The 2019 MLS All-Star Game has come and gone, and it was another loss for the MLS side, as they went down to a 0-3 loss to Spanish visitors Atletico Madrid in Orlando on Wednesday night.
The game had to be pushed back due to weather, but when play finally started the team was too disjointed to make much of a nuisance. Atletico scored via Marcos Llorente right before half-time and would hold onto that 1-0 lead for much of the second half. Despite MLS’ best efforts, two late goals, from Joao Felix and the controversial Diego Costa, killed of the game and handed them their fourth loss in a row, though two of them did come on penalty kicks.
After leading the United States Women’s soccer team to back-to-back World Cup victories, Jill Ellis has announced that she will be stepping aside as head coach of the team following their Victory Tour matches in October.
Ellis has been in charge since 2014, and in that time has helped deliver a total of eight titles to the national team in that time, including the two aforementioned World Cup wins. Her assistant is also stepping down, paving the way for someone fresh to come in and take the reigns of the 2020 Olympic campaign that will take place in about a year.
The PGA Tour has decided to make things a little bit more challenging for its star players, changing its cut line from the top 70 (with ties) to the top 65 (with ties) beginning next season. The move doesn’t seem like much, but this has the potential to speed up play in a round considerably and also will cut the number of players by at least five come the weekends, further ramping up the time saved.
One of the main benefits of this will be that even on rain-altered weekends players will have more chances to play with only one other player rather than in threesomes, which slows the progress down a ton. As of now, there are no plans to change the number of places available for a given weekend, so this will not reduce the number of players in a tournament.
Brooks Koepka has forged a bit of a reputation for himself as being one of the top, top players in golf at the major championships. And that’s not a statement of the present, it’s one that extends to historic measures. But he’s not exactly set the world alight in the ‘normal’ tournaments.
He certainly did just that on Sunday, however, as he ran away late in the going at the St. Jude Invitational to capture his first WGC Championship victory. Paired with Rory McIlroy in the final round, he would shoot -5 over the course of the round to finish -16 for the tournament. Three birdies in four holes on the front nine meant he ran away and hid down the stretch, proving he can indeed win the regular events. In so doing he also won the Fedex Cup regular season points title and captured his 13th career victory.
It took a long, long time to sort out, but when the dust had finally settled it was Egan Bernal who was on the top step of the podium after more than three weeks of agony at this year’s Tour de France. The Colombian became the first South American-born rider to win the race, and on top of that became the youngest to do so since World War II at just 22 years of age.
Bernal had only taken over the race lead during a chaotic stage on Friday that had to be shortened due to miserable weather conditions. He wrapped it up in Paris on Sunday in what has traditionally been a formality. Coming home in second was his teammate and last year’s winner Geraint Thomas, while Thomas Kruijswijk finished in third.
Defending MLS Cup champions Atlanta United traveled to face this season’s top team in LAFC on Friday night, and the result was captivating. All in all, seven goals were scored in what can only be called a thriller, as the home side used a goal scoring spurt in the first half to hang on and win.
Atlanta had scored first, but it was four goals in the span of 12 minutes from LAFC- including Carlos Vela’s 22nd of the year- that gave them a commanding lead. Atlanta made it interesting before half-time when Josef Martinez scored and then grabbed a third five minutes after the break. Ultimately, though, it was too little too late and LAFC held on to win and bounce back from last week’s loss to the Galaxy. They remain unbeaten at home this season and have won nine of their ten at the stadium.
Shane Lowry came into Sunday’s fourth and final round of the Open Championship with a huge four shot lead, though many felt he was ripe for the picking seeing as how he had let go of such a lead once before. That would not come to fruition on this day, however, as Lowry not only playing steadily but pulled away in difficult conditions to capture the Claret Jug via a six-stroke victory. The turning point came when both he and playing partner Tommy Fleetwood, who was four shots back at the time, had trouble on the 14th hole.
Lowry managed to make a bogey, but Fleetwood dropped back another stroke thanks to a double bogey, handing Lowry a five-shot lead. A hole later, it was six, and he wouldn’t look back then. The Irishman took down the title of Champion Golfer in Northern Ireland and became just the third man to win the tournament by six or more in the last 40 years. History was thwarted in the battle for third place, with Tony Finau holding off Brooks Koepka. Had Koepka finished top three, he would have been the first man to have ever finished in the top three spots in all four majors.
Hometown favorite Rory McIlroy might have been the most famous of Northern Ireland and Ireland when the week began, but Shane Lowry looks like he could be giving him a run for his money after a splendid performance on Saturday in the third round of the Open Championship at Royal Portrush.
The Irishman destroyed the course on a day where conditions were favorable, carding an -8 63 to go four shots clear of the field at -16 total. He leads Englishman Tommy Fleetwood and then has a further two shot advantage over JB Holmes and one more shot over Brooks Koepka and Justin Rose, who always seem to loom large at majors. Lowry looks to be the big favorite ahead of Sunday’s final round, which is being moved up due to harsh weather being on the way, but he has blown a four stroke lead at a major before- in the final round of the 2016 US Open in which he went on to shoot 76 and surrender the lead rather easily. Will history repeat for him, or will he become another first-time major winner?
It’s impressive that a 40-year old man could beat a 30-year old man. That goes for virtually any sporting event. After all, 30 is a whole lot closer to ‘prime’ time than 40. It’s even more an accomplishment when it comes to boxing. Manny Pacquiao took it one step further on Saturday night as he did that by beating previously undefeated Keith Thurman by split decision.
You read that right: undefeated. Pacquiao won the welterweight world title in front of a capacity crowd at the MGM Grand, and in doing so avenged a man that had mocked him for being too small in the buildup. Pacquiao is now 62-7-2 in his career with 40 knockouts, while Thurman is now at 29-1 with 22 knockouts.
Two of the golf’s biggest names will not be playing the weekend at the Open Championship after Tiger Woods and hometown hero Rory McIlroy missed the cut on Friday.
Tiger did so without much of a whimper, while the Northern Irishman made a stirring comeback only to be denied by one stroke of making it into the third and fourth rounds at Royal Portrush. While those two stories were the ones most would talk about, it was JB Holmes and Shane Lowry that continued to prosper, remaining in the lead. Jordan Spieth has also made his move, so the final two rounds are shaping up quite nicely.