US Soccer Makes History in Mexico

US Soccer Makes History in Mexico

Finally! It was 75 years in the making, but the United States Men's National Team finally won a game on Mexican soil. They came into the game 0-23-1 all-time against El Tri in Mexico. Moreover, the win came at the Azteca, Mexican soccer's 100,000+ person capacity fortress.

And to think, all it took was former Union player Michael Orozco Fiscal scoring his first international goal by redirecting a speculative back-heeled pass/shot from Terrence Boyd past Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa. It's just how Jurgen Klinsmann drew it up. Oh, and it helped that US goalkeeper Tim Howard was the best player on the field.

Video of the historic goal after the Jump...

It's not often that three substitutes combine to score a goal, but that's what happened on Wednesday night. Brek Shea took on and beat his defender, got to the end line and played a dangerous ball across the six yard box. Terrence Boyd held off his mark and manged to back-heel the ball to an unmarked Orozco Fiscal, who was able to push the ball into the Mexico goal. From there, despite a nervy moment or two, the US was able to kill off the game.

Yes, it was only friendly. And yes, the ability to make six substitutions instead of the normal three helped too, but make no mistake about it, this was a historic win. Truth be told, Mexico outplayed the US all night. Were it not for Tim Howard's performance the US could have just as easily conceded two or three goals. But, and this a big but, the US is able to rely on the world-class goalkeeping of Timmay!

Howard robbed Chicharito on a deflected shot that wrong-footed the New Jersey native. He somehow managed to regather and shift his weight and momentum to get a hand on the ball. Later he absolutely robbed Chicharito again by parrying a header away and then pushing it out of harms way with his feet while prone on the ground. Quite simply, Howard was immense.

Without question, even more so than the US win against Italy in Italy, the victory over Mexico at the Azteca is the signature win of Jurgen Klinsmann's brief USMNT coaching career.

La Salle pummeled by VCU, 90-52, snapping 5-game streak

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USA Today Images

La Salle pummeled by VCU, 90-52, snapping 5-game streak

RICHMOND, Va. -- Justin Tillman had 16 points and nine rebounds to lead five VCU players in double figures in a 90-52 victory over La Salle on Sunday.

VCU held La Salle to 15 made field goals and forced 16 turnovers.

VCU went on a 19-0 first-half run -- with 11 points from JeQuan Lewis -- for a 38-14 lead and the Rams led 42-16 at halftime after shooting 51.5 percent. Lewis made 5 of 6 shots and had 13 of his 15 points in the first half.

Samir Doughty added 15 points for VCU (15-5, 5-2 Atlantic 10). Ahmed Hamdy-Mohamed had 13 points and 11 rebounds and Jordan Burgess scored 10. Tillman was 7 of 10 from the field as the Rams shot 56.5 percent.

Jordan Price and Saul Phiri each scored 11 points for La Salle (11-6, 5-2) and Pookie Powell added 10. It was a season-high for the freshman Phiri but the Explorers were just 15-of-53 shooting (28.3 percent).

The Sixers without Joel Embiid: Still just the Sixers

The Sixers without Joel Embiid: Still just the Sixers

Well, if anyone hoped the Sixers' performance at game's end against Portland on Friday night -- with Joel Embiid riding the bench, ruled out for the game's remainder with a left knee contusion -- would carry over to an entirely Embiid-less game again Saturdaynight... I guess you're not alone, 'coz I sorta did. Perhaps it shouldn't have been particularly surprising to see that the Sixers were still the same team last night in Atlanta they were the previous Saturday against the Wizards: good enough to hang against an above-average East team, but not nearly good enough to actually win. 

At least they kept this one closer longer. Normally, against the Hawks, once the single-digit lead in the first half balloons into the double-digit lead in the third quarter, it never deflates back, but this time we cut it down to seven a couple times -- just never hitting that one big shot that would've really made things interesting, ultimately losing 110-93. It doesn't help that Nik Stauskas is in the midst of one of his most refrigerated runs as a Sixer, going just 7-30 (3-16 from deep) over Philly's last five games, or that Dario Saric is similarly bricking shots near and wide, a remarkable 2 for 22 over his last couple contests. 

This, sadly, is a primary reason why the Sixers' playoff hopes, while fun to dream about, are still unlikely to be more than a flicker. Over the next few weeks, the Sixers have a trio of back-to-backs coming up, with the back-end games coming against Milwaukee, Sacramento and San Antonio -- none of which Philly, 2-12 without their star center, are probable to win sans JoJo. Even if they can take care of business with Embiid on the court, it'll be tough to make up the ground that the Sons of Sam need to while they have to drop one every three or four games as Joel sits. 

That's fine, though. This season's been super-fun, but we shouldn't get too far ahead of ourselves: Let's ensure Embiid's health, maybe get Ben Simmons out there too, secure a nice draft pick or two (though the plummeting Kings could be of significant help with that themselves), and focus on making next year even more of a thing. The future remains impossibly bright, even if the present is going to have to be borderline-unwatchable once or twice a week.