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Disgraceful flop mars start of World Cup

We all love the World Cup, but the officiating is usually terrible. The Brazilian who goes by the simple name of “Fred” was awarded for one of the most disgraceful flops I’ve ever seen by Japanese ref Yuishi Nichimura. This horrible episode marred the beginning of the world’s greatest tournament and frankly provided plenty of fodder for every soccer hater out there.

Of course, similar flopping occurs in the NBA with guys like Dwyane Wade, but in soccer goals are precious, and allowing a penalty kick for this shameful display is a joke. Of course one way to handle things would be to have video review of any penalty in the box, but then it might be harder for FIFA or others to fix matches, which also happens regularly in soccer.

It’s a terrible start to the tournament.

Just how bad is FIFA?

This hilarious clip from John Oliver sums it up pretty well.

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How far can Jurgen Klinsmann take Team USA?

The World Cup is finally here, and Jurgen Klinsmann doesn’t think Team USA can actually win the tournament. But he’s playing the long game, trying to set up Team USA for long-term success.

As you gear up for the tournament, you should check out this in-depth profile of Klinsmann and his approach. With the release of Landon Donovan, Klinsmann has shown that he’s not afraid to take responsibility for his approach, and he’ll take quite a bit of heat if Team USA falls flat in Brazil.

But Klinsmann wanted the most dedicated and fit players, and Donovan didn’t fit that mold. Many have disagreed with the decision, and when you see teams like Italy relying on aging but crafty veterans like Pirlo you have to question this decision.

But Klinsmann has a plan. Now we’ll see how it works.

Sexy Alex Morgan in SI

Portugal, France and Mexico book tickets to Brazil

The big names found a way to get to Brazil. With Cristiano Ronaldo scoring a hat trick, Portugal booked its ticket to the 2014 World Cup with a win over Sweden. Meanwhile France was able to defeat Ukraine after being two goals down in their first match.

Mexico also advanced, though this was a foregone conclusion after they dismantled New Zealand in their first match. This ended an amazing journey for Mexico which needed a late goal from arch-rival Team USA to even get them in this position.