Jurgen Klinsmann paid tribute to US striker Clint Dempsey after his two-goal blast fired the Americans to an opening Gold Cup victory over Honduras. Dempsey had been relieved of the US captaincy before the tournament by Klinsmann after he was suspended for tearing up a referee’s notebook during a US club match. Klinsmann instead handed the captain’s armband to Michael Bradley, explaining he wanted Dempsey to focus solely on scoring goals as the US attempt to retain their Gold Cup crown. The veteran Seattle striker repaid Klinsmann’s support with both goals in a 2-1 win on Tuesday that fired the Americans to the top of Group A. Klinsmann said Dempsey’s performance had vindicated the captaincy decision. “We made that decision and he was absolutely on board with it,” Klinsmann said. “I was a striker myself, and when you go through those moments where he made a mistake and did something wrong, all you want to do is move on,” the […]

Thousands of cheering fans turned a section of downtown Los Angeles into a sea of red, white and blue Tuesday in celebrating the US victory in the Women’s World Cup. Waving flags and chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A,” spectators began arriving at 5 a.m. outside Staples Center arena to get a prime position at the front of the stage to cheer their beloved football heroes after their record third World Cup title and first in 16 years. “Every day we call ourselves champions and it never gets old,” Carli Lloyd, voted the Golden Ball as player of the tournament, told the crowd. Lloyd scored three times as the United States roared to a four-goal lead in the first 16 minutes en route to a 5-2 demolition of Japan in Sunday’s final in Vancouver. “I know 1999 was a huge turning point for women’s soccer,” Lloyd said. “We have just crushed history. There is no greater time to win the World Cup.” Two […]