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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 14 July 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA: Washington Mystics @ Phoenix Mercury (Tuesday 10pm from Phoenix live on ESPN2), Washington Mystics @ Los Angeles Sparks (Thursday 10:30pm from Los Angeles live on WNBA Live Access); WNBA All-Star Game (Saturday 3:30pm from Phoenix live on ESPN); MLS: Chivas USA @ DC United (Sunday 8pm from RFK Stadium live on Comcast SportsNet/Univision); Mixed Martial Arts: UFC Fight Night-Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone vs. Jim Miller (Wednesday 9pm from Atlantic City live on Fox Sports 1), UFC Fight Night Conor McGregor vs. Diego Brandao (Saturday 3pm from Dublin live on UFC Fight Pass)

10. Artscape (Friday-Sunday Mount Royal); Flip Orley (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); The Purge: Anarchy“, “Planes: Fire and Rescue” and “Sex Tape” out in theaters (Friday); Rio 2” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Artscape is so much better when Robert McClintock is involved. For example,

I’ll bet “Sex Tape” is horrible, but it doesn’t change how much this appears to be a nice scene.

9. Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings/Kelly Bell Band (Friday 7:30pm Artscape), Ozomatli/Galactic (Saturday 5:30pm Artscape), Anthony Hamilton (Sunday 6:30pm Artscape); New Edition (Saturday 8pm Baltimore Arena Sunday 8pm Verizon Center); Queens of the Stone Age/St. Vincent (Thursday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Fall Out Boy/Paramore/New Politics (Friday 5:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), O.A.R./Phillip Phillips (Saturday 5pm Merriweather Post Pavilion), Queen + Adam Lambert (Sunday 6:30pm Merriweather Post Pavilion); Bad Company/Lynyrd Skynyrd (Saturday 7pm Jiffy Lube Live); The Fray (Wednesday 7pm Wolf Trap), Straight No Chaser (Thursday 8pm Wolf Trap), Huey Lewis & The News (Sunday 8pm Wolf Trap), Lionel Richie/CeeLo Green (Monday 8pm Wolf Trap); Better Than Ezra (Friday 8pm Power Plant Live); The Bacon Brothers (Friday & Saturday 6:30pm & 9:30pm Rams Head on Stage); Bret Michaels (Thursday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage), Dennis DeYoung (Sunday 8pm Rams Head Center Stage); Lyfe Jennings (Friday 8pm Howard Theatre), De La Soul (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Puss N Boots (Thursday 7pm 9:30 Club); Edwin McCain (Friday 7:30pm Birchmere); B.B. King (Thursday 8pm Warner Theatre); Ben Folds (Thursday 7:30pm Meyerhoff Symphony Hall); Veruca Salt (Monday 8pm Black Cat); John Hiatt/Robert Cray Band (Sunday 8pm Strathmore); Rise Against “The Black Market”, Jason Mraz “Yes!”, Bleachers “Strange Desire” and “Weird Al” Yankovic “Mandatory Fun” available (Tuesday)

Sharon Jones is a DAMN fine Artscape headliner. Maybe the best since Robert Randolph.

Ozomatli is also quite good at the music stuff.

The guy with two hands up? He’ll be at O.A.R. Saturday night.

And when it comes to guys who have the same first and last names (or close enough), I’ll take Phillip Phillips over Cam Cameron.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 3): How close did Angelos come to owning Baltimore’s NFL team?

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The Peter Principles (Ch. 3): How close did Angelos come to owning Baltimore’s NFL team?

Posted on 14 July 2014 by Nestor Aparicio

3. Giving Peter The Ball & Scabs

“I think they are concerned about litigation, but they feel as we do, that no one wants to litigate but one has to sometimes and the chances for success are excellent. I’m confident that Baltimore is the best applicant for an NFL franchise both from a financial and a fan standpoint.”

– Peter Angelos, May 18, 1994 to The Sun regarding Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke blocking his rights to buying an NFL franchise

 

TO UNDERSTAND BALTIMORE’S INNATE YEARNING for a National Football League team is to understand what the Baltimore Ravens have meant to the town, its sports psyche and the league since returning in 1996. After winning Super Bowls in 2001 and 2013, it’s very hard to fathom that time and space between March 28, 1984 and Nov. 6, 1995 ­– when the town that participated in what became known as The Greatest Game Ever Played in 1958, the place that the Colts of Johnny Unitas, Lenny Moore, Art Donovan, Raymond Berry and Jim Parker roamed on 33rd Street in what was affectionately known as the World’s Largest Outdoor Insane Asylum – was without the NFL.

The Orioles were the toast of Baltimore for sure in the early 1990s but there was always something missing in the Charm City when there weren’t NFL games on those 12 seasons of Sundays in the fall. After a decade of high-speed pursuits by the state of Maryland, Mayor of Baltimore and then Governor William Donald Schaefer, the Maryland Stadium Authority and several bidders in 1993, the city was repeatedly turned down in the expansion process. By the time Angelos had purchased the Orioles, the NFL had found itself in a precarious situation with Baltimore sitting empty and several suitors working every angle possible to steal an existing team and essentially steal another city’s team the way the Colts were stolen off in the middle of the night in 1984 by owner Robert Irsay. And Washington Redskins owner Jack Kent Cooke had tried every possible way to keep Baltimore from ever having a team again and once attempted to get a stadium built in Laurel to ensure it. Schaefer blocked Cooke and then rallied support for civic monies to be held to fund a Baltimore football stadium at Camden Yards if the NFL granted the city a franchise.

Despite all of the efforts of Schaefer and his steward Herb Belgrad, it didn’t work. In early 1995, the city of Baltimore was considered to be further away than ever in a search for a return to the NFL now that a pair of expansion teams had gone to Jacksonville and Charlotte and it was clear St. Louis was in the final stages of swiping the Rams from Los Angeles.

It was a dirty business, this franchise ownership, league gamesmanship, civic hostage taking of teams and the politics of modern sports. But Baltimore and Maryland were a unique player in the revolving door of NFL cities vying for the theft of teams from other markets where old stadia were failing to lure more revenue or ownerships were dissatisfied and looking for a bigger, better deal – led of course by Irsay’s decision to leave the land of pleasant living a decade earlier and the machinations of Al Davis in California with the Raiders.

Because of what the Orioles meant to the area and the success of the downtown revitalization spurred by the facility, Baltimore, Maryland had real money in the state coffers to fund a new stadium in the parking lot adjacent to the baseball stadium at Camden Yards. The area had always been earmarked as the site of a potential NFL team but the only problem was finding one of the existing 30 teams to find the deal too $weet to pass up. There was a lot of money to be made on an NFL franchise in Baltimore and the thought was that with many municipalities hard-lining NFL owners on the stadium issue on behalf of local taxpayers, it was only a matter of time before someone moved a team to the former home of the Colts. The insiders knew just how much money and how rich the Baltimore deal was for an owner who wanted to flee but the media and local fans were very skeptical after a decade of operating in the fog of having lost the Colts.

Once again, Angelos went into his office in Baltimore and tried to don the cape as a civic hero, flying in to save the day and bring the NFL back to his hometown.

But there were several other suitors pushing to be the winner in this grab for a football team in 1994.

Leonard “Boogie” Weinglass left Angelos’ partnership before it ever really began in September 1993 – he never invested in the team after being the original local person who was interested in the club when Eli Jacobs put it up for sale. At the time he said it was in an effort to pursue an NFL team that he hoped to call the Bombers, paying homage to the World War II planes that were built in Eastern Baltimore County at Martin Marietta.

Malcolm Glazer and his sons Bryan and Joel had been one of the three failed efforts by Baltimore to win the 1993 NFL expansion process. Now, they had set their sights on buying the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in their home state of Florida, where they lived in Palm Beach.

Baltimore beer distributors Bob Footlick and Bob Pinkner had also partnered with Robert Schulman in an effort to pursue an NFL team.

And, of course, with his August 1993 victory in the New York auction house and his leading man status as the owner of the Orioles, Angelos was funded and motivated to join Miami’s Wayne Huizenga as the second man to own an NFL and MLB franchise simultaneously. There had previously been language to disallow such a local

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Rice leads way as Wizards top T-Wolves in Summer League play

Posted on 14 July 2014 by WNST Staff

The Washington Wizards downed the Minnesota Timberwolves 67-59 in the final game of the day in the Samsung NBA Summer League 2014 played on the campus of UNLV.

Glen Rice Jr. came out of the gate on fire scoring 13 of the Wizards 26 first quarter points on 3 for 3 from three-point range and connecting on four -of-seven from the charity stripe. Washington held a 26-21 advantage after the first quarter of play due to Rice’s sharp shooting. Zach LaVine and Alexey Shved combined for 12 of the Timberwolves 21 points.

Both teams cooled off in the second quarter and the game was tied at 35 at the end of the half. Minnesota held Washington to just nine second quarter points. Washington finished the half 12-of-29 while Minnesota finished 11-of-32.

Rice and Jamil Wilson combined for 14 third quarter points for the Wizards and sparked an 11-0 run late in the quarter and to take a 10 point lead, with just over a minute to play in the quarter Minnesota stopped the run on a pair of free-throws made by LaVine. Washington held a ten point lead, 57-47, at the end of the quarter.

Both teams will take Monday off and will return to close out pool play on Tuesday, the Timberwolves will take on the Houston Rockets at 1:30 p.m. in the Thomas & Mack Center while the Wizards will take on the Miami Heat at 3:30 p.m. in the same venue.

(Recap courtesy of NBA)

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Rice, Porter lead Wizards past Hawks in Summer League play

Posted on 12 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Game Recap: Wizards 90, Hawks 74

Glen Rice Jr. and Otto Porter combined for 47 points as they powered the Washington Wizards to a 90-74 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on the second day of play in the summer dessert classic in Las Vegas.

The Wizards trailed by as many as eight points in the game and were held to just 12 points in the second quarter. However, the second half was all Wizards as they outscored the Hawks 55 to 33.

Porter led all scorers with 25 points for the Wizards while Adreian Payne chipped in a team-high 12 points for the Hawks.

The Wizards held a 23-17 lead after the opening quarter of play. The Hawks struggled out of the gate connecting on just one basket in the first eight minutes of the quarter. Mike Muscala and Walter Tavares both tallied four points for the Hawks in the quarter while Rice chipped in eight for the Wizards.

The Hawks closed the second quarter on a 6-2 run and held a seven point lead, 41-35, at halftime. Atlanta’s offensive output was driven by Larmar Patterson who chipped in eight points and Steven Holt who added five. The Wizards were held to just 12 second quarter points.

The third quarter was all Wizards as they fought back and tied the game up at 47, at the 6:40 mark in the quarter. They continued to dominate the quarter earning their largest lead of the quarter at 13. Washington continued to dominate in the fourth quarter, expanding their lead to as many as 20.

Paul Millsap was on hand to watch his younger brother Abraham who is a member of the Hawks summer league team.

Both teams return to action on Sunday, the Hawks (0-1) taking on the NBA D-League Select team at 3:30 p.m. and the Wizards (1-0) will host Minnesota at 7:30 p.m.

(Recap courtesy of NBA)

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Bovada makes Cavs favorite to win title with LeBron, Wizards 33/1

Posted on 11 July 2014 by WNST Staff

Courtesy of Bovada, (www.Bovada.lv, Twitter: @BovadaLV).
“There is no question that with the recent news of LeBron going back home to Cleveland that they are the favorites to win the NBA Championship next season at 4-1. With the Eastern Conference being much weaker and essentially only a handful of teams that can give LeBron and the Cavs a run for their money, it would be a shock if they do not at least make the Conference Finals. The Heat in turn, who now may lose Bosh also, have gone from 4-1 to 50-1, basically the Cavs and Heat flipping odds from what we had them the day after the Spurs won the Championship. This shows how much of an impact a player like LeBron has on odds. The last comparable situation was when Peyton Manning signing with the Broncos dropped them from 75-1 to 10-1 in a blink of an eye.”

Kevin Bradley, Bovada.lv Sportsbook Manager

 

Odds to win 2015 NBA Championship 

Cleveland Cavaliers                   4/1

San Antonio Spurs                    5/1

Oklahoma City Thunder              6/1

Chicago Bulls                            7/1

Houston Rockets                      8/1

Los Angeles Clippers                10/1

Indiana Pacers                          18/1

Golden State Warriors               25/1

Portland Trailblazers                  25/1

Dallas Mavericks                       33/1

Los Angeles Lakers                   33/1

Washington Wizards                  33/1

Brooklyn Nets                           40/1

New York Knicks                       40/1

Toronto Raptors                        40/1

Memphis Grizzlies                     50/1

Miami Heat                                50/1

New Orleans Pelicans                50/1

Denver Nuggets                        66/1

Phoenix Suns                            66/1

Atlanta Hawks                           75/1

Boston Celtics                          75/1

Charlotte Hornets                      75/1

Detroit Pistons                          100/1

Minnesota Timberwolves            100/1

Milwaukee Bucks                       200/1

Orlando Magic                          200/1

Philadelphia 76ers                     200/1

Sacramento Kings                     200/1

Utah Jazz                                  200/1

 

Average Points per game in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season – LeBron James        

Over/Under                   25.5

 

Average Rebounds per game in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season – LeBron James  

Over/Under                   7.5                                           

 

Average Assists per game in the 2014-2015 NBA Regular Season – LeBron James       

Over/Under                   7

 

Will LeBron James win the 2014-2015 NBA MVP?

Yes      3/2

No        1/2

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

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Top 10 Baseball Distractions

Posted on 07 July 2014 by Glenn Clark

Honorable Mention: WNBA-Washington Mystics @ Chicago Sky (Wednesday 12:30pm from Chicago live on WNBA All-Access), Washington Mystics @ Tulsa Shock (Saturday 8pm from Tulsa live on WNBA All-Access); Auto Racing: NASCAR Camping World RV Sales 301 (Sunday 1pm from Loudon, NH live on TNT); Charm City Roller Girls (Saturday 6:30pm Ice Gardens Laurel)

10. John Witherspoon (Thursday-Sunday DC Improv); Sandra Bernhard (Saturday 8pm Howard Theatre); Jim Jeffries (Friday 7pm & 10pm Lincoln Theatre); Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” out in theaters (Friday); Bad Words” and “Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 & Vol. 2” available on Blu-Ray/DVD (Tuesday)

Jim Jeffries uses the F word a lot. So if you enjoy the F word and laughing, you’d probably enjoy him. (I’m looking at you, grandma.) (Not even remotely safe for work.)

Also, national Pecan Pie Day is coming up this Saturday. So here’s this. (Oddly enough, if you’re like me this isn’t safe for work either. I’ll be staying at this desk for a bit.)

9. Justin Timberlake (Monday 7:30pm Baltimore Arena); Bruno Mars (Friday 8pm Jiffy Lube Live); Jennifer Nettles (Sunday 8pm Wolf Trap), Sara Bareilles (Monday 7:30pm Wolf Trap); Neon Trees/Smallpools (Friday 8pm Rams Head Live Sunday 7pm 9:30 Club), Ashley Monroe (Sunday 7:30pm Rams Head Live); All Time Low/Cinder Road (Saturday 7pm Baltimore Soundstage); Brand New (Sunday 7:30pm Fillmore Silver Spring); The Original Wailers (Sunday 8pm Howard Theatre); The Neighbourhood (Wednesday 7pm Echostage); Peter Frampton (Tuesday 6:30pm Lincoln Theatre), Natalie Merchant (Saturday & Sunday 6:30pm Lincoln Theatre); Dirty Heads “Sound of Change”, John Mellencamp “Performs Trouble No More Live at Town Hall” and Blackberry Smoke “Leave a Scar: Live in North Carolina” available (Tuesday)

I’ll see you Monday night. Don’t even try to act like he’s not amazing.

Remember back when we could pretend like we didn’t know how good Bruno Mars was?

Smallpools is responsible for one of the more notable songs of the last couple years.

Support our boys from All Time Low. They’re good boys.

(Continued on Page 2…)

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Morgan’s Chiles, Baltimore native English to play for Wizards Summer League team

Posted on 07 July 2014 by WNST Staff

WIZARDS ANNOUNCE 2014 NBA SUMMER LEAGUE ROSTER

WASHINGTON DC - The Washington Wizards announced the roster that will compete in the 2014 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas beginning on July 12.  Otto Porter and Glen Rice, both coming off of their rookie seasons with the Wizards in 2013-14, headline the team’s Summer League squad.

 

WASHINGTON WIZARDS 2014 SUMMER MINI-CAMP ROSTER
NO. PLAYER POS HT WT BORN LAST PLAYED FOR COLLEGE/FROM NBA EXP.
44 Khem Birch F 6-9 220 lbs 9/28/91 UNLV UNLV/USA  R
27 Deonte Burton G 6-1 190 lbs 6/26/91  Nevada Nevada/USA  R
54 Ian Chiles C 7-2 260 lbs 7/30/90  Morgan State Morgan State/USA  R
21 Jarell Eddie F 6-7 220 lbs 10/30/91 Virginia Tech Virginia Tech/USA  R
20 Kim English G 6-6 200 lbs 9/24/88  Chorale Roanne (France) Missouri/USA  1
40 Charles Garcia F 6-10  229 lbs 10/13/88  Ali Muharraq (Bahrain) Seattle/USA  R
15 Christian Kabongo G 6-4 200 lbs 10/9/90 Idaho Stampede New Mexico St/Canada  1
12 Frantz Massenat G 6-4 190 lbs 1/17/92 Drexel Drexel/USA  R
55 Daniel Miller C 6-11 275 lbs 6/24/90 Georgia Tech Georgia Tech/USA  R
33 Daniel Orton C 6-10  256 lbs 8/6/90 Maine Redclaws Kentucky/USA  4
22 Otto Porter F 6-9 205 lbs 6/3/93 Washington Wizards Georgetown/USA  1
14 Glen Rice Jr. G 6-6 252 lbs 1/1/91  Washington Wizards Georgia Tech./USA  1
52 Daniel Theis F 6-9 215 lbs 4/4/92 Brose Bask (Germany) Germany  R
5 Kwame Vaughn G 6-3 195 lbs 5/31/90 Agrigento (Italy) Cal St. Fullerton/USA  R
6 Maalik Wayns G 6-1 195 lbs 5/2/91  Rio Grande Valley   Villanova/USA  2
30 Jamil Wilson F 6-7 230 lbs 11/20/90  Marquette Marquette/USA  R

 

Prior to beginning Summer League play, the Wizards will hold a mini-camp at Verizon Center.  The mini-camp schedule is as follows:

WASHINGTON WIZARDS 2014 SUMMER LEAGUE MINI-CAMP SCHEDULE

 

DATE                                    TIME   

Monday, July 7                    4:00 pm – 6:00 pm

Tuesday, July 8                    10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Wednesday, July 9              10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Thursday, July 10                 10:00 am – 2:00 pm

Media is invited to attend and shoot the final 15 minutes of each practice.  Players will be available to the media following each practice.  Media members are encouraged to arrive 45 minutes prior to the announced conclusion time of each practice.

The Wizards will play in three preliminary round games from July 12-15 before being seeded in a tournament running through the Championship Game on July 21.  Washington will play its first game on Saturday, July 12 vs. Atlanta at 4:30 p.m. EDT.  Their next two games are scheduled for Sunday, July 13 vs. Minnesota at 10:30 p.m. EDT and Tuesday, July 15 vs. Miami at 6:30 p.m. EDT.  All three of the Wizards’ preliminary games will take place at the Thomas and Mack Center and all will be televised on Comcast SportsNet.

WASHINGTON WIZARDS 2014 SUMMER LEAGUE SCHEDULE

 

DATE                                    OPPONENT                        TIME                    TV         

Saturday, July 12                Atlanta Hawks                     4:30 pm EDT     Comcast SportsNet

Sunday, July 13                   Minnesota Timberwolves      10:30 EDT       Comcast SportsNet

Tuesday, July 15                 Miami Heat                          6:30 EDT          Comcast SportsNet

The 67-game NBA Summer League schedule will be played at the Thomas & Mack Center and the COX Pavilion on the campus of the University of Nevada Las Vegas and will feature 22 NBA teams as well as a team of NBA D-League Select players competing for the inaugural NBA Summer League title.  Each team is guaranteed to play at least five games.

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Capitals sign forwards Kennedy, Newbury

Posted on 04 July 2014 by WNST Staff

CAPITALS SIGN TIM KENNEDY AND KRIS NEWBURY

Posted on July 04, 2014 by Caps PR

 

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals have signed forwards Tim Kennedy and Kris Newbury to one-year, two-way contracts, senior vice president and general manager Brian MacLellan announced today.

Kennedy, 28, registered eight points (two goals, six assists) and four penalty minutes in 37 games with the Arizona Coyotes in 2013-14. The Buffalo, N.Y., native has played in 162 NHL games with Arizona, San Jose, Florida and Buffalo, earning 39 points (15 goals, 24 assists) and 60 penalty minutes. Kennedy was selected by the Capitals in the sixth round, 181st overall, in the 2005 NHL Draft.

The 5’10”, 176-pound left wing tallied 15 points (four goals, 11 assists) and 14 penalty minutes in 30 games with the Portland Pirates (AHL) last season. He has played in 260 AHL games with the Portland, Hartford/Connecticut, Rochester, San Antonio and Worcester, earning 208 points (60 goals, 148 assists). Kennedy finished in the league’s top 20 in scoring his rookie year (2008-09) with 67 points (18 goals, 49 assists) and was named to the AHL’s All-Rookie Team.

Newbury, 32, collected one assist in four games with the Philadelphia Flyers in 2013-14. The Brampton, Ont., native has played in 76 career NHL games with Philadelphia, the NY Rangers, Detroit and Toronto, registering 10 points (four goals, six assists) and 139 penalty minutes. Newbury was drafted by the San Jose Sharks in the fifth round, 139th overall, in the 2002 NHL Draft.

Newbury played in the final 17 regular-season games of the 2013-14 season with the Hershey Bears (AHL), earning 13 points (four goals, nine assists) and 25 penalty minutes. The 5’11”, 205-pound center has played in 662 AHL games with Hershey, Adirondack, Hartford/Connecticut, Grand Rapids, Toronto and St. John’s, recording 488 points (160 goals, 328 assists). Newbury appeared in his 600th AHL game on Oct. 25, 2013, against the Norfolk Admirals and played his 700th professional game on Dec. 21, 2013, against Norfolk.

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Dorsey’s Dugout- USA Helps Soccer and Caps Make Moves

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Dorsey’s Dugout- USA Helps Soccer and Caps Make Moves

Posted on 02 July 2014 by Nick Dorsey

 

USA

All of America was on the edge of their seats once the United States and Belgium match went to extra time. Despite the 2-1 loss in the first round of the World Cup sweet sixteen, that same excitement for soccer in this country will only grow.

The United States does not have the same kind of intensity within its fan base as the other countries in the World Cup, but this team might have changed the popularity of the sport going forward. A team that was not given a lick of a chance to advance out of the group of death, team USA silenced the critics and gave the fans across the country something to be proud of.

When team USA went down 2-0 in extra time to Belgium, the life was sucked out of the American fan base and their World Cup hopes had diminished. All the excitement that Klinsmanns squad brought to all of America seemed to be lost. Then Julian Green scored a goal off of a wonderful pass from Michael Bradley.

Even though the one goal was not enough to force a round of penalty kicks, it gave the team hope. Not only did Julian Greens goal give hope at a chance for a comeback, but also the goal symbolized hope for the game of soccer in this country.

Team USA does not have the talent that the other world powers have in the World Cup. Other teams feature their best athletes within the country to represent their nation. Since the United States has other professional leagues like the NFL and NBA, the best athletes in the country do not play for Team USA soccer.

While team USA does not have the same talent as the other world powers, they showed the heart needed to compete on the big stage. They tied one of the best teams in the world that featured soccers second best player and only lost by one to Germany who is amongst the worlds best.

The fact that the United States was able to advance out of the group of death and other soccer powers such as Spain, England, Italy and Portugal could not is astonishing. There are a lot of positives to come away with from the performance of the American squad and it will for sure carry over to the next Cup.

It was Jurgen Klinsmanns first opportunity as head coach for Team USA and he got the job done well. He made good adjustments during games within group play and came away with good results. The former German athlete did a great job in his first appearance as head coach for team USA and the fans will sure be by his side as the next Cup approaches.

T.J. Oshie was the American “hero” during the Olympic games in hockey for his performance in the shootout against Russia. After the stellar performance, Oshie was a household name everywhere in America. The same situation came to be when USA goalkeeper Tim Howard had a record-breaking match against Belgium.

Sure Howard has been the goalie for team USA the past few World Cups, but Clint Dempsey was the biggest name when it came to USA soccer. After the Belgium match, Howard is being called a hero for his incredible individual performance. With Howard now being recognized as a household name similar to Oshie, now fans in America might check out the goaltender play some in the English premiere league.

There are so many different parts of this team that make for a brighter future for soccer in this country. There is a plethora of young talent, new stars that have been born and a solid coach in control of it all. With all that being said, not only does team USA have a bright future, but also the popularity of soccer in the country.

Grading Capitals Free Agency Moves

The free agency period in the NHL kicked into high gear July 1st at noon and the Washington Capitals made several moves. New General manager Brian MacLellan got his first crack at making decisions at the helm and started the first day off with a few signings.

Washington had several needs heading into free agency such as finding a top-4 defenseman, a veteran backup goalie and a second line center. MacLellan began the day by signing veteran backup Justin Peters from the Carolina Hurricanes.

Peters, 27 years old, got to play in twenty-one games last season and finished with a .919 save percentage. This is a good addition to the Caps roster for several reasons.

The message being sent to Braden Holtby with this signing is that he is clearly the number one goalie on the team. Peters is a career backup who is trying to prove he is amongst the top tier backup goalies in the league. This should come to be no threat to Holtby as he will be leading the team onto the ice this year.

The best part about this deal is that it is cap-friendly. Peters signed a 2-year deal for $1.9 million that comes to be about $950,000 a season. Finding a veteran backup for this cost allows for Washington to make other moves during free agency. Grading the Justin Peters signing, a B- is a fair grade.

Brian MacLellan was not done after the Peters signing as he added two pieces to the biggest weakness on the roster. Two former Pittsburgh Penguin defensemen were added to the Capitals top six rotation. One is considered a good signing and the other is a bit of a head scratcher.

Brooks Orpik, 33, signed a 5-year deal with the Capitals worth $27.5 million. This addition to the team came to be a huge surprise  for many reasons. Orpik is 33 years old and is on the down side of his career. What makes this deal not so sexy is the money and longevity of the deal. Paying a player past his prime $5.5 million a year is quite risky. It also does not make sense giving a player who is 33 years of age a five-year deal.

Although there are a few negatives to the signing of Orpik, he does bring some qualities that will help this Capitals team. The former Penguin has been one of the assistant captains for Pittsburgh since 2008. He has been in a leadership role for several years and the Caps could use more leaders especially on the defensive end.

Most of the Capitals blue liners favor playing a style in which they like to carry the puck. They are considered finesse defenders and Orpik is the opposite of that. Brooks Orpik is the physical kind of defenseman that Washington needs. The Brooks Orpik signing gets a C- grade.

Joining fellow Pittsburgh teammate in Washington is new Capitals defenseman Matt Niskanen. The former Penguin cashed in on a seven-year deal worth $40.25 million that equates to a $5.75 cap hit per year. Niskanen finished the 2013-14 regular season with 46 total points and a +33 rating. Niskanen is a very similar defender to what the Caps current defensive roster already has.

This was the best addition that new general manager Brian MacLellan made all day during the first bit of free agency. The Caps are getting a defender who is 27 years old and is in the prime of his career. He is a versatile defender who also has a good plus/minus rating. Niskanen was expected to get $6 million or more per season when he hit the market, but Washington managed to get him just under that range.

With the additions of Orpik and Niskanen, the team’s biggest weakness has been repaired. Last season featured a never-ending cycle of defensemen getting their chances to start. The Caps often called up prospects from Hershey to start at the blue line, but those times look to be done.

The defensive pairings look to be Carlson-Alzner, Niskanen-Orpik and Green-Orlov. The pairings could change as Orpik does have experience playing with Carlson during the Olympics. As of now, those pairings have a chance to resemble what it will look like when the team hits the ice this season.

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Capitals select five players on day two of NHL Entry Draft

Posted on 29 June 2014 by WNST Staff

ARLINGTON, VA. – The Washington Capitals selected goaltender Vitek Vanecek (39th overall), left wing Nathan Walker (89th overall), forward Shane Gersich (134th overall), right wing Steven Spinner (159th overall), and right wing Kevin Elgestal (194th overall) on the second day of the 2014 NHL Draft, held Saturday at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia.

Vanecek, 18, posted two shutouts, a 2.64 goals-against average and a .921 save percentage in 38 games with Billi Tygri Liberec of the Czech Republic’s under-20 league during the 2013-14 season. The 6’0”, 180-pound goaltender represented the Czech Republic at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship, posting a 4-2-0 record with a 2.74 goals-against average and a .897 save percentage to help lead the Czech Republic to a silver medal. Vanecek also represented the Czech Republic at the 2013 World Junior A Challenge in Canada and the 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial at the World Junior A Challenge and posted a 2.61 goals-against average and a .928 save percentage to help the Czech Republic win a bronze medal at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. The Havlickuv Brod, Czech Republic, native was ranked eighth overall among European goaltenders by NHL Central Scouting.

Walker, 20, registered 11 points (five goals, six assists) and 40 penalty minutes in 43 games with the Hershey Bears of the American Hockey League (AHL) in 2013-14.  The 5’9”, 185-pound left wing represented Australia at the 2011 IIHF World Championship Division II tournament and at the 2012 World Championship Division 1 Group B tournament. Walker registered six points (four goals, two assists) and four penalty minutes in four games at the 2011 tournament and was named Australia’s best player by the tournament’s coaches. During the 2012-13 season, Walker recorded 27 points (seven goals, 20 assists) and 63 penalty minutes in 29 games with the Youngstown Phantoms of the USHL.

Gersich, 17, recorded 16 points (eight goals, eight assists) and four penalty minutes in 26 games with the U.S. National Under-18 Team of the USHL in 2013-14. The Chaska, Minn., ranked sixth on the team in goals and eighth in points last season. In 2012-13, Gersich scored one goal in six games with the Omaha Lancers of the USHL. The 5’10”, 165-pound forward has committed to play at the University of North Dakota in 2015-16.

Spinner, 18, earned 39 points (17 goals, 22 assists) and 42 penalty minutes in 25 games with Eden Prarie High School in Minnesota during the 2013-14 season. The 5’11”, 192-pound right wing was ranked 96th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Spinner has committed to play at the University of Nebraska-Omaha in 2015-16.

Elgestal, 18, registered 35 points (13 goals, 22 assists) and 34 penalty minutes in 44 games with Frolunda of the J20 SuperElit in 2013-14. The 6’0”, 172-pound right wing represented Sweden at the 2014 IIHF U18 World Championship and 2013 Ivan Hlinka Memorial, recording three points (one goal, two assists) and 27 penalty minutes in seven games at the U18 World Championship and two goals in four games at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial. Elgestal was ranked 51st overall among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting.

The Capitals also acquired goaltender Edward Pasquale and the 159th selection in the 2014 NHL Draft in exchange from the Winnipeg Jets for the 164th and 192nd pick in the 2014 NHL draft and a seventh-round selection in the 2015 NHL Draft. Pasquale, 23, posted a 17-13-1 record with one shutout, a 2.43 goals-against average and a .920 save percentage for the St. John’s IceCaps of the AHL in 2013-14. In 136 career AHL games, Pasquale has registered a 66-59-7 record with 10 shutouts, a 2.63 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage.


NHL.COM PROSPECT PAGES

Vrana: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=72641

Vitek: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=86201

Walker: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=11093

Gersich: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=85823

Spinner: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=84759

Elgestal: http://www.nhl.com/ice/draftprospectdetail.htm?dpid=86196

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