Aug. 23, 2008 A SILVER LINING
Crew's Ekpo takes 2nd with Nigeria
While he stood on the medal winner's platform at the Bird's Nest Saturday afternoon, Nigerian Emmanuel Ekpo admitted he had mixed emotions. The Columbus Crew midfielder was about to receive a silver medal as the Nigerians took second place in the Olympic men's soccer tournament.
Aug. 23, 2008 THEY DON'T GO HAND IN HAND
Olympic and World Cup success
After Argentina defeated Nigeria for its second consecutive Olympic gold medal, there was talk that the country's success at the Under-20 and U-23 levels could give it a boost in the World Cup. In recent years, however, Olympic success has not meant triumph at the international level or in the World Cup:
Aug. 23, 2008 SETTING A NEW GOLD STANDARD
Messi leads Argentina to 2nd straight Olympic men's final win, 1-0 over Nigeria
With Lionel Messi, you just can't win. If he doesn't beat you one way, he'll find another route. Stop the 21-year-old manchild from scoring and he'll slip a pass to a teammate to score the game-winner. Case in point: Saturday's men's Olympic semifinal. Once again Messi demonstrated why he is considered one of the best soccer players in the world -- perhaps the very best by some. Messi left the Bird's Nest without a goal, but he certainly settled for some Olympic gold, setting up Angel DiMaria's score as Argentina overcame Nigeria with a 1-0 win and 108-degree field temperatures.
Aug. 23, 2008 GOLDEN BRACE
Argentina stops Nigeria, 1-0, to win consecutive men's soccer gold medal
Argentina went into the record books as one of the great Olympic men's soccer teams, becoming only the fourth team to win back-to-back gold medals and the first team to accomplish that feat in 40 years Saturday afternoon. Midfielder Angel DiMaria connected for the lone goal of the match in the 58th minute to lift the Argentines to a 1-0 victory over Nigeria before a fullhouse of 89,103 spectators at the Bird's Nest.
Aug. 22, 2008 BRONZE BOMBERS
Brazil 3, Belgium 0
SHANGHAI, China—Brazil lacked some of their usual joie de vivre, but they got the job done on Friday, whitewashing Belgium 3-0 to take the Bronze Medal in the Beijing Olympic soccer tournament.
Aug. 21, 2008 NO SILVER LINING
Marta, Brazil fall short again
You think the United States had problems when it was embarrassed by Brazil in the Women's World Cup semifinals last year? Well, you should take a look at the Brazilians' headaches. They have been in three major tournament finals in the last four years and has scored but one goal and lost all three of them.
Aug. 21, 2008 SHE'LL BE BACK
Sundhage to return as women's coach
There will be no drama as to whether Pia Sundhage will be back as coach of the U.S. Women's National Team. Both sides said so after the Americans secured their third gold medal in four tries in their 1-0 victory over Brazil Thursday night.
Aug. 21, 2008 SOLID GOLD
Hope Solo shines as U.S. women best Brazil for Olympic women's soccer gold medal
Almost 11 months ago, U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo left China in disgrace, ostracized by her teammates for controversial remarks she made after her benching in Women's World Cup semifinals. Solo completed a remarkable personal comeback Thursday night, playing a vital role for the Americans as they captured their third Olympic women's soccer gold medal.
Aug. 21, 2008 THE GOLD STANDARD
U.S. women earn Olympic crown for 3rd time on Lloyd's extra-time goal vs. Brazil, 1-0
Many of their critics said it couldn't be done, but the U.S. Women's National Team managed to mine some Olympic gold once again. For the second consecutive Olympics, the U.S. was outplayed by Brazil but managed to secure the gold medal with an extratime goal. Midfielder Carli Lloyd, who struggled with her passes at midfield for most of the match, connected for the dramatic goal some seven minutes into extratime to lift the Americans to a 1-0 triumph at Workers Stadium Thursday night.
Aug. 20, 2008 A SECOND CHANCE
Boxx ready for Brazil in gold-medal match
U.S. goalkeeper Hope Solo isn't the only one who has a second chance against Brazil in the women's Olympic gold-medal match Thursday night. Defensive midfielder Shannon Boxx has an opportunity to take care of some unfinished business against Brazil at Workers Stadium (USA Network, NBC Olympic Soccer Channel, 9 a.m. ET), but she isn't making a big deal out of it.
Aug. 20, 2008 SOME HOPE FOR A GOLD
Solo gets a chance at redemption vs. Brazil
U.S. international goalkeeper Hope Solo gets an opportunity Thursday night that not many of us will get -- a chance at redemption. Ten months after being in the middle of a major controversy, Solo finally takes on Brazil in a meaningful game -- the women's soccer gold-medal match of the Olympics in Beijing.
Aug. 20, 2008 SOME GOLDEN OLDIES
When the U.S. beat Brazil in 2004
For one last glorious time, they stood together shoulder-to-shoulder in triumph. The Fab Five -- Julie Foudy, Joy Fawcett, Mia Hamm, Kristine Lilly and Brandi Chastain – laughed, cried and joked around on the winner’s podium at Karaiskaki Stadium. They celebrated their fourth and final major international championship together -- the Olympic women's soccer gold medal after surviving a dramatic, 2-1 extra-time win over Brazil on Thursday night.
Aug. 20, 2008 WORLD CUP MELTDOWN
When the U.S. lost to Brazil last year
If you needed a worse nightmare scenario for the U.S. Women's National Team in the Women's World Cup, you couldn't find a more devastating one than in their stunning and embarrassing 4-0 semifinals loss to Brazil Thursday night.
Aug. 20, 2008 HOW SWEDE IT WAS
Remembering a talk with Sundhage
Yours truly has spoken to Pia Sundhage only twice, although I figure I'll get a third opportunity Tuesday afternoon. That's when the former Swedish international star forward will be introduced as the first foreigner to coach the U.S. Women's National Team.