The United States started their World Cup journey with a bang, beating Ghana 2-1 in the Group G Stage match. Team Captain Clint Dempsey scored the first goal in under a minute to put USA up 1-0. It goes down as the fastest goal scored by an American in World Cup history! Then for the rest of the match, it was pretty much USA playing great defense until the 82nd minute when Andre Ayew of Ghana scored, breaking the hearts of almost every American fan. He was assisted by Asamoah Gyan on the play. However, the United States’ team would not go down lightly. Four minutes later, American substitute Graham Zusi found fellow substitute John Brooks on a corner kick that Brooks’ headed in the middle of the box. The 21-year-old defender scored his first World Cup goal and what a goal it was! The United States would hang on for the last several minutes, clinching their first victory.
USA did a horrible job of possessing the ball and had too many fouls, but they were able to overcome all of those mistakes to beat Ghana. The United States will play Portugal on June 22 at 6 p.m. while Ghana will have to take on Germany the day before at 3 p.m. Both matches will be tough to handle, but if the Americans can believe that they can win, then they will do just that.
The San Antonio Spurs won their 5th NBA Finals against the Miami Heat last night, winning 104-87 in Game Five. 22-year-old small forward Kawhi Leonard took home the Finals MVP Award. He is the youngest player to win the award since his teammate Tim Duncan did it back in 1999. Magic Johnson was the youngest, winning the Finals MVP his rookie year in 1980. Leonard proved to everyone that he is a force to be reckoned with for years to come. In the first two games of the series, he put up average numbers. But in Game Three, he flipped a switch and became a dominant player! In the series, Leonard averaged 17.8 points, 6.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals a game and shot 61 percent from the field. His best game was Game Four where he scored 20 points, racked in 14 rebounds and had three steals and three blocks. Leonard is going to be a superstar in the NBA for a very long time if he keeps playing with his aggressive style.
Tim Duncan and Coach Gregg Popovich won their 5th championship together at 38 and 65 respectively. Duncan becomes the second player in NBA history to win three championships in three different decades. John Salley was the first when he won with the Detroit Pistons in 1989, the Chicago Bulls in 1996 and the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000. No one is absolutely sure if Duncan is going to retire, but if he does, he’ll look back on his career with no regrets. Riding off into the sunset is the way to go in professional sports (just ask John Elway and Ray Lewis)!
As for the San Antonio team, they broke NBA Finals records with their demolition of the Heat. They now hold the Finals record for highest field goal percentage, shooting 56 percent from the field and had the best average points per game differential with +14. This was truly a great win for the Spurs franchise. Congratulations to San Antonio and better luck next time Miami!