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September 27, 2006 | Chuck Culpepper, Times Staff Writer
As We the People of the United States squirm into our new role as a chronic international sports also-ran, as we realize we can't rule golf or basketball or tennis or much of anything besides halfpipe snowboarding, we can always find a bright side. We can learn some world geography.
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SPORTS
April 26, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
The U.S. has played in nine World Cups, winning seven games, or the same number that Brazil won in 2002 alone, when it rolled to a record fifth title. But if the U.S. has struggled collectively on soccer's biggest stage, several players have stood out individually since Massachusetts' Bert Patenaude scored the first hat trick in tournament history in 1930. Here's one person's pick for the all-time U.S. World Cup team: Goalkeeper Brad Friedel (1994-2002): Only Tony Meola, with seven, has started more games in goal than Friedel.
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NEWS
July 3, 1994 | STEVEN AMBRUS, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Angry at Colombia's elimination from the World Cup soccer tournament, gunmen Saturday shot and killed Andres Escobar, the player who accidentally scored a goal against his own side in a match with the United States and helped seal the team's fate, police said. Escobar, 27, was shot to death outside a restaurant in Medellin barely 48 hours after returning home from Los Angeles, where Colombia fell 2-1 to the United States on June 22. The unidentified gunmen confronted Escobar around 3 a.m.
WORLD
April 26, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
Between a cluster of bars in this small coastal town, middle-aged European men hover around dozens of fresh-faced Brazilian women in tight dresses. Around the corner, two girls who look to be in their teens flag down cars, signaling their availability to potential clients. Most such activity, however, seems confined to a small, seedy tourist strip, the last gasp of a bygone era. Natal, long known as a hot spot for sex tourism, has seen fewer problems in the wake of a national economic boom and concerted government efforts to cut back on the Carnaval nation's carnal image.
SPORTS
April 10, 2010
World Cup 2010: AUSTRALIA FIFA ranking: 19 Overall World Cup record: 1-4-2 Coach: Pim Verbeek Best performance: Second round, 2006 Overview: Australia ended a 32-year World Cup drought in 2006, reaching the knockout stage, and many veterans from that squad are back this summer. Keeper Mark Schwarzer was brilliant in qualifying, posting seven consecutive shutouts to help the Socceroos win their Asian zone bracket. Tim Cahill, Everton's creative midfielder and the first Australia to score a World Cup goal, leads the attack for Dutch-born coach Pim Verbeek.
SPORTS
April 26, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Like most kids growing up in Brazil, Roberto Gurgel dreamed of being on the field for a World Cup. That never happened. So this summer, Gurgel is settling for the next-best thing by helping to build five of the fields that will be used for the first World Cup in his native country in 64 years. Gurgel is executive director of research for Sod Solutions, a South Carolina-based company that develops and licenses varieties of grass. One of those varieties, a deep blue-green Bermuda called Celebration, will be used in five of the 12 World Cup venues this summer.
SPORTS
April 22, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins and Kevin Baxter
RIO DE JANEIRO - In 50 days the best athletes in the world's most popular sport will convene in Brazil, one of soccer's sacred spiritual homes, for the game's most important tournament. It will be a powerful, uplifting tribute to the "beautiful game" that Brazilians have shaped for decades and the new status of a confident, rising global power in Latin America. Locals and foreigners will marvel at shiny new stadiums and glide across the continent-sized country on upgraded infrastructure.
WORLD
April 18, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
RIO DE JANEIRO - Highways and bus transit ground to a halt in parts of Brazil early Friday, and flights were delayed as Brazilians launched on their long Easter holiday weekend. Brazil's transportation system has been the subject of heated debate recently. Some worry that it will buckle under the pressure of thousands of visitors who will descend on the country in June for soccer's World Cup tournament. The country is struggling to finish transportation facilities and stadiums. Others say its experience hosting major events such as the annual Carnaval or last year's visit by Pope France make it uniquely prepared to handle huge crowds.
SPORTS
April 15, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
If you're going to Brazil for the World Cup, you'd better start looking for a sports bar where you can watch the games on TV. Because for all the problems with stadium construction, transportation infrastructure and political protests, this World Cup has proved to be one of the bestselling ever. Tickets for nearly two-thirds of the tournament's matches were snatched up just hours into the final online sales phase Tuesday, and 44 of the 64 games have already sold out. FIFA, organizer of the World Cup, put 200,000 tickets on sale Tuesday on a first-come, first-serve basis.
SPORTS
April 3, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Landon Donovan on Wednesday spent the first 59 minutes of the U.S. national team's friendly against Mexico on the bench, a place he's not accustomed to being for that long. But it's a place Donovan, the leading scorer in U.S. team history, says he's willing to get used to if that helps the team and Coach Juergen Klinsmann in this summer's World Cup. “Whatever the team needs,” he said following a 2-2 draw with Mexico in the final game before the U.S. team convenes for its World Cup training camp next month.
SPORTS
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.
SPORTS
April 1, 2014 | By Kevin Baxter
Work at Sao Paulo's Itaquerao Stadium was halted on Monday by order of Sao Paulo's labor secretariat following the death of a construction worker on Saturday, the third fatality at the project. Construction on stadiums and other venues for this summer's World Cup in Brazil continues to be plagued by corruption, delays and safety concerns just 2 1/2 months from the June 12 opener in Sao Paulo. The worker, Fabio Hamilton da Cruz, fell about 26 feet while working on the installation of temporary seats on Saturday when, apparently, he didn't connect himself to a safety cable in a rush to finish for the day. Itaquerao is one of the projects that remains well behind schedule.
TRAVEL
March 28, 2014 | By Vincent Bevins
RIO DE JANEIRO - As you roll into this urbane beach city you can easily understand why most soccer fans will choose to be based here, if possible, during the FIFA World Cup, the sport's premiere international competition that begins June 12. Brazil's former capital and a resurgent cosmopolitan city, Rio has most of the urban offerings you would expect in a major destination, such as museums, restaurants and night life. But it's really the city's natural beauty and bright blue skies that make the trip worthwhile and make visitors more likely to forgive the high prices, lackluster service and spontaneous logistical breakdowns.
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