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When Armando Melendez was a 5-year-old boy growing up in El Salvador, he fell under the sway of a crazy uncle who had futbol on the brain. Instead of taking Armando to school in the mornings, Uncle Oscar would secretly spirit the boy off to a park for soccer practice. Long before he could read or write much, Armando knew how to caress a leather ball with his instep, how to make the bouncing sphere obey his will.
April 26, 2014 | By Eric Pincus
Kobe Bryant is featured in a commercial for Panini, a sports and entertainment collectibles company. Emphasizing his love of soccer growing up in Italy before he played basketball, Bryant says in the commercial, "Before I was a baller, I was a baller. " The Lakers All-Star guard also made a cameo in a recent Nike soccer commercial Bryant told GQ magazine his favorite soccer team is A.C. Milan. "Milan has always been my favorite team, and it's always in my heart," Bryant said.
July 4, 1994
World Cup soccer: Boooringggg. World Cup fans: Grooooosssss. PATRICIA GAYLE FINKE Los Angeles
April 24, 2014 | By Christi Parsons
TOKYO - During a long day in the coded world of Japanese diplomacy, President Obama's easiest conversation Thursday was with a robot. “I can kick a soccer ball,” said the Honda humanoid to the president. “OK, come on,” replied Obama, who caught the kick with his foot and complimented the metallic athlete. “That was pretty impressive.” Besides offering the least complicated interaction of the day, the demonstration at the National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation also had Obama in a comfort zone, focusing on science, technology and the opportunity for collaboration with a top American ally and trade partner.
April 24, 2014 | By Sheri Linden
"Next Goal Wins" is an irresistible underdog story - sports-fan credentials not required. The lively documentary follows the biggest loser in international soccer as it tries to break a 17-year winless streak. To use the word "organization" is putting too fine a point on it: The team in question resides in the South Pacific territory of American Samoa, and the volunteer players are about as far removed as you can get - geographically and every other way - from the business of high-profile, high-stakes athletics.
April 23, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 Loyola's soccer team has finished second in the nation behind Florida Montverde Academy in the Student Sports Fab 50 rankings. Here's the link to complete rankings.  
April 19, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Maybe it was the emotion of the moment. Or the difficulty of trying to find the right word in his third language. Either way, when Galaxy midfielder Marcelo Sarvas likened last month's Champions League series with Tijuana to a war, teammate Baggio Husidic could only shake his head. Husidic has experienced a real war. Trapped between competing armies in his native Bosnia, Husidic and his family fled for their lives, abandoning their comfortable home for a squalid refugee camp.
April 16, 2014 | By Jim Peltz
Major League Soccer on Wednesday awarded an expansion team to Atlanta, which would begin play in 2017. It is the third expansion club announced by MLS, which currently has 19 teams, in the last year. The others are New York City FC and Orlando City Soccer Club, which are expected to start play next year. The Atlanta team will be owned by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank and play in a stadium to be built in downtown Atlanta that also would be the Falcons' new home. "We are going to build a first-class organization on and off the field that will be a source of pride for the entire community," Blank said in a statement.
April 7, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
U.S. Soccer President Sunil Gulati said Sunday's decision to fire women's Coach Tom Sermanni less than seven months before the start of World Cup qualifying was not made in haste but was the result of consultation with several people inside and outside the team. "Whenever we have changes or possible changes or directional changes with our national team program we ... talk to players, we talk to staff, we talk to people who've observed the team and we also rely on our own assessment," Gulati said in a conference call Monday.
April 6, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Tom Sermanni was fired Sunday as coach of the U.S. women's soccer team just seven months before the start of World Cup qualifying. Sermanni, who replaced Pia Sundhage 15 months ago, was relieved of his duties after a 2-0 win over China on Sunday in Colorado. Former UCLA Coach Jill Ellis will take over on an interim basis starting with Thursday's rematch with China in San Diego. Ellis, U.S. Soccer's director of development, coached seven games at the end of 2012, going 5-0-2. Sermanni, formerly coach of the Australian women's team, was 18-2-4 with the U.S. But the team struggled mightily in last month's prestigious Algarve Cup tournament in Portugal, finishing seventh after losing to Sweden, 1-0, and Denmark, 5-3. The loss to Sweden, now coached by Sundhage, snapped a 43-match unbeaten streak for the Americans.
April 5, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Juergen Klinsmann hasn't made many missteps in his 2 1/2 years of coach of the U.S. national team. Still it was hard not to question last week's decision to jettison Martin Vasquez, his longtime right-hand man, and replace him with Tab Ramos and former German national team coach Berti Vogts. Sacking your top assistant two months before the World Cup is a little like a presidential candidate dumping his running mate after the convention. So was it an act of panic or prescience? It's too early to tell.
April 2, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Pele is widely recognized as the greatest soccer player of all time. He developed his unparalleled skills playing against other shoeless kids on the dirt streets of Brazil with a ball made from old socks and newspapers. But now Pele says the best grass-roots soccer programs in the world are not in Brazil, but in the U.S., where he is on tour publicizing his new book "Why Soccer Matters. " “People should be careful," Pele warned in a short phone interview. "Because I think here in the United States today, they play more soccer than they play in Brazil.
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