FIFA World Cup Wrap: June 17

Tommy Fleetwood makes HUGE admission after stunning US Open final round

Fleetwood went into the final round of the US Open at Shinnecock Hills, six shots off the pace, but he carded a stunning round of 63 to set a target in the clubhouse of two over par. The Race to Dubai champion was impeccable in and around the green with his approaches at six and seven. He also made an incredible 55-foot putt for a birdie at the second. While Shinnecock Hills has proved very hard to tame this term, Fleetwood gave himself a chance of landing his first Major. But the Englishman thinks his score will fall just short.

Tommy Fleetwood net worth: How much is US Open 2018 hopeful worth?

In what has been a mixed weekend at the Shinnecock Hills golf course, it was Fleetwood who finished with a flurry. The Englishman began the day six shots behind clubhouse leader Dustin Johnson heading into the final round. But he raised his game to another level on the final day to move two-over for the tournament and keep himself in contention of winning the US Open. The 27-year-old has never won a PGA Tour event since turning pro in 2010. However, he has slowly been making a name for himself on the tour and has enjoyed three top 10 finishes

Officials suspect arson at site of Randolph killing

5:28 PM ET Associated Press MARION, Ind. — Investigators have determined a fire likely was intentionally set at an Indiana bar, one day after the brother of NBA star Zach Randolph was fatally shot there. The fire happened at Hop’s Blues Room in Marion early Sunday — less than 24 hours after 35-year-old Roger Randolph was found dead. Firefighters extinguished the blaze that caused an estimated $20,000 in damage. Marion Fire Department Investigator Brandon Eckstein says the cause of the fire was arson. Roger Randolph, the brother of Kings forward Zach Randolph, was shot and killed outside of an Indiana

Blue Jays hit back-to-back homers in 8th to sweep Nationals

If Teoscar Hernandez was hurting after being hit by a pitch, he wasn’t going to let it show on the field. Hernandez took a ball off his unprotected right elbow in the fourth inning, reeling back from the plate in pain and taking his base after being examined by team trainers. He gunned down a runner at third base in the sixth and hit the game-winning home run in the eighth as the Toronto Blue Jays competed a three-game sweep of the Washington Nationals on Sunday with an 8-6 victory. Randal Grichuk hit two home runs, while Teoscar Hernandez and

Switzerland holds favoured Brazil to draw at World Cup

Brazil joined the list of big teams struggling to win their opening matches at the World Cup in Russia. The five-time champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Switzerland on Sunday, a few hours after four-time champion Germany was beaten by Mexico 1-0. Philippe Coutinho gave Brazil the lead in the 20th minute with a volley that bounced in off the right post. Steven Zuber then headed in the equalizer in the 50th. Mexican referee Cesar Ramos dismissed complaints that Zuber had shoved defender Miranda before getting to the corner from Xherdan Shaqiri. “I was pushed out of the way.

Tommy Fleetwood shoots sixth 63 in US Open history; barely misses putt at 62

SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — Mike Davis promised the golf course would be softer Sunday at Shinnecock Hills. It was expected scores would be much lower. Tommy Fleetwood made good on that promise, shooting 63 in the final round, racing up the leaderboard and posting the clubhouse lead Sunday afternoon. Fleetwood made eight birdies and just one bogey on the par-70 course, finishing with a 63 and a four-day total of two-over par. His 63, the sixth in Open history, ties the record for lowest score in a U.S. Open. The 27-year-old Englishman shot 15 strokes better than he did on Saturday,

It’s complicated: To understand Mickelson’s controversial actions, you must first understand Phil

Phil Mickelson is complicated; so is understanding his controversial actions | Golf.comlogo-golflogo-golfSI-icon-searchSI-icon-searchCloseDownDownDownDownDownDownlogo-golf It’s complicated: To understand Mickelson’s controversial actions, you must first understand Phil SOURCE: GoogleNews

Nature Valley Open: Angry Johanna Konta loses in Nottingham final

Konta beat Barty on her way to reaching last year’s Nottingham final A furious Johanna Konta lost out to Ashleigh Barty in the final of the Nature Valley Open in Nottingham. Konta had recovered from 4-1 down in the decider to level at 4-4 but a controversial call allowed Barty go 5-4 ahead. The Briton got into a heated discussion with umpire Paula Vieira Souza, which seemed to affected her concentration. She was broken in the next game to give Barty a 6-3 3-6 6-4 win and did not shake the umpire’s hand at the end. “At 4-4 in the

Norrie set to face Wawrinka on opening day at Queen’s

Cameron Norrie is currently ranked 79 in the world 2018 Fever-Tree Championships on the BBC Venue: Queen’s Club, London Dates: 18-24 June Coverage: Watch live on BBC Two, BBC iPlayer, BBC Red Button, Connected TVs, the BBC Sport website and app. British number two Cameron Norrie will play three-time Grand Slam winner Stan Wawrinka at Queen’s Club on Monday. Andy Murray, making his comeback after a year out with a hip injury, plays Australian Nick Kyrgios on Tuesday at the Fever-Tree Championships. Kyle Edmund, who has replaced Murray as British number one, meets American Ryan Harrison the same day. Twelve-time

Coach Herdman’s challenge now is to work magic with the Canadian men

Since taking over the Canadian women’s soccer program in 2011, John Herdman has proved he is a difference-maker.

His on-field success is well-documented, helping Canada reach an all-time high of fourth in the world rankings in the wake of back-to-back Olympic bronze medals. It speaks volumes that the Canadian women were disappointed with their sixth-place finish at the 2015 World Cup on home soil.

Off the field, Herdman literally changed lives. He has made better players and better people.

Goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, a force of nature in her own right, credits Herdman for helping push her to widen her horizons outside of sports.

“He basically said to me ‘If you think your purpose on this Earth is to kick a soccer ball for Canada, then I’ve failed you … You have something that is more than just the sport,”‘ she recalled.

“And it triggered me. And it made me ask myself ‘Why am I here? What is my purpose on this world?”‘

Now retired after five World Cups, two Olympics and 110 caps for her country, LeBlanc works as a UNICEF ambassador, media personality, motivational speaker, and FIFA and CONCACAF representative.

Even tougher challenge

After reviving the women’s team, which flamed out in spectacular fashion to finish last at the 2011 World Cup, Herdman faces an even tougher challenge in resuscitating a moribund men’s program — currently ranked 94th in the world, sandwiched between Gabon and the Faroe Islands — that has verged on irrelevance in recent years.

The 42-year-old Herdman will likely face resistance from those who choose to denigrate — unfairly — the women’s game. Skeptics would be better served to listen to the Canadian women about Herdman and wait and see how he does with the men.

Women like LeBlanc see the former university lecturer in England as a master motivator and source of inspiration. A Geordie Tony Robbins, he found ways to empower and connect with his players.

His work ethic is unparalleled. And he thinks outside the box. At the 2015 World Cup, Herdman’s management team had nailed down everything from training the brain (via mental performance consultant Alex Hodgins) to driving time to the stadium.

Herdman’s philosophy is built around “four pillars” — physical, technical/tactical, mental and social/emotional. There’s a lot more to winning a soccer tournament than just putting the ball in the back of the net, in Herdman’s mind.

He coached New Zealand before coming to Canada and credits former Kiwi ‘keeper Kristy Hill, one of the team’s Maori leaders, for helping him understand the importance of the spiritual side of team-building.

‘Touch the heart before you take the hand’

“With her influence you start to realize that you really do have to touch the heart before you take the hand,” he said. “And that is a philosophy that I’ve maintained throughout my coaching over the last six or seven years.”

The question is: Will men buy into what Herdman is selling?

While men and women both play the same beautiful game, they come at it from vastly different circumstances.

For one, Herdman will have less time to work his magic with the men’s senior team. Unlike the NWSL, which accommodates the U.S. and Canadian national teams, pro teams in the men’s world are reluctant to share their talent more than the minimum.

And while most of the Canadian men are making modest salaries by pro soccer standards, they are far better compensated than the women.

While soccer may have done little for the Canadian women’s bank accounts, it has opened doors and given them time to expand their horizons with Herdman’s blessing.

His 2015 World Cup team featured a chiropractor, fitness DVD guru, artist, Zumba instructor, food truck owner and documentary video-shooter, among others.

Challenge players to become leaders

Herdman challenged his players to become true leaders, a subject they literally studied off the field through books and lectures. He had them strip away defence mechanisms to share their emotions with their teammates, further strengthening team ties.

There are positive signs on the men’s landscape, with Canada part of a North American bid for the 2026 World Cup and the Canadian Premier League under construction.

The Canadian men’s program has long been dogged by the fact that talent did not have proper places to develop. Finding work overseas was complicated by red tape and intense competition. And while Major League Soccer has helped development, it has not always produced playing time for domestic talent.

Herdman knows talent when he sees it. The CPL will help develop it as the CSA works towards 2026.

Herdman is also good at surrounding himself with quality off the field.

When Herdman came to Canada from New Zealand, he took some of his staff with him. But not Tony Readings, a grassroots coach Herdman hired first as a technical analyst and then assistant coach. Readings stayed and took over the Kiwi team.

Herdman’s rationale was Readings, who stepped down as New Zealand coach last year, was ready to become his own coach.

‘He’s a high-performing guy’

“My mantra was you’ve got to put things down better than you found it,” Herdman said.

He believes that is the case with the Canadian women with former Danish coach Kenneth Heiner-Moller, his former assistant, taking charge. Herdman speaks highly of the Dane but makes no secret of the fact that he sees former national team players like Rhian Wilkinson and Carmelina Moscato as the team’s coaching future.

Ask his players what it like working under Herdman and they say it’s an honour and a privilege.

“[He’s] somebody that knows absolutely how to get the best out of people,” Moscato said prior to the 2015 World Cup. “He’s a high-performing guy. He’s created the environment for that. And you talk about squeezing blood from a rock, I mean he’s really done it with a lot of us — reinventing us.”

“John has affected all of us in huge ways and only a tiny piece of that is soccer-related,” added Wilkinson. “It sounds ridiculous but he’s changed me probably as a person and I only met him when I was 29.”

The transition of power Monday proved hurried and messy as the CSA rushed to get the news out before reporters did.

Herdman did call captain Christine Sinclair before the news broke. She was still obviously stunned.

“Speechless right now….,” Sinclair tweeted.

Other players, seemingly equally shocked, offered Herdman their best wishes.

“I’ve never been more inspired by a head coach then I have with @coachherdman and I’m Canadian so I want the men’s team to succeed as much as I want our women’s team to,” tweeted veteran goalkeeper Erin McLeod. “I believe in our program and the people in it. Great things lie ahead and I’m grateful for my time with John.”

Fired men’s coach Octavio Zambrano has said little publicly other than a tweet in which he wished Herdman and the CSA well. He also gave his blessing to a supporter’s tweet that suggested he had ruffled feathers with his ambition and desire for change.

The time was right

“I will explain at a press conference in more detail,” Zambrano said in his tweet. “I enjoyed every minute in this great country and the genuine support of the fans.”

The CSA offered no reason for Zambrano’s ouster other than to call it an “organizational decision” required for the long-term development of the men’s program.

It did not mention in its release Monday that Herdman’s long-range mandate is essentially the same given to Zambrano last March.

As for Herdman, he had already thought about a move to the men’s game, although initially that plan was linking to making through the 2019 World Cup and 2020 Olympics.

While loyal to his players, he had rebuilt the women’s framework and established a pipeline of talent. He also knew that Canada, in part because of its failure to grab the pot of gold available every four years to men’s World Cup finalists, does not have the resources of the teams above it.

Herdman had other job opportunities but denies that he used them to get the men’s job. His family wanted to stay in Canada, he wanted a change and the CSA evidently wanted Zambrano out.

The time was right.

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