Sexism abounds in European media – just ask the U.S. women’s Olympic team

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Word to UK media regarding the U.S. women’s Olympic team: Uh, these ladies DO play soccer. And they are good at it. Or haven’t you noticed?

I’m often flummoxed by how guarded the soccer players can be from foreign lands. Not just the natives of foreign lands, either; even the Americans who go abroad tend to become very stand-offish with news gatherers once they return home.

Sometimes they get downright suspicious, to the point of being all tin-foil-hat paranoid about it, as if writers and broadcasters spend their days conjuring up new and improved methods of personality assassination.

Then I see stories like the one below, and it all makes sense. The foreign press really can be insufferable at times.

Bottom line here, the American media world isn’t perfect. Far from it. But generally speaking it is night and day better than what athletes deal with once they cross borders.

Case in point:

This is the story of the U.S. women’s Olympic team’s arrival into Glasgow from Scotland’s Daily Record.

It’s an insulting report, sexist and demeaning. You have to dig in and work very hard to figure out that the United States women’s national team is among the world’s best, with actual athletes who take their craft seriously, and who are globally recognized as being among the tip-top at what they do.

This is not some giggling assembly of sophomore-year-abroad co-eds looking for tourist trinkets while waiting for their next chance to preen before the cameras – although that’s what this newspaper seems to think. The first 95 words from the Daily Record’s story:

All of a sudden, the Olympics have got sexy. Really sexy.

The pin-up babes of the US Olympic football team arrived for their first training session in Glasgow yesterday.

And although the rain was pouring down, you would hardly have noticed as stars such as glamour-girl keeper Hope Solo, 32, and strike stunner Alex Morgan, 23, hit the pitch.

The Seattle Sounders team-mates – who caused a sensation recently with a photoshoot wearing only sprayed-on paint “bikinis” – were put through their paces at Strathclyde University’s training ground in Stepps, near Glasgow, amid a huge security operation.

So, yes … good luck, ladies. Do take heart, because soon enough, real journalists who are there to talk about and write about actual competition will be on the scene. The nincompoops will still be around, of course, but at least you can walk past them on the way to something better.

Until then … well, just fight through it best you can.

Mexico star Marquez back at Atlas after US drug sanctions

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MEXICO CITY (AP) Mexican soccer star Rafael Marquez is back with his club more than a month after the U.S. Treasury Department named him on a sanctions list for alleged drug trafficking ties.

Atlas said Monday that the 38-year-old defender is practicing with the team again.

In August, Marquez was among 22 people sanctioned by the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He was accused of acting as a frontman for the Raul Flores Hernandez drug trafficking organization.

Marquez has denied any wrongdoing and said he will work to clear his name. He is not known to face any criminal charges in the United States or Mexico.

Atlas says Marquez will continue his legal fight while at the team.

Marquez has played internationally with AS Monaco, Barcelona and the New York Red Bulls.

Wolfsburg hires Martin Schmidt after firing Andries Jonker

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WOLFSBURG, Germany (AP) Wolfsburg has hired Martin Schmidt to coach the Bundesliga side as a swift replacement for Andries Jonker.

[ MORE: PL Playback — Koeman, Everton facing significant pressure ]

Jonker was fired on Monday after less than seven months in charge, with Saturday’s 1-0 loss at Stuttgart leaving Wolfsburg with four points from its opening four league games of the new campaign.

The 50-year-old Schmidt has signed a contract through 2019 and he will take charge of Tuesday’s game against Werder Bremen.

The Swiss coach left Mainz by mutual consent in May after almost three years in charge. Mainz finished last season in 15th place in the Bundesliga, above Wolfsburg on goal difference. Wolfsburg only survived in the Bundesliga last season by a winning a playoff.

More AP German soccer coverage: http://www.apnews.com/tag/Bundesliga

Swapping cleats for gloves: Rio Ferdinand to become a boxer

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It wouldn’t be the first time a professional athlete has tried his hand at another sport, but this one is a bit surprising.

[ MORE: Leicester-Liverpool highlights Tuesday’s Carabao Cup action ]

The Telegraph is reporting that ex-Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is poised to become a professional boxer and is expected to announce his decision on Tuesday.

The 38-year-old has been a pundit for BBC and BT Sport since retiring from soccer 2015, but the six-time Premier League winner appears ready to tackle a new venture.

Ferdinand will attempt to follow in the footsteps of former Sheffield United striker Curtis Woodhouse — who went on to become British light-welterweight champion.

Below is a video Ferdinand posted to his Instagram account on Monday which appears to show him practice dodging with a personal trainer.

Dodging Rain Drops…. Reaction Drill… Keep Moving!! 💧🎾 @chrisvarnavas

A post shared by Rio Ferdinand (@rioferdy5) on

Cavani, Neymar feud presents questions about PSG chemistry

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Paris Saint-Germain picked up its sixth consecutive win to start the Ligue 1 season on Sunday, but something else happened during the team’s 2-0 victory over Lyon that should be a show for concern.

[ MORE: Bayern keeper Neuer injuries foot, could miss months ]

In fact, two notable sequences occurred during the match that proved money cannot buy chemistry — or how the saying goes.

The issues on both occasions were between summer signing Neymar and Edinson Cavani — who has been with PSG since 2013.

First, a free kick situation arose where Cavani had appeared that he was going to take the set piece, until Brazilian defender Dani Alves stepped in and took the ball and proceeded to give it to his national and club teammate, Neymar.

The second occurence was even more embarrassing though, as Neymar and Cavani argued over who would take a penalty kick, which Cavani ultimately got his way before having his shot saved by goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

Below is a video containing a piece of both instances.