• Just two games into their Olympic qualifying tournament for next summer's games in Rio de Janeiro, the United States under-23 men's national team has already reached farther than it did the last time around. Because after a 6-1 victory over Cuba on Saturday, following up on Thursday's 3-1 defeat of Canada, the Americans are already assured of a place in the semifinals – which will send two of four teams to Brazil – with a group game to spare.

    For the Americans, the CONCACAF Men's Olympic Qualifying Championship, so grandly called, has been as simple this time around as it was fraught and frustrating back in 2012. Back then, the USA beat Cuba in the group stage as well but lost to Canada and allowed El Salvador to equalize in the 94th minute, meaning it never even reached the make-or-break semis.

    But on Saturday, Cuba – poor Cuba – was simply unequipped to compete with their geopolitical rivals. As usual, there had been defections before the tournament had even begun. By the time this

    Read More »from U.S. takes big step toward qualifying for Rio Olympics with 6-1 rout of Cuba
  • On May 29, 2010, UFC fighter Rashad Evans met Quinton “Rampage” Jackson at UFC 114 in Las Vegas.

    The fight against Jackson was a rousing success, reaching one million buys. With that, it catapulted Evans into select company as one of the only fighters to ever reach that coveted benchmark.

    Jackson and Evans had a heated, visceral rivalry. And fans responded accordingly by making Evans one of the most popular stars in the UFC after his unanimous decision victory over “Rampage” on that summer night five years ago.Ryan Bader (MMAWeekly)Ryan Bader (MMAWeekly)

    Three years later, in 2013, Evans would defeat Chael Sonnen at UFC 167. That fight against Sonnen would be the last fans would see of “Suga” for the next two years, as lingering knee and leg problems stalled his career.

    The former light heavyweight champion made his long awaited returned to the Octagon on Saturday against No. 4-ranked Ryan Bader.

    Unfortunately for the 36-year-old veteran, the time away from the cage was too much to overcome, as Bader earned a unanimous decision

    Read More »from Ryan Bader ruins Rashad Evans' comeback fight with dominant decision win
  • For the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson walked off the sidelines at Old Trafford, Manchester United went top of the table in the Premier League last weekend. Being top of the league after seven rounds seemed stunning considering the turmoil and mud flung the way of Louis van Gaal and the Red Devils over the past couple seasons, but the manager is proving to be the right man for the job.

    So, is 2015-16 the season that Manchester United reclaims the Premier League trophy?

    [Premier League: Scores and Schedule | Current Standings | Teams]

    First of all, Van Gaal's Manchester United is getting results despite not consistently playing the most exciting, crisp or convincing brand of football. That is a skill and one that should be commended. Champions tend to pick up points when they shouldn't.

    Over the first seven rounds, United won five and only lost one, and no team had more wins or fewer defeats. A defeat at Swansea City is hardly an unforgivable result, though a draw with Newcastle did

    Read More »from Is Manchester United good enough to reclaim the Premier League crown?
  • Los Angeles Clippers center DeAndre Jordan had a pretty eventful summer, what with his dramatic decision to renege on a free-agent agreement to join the Dallas Mavericks and return to his colleagues in red, white, and blue. While Jordan still has to deal with several off-court issues, including his relationship with Chris Paul, it's a safe bet that a return to the court will help Jordan transition from this offseason's media circus and into a more familiar role with the Clippers. Real basketball games tend to normalize things.

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

    Jordan got off to a pretty good start in the Clippers' preseason opener against the Denver Nuggets on Friday night. The 27-year-old center put up 15 points (6-of-7 FG, 3-of-5 FT), 12 rebounds, and three blocks in just 26 minutes as the Clippers won 103-96. Not surprisingly, several of his buckets came via alley-oops from Chris Paul. Take a look:

    Jordan reportedly desired a larger role in

    Read More »from DeAndre Jordan stays his explosive self in Clippers' preseason opener
  • United States men's national team head coach Jurgen Klinsmann has whittled his 35-man preliminary roster down to the 23 who will be available in the upcoming clash with archrivals Mexico. The all-important Oct. 10 grudge match in Pasadena, Calif. – aka CONCACAF Cup – is a one-game playoff for a spot at the 2017 Confederations Cup in Russia.

    Klinsmann opted for a veteran roster, including all 10 of the players who were 30 or older on the preliminary roster and cutting many of the younger names.

    "It's a one-off, and a one-off always has its own dynamics and that's why you need a roster of 23 guys where you really feel as a coach that in this one specific opportunity that they are the right ones to get the job done," Klinsmann said in a statement. "That's why this roster is obviously full of experience. There are a lot of players that experienced different challenges over their careers and managed them and bring now their experience into this one-off clash against Mexico."

    While defender

    Read More »from Klinsmann chooses experience over youth for U.S. roster against Mexico
  • Manchester City took a while to break through Newcastle United’s formation, but once it did it left behind a shambles.

    Sergio Aguero scored five goals in 20 minutes of play and Kevin De Bruyne also scored as City countered Newcastle’s 1-0 lead with a 6-1 final score line.

    City moves above Manchester United for the time being, claiming the No. 1 slot with 18 points.

    Aleksandar Mitrovic scored Newcastle’s goal, and the Magpies dropped into 20th on the table thanks to goal differential and Sunderland’s 2-2 draw vs. West Ham.

    [ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

    The Magpies had the first few chances of the match, but danger soon came their way.

    Tim Krul was very fortunate inside of eight minutes, when he couldn’t hold a diving save before seeing Vincent Kompany pass the rebound right to his foot. After a scramble, Newcastle cleared.

    The next good chance came for Newcastle, as 20-year-old deputizing left back Kevin Mbabu sent a curling pass into the 18. Mitrovic got a touch on the ball,

    Read More »from Manchester City 6-1 Newcastle United: Aguero’s five spot embarrasses McClaren’s Magpies
  • Dubbed Der Klassiker, Bayern Munich vs. Borussia Dortmund matches have become the biggest fixtures on the annual Bundesliga calendar. Sunday’s clash sees first-place Bayern taking on second-place Dortmund and has the added spice of pitting the two most in-form strikers in Europe against one another.

    With 10 goals in seven Bundesliga outings, Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski is the top scorer in any of Europe’s big five leagues.

    [Bundesliga: Scores and Schedule | Current Standings | Teams]

    It took the Poland international just nine minutes to net all five goals in Bayern’s 5-1 thumping of Wolfsburg two weeks ago. That was followed by a brace in last weekend’s 3-0 win over Mainz and a hat trick against Dinamo Zagreb in Bayern’s 5-0 Champions League triumph on Tuesday.

    Having now hit 10 goals in just the last nine days, Lewandowski is in the form of his life.

    “I always want more,” said Lewandowski, speaking to reporters at Oktoberfestin Munich on Wednesday. “You always have to want to

    Read More »from The big weekend showdown featuring the top two strikers in Europe
  • The body blows just kept on coming for long-time FIFA despot Sepp Blatter. First, Coca-Cola demanded his resignation. And then, within minutes, McDonald's did the same. An hour had not yet passed until Visa came next and, finally, Budweiser tagged along.

    In the slow endgame of Blatter's four-decade stint at soccer's global governing body, the last 17 of which have come as president, it was a second disastrous Friday in a row. For him, that is. The rest of the soccer world rejoiced.

    Just a week prior, the Swiss Office of the Attorney General announced that it had opened criminal proceedings into the

    Read More »from Big money finally talks in call for FIFA change, but will Blatter actually walk?
  • LeBron James spoke out against gun violence on Friday. (AFP/Ezra Shaw)LeBron James spoke out against gun violence on Friday. (AFP/Ezra Shaw)LeBron James said he believes "there's no room for guns" during a media session at Cleveland Cavaliers training camp on Friday, one day after a fatal shooting of a five-month-old in Cleveland.

    The four-time NBA Most Valuable Player took to Twitter on Thursday to express his emotions after learning of the death of five-month-old Aavielle Wakefield, who reportedly suffered a gunshot wound to the chest while riding as a passenger in a car on the east side of Cleveland:

    Aavielle Wakefield's shooting death was the third involving a Cleveland child in the last month.

    Thursday also saw a mass shooting at an Oregon community college that left

    Read More »from LeBron James: 'There's no room for guns'
  • When then-champion Jon Jones defended the light heavyweight championship against Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 165 in Toronto in 2013, much of the marketing centered around Gustafsson's height advantage.

    The 6-4 Jones had run roughshod through some of the best competition in the history of the division, and few were seriously giving the 6-5 Gustafsson much of a chance. And so when the UFC played up the difference in height, fans and media alike scoffed.

    But it took everything in Jones' power to win a decision that night in a fight that was much more difficult than expected. And that came even though Jones only gave up one inch in height and enjoyed a five-inch edge in reach.

    On Saturday at UFC 192 at the Toyota Center in Houston, reigning light heavyweight champion Daniel Cormier will make the first defense of the belt he won in May when he meets Gustafsson. And this time, the 5-11 Cormier will give away six inches in height and seven inches in reach to the Swedish challenger.


    Read More »from Dominick Cruz says Cormier has tall task to overcome at UFC 192


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