When it comes to international men’s soccer, we’ve come a long way, baby.
But the United States is still not in the same class as Brazil, Germany and Argentina – national teams that expect to compete for the World Cup. The U.S. is currently ranked No. 34 by FIFA.
The United States winning a World Cup in the near future? It’s nice to dream about, but it’s not likely to happen.
That’s why the Gold Cup was invented in 1991. A 12-team tournament hosted by the United States every two years with teams we can beat. In fact, of the past 12 championship matches, the U.S. has played in 10 – winning five times.
That’s why Wednesday’s semifinal against Jamaica was supposed to be a mere formality, a live scrimmage with an overmatched opponent.
Too bad the Raggae Boyz didn’t play by the script, mon. Jamaica’s 2-1 upset was a kick in the pants we didn’t see coming.
Where have you gone, Landon Donovan?
▪ It will be interesting to see what Seth Curry can do if the Kings give him a real shot.
Undrafted out of Duke, Curry kicked around the league on 10-day contracts and in the NBA Development League for the past two seasons. His two-year deal with the Kings, however, should give him some peace of mind that he has a job in the league.
And like his MVP brother, Steph, the kid can shoot. His 24.3 points-per-game average with New Orleans in the Las Vegas Summer League opened a lot of eyes. The Pelicans had the inside edge to sign Curry but took too long. Vlade Divac was there to pounce.
▪ It may not have been an 82-game schedule, but Becky Hammon proved to the NBA she can coach by leading the San Antonio Spurs to a Summer League championship on Monday.
Under Gregg Popovich’s guidance, Hammon will someday be ready to coach an NBA team for 82 games. But will the NBA be ready for Hammon?
▪ WHAT TO DO: Tennis, California Dream vs. San Diego Aviators, 7:30 p.m., Dream Stadium, Sunrise Marketplace: Mike and Bob Bryan return to Sacramento with the Dream.
▪ TWITTER CHATTER: Mike Krukow: “The Giants in this series turned (Padres pitcher) Dale Thayer from a gunslinger into a GUMslinger.” – @LOLKNBR
▪ ON THIS DATE: On July 23, 2000, Tiger Woods, at 24, becomes the youngest player to win the career Grand Slam at the British Open on the Old Course at St. Andrews.