Six ‘did you see that?!’ moments from the Olympic quarterfinals


France, the U.S., Japan, and Canada all advance to the semifinals while gifting us with some unforgettable moments. Let’s relive them together, shall we?

Alex Morgan’s frightening clash with Jenny Bindon.

Probably the most widely discussed moment of the round, New Zealand goalkeeper Jenny Bindon and Alex Morgan were involved in a truly terrifying collision outside the penalty box. Stretchers were summoned as both players remained motionless on the pitch. Calls for a foul and/or subsequent card went unheeded as referee Jesica Di Iorio whistled for play to resume. Both players ultimately regained their bearings but still looked listless even after the final whistle blew.

Morgan’s hard-earned assist.

Before clattering into Jenny Bindon, Alex Morgan provided Abby Wambach one of the assists of the tournament. Morgan displayed her much-improved hold-up play for the second time in as many matches. She warded off her defenders just long enough to send a wonderfully weighted ball Wambach’s way. It marks Wambach’s team-leading fourth goal Morgan’s team-tying third assist.

The celebratory cartwheels.


The USWNT added another goal celebration to its ever expanding repertoire. In an apparent tribute to gold medal-winning gymnast Gabby Douglas, the team feted Wambach’s goal by launching into cartwheels. The spontaneous show of calisthenics failed to get unanimous praise, though. New Zealand coach Tony Readings voiced his displeasure, saying “I wouldn’t have done that.” Tribute or affront to the Olympic spirit? For one, it helps having something to celebrate.

Sydney Leroux’s reaction after scoring.

The U.S. was three minutes away from securing a place in the semifinals, but substitute Sydney Leroux officially put the contest to bed. She made a blistering run down the right flank that bamboozled the New Zealand defense before powering in a shot that beat Jenny Bindon (who was somehow still standing after moment no. 1). What followed was unbridled euphoria, starting with Leroux’s shell-shocked expression and the ‘oh…my…God!’ exclamation to pal Lauren Cheney. First ever Olympic goal? The moment’s all yours, Syd. Own it.

Canada’s .GIF-able goals.

The Canadians delivered the shock of the tournament by knocking out well-to-do hosts Great Britain thanks to a pair of stupendous goals. 21-year-old Jonelle Filigno got the upset underway in the 16th minute when she dispatching a scorching half-volley past Great Britain goalkeeper Karen Bardsley. Christine Sinclair would go on to supply the knockout blow. Her potent free kick evaded the Great British defense and put the match out of reach. The goals were the first Great Britain conceded of the tournament and would ultimately be the last. The Sinclair goal in all its glory:


Shinobu Ohno’s skillful goal that sent Brazil packing.

World champions Japan withstood Brazil’s increasingly cynical challenges with undisturbed repose. A goal down with 20 minutes left, Brazil resorted to hopelessly thuggish tactics in an attempt to stop play. Japan would have the last say with a stunning second goal. Shinobu Ohno deftly controlled a pass from teammate Yuki Ogimi, made space for herself and rocketed a shot past goalkeeper Andreia. The goal sees Japan progress to the semifinals and sends Brazil back home.

Sam Allardyce to open talks with Sunderland

Sam Allardyce, West Ham United FC
Leave a comment

Now that Liverpool have selected and named their new manager, it appears Sunderland are finally ready to move forward with their own managerial search. (That’s clearly a joke, because it implies Liverpool and Sunderland ever duke it out for the same managerial candidate.)

[ FOLLOW: All of PST’s PL coverage ]

Anyway, the Black Cats will have to hire someone to replace the recently-departed Dick Advocaat at some point. We all knew that, despite the fact he’s probably earned a shot at that level, Bob Bradley was never really going to be considered for the job. With that in mind, if you’re not going to endear yourself to the entire United States of America with this hire, you might as well go for the best unemployed manager who’ll actually consider your approach.

That’s what Sunderland chairman Ellis Short appears to have done, as it was reported Thursday that despite an initial reluctance from Sam Allardyce — let’s be honest, he actually was holding out hope for the Liverpool job — the 60-year-old most recently in charge of West Ham United was willing and ready to enter into negotiations with the northeastern club.

One of the major sticking points during Sunderland’s courting of Allardyce is expected to be his demand for autonomy in the transfer market as well as a sizable transfer budget to sign his own players during the January window.

[ MORE: Advocaat: Sunderland squad too thin, chairman to blame ]

Allardyce seems like the no. 1 guy you’d like to bring in to steady a capsized ship — cough Sunderland cough — in any situation. Not only does he have a successful track record in the Premier League, but he’s the kind of no-nonsense leader a club like Sunderland so desperately needs as they find themselves in yet another relegation battle just eight games into the new season.

Short hopes to have Allardyce signed, sealed and delivered when the Premier League returns to action next weekend. In that event, Allardyce’s first game in charge of Sunderland would be a trip to West Bromwich Albion. His first home fixture? Home to Tyne-Wear derby rivals Newcastle United, a club whose boisterous fanbase still holds a great deal of disdain for Big Sam. Sometimes the football gods really are looking out for us.

Statement from suspended UEFA president Michel Platini

Michel Platini, UEFA & FIFA
Leave a comment

Statement from suspended UEFA President Michel Platini:

Early this afternoon, I was informed of the FIFA ethics committee’s decision to impose on me a provisional 90-day suspension with immediate effect. That decision, which I will of course contest in the appropriate manner at the appropriate time, had already been the subject of a deliberate leak, and I gave my opinion on that earlier in the day.

I reject all of the allegations that have been made against me, which are based on mere semblances and are astonishingly vague. Indeed, the wording of those allegations merely states that a breach of the FIFA Code of Ethics “seems to have been committed” and that a decision on the substance of the matter cannot be taken immediately.

Despite the farcical nature of these events, I refuse to believe that this is a political decision taken in haste in order to taint a lifelong devotee of the game or crush my candidacy for the FIFA presidency.

I want everyone to know my state of mind: more than a sense of injustice or a desire for revenge, I am driven by a profound feeling of staunch defiance. I am more determined than ever to defend myself before the relevant judicial bodies.

I want to reiterate in the strongest possible terms that I will devote myself to ensuring that my good faith prevails. I have received numerous messages of support today from UEFA’s member associations and the other confederations encouraging me to continue my work serving football’s interests. Nothing will make me give up on that commitment.