Fun Fact of the Day: The USMNT’s best World Cup performance was at the inaugural tournament in 1930, when they finished in 3rd place out of 13 teams.
Laser vision. The Oakland Raiders are the real deal. They have won 4 games straight and are sitting on top of the AFC West. Last night, they came from behind to beat the Houston Texans 27-20, thanks to two 4th quarter touchdowns by QB Derek Carr and some questionable officiating. It also probably helped that someone in the stands shined a green laser pointer in Texans QB Brock Osweiler’s eyes throughout the game. That wasn’t the only distraction during last night’s international series game in Mexico City; the local fans used a homophobic soccer chant during kickoffs.
Seen and Heard
Jur-gone. The USMNT dumped their head coach and technical director Jurgen Klinsmann. Soccer fans have been speculating about Klinsmann’s job security for months, but the criticism reached a fever pitch last week after the USMNT lost its opening 2 games of the 2018 World Cup final qualifying round. Klinsmann has also made some questionable moves in the past, like when he controversially decided to leave USA’s biggest soccer star, Landon Donovan off the 2014 World Cup team. But it wasn’t always this bad… When Klinsmann was first hired back in 2011, US fans were excited because of his past experience coaching the Bayern Munich club and Germany’s national team. Those were the good old days, when he led the USMNT to a .761 winning percentage in 2013—the best in the team’s history, and to the Round of 16 in the 2014 World Cup.
Can it get any worse? The Chicago Bears have a terrible 2-8 record and things are only looking down. Last week, their top wide receiver Alshon Jeffery was suspended for 4 games because he tested positive for PEDs. This week, their QB Jay Cutler suffered a likely season-ending shoulder injury. Sure, Cutler wasn’t exactly lighting it up since he returned to the field from a thumb injury 3 weeks ago. But there’s virtually no chance the Bears’ remaining QB Matt Barkley will be any better. He’s only played in 1 game this season, where he finished 6-of-15 for 81 yards with 0 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. Ouch.
Way off base. Dominican Republic police questioned Texas Rangers minor league players about a sexual assault involving an underage teammate. Yahoo Sports obtained a 10-second Snapchat video of the incident, which involved a group of 4 players holding down a semi-dressed prospect and sexually assaulting him. One of the players in question is Rougned Odor, the younger brother of the Texas Rangers’ 2B with the same name. This is just one of several hazing incidents that Dominican Republic police are investigating.