Written by Dill Pickle

Here’s reason No. 5,623 that ‘handball’ is a great idea: sometimes when you get that round ball in your hands it’s just hard to give it up.

Just ask Toronto Raptors player Amir Johnson who refused to share the ball last night when the above referee asked for it. Amir apparently had a childhood flashback to when his older brother Anightstand (his mom named them all after bedroom décor) used to snatch away his toys. It all came to a head when the ref tried to take the ball out of his hands – NOT AGAIN! I’M A GROWN MAN!

Unfortunately, the ref is a grown man too. Plus, he has a v-neck muscle shirt and a whistle, which means he has all power, and he quickly used it to eject Amir from the game.

When asked for comment following the game, Amir had this to say:

“MINE! MINE! MINE!”

 

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Written by The 91st

So adidas announced its list of 54 players invited to the MLS Player Combine in January and we’ve pored over the names in hopes of finding the ballers within the ballers. As it stands today, here are the top 10 prospects (meaning most likely to be drafted in this order) attending the combine in the opinion of the 91st Minute. From 10 to 1:

 

10. Machael David, UCSB: So fast that he has two first names because both refused to come in last.

 

9. Will Bates, Virginia: Was voted a player who would burst onto the scene in 2012 after a knee injury ended his junior season a year earlier.

 

8. Carlos Alvarez, Connecticut: Starred in FIFA 13 NCAA Edition

 

7. Ryan Hollingshead, UCLA: A big fan of Tim Tebow (seriously) and steady attacker.

 

6. Eric Schoenle, West Virginia: Tall, solid center back.

 

See the Top 5 after the jump

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Written by The 91st

Every program has their own tradition. At Santa Barbara they throw tortillas; at ITT Tech every student is a grown man with a tie or giant reading glasses; at my program we did chores and set the table before dad got home (home school program) – you get the picture.

Taylor University, in Indiana, has their own thing: the entire student body remains silent until their basketball program scores its 10th point, then they all lose their minds like my dad used to when the table wasn’t set. They call it “Silent Night,” and it happens once a year prior to Christmas. Pretty cool if you ask me, but to each their own.

 

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Written by Taylor Kemp

Taylor Kemp has been a staple of Maryland’s defense ever since he arrived in 2009. But after this weekend’s College Cup, it was all over.  The All-ACC standout left behind an indelible mark on the program not to mention this heartfelt message detailing what Maryland has meant to him. Take it away, Taylor:

It’s been an incredible three-and-a-half years where I formed relationships that will stick with me for a lifetime. I was fortunate enough to be a part of several teams throughout my time here at Maryland, but for many reasons, this past season’s team will forever reverberate through my memories. Maybe it’s because this was my senior year, maybe it’s because we worked so desperately hard for success, or maybe it’s because this really was as rare and special as it felt. All I know is how thankful I am for every day I had with this team.

I still can’t believe it’s all actually coming to an end, but I know that I am incredibly blessed for the experiences and growth I’ve had here. I am a better person now than when I arrived on campus and that is because of the people who surrounded me every day – my brothers. I will miss this place in so many ways, and while I am excited to move into a new phase of my life, I will never fully leave Maryland. If I’ve learned anything about Maryland pride, it’s that it stays with you forever. I will always be a Maryland Terrapin and couldn’t be prouder.

And I know that my boys I’m leaving behind are even hungrier now than this year and will stop at nothing until we have another National Championship up on our wall!

So, pending this final week, farewell Maryland, I hope that I have in some way given back a fraction of what you’ve given me.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

Hey Becks, you decide where you’re going next year? No? Well, just hit me on the bat phone when you figure it out. Mom is always on the house phone, so …

What will David Beckham do next? Your guess is as good as ours. Maybe he’ll play in Iceland; open up an amusement park or launch a line of Posh Spice bras. Because his options are endless we’ve turned to Football Manager to help us prognosticate his future.

Assuming Beckham does indeed play more soccer next year, here are seven potential clubs where he could land and his simulated 2013 performance with each of them (click the links for the stats compiled by Football Manager).

 

Beckham at Manchester United

Beckham at Real Madrid

Beckham at Monaco

Beckham at QPR

Beckham at AC Milan

Beckham at PSG

Beckham at Shanghai Shenhua

There you have it, Becks. The choice is yours.

 

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Written by The 91st

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

This is Chicago Fire’s Sawyer Jackman sharing his approach to tournament play from the Development Academy Winter Showcase. But here’s the thing about great advice: you can apply it however you choose. And I choose to interpret Sawyer’s pep talk as a pick-me-up for the upcoming weekend.

“Don’t be out of shape … just go as hard as you can for those three days.”

DONE! Friday through Sunday is in deep trouble, I’ll tell you that. Thanks, Sawyer. And thanks to the young lady after the jump who will help get us through our Monday.

Happy Monday.

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Written by The 91st

Lionel Messi broke a 40-year-old scoring record Sunday with his 86th goal of 2012. Messi’s two goals against Real Betis put him past German great Gerd Muller who compiled 85 in 1972.

The goal record or not, Messi already had Muller beat in one important department. Take a good look at Muller’s 1972 haircut at the beginning of the video. Look hard, I mean really “mullet” over. Messi was already one up on Muller … by a hair.

 

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Written by Dill Pickle

Just so you know, Indiana’s national title triumph on Sunday was just the beginning … the beginning of history repeating itself. Go ahead and put the Hoosiers down for another College Cup in 2013.

I know what you’re thinking: but they were only a No. 16 seed! Lightning doesn’t strike twice! How am I supposed to trust the prediction of a guy named Dill Pickle!

All valid points. But so are these:

 

1. History. Of the seven previous national titles won by the Hoosiers, six of them were part of back-to-back efforts. Indiana turned the trick in 2003-04, 1998-1999 and 1982-83. Only in 1988 did they produce a one-and-done title effort. And how can we trust anything that happened in 1988? People were listening TO THIS back then. Yup. Do-over.

 

2. Family Tree. Lest we forget whose father was leading all those Hoosier championships of old – coach Todd Yeagley’s father, Jerry. Now that he’s added to the family legacy he’ll be liberated and ready to enjoy a run of his own. There’s just too much precedent for this not to happen.

See the final point after the jump

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Written by The 91st

LA Galaxy forward and US Soccer youth star Paul Arriola has been named the NSCAA 2012 Boys Player of the Year, the standout told the 91st Minute. Arriola will join a host of other top All Americans at the NSCAA Convention next month in Indianapolis where he’ll essentially be crowned as the best youth player in the country.

Arriola, who is ranked in the top 10 of the IMG Academy 150, has long been one of the top prospects in the country. His 2012 has been another banner year that saw him star with the US U18 squad while leading his team to the Development Academy playoffs.

“Coming out of a U17 World Cup in 2011, I thought 2012 was going to be crucial for me to continue to work hard and keep developing as a player without dropping off at all,” Arriola told the 91st Minute. “I was able to do that, so overall I thought 2012 was a good year and hope that I can only continue to grow as a player and as a person in the upcoming years.

In 2011, Arriola overcame a stress fracture to make the U17 squad and has not looked back since. Arriola is committed to UCLA in 2013 but he’s far from done at the youth level.

“It’s an honor to (win this award). It’s great to be recognized for all the hard work and dedication I have had as a young athlete and this is just another step on my journey in my soccer career,” he said. “I can’t thank my family, coaches, friends, and teammates who have pushed me and supported me and most importantly God for the opportunity he has given me.”

 

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Written by The 91st

Sam Gordon, A.K.A. the nine-year-old football star, A.K.A. you better eat your Wheaties, visited the US Women’s National Team last week.

Soccer is actually her first love and she was clearly thrilled to meet her favorite player Abby Wambach and the rest of the ladies. She was gracious and charming for the most part, but then they broke out the football and things got REAL. Go ahead and fast forward to 2:58 and watch what happens when she hits Rapinoe with a double move and leaves her ankles firmly planted to the pitch.

And don’t try to convince me that Rapinoe was taking it easy on Sam, either. That was a legitimate “Where’s Waldo” shake (send out the search party) and if I were coach Tom Sermanni I wouldn’t let this little terror on the field anymore. Yes, she’s adorable, but she’s also dangerous.

 

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