital ‘A’, huh? You know what that means? Do ya? That means that our forefathers were kicked out of every decent country in the world. We are the wretched refuse. We’re the underdog. We’re mutts! … We’re mutants. There’s something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us. Something seriously wrong with us – we’re soldiers. But we’re American soldiers! We’ve been kicking ass for 200 years! We’re 10 and 1!

– John Winger (Bill Murray), Stripes

America may be the biggest and most powerful country the world has seen since Britain decided to quit naming most of the world after its monarchs, but we still love the underdog. No one’s making a movie about the big school with the great facilities that won the Indiana high school basketball championship as expected.

Once upon a time, Mike Krzyzewski and Duke were the underdogs challenging the long reign of Dean Smith and North Carolina in the ACC. No one had a clue of what was to come. True story: In a freshman dorm at Duke in the fall of 1987, someone said it was a shame we had all arrived after all the good basketball. And no one doubted it.

That’s changed a bit. The well-mannered runners-up with the unruly trend-setting crowd have become champions once, twice, three and now four times. By 2001, most people were sick of seeing Shane Battier on ESPN, no matter how likable and admirable the guy was. And seriously, what was up with that “Who’s your daddy Battier” chant?

Duke is also seen as a place of privilege, and as a standout Salon piece points out, Americans have mixed feelings about that. They’re not even consistent in how they apply that prejudice to basketball. Why would Duke be any more evil than Georgetown, another private school where the rent is a lot higher than it is in the crime-infested neighborhoods around Duke?

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Combat Games: New era of sub-Olympic competition?

Everybody wants to get a sport into the Olympics, but the line is long and slow-moving. The IOC hasn’t even put women’s ski jumping in the Olympics, preferring to leave a couple of ski jump ramps idle for a few days rather than admit that girls can jump, too. If you’re getting in the line now — attention, MMA fans — you’re not getting in the Games anytime soon. The Summer Games are too big, and they’ll eventually run out of permutations of ice and snow for the Winter Games. (But wouldn’t you love to see “snowboard combined,” with halfpipe … Continue reading Combat Games: New era of sub-Olympic competition?

Monday news: 1 week and counting, Coach K rumors

SportsMyriad is one week into its existence, and I’m keeping it in “soft-launch” mode for another day or two. The idea here is to do mostly original content, and that takes time to bring to fruition. When you’re still catching up on household things like paying taxes and trying to finish up an expense report for a former employer, that content doesn’t just spring up. And while you can’t tell from looking at it, I have put a lot of time into the “design” here. Once I’m up to speed, you’ll still likely a get a weekday morning roundup. Like … Continue reading Monday news: 1 week and counting, Coach K rumors

MLS Week 2 wrap

Houston 2, Salt Lake 1 (highlights) – The best that can be said about Brian Ching’s injury is that he clutched his hamstring and not his knee. Non-contact injuries can be the worst. – Real coach Jason Kreis opted for Fabian Espindola and newcomer Alvaro Saborio, though the goals are coming from midfielder Javier Morales. – Agreed with the first penalty, with Jamison Olave making contact and pulling Geoff Cameron’s arm. Not so much the second. Minor contact on Luis Landin at best, highly embellished. – But to give credit where it’s due: Brad Davis smashed both PKs past Nick … Continue reading MLS Week 2 wrap

Expand the NCAA Tournament AND make the regular season interesting?

Yes, it’s rare that SportsMyriad will delve into sports that already covered ad absurdium elsewhere, but being a fan of international sports tends to give you a perverse interest in how to organize leagues and tournaments. Should MLS be a single table? How much tradition would the Premier League wreck with a 37th game overseas? Is the Page playoff system the greatest playoff innovation ever? (Answers: Yes, a lot, and absolutely.) So with the NCAA pushing a 96-team basketball tournament to national consternation, it’s hard to ignore the controversy without putting in a totally different idea. And here it is … Continue reading Expand the NCAA Tournament AND make the regular season interesting?

Friday headlines and the Weekend Watch

Not that those of us in the Mid-Atlantic will be inside on what’s shaping up to be a beautiful weekend … HEADLINES – Media: Best April Fool’s gag seen yesterday: ESPN to cancel Pardon the Interruption to expand Around the Horn to an hour, bring in more people sure to grate on your nerves and judge it with a decibel meter. (Sports Media Watch) – Soccer: Houston came back to beat Real Salt Lake 2-1 with two penalty kicks in one minute, both against Jamison Olave. The second benefited from some embellishment by Luis Angel Landin, but RSL coach Jason … Continue reading Friday headlines and the Weekend Watch

Peter Nowak: We must break you

If you saw the MLS season opener, you saw one of two things, depending on your view of the world’s game: 1. A bunch of whiny Seattle players diving and moaning with pre-existing injuries. 2. A bunch of thuggish Philadelphia players knocking Seattle players to the turf. We can’t really say Philly coach Peter Nowak, one of the league’s all-time best players, has been on the defensive about it. He’s very much on the offensive. If you can’t take a little bumping and kicking, he says, find another sport. From the Delaware County Daily Times: “If you want to avoid … Continue reading Peter Nowak: We must break you

Thursday: No fooling around here

Today’s headlines: – Soccer: The U.S. women’s team beat Mexico 1-0. At least, we think that’s what happened. The snow made it a little hard to see. Can’t wait for U.S. Soccer to post the highlights. In the meantime, the Salt Lake Tribune story includes a photo gallery worth checking out. (U.S. Soccer match report) – MMA: Kenny Florian took a comfortable third-round submission win to spoil Takanori Gomi’s long-awaited — probably too long, unfortunate — UFC debut in the main event at UFC Fight Night. Roy Nelson won the battle of big and tall against Stefan Struve, ducking under … Continue reading Thursday: No fooling around here

‘The Ultimate Fighter’: Season 11, Episode 1: 14-fight whirlwind

Recapping The Ultimate Fighter, frankly, is too fun not to do. So that’s what we’ll do over the course of the next three months, each Wednesday night after the 10 p.m. ET showing on Spike.

At least, most nights, it’ll be at 10 p.m. — the premiere was delayed a few minutes by a long break in the UFC Fight Night card followed by a power outage.

Coming into the season, the rumor mill has claimed that something goes awry and coach Tito Ortiz has to drop out, replaced by ever-loyal UFC soldier Rich Franklin on the show and in the coach’s fight that comes afterwards. If so, rival coach Chuck Liddell is throwing everyone off the trail. He spent most of a conference call this week talking about how much he was looking forward to beating up Tito, saying Tito not only talked about his personal life but made stuff up.

UFC and Spike officials guard these secrets like Roy Nelson guards his spot in a buffet line, so we won’t get any sort of confirmation one way or the other. When I asked Dana White about it recently, he told me I’d just have to watch and see. OK, then.

In any case, we can count on a lot of Liddell-Ortiz back-and-forth during the season, which probably isn’t a good thing. That got a little tedious last season with Rampage Jackson and Rashad Evans, and they’re both a lot funnier than Liddell and Ortiz.

But we won’t hear much of it this week because we have to get through 14 fights. They brought 28 middleweights to the training center, but only 14 will make it into the house and the collective consciousness of UFC fans over the next three months. And here they go …

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