Archivo de la etiqueta: Mexico

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.

Changes at the Speed of F1

When the 2014 Formula 1 Season started in march there were big changes to what we were used to see before. For the first time in a very long time Sebastian Vettel wasn’t the winner and he still hasn’t managed to be on top of the podium with less than half the season remaining. The sound of the new engines was widely criticized by fans which now creates part of its power by a Energy Recovery System. On the bright side we have seen a tougher competition among the whole field with the exception of the Mercedes Benz drivers who have won all but three races of the season so far.

Ferrari has not been the same team ever since Michael Schumacher left the team. They have not lived up to its name and Stefano Domenicali resigned from his position as team principal of the Ferrari Formula One team on mid-august. Marco Mattiacci, former president and CEO of Ferrari North America replaced him. Fernando Alonso has done more for the team than what his car has to offer. The two-time world champion has repeatedly performed at a world-class level but will not be with the “Cavallino Rampante” starting next season. Four-time F1 World Champion Sebastian Vettel is about to make his move to Ferrari official any minute. Alonso could be going back to McLaren.

I’ve been following Formula 1 for a bit now and I can assure you that this one has been the most exciting one. Besides Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo being the only three pilots who have won races this far, the battle for second to 23rd place is always up for anyone. Mexican driver Sergio Perez is having his best season. He finished third in Bahrein and has been able to rack up some points in nine races currently sitting on the tenth spot overall. Esteban Gutierrez had a strong finish in the 2013 season, but the changes to his car have not been positive and so far he has no points, either has his teammate Adrian Sutil. Hamilton leads the board just ten points over Rosberg.

Just to show how tough these drivers are, they have endured extreme temperatures in places like Singapore and a close typhoon in Japan. At the first one Danii Kyvat and Kevin Magnussen reported burns and dehydration during the night race. That was nothing compared to what happened in Japan. The race started under a yellow flag due to the heavy rain. After a short pause it resumed and it was impressive to see how short of a visibility range drivers had along the course while still driving over 200 km/h.

The race was about to end when Adrian Sutil lost control of his car on turn 12 and crashed with a safety wall. There was a provisional yellow flag issued (which should have resulted in the safety car immediately). One lap later Jules Bianchi lost control of his Marussia in the same exact spot. The result was him crashing against the crane that was lifting Sutil’s car at around 160 miles per hour. it took a while for the press to know what was going on since there was no video of the incident.

What should have been a week of celebration in the wake of the first Russian Grand Prix ever, has been a week where Bianchi is fighting for his life in Japan and all the attention is on increasing an already tight security around Formula 1 plus really knowing what happened in what is surely Bianchi’s last lap ever as a F1 driver. Some experts say that race should have not even happened under the conditions it was raced in.

Sergio Perez at the Japan GP under heavy rain conditions. (Force India)
Sergio Perez at the Japan GP under heavy rain conditions. (Force India)

But now Russia is set to host a Grand Prix. Next year Mexico will have the return of the highest category in automotive racing come to a city where many stories were written. Austin is setting itself as one of the driver’s favorite places to race at with just two years in existence, the rumor is New York could be next and it could actually be a street-circuit and not on an actual track. You can already tell safety will be made an even higher priority from now on at old and new circuits.

Safety measures are bound to change, but what spectators around the world hope that does not change is the excitement of the current F1 season. Many of us were tired of the dictatorship that drivers like Vettel and Schumacher had at every race. If Bernie Ecclestone wants more fans to tune into F1 activities, a season as exciting as this one should be a common situation.

But for now lets just hope Jules Bianchi survives a horrifying incident. #ForzaJules

Viewer Discretion is advised to watch this link containing the crash of Jules Bianchi.

Top 5 Drivers: 1) Lewis Hamilton, 2) Nico Rosberg, 3) Daniel Ricciardo, 4) Sebastian Vettel, 5) Fernando Alonso

Top 5 Constructors: 1) Mercedes, 2) Red Bull, 3) Williams, 4) Ferrari, 5) Force India

Races to go: 4 (Russia, United States, Brazil, Abu Dhabi)

Ronaldinho’s Joga Bonito

Media and soccer fans around the world have set their eyes on the city of Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico because a two-time “FIFA Player of the Year” has signed a two-year contract to play with Queretaro F.C. which is currently sitting in eighth place almost halfway through the season. Ronaldo de Assis Moreira, better known as “Ronaldinho”could be presented at the “Estadio La Corregidora” at any moment.

Ronaldinho comes to change many things about the poor conditions the mexican soccer league faces. The same league club owners pride themselves about managing are often facing payment problems. Just last season players from Ronaldinho’s new club were playing for free as the people who owned the team could not pay them. After the end of last season, “Grupo Imagen”, one of the leading media businesses in Mexico bought the team and now they even have the money to add one of the world’s greatest soccer players to its roster.

A team that struggled to get 20,000 people to watch its games can now almost guarantee they will have sold out crowds awaiting every two weeks when they play at home. Not only that, the impact of Ronaldinho will also benefit other teams that host Queretaro for the reminder of the season and the next three that are stipulated in his contract. This is where the LIGA MX will be grateful the most. Experts predict that the superstar has enough power to sell-out every stadium he steps on no matter how bad the teams are doing even if the prices go up.

It is almost a given that “Dinho” is not at the same level he was when Paris Saint Germain and Barcelona had him, but his ability to amaze fans did not die while he was in Brazil. Since then he has been mostly know for being a wild party animal. That was a costly mistake for him as it is said to be the main reason Luiz Felipe Scolari did not call him to be part of the Brazil 2014 World Cup Team.

As weird as it may sound, what the mexican soccer league is doing with the brazilian is something the Major League Soccer has been doing for a long time. Long time ago Pele played in the MLS for the New York Cosmos, Hugo Sanchez with Dallas Burn, David Beckham with the L.A. Galaxy, Thierry Henry is currently playing with the New York Red Bulls while David Villa is about to come stateside to play with the new team called New York Football Club just to name a few.

Even though the economic impact at stadiums has not been as high as many people expected it has raised the level of a league that years ago was nowhere to be found on a soccer map. The league has made huge leaps by either exporting many players to europe or building a strong base for its national team now coached by Jurgen Klinsmann who can threat the most powerful teams either at home or even on the road.

The only “limit” mexican teams have when signing a new player is that they can only have five of them who do not have a mexican passport. Queretaro wanted the brazilian so badly they sold uruguayan Diego Guastavino on the last day the transfer window was open for LIGA MX teams. He has just signed with Boston River from his home country.

United States professional teams operate under a set budget established by the league. They are not free to spend all their money the way they please, which I believe keeps a certain level of competition between the teams in the league. The salary cap for the 2014 MLS Season is $3.1million USD but bringing in players like David Villa does not comply with this cap, as they are brought in like designated players who can get a more flexible salary.

With that being said, mexican players usually receive a better pay than north american soccer players which makes them (mexicans) less interested on playing abroad as they could be sacrificing their own salary.

There are no discipline restrictions for the seventh brazilian world cup champion to play in Mexico, and his actual contract is not that expensive ($1.95 million USD), far far away from the close to $100 million he was worth while playing for the catalan club where he experienced most of his glory. Whatever it is, his style of play will for sure break the monotony of the mexican soccer league like only the 34 year-old player can.

If nothing goes wrong, the new number 49 player of Queretaro F.C. will make his debut this friday (September 12) against Puebla in his new home or against Chivas next weekend.

Queretaro le da la bienvenida al nuevo galllo (pulsolp.com.mx)
Queretaro le da la bienvenida al nuevo galllo       (pulsolp.com.mx)