• What, exactly, do you take away from the United States men's national team's January camp games? As a rule, very little. And certainly nothing about the team as a whole. These friendlies in Southern California, bookending a long preseason camp mostly held for the USA's domestically based players, are the equivalent of spring training games in baseball. Or the NBA preseason. They're about regaining a feel for competition, intended for rediscovering stamina and sharpness.

    The topsy-turvy 3-2 victory over Iceland and the shoddy 1-0 win against Canada lent themselves to no significant conclusions about where the national team is or where it is going in this year of World Cup qualifiers and a stateside Copa America Centenario.

    Over 180 minutes we did, however, see some glimpses and glean some impressions of a few players individually. So let's break it down.

    Jozy Altidore looked fit and sharp

    Never mind the goal he got in each game, or his assist against Iceland. Altidore was slowed by

    Read More »from What we learned from the U.S. men's national team's January friendlies
  • CARSON, Calif. – The United States men's national team failed to capitalize on scoring chance after scoring chance against Canada on Friday night at the StubHub Center.

    Or, to be more precise, Jozy Altidore didn't capitalize on scoring chance after scoring chance.

    The veteran striker was unlucky in the first half when he had a shot hit the post twice, and in the second half, he had two free headers go awry. Altidore didn't hide his disappointment as he hung his head with the game approaching the final whistle after sending a free kick well wide.

    "There were a few chances where I just made the wrong decision," Altidore said. "I was just mad at myself. I should've been better."

    But in the 89th minute, Altidore gained redemption. His cracking header off a cross from Ethan Finlay beat Canada goalkeeper Maxime Crepeau to give the U.S. a 1-0 victory to cap a successful January training camp and send the crowd of 9,274 home happy.

    "It was one of those games where you felt you were always

    Read More »from Jozy Altidore goes from goat to hero in USMNT's 1-0 win over Canada
  • CM Punk didn't particularly enjoy the questions he was being asked by reporter Kevin Wong in an interview that was being conducted last month for a piece in Complex Magainze. Punk, whose real name is Phil Brooks, left the WWE and signed with the UFC in 2014, and has been training ever since to prepare for his Octagon debut.

    Punk will fight Mickey Gall in the summer, likely at UFC 200, if Gall beats Mike Jackson Saturday at the MGM Grand.

    Ever since his very public departure from the WWE in 2014, CM Punk (real name Phil Brooks) hasn’t been one to mince words with people on social media who want to discuss his past. And his signing with the UFC has only brought upon more questions as the MMA world awaits his professional debut.

    His frustration with people questioning whether or not a former pro wrestler with no professional fighting experience will fare in the very real world of mixed martial arts is palpable. Things went south very quickly in his interview with Wong when some of the

    Read More »from Angry CM Punk gets into tense exchange with reporter for Complex
  • Jimmy Butler was in the middle of dominating Friday night’s Chicago Bulls/Denver Nuggets game, working with 18 points and five assists, mostly culled off of fearless drives to the hoop. With just over a minute left in the half, however, he took yet another foul and fell down hard:

    [Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr: The best slams from all of basketball]

    A combination stretcher/wheelchair was brought out from the back hallways of the arena, which Butler initially got into, then waved off prior making his way back to the free throw line. Archaic NBA rules dictate that if a player is unable to shoot free throws due to injury, he must be ruled out of the game.

    Butler made one of two to bring his point total to 19, then asked for the wheelchair’s return prior to being carted off.

    The two-time All-Star and 2015 NBA Most Improved Player missed Wednesday’s Chicago win over Sacramento with left knee soreness, but he’s easily been the healthiest member of his team both this year and in years

    Read More »from Jimmy Butler leaves game on a stretcher after a hard fall (Video)
  • LAS VEGAS -- Love was in the air at the UFC Fight Night: Hendricks vs. Thompson weigh-in Friday when a fighter decided to take the opportunity to propose to his girlfriend before he hit the scales.  

    Alex Nicholson, who will make his UFC debut Saturday at the MGM Grand against Misha Cirkunov in a light heavyweight bout –made the stroll to the stage with his girlfriend, Hannah Goldy, in tow.

    For most fighters, the weigh-in is a time of stress as they work extremely hard to shave off those last few pounds in order to come in under the weight limit. But Nicholson looked relaxed and was clearly up to something. Before disrobing, the 25-year-old paused and pulled a small box out of his pocket. With Goldy not quite sure what was going on, Nicholson got down on one knee and proposed.

    Goldy accepted and the two shared a kiss before Nicholson took care of business and made weight.

    Nicholson is on a five fight-winning streak, with all of his victories coming by way of stoppage. He’s a massive

    Read More »from UFC fighter proposes before stepping on the scale to weigh-in
  • Ian Poulter had just hit a great tee shot to the par-3 16th at TPC Scottsdale in Friday's second round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open. He had left himself 6 feet for birdie.

    So what does he do? He goes through his routine, gets the read, stands over the ball and...putts it one-handed?

    That's right, Poulter hit the putt with one hand and missed, befuddling the crowd on the famously raucous short hole. However, Poulter wasn't doing it just to mess with the fans. He was doing it because it had worked several times earlier in the round.

    Poulter probably started doing it in the first place because he was well off the projected cut line. No matter how he putted, the Englishman ultimately never got even close to making the cut on Friday. He finished at 4 over par for the two days and missed the weekend by four

    Read More »from Ian Poulter putted 1-handed -- with some success -- at Phx Open
  • Two days after saying he didn't like changes to Waste Management Phoenix Open host TPC Scottsdale and that he only was playing in the event because three of his sponsors were nearby, Bubba Watson said he was sorry.

    "I used the wrong words," Watson said after a second consecutive 2-under 69 has him on the fringes of contention heading into the weekend.

    "I have nothing against the fans and the tournament. The fans have been great. I love coming here. I've lived here every winter for eight years. This is a beautiful place. And the reason why I'm here is because of the excitement around this golf tournament. The fans have been great."

    Watson heard it from the throng of fans at the tournament on Thursday and again on Friday. He was booed mercilessly ahead of his tee shot at the par-3 16th during both rounds. 

    The two-time Masters winner created this problem for himself when he was asked Wednesday what he liked about the Tom Weiskopf design, given Watson had been a runner-up each of the

    Read More »from Bubba Watson apologizes for Phoenix Open comments
  • MMA fans won’t have to wait long for their next fix of the most exciting MMA action in Asia. ONE Championship returns to Jakarta, Indonesia, for the first time this year with ONE: TRIBE OF WARRIORS at the Istora Senayan on 20 Feb.

    Headlined by hard-hitting finisher Luis “Sapo” Santos (61-9) and seasoned veteran Rafael “The Machine” Silva (40-15), there’s no doubt there will be fireworks in this welterweight matchup.

    With 48 finishes in his 61 victories to date, there’s no doubt Luis Santos is a dangerous competitor to come up against. He last tasted defeat in 2012, and it isn’t something he plans on doing again anytime soon. Not if his elite skills have anything to say about it.

    Silva, on the other hand, is gunning to make his mark in the ONE cage in his comeback after taking a hiatus to recharge. After almost 15 years as a professional fighter, there’s nothing Silva hasn’t faced before, and he’ll be seeking to draw on that wealth of experience to overcome Santos.

    Elsewhere on the card, Read More »from ONE Championship announces ONE: TRIBE OF WARRIORS in Jakarta on 20 Feb
  • Soccer is religion in North West England, just as it is many places across the world. And where there is religion there is also sacrilege.

    Keep that in mind. Because to rescue its scoring woes, Manchester United may need to desecrate one of its unwritten transfer policies.

    United has not done direct transfer dealings with regional rival Liverpool since 1964, when Phil Chisnall was sold to the Reds for £25,000, a modest sum even by those days’ standards. But with the club exhausting itself trying to score goals on a consistent basis, United would do well to pursue Daniel Sturridge.

    Yes. Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge.

    The 26-year-old England international has been ravaged by injuries the past couple of seasons, casting a pall over his breakout first year and a half with Liverpool. Over that time he scored 35 goals in 49 games and formed a feared strike partnership with Luis Suarez.

    Suarez has since moved on to Barcelona, where he’s currently rewriting the record books, while Sturridge’s

    Read More »from Man United makes sense for Liverpool's Sturridge, even if it makes blood boil
  • USMNT Live: United States vs. Canada in international friendly

    The United States men's national team concludes its season-opening training camp with its second game of 2016 in a friendly at the StubHub Center in Carson, Calif. Follow the action as it happens with the Scribble Live stream below.

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