World Cup 2014: Players to Watch

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Find yourself with nothing to contribute to World Cup small talk? Study up on some of The Practice Squad’s players to watch in the 2014 tournament:
Tim Howard, Goalkeeper, USA: As coach Jurgen Klinsmann’s favorite player on the roster, is allowed to touch the ball with his hands
Cristiano Ronaldo, Forward, Portugal: Considered one of the top players in the world in spite of scoring only 0.67 goals per game
Bastian Schweinsteiger, Midfielder, Germany: Like you couldn’t guess what country this guy is from
Viktor Krum, Seeker, Bulgaria: Teenage superstar’s patented Wronski Feint maneuver should prove to be a nightmare for opposing wizards
Wayne Rooney, Forward, England: Gets in defenders’ heads by saying, “cheerio” every time he passes or shoots the ball
Lionel Messi, Forward, Argentina: Humble world-class scorer planning on just walking on over from neighboring Argentina once the tournament starts
Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez, Forward, Mexico: Wears nickname on back of jersey as part of Taco Bell endorsement deal for one of the restaurant’s happy-hour items
Sergio Ramos, Defender, Spain: Just thankful Americans decided to cut their country’s most legendary player and not bring Air Bud to Brazil

LIVE: Soccer Goal Disallowed for No Fucking Reason

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SALVADOR, Brazil—According to sources at the scene, a goal just scored in the Spain-Netherlands World Cup game has been disallowed by the game’s officials for no fucking reason. Players, fans, media, and coaches at the game and viewers around the world remain in the dark as to why the goal was taken away.

Spain’s Andres Iniesta defended a drive by the Netherlands’ Wesley Sneijder by sending the ball out of bounds along the Spanish goal line. On the ensuing corner kick, Sneijder launched a beautiful feed to forward Robin van Persie, who headed the ball past Spanish keeper Iker Casillas.

Reporters at the game described the acrobatic, exciting play as “a goal that makes you realize why it’s called ‘the beautiful game.'”

As the Dutch team and its throngs of orange-clad fans went into a frantic celebration, however, a whistle-blowing FIFA official sprinted toward the net before shouting, “No, no, no,” snatching the ball from the goal, and awarding possession to Spain.

Angry Dutch players swarmed the referee demanding an explanation that never came, with the official only muttering, “Play on. You were there before it went,” an ambiguous reference to what could be one of a handful of rules.

The official then blew his whistle to restart play while making an unrecognized flapping gesture with his arms.

At press time, the score of the game remained 0-0.



Pat Riley Looking to Add Carmelo Anthony, Kevin Love, Kyrie Irving, Paul George, Tim Duncan, Kobe Bryant, Kevin Durant, Dirk Nowitzki, Al Horford, Blake Griffin, James Harden, and Rajon Rondo for Heat Big 15

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MIAMI—Heat president Pat Riley is aiming to add a dozen current and former All-Stars to the team’s roster this summer, according to sources. Along with the Heat’s current power trio of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, and Chris Bosh, the 12 superstars would complete the first Big 15 in NBA history.

The rumor surfaced in the midst of the Heat’s fourth consecutive trip to the NBA Finals, which currently sees the team in a 3-1 series deficit against the San Antonio Spurs. Sources close to Riley speculate the Heat’s early-series losses, including back-to-back blowouts at home, have “pushed him to have no choice but to start planning for a Big 15.”

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