End of the Road


By: Jeff Yoder

Welcome Back,

Another scoreless 90 minutes, followed by 30 more, and a penalty-kick shootout that will live in infamy. If you watched the U.S. Women’s National Team in the group stage, you might’ve felt an upset looming. They weren’t going to win a third straight World Cup. But this? Heartbreak of the highest order…

Letter Rip!


End of the Road for the USWNT Dynasty

Photo: NurPhoto / Getty Images

USWNT Suffers Devastating End to World Cup Run in Penalty Shootout Against Sweden (0-0, 5-4 PKs)

Same story, different result. For the third straight match, the U.S. Women’s National Team failed to win in regulation, and it finally caught up with them. Sunday morning’s Round of 16 battle against Sweden saw the U.S. take on a familiar rival, and it ended in the cruelest of defeats. The U.S. and Sweden played to a scoreless draw after 120 minutes despite 11 shots on target from the U.S. attack. They outshot Sweden 22-9 (11-1 on frame), but Swedish goalkeeper Zecira Musovic stood tall with a clean sheet and the game of a lifetime to force penalty kicks.

The PK Shootout: In the penalty shootout, the U.S. shot first and both teams netted the first five attempts, giving the U.S. a 3-2 advantage, but the wheels fell off. Even after Sweden’s next attempt sailed high and U.S. goalie Alyssa Naeher made a spectacular save, three U.S. kick-takers missed clinching shots — Megan Rapinoe, Sophia Smith, and Kelley O’Hara. Those misses allowed Sweden back in. Tied 4-4 after the USA’s seventh attempt, Naeher appeared to stop Lina Hurtig’s shot, not once, but twice. But a replay review showed the ball crossed the line by mere centimeters on the first deflection. It was a devastating finish for the U.S. — the No. 1 ranked team in FIFA and two-time defending World Cup champions — who suffered the earliest knockout from the World Cup in team history.

USA vs. Sweden Scoresheet

Possession: USA 58% | Sweden 42%

Shots: USA 22 | Sweden 9

Shots on Goal: USA 11 | Sweden 1

Corners: USA 9 | Sweden 3

Watch: Sweden Knocks Out U.S. Women’s National Team in PK Shootout (0-0, 5-4 PKs)

What’s Next for USWNT?

All four matches of the 2023 World Cup were a stunning display far from the greatness USWNT fans are accustomed to. Even though they were the better side in every match, failure to produce goals was a never-ending storyline. The USA scored just four goals in regulation over four matches, and zero regulation goals in the last 240 minutes (2.5 games). It was Megan Rapinoe’s final appearance on the international stage. Julie Ertz retired from World Cup duty after the heartbreaking loss, as well. Manager Vlatko Andonovski’s future has plenty of question marks, too. There’s little expectation he’ll remain the coach of the USWNT moving forward. All in all, the U.S. actually deserved to win this match against Sweden, but the end result is the earliest exit from the World Cup in USWNT history. Change is coming. But what a ride it’s been for a decade-long dynasty in women’s soccer.

Other World Cup Highlights

Spain def. Switzerland (5-1)

Japan def. Norway (3-1)

Netherlands def. South Africa (2-0)

Remaining Schedule (Round of 16)

England vs. Nigeria (Mon. 3:30 am ET)

Australia vs. Denmark (Mon. 6:30 am ET)

Colombia vs. Jamaica (Tues. 4:00 am ET)

France vs. Morocco (Tues. 7:00 am ET)

Read More

Yahoo! Sports: USWNT’s World Cup Flop Will Cost Vlatko Andonovski His Job

WaPo: The New Face of U.S. Women’s Soccer is Stunned Disbelief

SI: Dramatic Video Review of Penalty Kick Ends USWNT’s Run at World Cup



Realignment Rewind

Photo: Stephen Lam / Getty Images

Dismantling of the Pac-12 Continues With Oregon & Washington Joining Big Ten, Arizona, Arizona State & Utah to Big 12

College sports has undergone a transformation these last few weeks, and we’ve been unable to sift through the chaos until the dust settles. It may never come to rest, but the college sports landscape we once knew looks completely different. After years of realignment due to media rights deals, the 2023 shift is the beginning of an all-out blitz on the amateur collegiate sports model. With the introduction of NIL deals (name, image, and likeness) and a transfer portal free-for-all, things have changed fast. And while we don’t have the capacity to recap all of the logistics, we can keep you up-to-date on which schools are moving where, and what it means.

Conference Realignment Tracker

Pac-12  Big Ten

USC, UCLA, Oregon & Washington

Pac-12  Big 12

Colorado, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah

Pac-12 Remaining Schools (For Now)

Oregon State, Washington State, California, Stanford

Why is the Pac-12 Falling Apart?

The expiration of the Pac-12’s media rights deal with ESPN and FOX in 2024 allows programs to exit the conference without a fee. More money is elsewhere, and the West Coast’s “Power-5” darling is crumbling. It remains to be seen if the Pac-12 will cling to the final few programs and rebuild the conference with new additions, but the damage is done. Essentially, the Pac-12 is down to just four remaining schools (listed above).

What It Means for College Sports

The two Los Angeles schools (USC & UCLA) joined the Big Ten a few months back, but Oregon and Washington followed suit in the past week. Both programs won’t receive the same revenue share as the Big Ten member schools (at least not yet). And in response, Arizona, Arizona State, and Utah joined Colorado in shifting to the Big 12. Now, each of those two conferences (Big Ten & Big 12) stretches from coast to coast, and they’ll be able to tap into every available market in order to keep up with the SEC’s football brand. Next? The ACC is certainly nervous, but they’re making strides toward expansion (or at least, survival).

Follow the money. College sports is changing, and it’s going to continue.

Read More

The Ringer: The Imminent Death of the Pac-12 Marks the Point of No Return for College Sports

ESPN: Remaining College Football Conference Realignment Questions

Yahoo! Sports: Colorado’s Deion Sanders on Pac-12 Exodus: ‘Everybody’s Chasing the Bag’



Training Camp Clipboard

Photo: Nick Cammett / Getty Images

Saints RB Alvin Kamara Gets 3-Game Suspension & Other NFL Preseason Storylines

We’re back with another week of NFL training camps before preseason action this weekend. There’s been no shortage of training camp news, and it’s a good news, bad news situation for the Saints. Running back Alvin Kamara — who pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge from a 2022 nightclub fight — was handed a three-game suspension by the NFL on Friday. The incident in question occurred the night before the Pro Bowl in Las Vegas. Kamara was arrested, and he admitted his wrongdoing. Now, the Saints finally have an answer on his availability, and they’ll go to work preparing to survive the first month of football without their star rusher. Read More (CBS Sports)

Other NFL Training Camp News

Panthers & LB Justin Houston Agree to 1-Year Deal

Saints RB Eno Benjamin Ruptures Achilles

Vikings Sign Veteran WR N’Keal Harry

Eagles Sign LBs Myles Jack & Zach Cunningham

Bengals RB Joe Mixon Faces Civil Suit for Role in Shooting

Panthers Rookie QB Bryce Young to Start Preseason Opener

NFL Preseason Week 1 Schedule

Read More

The Ringer: Which Head Coaches Have the Most at Stake in 2023?

CBS Sports: Must-See NFL Players You Need to Watch This Preseason

ESPN: Best of Sunday at NFL Training Camps: Aaron Rodgers Dazzles, Bryce Young to Start Preseason Opener



The Paul Payday: Episode 8

Photo: Sam Hodde / Getty Images

Jake Paul Beats Nate Diaz by Unanimous Decision in Latest Crossover Boxing PPV Cash Grab.

The latest dance in manipulating sports fans hit the big stage Saturday night in Dallas when YouTuber Jake Paul and MMA legend Nate Diaz squared off for a pay-per-view boxing match. The 26-year-old Paul — the YouTube star with more than 20 million subscribers — beat the aging Diaz (38) by unanimous decision in another made-for-television hype trial. Paul dominated the first round and looked to finish the fight early, but Diaz stood strong. A knockdown in the fifth round added to the tally in Paul’s favor and a unanimous win on the scorecard (97-92, 98-91, 98-91). Paul is now 7-1 in his crossover boxing career against big-name, former MMA stars.

What’s Next? And Do We Care?

The sports purists, myself included, may scoff at the trajectory Paul’s on — one aimed due north at simultaneously saving and ruining boxing for the subscriber payday. Paul took his YouTube career and leveraged it into a mega-millions venture by fighting some of the biggest names in combat sports. His following is off the charts, just like his brother, Logan, and the duo continues to do anything for views. You can’t blame Jake Paul for cashing in, but you can not like him, or his gimmick that falls under our umbrella of sports.

Paul rolled up on a tank for heaven’s sake (an actual tank). After the match, he challenged Diaz to an MMA fight (opposed to boxing) for $10 million. “I’ll fight anybody,” Diaz said. Paul appears ready to transition to MMA, and that’s because his boxing PPVs are starting to flatten. Was Episode 8 the finale of Jake Paul the Boxer?

Read More

ESPN: Jake Paul Outpoints Nate Diaz, Calls for Rematch in MMA

SI: Diary of a Boxing Writer in Conflict: Jake Paul vs. Nate Diaz

B/R: Jake Paul & Conor McGregor Get Into Heated Twitter Exchange




Trea Turner Hits Game-Winning HR for Phillies

Padres Stun Dodgers With 7-Run 8th Inning

Corey Seager’s Return Earns Rangers 5th Straight Win

Twins Beat D-Backs With 2 HRs in 9th Inning

Collective Effort Earns Mariners’ Sweep Against Angels


Marina Mabrey (32) Leads Sky to 3rd Straight Win

Ionescu (31) & Liberty Hand Aces Worst Loss Ever (99-61)


Lucas Glover (-20) Secures 2-Stroke Win at Wyndham Championship for 5th Career PGA Tour Victory


Lionel Messi (2 Goals) Leads Inter Miami’s Miracle Rally Against FC Dallas in Leagues Cup (4-4, 5-3 PKs)





The Must-Watch List

Women’s World Cup (Round of 16)

England vs. Nigeria (Mon. 3:30 am ET)

Australia vs. Denmark (Mon. 6:30 am ET)

Colombia vs. Jamaica (Tues. 4:00 am ET)

France vs. Morocco (Tues. 7:00 am ET)


Dodgers at Padres (4:10 pm ET)

Marlins at Reds (6:40 pm ET)

Giants at Angels (9:38 pm ET)

Full MLB Schedule

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