Brock Martin — DEThe premier outside edge rusher in the state isn’t from Jenks. Or Union. He’s from Oologah. Martin, who is a stat monster in high school, has a promising career as an edge rusher/defensive end at Oklahoma State.Thabo Mwaniki — DBDenton Guyer (Texas) has treated Oklahoma State very well with the likes of Jimmy Bean, J.W. Walsh and Josh Stewart. Mwaniki’s up next.Malcolm Rodriguez — SafetyAs a dual-threat quarterback and defensive back for Wagoner High School (Oklahoma), Rodriguez has the ability to play anywhere on the field. But he’ll play safety for OSU.J.D. King — Running backYou know Chuba Hubbard, right? J.D. King is his future running mate. At 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, King shattered nearly every Georgia preps high school rushing record from small school Fitzgerald. He runs like Ezekiel Elliott. That seems like a good thing for OSU.Another letter is in! Welcome to the family JD! #okstate #NSD17 pic.twitter.com/brojw7AMak— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) February 1, 2017Kris McCune — DBDallas Christian School safety Kris McCune hasbeen a quiet sleeper in OSU’s class, but this Blue-Grey All-American could turn some heads at OSU with his quick feet and coverage.Braydon Johnson — WRTylan Wallace and LC Greenwood are two of the receivers everyone’s talking about in this class. But Johnson is a sleeper in the class. Think Chris Lacy, he’s a strong blocking receiver but also has proven he can produce as an outside receiver.Tracin Wallace — QB/ATHOklahoma State is getting a good one in Tracin Wallace, a dual-threat QB/ATH from Fort Worth South Hills. Before two devastating knee injuries, he and his twin brother, Tylan, were considered the best athletes in Funky Town. That’s saying something.Tylan Wallace — WRI don’t put much stock into ESPN’s recruiting rankings, but Tylan is the only ESPN300 recruit in this class. And he’s a consensus top-100 player. He leaves Texas high school football as a top-10 receiver all time in terms of production. Oklahoma State may be able to find a spot for him right away with his speed. He’s always open.Tylan Wallace’s letter has arrived and he’s officially a Cowboy! #okstate #NSD17 pic.twitter.com/QWBz1IwoLD— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) February 1, 2017Tre Sterling — SafetyFrom small school Sunnyvale, Texas, Tre Sterling is a defensive back who has a long-term ceiling for OSU. Given the current state of the safety position at OSU, he may be able to redshirt and get adjusted to the next level. That’d be a luxury.“OSU is getting a player who is still discovering his potential, Sterling said on his skills. “I’m a very physical safety who isn’t shy to come down hill and hit someone! My coverage is just as good but most people don’t see that because my physicality is what stands out.”LC Greenwood — WRThe second four-star recruit of the class, Greenwood is built in the form of Marcell Ateman at 6-foot-3, and a reported 4.49 40-yard dash time. He was a late bloomer on the recruiting trail but OSU is getting a steal.Jake McClure — KickerFrom Chattanooga, Tennessee, McClure is a promising kicker/punter. He’s got insane range (as you can see from kick #1 here). With his strong leg, I think he could at least challenge for a spot in place kicking/field goal kicking.The first letter of the day is officially in! Welcome to the #okstate family Jake! pic.twitter.com/i1fTIle4rm— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) February 1, 2017Fua Leilua — Defensive TackleAfter committing to OSU in the process, TCU and Utah State came knocking late. But he stuck with his original feeling, and the Snow Junior College defensive tackle is OSU bound.“I’m just another kid from a small town with big dreams,” Leilua said last week. “One thing I promise is that Oklahoma State will be getting nothing but the best out of me as a player as well as a person. I’m going to give a 110% effort in everything I do. I’m just humbled and blessed to have this opportunity.”Chuba Hubbard — Running backCanadian speedster Chuba Hubbard is one of the last to send in his LOI. But he runs on Canada time. Four-star tailback with speed and size, Hubbard is more than a one-trick pony.“They’re getting a versatile player. A playmaker,” he told PFB. “You know everyone talks about my speed, but in my senior season, I worked more on key things to prepare for Oklahoma State, like switching the ball, running harder, hands, etc. Now I feel I can break those long runs but when you need me on the third-and-3, I’ll be able to get that. I’m planning to come in around 205 pounds and after this track year I’m hoping to come in faster than ever.”Sione Finefeuiaki — TECollege of San Mateo tight end prospect Finefeuiaki is a fullback/tight end — and one that will likely see significant time as a junior next season. He’s a strong blocker, has a history of catching balls downfield, and will be a key cog in the running game from day one.Sione Finefeuiaki’s letter is in and he is officially a Cowboy! Welcome to the #okstate family! #NSD17 pic.twitter.com/b5hxI09KMv— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) February 1, 2017 Happy National Signing Day!Recruits from across the country will be sending in their National Letters of Intent. This is when Oklahoma State commitments can make things official and become “official” Cowboys. Follow along for live coverage all morning with the live blog and constant updates. As letters of intent roll in, we’ll update the post.Early EnrolleesArlington Hambright — OLHambright, a prospect who signed from Garden City Community College, is a left tackle who could come in right away to help shore up the left tackle position left void by Victor Salako.LaMarcus Morton — CBOut of Gilmer, Texas, Morton is one of two early enrollees out of high school. Playing wide receiver/safety/cornerback at the high school level, Morton is believed to enroll early with hopes of solidifying a spot at cornerback.Patrick Macon — ILBAll-American linebacker Patrick Macon is an instinctive inside linebacker with some of the most impressive versatility OSU has signed in the middle. He’s on campus and as the NJCAA defensive player of the year last season, will likely be an instant impact.Brendan Vaughn — OLBMacon will slot in as an inside linebacker, and Forney (Texas) outside linebacker/safety is a recruit with a high ceiling that will play OSU’s STAR linebacker position. He has good coverage skills and a versatility that will allow him to drop back in coverage on defense.Jelani Woods — QBLast of the early enrollees, but certainly not least, the 6-foot-7 Woods from Ellenwood, Georgia, is one I’m most excited about. He can make all the throws. He has a cannon that allows him to stretch the field. And once Mike Yurcich gets ahold of him, I think he’s going to be a gem.Last but not least for the class of 2017 early enrollees, we are excited to welcome quarterback Jelani Woods out of Ellenwood, GA! #okstate pic.twitter.com/Y6Aw4sKk3S— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) February 1, 2017 Baron Odom — TEThe latest of additions, Wynnewood (OK) prospect Baron Odom flipped from Rice to Oklahoma State just a day ago. At 6-foot-4 with the versatility to line up wide, he’s a nice pass-catcher at the tight end position.Enoch Smith, Jr. — DTFormer Michigan State and blue-chip defensive tackle Enoch Smith, Jr. transferred from the Spartans program to spend a season at the JUCO ranks. He brings legit experience at the Division I level and at 6-foot-2, 293 pounds, his presence lessens the blow of Vincent Taylor opting for the NFL.Brendon Evers — DTOne of the first pledges of the 2017 class, in-state (Bixby) defensive tackle Brendon Evers is a monster in the middle. Just look…Out of Bixby, OK, Brendon Evers is the newest addition to the 2017 class! #okstate #NSD17 pic.twitter.com/xJ683wO6JG— Cowboy Football (@CowboyFB) February 1, 2017 While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Five-star wide receiver Terrace Marshall has narrowed his options to 11 schools, he announced on social media this week. The Bossier City, Louisiana native with 22 offers cut his list in half, naming Miami, Ole Miss, TCU, Texas, LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn, OSU, OU, North Carolina and UCLA.https://twitter.com/TerraceMJR/status/825184811669131265A 6-foot-4, 200-pound 2018 recruit, Marshall has been on Oklahoma State’s radar for well over a year. The Cowboys offered him at the same time period that they extended an offer to Keondre Wudtee — now a current OSU quarterback. Wudtee and Marshall were a dynamic QB/WR duo, and it seems OSU is trying to parlay that connection into stealing one of the best receivers in the country. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. Check out some of the highlights from Wudtee’s senior season. The connection between he and Marshall (No. 80 — the guy who catches almost every pass). Also a reminder: Keondre Wudtee is going to be a very fun quarterback.
While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up. OSUBrad LundbladeSenior Kansas StateReid NajvarSenior Iowa StateJulian Good-JonesSophomore OUErick WrenRS Senior Oklahoma State center Brad Lundblade has been named to the Rimington Trophy Fall Watch List, the committee announced on Wednesday. Lundblade is one of 70 players on the list given to the most outstanding center in college football.Of the 70 players, only eight from the Big 12 were included on the list. He is one of five seniors from the Big 12 to be dubbed as a potential candidate to win the award. BaylorTanner ThriftSenior TexasZach ShackelfordSophomore SchoolPlayerClassification After starting his career as a walk-on, Lundblade was put on scholarship in 2015 and has rewarded Mike Gundy by starting in every game for the Pokes over the past two seasons. He’s gone from little-known walk-on to one of the the key pieces in OSU’s revived running game, which thrived last season in producing its first 1,000 yard-rusher since 2010.“Brad is a very good communicator,” Gundy told The Oklahoman last fall. “He’s gotten better. He’s healthy. He’s coming off the ball. You can’t ask for anything more than that. He’s a tough son of a gun. Loves the game.”*Marks two spaces off my Mike Gundy bingo card.*The Rimington Trophy Award was given to Ohio State’s Pat Elflein last season. The winner for the 2017-18 season will be recognized Jan. 13, 2018 at the Rococo Theatre in Lincoln, Nebraska. KansasMesa RibordySophomore TCUAustin SchlottmannSenior
“I look at bump-and-run corners. Not too much of a zone corner. So if you’re a man corner the Big 12 is the place to be. Not only Oklahoma State, but this is where I’m at so I’m rooting for Oklahoma State.”The Big 12 (and Oklahoma State) have traditionally lacked more compared to other conferences when it comes to interior defenders (although Joe Bob Clements is doing his best to rectify that). But I thought that was such a great point by Williams.If you’re a safety or a corner, why wouldn’t you come to Stillwater or Austin or Norman to play college football? Why would you go to Auburn or Athens or Nashville where you might defend only two or three passes a game?The Big 12’s reputation has a long way to go, but I think it can be a place (just like Stillwater can be a place) where elite offensive players attend school and just-as-elite defenders follow them. As Williams pointed out, it’s a smart route to take if you want to get better and eventually end up getting drafted in the first round like Gilbert. It wasn’t a surprise to us to hear offensive players talk about the allure of playing in a high-tempo offense like the one Mike & Mike have constructed in Stillwater. Oklahoma State’s lineage of elite, NFL-like receivers is growing, and more and more recruits want to be a part of it.“The offense,” said redshirt sophomore transfer Tyron Johnson. “They’re throwing it around. It’s something a receiver like me wants to be in. Any receiver actually. You see a team throwing it around like that it will catch your eye. That expectation has been met. Here they throw it a lot. A lot.”“It’s the offense,” said senior Chris Lacy. “Being a receiver we like to catch passes, and Oklahoma State is known for throwing the ball and putting receivers in the league. That’s what I wanted to do is come here and catch passes so I’m loving it.”AdChoices广告This pair will make up two of the cogs in what should be one of the best passing games in the country. It helps the reputation of your offense and school when you’re catching passes from pros, too. What was a bit of a surprise is that this same high-flying offense that averaged 2.89 points per drive last season tempts defensive players to come to Stillwater, too. Or the fact that other teams in the Big 12 have to toss it all over the yard to keep up with the OSUs of the world does, anyway.“I got to run into (Justin Gilbert) at the spring game,” said redshirt freshman corner Rodarius Williams. “I got to talk to him, him being a first round pick. He told me, ‘It’s a bunch of man to man so you’re going to get a lot of exposure with the ball.’ I was like, ‘I’m that type of corner that wants to be thrown at.’ So I was like, ‘I’m committing on the spot.’ He told me I’m making a great decision.” While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
Arsenal Arsenal have slipped ‘so far away’ from top teams, warns Seaman Dejan Kalinic 16:01 6/3/2018 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Arsenal Arsène Wenger Premier League Gunners greats, including Sol Campbell, understand why the Premier League club’s fans are so frustrated at an alarming slump under Arsene Wenger David Seaman understands the frustration of Arsenal fans and believes displays like the 3-0 Carabao Cup final loss to Manchester City demonstrate that his former club are “so far away” from the level of their rivals.Arsene Wenger is under increasing pressure at the Emirates Stadium, with his team’s chances of finishing in the Premier League’s top four appearing remote.However, the Gunners are in the last 16 of the Europa League – where a tie against AC Milan awaits – and success in that competition would secure a place in next season’s Champions League. Editors’ Picks Williams case shows Solskjaer isn’t holding Man Utd’s youngsters back – he’s protecting them Goalkeeper crisis! Walker to the rescue but City sweating on Ederson injury ahead of Liverpool clash Out of his depth! Emery on borrowed time after another abysmal Arsenal display Diving, tactical fouls & the emerging war of words between Guardiola & Klopp Wenger’s side were beaten 3-0 by City in the Carabao Cup final and then lost to Pep Guardiola’s team by the same scoreline in the Premier League.Seaman said the performance at Wembley was an indication his former club are well behind the best.He told Omnisport at the London Football Awards: “I know where people who are criticising Arsene are coming from.”It’s so frustrating, especially when you see, I was at the cup final, when you see that, it just makes us look so far away from the top teams now.”OK, we don’t always play that bad but it was just disappointing the way we didn’t turn up for a massive game.”Sol Campbell, another Arsenal great, believes the frustration has built up at a club which last won the league title when he was still playing in 2004.”Some of the results have been disappointing this season and I think it’s just a compounding of the years [of disappointment],” he told Omnisport.”It’s always nice to win an FA Cup and things like that, it’s great. I think it’s just frustration.”I don’t think it was actually the League Cup [final performance], I think it was just a combination of year after year [of] not challenging for the Premier League.”I think it’s just frustration through that really.”
I’ve written on the Big 12-Pac-12 near alignment extensively, but David Ubben recently wrote and reported the most thorough piece I’ve ever seen on the topic that nearly torpedoed this conference back in 2010. And OSU is at the heart of it. Though there aren’t many OSU-specific nuggets, the entire thing is fascinating to think back on and read about.Texas was the summer’s biggest and most crucial prize, and the Pac-10 also zeroed in on Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech and Colorado. Texas A&M was a potential partner, but SEC membership was something many university power brokers had coveted for decades, as was a split from rival Texas. Still, Texas A&M entertained early discussions from the Pac-10. [The Athletic]You should read the entire thing (here) because it’s great. The part that was maybe most interesting to me was about just how much power Texas wielded at that time (and even now, I guess). This part about how OU thought they had power, but it was almost nothing next to Texas made me laugh. This was post-Texas turning down the Big 12.By then, Oklahoma had pushed out [Dan] Beebe as commissioner, turning to [Chuck] Neinas to guide the league into its new era. Representatives from Oklahoma declined to be interviewed for this story.“Boren acted like Oklahoma could go to the Pac-10 without Texas. They couldn’t do that, but he felt like he wanted to show Oklahoma had enough power to have the commissioner removed and then they’d stay,” Beebe said. “And that was how it ended for me there.” [The Athletic]Many levels of humor if you’ve been following the Big 12 for a long time. And who knows how close it all was to happening. Texas’ then-AD, DeLoss Dodds, acts like it never really got that close.“Bottom line, every time we met as a staff and talked about our kids having half of their competition on the West Coast and being on airplanes all the time, we just felt like that wasn’t the right thing,” Dodds said. “I never got to the point where I thought (the Pac-16) was the right move. We had staff meetings with 10 or 12 people in a room. We started every meeting by asking, how would this affect the kids? And the end result was just not good.” [The Athletic]But Ubben’s article makes it seem like it got a lot closer than that (one reporter even insinuated that if Texas A&M had bailed for the SEC first, it probably would have happened). All of the what-ifs, including the following: What if OSU’s magical 2011 team had played in the Pac-16 instead of the Big 12? Colorado moved that year, and presumably OSU could have, too.Regardless, one thing is undoubtedly true: Oklahoma State is better off — financially and otherwise — that Texas stayed and kept everyone else with them. Even if their leverage resulted in a tidy little $15 million bonus from ESPN. While you’re here, we’d like you to consider subscribing to Pistols Firing and becoming a PFB+ member. It’s a big ask from us to you, but it also comes with a load of benefits like ad-free browsing (ads stink!), access to our premium room in The Chamber and monthly giveaways.The other thing it does is help stabilize our business into the future. As it turns out, sending folks on the road to cover games and provide 24/7 Pokes coverage like the excellent article you just read costs money. Because of our subscribers, we’ve been able to improve our work and provide the best OSU news and community anywhere online. Help us keep that up.
I’m in Miami today for Marketing Sherpa’s Email Conference where I’m presenting with Mark Rovner. I’m going to share some of the useful information from today’s sessions later today. In the meantime, pursuant to my post on Seeing Red and Pink and the cause-related marketing backlash, here is the headline in today’s AdAge:Costly Red Campaign Reaps Meager $18 MillionBono & Co. Spend up to $100 Million on Marketing, Incur Watchdogs’ WrathYou can read more with registration here. To state the obvious, the honeymoon is over for cause-related marketing – just as it is for charities in general. By that I mean, there isn’t sufficient infatuation with our sector that we can think all we do will be seen in a good light, even when we have the purest of intentions. People are skeptical, ESPECIALLY when it comes to where the dollars are going. And ESPECIALLY when it comes to marketing. Even if a lot of marketing dollars got directed to a good cause, people not only want to ask how much got to charity, they are also digging into ROI!PS If you haven’t checked it out, the discussion is really rich at Marketing Profs.
World Cup ‘Neymar fell down a lot’ – Lichtsteiner pleased with containing job on Brazil superstar Chris Burton 20:49 6/18/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Buda Mendes World Cup Neymar Brazil v Switzerland Brazil Switzerland Switzerland were able to prevent the Paris Saint-Germain forward from making much of an impact in their World Cup opener, but deny rough treatment Neymar has been accused of going to ground a lot during Brazil’s 1-1 draw with Switzerland at World Cup 2018, with Stephan Lichtsteiner suggesting that “every time he fell down it was a whistle”.The Paris Saint-Germain forward was felled 10 times during Sunday’s Group E clash at the Rostov Arena, with the Swiss defence well aware of the threat he posed.It was suggested that the Samba star had been singled out for rough treatment on his first competitive start since suffering a broken metatarsal with his club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar Those in the Switzerland camp have denied that was the case, with Arsenal new boy Lichtsteiner claiming that Neymar was theatrical, not targeted.He told reporters in the wake of a hard-fought point: “It’s very difficult playing him. He’s fast, he’s technical, you need to keep up with him all the time because he’s dangerous. It’s a big challenge.“And I was a little bit worried about the referee. Every time he fell down it was a whistle, a foul so that was a bit of a challenge.“You think to yourself ‘don’t be too aggressive’ because every time he goes down it’s a foul. So, because of that, I had to be a bit careful.”Lichtsteiner added: “We are a mix I think. We are physical and we defend well – but we also attack. We showed that.“We knew Neymar was a danger so it was very good teamwork on the right side with Valon Behrami, Fabian Schaer and me closing him down.“It was almost a perfect game. It’s important to have this teamwork in the next game because we’ll have new situations.“Maybe it’s an advantage to play a big team like Brazil first in the group. Maybe they don’t know us that well, they don’t have the feeling for the tournament.“The first game is never easy for a big team in the first game. But Switzerland have a good team – and we got a good point.”Philippe Coutinho fired Brazil in front in spectacular fashion on Sunday, but Steven Zuber levelled for the Swiss after the match officials decided against using VAR for an apparent shove on Miranda.
World Cup Mexico style in shock Germany win surprised former USMNT boss Arena Omnisport Last updated 1 year ago 03:35 6/20/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(0) Getty Images World Cup Mexico Germany v Mexico Germany Panama The ex-United States head coach was surprised by how El Tri approached their World Cup opener against the reigning champions Mexico’s shock World Cup win against Germany surprised former United States coach Bruce Arena because it contradicted their usual style of play. Juan Carlos Osorio’s side claimed an impressive 1-0 victory over the reigning champions in their opening Group F match, Hirving Lozano’s first-half strike securing a well-deserved triumph.Arena, who oversaw USA’s failure to qualify for the World Cup from the CONCACAF section in which Mexico triumphed, was impressed by how they restricted Germany, but expects the usual suspects to reach the latter stages. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar “Naturally, Mexico had a very good performance against Germany, upsetting them with a 1-0 victory,” Arena told Omnisport when promoting his new book.”One would think they’re in good shape to qualify out of group play and be in the round of 16.”They had to defend with a lot of numbers for a lot of the game. That’s not really Mexican football, but they were all committed to do it and did an outstanding job.”At the end of the day I don’t think there’s going to be many changes or surprises in this World Cup. When all the smoke settles I think you’re going to see all the big boys that are usually there in the end.”Panama dramatically denied USA a place at Russia 2018 and lost their World Cup debut 3-0 to Belgium, with Arena predicting similar results in their remaining fixtures.”I saw Panama play against Belgium, they lost 3-0. Not surprising, I thought out of the teams that qualified for the World Cup out of CONCACAF, Panama was the weakest one,” he said.”You know the U.S. beat them 4-0 at home in game nine of the Hex, we drew with them in Panama. They’re probably a team that’s going to have a difficult time at the World Cup and not get out of the group play.”The USA will host the 2026 World Cup alongside Mexico and Canada after their joint bid was selected at last week’s FIFA Congress in Moscow.MLS was born out of the USA hosting the 1994 edition and Arena believes the return of football’s grandest competition will have a positive effect on the domestic league and its players, though he thinks new initiatives are needed to maximize the potential impact.”Having the World Cup in the US in 2026 is going to be terrific for our country, for our soccer environment. It’s going to bring much more attention to American players, to our league and help to continue to grow the sport,” he added. “I think between now and 2026 we can make a bunch of changes in our country to help grow the sport and hopefully over the next couple of years we get a little bit creative, we set some good policy and we succeed with it.”Outspoken, honest, and game changing—Bruce Arena’s memoir What’s Wrong with US? is available now wherever books are sold. For more information, visit https://www.harpercollins.com/9780062803948/whats-wrong-with-us/.
Germany 2 Sweden 1: Late Kroos winner brings Low’s men back from the brink Stephen Creek Last updated 1 year ago 04:16 6/24/18 Getty Images Germany’s hopes of reaching the World Cup knockout phase were hanging in the balance before Toni Kroos scored a stoppage-time free-kick. Germany came back from the brink of a humiliating World Cup exit as Toni Kroos scored a sensational stoppage-time winner to secure a dramatic 2-1 victory over Sweden.Kroos found the net with a wickedly curling set-piece in the 95th minute of a game that brought out the best and worst of Joachim Low’s world champions, who were reduced to 10 men when Jerome Boateng was sent off with eight minutes remaining.It capped a dramatic turnaround in a match that Germany could not lose after Die Mannschaft were beaten by Mexico in their opening Group F game, but such a scenario was on the cards when Ola Toivonen’s superb lob gave Sweden a lead they held until half-time. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Perfection from Pulisic: Chelsea’s Captain America has arrived in the Premier League Why always Raheem? ‘Unplayable’ Sterling setting a standard Man City’s other stars need to match ‘There is no creativity’ – Can Solskjaer get Man Utd scoring freely again? ‘Everyone legged it on to the pitch!’ – How Foden went from Man City superfan to future superstar But Low’s team-talk at the break obviously struck a chord with the world champions, who levelled early in the second half through Marco Reus’ scrappy effort.Boateng’s dismissal threatened to unravel their efforts to get back into the match and it looked as though they would have to settle for a point that would have left their hopes of progressing from the group hanging in the balance. However, with the clock winding down, Kroos’ stunner sparked jubilant German celebrations and simultaneously broke Swedish hearts.The result leaves Group F wide open with no team yet mathematically through. Mexico lead the way on six points, while Germany and Sweden are on three, and South Korea still on zero.95 – Toni Kroos’ strike (94:42) was Germany’s latest ever World Cup goal scored during regulation time (excluding extra time). Poise. #GERSWE #GER #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/n6yomGJSAx— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 23, 2018Germany dazzled Sweden with lightning-fast passing in the opening exchanges and Julian Draxler had a shot blocked from close range before he toe-poked a left-footed effort narrowly wide from a tight angle soon after.Emil Forsberg was pulled back by Thomas Muller on Sweden’s first foray into German territory but no free-kick was given and, after Victor Lindelof cleared a Reus cross away from danger, Janne Andersson’s men were denied what looked like a clear penalty.Viktor Claesson’s pass put Marcus Berg through one-on-one with Manuel Neuer when Boateng appeared to bundle the Sweden striker to the ground without playing the ball, but referee Szymon Marciniak ignored Sweden’s ardent protests.Germany lost Sebastian Rudy when he left the field with a bloody nose after a collision with Toivonen moments before the Sweden forward landed another blow as he burst into the box to control a Claesson cross on his chest and lift his shot over Neuer into the far corner of the net in some style.Substitute Ilkay Gundogan and Berg exchanged dangerous long-range shots at the end of the first half and Low sent on Mario Gomez for Draxler at the start of the second half.Less than three minutes later Germany drew level when Timo Werner’s cross evaded Gomez but found Reus, who met it with his knee and turned the ball beyond Robin Olsen and into the bottom corner of the net.Low’s men did not stop there, and Muller headed narrowly wide before Jonas Hector forced Olsen into a good save to keep the scores level.Reus should have made it 2-1 when his attempted back-heel failed to connect with Joshua Kimmich’s low cross.With just under 10 minutes left, Boateng was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card for a dangerous tackle on Berg, and Neuer then made a dramatic one-handed save to deny substitute John Guidetti a winning goal with a downward header.Olsen pulled off an even better save at the other end, parrying Gomez’s powerful header over the crossbar, and Julian Brandt crashed a thunderous shot onto the post from an offside position as time looked to have run out on Germany.But Kroos hooked a sweetly struck effort from a well-worked free-kick with Reus on the left into the far corner of the net from a tight angle to allow his country to breathe a huge sigh of relief.BEST NEVER REST! Kroos puts the @DFB_Team_EN in the lead – the dream of the round of 16 is back alive! #GERSWE pic.twitter.com/tuzsZHC8NZ— Mercedes-Benz & Die Mannschaft (@mbfussball_en) June 23, 2018Key Opta stats:- Germany came from behind at half-time to win a World Cup match for the first time since 1974 – which was also against Sweden.- Toni Kroos’ winning goal after 94 minutes and 42 seconds was the latest goal scored by Germany in World Cup history (excluding extra-time).- Sweden’s Ola Toivonen failed to score in 23 Ligue 1 games for Toulouse in 2017-18, attempting 19 shots without success – he scored with his second shot at the 2018 World Cup.- This was the first match at a major international tournament (Euros and World Cups) that Mesut Ozil had not started for Germany since he made his debut in 2010, ending a run of 26 consecutive starts.- Sweden have lost a World Cup group stage match for the first time since June 1990, when they lost to Costa Rica – this defeat ends a run of 10 group games unbeaten. read more