facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

In Sports from United Press International

June 20, 2002 at 3:16 PM   |   Comments

U.S. looks for another big upset at World Cup

SEOUL, June 20 (UPI) -- Germany, which is used to being in this position, and the United States, which is not, meet Friday night in the quarterfinals of the World Cup.

Having shocked the soccer world to this point, the Americans will attempt to pull off an almost unthinkable upset and reach the final four.

"I think all the pressure is on the Germans," said U.S. coach Bruce Arena. "They're the ones who have got to win."

Four years after being humiliated by finishing last in the 32-team field, the United States has pulled off a series of unexpected exploits.

The Americans won their first World Cup game in eight years with their victory over Portugal to start the tournament, reached the second round for the third time, won its first knockout game ever and now is in the quarterfinals for only the second time in history.

John O'Brien and Brian McBride have scored twice each in the four American matches and must again star if the United States is to pull off the upset.

Most of all, however, the underdogs must deal with the often strong-armed tactics of the physical German side. When Germany downed the Americans four years ago in group play, 2-0, United States players found elbows in their backs from the opening whistle.

The United States could take comfort, however, when it learned that one of the most respected referees in the world, Hugh Dallas of Scotland, will be officiating the match.

"Their physical presence is one of their greatest qualities," Arena said. "They also have ways of scoring goals. They are all about big strong strikers and getting service into the box. We know their physical qualities are tremendous and we need to try and neutralize them."

So, can the Americans compete as well against the Germans as they did against Mexico in a 2-0, second-round victory?

Though it is not the powerhouse it used to be, Germany always is dangerous when it comes to the knockout stages of the World Cup. Germany has reached at least the last eight in 14 of the 15 World Cups in which it has participated.

In an otherwise lackluster showing, Oliver Neuville netted the winner with two minutes left as Germany pulled out a 1-0 win over Paraguay in the round of 16.

German striker Miroslav Klose leads the team with five goals while seven other players also have found the net.

Dietmar Hamann, Christian Ziege and Carsten Ramelow will return from suspension, making the German lineup even stronger.

Hamann, Ziege, Bierhoff and Jens Jeremies also were members of the squad which beat the United States in France four years ago.

The American holdovers include Claudio Reyna, Cobi Jones, Eddie Pope, Earnie Stewart, Frankie Hejduk, David Regis and reserve goalkeeper Kasey Keller.

These nations have played six times -- all in the past nine years -- with Germany holding a 4-2-0 record and 13-10 goal difference.

"We know that they are a great team, one of the best teams in the world," said American defender Eddie Pope. "so we have to prepare very well for them. We don't fear anybody, but we definitely respect them.

"We respect German soccer, we respect the German players. But we have some guys who are playing in German teams that will help us get things in perspective."


NHL Awards ceremony tonight

TORONTO, June 20 (UPI) -- Jose Theodore can become just the second goaltender in four decades to win the Hart Trophy as the league's Most Valuable Player after backstopping the Montreal Canadiens' dash to their first postseason berth since 1998.

Theodore was 30-24-10 with a 2.11 goals-against average, and a league-leading .931 save percentage. Dominik Hasek is the only other goalie to capture the Hart since 1962, winning it in 1997 and '98.

The other Hart Trophy finalists are former Canadiens goalie Patrick Roy of the Colorado Avalanche and Calgary Flames right wing Jarome Iginla, who already has been named the Lester B. Pearson Award winner by his peers as the Most Outstanding Player during the regular season.

The 36-year-old Roy, already headed to the Hall of Fame, turned in the finest season of his 17-year career with an NHL-best nine shutouts, a 1.94 GAA and a .925 save percentage.

Iginla, 24, who becomes a restricted free agent on July 1, also has won the Maurice Richard and Art Ross trophies after leading the league with 52 goals and 96 points.

He accounted for more than 25 percent of Calgary's goals and captured a gold medal with Canada at the Salt Lake City Olympics.

None of the Hart finalists won a Stanley Cup this year, an honor shared by Norris Trophy finalists Nicklas Lidstrom and Chris Chelios of the Detroit Red Wings.

Lidstrom is seeking his second straight nod as the NHL's top defenseman and would add that hardware to his third Stanley Cup and first Conn Smythe Trophy as MVP of the postseason.

Chelios, 40, is the favorite for a fourth Norris Trophy after leading the league with a plus-40 rating.

"I don't mind Cheli winning it, maybe split it with him," said Lidstrom. "But Rob Blake had a tremendous season as well."

Blake, whose Avalanche lost to the Red Wings in the Western Conference finals, is the other finalist for the Norris Trophy, which would be his second.

Lidstrom again is a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy as Most Gentlemanly Player along with Carolina Hurricanes captain Ron Francis and last year's winner, Colorado captain Joe Sakic.

Theodore and Roy also are nominated for the Vezina Trophy as top goalie, joining Sean Burke of the Phoenix Coyotes. Burke helped the Coyotes secure an unlikely playoff berth with 33 wins, a career-best 2.29 GAA and five shutouts.

Atlanta Thrashers teammates Ilya Kovalchuk and Dany Heatley are finalists for the Calder Trophy as top rookie along with Kristian Huselius of the Florida Panthers.

Kovalchuk appeared a lock for the award before suffering a season-ending dislocated shoulder on March 10. He likely will lose out to Heatley, who led all rookies in scoring with 26 goals and 41 assists.

Former winners Michael Peca of the New York Islanders and Jere Lehtinen of the Dallas Stars are finalists for the Selke Trophy as top defensive forward along with first-time nominee Craig Conroy of the Flames.

Francis, former teammate Kevin Dineen of the Columbus Blue Jackets and Canadiens captain Saku Koivu are nominated for the Masterton Trophy, which goes to the player who best exemplifies perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.

Dineen has battled Crohn's Disease, an intestinal ailment, for much of his career, while Koivu made an emotional return late in the season after undergoing treatment for cancer.

Bob Francis of the Coyotes, Robbie Ftorek of the Boston Bruins and Brian Sutter of the Chicago Blackhawks are nominated for the Adams Award as Coach of the Year, an honor Sutter won in 1991 with the St. Louis Blues.

The awards ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre continues a weekend of events that culminates Saturday with the NHL draft at the Air Canada Centre.


Iginla wins NHL Pearson Award

TORONTO, June 20 (UPI) -- Jarome Iginla, a finalist for the Hart Trophy as the NHL's Most Valuable Player, Thursday was named the Lester B. Pearson Award winner as the league's Most Outstanding Player during the regular season.

The Calgary Flames right wing was honored by his peers, who vote through the National Hockey League's Players Association. The award is named for the former prime minister of Canada.

Iginla received the award at the Hockey Hall of Fame. He could collect the Hart Trophy on Thursday night at the NHL's awards ceremony at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

Iginla, native of Alberta, won the Art Ross and Maurice Richard trophies for leading the league in scoring and goals, collecting 52 goals and 44 assists while playing in all 82 games during the regular season.

He scored 25 percent of his team's goals, while no other player accounted for 19 percent for his team, and played in his first NHL All-Star Game.

Iginla, 24, who had never scored more than 31 goals, just completed his sixth NHL season. The 11th overall pick by Dallas in 1995 was acquired in a deal for Joe Nieuwendyk in December 1995.


Flyers will not retain C Adam Oates

VOORHEES, N.J., June 20 (UPI) -- In a bit of a surprise, the Philadelphia Flyers have decided that they will not re-sign veteran center Adam Oates, a likely Hall of Famer when his career is over.

Oates, 39, was obtained from the Washington Capitals just before the March 19 trading deadline this past season, and the price was very high -- first-, second-, and third-round draft picks plus Maxime Ouellet, the organization's top-rated goalie prospect.

Also, after centers Keith Primeau and Jeremy Roenick went down with injuries, the Flyers were thin at center as the playoffs loomed, prompting the trade with the Capitals.

But Oates, who has reputation of being one of the best setup men in the NHL, became expendable this week after the acquisition of Michal Handzus in a deal with the Phoenix Coyotes. Oates' age and salary were also factors.

"I talked to Adam a couple of days ago, after we traded for Handzus," said Flyers General Manager Bob Clarke. "We told him we would not be signing him. He thanked us for letting him know. I told him I was sorry he came into the situation where the team was in disarray. He tried his hardest. If our team did what it was supposed [to do], he would have been a major contributor. We felt with the addition of Handzus, there was not a lot of space for him to play for us. It didn't work out. At the time we made the deal, we thought it would."

Oates played in 14 regular season games and five playoff contests. He tallied three goals and nine assists.

In 1,210 games, the native of Weston, Ontario has amassed 330 goals, 1,026 assists for 1,356 points, and has also played in Detroit, St. Louis and Boston.


Dunleavy, Jacobsen stick to their decisions

DURHAM, N.C., June 20 (UPI) -- All-America swingmen Mike Dunleavy of Duke and Casey Jacobsen of Stanford, both of whom would be seniors next winter, have decided to stick to their decisions to forego their remaining college eligibility to enter next week's NBA Draft.

Wednesday was the last day for declared underclassmen to withdraw their names, and both said they had made the most difficult decisions of their young lives.

"It was a hard decision to make, but after going back and forth, I have decided to pursue my dream of becoming a professional basketball player," Dunleavy said in a statement released by Duke's Sports Information Office.

"After a thorough investigation, I believe that I will go reasonably high in the draft, and I am excited about starting my professional career. I have very much enjoyed my years at Duke. It is a wonderful university. I have made good friends, had great experiences and received a world-class education."

Dunleavy had per-game averages of 17.3 points, 7.2 rebounds, 2.1 assists, 2.3 steals and 0.7 blocked shots as a junior in 2001-02. He became the 50th Duke player to reach 1,000 career points, and increased his career scoring total to 1,371 points, 28th all-time at Duke.

"I am appreciative of the support that Coach K (Mike Krzyzewski) and his staff have given me throughout my time at Duke."

Jacobsen ends his Cardinal career as the school's third all-time leading scorer with 1,723 points. His name appears 39 times in the Stanford record book.

Jacobsen gained numerous honors during his three-year career on "The Farm." He was a three-time All-Pac-10 selection, and this past year led the Pac-10 in scoring at 21.9 points per game.

"I feel like this is the right time to move on," Jacobsen said. "This is what I really, truly want to do. I know this is a risk, but it's one I'm willing to make."

Jacobsen also led the Cardinal to three straight appearances in the NCAA Tournament. During that time, the Cardinal chalked up a record of 78-17. The Cardinal also won two Pac-10 titles during his time at Stanford.

The NBA Draft is slated for June 26.


See to transfer from Oregon State

CORVALLIS, Ore., June 20 (UPI) -- Joe See, who started four games as a freshman on the Oregon State men's basketball team, has decided to transfer out of the program, first-year head coach John Jay said Thursday.

"Joe made a decision that he felt was best for him," John said. "I want to personally thank him for his contributions to Oregon State University and certainly whish him the best in the future."

See's departure leaves Oregon State with a total of 11 scholarship players for the 2002-2003 season. NCAA rules allow Division 1 basketball programs a maximum of 13 scholarships.

Patricia See told the Corvallis Gazette-Times that her son's decision to leave Oregon State was "a mutual decision between Joe and the coaches." The newspaper reported that Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo appeared to be See's first choice, but that he would visit other mid-major programs in California.

See played in all 29 of the Beavers' games and was fifth on the team in scoring, 6.1 points per game. His 23.1 minutes per game were the most among OSU's four freshman during last year's 12-17 season.


© 2002 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Recommended UPI Stories
Featured UPI Collection
trending
Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Notable deaths of 2014 [PHOTOS]

Most Popular
1
Kent State football player dies
2
Reports: Bell, Blount busted for marijuana possession
3
UPI horse racing weekend preview
4
Cano, Jones, Puig and Pujols to lead MLB stars in Japan
5
Giants win protest, will finish game at Wrigley
Trending News
Video
x
Feedback