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February 7, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Former U.S. team captain Thomas Dooley was named coach of the Philippines national soccer team, the Associated Press reported Friday, making him the sixth American since 2002 to coach a national team outside the United States. Dooley, of Laguna Niguel, had 81 caps with the U.S., playing in the 1994 World Cup and captaining the team in the 1998 tournament. The defender spent much of his career in Germany, playing for four clubs before joining Major League Soccer, where he played with Columbus and the New York Metro Stars.
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SPORTS
April 27, 2014 | James Barragan
The NCAA and its member institutions often refer to "student-athletes," but the front side of the term isn't often highlighted in a sports section. We asked officials from the Southland's 10 Division I universities to point us toward their best and brightest -- the teams that made classroom performance a priority. Eight of the schools chose to participate and here is what we found: -- Most college students are busy memorizing study terms, learning how to prove complicated mathematical theorems or writing term papers during finals week.
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SPORTS
June 17, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Soccer matches in Tahiti rarely draw crowds larger than a few hundred. And even then most of those fans are players waiting for the next match. So the South Pacific island nation took a huge step up in class when it played Nigeria on Monday in the Confederations Cup in Belo Horizonte, Brazil, before a live crowd of more than 20,000 -- and a worldwide television audience in the millions. And the Tahitians, ranked 138th in the world by FIFA, the global governing body for soccer, acquitted themselves well against No. 31 Nigeria despite losing, 6-1. "We've shown the world there's some real quality in Tahiti," Marama Vahirua, the only professional on the team, told reporters.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
SPORTS
July 25, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
GLASGOW, Scotland - David Beckham, who once seemed a shoo-in for the British Olympic soccer team, was ultimately passed over by Coach Stuart Pearce. But Pearce may be regretting that decision now, given the lack of interest the soccer competition is drawing in the London Games. The women's competition opened Wednesday, two days before the official opening ceremonies, with six matches including a doubleheader in Glasgow that saw the U.S. play France followed by Colombia vs. North Korea.
SPORTS
July 27, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
LONDON - The U.S. women's soccer team was in Glasgow, Scotland, on Friday, more than 400 miles from Olympic Park and the opening ceremonies of the London Games. But they were there in spirit. The team planned to dress in the blue blazers, white skirts and blue berets the rest of Team USA wore during the parade of nations in London, then take over a ballroom at the Glasgow Hilton to watch the event on TV. “We're going to feel the spirit,” goalkeeper Hope Solo said. “As long as I'm with my teammates, we're going to be fine.” Shortly after Friday's ceremony ends team members will turn their focus back to soccer, Solo said, packing up their Ralph Lauren uniforms and shipping them home before taking on Colombia in their second match of group play Saturday.
SPORTS
August 11, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
LONDON -- Japan has upgraded its women's soccer team for its flight home despite the fact the reigning World Cup champions failed to win the gold in the London Olympics. Japan's soccer association was chided for making the world champions fly coach to London while the country's less-accomplished men's team flew first class. But association President Kuniya Daini confirmed the women will have better seats on the trip home. "They won a medal, so they will go back business class," he said.
SPORTS
October 15, 2012 | By Kevin Baxter
When the U.S. national soccer team arrived in Kansas City on Saturday ahead of its World Cup qualifier with Guatemala it was greeted by torrential rains and lightning -- conditions that forced some area college football games to be suspended. It was the last thing the Americans wanted to see after sloshing their way to a 2-1 win over Antigua and Barbuda on a soggy, muddy and sandy cricket field in Antigua. No worries, though, since the skies are expected to be clear by kickoff Tuesday at Livestrong Sporting Park in Kansas City, Kan. And that news comes as a relief for U.S. striker Clint Dempsey.
ENTERTAINMENT
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.
SPORTS
July 22, 2011
How nice for T.J. Simers that he toils in the cool shade of Page 2, where his many missteps under the daily pressure to fill a few inches of newsprint can pass easily without notice to the world at large. He should know a lot about choking, since he does it so regularly in his column, despite having hours, even days, to hone his words and sharpen his attacks on the mistakes of athletes who are required to make instantaneous decisions while performing against well-prepared and dangerous opponents who are equally skilled and determined to win. T.J. needs to be advised that no team enters a competition under an entitlement to victory.
SPORTS
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.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
SPORTS
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.
SPORTS
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.
SPORTS
March 29, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Even in today's economy you'd think $1.4 billion would be enough to buy love. Or at the very least, indifference. But that hasn't been the case with the Glazer family, whose debt-driven purchase of English soccer team Manchester United a decade ago has brought them five Premier League titles, three League Cups, a Champions League crown, a FIFA Club World Cup - and a death threat against Malcolm Glazer, the billionaire patriarch of the family....
TRAVEL
March 28, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
SÃO PAULO, Brazil - This mega city 270 miles southwest of Rio is the largest in South America and Brazil's main destination for culture, night life and cosmopolitan gastronomy. Where you'll see soccer: The action kicks off at the new Arena Corinthians, where Brazil takes on Croatia on June 12 in the opening match. This temple to soccer in the Itaquera district, a bit outside São Paulo proper, also hosts the semifinals on July 7. FIFA, soccer's world governing body, is setting up a giant outdoor screen at Vale do Anhangabaú, a big public square in a beautiful but often sketchy part of downtown, where fans and festivities should be plentiful and rowdy.
SPORTS
March 5, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
It was supposed to be a final U.S. tune-up for this summer's World Cup. But what Wednesday's 2-0 loss to the Ukraine in Cyprus proved is the American national soccer team likely needs a complete overhaul if it expects to be competitive in Brazil. A first-half goal by Andriy Yarmolenko and a second-half score by Marko Devic capped an emotional week for the Ukraine, which nearly canceled the match after Russian troops occupied the Crimean peninsula last weekend. Instead they turned the game into a display of patriotism.
SPORTS
February 4, 2014 | By Eric Sondheimer
 The El Camino Real girls' soccer team will have three players sign on Wednesday. They are Peyton Cline (Fresno State), Leslie Ramirez (Georgia State) and Madison Lipton (Rider). Coach Eric Choi has sent 18 players to colleges since becoming head coach in 2006-07.   Eric.sondheimer@latimes.com  
SPORTS
December 19, 2013 | By Kevin Baxter
Former World Cup and Olympic champion Mia Hamm plus current players Alex Morgan, Abby Wambach and Christie Rampone were selected to the national women's team all-time best XI on Thursday, part of U.S. Soccer's commemoration of its centennial. Left off the team was current goalkeeper Hope Solo, who was outpolled by Briana Scurry, the woman Solo succeeded on the national team in 2008. A committee of 56 former soccer players and administrators, as well as media members, voted for the team.
NEWS
March 1, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Before last year, Matt Besler had never played a game for the U.S. soccer team. And when he finally earned his first start, he played next to the Galaxy's Omar Gonzalez, who was making only his third international appearance. Now 14 months and 26 combined caps later, both could be starting in Brazil in June, becoming the two most inexperienced center backs to play in a World Cup opener for the U.S. since 1950. That's news Gonzalez greets with a smile and a shrug. "I guess it's kind of cool.
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