Archivo de la etiqueta: dallas

Preolímpico Femenil CONCACAF en Texas

En los próximos días, se definirá que equipos represenatarán a la CONCACAF en las Olimpiadas de Río 2016 el próximo verano. Para determinar a esos equipos, ocho selecciones nacionales se disputan los dos pases en tierras texanas. Cuatro de ellos en Frisco, los otros en Houston y las finales serán en el BBVA Compass Stadium de Houston, Texas.

México vs Puerto Rico

Un partido que parecía fácil para México y así lo fue. Mucho se habló de la ausencia de Charlyn Corral en la lista de Leonardo Cuellar. Si algo necesitaba Cuellar y su grupo de trabajo era una victoria en su debut y la consiguieron. 6-0 fue el marcador final y Maribel Dominguez volvió a anotar tras una larga ausencia con el representativo nacional.

La ex-jugadora del Barcelona de España, que no tiene equipo por el momento, fue acompañada por Nayeli Rangel, Alina Garciamendez y Katlyn Johnson en la lista de anotadoras del partido. Son seis goles que marcan una goleada y que también pueden ser vitales para pasar como primer lugar de grupo si se mantiene un buen paso en los siguientes dos partidos contra rivales más complicados.

Puerto Rico no metió ni las manos. El primer gol lo recibieron al minuto 14 y de ahí en fuera se empezaron a convertir en espectadores del partido. El Tri cumplió sumando los tres puntos y Maribel haciendo que el factor de la ausencia de Char y Kenti Robles no pesara por el momento. No es momento de echar las campanas al cielo, pero si de agarrar confianza para enfrentar al campeón del mundo Estados Unidos y a Costa Rica.

Estados Unidos vs Costa Rica

Poco después, en la misma cancha y ya sin la luz natural sobre la cancha del Toyota Stadium, el equipo que ganó la Copa del Mundo en Canadá 2015 y las campeonas defensoras de este certamen se enfrentaron a Costa Rica. A las dirigidas por Jill Ellis les bastaron 12 segundos para abrir el marcador con gol de Alex Morgan.

A diferencia de México que llega al torneo con un plantel bastante joven, Estados Unidos viene con la misma base de jugadoras que en el 2015 hicieron historia. Para el minuto 15 las cosas ya estaban 3-0 y había temor de una goleada más escandalosa que la que había sufrido Puerto Rico. Pero las aguas se calmaron y solo fueron dos goles más lo que Estados Unidos pudo anotar.

Carli Lloyd, recien nombrada la mejor jugadora del mundo por la FIFA, anotó el segundo, Crystal Dunn el tercero, Morgan con su doblete logró el cuarto y ya en la recta final del encuentro Christen Press, para algunos la mejor jugadora del mundial pasado, marcó el 5-0 definitivo. Con eso las de las Barras y las Estrellas, confirman su condición de favoritas en este torneo que las puede llevar a repetir como campeonas olímpicas.

Guatemala vs Trinidad

En Houston estos dos equipos se enfrentaron en el primer partido del Grupo B. Mientras que las caribeñas son bien conocidas por su velocidad, las Guatemaltecas suelen tener mejor control de balón. El juego empezó parejo pero fue pasado el cuarto de hora del partido que se señaló un penal a favor de la guatemaltecas. Ana Martinez supo cobrarlo de buena manera y puso a su equipo al frente.

El partido continuo estando parejo y Trinidad y Tobago tuvo que ser más agresivo el resto del partido. Las trinitarias encontraron la recompensa a su esfuerzo ya en el tiempo de compensación del primer tiempo y así se fueron al descanso con el empate a uno. En un torneo tan corto y donde cada gol y cada punto vale oro, ninguno de los dos equipos se iba a conformar con el empate.

Trinidad fue más vertical en el segundo tiempo y tuvo un total de 15 disparos a lo largo del partido, mientras que Guatemala solo tuvo cuatro incluyendo el penal, los otros tres no fueron a porteria. La insistencia de Trinidad les dio como resultado el poder darle la vuelta al marcador 2-1 con gol de Kenya Cordner al 74 y así sus primeros tres puntos del torneo.

Canadá vs Guyana

Cuando de fútbol varonil se habla, Canadá esta prácticamente fuera del mapa. Cuando de fútbol femenil hablamos, Canadá es potencia y eso le dió derecho a ser el país anfitrión del pasado mundial en el 2015. Este equipo regularmente pone en aprietos a las campeonas del mundo. Contra Guyana, pintaba para ser un partido de mero trámite y así lo fue.

En 40 minutos las canadienses ya estaban arriba 3-0 con dos goles de Deanne Rose y uno de Ashley Lawrence no hubo necesidad de seguir apretando a fondo en el resto del partido. Las del país de la Hoja de Maple tuvieron un total de 36 disparos a lo largo del partido y la mitas fueron a porteria, solamente uno pegó en el poste. Además tuvieron posesión del balón el 81% del tiempo que duró el partido.

Guyana no pudo reaccionar y con dos goles más de Ashley Lawrence al principio de la segunda mitad, Canadá selló sus primeros tres puntos del torneo. Guyana solo tuvo tres tiros, de los cuales dos no fueron ni siquiera a la porteria. Promediaron menos de un pase por minuto de partido (39) mientras que su rival sumó 519.

Costa Rica vs Puerto Rico

Para abrir la segunda jornada de partidos, Costa Rica tuvo una “cascarita” con Puerto Rico. Un equipo que venía de batallar con Estados Unidos y otro que venía de ser goleado por México en los primeros 90 minutos de la competición. Puerto Rico no podía aspirar a mucho, pero Costa Rica sabía que era su oportunidad de ganar puntos y mejorar en cuanto a su diferencia de goles.

En menos de diez minutos Karla Villalobos puso a su equipo en ventaja. Antes del descanso Raquel Rodriguez puso el 2-0. Un marcador bastante discreto para lo que se esperaba en el Toyota Stadium. En el segundo tiempo, Costa Rica si aprovechó los espacios y la inferioridad de su rival, que les dejó jugar sin casi meter las manos. Por ende, fueron siete goles los que las “Pura Vida” anotaron en el complemento. Tres de Rodriguez, tres de Villalobos, uno de Diana Saenz, otro de Melissa Herrera y otro de Shirley Cruz que entró de cambio al 79.

Nueve goles en total para una goleada histórica en el certamen y que renovaban las posibilidades de Costa Rica de aspirar a una plaza en Río 2016. El partido contra México sería el tercero y más importante de la fase de grupos. Para Puerto Rico, su partido contra Estados Unidos sería a lo mucho por honor, pero nada más.

México vs Estados Unidos

Tal vez el partido más esperado en el Grupo A y el que podía definir al primer lugar del sector por el resto del torneo. Ambos equipos llegaban a este partido tras haber ganado su primer juego pero ante rivales muy distintos. A México, una victoria las pondría en posición de privilegio, aunque conseguirla contra Estados Unidos parecía misión imposible.

Fueron 83 minutos de esperanza para el equipo de Leonardo Cuellar. 83 minutos sin recibir gol de una de las delanteras más poderosas del mundo y con un cuadro bastante jóven, hablando de las mexicanas. 83 minutos que se fueron por la coladera tras el gol que Carli Lloyd de penal. Un penal que para muchos no existió pero que el arbitro señaló y las de las Barras y las Estrellas aprovecharon para anotar el único gol del partido.

Con ese gol, México cayó al segundo lugar del grupo tras tener seis goles a favor, uno en contra y solamente tres puntos. Estados Unidos se fue a la punta en solitario con seis goles a favor, ninguno en contra pero seis puntos que le daban tres de ventaja sobre Costa Rica y México. Así, las de Jill Ellis tenian su pase a las finales en Houston, tal y como lo marcaba el librito de los pronósticos.

Guyana vs Guatemala

Para muchos, Guyana era como el Puerto Rico del Grupo A, una selección fácil de vencer pero no resultó ser así. Para muestra, el resultado de este partido. Dos equipos que buscaban sus primeros tres puntos del torneo para seguir con vida dieron un buen especaculo en Houston.

Guatemala tomó la ventaja inicial por segundo partido consecutivo con un gol de Ana Martinez ya iniciado el segundo tiempo. Era cuestión de que se consumieran los minutos para que Guatemala pudiera celebrar una victoria. Victoria que nunca llegó pues Guyana fue capaz de reaccionar y en menos de diez minutos le dieron la vuelta al marcador. Miriam-El Masri, quien entró de cambio iniciando el segundo tiempo anotó el empate y cinco minutos después, al 76, Alison Heydorn anotó el 2-1 definitivo.

Un golpe duro para Guatemala, pues prácticamente quedaban elimindas del certamen a espera de algún milagro. Lo más duro fue no poder mantener la ventaja por segundo partido consecutivo y saber que en el papel aún se tienen que enfrentar al rival más complicado del grupo. Si Guyana y Trinidad eran rivales a modo, Canadá no tenía porque serlo.

Trinidad vs Canadá

Trinidad venía con la esperanza de otra victoria tras un buen partido inaugural. Canadá con ganas de seguir metiendo goles y aumentar su confianza de cara a las finales del torneo. Pero primero, en el BBVA Compass de Houston había un rival por sortear. Trinidad contra Canadá era el partido que más llamaba la atención de este grupo.

Las canadienses no se dejaron sorprender y con seis goles despacharon a Trinidad y Tobago. Dos tantos en el primer tiempo y los otros cuatro en el complemento fueron suficientes para el juego, set, partido a favor de las canadienses. Fueron seis jugadoras distintas las que marcaron cada uno de los goles con los que Canadá se impuso.

De esa manera aumentaron a seis su cantidad de puntos y a +11 su diferencia de goles, haciendose el equipo más goleador del torneo. Mientras tanto, Trinidad perdió terreno y se ubica en la tercera posición del grupo tras la victoria de Guyana sobre Guatemala. Además los seis goles en contra de este partido les pueden pesar en la última fecha de partidos de grupo.

Costa Rica vs México

Pura Vida contra el Tri y fueron las primeras quienes a pesar de empezar perdiendo, supieron mantenerse mentalizadas en su objetivo y lograr el pase a las finales del Preolímpico de la CONCACAF. Un partido que inició mal y terminó mal para el Tri a pesar de que Maribel Dominguez puso un gol de la honra.

En el Toyota Stadium de Frisco, Texas estos dos equipos se disputaban el segundo boleto del Grupo A a las finales en Houston Texas. Raquel Rodriguez puso en ventaja a las Ticas apenas a los diez minutos de partido. La misma Raquel anotaría el segundo y esta vez desde los once pasos ante Cecilia Santiago que nada pudo hacer para impedirlo. Fue Maribel Dominguez, líder del equipo de México que puso el del honor a once del final.

A México de nada le servía el empate, pues ese favorecia a Costa Rica. A Leonardo Cuellar tampoco. El regresar a México con un solo triunfo y sin el pase a Juegos Olímpicos deja con muchas dudas al futuro del fútbol mexicano y más a nivel femenil. Tras no haber ganado un solo partido en el mundial, no haber ganado la medalla de oro en Panamericanos y no haber calificado a Río 2016, es ahora cuando se tienen que hacer cambios. Como dicen en México, para luego es tarde.

Estados Unidos vs Puerto Rico

Para concluir la actividad del Preolímpico en Frisco, Texas, y que Puerto Rico pudiera irse a casa, Estados Unidos lo despidió sin honores pero con una humillación en el Toyota Stadium. Si las goleadas de México y Costa Rica no habían sido suficiente, Estados Unidos fue aún más certero con diez goles sin recibir uno solo.

La noche se la llevo Estados Unidos, pero dentro del equipo, la jugadora del partido fue Crystal Dunn que metió la mitad goles que anotó su equipo. Jill Ellis decidió darle descanso a muchas de sus titulares y dió oportunidad de entrada a ocho suplentes en el cuadro titular. Carli Lloyd si jugó y también anotó un gol, al igual que Christen Press, Samantha Mewis y Kelley O’Hara. Un autogol de Ashley Rivera en el segundo tiempo ayudó a la goleada.

Así que Estados Unidos se clasificó como primer lugar de grupo de manera invicta y sin recibir un solo gol en tres partidos. Puerto Rico acabó en último lugar y como el equipo más goleado del torneo. Además no lograron anotar un solo gol y recibieron un total de 25 dianas en 360 minutos.

Trinidad vs Guyana

El partido que parecía más parejo antes de que iniciara la jornada no lo fue. Menos de 45 minutos le bastaron a las trinitarias para ponerle su sello al pase a la siguiente ronda del preolímpico. 45 minutos para el olvido en el caso de Guyana que en ese mismo lapso de tiempo prácticamente se olvidó de poder llegar a Río 2016 o minimo dar la sorpresa en el torneo.

Fue al minuto siete que Keniya Cordner anotó el primer tanto del partido y tres minutos después Mariah Shade el segundo que ya encaminaba a Trinidad rumbo a la siguiente ronda. Un autogol de Justine Rodriguez y otro gol de Ahkeela Mollon llevaron al partido al medio tiempo, no sin antes el descuento de Guyana por medio de Bria Williams. La segunda mitad fue de puro trámite, pues Guyana no pudo más y Trinidad tampoco se vió forzado a anotar muchos más goles.

Sin hacer cambios en el entretiempo, Cordner anotó el quinto del partido para el 5-1 definitivo. Después vinieron los tres cambios de de Trinidad para cerrar los espacios y el partido. Guyana también agotó sus tres cambios antes del final del partido y con un resultado adverso se despidieron del certamen.

Canadá vs Guatemala

Minutos después en la misma cancha se sucitó otra goleada a favor del equipo canadiense. Guatemala ya había quedado fuera del torneo antes de que iniciara el partido, pues sin puntos no había manera ni de llegar a pensar en el segundo lugar de grupo. En el partido se dieron por desaparecidas y dejaron que Canadá dominara a placer las acciones del encuentro.

Cero tiros a puerta por parte de Guatemala y 33 a favor de Canadá. 70-30 en cuanto a posesión del balón y casi parejas en el número de faltas, pero también disparejas en el número de goles. Cinco en la primera mitad y otros cinco en la segunda mitad dieron por ganador al equipo de Canadá tanto del partido como del Grupo B.

La portera de Canadá fue un espectador más del partido, pues el juego se disputó casi en su totalidad en la mitad de la cancha de las guatemaltecas. Rebecca Quinn y Michelle Prince anotaron hat-tricks, Melissa Tancredi un doblete mientras que Gabrielle Carle y Janine Beckie aportaron a la cuenta con un gol cada una. Así, Canadá acabo con nueve puntos de nueve posibles y la mejor diferencia de goles de los ocho equipos participantes (+21).

Canadá vs Costa Rica

El equipo tico sabía que estaba a 90 minutos de hacer historia si lograba conseguir el pase a la final y simultaneamente a los Juegos Olímpicos. Lo hecho en la fase de grupos debía quedar atras y servir como simple motivación para enfrentar a Canadá. El líder del grupo B contra el sub-líder del sector A.

Christine Sinclair pusó el primer gol del partido al 17. Así, la mejor ofensiva del torneo marcaba las condiciones del partido y no se dejo sorprender por Costa Rica, que no dejó de luchar en ese momento. Iniciando el complemento, Sinclair anotó el segundo de la noche y fue entonces que la reacción de las ticas no se hizo esperar más con un tanto de su goleadora Raquel Rodriguez.

Las ticas intentaron empatar el partido para que este se fuera a tiempos extras y penales. Desafortunadamente para ellas no sucedió así y antes de que concluyera el partido, Deanne Rose anotó el tercero para las canadienses. Dicho equipo solo realizó dos cambios a lo largo del partido, mientras que Costa Rica si agotó sus tres modificaciones. 3-1 fue el marcador final. Con ello Canadá era quien accedia a la final y obtenia su pase a Río 2016.

Estados Unidos vs Trinidad

En el papel parecía ser un juego de mero trámite para el equipo de Jill Ellis y así fue. Las seleccionadas no tuvieron dificultad alguna para vencer a Trinidad. Las Americanas cambiaron de cancha pero no de actitud en este partido. Siguieron siendo ese equipo que busca golear al rival. Con México habian batallado, pero con ningun otro rival vieron pared.

En 45 minutos las cosas ya estaban finiquitadas a favor de los Estados Unidos. Tobin Heath, Alex Morgan y Carli Lloyd metieron los primeros tres goles con los que se pudieron ir al descanso. El trámite de la segunda mitad incluyó otros dos goles de Alex Morgan, que tras el retiro de Abby Wambach, ha tomado un rol más protagonico en el seleccionado nacional.

14 segundo de compensación fueron más que suficientes al final del segundo tiempo. Ya no había nada en juego, pues el equipo de Estados Unidos había sido amo y señor de las acciones. Con autoridad lograron su pase a la final del certameny y de paso a Río para buscar defender su oro de Londres 2012, lo que en aquel entonces fue su antesala para el campeonato mundial del 2015.

Estados Unidos vs Canadá

Otra edición más de lo que es un clásico a nivel de selecciones femeniles se vivió en el BBVA Compass Stadium de Houston. Sin llegar a registrar un lleno total, pues los pases para Río ya estaban dados, estos equipos se jugaban el honor y el derecho ser llamadas reinas de CONCACAF.

Los primeros 45 minutos transcurrieron sin goles pero con muchas llegadas del equipo local. Estados Unidos llegaba constantemente con centros a la porteria rival pero los remates, la mayoría de ellos de cabeza, no encontraban el fondo de la porteria. Canadá tuvo una aproximación sin causar mucho peligro para Hope Solo. Los goles de este partido cayeron al 53 de la cabeza de Lindsey Horan y minutos después del pie izquierdo de Tobin Heath.

Eso fue suficiente para que Estados Unidos manejara a placer el resto del partido. Solo se tuvo que emplear a fondo una vez más y de ahí en fuera no hubo de que preocuparse. De esta manera, el equipo de las Barras y las Estrellas continuó su dominio absoluto de la zona y del certamen. Ahora estos dos equipos viajarán a Río de Janeiro para representar a CONCACAF en los Juegos Olímpicos de Río 2016 este mes de agosto.

 

 

México vs Argentina (Cobertura Total)

Lionel Messi se llevó las portadas de muchos periódicos de lo que a diez minutos del final parecía una victoria cómoda para la Selección Mexicana 2-0 ante Argentina que gracias a la Pulga y a Sergio Aguero terminó 2-2. El partido que había creado alta expectación terminó por ser bueno y por gustar a muchos de los 83,559 aficionados presentes en el AT&T Stadium.

Desde que se anunció el partido, el poder ver a figuras como Messi, Javier Hernández , Rafael Márquez y Carlos Tevez llamó mucho la atención de los residentes de la zona de Dallas Fort Worth y sus alrededores. Muchos nunca se hubieran imaginado que el 8 de septiembre tendrían un partido que llamara tanto la atención en la zona.

México llegaba de haber empatado 3-3 ante Trinidad y Tobago en Salt Lake City. Así se había estrenado Ricardo “El Tuca¨ Ferretti como entrenador de la selección y aunque dejó un buen sabor de boca a la ofensiva, en la parte defensiva había muchas dudas. Al haberse lesionado Francisco Rodríguez y Paul Aguilar a días antes del juego estelar, los miedos crecían.

Un día antes del juego, en el hotel de concentración del Tricolor, El Tuca dijo no estar muy preocupado por el resultado, pero más que nada por el funcionamiento del equipo. Su objetivo principal dentro del interinato de cuatro juegos es quedar bien contra Estados Unidos y sacar el pase a la Copa Confederaciones.

VIDEO: Día Previo al Partido

Por el otro lado, Gerardo “El Tata” Martino mostró cierto respeto para México el día antes de partido. El hecho de que México estuviera atravesando cambios en su dirección fue minimizado por el entrenador argentino que habló entre las similitudes del plantel de México con Miguel Herrera y con Ferretti.

Gran expectativa la generó Lionel Messi. Un jugador que hace tiempo se había rumorado como fuera de la selección, era quien llamaba la atención de aficionados argentinos y foráneos. Se esperaba que La Pulga solo jugaría 30 minutos para guardarlo y debido al mal estado en el que se encontraba la cancha el día previo al partido.

Ya el martes, el día esperado por muchos, las inmediaciones de Jerry World se llenaron desde temprano con aficionados de ambos equipos en su mayoría mexicanos. Las parrilladas no podían faltar . Horas antes del partido, ex-jugadores de la selección como lo son Jared Borgetti, Jorge Campos, Luis Hernández, Adolfo Ríos y Pavel Pardo convivieron con sus aficionados.

VIDEO: La voz de los aficionados (English-Spanish)

El ambiente dentro del estadio fue inmejorable. Un estadio casi lleno listo para ver un partido con sabor a revancha para México que fue eliminado por Argentina en el Mundial de Sudáfrica 2010. Lionel Messi salió como titular por Argentina y Rafael Márquez lo hizo por México.

Mientras que Argentina tuvo mayor posesión de la pelota, México fue más peligroso y en el minuto 18 Raúl Jiménez fue derribado dentro del área y se marcó penal a favor del Tri. Javier Hernández tomó el balón y volvió a tomar confianza anotando el 1-0. Fue hasta el segundo tiempo que Héctor Herrera amplió la ventaja y luego vinieron los cambios.

Esos cambios abrieron los huecos para que Argentina en diez minutos cambiara el rumbo del partido. Moises Muñoz se equivocó gravemente en una salida y Sergio Aguero empujó el balón para recortar distancias. Ya cuando parecía que se acababa el partido, Lionel Messi bajó el balón como los dioses y en dos toques mandó el balón al fondo.

VIDEO: Reporte del partido

2-2 fue el marcador final. A México le supo amargo pues dejaron ir un triunfo en menos de diez minutos. Al mismo tiempo sacaron buenas conclusiones por el manejo de casi todo el partido donde si tuvieron buenas oportunidades. Argentina se salvó de una derrota pero el verdadero sufrimiento fue cuando se dieron cuenta que no había agua fría en sus regaderas.

The Spieth Factor

Chances are you already know Jordan Spieth won The Masters at Augusta this past weekend. Not many people knew him ahead of this weekend but with his appearance at the David Letterman show, shortly after his feat, he is now the most popular golfer. Spieth, 21, is not new to success. Was not new to being in the final group on Sunday in one of golfs’ most prestigious tournaments. In his debut at one of golf’s biggest stages he finished in second.

Spieth, 21, is not new to success. Was not new to being in the final group on Sunday in one of golfs’ most prestigious tournaments. In his debut at Augusta he finished second after having the lead for almost three days and half of the last day. Many thought that would be the only chance the youngster got at wearing the Green Jacket. I personally hoped they were wrong.

Spieth was as cool as the other side of the pillow this weekend. He definitely matured over the year and showed his was no fluke at last year’s masters. He showed his talent against the best golfers in the world breaking records day by day. He knew nothing mattered the first three days if he did not end up winning on Sunday.

Spieth grabbed the lead on Day 1 and never gave it back.
Spieth grabbed the lead on Day 1 and never gave it back.

He managed to keep everyone at a safe distance behind him. He did not break down whenever he shot a bogey or even worst a double bogey on 17 on Saturday. He regrouped and saved the round with a par on 18 that same day. By then, he already had a scorecard of 16 strokes under par. That was a record already, but the question was if he would have a break down like in 2014 or finish the job this time.

The first nine holes showed he was not as strong as on the previous days, but he was able to make birdies after every almost every mistake. Spieth finished the front nine holes just one under par. A birdie on 10 gave him enough confidence to control the game moving forward.

A few wide shots from the tee here and there opened the door for Phil Mickelson and Justin Rose to plan on catching up with the Dallas native. The young man showed he wanted it really bad this time and got the job done even with a bogey on 18. With a scorecard of -18 when at one point it read -19. The best score ever at Augusta.

Spieth was able to bounce back from every mistake he made.
Spieth was able to bounce back from every mistake he made.

His game might not be solid right now, but just think of how good he can get whenever he gets more experience. He will be able to control the pressure and he is sure to rise to the occasion. He stayed calm throughout the whole weekend. Very methodical in his approach to every stroke, especially when putting from any distance.

Jordan delivered a game worthy of his talent. His achievement at Augusta now has him ranked second place in the world. He follows the steps of Rory McIlroy that failed to impress over the weekend. He is just as hungry for more just like Tiger Woods at the beginning of his career.

Spieth dropped out from the University of Texas to pursue his dream as a pro golfer. Sometimes that is a risky decision, for Spieth it seems to be the right one, otherwise golf history would not have been written the way it was this past few days at Augusta National.

He now joins a very select club of golfers who have won the Masters
He now joins a very select club of golfers who have won the Masters

The man now wears that green jacket everywhere he goes, his name joins the elite ranks of the game and at his young age, the sky is the limit for this Texan. He wants more, and if he continues to play like he did from April 9-12 he will reach higher heights tournament by tournament. The future of American golf may have found its man, and his name is Jordan Spieth.

El Camino a Arizona

Tres victoriaS consecutivas separan a cualquiera de los ocho equipos restantes de alcanzar la gloria en el Super Tazón XLIX en la casa de los Cardenales de Arizona, el estadio de la Universidad en Phoenix.

En las 49 ocasiones que el super domingo se programa para jugarse en una cancha neutral, ningún equipo local ha logrado llegar a jugar en casa el último juego de la temporada. Arizona no logrará romper esa racha al haber caído ante las Panteras de Carolina por 27 a 16.

BALTIMORE VS NUEVA INGLATERRA

Pocos creían en los Cuervos antes de la semana pasada. Para muchos el simple hecho de tenerse que enfrentar ante los Acereros de Pittsburgh en el mismísimo Heinz Field era suficiente para hacer pensar que Big Ben y compañía no tendrían problema para avanzar. Aunque los locales tuvieron mayor control del reloj, los visitantes fueron más certeros en sus jugadas. Por aire y tierra los números favorecieron a Pittsburgh pero cuando Ben Roethlisberger lanzó dos intercepciones, los carneros supieron aprovechar y capitalizar sus oportunidades. Los Cuervos se vieron en desventaja en el primer cuarto, pero con un touchdown al inicio del segundo todo comenzó a fluir de a su favor y se vió reflejado en el marcador por 30 a 17.

Ahora enfrentan a quienes muchos consideran los favoritos de ganarlo todo. Un equipo que por lo regular no se hace chico en estas instancias y que esta acostumbrado a llegar al campeonato de conferencia. Terminaron la temporada regular con marca de 12-4, y Tom Brady, el mariscal se perfila para ser el jugador más valioso de la liga. Al igual que los Cuervos, Nueva Inglaterra depende mucho de su ataque aéreo pero Baltimore puede hacer más daño por tierra según las estadísticas. Amos mariscales tienen anillos de Super Tazón, Flacco con uno y Brady tiene tres.

Aquí le doy la ventaja a Bill Billacheck y los Patriotas de Nueva Inglaterra. La diferencia será marcada por la lectura que le dan al juego Bill y Brady, capaz de superar a unos Cuervos que les falta para estar en la forma que ganaron el Super Tazón en el 2012.

CAROLINA VS SEATTLE 

Un equipo que realmente ha mantenido su esencia pero no la forma de la temporada pasada a esta son los Halcones Marinos de Seattle. El año pasado este equipo se coronó campeón de la NFL y este año vienen con toda la intención de repetir. Tras un inicio tambaleante para el equipo de Russell Wilson, se han sabido sobreponer y les alcanzo para librarse de la ronda de comodines. Wilson ha lanzado siete pases interceptados en la temporada pero viene de cinco muy buenos juegos para cerrar la temporada regular. Este equipo de Seattle no depende tanto del brazo de su mariscal ya que tienen en Marshawn Lynch a uno de los mejores corredores de la liga. 1,306 yardas en 280 acarreos. Eso habla de la confianza que le tiene Wilson al ataque terrestre.

Carolina no tiene mucho que perder en este encuentro a disputarse el sábado en Century Link Field. Al no ser locales y mucho menos los favoritos, el sorprender a Seattle es lo único que les debe de importar. Newton es uno de esos mariscales de los que se habló poco en su llegada a la NFL pero que ha sido consistente en su peregrinar por la liga. A pesar de haber sufrido un accidente automovilístico casi al final de la campaña esta en buena forma para pelearle del tú a tú al campeón vigente del Super Bowl. Newton ha logrado completar más del 50% de sus pases, pero fuera de casa han conocido la derrota más veces que la victoria. Ellos dependen más de la conexión entre Newton y Greg Olsen para anotar por la via aérea que intentos por tierra.

La victoria de este juego se la voy a dar a Seattle, más allá de lo parejo que puede estar el juego a la ofensiva, será la defensiva de los Halcones Marinos la que marque la diferencia como es costumbre.

INDIANAPOLIS VS DENVER

Los partidos del domingo pintan para ser más parejos que los del sábado. En el “Mile High Stadium” de la ciudad de Denver, Peyton Manning tiene la experiencia que se puede requerir para ganar este encuentro. Estos dos equipos se enfrentaron en la primera semana y los Broncos ganaron por 31 a 24 en el mismo escenario. Los Broncos son el cuarto mejor equipo de la liga en cuanto a yardas por aire. Manning lanzó el ovoide para 39 pases de anotación. Además de eso esta el hecho de que la defensiva no permite mucho avance por aire o por tierra y a pesar de la posible ausencia de Brandon Marshall, tienen con que ser fieles a su sistema.

Por el otro lado Andrew Luck no se queda muy atras. El egresado de la Universidad de Stanford es uno de los mariscales más consistentes de la liga. Tras ser aplastado por los Vaqueros en la penúltima semana de la temporada regular el domingo pasado ante Cincinati demostró de que esta hecho. Lanzó para 376 yardas y un touchdown. A lo largo de la campaña estableció el mejor ataque aéreo en la NFL con un promedio de 305.9 yardas por partido. Además en los pies de Adam Vinatieri existe un arma confiable en caso de que sea el veterano de 42 años quien tenga que definir el partido.

Duelo que siempre tiene tintes de importancia tan solo por el hecho de que Manning pasó muchos años gloriosos con el equipo que enfrentará el domingo. Una derrota difícilmente signifique el último partido de Peyton pero si de Vinatieri. Aquí le voy a dar la ventaja a Denver.

DALLAS VS GREEN BAY

Este es el juego estelar de la ronda divisional. Dos de los mejores tres mariscales de campo esta temporada frente a frente en una tundra llamada Lambeau Field. Los empacadores se coronaron campeones del Super Bowl 45 en Dallas y no querrán que los Vaqueros arruinen sus planes de llegar a Arizona. Por el lado de Dallas Tony Romo ha completado el 69.9% de sus pases esta temporada. Ha estado fino cuando había que estarlo incluyendo la segunda mitad del juego de comodín ante Detroit. Las estadísticas colocan al mariscal originario de San Diego, que estudió en Illinois y de origen hispano como el mejor de la temporada, seguido de su próximo rival, Aaron Rodgers. Romo terminó la temporada pasada en la banca por una lesión en la espalda y el apoyo terrestre que le ha dado DaMarco Murray en esta campaña corriendo 1,845 yardas y anotando en 13 ocasiones para un record de la franquicia. También hay manos seguras con DezBryant como receptor abierto. quien tuvo 88 capturas para 1,320 yardas y 16 touchdowns sumando otro record de franquicia. También cuentan con la habilidad de Jason Witten, Terrance Williams y Cole Beasley.

Invictos en casa, Green Bay busca sortear a un hueso duro de roer y tiene con que hacerlo. Su linea defensiva es mejor que la que los visitará el domingo. Permiten menos avances por aire pero son más susceptibles a pagar caro por tierra y esa ha sido el arma letal de los Vaqueros esta temporada. El frío que se espera (-15ºC) puede dolerle más al mariscal de Green Bay pues presenta dolor en la pantorrilla y que puede frenar la movilidad que tenga el domingo. En caso de que Rodgers tenga que salir del partido las cosas no se ven muy bien pues Matt Flynn no tiene anotaciones hasta el momento y el ataque terrestre de Green Bay con Eddie Lacy tampoco es muy prometedor. Si por algún milagro Rodgers se llega a sentir mejor de lo que se pronostica entonces si habrá que preocuparse y mucho en caso de los Vaqueros.

La calidad de Rodgers es la mejor arma de los Empacadores esta semana, si esa arma no esta bien preparada habrá sorpresas en Lambeau. Los Cowboys no han perdido fuera de casa pero en sus últimos tres encuentros contra el rival en turno han salido sin la victoria. La última vez que ambos se enfrentaron en la postemporada (1996) ganaron los Vaqueros y yo pienso que esta vez será igual.

Rolling With the Punches in 2014

If I could only use one word to describe the past 364 days of my life I could use either crazy or unexpected. Every year you want to become a better person, better at what you do and how you treat others, at least that is what I want. This year is hard to sum up in one blog with everything that happened but I will give it a try.

I feel thankful for most of the things that I got to accomplish this year. A year that was perfectly scripted the day it started but somewhere along the way that script got erased and life has not been the same. I wanted to keep my job, keep working in the United States, develop into a strong journalist and earn a reputation that could open me the doors more easily anywhere. I realized that sometimes no matter how good you are, your passport can hurt you.

I can’t complain of what I had to do to believe I was ready for any challenge. In the first half of my year, while I was still working at Telemundo in DFW. I covered the “Heart of Dallas Bowl” the first day of the year between my alma matter and the University of Nevada in Las Vegas where U.N.T. took the title. I had worked many games back at U.N.T. watching the program develop into what happened that first day of 2014 at the Cotton Bowl, so I was happy to be there.

Then came the Cotton Bowl at AT&T Stadium, many Rangers games, a U.F.C. fight, Mavericks games including a playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs who would later win the championship. I was working on my own stories, I felt I was on my way to easily get a work visa once my student visa expired. I had gone through a lot of punches in my early career, I was starting to feel some stability in my life. Unfortunately that changed, after a great year and a half with Telemundo I had to say goodbye.

Before I knew it I was heading home not only after 18 months in Telemundo but almost six years living on my own in the United States. I wanted to say everything happens for a reason and more than six months after that happened that is still not so clear to me. I came back thinking my degree from a U.S. University would be my easy way in to a good job in Mexico. With the World Cup around the corner nothing mattered more for media corporations than what happened in Brazil.

i spent time at home thinking and trying to rebuild my life. Trying to find a meaning to whatever happened in this new era for me. It was and still is hard for me to understand why things happen the way it has. After half a year of sending resumes to many different places and not finding one full-time job many questions are raised.

Meanwhile I did have some nice experiences. I covered a triathlon, a marathon and to top it all off a Formula 1 Race. This last one was the best thing that could happen to me at any given moment, and after struggling with the job hunt, it was even better news. It was a one week job that I will remember for a lifetime. As a fan of the sport, having all the pilots, cars and celebrities (including Pam Anderson) walk right by me and stopping for pictures was like giving the key to a kid for a candy store. It felt surreal, but it could not be more real. At the end of the race I did not care about the outcome as much as I did not want it to end.

I like to say I went to heaven and came back the day after it ended and it is something that I believe truly adds to my curriculum. Since that trip I kept on traveling all over the place for almost two months. I was not staying in the same place for more than five days straight. I had a trip to shoot my first commercial, a project in which I am still working, and I was at home (Mexico City) to watch one of my favorite soccer teams win the national league championship.

After many weeks of being depressed by not finding a job I used travel to keep my busy and productive. I did everything including running a marathon where I had to sacrifice the will of qualifying for Boston due to an injury and now could only worry on finishing to remember how great that feels.

At the end of the year I am happy with most of the things that happened this 2014 but I am still seeking for that emotional, personal and professional stability. I know I’ve been through a lot and that this roller coaster will never end even if I want it to. That is how life goes, there are reasons to feel sad about 2014 but more to feel happy.

I started OscarSports.com to keep talking about sports, one of the things I love the most, and 2015 will be big for this project. This website will experience changes for the better early this new year. This is my new baby which I will keep feeding to make it grow. If work does not come to me I have to create it for myself and this is it.

I know I have to keep rolling with the punches, that is the only way to grow, to mature and to become a better version of yourself. I will not give up in the seek of better things and I hope that everyone that made it this far in this post does the same. Happy New Year everyone!

Rondo To Dallas

Just how big is the move of Rajon Rondo to Dallas? In a few words, it is huge, and here is why. Bringing in someone like Rajon to Dallas is a key ingredient to an already strong team. The former Boston Celtics has been as consistent as you can be in a league where every season you play 82 highly competitive games every season.

He has played 527 games in his career with a field goal percentage of .473 but that is not the area where he excels, his go-to weapon while playing the game he loves is passing. Rondo has been in the top two spots in this league the past four seasons when it comes to assists. Last year the Mavs found in players like José Calderón someone to help the position that Jason Kidd had vacated a couple of seasons ago.The trade that brings in the number nine Celtic is actually compared to the one that was used to bring Kidd into the team.

Rondo was a crucial part of a championship team in Boston back in 2008 who will also make the trip to Dallas with Dwight Powell. In exchange the Celtics get Jae Crowder, Jameer Nelson and Brandan Wright plus two draft picks that would go to the Mavs in the 2015 and 2016 drafts. That just quantifies how big the move is and how much Mark Cuban wanted to have Rondo playing at the American Airlines Center.

This could hurt a Dallas team that was working quite well almost halfway through the season with 19 wins and eight losses. A team that is leading the league with the most points per game average (110.1) and currently third in the southwest standings with the San Antonio Spurs as their next rival.

Obviously Marc Cuban, Donnie Nelson and Rick Carlisle don’t want to hurt a team that is in serious playoff contention. They are bringing in someone who could help elevate the already strong game the Mavericks have shown this season. Giving J.J. Barea a strong competitor for his position. Barea is a good player that also has a good player with already a championship ring in his resumé. It is still one of the weakest positions in the Mavericks roster that with Dirk Nowitzki and Monta Ellis up front have made the Dallas team one of the most fearless offensive teams in the NBA.

That is a reason this team did not need someone like Lebron James. Last season they suffered setting up big plays and getting rebounds, with Rondo in the picture things could change drastically. The 28 year is switching teams for the first time in his career, after 8 seasons in Boston, Dallas will represent a new challenge for the University of Kentucky alumni. But the guy has a tested ability and even though he is coming out of an injury the faith in the 3-time All Star is strong.

Because if Rondo can adapt his game to his new team I am certain the Dallas Mavericks should from now on be considered a Championship contender. Having Rondo in the roster is a vital part of that dream.

rondo celtics
Born in Louisville, became pro in Boston and now looks to solidify his career in Dallas. Rajon Rondo (masslive.com)

Last Week in Sports (10/13/14 to 10/19/14)

Here is a look at some of the most important stories in the world of sports this past week.

NFL

Once again I will start things off by talking about the Dallas Cowboys. The team was coming off an impressive victory on the road against the reigning Super Bowl Champs, the Seattle Seahawks. They had a bumpy week that started with Joseph Randle being caught stealing underwear and cologne at a store in the Dallas/Fort-Worth area (he will now endorse it). The next day a survey came out stating that the team owned by Jerry Jones was no longer America’s team, but now the Denver Broncos held that title. Pretty sure if that same survey was handed out today the Cowboys would recover that spot. Playing their first division game of the season against the New York Giants they had a shaky first half but a very solid second. DeMarco Murray  ran for 126 yards becoming the first player to go over 100 for seven consecutive games in the history of the NFL. Tony Romo had another great day in Arlington passing for 279 yards and three touchdowns. The Cowboys are now 6-1 after beating the Giants 31-21. Last time they started this well was in 2007.

On the Sunday Night Football game history was made. Peyton Manning tied Brett Favre’s record of 508 career touchdown passes and just moments later he went for a record setting 509 on a third and goal opportunity. Demaryius Thomas caught the ball that from now on will be displayed in Canton, Ohio at the NFL Hall of Fame museum. Manning would leave the game but not before he threw one more touchdown pass (510) against the San Francisco defense. It was a historic night at Mile High Stadium in Denver, Colorado where the dominant 42-17 win by the Broncos will hardly be remembered by the score.

WATCH: Peyton Manning 509 TD Pass

SOCCER

Euro 2016 Qualifiers continued early this week. Germany can’t find a way to play like it did to achieve the World Cup title just a few months back and was tied by Ireland in the last minutes of the game for a 1-1 draw. A header from Cristiano Ronaldo helped his national team (Portugal) get three points on its visit to Denmark 1-0. A game determined by UEFA (the European association that regulates soccer in Europe) as a high-risk match proved to be just that. Serbia hosted Albania hoping politic turmoil in between both nations did not affect the game but it was a drone flying over the field carrying a flag from Albania the last straw that angered Serbian players. One of them pulled the flag down and when that happened all hell broke loose and there was a big fight among players and those on the bench as well as in between fans in the stands. That way Martin Atkinson from England had no other choice but to suspend the game. While Albanian players were received as national heroes, Serbia wants UEFA to award them an automatic win. Chances are both teams get suspended from competition from now in.

In Mexico the national league is only four games away from going into playoffs. America played Monterrey hoping to get a win after two straight games without it. They did just that playing against a team that was in second place before the game and now sits in the fifth spot after. Monterrey after losing 0-2 against the leaders of the competition has let Toluca, Atlas and Tigres stand in the way between them and the top of the leaderboard. Chivas, one of the most popular teams in the league hired a new coach, (the same one that could not get Mexico to the World Cup) José Manuel de la Torre. They played León  who won the last championship setting the stage for a great comeback but in the end 2 goals from “La Fiera” and one from “El Rebaño” just made things worst .

In Spain the soccer world is getting ready to see Real Madrid play Barcelona in what is said to be the biggest rivalry around a soccer ball that there is in the world. Before that happens this past weekend Madrid played Levante in what seemed to be target practice for the team managed by Carlo Ancelotti. Two goals from Cristiano Ronaldo, one from James Rodriguez, one from Isco and another one from Javier “Chicharito” Hernández (his 3rd with Madrid), sealed a 5-0 victory the week prior to “El Superclásico”. On the other side, Messi is just one goal away from tying Telmo Zarra as the player with the most goals in “La Liga”(250). He scored once in the 3-0 win against Eibar and refused to be substituted late in the second half.

BASEBALL

It doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you get there. That is probably what both teams that will be playing in the MLB World Series told themselves after clinching a spot for the Wild Card game on their respective divisions a few weeks back. The Kansas City Royals have not been defeated in their first postseason run in 28 years. The team swept Oakland, L.A. Dodgers and the Orioles. The San Francisco Giants are a bit more used to playing this far into the season. They recently were crowned champions when playing against the Texas Rangers in the 2011 World Series. This time around they beat Pittsburgh in the Wild Card game, 3-1 in the series against the Washington Nationals, and 4-1 against the St. Louis Cardinals where the last game came down to the wire but a three-run home run by Travis Ishikawa in the bottom of the ninth inning sealed the deal at home for the Giants (6-3). The 2014 World Series between the Kansas City Royals and the San Francisco Giants starts this tuesday.

On a quick note, the Texas Rangers announced Jeff Banister as their new skipper after Ron Washington resigned late in the 2014 Season due to personal problems after eight years leading the Rangers clubhouse leader. Banister comes from Pittsburgh hoping to bring the Rangers back to the postseason, an instance they have not showed up to in the past two campaigns.  I will address his personal story in a later date.

GOLF

Major championships were over a while back in the PGA Tour this year but that doesn’t golf players have stayed at home since then. This past weekend in Las Vegas, Nevada at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Ben Martin took the win finishing 20 strokes under par, just two strokes below his closest competitor Kevin Streelman. Mexico’s rookie Carlos Ortiz played in his second tournament as a PGA pro and that did not seem to matter. The former Mean Green golfer finished tied for 18th spot with 11 strokes below par. He is now 33rd in the Fedex Cup Rankings.

RUNNING

Just three weeks ago the Marathon world record was shattered in Berlin, Germany. This past sunday, Abraham Cheroben was aiming to do the same with Zersenay Tadese’s World Record of 58:23. The 21-year-old Kenyan ran the Medio Maratón Valencia with that goal. “I’m satisfied with my win but I’m not totally happy because I was targeting a world record today. I’m convinced I can break the 58-minute barrier for the distance”, were the Cheroben’s words right after the race that has been won by Kenyans the past nine editions. His time of 58:48 is the fastest time for anyone who has ran this distance the past two years.

CAR RACING

The Formula 1 is on a two week break from racing. While the Formula travels from Europe to America in Mexico City representatives from “Tilke”, a german architecture firm presented the design of the new “Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez” track which will be used to host the “Mexico Grand Prix” on November 1st of 2015 per the preliminary calendar. The track is expected to be the second fastest in the world just behind the historic Monza circuit in Italy. Cars should be able to reach a top speed of 328 kms/h and organizers expect to receive over 120,000 fans at the track’s grounds on race day.

WATCH: F1 Mexico Grand Prix Track Design

In NASCAR Brad Keselowski took the checkered flag at the GEICO 500 in Talladega. 32 of the 43 drivers that started the race finished in the same lap that the leader did. Matt Kenseth who is also fighting for the Sprint Cup championship made it finished just 0.141 seconds behind Keselowski. With just four races to go in the season it is Joey Logano from Team Penske who leads the pack. He finished 11th at Talladega in a race that had 38 lead changes.

RACQUETBALL

Mexican racquetball player Paola Longoria had not made major headlines in Mexico until last night when she lost against the American Rhonda Rajsich at the Stockton Pro Am (11-9, 5-11, 14-12, 5-11, 11-4). The reason this was important was because it meant the end to a 152 game winning streak from the mexican superstar. Oddly enough it happened against the same person she had lost to in may of 2011. Since that game Longoria had not lost a single match until now. Longoria’s chance to restart her streak will come at the Central American Games in Veracruz, Mexico from november 14 to the 30th.

Last Week in Sports (10/06/14-10/12/14)

Starting today, every monday I will be posting a summary of the most important news in the world of sports over the weekend.

NFL

Even though we still have to wait to see how the Monday Night Football game pans out to be, it will hardly overtake the show that Seattle and the Dallas Cowboys displayed yesterday at CenturyLink Field, the house of the 12th man. (considered the second loudest stadium in the NFL right behind Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City)

Dallas was coming off an overtime win over the Houston Texans at home but was expected to face an even harder test on the road against the Super Bowl XLVII Champions.  Things did not start well for the team managed by Jason Garrett and due to a couple of mistakes early in the game, they fell behind 10-0. The underdog responded quickly with some great plays by Tony Romo and came back to take the lead 10-17 before halftime. A fielding mistake by the special teams and a mistimed pass by Travis Frederick were key mistakes to give hope to the Seahawks and turn things around in their favor 20-17. Cowboys came back to tie but another field goal by the Seahawks gave the lead to a team that was getting lucky.

The key play of the game happened with less than five minutes to go in the game. 3rd and 20 for the Cowboys and Tony Romo avoids a couple of sacks to find Terrance Williams 23 yards away. Williams makes the best catch of the game right on the borderline of the field having his toes save him from an incomplete pass. In that same series DeMarco Murray takes the ball for a touchdown and gives the Cowboys its 5th win of the season. They will play division rivals (New York Giants, Washington Redskins) the next two weeks before traveling to London to play the Jaguars.

SOCCER

With most club activity suspended for the week due to FIFA Dates national teams in North and South America played friendly games while teams in Europe continued Euro 2016 Qualifiers. Mexico played Honduras on thursday and won 2-0 with goals from Oswaldo Alanis and “Chicharito” Hernández who is now just nine goals behind Jared Borgetti as the all-time best national team scorer. On sunday they played Panama and with the first goal of Erik Torres with the national team they took the win (1-0).

Among other important results Landon Donovan said farewell to the U.S. Men’s National Team. He played his last 40 minutes with the jersey he wore 157 times and 19 of them as the captain of the squad. After not being included by Jurgen Klinsmann to play in the World Cup the decision of retiring was clear for the best soccer player to ever represent the red, white and blue on a soccer field. Unfortunately after a memorable night Ecuador’s Enner Valencia tied the game in its final stretch for a 1-1 draw.

Brazil beat Argentina in what is probably the biggest rivalry in soccer at an international level. Diego Tardelli scored both goals for the “Verde Amarela”. Messi had a chance from the penalty spot to temporarily tie the game but he missed. This friendly game was played in Beijing, China.

In Euro 2015 Qualifiers scores Spain beat Luxemburg 4-0 after falling 2-1 earlier in the week to Slovakia. England had an easy week winning 5-0 over San Marino and 1-0 over Estonia. France beat Portugal 2-1 even with Ronaldo on the pitch but even more shocking Germany lost against Poland 0-2.

MLB

We are approaching the very end of a very long baseball season and surprises keep popping up. Probably the biggest one is that the L.A. Dodgers aren’t in the hunt for a World Series anymore. Now the Kansas City Royals are back to a spot they are not very used to be in. They are facing the Orioles in the American League Championship Series who are also pretty unfamiliar with this stages. Their rival in the biggest stage in baseball will come from the winner between the San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals who are playing to reach the National League Championship Series to access the World Series.

F1

A very unusual week unfolded in Formula 1. Most people have now seen or heard the accident in which Marussia’s driver Jules Bianchi was involved back in the Japan Grand Prix. Today Bianchi is still in critical condition in a hospital in Japan and is being supervised by a medical team lead by two doctors provided by Ferrari. Most of the people that surround F1 races say they are having a tough time dealing with the situation. But the show must go on and Russia welcomed the highest category in auto-racing for the first time. A circuit with lots of turns and few spaces to overpass other drivers built around the same Olympic Park that hosted the recent 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

It was again the Mercedes drivers who occupied the top two positions . Lewis Hamilton came in first after leading the whole race and Nico Rosberg finished second in a competition where most cars only needed one stop Marussia only had Max Chilton’s car on track as a tribute to his teammate. Unfortunately he had to abandon the race early on due to technical difficulties. With the 1-2 for Mercedes Benz drivers, the team secured the Constructors Championship with three races to go in the season. Apparently Russia is having to pay $50 million as a hosting fee per year for this new venture. Next up is the United States Grand Prix in Austin (special coverage from the Circuit of the Americas, stay tuned).

TENNIS MASTERS

Roger Federer has shown the world he is not done playing great tennis. The swiss who for a very long time had ranked number one in the world won the Shanghai Masters for the first time in his career after defeating Frenchman Gilles Simon 7-6 (8-6) 7-6 (7-2). A close match that was mostly defined by Federer’s efficiency from the net taking 24 of 35 points. With the absence from Nadal in the tournament, combined with this result, Federer is now second in the ATP Rankings just behind Novak Djokovic.

CHICAGO MARATHON

There were close to ideal conditions in the “Windy City” yesterday for the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. No world-records were broken, nor even course records and that is mostly due to a highly conservative pace from the leaders on both the women’s and men’s side of the field. It was a Kenyan podium on the men’s side with Eliud Kipchoge taking first place with a time of 2:04:11. Followed by Sammy Kitwara and Dickson Chumba less than a minute behind. On the women’s side Rita Jeptoo won the race with a 2:24:35 Rita Jeptoo (KEN) 2:24:35, Mare Dibaba came second and Florence Kiplagat finished third. Jeptoo from Kenya also clinched the 2013-2014 World Marathon Majors title.

OTHERS

Finally mexican golfer Carlos Ortiz made his PGA debut at the Frys.com Open in Napa Valley, California. The University of North Texas alumni and “Web.Com Player of the Year”finished with a scorecard of one stroke under par to rank 57 allowing him to rank 56 in the PGA Tour. Also Paola Longoria from Mexico won the U.S. Open in racquetball after defeating María José Vargas from Argentina 3-0 at Minneapolis. It is Longoria’s fifth U.S. Open title and 150th consecutive win for the player from San Luis Potosi.

Boston via California

No matter how hard things get, determination will get you to the finish line.
No matter how hard things get, determination will get you to the finish line.

I’ve been running for almost 22 years and for the last 14 I started specializing in it. The sport has given me the chance to live in another country, to challenge and learn a lot about myself. Just as there are many things I have accomplished through it there is one I am still missing out on.

It took me a while to understand what made running special. Running without chasing a soccer ball is a crazy idea in my country. It makes no sense to the human eye. For this sport it is what it makes you feel inside what makes it special. After overcoming a thousand obstacles while running you will feel accomplished once you get it done.

I grew up in a town where the sport was really underrated. I would say a race with 20-30 people was a big one for the most part. I got to know those 20-30 people pretty well as the years went by.Americans are used to racing in courses where streets are closed for hours while a race is going on. In Tampico, Mexico, for a very long time that was unheard of. I raced side by side with drunk drivers, taxis and public transportation buses closing my eyes at almost every intersection hoping not to get hit. 

My first official race was a 100 meter dash race, and that was long distance for my age group. Then came the 5 K’s, the 10 K’s for which I would usually travel to compete in Mexico City. In 2007 I was living in Canada and decided that by the end of my time there I would try the 13.1 mile race (21 kms.) at the Vancouver Half Marathon. I ran it and I barely remember finishing it, I did make it to the medical tent afterwards and hours later I found out I placed second on my age group on my first half-marathon ever with a 1:32:33 finishing time.

I stuck with half-marathons for a long time. To this day, it continues to be my favorite distance. It’s not as long as the marathon but it gives me an edge over middle distance runners that may be quicker the first 6.1 miles but get tired on the second half allowing me to catch up or pull away. My best time is a 1:23:30 so I have made some improvements since Vancouver and hope to one day run it under 1:20:00.

Running is a sport where you have to constantly challenge yourself in order to keep it interesting. I knew there would be a day that I had to run a marathon. I always thought that would be after college, but the marathon bug hit me way before that. I was finishing my preparation for the NJCAA Half Marathon National Championship when my mom told me to run the Monterrey Marathon with her by the end of the year. I agreed to the challenge without any idea of what it entitled. I had prepared myself really well for National’s so I was sure I could hold it for another 13.1 miles no problem. Well, I was wrong.

The whole idea of running a marathon seems to be messed up by any normal human being. The thing is, runners are not normal. With that being said, I am not normal and just two weeks after competing at the most challenging half marathon ever I was lining up for an even bigger challenge. My goal was to finish, I was aiming to do a good race, keep a good pace, and enjoy the experience. I started at a pace that I was used to for college races (too fast for marathons) and kept it together for 13.1 miles where I almost ran faster than at nationals. But the struggle came on the second half. At about mile 17 I felt a cramp during a race for the first time ever. It was so intense I had to stop. I stretched and started running again (I wasn’t going to walk for 13.1 miles). Then came more cramps and more stops. I actually drank coke during the race and that did not help at all, but it sounded like a great idea. All the way up to mile 25 I couldn’t go a mile without feeling a cramp. But with a lot of pride, courage and guts I ran all the way to the finish line and couldn’t be happier when I crossed that finish line in 3:40:00. December 2009 will never be forgotten.

I went back to college to compete in indoors less than a month later like if nothing had happened. I was living in Iowa at the time and moved to Texas in August. There I found out about the Dallas Marathon and said why not give it another shot. This was the first time I actually prepared for it. I trained on my own from August to December hoping for a better finish and my first legit shot to qualify for the world’s oldest marathon, the Boston Marathon. I trained well and felt that with a smart race I would be in Boston by next year. It was a great race, the weather really helped my performance and I was feeling great up to mile 20 where my body started shutting down gradually. I made it to the finish with one minor stop and crossed the line in 3 hours 16 minutes. I missed the mark by 6 minutes, I was happy but I felt I had it for the longest time.

I was determined to give it another try the following may. I kept a similar training program now focused on endurance. I was my own coach and taking a lot of pride on every result along the way. I raced in Lincoln, Nebraska which gave me a chance to say hi to some friends in the area. It was the smallest marathon I’ve been in and the course was the same for everyone the first 13.1 miles and then marathoners were on their own for the next 13.1. I struggled a bit to find a pace but once I did I got comfortable and ran a very solid marathon. I was on pace for the longest I have ever been. But again the last 3 miles seemed very very long. I was having problems keeping my eyes open due to fatigue. I was also trying not to fall with my legs becoming heavier every step of the way. I went through the mile 26 mark in 3:10:59 seconds. That was the time I needed to make it to Boston, the sad part, I had .2 miles to go. I crossed the finish line in 3:12:00. I had never been more happy and frustrated in my life. 

My fourth marathon was one to forget. It was in Houston just over six months after barely missing the mark at Lincoln and the day after the Olympic Trials were held in the same place.I was really prepared but when swine-flu hits you just 48 hours before the race the chances of a good performance are almost over before the race begins. I felt horrible by mile 5 and had 21.2 miles to go. Not much to comment here except for the fact that somehow I managed to finish in 3 hours and 41 minutes despite that horrible experience in a fast course.

Marathon number 5 has a lot of mixed feelings. I took preparation to a whole new level. I logged more miles than ever during training. I was breaking personal record on many races and speed workouts. I was on fire. The idea of running my first marathon major in a city that meant so much to me was exciting by itself. If there was a time to make it to Boston, it was then. I landed at the Windy City a few days before the race. I got the chance to soak up the whole experience of a city devoted to the race with over 45,000 people and I would be starting in the front. I probably got too excited but tried to keep it together. The day of the race was magical in many ways except for a cramp that at mile 17 pretty much left me without a chance to make it to Boston. I enjoyed the race a lot despite the cramp. With a 3:27:20 I hope to go back one day because for a runner it hardly gets better than Chicago during a marathon day.

Now I’m going on marathon number six. I have chosen the California International Marathon as the event where I will once again try to make it to Boston. There is nothing in my career as a runner that I want more than that. Since the qualifying standard for Boston changed to 3:05 I became obsessed with that number. When I get done with a workout I analyze my pace and compare it to what I need to make it to Boston. It means I have to go at 7:03 for 26.2 miles and around 4:25 per kilometer. I usually chose flat courses when deciding which marathon to do. This time things will get even better with a downhill course and considered by the Boston Athletic Association as one of the top ten courses to punch a ticket to the starting line in Hopkinton. I don’t consider it cheating since I still have to go the 26.2 but a great help when you have to go that fast. Training in altitude should really make training harder but the race easier.

It's all downhill to Boston
It’s all downhill to Boston

As I said before, running has given me a lot of things throughout my life. But the one thing it keeps denying me is the one I want the most. Once I accomplish that I can think about ultras or even Ironmans, but the idea of making it to Boston in 3 hours, five minutes is a priority before moving on. So from now until December 7, 2014 my mind is set on the challenge that takes me to my biggest goal. Nothing would make me happier than crossing the finish line in Sacramento, California earning my way to the Boston Marathon with a 3:05 or better. Once I get there I actually plan to jog it.

6 Years Later…Thank You U.S.A.

Running a marathon in a city (Chicago) that means a lot made it that much more special.
Running a marathon in a city (Chicago) that means a lot made it that much more special.

It was August 5, 2008 when I left behind what I knew, who I knew and anything that seemed familiar to me. I had made the decision I never thought I would make when I was a little kid. Even a year before that day I was dreaming of moving in a different direction.  That day I crossed the border, heading into Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Out of all 50 states in the United States I seemed to have chosen the least popular one, everyone around me wished me luck in Ohio, or Idaho while I was headed somewhere else. I do like to step away from my comfort zone. This time I had no idea if I would turn back.

Six years later I do look back at that day. Even though I am back in Mexico I learned a lot about others but mainly about myself from August 5, 2008 to August 5, 2014. I made the decision based on athletics, but it changed my life. I went in blindfolded, I came out with a different perspective about pretty much everything. Except, mexican food remains as the best one to exist.

People ask me, what was it like to live in another country? I divide my six years into several parts. The first part was great because I was excited to discover a new place, a new culture. I believe there were about 5 mexicans at the college I attended my first two years. Thanks to Iowa Western Community College I got the opportunity to live abroad (once again).

I was excited to be away from home, but it didn’t take long for the excitement to vanish as I was being tested like never before. Running for a college in the U.S. is no joke no matter how good you are, in my case, how good you think you are. From day one I knew I was in for a huge challenge. The days went by and the results on the track were not pleasing my coach, at races I was not even close to delivering what was expected from me. Nerves and pressure were getting the best out of me.

I was pushing my body to an unknown limit, but my mind was not willing to go down the same path, too bad it had to. About two months into this adventure I finally had a good race. It took away lots of pressure, and then came Chicago, where with a better race I proved to myself and others that I had made it over the hump. Not to say things were easy from that point on but I regained confidence and never looked back.

That is why Chicago is such an important city for me, it really marked a before and after on my whole adventure. I kept working hard and my times continued to drop. On my second year I made it to the Half-Marathon Nationals. I didn’t win or wasn’t even close but I enjoyed it so much because of everything it meant and how hard it had been to make it there.

Running got me into the United States, but education kept me there. After two years at Iowa, where I made a lot of friends in a place where mexicans are a rare species, and winters can hardly get any colder I moved down to the Republic of Texas. Now Denton, Texas was my home. I kept running but on my own time, and I really started to study.

It took me a while to get used to everything, Texas has a mind of its own. Remember that I said that in Iowa there were around 5 mexicans in the whole college, here that number was probably the same but  per classroom. After a whole year of adaptation I finally got things rolling and focused on journalism like never before. I always knew that if I didn’t make it in life as a runner, I would love to travel the world to talk about sports.

In Iowa I had also studied the same thing but things got really serious at the Mayborn School of Journalism. There was no way I could have combined varsity track and journalism. I had a hard time digesting things at the beginning but with practice came great things. I started doing stories about pretty much anything I could think of. The best one yet is when I had the chance to fly on a WW2 airplane for free while recording the whole experience.

As I was studying to become a great reporter, I was also preparing myself to run marathons, (ran 4 while I was in Texas) and missed Boston by 75 seconds one time, I was the leader of the Running Club, I usually had one or two jobs to pay for my own expenses and tried to have some kind of social life. It wasn’t easy but it was possible. By this point I was barely going back home to see the family.

Coming into my final semester I had been looking for internships all over the place. I applied to almost every place possible. I went home for Christmas without a thing but the day I came back Telemundo called me for an interview, I obviously went and got the internship.

So on the final stretch of my college life I had even one more responsibility which meant that twice a day I had to drive an hour to and from Telemundo plus working on the local newscasts plus a sports show. It was a non-stop race to the finish. I survived and before May 10 (graduation day) I already had two real-world jobs waiting for me.

I did celebrate the accomplishment of graduating taking into consideration how hard it had been to get there. But there was not that much time to celebrate as the monday after graduation I was already working on my first assignment for “Al Día”, a local hispanic newspaper.

Just when I thought I had seen it and experienced it all I was in for yet another wake up call. I had never worked in a newspaper before, but I was hired for my writing skills. I had never edited a whole tv show before (at Telemundo), but I was hired because they liked how I did things during my internship. I was again under a lot of stress and pressure, I was again close to quitting and packing, but that did not happen. I do not do that, I wasn’t going to that time.

It took me close to two months to get things turned around. I had hit rock-bottom, there was only going up from there. I was now being sent out to cover the Cowboys, the Rangers, NASCAR and many other sporting events around the area. I started receiving less criticism and more compliments towards my work. I had pretty much started all over again.

The year went by, running was put on hold for a while due to work but I was doing what I liked. I was now ok with dealing with pressure, and was able to deliver 99% of the time. I started looking for a Work Visa Sponsorship but that never came, so I prepared my trip back home for good.

May 20, 2014 was the day I took off, but hopefully I get a chance to go back. Not necessarily to Dallas or Iowa, where I made great memories but anywhere to a country that pushed me to my limits over and over again. A place where I discovered how hard life can be when you’re on your own but also how good it feels to get back up.

Like Rocky says; “It’s not about how hard you hit, it’s about how hard you get hit and keep moving forward.”

That is so true. I had great moments but I also fought huge battles against myself to make things work.

I learned a lot about myself and what I am capable of, something I’m quite sure wouldn’t have happened if I stayed at home and watched life go by. I lived some of the best experiences a guy at 25 could have wanted. My job as a reporter was just getting started in the DFW area, but I had the experiences of a veteran.

I hope I made an impact on the life of others just like many others did on mine. Thanks to running I got in, thanks to journalism I stayed, but thanks to perseverance I was able to hold on. Today I am collaborating on a project that gives more athletes the chance to experience what I experienced. (CMASAthletes.com)

Right now I am fighting another one to find a job. It’s taking me time but if I was able to overcome I did in just the past six years, I know I will find one. In the end, all I can say is…. “Thank You USA.”

This is just the start of a really big dream.
This is just the start of a really big dream.