Written by Will Parchman

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Women’s soccer officially kicked off the Rio Olympics on Wednesday, and while the U.S. surveys the scene from atop its multi-colored red, white and blue throne, the rest of the world cues up its challenge.

Canada and Australia played their opener on Wednesday, and Canada’s starting lineup featured a number of college grads. Included in that list is Janine Beckie, who put the finishing touches on a Texas Tech career last fall without parallel. Notably, she scored 57 seconds into her first ever Tech match to spark a career in which she left Lubbock the career leader in almost every scoring category.

Well, Beckie’s a pro now, and she did it again.

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Written by Travis Clark


Giannis Maniatis incredible Goal… by smokantek

While 24 international teams are in Europe preparing for the start of Euro 2016, Greece, which didn’t qualify for the tournament, found its way Down Under for a friendly against Australia.

A seemingly mundane game turned on its head whne midfielder Giannis Maniatis won a ball in his own half, saw Adam Federici off his line… and you’ll have to see it to believe it.

Special mention to Federici for going on a walkabout with his team in possession.

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Written by Travis Clark

Looking for a mid-January international soccer fix? The AFC Asian Cup has you covered, as it kicked off early this morning U.S. time. Hosts Australia erased an early 1-0 deficit to top Kuwait 4-1 in Melbourne, as you can see from the highlights above.

The kickoff times aren’t exactly friendly for those living on the east coast of the United States (the opener kicked off at 4 a.m. EST) but it’s worth it should you happen to get One World Sports.

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Written by Will Parchman

cahill

Tim Cahill is 34 years old, so it’s unlikely his career in a gold Australia shirt extends beyond Brazil. During the course of Australia’s eventual 3-2 loss to the Netherlands on Wednesday, Cahill accumulated his second yellow card in as many games, meaning he’s suspended for Australia’s final group game against Spain.

Sadly, the Aussies couldn’t hang on to trump the Netherlands after going up 2-1 on a Mile Jedinak penalty, and when Cahill was subbed off in the second half, it was probably the last time we’ll ever see him as a competitive international. Barring some hoodoo in the Chile-Spain match, Australia almost certainly isn’t going through to the knockout stage now.

But if you’re going to go out, this is how to do it. A minute after the Dutch went up 1-0 through Arjen Robben, Cahill did this. Goal of the tournament, hands down. Yes, including van Persie’s diving header. You heard it here.

This bomb came on the heels of a well-taken header goal against Chile in the Australian opener. A fitting end to a massive international career. MLS represent.

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Written by Will Parchman

The Australian A-League has gotten some flack over the years as a sort of slowed down, beefed up MLS. This, after all, the league that still pays Emile Heskey. Some of the criticism is overblown, but our soccer brethren south of the equator are clearly still figuring out their league to an extent.

Harry Kewell wasn’t supposed to be part of the problem. The creative forward man had stints with Leeds, Liverpool and Galatasaray, so when he stepped up to the penalty spot for Melbourne Heart against Sydney FC last weekend, we all expected a pretty decent effort.

What we got, my intrepid readers, was the worst penalty of all time. And it was glorious. The only thing better would’ve been if Heskey had hit it himself.

 

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Written by Will Parchman

On Monday night, Tim Cahill played a game of celebrity FIFA 14 against Drake at the official kickoff party in New York City. It was, ahem, well-covered. Cahill won on penalties and I don’t think Drake’s entourage stuffed him in a dumpster. So that’s good.

Anyway, with FIFA now out in the states and about to hit Europe, Cahill is back with another promo vid for some of the game’s new celebrations. So if you want to hear a bunch of cheeky Aussie phrases, GOOD ON YA KANGAROOMEN because here you are.

 

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Written by Travis Clark

Not everyone loves preseason summer visits from European clubs, but Melbourne, Australia welcomed Premier League side Liverpool with open arms on Wednesday.

Playing A-League side Melbourne Victory (a game they won 2-0), Liverpool players might’ve thought they were back at Anfield as they were serenaded in rather spectacular fashion by the crowd of 95,000 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground prior to kick off.

It might have been a meaningless game, but the fans surely didn’t seem to care.

 

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Hamad

Jordan is playing Australia in the World Cup Qualifiers on the 11th, but first, they had to make sure their coach got out of the airport.

Head coach Adnan Hamad was held by immigration for over four hours at the Melbourne Airport. The agreement between the Jordan federation and Australia’s apparently fell through because the local representative that they had agreed upon to help, simply did not show up.

The players waited around for two hours for their coach then left the airport without him.

The Jordanian embassy had to help Hamad, former Iraqi soccer player and coach, grant entry into Australia to prepare for their next match against the Aussies.

Hamad is asking for an apology for an incident that will certainly fuel the fire before the teams meet on the field.

[Herald Sun]

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

I’m not sure what was more predictable: that the USWNT would rout the Aussies in Pia Sundhage’s last match, or that Pia would cry like she just watched a Lifetime Movie double feature.

It was one final victorious moment in a tenure full of them for Pia. Oh yeah, plus Alex Morgan scored two more goals to throw extra gasoline on the Mia Hamm debate.

 

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Written by Jahmal Corner

USWNT coach Pia Sundhage will officially wave goodbye tonight when her team takes on Australia in Colorado. There may be a few tears (mostly mine) and there will almost certainly be song as we celebrate a strong tenure for the leader of our women’s team. But before we get all emotional, let’s rationally break down Pia’s top moments as coach since she assumed the role in 2007.

1. 2012 Olympic Gold. Sure, Pia led the group to gold in 2008 as well but this last one just felt more important. Maybe it was all the generational clashing throughout the program, or maybe it was the loss in the 2011 World Cup but there was a special satisfaction to the most recent Olympics. The third (straight) time was most definitely the charm.

See the rest of Pia’s top moments after the jump.

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