Julie Johnston’s next goals: Olympics, NWSL Title


Chicago Red Stars and U.S. Women’s National Team Defender Julie Johnston is right up there with Meghan Klingenberg of the Houston Dash and Becky Sauerbrunn of FC Kansas City as one of the best defenders in the National Women’s Soccer League. (Although she had a rough game yesterday with a call for defensive handling, and giving up the ball on FC Sky Blue’s goal)

Johnston has a chance to add a NWSL championship next month to the World Cup championship she accomplished this summer.

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Julie Johnston, inspired by the ’99ers, hero to next soccer generation


Julie Johnston was one of the breakout stars of this summer’s World Cup. She had some issues in the later stages of the knockout round (and should have drawn a red card versus Germany), but throughout all of group play, and the round of 16, Johnston was dominant. Through the first 2/3 to 3/4 of the tourney, she was essentially the USWNT MVP. The Chicago Red Stars and U.S. Women’s National Team Defender draws inspiration from the 1999 USWNT, the last American team to win it all prior to 2015.

“The game is growing and that’s what we wanted it to do,” said Johnston.

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Christen Press poised to become next great goal scorer


With Abby Wambach retiring and Alex Morgan having an unimpressive World Cup, who will team up with Carli Lloyd to give the United States Women’s National Team more scoring punch in the future? Quite possibly Christen Press, who you can watch in action in prime time tonight. 

The Chicago Red Stars forward scored the USWNT‘s first World Cup goal, but then kind of disappeared for most of the tournament. When Morgan returned to fitness, Press’ minutes diminished, and it makes for a compelling story line as the two forwards will face each tonight in National Women’s Soccer League action.

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Bundesliga comes to America; FOX cornering soccer market


FOX Sports begins its first season as the American home to the Bundesliga, Germany’s top flight on Friday, Aug. 14. The timing is right as there is a serious lack of compelling sporting events on the calendar from mid June to late August. FOX has most of the few that are worth watching. In what they billed “the Summer of Soccer,” the network has all the footy worth watching until Premier League season begins. Since the NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Final ended, there hasn’t been much going on other than FOX’s self-proclaimed “Summer of Soccer.”

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Christen Press, Red Stars could potentially do something special

christen press

Christen Press has an opportunity to complete an individual/team hybrid treble (if such a thing exists) in 2015. She already won the Women’s World Cup with the U.S. Women’s National Team. And with eight goals in six appearances for the Chicago Red Stars, she’s in second place in the National Women’s Soccer League in scoring.

Take into account that she’s played in eight less games than everyone in front of her, and is just one goal off the lead with five games remaining, Press has a very good shot of catching Washington’s Crystal Dunn for the scoring title.

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Mexico Coach Miguel Herrera fired for punching journalist

miguel herrera chicharito

Update: Herrera’s dismissal has been officially announced

Mexican National Team Head Coach Miguel Herrera, no stranger at all to controversy, reportedly punched a journalist following Mexico’s victory in the Gold Cup Final. As we’ve said in the past, Miguel Herrera looks like what would happen if Pete Rose, Chris Farley and Tom Crean had a kid, but what he did here, is no laughing matter.

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Doppelgangers: Chicago Cubs as USWNT Players


Like Jeff Winger on “Community” famously said: “What’s your favorite color? Because mine’s a three way tie between red, white and blue.” The U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team are obviously America’s team right now, and deservedly do. The Chicago Cubs are/were America’s Team of sorts. At least in the time before national sports networks proliferated and exploded. Older readers can recall a time when there were only two teams that you could see on television coast to coast- the Cubs and the Atlanta Braves.

Anyway, it’s time for star spangled analogizing; with our annual World Cup simile column.

anthony-rizzo cubs convention

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World Cup Title Game Viewership shatters U.S. Soccer Records


You can stop waiting for soccer to arrive in America; it’s already here. The evidence was first laid out in an op-ed for the Chicago Tribune RedEye edition published on the eve of the 2015 Women’s World Cup Tournament. Now, a month later, the TV ratings numbers further validate the thesis.

The USA’s emphatic 5-2 victory over Japan in the Women’s World Cup 2015™ final is the most- watched soccer match in U.S. history, according to Nielsen.  The match posted a prodigious 12.9 household rating/share with 25.4 million viewers, and peaked at 30.9 million between 8:30-8:45 PM ET.

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USWNT D Ali Krieger featured in ESPN’s Body Issue


Ali Krieger began her career with the Penn State Nittany Lions. In Happy Valley she was a two-time All-American, a first team NSCAA All-American, co-defensive player of the year, team captain, Big-Ten Freshman of the year and a semifinalist for the M.A.C. Hermann trophy.

Those honors are all well and good, but it’s peanuts compared to what she accomplished yesterday- World Cup Champion!

Krieger and company routed Japan to achieve the third star on the USWNT jersey, representing America’s third World Cup title. That’s more than any other nation.

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Alex Morgan drove a very rare Lexus IS 350 in high school


In July of 2013, we learned that Alex Morgan was a child of privilege. It doesn’t diminish her achievements on the field in any way. Whether you’re a 1%er or from a low income background, or anything in between, it won’t or win or lose an athletic event for you.

However, it is a major determinant of whether or not you win in life.  America certainly has plenty of social mobility. It’s just that America has WAY LESS social mobility than advertised. Remember that when we have a Clinton vs Bush Presidential election in 2016.

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Alexi Lalas with some GREAT USA Soccer Jingoism


Alexei Lalas is someone with candid opinions that I always enjoy hearing. The FOX studio analyst and National Soccer Hall of Famer might just be the finest American home grown soccer commentator around.

Panayotis Alexander “Alexi” Lalas is as candid and as entertaining as it gets.

Happy Independence Day everyone!

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Hope Solo seems to have gotten/is getting a free pass. The outrage over the U.S. Women’s National Team goalkeeper getting completely faded within a couple of days of Outside the Lines publishing their expose. It was THE sports news story of the day that Sunday, but by Wednesday, no one in America cared anymore.

Well, Comedian Wanda Sykes is one person who still remembers who Solo really is, calling her “the Rosa Parks of Assault and Battery,” in the video below from HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel.

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