By John Haydon: The U.S. men’s soccer team is returning to play at RFK Stadium in Washington D.C., with Germany as it opponent on June 2. The nation’s capital may have not drawn a World Cup qualifying game this time around like Denver, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Columbus (Ohio) and Kansas City (Kan.), but an exhibition against three-time world champion Germany is nothing to sneeze at, and is sure draw a huge crowd to the 62-year-old venue.
The game against Germany is part of U.S. Soccer’s centennial celebration and is being dubbed as the “Centennial Celebration Match”. The game will see U.S. team coach Jurgen Klinsmann go up against the team he helped win a World Cup in 1990 as a player and coached to the third-place at the World Cup in 2006.
The U.S. team 13-3-4 all-time at RFK and has won the past seven games there (6-0-1). The team last played at RFK against Jamaica, earning a 2-0 victory on June 19, 2011, to advance to the semifinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup. The announcement about the game at RFK by U.S. Soccer on Thursday also came with the confirmation of the home venues for the U.S. team’s four remaining 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifying games. Continue reading
Steve Blake scored 24 points, Pau Gasol added his seventh career triple-double, and the Los Angeles Lakers secured the seventh playoff seed in the Western Conference with a 99-95 overtime victory over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.
Dwight Howard had 16 points and 18 rebounds, and the All-Star center blocked James Harden’s shot in the final seconds of overtime for the Lakers (45-37), who only clinched a playoff berth about 10 minutes before tipoff in their season finale.
After winning once more without Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash Los Angeles will face second-seeded San Antonio in the first round.
Chandler Parsons hit a tying 3-pointer from three steps behind the line at the regulation buzzer for the Rockets (45-37), who will face top-seeded Oklahoma City after losing four of six to end the regular season.
Harden scored 30 points and Parsons had 23 for the Rockets, who already knew they were back in the postseason after a three-year absence, but could have ended up in three seedings depending on Wednesday’s results. Houston had a shot at the No. 6 spot before Golden State beat Portland earlier, but Los Angeles holds the tiebreaker on the Rockets.
Gasol had 17 points, 20 rebounds and 11 assists in his second triple-double in three games for the Lakers, who also held Houston well below its NBA-best average of 106.1 points per game. After a rocky regular season, the Lakers are heading into the playoffs with five straight wins, and eight in their last nine games. Continue reading