The Latest: Italian actress calls on women to unite

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The Latest on International Women's Day (all times local):9:40 p.m.Asia Argento, an Italian actress who helped launch the #MeToo movment, is launching a new movement, #WeToo, which aims to unite women against the power imbalance in favor of men.Argento told Radio 24 on Thursday that her aim was "to finally change the patriarchal system so rooted in our culture, not just in Italy." She called on women to join her at a women's march in Rome later in the day, and participate in a strike to illustrate the contributions of women at home and in the workplace.Argento helped give strength to other women to report sexual assault and harassment when she accused Harvey Weinstein of rape in an expose by The New Yorker. The accusations drew a backlash in Italy for having waited 20 years to come forward.———9:35 p.m.Hundreds of women have marched in Pakistan's capital and elsewhere on International Women's Day, demanding more rights and denouncing harassment, which is common at homes and in work places.Chanting slogans, they rallied in the capital Islamabad, Pakistan's largest city Karachi, and in the cultural capital of Lahore.At Thursday's rallies, women denounced violence against them in Pakistan, where nearly 1,000 women are killed by close relatives each year in so-called honor killings.Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi earlier addressed a gathering of women and assured them full protection.Women in Pakistan have a reasonable presence in the parliament but they have to rely on fellow male lawmakers to amend discriminatory or flawed laws.Pakistani women have largely been deprived of their rights since the country gained independence in 1947.———9:30 p.m.Prince Harry and his fiancee Meghan Markle have met female students studying science, technology, engineering and math as part of celebrations marking International Women's Day.Some 90 students met the royal couple on Thursday at Millennium Point in Continue Reading

SF Soccer Bars – Danny Coyle’s: Local Support x 5, Dreams of 1994 and Family Ties

Bartender Gavin Quinn (left) and Danny Coyle’s owner Brian Coyle behind the bar. (Charles Wollin) (Charles Wollin is Searching for the Soul of Soccer in San Francisco. In the first installment of his series he visits Danny Coyle’s) For Brian Coyle, owning his own soccer bar was a dream. After putting in quite the shift from 1996-2006 at Martin Mack’s (Now HQ), he opened Danny Coyle’s. The bar is proudly named after his father, a “living legend.” A familiar theme of owning and operating hospitality runs deep in the Coyle blood. His Grandfather, Jim McConnell also owned and operated the Atlantic hotel in Ireland. A photo of the Atlantic fit with the words “running water” is displayed on the wall inside the Haight Street establishment. On June 9th, 2006, Danny Coyle’s became a reality. It was also the first day of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Over the last 12 years, the local soccer community has rallied around the bar in many ways one. In fact, it’s written all over it. Douglas Zimmerman, front left, celebrates the American soccer team draw into Group C in World Cup Draw at Danny Coyle’s Pub on Haight Street in San Francisco Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. (AP Photo/Russel A. Daniels) Local San Francisco Lens As soon as I walked into the bar this past week, Brian handed me a San Francisco Glen’s schedule card as he has access to selling season memberships for San Francisco’s newest PDL club. Coyle’s son, also named Daniel, played for the San Francisco Glen’s youth academy and now plays for San Francisco Hibernian of San Francisco Soccer Football League. Hibernia is the Latin word for Ireland. The bar sponsors SF Hibs Men’s (SFSFL) and Women’s (GGWSL) sides each year. Danny Coyle’s is the shirt sponsor for the SF Hibernian team. (Charles Wollin) Second-year club Irish-American Innisfree is also supported by the bar. In its first season, Innisfree pipped Continue Reading

Megan Rapinoe’s goal lifts U.S. women’s soccer team past Germany

By The Associated Press | March 1, 2018 at 9:00 pm Germany’s Lena Goessling, left, and United States’ Savannah McCaskill chase the ball during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 1-0. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)United States’ Julie Ertz, right, tries to dribble past Germany’s Lena Goessling during the second half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. The United States won 1-0. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)United States’ Megan Rapinoe celebrates her goal against Germany during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)United States’ Carli Lloyd, left, and Germany’s Linda Dallmann chase the ball during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)Germany’s Dzsenifer Marozsan, left, and United States’ Kelley O’Hara vie for the ball during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)United States’ Kelley O’Hara, right, kicks the ball away from Germany’s Svenja Huth during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)United States’ Mallory Pugh, left, and Germany’s Verena Faisst race for the ball during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)Germany’s Svenja Huth, left, dribbles past United States’ Lindsey Horan during the first half of a SheBelieves Cup women’s soccer match Thursday, March 1, 2018, in Columbus, Ohio. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)Germany’s Linda Dallmann, right, clears the ball past United Continue Reading

Rapinoe’s goal lifts US women’s team over Germany 1-0

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — The U.S. women's soccer team fought nasty central Ohio weather to get a "workmanlike" win over Germany in a matchup of the world's top two teams.Megan Rapinoe scored in the 17th minute and the U.S. held on for a 1-0 victory Wednesday night in a game played in mid-30s temperatures, howling wind and a mix of rain and snow at Mapfre Stadium."It was miserable," Rapinoe said. "The wind was everywhere and it was cold and kind of sideways rain."The top-ranked Americans prevailed in an opening-round game of the SheBelieves Cup, a four-team round-robin tournament that also includes England and France. The exhibition is a challenging tune-up for World Cup qualifying this fall.U.S. goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher preserved the shutout when she fell on a shot from Hasret Kayikci in injury time in what was just the second on-target shot of the night by the Germans.The opportunities were limited for both teams because of the wind."The wind was going across the field, side-to-side," U.S. forward Alex Morgan said. "It wasn't even going from one end to another end. That's where we had difficulty."Sara Dabritz got a point-blank shot for Germany inside the box in the game's 16th minute but misfired and pulled it right. Less than a minute later, Morgan headed a long goal kick to Rapinoe, whose subsequent in-stride shot squirted through the legs of goalkeeper Almuth Schult. "Once we got the goal, it was a game of keeping that lead," Morgan said.Germany got another good chance in the 20th minute when Dzsenifer Marozsan hit the post. U.S. team captain Carli Lloyd, who is just two goals short of 100, nailed an accurate shot in the 57th minute, but Schult made a terrific leaping save. It was the best chance of the second half for the Americans."It was a workmanlike game in challenging conditions," U.S. coach Jill Ellis said. "We were doing the best we could with what we had against a good opponent."Rapinoe was surprised the 1-0 lead held up."I thought there was going to Continue Reading

Italy’s north vs. south battle stirs soccer passion

With four months to go in the European soccer season, the title races in four of the five biggest leagues are basically decided. In Italy, though, just one point separates the top two — perennial powerhouse Juventus and afterthought Napoli. If you’re keeping an eye on a European league this spring, Italy is the place to watch. To understand what this title race means in Italy, you have to look at the differences between the country’s north and south. Northern Italy is the country’s industrial center, up near Switzerland, always in a hurry. Southern Italy is Mediterranean, all about food and family and religion — and looked down upon by northern Italians as, effectively, hillbillies. Juventus, the best team of the north, almost needs no introduction. Its 33 league titles, including the last six, speak volumes. Napoli, meanwhile, has a more checkered past but remains the only team from southern Italy to break the northern stranglehold on the league title. In some ways, Napoli’s history begins and ends with Diego Maradona. In 1984, Napoli paid a then-record $10 million to lure Maradona — the world’s best player — from a troubled spell in Barcelona. In 1987 and again in 1990, he led Napoli to the title. The triumphs were met with nothing short of rapture in Naples. The celebratory taunting was mostly directed northward at Juventus, which — with 22 titles at that point — stood for everything the southerners hated about the north’s dominance. After that second title, though, things crumbled quickly for Napoli. The club was relegated in 1998, went bankrupt in 2004 and had to be re-formed under new management. Starting from the third division, the club navigated its way back to the top flight. For the last five years, it has been among the few best teams in Italy, though never able to break through to win another title. In some ways, the history of the two clubs mirrors the stereotypes about the two Continue Reading

Mr. Ten Percent: The Man Who Built — And Bilked — American Soccer

In the middle of 1989, suburban soccer dad Chuck Blazer had just lost his job, had no income, and was struggling with debt.But he did have a few things going for him: He was audacious, with a keen eye for opportunity; he was a splendid salesman; and he knew a vast amount about the world’s most popular sport. Not the fine points of on-field strategy — he’d never actually played the game — but rather the business of American soccer, which was, back then, woeful. Compared to baseball, basketball, and football, soccer was a starving runt. Multiple professional leagues had flopped. TV networks couldn’t even figure out how to fit commercials into the 90-minute, time-out-free games, and they rarely bothered to broadcast the sport. The United States national team hadn’t qualified for a World Cup in nearly 40 years.A quarter-century later, American soccer has become an athletic and economic powerhouse, due substantially to the contributions of Blazer. He helped win Major League Soccer’s first real TV contract, and just last month the MLS inked a $720 million TV deal. The U.S. national team, which he helped promote, is now a World Cup mainstay, ranked higher than powers such as France and the Netherlands. And more people in America are playing soccer than any team sport save basketball.Blazer’s influence wasn’t limited to these shores: He helped organize the Gold Cup, the Confederations Cup, and the Club World Cup, lucrative tournaments that improved the play of national and professional teams around the world. He also became the first American in almost half a century on the executive committee of FIFA, instilling a business-first culture in world soccer’s governing body and persuading it to take control of its own television rights, turning the money-losing organization into a profit machine.And Blazer? He has raked in more than $21 million from the sport, much of it paid to offshore shell companies. He flew around Continue Reading

FIFA Denies Women’s World Cup Players an Equal Playing Field—Literally

At some point in the near future, a Canadian tribunal will determine whether or not the 2015 Women’s World Cup will be the setting not only of guts, goals and glory but torn ligaments, stretched hamstrings and a profound level of disrespect. A group of the top players in the world, including US stars Abby Wambach and Alex Morgan, are suing soccer’s international ruling body, FIFA as well as the Canadian Soccer Association, over their insistence that the Cup be played on artificial turf. German great Nadine Angerer, and Brazil’s international icon Marta are also supporting the suit. This is nothing more than an issue of sexism and, in the words of US midfielder Megan Rapinhoe, a “frustrating” level of “gender discrimination.” They have received support from across social media, including words of solidarity from US men’s soccer goalie Tim Howard. For Howard, this is hardly an abstract issue. Both female and male World Cup players overwhelmingly prefer playing on natural grass. It is a softer surface with more give and less propensity to catch your treads in the surface and have something in your legs dislocate or rip apart. It is also far less abrasive when you slide or fall. The ball moves faster, but players are less likely to slide or dive. In other words, it changes the game for the worse. But while the men’s World Cup was played entirely on natural grass, FIFA has decided to stand with the Canadian organizers who have cited weather concerns to justify their turf-only cup. It is not inclement weather, however, that compels Canada’s committee to defend turf-ball. After all, natural grass was used amidst Brazil’s rainforest region for goodness sake. It’s the fact that turf does not need to be cared for. You save pennies at the margins, even if it risks the very physical health of the players. As Ken Baxter pointed out in the Los Angeles Times, it would cost $3–6 million to cover the Continue Reading

Breaking down the MLS expansion team finalists: Cincinnati, Detroit, Nashville, Sacramento

CINCINNATIClub: Futbol Club Cincinnati (FC Cincinnati for short – brand tweaks appears likely if selected for MLS, and could be renamed “Fussball Club Cincinnati” in order to play off the city’s German heritage). More: Jeff Berding: FC Cincinnati 'gave our best' at MLS presentation Club history: Formed in late winter 2015 and launched publicly in August 2015. The club played its first match in March 2016 and currently plays home matches in Nippert Stadium, the University of Cincinnati’s century-old college football venue (capacity 32,000+). In winter 2017, the club invested more than $2 million to renovate Nippert to better accommodate soccer and bring the venue up to FIFA specifications. FC Cincinnati enjoyed success on the field in each of its first two seasons (advanced to Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup semifinal in 2017) and shattered USL single-game and single-season attendance records. In a nod to the club’s and city’s soccer successes around FC Cincinnati, the city was awarded a U.S. women’s national team “friendly” match against New Zealand in September (FC Cincinnati helped stage the match). FC Cincinnati has been competitive with existing MLS teams in terms of attendance and on-field performance. The team was recognized by some of U.S. soccer’s most influential power brokers as a success and worthy of MLS consideration within months of beginning play in 2016.Ownership: A nine-person ownership group headed by majority owner Carl Lindner III, Co-Chief Executive Officer, Co-President and Director, American Financial Group. Jeff Berding, a former Cincinnati City Councilman and Cincinnati Bengals (NFL) executive, has acted as the club’s president and general manager (in addition to minority owner). Berding’s responsibilities have focused mainly on winning the MLS expansion bid but he’s also had his hands in everything from negotiating player contracts and TV deals to Continue Reading

New women’s soccer league has modest goals and is not another WUSA

The No. 1 draft pick of the metropolitan area's newest professional sports team drives to practice in a green Honda Civic with 104,000 miles on it. She lives at home in the house she grew up in in Montclair, N.J., to save money. When she made her pro debut last month, the moment played out before 2,735 fans on a converted baseball field in Bridgewater, N.J.You may view this all as thoroughly small-time stuff. Yael Averbuch views it entirely differently."I couldn't imagine being in a better situation than I am in right now," Averbuch says. "This is what I want my life to be."At age 22, Yael Averbuch (AV-er-bush) is an imposing and highly skilled 5-10 midfielder with long brown hair and shoulders that seem to span the width of Jersey. She is the youngest player on Sky Blue FC of the fledgling Women's Professional Soccer (WPS) - the latest attempt to get a viable women's pro league started in the U.S. She comes to Sky Blue as a three-time All-American at North Carolina, the most fabled women's program in the sport, and doesn't harbor even a shred of resentment that she and fellow Tar Heel Tyler Hansbrough will not be sharing an income bracket for long.She's too busy being ecstatic.There is ample euphoria, and guarded optimism, going around WPS these days. Two months into its competitive existence, the league's seven franchises are averaging just under 5,400 fans per game - above its first-year projections, no small achievement given the current economic climate. Every Sunday night a WPS game is featured on the Fox Soccer Channel, and the league championship game - Aug. 22 - will be shown on Fox's regional sports networks.By forging strong community ties, keeping prices reasonable (the average WPS ticket is about $15) and avoiding the fiscal extravagances that did in its predecessor, the Women's United Soccer Association, league officials are convinced that the significant, and ever-increasing, pool of young female soccer players in this country can translate into a Continue Reading

Bobby Wood scores late goal to lead U.S. men’s soccer to first road win over Germany, 2-1

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — Substitute Bobby Wood scored in the 87th minute to give the United States a 2-1 victory over World Cup champion Germany in a friendly on Wednesday. Wood drilled a low shot inside the post to cap a good second half performance in which the Americans missed several clear chances. Wood has also scored a 90th-minute winner in the United States' 4-3 victory over the Netherlands in another friendly on Friday. RELATED: U.S. SOCCER TEAM'S CHRISTEN PRESS COULD BE BREAKOUT STAR OF WOMEN'S WORLD CUP The Americans equalized through Mix Diskerud late in the first half to cancel out Mario Goetze's goal for the hosts in the 12th minute. Wood's strike gave U.S. coach Jurgen Klinsmann a winning return to his homeland and the United States its first win on German soil. Klinsmann, who sang both national anthems before kickoff, led Germany to the 1990 World Cup title as a player and coached it to third place in 2006. "Bobby is a work in progress," Klinsmann said of the striker whose German club team Erzgebirge Auehas has been relegated to the third division. "An entertaining game with a happy ending with us," Klinsmann said. "To win against the world champion in Germany is something special, but we deserved it. It's an important step toward the Gold Cup." Klinsmann said his players "had a lot of respect" for Germany but "the team realized after 20, 25 minutes that there was a whole game to play." Germany, which rested several of its first-choice players, lost some of its pace after the break as a series of substitutions disrupted its rhythm. Klinsmann praised the work of substitute Kyle Beckerman, who started the second half. "Beckerman calmed down things defensively. He is doing the dirty work and makes us look better," Klinsmann said. "In the second half we closed down the passing lanes and we turned the momentum." Klinsmann also praised captain Michael Bradley "as the best man on the Continue Reading