USA gets gut-punched by Portugal in a draw that feels like very much like a Philly-style loss

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USA gets gut-punched by Portugal in a draw that feels like very much like a Philly-style loss

 Portugal's Silvestre Varela heads the ball past United States' goalkeeper Tim Howard to score his side's second goal and tie the game 2-2 during the group G World Cup soccer match between the USA and Portugal at the Arena da Amazonia in Manaus, Brazil, Sunday. (AP Photo)

 

First: Let's get the anger out. Look at this photo below.

With a 2-1 lead and less than 60 seconds to go, Michael Bradley -- who is supposed to be the smartest, most veteran American player -- had the ball in MILES of space near midfield. All he's trying to do at this point is kill some clock. Instead, what does he do? He turns BACK TOWARD HIS OWN GOAL and tries a pass. He gives it away, and it leads to the only moment of Cristiano Ronaldo brilliance in the entire match.

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OK, now that I got that out of my system. Let's get positive.

The United States is still in really good shape going into Thursday's finale against Germany (noon, ESPN).

We'll start with the elephant in the room. Germany and the U.S. would both advance if they draw.

U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann is German. He used to coach the German team. He and the Germany coach are friends.

Now, I'm not suggesting that the teams will agree to play for a draw before kickoff (it's happened before). But if the game is tied in the final minutes, neither team will push for a winner.

The United States would win the group with a win over Germany, and there is still a very good chance they advance even with a loss.

If the U.S. loses to Germany, you need to hope Portugal and Ghana draw ... or Portugal wins a close game ... or Ghana wins by as many goals as we lose to Germany by (got that?).

The group winner will likely play Algeria or Russia, while the second-place team would probably face Belgium.

The two games will kick off at the same time on two different channels. So get your trigger finger ready for the remote, or get to a bar with multiple TVs.

We'll have a few days to break that down. For now, calm down, get some sleep, and make up a good excuse to skip work on Thursday.

Just watch this Jermaine Jones goal and feel better about life.

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Utley made a sick diving play during a very Chase weekend

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Utley made a sick diving play during a very Chase weekend

While things in the world of the Phillies are going about as poorly as anyone could have expected, Chase Utley reminded us over the weekend that he is still a bad man at the ripe old age of 38.

Check out this sick diving stop he made over the weekend during the Dodgers game against the Florida Marlins.

Just Chase being Chase.

Oh, and earlier in the weekend Utley is sprinting out of the dugout to get up in people's grills when Giancarlo Stanton even looks in his teammates' direction. Miss that guy. Always.

(Let's just ignore his numbers on the season (.205/.302/.289))

Of course Doug Pederson has actually run up the Rocky steps

Of course Doug Pederson has actually run up the Rocky steps

Doug Pederson sat down with Matt Mosley and Ed Werder on their Doomsday podcast recently to talk some NFC East football.

They caught Doug during his son's high school baseball game and chatted about topics ranging from Carson Wentz's rookie year, the Dallas Cowboys, Sidney Jones, and the addition of a plethora of weapons on offense.

Doug sees a Dak Prescott and Carson Wentz-dominated NFC East for years to come. Coach Pederson was impressed by the way Prescott carried himself on and off the field. Doug pointed out that Dak didn't have to do anything remarkable for the Cowboys to win games which allowed him to simply be himself.

Perhaps that's something Wentz will benefit from in year two with so many more weapons around him.

Things got a little fluffy as the interview went on and they asked Doug if he's actually run up the Rocky steps before.

The "Rocky steps" of course being the steps in front of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. And of course he has.

"I have. I actually have," Doug said. "In fact, several years ago when I was an assistant coach, family and friends would come visit for home games so I had to be the tour guide. I would escort them down to the steps and we would make that ascent to the top of the steps. I've done it a few times now.

"When you get to the top of the steps and you turn around and you're looking right down the Parkway, right into Center City, with the cityscape of Philadelphia, you can't help but raise your arms."

Doug adds that he's a provolone with onions on his cheesesteak and that he still refers to the Eagles' owner as Mr. Lurie.

"I'm going to keep calling him Mr. Lurie until hopefully one day I can stand on that podium and hoist the Lombardi trophy. I'll probably use his first name at that point."

You can listen to the full conversation with Doug right here.