If you’re going through World Cup withdrawal, don’t worry. There’s a World Cup on the schedule in 2015. And this time, it’s the women taking the pitch for international bragging rights.
The 2015 Women’s World Cup will be played in Canada from June 6-July 5. But over the past couple weeks things have started ramping up in anticipation of the competition.
First, on December 6, FIFA held the Women’s World Cup draw and — surprise! — the American women find themselves in their own Group of Death. The top-ranked US squad is in Group D, along with Australia, Sweden, and Nigeria.
The LA Galaxy’s 2014 MLS Cup championship celebration is barely over, and already the league is looking toward next year. The 2015 season will be MLS’ 20th anniversary, and a few months ago the league debuted its new crest. But that won’t be all that’s new. When the Galaxy begins its title defense, there will be a new ball on the pitch, too.
Yesterday, MLS and Adidas debuted the league’s new official match ball, Nativo. The ball is built with six identical panels for max aerodynamics and stability, while a mico-texture surface improves grip and touch. Adidas says Nativo is its “most tested ball ever,” but that’s kind of a moving benchmark. Brazuca, the 2014 World Cup match ball, was also called “the most tested ball ever” when it debuted last December.
Here’s a closer look at Nativo:
CARSON, Calif. (AP) — Landon Donovan is retiring as a champion, thanks to one brilliant goal by Robbie Keane.
Keane scored on a breakaway in the 111th minute, and Donovan won his record sixth MLS title Sunday in the LA Galaxy's 2-1 victory over the New England Revolution in the MLS Cup.
Gyasi Zardes scored in the 52nd minute as the Galaxy won their record fifth league title in the final game for Donovan, the MLS career scoring leader and most accomplished soccer player in U.S. history.
Donovan, Keane and the Galaxy have won three of the last four league championships, celebrating all three on their home field. Donovan won the sixth trophy of his 14-year MLS career, adding his fourth title with the Galaxy to a pair from early in his career with San Jose.
Lionel Messi might have come up just short in getting his Argentinian squad a World Cup star this summer. But he picked up a nice consolation prize over the weekend.
After putting up a hat trick against Sevilla on Saturday, Messi is now the leading scorer in La Liga history with 253 goals. (La Liga is the top pro division in Spanish football.) And considering he’s only 27, the Barcelona forward should add quite a bit of padding to that record.
Here’s Messi’s record-breaker:
Luke Dempsey is a major soccer fan! He grew up in England with a family full of soccer enthusiasts and moved to America 15 years ago. Although his surroundings have changed, his passion for soccer and writing certainly hasn’t! Now, Luke has written a soccer reference book called Club Soccer 101: The Essential Guide to the Stars, Stats, and Stories of 101 of the Greatest Teams in the World. All 464 pages of Club Soccer 101 are bursting with all of the soccer information that you will ever need to know! The book is really funny and fun to read. That’s because all of the little details about the games are described so well that you feel like you were there to witness the action live.
Before you kick off reading this amazing book, read my interview with Luke Dempsey below!
Next summer, the U.S. women’s national soccer team will take the international stage to compete for a World Cup title. And to ensure that the team has its greatest chance of winning in Canada, all-time goal scorer Abby Wambach is already preparing her head for play.
Wambach, known for her timely headers and dominant aerial game, will be wearing a Triax SIM-P (Smart Impact Monitor) headband during her training leading up to competition. The headband has a sensor that counts and scores each head impact while a player is on the field, providing immediate information to minimize the potential risk of concussions.
The Triax technology is the first of its kind to earn hit-count certification by the Sports Legacy Institute, a non-profit organization devoted to solving the concussion crisis. The Triax devices are a new advancement in hopes of supporting long-term player health and safety, complete with training and educational initiatives.
“For me, information is gold” Wambach says. “The more information I have the better I can play and the more prepared I can be, especially for the World Cup next summer.”
Five years ago, soccer star and coach Sarah Kate “Skate” Noftsinger helped found the Elite Clubs National League (ECNL). The organization was created with the goal of improving the female youth soccer experience in the United States. Today, the ECNL is the premier female youth soccer league. And now it’s looking to expand its mission.
Last month, Noftsinger and the ECNL kicked off Amazing Young Women, a program to help empower girls, teens, and women everywhere.
The dynamic campaign features monthly spotlights on heroes and community leaders, and a pop-up tour of events across the country. There are also several opportunities for women of all ages to actively engage. Women can take the AYW pledge to be their own leader or join others on social media to connect and share daily instances of #BeautifulAmbition.