KID Yamamoto Returns at UFC 184 Against Roman Salazar

KID Yamamoto Returns at UFC 184 Against Roman Salazar
Koki Nagahama/Getty Images

Norifumi ?KID? Yamamoto (18-6, 1 NC) will return to the UFC for the first time in three years when he steps inside the cage on February 28, 2015 at UFC 184.

KID’s return was posted on the UFC’s Japanese website on Tuesday evening, and his return is slated to come against Roman Salazar (9-3).

Salazar made his UFC debut in October in a loss to Mitch Gagnon. He succumbed to a rear-naked choke in just two minutes and six seconds.

Yamamoto was one of the most highly regarded lighter-weight fighters in the world for a number of years. He spent the majority of his career fighting for K-1, where he came away with one of the fastest knockouts in MMA history to that point: a four-second KO of Kazuyuki Miyata in 2006.

The success of KID hit a wall when he joined DREAM in 2009. He lost back-to-back fights to Joe Warren and Masanori Kanehara before earning a victory against Federico Lopez in 2010. It was after that victory that Yamamoto finally signed on the dotted line for the UFC.

The Japanese superstar did not find success inside the Octagon in his initial run. Three fights between February 2011-February 2012 ended in losses. His UFC debut came against current UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson.

Yamamoto is now 37 years old, and the successes he once had are all but a distant memory. His fight at UFC 184 will hope to bring back flashes of his brilliance in a fight against Salazar.

After dropping his initial UFC fight, Salazar is now being given a golden opportunity to make a name for himself with a victory against Yamamoto.

As the UFC rebounded from a rough 2014, the Yamamoto vs. Salazar bout is another exciting addition to the 2015 slate.

UFC 184 is headlined by two title fights. In the main event, Chris Weidman defends his UFC middleweight championship against Vitor Belfort. The co-main event features Ronda Rousey putting her UFC women’s bantamweight title on the line against top contender Cat Zingano.

UFC 184 hails from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2280679-kid-yamamoto-returns-at-ufc-184-against-roman-salazar

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The security gadget that’s always listening

Form Devices co-founders Nils Mattisson and Marcus Ljungblad holding their home security listening device, Point.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Point is a new kind of home security gadget that listens constantly for unusual sounds
  • It can pick up a window breaking or loud talking and send an alert to a smartphone
  • Co-founder Nils Mattisson spent 7 years in Apple’s Exploratory Design Group

(CNN) — For Airbnb hosts who want to keep tabs on their homes, a full home security system might be overkill. They’re expensive, and live cameras and motion detectors invade guests’ privacy. So how do they make sure guests keep the volume down, aren’t smoking inside and don’t ransack their home?

A new device called Point combines microphones with environmental sensors to detect anything out of the ordinary in your home while you are away. A broken window while you’re at work, the sound of your teenagers throwing a raging party, Grandad sneaking an unauthorized after-dinner cigar.

“They want to have peace of mind and know that everything is fine, but they don’t want or need full security systems,” said Nils Mattisson, co-founder of Form Devices, the start-up that makes Point.

Small, round and plastic, Point looks like a traditional smoke alarm crossed with a speaker. Sounds are matched with data from the other sensors to figure out what might have happened — a loud crash followed by a drop in temperature might mean a window was broken. It hears when an existing smoke detector goes off and sends an alert, though it’s not certified as an official smoke detector on its own.

It has a microphone that can detect sounds outside that the human ear could pick up. Environmental sensors pick up temperature; the particle sensor can tell what’s in the air.

When Point detects any notable changes, it sends an alert to the owner’s smartphone. The mobile app also shows a timeline of all events, so someone can quickly scroll through the day to see when people were in the home. All the computation takes place on the device; there is no live-streaming audio, no way to eavesdrop on your home and no overwhelming amount of data to sort through.

Mattisson worked in the Exploratory Design Group at Apple for seven years, where he helped build prototypes for early, experimental product ideas. He left the company last year to start Form with co-founders Marcus Ljungblad, Fredrik Ahlberg and Martin Lööf.

Together, they wanted to create a new genre of smart-home device. The original idea started with Airbnb hosts, but it’s for anyone who wants a lightweight security option for their home or office. It’s meant for anyone who doesn’t need a complex security system, or who isn’t comfortable with images from inside their home being stored on the cloud.

Internet-connected cameras like Dropcam are a popular alternative to full security systems, but images and videos stored in the cloud can be vulnerable to hackers. For example, a Russian website is hosting hacked streams of strangers’ video cameras. Point doesn’t store audio information, processing it all directly on the device.

Form has raised $150,000 on Kickstarter and is working with a manufacturer in China on the first production run, though it has tested early prototype devices. Early next year, the Finland-based company will ship the device to its first pilot customer, a management company that rents offices for short periods. Form hopes to test it with a hotel soon after that, and make it available to consumers by next summer for around $100 each.

Tech companies including Apple and Google, and traditional home stores like Lowe’s and Home Depot, are all pushing smart-home products as the next big thing. Mattisson saw that big companies were taking existing products like thermostats and refrigerators and adding Internet.

“We felt there was a need for something that was simple,” said Mattisson. “And we don’t have to make products that are in the same mold.”

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Source: http://rss.cnn.com/~r/rss/cnn_tech/~3/Jn1fFe-5_eM/index.html

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China’s Google will launch a smart bike later this year

What’s the next hot connected gadget category? Forget watches, we’re thinking bikes, judging by the overwhelming interest in crazy, innovative new models like Teague’s ‘Denny’ e-bike. Chinese search giant Baidu is all over that with the Dubike, a non-motorized bicycle equipped with regenerative electric tech and laden with smart fitness technology. It sports heart rate, pedal rate, peddle pressure and other sensors which which connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. With that info, it’ll monitor your health stats, provide mapping directions, track your bike’s position and recommend cycling routes or fitness programs via social networks — to name just a few possible functions.

Gallery | 9 Photos

Baidu Dubike smart e-bike

The high-tech-looking bike (designed by Baidu and Tsinghua University’s design department) will also have a “self-generation hub that converts kinetic into electrical energy.” That means it’ll store electrical power to run all its sensors and charge your phone or other device. In case you had your hopes up, it doesn’t appear to provide any e-bike motorized option like Teague’s “Denny” model.

Baidu’s slightly sinister-sounding research arm, the Institute of Deep Learning (IDL), launched a smart bike OS last month, with the intent to build crowdsourced riding maps, fitness programs and other intelligent features. It plans to use that tech for Dubike and share it with other manufacturers. There’s no other info about the bike like pricing, weight or other specs, but the company intends to launch it by the end of the year. We doubt it’ll arrive in Europe or the US, but hopefully Baidu will inspire its western counterparts to get pedaling with their own smart bike programs.

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Source: http://www.engadget.com/2014/11/26/baidu-dubike/?ncid=rss_truncated

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Watch

The Arizona Coyotes loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night was an especially brutal one.

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, the Coyotes allowed Colorado to storm back for a 4-3 overtime win. But it’s not just the fact that they let the Avalanche come back and win, it’s the way they ended up losing in overtime.

As Colorado’s Daniel Briere skated with the puck out of the corner and attempted a centering pass intended for Zach Redmond, Arizona’s Martin Hanzal turned around and in the proccess accidentally knocked the puck past Coyotes goalie Mike Smith for the game-winning goal.

That goal goes into the books as a game-winner for Briere.

He has a reputation for being a clutch scorer throughout his career and scoring some big goals in big moments, and sometimes you need a little bit of luck for that to happen and build such a reputation. This is an example of him getting a lot of luck.

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Source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/24840858/watch-martin-hanzal-accidentally-knocks-puck-in-own-net-in-ot

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Arsenal vs. Dortmund: Tactical Preview of Champions League Game

Arsenal vs. Dortmund: Tactical Preview of Champions League Game
Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

If Arsenal want to qualify first from their Champions League group, they have to win both their remaining games and hope for a slip-up from BVB. That quest starts here against the German outfit.

The Gunners were crushed in Dortmund on Matchday 1; will Arsene Wenger have something different up his sleeve here?

Arsenal News

Wenger has injury problems to deal with?what’s new??but can accept the blame for a missing Olivier Giroud personally. After the Frenchman broke his ankle, he decided not to register him thinking he wouldn’t be fit before Christmas.

@stighefootball
Possible Arsenal XI.

According to Sami Mokbel of the Daily Mail, Damian Martinez looks set to start in goal with Wojciech Szczesny out, Jack Wilshere is not an option, and the long-term absentees remain. Good news, though, arrives in the form of Laurent Koscielny’s return to the setup.

Guessing the formation here is tricky, but with Wilshere out, it’s reasonable to expect a 4-4-1-1 with Alexis Sanchez behind Danny Welbeck. Aaron Ramsey and Mikel Arteta will be in midfield.

BVB News

According to WhoScored.com, as many as seven first-team players could miss out here for Borussia Dortmund. In a way, BVB are like the German equivalent of Arsenal when it comes to injury issues.

@stighefootball
Possible BVB XI.

The big, big blow comes in the form of Marco Reus: The German winger tore his ankle ligaments at the weekend and was stretchered off; he’s out until 2015.

Sven Bender, Mats Hummels, Sokratis and Jakub Blaszczykowski are all doubts, meaning much of the XI picks itself. We could be in for a treat with Ilkay Gundogan ready to start.

Tactical Point 1: Avoiding the Press

In the first matchup between these two sides, Dortmund essentially played 4-4-2 and pressed like men possessed. Ciro Immobile and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang starred from the front, totalling seven tackles between them whilst scoring a goal each.

WhoScored.com
Immobile & PEA’s high-press resulted in high turnovers.

BVB have been atrocious in the Bundesliga but ramp up their game for European nights under the lights. With Blaszczykowski a doubt, it’s almost certain Aubameyang and Immobile will partner up again in some form, and that means Arsenal’s first task is to avoid the press.

Ru.tv

It’s not easy; in fact, it’s damn difficult when Jurgen Klopp‘s men have the wind in their sails. Dortmund’s (now hollow) Super Cup victory to start the season was based on literally frightening Gianluca Gaudino in midfield into giving the ball away.

Ru.tv

Arteta and Ramsey will need to be sharp. If they can shrug the initial wave, there is some serious space to exploit, and Sanchez will find himself one vs. one?possibly vs. Sebastian Kehl!

Tactical Point 2: BVB‘s Midfield Conduit

BVB can’t always win the ball high up and will settle in to a low block to defend when the press is beaten. Arsenal averaged close to 55 percent of possession in the first meeting and completed over 100 more passes, per WhoScored.com, so expect a similar pattern here.

What becomes important?and this is for the attentions of Arteta, really?is the conduit Klopp uses to move the ball out of defence quickly. He won’t trust Immobile or Aubameyang to receive the first 15-yard pass from deep; he’ll likely field Shinji Kagawa or Henrikh Mkhitaryan to do it instead.

Lars Baron/Getty Images

Mkhitaryan has his uses here (for one, he’s ridiculous fast with the ball at his feet), but can have off-nights that detriment the team. The safer option is Kagawa, to whom the ball sticks to; his influence against Bayern Munich in Der Klassiker was obvious for all to see.

BVB could get stuck in their own half if their conduit for transitions is marked out, making this a near-man-marking job. Is Arteta up to the task?

Follow @stighefootball

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Source: http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2280749-arsenal-vs-dortmund-tactical-preview-of-champions-league-game

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Watch

The Arizona Coyotes loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night was an especially brutal one.

After jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first period, the Coyotes allowed Colorado to storm back for a 4-3 overtime win. But it’s not just the fact that they let the Avalanche come back and win, it’s the way they ended up losing in overtime.

As Colorado’s Daniel Briere skated with the puck out of the corner and attempted a centering pass intended for Zach Redmond, Arizona’s Martin Hanzal turned around and in the proccess accidentally knocked the puck past Coyotes goalie Mike Smith for the game-winning goal.

That goal goes into the books as a game-winner for Briere.

He has a reputation for being a clutch scorer throughout his career and scoring some big goals in big moments, and sometimes you need a little bit of luck for that to happen and build such a reputation. This is an example of him getting a lot of luck.

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Source: http://www.cbssports.com/nhl/eye-on-hockey/24840858/watch-martin-hanzal-accidentally-knocks-puck-in-own-net-in-ot

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Curry scores 40, powers Warriors past Heat

MIAMI (AP) So much for Stephen Curry‘s mini-shooting slump.

Curry scored 40 points on 11-of-18 shooting, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Miami Heat 114-97 on Tuesday night for their sixth consecutive victory.

”You just feel a rhythm,” said Curry, who was 8 for 24 in his previous two games. ”I had guys set some great screens early to kind of get me going. You start finding shots and it feels good. Even the ones I missed terribly felt good, which is pretty funny.”

Klay Thompson had 24 points for the Warriors, who shot 57 percent. Curry finished 8 of 11 from 3-point range.

”You always stay confident, stay ready,” Curry said. ”You win games all sorts of ways with different individual performances. How we shot last game had nothing to do with this game. If we execute our offense well, you’re going to get good shots.”

Golden State scored 14 straight points to open a 107-95 lead with 2:50 to go. Curry and Thompson capped the run with consecutive 3-pointers.

”The beauty of this team is we can play both ends,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. ”We have the personnel to score. We have the personnel to guard.”

Chris Bosh scored 26 points for Miami, and Luol Deng had 16. James Ennis’ dunk with 9:11 left was the Heat’s last field goal.

”They played their best basketball in the fourth quarter,” Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. ”We got caught up in some tough possessions. Their defense really stepped up and then they started to score and we just weren’t able to sustain from there.”

Miami led by 16 in the first half but Golden State closed the second quarter with a 23-8 surge. Draymond Green made two free throws with 9.8 seconds left to cut the Heat’s lead to 62-61 at the break.

Golden state carried the momentum over to the second half. Curry hit three 3 pointers in the third period and his two free throws with 58.2 seconds remaining put Golden State head, 89-82.

”Second half – everybody was more in tune,” Kerr said. ”We got to their 3-point shooters. We ran them off the line. In the end, we got it rolling.”

Harrison Barnes finished with 12 points and Andrew Bogut had 10 rebounds for the Warriors. Bogut started after sustaining a right orbital bone contusion on Sunday.

The Heat got off to a nice start, opening a 31-22 lead on Mario Chalmers‘ corner 3-pointer with 1:51 left in the first quarter.

”I don’t really get what we think or what we do down the stretch against good teams, the elite teams,” Bosh said. ”For some reason we just forget everything – offense and defense execution.”

SUB-100 PERFECTION

The Warriors improved to 8-0 when limiting opponents to less than 100 points.

”This game was a huge challenge for us, probably our biggest challenge defensively we’ve faced all year because they present a lot of problems,” Kerr said.

SHOOTING WOES

After a 7-of-10 pace from 3-point range in the first half, Miami shot 3 of 13 in the second half. The Heat made 11 of 40 shots in the second half.

TIP-INS

Warriors: G Leandro Barbosa played four minutes and scored two points after spraining his right knee in the Warriors’ win over Orlando on Sunday. … Early in the first period, Bogut grabbed a defensive rebound, dribbled the length of the court and made a behind-the-back pass from the baseline to Green, who scored on a layup. … F David Lee (strained left hamstring) missed his 12th straight game.

Heat: F-C Chris Andersen‘s injury woes continue. Andersen sat out Tuesday’s game after injuring his left ankle early in Miami’s win over Charlotte on Sunday. Earlier in the season, Andersen missed four games because of bruised ribs. … G Dwyane Wade (left hamstring) missed his seventh straight game. … Norris Cole returned to the starting lineup after missing the previous two games because of a dislocated left middle finger.

UP NEXT

Warriors: Visit Orlando on Wednesday.

Heat: Visit New York on Sunday.

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Source: http://www.cbssports.com/nba/gametracker/recap/NBA_20141125_GS@MIA/curry-powers-warriors-past-heat-114-97

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Arsenal vs. Borussia Dortmund, 2014 UEFA Champions League: Time, TV schedule and game preview

Two injury-battered sides face off as Arsenal host already-qualified Borussia Dortmund.

These two teams represent a strange dichotomy of club football. Both Arsenal and Borussia Dortmund have been extremely successful in the Champions League this season, with Dortmund having already secured qualification thanks to winning all four of their group stage matches so far. Arsenal haven’t been much worse off, with seven points after four matches, standing five points clear of third-place Anderlecht, and needing just two points to guarantee a spot in the knockout rounds.

With their league play, though, both sides have been disappointing. Injuries and uninspiring play have cost Arsenal in the English Premier league, leaving them sitting eighth in the table and 15 points out of first place after losing in embarrassing fashion at home to Manchester United this weekend. Dortmund are even worse off; they actually find themselves in the Bundesliga relegation zone, with injuries compounding a squad that has, simply put, been bad in the German top division this season. And yet, despite their struggles, one of these teams has already secured a place in the knockout rounds and the other is Group D’s overwhelming favorite to take the second qualifying spot. What a world.

Key player – Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)

Arsenal’s attack has been utterly reliant on the Chilean sensation this season, and with how thin their attacking ranks are right now, they’ll be leaning on him more than ever in this match. Sanchez is capable of working significant magic with the ball, but it’s going to take all his powers to carry Arsenal right now. Dortmund’s first, second, and third tasks in defense will be to keep Sanchez contained and out of dangerous positions in the final third. That’s no easy task, and if he can break through whatever the Germans throw his way, Arsenal can make life even more miserable for the suffering Dortmund fans.

Key Matchup – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang vs. Nacho Monreal

Both sides are working with something of a patchwork defense of late, and that’s highlighted by Arsenal’s use of Monreal, normally a fullback, as Per Mertesacker’s partner in central defense. That’s going to be the big chink in Arsenal’s armor that Dortmund must try to take advantage of, and Aubameyang’s pace and trickery on the ball will be key to that. Monreal still isn’t completely comfortable playing centrally, and using Aubameyang’s direct runs and the support of the other Dortmund attackers could overload him and leave Arsenal vulnerable in the middle. If that happens… look out.

Arsenal injuries and suspensions

Out: Olivier Giroud (unregistered), Mesut Özil (knee), David Ospina (hip), Mathieu Debuchy (ankle), Laurent Koscielny (calf) In doubt: Wojciech Szczesny (hip), Jack Wislhere (ankle), Theo Walcott (groin)

Borussia Dortmund injuries and suspensions

Out: Marco Reus (ankle) In doubt: Mats Hummels (foot), Sven Bender (hip), Jakub Blaszczykowski (thigh), Oliver Kirch (thigh), Nuri Sahin (knee), Sokratis Papastathopoulos (leg)

These two teams are absolutely brutalized by injury right now, with their rosters more resembling lists you’d see in a hospital ward than a football team’s squad sheet. Both Arsene Wenger and Jurgen Klopp will face a tough task in putting together their squads for this tie, as they have to figure out how to balance sides that just don’t have many options at several positions.

Wenger’s job is further complicated by a decision he made months ago; Olivier Giroud was left off their Champions League squad registration before the group stage, as his injury was originally supposed to keep him out until January. He returned ahead of schedule, though, entering this weekend’s league match against Manchester United as a substitute and scoring a late goal. Having him available would have made life much easier for Wenger, but that just won’t be an option today.

Match Date/Time: Wednesday, 7:45 P.M. local, 2:45 P.M. ET

Venue: Emirates Stadium, London, England

TV: Fox Sports 1 (U.S. – English), ESPN Deportes (U.S. – Spanish), TeleClub Sport Live (Germany), Sky Sports 1/HD (U.K.)

Online: Fox Soccer 2GO (U.S.), ESPN3 (U.S.), Sky Go Deutschland (Germany), Sky Go (U.K.)

Listings via LiveSoccerTV.

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Source: http://www.sbnation.com/soccer/2014/11/26/7279089/arsenal-borussia-dortmund-2014-champions-league-time-tv-schedule-live-online-streaming

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Ryder Cup: More than just a game

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ryder Cup begins at Gleneagles in Scotland on Friday
  • The two-yearly competition pits the best golfers from U.S. and Europe against each other
  • Team USA is out for revenge after losing the last two contests
  • Golf legend Tom Watson captains the American team

Editor’s note: Shane O’Donoghue is the host of CNN’s monthly “Living Golf” show. For all of the latest from the 2014 Ryder Cup, you can follow him on Twitter @ShaneODonoghue.

(CNN) — It is always with a sense of great anticipation that I get ready for the thrilling spectacle that is golf’s Ryder Cup.

To see it come “home,” not only to Scotland, where the game was first played, but to Gleneagles in particular, where the first “international” match was played between the best professionals of Great Britain and their U.S. counterparts 90 odd years ago, makes it all the more significant.

It has the makings of a battle royal. Let’s hope it becomes one. We want this one going down to the wire, with memorable golfing moments, good gladiatorial combat and most of all, exemplary sportsmanship.

A whiff of sulfur never goes astray in sporting combat, but let’s hope it doesn’t get out of hand.

Nine Ryder Cups have been played since Tom Watson last captained America to victory at the Belfry in 1993, and Team Europe has won seven of them.

Given Europe’s strong record over the last two decades, the burning question is how will Team USA perform under the captaincy of the great Watson?

Before a competitive ball is struck, this is already becoming a battle of pure passion versus arch professionalism.

The American setup is businesslike and has always has been. They do things by the book, dotting every “i,” crossing every “t” and clinically going about their business with ruthless efficiency.

Ryder Cup veteran Jim Furyk embodies this very style. Like the winter sun, he’s brilliant but cold.

Read: ‘I’m just a wife, but I’m treated like a star

The Europeans, on the other hand, play with a heart and passion that is very difficult to define. Every other year, they unite like a band of brothers. It’s a bonding exercise.

Personal egos go out the window, while unity and a musketeer’s “all for one, one for all” mentality embodies the team dynamic. It’s visceral.

Think of Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo — usually arch rivals on the course — hugging and crying in each other’s arms at Oak Hill in 1995 and you’ll know what I mean. Hard to explain, but it is there and it’s the fuel for the engine that is European team golf.

This year’s captain Paul McGinley personifies that team dynamic. Never the greatest player, he was an achiever nonetheless and never afraid to dream big.

Hewn from the heft and brawn of Gaelic football back in his native Ireland, McGinley is a team player through and through. From his earliest representative days as a golfing talent, his greatest experiences have been as part of a collective, playing for Leinster, and Ireland, and making the Walker Cup amateur side in 1991.

Winning the World Cup for Ireland in 1997 alongside Padraig Harrington exemplified that shared experience perfectly. Since becoming a Ryder Cup hero in his debut in 2002, the Dubliner has not been part of a losing team, either as a player or vice-captain.

But can he handle the “favorites” tag? It’s going to be fascinating to see what the team will deliver for him.

Conversely, Watson is a bona fide legend of the game who is also a teak-tough, battle-hardened competitor.

At 65, he still has the power to stop the game’s elites in their tracks when he starts hitting balls on any range.

He is the most successful British Open champion of the modern era in golf and one of the greatest match-players of all time.

He clearly loves the Ryder Cup and absolutely hates the way the matches have gone against Team USA over the last 19 years.

Like any great gladiator, the losses annoy him beyond belief, hence his absolute desire to win this one back. The question is, however, whether he can fire up these boys in red, white and blue.

Some of the team are young enough to be their captain’s grandsons — will it be “my way or the highway?”

Can he go deep with his team in terms of connection or will it be tough love from the elder statesman? This truly is a fascinating prospect, with so much at stake.

In the end, it may only be a game. But in truth, it is in actual fact, much more important than that altogether.

“Olé” or “USA”? Let the games begin!

Read: Why Tom Watson battles with Twitter

Read: Do you love Team USA this much?

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Behind the Rise and Fall of the 10-Year Franchise History of Chivas USA

Behind the Rise and Fall of the 10-Year Franchise History of Chivas USA
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

On the surface, October 26 seemed like any other home finale for Chivas USA at the StubHub Center. 

The fans in attendance were treated to a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes. The victory helped Wilmer Cabrera’s side earn their third win in the final four games of the Major League Soccer season. 

“I was really just focused on the game,” Chivas USA goalkeeper Dan Kennedy said. 

However, once the final whistle blew, reality started to set in. Just a day later, MLS would issue a statement ceasing operations of the club immediately.

After 10 seasons as a professional soccer franchise, Chivas USA was no more. They became the third franchise in MLS history to fold. Miami Fusion and Tampa Bay Mutiny were dissolved in 2001. 


 

As he usually did after home matches, Kennedy went out to the crowd and thanked them for their support. But this interaction with the fans would be his last. 

“It hit me a bit when I grabbed my wife and my mom to bring them out on the field,” Kennedy said. “Normally I try to get out and shake the hands of some of the fans anyway.” 

Despite the poor results of the past few years, the supporters’ groups of the club were out in full force to celebrate one final emotional moment with the club. 

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

?To be honest with you, it was difficult,” Union Ultras leader Julio “El Chiva Mayor” Ramos said. “But at the end of the day, we’re a passionate supporters’ group and we will support our team no matter what. It was tough, but it was something that we wanted to do. It was from the heart.” 

Kennedy wasn’t the only player who was out on the pitch thanking fans that day, but his story resonated more due to his long tenure at the club as well as an emotional photo.

“The kid has come to games every year since he was in diapers. I saw how much it meant to him. In his eyes, it was a sad moment,” Kennedy said.

“My mom and wife were just cruising around taking pictures, taking in the moment exactly how I was. I think they really got emotional at that moment as well. They saw how much it meant to this kid.”


 

Things weren’t always as bleak for Chivas USA, who entered MLS in 2005 along with fellow expansion side Real Salt Lake

The team, who was owned by Jorge Vergara and Antonio Cue, was supposed to be an American version of Mexican club Chivas Guadalajara. Chivas USA wore the same colors and sported a near-identical badge as their parent club. 

“Obviously Chivas came in thinking they were going to have a huge following because of Chivas Guadalajara and I don’t think it ever came to fruition as it was envisioned,” Kennedy said. 

Success came quickly for the Goats, who needed just two years to spring to the top of the Western Conference. 

The club was put in the right direction by Bob Bradley, who went on to become the manager of the United States men’s national team. 

?When I got there, it was 2006 and Bob Bradley was the head coach,” Preki, who was an assistant under Bradley before becoming the head coach from 2007-09, said.

“I just joined the club as an assistant. At that point, the club really wasn’t at a good stage. Bob started a process. He changed the squad and that year [2006] was the first time ever Chivas made the playoffs.”

In 2007, Preki took over after assisting Bradley during the 2006 campaign, which saw Chivas USA finish third in the West. 

RIC FRANCIS/Associated Press

“Bob left and I continued the process. We still made a couple of changes and tried to get better,” Preki said. “From my view, the club was always on the way up and the results were showing that.”  

Chivas USA took the Western Conference by storm in 2007 by finishing first with 53 points and 15 wins in 30 games. The club was two points away from clinching the Supporters’ Shield, which was earned by D.C. United. 

“We were getting the respect from clubs around the league,” Preki said. “People knew when they played Chivas, they were going to be hard games.” 

That same year, Chivas USA’s biggest rival, the LA Galaxy, made a splash by bringing in David Beckham as the league’s first designated player. Beckham teamed up with Landon Donovan to form a star-studded side, but they could not knock Chivas out of first place. 

“We were almost as equal as the Galaxy. We didn’t have any designated players, we didn’t spend a lot of money. We were on top of them,” Preki said.

“The Galaxy was a really good team. They had Landon Donovan and David Beckham. Those are two top quality players. For us to be competing with them and a few times being above them, I think it’s a huge success.” 

The two stars for the Goats in 2007 were Maykel Galindo and Ante Razov, who finished fifth and sixth in the Golden Boot race with 12 and 11 goals respectively. 

A direct line of communication between head coach and ownership helped make 2007 a dream season for the new kids on the block in MLS. 

BILL KOSTROUN/Associated Press

“My first year at Chivas, I had direct communication with [owner] Antonio Cue,” Preki said. “I was able to earn his trust and he was letting me do my job. I take pride in my job and I think I did my job pretty well.”

Chivas USA failed to score a goal in their two-leg Western Conference semifinal series with the Kansas City Wizards in 2007, but that did not deter them from making progress the next year. 

In 2008, the Goats continued their success under Preki with a second-place finish in the West. Despite the strong regular season, they were knocked out of the playoffs in the Western Conference semifinals by Real Salt Lake. 

“We had an older group of guys like Ante Razov and Jesse Marsch. It was a really experienced group,” Kennedy, who joined the club in 2008, said. “Certainly the structure was there and we were a competitive group.” 

?They built a strong squad,” Ramos said. “It wasn’t just a strong team on the field, there was a strong team in the front office. We used to have more than 15,000 fans in the stadium.” 

After the 2008 season, things started to go downhill for a variety of reasons at the club. The 2009 season brought a fourth-place finish in the West, and a playoff loss to the rival Galaxy in the Western Conference semifinals. 

“I think we were very fortunate in ’07, ’08, ’09 to have a good team,” defender Bobby Burling, who played for the club from 2007-09 and 2012-14 said. “We had a good group of young and old.” 

Just like any successful club, Chivas USA saw interest from other teams in their key players. The first of the key players to depart for Europe was goalkeeper Brad Guzan, who earned a move to Aston Villa in the summer of 2008.

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Two years later, the departures of Jonathan Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan to Europe rid the club of the impressive young talent they had developed. 

If there is any positive legacy left by the club, it is the development of three players who went on to succeed at club level and with the United States. 

“We had Bornstein, Kljestan and Guzan make big moves in their careers and Chivas played a part in that,” Burling said. “For these players to go to bigger clubs and make their careers, it’s really a testament to what they did in MLS and what kind of team we had.” 

Before Bornstein and Kljestan left for good in 2010, the team began to fall apart. Preki’s final season with the club would be 2009, which would also mark the last time Chivas USA would appear in the MLS Cup playoffs. 

Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Guzan with Chivas USA in 2008.

“My first year, I actually talked with [owner] Antonio Cue directly. That was the year we had the most success,” Preki said.

“After that, they decided to bring on board [former president and CEO] Shawn Hunter and get other people involved. It became a little bit more difficult. Everybody started getting involved, and when everybody started getting involved, that’s when things started getting lost.

“The owner believed we all get hired to do certain jobs at the club and that we should all have responsibility. And we should be accountable for them. When people start going into other people’s business, that’s when things went wrong.”

With young stars departing and older players retiring, Chivas USA needed to rebuild. Unfortunately it didn’t happen and a downward spiral began.

“After that 2008 season we started losing pieces and then 2009 was Preki’s last year. We were a playoff team in 2009. That was Preki’s last year and that was the year in which we started losing,” Kennedy said.

“I sensed the club was going in a different direction, and I wasn’t going to agree with the things they were going to do,” Preki said. “The best way was to part ways. Let the people who ran the club do things their own way. Obviously we all found out which way the club went.” 

Burling was another to head for pastures new at the same time.

“I left for San Jose after 2009. When I was in San Jose, I was kind of an outsider, but I still had friends on the team and asked them what was going on. It’s one of those things where once the results start going wrong, everything starts going the wrong way,” Burling said. 

“We had retired players, we lost that core group of guys that everything had been built on and shortly thereafter we lost Jonny Bornstein and Sacha Kljestan to transfers,” Kennedy said. “The team was gutted. That was the moment in which we needed consistency.” 

Victor Decolongon/Getty Images
Bornstein playing for Chivas USA in 2010.

The wrong form of consistency was found, as the club finished no higher than seventh place in the final five years of their existence. The lone seventh-place finish came in 2014 after the good run of form in October. During that span, Chivas USA would employ five different managers. 

“The biggest mistakes [the owner] made throughout the years were too many changes, it caused a loss of direction,” Ramos said.

“Coming full circle looking at the team over the last three seasons, we just didn’t really have an identity,” Burling said. “We were always in the state of a coaching change or some type of change within the organization.

“As players, we were at fault because the coaching change stems from results. We felt responsible at times, but sometimes certain things are out of our hands.”

“We needed a long-term approach to build a vision and no coach was given that opportunity in my mind. From there, it was in constant flux,” Kennedy said.

“If you just look around this league and look at the teams that are successful, the majority of them that are successful year after year have been together for a long time.” 


 

In the final years of the club’s existence, there were always rumors about the future of the club. No player knew this better than Kennedy, who experienced plenty of ups and downs after joining in 2008. 

?There was quite a bit of speculation in previous years, too. I guess for me being here so long, I’ve gotten used to it,” Kennedy said.

“I didn’t have a contract offered to me when they drafted me. I was cut after they signed me. On multiple occasions, [owner Jorge] Vergara would say in the press that I was being replaced before the season even started.”

Jamie Sabau/Getty Images
Kljestan left Chivas USA for Anderlecht in 2010.

“One of the things I learned how to do was deal with that and whatever was being said didn’t matter,” Kennedy said. “What mattered for me was my performance, how I acted in the locker room and making sure that the young players on the team understood that.” 

Despite all of the rumors swirling about the future of the club, the attitude in the locker room always stayed the same. 

“I would say for the most part, our locker room was a great group of guys. We rarely had a bad apple,” Burling said.

“Most of the guys got along, whether there was a language barrier or not. We still like to joke around and do the same stuff. From that aspect, the locker room wasn’t a toxic situation at all. It was kept pretty mellow.” 

The players received something of a message about the future in 2014, when MLS purchased the club from Vergara who, with his wife, had become sole owners of Chivas USA after they bought out Cue and his brother Lorenzo in 2012. 

Even though the league was in control, no concrete status update was given until October 27 when the club ceased operations.

Burling said: “It was a pretty strange scenario to be a part of. I think most of the domestic players had a better understanding of what was going on whereas some of the foreign guys, who don’t really know the league as much as we do, didn’t.

“Some of these guys are on loan and moved far away with their families to enjoy life in the States, and to try to have a career in MLS. They kept coming to us wanting answers.

“All we were getting were rumors at that point. It was extremely difficult. With the rumors kind of swirling, people began wondering what their next move was. Wondering what’s going to happen. Am I going to be here? Am I not?”

Despite all of the confusion about the club’s status, the players rallied to give the fans one final moment to be proud of. Chivas USA rolled off wins over Real Salt Lake, Colorado and San Jose in the final month of the season to lift themselves out of last place in the West. The wins were the first in October for Chivas USA since the 3-0 victory on October 9, 2010 over Toronto FC

Victor Decolongon/Getty Images

“We hadn’t won a game in October in four seasons. It was extremely difficult, where all we would hear were rumors,” Burling said.

“We couldn’t really speculate too much on what was going on. We had to take care of our business on the field, as hard as that was at some times.

“It’s a testament to the guys. The last month of the season we were like ‘screw it, this thing is basically folding as we know it. Let’s just go out and try and put in some solid performances and win a few games down the stretch’.”

USA TODAY Sports
Felix Borja celebrates the final goal in Chivas USA history.

The final match of the season brought with it a familiar task for the club in regards to the job on the pitch. Despite how well the club played that day, the inevitable was waiting to happen less than 24 hours later. 

“I guess I was just really focused on that game,” Kennedy said. “A lot of people asked me leading up to that how I was feeling. To be honest, It was definitely strange, and in many ways, I was ready for this.”

Preki was an interested an frustrated spectator as Chivas USA heading to the cliff’s edge.

“In my opinion, it’s pretty disappointing because I know how hard it is to make it and to make a team become successful,” Preki said. “For that all to fall apart that fast, it was incredibly disappointing to me.” 


 

Three days after Chivas USA ceased operations, a new ownership group was led in front of a group of reporters and fans to announce the formation of LAFC, which will begin play in 2017. 

USA TODAY Sports

Based on everything the ownership group of LAFC has said, the club will not make the same mistakes that Chivas USA once made. 

Another key factor for the new club will be the creation of their own stadium. During Chivas USA’s existence, they shared the same building as the LA Galaxy.

“The one thing that is definitely in the right direction is they are trying to distance themselves from the StubHub Center and the Galaxy,” Burling said. 

“We were paying rent to use another team’s stadium, which is a difficult thing to distance yourself from.

“I think the new ownership group has the backing capable of finding the right situation in LA to build their own stadium; to have their own identity and brand and something that relates well to this area.”

LAFC will not go into MLS alone, as the fans from Chivas USA have decided to get behind the new club. 

“We’re looking at a bright future. We know we’re going to have some investors that are going to build a new stadium and bring in a strong squad,” Ramos said.

“They’re going to do it the right way. Why do I believe that? Because they have to learn from the many mistakes Chivas USA made. I’m very confident we’re going to have a strong team.” 

Despite all the early momentum behind LAFC, the work behind the scenes must be done in order to put out a successful product in the first year.

Nick Ut/Associated Press

“It’s always going to depend on the ownership. Who they hire, how they run the business, what their goals are, are they going to get designated players,” Preki, who now manages Sacramento Republic FC of the USL Pro league, said.

“These are all of the factors that play into it. It’s not easy to become successful.” 

“You have to find a way to win,” Kennedy said. “I think they do have an advantage over Chivas with that. If you want a great atmosphere in Los Angeles, winning is the key ingredient.” 


 

As for the future of the players, they were subjected to a dispersal draft on November 19. The only player not involved in the process was young Mexican forward Erick “Cubo” Torres. His future should be determined by mid-December per a report on MLSSoccer.com

Kennedy was selected first in the Dispersal Draft by FC Dallas. He was one of seven players selected by the 20 teams in the league. The goalkeeper was the only league veteran chosen, as the other six were young up-and-coming players. 

Nick Ut/Associated Press

“The reality is for the last few years I’ve been dealing with new teammates and coaches anyway,” Kennedy said.

“The location is most likely going to be different, but in terms of adjusting to a new environment, I think I’m quite used to that. I’m embracing it and I’m excited for a new challenge and hopefully put some more wins in that W column.” 

Burling was not selected in the Dispersal Draft, which means he will enter the player pool for the Re-Entry Draft on December 10. Players are usually entered into the Re-Entry Draft when they are out of contract. If he is selected during the re-entry process, his new club has the ability to negotiate a new contract with him. 

“In our occupation, there’s always that state of unknown,” Burling said. “You can move at any time and it’s definitely part of the job description, but at the same time, it is stressful.” 

The players have already begun to move on from Chivas USA. The league has, too. But the club’s legacy must not be forgotten. If it is, we could be talking about another club following in the path about Chivas USA, which is not something any professional league wants to experience. 

 

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. 

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