Written by Will Parchman

RSL

The 2011 New York Giants tilted the NFL on its axis. Ever since the institution of the salary cap in 1994, the league had always been defined by the shifting sands created by its parity. But the playoffs and a 16-game regular season had done a good job weeding out of the riffraff. There might’ve been new and surprising Super Bowl champs on occasion, but the trophy ceremony always made sense. Parity with purpose, or so it seemed.

The Giants changed the paradigm in 2011. They were exceedingly mediocre throughout the regular season, and they made the playoffs despite a 6-6 record with four games left. They squeaked into the postseason mixer with a 9-7 mark and ended up winning the whole thing. It remains one of the feats of modern sports.

But it also raises a good question. Purely in terms of wins and losses, the Giants are the “worst” Super Bowl winner in history. Which means there’s never been a Super Bowl winner that finished the regular season at .500, let alone with a losing record. Even the league that flouts its parity above all other leagues, arguably the first in the world to hammer that nail with this kind of consistency and hard cap restriction, hasn’t been that much of a blender.

What about MLS?

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Written by Will Parchman

_78629250_guidetti

Manchester City has an embarrassment of top players. And I don’t even know that I’m employing any kind of literary device here. It’s embarrassing in a My-House-Is-So-Big-It’s-Extending-Into-Your-Bedroom kind of way. In a way that this fake palace of Versailles in freaking Florida is embarrassing. But City fans won’t complain. The team’s loanees could form an army, storm Eritrea and set up a puppet government employing only City loanees.

In other news, pay close attention to Eritrea. I don’t trust City.

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Written by Maxi Rodriguez

pique

With the holiday season fast approaching, there’s just hours remaining before the desperation sets in and you start aimlessly wandering malls and craft stores looking for a perfect gift for the soccer fan in your life. But rather than panic buy a jersey of a player set for a transfer in January, why not take the easier step of shopping online while wrapped in a blanket?

With that in mind, the TDS team has gathered together a few of our favorite things sure to be a hit.

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Written by Will Parchman

ready

Kaka’s entry to MLS was met with trumpets and heraldry of the highest order in Central Florida. In fact, the club grandly rolled out The Most Famous Selfie In Club History to tell us just how grandiose this whole thing was supposed to be.

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Written by Travis Clark

In the wake of the New York Red Bulls’ loss in the Eastern Conference Championship, Thierry Henry announced he wouldn’t return to MLS in 2015. As it turns out, the defeat over two legs to New England would be the last of his storied career.

Early this morning Eastern Standard Time, Henry announced his retirement via his Facebook page.

He leaves behind a playing career that saw him capture Premier League titles, the 1998 World Cup, the 2000 European Championship and a slew of individual awards. Along with his stint at Arsenal and the Red Bulls, he turned up for Monaco, Juventus and Barcelona, scoring 284 goals in club soccer. Take a look at his top 25 goals from his Arsenal days, when he was at the height of his career.

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Written by Travis Clark

Up 2-0 on Sunday against Brazil in the game’s first ten minutes, it looked like the USWNT would cruise to a win against the tournament hosts.

Then the Marta show began.

With the Brazilians down, the team’s star roared into action, scoring all three goals leading Brazil to a come-from-behind 3-2 win. That, coupled with a disappointing 1-1 draw with China to open the tournament, should be of slight concern to USWNT fans ahead of the 2015 World Cup.

Check out the highlights, including a couple of appearances by recent college stars Morgan Brian and Sam Mewis.

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Written by Travis Clark

UEFA-champions-leagueEarly this morning on the East Coast (or mid-day in Europe), the head honchos that compromise UEFA held the draw for the Champions League Round of 16.

Some tasty matchups are on the way, including rematches of recent group or knockout games between Real Madrid-Schalke, PSG-Chelsea and Manchester City-Barcelona. There’s also a bonus rematch of the 1997 final between Juventus and Dortmund. Full draw results are listed below.

Paris St. Germain vs. Chelsea
Manchester City vs. Barcelona
Schalke vs. Real Madrid
Juventus vs. Dortmund
Atletico Madrid vs. Bayer Leverkusen
Shakhtar vs. Bayern
Arsenal vs. Monaco
FC Basel vs. Porto

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Written by Will Parchman

LeoStolzUCLA1-2013-UCLA

This weekend’s College Cup featured seven invitees to next month’s MLS Combine. Five of those made it to Sunday’s final, a hotly contested scoreless game that Virginia won 4-2 in penalties. Cynical from Virginia? Yes. Probably. And UCLA had a right to be miffed after the game at a tactic that was as old as American soccer itself – bunker and sap the life out of the game in search of a win.

And credit Virginia. It worked.

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Written by Will Parchman

UVA

Virginia and UCLA met with the press on Saturday ahead of their College Cup final meet-up on Sunday at noon here in Cary. So why not dump all their quotes on your doorstep? The NCAA notably left out UVA coach George Gelnovatch’s response to Chase Gasper, but you can read all about that here.

Otherwise, enjoy the rest.

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Written by Travis Clark

Sunday’s NCAA tournament title game features two storied and historic programs, as Virginia and UCLA are set to clash on Sunday at 12 p.m. EST to decide this year’s national champ.

The Cavaliers scored early then held off UMBC 1-0, while UCLA won in the second overtime against a plucky Providence side. Highlights of the second game after the jump.

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