Unfortunately, it’s not all good news coming out of Euros, with the death of an overzealous fan in China to report. This, plus more on Title IX’s impact on the U.S. Women’s National Team, Heather O’Reilly’s debut for the Boston Breakers and MLS regional rivalries fill today’s headlines.
ESPN reported today that a fan in China has died from fatigue as a result of staying awake for 11 straight days watching Euros in the early morning hours:
Jiang Xiaoshan, 26, died after Ireland’s 2-0 defeat to Italy on June 18, according to the report.
“Jiang was in good health. But staying up through the night and not sleeping enough weakened his immune system and he drank and smoked while watching the football, triggering his condition,” Liu Zhiling, a doctor from the local People’s Hospital ER, told the Chinese paper.
While this is certainly a tragedy, I can’t help but think that with all of China’s technological advancements, nobody has yet thought to bring DVR to the country?
Italy and England face off today for the last spot in the semifinals, where the winner will face Germany. ESPN’s Euro2012 blog preview highlights the keys for each team, including England’s success on crosses in the tournament, which led to three out of their five goals, and Italy’s 80% passing rate, “highest for any Italian side at the Euros since the tournament installed group play in 1980.”
Whoever faces Germany likely won’t have to worry about midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger. He’s likely out of the semis with a lingering ankle injury.
Have you checked out the Euro 2012 hashtag page on Twitter? It’s the latest in Twitter’s topical curation of tweets around major events into hashtag pages, rather than searches of all tweets on the topic, and you can follow a selected group of perspectives throughout the matches. I love that Twitter is helping to highlight perpectives and conversation around major sporting events with these pages, but is it too much to ask that it work on a mobile platform? I primarily use Twitter on my iPhone and iPad, and I’m not alone: as of last September, 43% of Twitter users accessed the service from mobile devices. I haven’t found a more recent stat than that, but in nine months it’s got to be nearly half by now.
U.S. Women’s National Team
In yesterday’s DKA we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Title IX legislation that gave female athletes equal opportunity under educational law. If you missed ESPNW’s Title IX special, Leveling the Field, I highly recommend watching. Julie Foudy, Kristine Lilly, Donna de Varona, Tony DiCicco and Heather O’Reilly discuss on the impact of Title IX on the 1999 USA World Cup Championship team, and their influence on women’s soccer in the U.S. since.
Heather O’Reilly made her debut yesterday for the Boston Breakers of the WPSL Elite division, drawing a sellout crowd in a 2-0 win over the New York Fury. O’Reilly won’t be back home with the Breakers for long, though. She and Breakers teammate Tobin Heath will head back to the national team for the Olympics sendoff match against Canada this Saturday.
The win brought the Breakers back into first place in the division, a sigh of relief after the Breakers were forced last week to forfeit a win against the Western New York Flash when they found out that Melissa Henderson’s paperwork had not been cleared by the U.S.S.F. Henderson, a recent graduate of Notre Dame, was the second overall pick in the 2012 WPS Draft by Sky Blue FC, before the league folded.
Major League Soccer
Stop me if you’ve heard this one before: Chris Wondolowski scored a late goal, this one in the 85th minute, to lead the San Jose Earthquakes to a 2-1 win over Real Salt Lake and first place in the Western Conference. Wondo now leads the league in scoring this season with 13 goals, and his Quakes boast the best record in MLS. Our resident Quakes fan, Alyssa Olszewski, breaks down the team’s late-scoring magic.
“I don’t know if there has ever been a time when I felt as mad as I do right now, to be honest with you,” RSL coach Jason Kreis said after the match. “Soccer can be a very cruel game, and tonight was every indication of that.”
“Honest to God, we didn’t lose the game, we gave the game away,” Kreis said. “If somebody comes in here and beats us, endline to endline for 90 minutes, then I’ll have a different answer for you, but right now, we’re beating ourselves.”
Next week’s California Clasico showdown between the Earthquakes and the Galaxy is shaping up to be better than you’d have thought a few weeks ago. With the Galaxy on a roll after their third straight win this week, they’ll be looking for revenge after their collapse against the Quakes on their home turf earlier in the season.
The Chicago Fire are heating things up in the Midwest, and our editor Trista Lutgring, a rabid Crew fan, doesn’t like it one bit.
The match of the week tonight is another heated rivalry, New York Red Bulls vs D.C. United at Red Bull Arena. D.C. is on a four-game winning streak, while the Red Bulls have cooled off after their six-game unbeaten streak, losing to the Fire 3-1 and eking out a 1-1 draw with the Whitecaps in the last week. The match will be on NBC Sports Network at 7:30 ET.
Follow @AerysSoccer on Twitter for more league news, match recaps, and of course our own agony and ecstasy!