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Monday Sports Update: World Cup, Spurs Champs, Kaymer Wins Wire To Wire

By on June 16th, 2014

The World Cup opens for the United States today, the San Antonio Spurs win the NBA title and Martin Kaymer rules the U.S. Open golf championship in our Monday Sports Update…

** The United States has its first match in the World Cup today when it faces a tough Ghana team.   Germany plays Portugal and Iran takes on Nigeria as well.

** The San Antonio Spurs win their fifth NBA title under coach Greg Popovich after blasting the Miami Heat 104-87 Sunday to win the Finals 4-1.   22 year old Kawhi Leonard of the Spurs was named the Finals MVP.

** Martin Kaymer takes a wire to wire victory in the U.S. Open golf championship this weekend.   He shot a 69 Sunday to win the tournament by eight shots.

** The Gator athletic season is now officially over after the Gator track and field teams finish second (men) and fourth (women) in the NCAA Championships in Eugene, Oregon.

** Jimmie Johnson wins the NASCAR event in Brooklyn, Michigan, beating out Kevin Harvick and Brad Keselowski.   Johnson wins for the first time at Michigan International Speedway.

** In baseball, Tampa Bay edges Houston 4-3; Miami tops Pittsburgh 3-2 and Atlanta outlasts the LA Angels 7-3.   Tampa Bay hosts Baltimore tonight while the Marlins host the Cubs and the Braves host Philadelphia.

** And the College World Series continues today with two games; Texas plays Louisville with the loser leaving Omaha and Vanderbilt faces UC Irvine in a winner’s bracket game.

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Weekend Sports Roundup; Gushue Signs, College World Series, More…

By on June 13th, 2014

Lots of action and activity this weekend in the sports world ranging from the World Cup, the hockey and hoops to the U.S. Open golf championship and more.

** The World Cup continues throughout the weekend.   The United States does not play until Monday.

** The U.S. Open golf championship continues at Pinehurst in North Carolina; this is the second major on this year’s PGA Tour.

** The Miami Heat are on the brink of elimination after losing 107-86 to San Antonio Thursday night to go down 3-1 in the series.   The Spurs can clinch at home in Game 5 on Sunday.

** The Los Angeles Kings can win the Stanley Cup with a win at home tonight against the New York Rangers; LA is up 3-1 in the series.

** Former Gator catcher Taylor Gushue has signed a contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates, the team that drafted him last week.

** The College World Series starts Friday; Vanderbilt and Ole Miss are representing the SEC.

** In big league baseball, Tampa Bay is at Houston this weekend while Miami hosts Pittsburgh.   Atlanta hosts the LA Angels after losing 10-3 to Colorado on Thursday.

** Florida gets its second NCAA champion at the NCAA Track and Field Championships when Marquis Dendy claims the long jump title.   Action continues through Saturday.

** Former Gator Maurkice Pouncey signs a new lucrative contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers that makes him the highest paid center in the NFL.

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The World Cup Has Arrived; America Looks to Escape Group G

By on June 13th, 2014

Every four years millions of people set their eyes on one of the grandest stages in all of sports, the World Cup. For the United States winning this tournament would be considered by many to be a grand upset.  The U.S. men’s team enters the 2014 World Cup having never placed better than third in a Cup, and heads to Brazil as the world’s 14th ranked team.

Many changes have been implemented in the U.S. program since the last World Cup in 2010 that included the hiring of current head coach Jürgen Klinsmann.  Klinsmann has completely overhauled the American team since being hired in July of 2011. Since then Jürgen and the team won the prized CONCACAF Gold Cup in 2013, knocked off four time world champion Italy, defeated the world’s second ranked team Germany, and took down Mexico on their side of the border for the first time in team history. 

Eyebrows were raised earlier this summer when Klinsmann chose to leave the U.S. all time leading scorer Landon Donovan off of the World Cup roster. Klinsmann said it was one of the hardest decisions he’s ever had to make. 

“He has done an amazing job the last 10 days he was here, he has done everything right. It has been not easy. These are very close decisions. It’s not a decision against a player, in this case Landon. It’s a decision for another player. We coaches had the feeling over the last few days. We had an inkling a little bit. We sensed it was the right time now.”

The Landon-less U.S. team will take on Ghana in the first matchup of their World Cup run. The U.S. will be playing for revenge on June 16th in the opener after being knocked out of the last two World Cups by this familiar foe. Ghana eliminated the Stars and Stripes in 2006 with a 2-1 victory and again in 2010 when they ousted the U.S. in the round of 16. 

America will also have to contend with traditional world powers Germany and Portugal if they wish to advance from group G.  The U.S. will take on Portugal on June 22nd and wrap up group play with a showdown against Germany on June 26th

For the rest the world, the field stacks up as shown below:

Group A: #3 Brazil, #18 Croatia, #20 Mexico, #56 Cameroon

Group B: #1 Spain, #15 Netherlands, #14 Chile, #62 Australia

Group C: #8 Colombia, #12 Greece, #23 Cote D’Ivoire, #46 Japan

Group D: #7 Uruguay, #28 Costa Rica, #10 England, #9 Italy

Group E: #6 Switzerland, #26 Ecuador, #17 France, #33 Honduras

Group F: #5 Argentina, #21 Bosnia and Herzegovina, #43 Iran, #44 Nigeria

Group G: #2 Germany, #4 Portugal, #37 Ghana, #13 USA

Group H: #11 Belgium, #22 Algeria, #19 Russia, #57 Korea Republic

*Numbers are teams world ranking according to the International Federation of Association Football. 


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World Cup Starts, U.S. Open Golf Begins, Stanley Cup Continues In Thursday Sports Update

By on June 12th, 2014

One of golf’s major tournaments starts today, both the NBA and Stanley Cup Finals continue and more in our Thursday Sports Update…

** The World Cup in soccer starts today and runs through July 13th.   ESPN 850 WRUF radio will broadcast two matches live on Saturday.

** The U.S. Open golf championship starts today at Pinehurst in North Carolina; two Gators are in the event in Matt Every and Billy Horschel.

** The NBA Finals continue today as Miami hosts San Antonio in Game 4; the Spurs are up 2-1 in the series.

** The Stanley Cup Finals continue for another game after the New York Rangers stave off elimination with a 2-1 win over Los Angeles last night.   Game 5 moves to LA.

** In baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays break out of a hitting slump and beat St. Louis 6-3 while Texas blanks Miami 6-0 behind Yu Darvish and Atlanta loses 8-2 to Colorado.  The Braves play the Rockies today while the Marlins and Rays are off.

** The NCAA Track and Field Championships are going on now in Oregon and good news for Florida’s Fawn Miller as she becomes the NCAA javelin champion.

** The Jacksonville Jaguars are making major renovations to their football facility including the installation of new pools and cabanas for fans and apparently those would be able to be used for the Florida-Georgia game but various reports say Florida and Georgia are not interested in using them but more interested in keeping the same number of seats available for fans.

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UF Wide Receivers Coach Joker Phillips Resigns; Chris Leak To Take Over

By on June 12th, 2014

Gator Nation is still wondering today why Florida wide receivers coach Joker Phillips suddenly resigned on Wednesday.

An official announcement came in a prepared statement late yesterday but there was no reason given for Phillips’ resignation.  The statement said his resignation came for “personal reasons.”

He is replaced by Leak who has been serving as a graduate assistant with the program but he has no experience ever coaching the position.

Leak becomes Florida’s fourth wide receivers coach in the past four seasons and that is a position that has struggled in recent seasons.

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Spurs Win Big, Rays Lose Again, Wednesday Sports Update

By on June 11th, 2014

The San Antonio Spurs come up big in the NBA Finals, the Stanley Cup playoffs could end tonight and the Tampa Bay Rays lose again in our Wednesday Sports Update…

** The San Antonio Spurs take a 2-1 lead in the NBA Finals after blistering the Miami Heat 111-92 Tuesday night in Miami.  Kawhi Leonard scores a career high 29 points to lead the Spurs.   Game 4 Thursday in Miami.

** The Los Angeles Kings can win the Stanley Cup tonight with a win in New York against the Rangers; the Kings are up 3-0 in the Finals.

** It looks like all the Gator baseball juniors that were drafted will leave school to play pro baseball.   Already, Justin Shafer has signed with Toronto and Casey Turgeon signs with St.Louis.

** The NCAA Track And Field Championships will take place this week in Eugene, Oregon; the action starts today.

** The Tampa Bay Rays can’t hit, and as a result their tailspin continues as they lose 1-0 to the St.Louis Cardinals; the Rays have now lost 14 of their last 15 games.   Miami beat Texas 8-5 and Atlanta rocks Colorado 13-10.

** A sad day in the baseball world as former Cy Young Award pitcher Bob Welch dies at age 57.  He won the Cy Young in 1990 and is the last pitcher to win at least 25 games in a season.

** The U.S. Open golf championship begins tomorrow at Pinehurst.

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Rays Woes Continue, NBA, NHL Playoffs, College World Series Too In Sports Update

By on June 10th, 2014

Playoffs wind down, the woes for the Tampa Bay Rays continue and college baseball has its College World Series field set in our Tuesday Sports Update…

** The NBA Finals continue in Miami tonight as the Heat host the San Antonio Spurs; the series is tied 1-1.

** The on again, off again saga of LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling takes another turn as his attorney now says he is withdrawing his support of the sale of his team and that his lawsuit against the NBA is on again.

** Several media outlets are reporting that Derek Fisher has agreed to become the new coach of the New York Knicks after retiring this past season as a player.

** The Stanley Cup playoffs could soon be over.   The Los Angeles Kings blank the New York Rangers 3-0 to go up 3-0 in the series.   Game 4 is in New York.

** The Tampa Bay Rays are really struggling; after losing to Seattle 3-0 Monday, the Rays have now lost 13 of 14; they start a series with St.Louis today.  Atlanta beat Colorado 3-1 and the Marlins start a series with Texas today.

** College baseball’s College World Series field is now set with Ole Miss, Virginia and TCU getting berths with Super Regional wins yesterday.   Vanderbilt is also representing the SEC in the field.


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UF Football, Hoops, Tennis, Baseball, Hockey, Lots Of Stuff In Sports Update

By on June 9th, 2014

A lot of different sports to highlight today in our Monday Sports Update and it starts with a a Gator football verbal commitment…

** Florida is holding its annual football camps now and it got a commitment from a California quarterback in 6’2″ 190 pound Sheriron Jones who comes from the same high school as former Gator Ronald Powell.

** The NBA Finals are even at 1-1 after LeBron James scores 35 points to lead the Miami Heat to a 98-96 win over San Antonio; Game 3 in Miami.

** The Stanley Cup playoffs continue tonight in New York where the Rangers host the LA Kings needing a win after losing the first two games in LA.

** Rafael Nadal is the first man to ever win the French Open singles title five straight years after he wins in Paris on Sunday.

** Some teams have punched their ticket to the College World Series after Super Regional wins over the weekend.   Vanderbilt, Texas, Texas Tech, UC Irvine, and Louisville are going to Omaha with other Super Regional series to be decided today.

** In big league baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays have now lost 12 of their last 13 games after losing to Felix Hernandez and Seattle 5-0 Sunday.   Arizona beat Atlanta 6-5 and Miami beat the Chicago Cubs 4-3.  Today, Atlanta is at Colorado, Seattle is at Tampa Bay while the Marlins are off.

** According to reports, Florida junior Justin Shafer has signed a deal with the Toronto Blue Jays, the team that drafted him just a few days ago so he will not return to Florida for his senior year.

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Jozy Jolts U.S. Soccer To a Win In Jacksonville

By on June 9th, 2014

JACKSONVILLE, Florida–The United States Men’s National Soccer team came out on top with a 2-1 victory in a match against Nigeria Saturday evening.  The game marks the third straight win for the U.S. team and the second against the Nigerian club. 

It was a quiet first half hour of action between the two sides in what looked to be written as a scoreless first half.  However the United States made noise in the 31st minute when forward Jozy Altidore scored the game’s first goal, ending his six-month scoring drought for the team.  Altidore’s roommate, and U.S. defensemen Fabian Johnson made Jozy’s finish easy when he sent a cross into the six yard box allowing for a tap in by Altidore. 

Altidore knows that the relationship off the field between himself and Johnson has translated to success on the field.

“He’s my roommate.” Altidore would go on and say.  “We’re very lucky to have him, he’s a great personality on the team and you see what he brings.  He’s up and down, he scores goals, and he creates them.  He’s a problem for other teams.”

The Americans took a 1-0 lead into the second half, outshooting Nigeria seven to five. The United States almost reached the scoreboard again early in the second half when Clint Dempsey failed to produce in a one on one situation with Vincent Enyeama, the Nigerian goalkeeper.  It was just four minutes later that the United States extended its lead to 2-0. Altidore drove home his second goal of the game in the 68th minute after receiving a beautiful ball from Michael Bradley near the top of the 18-yard box. Altidore wasted no time, taking just a couple touches before ripping the ball past the Nigerian keeper.  The play not only earned Altidore his second goal of the game, but it gave Bradley his 10th all time assist in 86 appearances with the National squad. 

Even after a six month goalless streak, Altidore says his confidence hasn’t changed. 

“To be honest it makes no difference.  I don’t know if it’s weird to you, it’s not weird to me.  I’ve played for this team for such a long time that I think it’s my responsibility to kind of help the team in other ways,” he said.

Nigeria wouldn’t be left scoreless in their trip to Florida, collecting a somewhat cheap goal in the 86th minute when a penalty was called inside the 18-yard box resulting in a penalty kick.  Nigeria’s Victor Moses would send the penalty kick to the back of the net tightening the game up 2-1 with just minutes remaining. 

In the team’s last outing on home soil before heading to Brazil and the World Cup, American goalkeeper Tim Howard made his 100th start for the squad. Howard picked up four saves in the game, allowing just the one late goal.

The game was a great tune up for the American side, allowing 16 of the 23 men on their roster to see action in the game.  The three game win streak is the longest that the U.S. has ever had entering a World Cup.

U.S. coach Jürgen Klinsmann is excited to be in Brazil. 

“Most importantly the last three and a half weeks we have gotten a lot of work done.  We’re going to do another training test against Belgium down there, and I think everybody will be ready.” Klinsmann continued. “We can’t wait to start that tournament”

With the win, the American side improves to 2-0-0 against Nigeria all time. The Jacksonville crowd played a key role in Saturday’s match as 52,033 people attended, a record for a USMNT game in the southeast.  The National Team is now 4-0-1 when playing in Jacksonville and 17-16-9 in Florida.

The real test now comes on the 16th of this month when the U.S. takes on Ghana in its World Cup opener.  

To hear comments from the game, click below.

Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann

Jurgen Klinsmann

Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore

Jozy Altidore




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Heat Lose, MLB Draft Continues, Super Regionals In Sports Update

By on June 6th, 2014

Game One of the NBA Finals is in the books, the Stanley Cup Playoffs continue, a horse runs for the Triple Crown, NCAA Super Regionals in college baseball and much more in our Friday Sports Update…

** The San Antonio Spurs take Game 1 of the NBA Finals with a 110-95 win in San Antonio.   An air conditioning malfunction made the arena temperature around 90 degrees but the Spurs didn’t wilt.   Game 2 Sunday in San Antonio.

** The Stanley Cup Playoffs resume tonight in Los Angeles as the Kings host the New York Rangers; LA leads 1-0.

** The Major League Baseball Amateur Draft continues this weekend.   Gator signee Grant Holmes, a high school pitcher from South Carolina, was taken by the LA Dodgers in the first round last night.

** College baseball holds its Super Regionals this weekend with the winners advancing to the College World Series.  Ole Miss and Vanderbilt represent the SEC.

** In big league baseball, the Tampa Bay Rays have now lost 10 in a row after losing to the Miami Marlins 11-6 Thursday.   The Rays open a home stand against Seattle while the Marlins are at the Chicago Cubs this weekend.   Atlanta is at Arizona.

** California Chrome races for the Triple Crown this weekend at the Belmont Stakes in New York.  If Chrome wins, it would be horse racing’s first Triple Crown since 1973.

** The French Open tennis tournament winds down in Paris.   Maria Sharapova will face Simona Halep in the women’s final Saturday while the men’s semifinals take place today.

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