Posts Tagged soccer

Some Of These Tricks May Be Real!

Even if this is all doctored, which I don’t think is the case, these stunts are very entertaining…amazing what people can do…even if it took them hundreds of tries to succeed!

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Tim Howard Promotes Ink Not Mink

Tim Howard's abs and tats revealed for PETA

Tim Howard’s abs and tats revealed for PETA

Tim Howard, a star goalkeeper for Everton and the US international soccer teams, was chosen by charity PETA to front their new “Ink not Mink” campaign. Clever headline. Look at those abs and other muscles bulging out of those incredible tattoos.

Howard was Man of the Match twice in the 2014 FIFA World Cup Games. PETA stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.

“Protecting animals is very important to me, and I think speaking out against fur is an amazing cause”, Tim said.

“When I see someone wearing fur, I just want to sit them down in front of one of PETA’s videos and show them just how badly animals suffer for this supposed fabric that no one needs.”

Tim has a reputation for playing through pain. In September 2007 he accepted a call-up from the United States for a friendly against Brazil, and after an hour of the game his finger was dislocated in a collision. In March 2013, during an FA Cup game against Oldham Athletic he broke two bones in his back. In both incidents, he continued playing until the final whistle. Makes mentioning my little aches definitely embarrassing.

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Amazing Flamenco

I just spent a week in Spain and became caught up in football (America calls it soccer) there. Learned about the success of FCB (Futbol Club of Barcelona), watched my first match on TV, while rooting for my new team, bought an FCB jersey that I already wore playing tennis–the other players said I looked like a stop sign.

But I was constantly impressed with how dextrous soccer players are with their feet and legs…a talent I lack completely. It has been 45 years since I was in Barcelona admiring the architecture of Gaudi, and 25 years since I was in Madrid watching and loving the sensuousness and foot skills of flamenco dancers.

But I have never seen the varieties of flamenco that I discovered in this video: there are eight different kinds. Breathtaking. Sexy. Romantic. Revealing. Unabashedly passionate and vulnerable. Enjoy this mastery of the body by humans I cannot relate to. You too will be inspired to practice more leg exercises and foot movements to put us in touch with the lower half of our physical self…after years of indifference and distance.

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Nico Calabria Inspires With Just One Leg

Meet Nico Calabria, a senior at Concord-Carlisle High School in Massachusetts who was born with one leg. But despite only having a left leg, Calabria is co-captain of the school’s junior varsity soccer team along with the varsity wrestling team. In a game against Newton South, Calabria scored one of Concord’s nine goals with an amazing volley that would have been difficult for every player on the field.

Concord-Carlisle was given a corner kick and Calabria stationed himself on crutches by the far post just outside the box. The ball sailed past the goal where Calabria planted his crutches, turned his body and connected with a scissor-kick to put the ball in the back of the net.

But if you think that highlight is amazing, you should probably check out the documentary called “Nico’s Challenge,” a story about how Calabria climbed Mount Kilimanjaro at age 13. Kilimanjaro. 13 years old. One leg.

In 2007, he went on Ellen DeGeneres’ talk show and explained that he climbed the mountain to raise money for kids in Africa who need wheelchairs.

If the goal just didn’t do it for you (not sure how that’s possible), check out Calabria’s domination in wrestling below:

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Danny Welbeck’s Passion Ignored Doctors And Led To Football Fame

What impresses me most in this story (see boldface type below) by Martin Rogers is how when this world famous athlete was a young boy just getting started with a potentially crippling illness, he ignored doctors’ urgings to quit and played through his pain. I so admire this passion and determination. It’s among the noble traits of humans that deserve to be celebrated. And can you believe that these kids are just eight years old, when they trial for world class teams?

Danny Welbeck produced the most unusual and imaginative goal of Euro 2012 (European football) to hand England a desperately needed victory over Sweden on Friday and provide the highest point in a career that itself is a triumph against long odds.

Welbeck completed a dramatic comeback for England with the final goal in a 3-2 win in Kiev and leave his country needing just a draw against co-host Ukraine in its final match in Group D to guarantee a place in the quarterfinals.

The 21 year-old Manchester United striker had his back to the goal when Theo Walcott fired in a low cross from the right after 78 minutes, but he was able to flick the ball with the back of his right heel, sending it past Sweden goalkeeper Andreas Isaksson and into the net.

Welbeck (left) shows off his skill on the winning goal against Sweden—6/15/12. (AP)

It was Welbeck’s second goal for his country, and some fans had expressed doubts as to his suitability for a starting place in the absence of suspended first-choice forward Wayne Rooney. However, Welbeck is no stranger to overcoming adversity, having battled an unusual and debilitating condition as a child as well as being told he had no chance of becoming a professional.

Welbeck was diagnosed with Osgood-Schlatter disease in his formative years, leaving him with excruciating pain and swelling in his knees. Doctors warned he should consider quitting soccer, claiming that continuing to train and play several times a week could cause ongoing pain and growth complications.

The youngster refused to give up on his dream of becoming a star, though, and regularly told his parents and coaches that the pain he felt was less serious than it really was. Finally, toward his late teenage years, the problem disappeared. It has never returned.

That was not the only hurdle he had to overcome. This might make uncomfortable reading for some Manchester City supporters, but United’s hated rival missed out on the opportunity to snap up Welbeck long before he eventually became a star.

Welbeck was part of City’s youth training program as a youngster but was not considered to have the potential to become a professional and was told not to return for future training sessions.

“I was trialing with City at the age of 8 but just before Christmas they told [my] dad I wasn’t good enough,” Welbeck said. “My dad didn’t want to tell me because it was Christmas, so I was oblivious to the situation for a while.”

A few months later, Welbeck was spotted by a United scout, and the rest is history.

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Oguchi Onyewu Has Abs And Scares Opponents

Oguchi has abs (in case you missed them)

I bumped into an article about the 30 fittest pro athletes. Of course I was focusing on their abs—some readers have actually asked me for more pictures than I am posting. So here you are.

“I had to add Oguchi into the list. After all, he’s a soccer player—fittest athletes ever. At 6’4″ 210 pounds, he’s one of the most feared men in the world’s game.
I’ve played against a lot of massive defenders. And no one has Oguchi’s strength. His shoulders and chest are so big that people confuse him with an NFL player. He can move anyone in the game with one arm, including the best strikers in the world. Guys absolutely fear him.”

Charlie Davies, FORWARD, U.S. SOCCER

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Marc Sokolik Keeps On Winning Medals

softball throw

Marc Sokolik has done it again. In his latest St. Louis, Memorial Day, Senior Olympics competition, with 1800 competitors, he placed sixth or better in all 11 events he entered: four golds, two bronzes, one fourth, two fifths, two sixths. I love the different events he competes in. I mean this guy is 71 years old. I bet he could beat many people half his age! You can read about him and his earlier achievements by typing his name in the search box above right.


football accuracy

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Indi Cowie Is The Best Female Soccer Freestyler In The World

Free style soccer appears to be juggling a soccer ball with your feet and body. Indi Cowie is thought to be the best female free styler in the world. She is just 16. Here is an article about her story and skills. And here are some excerpts from the article.

Cowie had never heard of freestyle soccer until one day in 2005 when she met John Farnworth, the freestyle world champion, and he offered to do a demonstration for her. “It was absolutely mind-blowing the tricks John could do with a soccer ball,” she says. “For me, it opened up a whole new world of possibilities.”

She started trying to teach herself an Around the World: circling a foot around the ball during juggling. “I worked on that for about a month, and then one day I finally landed it,” she says. “That moment was so satisfying that I committed to becoming the best I could be at freestyle.”

She practices for at least 90 minutes a day and wears through a pair of specialized freestyling sneakers every month. The family garage is her laboratory, where she practices.

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Transforming Lives Through Sports And Other Activities

I interviewed an upcoming soccer star today. He’s been playing since third grade in Cleveland, Ohio and has risen to regional and now national prominence. “I used to be timid and afraid of the ball. I changed by playing soccer,” explained Gonzalo Villafan proudly.

I should mention he is only 10 years old and the animated beneficiary of an America SCORES after school program that uses sports—specifically soccer—to reach out to kids in low income neighborhoods.

“At first some people would argue, and everyone gets confused. Then the coach gives direction…and we learned how to work as a team and communicate with each other.”

Amazingly, along with soccer, the kids are taught how to write poetry! Gonzalo said “…teammates and coaches pushed into my creation and that I not be afraid. I never wrote before. Just shy with other kids…then I express my feelings and make it into a poem.”

He wrote about the Balloon Boy fraud and recited his poem in front of 600 people back home. “They stood up on their seats and clapped and shouted.” Gonzalo was one of two youths chosen to represent Cleveland in the national recital. When is the last time you were brave enough to talk to a group that large?

Shayanna Love and Gonzalo Villifan present Sunil Gulati with a soccer ball for his support of America SCORES

Shayanna Love and Gonzalo Villifan present Sunil Gulati with a soccer ball for his support of America SCORES

Today he was in New York for the first time to be in a poetry slam at the auditorium of the New York Stock Exchange. He was in a group of 30 kids from around the country who rang the closing bell, met members of the New York Red Bulls soccer team, some other professional league soccer players, team owners and even Sunil Gulati, the president of the US Soccer Federation.

This all reminded me of a photographer I knew, Ben Fernandez, who taught ghetto kids how to take pictures to push them away from drugs, away from negative influences and thinking positively for themselves. It increased their self-esteem and gave them the confidence to try for more achievements. Angel Franco, became a Pulitzer Prize winning photojournalist. Fung Lam went to Harvard and became a doctor. Ben went on to found the New School’s photography program.

Another friend built metal robots that “talked” and helped autistic kids in hospitals respond to outside stimuli, when efforts by humans couldn’t penetrate their mental bubbles. So there are a number of ways to reach youngsters who have the odds stacked against them. Read the rest of this entry »

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