SATURDAY SIX: 6 Reasons We Love Universal’s ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT

first_imgShare This!This week’s SATURDAY SIX takes a look at Six Reasons We Love Universal’s Royal Pacific Resort. Currently the Universal Orlando Resort has six on-site hotels, with a seventh (Endless Summer) opening later this summer. Disney has three classifications for their resorts: Value (including Art of Animation), Moderate (Port Orleans Riverside), and Deluxe (Wilderness Lodge). Currently, Universal also has three levels: Prime Value (Cabana Bay Beach Resort and Aventura Hotel), Preferred (Sapphire Falls), and Premier (Hard Rock, Portofino Bay, and Royal Pacific).Loews Royal Pacific Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)While Disney runs its on-site resorts, Universal partners with a luxury hospitality company in Loews Hotels. Because of this partnership, the level of service at all of Universal’s hotels is extremely high. Now, I understand the arguments of staying off-site, but for my family, staying on-site is one of our favorite parts of a theme park vacation, especially at Universal. Today we’re going to look at one of my personal favorite on-site hotels in Orlando, and let’s kick off the countdown with….# 6 – Location, Location, Location!Disney has several resort areas where location is king. Who doesn’t want to stay at one of the monorail resorts and enjoy a quick ride over to the Magic Kingdom? A stay at Disney’s BoardWalk is a hop, skip, and a jump away from both Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Because of the compactness of Universal, a room at the Royal Pacific is within walking distance to everything at the Universal Orlando Resort. You’re less than 10 minutes door to door from your room to Toothsome or Voodoo Doughnut. Unlike the Contemporary, where your walk to the Magic Kingdom includes a stoplight and waiting for traffic,  your walk from the Royal Pacific is along a gorgeous garden walkway filled with lush landscaping. One of my favorite things in Orlando is walking from Royal Pacific to the parks, because as you venture further towards CityWalk, the Ocean Trader Market background music from Islands of Adventure’s Port of Entry begins to get louder and louder. It truly is magical.You don’t have to walk if you don’t want to, as Universal provides complimentary water taxis to CityWalk and there is almost always a pedi-cab more than willing to take you as well (they work solely on tips). Considering every guest who stays at Royal Pacific gets Unlimited Universal Express and early morning entry to the Wizarding World, being so close to the parks allows you to maximize your park time without having to get up at the crack of dawn. It’s also worth noting that the water taxis service only their home resort, so you don’t have to wait long for one or have to sit as they make multiple stops like Disney’s resort watercraft.Shot from inside a room at Royal Pacific. Among other things in the background, you can see the Hulk Coaster, Doom’s Fear Fall, and Hogwarts Castle. That’s how close you are. (photo by Brandon Glover)A water taxi taking guests from Royal Pacific to CityWalk. In the background is IOA’s lighthouse park icon. (photo by Brandon Glover)A water taxi brings guest back to Royal Pacific. In the background is Sapphire Falls, which also has water taxi service. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pacific Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Guests have a themed walkway to the parks, but can also walk to the neighboring Sapphire Falls. This is helpful because unlike some theme parks in Orlando, guests at any on-site hotel at Universal can “pool hop” to any other hotel on property and enjoy their amenities. Royal Pacific guests can also walk (or take a free shuttle) to Volcano Bay.Garden Walk. (photo by Brandon Glover)Now THIS is how you walk to a park! (photo by Brandon Glover)Theme park icon @DrunkAtDisney marvels at how close Royal Pacific is to the Universal parks. # 1 – The PoolThe lagoon-style pool at the Royal Pacific Resort is massive. While it is the only Premier resort pool at Universal without a slide, it does feature the gigantic Royal Bali Sea interactive water play area connected to the pool. This play area is themed to a ship, features water cannons, and seemingly dumps about a million gallons of water on the people playing around it. When I was a kid all the pools were the same shape: a rectangle. If pools and play areas existed like this, I’m not even sure my parents would have been able to drag me away to go to the theme parks.For adults, there is plenty of seating, a white sand beach, zero entry, cabanas, two hot tubs, an ice cream place, and the Bula Bar & Grille. The pool area offers towels, magazines and newspapers to read while laying out in the sun, and games such as ping pong. While there is plenty of covered seating at the Bula Bar, servers will come out to the pool area to deliver drinks and food. Our recommendation: Shipwrecked Loaded Nachos (but you can’t go wrong with the Char Siu pork lettuce wraps either).A look down at the massive pool area at the Royal Pacific. Having Dr. Doom’s Fear Fall and The Incredible Hulk Coaster in the background show exactly how close to the parks you really are!Zero entry area of pool. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pacific pool. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pacific pool. (photo by Brandon Glover)RPR pool water feature. (photo by Brandon Glover)RPR pool water feature. (photo by Brandon Glover)When weather gets hot, what’s better than ice cream to cool down? (photo by Brandon Glover)The Bula Bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Big Bula. (photo by Brandon Glover)Shipwrecked Loaded Nachos, possibly the best value in all of  Orlando’s theme parks. (photo by Brandon Glover)Char Siu pork lettuce wraps. (photo by Brandon Glover)Local organic mix greens salad with tofu. (photo by Brandon Glover)Right outside the Royal Pacific pool are some lovely beaches.Royal Pacific Resort beach area. (photo by Brandon Glover) # 4 – Jake’s American BarLocated on the ground floor of Royal Pacific is Jake’s American Bar, a deceptively large table service that has a lot seating both inside, outside, and at the bar. The original bar themed to a sea pilot (cough – we’re looking in your direction Jock Lindsey), Jake’s American Bar is inspired by the adventures of  Captain Jake McNally, the South Seas pilot who – in storyline – disappeared in Southeast Asia. While we’ve always enjoyed the sit-down service at Jake’s, our best bet is walking up to the bar and ordering off the menu. For those not staying at the resort, it should be noted that parking will be validated by any on-site restaurant as long as you spend $25.  Be sure to try the Fly Boy Beef & Cheese Fries along with a beer flight.Throughout the year Jake’s American Bar hosts a Beer Dinner that is well worth going out of your way to check out. A five-course meal paired with select ales and lagers–What’s not to like about that?Jake’s American Bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Jake’s American Bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Jake’s American Bar seating near the bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Jake’s American Bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Jake’s American Red Lager. (photo by Brandon Glover)Crooked Can. One of the many draught beers available, many from local beer makers. (photo by Brandon Glover)Beer flight. (photo by Brandon Glover)Crispy Calamari. (photo by Brandon Glover)Fly Boy Beef & Cheese Fries. (photo by Brandon Glover)Cheese Pizza. (photo by Brandon Glover)Burgers are a favorite at Jake’s. (photo by Brandon Glover)Churro Bread Pudding with a Chocolate Stout. (photo by Brandon Glover) Double Secret Honorable Mention – The GymnasiumFor the most part gyms at Disney resorts are relatively nondescript. Universal meanwhile has a gym at Cabana Bay that is probably bigger than the Planet Fitness in many towns and The Gymnasium at the Royal Pacific includes a spa pool straight out of a Hollywood movie. It also includes tons of cardio equipment, free weights, and Nautilus equipment  – all complimentary – but while you’re working on those FitBit numbers we’ll be over at Jake’s sipping on a cold one.The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Gymnasium. (photo by Brandon Glover) # 5 –  Exotic ThemingOur family has vacationed in many areas of the world, but my absolute favorite place that we have visited was Hawaii. I love the tranquility and relaxing nature that you find there, and that feeling exists in Royal Pacific’s exotic theme. The entire resort is filled with ambiance in the form of landscaping, torches, and water elements. Fresh orchids are found throughout the resort, and the outdoor courtyard near the lobby is amazing with elephants playing in the water (along with a great sign asking guests not to disturb the elephants). The whole resort has an exotic Pacific-region theme that just draws you in, and is the perfect area for either a break during the afternoon after battling the Florida sun, or a great way to unwind after a hard day of hitting the parks.Whimsical frogs playing instruments line the bridge leading to Royal Pacific’s lobby.Royal Pacific signage. (photo by Brandon Glover)Statues are found throughout the resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Statues. (photo by Brandon Glover)Courtyard area located directly next to Royal Pacific’s lobby. (photo by Brandon Glover)Courtyard theming. (photo by Brandon Glover)Courtyard theming. (photo by Brandon Glover)E-Ticket sign. (photo by Brandon Glover)Considering how many Americans can’t find America on a map it’s safe to say they don’t know where Indonesia is either. (photo by Brandon Glover) While the regular menu at Islands is top notch, the highlight of Islands Dining room is the legendary Wok Experience, which includes an all-you-care-to-eat soup and salad bar, along with an unlimited amount of trips to the wok station. Guests combine their choice of vegetables, proteins, and sauce (mixed with noodles or rice) to make a unique dish – cooked right in front of them – that just so happens to taste out of this world. I love ‘Ohana as much as the next person, but – for me – the Wok Experience is overall much better and you never feel like the restaurant is trying to get you out of there as quickly as possible in order to turn the table. The cost is just $25 per person, making it a tremendous value as well. The Wok Experience is available on Friday and Saturday nights from 6-9p.m. and gets our highest possible recommendation.When guests walk into Islands on a night when the Wok Experience is available, they will see the Wok station set up in the middle of the restaurant. (photo by Brandon Glover)Guests can start their meal with a trip to the salad bar. Like ‘Ohana’s bread service, I personally consider this to be fool’s gold as you don’t want to get full on this great salad bar right before an amazing meal. Our dining party included a vegan who thought everything was fresh and tasted great. Meanwhile the rest of us when straight to the Wok station…Wok Experience salad bar. (photo by Brandon Glover)Here is a step-by-step process of a Wok dish being prepared.The first step in creating your own Wok dish is to grab the amount of veggies you want mixed in. (photo by Brandon Glover)You can add as much, or as little, as you want. The vegan at our table added two full cups of vegetables to their Wok dish. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Wok chef working their magic. They make every dish to order, switching pans out for each dish. It is amazing to watch in person. (photo by Brandon Glover)Once you grab your veggies, the Wok chef will ask which protein you would like. Their is beef, chicken, shrimp, and tofu available. You can also mix proteins, such as this wok with beef and shrimp. The chef will also ask if you would like garlic or ginger added. (photo by Brandon Glover)The chef later adds in your already chosen vegetables. (photo by Brandon Glover)Noodles or rice is then added to the dish. You can ask for as much or as little as you prefer. (photo by Brandon Glover)Along with the rice or noodles, the chef will ask if you want a sauce added. There are six types avaliable including: coconut curry, teriyaki, Szechwan, sweet & sour, orange sauce, and my personal favorite Thai peanut. There are additional toppings you can ask for as well including soy sauce and sriracha. (photo by Brandon Glover)Lo-mein noodles added to the Wok. (photo by Brandon Glover)Wok chef mixes everything to perfection. (photo by Brandon Glover)Once poured into your dish, the Wok chef will ask if you would like it topped with cilantro or green onions. (photo by Brandon Glover)For those who travel with vegetarians or vegans, the Wok Experience is great for them as well.Wok dish featuring tofu as the protein. (photo by Brandon Glover)Wok dish with beef and chicken with almost no vegetables added.(photo by Brandon Glover)Across from the Wok station are tables set up with soups and desserts.Dessert and soup station. (photo by Brandon Glover)These strawberry cheesecake squares were wonderful. I found myself snacking on them while waiting for my Wok dish to cook. I was like Buddy the elf popping cotton balls into his mouth. Would have like to take a plate of these home.Cheesecake squares. (photo by Brandon Glover)The chocolate cake dessert was also very good.(photo by Brandon Glover)center_img # 3 – Despicable Me Character BreakfastPreviously, Royal Pacific’s character breakfast was held at Jake’s American Bar and featured characters from Despicable Me and Hop. Being huge fans of character meals in general, our family had a great experience. The breakfast is now at the Tahitian dining room (former home of Emeril’s Tchoup Chop) and is completely based around the Despicable Me characters, having added a second Minion and Gru’s three daughters. Upon check-in, guests get their first photo op with Gru and Stuart (the one-eyed Minion). After being escorted to your table, guests are then released to visit the buffet to eat all that you desire. There are two buffet lines featuring a sweet and savory assortment of fruits, eggs, breakfast potatoes, meats, pancakes, sweet rolls, bagels, and cereals. Servers will bring orange juice, water, and coffee to the table at your request. Gluten free options are available.If you’ve dined at any Disney character meal, you will be accustomed to characters visiting each table around the dining room for photos. That is the same system in place here, with three sets of characters roaming throughout the meal. Gru & Stuart the Minion, Gru’s daughters (Margo, Edith, & Agnes), and Kevin the Minion. The characters were very playful, engaging in dancing games or playing tricks on each other. Another layer to the overall Minion theming is the soundtrack of popular music as performed by Minions playing throughout the meal. Universal has nowhere near the amount of character meals that Disney offers, but the ones they do have are a lot of fun and this is no exception.Despicable Me Character Breakfast. (photo by Brandon Glover)Inside the Tahitian dining room. (photo by “Corporal Confetti” @FelipeWWoHP)“Mom’s choice” fruit options. (photo by Brandon Glover)Cereal options. (photo by Brandon Glover)Bread and pastries. (photo by Brandon Glover)Mini-muffins. (photo by Brandon Glover)Bagels and bread. (photo by Brandon Glover)Hot food selections. (photo by Brandon Glover)Breakfast is served! (photo by @FelipeWWoHP)Gru and Stuart. (photo by Brandon Glover)Kevin. (photo by Brandon Glover)Agnes, Edith, and Margo. (photo by @FelipeWWoHP)Sisters having fun with each other. (photo by Brandon Glover)Smile! (photo by Brandon Glover)The Despicable Me Character Breakfast has three seatings every Saturday: 8:00 a.m. 9:30 a.m., and 11:00 a.m. The cost is $34.99 for adults, $20.99 for kids 3-9, and free for children under 3. To make a reservation go to www.LoewsCharacterBreakfast.tix.com. Honorable Mention – Royal Pacific is Pet FriendlyWhile Disney has only recently started to make some of its resorts pet friendly, many of Universal’s hotels – including Royal Pacific – have been welcoming pets for years. In fact, the Royal Pacific not only has an elaborately themed area dedicated just to pets, at check-in they are given their own gift bag filled with stuff and there’s even a gourmet room service menu for cats and dogs. (Sorry, I don’t care how long my Yorkshire Terrier gave me the cold shoulder, I had to draw the line somewhere!) There is one-time resort fee of $100 per stay for guests with pets (limit 2 pets per room).Royal Pet Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pet Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Pet Resort. (photo by Brandon Glover)Walkway to the pet-friendly rooms. (photo by Brandon Glover) # 2 – Islands Dining Room and the WOK EXPERIENCEIslands Dining Room is the main table service restaurant for Royal Pacific. Despite being located directly next to the main pool area, inside you would have no idea as it is very quiet. In the mornings, Islands offers a large breakfast buffet along with an extensive a la carte menu that includes their signature Hawaiian pancakes and Tahitian French toast a l’orange. The dinner menu brings a Pan-Asian themed menu that does not disappoint with options such as General Tso’s chicken, Korean bulgogi ribeye, and tofu broccoli lo-mein. There is a children’s menu available, and in our experience the servers have no problem allowing guests to order off the Jake’s American Bar menu so that they can get a burger instead of something like shrimp pad thai. Our family also enjoyed the fact that there is a large room available which has a TV as well as toys for kids to play with. This allowed for the adults to relax and enjoy the meal while the kids could have fun.To book reservations at Islands Dining Room, use OpenTable.Islands Dining Room. (photo by Brandon Glover)Islands Dining Room. (photo by Brandon Glover)Thai Coconut Soup – sweet coconut, lemongrass, & ginger in a light broth. (photo by Brandon Glover)Pork Potstickers. (photo by Brandon Glover)Korean Bulgogi Ribeye. (photo by Brandon Glover)General Tso’s Chicken. (photo by Brandon Glover)Shrimp Pad Thai. (photo by Brandon Glover)Teriyaki Bowl Stir Fry. (photo by Brandon Glover)Yes, there is a children’s menu. (photo by Brandon Glover)Like Jake’s, Islands Dining Room has a large drink menu. (photo by Brandon Glover)Refreshing. (photo by Brandon Glover)Yin & Yang Chocolate Oreo Mousse. (photo by Brandon Glover)Be sure to finish your meal with Island’s signature dessert: the jumbo pineapple donut.Homemade Donut Filled with Pineapple Cream, Coconut Ice Cream. (photo by Brandon Glover) Triple Threat Honorable Mention – Royal ClubThe Royal Pacific Resort offers a Club Level experience as well, as guests can enjoy the amenities at the Royal Club. Inside is a large amount of seating, several TVs, computers, and board games. There is a continental breakfast in the morning, afternoon snacks, evening meal (themed to a different experience each night) and later a dessert offering. Throughout the day soda, coffee, and other drinks are available. Everything is complimentary, including the alcohol options.The Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)The Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Kid’s area. (photo by Brandon Glover)Alcohol selections. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)Themed nights. (photo by Brandon Glover)Pork option for Mexican night. (photo by Brandon Glover)Themed nights. (photo by Brandon Glover)Vegan rigatoni. (photo by Brandon Glover)Royal Club. (photo by Brandon Glover)So there you have it: Six Reasons We Love Universal’s ROYAL PACIFIC RESORT! See you next weekend for the latest installment of the SATURDAY SIX, where we’ll look at something fun from the world of Disney and Universal. If you enjoyed yourself, be sure to check out The Magic, The Memories, and Merch! articles, or, for your listening pleasure, check out the E-Ticket Report podcast. You can also follow Your Humble Author on Twitter (@derekburgan).If you enjoyed this article, you will surely like the following: SATURDAY SIX SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: An in-depth look at theme park photography6 Pieces of Disney Merchandise That Don’t Exists (But Totally Should)Are Disney’s Hotels Going To The Dogs? A Review.Walt Disney World Locations Used in Hulk Hogan’s THUNDER IN PARADISESATURDAY SIX Investigative Report: Disney PET PEEVESThe 5th Annual Theme Park TURKEYS of the Year6 Reasons We’ll NEVER FORGET 2018 (No Matter How Hard We Try!)Special Thanks to The Elite Brandon Glover, the Corporal of Confetti @FelipeWWoHP, the SAT SIX Fun Squad of Parkscope Joe and Nick,  and Hermione Granger’s tutor Megan Stump for their invaluable assistance with this article. The SAT SIX is inspired each week by goofballs Aengus Mackenzie and LitemAndHyde and you Potterheads will  enjoy Meg’s other blog work over at the Central Florida Slug Club.FINAL PLUG! Did you know The 2019 Unofficial Guide to Universal Orlando has a special edition of the SATURDAY SIX in it?That’s right, ANOTHER NEW ONE EXCLUSIVE TO THIS EDITION!Finally, someone came up with an actual reason to read a book. ORDER this baby now!We’re already looking forward to our next stay… (photo by Brandon Glover)last_img read more

Continue reading

UN awards first Nelson Mandela prize

first_img23 June 2015The inaugural winners of the UN Nelson Mandela Prize are from Namibia and Portugal.Dr Helena Ndume of Namibia and Jorge Fernando Branco Sampaio of Portugal were announced the winners by the president of the United Nations General Assembly, Sam Kutesa, yesterday.Established in June 2014, the prize recognises the achievements of those who dedicate their lives to the service of humanity by promoting UN purposes and principles, while honouring Mandela’s extraordinary life and legacy of reconciliation, political transition and social transformation.The entrusted selection committee decided that the inaugural award would be given to two laureates.The Nelson Mandela Prize is an honorary award that will be presented once every five years as a tribute to the outstanding achievements and contributions of two individuals (one female and one male).According to the Assembly, Ndume is an ophthalmologist whose life’s work has been devoted to treating blindness and eye-related illnesses in Namibia and throughout the developing world.Sampaio led the struggle to restore democracy in Portugal – including throughout his tenure as Lisbon’s mayor from 1989 to 1995 and as the 18th president of the republic from 1996 to 2006.Nominations were received from a broad variety of sources – including UN member and observer states, entities and intergovernmental organisations.The award ceremony will take place on 24 July, at UN headquarters in New York, as part of the annual UN commemoration of International Nelson Mandela Day.The day is typically celebrated on the late South African leader’s birthday, 18 July, when the UN joins a call by the Nelson Mandela Foundation to devote 67 minutes of their time to helping others.For 67 years Nelson Mandela devoted his life to the service of humanity – as a human rights lawyer, a prisoner of conscience, an international peacemaker and the first democratically elected president of a free South Africa.Source: SAnews.govlast_img read more

Continue reading

Maran: ‘No Cagliari limits’

first_imgRolando Maran saw Cagliari’s “best performance of the season” to beat Atalanta 2-0 and won’t set limits on their ambitions after going joint third. “I think it was our best performance of the season. This was an extremely tough fixture, as Atalanta were on great form, they had scored in every game and we decided the best way of approaching it was to force them to defend,” explained Maran on DAZN. “Both teams were on the attack constantly and that made for a very entertaining match. We ran from start to finish, everyone showed the right spirit and the great thing about these lads is that whoever I choose, they all give their contribution as part of the team unit. “If we rest on our laurels, we’ll never improve. We have to create continual motivation, both as a squad and as individuals. We watched Atalanta this week to prepare and decided we had to get closer to their approach, the way they face everyone with no fear and by playing their football. “We want to go beyond our limits and see what we can do. It’s all about finding the right path to improvement.” Cagliari are now level with Atalanta in fourth place after 11 rounds, so can they follow in those footsteps with European ambitions? “Obviously, there is now more attention on us, as is natural in this position, but it should only be relatively of interest. What matters is taking it one game at a time and not resting on our laurels. We must always strive to do better.” Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/last_img read more

Continue reading

India vs Australia: Game 5, ODI Tri-series- As it happened!

first_imgAustralia have won the toss and elected to field first against IndiaWelcome to the coverage of the ODI Tri-series, Game 5 between India and Australia from the Sydney Cricket Ground in Melbourne.ScorecardIt’s Official: So the inevitable has happened. The match has been called off. From yesterday rain was predicted for Sydney today and the forecast promptly came true. The match was delayed by 40 minutes. We got some play in before a rain delay for 50 minutes. The rain relented and the players came back to play. 16 overs were possible before a big storm struck and forced the abandonment.Inevitable. Called off! Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 26, 2015India and Australia now share two points each which makes the England clash on Friday a knockout game for the two sides as the hosts are already through to the final. The pitch had pace and bounce and Dhawan struggled. He got out to Starc and Rayudu came out with an intent to play a stroke every ball. He got away a few times, but his luck ran out soon. Rahane and Kohli were there in the middle when the rain came down. India will be happy with the two points as it now gives them a realistic chance of making the final. If they beat England at Perth, they are through. Don’t worry about the weather at Perth, it hasn’t rained in ages there.If as seems likely now, this game is a washout, India vs England on the 30th becomes a straight knockoutadvertisement Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 26, 2015Rain Update: The weather has not changed a bit, rather it’s getting worse at the SCG. The play has been stopped for over an hour now. The cut-off time for a 20-over game is 20:45(local) which is two hours away. In case of a no result today, the two teams will share two points each which will make India’s tie against England on Friday, a straight knockout game. Stay tuned for more updates! We have got no chance now.. Smashing down #washout #AUSvIND Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) January 26, 2015Bad News: The rain is back at the Sydney Cricket Ground, yet again. The players are walking off the field and the covers are coming on. It’s not looking good as dark clouds encircle the stadium. Stay tuned for more updates! With Virat Kohli(1) and Ajinkya Rahane(27) at the crease, India are currently at 66/2 after 15 overs.TWO RUNS off the over!!James Faulkner comes into the attack for Australia. With Virat Kohli(0) and Ajinkya Rahane(24) at the crease, India are currently at 62/2 after 13 overs.Superb catch running back by Warner Rayudu out for 23 India 2-62 #AUSvIND #IndianRepublicDay #AustraliaDay #INDvsAUS pic.twitter.com/rfk2Sz7uBE Indian Cricket Team (@IndianCricNews) January 26, 2015SIX RUNS off the over!!Virat Kohli is the new man in for India.There was NO NEED FOR THAT SHOT from Ambati Rayudu who had already scored a boundary in the over!!12.5 overs: OUT!! Mitchell Marsh has got Ambati Rayudu out caught in covers. Rayudu skips down the track looking for the big shot but mistimes it straight into the hands of David Warner who takes a good catch while running backwards. Ambati Rayudu departs after scoring 23 runs off 24 balls with two boundaries and a six. Another BLOW for India!!12.4 overs: FOUR!! Ambati Rayudu hangs back and steers it over the wicket-keeper for a boundary. CLEVER CRICKET from Rayudu!! With Ambati Rayudu(19) and Ajinkya Rahane(23) at the crease, India are currently at 56/1 after 12 overs.FIVE RUNS off the over!! First sign of spin, Xavier Doherty comes into the attack for Australia. With Ambati Rayudu(13) and Ajinkya Rahane(16) at the crease, India are currently at 41/1 after nine overs.Nice aggressive batting from @RayuduAmbati #WeWontGiveItBack #INDvsAUS Pavan Praneeth (@praneethtz) January 26, 2015NINE RUNS off the over!!8.6 overs: SIX!! Ambati Rayudu shimmies down the wicket and smashes it deep into the stands over long-on for the maximum. That was SMOKED by Rayudu!! First change, Mitchell Marsh comes into the attack for Australia. With Ambati Rayudu(6) and Ajinkya Rahane(14) at the crease, India are currently at 32/1 after eight overs.SIX RUNS off the over!!7.5 overs: FOUR!! Ambati Rayudu stands tall and smashes it over mid-on for a boundary. Rayudu GETS GOING for India!! With Ambati Rayudu(1) and Ajinkya Rahane(13) at the crease, India are currently at 26/1 after seven overs.TWO RUNS off the over!! Shikhar Dhawan appointed as new fielding coach of Australia, as he gives away catching practice to the slips! #AusvsInd #AusvInd #INDvsAUS Pranay Mehta (@PranayMehta_PM) January 26, 2015Ambati Rayudu comes to the crease for India.advertisement3.1 overs: That’s OUT!! Mitchell Starc has got Shikhar Dhawan out caught at first slip. Dhawan stays back in the crease and dabs it straight into the hands of Aaron Finch who doesn’t drop those. Shikhar Dhawan departs after scoring eight runs off 13 balls. Dhawan’s DISMAL FORM continues!! With Shikhar Dhawan(8) and Ajinkya Rahane(13) at the crease, India are currently at 24/0 after six overs.SIX RUNS off the over!!5.4 overs: FOUR!! Ajinkya Rahane was looking to pull and gets a faint edge past the wicket-keeper for a boundary. With Shikhar Dhawan(1) and Ajinkya Rahane(8) at the crease, India are currently at 12/0 after four overs.SIX RUNS off the over!!3.5 overs: FOUR!! Ajinkya Rahane swivels across and flicks it towards long leg for the first boundary in the innings. POOR LINE from Hazlewood!! With Shikhar Dhawan(1) and Ajinkya Rahane(2) at the crease, India are currently at 6/0 after three overs.TWO RUNS off the over!! Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane are back in the middle for India while Mitchell Starc will continue his over for Australia. Good News: The rain has stopped at the Sydney Cricket Ground and the covers are being removed here. The overs have been reduced to 44-over per side. The play will resume at 4:06pm(local) in another 11 minutes. Bad News: The rain returns back to the Sydney Cricket Ground. The players are walking off the field and the covers are coming on. It looks quite gloomy in the background as dark clouds hover over the stadium. Stay tuned for more updates! #TriSeries: The rain returns at the SCG, as do the covers. Ind 6/0 in 2.4 overs against Aus #INDvsAUS #AUSvIND pic.twitter.com/vs4oVBCtmT CricketGroundSe (@CricketGroundse) January 26, 2015With Shikhar Dhawan(0) and Ajinkya Rahane(1) at the crease, India are currently at 4/0 after two overs.THREE RUNS off the over!! Josh Hazlewood will bowl from the other end for Australia. TIDY START by Starc, just one run off it!! Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane are out in the middle for India while Mitchell Starc will start the proceedings for Australia.Team News: India have made two crucial changes with Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja coming in for Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. On the other hand, Australia bring back David Warner, George Bailey, Mitchell Marsh, Josh Hazlewood and Xavier Doherty. This is fantastic looking team. 6 pure batsman 3 All-Rounders 2 Fast Bowlers Amazing n different combination #IndvsAus #RepublicDay Srstc pk 😉 {~} (@Shoaib_Alam0786) January 26, 2015Toss: Australia have won the toss and elected to field first against India. Bad News: It’s drizzling at the Sydney Cricket Ground at the moment. The weather and cloudy situation will only make it worse as the start of the game is likely to get affected. Stay tuned for more updates.If India lose today or the match gets washed out, their ODI against England on Friday, becomes a knock-out game. India will have to secure a bonus point win in case they lose today. Stat-Attack:Sachin Tendulkar scored a masterly 117 in 2008 to mastermind India’s only victory over Australia in a One-Day International in Sydney.advertisementIt’s very very special day for both the teams. While India celebrate their 66th Republic day, the hosts will be celebrating the Australia day, their official national day. A win in today’s game will be of momentous significance for both the teams. Australia are already through to the final and will be looking forward to keep the momentum going. On the other hand, winless India find themselves in a do-or-die situation.The hosts are in terrific touch. Their bowling attack is solid, with Mitchell Starc enjoying a dream run. He was ruthless in their first two games, and combined well with other bowlers in their last match to put up an admirable display of death bowling. Although their batting lacks the same consistency as their bowling, their depth has allowed them to play more freely. George Bailey, who missed the last game due to suspension, will take over the captaincy from Steve Smith. Shaun Marsh will make way for David Warner. Mitchell Johnson is fit but it remains to be seen whether Australia would rush him for a seemingly inconsequential game. The fact that Australia are already through offers them a good chance to experiment.For India, it has been a sorry tale. Opting to bat first in both their games, the visitors stuttered in the initial overs. They were able to post a decent 267 against Australia in the first, but it was no match for a flamboyant Australian batting attack. Against England, it was yet another story. Collective failure from the batsmen meant that India could only post a meagre 153 on board. There continues to be a big question mark over Shikhar Dhawan’s form and Virat Kohli’s batting position still seems uncertain. Even Rohit Sharma continues to remain out of the side due to a hamstring injury. The bowlers have been wayward and miserably inconsistent. India have failed as a unit in both their matches. However, Ishant Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja’s return to the side might give the visitors a glimmer of hope.India:The defending World Champions had a sorry day at the office against England. They were blown away by Steven Finn and James Anderson and there appear to be cracks creeping up into the famed batting line-up. There are question marks surrounding Shikhar Dhawan’s place in the side and Virat Kohli’s batting position. India’s two aggressive batsman at the top of the order have failed to get started. Rohit Sharma, India’s centurion against Australia in Melbourne, has been sidelined by a hamstring injury and will miss the encounter in Sydney.India, however, will be boosted by Ishant Sharma’s and Ravindra Jadeja’s steady return to fitness. Stuart Binny, who shone in an otherwise forgettable day against England, may keep his place even if India opt to for a two-spinner attack. Jadeja’s bowling readiness may help the team management make the choice among the three available spinners. A five day break after their twin defeats may augur well for a team that looks to regain its mental freshness.Australia:Australia have enjoyed the perfect tune-up thus far. Their first two victories were set up by Mitchell Starc and their bursts with the new ball. Then, in their last game against England, Starc and James Faulkner came up with a fine exhibition of death bowling to restrict England to 303, when they looked set to get much more. The batting has remained solid, if not flamboyant. The depth in batting has allowed the top-order to bat with freedom.For the India game, there are welcome returns to the squad. George Bailey will take over as captain missing the last game due to suspension. Mitchell Marsh has sufficiently recovered from an injury sustained during the Brisbane Test against India. David Warner and Shane Watson missed the Hobart ODI with hamstring injuries and It remains to be seen, if the think-tank would rush them for an inconsequential game. Mitchell Johnson, though fit, will make a return only for the final. However, Josh Hazlewood and Xavier Doherty are expected to play on Monday.Teams(from):India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(c/wk), Stuart Binny, Akshar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Ambati Rayudu, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Mohit Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Ravindra JadejaAustralia: Aaron Finch, David Warner, Shane Watson, Steven Smith, George Bailey(c), Glenn Maxwell, Brad Haddin(wk), James Faulkner, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc, Xavier Doherty, Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Johnson, Josh Hazlewood, Kane Richardson, Gurinder Sandhulast_img read more

Continue reading

A SET OF SIX – VOLUME TWELVE

first_imgTouch Football Australia brings you this rapid fire “Set of Six” news ‘plays’ from around the Country. TFA’s National Media Coordinator Karley Banks brings you up to date every week with a selection of six ‘plays’ on the latest news, views, and events nationally.Welcome to Touch Football Australia’s a Set of Six – Volume Twelve.SOUTH AUSTRALIA (SA)                                                                              Play: # 1   Fields to be regeneratedTouch Football South Australia has decided to ‘rest’ their fields at their City Touch venue for scheduled Winter fixtures on Wednesday 25 July, Thursday 26 July, and Thursday 2 August 2007.The home fields of Touch Football in South Australia have been overworked in recent times and with better weather forecast Touch Football South Australia officials were happy to allow the playing surface an opportunity to regenerate before the season recommences in earnest in coming weeks. Other news:Touch Football South Australia are hosting a Coaching Forum featuring some of Australia’s leading coaches on Saturday 18 August at Coopers Alehouse, 316 Pulteney Street Adelaide. If you would like to register for the Forum, please contact the Touch Football South Australia Office on 08 03067500.The Touch Football South Australia website: www.touchsa.com.auQUEENSLAND (QLD)Play # 2GDO WorkshopQueensland Touch are conducting a Game Development Officer Workshop for their Game Development staff on Thursday 26 and Friday 27 July 2007 to update and up skill staff on the latest initiatives and innovations in key areas of development in the sport.Interest areas to be covered in the two-day Workshop include AusTouch, Sporting Pulse, Technical arms initiatives including the new Community Coach Program, Media relationships, the ASET Program and implementation, and the new “True Sport” program from the Queensland Department of Sport & Recreation.Guest presenters, including Queensland Sport and Recreation Senior Development Officer Emma Spranklin, and TFA Chief Executive Officer, Colm Maguire, will be on hand to conduct segments of the Workshop.Other events:Round seven of the SEQTL continues at the Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association’s Whites Hill complex on Friday 27 July 2007. First games commence at 6.30pm.The Queensland Touch Web-site: www.qldtouch.com.auNEW SOUTH WALES (NSW) Play # 3Huge Week for New South Wales Touch It was a busy week for the NSWTA celebrating their 35th anniversary with the opening round of the 32nd Vawdon Cup on Friday night, hosting the annual State Conference for over 147 affiliated members, and staging their annual NSWTA Blues Awards dinner to recognize the efforts of their affiliates and members over the last twelve months.Olympic, Commonwealth, and World Championships Medallist swimmer Elka Graham was the special guest at the Blues dinner, with the founding fathers of the New South Wales Touch Association Bob Dyke and Ray Vawdon also among the 235 strong crowd who attended the gala.Major highlights of the evening included Mark Bolland’s induction as a Life member of the NSWTA, the announcement of 13 Inaugural NSWTA Hall of Fame members, 14 Volunteers from all over the State being recognized with Blues Awards for their contribution to the sport, and a special presentation to outgoing Southern Suns supremo Rod Wise.Blues award winners included: Parkes as the Affiliate of the Year, Southern Suns as the Region of the Year, Annette Thomas-Schumaker and John Ryan as Administrators of the Year, and Luke Mc Kenzie as the Inaugural recipient of the Rod Wise Medal for Volunteer of the Year.On field plaudits went to Wade Jenkins for Coach of the Year, Dave Baggio for Referee of the Year, Nicole Beck (Female) and Maurice Kennedy (Male) for Junior Player of the Year, and Jason Stanton (Male) and Louise Winchester (Female) for Player of the Year. Full details of the Blues Awards and the NSW State Conference can be accessed by going to the NSWTA web site.Other Events:Round two of the Vawdon Cup this Friday night 27 July 2007.The New South Wales Touch Association web-site: www.nswtouch.com.auWESTERN AUSTRALIA (WA)Play # 4TouchWest held their final National 18’s Selection Camp at Northern Districts Touch Association last weekend in trying conditions.Rain and blustering wind greeted the participants for the majority of the weekend. Despite the inclement weather, players were extremely enthusiastic in what was the last opportunity to impress coaches, Toby Hohapata (Boys) and Shelley Matcham (Girls). During the camp, players were put through skills and drills but also had sessions on fitness, nutrition, recovery, and player pathways.Attending the camp were also individuals from the North West of Western Australia, some who traveled over 2,000km to Perth. The teams will be selected in the coming days and it is exciting that two teams from WA will be attending in 2007 after a year off in 2006.Other events:Southern Districts is now looking for individuals to trial for our Men’s Women’s and Mixed Open teams as well as looking for individuals to take on Coaching and Managing roles for the Super League series. Details are available from www.southerntouch.org.auBroome launches Austouch this Thursday with its registration day. Around 15 leaders will be in attendance for the expected 200 participants. Game Development Officer, Angela Doyle, will be in attendance to assist with the launch and continue to promote the game in the North West.The TouchWest website: www.touchwest.com.auVICTORIA (VIC)Play # 5VT League on the HorizonTouch Football Victoria (TFV) is looking for new teams to compete in their newly created elite Touch Football competition, the VT League, which will begin on Saturday 20 October 2007. Acting as link between grassroots and the representative level, the VT League will involve the state’s elite players competing at a variety of venues across Melbourne.Any player or team can apply to participate, with the VT League to be made up of six Permit teams.Permits must be able to field both a male and female side in the competition.Each side will be managed by qualified coaches and managers ensuring it will be an exciting and high-quality competition.Touch Football Victoria hopes that the VT League will help raise the profile of touch football within the state and encourage new players to participate in the sport.The VT league is part of the TFV push to set up new teams and affiliates across the state in order to increase and expand their competitions.The competition will run over weekends with finals taking place on December 1 2007, and the winner to receive the VT League Champions trophy. Other events:Ground Coordinators are required for Victorian Touch Football competitions at various locations around Melbourne.  If you require further details please contact David Brady at david.brady@victouch.com.au or call 030 9206 6755.The Touch Football Victoria website: www.victouch.com.auNORTHERN TERRITORY (NT)Play # 6Talented Territorians lining up for Schools ExchangeTalented Darwin athlete Jordan Ahsam will be one of many youngsters competing in the Northern Territory (NT) Secondary and Primary School Sports Touch Football Championships and Exchange in Darwin from 27 – 31 August 2007.Fifteen-year-old Jordan is a current Australian Youth Squad member, whose natural sporting ability has seen her become the first female to represent the Territory in a Boy’s Rugby League team, represent NT in basketball, and be one of the youngest players to play at the National Touch League in the Women’s Open division.After four years representing at Primary and 15 Years Secondary level for Touch Football, this will be Jordan’s final year before moving into the Open selection arena.Another talented Territorian up for selection is 14-year-old Jaylene Bonson, who is also an NT basketball representative.Jaylene recently showcased her Touch Football skills in the Barbarian Competition, playing for the NT Opens Women’s side against Western Australia for a place in the Barbarians Team for the 2008 National Touch League.Promising Alice Springs teenager, 14-year-old Quinton Pomare-Anderson, who is a current U18 NT Squad member, will also be setting a high standard for this year’s competition.The trio of talented teens was among twenty players invited to attend a recent elite touch training camp held in Darwin conducted by Australian Youth Coaches and Elite World Cup players.The NT School Touch Championships will be hosted by Darwin’s Northern Suburbs cluster with teams entering from all over the Territory including Alice Springs, Gove, and first time attendee’s, Maningrida Primary School boys. The championships are the selection event for the NT Schools Touch Representative Teams to compete at the National Schools Touch Championships to be held in Melbourne from 21 – 26 October this year.Other news:Nominations close this Friday 27 July 2007 for Season 2 of the Darwin Touch Association Competition. Nomination forms are available by visiting the Darwin web site at: www.darwintouch.com.auThe Nortern Territory website: www.touchnt.com.auThat’s it for this week’s edition of “A Set of Six”.Be sure to visit each State’s web-site for more information on all the latest news and information from around the nation.last_img read more

Continue reading

Video: 4-Star Florida Commit Jake Allen Receives Invitation To Elite 11

first_imgJake Allen throwing the football.Vine/Sanjay KirpalaniFlorida fans will have a player to root for when the Elite 11 quarterback competition takes place at The Opening this summer. St. Thomas Aquias’ Jake Allen, a Florida verbal commit, was invited to compete after his performance at today’s regional camp in Miami.#Gators QB commit Jake Allen invited to the Elite 11. https://t.co/IftMV2Scr9— Zach Abolverdi (@ZachAbolverdi) March 6, 2016Allen made some nice throws during the drills today.Jake Allen rocking the USPS hat and delivering the mail #GETOPEN #Gators https://t.co/PnQiwJTRq7— Sanjay Kirpalani (@SanjayKirpalani) March 6, 2016Jake Allen with a great throw just off Trevon Grimes fingertips. https://t.co/S6IDbMqmhR— Derek Tyson (@DerekTysonESPN) March 6, 2016Here is Allen’s recruiting profile, via 247Sports. The Elite 11 takes place at The Opening in Beaverton, Ore. from July 5-10.last_img read more

Continue reading

Canada and EU settle dispute on beef import restrictions following trade deal

first_imgCALGARY – Canada has agreed to drop a decades-old trade dispute against the European Union’s restriction of beef imports thanks to terms in the recently enacted Canada-EU trade agreement.The dispute goes back to 1989 when the European Union closed the door on imports of hormone-treated beef, leading both Canada and the United States to challenge the decision at the World Trade Organization.In a joint statement posted to the WTO website Tuesday, Canada and the EU said that the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement that went into force last month was “conducive for finding a mutually agreed solution and settling the dispute.”The terms of the CETA deal allows Canada to export 50,000 tonnes of hormone beef duty-free, while in Tuesday’s release Canada agreed to suspend its dispute on the hormone issue while the trade deal remains in place.Canada had been pushing for a large enough quota to make it worthwhile for producers to set up hormone-free herds, which are generally more expensive to manage.The government had also looked for assurances from the EU that European governments would not set up non-tariff barriers to Canadian meat, using the back door to prevent Canadian products from competing with their own.last_img read more

Continue reading

Egypt Brotherhood charities may impact referendum: experts

first_imgCAIRO- A crackdown by Egypt’s authorities on the Muslim Brotherhood has left hundreds of Islamic charities struggling for funds, with experts warning the move could impact this week’s referendum on a new constitution.The Tuesday-Wednesday vote has been billed as the first step in Egypt’s democratic transition after the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in July following huge protests against his one-year rule.The government installed by the military after Morsi’s ouster has seized assets, bank accounts, hospitals, schools and institutions run by Islamic charities as part of its crackdown on Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood movement. Analysts say Morsi’s supporters, who have been clamouring for his reinstatement, are likely to find backing for their call for a boycott of the referendum among grassroots Egyptians who are dependent on the charities.“These charities will definitely have an impact on the referendum. The turnout will be much less this time,” analyst Osama Diab of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights told AFP.“The focus of the Muslim Brotherhood is to ensure a low turnout and the Islamic charities can influence people for that. They can mobilise people through these charities to guarantee a low turnout,” said Diab.Mustafa Kamel al-Sayyed, professor of political science at Cairo University, agreed.“The Muslim Brotherhood could use charity networks for mobilising people to boycott the referendum or elections, given their influence on the people,” he said.“These charities do offer services that aid people and the government’s measures (against them) could backfire,” he said.According to experts, however, the boycott is not likely to be extensive enough to affect the final outcome of the vote.The charities say they aid millions of impoverished people in Egypt.  They are also seen by many as providing the Brotherhood with a solid social platform that helped it dominate all elections since the fall of president Hosni Mubarak in the 2011 uprising.Experts say the authorities suspect that some of the funds are used by the Brotherhood to mobilise anti-government protesters or even for funding militant activities.last_img read more

Continue reading

Why Is The US So Good At Womens Soccer

Even though the United States is a bit insecure about its place in the world’s most popular sport, the U.S. women’s national soccer team has been dominant on the world stage for nearly a quarter-century. Tonight it will face off in the semifinals of the Women’s World Cup against Germany, with nothing less than the title of “greatest of all time” at stake. Each team has two World Cup championships, and they’ve been the two top-ranked teams in the world since FIFA’s rankings began in 2003. The winner will take the lead in World Cup finals appearances and will have the inside track to finish atop 2015’s rankings.So how did we get here? Basically, it boils down to two things: 1) Women’s soccer has been on a great run for the past 30-plus years in the U.S., to the point where it’s poised to become our most popular women’s sport, and 2) the rest of the world has been relatively apathetic and/or hostile to the women’s game.U.S. women’s soccer truly seemed to arrive in the public’s attention after the 1999 World Cup. If you’re old enough to have experienced the excitement and drama of it, there’s no way you could ever forget:This success didn’t come from nowhere. Since almost immediately after the implementation of Title IX (which became law in 1972, with compliance required by 1978) U.S. women’s soccer has grown like crazy. Probably the cleanest and easiest venue to see how this has played out is at the high school level; the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) has high school athletics participation data going back to the ’70s:In the late ’70s, the number of high school women playing soccer was in the low five figures. By the time America won the World Cup in 1991, there were more than 120,000. By the time it won in 1999, there were more than 250,000. Now it is approaching 20 percent of all high school female athletes — about 375,000 — and has surpassed baseball/softball as the third-most-played team sport.Soccer has grown both by taking women from other sports and by capturing a disproportionate share of “new” female athletes as more young women began to play sports. Note that the percentage decline for basketball — by far the most mature women’s sport in the country — looks steep, but the change in total number of players is fairly small (there were more women playing high school basketball in 2013-14 than in 1976-77.) Soccer, though, has still been adding numbers to its ranks rapidly, despite a bit of a slowdown in its growth shortly after 1999:Soccer looks like it has a good chance of taking the top spot in the next 10-20 years. Yes, volleyball has been on a nice run of late, and looks likely to pass basketball as the most-played sport as early as this year. But volleyball is down from its peak (see chart above), and the upper limit for soccer is still unknown.For as much as the rest of the world loves soccer, it has been much slower to embrace the women’s game than the U.S. In England, women playing soccer was effectively banned (at least at venues that hosted men’s teams) from 1921 to 1971, and in Germany it was banned from 1955 to 1970. At around the time Title IX was heating up in the United States, women’s international soccer basically didn’t exist. According to FIFA, there were only three national teams and two international matches played in 1971.And while the women’s game is still growing worldwide, it has a long way to go. The latest comprehensive statistics from FIFA come from its “Big Count” in 2006. In it, women made up about 11 percent of registered soccer players worldwide, and just 13 percent of youths. While the Big Count hasn’t been updated, more recent studies haven’t suggested any major shifts, and FIFA still uses a figure of 12 percent in its literature.What’s worse, even those numbers are being skewed — by the United States. In that same report, the U.S. had more than 1.5 million registered female youth players — more than half of the world’s total. Take all U.S. youth out of the equation, and just 8 percent of the young soccer players in the rest of the world were female in 2006.Also, in the U.S., women’s soccer has more parity the higher up the ladder you go. Of all FIFA-registered youth in the U.S., 40 percent are female. In high schools, young women make up 47 percent of all soccer players. In the NCAA, 53 percent of soccer players are female, including 61 percent of those in Division I.Given that we pretty much started out on a similar playing field and have devoted more interest to women playing soccer in this country, I’m actually led to wonder why it is that we’re not even more dominant.For example, Germany has probably the most robust network of young women playing soccer outside of the U.S. Per capita its network is about the same as America’s: The U.S. has about five times as many registered youth women’s players as Germany (based on the data in the FIFA country-by-country factbook), fitting well with a population difference of about 5x for 15-24-year-old females (judging by here and here).If all else were equal, the U.S. should be smoking Germany: Both countries have similar youth participation rates, and we have five times more youths to draw on.This isn’t the type of sports mystery that can be easily solved, but the best answer is probably something along the lines of “they take soccer more seriously.” And there are some pretty good hints of that in FIFA’s data: For example, 94 percent of all the FIFA-registered players in the U.S. are youths, compared with only 31 percent in Germany. In raw numbers, that means we have a little more than 100,000 relatively serious adult female players compared with Germany’s 650,000 plus. While I generally think youth or high school participation is a great proxy for potential talent pools, in this case I think the adult participation disparity tells you quite a bit about each country’s soccer culture. We may have the numbers advantage, but we don’t treat soccer as a national passion project.At least not yet. Give us a couple more wins in Canada and we’ll see.CLARIFICATION (July 1, 10:30 a.m.): The “rise of soccer” chart has been labeled to reflect that hockey includes both ice and field variants. UPDATE (July 1, 7:20 a.m.): Tuesday night, the U.S. women’s national team beat Germany 2-0, making this article’s headline even more prescient than usual. Below, Benjamin Morris looks at how America’s unique youth soccer culture has helped ensure the dominance of the USWNT. read more

Continue reading